170. The Fifty-Ninth Session of the Council had requested the Ad Hoc Committee on the Methods of Work of the Council to submit to the Sixtieth Session a revised text on the methods of work, taking fully into account the comments made and any amendments proposed by the Council at its Fifty-Ninth Session 2.
171. The Council had thus before it the Second Report of its Ad Hoc Committee 3, containing the revised draft decisions regarding the methods of work of the Council. This text incorporated the suggestions made at the Fifty-Ninth Council, together with some further amendments introduced by the Ad Hoc Committee when it met on 30 March 1973. Having reviewed the draft decisions Section by Section, the Council endorsed the text proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee subject to the following amendments and comments: 4
172. With regard to Section 1 (Functions of the Council), it was agreed that paragraph 1.3 should be reworded to read: “The Council should delegate authority to the Programme and Finance Committees as might be necessary”. This, the Council felt, would be in line with the General Rules of the Organization, in particular with Rule XXIV.3(m). It requested the Programme and Finance Committees to make specific proposals for the delegation of authority for the purpose of saving sessional time on matters of detail and routine.
173. Turning to the new text proposed by the Ad Hoc Committee for paragraph 1.5, the Council endorsed this text and requested that Council members be informed at least one month in advance should no Committee-of-the-Whole be envisaged at a given session, in order to allow for adjustments in the size of their delegations.
174. Concerning Section 2 (Facilitation of Discussion), the Council noted that items classified for information only, as per paragraph 2.1(b), might in some cases lead to discussion or decision and vice versa, and that such a classification might therefore prove only indicative Bearing in mind that it would be necessary for Council members to have full opportunity to consider whether discussion should be initiated, the Council agreed to add the following words at the beginning of paragraph 2.2: “Subject to compliance with the first sentence of Section 3 below, any Council member …”.
175. Turning to Section 6 (Interventions and Records), the Council decided to replace paragraph 6.7 by the following: “Verbatim records shall be kept of Council Plenary meetings, but not of the meetings of the Committee-of-the-Whole”. The Council expressed the desirability of having some device to avoid unnecessarily long speeches.
176. When reviewing Section 7 (Council Reports), the Council requested that the Index of Decisions of the Conference and Council, which had been so timely prepared and made available in English on the occasion of the present Council Session, should be finalized without delay in French and Spanish and given general distribution. The Council furthermore requested that this very important basic reference document be kept up to date, and completed to cover the interrelated decisions and/or recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees, the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) and the Regional Conferences.
177. On Section 8 (Participation), the Council decided to delete paragraphs 8.1 to 8.4, this Section to contain one sentence only, as follows: “8. Every endeavour should be made to ensure effective participation at Council sessions by all members”.
1 CL 60/PV/13, CL 60/PV/14 and CL 60/PV/17.
2 CL 59/REP, paras 227–249.
3 CL 60/22.
4 The text as approved by the Council is to be found in Appendix G to this Report.
178. When reviewing new Section 9 (Adherence to the Methods of Work), the Council requested that the Rules of Procedure currently applicable to the Council 1 be appended as an annex to the text of the methods of work of the Council, for distribution before each Council session with the Provisional Agenda. Turning to paragraph 9.3, the Council stressed that all appropriate sections of the methods of work of the Council should be applied to other FAO bodies and sessions, including the Regional Conferences.
179. The Council expressed its appreciation to the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee and to the members of the Committee for their work.
180. The Sixteenth Session of the Conference had requested the Council by Resolution 20/71 to prepare and submit to the Seventeenth Conference a detailed report on the advisability of increasing the number of Council seats, all relevant recommendations and, if appropriate, a suitable draft amendment to Article V.1 of the Constitution. 3
181. The Fifty-Ninth Session of the Council had asked its Ad Hoc Committee on the Methods of Work of the Council to seek formally the views of all Member Nations on this matter, and to formulate appropriate recommendations. 4 The Council had accordingly before it a Report of the Ad Hoc Committee 5, together with the comments made by the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee and draft amendments to the Basic Texts, submitted by the CCLM 6.
182. The first recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee stressed the desirability of increasing the number of Council seats to ensure a better geographical distribution, while bearing in mind the need to keep the Council efficient. The Council concurred with the views expressed by the Ad Hoc Committee, and further agreed that the future membership of the Council should not exceed one-third of the total membership of the Organization.
183. The second recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee concerned the distribution of seats by Regions. Here again the Council agreed that its membership should be increased forthwith by six members, bringing the total from 34 to 40 members, with two additional seats going to the Asia and Far East Region and one additional seat each to the Africa, Europe, Latin America and Near East Regions.
184. The Council also concurred with the third and last recommendation of its Ad Hoc Committee that no formal system of permanent representation on the FAO Council be introduced.
1 CL 60/INF/6.
2 CL 60/PV/13 and CL 60/PV/17.
3 C 71/REP, para. 370.
4 CL 59/REP, paras 250–260.
5 CL 60/23.
6 CL 60/3, paras 84–87 and 257–259; and CL 60/4, paras 7–11.
185. Taking into account the relevant amendments proposed by the CCLM to Article V.1 of the Constitution and Rule XXII.1(b) of the General Rules of the Organization, the Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Increase in the Number of Council Seats
Recalling its Resolution 20/71 whereby it requested the Council to examine, in consultation with the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee and the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, the advisability of increasing the number of Council seats and to submit to the Conference a report and recommendations and, if appropriate, a suitable draft amendment to the Constitution;
Considering the increase in the total membership of the Organization and the desirability of giving Member Nations a better opportunity to serve on the Council, and of ensuring balanced geographical representation;
Considering further that, in order to ensure efficiency in the exercise of its functions the Council should in no case have a membership exceeding one-third of the total membership of the Organization;
Having examined the Report of the Council and the draft amendments to Article V.1 of the Constitution and Rule XXII.1(b) of the General Rules of the Organization, recommended by the Council;
1. Adopts the following amendments to the Constitution and the General Rules of the Organization: 1
Article V.1 of the Constitution
“1. A Council of the Organization consisting of [thirty-four] forty Member Nations shall be elected by the Conference …”
Rule XXII.1(b) of the General Rules of the Organization
“(b) The Conference shall make such provisions as will ensure that the terms of office of [eleven] thirteen members of the Council shall expire in each of two successive calendar years and [twelve] fourteen in the third calendar year.”
2. Decides that one additional Council seat be allocated each to the Regions of Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Near East, and two additional seats to the Region of Asia and the Far East.
186. Turning to the question of a desirable rotation in Council membership, the Council was of the opinion that adequate rotation and representation could best be determined within the regional framework, and suggested that this matter be included on the agendas of the next round of Regional Conferences in 1974.
187. Concerning efficient participation in the work of the Council, the Council recalled that Rule XXII.3(b) of the General Rules of the Organization already specified that in selecting members of the Council, the Conference should “give due consideration to the desirability of … ensuring the participation in the work of the Council of such Member Nations as contribute in a large measure toward the success of the Organization.”
188. The Council examined the criteria for the formulation of resolutions of the Conference, as requested by the Sixteenth Conference Session (November 1971), 3 and was in general agreement with those criteria adopted by the Sixteenth Conference.
189. Nevertheless, the Council requested the CCLM to review these criteria to propose any amendments or additions, if required, to a future Council session. The Council stressed that Member Nations would need to be informed well ahead of time of any proposed changes in these criteria.
190. The Council considered a draft Agreement for the Establishment of a Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Far East under Article XIV of the Constitution. The text of this draft Agreement had been drawn up by the Fifth Regional Conference on Animal Production and Health (Kuala Lumpur, September 1971), revised by the Eleventh FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Far East (New Delhi, October 1972), and had then been transmitted by the Director-General to the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee and the CCLM.
1 Words underlined to be added, and words in square brackets to be deleted.
2 CL 60/LIM/3.
3 C 71/REP, para. 19.
4 CL 60/INF/11 and CL 60/PV/16.
191. The Council examined and supported the observations of the Twenty-Third Session of the Programme Committee 1 and the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Finance Committee 2 and the amendments proposed by the Twenty-Seventh Session of the CCLM 3.
192. In examining the provisions of the draft Agreement, reproduced in Appendix C to Document CL 60/4, the Council noted that membership of the proposed Commission was open to Non-Member Nations of the Organization on condition that they be members of the United Nations. This provision was consistent with Article XIV-3(b) of the Constitution. However, the Council had, at its current Session, recommended that the Conference amend Article XIV-3(b) so as to permit states that were not members of the Organization or of the United Nations, but were members of a Specialized Agency, to become members of bodies established under Article XIV of the Constitution. 4 Accordingly, the Council expressed the view that, if the Conference adopted this amendment to Article XIV-3(b) of the Constitution, it would be desirable for the Agreement under consideration to be amended in due course so as to permit states that were not members of the Organization or of the United Nations, but were members of a Specialized Agency, to become members of the proposed Commission.
193. The Council also noted that when examining the draft Agreement, the Finance Committee had noted that “the detailed arrangements for providing the Secretariat of the Commission had not yet been satisfactorily specified” and had “requested that this should be done prior to approval by the Council”. 5 The Council was informed that the staff necessary to service the Commission would be provided by the Regional Office of Asia and the Far East, and that no additional staff would be required under the 1974–75 Regular Programme. In this connexion, the Council considered it important that the Commission be adequately staffed so as to enable it to fulfil its objectives effectively.
194. The Council unanimously approved 6 the text of the draft Agreement as amended by the CCLM and adopted the following Resolution:
AGREEMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REGIONAL ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND HEALTH COMMISSION FOR ASIA, THE FAR EAST AND THE SOUTH-WEST PACIFIC
Considering the wish expressed by Member Nations in Asia, the Far East and the South-West Pacific that a Regional Animal Production and Health Commission be established within the framework of FAO under Article XIV of the Constitution;
Having examined the text of a draft Agreement for the establishment of such a Commission drawn up by interested Member Nations at the Fifth Regional Conference on Animal Production and Health in the Far East held in Kuala Lumpur in September 1971, as revised by the Eleventh FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Far East held in New Delhi in October 1972;
Having considered the observations on the draft agreement contained in the Reports of the Twenty-Third Session of the Programme Committee and the Twenty-Ninth Session of the Finance Committee and the amendments to the draft Agreement proposed by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters in the Report of its Twenty-Seventh Session;
Approves, in accordance with Rule XXIV-4(b) of the General Rules of the Organization, the text of the Agreement for the Establishment of a Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia, the Far East and the South-West Pacific reproduced as Appendix H to this Report, for submission to Member Nations with a view to their acceptance.
1 CL 60/3, paras 80–83.
2 CL 60/3, paras 260–261.
3 CL 60/4, paras 34–60.
4 See paras 197–198 below.
5 CL 60/3, para. 261.
6 The delegate of Japan stated that while his Government was in agreement with the establishment of the Commission it reserved its position until the legal examination of the draft agreement was completed.
195. The Council recalled that it had, at its Fifty-Fifth Session, 1 “suggested that the Director-General examine, in consultation with the CCLM, the Basic Texts of the Organization and report to the Council on any inconsistencies contained therein and any problems arising from the application of the Basic Texts.” After having submitted reports on this subject to previous sessions of the Council, 2 the CCLM suggested, at its Twenty-Seventh Session (May 1973), a number of additional amendments to the Basic Texts intended to avoid difficulties in their application and interpretation or designed to bring the texts up-to-date or in line with the practice prevailing in the organizations of the UN system 3.
196. Having examined the amendments suggested by the CCLM, the Council concurred with the considerations put forward by the CCLM and decided to recommend to the Conference the adoption of the following amendments to the General Rules of the Organization (GRO):
(a) delete as obsolete Rules II.2(c) (ii) and XXIV.1(d) GRO which refer to the periodic reports of Member Nations that were provided for until 1971 in Article XI of the Constitution;
(b) replace in the second half of the first sentence of Rule II.9 GRO the words “item” and “tema” appearing in the English and Spanish versions and the equivalent term in the Arabic version, by the words “agenda” and “programa” and their Arabic equivalent (thus conforming with the French version);
(c) in order to reflect the present practice of the commissions of the Conference and to improve the wording, amend Rule XVIII GRO to read as follows: 4
“Records [of proceedings] and reports
1. Verbatim records shall be [made] kept for all plenary and commission meetings. [Summary minutes shall be made of the proceedings of commissions]. Unless otherwise expressly decided by the committee concerned, no record shall be [made] kept of the proceedings of the General Committee, the Nominations Committee, the Credentials Committee, any committee of a commission, or any committee established under Rule XV, other than the reports presented [by item] to the Conference.
2. The verbatim records [minutes] and reports referred to in paragraph 1 shall be circulated as soon as possible to [members of delegations who participated in the meeting concerned] delegations attending the Conference in order to give [them] members of delegations who participated in the meeting concerned the opportunity to [suggest corrections to the Secretariat] check the accuracy of the record of their interventions.
3. As soon as possible after the end of the session, copies of all verbatim records [and minutes] and a report embodying all resolutions, recommendations, conventions, agreements, and other formal decisions adopted or approved by the Conference shall be transmitted by the Director-General to all Member Nations and Associate Members”.
(d) in order to cover not only cases of unforeseen vacancies but also the normal case of appointment of a new Director-General following the expiry of his predecessor's term, amend the first sentence of Rule XXX.1(a) to read as follows:
1 Report of the Fifty-Fifth Session of the Council, para. 250.
2 CL 56/REP, paras 139–143; CL 57/REP, paras 72–79; CL 59/REP, paras 224–226.
3 CL 60/4, paras 12–33.
4 Words underlined to be added and words in square brackets to be deleted.
“When the term of office of the Director-General is due to expire, the appointment of a new Director-General shall be placed on the agenda of the regular session of the Conference immediately preceding the expiry of the term of office; whenever, for other reasons, the office of the Director-General is vacant, or notice is received of a pending vacancy, the appointment of a new Director-General shall be placed on the agenda of the next session of the Conference which opens not less than 90 days from the occurrence or notice of the pending vacancy”.
197. The Council further examined the proposal of the CCLM concerning an amendment of Article XIV.3(b) of the Constitution and of other provisions which restrict the participation of Non-Member States in FAO bodies and meetings to States that are Members of the United Nations. The Council recalled that this restriction had made it difficult in some cases to ensure the degree of universality desirable for certain FAO activities. Noting that the legislative provisions of various United Nations bodies and Specialized Agencies permit participation by all States Members of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies the Council felt that it would be appropriate to extend similarly the eligibility for participation in FAO bodies and meetings.
198. Accordingly, the Council recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
Participation of Non-Member States in FAO Bodies and Meetings
Having examined the amendments to the FAO Basic Texts proposed by the Council at its Sixtieth Session,
Noting that the present provisions of the Basic Texts allow for the participation of Non-Member States in FAO bodies and meetings only if those States are members of the United Nations,
Recognizing that this restriction may lead to difficulties in certain fields of the Organization's activities in which the greatest possible degree of universality appears desirable,
Noting that the legislative texts of a number of United Nations bodies and Specialized Agencies concerning participation of Non-Member States extend eligibility to all States that are members either of the United Nations or of any of the Specialized Agencies,
Considering that this wider criterion appears also appropriate for the purpose of the relevant provisions of FAO,
1. Decides to amend Article XIV, paragraph 3(b), of the Constitution as follows: 1
"3. Conventions, agreements, and supplementary conventions and agreements shall:
(b) contain provisions concerning the Member Nations of the Organization, and such non-member [nations] States as are members of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies, which may become parties thereto and the number of acceptances by Member Nations necessary to bring such convention, agreement, supplementary convention or agreement into force, and thus ensure that it will constitute a real contribution to the Achievement of its objectives. In the case of conventions, agreements, supplementary conventions and agreements establishing commissions or committees, participation by non-member [nations] States of the Organization that are members of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies shall in addition be subject to prior approval by at least two-thirds of the membership of such commissions or committees;"
1 Words underlined to be added, and words in square brackets to be deleted.
2. Decides to replace all references to “Nations…members of the United Nations” by the term “States…members of the United Nations or any of its Specialized Agencies” in Rules XXIX.9, XXX.10, XXXI.9 and XXXII.12(b) of the General Rules of the Organization, in paragraphs 1, 3 and 7 of Section B of the Principles relating to the granting of observer status in respect of Nations, and in paragraph 12 of Section A of the Principles and Procedures on Conventions and Agreements;
3. Invites the standing committees of the Council as well as bodies established under Articles VI and XIV of the Constitution to similarly amend at the earliest appropriate occasion those provisions of the applicable Conventions and Agreements or Rules of Procedure that contain clauses restricting eligibility only to Non-Member States that are Members of the United Nations.
199. The Council further examined a suggestion of the CCLM for an amendment of Rule XI GRO, the application of which had given rise to a long and difficult debate at the Sixteenth Session of the Conference. 1 While agreeing with the view of the CCLM that it would be desirable to eliminate ambiguities in this provision and to make it less rigid, the Council expressed reservations with regard to the proposal that paragraph 1 be deleted rather than amended. Accordingly, the Council requested the CCLM to reconsider this matter in the light of the observations made during the Council debate, and to submit a new draft amendment to the Sixty-First Session of the Council, bearing in mind the need for more flexible procedures to deal with proposals made after the expiry of the time limit.
200. The Council took note of a document presented at its request by the CCLM and setting out in detail the rules and practices governing the distribution of Member Nations by regions 2, where it was pointed out that the present regional distribution had developed in a pragmatic way and that no difficulties had arisen in practice. The Council therefore concurred with the conclusion of the CCLM that no amendments or changes were called for.
201. Considering that the document presented by the CCLM gave a clear and complete picture which would be of value to all delegations at the Conference, the Council decided that it should be circulated as a Conference document at the Seventeenth Session together with information on the regional distribution of member States of other international organizations.
202. Having considered document CL 60/25, the Council drew the attention of Member Governments to it and invited Permanent Representatives to FAO to consider it and, in the light of the comments received from Governments, to offer their suggestions to the Council at one of its future sessions.
203. The Council accordingly requested the Secretary-General to solicit comments from Governments on CL 60/25. These comments would then be circulated to the Permanent Representatives in Rome in order that they submit proposals to a future Council session.
1 See C 71/PV pages 440–459.
2 CL 60/4, paras 3 to 6 and Appendix A, and CL 60/PV/13.
3 CL 60/PV/11 and CL 60/PV/15.
204. The Council considered the text of a draft relationship Agreement between FAO and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). This text had been prepared by the Director-General of FAO and the Chairman of ICCAT in accordance with Article XIII of the FAO Constitution and Article XI-1 of the Convention establishing ICCAT. Noting that the proposed Agreement would enable the two organizations to strengthen their cooperation on matters of mutual interest, the Council approved the Agreement, subject to confirmation by the Conference, in accordance with Rule XXIV-4(c) of the General Rules of the Organization.
205. The Council adopted the following resolution:
AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF ATLANTIC TUNAS
Considering the desirability of establishing close cooperation between the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT);
Having examined the terms of the proposed Agreement which was prepared by the Director-General of FAO and the Chairman of ICCAT;
Approves the Agreement with ICCAT, the text of which is set out in Appendix I to the present report, subject to confirmation by the Conference, in accordance with Rule XXIV-4(c) of the General Rules of the Organization.
206. The Council agreed that, in future, draft relationship agreements between FAO and other intergovernmental organizations should be referred to the CCLM before being submitted to the Council for its consideration.
207. The Council was informed that the Director-General, in accordance with Paragraphs B-1 and B-2 of the “Statement of Principles Relating to the Granting of Observer Status to Nations” 3, had on request invited the U.S.S.R. to attend the following two sessions: FI 893 Technical Conference on Fishery Management and Development, Vancouver, 13–23 February 1973 (request received on 16 December 1972); AGA 823-European Commission on the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Twentieth Session), Rome, 10–13 April 1973 (request received on 4 December 1972).
208. The Council approved this action.
209. The Council also authorized the Director-General to invite the U.S.S.R. to attend in an observer capacity the session FI 810-FAO Technical Conference on Fishery Products, Tokyo, 4–11 December 1973 (request received on 23 February 1973).
1 CL 60/20-Rev. 1.
2 CL 60/LIM/2.
3 See FAO Basic Texts, Vol. II, Section J.