72. As instructed by the Conference 2, the Council considered the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees on how the Conference might attain a dialogue and consensus on detailed priorities in the Programme of Work and Budget.
73. It was considered that a detailed review of the entire proposed Programme of Work and Budget was not a practicable way of ensuring that the programme of work approved by the Conference was the best possible in relation to the main priorities and available resources. It was rather felt that the Conference could best achieve its main objectives by concentrating on the major policy issues and priorities embodied in the Programme of Work and Budget. It was also felt that Commission II should deal with the Programme of Work and Budget before dealing with other major Agenda items. Apart from the Review of Field Programmes and Medium-Term Objectives, other Agenda items which were covered in the Programme of Work and Budget should as far as possible be dealt with in discussion of the relevant section of the Programme of Work and Budget.
74. The Council was in broad agreement with the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees. However, it recalled that the Conference had agreed 3 that the Director-General, on the advice of the Programme Committee, should propose to its next session how best to organize the debates in Commission II. The Council therefore asked the Programme Committee, in consultation with the Finance Committee, to review their recommendations in the light of the Council discussion when considering the organization of Commission II debates and, if appropriate, to draft a Conference resolution to be considered by the Council at its mid-1975 session.
75. In the consideration of programme priorities it was indicated in the discussion that the views of Member Governments, as reflected in the Regional Conferences and the substantive committees of the Council, must be fully taken into account. The Programme Committee should examine the proposals of the Director-General in this light and report to the Council as to how far these recommendations had been carried out.
76. The Conference had requested 5 the Director-General to submit proposals on the presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget 1976–77 to the Programme and Finance Committees, which would submit the results of their study of the proposals to the Council. The Conference had made particular reference to some reservations about the use of the Areas of Emphasis for the structure of programmes.
77. The Council agreed with both Committees that the 1976–77 presentation should temporarily maintain the present structure of Areas of Emphasis for the purposes of maintaining comparability with 1974–75. However, the Council also emphasized its agreement with the Committees that a thorough in-depth review of alternative programme structures should be conducted during 1976 in preparation for the 1978–79 Programme of Work and Budget.
78. The Council considered that the Director-General should continue to provide a provisional indication of the budget level for the coming biennium at its autumn session in non-Conference years.
1 CL 64/7 paras 98–104, CL 64/5 paras 103–106, CL 64/PV/17.
2 C 73/REP para 243.
3 C 73/REP para 252.
4 CL 64/7 paras 105–108, CL 64/5 paras 98–102, CL 64/PV/17.
5 C 73/REP para 239.
79. The Council noted the assurance that the presentation of sub-programmes would be sharpened and that as specific as possible information on progress in 1974–75 would be provided. The Council noted with satisfaction that the Director-General intended to focus the Summary Programme of Work and Budget on major proposed changes in priorities, taking into account the recommendations of Regional Conferences and the World Food Conference. In this connexion, the document should give as much information as possible on the reduction or elimination of low priorities. The Council also noted that the Introduction to the final Programme of Work and Budget would deal fully with priorities, including their place in the context of Medium-Term Objectives.
80. The Council was informed that the Consultant's report on the amount of about $5 million claimed to have been over-advanced on UNDP Agency Costs would reach the Director-General shortly and that it was understood that it would be presented by the Administrator of UNDP to the UNDP Governing Council in January 1975. The Council expressed the hope that the Consultant's proposals would provide a basis for a resolution of this problem acceptable both to the UNDP Governing Council and to the FAO Council. The Council asked to be informed at its mid-1975 session of the views of the UNDP Governing Council.
81. The Council noted that the UNDP Governing Council would also review at its January 1975 Session the question of the level of Agency Cost reimbursement. The Council was informed that in presenting the problem to the Governing Council, the Administrator would make available to Council members the report of the April 1974 Special Session of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions which explained how the support costs in executing agencies had been developed. The Council was also informed that the Administrator would detail in his submission the elements of support costs which he would recommend for reimbursement by UNDP.
82. The Council noted that the Cost Measurement System would continue to operate unchanged in 1974 and that the Finance Committee would review developments at its Spring 1975 Session.
83. The Council had before it the Director-General's proposal, as revised by the Finance Committee, to utilize approximately $1 595 000 in currency savings to implement a number of unbudgeted adjustments which had arisen since approval of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1974–75. These proposals had resulted from Council decisions and recommendations, suggestions by other FAO bodies, actions taken by other organizations including the UN General Assembly, and decisions by the Director-General.
84. The Council also had before it the detailed comments of the Programme and Finance Committees which had examined the proposals from both the programme and financial points of view in accordance with their respective terms of reference.
85. It was recalled that the Programme of Work and Budget 1974–75 had been approved on the basis of Lire 592 to US$1. Since then the dollar/lira rate of exchange had been increasingly favourable to the US dollar. This had reduced dollar expenditures, especially for staff costs, and it was expected that a continuation throughout 1975 of this exchange rate would provide funds (some $ 2 millions per year) more than sufficient to cover not only the present proposals but also further additional expenditures in 1975.
86. The Council agreed with the reservations of the Finance Committee, in particular the question whether the Director-General, in proposing new expenditures, had made sufficient effort to achieve savings in programmed activities and/or costs. 3
1 CL 63/3 paras 67–71, CL 64/5 paras 92–93, CL 64/PV/17.
2 CL 64/28, CL 64/28-Corr.1 (English only), CL 64/28-Sup.1, CL 64/7 paras 9–41, CL 64/3 para 7, CL 64/5 paras 118–198, CL 64/PV/19.
3 See para 91 below for further details.
87. The Council approved the recommendation of the Finance Committee that after securing and using all possible Regular Programme savings, the Director-General be authorized to apply up to $1.2 million out of currency savings accumulated in 1974 towards the items of programme and financial adjustments listed in paragraph 188 of the report of the Thirty-Second Finance Committee Session, totalling $1 594 850, and that any proposed adjustments which could not be accommodated within this figure be cancelled or deferred.
88. However, in connexion with the $300 000 required for the operation of the Coordinating Unit of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme until 30 June 1975, the Director-General reported that it did not then appear likely that donor contributions would be sufficient to provide all or any of the overhead amount needed. At the same time, some members believed that the Director-General should accommodate the costs of the Fertilizer Coordinating Unit, which could not be met from contributions under the scheme or from regular budget savings, within the figure of $1.2 million from 1974 currency savings. Nevertheless, taking into account the high priority which this activity deserved, the Council agreed that in addition to the authorization to the Director-General to utilize $1.2 million from currency savings for other purposes in his proposal, he should also be authorized to finance the requirements of the Coordinating Unit through June 1975, up to the amount of $300 000. In the event that budgetary savings would not be sufficient to cover this commitment, the Council authorized the Director-General to utilize a further amount of currency savings. The Council took this action on the understanding that the Director-General would continue efforts to attract additional contributions to the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme providing overhead income, which would relieve the Regular Programme to some extent.
89. The Council stressed the need to retain as much as possible of the currency savings, in view of the additional demands of inflation on the budget, possible adverse currency developments, and the need for additional activities to implement the recommendations of the World Food Conference. In line with the Finance Committee recommendations, the Council agreed that as much as possible of the 1974 currency savings, at least $0.5 million, be set aside and added to any 1975 currency savings until such time as the various commitments and needs in 1975 could be considered together and in relation to any proposals which might be made in consultation with the Finance Committee concerning safeguards against unfavourable currency and inflationary developments.
90. The Council agreed with the Finance Committee that the addition of these expenditures during the current biennium should not be used to justify a higher budget base for the next biennium than that which was approved by the Seventeenth Conference Session.
91. With regard to certain specific items included in the Director-General's proposal the Council made the following comments:
(a) Third Session of COAG (April 1975)
The Council endorsed the Director-General's proposal as regards financing. With reference to the timing and frequency of COAG sessions, as well as its terms of reference, the Council's decisions are to be found in paragraphs 125–130 of this report.
(b) Preparation of Medium and Long-Term Plan for COAG
The Council noted that the regular staff which would normally have been engaged in this work had been diverted to work on the preparation of the documentation for the World Food Conference and that for this reason it had been felt necessary to engage outside consultants to perform this special task. It agreed, however, with the views of the Programme and Finance Committees that the use of consultants for such work was generally unnecessary and undesirable. It further agreed with the Finance Committee that the financial requirements for this purpose should be reduced to $15 000.
(c) Index of Conference and Council Decisions
While recognizing the usefulness of this Index, the Council agreed with the recommendations of the Finance Committee that it was not of high priority. It noted with approval the decision of the Director-General to suspend further action in 1975 and agreed that only supplements should be issued.
(d) Arabic Interpretation at Council Sessions
The Council agreed with the proposal to have Arabic interpretation at Council sessions, especially because it was in line with decisions of the UN General Assembly and ECOSOC and because it would greatly facilitate the participation of Arabic-speaking delegations in the work of the Organization. In this connexion, it noted that substantial amounts were being made available by certain Arabic-speaking countries for the additional use of Arabic by the Organization in the Near East Region.
(e) FAO Research Register
The Council agreed with the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees that this Register could usefully be issued in revised form perhaps every second or third biennium. It approved the action of the Director-General to suspend expenditure in 1975.
(f) Assistance to Liberation Movements
The Council supported the view of the Programme and Finance Committees that a post established at the P-5 level would be sufficient to carry out the tasks required. 1
(g) Unbudgeted General Service Staff Costs
The Council agreed with the Finance Committee that the proposal to move offices, at an estimated cost of $30 000, should be reconsidered by the Director-General.
(h) Investment Work in the Near East Region
The Council felt that implementation of this proposal should be delayed until it could be considered in the light of the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget for 1976–77.
92. The Council noted that this report showing the nature and purpose of budgetary transfers for 1973 was submitted for information only.
93. The Council further noted that the surplus shown on the final accounts after audit was $2 685 345, or approximately $45 000 higher than the preliminary figure shown in the annual report. 3
94. The Council noted the reports of the Programme and Finance Committees and observed that the rationalization was in general proceeding satisfactorily and as foreseen. The Council emphasized the need for rapid completion of the reorganization process so as to enable the units involved to settle down to work with efficiency and effectiveness.
95. Several members expressed concern, however, that the decision made at the Council's Sixty-First Session regarding the transfer of the Policy Analysis Division had not been implemented. It was emphasized that organizational changes should not be kept hanging for long as they affected work and staff morale adversely. While taking this fact into consideration some members questioned whether the need for the transfer still existed. The Council suggested that this question needed to be settled early and agreed that the Director-General should make his final views known so that the Programme and Finance Committees could make a final report on the subject in connexion with the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1976–77 which the Council would consider at its mid-1975 Session.
1 See para 210 below.
2 CL 63/3 paras 62–64.
3 See also para 261 below.
4 CL 63/3 paras 135–141, CL 64/3 paras 8–29, CL 64/5 paras 255–260, CL 64/7 paras 42–47, CL 64/PV/5, CL 64/PV/6, CL 64/PV/18.
96. The Council was informed that the activities of the Agricultural Operations Division (AGO) and the Field Liaison Division (DDF) had not led to duplication of functions. The divisions were performing clearly defined complementary functions. The Council requested the Programme Committee to keep this matter under review and to satisfy itself, at its next session, that the most effective working relationships were maintained.
97. Some members raised questions concerning the decreasing rate of project delivery. The Council was informed that this trend had been foreseen as reflected in the explanatory notes to the 1974–75 Programme of Work and Budget. The Council was further informed that this trend was now reversing. As regards the indicative performance target for CPOs, it was suggested that the need for rationalization in keeping with special circumstances of individual countries or groups of countries should always be kept in mind. The Council noted that the Programme and Finance Committees intended to further examine this issue at their next sessions.
98. A number of members emphasized the importance of technical backstopping and the intimate involvement of the technical divisions in the implementation of field projects. The Council requested the Programme Committee to examine further the adequacy of technical backstopping for the work being performed by AGO.
99. Members raised a number of questions regarding procedures relating to recruitment of field experts, travel, deployment of field staff and delegation of authority to field staff. Suggestions made to maintain lists of experts to improve technical assistance were noted, and the Council was informed that improvements in procedures had been and were continuing to be made. In this regard the recommendations of the Programme Committee for the use of institutions and a larger number of experts from developing countries were recalled. The Council was informed that delegation of authority to Senior Agricultural Advisers/Country Representatives and Project Managers was well advanced and in step with the coresponding delegation of authority by UNDP to its Resident Representatives.
100. Some members made strong pleas for regionalization and/or reorientation of FAO's activities. The Council agreed that this matter would be discussed in the context of the impact and implications for FAO of the recommendations of the World Food Conference.
101. In conclusion the Council requested the Programme and Finance Committee to continue to review the implementation of the rationalization proposals in the framework of the next Programme of Work and Budget and report to the Council.
102. The Council noted that the most recent instalments of the Programme Committee's reviews of FAO programmes and activities completed the cycle established at the Twentieth Session of the Committee and agreed to by the Fifty-Seventh Council Session. These reviews had been on a programme basis consistent with the programme-budgeting system. Basically the Programme Committee had dealt with exising documentation (Programme of Work and Budget, Medium-Term Objectives and the Review of Field Programmes), and the reviews had been carried out in the four sessions held in the non-Conference years, 1972 and 1974.
103. The Council noted in particular the comments and suggestions of the Committee concerning coordination of agricultural research, which would be a topic for discussion at the Eighteenth Conference Session; home economics and family development about which the Committee had expressed some concern; FAO responses to food and raw materials crises, and the early warning system on food shortages and genetic resources. It also noted the Committee's recommendations that the present programme structure, based on Areas of Emphasis, be maintained for the next biennium.
1 CL 63/3 paras 158–191, CL 64/3 paras 30–124, CL 64/7 paras 48–97, CL 64/PV/6.
104. The Council also noted that preparatory work for the World Food Conference had necessarily delayed to some extent the implementation of the Regular Programme; but that work on crop insurance had been completed as had the work which had arisen in connexion with the round of FAO/UNCTAD ad hoc intensive consultations.
105. The Council noted that a number of comments and suggestions made by the Programme Committee in its reviews (for example on national capabilities in institutions in developing countries, forestry and fisheries trade) were in fact recommendations for possible inclusion in the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget proposals for the next biennium. The Council generally endorsed the suggestions and recommendations and hoped that they would be taken into account in preparing the Programme of Work and Budget 1976–77.
106. The Council agreed that the reviews had been useful and supported the Committee's recommendation that they should be continued in the future. In this connexion it noted that the Committee wished to have a further opportunity of reviewing the Director-General's proposals for 1976–77 in his Summary Programme of Work and Budget and the detailed sub-programmes in its spring and autumn sessions in 1975, before finally determining the form of its recommendation to the Council on this matter. The Council agreed that the Committee would then be in a better position to make definitive recommendations on the future of these reviews.
107. The Council agreed with the Committee that, subject to any changes in the Programme of Work and Budget format in 1978–79, the next cycle of reviews might be as follows:
1976 Spring Session
Field Programmes and Development Support (Chapter 3)
Special Programmes (Chapter 4)
1976 Autumn Session
General Programme Service (Chapter 5)
General Policy and Direction (Chapter 1)
(During 1977 the Committee would review the Programme of Work and Budget proposals)
1978 Spring Session
Mobilization of Human Resources (2.1)
Production and Productivity (2.2)
Nutrition and Protein (including Livestock and Fish) (2.3)
Conservation of Resources and Control of Diseases and Pests (2.4)
1978 Autumn Session
Agricultural Policy and Planning (2.5)
Basic Economic and Statistical Services (2.6)
108. The Council endorsed the outline for “Review of FAO Field Programmes, 1974–75” as well as the suggestions made by the Programme Committee with regard to the coverage of regional projects and of activities aimed at promoting technical cooperation amongst developing countries.
1 CL 64/7 paras 111–115, CL 64/PV/6.
109. The Council noted the summary of recommendations of the 1974 Regional Conferences. It found that these recommendations had suggested action by the Council and by the Director-General, apart from those addressed to countries in the region. These facts had to be taken into account when dealing with this item.
110. The Council suggested that the document in its present form did not clearly bring out matters requiring the attention of the Council or calling for action by the Director-General. It was realized that there was inadequate time to prepare a more elaborate document since the conclusion of all the conferences just over one and half months before the Council Session. It was necessary, however, that the work of the Regional Conferences requiring action by the Council and by the Director-General was clearly brought out, along with an indication of the way these would influence the Programme of Work and Budget. The Council therefore requested the Programme Committee to examine this matter so as to suggest a satisfactory solution.
111. The Council recommended that, in compliance with Resolution 14/69 of the Fifteenth Conference Session, the Director-General report, at the appropriate time, as to how far he had been able to take into account the recommendations of the Regional Conferences in framing the Draft Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, and to explain the reasons where he was unable to do so.
112. In this connexion attention was drawn to the fact that the World Food Conference had focussed attention on overriding priorities for international action, some of which had to be reflected in FAO's Programme of Work and Budget.
113. A balanced view had to be taken of the country, regional, and global priorities, which could be accommodated in the Programme of Work and Budget, bearing in mind the present and future resources that might be available to the Organization. It should be noted, however, that the World Food Conference did not cover the whole area of FAO work and these areas would continue to require attention. The determination of priorities would also have to take into account the country programming exercise under the UNDP and particularly its inter-country and global programmes. The Council did not see any conflict in these various streams in the determination of the priorities of the Organization. The recommendations of the Regional Conferences were already playing an important role in programme formulation and this needed to be emphasized.
114. A number of members emphasized some of these points. The question of credit had been emphasized by the African and other Regional Conferences and the World Food Conference had also suggested a consultative group on credits. The priorities for small farmers and integrated rural development, agricultural investments, development of technology, and regional integration programmes were on a similar plane. The Council asked the Programme Committee to see that the priorities of the Regional Conferences were reflected in the Programme of Work and Budget.
115. Some members raised the question of decentralization and greater autonomy for regional offices. There was support for a working party to consider this question. It was suggested however, that this question was already under consideration by the Council under other items of the Agenda of the present session and could be dealt with adequately when those items were taken up for consideration.
1 CL 64/INF/9, CL 64/PV/11.
116. The Council generally agreed with the Programme Committee that the proposed outline was satisfactory. Several members indicated that they supported the Director-General's intention to provide an indication of resource requirements as set out in his summary to the document. The Council noted that the outline included the priorities stressed by the World Food Conference and also a section on long-term issues as proposed by the FAO Conference, and that in general the proposed document would comply with the consensus reached by the Conference 1.
2 CL 64/9, CL 64/7 paras 109–110.
117. The Council reviewed the Report of the Second Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) (Rome, April 1974).
118. It endorsed the Report and expressed its satisfaction at the way COAG was discharging its responsibilities.
119. The Council considered the two matters to which COAG had drawn its attention, namely the proposal to hold a World Conference on Integrated Rural Development, and the proposed amendments to the Committee's terms of reference.
120. COAG was not in a position to make recommendations regarding the proposal to hold a World Conference on Integrated Rural Development, and had sought the guidance of the Council. In its discussion on this matter, the Council was divided in its opinion.
121. The Council supported the approach of integrated rural development as a means of accelerating agricultural development and food production with the maximum involvement of the rural people. It was recognized that the understanding of the concept and its application necessarily varied from country to country, depending on the political, social and economic conditions of the country or a particular area in it. While some members considered that there was need for further clarification of the concept, some others felt that it was time to place greater emphasis on the implementation of the concept in the field. Continued research and case studies were needed, however, to develop operational approaches that would be helpful to governments in planning and implementing national programmes.
122. Some members felt that the need for further clarification of concepts and operational approaches was sufficient justification for holding a World Conference. Several other members expressed the view that it was too early to hold such a conference. There was general agreement that if such a Conference were held it was essential for it to be preceded by adequate preparatory work, including regional seminars and conferences on integrated rural development in different situations.
123. A number of members referred to agrarian reform as an important component of integrated rural development, and considered that the World Conference, if and when held, should cover agrarian reforms adequately, and should be called the World Agrarian Reform and Rural Development Conference. The last World Land Reform Conference had been held in 1966, and there was a need to assess and analyse the progress achieved in the past decade. Some other members felt that agrarian reform should be the subject of a separate conference.
124. The Council noted that it would not be possible to hold a World Conference before 1977, or more probably in 1978. It appreciated, however, that the Secretariat needed a Council decision sufficiently in advance to make adequate preparations. The Council therefore concurred in a suggestion that the matter be further reviewed and that a paper be presented at its mid-1975 session providing further details including justification for holding it, a draft agenda, and indications of the timing, the nature of the preparatory work to be done, and the resources required.
1 C 73/REP, para. 179.
2 CL 63/5, CL 64/PV/4, CL 64/PV/18.
125. The Council, by majority, endorsed COAG's recommendation that its terms of reference be expanded to enable it to:
advise the Council on the overall medium and longer-term programme of work of the Organization in the field of food and agriculture, and
review the programmes of work of the Agriculture and the Economic and Social Policy Departments, and their implementation, to the extent that they concerned matters falling within the competence of COAG.
126. Noting that the amendment of COAG's terms of reference entailed the amendment of paragraph 5 of Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization, the Council requested the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) to draft the necessary amendments for consideration by the mid-1975 Council Session with a view to their adoption by the Eighteenth Conference Session in November 1975.
127. The Council noted that COAG intended to undertake at its next session a comprehensive analysis of the medium- and long-term problems in the food and agricultural sector, in order to assist in developing an appropriate framework for the orientation of the relevant programmes of the Agriculture and the Economic and Social Policy Departments.
128. The Council, by majority, also agreed with COAG's recommendation that in future it should hold its sessions in Conference rather than non-Conference years. While the proposed change in the timing of sessions would maintain the principle of sessions being held once during each biennium, it would ensure that the views and comments of COAG on the biennial programmes were available at a sufficiently early stage to be taken into account by the Council and Conference when reviewing and adopting the Programme of Work and Budget.
129. The Council considered that this change in the timing of COAG's sessions required an amendment to paragraph 3 of Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization and also to the Rules of Procedure of COAG. Accordingly the Council requested the CCLM to draft an appropriate amendment to paragraph 3 of Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization for consideration at its mid-1975 session.
130. The Council also invited COAG to amend its Rules of Procedure to bring them into line with any amendment to the General Rules of the Organization that might be approved by the Conference.
131. The Council further agreed that COAG should continue the periodic in-depth review and appraisal on a highly selective basis of specific agricultural development problems as one of the principal tasks assigned to it.
132. In this connexion, the Council fully supported the attention given by COAG at its Second Session to the problems of improving productivity in low rainfall areas. It noted that, as a result of the follow-up procedure and timetable agreed by COAG, the Secretariat was ready to initiate assistance to selected member countries leading to the preparation, in consultation with the government, of an action plan setting forth the objectives and specific contents of the proposed national programme, and suggestions for its implementation including identification of technical assistance and investment requirement.
133. The Council also recommended that reports on progress made in overcoming the selected development problems reviewed by COAG should be made available to the subsequent session of the Committee, and that this review should also relate to the totality of efforts directed towards alleviation of the problems.
134. With regard to future work on international agricultural adjustment, the Council supported COAG's view that technological aspects of agricultural adjustment, should be the chief focus of its future discussions on this subject.
135. The Council agreed with the recommendation of the Committee that its Third Session should be held in Rome during the second half of April 1975, possibly beginning 15 April, for 7 to 10 working days. The Council asked the Secretariat to ensure that the proposed timing would provide the necessary links with the activities of other statutory bodies of the Organization.
136. The Council supported the Committee's intention to consider at its Third Session the recommendations of the World Food Conference within the area of its competence, to facilitate an early implementation of the Action Proposals.
137. The Council welcomed the establishment of the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) and stressed the urgent need for developing an efficient international programme in plant genetic resources.
138. The Council supported the main lines of action proposed by IBPGR including the proposed establishment of three regional gene centres (Near East, Ethiopia, Central America) and stressed the important role of the FAO Panel of Experts on Plant Exploration and Introduction, in working out substantial action programmes. The Council suggested that in dealing with this area of activity, emphasis be placed on such matters as the long-term conservation of threatened plant genetic resources (with special reference to main food crops), the setting up of an effective documentation-information system and the training of specialists at different levels to work on plant genetic resources and conservation.
139. The Council noted the establishment of a National Bureau of Plant Introduction in India, which might serve as a regional gene centre, and the support offered by the Federal Republic of Germany in setting up a seed processing and storage unit with modern equipment at this Bureau.
140. The Council suggested that the Board's Secretariat provided by FAO take necessary steps to ensure a continuous liaison between the International Board and the national institutions involved in genetic resources work, possibly through selected national agencies which would be the focal point in each interested country for the exchange of information and development of joint activities.
141. The Council unanimously agreed that every effort should be made to further develop coordinated activities in plant genetic resources conservation on an international basis, since plant breeders all over the world needed this material to further improve the productivity of crop varieties.
142. The Council examined the recommendation of the Nineteenth Session of the European Commission on Agriculture, favoured the recommended measures, commended the action taken by FAO in controlling foot-and-mouth disease in southeastern Europe, and enquired whether the successful operation could not be repeated in other parts of the world.
143. It was noted, however, that foot-and-mouth disease problems concerning Europe should be discussed by the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in cooperation with the International Office of Epizootics, to avoid duplication. Attention was drawn to the services available at the Razi Institute, Iran, where facilities existed for the large-scale production of an efficient vaccine, readily available also to neighbouring countries. Reservations on the installation of other vaccine production units leading to duplication of activities were expressed.
144. The Council noted that the objective of the assistance given to Turkey and other countries in the region was specifically directed at achieving self-sufficiency in vaccine rather than at duplicating activities. The vaccine needed for general vaccination in Turkey, being of the order of ninety million monovalent cattle doses, could only be obtained from an expansion of local production. This would be in line with the FAO policy of regionalizing vaccine production in the world.
1 CL 64/12, CL 64/PV/11, CL 64/PV/18.
2 CL 64/13, CL 64/PV/12, CL 64/PV/18.
145. The Council considered the Report of the Ninth Session of the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) and commended COFI for the competent and positive manner in which it continued to discharge its responsibilities.
146. The Council gave particular consideration to the matters to which its attention had been drawn by COFI, and decided upon them as follows:
recognizing the growing economic and social importance of inland fisheries in Latin America and noting the absence of suitable machinery for international cooperation in this field, the Council authorized the Director-General to consult with governments of all FAO Member Nations in this region and, in the light of this consultation, to establish a regional body under Article VI of the FAO Constitution to deal with inland fisheries;
as regards the proposal to set up an inland fishery body for the Near East, Asia and the Far East, the Council noted that the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council was devoting increasing attention to inland fishery matters and had expressed the view at its Sixteenth Session (Jakarta, Indonesia, 30 October – 8 November 1974) that duplication of effort and proliferation of bodies should be avoided. It also noted that the Twelfth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East had recommended the establishment of a regional fisheries commission for the Near East. The Council, therefore, requested the Director-General to consult with governments of all FAO Member Nations in the Near East, Asia and the Far East regarding the desirability of setting up an inland fishery body to serve these areas and to report the results of his consultations to the Tenth COFI Session for consideration.
the Council concurred with the view that the establishment of a Sub-Committee of COFI to deal with the subject of inland fisheries was not warranted at the present time, since COFI itself was giving considerable attention to this matter. The Council was informed that the Government of Japan intended to host an FAO Technical Conference on Aquaculture in 1976.
the Council agreed that, in order to allow a large number of countries to join COFI, favourable consideration should be given to more flexible rules than those presently on trial regarding COFI membership; it agreed, however, that it was necessary for the composition of COFI to be known in advance of its sessions. It requested the CCLM to study the problem, taking into account the views expressed at the Ninth COFI Session and at the current session of the Council, and to report on this matter to the mid-1975 Council session.
147. The Council agreed that there was an urgent need for greater attention to be paid to the small-scale fishery sector and welcomed the suggestions for tackling this complex problem. The Council noted that there was a special need for continuous data collection and analysis in this field and for due attention to the socio-economic aspects of small-scale fisheries development. It also noted with satisfaction the increasing importance being attached to this sector by the Department of Fisheries and endorsed the support given by COFI for proposals for organising regional seminars to examine the whole spectrum of small-scale fisheries development.
148. The Council noted COFI's appreciation of the role of FAO and its regional fishery bodies in helping to combat pollution by reviewing the level of contamination and suggesting means for its prevention.
1 CL 64/6, CL 64/PV/14, CL 64/PV/17, CL 64/PV/19.
149. The Council, whilst noting the progress made by regional fishery bodies, recognized the problems being faced by these bodies and supported the request by COFI that FAO should give them, and other regional activities, greater support; and that the FAO Secretariat should examine the possibilities of speeding up the process of modifying the statutes of existing FAO bodies to enable them to take a more active role in dealing with the interlinked problems of fishery management and development.
150. The Council also agreed that, although the outcome of the UN Conference on the Law of the Sea was not yet known, it was already apparent that FAO, and COFI itself, would be likely to have a key role to play in any new regime governing world fisheries.
151. Referring to the recent World Food Conference, a number of members expressed the hope that the proposed Fund for International Agricultural Development would include fisheries within its activities and that the proposed World Food Council would devote considerable attention to the potential role of world fisheries, including those of a small-scale nature, in helping to solve the world food problem. FAO should accordingly be ready to support these actions.
152. In the review of the report of the Second Session of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) the discussions of the Council centred around the following major subjects:
153. The Council noted that, in accordance with a specific request addressed to the Director-General by the Seventh World Forestry Congress (Buenos Aires, October 1972) and in compliance with a decision of the Council 2, COFO had proposed for Council consideration a set of Principles governing World Forestry Congresses and a number of standing provisions to be incorporated into the Rules of Procedure of all Congresses. The Council felt satisfied that the Principles proposed were in line with the spirit and traditions which has inspired World Forestry Congresses ever since their creation and underlined the advisory (not executive) functions of the Congresses, and the wide basis for participation in the Congresses, embracing all the scientific, technological and administrative sectors concerned in forestry.
154. After full discussion of these considerations, the Council approved the Principles governing World Forestry Congresses and the Provisions to be included in their Rules of Procedure 3. In agreement with the decisions taken at the Fifty-Ninth Council Session, these would be transmitted to the host country for the Eighth World Forestry Congress once this country had been designated.
155. In this connexion the Delegate of Indonesia reiterated the offer made by his country, at the Fifty-Ninth Council Session, to host the Eighth World Forestry Congress. A circular letter from the Director-General had been sent to all States Members of the United Nations, and Member Nations of FAO, requesting them to indicate by 31 December 1974 whether they would be prepared to host this Congress.
156. The Council took note of the definition given by COFO of the functions of the Regional Forestry Commissions and confirmed that these Commissions be maintained as independent bodies. Special emphasis was laid, however, on the need to clarify further the relationship of the Regional Forestry Commissions with other FAO bodies, especially the FAO Regional Conferences and COFO.
157. As regards the Regional Conferences, it was strongly recommended that, although the Regional Forestry Commissions should not be absorbed by the Regional Conferences, the latter should periodically review and analyse the work being done at the regional level by the Regional Forestry Commissions and provide advice and guidance in the preparation of their future programmes of work.
1 CL 64/4, CL 64/PV/5, CL 64/PV/18.
2 CL 59/REP para 141.
3 See Appendix F.
158. As regards the relationship between COFO and the Regional Forestry Commissions, the Council agreed with COFO recommendations that the Regional Forestry Commissions should not be established as sub-committees of the Committee on Forestry. However, the Council emphasized the need for strengthening and clarifying the relationships between the Committee on Forestry and the Regional Forestry Commissions particularly with respect to the consideration of programme priorities in this sector and the preparation of the Programme of Work.
159. The Council noted the recommendation of COFO that the Secretariat of the Regional Forestry Commissions should include points for consideration in connection with the programme of work of the Forestry Department and other points of multiregional interest, under a standing item on the agenda for all sessions of the Commissions: “Matters to be referred to the attention of the Committee on Forestry”; and that this should be submitted to the subsequent session of the Committee on Forestry, with such observations as might be considered appropriate. It also noted the wish expressed by the Committee that the Chairman of the Regional Forestry Commissions attend its sessions, if possible, in order to present regional view points on agenda items and help with the coordinating responsibilities of the Committee on Forestry at world level.
160. Notwithstanding these recommendations made by COFO, the view was expressed that the whole question of the relationships between regional bodies established under Article VI of the Constitution on the one hand, and the FAO Regional Conferences and the technical committees of the Council on the other hand, might be examined in detail by the Programme and Finance Committees for consideration by a future Council session.
161. The Council reviewed the recommendations made on this subject by COFO, and selected the following areas as matters for major consideration by the Forestry Department in deciding on priorities for the Programme of Work for the coming biennium:
162. Tropical forestry development - Tropical forests constituted the last important reserves of timber in the world and were probably a major element in maintaining the overall equilibrium of the global environment. The endeavour to ensure their conservation when and where necessary, to harmonize their utilization with agricultural development demands and to maximize their contribution to world timber trade in general and to the social and economic development of the owner countries in particular, should constitute a major thrust of the Forestry Department's future Programme of Work. Within this framework, the problems of development of forest industries and the processing of forest products in the producing areas should receive special attention.
163. Also within the perspective of tropical forestry development, but encompassing the whole forestry sector, the Council strongly recommended that high priority be given to the establishment by FAO of international programmes of price intelligence and analysis of forestry products. The need for more detailed export-trade activities was emphasized as this subject was not covered at present in any meaningful way by the activities of the Committee on Commodity Problems, nor was enough attention being given to this subject so far in the Programme of Work of the Forestry Department.
164. The contribution of forestry to rural development - The Council stressed the important contribution that forestry could make to raising the standards of living and improving the quality of life in rural areas. This contribution could be made through the provision of additional sources of employment, through the utilization of woodlots, and forests as savingsbanks for rural communities, through the adoption of rational agro-sylvicultural methods and, last but not least, through protection of crop production. It was noted that rural development presented many difficult and complex aspects in the various regions of the world, closely connected as it was with local customs, habits and traditions, and work on this aspect at the international level should be tackled largely on a regional basis. In this connexion the Council noted the weaknesses of the forestry sector representation in the FAO Regional Office for Africa, and endorsed the recommendation made by COFO in favour of the appointment of a second forestry officer to this Regional Office.
165. Institutions and research - In endorsing the recommendations of COFO, emphasis was laid on the importance of strengthening forestry administrations and forestry eduction aspects in order to enable national forest services to face their increasing and changing responsibilities especially on marginal areas. In this connexion views were expressed in favour of regional programmes for manpower training, particularly in the fields of logging and forest industries.
166. The Council repeated its previous recommendation 1 that the membership of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research be strengthened by the addition of one or two foresters, possibly on an ad hoc basis. The Council was advised that the Secretariat had taken action to seek such membership and a decision was awaited.
167. Finally, the Council took note of the extensive field programmes being carried out by the Forestry Department under extra-budgetary financing, and stressed that the Department's Regular Programme resources should enable it to fulfil its increasing responsibilities for technical backstopping. It requested the Director-General to keep these considerations in mind when preparing the forthcoming Programme of Work and Budget.
168. With the above considerations, the Council endorsed the report of the Second Session of the Committee on Forestry.
1 CL 59/REP para 133.
169. The Council expressed general satisfaction with what FAO had accomplished in the emergency operations in the Sahelian countries despite the difficult conditions and logistical problems involved. It appreciated the close collaboration which the Office for Sahelian Relief Operations (OSRO) had achieved with recipient countries, donors and other members of the UN system, and noted that due attention had been given to such matters as health and nutrition in cooperation with WHO, UNICEF and the League of Red Cross Societies. The Council agreed that the efforts of OSRO should be given more publicity in order that the general public might be better informed of the significant contribution made by FAO and the UN system to emergency operations in the Sahel.
170. The Council noted that widespread rains and other favourable factors had improved the position in the Sahelian countries, but agreeing that emergency assistance would have to continue for some time, called upon FAO to maintain its efforts. It thanked Member Governments for their generous assistance in the past and called upon them to continue this in the future.
171. The Council considered that the speed and flexibility with which the FAO/OSRO emergency operation was carried out could serve as an example for future emergency operations involving food aid. It would be especially relevant to the present situation in South East Asia. The Council noted that the Director-General had called a meeting of donors and the countries concerned to examine the question of short-term assistance and that such matters would be discussed there.
172. The Council recognized that the emergency operations in the Sahel would have to be phased out as the medium and long term programmes developed, but noted that important elements, such as the monitoring of supplies and transport to the areas where they were needed, would have to continue until the situation became stable.
2 CL 64/14, CL 64/14-Corr.1, CL 64/PV/11.
173. The Council reviewed the progress report on the institutional/legal measures proposed by the Director-General with respect to the AGRIS project concerning (a) the establishment of an Intergovernmental Committee on AGRIS: (b) the establishment of a new Panel of Experts; (c) commitments for participation and contribution; (d) administration of extra-budgetary resources, together with the comments made thereon by the Programme and Finance Committees. The Council noted that the Director-General had obtained the extra-budgetary resources to cover the costs of AGRIS central processing operations during the initial year of implementation (1975), that to date 74 countries had indicated interest and/or intention to participate in AGRIS and that the first issue of AGRINDEX would be published in January 1975.
3 CL 64/10, CL 64/10-Corr.1 (English only), CL 64/5 paras 271–273, CL 64/7 paras 116–121.
174. Although some members considered that the establishment, on a provisional basis, of an Intergovernmental Committee on AGRIS would have allowed governments to take decisions both of a technical and political nature, the Council decided that it would be premature to create, at this stage of the experimental phase, both an Intergovernmental Committee on AGRIS (under Article VI-2) and a Panel of Experts (under Article VI-4) and that only one body - which would act as a “Technical Advisory Committee” - should be sufficient to advise the Director-General on both technical and policy matters. In particular, advantage could be taken of the advice of the Committee on Agriculture on policy matters. The Panel of Experts should be set up by the Director-General under the authority vested in him under Article VI-4 and its meetings would be in Category 3. Thus the costs of participation would be borne by FAO. In setting up this Panel of Experts, the Director-General should establish its terms of reference, and ensure that its composition reflected: (a) the experience of potential participating countries and/or organizations, so as to make maximum use of existing services, and (b) the needs of users of the AGRIS services.
175. The Council reiterated its support for the AGRIS project and considered both Level One and Level Two activities to be of value to all countries, particularly the developing countries. Some members stated that their countries were intensifying efforts to initiate active participation in AGRIS in 1975.
176. The Council also noted that beyond 1975 it was likely that the Regular Programme would be expected to cover the costs of coordination and central processing during the 1976–77 biennium in order to carry out the experimental three-year period agreed upon by the Seventeenth Conference Session. Some members expressed their concern on this matter.
177. The Council requested that the necessary information on the AGRIS programme be provided to the Governing Bodies, in time for their review of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1976–77, particularly with respect to the costs to FAO, indicative costs to governments to cover their participation in input and their use of AGRIS output, and indications as to how the Level One and Level Two activities might be expected to meet the needs of users.
178. The Council agreed that the Director-General should continue to seek support both informally and formally for the widest participation in AGRIS on the part of both Member and non-Member Governments during the experimental phase, and it was also suggested that liaison points be established in each participating country to ensure the development and evaluation of the usefulness of the System.
179. The Council noted with approval that the Director-General had, under Financial Regulation 6.7, established a Trust Fund into which extra-budgetary resources in cash would be deposited.
180. The Council also noted the provisions made for promotion of AGRINDEX during 1975 1 and stressed that proposals concerning the distribution, sales and administration of revenue from this publication should be provided for review by the Governing Bodies so that they might be submitted to the Eighteenth Conference Session.
181. The Council stressed that AGRIS Level Two (Networks of Specialized Services) was an essential component of the System as a whole and of prime importance to users in both developed and developing countries. The action of FAO at this level was one of guidance, promotion and coordination, working with existing specialized information services and complementing the efforts of Member Nations in their internal development of agricultural information services. In this context some members made special reference to the services of the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux. The clarification given by the Secretariat that the place of services such as ASFIS was within the framework of the AGRIS Level Two concept, was noted by the Council.
1 CL 64/10 paras 19–20.
182. The Council welcomed the pledges of support to AGRIS developments, given on behalf of the Director-General of Unesco, which recognized the system as an operational model of international cooperation in information transfer within the conceptual framework of the UNISIST programme of systems connection and inter-systems cooperation.
183. The Council reiterated the need for a detailed evaluation by independent experts of the AGRIS system, and that their conclusions be submitted to the Nineteenth Conference Session in 1977 to enable Member Governments to make a final decision on AGRIS at that time. In this connection, the Council noted that the AGRIS Panel of Experts should study the need for supporting services, especially with regard to document delivery.
184. The Council expressed its appreciation of document CL 64/23 and supported the initiatives aimed at improved coordination with other Organizations in the United Nations system on matters of common interest.
185. The Council recognized the importance of the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on Development and International Economic Cooperation, to be held in 1975, at which a number of initiatives would converge. Among these were the implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, the results of various United Nations Conferences such as those on population and on food, rationalization of the work of ECOSOC to strengthen its coordinating and policy guidance functions, review of the relationship agreements between the United Nations and the specialized agencies, and structural changes to make the UN system a more effective instrument of world economic cooperation.
186. The Council noted that the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) had agreed to make a collective response to facilitate the preparations for the Special Session and that the Director-General was cooperating in this endeavour.
187. The Council generally noted the views of the Director-General and considered that in view of the importance of these matters for the role and functions of FAO in the UN system, further developments should be drawn to its attention so that it might have the opportunity of providing guidance before decisions were taken.
188. The Council noted the developments in ECOSOC regarding transnational corporations. It emphasized the importance and extent of FAO's work regarding these corporations, in particular through the Industry Cooperative Programme and the FAO/Bankers' Programme, as well as through a wide range of operational activities. It recommended that the Director-General ensure FAO's close involvement in the work and organizational arrangements being developed and, in particular, FAO's participation in the Coordinating Committee of the Information and Research Centre on Transnational Corporations, if established.
189. With regard to the proposal for the establishment of a UN Science and Technology Programme, the Council endorsed the approach of the Director-General recommending the strengthening of the activities of existing arrangements dealing with the application of science and technology and not the establishment of additional centralized arrangements.
190. The Council noted that document CL 64/29, “Implementation by FAO of the Declaration and Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New Economic Order,” had been prepared in response to the request of the Fifty-Seventh ECOSOC session that the UN Agencies should implement the provisions of the Declaration and Programme of Action, and that their governing bodies should be consulted on the consequent reorientation and adaptation of their programme of work.
1 CL 64/23, CL 64/29, CL 64/PV/13.
191. The Council agreed that the Declaration and Programme of Action represented an important stage in the evolution towards more equitable and just relations between nations. The Council noted that the document submitted to it had been necessarily prepared before the World Food Conference (WFC), and stressed that the Declaration and Resolutions which had emerged from the WFC, as finally accepted, would form the basis of the reorientation and adaptation of FAO activities and programmes covered by the WFC to achieve the objectives of the New Economic Order.
192. The Council stressed the importance of the objectives of the Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the resolutions of the WFC, being fully reflected in the Programme of Work of FAO in the next and subsequent biennia.
193. Some members suggested that it would be appropriate for the Secretariat to provide regular reports to the Council and the Conference on the progress achieved in implementation by FAO of the Declaration and Programme of Action. In this connexion the Council was informed that ECOSOC Resolution 1911 (LVII) had envisaged that specialized agencies would submit such reports regularly to ECOSOC and to their own governing bodies.
194. A few members pointed out that while they were in general agreement with the evolutionary goals of the Declaration and Programme of Action on the Establishment of a New International Economic Order, and hoped that through patient negotiations progress towards concrete and realistic action might be achieved, they had entered reservations on specific points of the Declaration and Programme of Action at the Sixth Special Session of the UN General Assembly. Other members urged those countries that had entered such reservations, to make efforts to remove them as soon as possible, notably in the light of the progress that had been achieved in the food and agricultural area at the WFC.
195. The Council considered the document prepared by the Director-General and agreed that FAO had an important role to play in implementing the recommendations of the World Population Conference which had conceived population policies as an integral part of overall policies for economic and social development aimed at improving the quality of life of the peoples of the world.
196. It was stressed that in dealing with the population aspects of rural development it should be kept in mind that the specific task of FAO was to achieve development, the increase and improvement of agricultural production, and that in so doing, besides population factors, other socio-economic considerations should be given due attention. Problems of rural/urban distribution of populations were of particular importance in this respect.
197. The Council reiterated the position adopted by the World Population Conference that population policies could not involve imposing identical principles on all peoples and that their formulation was a matter of national sovereignty.
198. The Council agreed that the Director-General in preparing his proposals for the 1976–77 Programme of Work and Budget, as well as in FAO's related field programme, should take into account as far as possible the relevant aspects of the recommendations of the World Population Conference and the views expressed in the Council.
1 CL 64/24, CL 64/PV/13.
199. The Council noted the progress being made in developing FAO cooperation with UNEP and the increasing number of UNEP projects providing support to the FAO Regular Programme in the priority areas of common interest to both organizations. The attention of the Council was drawn to several resolutions of the World Food Conference (WFC) which called for specific action by FAO in collaboration with UNEP and with other UN agencies. The Council was informed that several ongoing FAO/UNEP projects had already started to implement the action required by the WFC. These FAO/UNEP projects would essentially have to be further strengthened and extended in response to these resolutions. In so doing more emphasis would have to be placed on regional activities and field projects.
2 CL 63/3 paras 155–157, CL 64/3 paras 160–162, CL 64/PV/13.
200. One member expressed concern at the implications of FAO/UNEP cooperation on the FAO Programme of Work and Budget, with particular reference to the lack of agency costs provided by UNEP and the counterpart contribution to be made by the Regular Programme in matching UNEP support for these joint projects. The Council noted the information provided in this respect in the reports of the Twenty-Fifth Programme Committee session and the Thirty-First Finance Committee session, and decided that the Council should keep FAO/UNEP cooperation under review as required.
201. The Council noted the way in which preparations were progressing for the organization of this Conference, and felt that FAO was organizing its participation in a satisfactory manner. The Council stressed the importance of water as a key factor in agricultural development. Further participation in the Conference was encouraged and it was recommended that the required facilities for such participation be forthcoming from FAO.
202. The Council had, for its consideration, the Sixth Report on the Activities of the UN Joint Inspection Unit (JIU), the JIU report on Medium-Term Planning in the United Nations System, and the comments of the Programme and Finance Committees on these reports.
203. The Council agreed with the views of the Programme and Finance Committees that while a number of JIU reports were addressed to other organizations and thus did not require in principle comment from FAO, several of the reports, such as those on the use of experts and consultants in the UN, the need for a revised concept on UNDP regional training programmes in the least developed countries, the pattern of conferences in the UN, and UNICEF-assisted transport operations, were relevant to the problems encountered by the Organization. It therefore endorsed the action taken by the two Committees to ensure that such reports, which had a bearing on FAO activities, should also be studied in order to determine the applicability of the JIU recommendations to the relevant FAO practices and procedures.
204. The Council also expressed the wish that the progress of implementation of approved recommendations of the JIU should be suitably monitored by the Organization.
205. The Council noted that the JIU report on Medium-Term Planning in the United Nations System was addressed to the governing bodies of five major programme organizations (FAO, ILO, UN, Unesco and WHO) and the UNDP. It noted the Director-General's preliminary comments on the report which had been endorsed by the Programme Committee. It recognized, however, that the Finance Committee had not yet had the opportunity of studying the report or the preliminary comments of the Director-General. The Council was informed that the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), at its Sixty-Third Session (October 1974), had examined the report in depth and formulated collective views for the consideration of the various governing organs and of ECOSOC, and that such views would be necessary, as decisions taken on any of the recommendations would have system-wide implications. The report of the ACC on the matter had not been available in time for circulation to the Programme and Finance Committees or to the Council.
1 CL 64/30, CL 64/PV/13.
2 CL 64/7 paras 132–144, CL 64/5 paras 282–287, CL 64/21, CL 64/26.
206. The Council was informed that the ACC, while recognizing the complexity of the recommendations and questioning their usefulness in their totality and the resources implications, had adopted a constructive approach. The ACC had agreed that some recommendations could be supported while others required preparatory work and further consideration before a final judgement could be reached, and had therefore decided to pursue work for the improvement of programme planning and evaluation and medium-term plans, as well as to undertake, on an experimental basis, joint planning on rural development and an interagency country study.
207. Some members, while recognizing the complex nature of the report, nevertheless advocated a flexible approach with regard to concepts and suggestions which could be accepted with adaptations when necessary. They urged that advances in the harmonization of medium-term plans and programme budgeting would have benefits for governments and the organizations concerned.
208. The Council agreed to defer the matter for substantive consideration at its mid-1975 session, in the light of the collective views of the ACC and any further views which the Director-General and the Programme and Finance Committees might wish to offer.
209. The Council noted the report submitted by the Director-General on progress made in implementing Conference Resolution 13/73 on African Liberation Movements. It noted that representatives of these movements had been invited, through the Organization of African Unity (OAU), to attend the Eighth African Regional Conference, where the opportunity was taken to hold consultations with them with a view to formulating specific programmes of assistance. The Council appreciated the initiative taken by the Director-General in the light of the changes taking place in Africa, which called for new approaches on the part of the Organization to intensify, without delay, developmental assistance in the field of food and agriculture, for the benefit of the territories concerned as they moved towards independence. Members emphasized the need to secure more funds to provide more training facilities and to make equipment available to create quickly the infrastructure for development. In this connexion, a number of members recalled ECOSOC Resolution 1892 (LVII) calling upon the agencies to take further measures.
210. The Council, although some members expressed reservations, accordingly approved the Director-General's proposal, as modified by the Finance Committee, to appoint a special officer at the P-5 level, with secretarial assistance, exclusively to carry out liaison with the African Liberation Movements, OAU and other authorities concerned with a view to assisting in the formulation of concrete programmes of assistance. It emphasized that the person appointed should have the requisite qualifications and experience, be sensitive to the needs and claims of the peoples concerned and be given the means to carry out his responsibilities effectively. It was also suggested that he might appropriately be from the African region.
211. The Council, although some members expressed reservations, also approved the Director-General's proposal for defraying the cost of attendance of representatives of liberation movements at FAO meetings to which they were invited. The Council accordingly approved a provision of up to $71 400 for these purposes.
212. The Council was informed of the growing shortage of pulp and paper in the world, and of actions being taken to combat the shortage. It noted that capacity to manufacture pulp and paper was growing more slowly than demand for these products, and that the consequent shortages and high prices were being particularly felt in developing countries.
1 CL 64/15, CL 64/PV/14, CL 64/PV/19, and paras 229–237 below.
2 CL 64/INF/8, CL 64/PV/14.
213. The Council agreed that paper, required for education and communication, had an important role to play in economic and social development. It noted that efforts to overcome the shortage would require the expansion of manufacturing capacity particularly in developing countries. The Council agreed that FAO had an essential role to play in assisting in this long-term development and supported the action programme being developed jointly with the UNDP and financing agencies.
214. The attention of the Council was drawn to the need to alleviate shortages in the short and medium term, and to the actions, to this end, called for in the resolution of the Eighteenth Session of the General Conference of Unesco. The Council realized the complex nature of some of the proposed actions, in particular the proposal for a system of buffer stocks, and suggested that a careful study of this question be made taking into account the many problems inherent in a buffer stock system. The Council commended the collaboration between FAO and Unesco in this matter and stressed the need for a continued joint and coordinated approach to this problem.
215. The Council was informed by the representative of Unesco of the appeal that Unesco intended to make to aid agencies, producers and consumers to collaborate in making available paper supplies to meet the most immediate needs of developing countries affected by the shortage. It was suggested that FAO provide technical advice on the content of the appeal, and offer other assistance within the competence of the Organization.
216. The Council, noting that the pulp and paper shortage was expected to persist for a number of years, requested that this item be placed on the agenda of future sessions until there was an improvement in the situation.
217. The Council recalled that the Fourteenth Conference Session had authorized the Director-General in exceptional circumstances to convene sessions which he considered necessary and which had not been included in the meetings supplement to the Programme of Work and Budget approved by the Conference. It also recalled that the Director-General had been requested to make regular reports to the Council on the unscheduled sessions approved and on the sessions cancelled.
218. The Council noted that 19 unscheduled sessions had been approved and 17 sessions had been cancelled between 1 January and 31 October 1974. It also noted that two of the approved sessions had involved changes in attendance and two had been extended to include related sessions.
219. The Council was informed that at the end of November 1974 the Director-General would convene an unscheduled Consultation on Cereal Supplies and Ways of Meeting Short-Term Requirements of Developing Countries. It noted that participants would include selected Member Nations, which were the main exporters and importers, and also the USSR. The Council approved of the invitation being extended to the USSR.
1 CL 64/16.
220. Details of the unscheduled sessions approved, the sessions cancelled and the changes made in approved sessions from 1 January to 31 October 1974 are given in Appendix E, and details of the additional session mentioned above are given below:
|Sub.Prog. No.||Session No.||Title||Estimated Cost||Article of Constitution||Attendance|
|22.214.171.124||ESC 851||Consultation on Cereal Supplies and Ways of Meeting Short-Term Requirements of Developing Countries.||$ 3 300||VI-5 (1)||Selected MNs, USSR, UN Agencies and Int. Orgs.|