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Report of the Twenty-Ninth Session of the CCLM 1

- WFP Assistance to Peoples in Colonial Territories in Africa and their National Liberation Movements 2

229. In April 1974, the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC) of the World Food Programme (WFP) had decided

“to request the Executive Director, in consultation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of FAO, to submit recommendations to the Twenty-Sixth Session of the IGC in respect of any changes in the General Regulations of the Programme that may be required in order to enable WFP to extend assistance on a regular basis to peoples in the liberated areas of the colonial territories in Africa and their national liberation movements”. 3

230. The Council noted that this question had been referred to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) which had expressed the view with respect to the territories in Africa still under Portuguese administration that:

  1. "emergency or quasi-emergency assistance to peoples in liberated areas had already been authorized by the IGC;

  2. it would appear in the light of current and foreseeable political developments that assistance on a regular basis throughout these territories might soon become possible, particularly if these territories were to become Associate Members of FAO or, upon acquisition of full independence, gain admission to membership of the United Nations or FAO.

The CCLM therefore felt that it would not be necessary for the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the Council of FAO to amend the General Regulations of WFP approved by these bodies or to grant additional authority in some other way in so far as territories under Portuguese administration are concerned".

231. As regards other territories in Africa, covered by the relevant UN General Assembly resolutions, the CCLM had considered that:

  1. either an amendment to the General Regulations or an ad hoc authorization would seem necessary if food aid on a regular basis was to be extended to liberated areas of other colonial territories in Africa;

  2. if it were intended to provide for the possibility of WFP assistance to peoples in certain African Territories, irrespective of whether or not they are in liberated areas, the amendment or ad hoc authorization would have to be formulated accordingly.

1 This section of the report covers only part I of the CCLM report: “
WFP Assistance to peoples in [liberated areas of] colonial territories in Africa and their national liberation movements. [Question of amendments to WFP General Regulations]” In the light of the IGC recommendations and the Council decisions, this sub-heading ought to be modified by deleting the words in square brackets and inserting the underlined words. The other parts of the CCLM report were taken up under paras 295–304 below.

2 CL 64/18 paras 4–9, CL 64/INF/11 (extract from the report of the Twenty-Sixth Session of the IGC), CL 64/PV/19 and paras 209–211 above.

3 Report of the Twenty-Fifth Session (WFP/IGC: 25/18) para 38 (c).

232. The Council was further informed that the matter had again been examined by the IGC in October 1974, in the light of the views expressed by the CCLM. With respect to the territories in Africa still under Portuguese administration, the IGC had noted with satisfaction the recent developments and decided that assistance should continue to be provided in accordance with the existing General Regulations of WFP and the IGC decisions.

233. Having considered the alternatives envisaged by the CCLM, as set out in paragraph 231 above, the IGC had expressed its preference for an ad hoc authorization rather than an amendment to the General Regulations.

234. The Council concurred with the view of the CCLM, that in order to permit WPF assistance to the territories concerned on a regular basis, either an amendment to the General Regulations by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the FAO Council or an ad hoc authorization by the same bodies would be necessary.

235. The Council noted that, as pointed out by the CCLM, an ad hoc authorization would have the advantage of reflecting the expectation of rapid progress towards full decolonization in Africa, and decided, in line with the preference expressed by the IGC, to adopt the solution of an ad hoc authorization rather than a formal amendment to the General Regulations.

236. The Council examined carefully the two alternative formulations for such authorization put forward respectively by the CCLM and the IGC. Members favoured generally the wider formula proposed by the IGC, but a number of members expressed reservations especially regarding the inclusion of the term “alien domination” which, in their view, did not have a clear and accepted meaning. The Council decided to retain the wording suggested by the IGC 1 2 3, except for a slight change in the sequence of words.

237. Consequently, the Council requested the Executive Director of the WFP to forward to the Economic and Social Council the following draft authorization for consideration and final approval:

“Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 3 of its General Regulations, the World Food Programme is authorized to extend assistance in all its forms, through the Organization of African Unity, to peoples in territories in Africa still under colonial or alien domination and in particular to peoples in liberated areas of those territories and their national liberation movements”.

1 The United States requested the recording of its opposition to the granting of assistance by United Nations organizations to liberation movements, “liberated areas”, and even more to “non-liberated areas”, as an interference in the internal affairs of states. It also did not see the need for extending regular assistance on a continuing basis through the Organization of African Unity. Portugal was committed to and working toward early independence in Angola, Mozambique, and its other African territories. The existing IGC authorization for emergency or quasi-emergency projects appeared to meet the immediate needs of present liberated areas during the limited time before independent governments were fully established, and after that their needs could be fully met under existing regulations. It was not clear how the OAU could fulfill the responsibilities of recipient governments under the WFP General Regulations. The USA delegation regretted the decision of the Council because it believed it was an unnecessary injection of political factors into the World Food Programme without regard for procedures necessary to preserve the developmental and humanitarian character of that Programme.

2 France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and Switzerland expressed reservations regarding the Council's decision and stated that they would have abstained, had there been a vote; these members expressed at the same time their understanding, from a humanitarian point-of-view, of the problems which the populations of the African territories concerned had to face.

3 The Canadian delegation stated that, in its interpretation, the phrase “in all its forms” meant assistance in kind rather than in monetary form and that aid would focus primarily on assistance of an emergency and quasi-emergency nature.

Role, Functions and Composition of the Council 1

238. The Council decided to defer discussion of this item to its March 1975 session, by which time it was expected that the full implications of the effect of the World Food Conference resolutions on the work of FAO and the FAO Council itself would be clarified. This could be taken up under (c) of the agenda 2 of that session of the Council so as to enable its mid-1975 session to finalize a report to the Eighteenth Conference Session.

Review of FAO Statutory Bodies 3

239. The Council recalled that at previous sessions it had approved recommendations made by the Programme Committee for the abolition of certain statutory bodies and it had requested that the question of statutory bodies be kept under continuous review.

240. It concurred with the views of the Twenty-Fifth Programme Committee Session that the methods both of establishing and abolishing statutory bodies had been given adequate consideration by the Director-General, and that the revised Directory of FAO Statutory Bodies and Panels of Experts gave useful information on the composition and activities of each body.

241. The Council approved the recommendation of the Programme Committee that Conference guidelines should be followed as regards categories of meetings and that the costs should normally be borne by governments, if they selected the representatives, and by FAO, if individuals were selected in a personal or expert capacity by the Organization. It concurred with the views of the Programme Committee that any exceptions should be noted in the Directory of FAO Statutory Bodies and Panels of Experts.

242. The Council noted with satisfaction that as a result of the Director-General's survey a reduction in the number of bodies had been effected over the last four biennia. It agreed with the recommendations of the Programme Committee that two bodies established under Articles VI-1 and VI-2 of the Constitution should be abolished, namely:

  1. Technical Working Party on Coffee Production and Protection,

  2. FAO/IUFRO Committee of Experts on Bibliography and Terminology,

and it noted that the following three bodies had been abolished by their parent bodies:

  1. ECA Working Party on Soil Classification and Survey,

  2. FAO/ILO Committee on Forest Working Techniques and Training of Forest Workers (subsidiary of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission),

  3. IRC Rice Committee for the Americas.

243. The Council recommended that the Director-General continue to give attention to abolishing bodies which had fulfilled their usefulness, but requested that in future reports on this subject, the Programme Committee should provide full details of reasons for abolition.

1 CL 64/19, CL 64/PV/15.

2 See para.42 above.

3 CL 64/3 paras 153–158, CL 64/PV/17.

Date for Nominations for the Office of Director-General 1

244. By Resolution 32/71 of the Sixteenth Conference Session, the Director-General was appointed for a period of four years from 1 January 1972, the term of office expiring on 31 December 1975. Under Rule XXXV-1(a) of the General Rules of the Organization (GRO), it was necessary for the Council to set the dates for nominations for the office of Director-General.

245. The Council decided that nominations for the office of Director-General should be communicated to the Secretary-General of the Conference at the latest by 10 April 1975 at 17.30 hours, and that such nominations should be circulated by the Secretary-General to all Member Nations of the Organization by 29 April 1975.

Invitations to Non-Member Nations to Attend FAO Sessions 2

246. 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 USSR to attend the following three sessions:

  1. FI 833 European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (Eighth Session) and related Symposium, Aviemore, Scotland, 2–10 May 1974 (request received on 19 April 1974).

  2. ESH 836 Symposium on the Promotion of Cooperatives in Developing Countries, Gödöllö, Hungary, 2–11 September 1974 (request received on 22 August 1974).

  3. FI 830 Committee on Fisheries (Ninth Session), Rome, 15–22 October 1974 (request received on 16 August 1974).

247. The Council approved this action 4. As regards the attendance of the USSR at the Forty-Ninth Session of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP), the Council noted that Conference Resolution 3/73 had authorized “the Director-General to invite interested non-Member States which are members of the United Nations, any of its specialized agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency to attend the Forty-Ninth Session of the CCP”. This particular attendance, therefore, did not need Council approval.

Status and Role of Permanent Representatives 5

248. The Council recalled that at its Sixtieth Session it had requested the Secretary-General to solicit comments on CL 60/25 from Member Governments and to circulate them to the Permanent Representatives in Rome. The Council received for information observations from 25 governments.

249. The Council felt that the matter should not be pursued for the present since each Government was free to decide on the role that its Permanent Representative should play in its relations with FAO. The Council emphasized the need for continuing exchange of information and views between the Permanent Representatives and the Director-General.

250. In the discussion of replies from Member Governments, some members drew attention to certain difficulties which did not permit Permanent Representatives to function effectively. They requested the Director-General to take steps to correct these difficulties.

1 CL 64/20.

2 CL 64/LIM/2.

3 See FAO Basic Texts, Volume II, Section J.

4 See also para 219 above.

5 CL 64/INF/10, CL 64/INF/10-Sup.1, CL 64/PV/17.

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