88. The Conference welcomed the useful information on the achievements in the biennium 2000-01, as contained in the Programme Implementation Report (PIR). In recognizing that the PWB 2000-01 could not incorporate the major features of the new programming model, including the more extensive use of indicators, and fully reflect the longer-term orientations of the Organization in both the Strategic Framework and Medium-Term Plan, it looked forward to an enhanced format of the PIR in future versions.
89. The Conference stressed in particular the need to address in future PIRs the implementation of the approved corporate objectives relating to FAO’s substantive work, the Strategies to Address Cross-Organizational Issues (SACOIs) and the Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs). It recalled that the Programme Committee would consider the format of the PIR at its May 2004 session.
90. The Conference noted that delivery under the Regular Programme had been generally satisfactory in 2000-2001, despite overall resource constraints. It noted that the transfer of operational responsibility for national projects to the FAO Country Offices had been a significant development in the period. Among other aspects, the Conference appreciated the continued support to capacity-building in countries, especially in connection with ongoing Multilateral Trade Negotiations.
91. The Conference further noted that the emergency-related component of the Field Programme had greatly expanded in the 2000-01 biennium, while delivery under non-emergency field projects had somewhat contracted, primarily due to lower UNDP-financed activities. However, the further expansion of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and the continued valuable assistance provided by the TCP to beneficiary countries, were welcomed by many Members.
92. The Conference welcomed the Report, which contained summaries of six independent evaluations that had been considered by the Programme Committee during the biennium. It appreciated the independent character of evaluation reports focussing on programme results, issues and recommendations as well as the transparency of the process whereby the evaluation reports were presented together with the comments of external peer review panels and management response. In particular, it welcomed the strengthened feedback from evaluations to programme planning and management, including the proactive role of the Programme Committee in maintaining dialogue with the Secretariat on follow-up actions in implementing evaluation recommendations. In encouraging further improvements in the Programme Evaluation Report, some Members suggested the need for enhanced formulation of evaluation recommendations as indicated in the Director-General’s foreword, sharpening assessment of programme priority and FAO’s comparative strengths, and for limiting the number of evaluations conducted in a biennium to a manageable size (four or five topics).
93. The Conference highlighted the importance of evaluation in the programme planning and management process, particularly its catalytic role in organizational learning and improvement as well as in contributing to accountability reporting. It appreciated the contribution of improved evaluation in strengthening the result-orientation of the overall planning, programming and evaluation process in the context of the Strategic Framework and the Medium-Term Plan. At the same time, many Members indicated the importance of further strengthening the independent role of the Evaluation Service within its present location in the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation, and stressed the need to implement those measures endorsed by the Council for this purpose.
94. The Conference also welcomed the relevance and timeliness of the six topics covered by the evaluations. It highlighted the useful and effective contribution of these programmes in meeting the priority needs of the Membership, and agreed on the importance of implementing recommendations from the evaluation. In this regard, particular mention was made of the Special Programme for Food Security, the Codex and Food Standards Programme, Statistical Activities, and FAO’s work in emergencies, including transition to rehabilitation and development.
95. The Conference considered the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) proposals for the 2004-2005 biennium. It recognized that the PWB document contained two scenarios, covering Real Growth (RG) and Zero Real Growth (ZRG), while the outline of a possible Zero Nominal Growth (ZNG) scenario had been submitted to the recently concluded Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session of the Council (document CL 125/10, reissued as C 2003/LIM/17).
96. The Conference appreciated the format of the PWB document, including information on the links to the longer-term corporate strategies in the Strategic Framework 2000-2015, and to the substance of the Medium-Term Plan 2004-2009, which had been endorsed by the Council.
97. In relation to cost increases for the next biennium, the Conference recognized that the Finance Committee had endorsed the related estimates and assumptions provided in the document. However, at this juncture it emphasized the considerable importance of the exchange rate factor for eventual budgetary decisions.
98. From the views expressed by individual Members during previous inter-governmental discussions, culminating in the Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session of the Council, the Conference recognized that the FAO Membership was faced with basically four scenarios, i.e. the above three scenarios, and a scenario of ZNG in US dollar terms. The Conference received updated information on the impact of the latter scenario of ZNG in US dollar terms, since further strengthening of the Euro had occurred from the hypothetical rate of 1 Euro = 1.15 US dollar used in the documentation. The range of scenarios was as follows:
ZNG in US$/€
ZNG in US$
In view of this wide range of opinions, a group of “Friends of the Chair” was established to assist in bridging differences.
99. The Conference recognized that the Council had addressed a number of priority areas at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth session, and confirmed the general support enjoyed by these priorities. Some Members mentioned again the misgivings they had about the shift of resources away from Major Programme 2.5: Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts to strengthen other priority areas under the ZRG scenario.
100. The Conference reaffirmed the need to maintain an appropriate balance between FAO's normative and operational work. It also emphasized the importance of active support from donors to a robust Field Programme.
101. While underlining the substantial efficiency savings and streamlining achieved by FAO in the recent past, the Conference renewed its call for continued identification of efficiency gains.
102. Many Members supported the progressive amortisation of the liability related to After Service Medical Care (ASMC), as proposed in the PWB document, and endorsed by the Council in the preceding week.
103. During their interventions, Members expressed their preferences in relation to the budget level.
104. Many Members supported the RG scenario in the PWB document. They stressed that real growth in resources for the Organization was the needed signal from Governing Bodies to demonstrate collective willingness to address the complex problems and vast requirements for assistance in all Regions. They felt that RG was also the only fitting response to the worrisome lack of progress made in the implementation of the commitments undertaken by the World Food Summit.
105. Some Members referred to the financial and budgetary constraints to which their economies were subjected but expressed nonetheless their readiness to be flexible in examining alternative scenarios.
106. Other Members supported ZNG in US dollar terms. They highlighted the stringency in public expenditures experienced in their countries, which made it difficult for them to contemplate sharply increased assessments. Some of them stressed the need for similar financial discipline for international institutions, which would facilitate further streamlining and sound management.
107. Some Members expressed support to ZRG as a possible compromise solution, while yet other Members reserved their position on the issue.
108. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Having considered the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget:
US$ Chapter 1: General Policy and Direction 60,521,000 Chapter 2: Technical and Economic Programmes 332,762,000 Chapter 3: Cooperation and Partnerships 147,155,000 Chapter 4: Technical Cooperation Programme 101,310,000 Chapter 5: Support Services 60,465,000 Chapter 6: Common Services 46,287,000 Chapter 7: Contingencies 600,000 Total Appropriation (Net) 749,100,00022 Chapter 8: Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund 96,960,000 Total Appropriation (Gross) 846,060,000
(Adopted on 5 December 2003)
109. The Conference noted that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session, held in October and November 2002, had established a representative Group of Friends of the Chair to deal with the issue of the number and length of terms of office of the Director-General. The Conference noted further that the Group had held several meetings and that, at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session, in June 2003, the Council accepted the report of the Group of “Friends of the Chair”, document CL 124/INF/22, and agreed to transmit the proposed amendment to Article VII.1 of the Constitution that the “Director-General should be appointed for a term of six years, renewable only once for a further term of four years” to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, at its Seventy-fifth Session, in October 2003, along with document CL 124/INF/22 before being submitted to the Thirty-second Session for adoption.
110. The Conference considered the Report of the Seventy-fifth Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, held in October 2003, as well as the Report of the Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session of the Council, held in November 2003.
111. The Conference adopted, by a vote carried out in accordance with Article XX, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, the following Resolution:
Recalling the decision taken by the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session, held from 28 October to 1 November 2002, regarding the question of the number and length of terms of office of the Director-General, Article VII.1 of the Constitution,
Having considered that, at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session, held from 23 to 28 June 2003, the Council accepted the report of the Group of “Friends of the Chair”, document CL 124/INF/22, and agreed to transmit the proposed amendment to Article VII.1 of the Constitution that the “Director-General should be appointed for a term of six years, renewable only once for a further term of four years”, to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, at its Seventy-fifth Session, in October 2003, along with document CL 124/INF/22 before being submitted to the Thirty-second Session of the Conference for adoption,
Having further considered the report of the Seventy-fifth Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, held on 6 and 7 October 2003, as well as the Report of the Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session of the Council, held from 26 to 28 November 2003:
“1. There shall be a Director-General of the Organization who shall be appointed by the Conference for a term of six years. He shall be eligible for reappointment only once for a further term of four years.”
(Adopted on 8 December 2003)
112. The Conference was informed of the long-standing cooperation between FAO and the International Office of Epizootics, which dated back to 1947, when an informal arrangement was concluded between the two organizations. Subsequent to that, in 1953, an interim Agreement had been concluded and confirmed by the Conference.
113. The Conference further noted that over the years cooperation had expanded and covered now a wide range of areas in animal health involving, in particular, exchange of information, consultation and exchange of experience on studies and projects and that, as a result, there was a need to coordinate better their efforts in control of animal diseases and food safety within the framework of their respective mandates through a new Agreement.
114. The Conference noted that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, in November 2003 had endorsed the proposed Agreement. The Conference confirmed the Agreement as set out in Appendix G to this Report.
115. The Conference noted that EUROFISH was an organization established in 2001 with the objectives of contributing to the development of fisheries in Eastern and Central Europe, providing information on fish marketing and contributing to the promotion of trade in fish products. The Conference also noted that the Governing Council of EUROFISH had proposed to FAO that a Cooperation Agreement be concluded. The Conference also noted that on the substance, the Cooperation Agreement followed the pattern of a number of agreements concluded with regional organizations with comparable mandates.
116. The Conference noted that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session in November 2003 had endorsed the proposed Cooperation Agreement. The Conference confirmed the Agreement as set out in Appendix H to this Report.
117. The Conference noted that there had been changes in the conditions under which FAO implemented technical assistance projects in a number of countries. As these countries expanded their own technical and managerial capabilities, they looked more than in the past to the so-called “national execution” as their preferred modality for the implementation of projects. In order to respond more efficiently to the demands placed upon it in that respect, FAO embarked in a process of reconsideration of some of its procedures and developed a number of “business models” for Partnership in Development Agreements. Such models were intended to constitute reference documents for project formulation both by FAO and the Governments.
118. The Conference also noted that the Finance Committee and the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters had endorsed a proposal that the Financial Regulations should be amended in order, in particular, to ensure that the Director-General, when entering into negotiations with concerned Governments and national institutions, in connection with Funds under Partnership in Development Agreements, should satisfy himself that adequate controls were in place. The Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, in November 2003 recommended the adoption of the draft Resolution to that effect by the Conference. The Conference noted that, throughout the process, FAO had drawn extensively from the experience of the United Nations Development Programme, whose Financial Regulations contain similar provisions.
119. The Conference adopted, by a vote, the following Resolution:
Amendment to Regulation VI of the Financial Regulations
(Funds Under Partnership in Development Projects)
Recalling that the Finance Committee, at its Hundred-and-second Session, held from 5 to 9 May 2003, endorsed a proposal that the Financial Regulations be amended in order to reflect the requirement that the Director-General, when entering into negotiations with concerned governments and national institutions, in connection with Funds under Partnership in Development Agreements should satisfy himself that adequate controls were in place,
Noting that the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, at its Seventy-fifth Session, held on 6 and 7 October 2003, reviewed the proposed amendment to the Financial Regulations,
Noting further that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, held from 26 to 28 November 2003, approved the proposed amendment and recommended its adoption by the Conference at its Thirty-second Session;
“The Director-General may enter into agreements with governments and donors providing for technical assistance in the context of development projects to be executed/implemented by the beneficiary government or other national entity. Under these modalities, referred to below as projects under Partnership in Development Agreements, the following shall apply:
(a) Where the funds are to be held and managed by the government or other national entity under national execution or implementation arrangements, FAO’s participation shall be separately reported to the Finance Committee as Funds under Partnership in Development Agreements, and such funds shall not be included in the Financial Statements of the Organization.
(b) Where the funds are to be held in trust by FAO and transferred to the government or other national entity for the implementation of agreed activities, the funds shall be reported to the Finance Committee in the Financial Statements of the Organization as Funds held in Trust on behalf of beneficiary governments under Partnership in Development Agreements and shall be subject to the internal and external auditing procedures of the Organization. Funds held in trust by FAO that are subject to national implementation shall be expended in accordance with the national regulations and rules of the implementing government and shall be subject to certification by the responsible national authorities, provided that the Director-General shall satisfy himself before entering into the agreement with the government that such regulations and rules are consistent with the Financial Regulations of the Organization and provide adequate controls over the expenditure of the funds. These projects under Partnership in Development Agreements shall be subject to audit at least once a year by an independent auditor appointed with the agreement of both the government concerned and the Organization in accordance with the respective agreements.”
(Adopted on 8 December 2003)
120. The Conference noted that the Finance Committee had been considering the approach to be taken in respect of planning and funding of capital expenditures on assets with a useful life in excess of FAO’s financial period of two years, which generally required a level of resources that could not be funded within the appropriation for a single biennium. The Finance Committee endorsed a proposal to establish a Capital Expenditure Facility consisting of two separate, but inter-related elements, as follows: first, Chapter 8 of the Budget which could also consist of several major programmes and, second, a Capital Expenditure Account, established under the provisions of a new Financial Regulation.
121. The Conference noted that the Finance Committee and the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters had endorsed the proposal, including the proposed amendment to Regulation VI of the Financial Regulations providing for a Capital Expenditure Account, for submission to the Council and that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, had recommended its adoption to the Conference.
122. The Conference adopted, by a vote, the following Resolution:
Amendment to Regulation VI of the Financial Regulations
Noting the recommendations of external experts and of the JIU that the Organization should introduce capital budgeting,
Recognizing the desirability of integrating capital expending planning into the existing planning framework,
Recalling that the Finance Committee, at its Hundred and fourth Session held from 15 to 19 September 2003, “endorsed for consideration by the Council the establishment of a Capital Expenditures Facility” and “also endorsed the draft text of the proposed Financial Regulation 6.10 ..., for submission through the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters to the Council”,
Considering that the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, at its Seventy-fifth Session held on 6 and 7 October 2003, reviewed the proposed amendments to Financial Regulation VI,
Noting that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session held from 26 to 28 November 2003, agreed to transmit to the Conference, for its approval, the proposed amendments to Financial Regulation VI,
“6.10 There shall be established:
- a Capital Expenditure Account, which will be used for the purpose of managing activities which involve capital expenditure, defined as being:
- expenditures on tangible or intangible assets with a useful life in excess of FAO’s financial period of two years;
- which generally require a level of resources which cannot be funded within the appropriation for a single biennium.
- the source of funds will be:
- Regular Programme Appropriations approved by Conference;
- voluntary contributions;
- recoveries from charges to users for the delivery of capital investment services.
- the use of the Account will be authorized under Chapter 8 through approval of the Appropriations Resolution by Conference (Financial Regulation 4.1) or through the application of Financial Regulation 4.5 as regards budgetary transfers.
- the balance on Chapter 8 of the budget at the end of each financial period shall be transferred to the Capital Expenditures Account for use in a subsequent financial period.”
(Adopted on 8 December 2003)
123. The Conference noted that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, had reaffirmed the principle that the approved Programme of Work and Budget should be protected from the effects of fluctuating exchange rates and considered split assessments to be an appropriate means for providing that protection. The Conference noted further that the Council had emphasized the importance of reaching a consensus on this topic and had urged all concerned Member Nations to work together towards that aim. For that purpose, the Conference decided to establish a Working Group, chaired by the Independent Chairman of the Council, to resolve the details of the modalities of the proposal to facilitate a consensus on this issue.
124. The Conference expressed appreciation for the work accomplished by Group and adopted the following Resolution:
Amendment to Regulation V of the Financial Regulations
Recalling that the Finance Committee, at its Hundred and fourth Session held from 15 to 19 September 2003, “recommended the adoption of the split assessment methodology beginning with the 2004-2005 biennium for endorsement by the Council” and endorsed the revisions to Regulation V of the Financial Regulations and to the prototype of the Appropriations Resolution, for transmission to the CCLM for endorsement and submission to the Council,
Considering that the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, at its Seventy-fifth Session held on 6 and 7 October 2003, reviewed the proposed amendments to Regulation V of the Financial Regulation as well as the prototype of the Appropriations Resolution,
Noting that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session held from 26 to 28 November 2003, re-affirmed the principle endorsed at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session that the approved Programme of Work and Budget should be protected from the effects of fluctuating exchange rates and considered Split Assessments to be an appropriate means for providing this protection,
Further noting that Split Assessment does not in itself determine the budget level of the Organization, and that this arrangement needs to be applied consistently,1. Decides to amend Regulation V of the Financial Regulations as follows:
Provision of Funds
5.1 The appropriations for a financial period, subject to related adjustments effected in accordance with Regulation 5.2, shall be financed by annual contributions from Member Nations and Associate Members. Contributions from Member Nations shall be assessed in accordance with the scale of contributions determined by the Conference, which scale shall not include contributions from Associate Members. Contributions from Associate Members shall as far as feasible be calculated on the same basis as contributions from Member Nations, the amount thus obtained being reduced by four-tenths to take account of the difference of status between Member Nations and Associate Members, and shall be credited to Miscellaneous Income. Pending receipt of contributions, appropriations may be financed from the Working Capital Fund.
5.2 In the assessment of the contributions of Member Nations and Associate Members for each financial period, adjustments shall be made in respect of:
5.3 For determining the annual contribution of each Member Nation and Associate Member, the assessment of each such Member Nation and Associate Member for the financial period shall be divided into two equal instalments, one of which shall be payable in the first calendar year and the other in the second calendar year of the financial period.
5.4 At the beginning of each calendar year the Director-General shall:
5.5 Contributions and advances shall be due and payable in full within 30 days of the receipt of the communication of the Director-General referred to in Regulation 5.4 above, or as of the first day of the calendar year to which they relate, whichever is the later. As of 1 January of the following calendar year, the unpaid balance of such contributions and advances shall be considered to be one year in arrears.
5.6 Annual contributions to the budget shall be assessed partly in United States dollars and partly in euro. For each biennium, the Conference shall determine the proportionate share of the budget payable by all Member Nations and Associate Members in United States dollars and in euro respectively, in accordance with the estimated expenditures in each of these currencies. Payments in United States dollars or euro shall be credited against the assessment in the same currency. Should an amount paid exceed what is owed in that currency, the excess shall be applied to the other currency assessment at the market rate on the date of receipt. Should a Member Nation or Associate Member pay any part of its current year contribution or arrears in a currency other than United States dollar or euro, it will be the responsibility of that Member Nation or Associate Member to ensure the free convertibility of that currency into United States dollars or euro. The exchange rate applicable to any payment in a non-assessed currency shall be the market rate of the euro or the United States dollar to the currency of payment on the first business day in January of the calendar year in which the contribution is due, or the rate in effect on the day the payment is made, whichever is higher.
5.7 Obligations of Member Nations and Associate Members, including arrears of contribution, shall remain payable in the currencies of assessment of the year in which they were due. For the purpose of determining loss of voting rights in the Conference, ineligibility for election to or loss of seat in the Council as foreseen in the Basic Texts of the Organization, contributions due for the two preceding calendar years shall be expressed in United States dollars, with any euro arrears calculated at the budget rate of exchange in the year of assessment.
5.8 Any nation admitted to membership or any territory or group of territories admitted to associate membership shall pay a contribution to the budget for the financial period in which the membership or associate membership becomes effective. Such contributions shall be an amount determined by the Conference and shall begin with the quarter in which the application was approved. All new Member Nations shall be required to make advances to the Working Capital Fund in accordance with Regulation 6.2 (b) (ii).
5.9 Non-member nations of the Organization that are members of intergovernmental commodity groups; subcommittees, subsidiary working parties and study groups established by the Committee on Fisheries; or of bodies established by conventions or agreements concluded under Article XIV of the Constitution shall contribute towards the expenses incurred by the Organization with respect to the activities of those groups or bodies in an amount determined by the Director-General except as otherwise decided by the Conference or the Council.
5.10 The Council, at any of its sessions, may advise the Director-General as to any steps that ought to be taken in order to expedite the payment of contributions. The Council may submit to the Conference such recommendations in this regard as it may consider appropriate.
2. Asks the Secretariat to submit to the Thirty-third Session of the Conference in 2005 a Report on the performance of the Split Assessment arrangement.
(Adopted on 5 December 2003)
125. The Conference endorsed a proposal by the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, that Rule XXVII, paragraph 1 of the General Rules of the Organization be amended to provide for an increase in the Membership of the Finance Committee from nine to eleven Members and to change the election formula established in Rule XXVII, paragraph 3, sub-paragraph (c) of that Rule, as a means of contributing to fair and equitable representation of the regions in the Finance Committee.
126. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Having noted that, at its Hundred and Twenty-second Session, held on 14 November 2001, the Council agreed to discuss the issue of the representation of different regions on the Programme and Finance Committees,
Recalling that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session, held from 28 October to 1 November 2002, in connection with the consideration of the Report of the Seventy-fourth Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, agreed that Regional Groups should consult and report to it at its Session of June 2003,
Considering that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session, held from 23 to 28 June 2003, noted that consultations would continue with the other Regional Groups to further advance the issue,
Considering further that the Council, at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session, held from 26 to 28 November 2003, endorsed a proposal to amend Rule XXVII, paragraphs 1 and 3(c) of the General Rules of the Organization and recommended its adoption to the Conference as a step towards more equitable representation of the various Regional Groups within the Finance Committee,
“The Finance Committee provided for in paragraph 6 of Article V of the Constitution shall be composed of representatives of eleven Member Nations of the Organization. Such Member Nations shall be elected by the Council in accordance with the procedure set forth in paragraph 3 of this Rule. Members of the Committee shall appoint as their representatives individuals who have shown a continued interest in the objectives and activities of the Organization, have participated in Conference or Council Sessions and have special competence and experience in administrative and financial matters. Members of the Committee shall be elected for a period of two years at the Session of the Council immediately following the regular session of the Conference. They shall be eligible for reappointment”.
“After the election referred to in sub-paragraph (b) above, the Council shall proceed to the election of the other Members of the Committee, in two stages, making the necessary adjustments to take into account the Member Nation of which the Chairman is a national and the Region to which that Member Nation belongs:
- the first stage shall be to elect seven Members from the following regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Near East, and Latin America and the Caribbean;
- the second stage shall be to elect four Members from the following regions: Europe, North America, and Southwest Pacific”.
(Adopted on 1 December 2003)
127. The Conference decided by a vote to suspend paragraph 2 of Rule XXVII of the General Rules of the Organization, under Rule XLVIII thereof, in order to allow for nominations for election to the Finance Committee under revised Rule XXVII to be made on 10 December 2003.
128. The Conference took note of the Audited Accounts 2000-2001 and the Report of the External Auditor, as reviewed by the Finance Committee at its Hundredth Session and by the Council at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session, and adopted the following Resolution:
FAO Audited Accounts 2000-2001
Having considered the Report of the Hundred and Twenty-third Session of the Council,
Having examined the 2000-2001 FAO Audited Accounts and the External Auditor's Report thereon,
Adopts the Audited Accounts.
(Adopted on 8 December 2003)
129. The Conference noted that at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session the Council had recommended that the FAO proposed Scale of Contributions for 2004-2005 be derived from the UN Scale of Assessments in force during 2003.
130. The Conference further noted that some Members expressed the view that the Scale of Assessments to be adopted did not adequately reflect the present economic circumstances of certain Member Nations and that the Organization should review the methodology of determining the Scale of Assessments.
131. The Conference then adopted the following Resolution:
Having noted the recommendations of the Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session of the Council,
Confirming that as in the past, FAO should follow the United Nations Scale of Assessments subject to adaptation for the different membership of FAO,
(Adopted on 8 December 2003)
132. In accordance with the established methodology, the Conference set the lump-sum payment due by the European Community to cover administrative and other expenditures arising out of its Membership in the Organization at Euro 577,835 for the 2004-2005 biennium. As for previous biennia, the Conference also decided that the sums paid by the EC in respect of administrative and other expenses should be paid into a trust or special fund established by the Director-General under Financial Regulation 6.7.
133. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
Recalling that in November 1947 the UN General Assembly (UNGA) had affirmed that in view of its international character, the policies and administrative methods of the Secretariat should reflect, and profit to the highest degree from, assets of the various cultures and the technical competence of all Member Nations,
Recalling fundamental importance was attached to the universal nature of the UN and, hence, to the widest possible representation of all cultures and the diversity characteristic of Member Nations, so that the Secretariat would operate independently and fully reflect the richness of the UN’s many components, while ensuring that no country or group of countries became predominant,
Recalling that, in accordance with Article VIII.3 of the FAO Constitution “in appointing the staff, the Director-General shall, subject to the paramount importance of securing the highest standards of efficiency and of technical competence, pay due regard to the importance of selecting personnel recruited on as wide a geographical basis as is possible”;
Recalling that at its Thirtieth Session in Resolution 1/99, the Conference confirmed that, in the selection and appointment of Professional staff, the Director-General, while maintaining the paramount importance of securing the highest standards of efficiency and technical competence, should continue to give effect to criteria of equitable geographical and gender distribution, through a combined application of all these requirements,
Recalling that at its Thirty-first Session in November 2001 in the context of its review of the Programme Implementation Report 1998-9935, the Conference noted the need for the preparation of a comparative study of staff recruitment practices of FAO and the United Nations, focusing in particular on geographic distribution aspects and requested that such a study be submitted to the Council at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session,
Recalling that at its Hundred and Twenty-third Session, the Council had requested that the current formula used in FAO for the determination of equitable geographic distribution be reviewed taking into consideration the various methodologies used in the UN System and that at its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session, the Council considered the different options formulated by the Secretariat for the revision of the current methodology36/ and noted that further analysis of the options would be conducted by the Finance Committee at its Hundred and fourth Session in September 2003,
Noting that in light of the recommendations made by the Finance Committee in this regard, the Council at its Hundred and Twenty-fifth Session decided to establish a Working Group to review further the options and determine the terms under which a revised methodology could be implemented and that this Working Group should meet and report to the Thirty-second Session of the Conference on the state of progress made,
Noting that the Working Group on Equitable Geographic Distribution met several times during the Council and Conference in November and December 2003 and that in carrying out its review of the options, the Working Group also took note of the recommendation of the Finance Committee that the following issues be considered:
Noting that the Working Group also took note of developments elsewhere in the UN System regarding geographic distribution methodologies, and
Having examined the Report of the Working Group on Equitable Geographic Distribution,
The base figure for the calculations would be based on all Regular Programme-funded fixed-term and continuing posts established in the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB), with the exception of “language” posts and the post of the Director-General, however, no grade weighting would be applied (1 399 from PWB 2004-2005)37/.
(Adopted on 9 December 2003)
134. The General Secretary of the Union of General Service Staff (UGSS) spoke on behalf of the three Staff Representative Bodies underlining the importance of adequate security measures for the staff worldwide. Concerning the medical health insurance scheme, she pointed out that adequate health coverage at an affordable cost was an essential requirement for both serving and retired staff members. She emphasized that staff would participate in the consultative process on all of the issues to be tackled under the Human Resources Management Reform process with a view to embracing changes that encompassed the needs of enhanced competence and motivation.
135. The Conference had before it applications for membership from the following countries:
136. These applications were supplemented by the formal instrument required under Article II of the Constitution, and were thus found to be in order.
137. The applications from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and Ukraine, were submitted within the time limit prescribed by Rule XIX of the General Rules of the Organization.
138. The Conference proceeded to a secret ballot on the applications from the Federated States of Micronesia, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, and Ukraine at its second plenary meeting on Saturday, 29 November 2003, in accordance with Article II-2 of the Constitution and Rule XII-9 of the General Rules of the Organization. The results were as follows:
Admission of The Federated States of Micronesia
1. Number of ballots deposited 121
2. Defective ballots 1
3. Abstentions 2
4. Number of votes cast 118
5. Majority required 79
6. Votes for 117
Admission of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
1. Number of ballots deposited 121
2. Defective ballots 0
3. Abstentions 6
4. Number of votes cast 115
5. Majority required 77
6. Votes for 112
Admission of Tuvalu
1. Number of ballots deposited 121
2. Defective ballots 0
3. Abstentions 8
4. Number of votes cast 113
5. Majority required 76
6. Votes for 113
Admission of Ukraine
1. Number of ballots deposited 122
2. Defective ballots 0
3. Abstentions 9
4. Number of votes cast 113
5. Majority required 76
6. Votes for 113
139. The Conference accordingly admitted the afore-mentioned applicant countries to membership of the Organization.
140. The Conference decided that, according to established principles and customs, the contribution due for the last quarter of 2003 and the advance to be made to the Working Capital Fund by each country was as follows:
Working Capital Fund
141. The Conference elected Colombia to the Council seat for the Latin America and the Caribbean Region for the outstanding period December 2003 to December 2004.
142. The Conference then elected the following Member Nations as Members of the Council:
Period December 2003 to 31 December 2006
Latin America and the Caribbean (3)
|Near East (1)||
Iran, Islamic Republic of
South West Pacific
Period 1 January 2005 to November 2007
Latin America and the
Near East (2)
North America (2)
South West Pacific
143. The Conference had before it one nomination for the office of Independent Chairman of the Council.
144. The Conference, after a secret ballot, appointed Aziz Mekouar (Morocco) to the office of Independent Chairman of the Council and adopted the following Resolution:
Having proceeded to a secret ballot, in accordance with the provisions of Rule XII of the General Rules of the Organization:
(Adopted on 5 December 2003)
145. In accordance with Article 6(C) of the Regulations of the Joint Staff Pension Fund, the Conference appointed two members and two alternate members to the Staff Pension Committee as follows and for the periods specified below:
For the period 1 January 2004 – 31 December 2006
His Excellency Mengistu Hulluka
Her Excellency Doña Victoria Guardia Alvarado de Hernández
For the period 1 January 2005 – 31 December 2007
Mr Zoltán Kálmán
Mr Bruce Berton Alternate Permanent Representative of the United States of America to FAO
146. The Conference decided that its Thirty-third Session should be held in Rome from 19 to 26 November 2005.
147. One Member stressed the importance of strengthening the work of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and of increasing the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs) therein.
19 C 2003/8; C 2003/II/PV/3; C 2003/II/PV/4; C 2003/PV/13.
20 C 2003/4; C 2003/II/PV/3; C 2003/II/PV/4; C 2003/PV/13.
21 C 2003/3; C 2003-Corr.1 (Spanish only); C 2003/LIM/6; C 2003/II/PV/1; C 2003/II/PV/2; C 2003/II/PV/4; C 2003/PV/12; C/2003/PV/13.
22 The total approved Appropriation (Net) incorporates an effective programme reduction of US$51,200,000 from the previous biennium.
23 C 2003/LIM/14; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
24 C 2003/LIM/15; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
25 C 2003/LIM/16; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
26 C 2003/LIM/18; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
27 C 2003/LIM/19; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
28 C 2003/LIM/27; C 2003/PV/9; C 2003/PV/14.
29 C 2003/LIM/21; C 2003/PV/3; C 2003/PV/14.
30 C 2003/LIM/21; C 2003/PV/3; C 2003/PV/14.
31 C 2003/5; C 2003/LIM/7; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
32 C 2003/INF/13; C 2OO3/LIM/8; C 2003/PV/11; C 2003/PV/14.
33 C 2003/LIM/26; C 2003/PV/10; C 2003/PV/14.
34 C 2003/LIM/17; C 2003/LIM/17-Add.1; C 2003/LIM/23; C 2003/PV/12; C 2003/PV/14
35 / C 2001/8; C 2001/8-Corr.1-Rev.1; C 2001/LIM/4, C 2001/II/PV/1, C 2001/II/PV/6; C 2001/PV/14.
36 / CL 124/15 - Add.1
37 / These figures would be updated on a biennial basis in accordance with the information in the PWB.
38 C 2003/PV/12; C 2003/PV/14.
39 C 2003/10-Rev.1; C 2003/PV/2; C 2003/PV/14.
40 C 2003/11; C 2003/LIM/25; C 2003/LIM/26; C 2003/PV/10; C 2003/PV/14.
41 C 2003/9; C 2003/LIM/26; C 2003/PV/10; C 2003/PV/14.
42 C 2003/PV/12; C 2003/PV/14.
43 C 2003/PV/12; C 2003/PV/14; C 2003/PV/14.
44 C 2003/PV/12; C 2003/PV/14.