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At its Sixth Session the Council considered the subject of technical assistance for economic development and the record of its decisions is contained in the report of that session of the Council. Two resolutions were adopted. The first welcomed the proposals for an extended program of technical assistance; approved the principal of full participation by FAO; and requested the Director-General to bring the Council's resolution to the attention of the Ninth Session of the Economic and Social Council. In a second resolution the Council requested the Director-General to circulate to all member governments the report on an FAO supplementary technical assistance program; to avail himself of the widest possible advice on methods which have proved valuable in the development of underdeveloped areas; to examine the resources available for specialized advice; and to ascertain from governments their preliminary views regarding the most urgent needs for technical assistance.

The following conference documents show that effective action has been taken by the Director-General on each of the points covered in these resolutions:

C49/13, Technical Assistance for Economic Development;

C49/II/4, FAO Pre-Conference Regional Meetings, Summary of Recommendations and Suggestions Relating to the FAO Draft Program of Work for 1950 and to the Proposed Program of Technical Assistance for Economic Development;

C49/II/2, Technical Assistance for Economic Development-Analysis of Views Received and Methods Applicable; and

C49/II/13, Finance for Preliminary Work in Connection with Technical Aid for Economic Development.

The Council considers that the Conference might

  1. welcome the action taken by the Economic and Social Council (set out in C49/12) and the endorsement of that action which has already taken place in the General Assembly of the United Nations;

  2. suggest that the Conference place itself on record as recognizing the responsibilities placed on FAO in regard to technical assistance for Economic Development by the recommendations of ECOSOC as endorsed by the Assembly; and

  3. endorse the principles and the administrative arrangements set out in the resolution of ECOSOC and in the Annex I appended thereto presenting observations and guiding principles. (See C49/13.)

The Council recognizes that decisions in regard to the cooperation of FAO in the proposed expanded program and the methods which should be adopted is a matter for the Conference. The Council, however, having given preliminary consideration to the various papers prepared by the Director-General for submission to the Conference, suggests the following points for the especial consideration of the Conference;

  1. Authorization for the Director-General, pursuant to Financial Regulation IX (1), to accept on behalf of the Organization monies, goods, and services from the special account for technical assistance for economic development in such proportions as in the judgment of the Director-General will permit the effective discharge of the Organization's responsibilities under the expanded program of technical assistance;

  2. Authorization for the Director-General to establish a special fund, pursuant to Financial Regulation XII, for the monies and other resources received from the special account for technical assistance to be established by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to establish a budget for the monies and other resources received from the special account and to account for such monies and other resources in accordance with the accounting procedures of the Organization.

  3. Approval for the Director-General's undertaking activities in furtherance of the expanded program of technical assistance and that in so doing due regard should be paid to:

    1. the desirability of achieving effective co-ordination so as to avoid unnecessary duplication between the activities of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies under the expanded program of technical assistance, consistent with the over-all program of the Organization and the policies laid down by its Conference and Council;

    2. the most effective utilization of the funds and other resources available;

    3. the relative urgency of requests for technical assistance received from governments either directly or through the Technical Assistance Board and the feasibility of their execution;

    4. the need for entering into appropriate agreements with the participating countries in conformity with the principles enunciated in Annex I of Resolution 222 (IX) A of the Economic and Social Council; and,

    5. the importance of achieving full cooperation with the United Nations and the other specialized agencies by reporting to the Technical Assistance Committee of ECOSOC through the Technical Assistance Board with respect to the Organization's activities and expenditures in connection with the technical assistance program.

The Council further suggests that the Director-General be asked to submit an interim report on the Organization's participation in the expanded program of technical assistance to the Tenth Session of the Council and thereafter to report thereon regularly to the Council and the Conference.

The Council has given preliminary consideration to a Conference paper, C49/II/13, “Finance for Preliminary Work Regarding Technical Assistance,” and, being convinced of the importance of FAO's promptly and effectively discharging its responsibilities in the first year of the expanded program for technical assistance for economic development, suggests that the Conference should give careful consideration to the proposals of the Director-General for financing such preliminary work in advance of the availability of financial resources from contributing countries. The Director-General has explained the need for consultation with governments in the underdeveloped regions and local examination of their special problems in order that an integrated and effective program might be ready for operation as soon as funds under the expanded program become available. This calls for a strengthening of contacts with member governments in the regions and involves some limited expenditures for additional personnel and travel.

The regular budget for 1950 contains no margin which could be used for this purpose without serious prejudice to the regular operational program put forward. The Director-General has therefore suggested that a small withdrawal be made from the Working Capital Fund to finance this special and urgent work during the first half of 1950, so that if the resources for the expanded program are available by the middle of the year FAO will be in a position to undertake appropriate projects designed to achieve early results without any delay.

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