CL 127/9




Council

Hundred and Twenty-seventh Session

Rome, 22 – 27 November 2004

REPORT OF THE EIGHTEENTH SESSION OF
THE COMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURE

Rome, 9 – 10 February 2004

Table of Contents


MATTERS REQUIRING THE ATTENTION OF THE COUNCIL


APPENDIXES

A – Agenda
B – List of Documents
C – Countries and Organizations Represented at the Session


MATTERS REQUIRING THE ATTENTION OF THE COUNCIL

FAO’s Proposed Follow-up to the Report of Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet,
Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases (paras. 5-11)

The Committee:


I. INTRODUCTION

1. The Eighteenth Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) (Rome, 9-10 February 2004) was attended by representatives of 99 Members of the Committee, and by observers from six other Member Nations of FAO. Also participating were observers from one United Nations Member State, the Holy See, representatives of three United Nations specialized agencies and observers from one intergovernmental and 11 international non-governmental organizations having liaison status with FAO, and from two institutes of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. The countries and organizations represented at the session are shown in Appendix C.

2. In accordance with Rule XXXII of the General Rules of the Organization, the members of the bureau that was elected at the last, Seventeenth Session of the Committee, served in the same capacity for this additional session of the biennium: Mr Costa Ricky Mahalu of Tanzania as the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Hedwig W÷gerbauer of Austria as the First Vice-Chairperson and Mr Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Ali Harbi of Sudan as the Second Vice-Chairperson.

3. The Committee also appointed the following members to the Drafting Committee: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Guatemala, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mauritius, Sweden, and Turkey. Mr Willem Brakel of the United States of America was appointed Chairperson of the Drafting Committee.

A. Adoption of agenda and timetable for the session

4. Several delegations raised their concerns on the objectives of the meeting, including process and follow-up. These delegations also pointed out that rejection of The Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases1 (henceforth referred to as the Expert Report) would lead to the rejection of document COAG/2004/3, FAO’s Proposed Follow-up to the Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Upon receiving clarification from the Chair, the Agenda and Timetable were adopted.

II. FAO’S PROPOSED FOLLOW-UP TO THE REPORT OF THE JOINT WHO/FAO EXPERT CONSULTATION ON DIET, NUTRITION AND THE PREVENTION OF CHRONIC DISEASES

5. The Committee took note of the two documents before it: the Expert Report and document COAG/2004/3. The Secretariat noted that, in accordance with standing practice, the Committee was not required to consider the Expert Report for approval or endorsement. Nonetheless, several Members expressed the view that it would be necessary to comment on the Expert Report, in particular due to the nature of its recommendations and possible implications of the recommendations for world agriculture, and on a proposed FAO follow-up. The Committee therefore addressed the two documents together.

6. The Representative of WHO was invited to address the Committee. She explained that the WHO’s draft Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health had been considered at its 113th Executive Board in January 2004 and that, after a period of consultation with its members ending on 29 February 2004, the amended draft Strategy would be presented to the 57th Session of the World Health Assembly in May 2004.

7. The Committee generally acknowledged the growing burden of non-communicable diseases in both developed and developing countries, and that the public health and social expenditures and economic losses associated with these trends were rising. Members made various observations on the Expert Report. It was noted that the Expert Consultation had not been limited to dietary and lifestyle recommendations, but that the socio-economic and agricultural implications of the recommendations had not been addressed. A majority of Members expressed the view that the scientific basis for the Expert Report recommendations was inadequate and that the application of its global recommendations at individual country level would need to take into account the specific circumstances of each country. In particular, these Members questioned whether it was valid to establish population-nutrient intake goals for individual dietary factors in isolation from considerations of energy balance.

8. Many Members supported that the recommendations of the Expert Report could be a useful resource for governments in considering nutritional recommendations, in order to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases. However, the Committee agreed that the subject is complex and that further studies by Member States at national and regional levels would be required. Members stressed the importance of nutrition education, so that individuals and families could make informed dietary choices.

9. Following these observations, and considering FAO’s work in this field, Members called for additional information and analysis to enable them to address, in a more deliberate, science-based manner, the questions that had been raised. It was also suggested that, in accordance with its core mandate, FAO continue its collaboration with WHO on diet, nutrition and non-communicable diseases, and provide Members with policy advice on nutrition and healthy diet, to prevent such diseases. A thorough assessment would be needed in respect of the linkages between possibly changing food consumption patterns and non-communicable diseases, and of the possible effects of changing demand on agricultural production systems and commodity trade, as well as on supply responses through diversification, where appropriate. This should take into account the specificities of individual countries, population groups and dietary patterns.

10. Members agreed that addressing the issue of malnutrition was an absolute priority for FAO, and that adequate resources should be devoted to it and not diverted away from this objective.

11. The majority of Members expressed concern on the financial implications of any follow-up to COAG/2004/3.

III. OTHER BUSINESS AND DATE AND PLACE OF NEXT SESSION


A. Other business

12. There was no other business.

B. Date and place of next session

13. The Nineteenth Session of the Committee will be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 11 to 15 April 2005, as agreed by the Hundred and Twenty-sixth Session of the Council.

 

APPENDIX A



AGENDA

1. Adoption of Agenda and Timetable for the Session

SELECTED DEVELOPMENT ISSUE

2. Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

OTHER MATTERS

3. Other business

4. Date and Place of Next Session

REPORT

5. Adoption of the Report

 

APPENDIX B



LIST OF DOCUMENTS

COAG/2004/1

Provisional Annotated Agenda

COAG/2004/2

Proposed Timetable

COAG/2004/3

FAO’s Proposed Follow-up to the Report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

COAG/2004/INF/Series

 

COAG/2004/Inf.1

Report of a Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and
the Prevention of Chronic Diseases

COAG/2004/Inf.2

List of Members of the Committee

COAG/2004/Inf.3

Provisional List of Delegates and Observers

COAG/2004/Inf.4

Statement of Competence and Voting Rights Submitted by the European Community (EC) and its Member States

COAG/2004/Inf.5

Provisional List of Documents

 

APPENDIX C



COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED AT THE SESSION

MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

Afghanistan

Gabon

Nigeria

Algeria

Germany

Norway

Angola

Ghana

Oman

Argentina

Greece

Pakistan

Armenia

Guatemala

Panama

Australia

Haiti

Paraguay

Austria

Honduras

Peru

Bahamas

Hungary

Philippines

Bangladesh

Iceland

Poland

Belgium

India

Portugal

Bolivia

Indonesia

Qatar

Botswana

Iran, Islamic Rep. of

Romania

Brazil

Iraq

Samoa

Bulgaria

Ireland

San Marino

Burundi

Italy

Saudi Arabia

Cameroon

Jamaica

Senegal

Canada

Japan

Sierra Leone

Chile

Jordan

Slovakia

China

Kazakhstan

Slovenia

Colombia

Kenya

South Africa

Congo, Rep. of

Korea, Rep. of

Spain

Costa Rica

Kuwait

Sri Lanka

Croatia

Lesotho

Sudan

Cuba

Liberia

Sweden

Cyprus

Libyan Arab Jamahiriya

Switzerland

Czech Republic

Lithuania

Syria

Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Madagascar

Tanzania, United Republic of

Denmark

Malaysia

Thailand

Dominican Republic

Mali

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Ecuador

Mauritania

Tunisia

Egypt

Mauritius

Turkey

El Salvador

Mexico

Uganda

Equatorial Guinea

Micronesia, Federated States of

United Kingdom

Eritrea

Morocco

United States of America

Estonia

Mozambique

Uruguay

Ethiopia

Nepal

Vanuatu

European Community - Member Organization

Netherlands

Venezuela

Finland

New Zealand

Viet Nam

France

Nicaragua

Yemen

 

Niger

Zimbabwe

     

OBSERVERS FROM FAO MEMBER NATIONS NOT MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE

Cape Verde

C˘te d’Ivoire

Ukraine

Congo, Democratic Republic of

Malta

United Arab Emirates

     

OBSERVERS FROM UNITED NATIONS MEMBER STATES

Russian Federation

Holy See

 
     

REPRESENTATIVES OF UNITED NATIONS SPECIALIZED AGENCIES

International Atomic Energy Agency

World Bank

World Health Organization

     

OBSERVERS FROM INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development

   
     

OBSERVERS FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Associated Country Women of the World

International Cooperative Alliance

International Council of Women

International Federation of Agricultural Producers

International Raiffeisen Union

International Union of Food Science and Technology

International Union of Nutritional Sciences

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

World Federation of Trade Unions

World Sugar Research Organisation

World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations

 
     

INSTITUTES OF THE CONSULTATIVE GROUP ON INTERNATIONAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH

Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

International Plant Genetic Resources Institute




1 WHO Technical Report Series, No.916. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2003.