CL 127/INF/13


Council

Hundred and Twenty-seventh Session

Rome, 22 – 27 November 2004

SUMMARIES OF THE MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS OF REGIONAL CONFERENCES HELD IN 2004

Table of Contents


TWENTY-THIRD FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA

TWENTY-SEVENTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST

TWENTY-EIGHTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE

TWENTY-SEVENTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

 


TWENTY-THIRD FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA

Johannesburg, South Africa, 1 – 5 March 2004

Report on FAO Activities in the Region 2002-2003 (ARC/04/2)

The Conference:

1. Welcomed the comprehensive report presented by the Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Africa (ADG/RR) and commended the active role that FAO is taking in supporting African Agriculture, particularly the NEPAD-CAADP.

2. Recommended that the next Regional Conferences should be organized in a way that country statements focus only on key success stories to share with others.

3. Noted that selected FAO achievements in individual countries could be of high interest to neighbouring countries because of the cross-border implications; and therefore recommended that FAO should adopt the sub-regional approach when implementing such programmes.

Implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP): Progress Review (ARC/04/4.1) and related Sub-items

For the attention of Governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the African Union (AU) and NEPAD

The Conference:

4. Recommended the establishment of a Forum of Permanent Secretaries in order to support and ensure the implementation process for the CAADP at the national, regional and continental levels in an effective and coherent manner.

5. Recommended setting up CAADP focal points at national level to drive the process.

6. Urged that annual reports on CAADP Implementation are prepared by the NEPAD Secretariat.

7. Urged the NEPAD Secretariat to work with FAO and other development partners to set up a clear mechanism for monitoring the progress of the CAADP, with well-defined performance indicators and specific time-frame.

8. Stressed the need for NEPAD and the African Union (AU) to consider including the agricultural sector in peer review to support good governance for implementation, in line with the existing established principles of the AU.

9. Recommended that NEPAD works with the AU to establish a CAADP Support Group.

10. Recommended that particular attention be given to the improvement of fertilizer availability, affordability and production in Africa, on the basis of regional cooperation and involvement of the private sector; in this respect, the Conference unanimously adopted the Resolution ARC/04/RES.

11. Recommended to countries that had not done so, to engage with FAO to review policies and strategies, and the development of medium-term investment plans and bankable projects.

12. Urged the NEPAD Secretariat and FAO to continue to facilitate exchanges of experiences on success stories among countries in Africa.

13. Recommended that the AfDB infrastructure programmes for the development of rural infrastructure should support food production and market access.

14. Recommended that mainstreaming gender issues should be integral to all CAADP strategy programmes.

15. Stressed the need to do further work to clarify the concept and process of establishing African Centres of Excellence as a basis for facilitating capacity-building and sharing experience.

16. Requested that the implementation of CAADP should take into account the specificity, peculiarity, and the challenges of Small-Island Developing States.

17. Urged member countries to ensure that the 10% budget allocation for investment in agriculture and rural development should be justified by good returns.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

18. Urged FAO to assist member countries to develop sustainable approaches to soil fertility improvement based on integrated natural resources management and greater integration of crop-livestock systems.

19. Recommended further consultations with national governments and farmers' organizations to identify concerns, priorities and areas of investments when preparing the CAADP companion document on integrating forestry, fisheries and livestock sectors.

20. Recommended that FAO and other development partners should assist member countries in better articulating and defining the scope and application of the 10% budget allocation for investment in agriculture and rural development .

Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) for Food Security in Africa (ARC/04/5)

For the attention of Governments, REC and AU/NEPAD

The Conference:

21. Acknowledged that IWRM was now considered the most appropriate framework for "good water governance" and recommended its adoption as a strategic framework for all water-related socio-economic development activities.

22. Further acknowledged the risks associated with rain-fed agriculture in semi-arid and drought-prone areas and urged member countries to adopt drought-mitigation measures in those areas subject to frequent weather vagaries leading to famine and food-aid requirements.

23. Recognized the important role of irrigation in food production and poverty reduction and recommended that irrigation should be integral to any strategy to sustainably increase agricultural output .

24. Noted that some 60% of water withdrawn for agricultural production was lost in a variety of ways and recommended the adoption of water saving techniques and better on-farm water management in order to improve irrigation water efficiency and productivity.

25. Further noted the 25 action-points; which confirmed the existing commitments and the new actions that were proposed by the Heads of State and Governments in their February 2004 Sirte, Libya Declaration on Agriculture and Water in Africa within the context of NEPAD and recommended that:

    1. The AU working with Member Countries should take appropriate steps to translate the commitments into concrete actions.
    2. National governments should ensure public investment and private sector participation in the development of water resources for agricultural production and food security.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

26. Recognized the advantages of small-scale irrigation and requested FAO to continue its assistance to Member Countries to expand their water management programmes within the framework of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS); the Conference however emphasized the need to build environmental and health-protection measures into irrigation development programmes.

Standing Item: Follow-up to the World Food Summit (WFS) and The World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl) - Regional Dimensions (ARC/04/3)

For the attention of Governments and REC:

27. The Conference recommended that:

    1. Governments should step up their efforts to translate the commitments made at the WFS and at the WFS:fyl into actions.
    2. Governments should coordinate policies and programmes and have holistic inter-disciplinary approach to tackle food insecurity in all its dimensions.
    3. Governments should accord high priority to food and the agricultural sector within a broad-based development framework, and that development approaches, strategies and programmes be nationally owned.
    4. Regional Economic Communities should explore creating internal funding mechanism to help implement their respective regional programmes for food security.

For the attention of FAO

28. The Conference recommended that:

    1. FAO should ensure that apart from cassava and rice, other staple crops such as maize be given due emphasis in CAADP, in view of their importance in the diet of many Member Countries; research should be undertaken to diversify in the long-term diets in countries where maize is the main food commodity.
    2. FAO should continue to provide its technical assistance to Member Countries towards the work on grain reserves in view of their importance at national, sub-regional and regional levels.

Contribution of Agricultural Research and Extension to Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the African Region (ARC/04/INF/5)

For the attention of Governments

29. The Conference:

    1. Stressed the need for an African Research Agenda to cover all sub-sectors.
    2. Especially underlined the necessity for the effective use of existing technologies and the opportunities provided by "intra-Africa technical cooperation".
    3. Recommended that more attention should be given to the funding of Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (ARES) in line with financial commitments made by the Governments, regional and international funding agencies.

For the attention of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), FAO and NEPAD

30. The Conference:

    1. Endorsed in principle the recommendations to hold sub-regional conferences on agricultural research and extension and requested FARA, FAO, NEPAD and other stakeholders to work out the details.
    2. Urged NEPAD, FARA and FAO to report on progress at the next FAO Africa Regional Conference.

The Bushmeat Crisis in Africa: Conciliating Food Security and Biodiversity Conservation in the Continent (ARC/04/INF/7)

For the attention of Governments, FAO and Other Development Partners

31. The Conference noted that bushmeat continues to play an important role in providing protein, medicine and in providing income for rural poor and therefore recommended:

    1. That Governments, FAO and international partners should accord particular attention to identifying appropriate alternative solutions and help implement them in collaboration with local communities.

For the attention of FAO

32. The Conference:

    1. Recommended that FAO in collaboration with relevant international and regional organizations should initiate studies on sanitary risks and eventual diseases transmitted through bushmeat consumption.
    2. Requested FAO to work with Member countries and development partners to continue sharing experiences on the subject.

HIV/AIDS and the Food Crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa (ARC/04/INF/8)

For the attention of Governments

33. The Conference recommended that:

    1. Governments should take urgent action to review and strengthen agricultural policy and programming in order to mainstream HIV/AIDS considerations in sectoral strategies for agricultural development.
    2. All parties involved should aim to reach an integrated response to cover the emergency-to-development continuum whilst maintaining a humanitarian perspective.

For the attention of FAO and other Development Partners

34. The Conference recommended that development partners, especially UNAIDS, WHO, FAO and the World Bank in close cooperation with NEPAD should increase their budget allocation to strengthen the institutional capacity to combat the epidemic through increasing collaboration with Governments, NGOs and Civic Society.

International Year of Rice – 2004 (ARC/04/INF/9)

For the attention of Governments

35. The Conference:

    1. Noted the presentation and particularly the high potential contribution of NERICA rice to food security and urged Member Countries to promote the dissemination of the new rice variety.
    2. Encouraged Member Countries to observe the International Year of Rice.

Fourth FAO/NGO/CSO Consultation for Africa

For the attention of Governments

36. The Conference recommended to:

    1. Increase public funding to agriculture/rural sector by at least 10% rising to 30%.
    2. Formulate and promote policies and programmes that support family-based agroecological approaches to agriculture.
    3. Commit themselves to promoting the establishment of national alliances against hunger enshrining the Right to Food, with strong civil society involvement.
    4. Apply for TCP funding for Farmers' Organizations capacity building.
    5. Work on mechanisms of involving Farmers' Organization/Civil Society Organization (FO/NGO/CSO) in development policy programmes and projects and initiatives such as NEPAD.
    6. Address problems that make farming difficult and unprofitable: funding, infrastructure, markets, peace and security.
    7. Involve FO/NGO/CSO in international protocols and agreements like WTO that affect the rural people.
    8. Commit themselves to enhance sub-regional integration to promote inter-regional trade.

For the attention of FAO

37. The Conference recommended that FAO should:

    1. Provide support to NGO/CSO/FOs to enable their effective participation in the NEPAD/CAADP.
    2. Contribute to promote policy dialogue between NGO/CSO and Governmental actors at national and regional levels.
    3. Sensitize FAO country offices on the need to strengthen their relations with NGO/CSO and promote policy dialogue with Governments.
    4. Designate focal points for FAO-NGO/CSO relations in the FAO country offices in order to promote cooperation with NGO/CSOs/FOs at the national level.
    5. Support and involve Farmers’ Organizations in its programmes and projects by working out a clear mechanism of participation, particularly in the Special Programme for Food Security at national and regional level.
    6. Encourage the use of TCP funding for the capacity building of FOs.
    7. Contribute to the strengthening of the International Planning Committee (IPC) networking in the Africa Region and assist the network in the implementation of its plan of action.
    8. Assist NGO/CSOs/FOs in mobilizing resources required for the implementation of their activities.

FAO/AfDB Round Table on Financing Agricultural and Rural Development

For the attention of Governments and Development Partners

38. The Conference agreed that:

    1. Governments should continue to review agricultural policies and legislative frameworks to create an enabling environment for making better use of development resources.
    2. Ministries of Agriculture should become more effective as "champions" of the agricultural sector and the rural poor and in securing a larger share of PRSP and HIPC resources.
    3. Governments should ensure that investment funds reach the farmers themselves, since they are the primary producers of wealth in most African countries.

39. The Conference emphasized:

    1. The need for small-scale, low-cost participatory approach.
    2. The need for financing institutions and development partners to streamline their own procedures in project processing, procurement, disbursement and monitoring.
    3. Furthermore, the role of Governments in engaging local stakeholders, i.e. the private sector, farmers, development finance institutions, as well as development partners and finance institutions in increasing investment in agriculture.
    4. The need to further examine the question of preferential interest rates for small-scale farmers and other options for rural finance.

40. The Conference recommended that agriculture's contribution to the economic growth and its role as a productive sector in the economy should be recognized and reflected in budgetary allocations.

Other Matters

For the attention of Governments

41. The Conference decided that Rome-based Permanent Representatives should continue their discussion with FAO and WHO to agree on the time and the venue of the proposed regional conference on food safety for Africa.

For the attention of FAO

42. The Conference recommended that FAO should consider the use of Portuguese language during the 33rd Session of the FAO Conference in 2005.


TWENTY-SEVENTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST

Doha, State of Qatar, 13 – 17 March 2004

General Debate

For the attention of Governments

The Conference called upon Governments to:

43. Review the document “Agreement for the Establishment of the Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa” and forward their consent or views to the ADG/ FAO Regional Representative for the Near East.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference requested FAO to:

44. Act, through its Regional Office for the Near East, as focal point for follow-up with interested countries towards the establishment of the Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa, as applicable in FAO rules and regulations.

45. Continue providing support to member countries, especially those facing major food crisis as a result of natural disasters or conflict situations.

Follow-up to the World Food Summit and World Food Summit: fyl - Regional Dimensions (NERC/04/3)

For the attention of Governments

46. The Meeting called upon Governments to:

    1. Give due attention to developing and updating national strategies for agricultural development, with particular attention to sustainability, competitiveness, marketing and food security, as well as to formulating Regional Programmes for Food Security.
    2. Encourage regional co-operation initiatives such as establishing a coordinated stand in the framework of multilateral agricultural trade negotiations, harmonizing agricultural policies and relevant legislations, promoting intra-regional agricultural trade and strengthening technical cooperation among countries of the Region.
    3. Support the newly established Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies –NENARNAP- and the Regional Network on Drought Management for the Near East and the Mediterranean, as well as other existing regional agricultural networks/associations, including: AARINENA, AFMANENA, CARDNE, NENARACA.
    4. Intensify efforts to improve human resources development at all levels in the agricultural sector, with emphasis on reinforcing national agricultural research, technology-transfer, marketing and extension institutions; and
    5. Increase investment in agriculture and rural development, and support the role of the private sector.

For the attention of FAO

47. The Meeting requested FAO to:

    1. Support member countries in formulating appropriate national and regional strategies and programmes addressing sustainable agricultural development and food security.
    2. Continue to support the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies – NENARNAP – and the Regional Network on Drought Management for the Near East and the Mediterranean, as well as other existing regional agricultural networks/associations.
    3. Assist member countries in enhancing human resources’ capacity, introducing appropriate institutional and policy reforms related to changes in international and regional economic environment and continue providing technical support and capacity building for national experts on WTO and other multilateral agricultural trade negotiations.
    4. Assist member countries in strengthening national research, extension and marketing institutions, micro-agro enterprises, as well as strengthening extension/research linkages with due consideration to successful initiatives in the Region such as the Virtual Extension/Research Communication Network (VERCON); and
    5. Conduct a study on the impact of the Separation Wall on the agricultural sector and food security in the Palestinian Territories and mobilize financial support for rehabilitation of the agricultural sector.

International Alliance Against Hunger

48. The Meeting agreed that National Alliances could be important catalysts in mobilizing political will and resources at national and international levels, and could play a key role in reducing hunger. It was also agreed that a twin-track approach would address food security in all its dimensions mainly availability, accessibility/utilization and stability of food supplies.

Towards Improved Water Demand Management in the Near East (NERC/04/4)

For the attention of Governments

49. The Meeting called upon Governments to:

    1. Review water-related policies to introduce measures for reducing water loss and pollution, with a major focus on water scarcity and drought preparedness and mitigation as well as on establishing/reviewing water regulatory frameworks.
    2. Enhance water use efficiency and consider the potential of cost recovery of irrigation services such as operation and maintenance costs.
    3. Adopt structural adjustments to water demand and watershed management, including human resources development in agricultural water management, institutional reforms, organization of beneficiaries and their participation in irrigation schemes management, involving the private sector with emphasis on farmers and irrigation service providers; and
    4. Promote usage of non-conventional water resources and support research on the safe reuse of treated wastewater and of brackish and saline water, giving due attention to rainfed agriculture, improving water-use efficiency and crop management, and the development of drought and salt-tolerant crop varieties.

For the attention of FAO

50. The Meeting requested FAO to:

    1. Continue providing technical assistance to member countries in policy, regulatory and institutional review processes and their implementation.
    2. Assist member countries in the development, promotion and adoption of adapted technological packages on water demand and watershed management.
    3. Support capacity building and facilitate exchange of experiences and information among member countries on relevant aspects of improved water management in agriculture.
    4. Organize a regional workshop on water-harvesting and flood management to assist countries in developing appropriate strategies. In this respect, Iran offered to host and support such an event; and
    5. Advocate for improved water productivity in agriculture.

Food Safety and International Trade in the Near East Region (NERC/04/5)

For the attention of Governments

51. The Meeting called upon Governments to:

    1. Modernize food control systems by creating a proper regulatory framework, strengthening the capacity of food inspection services, upgrading the capacity of food control laboratories, and clarifying the roles and responsibilities of relevant national institutions in order to minimize duplication.
    2. Improve the capacities of national scientific and technical expertise and enhance participation in the activities of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.
    3. Implement quality assurance systems in food production and processing; and
    4. Strengthen the capacities for national food-borne diseases surveillance and create a rapid alert system and mechanism for communication with food control authorities for implementing necessary corrective measures, as well as in raising consumer awareness on these issues.

For the attention of FAO

52. The Meeting requested FAO to:

    1. Continue providing support to strengthen the capacity of countries to manage food safety, through the provision of appropriate needs-based technical assistance, at regional, sub-regional and national levels, within the available financial and human resources of the Organization, and in collaboration with WHO; and
    2. Use appropriate mechanisms to facilitate communication and information/ experience exchange in food-borne disease surveillance among countries of the Region, as well as information about food-borne hazards.

Establishment of the Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa (AHCNENA) (NERC/04/6)

53. The Meeting appreciated the invitation extended by Kuwait to host and support the Commission, when established.

54. Following a thorough discussion, the Meeting resolved to refer the “Agreement for Establishment of the Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa” to the Ministerial Segment for a final decision.

Other Matters

55. The Conference noted with appreciation, FAO efforts in combating desert locust, through its EMPRES programme. It urged donor countries to provide urgent support for control of desert locust and bird swarms in the Western Region.

56. The Conference appreciated FAO’s new programme for bridging the rural digital divide, and invited support for development of global partnerships to harness information and knowledge for enhancement of food security and poverty reduction, as well as human and institutional capacity building in this regard.

Roundtable on Financing Agricultural Development in the Near East

57. The Meeting welcomed FAO’s initiative for holding, in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, the Roundtable Meeting on Financing Agricultural Development in the Near East as a side-event to the Regional Conference. The Roundtable aimed at spearheading the discussion on the need and importance of increasing financial flows towards agricultural development. The Meeting requested FAO to consider holding follow-up events to further discuss ways and means to promote investment in agriculture, in collaboration with other partners-in-development and with countries of the Region. (Annex F includes the Summary Report of the Roundtable).

Sub-regional Strategy and Programme for Food Security for North Africa

58. The Meeting took note of the side-event held on Sub-regional Strategy for Food Security for North Africa. The side-event was attended by representatives of all member countries of the Sub-region. The side-event stressed the need and importance of continuing the technical collaboration between FAO and the Secretariat of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) in formulating a Sub-regional Strategy and Programme for Food Security. It was agreed to continue the dialogue in that respect and FAO expressed its readiness to consider providing possible technical support for such process, as needed and requested. (Annex G includes more information on this side-event).

NGOs/CSOs Consultation for the Near East

59. In light of the WFS Plan of Action, the convening of NGOs/CSOs Consultations coinciding with FAO Regional Conferences has become a tradition since the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. The present NGOs/CSOs Consultation convened from 11 – 13 March 2004 in Doha, Qatar, in parallel to the Regional Conference, involving a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). A short statement on this Consultation was presented to the Conference. The Conference took note of the NGO Consultation which underlined the importance of strengthened partnership with these active players to benefit from their experiences in working with local communities and grassroots organizations.

Proposed List of Topics to be considered for the 28th Regional Conference for the Near East

60. The Conference formed a committee, consisting of representatives of three Governments (Iran, Morocco and Sudan) plus the Rapporteur and a member of FAO Secretariat, to assist in collecting proposed topics by member countries and to prepare a list of topics for consideration by the Conference. The Conference reviewed the various topics compiled by the committee and requested the Conference Secretariat to submit the approved condensed list of topics (shown below) to FAO/HQ for consideration and possible inclusion in the Conference Agenda for the 28th Regional Conference for the Near East:

    1. Refinement of marketing rules and regulations for adjustment to economic reforms and the new socio-economic changes.
    2. Quality control and post-harvest handling of agricultural commodities.
    3. Agricultural extension, research and technology transfer for sustainable agricultural development.
    4. Organic farming in the Near East: issues, constraints and potentials.
    5. Investment for Agricultural Development: current situation, constraints and future prospects.
    6. The role of private sector in financing and implementing irrigation projects.
    7. Restructuring of the agricultural sector to cope with the new global changes.
    8. Evaluation of country experiences on farmers participation in management of public irrigation systems (water users association).
    9. Use of biotechnology and genetic engineering in support of rural development in the Near East: pros and cons.
    10. Identification of priority national and regional agricultural and food security projects and exploring possibilities for their finance and implementation.
    11. Strengthening regional cooperation in controlling trans-boundary animal diseases.
    12. Promotion of intra-regional livestock trade in the Near East Region.

Date and Place of the Twenty-eighth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East

61. The Conference welcomed the offer, extended by the Government of Yemen to host the 28th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East and requested the Director-General of FAO to take this kind offer into consideration when deciding on the date and place of the coming Conference, in consultation with member governments of the Region.


TWENTY-EIGHTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Guatemala City, Guatemala, 25 – 30 April 2004

General debate on trends and challenges in agriculture, forestry, fisheries and food security in the Latin America and the Caribbean, and FAO actions in the Region

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

62. Stressed that the international context had a strong bearing on the process of economic and social development of the countries of the Region, and consequently on their food security. An international system based on the principles of justice and equity was needed, as this would facilitate greater, more efficient and more timely bilateral and multilateral cooperation, with renewed opportunity for South-South cooperation. It also called for international undertakings on official development assistance to be honoured and for levels of investment and financial flows to be increased. There was a need to promote access to new technologies and to a fairer trade regime for goods and services, especially agricultural commodities.

63. Reiterated the importance of establishing a more equitable system of international trade and of fulfilling the mandate of the Ministerial Conference in Doha. Trade reform needed to include commitments by developed countries to significantly improve access to agricultural markets, to reduce all forms of export subsidies, with a view to their gradual elimination, and to substantially reduce domestic support which was causing market distortions.

64. Took note of the resumption of multilateral negotiations and urged countries to accelerate implementation of the mandate and spirit of Doha, so that the Multilateral Round could become the "Development Round".

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

65. Endorsed the initiatives that had been taken to follow up the priorities set at the 25th Regional Conference and the implementation of guidelines from the 26th and 27th Regional Conferences; in particular, the development of productive partnerships, the promotion of trust funds, the implementation of regional projects and the development of methodologies for policy and programme evaluation.

66. Stressed that the Region had specific requirements and conditions of poverty and food insecurity that needed to be investigated and analysed on the basis of tailored criteria, and that FAO support and technical cooperation was required to formulate a regional strategic plan. In this regard, the Conference requested the establishment of an institutional mechanism charged with the following functions: a) monitoring the evolution of FAO technical cooperation in the Region; b) making proposals for refining and modernizing FAO technical cooperation mechanisms; and c) dealing with strategies and resources for implementation and evaluation of FAO cooperation programmes in the Region.

67. Recognized the need to assess the negative impact of the geographical condition of landlocked developing countries on their food security, so that projects and programmes could be devised to mitigate their situation.

68. Recommended systematic consideration of emerging issues for FAO technical cooperation in the Region:

    1. A territorial focus to rural development.
    2. Multidimensional sectoral policies within a holistic approach that addressed the different rural interlinkages, especially the gender issue.
    3. Institutional development and its linkage with the decentralization process.
    4. Methodologies to assess the impact of policies, programmes and projects, not only ex post, but also during implementation as a mechanism to rectify, refocus and reinforce actions.
    5. Support to processes of subregional economic and market integration, and backing for technical cooperation actions between countries of the Region.
    6. Processes of urbanization and their impact on hunger in the urban environment.
    7. Agroecology.

69. Recommended that FAO explore ways of increasing technical cooperation in the Region, using participatory mechanisms and drawing upon existing national capacities. There was also a need to strengthen the complementarity of action of international cooperation agencies.

70. Recommended recognition of the need for differential treatment for the least developed countries and the island states, especially those that were net food importers. In this connection, the "Barbados Programme for Island States" constituted a solid platform for the development of their agricultural, forestry and fishery capacities. FAO should play a strong role in its implementation.

71. Recommended that FAO continue to strengthen the international negotiating capacity of the countries of the Region, given the increasing diversity and complexity of issues and ongoing negotiation in a variety of multilateral contexts (WTO, Codex, OIE and ICPM).

72. Recommended that FAO look into the development of an export-oriented processing industry of raw materials in which the Region was competitive, as a way out of poverty for small producers and farmers of the developing countries. In this regard, FAO should assess the impact of tariff escalation and peaks of the developed countries on the development of a higher value-added export industry in the developing countries.

Follow-up to the World Food Summit and the World Food Summit: fyl. Regional Dimensions (LARC/04/4)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

73. Stressed the interdependence that existed between poverty, inequality and the fight against food insecurity. While greater efficiency and competitiveness were needed, there was also a need to temper the current process which was fuelling economic and social inequality in the Region.

74. Recognized that there was strong agricultural diversity in the Region, with the coexistence of a modern competitive sector that was integrated into markets and a very small-scale producer sector that did not have the wherewithal to compete on markets and that required targeted policies reflecting a strategy of gradual development through farm and off-farm activity.

75. Noted that rural development and food security were long-term processes that went beyond one government’s term of office and required policies that would be maintained into the long term.

76. Recognized that a successful food security strategy called for concerted action of the State, the private sector, civil society and international cooperation occurring in a coherent, harmonious and highly participatory framework.

77. Endorsed the concerns expressed by COAG regarding the recommendations in the report of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Consultation on Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases (No. 916) which could have negative repercussions on the Region's agricultural sector.

78. Urged the governments of the Region to provide political support to the process of negotiation of the Set of Voluntary Guidelines to gradually achieve the Right to Adequate Food. The Conference also recognized the crucial role of international cooperation for the realization of this right.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

79. Recommended that FAO support the definition and configuration of new strategic orientations and recognized that current food security trends revealed an inadequacy of previous policies and a need to define new lines of action.

80. Recommended that FAO continue to analyse emerging trends and issues, and called for a greater involvement of countries in preparing related studies.

Initiative to review and update national agricultural, rural development and food security strategies and policies (LARC/04/INF/8)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

81. Acknowledged that current development policies implied co-responsibility of governments and private players, and that coordination was therefore vital for their implementation.

82. Emphasized the importance of the territorial approach to development when determining rural development and food security strategies. This approach addressed both farm and off-farm activity and considered the individual characteristics of different player groups, highlighting the role of women in the production and better allocation of resources, and the enhancement of living conditions and food security of rural populations.

83. Recognized that rural development and food security policies needed to reflect the requirements of competitiveness and transformation of production but, also, the priorities of combating poverty. These were multisectoral policies that had to involve different ministries, decentralized government bodies and private players in a highly complex framework that required a web of coordination.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

84. Recommended that FAO reinforce and broaden the scope of large-scale training mechanisms for all players in the priorities of rural development and food security, citing the example of the FAO-FODEPAL project, and requested that FAO secure additional funds for this purpose.

85. Recommended that FAO carry out studies on the process of rural outmigration, mainly to developed countries, in order to identify investment programmes based on remittances and develop projects targeting rural households and thus create new sources of employment to reduce this rural exodus.

Food security as rural development strategy (LARC/04/2)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

86. Recognized that the concept of food security was broad in scope and impact. It covered availability, access, quality, use and contributing factors; it also played an important role in eradicating poverty, in raising productive capacity for development, in promoting social inclusion and equality of opportunity, and in building a fair society.

87. Underlined the need for food security strategies to go beyond the alleviation of hunger or the search for ad hoc solutions to instances of malnutrition; the central strategic thrust needed to tackle the conditions that allowed undernourishment to exist. This meant addressing the root causes of social exclusion, marginalization and poverty, adopting a broadly participatory and people-centred approach.

88. Stressed that while economic growth was necessary to reduce poverty and eliminate hunger, it was not sufficient in itself. It underlined the importance of the nature of economic growth, in particular its distributive consequences and its impact on equity. It also pointed to the need for political will and for meaningful involvement of society as a whole, in order to direct development towards equity by means of structural reform for social inclusion.

89. Recognized that the causes of food insecurity had historical roots that reflected hitherto prevailing social conditions; this was compounded by the protectionist trade practices and agricultural subsidies of the developed countries. The Conference called for implementation of the three pillars of the Doha Round. It also stressed the need to strengthen international cooperation for development and to optimize opportunities for subregional integration and South-South cooperation.

90. Identified the need for greater involvement of the poor in order to strengthen their effective capacity to participate in the decision-making processes that affected their development.

91. Recognized that food security was strategically integral to rural development and that rural development was a core strategy for food security. Given this interconnection, it emphasized the need to view rural development as a basic territorial strategy and to reconsider agriculture in a perspective that went beyond primary production to include its vertical configuration in the form of production-processing-marketing-consumption chains.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

92. Recognized that food security analysis required more than diagnosis and that related strategy should include other than medium- and long-term policy orientations. It recommended that FAO carry out immediate and short-term actions, that it seek mechanisms to assess their impact and replicability, and that it develop new actions on a broad front that extended far beyond the promotion of production to include multisectoral approaches, involving government bodies, the private sector and civil society.

93. Recommended that FAO study the potential and means of broadening intraregional trade in smallholder agricultural products as an instrument of economic and social development.

Economic and social development as the basis for FAO actions in Latin America and the Caribbean (LARC/04/3)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

94. Indicated that any analysis of economic and social development needed to heed the interdependence that existed among the economic, social and cultural aspects of development, where the ultimate objective was to enhance the living conditions of the rural population. Development actions needed to centre not only on economic growth, but also on the distribution of resulting benefits and the easing of social inequalities and poverty.

95. Underscored the importance of monitoring and evaluating rural development programmes and projects in order to shape further cooperation actions. It indicated that monitoring and evaluation should not be limited to the administrative aspects of implementing agreed actions or applying assigned budgets, but should permit meaningful examination of the resulting impact. It recommended that such evaluation be carried out at different stages of project implementation in order to adjust programme delivery in real time or to draw lessons from experiences for the design of subsequent phases or projects.

96. Acknowledged that there was scope for improvement in the rural development technical cooperation programmes of international organizations; but it stressed that international assistance channelled through multilateral cooperation was more transparent and more independent of donor priorities, and could thus better reflect the requirements of beneficiary countries.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

97. Recognized the importance of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), and recommended that FAO, together with the countries of the Region, establish criteria and mechanisms to assess its impact.

98. Acknowledged its concern over the reduction of technical cooperation resources directed towards the countries of the Region, and referred in particular to the growing regional disparity in this regard. It indicated the need to use these resources in the most efficient manner possible and to set up mechanisms to monitor and evaluate FAO cooperation in the Region and thus sharpen its focus.

99. Reiterated the advantages of continuing to recruit national experts, when appropriate, given their thorough understanding of national situations and their lower cost to technical cooperation projects.

100. Recommended that the organization of FAO technical cooperation missions to individual countries be reviewed in order to safeguard against duplication and lack of coordination. It also called for a new look at relations between the different FAO entities (Headquarters, Regional Offices and Country Offices) in the preparation of technical cooperation projects, taking care that activities dovetailed with national capabilities. In this connection, the FAO Regional Representative briefed the Conference on a mission conducted to evaluate the FAO decentralization process in the Region.

101. Recommended that a standing institutional working group be set up, open to all the countries of the Region. This working group would monitor the evolution of FAO technical cooperation in the Region so that it could refine and modernize FAO technical cooperation mechanisms and devise strategies and means for implementing and evaluating FAO cooperation programmes in the Region. This would unfold in a strategic framework that was coherent with national realities and respected guidelines set periodically by the Regional Conference.

102. Recommended that the conclusions of this working group be presented to subsequent Regional Conferences, which would include a special meeting looking exclusively at technical cooperation.

FAO strategic framework for bridging the rural digital divide (LARC/04/INF/7)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

103. Recommended supporting FAO's new strategic “Programme for Bridging the Rural Digital Divide to Reduce Food Insecurity and Poverty”.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

104. Recommended that FAO present an assessment of implemented programmes and of ongoing activities to coordinate and unify national institutional efforts to bridge the rural digital divide.

105. Stressed that this new programme should consider the outcome of the World Summit on the Information Society and the initiatives of international organizations in the Region, including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

106. Welcomed the idea of developing South-South cooperation modalities for implementation of this new FAO strategic programme.

107. Recommended that the COAIM be maintained and that it prepare a meeting for 2005.


TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE

Montpellier, France, 5 – 7 May 2004

Follow-up to the World Food Summit and World Food Summit: fyl (ERC/04/3)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference underlined:

108. Regular monitoring of implementation of the goals of the World Food Summit (WFS) as an important part of the fight against hunger and malnutrition.

109. Agricultural development as an engine of economic growth and an essential component to reduce poverty and achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG).

110. The need to prioritize rural development and food security issues in national development strategies.

111. The importance of strengthening competitiveness of agriculture and non-agriculture sectors to raise rural incomes.

112. Good governance, enhancing the capacity of governments and administrations, and the prevention of conflict as essential factors for achieving food security.

113. The importance of land rights, land markets and an enabling environment for rural entrepreneurs, access to markets, credits, market information, advisory services and proper infrastructure.

114. The importance of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture as a tool to support the conservation of plant genetic resources and to encourage benefit sharing.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference underlined:

115. The importance of FAO’s work, both normative and operational in the European Region to support policy assistance and capacity building.

116. The leading role of FAO in the Collaborative Partnerships on Forests and the support of the Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of the Forests in Europe as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

Food Safety and Quality in Europe (ERC/04/4)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

117. Reaffirmed that food safety was a universal and non-negotiable right.

118. Confirmed recommendations endorsed by the FAO/WHO Pan European Conference on Food Safety and Quality (Budapest, 2002).

119. Agreed that food quality was not limited to food safety, but included nutritional and added-value characteristics such as forms of production (oriented to environmental protection, animal welfare and biodiversity) and production areas (designation of origin).

120. Agreed that traditional products and designation of origin, carefully controlled, could help to sustain employment in rural areas and contribute to rural development in both developed and developing countries.

121. Stressed that control systems and a risk analysis approach could help to improve food safety.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

122. Stressed the importance of FAO technical assistance in capacity building in food safety in order to comply with international food standards.

123. Requested that FAO assistance should focus on the fundamental need to assess the food composition, including the content of traditional foods for achieving food quality and nutritional balance and avoiding nutrition caused diseases (obesity, overweight, malnutrition).

Agricultural Research: Its role and contribution to sustainable rural development (ERC/04/5)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

124. Confirmed the emphasis on sustainable agriculture and rural development based on the needs of rural communities and their importance to society as a whole.

125. Acknowledged the various roles of agriculture and the importance of a competitive farming sector.

126. Recognized the need to broaden agricultural research to include rural development and research on impact assessment of the revised Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and to conduct more interdisciplinary research.

127. Confirmed the importance of renewing the focus on agricultural and rural development in the development assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and hunger.

128. Underlined the need for special attention to revitalize agricultural research and to increase relevant resources in the development assistance to developing countries to reduce poverty and hunger.

129. Recognized the role of the European research networks and urged the need to refocus them to promote multidisciplinary research supporting sustainable rural development throughout Europe.

130. Noted that the new EU member countries could facilitate coordination of further collaboration of the EU with Balkan and CIS countries in research and technology.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

131. Requested FAO to assist in monitoring the sustainability of European research networks and should facilitate CEE and CIS countries to establish linkages to international networks and access to international collaboration in agriculture research.

132. Noted the need for further support to new EU member countries in restructuring research institutions and in establishing private research.

Report on FAO Activities in the Region, 2002-03 (ERC/04/2)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

133. Urged Member Nations, who had not yet established a National Codex Committee, to make efforts to do so.

134. Stressed that ensuring land tenure was important for the development of the agriculture and rural sectors.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

135. Stressed that FAO activities in the European region were of paramount importance in assisting a number of countries to meet the challenges in agricultural and rural development.

136. Expressed its satisfaction with the increased FAO collaboration with other international organizations as well as its cooperation with European NGOs, and requested this collaboration be further developed and strengthened.

137. Urged FAO to strengthen its activities to implement the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Underlined that the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease(EUFMD) was a valuable resource in assisting European countries in combating this serious transboundary disease.

138. Welcomed the work of FAO in the area of land management and overall natural resource management.

139. Emphasized the importance of policy assistance and institution capacity building and welcomed FAO’s work in this area.

140. Welcomed the activities undertaken by FAO in the areas of fisheries and forestry.

141. Endorsed the recommendations contained in the document to strengthen agricultural production by supporting non-farm income generation activities in the framework of integrated rural development, including grass-roots level development and policy assistance at local level.

142. Welcomed the attention given to the new emerging issues such as organic farming, biotechnology and biosafety as well as assistance to transition countries in their efforts for EU integration.

Programme for Bridging the Rural Digital Divide to Reduce Food Insecurity and Poverty (ERC/04/INF/6)

For the attention of Governments

The Conference noted that:

143. More attention would need to be given to vulnerable groups to prevent their exclusion.

144. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was a powerful tool to be used for poverty reduction and to increase food security achieving the MDG, and to promote local democracy, transparency and accountability.

145. ICT should be implemented with a high degree of partnership among the various stakeholders.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

146. Stressed that FAO should focus its ITC efforts on areas with a comparative advantage and coordinate closely with other UN agencies within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).

147. Urged that donors and international organizations, including FAO, should assist in bridging the digital divide by incorporating their activities into national e-strategies within national poverty reduction programmes.

Date, Place and Main Theme(s) of the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for Europe

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

148. Welcomed the renewed offer extended by the Delegation of Latvia to host the next Conference and also welcomed the offer extended by the Delegation of Austria to host the 26th Regional Conference for Europe in that country.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

149. Agreed that both offers should be conveyed to the Director-General for decision in consultation with the Members of the Region.

150. Unanimously endorsed the statement made by the Delegation of Ireland to the effect that, given the recent enlargement of the European Union and the changes taking place within the wider region, the European Community and its twenty five member states was of the opinion that it was now opportune to reassess the objectives and format of the Regional Conference for Europe as well as of the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA).

151. Agreed that the Executive Committee of the ECA be mandated to examine how future conferences should be organized, with a view to presenting proposals for changes for the consideration of the European Regional Group during the preparation for the next (25th) FAO Regional Conference for Europe.

152. Further agreed that the Executive Committee should consider how the Regional Conference for Europe could best meet the needs of the membership and increase its relevance to the changing situation in the European Region.

153. Stressed that the Regional Conference for Europe should continue to facilitate debate on themes of relevance to the entire European Region and attract a high level of participation.


TWENTY-SEVENTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

Beijing, China, 17 - 21 May 2004

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

154. Called on member countries, working in close cooperation with international organizations, to urgently re-energize political commitment and increase resources to reduce the number of undernourished in the world and to ensure food security for all.

155. Urged member countries and FAO to make good use of the opportunities presented by the International Year of Rice (IYR) to highlight and strengthen the contributions of the rice sector in ensuring food security and sustainable livelihoods.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

156. Urged all countries to demonstrate flexibility and commitment in advancing multilateral agricultural trade reform to enhance food security and reduce poverty.

157. Encouraged donor countries to meet the commitments made in Monterrey and other fora to provide 0.7 percent of GDP as official development assistance.

158. Urged all member countries to collectively develop innovative approaches and mechanisms to overcome the funding constraints affecting the region.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

159. Called on FAO to intensify its efforts in the region in line with the Regional Strategic Framework that had been formulated to translate FAO’s Strategic Framework 2000-2015 into regional action.

160. Urged FAO to further decentralize and enhance regional capabilities to better address regional priorities.

161. Requested FAO, other international organizations and donors to provide targeted support to address the special challenges of the Pacific Island Countries through early warning systems, disaster preparedness and management, appropriate agricultural production systems, value-added processing, marketing and policy support.

162. Urged specific support for the South Pacific Regional Programme for Food Security.

163. Requested FAO to continue strengthening capacities for multilateral and bilateral agricultural trade negotiations, especially within the framework of the Doha Development Agenda, to reduce international trade distortions and provide increased opportunities for developing countries.

164. Encouraged FAO to further strengthen mechanisms for exchanging technical knowledge and experience through South-South Cooperation, Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC), regional networking, and other partnerships.

165. Urged FAO to strengthen its support for the development and effective implementation of national and international plans of action, codes and guidelines for responsible fishery and forestry practices, and efforts to eliminate unsustainable fishing and logging.

166. Requested FAO to continue its facilitating role as Chair of the Collaborative Partnership on Forests under the United Nations Forum on Forests.

Rice in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural development in Asia and the Pacific (APRC/04/2)

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

167. Recommended that member countries and FAO assess and prioritize the needs, both at national and regional levels, for interventions in technology, management, institutions and human resources, in order to enhance the role of rice in sustainable agriculture and rural development.

168. Urged member countries and FAO to prioritize actions and to seek support and collaboration through innovative and cost-efficient approaches including extra-budgetary support, Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) and other South-South cooperation mechanisms.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

169. Urged member countries to undertake the necessary restructuring of the rice sector, to the maximum extent possible, within an enabling environment of political commitment, participatory governance, freedom from civil unrest, macro-economic stability and gender sensitivity.

170. Encouraged member countries to classify rice lands according to those targeted for: (i) productivity enhancement and stabilization, (ii) rehabilitation, and (iii) shifting away from rice cultivation so as to enable governments and others to plan and invest more rationally.

171. Urged member countries to carefully prepare for natural disasters and take measures to mitigate the negative impacts on rice production.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

172. Requested FAO to assist member countries in implementing integrated approaches for increasing the productivity of rice-based cropping system by (i) upgrading technologies, (ii) improving farm management, (iii) arresting and reversing land degradation, (iv) reducing air and water pollution, (v) enhancing water-use efficiency, (vi) increasing access to land, (vii) strengthening institutions for participatory governance, (viii) improving access to financing, supporting cost-efficient marketing and other support services, and (ix) further developing capacity for sustainable rice production.

173. Requested FAO to provide continuing technical support to member countries in implementing relevant programmes for diversifying rural economies in ways that would lead to more sustainable agriculture and rural development.

174. Requested FAO to assist member countries in analyzing rice-commodity trade, accessing relevant market information, and adjusting to trade liberalization, particularly within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

175. Requested FAO to provide continuing technical support to member countries for efforts to reduce pre- and post-harvest losses in the rice sector through improved technology and management.

176. Requested FAO to increase efforts in facilitating and promoting collaborative activities in areas of quality improvement, grading and standardization, food safety, and trade promotion through networks and consortiums, especially within the framework of the International Alliance Against Hunger.

177. Urged FAO to work closely with relevant institutions of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and to increase support for strengthening national agricultural research systems in the region.

Institution Building to Strengthen Agriculture Extension (APRC/04/3)

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

178. Recommended that member countries and donor organizations should increase budgetary allocations for agriculture extension and reorient extension services to allow them to effectively address the changing requirements and trends facing agriculture and extension.

179. Urged member countries and international organizations to ensure that agriculture extension is effectively geared toward supporting small-scale and resource-poor farmers, including ethnic minorities, elderly-headed farming households, women, youth, orphans, AIDS-affected families, physically and mentally disabled and other under-privileged individuals.

180. Urged FAO to work with member countries and other partners to identify and share information on “best practices” and methods for making use of new information communication technologies (ICTs).

181. Encouraged member countries and FAO to support participatory approaches to information delivery, including farmer-to-farmer exchanges, multi-purpose Farmer Field Schools, and other mechanisms that draw upon the existing knowledge of farmers.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

182. Urged member countries to strengthen partnerships among the various extension service providers and to involve them fully in the delivery of extension support whenever appropriate.

183. Urged member countries to decentralize extension services and devolve resources to local extension service providers whenever possible.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

184. Requested FAO to examine the correlation between trends in extension spending and changes in the number of farmers engaged in agriculture.

185. Requested FAO to provide advice to member countries on the most effective agriculture extension approaches and delivery mechanisms and to support measures for strengthening the capacity of national agriculture extension services.

186. Urged FAO to develop a concrete action plan, including prioritization of recommended actions, for supporting member countries in reorienting agriculture extension services and strengthening extension capabilities.

187. Requested FAO to continue providing support and guidance to member countries in reviewing and revising agricultural policies, including agricultural extension policies, as required.

Follow-up to the World Food Summit (WFS) and the World Food Summit: fyl - Regional Dimensions (APRC/04/4)

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

188. Called for increased investments in the fight against hunger, including at national levels and through international support.

189. Recommended that programmes to increase productivity be coupled with efforts to improve the marketing and management skills of producers.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

190. Urged member countries to adopt a twin-track approach to reducing hunger, combining promotion of rural and agricultural growth with targeted programmes to ensure that hungry people have access to adequate supplies of food.

191. Called for increases in agriculture and rural development investments in accord with the goals and commitments of the WFS.

192. Urged all countries to urgently review and appropriately adjust their public expenditure priorities to advance toward the goals of the WFS.

193. Encouraged all member countries to contribute to the achievement of substantial improvements in market access, and reduction of export subsidies and trade-distorting domestic support in line with commitments made at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in Doha, Qatar.

194. Encouraged member countries that were lagging behind in meeting the WFS goals to assess their national performance vis-a-vis the national and international commitments made earlier and provide the necessary political will to progress.

195. Requested countries to identify important gaps in policies, resource allocation and implementation capacities needed to achieve WFS goals.

196. Recommended that member countries that have not yet prepared national food and nutrition security strategies, with time-bound action plans, should to do so as quickly as possible, followed by effective support for implementation.

197. Urged member countries to mainstream food security as a national priority within national development policy frameworks and investment programmes, including country poverty reduction strategy papers (PRSPs).

198. Encouraged countries to improve safety nets against hunger, including public distribution systems and school feeding programmes.

199. Urged countries to strengthen programmes for rural income and employment generation.

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

200. Supported FAO’s initiatives at the global level to expedite progress in meeting the WFS targets, including the Anti-Hunger Programme, International Alliance Against Hunger, and the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS).

201. Supported FAO’s initiative to review and update national agricultural, rural development and food security strategies and policies.

202. Requested FAO to continue its support in strengthening national capacities to analyze trade issues, assist countries in formulating and updating national trade legislation, facilitate regional and sub-regional information sharing related to trade negotiations, and assist countries in enhancing competitiveness in terms of price and quality of products.

203. Requested FAO to work with countries that had achieved success in reducing the number of undernourished in undertaking case studies to identify the elements of success that might be disseminated and promoted more widely.

Sub-regional Strategy for Food Security (Pacific Sub-region) (APRC/04/5)

For the attention of Governments and FAO

The Conference:

204. Recommended that FAO and other international organizations support fully the implementation of the South Pacific Programme for Food Security (RPFS).

205. Requested FAO and other international organizations to work with Pacific Island Countries (PICs) to enhance capacity for agriculture marketing and trade, focusing on policy analysis, marketing and information systems and market access, including issues in relation to the World Trade Organization (WTO), sanitary and phytosanitory measures and product quality.

206. Urged FAO and other international organizations to provide increased technical assistance to PICs for environmentally sound agricultural development, including support for improved soil and nutrient management, crop-livestock farming systems, agroforestry, seed production, efficient water use, environmental protection and natural resource conservation, and management of fisheries and aquaculture resources.

207. Encouraged continued collaboration for the implementation of the RPFS through cost-effective mechanisms with South-South Cooperation.

For the attention of Governments

The Conference:

208. Urged PICs to develop and implement national strategies for food security, including prioritization of actions, and establish time frames and mechanisms for adequate financing.

Other Matters

For the attention of FAO

The Conference:

209. Requested FAO to provide improved guidance in the future with regard to procedures for addressing discussion items vis--vis information items, and urged FAO to link information items with discussion items whenever practical.