CL 128/9 |
Hundred and Twenty-eighth Session
Rome, 20-25 June 2005
REPORT OF THE NINETEENTH SESSION OF
Rome, 13-16 April 2005
MATTERS REQUIRING THE ATTENTION OF THE COUNCIL
1. The Nineteenth Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) (Rome, 13-16 April 2005) was attended by representatives of 104 Members of the Committee, and by observers from one other Member Nation 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 seven intergovernmental and 24 international non-governmental organizations having status with FAO. The countries and organizations represented at the Session are shown in Appendix C.
2. Mr David A. Harcharik, Deputy Director-General, made a statement on behalf of the Director-General, which is attached as Appendix D.
3. In accordance with Rule I of its Rules of Procedure, the Committee elected Mr Pavel Skoda of the Czech Republic as the Chairperson of the Committee, Mr Naved Masood of India as the First Vice-Chairperson and Mr Miguel Rossetto of Brazil as the Second Vice-Chairperson.
4. The Committee also appointed the following members of the Drafting Committee: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Congo (Republic of), Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe. Mr Emile Essema of the Republic of Congo was appointed Chairperson of the Drafting Committee.
5. The Committee noted that several side events had been organized outside the plenary to inform delegates on activities and initiatives in food and agriculture, and that brief oral reports will be made on these events under Item 8 – Other Business. The Agenda and the Timetable were adopted with one small amendment (in the scheduled time of the closing session).
6. The Committee welcomed the new format of the report reflecting the use of resources and main outputs delivered during 2002-03 in FAO programmes on food and agriculture.
7. It gave its general approval of the document and expressed appreciation that work in the 2002-03 biennium had focused on priority issues. Particular reference was made to the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and the implementation of international sanitary and phytosanitary agreements, food safety and Codex Alimentarius, capacity building for WTO trade negotiations, the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, and the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS). Further areas mentioned were EMPRES, nutrition, statistics, land tenure, SARD, horticulture, environmentally-friendly technologies and the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS).
8. The Committee requested that future extracts provided to COAG incorporate the foreword of the Director-General and the Executive Summary of the full Programme Implementation Report (PIR). It looked forward to further improvements in the reporting of progress towards the achievement of outcomes and impact taking into account the complementarity of the PIR and evaluation reports.
9. The Committee supported the main programmatic thrusts of the Medium Term Plan 2006-11 (MTP) and welcomed the submission of preliminary proposals on the Programme of Work and Budget 2006-07 (PWB) based on the MTP. It was informed that, in line with the decision of the 127th Session of Council, alternative budget scenarios, including for ZRG, ZNG and RG, would be presented in the Summary PWB 2006-07, and noted that the budget level would be discussed in other fora during 2005.
10. The Committee was informed of the comprehensive application of the criteria for priority setting approved by the FAO Conference in 1999. However, in the light of the increasing demands for FAO’s services, it stressed the need for further improvements in the prioritization of programmes, emphasizing that reflection in the MTP and PWB of the MDGs and the FAO Strategic Framework would strengthen basis for priority setting. It suggested that consideration be given to including some extra budgetary information and regional plans without increasing the length of the documentation provided to the Committee.
11. The Committee encouraged greater coherence among Programme Entities and intensification of cross-sectoral work through Priority Areas for Interdisciplinary Action (PAIAs) as well as enhanced cooperation with other UN agencies and other international organizations.
12. The Committee stressed the importance of agricultural and rural development in contributing to the reduction of the number of hungry and to the sustainable use of natural resources. However, it also noted the formidable challenges now being faced, such as natural disasters, pests and diseases, and the impact and opportunities of the liberalization of international trade on agriculture and the use of modern technologies, particularly by small-scale farmers in developing countries. It stressed that, while the responsibility for addressing these challenges lay with national governments, international collaboration and partnerships with other agencies, institutions, NGOs, and the private sector, was essential.
13. The Committee highlighted the need for capacity building at national and local levels, in the application of standards, the development and use of technology, and in multilateral trade negotiations. It also emphasized cross-cutting areas such as biotechnology, plant and animal genetic resources, biodiversity, water use, monitoring food insecurity and malnutrition, and access to information.
14. Members supported the proposed creation in the PWB 2006-07 of a new Programme Entity on “Implementing Voluntary Guidelines on the Right to Adequate Food in the context of National Food Security" to promote adequate implementation of these Guidelines, including training and capacity building, and the preparation of information and communication materials.
15. The Committee made the following observations to the priorities of Major Programme 2.1: Agricultural Production and Support Systems. It emphasized the importance of the work of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and of Codex-related work on food safety. Several Members expressed concern that the preliminary budget proposals would be insufficient to support the business plan of the bureau of the IPPC and urged that this priority area receives more regular programme funding regardless of the overall budget level for 2006-07.
16. The Committee stressed the importance of water management and land and water quality improvement. A proposal was made to incorporate the priorities identified by the FAO Netherlands Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems in the programme of work. The importance of continued and enhanced efforts for the progressive control of infectious animal diseases through the EMPRES programme, was underlined. The Committee stressed the importance of FAO’s capacity to control the desert locust and recommended that sufficient resources be allocated to enable it to assist in controlling locust invasions in the countries concerned. The concern was raised by many Members that there was insufficient Regular Programme funding for the Secretariats of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources.
17. The Committee noted the important role of Major Programme 2.2 – Food and Agriculture Policy and Development. It emphasized the importance of capacity building for WTO agricultural trade negotiations and appealed for increased resources in support of these activities enabling developing countries to participate more actively in the formulation of rules-based food and agricultural trading systems. The Committee stressed FAO’s comparative advantage in food and agricultural statistics and reaffirmed that priority be given to capacity building for strengthening national agricultural statistical systems including FIVIMS and work on Global Hunger Indicators.
18. The Committee confirmed the importance of the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) and requested FAO to strengthen its ability to respond to emergencies by allocating additional resources to Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions, which should be extended to pre-emergency assessments inclusive of production and trade estimates, as well as food aid projections.
19. With regard to Major Programme 2.5: Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts, the Committee noted the role of SARD, land tenure, HIV/AIDS, gender, agricultural research, the application of new technologies including biotechnology, and follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). The Committee welcomed FAO’s support to member countries through broadening the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) that has contributed to the improvement of food security and attainment of WFS goals in developing countries.
20. The Committee expressed appreciation for the document COAG/2005/4. It endorsed the approach set out in Table 1 for broadening the original SARD Programme Areas of Chapter 14 and agreed that FAO’s Strategic Objectives A.1, C.2 and D.1 were the most relevant for establishing a coherent framework for SARD-related activities and contributing to the achievement of the MDGs. The Committee endorsed the three programme thrusts associated with these Strategic Objectives while noting that the work programme should not necessarily be limited to a single priority within each thrust.
21. The Committee agreed that the SARD Initiative is an important instrument for fulfilling FAO’s responsibility as UN System Task Manager for WSSD follow-up on implementation of Chapter 14, Agenda 21. It welcomed FAO’s continued support for the SARD Initiative, concurred with the three action areas listed in paragraph 42, and appreciated the high degree of stakeholder participation. A number of delegates expressed the hope that the scope of the SARD Initiative would be enlarged in due course. It was noted that the project on SARD in mountain regions, initiated this year, could also contribute effectively to the SARD programme of work. It was further noted the importance of the development and strengthening of effective disaster risk reduction and tsunami early warning for the Indian Ocean.
22. The Committee appreciated the Secretariat’s progress on GAP since 2003. Many Members supported GAP as one priority for Thrust 2 of the proposed SARD framework although some Members requested further clarification on concepts and principles of FAO’s GAP approach. The Committee endorsed the FAO approach to GAP as set out in paragraph 27 of the document, that it should be non-prescriptive, voluntary and not create barriers to trade, but be consistent with existing regulatory instruments, such as Codex, IPPC and OIE. The approach should focus on promoting voluntary use of agricultural practices appropriate to local needs and capacities of farmers and their agro-ecologies. Several delegates reported on their successful experiences in developing GAPs suited to local conditions.
23. The Committee supported the further development of a GAP approach as one of the means to help countries respond to rapid developments in the agri-food sector, promote sustainable agricultural systems and supply chains, and encourage multidisciplinary FAO assistance to member countries. Several delegates stressed that many developing countries may lack the resources, organizational skills and technology needed to implement GAP. Many delegates urged that FAO provide increased assistance on GAP with particular emphasis on capacity building and technical assistance projects, awareness-raising, and information exchange.
24. The Committee welcomed and endorsed the proposal for FAO to convene an International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in 2006 as a critical element for FAO’s work programme on sustainable development, the implementation of Chapter 14 of Agenda 21 and to fulfil the commitments of the 1996 World Food Summit, the World Food Summit: five years later and the WSSD. The Committee considered that such a Conference would assist in mobilizing international support for increasing access by the poor to land and support services for sustainable rural development and poverty reduction within the overall context of development. The Conference would provide a forum for discussion and exchange of information on national policies and international cooperation. The Committee accepted with satisfaction the offer by the Government of Brazil to host the Conference.
25. The Committee emphasized that in order for the proposed International Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development in 2006 to be a successful one and fulfil its objectives, adequate preparation was required. In that context, the Committee recommended that the Secretariat, in consultation with Brazil and the regional groups as required, should elaborate proposals for the organization of this important event, including detailed financial and administrative implications for submission to the Council at its Hundred and Twenty-eighth Session in June 2005.
26. The Committee considered that FAO’s Interdepartmental Task Force (ITF) for SARD represented an effective instrument for achieving a holistic multidisciplinary approach for poverty reduction, agriculture and sustainable development. It stressed that FAO should give high priority and commit the necessary resources to SARD within the current programme of work and put a strong emphasis on efficient coordination.
27. It was noted that many more programme entities and SARD projects could have been included in the inventory of SARD-related programme entities and it was recommended to refine and complete it for COAG 2009. The Committee stressed that the adoption of SARD good practices require appropriate policies and services and that FAO’s work programme on policy is important in this respect. It was also suggested to use the COAG review of SARD in 2009 as foundation for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) policy debate on SARD later that year.
28. The Committee discussed document COAG/2005/5 entitled “FAO’s Strategy for a Safe and Nutritious Food Supply”. It was informed that the document was prepared taking into account the guidance provided by the Committee at its Seventeenth Session in 2003 and that it stressed the food chain approach to food safety.
29. The Committee acknowledged the importance of addressing food safety issues along the food chain and recognized the importance of ensuring access to safe and nutritious food. It generally supported the proposed FAO strategy for ensuring safe and nutritious food with its different components. It may also serve as a model for the development of strategies at the national level. It was noted that the definition of the food chain approach should be extended to cover consumer handling of the food after the point of purchase.
30. The Committee stressed the need for the strategy to emphasize capacity building and technical assistance in food safety for developing countries in implementing the food chain approach, as well as work on risk assessment and developing science-based standards. It was recommended that countries apply a step-wise and sequential approach to implementation of the food chain approach. In this context, the Committee called upon FAO to further enhance its support to developing countries and countries in transition.
31. The Committee highlighted the need for setting priorities, and to work closely with other relevant international organizations in the fields of food safety and nutrition, particularly in view of scarce resources.
32. Some Members underlined that the concept of “expected nutritional value” of food as presented in the document needed further elaboration. The Secretariat explained that this concept attempted to quantify what was meant by “nutritious food” and that it still requires further discussion between FAO, WHO and other relevant organizations.
33. The Committee commended the work done by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in developing food safety standards and guidelines. It stressed the need for the framework document to use terms and concepts fully consistent with the consensus reached in Codex.
34. Members welcomed the development of the International Portal on Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health (IPFSAPH) and the useful information it provides to countries on food safety regulatory issues and stressed the need to ensure its continuous development, constant updating and user-friendliness.
35. Several Members called for financial support for investments, including public, private and public/private partnerships, in the application of the food chain approach for improving infrastructure, services and technical and management capacity.
36. In conclusion, the Committee supported FAO’s proposed framework for a safe and nutritious food supply within a food chain approach. It endorsed the development of a strategic food chain approach and requested support for its implementation and allocation of funds from the regular budget, as well as extra-budgetary funds, recommending that the Council endorse the proposed strategic approach by FAO. In implementing the food chain approach, special attention should be paid to the needs of small-scale farmers in developing countries to better integrate into international markets.
37. The Committee expressed appreciation for the document COAG/2005/6, and endorsed and generally supported the document. It supported the proposal made in paragraph 51 to assist vulnerable countries and people to deal with unintended consequences of globalization in livestock markets.
38. The Committee agreed that the livestock sector has an important role to play in economic development and food security. It noted that fast growing and globalized markets create both benefits and challenges. Global food security is the concern of FAO Members. Global food safety is a particular concern of consumers from all nations. Producers should not be marginalized in globalized markets. The Committee noted the negative effects of trade barriers for the livestock sector and recognized the need for this issue to be addressed in the context of WTO negotiations.
39. The Committee endorsed the need for an enhanced capacity building programme of FAO in order to assist developing countries planning and implementing their strategy to take advantage of the opportunities and mitigate the negative effects of globalization of the livestock sector, as proposed in paragraph 51. It also endorsed the proposal in paragraph 51 for supporting work in development of decision support tools and documented examples. Clarification was requested on the details of work that might be undertaken in this area.
40. It was recognized that funds are available under Regular Programme for development of the framework proposed in paragraph 34. Some ongoing activities are mentioned in paragraph 47, and the synergy between the work of the Agriculture and the Economic and Social Departments is welcomed. However, additional funding would be needed to support the use of the framework by developing countries.
41. It was noted that a number of capacity building activities are being funded to assist countries in dealing with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations in the livestock sector, and it will be important for FAO to take account of these existing activities.
42. Several Members expressed concern for the problems caused by transboundary animal diseases. International efforts in support of disease control are appreciated. FAO’s recent contribution to avian influenza control, in collaboration with OIE, might serve as a model for further work.
43. The Committee agreed that bioenergy development and utilization can contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and sustainable development.
44. The Committee agreed that bioenergy, with its two components: wood energy and agro energy, is an intrinsically interdisciplinary topic which requires a more focused and integrated approach in FAO in order to more effectively make use of its multidisciplinary expertise. The Committee recommended that FAO should be ready to assist its member countries in their technical and policy decision-making processes regarding bioenergy, assuring that new rural infrastructures and additional employment opportunities stemming from bioenergy development will benefit food security.
45. Among the key technical areas recommended by the Committee for attention by FAO are the following:
46. In developing further activities on bioenergy, the Committee recommended that FAO prioritize them taking into consideration:
47. The Committee urged that FAO play an active role in the preparations of the 2006 and 2007 Sessions of CSD which will deal with energy. It also recommended that, in implementing its bioenergy activities, FAO seek further cooperation with others, such as UNFCCC, CBD and CCD as well as with national, regional and international organizations such as ECOWAS, IFAD, CGIAR, OECD, UN-Energy and IEA-Bioenergy.
48. The Committee concurred that FAO should enhance its capacities in the bioenergy field and recommended that, in order to make its work in this field more effective and visible, an Interdepartmental Working Group on Bioenergy be established to service a new Priority Area for Interdisciplinary Action (PAIA) in this field.
49. Finally, the Committee recommended that bioenergy receive human and financial resources commensurate with the above-mentioned activities and that the FAO Programme Committee considers the recommendations of this Committee in developing the future work plan of FAO. In addition, the Committee suggested that extrabudgetary resources be mobilized towards this aim.
50. The Committee was informed of the outcome of the side events that had been presented in conjunction with the Session. The events were: SARD and Civil Society; Water for Food and Ecosystems; Information, Biosecurity and Ethics; Bioenergy and Agriculture; HIV/AIDS and Other Diseases of Poverty; and the NEPAD/Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Briefing.
51. The Committee noted that such side events, which had involved Members of FAO and of other organizations and non-governmental groups, as well as FAO staff, provided a welcome opportunity for delegates and stakeholders to discuss in a less formal setting a number of important topics and initiatives. It appreciated the oral reports on the outcome of the side events.
52. The Committee looked forward to the assessment of alternative arrangements for the CCP and COAG as already agreed upon. The Committee has taken note of a proposal focusing on a transformation of the CCP and COAG into one Committee. The Committee requested the Secretariat to add this option in its assessment for consideration, of the positive and negative aspects, by the joint Programme and Finance Committees in September 2005 and the subsequent Council.
53. The Committee noted that its Twentieth Session would be held at FAO Headquarters in Rome in approximately two years’ time, tentatively during April 2007. The Director-General, in consultation with the Chairperson of the Committee, would determine the exact date, taking into account the overall meeting schedules of the Organization and other Rome-based agencies.
1. Election of Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons
2. Adoption of Agenda and Timetable for the Session
3. Review of FAO’s Programme of Work in the Food and Agriculture Sector
Selected Development Issues
4. Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs)
5. FAO’s Strategy for a Safe and Nutritious Food Supply
6. The Globalizing Livestock Sector: Impact of Changing Markets
8. Other Business
9. Date and Place of Next Session
10. Adoption of the Report
Provisional Annotated Agenda
Programme Implementation Report 2002-03
Medium-Term Plan 2006-2011 and Preliminary Information on Programme of Work Proposals for 2006-07: Major Programmes 2.1, 2.2 and 2.5
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) and Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
FAO’s Strategy for a Safe and Nutritious Food Supply
The Globalizing Livestock Sector: Impact of Changing Markets
Follow-up to Agenda 21 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)
Preparedness for Nuclear Emergencies
The International Portal for Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health
Impact of Sustainable Livelihoods Approaches on Poverty Reduction
Water Desalination for Agricultural Applications
Outcome of the International Meeting for the Ten-Year Review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (Mauritius, 10-14 January 2005) and FAO Follow-up
The FAO/Netherlands International Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems
Evaluation Reports for the Review of Programmes
New Partnership for Africa’s Development: Integrating Livestock, Forestry and Fisheries into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme - Brief
Statement of Competence and Voting Rights Submitted by the European Community (EC) and its Member States (MS)
List of Members of the Committee
Provisional List of Delegates and Observers
Provisional List of Documents
High-Level Panel on Sustainable Development – Third Meeting Final Report and Recommendations (Rome, 30-31 January 2005)
COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED AT THE SESSION
MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE
Democratic People’s Republic of
Democratic Republic of the
Republic of Korea
Republic of Moldova
Syrian Arab Republic
The Former Yugoslav
Republic of Macedonia
United Arab Emirates
United Republic of
United States of America
OBSERVER FROM MEMBER NATION NOT MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE
OBSERVERS FROM UNITED NATIONS MEMBER STATES
REPRESENTATIVES OF UNITED NATIONS AND SPECIALIZED AGENCIES
International Atomic Energy Agency
International Labour Organization
World Health Organization
OBSERVERS FROM INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Economic Community of Central African States
Economic Community of West African States
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture
League of Arab States
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
Southern African Development Community
OBSERVERS FROM NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Crop Life International
Heifer Project International
International Association of Agricultural Economists
International Catholic Rural Association
International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies
International Committee for Animal Recording
International Council of Women
International Farming Systems Association
International Federation for Home Economics
International Federation of Agricultural Producers
International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements
International Fertilizer Industry Association
International Indian Treaty Council
International Movements of Catholic Agricultural and Rural Youth
International NGO/CSO Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty
International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture
International Raiffeisen Union
The World Association for Animal Production
Women's International League for Peace and Freedom
World Family Organization
World Federation of Trade Unions
World Sugar Research Organization
Chairperson, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon, and welcome to the 19th Session of the Committee on Agriculture.
As you already know, this session of COAG is shorter and more condensed than previous ones. The Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) and this Committee on Agriculture are taking place, back to back, during the same week. This is in response to the request of the Governing Bodies to make efficiency savings, both for the Members and for the Secretariat. These arrangements are on an experimental basis, and will be evaluated by the Secretariat before reporting back to the September Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees. Thus, your feedback on the advantages and disadvantages of this streamlined arrangement would be most welcome.
Food security, poverty alleviation and sustainable development continue to be major concerns in today’s globalized and multi dimensional environment. The foundation for addressing each of these concerns lies in the agriculture sector, where the challenges are large and complex. There is, for example, an increasing and diversified demand for food and non-food agricultural products that needs to be satisfied. But, at the same time, natural resources must be protected and preserved; food quality and safety need to be ensured; and improved equity and livelihoods need to be achieved.
In addressing these challenges, FAO builds both on its inter-disciplinary capacity and on collaboration with external partners in the various sectors involved. These interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to our work are stressed in all the substantive topics of this session’s agenda. In addition, the High-Level Round Table on Agricultural Trade Reforms and Food Security, being held in parallel to this meeting, is an example of the integrated approach promoted by the Organization.
Because of the short duration of this year’s session, the timetable and agenda are tight. Over the next three days or so, you will be considering five substantive items. One of these is a traditional feature of COAG: FAO’s programme of work in food and agriculture. It is particularly important that we have your views and advice on the proposed thrusts in our programmes for agricultural production and support systems, food and agricultural policy development, and contributions to sustainable development. You are invited, in particular, to review and comment on new and changed programmes, and to make recommendations on programme priorities so that they may be reflected in the final proposals for the Programme of Work and Budget 2006-07.
In 2001, the Committee requested that Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) be on its agenda every four years. We are thus pleased to include a discussion of SARD on this year’s agenda. The document prepared for this item highlights the emerging context, recent achievements and lessons learned in SARD over the past four years. It also identifies future priorities, and seeks the Committee’s guidance on programme thrusts. One of these thrusts concerns good agricultural practices that, in 2003, the Committee asked be reviewed in conjunction with SARD. You will note from the paper before you that we have done that. I should also like to mention that SARD and civil society is the subject of one of the side events.
This session of the Committee will also resume a discussion initiated in 2003 on FAO’s strategy to ensure access to safe and nutritious food. The background document on this describes FAO’s food chain approach in achieving food safety, including the regulatory and non regulatory interventions needed to reduce risks. The proposed strategy calls on governments to support food safety programmes as a priority, and for FAO and partner agencies to continue to support the development of scientific, risk-based food standards, guidelines and recommendations through the provision of expert advice and the development and dissemination of necessary tools to assist in their implementation. We very much look forward to your views on this strategy.
In recent years, the livestock sector has evolved rapidly and dramatically in certain regions of the world. This important sector, traditionally based on locally available resources, has been supporting the livelihoods of some 600 million rural poor. The sector, though, is increasingly vulnerable to the threats and opportunities of globalization and trade liberalization. In particular, developing countries face strict demands for animal health control related to export markets. These demands can also affect those who produce only for the domestic market. We ask your guidance on the proposed approach and on the priority to be assigned to FAO’s programmes in addressing the impact of changing markets on the globalizing livestock sector.
We are also seeking your views on the future direction of FAO’s work to promote bioenergy. Bioenergy is interdisciplinary by nature. In the document presented to you on this item, suggestions are made for strengthening FAO’s work in two distinct, but inter-related, components: wood energy and agro-energy.
Other areas of FAO’s work are presented to the Committee for information, but you are, of course, welcome to comment on them if you wish. Amongst these, we are particularly pleased to report on the outcome of important events such as the International Meeting for the Ten-Year Review of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, and the International Conference on Water for Food and Ecosystems, which were held in Mauritius and in the Netherlands, respectively, early this year. Other information documents available for your review include: 1) a summary on the role of livestock, forestry and fisheries in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and 2) the Report of the Third High-Level Panel on Sustainable Development.
Side events have become a common feature of FAO’s technical committees, and during this session of COAG too a number of these events will take place. I hope that you will be able to participate in as many of these side events as possible, most of which relate to topics presented in the main and information documents of this session.
Mr Chairperson, ladies and gentlemen,
In closing, I would like to assure you that we attach the utmost importance to your views and guidance on the various issues put before you, and that we will do our best to follow your advice.
I thank you for your attention, and wish you a most successful and productive meeting.