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Report of the Fourth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers 1

11. The Council endorsed the Commission report and supported the recommendations contained in it. It expressed appreciation for the work of the Commission and stressed that the Commission had proved itself to be a valuable focal point for discussing the international fertilizer situation. Although one delegation felt that further consideration of the matter was necessary, the Council agreed that the Commission be placed on a permanent basis, provision being made for annual meetings or more frequently if so required, and adequate resources being made available for carrying out its work.

12. The Council stressed the importance of the Commission's work in helping to provide guidance to member countries, and requested the Secretariat to further improve its information system and its methodology for forecasting demand, supply and price developments. The need was also stressed for an efficient system of regular supply of data at shorter intervals to Member Nations. It further requested the Secretariat to continue its work of assessing fertilizer needs to meet the agricultural and food production targets of the developing countries as agreed in the international development strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade and reaffirmed at the World Food Conference.

13. The Council commended the work of the Commission to help ensure adequate supplies of fertilizers to developing countries at reasonable and stable prices. The attention of the Council was drawn to the rising trend in fertilizer prices in international markets in recent months and its impact on developing countries. The Council agreed that the Commission continue its study of investment and production costs. The Council further agreed that, in pursuing greater price stabilization at prices remunerative to producers and equitable to consumers, the Commission should continue to develop proposals such as the Iran proposal, long-term contracts and the option proposal, without prejudice to other proposals that might emerge.

14. The Council noted that the option proposal had the general objective of ensuring that developing countries and in particular the MSA countries obtained their fertilizer import needs at prices equivalent to the domestic prices in developed countries and also of introducing an element of stability in international prices for fertilizers. The Council requested the Director-General to complete the option arrangements in cooperation with the interested parties to facilitate their implementation once the commitments by fertilizer producers amounting to 10 percent of the estimated nitrogen fertilizer import requirements of the MSA countries in 1977–78 had been obtained.

15. The Council endorsed the closer relationship between the IFS, the Fertilizer Programme and the other fertilizer activities of FAO as recommended by the Director-General. It stressed the importance of promoting efficient fertilizer use at the farmers' level. In this connexion support was expressed for national and regional seminars for the development of efficient fertilizer use in the developing countries.

16. The Council agreed that IFS activities should be continued and strengthened during the next biennium, with special reference to MSA countries which still faced serious balance of payments problems. Many members were in favour of the permanent institutionalization of the Scheme.

17. The Council, while appreciating the contributions of donor countries to IFS, noted with regret the sharp decline in the quantity of fertilizer material made available. The Council also noted with satisfaction the pledge by the United Kingdom to contribute an additional five million pounds sterling worth of fertilizers to the Scheme in 1977–78, and appealed to other donor countries to increase their contributions to the Scheme.

18. The Council noted the good cooperation between FAO, UNIDO and the World Bank in the field of fertilizers and urged the development of joint programmes wherever feasible and practicable. It further noted the active participation of these and other agencies and the fertilizer industry in the Commission.

19. The Council approved the revised terms of reference of the Commission and adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 1/72



Recalling that at its Third Session the Commission on Fertilizers had considered that its terms of reference should be reviewed so as to sharpen their focus in dealing with problems relating to fertilizers,

Noting that at its Fourth Session, the Commission had reviewed its terms of reference and made recommendations for their amendment,

Endorsing the amended terms of reference prepared by the Commission,

Decides to amend paragraph I of the Statutes of the Commission on Fertilizers as contained in Resolution 2/61 of the Sixty-First Session of the Council to read as follows: The Terms of Reference of the Commission shall be:

  1. To obtain, review and disseminate on a regular basis information on prices, current and short-term availability of and demand for fertilizers, as well as production and consumption trends, export and import trends and medium- and long-term forecasts for fertilizers.
  2. To help in ensuring that all countries and developing countries in particular have at their disposal, in sufficient quantities and at reasonable prices, the nutrients required for their agricultural development and food production.
  3. To help promote fertilizer production particularly in the developing countries as well as to encourage assistance to developing countries wherever feasible in the production of fertilizers and the development of infrastructure for distribution and marketing of fertilizers in cooperation with the appropriate United Nations Organizations.
  4. To review and consider (i) the main factors influencing fertilizer use, in particular pricing, credit, marketing, transportation and distribution policies; (ii) information on governmental measures adopted particularly in developing countries, to stimulate fertilizer consumption and promote its optimum use; (iii) difficulties and constraints in connexion with fertilizer production, consumption and trade, and such policies and measures as are necessary to solve these, with a view in particular to improving the availability of fertilizers to, and their production in, developing countries.
  5. To review FAO fertilizer activities and to facilitate their coordination with those of other agencies, such as UNIDO, UNCTAD and the World Bank.
  6. To suggest programmes and measures specifically designed to achieve the general objectives of the Commission.
  7. To report and submit recommendations to the Director-General and through him to the FAO Council, on policy issues arising out of its deliberations.

World Food Programme 2

Draft Resolution on Target for WFP Pledges for the Period 1979–80

20. The documents submitted to the Council in relation to the two sub-items under discussion were introduced by the Deputy Executive Director who, in the absence of the Executive Director, read a statement on his. behalf welcoming the opportunities offered by his recent appointment for pursuing the reciprocal reinforcement and cooperative execution of the assistance of both WFP and FAO in tasks of rural development, agricultural expansion and nutritional improvement. The statement outlined briefly the considerations which had led the Executive Director to propose and the CFA to recommend the endorsement of the target figure of $ 950 million for the pledging period 1979–80, essential if WFP were to maintain its present average annual commitment level of $ 300 million.

21. The Council found the pledging target of $ 950 million for the period 1979–80, to be a realistic reflexion of the growing importance of the Programme and adopted the following Resolution:

Resolution 2/72



Having considered the second annual report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,

Noting the comments of the CFA concerning the target for voluntary contributions to t he Programme for the period 1979–80,

Recalling Resolutions 2462 (XXIII) and 2682 (XXV) of the UN General Assembly, which recognized the experience gained by WFP in the field of multilateral food aid,

  1. Submits for consideration and approval of the Conference of the FAO the attached draft resolution ;
  2. Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization to undertake the necessary preparation for the announcement of pledges at the Eighth Pledging Conference for the World Food Programme.




Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference,

Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 19/75 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1978, at which time governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1979 and 1980, with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

Nothing that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Third Session and by the FAO Council at its Seventy-First Session,

Having considered Resolution 2/72 of the FAO Council, as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,

Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs,

  1. Establishes for the two years 1979 and 1980 a target for voluntary contributions of $ 950 milllon, of which not less than one third should be in cash and/or services in aggregate, and expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial additional contributions from other sources in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level;
  2. Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;
  3. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Director-General of FAO, to convene a pledging conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters early in 1978;
  4. Decides that, subject to the review provided for in Resolution 4/65, the followin g pledging conference at which governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1981 and 1982 with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, should be, convened at the latest early in 1980.

22. The council agreed that it was necessary to urge all donors to announce their pledges at the following pledging conference in early 1978, so that WFP could plan and programme its activities effectively and on time.

Adoption of the WFP's Revised General Regulations

23. In presenting the second sub-Item for the consideration of the Council, the statement pointed out that the Committee had, in the course of its Third and Fourth Sessions approved a series of amendments to the General Regulations of WFP as appeared appropriate in view of the reconstitution of the former Inter-Governmental Committee into the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes; 3/: these, with an interpretative statement on paragraph 14 of the revised Regulations agreed upon by the Committee at its Fourth Session, were now before the FAO Council for approval and, had been forwarded to the Economic and Social Council for its approval also.

24. The Council for its part approved the revised General Regulations of WFP, and the interpretative statement on paragraph 14 thereof 4/, as being in conformity with the new responsibilities entrusted to the CFA. The text of the revised General Regulations of WFP as well as of the interpretative statement as approved by the Council appear in Appendix D to this Report.

25. In commenting upon these two sub-items, several delegations took the opportunity for expressing their satisfaction with the operations of WFP in their respective countries, and their confidence in its growing role in the field of development: hope was expressed not only that the new pledging target would be reached, but even that it might be surpassed.

26. The importance of coordinated action by different agencies particularly in cases of emergency was emphasized, as was the part played by WFP aid in promoting increased food production.

27. Addressing himself to two particular points raised during this discussion, the Deputy Executive Director, while confirming the desirability of making technical assistance available to WFP-assisted projects, pointed out that WFP was not itself a technical agency. He also assured the Council that WFP and FAO, aware of the desirability of a flexible approach, were together watching developments in the drought-stricken areas of the Sahel very closely, and that there had recently been a meeting of potential donors. Nuclei of stocks had been earmarked at Dakar and Abidjan ready for immediate use, and it was hoped that potential donors would supplement these stocks at the earliest possible date.

28. The Council noted with satisfaction the decision of the CFA to increase the annual allocation for emergency assistance from $40 to $45 million in both 1977 and 1978, sub- sequent allocations to be decided in the light of a review in the 1978 Autumn Session of the Committee, based on a study to be conducted by WFP jointly with FAO and the United Nations.

1 CL 72/2; CL 72/PV/1; CL 72/PV/7.

2 CL 72/10; CL 72/16; CL 72/16"-Sup,1 ; CL 72/PV/4; CL 72/PV/7.

3 By Resolution 22/75 of the FAO Conference and Resolution 3404 (XXX) of the General Assembly of the United Nations".

4 In accordance with a decision of the Committee, this paragraph appears as paragrap h 15 Appendix D to this report (see footnote relating to paragraph 13(k) in document CL 72/16, Appendix A).

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