33. The Council noted that three matters considered by the Committee on Fisheries were submitted to its attention for decision. The first one concerned the proposal to create a regional fishery commission for the Near East. The Council was informed that so far only ten out of the twenty-four countries serviced by the FAO Regional Office for the Near East had replied to the questionnaire sent by the Director-General to solicit their views on the method of financing the proposed commission and the ways in which its work should be coordinated with the activities of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean Fishery Commission. In the circumstances, the Council deferred its decision until the countries directly concerned had made their positions known. It noted with interest the recommendation made by the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean regarding the functions of the proposed commission, as well as the decision of the coastal states in the gulfs lying between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula to cooperate for the time being in fishery management and development within the framework of an existing committee of the Indian Ocean Fishery Commission.
34. As regards the second proposal to extend southwards the southern boundary of the Fishery Committee for the Eastern Central Atlantic so as to include the waters off Angola and Namibia in its area of competence, the Council deferred its decision, since these two countries had not yet given an indication that they were in favour of such an extension.
35. With regard to the third question of the status of the European Economic Community within FAO regional fishery bodies, the Council shared the views expressed on behalf of the Director-General that the matter was not limited to the fishery sector and that the participation of the Community as a member of regional bodies would require amendments to the Basic Texts of the Organization, and also to the agreements and statutes by which these bodies had been established. In practice, observers and representatives of regional and international organizations were allowed to participate fully in the deliberations of fishery bodies established within the framework of FAO. The Council was informed that the Community, to which its Member States had delegated jurisdiction on certain fisheries matters, would submit to the Director-General concrete proposals concerning its participation and it agreed that these proposals would require careful consideration. MOst delegations which took the floor expressed the view that the EEC should be represented within the Fishery Bodies by its own Member States. For this reason, it was not necessary to change the Basic Texts of the Organization.
36. The Council endorsed the recommendations of the Committee on Fisheries regarding the comprehensive medium-term programme being formulated by the Director-General to assist developing coastal states, upon request, in managing and developing fisheries in their exclusive economic zones. It agreed that the highest priority should be given to this programme, since FAO had a key role to play in improving national capabilities so as to increase not only the production of fisheries but also the net socio-economic benefits to be gained by the peoples of developing countries.
37. The Council recognized that the implementation of the comprehensive programme would entail the need for financial assistance from the UNDP and other funding agencies in addition to support from the FAO regular budget. Thorough preparations were a prerequisite for support by bilateral and multilateral donors. It encouraged potential donors to provide adequate resources.
38. The Council noted with appreciation that the Government of Norway had already expressed to the Director-General its interest in the creation of a Fund in Trust of perhaps some $3.5 million for use on activities within the purview of the programme.
39. The Council agreed that FAO, in increasing its efforts aimed at ensuring an effective transfer of technology, should, at the request of the countries concerned, play a more active role in promoting the conclusion of bilateral fishing agreements or arrangements for the establishment of ,joint ventures with developing coastal states. It could also assist in the exchange of information on the experience gained from such agreements or arrangements.
40. The Council recognized that many of the activities required to implement the programme were not novel, but that they were given added urgency or new dimensions by the emerging regime of the oceans involving many coastal states in new commitments within their Extended Economic Zones. Noting that fishery products are an important source of human nutrition and that the total fish production from the oceans might soon be levelling off, it stressed the need for the development of unconventional resources, as well as of aquaculture and inland fisheries.
41. The Council noted that in view of the migration patterns of most fish stocks and of the geographic and oceanographic conditions prevailing in many parts of the world, the need for intergovernmental cooperation at the bilateral sub-regional and regional level in fishery management and development would in no way diminish as a result of the new regime of the oceans. The activities of regional fishery bodies, and particularly those established by FAO, could therefore be expected to increase in importance.
42. As regards the decentralization of servicing of these bodies, the Council shared the views expressed by the Director-General in his opening statement that FAO was facing difficult problems in the context of organization of activities at the regional level and that these problems should be given very careful consideration during the next biennium. It agreed that any process of decentralization could only be gradual and that careful consideration should be given to the eventual financial implications both for FAO and the countries concerned.
43. The Council recommended that FAO should continue to strengthen its collaboration with the Latin American Economic System (SELA) and other regional economic groupings.
44. The Council noted with satisfaction that the Director-General had taken steps to initiate cooperation with the Consultative Parties to the Antarctic Treaty which were formulating a conservation regime for the Antarctic marine living resources for the purpose of safeguarding the necessary coordination of future activities in the region.
45. The Council. unanimously agreed that the Committee on Fisheries should remain as a standing committee of the Council under Article V of the Constitution.
46. With the above considerations, the Council endorsed the report of the Twelfth Session of the Committee on Fisheries.
47. The Council, in reviewing the Report, welcomed the emphasis on practical, present-day problems and on social goals.
48. The Council, recognizing that increased investment in forestry was essential both for enhancing the contribution of the forestry sector to social and economic development and for replacing diminishing natural forest resources, endorsed the recommendations of COFO to governments, international financing institutions and to FAO on development and investment in the forestry sector. It welcomed the progress reported by several countries in implementing legal and other measures aimed at increased investment in the development and improvement of forest resources and supported COFO’s view that international financial institutions should both broaden their criteria for acceptability of forestry projects and increase the total amount of funds dedicated to forestry activities.
49. The Council noted that identification, formulation and preparation of sound projects were essential for increased investment in the forestry sector. It endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that FAO continue its activities designed to create at the country level a strong corps of professionals adequately trained in the area of preparation and evaluation of forestry projects. In this connexion the hope was expressed that FAO would provide more direct support to countries in investment project, preparation including through TCP.3
50. The Council welcomed the emphasis given by COFO to the contribution of forestry to integrated rural development. It agreed that trees, forests and forest-based activities had a major part to play in providing for some of the basic needs of the rural poor, in creating rural employment and income, in improving the framework for food production and in preserving environmental balance. The Council agreed with the Committee’s recommendation that the importance of forestry be recognized in preparing the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. Support was also expressed for the Committee’s recommendation that the Forestry Department should improve its methods of dealing with the planning, implementation and coordination of activities directed towards forestry for integrated rural community development. It considered it essential that FAO intensify its activities aimed at monitoring data and developing forest inventories at world, regional and, as appropriate, national levels, of tropical forests, whose degradation and disappearance were a cause for concern on environmental and other grounds.
51. The council commended FAQ’s initiatives in promoting the design and establishment of small-scale forest industries to meet the specific needs and circumstances of individual countries and approved the recommendations of the Committee on the continuation of FAO’s programmes in this area.
52. Recognizing the important role of forestry in watershed management, particularly in mountainous areas and in arid and semi-arid regions, the Council agreed with the stress laid by COFO on reforestation and afforestation for soil and water conservation, control of desert encroachment, fuelwood production, provision of shelter for crops and livestock through agro-silvo-pastoral systems of land management. Certain delegations drew attention to the fact that the Regional Forestry Commissions had requested the reactivation of Silva Mediterranea and the possible transformation of the EFC Working Party on the Management of Mountain Watersheds so as to make it possible for developing countries to take part in its work.
53. In endorsing COFO’s recommendations on FAO’s programmes in forestry, the Council underlined the importance of forestry training at all levels, and stressed the need for greater efforts by both governments and FAO for the better protection of forests from fires particularly in arid and Mediterranean regions.
54. With the above considerations, the Council endorsed the report of the Fourth Session of the Committee on Forestry.
55. The Secretary-General of the Eighth World Forestry Congress reported to the Council on the salient and thoughtful features of the Congress Declaration 5 which had been approved unanimously by participants from over 100 member countries of the United Nations, which was the highest number of countries represented at a Congress in the 52-year history of world forestry congresses.
56, Appreciation was expressed to the Government of Indonesia for its very substantial conceptual and logistical effort in organizing the Congress. It noted with appreciation that grants made by the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany, Indonesia and Sweden had made possible the participation of foresters working in several developing countries, as well as of forestry students.
57. The Council considered that the “Jakarta Declaration” dealt innovatively with a number of issues of direct concern to all authorities responsible for integrated rural development, and decided to refer it to the forthcoming session of the FAO Conference in November 1979 for its consideration.
58. The Council agreed that it would be advisable to select the venue for the next world forestry congress (1984) somewhat earlier than in the case of the Eighth World Forestry Congress. It decided to place such an item on the agenda of its session preceding immediately the session of the FAO Conference in November 1981.
59. In this connexion the Delegation of Mexico repeated at this Session of the Council the offer of its Government to host the Ninth World Forestry Congress.
60. The Special Representative of the Director-General informed the Council that Member Governments were being kept continuously informed of the preparations for the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. He therefore confined his remarks to the latest developments. It was recalled that, in its Sixty-Ninth, Seventieth and Seventy- First Sessions, the Council had laid down guidelines for procedural and substantive preparations for the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. There had been positive discussions at the FAQ Regional Conferences held in 1978 and full support had been given by those Conferences. Documentation was proceeding on schedule and it would take into account the salient features of the Country Review Papers received on time and contributions made by other members of the UN system. Valuable advice had also been provided by the High Level Advisory Committee of Experts, which was to have its third session in January 1979. The Council was also informed of the broad themes of the Conference, as elaborated in the Draft Provisional Agenda, which had been approved by the Director-General.
61. In addition, the Special Representative informed the Council of the positive responses from USSR and the Democratic Republic of Germany, to participate in the World Conference.
62. The Council noted with satisfaction that the documentation for the World Conference was being processed on schedule and would be made available to governments on time, and that the Country Review Papers provided by member countries had contributed to the documentation of the World Conference together with the inputs from the organizations and bodies of the UN system It took note also that the recommendations and resolutions adopted at the World Land Reform Conference held in 1966 and other world conferences concerning agrarian reform and rural development had also been reviewed and considered in the documentation.
63. Recalling the decisions reached at the Regional Conferences and FAQ Conference that discussions at the World Conference should avoid an academic approach and concentrate on specific action-oriented programmes, the Council noted the themes contained in the Provisional Agenda. Due to the importance of the World Conference, the Council reiterated that governments should send delegations at a high political and technical level.
64. The Council thanked the governments of countries which had made available extra-budgetary funds for information, publicity and other activities for the World Conference. The Council commended the Director-General and the Secretariat for their work in the preparation for the Conference.
65. The Council reiterated the view of the Thirty-Fifth Session of the Programme Committee that nutrition could not be treated in isolation. It pointed out that improving nutrition was a complex issue, and that a nutrition policy must be part of a sound agricultural policy since efforts to increase food production were only meaningful when they were associated with efforts to improve nutrition.
66. The Council pointed out that available information indicated that little or no progress had been made in coping with malnutrition in the four years since the World Food Conference and identified insufficiency of resources, lack of a concerted effort by the international community, and of effective leadership by the United Nations system as major constraints on progress.
67. In spite of criticisms of the capacity of the United Nations system to respond adequately to requests from developing countries, the Council commended the Director-General for the actions he had initiated within FAO in response to Resolution 8/77 on Nutrition and the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies. The Council noted that developing countries were taking necessary measures to improve nutrition but that they urgently required assistance in the following fields: nutrition planning, designing and implementing applied nutrition programmes, strengthening infrastructure and assessing the impact on nutrition of agricultural and rural development programmes. Training in all areas was essential in order to ensure that there was sufficient competent national staff at all levels to implement the programmes.
68. In view of FAO’s leadership role in nutrition, the Council expressed the hope that more resources could be made available for nutrition under the Regular Programme as well as those being sought from extra-budgetary sources, and that FAO’s capacity to respond to governments’ requests be strengthened. The Council encouraged FAO to develop the comprehensive programme of action called for by the Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies.
69. In this connexion, the Delegate of the United Kingdom stated that his Government was prepared to consider funding bilaterally some of the projects identified by FAO 8. The delegate of the United States announced that his Government was prepared through its bilateral programmes to assist FAO-identified countries in undertaking nutrition assessment surveys, and in establishing surveillance systems. He stated that his Government was also prepared to make cooperative arrangements with FAO to provide technical expertise to FAO activities and invited FAO to explore these possibilities with the Human Nutrition Center of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
70. The Council was unanimous in agreeing that there was a need for a forum for intergovernmental consultation on technical and policy issues concerning nutrition and noted the recommendations of the Programme Committee in this regard. Some delegates agreed with the proposal in document CL 74/29, para. 20 to include nutrition in the terms of reference of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG). It was also suggested that COFI should look into the possibilities of improving nutrition through increased use of fish for human consumption. Others considered that COAG had enough to do already and either supported the recommendation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies to establish a standing committee on nutrition, or suggested that the Ad Hoc Committee continue until the relation on nutrition matters with regard to the Standing Committees concerned has been looked into.
71. The Council was aware that an item on nutrition in agricultural and rural development was on the agenda of the COAG session of April 1979. It, therefore, decided to accept the recommendation of the Programme Committee that the Council should postpone its decision as to what the arrangements for intergovernmental review of nutrition should be until its Seventy-Fifth Session. -
72. The Council had before it the response of the Joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission to a request from the Seventy-First Session of the Council (June 1977) that the Commission consider and report on certain matters concerning the economic implications of the international food standards for developing countries. It also had before it a report on changes in the content and direction of the work of the Commission designed to place increased emphasis and concentration on the needs and concerns of developing countries, as had been requested by the Nineteenth Session of the FAO Conference. The Council noted that these matters had been reviewed by the Programme Committee at its Thirty-First Session in October 1978. The Council generally agreed with the views and recommendations of the Programme Committee on these matters.
73. The Council welcomed the action which had been taken by the Commission to meet the needs and concerns of developing countries. In particular, it approved the policy and work reorientation by the Commission and the new procedures for the assessment of the economic impact of the international food standards, which were intended to benefit all countries. The Council agreed with the Programme Committee that the effectiveness of the new procedures would depend, to a large extent, on the mechanism evolved within the Commission and its Secretariat for dealing with trade impact statements from governments and decided that these matters should be followed by the Programme Committee and itself.
74. The Council agreed with the Commission’s action in adjourning certain Codex Committees and in establishing a Codex Committee on Cereals and Cereal Products and a Codex Committee on Vegetable Proteins, as well as reactivating the Codex Committee on Meat Hygiene. The increased emphasis by the Commission on the importance and role of the Codex Regional Coordinating Committees for Africa, Asia and Latin America was also approved by the Council. The Council agreed with the Programme Committee that there would be a need to exercise caution in eleborating regional food standards since regional standards, if not confined to products moving solely in intra-regional trade, could possibly become barriers to world-wide trade. The Council also agreed with the Programme Committee that, in principle, the Commission should continue to give priority in its work to the development of food standards for finished products rather than for raw materials. The Council underlined the need for strengthening food control infrastructures in developing countries to assist them in implementing the recommendations of the Commission.
75. The Council stressed the value of the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to all countries and agreed with the Programme Committee that, in view of the importance of this work. within the overall context of nutritional improvement, food production and food trade, the Council would follow general policy trends within the Commission.
76. The Council considered the Third Annual Report of the CFA of the World Food Programme covering the period 9 May 1977 to 21 April 1978, during which the Fourth and Fifth Sessions of the CFA were held.
77. The Executive Director, in introducing the report, spoke of the need for adequate resources, if WFP were to give effective help to social and economic development, or in cases of emergency. He indicated that, for the 1977-78 biennium, pledges to the Programme stood at $717 million, or 96 percent of the $750 million target; but that should the balance not be found, $12 million of the US pledge, which is made on a matching basis, would not be forthcoming, and the figure would actually stand at $705 million. For the 1979-80 biennium, only $693 million, or 73 percent of the $950 million target had so far been pledged, including the generous cash contribution of $55 million made earlier in the year by Saudi Arabia. He emphasized the need for the Programme to be able to plan its activities in advance if it were to continue to make that effective use of its resources for which it had become well-known: it was not logical to have to wait until the end of 1980 in order to learn how much help could be provided in the 1979-80 biennium. He informed the Council that as of 27 April 1978 total contributions for the year to the Food Aid Convention stood at 1.3 million tons of commodities, worth $165.9 million; but that since then a further 105 000 tons, and an accompanying amount of more than $15 million had brought these totals to 1.4 million tons and $182 million respectively.
78. The Executive Director stated that the importance of the FAC, as also the International Emergency Food Reserve, is that they are additional to the WFP’s regular pledges. He hoped, therefore, that a new International Wheat Agreement would include provision for 10 million tons of wheat to be distributed annually, replacing the present provision for only 4.3 million tons. In speaking of the International Emergency Food Reserve, he regretted that the target figure of 500 000 tons of grains approved by the General Assembly three years earlier, had never been reached in any given year: nevertheless, the World Food Council. had, at its Fourth Session, urged that a 500 000 ton emergency stock of cereals should be established as a continuing reserve with yearly replenishments determined by the CFA, and placed at the disposal of the World Food Programme. He hoped that governments, would, as they had been urged to, indicate the amounts of cereals and cash they were prepared to contribute in this connexion. He informed the Council that a total of $55 million, including the additional $10 million authorized by the CFA at its Sixth Session, had been put at the disposal of the Director-General for emergency operations for 1978, and that a further $32 million had been committed from the IEFR for the same purpose.
79. WFP had also played a coordinating role in the provision of food aid to the Sahelian countries during the drought emergency, reducing costs by preventing congestion, expediting deliveries, improving the bagging of food, and resorting to other similar measures.
80. The Executive Director concluded by making an appeal that bilateral and multilateral donors cooperate as fully as possible with WFP in implementing its new coordinating role, not only in the field of emergency relief but also in that of development assistance.
81. The Council expressed satisfaction on the achievements of the Programme outlined in the Executive Director’s report. The Council was concerned that the pledging targets for the biennia 1977-78 and 1979-80 had not been met, and hoped that pledges from new donors as well as increased pledges from existing donors would contribute to providing the balance. In this connexion the Executive Director, supported by many delegates, pointed out that a third possibility also existed, which was that a greater percentage of the allocations already foreseen for food aid be channelled through the World Food Programme: at present still only about 15 percent of total food aid was being distributed through multilateral channels, despite the recommendation of ,the World Food Conference that a significantly greater proportion of such aid should be given this way.
82. The Council expressed concern that neither the minimum food aid target of 10 million tons of cereals a year set by the World Food Conference, nor the 500 000 tons of grains constituting the International Emergency Food Reserve had been reached. The shortfall in the latter prompted the suggestion that the annual emergency allocation from WFP resources should be further increased, and that in any case the IEFR should be entirely at the disposal of the World Food Programme. The necessity of assuring security through food aid, and of forward planning for food aid was mentioned in this connexion.
83. The Guidelines and Criteria for Food Aid contained in the CFA Report were generally welcomed, although some reservations were expressed concerning the definition of the term “low-income” appearing in the footnote to sub-paragraph 18(d).11The Council agreed that the longer-term solution to the problem of food shortages in developing countries lay in increased production in these countries, and that food aid should be provided in forms consistent with the development objectives of recipient countries. The Council expressed the hope that differences of opinion giving rise to the square brackets appearing in the present text of the Guidelines would be dissipated at the next session of the CFA. It was suggested that the Guidelines might also take into account that food aid should be given over periods long enough to allow recipient countries to derive the maximum benefit from the infrastructure called into existence by such aid, until they become self-sufficient.
84. Satisfaction was expressed concerning the progress reported in directing food aid to the neediest countries, promoting rural development and improving arrangements for emergency needs. In this context one delegate noted that whereas food distribution in alleviation of emergency distress was acceptable, food given in lieu of wages was less so, and that arrangements should be made for payment in cash if possible: such arrangements would of course involve a review of the World Food Programmes’ Sales Policy. It was also pointed out that the use of vessels belonging to developing countries for the transport of WFP commodities benefitted the economies of the countries concerned.
85. With reference to assessment of food-aid requirements, it was hoped that a more accurate and realistic figure would be forthcoming for the estimates given for cereals, vegetable oils and dairy products, while the country-by-country survey of food-aid needs might, it was noted, usefully be extended to include more countries. -
86. The Council noted that there were five ?ember Nations candidates for the five vacancies on the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes and that, according to Rule XII-9(a) CR0, in cases where-”there are not more candidates than vacancies, the Chairman may submit to the Conference or Council that the appointment be decided by clear general consent”.
87. The Council therefore appointed by acclamation, for a term of office of three years (1 January 1979 - 31 December 1981) the following five Member Nations which were candidates for the five vacancies:
88. For the consideration of this item, the Council had before it a report by the Director-General which incorporated the text of General Assembly Resolution 32/197 endorsing the conclusions and recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Restructuring of the Social and Economic Sectors of the United Nations System, the progress report submitted by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) to the Economic and Social Council at its Second Regular Session, 1978 (E/1978/107) and the Director-General’s preliminary comments on the subjects covered by Resolution 32/197.
89. The Council also took into account the views expressed by the Programme Committee at its Thirty-Fifth Session on this question as well as the supplementary information provided by the Secretariat on the recent decisions of ACC with regard to the restructuring of its subsidiary machinery.
90. The Council recognized the importance of the General Assembly’s decisions on restructuring, which would have a considerable impact on the entire United Nations system. At the same time, the Council noted that the provisions of General Assembly Resolution 32/197 dealing with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and other forums for negotiation did not introduce fundamental changes into the relationship between the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council, on the one hand, and the Specialized Agencies, on the other hand. This relationship would continue to be governed, as far as FAO was concerned, by the United Nations Charter, the FAO Constitution and the relationship agreement between the two organizations.
91. The section on operational activities for development was largely based on the text of the 1970 Consensus. The Council noted that inter-secretariat discussions were under way to clarify possible ways of implementing the provisions for the UNDP country programming process to be utilized as a frame of reference for operational activities carried out and financed by organizations from their own resources, and for the designation of a single official at country level to be responsible for exercising team leadership and evolving a multidisciplinary dimension in sectoral development assistance programmes. Other parts of the General Assembly Resolution represented a re-affirmation of existing trends and policies rather than a new departure. The main new features of the resolution related to the restructuring of the United Nations Secretariat and of the machinery for inter- secretariat coordination.
92. The Council, recalling that the main objectives of the process of restructuring was to strengthen the ability of the United Nations system to deal with the problems of international cooperation and development in an effective manner, agreed with the Director-General’s views that this process should, as far as FAO was concerned, aim primarily at the achievement of the three following objectives: (1) higher priority to food and agricultural development within a comprehensive development approach; (2) a real increase in the flow of resources to developing countries on “a predictable, continuous and assured basis” as advocated by the General Assembly, and (3) a strengthened role for FAO in cooperation with other agencies.
93. The Council considered several aspects of General Assembly Resolution 32/197. With regard to structures for regional and interregional cooperation, the Council emphasized the need for full cooperation and complementarity of action between FAO and the Regional Economic Commissions, and the avoidance of duplication.
94. The Council fully endorsed the Director-General’s view that the coordination of operational activities for development should be carried out primarily at the country level, by the government concerned. It supported the assumption of ACC 14 that the Pledging Conference for WFP would continue as in the past in view of the unique character of contributions to WFP which were mainly in the form of commodities. The results of the WET pledging conference could be communicated to the single pledging conference for its information.
95. With regard to planning, programming, budgeting and evaluation, the Council welcomed, the efforts being made by the organizations of the UN system to harmonize programme budgets and medium-term plans under the aegis of the Administrative Committee on Coordination. However, decisions regarding planning and programming of resources were taken by the governing bodies of the organizations while the responsibility of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and CPC related essentially to coordination on a system-wide basis. Joint planning, programming and coordination were useful when they increased the effectiveness of the System, but should not be regarded as an end in themselves, since this could only lead to the diversion of staff resources from substantive tasks.
96. The Council heard a statement by the Director-General’s representative with information updating the data contained in the report of the Programme Committee. It also heard a statement by the representative of UNDP, speaking on behalf of Unicef and his own organization, referring i.a. to the recently held Pledging Conference for UNDP which had resulted in a 16 percent increase in pledges over the last year.
97. The Council noted that the effects of the 1975 financial crisis of UNDP, resulting in work on programming and on pipeline preparation virtually coming to a standstill over a two-year period, were still being felt in the Organization’s field programme. Thus, although the rate of project approvals had now again increased, this was too late to have a real impact on delivery in 1978.
98. As compared to an FAO delivery of $ 120 million in 1975, it was estimated that in 1978 a figure somewhat over $ 100 million would be reached. In view of inflation, the real value of this delivery was therefore substantially lower than in 1975. Although it was estimated that delivery would increase in 1979, lateness in approval of projects by UNUP would also inevitably result in delivery lower than it was desired to reach.
99. In referring to the report of the Programme Committee, the Council expressed its concern that the share of food and agriculture in the UNDP-financed programme seemed to be diminishing - from a “traditional” share of around 30 percent to around 26 percent this year. The Council felt that consideration should be given to difficulties inherent in the UNDP country programming system as regards project preparation, formulation and programming, which might merit special attention by UNDP in consultation with the executing agencies. All member countries should ensure that food and agriculture was accorded a high priority in their development programmes.
100. The Council noted with satisfaction that the FAD Representatives had a positive influence on the Organization’s efforts at assisting governments in project identification and preparation, and other activities connected with programming of resources in the agricultural sector.
101. The Council noted with satisfaction that in various areas of common concern UNDP and FAD were collaborating closely and that further meetings for operational reviews, region by region, as well as at the policy level, would be scheduled on a regular basis between the two Organizations in future.
102. It was noted that FAD was also collaborating with IThTDP on evaluation of sectors of the field programme, on measures to improve follow-up on Projects, as well as on other matters.
103. On the particular question of evaluation exercises, the Council agreed that a proper balance had to be kept between the assignment of funds and other resources to substantive field action and stock-taking activities in the form of various types of studies. It also agreed that studies had to be planned carefully and sufficiently in advance to ensure inter alia the provision of the necessary resources.
(b) World Food Council
104. The Council had before it a report by the Director-General analysing the implications for FAD of the Mexico Declaration adopted by the World Food Council at its Fourth Ministerial Session, held in Mexico City from 12 to 15 June 1978.
105. At its second meeting, the Council heard a statement by the President of the World Food Council, Dr. Arturo Tanco, as mentioned. in paragraph 7 above. In his address, Dr. Tanco drew attention to the new leadership of the World Food Council Secretariat, with Mr. Maurice Williams as Executive Director and Mr. Salahuddin Adhmed as Deputy Executive Director. In analysing the outcome of the Mexico Session of the World Food Council, he stressed the significance of the systematic approach that was to be made towards identifying the constraints on increased aid for food production, and the bottlenecks to higher priority for food production in developing countries.He also felt that the problem of nutrition was particularly important, and drew attention to the special role of FAG in this field. 16 He paid tribute to the leadership of FAO and expressed confidence in the impact that FAG and the World Food Council, acting together, could have on the food problem within the next decade.
106. During its consideration of this agenda item, the Council heard a brief intervention by the Executive Director of the World Food Council, Mr. Maurice Williams, reporting on action taken and under way by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations on the report of the Fourth Session of the World Food Council. He stated that the Fifth Ministerial Session would be held in Ottawa from 4 to 7 September 1979. He assured the Council of the full cooperation of the WFC Secretariat with FAG.
107. The Council noted that a series of meetings would be held in the next few months to identify the constraints on increasing development assistance and food production in developing countries. The Council expressed the hope that FAG would be fully associated with the initiatives of the World Food Council on this subject.
108. The Council noted that the Supplementary Arrangement between FAG and the United Nations regarding cooperation between the World Food Council and FAG, as approved by the Conference at its Nineteenth Session, had also been approved by the World Food Council. The Supplementary Arrangement had been signed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the iJirector-General and was now in force.
109. The Council took note of the results of the UN Conference, recognizing its important contribution to the strengthening of individual and collective self-reliance in the spirit of the New International Economic Order. Consensus of developing and developed countries had been achieved on the Buenos Aires Plan of Action which, while placing major responsibility for implementation on the developing countries themselves, called for full support of the developed countries, as well as of the United Nations development system.
110. Because of the similarity in ecological and socio-economic conditions among developing countries, TCDC was particularly important in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The Council stressed that TCDC should not replace the present forms of technical cooperation but should be complementary, and that its implementation should lead to a qualitative improvement of technical assistance, consistent with developing countries’ needs.
111. While noting the pioneer work of FAG in TCDC and commending the Director-General for having ensured full participation of FAG in the Conference, the Council considered that the Plan of Action provided an added stimulus for the continuation and expansion of TCDC activities and urged the need for the permeation of its concepts throughout the Organization.
112. The Council agreed that present arrangements within FAG for the review and implementation of TCDC policies and procedures were satisfactory and required no immediate change. It welcomed the Director-General’s focus, in the preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget for 1980-81, on FAG activities to assist member countries in developing and strengthening their capabilities to meet their needs and in fostering TCDC and to maximize efforts to utilize developing country inputs in the formulation and execution of FAG activities.
113. Recognizing that the major obstacle to promoting TCDC lay in the lack of information on technical capabilities which developing countries could share with others, the Council urged that attention be given to systematic collection and dissemination of information on such capabilities. In this endeavour, important roles should be assumed by the Regional and Country Offices, as foreseen by the Director-General.
114. The Council stressed the importance of cooperation in TCDC efforts with other Organizations in the UN system, including UNDP which had been assigned a central promotional role. It also emphasized the need for support from developed countries not only through their contribution to multilateral activities but also through triangular cooperative arrangements. The Council also underlined the need for mobilization of additional resources as envisaged in Recon-imendations 35 and 38 of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action.
115. Noting that the Plan of Action envisaged that overall intergovernmental review of TCDC within the UN system was to be entrusted to a high-level meeting of the representatives of all States participating in the United Nations Development Programme to be convened by its Administrator and bearing in mind budgetary implications, the Council saw no immediate need for holding a special FAO intergovernmental meeting on TCDC in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries as originally contemplated in paragraph 4(c) of Resolution 9/77 of the 19th Session of the Conference.
116. TCDC had already been extensively discussed in the 1978 Regional Conferences, and it was anticipated that this item would be included in the discussions of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and in the technical consultations. The Council, however, agreedthat TCDC should be placed on its agenda and that of the Conference at their next session and periodically thereafter, as appropriate. It was further suggested that progress on TCDC in the various technical fields might be reviewed by the Committees on Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and by the Regional Conferences, as appropriate, at their next session and periodically thereafter.
117. Some members proposed the establishment within FAO of a Standing Committee of the Council, entrusted with the task of dealing with matters of TCDC.
118. The Council noted the views of the Programme and Finance Committees, as contained in their reports.19
119. The Council endorsed the views expressed by the Programme Committee on this report and on the relevant comments by the Director-General. While generally considering that most of the JIU’s recommendations were generally sound, the Council agreed with the Director- General’s comments concerning the value of linguistic and cultural diversity as a positive factor in international thinking and action. Efforts to keep the cost of language services down should be continued, but the problem should not be viewed in terms of costs alone, and the overall interests of the Organization should be taken into account.
120. Caution should however continue to be exercised in this field, since, when a certain number of languages was exceeded, communication tended to become too cumbersome for efficient operations and so costly as to be counter-productive.
121. Reservations were expressed about two of the JIU's recommendations, namely that "additions to existing or planned language services should be avoided so far as possible", and that "Member States requesting new or expanded language services should consider paying or contributing to their cost". The Council felt that these recommendations did not,, on the one hand, take into account the advantages accruing to all members of the Organization from improved communication and, on the other hand, would be discriminatory since all Member Governments were already contributing to the cost of existing services. As to the recommendation about the possibility of providing common language services, the Council found it preferable that FAO should as far as possible rely on language personnel sufficiently familiar with its subject matter.
122. While no specific decision was requested at this stage, a number of members felt that consideration should be given to the feasibility of eventually introducing Portuguese among the Organization's languages, since it was the official language of seven countries in three continents, with a population close to 200 million.
123. Appreciation was expressed of the Director-General's efforts to strengthen the use of Arabic at Headquarters and at the Near East Regional Office. Appreciation was also expressed at the generous contributions from a number of Arab countries in this regard.
124. Reaffirming the principle of statutory parity between FAO languages, the Council emphasized once more the need for a pragmatic and flexible approach as well as for selectivity in actual practice. The various languages should be used only when a clear need was established, with due regard to the Organization's priorities.
125. The Council endorsed the joint comments of the UN Agencies and UNDP on the JIU Report, noting in this connection that these joint comments took fully into account the specific comments made by the Director-General.
126. The Council further noted the views of the Programme and Finance Committees that although the JIU Report covered fairly well-known ground in its comments and conclusions on a number of aspects of the work of the Agencies in support of projects and programmes, it was nevertheless useful to receive for consideration such a comprehensive analysis of the many difficulties to be overcome in the area of field project support.
127. The Council fully endorsed the comments of the Director-General and the Programme and Finance Committees on this report. It agreed with the recommendations made by the Inspector and welcomed the steps taken by the Director-General towards increasing the participation of women in the Secretariat. The Council was informed that as a result of the Director-General's programmes, a total of 197 Professional women now served at Headquarters and Regional Offices, including some at senior levels, as opposed to the 173 mentioned in the JIU report, reflecting a percentage increase to 14.3 percent.
128. The Council was informed about the latest developments. These had to a large extent overtaken the JIU Note. At the invitation of the Intergovernmental Working Group, intensive Inter-Agency discussions had taken place, following which the Administrator was preparing proposals for submission to the UNDP Intergovernmental Working Group in January 1979.
129. The ACC had discussed the Administrator's intentions but agreement had not been reached between all the members. The Director-General had maintained FAO's reservations of principle to any change of the present system, bearing in mind that any changes would require prior consideration by the Governing Bodies of the Organization.
130. The Council recalled its previous concern with this matter. It approved the action taken by the Director-General at the ACC and in particular the reservations mentioned in paragraph 129 above, and welcomed the intention of the Director-General to report fully on the matters at the next session.
131. The. Council endorsed in general the comments made by the Programme and Finance Committees on the JIU Report on the Role of Experts as well as on the tentative joint comments by UNDP and the Specialized Agencies.
132. The Council noted that UNDP's Governing Council, which had commissioned this particular study of the JIU, would undertake an in-depth review of the JIU report at its June 1979 session. The Council considered it likely that the questions dealt with in the report as well as related subjects would be on the agenda of the Governing Bodies of FAO as well as of the other members of the UN system for some time to come. It was therefore now too early to form specific recommendations or opinions on all the questions dealt with in the JIU Study, many of which were of fundamental importance to the development assistance activities of the UN system.
133. In general, the Council felt that the Inspectors' basic concept of government management of its development activities, whether financed from its own resources or from external sources, was sound and should be accepted as a guiding principle for the system's development assistance in future. It was clear that, depending on widely varying circumstances in different projects and in different countries, this principle would find expression in practice in many different ways, and FAO and the other Agencies must continue to control the level of qualification of experts and to assist Member Governments, each in its specialized field.
134. The Council recognized that as regards many of the detailed recommendations of the JIU, thorough studies and examinations would now be required to ascertain possibilities and implications, such as in the use of various types of staff, payment systems, and organizational arragements, and many questions regarding the relations between experts and the funding organization and the recipient country.
135. The Council urged that FAO play an active part in follow-up activities resulting from the JIU study and in examining the possibilities for implementation of the JIU recommendations. In this work, the Organization should always keep in mind the over-ruling requirement that FAO had to hold at the disposal of the developing countries experts with adequate qualifications and competence, and expertise of the requisite quality.
136. In general the Council felt that the greatest long-term impact and value of the JIU report would be in its emphasis on government management of development activities and on the possibilities through the means of regional projects to further development cooperation between countries. In this connection, the use of national inputs including institutions would be increasingly valid as a way of improving countries' potentials for extending assistance to other countries.
1CL 74/7; CL 74/PV/4; CL 74/PV/14.
2CL 74/8; CL 74/PV/5; CL 74/PV/15.
3See paras. 144-157 below.
4CL 74/INF/9; CL 74/PV/5; CL 74/PV/14.
5See Appendix E.
6CL 74/PV/13; CL 74/PV/15.
7CL 74/5, paras 1.71-1.78; CL 74/18; CL 74/29; CL 74/PV/7; CL 74/PV/8; CL 74/PV/15.
9CL 74/5, para 1.66-1.70; CL 74/28; CL 74/PV/8; CL 74/PV/15.
10CL 74/24; CL 74/PV/8; CL 74/PV/15.
12CL 74/25; CL 74/PV/12; CL 74/PV/15.
13CL 74/21; CL 74/5 paras. 1.5-1.20; CL 74/PV/9; CL 74/PV/10; CL 74/PV/15.
14E/1978/107, para. 24.
15CL 74/22; CL 74/PV/10; CL 74/PV/11; CL 74/PV/15.
16See paras. 65-75 above.
17CL 74/23; CL 74/PV/11; CL 74/PV/15. See also paras. 126-129 below.
18CL 74/16; CL 74/PV/11; CL 74/PV/15.
19CL 74/5, paras. 1.50 and 2.90.
20CL 74/3, paras. 119-125; CL 74/4, paras. 82-85; CL 74/Il; CL 74/11-Sup.1; CL 74/11-Sup.1-Rev.1 (E only); CL 74/PVI11; CL 74/PV/15; See also paras 142143 below.
21CL 74/3, paras. 126-134; CL 74/4, paras. 86-90; CL 75/5 paras. 2.88-2.89; CL 74/12; CL 74/12-Sup. 1; CL 74/PV/ll; CL 74/PV/15. See also paras. 109-117 above.
22CL 74/13; CL 74/3, paras. 135-137; CL 74/4, paras. 91-94; CL 74/PV/ll; CL 74/PV/15.
23CL 74/5, paras. 1.47-1.49, paras. 2.28-2.84; CL 74/15; CL 74/PV/ll; CL 74/PV/15.
24CL 74/5, paras. 1.39-1.46, paras. 2.82-2.84; CL 74/17; CL 74/PV/ll; CL 74/PV/15.