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State of Food and Agriculture, 1980

Endorsed the Director-General’s assessment of the grave situation and outlook, to wit, that the food situation had become alarming, particularly in Africa , and that the world faced a potential food crisis next year (para. 8).

Urged the international community to strengthen the arrangements for food aid programmes by achieving a minimum annual target of 500 000 tons for the International Emergency Food Reserve, and by ensuring that food aid commitments attained a minimum level of 10 million tons (para. 14).

Stated that efforts should be made to place the International Emergency Food Reserve on a more assured and predictable basis, of which a legally binding convention could be one of the means to be considered by the Committee on Food Security at its next Session (para. 14).

Endorsed the signal of global alert the Director-General had sounded (para. 15).

Supported the initiative the Director-General had taken over the last year, in view of the increasingly critical food situation (para. 16).

Requested the Director-General to keep the food situation under constant review and close observation, and call a special Consultation should a further deterioration warrant it (para. 16).

Urged implementation of the UN General Assembly (7th Special Session) decision regularly to provide fertilizer aid of 1 million tons of plant nutrients to MSA countries, as well as adequate contributions to the International Fertilizer Scheme (para. 18).

Requested the Director-General to provide special assistance to the LDCs, in preparation for the UN Conference on Least Developed Countries to be held in 1981 (para. 19).

Endorsed the Director-General’s proposal to accord higher priority to Africa in FAO’s Programme of Work and Budget for the 1982/83 biennium (para. 20).

Recommended that FAO should develop cooperative arrangements between its inter-governmental Groups on commodities and the Second Account of the Commun Fund with a view to helping developing countries in these objectives (para.23).

Drew attention to the need for a major effort to be made to inform and persuade public opinion of developed countries, developing donor countries and other potential donor countries of the mutual benefits of international cooperation and assistance (para. 25).

Urged that increasing use be made of the food balance sheets compiled by FAO in reviewing the world’s food and nutrition situation (para. 29).

Urged Governments and the international community to implement the Declaration of the Principles and Programme of Action of WCARRD (para. 31).

Urged the international community to implement without delay the measures and action programmes for food, agricultural and rural development, on most of which existed a consensus reflected in the relevant sections of the new IDS (pare. 31).

Report of the Committee on World Food Security 

(Fifth Session, Rome, 27 March - 3 April 1980)

- Progress Report on Action taken in pursuance of Conference Resolution 3/79 on World Food Security

Endorsed the Committee’s Report (para. 32)

Agreed that an adequate and assured supply of strategic agricultural inputs was essential for achieving a substantial growth in food production and for contributing to world food security (para. 34).

Agreed on the need to strengthen the food security infrastructure of developing countries (para. 37).

Urged governments to make additional voluntary contributions and/or to coordinate their bilateral assistance where appropriate, so as to ensure that the resources available through the Scheme were sufficient to respond to the increasing requirements for assistance, as envisaged in Conference Resolution 3/79 (para. 37).

Recognized that logistic problems had been discussed in the report of the Ad Hoc Working Party on Preparedness for Acute and Large-Scale Food Shortages which would be considered by the Committee on World Food Security at its Sixth Session (para. 38)

Requested the Committee on World Food Security at its Sixth Session to invite the IWC to report on progress towards establishing a new Wheat Trade Convention and to consider any further action required to safeguard world food security, especially of developing countries, as specified in the Plan of Action on World Food Security and in pursuance of Conference Resolution 3/79 (para. 39).

Stressed the importance of continuing the Food Aid Convention beyond its present date of expiry of 30 June 1981 (para. 40).

Urged participating countries to make all efforts, together with new contributors,to increase the level of food aid to developing countries, guaranteed under the Food Aid Convention, from 7.6 million tons to at least 10 million tons of cereals per year, and to this end called on governments not yet members of the Food Aid Convention, but in a position to do so, to accede to it (para. 40).

Requested the Committee on World Food Security at its Sixth Session to make specific proposals on ways of improving preparedness both at the national and international levels, taking into account the findings of the Ad Hoc Working Party on Preparedness for Acute and Large-Scale Food Shortages (para. 41).

Commended the personal efforts of the Director-General to encourage new donors to contribute to the International Emergency Food Reserve (para. 43).

Welcomed the decision of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes to consider the Director-General’s proposal (that the IEFR be developed into a legally binding convention) further at its Eleventh Session along with other proposals and suggestions (para. 43).

Welcomed the assistance being provided by FAO to support the initiatives taken by governments and regional and international bodies to strengthen collective self-reliance at regional and sub-regional levels (para. 44)

Requested the Committee on World Food Security to pay special attention to the possibilities of increasing collective self-reliance through the setting up of regional food security schemes, bearing in mind the action taken by various regional groupings and the recommendations on this subject of the FAO Regional Conferences (para. 45)

Report of the Committee on Forestry
(Fifth Session, Rome, 26-30 May 1980)

Agreed that FAO should act as the lead agency within the United Nations system on matters related to wood for energy (para. 47).

Agreed that FAO act as a clearing house for the collation, analysis and dissemination of information in the field of wood for energy and that FA0 assist member countries in the integration of wood-related energy within their national energy policies (para. 48).

Approved the Committee’s support to the FAO Forestry for Development (para. 50).

Agreed that there was greater need for the Organization and countries concerned to effect closer integration of forestry with agriculture with a view to ration-alizing shifting cultivation, preventing floods and soil erosion, combating desertification, and maintaining the water balance and environmental quality, thus contributing to food production (para. 51).

Stressed that there was need for more integrated projects in rural areas (para. 52).

Endorsed the Committee’s recommendation that FAO increase its support to efforts aimed at the attainment of multi-disciplinary systems of forest management and afforestation which would actively involve local populations and secure benefits for them, through forest cooperatives, incentives, extension and related institutional arrangements (para. 52).

Approved the recommendations of the Committee on FAO’s Programme of Work in the forestry sector (para. 53).

Stressed the importance of programmes aimed at: the development and improved management of tropical forests; the creation of better planning and investment analysis capability at the national level; strengthening of national institutions, particularly through training at all levels; regional and global forest inventories and outlook studies; genetic improvement, afforestation and reforestation, especially in arid and moutainous areas; watershed management and prevention of losses from fires; development of appropriate industries (para. 53).

Stressed the need for greater investment in forestry and for increased assistance under multilateral and other programmes .for technical cooperation, particularly within the framework of TCDC (para. 54).

Endorsed the report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Forestry (para. 55).

Report of the Commission on Fertilizers
(Sixth Session, Rome, 30 June - 3 July 1980)

Endorsed the Commission’s report (para. 56).

Endorsed the Commission’s request that its Consultative Working Group undertake a study on the major factors affecting fertilizer supply, demand and prices, and submit its findings to the Commission for consideration at its next session (para. 58).

Supported fully FAO activities on fertilizers, stressing that those promoting the effective use of fertilizers should remain a major component of FAO’s future work (para. 59).

Agreed that many developing countries would be better off by importing fertilizer rather than food as any increase in food production in developing countries as a result of fertilizer use would mean less dependence on food aid for these countries (para. 60).

Urged a considerable increase in fertilizer aid to MSA countries and, in particular, the strengthening of and additional support to IFS, not as a diversion from bilateral assistance, but to constitute effective additional fertilizer aid to the developing countries (para. 61).

Agreed that IFS should maintain its multilateral character (para. 62).

Endorsed the continuation of the Option System with respect to price stabilization measures (para. 64).

Welcomed the continuation of work on the systematic assessment of world phosphate rock resources and in particular the potential for the indigenous use of such resources by developing countries (para. 66).

Supported the continuation of the constructive cooperation among FAO, UNIDO and the World Bank in the field of fertilizers (para. 67).

World Food Programme:

- Election of Five Members of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes

Elected the following five Member Nations to the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, for a term of office of three years (1 January 1981 to 31 December 1983): Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United States of America (para. 81).

Inter-Agency Relations and Consultations on Matters of Common Interest

- Special Session of the UN General Assembly and the New International Development Strategy

Agreed that, pending detailed consideration of the New International Development Strategy by the FAO Governing Bodies, the Director-General should take the lead in ensuring that everything possible was done by FAO to make the Third Development Decade more successful in food and agriculture than had been the Second Development Decade, which was now drawing to an end with very scant positive results (para. 84).

Requested the Director-General to take active interest in the substantive role FAO should play in the negotiations on food and agriculture, as part of the new round of Global Negotiations on international economic cooperation for development, including mobilizing and providing secretariat support for the negotiations where appropriate (para. 85).

-Coordination Activities within the UN System, including follow-up of Conference Resolution 6/79 on Development Assistance for Food Production and Rural Development

Endorsed the views of the Programme and Finance Committees which should constitute guidelines for the Director-General in dealing with requests for coordination activities in the United Nations system (para. 88).

Agreed with the overall view of the Director-General that every time the question of establishing additional coordination mechanism arose, the costs should be worked out in advance and compared with expected benefits (para. 89).

Emphasized the importance of governments ensuring that their delegations in New York, Rome and elsewhere expressed consistent views (para. 90).

Supported the lead agency principle and belieVed that every effort should be made to avoid the establishment within the United Nations system of new mechanisms (para. 91).

Agreed that FAO clearly should continue to take the lead in matters that are its constitutional responsibility in connexion with food, agriculture and rural development (para. 91).

Requested the Director-General to ensure that full consultations were carried out with the UN Regional Economic Commissions to avoid overlapping or duplication, and to report on any serious problems encountered (para. 93).

Emphasized the importance for FAO to assist in the strengthening of the capability of developing countries in identifying, formulating and implementing development projects (para. 99).

Supported particularly the concept of “lead agency” in the allocation of executing responsibilities for multi-disciplinary projects and stressed the importance of utilising the technical and development experience accumulated by FAO in the execution of all UNDP-assisted agricultural and rural development projects which fell exclusively or mostly within the technical competence of FAO (para. 100).

Commended the initiatives taken by the Director-General and the Administration of the UNDP in building up closer and more effective cooperation between their respective organizations, both at the policy as well as the country level (para. 101).

Welcomed the UNDP Governing Council decision on “Development Assistance for Food Production and Rural Development” as well as the joint letter to FAO and UNDP field representatives, signed by the heads of the two organizations, which fully recognized the importance of agriculture and food production in the developing countries and the pivotal role of FAO within the UN system in assisting efforts of the developing countries in these sectors (para. 102).

Supported the Director-General’s decision to participate in the UNDP Inter-Agency Task Force on a continuing basis (para. 103).

Called upon all member countries to take every possible step to ensure that UNDP resources grew in a way commensurate with its responsibilities as the main financing organization for technical assistance within the UN system (para. 104).

Endorsed the comments made in the report of the Director-General concerning support to all measures that might be taken to simplify procedures and approaches to development cooperation (para. 105).

- Joint Inspection Unit Reports, including:

(a) Initial Guidelines for Internal Evaluation Systems of United Nations Organizations

Agreed that FAO should adopt the JIU Guidelines as relevant and appropriate to the needs of the Organization (para. 108).

(b) Work Programme of the Joint Inspection Unit for 1980

Considered that it would be desirable for the JIU to endeavour to ensure that its work was in itself cost effective and did not place too great a burden on the staff time of the secretariats of the participating organizations (para. 109).

(c) Twelfth Report on the Activities of the JIU (July 1979 - June 1980)

Agreed that still more progress to increase in FAO the number and to improve the status of women in the Professional category, depended in large part On further efforts which could be made by Member Governments in presenting qualified women candidates for posts in the Organization (para. 111).

(d) Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities of the UN System in Sri Lanka

Agreed that this report was a useful contribution towards a better understanding of the problems of programming and implementing UN aid projects and of opportunities for the future (para. 112).

Supported the emphasis placed in the report on strengthening national self-reliance,and on the need to reduce the dependence on long-term foreign experts in implementing UN aid projects and to utilize more national staff and short-term consultants, and also to increase the use of experts or consultants from other developing countries wherever possible (para. 113).

(e) Report on FAO Regioal Dairy Development and Training Centre for English-Speaking Countries in Africa (Naivasha, Kenya)

Recommended that similar centres should be established for all African countries in other fields of interest to FAQ such as fisheries and crops (para. 114).

Action Arising out of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) - Progress Report

Supported the actions taken by FAQ in the implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action (para. 115).

Urged countries to make generous extra-budgetary contributions to meet the target of US $20 million (para. 116).

Endorsed the high priority which the Director-General intended to give to the WCARRD follow-up in the 1982-83 Programme of Work and Budget (para. 117).

Endored the emphasis on such assistance on (a) planning and implementation of agrarian reform and rural development; (b) people’s participation; (c) the integration of rural women in development; (d) analysis of rural poverty; and (e) monitoring and evaluation of rural development (para. 118).

Supported FAO’s promotion of inter-country cooperation at regional level (para. 119).

Reiterated strong support for FAO’s efforts to promote the establishment of Regional Centres for Rural Development (para. 119).

Welcomed FAO’s initiatives through the ACC Task Force on Rural Development to invite UN agencies to support FAQ’s intensive national support programme and to join high level missions (para. 120).

Supported FAO’s efforts to establish a new programme of work for the ACC Task Force on Rural Development in tune with the WCARRD Programme of Action (para. 120).

Endorsed FAO’s efforts to create an umbrella programme for the promotion of people’s participation in which interested UN agencies, NGOs and donor countries would cooperate (para. 121).

Endorsed FAO’s efforts through guidelines, studies, consultations at the regional and country levels and cooperation with women’s non-governmental organizations to promote the women’s integration in development, stressing that the full integration of women on equal terms with men in rural development would facilitate the achievement of the objectives of rural development (para. 122).

Supported the actions taken by the Director-General to reorient FAO’s programmes to create the necessary mechanisms for coordination and action within FAO and to strengthen policy formulation and deeper analysis of problems to make action more effective (para. 123).

Welcomed especially the setting up of the Inter-Departmental Committee on Rural  Development at policy level, and the appointment of the Working Group at a high  technical and operation level (para. 123).

Welcomed the report of progress in the development of socio-economic indicators by FAO and FAO’s plans to assist countries to test and apply such indicators (para. 124).

Suggested that the possibility should be explored for the translation and publication of the WCARRD Programme of Action in as many national languages as possible with Unesco support, if available (para. 125).

Supported fully FAO’s action already taken and planned as reported to the Council (para. 126).

Called on all countries in a position to do so to provide FAO with the necessary resources to enable FAO to fulfill the role and mandate entrusted to it by WCARRD (para. 126).

World Food Day (16 October 1981)

Agreed that the decisions taken by the Director-General to implement Resolution 1/79 were in compliance with and adequate to meet its purpose and objectives (para. 129).

Urged FAO and Member Governments to secure NGO participation in World Food Day observance to the maximum extent possible (para. 131).

Recommended that all governments that had not already done so should designate a liaison officer for World Food Day as requested by .the Director-General without delay (para. 132).

Requested the Secretariat to provide Member Governments with full details of the promotional and informative materials being produced by FAO at the earliest possible time, and to ensure the timely provision of such materials so they could be used to the maximum effect (para. 133).

Endorsed the report of the Joint Session of the Programme and Finance Committees on Preparations for World Food Day, including support for the Director-General’s call to Governments to consider making voluntary contributions to help defray some World Food Day expenses (para. 135).

Agricultural Training - Report of an Evaluation Study

Supported the conclusions and recommendations of the report (para. 136).

Stressed the importance of increasing and improving the orientation of training programmes for women, which should also be staffed by women to a greater extent (para. 138).

Recognized that an adequate programme of training for lower and intermediate level personnel, both male and female, who would be in contact with farmers should be given priority in designing future training programmes (para. 139).

Agreed that the content and type of training must be scrutinized for their appropriateness to national needs and that completed programmes should be followed up by all actions necessary to ensure that maximum use was made of the training received (para. 140).

Revised Calendar of 1980-81 Sessions of the Council and those
Bodies which Report to the Council

Approved the revised Calendar of Sessions for 1980-81 of the Council and those Bodies which report to it, as given in Appendix G to this report (para. 145).

Financial Matters, including:

Financial Position of the Organization

(a) Contribution matters

-Current Contributions

Appealed to all Member Nations to fulfill their financial obligations to the Organization, including early payment of their 1981 assessments, and stressed the importance of timely receipt, especially in view of difficult inflationary problems, in order that the programmes of the Organization would not be adversely affected (para. 149).

- Contributions in Arrears

Urged Member Nations with arrears, to settle their obligations as promptly as possible (para. 150).

- Applications for Membership

Recommended that the contributions from each applicant for membership for the last quarter of 1981, on admission to membership, and as provided for in Financial Regulation 5.8, be US $3 400, in accordance with established principles and practices (para. 151).

(b) Special Reserve Account of the Regular Programme

Agreed that whilst it was reasonable to expect the Director-General to seek economies wherever feasible, it was not in the interests of the Organization to absorb such a large proportion of the unbudgeted extra-costs through programme savings (para. 157).

Requested the Finance Committee and, to the extent necessary, the CCLM to examine the current validity, application and effectiveness of the provisions of the Special Reserve Account as established by Conference Resolution 27/77, and submit proposals on the matter to the next session of the Council (para. 158).

   - Audited Accounts

Endorsed the action taken by the Director-General to utilize funds for TCP resulting from economies made on projects financed from the 1976-77 biennium, to fund projects which had originally been financed against the TCP appropriation for the 1978-79 biennium (para. 160).

Requested that attention should be given to the early implementation of the recommen-dations of the External Auditor with regard to field stock-taking records (para. 161).

Other Programme, Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters:
Work of the Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth Sessions of the Programme
Committee, and Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth Sessions of the Finance
Committee, including

- Review of Conference Procedures

Agreed that major changes in Conference Sessions would have disadvantages as well as advantages, but that within the present framework the improvement and arrangements described in paragraphs 166-172, were desirable (para. 165).

Agreed on the subject of overlapping in major Conference documents that the most important aspect of the matter was to reduce duplication in discussion rather than in the content of the documents themselves (para. 173).

Agreed to changes in certain Conference documents and arrangements for their discussion (para. 174).

- UNDP Support Costs

Reaffirmed the constitutional responsibilities of the FAQ Conference and Council concerning the financial and budgetary consequences for the Organization of decisions by other UN bodies (para. 181).

Agreed that the primary objective was to maximise the use of funds made available to UNDP in the interests of donor and recipient governments and that every effort should be made to keep total support costs to the minimum necessary compatible with the need for maintaining the necessary quantity and desired quality of support (para. 183).

Noted that there was no dichotomy between the substantive elements of a project and the support required to deliver these elements (para. 184).

Agreed (by a majority group of views) that if the Conference decided to adopt the rate of 13 percent, the Director-General must ensure that support to projects was adequate in quality and quantity and include the necessary minimum amount over 13 percent in the Regular Programme sub-programme provisions (para. 185).

Agreed that the provisions of Chapter II, Section 250 of the FAO Manual in respect of Trust Funds should be maintained (para. 188).

Confirmed that all the ample information available to the Governing Council of the UNDP should continue to be supplied together with any other information relevant to the use of UNDP support costs, provided this did not involve infringement of the responsibility or the competence belonging only to FAO’s Governing Bodies to judge the use and management of the totality of FAO’s activities, funded from all sources, nor the introduction of new cost measurement systems which would only add to rather than reduce support costs, and that the Director-General should use his discretion and, if necessary and appropriate refer any problem in this regard to the Finance Committee and/or Council (para. 189).

- General Service Salaries

Took decisions on the Salary Schedule, on Index and method for between-survey adjustments, and on contributions to medical plans, as detailed in the paragraph (para. 191).

Approved the Director-General’s recommendation for a further adjustment of the dependency allowances effective February 1980, due to changes in the Italian fiscal legislation (para. 193).

Agreed that the additional costs resulting from the implementation of the recommendations of the survey carried out by ICSC in the autumn of 1979 of General Service salaries in Rome would have to be met from the Special Reserve Account (para. 194).

Adjustments to the B.R. Sen Award

Approved the Director-General’s recommendation that the amount of the cash prize of the B.R. Sen Annual Award be increased from US $2 000 to US $3 000 (para. 195).

- Other Programme Committee Matters

Agreed that the Technical Working Party on Coconut Production, Protection and Processing should be replaced by a Panel of Experts (para. 199).

Laid particular stress concerning FAO Training Activities on the importance of training in the legal aspects of EEZ (para. 200).

- Other Finance Committee Matters

  (a) Amendment to Staff Regulation

Approved a revised text of Staff Regulation 301.0333, concerning education travel, as shown in the paragraph (para. 201).

  (b) Headquarters’ Accommodation

Requested the Director-General to continue his discussions with the Government of Italy on the New Building Complex, with a view to pursuing this possible permanent solution to the Headquarters’ accommodation problem (para. 203).

  (c) Sixth Annual Report of the International Civil Service Commission

Agreed that FAO follow the decisions of the UN General Assembly on the recommen-
dations of the Commission (para. 206).

Authorized the Director-General to amend the FAO Staff Regulations to give effect to the recommendations of the Commission as approved and/or amended by the UN General Assembly and with the same effective date (para. 206).

Authorized that the annual salary of the Deputy Director-General be adjusted as shown in the paragraph from 1 January 1981 (para. 207).

Report of the Thirty-ninth Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters ( Rome , 29 September-1 October 1980

- New Memorandum of Understanding between FAO, the
African Development Bank and the African Development Fund

Agreed that the 1968 Memorandum of Understanding with the African Development Bank be terminated by mutual consent (para. 213).

Welcomed the fact that the Director-General and the President of the African Development Bank and Fund would soon be in a position to sign the new Memorandum of Understanding (para. 213).

0ther Constitutional and Legal Matters, including:
- Date for Nominations for the Qffice of Director-General

Decided that nominations for the Office of Director-General should be communicated to the Secretary-General of the Conference at he latest by 10 April 1981 at 17.30 hours, and that such nominations should be circulated by the Secretary-General to all Member Nations of the Organization by 4 May 1981 (para. 215).

- Applications for Membership in the Organization: Equatorial Guinea , Tonga , Zimbabwe

Authorized the Director-General to invite the applicants for membership, Equatorial Guinea , Tonga and Zimbabwe , to participate in an observer capacity at appropriate Council meetings, as well as at regional and technical meetings of the Organization of interest to them (para. 217).

- Agreement with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 
Arabic, French, Spanish and Chinese versions

Decided to approve the Arabic, Chinese, French and Spanish versions of the Agreement with IFAD contained in document CL 78/29 (para. 221).

Date and Place of Seventy-ninth Council Session

Decided that its Seventy-ninth Session should be convened in Rome, from 22 June to 3 July 1981 (para. 222).

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