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Report of the Committee on Forestry (Fifth Session, Rome, 26-30 May 1980)1

47. The Council, recognizing the important role of the forestry sector in providing energy requirements, particularly domestic energy needs of rural people, agreed with the recommendation of the Committee on Forestry (COFO) that FAO should act as the lead agency within the United Nations system on matters related to wood for energy.

48. Moreover, considering that the production of wood for energy should be an integral component of forest management, the Council 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 FAO assist member countries in the integration of wood-related energy within their national energy policies. Great care should be taken to avoid excessive logging of forests so as not to waste a valuable source for other, important social and industrial uses.

49. The Council welcomed the increasing emphasis given by COFO to the role of forestry in rural development and the eradication of rural poverty. This emphasis was in accordance with the principles established by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) and the Jakarta Declaration of the Eighth World Forestry Congress, both of which had been endorsed by the FAO Conference at its Twentieth Session in 1979.

50. The Council approved the Committee’s support to the FAO Forestry Strategy for Development, which integrates in a balanced manner the productive, social and environmental functions of forestry.

51. In this context, the Council agreed that there was greater need for the Organization and countries concerned to effect closer integration of forestry with agriculture with a view to rationalizing shifting cultivation, preventing floods and soil erosion, combating desertification, and maintaining the water balance and environmental quality, thus contributing to food production.

52. The Council stressed that there was need for more integrated projects in rural areas and 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.

53. The Council commended FAO’s dynamic and pragmatic programmes in the forestry and forest industries sector and approved the recommendations of the Committee on FAO’s Programme of Work in the forestry sector. In addition to the priority areas of energy and the participation of the forestry sector in rural development, the Council 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 mountainous areas; watershed management and prevention of losses from fires; development of appropriate industries.

54. The Council noted with satisfaction the offers of various member countries to share their experience in the common endeavour to develop, manage and better utilize the world’s forest resources. It 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.

55. With the above considerations, the Council endorsed the report of the Fifth Session of the Committee on Forestry.

Report of the Commission on Fertilizers (Sixth Session, Rome, 30 June - 3 July 1980) 2

56. The Council endorsed the Commission’s report and supported the recommendations contained therein. It expressed satisfaction with the work of the Commission, particularly in providing information and guidance to member countries.

57. The Council noted with concern the rise of fertilizer prices which could seriously set back efforts in increasing food production. The increase in prices of nitrogenous fertilizers could be attributed partly to the corresponding rise in cost of production. So far as the rise in prices of phosphatic and potash fertilizers was concerned, it was difficult to correlate the price rise with cost of production as these were mainly mined products. Moreover, the price of nitrogenous fertilizers did not rise as sharply as those of phosphatic and potash fertilizers, which some members felt could be explained by a much greater degree of competitiveness among the manufacturers of nitrogenous fertilizers. These same members expressed the belief that remedial measures could still be adopted to moderate these price increases. They, therefore, urged FAO to make all efforts aimed at making fertilizers available to farmers of the developing countries at reasonable prices.

58. The Council agreed on the need to conduct a study on the major factors affecting fertilizer supply, demand and prices. It, therefore, endorsed the Commission’s request that its Consultative Working Group undertake such a study and to submit its findings to the Commission for consideration at its next session. Some members felt that FAO should initiate a dialogue between the fertilizer producer/exporters and the consumer/importers with the aim of moderating increases in fertilizer export prices on a voluntary basis, However, other members felt that no action should be taken which would anticipate the results of that study. In this connection, it was explained that due to the complexity of the issues involved, some of which were outside the purview of the Organization, it was difficult for FAO to intervene in this area.

59. The Council fully supported the FAO activities on fertilizers. It stressed that activities promoting the effective use of fertilizers should remain a major component of its future work. It likewise appreciated the on-going efforts increasingly to use other sources of plant nutrients besides mineral fertilizers such as biologically fixed nitrogen and recycling of organic material, although it was noted that any substantive impact from the latter sources could only be achieved in the long run.

60. The Council agreed that in considering food security broadly, the question on fertilizers was a relevant issue, in that many developing countries would be better off by importing fertilizer rather than food. The Council also agreed that any increase in food production in developing countries as a result of fertilizer use would mean less dependence on food aid for these countries.

61. The Council urged a considerable increase in fertilizer aid to MSA countries and, in particular, the strengthening of and additional support to the International Fertilizer Scheme (IFS). Such additional support should not be a diversion from bilateral assistance, but in effect constitute additional fertilizer aid to the developing countries.

62. The Council agreed that IFS should maintain its multilateral character. However, flexibility in its operation was desirable especially in accommodating arrangements for bilaterally donated fertilizers.

63. The Council noted the observation of some members that inmost cases, the costs of fertilizer produced domestically in developing countries were higher than those for imported fertilizers due to economy of scale whereas in others this was not so because of the higher level of demand. It was, therefore, to the advantage of the developing countries that FAO should assist in encouraging regional cooperation among them in the establishment of fertilizer plants in cooperation with the World Bank and UNIDO.

64. The Council took note of the different price stabilization measures considered by the Commission. In this connection, the Council endorsed the continuation of the Option System.

65. The Council noted the offer of Malta to host a training and demonstration centre on the efficient use of fertilizer for the benefit of southern European and North African countries.

66. The Council 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.

67. The Council supported the continuation of the constructive cooperation among FAO, UNIDO and the World Bank in the field of fertilizers.

World Food Programme (WFP)

- Fifth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the UN/FAO World Food Programme3

68. The Council had before it the Fifth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA), covering the calendar year 1979, and including in particular information on the Eighth Session of the CFA which was held from 22 to 30 October 1979. Information concerning the Seventh Session, held in May 1979, was included in the fourth report (document WFP/ CFA: 7/20).

69. In introducing the report, the Executive Director drew the attention of the Council to a number of points and provided updated information concerning pledges of resources to WFP. He informed the Council that $803 million or 85% of the target of $950 million set for the biennium 1979-80 had so far been pledged. Of the $1 000 million set as the target for the biennium 1981-82, $731 million or 73% had been pledged to date. In commenting on these figures the Executive Director pointed to the effects of inflation upon the real value of the quantities pledged. Illustrating his point by a reference to the ten-year period 1969-79, he noted that although pledges had increased by about 150%, the actual value they represented had increased by no more than 2%. It was in the light of this consideration, among others, that he felt that the minimum target of $1 000 million for 1981-82 should be viewed.

70. He explained that during the biennium 1979-80 the Programme had managed to maintain a level of commitments of the order of $450 to $500 million a year to new development projects, in spite of the tightening resource position. This had been achieved by effecting economies, de-earmarking commodities and utilizing some of the annual carry-over - a practice which he thought could not be resorted to indefinitely. Some 80% of the development projects assisted in the biennium were in the least developed and MSA countries.

71. The Executive Director stated that the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) had performed better in the current year than in 1979. Although the target of 500 000 tons set for the Reserve had still not been reached, 430 000 tons had been pledged so far in 1980. Of this, a higher percentage than before had gone to WFP. However, some of the supplies channelled through the Programme were in effect bilateral commitments and not necessarily utilized according to the principles stipulated originally at the time of establishing the Reserve. The Executive Director outlined the advantages of having the IEFR on a more stable and predictable basis. 4 He pointed out that its existence had a further advantage in that it actually freed resources pledged to WFP for use in development projects which otherwise might have to be directed to meeting increased emergency needs. Of the $152 million spent so far on emergencies in 1980 $24 million had come from the regular resources of the Programme and $128 million from the IEFR, while in 1979 the Programme’s emergency allocation had to be increased from $45 million to $65 million to respond to some extent to the large number of emergencies in that year.

72. The Executive Director informed the Council that a study on the different types of emergencies was being undertaken with a view to improving the Programme’s emergency operations. The findings and recommendations of that study would be submitted to the CFA.

73. In concluding, the Executive Director reminded the Council that the cash position of the Programme was a cause for concern. WFP’s regulation which stipulates that the cash and services component of its pledged resources should amount, in the aggregate, to at least one third of the total contributions, was still not being met. The problem was compounded by the greatly increased transport costs and the rapidly expanding cash requirements to assist least developed countries in meeting their internal costs in handling WFP-supplied commodities. Limited sales of WFP commodities to assist in meeting internal costs might help to relieve the problem. It had also been suggested that sales might be considered in the case of emergency aid to urban populations who sometimes were able to purchase WFP- supplied food. Such matters were expected to be considered by the CFA in the near future.

74. The Executive Director also pointed out that, in spite of rising costs, the Programme still managed to keep its administrative expenditure at about 5% of the total value of commodities delivered.

75. The Council commended the Executive Director and his Secretariat for the report, as well as for the excellent performance of the Programme. The Council expressed concern that pledges for so successful a Programme as WFP should be falling short of the targets approved by the United Nations General Assembly and the FAO Conference, and urged that traditional and potential donors should do all they could to achieve those targets.

76. Many members commented favourably on the concentration of WFP assistance on least developed and MSA countries and hoped that this trend would continue. Reference was made to the necessity of tackling the food problems at the national level, and the desirability of using food aid in projects aimed at increasing agricultural, and especially food, production. Projects for improving the nutritional status of vulnerable groups of the population were also commended for WFP support.

77. One member informed the Council that his country was channelling an increasing proportion of its bilateral food aid through WFP. It was also suggested that an additional function for the Programme could be that of acting as a clearing-house for bilateral food aid Programmes, without prejudicing their freedom of action.

78. Several members reiterated the desirability of purchases of food commodities by the Programme in developing countries as well as making increasing use of their shipping capacity.

79. WFP’s contribution to the United Nations Decade for Women was favourably commented upon. The utilization of the document prepared for the World Conference on that subject by the Programme as a manual for its field officers was particularly welcomed.

80. Many members spoke in favour of the development of the IEFR into a legally binding convention, recognizing the advantages to FP of having a predictable and assured source of supplies for meeting emergency requests. Other members, however, felt that this objective could be achieved by other means, as had been put forward at the Tenth Session of the CFA 5. The Council noted that the matter would be studied further by the Executive Director, in consultation with the Director-General of FAO and the Secretary-General of the United Nations. A report on this subject would be discussed by the CFA at its Eleventh Session in May 1981.

-Election of Five Members of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes 6

81. The Council 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 .

Inter-Agency Relations and Consultations on Matters of Common Interest7

82. On 27 November 1980 Mr. Arturo R. Tanco, the President of the World Food Council, addressed the Session. Mr. Tanco briefly traced the history and work of WFC since its creation. He recalled the major questions on which the WFC had concentrated its attention, including the support it had provided for FAO initiatives and programmes. He felt that the World Food Council had succeeded in placing food issues higher on the international agenda. The role of WFC had been clearly defined in Resolution XXII of the World Food Conference and re-affirmed by the UN General Assembly in the resolution creating the WFC. There was no competition with the role of FAO, and he was pleased that the record of FAO-WFC relations over the last five years was one of cooperation and not of confrontation. The Council welcomed Mr. Tanco’s statement.

- Special Session of the UN General Assembly and the New International Development Strategy8

83. The Council discussed the item on the basis of the document “Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO" (CL 78/18). Attention was drawn to the ACC statement on “Security and Independence of the International Civil Service”, which was being submitted to the governing bodies of organizations throughout the United Nations system. The Council was informed of recent developments since the document had been prepared.

84. The Council noted that the text of the New International Development Strategy for the Third UN Development Decade had been approved by the Second Committee of the General Assembly on 11 November 1980, and currently awaited formal adoption in plenary. The importance of this text, which contained detailed provisions regarding food and agriculture, was stressed by many speakers. After the Strategy had been promulgated by the General Assembly, its implications for FAO would need to be carefully assessed by the Council and Conference. Since the problems of the food and agricultural sector could, in general, not be solved in isolation, the implementation of the Strategy - including the review and appraisal of progress - would require stepped up cooperation between FAO and other agencies’, including new bodies such as the UNCTAD Common Fund. The Council agreed that, pending detailed consideration of the 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.

85. The Council also took note of the fact that the UN General Assembly had not reached a final decision at its Eleventh Special Session on the agenda and arrangements for a new round of Global Negotiations on international economic cooperation for development. Negotiations on unresolved issues relating to the agenda were under way during the current (35th) session of the Assembly, and it was hoped that the Global Negotiations could be launched early in 1981. The Council was informed that questions relating to agriculture and food were expected to feature in the Global Negotiations, and that no serious difficulty was likely to arise over the wording of the relevant agenda item. The Council stressed the potential importance of the Global Negotiations for the implementation of the New International Development Strategy, and for the achievement of a New International Economic Order. FAO should play a substantive role in the negotiations on food and agriculture. The Council requested the Director-General to take active interest in this matter, including mobilizing and providing secretariat support for the negotiations where appropriate.

86. The attention of the Council was also drawn to the fact that the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly had recently adopted a number of resolutions of interest to FAO, including in particular a resolution welcoming the observance of World Food Day annually as decided by the FAO Conference, a resolution on the work of the World Food Council, a resolution on the Food and Agriculture Situation in Africa and a resolution on the operational activities of the System for Development. The contents of these resolutions would be reported in detail to the FAO Governing Bodies in 1981 after they had been formally adopted by the General Assembly.

87. At the conclusion of its discussion, the Council took note of document CL 78/18.

- Coordination Activities within the UN System, including follow-up of Conference Resolution 6/79 on Development Assistance for Food Production and Rural Development9

(a) General

88. The Council discussed this item on the basis of the paper “Coordination Activities within the United Nations System” (CL 78/13) which had already been reviewed by the Programme and Finance Committees at their sessions in September 1980. The item was introduced by the Chairmen of the two Committees, who drew attention to the recommendations in their reports before the Council. The Council 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.

89. The Council recognized that there was a need for coordination in a large and complex system such as the United Nations. In particular, it attached full importance to the role of the General Assembly and ECOSOC in establishing an overall policy framework for the activities of the system. It felt, however, that elaborate arrangements for coordination had already been built up over the years, and the establishment of new mechanisms or additional procedures could absorb the energies of the organizations in the system without bringing about any corresponding increase in their productivity. The Council therefore agreed with the overall view of the Director-General that every time the question of establishing additional coordination mechanisms arose, the costs should be worked out in advance and compared with expected benefits.

90. Difficulties in coordination sometimes arose from the adoption by two or more organizations of different viewpoints on a single issue. These were often no more than the reflection of unsolved problems of coordination within national governments. The Council emphasized the importance of governments ensuring that their delegations in New York , Rome and elsewhere expressed consistent views.

91. The Council 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. FAO clearly should continue to take the lead in matters that are its constitutional responsibility in connection with food, agriculture and rural development.

92. The Council believed that joint planning and programming could serve a useful purpose only if it was specifically designed to make the best possible use of limited resources. The fact that development as a whole was an integrated process did not mean that every activity had to be integrated with every other activity. Joint planning and programming should be approached in terms of managerial efficiency as well as development philosophy.

93. The Council recognized that in some regions there was a potential problem of overlap between the specialized agencies and the United Nations Regional Economic Commissions, particularly since the UN General Assembly had increased the responsibility of the Commissions as part of the restructuring exercise launched with its resolution 32/197. The Council recognized that the overall regional perspective of a commission might often usefully complement the technical knowledge of a specialized agency. It was therefore important that FAO should continue to make every effort to cooperate actively with the regional commissions. It was equally important that the regional commissions should not undertake technical activities within specific sectors which overlapped with the programmes of FAO or other agencies. The Council requested the Director-General to ensure that full consultations were carried out with the Commissions to avoid overlapping or duplication, and to report on any serious problems encountered.

94. The Council recognized that coordination was necessary and useful provided it increased the total impact of the system. FAO’s primary responsibility was to help its Member Nations develop their food and agricultural sectors. Where this called for coordination or cooperation with other organizations on substantive programmes, this should be fostered. However, coordination carried out as an end in itself could be sterile, and by absorbing staff resources could ultimately have a negative rather than a positive result.

(b) Follow-up of Conference Resolution 6/79

95. The Council concurred with the Programme Committee that the interim progress report presented in document CL 78/21 provided in concise form essential information on actions taken by the Director-General pursuant to Conference Resolution 6/79, “Development Assistance for Food Production and Rural Development”. Some members felt, however, that the statistical presentation and analysis did not reflect completely the respective contributions of different groups of countries to the total aid flow. The limited availability of data from certain countries and groups of countries was noted in this respect. The Council was informed that an updated report would be submitted to the Twenty-first Session of the FAO Conference. This would contain any additional information on flow of official development assistance which would become available from all official sources, including the centrally- planned economies.

96. While welcoming the increased commitments to the agricultural sector during 1973-78, the Council noted with concern that the present rate of commitments still fell far short of requirements estimated by FAO in order to assist developing countries to attain the desired level of food production. The Council was informed that additional data that had become available since document CL 78/21 was prepared suggested an improvement in bilateral ODA commitments to agriculture in 1979 over 1978, by as much as 20% at current prices although this was to a large degree nullified by inflation. At the same time, ODA commitments to agriculture in 1979 through multilateral agencies apppeared to have gone up only by 7% in nominal terms, which represented an actual decline in real terms.

97. The Council expressed concern over the continuing diminution in real terms in total ODA disbursements to the developing countries. It agreed with the Director-General that further increase in the volume of aid to agriculture would largely depend on a substantial expansion of ODA commitments in general, by traditional and new donor countries.

98. The Council also underlined the fact that agricultural development would be influenced most significantly by the extent to which the developing countries themselves would accord priority to this sector in their development plans and allocation of resources, both from their own funds as well as in their request for external assistance. The Council welcomed the growing recognition of this fact among a large number of developing countries but regretted that this was not always sufficiently reflected in the allocation of available resources on a continuing basis, and expressed the hope that this situation would be corrected in the future.

99. The Council emphasized the importance for FAO to assist in the strengthening of the capability of developing countries in identifying, formulating and implementing development projects. Effective and continuing technical assistance activities were indeed a pre- condition for increased flow of investment funds for support of national programmes for accelerated food production.

100. In this context, the Council regretted the declining share of FAO in the execution of agricultural projects assisted by UNDP. This was particularly true of rural development and river basin projects assigned to agencies which did not have the necessary expertise in such fields as general agricultural development and irrigation which were fundamental in these types of project. The Council particularly supported 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.

101. The Council. commended the initiatives taken by the Director-General and the Administrator of the UNDP in building up closer and more effective cooperation between their respective organizations, both at the policy as well as at the country level. It noted with satisfaction the positive results that had already been achieved by these initiatives.

102. The Council particularly 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 recognised 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.

103. The Council also supported the Director-General’s decision to participate in the UNDP Inter-Agency Task Force on a continuing basis, It expressed the hope that this would improve communication between FAO and UNDP and, at the same time, ensure that agriculture and rural development received the attention they deserved in the allocation of resources available to UNDP and, more generally, improve the efficiency of UNDP operations in a true spirit of partnership with executing agencies.

104. The Council expressed serious concern over the dismal outlook presented to it on pledges to UNDP for the next year. If this trend continued, the assumed level of resources for the third UNDP programming cycle would not be achieved. As this was a matter of grave concern to the developing countries, the Council 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.

105. The Council gave strong support to all measures that might be taken to simplify procedures and approaches to development cooperation and endorsed the comments made in that regard in the report of the Director-General.

- Joint Inspection Unit Reports, including:

(a) Initial Guidelines for Internal Evaluation Systems of United Nations Organizations10

106. The Council endorsed the findings of the Programme and Finance Committees that this was a useful report, which could help to develop a common but flexible approach to internal evaluation among the UN organizations, and would stimulate thinking on the diverse forms of evaluation required to meet the wide range of differing needs and situations.

107. The Council noted with approval that FAO already had a developed system of auto- evaluation as well as other forms of evaluation. The points indicated in the JIU Report as guidelines for evaluation were acceptable, and in fact were mostly covered by existing FAO’s internal evaluation procedures. The importance of an adequate mechanism for feedback from the findings of evaluations was also stressed.

108. The Council agreed that FAO should adopt the JIU Guidelines as relevant and appropriate to the needs of the Organization.

(b) Work Programme of the Joint Inspection Unit for 198011

109. The Council noted this document and generally shared the views of the Programme Committee. It considered that it would be desirable for the Unit 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. With regard to future reports, the Council expressed the hope that they would be less voluminous than some had been in the past. N

(c) Twelfth Report on the Activities of the Joint Inspection Unit12
(July 1979 - June 1980)

110. The Council noted this report, in particular paragraphs 67 to 71 which summarized the findings of the JIU Report on the Status of Women in the Professional Category and above: A Progress Report.

111. It appreciated the progress which had been made in recent years in FAO to increase the number and improve the status of women in the Professional category, but felt that still more should be done in this direction. The Council agreed that this depended in large part on further efforts which could be made by Member Governments in presenting qualified women candidates for posts in the Organization.

(d) Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities of the UN System in Sri Lanka13

112. The Council agreed with the view expressed by the Programme and Finance Committees that, notwithstanding certain weaknesses, this report was a useful contribution towards a better understanding, in the context of a single country, of the problem of programming and implementing UN aid projects and of opportunities for the future.

113. The Council 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.

(e) Report on FAO Regional Dairy Development and Training Centre for English-Speaking Countries in Africa ( Naivasha , Kenya ) 14

114. The Council noted the JIU report on the FAO Regional Dairy Development and Training Centre for English-speaking Countries in Africa and supported the views of the Programme and Finance Committees. In particular, the Council noted that all the recommendations of the JIU had been implemented by FAO but emphasized the need for continued attention to the employment of staff at the Centre from the recipient countries. The Council recorded appreciation to FAO, the Government of Denmark (DANIDA) and the Government of Kenya for this contribution to dairy training which had benefitted many African countries. The Council recommended that similar centres should be established for all African countries in other fields of interest to FAO such as fisheries and crops.

Action Arising out of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) - Progress Report15

115. The Council, in response to Resolution 7/79 of the Twentieth Session of the FAO Conference, reviewed progress in the implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action, aware that it was dealing with one of the most important mandates given to FAO in recent years. It noted progress reported at country and inter-country levels, in the cooperation under FAO leadership in action within the UN system, in the setting up of Regional Centres for Integrated Rural Development, and in FAO’s reorientation of its programmes and coordinating mechanisms in the implementation of the WCARRD follow-up. The Council pressed its full support for the actions taken by FAO.

116.s The Council recognized the magnitude and complexity of the problems posed by rural poverty and of the overwhelming task involved in action to eliminate it. It expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved to date without, at the same time, underestimating how much remained to be done. It welcomed the extra-budgetary contributions made by donor countries, which amounted to a little less than half the target of us$20 million and urged countries to contribute generously to meet the target.

117. The Council unanimously 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, a priority which would show consistency with the commitments undertaken to gear FAO’s actions to the WCARRD principles and programme of action.

118. The Council expressed satisfaction at the action taken at country level and especially that requests were being received from countries for assistance in the implementation of WCARRD follow-up programmes and in financing projects from extra-budgetary funds. It endorsed 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. It noted the offer of one donor country to consider bilateral project assistance to countries in the framework of their WCARRD Follow-up programmes and in full collaboration with FAO.

119. The Council supported FAO’s promotion of inter-country cooperation at regional level, which served to concentrate attention on problems common to groups of countries and to advance joint action to deal with them. The Council reiterated its strong support for FAO’s efforts to promote the establishment of Regional Centres for Rural Development. Countries of Africa and Latin America expressed their interest in and support for the planned Centres for their respective regions.

120. The Council noted the growing inter-agency cooperation reported in the fields of agrarian reform and rural development in support especially of the WCARRD follow-up with FAO leadership. It expressed the hope that fuller coordination will be achieved at the country level. In this regard it welcomed FAO’s initiatives through the ACC Task Force on Rural Development to invite UN agencies to support FAO’s intensive national support programme and to join high level missions. The Council supported FAO’s efforts to establish a new programme of work for the Task Force in tune with the WCARRD Programme of Action.

121. People’s participation in the planning and implementation of programmes and projects of their own development was underlined by the Council as a key to success in effective development. It welcomed FAO’s special efforts in that direction. The Council noted with satisfaction studies and action by FAO to promote the establishment and good management of cooperatives and rural people’s organizations and to influence general opinion in the recognition of the role of people’s participation. The Council noted the growing cooperation between FAO and NGOs and 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.

122. The Council was emphatic on the importance of the role of women in rural development and underlined that the full integration of women on equal terms with men in rural develop- ment would facilitate the achievement of the objectives of rural development. The Council endorsed, therefore, ‘AO’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.

123. The Council recognized that WCARRD had given FAO a very exacting mandate which comprised action in its own programmes, and initiatives as a lead agency within the UN system. It supported, therefore, the actions taken by the Director-General to reorient FAO’s programmes, create the nacessary mechanisms for coordination and action within FAO and to strengthen policy formulation and deeper analysis of problems to make action more effective. The Council 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 operational level.

124. WCARRD called upon FAO to assist countries to set up quantifiable targets against which the effectiveness of action could be judged and to monitor and evaluate progress in agrarian reform and rural development. Such progress would be reported to FAO Conferences from 1983. The Council 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.

125. The Council took note of the dissemination of information concerning WCARRD and its follow-up both from FAO HQ and from Offices. Recognizing the value of widening world understanding of the issues involved, the Council encouraged efforts in such direction and 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.

126. The council re-emphasized that the responsibility, as the WCARRD recognized, for - decision and action in agrarian reform and rural development lay with the national governments, but the promotional role and catalytic action of FAO in the WCARRD follow-up was recognized to be of paramount importance. The Council expressed full support for FAO’s action already taken and planned as reported to the Council, The Council 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.

World Food Day (16 October 1981) 16

127. The Council recalled that the Twentieth Session of the FAO Conference had unanimously adopted Resolution 1/79 establishing World Food Day on 16 October 1981 and annually thereafter.

128. The Council noted that the 2nd Committee of the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously approved Resolution L.103 on World Food Day. It was hoped that this would subsequently receive the unanimous approval of the Plenary of the General Assembly.

129. The Council 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. The approach taken and proposals for activities as set out in the Action Plan were welcomed. The Council stressed the need to adopt an imaginative approach.

130. The central role of Member Governments in making World Food Day successful was underlined. The first World Food Day would have great potential for enhancing public awareness of the problems of hunger and the need for greater food security, increased production and the reduction of food losses. It would also help to bring home to the people of member countries their responsibilities and their present contribution towards achieving freedom from hunger.

131. The involvement of non-governmental organizations was considered to be vital. FAO and Member Governments were urged to secure NGO participation in World Food Day observance to the maximum extent possible.

132. The Council 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.

133. The Secretariat was requested to provide Member Governments with full details of the promotional and informative materials being produced by FAO at the earliest possible time. The Secretariat was requested to ensure the timely provision of suchmaterials so they could be used to the maximum effect.

134. It was noted that a financial allocation for World Food Day had not been provided for in the Programme of Work and Budget 1980-81. It was recognized that a minimum level of expenditure would be required if World Food Day were to be organized efficiently. The Council endorsed the view of the Programme and Finance Committees that the level of expenditure was modest and could have only a marginal effect on the budgetary situation as a whole. The additional work-load required would not detract from other Regular Programme activities.

135. The Council 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.

1 CL 78/8; CL 78/PV/4; CL 70/PV/15.

2 CL 78/16; CL 78/PV/4; CL 78/PV/5; CL 78/PV/16.

3 CL 78/17; CL 78/PV/6, CL 78/PV/16.

4 See also paragraphs 43 and 80.

5 See also paragraphs 43 and 71 above

6 CL 78/7, CL 78/PV/14.

7 CL 78/PV/7; CL 78/PV/16.

8 CL 78/18; CL 78!18-Sup.1; CL 78/PV/7; CL78/PV/16.

9 CL 78/6, paras. 2.54 to 2.61 and 3.93 to 3.99; CL 78/13; CL 78/21; CL 78/PV/7;CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/16.

10 CL 78/3; CL 78/4; CL 78/14; CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/9; CL 78/PV/16.

11 CL 78/3; CL 78/22; CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/9; CL 78/PV/16.

12 CL 78/6; CL 78/11; CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/9.

13 CL 78/6; CL 78/26; CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/9.

14 CL 78/6; CL 78/27; CL 78/PV/8; CL 78/PV/9.

15 CL 78/24; CL 78/PV/11; CL 78/PV/12; CL 78/PV/16.

16 CL 78/6, paras. 1.10-1.15; CL 78/PV/12; CL 78/PV/16.

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