1. The Eighty—third Session of the Council was held in Rome from 13 to 24 June 1983 under the Chairmanship of M.S. Swarninathan, Independent Chairman of the Council
2. The agenda and timetable of the session, with amendments, were adopted unanimously. The agenda as adopted is given in Appendix to this report.
3. The Council elected three Vice—Chairmen for its session: R.A. Sorenson (United States of America), J. Pereira Silva (Cape Verde) and Y,A. Hamdi (Egypt)
4. The Council elected L, Ariza Hidalgo (Cuba) as Chairman of the Drafting Committee, and the following as members: Afghanistan, Congo, Ethiopia, France, Germany (Federal Republic of), Indonesia, Iraq, Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan and United States of America,
5. After having introduced Dean K. Crowther, Assistant Director—General, Administration and Finance Department and R.S. Lignon, Assistant Director—General, Development Department, the Director—General presented a comprehensive and wide—ranging statement to the Council, in which he began by noting that the most urgent problems in the world today were missiles, money and food. In assessing the food situation, he drew attention to the fact that world grain stocks were at record levels. However, there were prospects of a notable decline in world output for 1983. He referred to the drastic fall in the prices of many of the main export commodities from developing countries and the menacing trend towards protectionism. In reviewing the reports of the several Committees, which met since the Eighty—second Session, the Director—General called particular attention to the approval of the wider concept and new approaches to world food security given by the Committee on World Food Security and to its acknowledgement of FAO’s pioneering role in strengthening food security. He emphasized the adverse impact the decline in world fertilizer production would have on the growth of food supplies.
6. The Director—General also referred to the decline in the flow of aid to agriculture, particularly to the low—income food—deficit countries, at a time when those countries were making increased efforts to tackle their basic policy problems. As regards his Summary Programme of Work and Budget, for which the net additional resources proposed were 0.5 percent, the Director—General outlined the principal considerations and objectives of his proposals. These were to meet the increasing requirements of Member Nations while limiting the financial burden on developed and developing Member Nations, effecting a major shift of resources to substantive programmes, particularly for food production in Africa, by reducing administrative costs and expenditure on established posts.
7. The Director—General urged the support of all Member Nations to enable the Organization to make the fullest contribution to solving the problem of world hunger and thus achieve the objectives enshrined in FAO’s Constitution The Director—General’s statement is given in Appendix D to this report.
8. In a statement on behalf of the Group of 77, the Chairman called attention to the preoccupation of developing countries with the difficult world food and agriculture situation, particularly in low—income food—deficit countries. The Group of 77 felt that the Cortical should recognize that the Director—General, in presenting a programme of work and budget with 0.5 percent real growth, an amount inadequate to meet the needs of developing countries, had taken into account the current unfavourable world economic situation. The said Group supported enthusiastically the increased allocation to the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and the strengthening of the technical and economic programmes. The Group rejected the application of the theory of zero growth to FAO since the problems the Organization must address were continuously worsening. The Group supported the new concept and orientation of world food security as presented by the Director—General to the Eighth Session of the Committee on World Food Security; the principle that plant gene resources are an inalienable patrimony of mankind and should always be freely available to those who need them; the recommendations of the Commission on Fertilizers on the need for adequate assistance in fertilizer production, and the importance of cooperation among developing countries in the field of fertilizer production and utilization was underlined. The Group also supported the target of $1 350 million for the World Food Programme for the 1985—86 biennium. He urged the Council to give favourable consideration to the recommendations aimed at relieving constraints on food production in low—income food—deficit countries of Africa. Finally the Chairman of the Group of 77 called for sympathetic understanding of the needs of developing countries and advocated a spirit of cooperation between North and South. The statement of the Chairman of the Group is given in Appendix E to this report.
9. The Council paid tribute to N.C. de Caprona, the former Director, Conference, Council and Protocol Affairs Division, who had taken early retirement this year. It expressed appreciation for the services he had rendered to the Governing Bodies of the Organization over a long period of time, and wished him many happy years of fruitful activity in his future pursuits.
1 CL 83/l—Rev.l; CL 83/INF/l; CL 83/PV/l; CL 83/PV/l7.
2 CL 83/PV/l; CL 83/PV/2; CL 83/PV/l7.
3 CL 83/INF/5; CL 83/PV/l; CL 83/PV/17.
4 CL 83/PV/l; CL 83/PV/l7.
5 CL 83/PV/l; CL 83/PV/l7.