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Programme of Work and Budget 1984-85 and Medium-Term Objectives1

76. The Council recalled the views it had expressed during its Eighty-third Session on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1984-85, in particular that it had unanimously requested the Director-General to prepare the full Programme of Work and Budget on the basis of the proposals contained in the Summary.

77. The Council commended the work of the Programme and Finance Committees and took note with appreciation of the presentation made by both Chairmen of the views and recommendations of these Committees on the Director-General’s proposed Progranune of Work and Budget for 1984-85. It fully supported the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees.

78. The Council agreed that the further improvements in the format and presentation of the document were in full compliance with the directives of the Conference and the Council, particularly with regard to the incorporation of the Medium-Term Objectives, and greatly facilitated consideration of programme proposals by Member Nations. The Council also agreed that the relevant strategies, priorities and means of action had been carefully selected by the Director-General with a view to ensuring the continued validity and effectiveness of FAO’s action in agricultural and rural development, both through the Organization’s policy initiatives and its action-oriented programmes. The strategies and priorities moreover reflected the capacity and flexibility constantly demonstrated by FAO to adjust its activities to the actual and changing requirements of the world community.

79. The Council agreed therefore that the balance of programmes and of specific activities proposed for 1984-85 provided a sound response to the expectations and requirements of Member Nations, particularly of low-income food-deficit countries where economic and social hardships were most acute, and that they would continue to ensure the lead role of FAO within the United Nations System in food and agricultural development. Views and perceptions on the relevance of many FAO programmes were expressed in this connection, and would be elaborated further during the forthcoming session of the Conference.

80. The Council expressed satisfaction that despite the “symbolic” real programme growth of 0.5 percent proposed for 1984-85, technical and economic programmes would receive a real growth in resources of 3.6 percent, which had been made possible by heavy cuts in administrative and support services and a further elimination of established posts. It emphasized, however, that reduction of administrative support for technical programmes could not be pursued indefinitely, lest it damage the overall capacity of FAO to deliver its approved programmes. The Council commended,in this connection, the Director-General’s persistent efforts to enhance further FAO’s efficiency and economy.

81. The Council fully supported the proposals, which they considered a further reflection of the realism demonstrated by the Director-General in reconciling conflicting demands. Many members, however, were concerned lest this be interpreted as a commitment in the future to the concept of “zero growth”, to which they had been consistently opposed, and expressed concern at the modest additionality of resources proposed for the biennium.

82. Deep concern was expressed over the possible reduction in future years of financial contributions from one Member Nation. The Council greatly appreciated the steps the Government of this Member Nation was currently taking in order to avoid such an occurrence.

83. In conclusion, the Council as a whole expressed its full support of the Director- General’s proposals and agreed to remit the Programme of Work and Budget for 1984-85 to the Twenty-second Session of the Conference with the recommendation that it be unanimously endorsed.

Review of the Regular Programme 1982-83 2

84. The Council noted with appreciation the additional improvements made in the format and presentation of the Review of the Regular Programme 1982-83. These included: (i) expansion of the in-depth reviews and special topics cutting across programmes and the reduction of the general review without loss of content, (ii) strengthening of the sections on outputs, impact and issues and outlook and (iii) coverage of selected activities for which the Regional Offices have a major role. The Council noted that the above improvements were in direct response to the previous suggestions made by the Council and the Conference.

85. The Council recognized that the Review of the Regular Programme was an essential part of the wider system of monitoring and evaluation introduced by the Director-General. The scope of the document was comprehensive and its content analytical and result-oriented; it provided the Governing Bodies with a critical assessment on the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of FAO’s Major Programmes and their constituents (sub-programmes and below). It would be useful to governments and the Programme Committee in reviewing the programmes of FAO in present and future biennia. The document would also contribute to the formulation of future programmes.

86. The Council welcomed the chapter on selected activities of the Regional Offices, carried out in cooperation with Headquarters. It felt that in future the contributions of the Regional Offices should be made more explicit.

Review of Field Programmes 1982-83 3

87. The Council agreed with the views of the Programme and Finance Committees which emphasized the quality and objectivity of the document. It expressed its concern in particular at the serious negative impact on Field Programmes resulting from current UNDP resource shortfalls and from FAO’s declining share of UNDP project execution. The complementary role of TCP (Technical Cooperation Programme) in helping to limit this harmful impact was fully recognized. The valuable function of FAO Representatives in the programming, monitoring and assessment of field projects was also stressed.

88. The Council welcomed the special chapter on food security assistance and, in this connection, called attention to the Director-General’s proposal to the Eighth Session of the Committee on World Food Security for a Food Security Action Programme. The Council also stressed the importance of new dimensions and related approaches in FAO’s technical assistance, noting in. particular the role of TCDC (United Nations Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries) and the utilization of national staff in project implementation.

Reports of the Forty-fifth Session of the Programme Committee, the Fifty-second Session of the Finance Committee and their Joint Session
(Rome, 19-30 September 1983)

Financial Position of the Organization: Contribution Matters 4

(a) Status of Contributions to the Budget

89. The Council noted the status of contributions at 2 November 1983, compared to the same date in 1982, as follows, and the details of the contribution positions of Member Nations on that date shown in Appendix D to this report.

(For comparison)



Amounts outstanding at 1 January

Current assessments

177 690 000.00 b c

177 690 000.00 b

Contributions in arrears

 23 380 254.77

 15 063 604.59


201 070 254.77

192 753 604.59

Receipts 1 January to 2 November

Current assessments

153 027 019.21 b

 99 800 511.60b

Contributions in arrears

 13 872 272.36

8 370 533.53


166 899 291.57 d

108 171 045.13

Amounts outstanding at 2 November

Current assessments

 24 662 980.79 c

 77 889 488.40

Contributions in arrears

  9 507 982.41 c

  6 693 071.06


 34 170 963.20 c

 84 582 559.46

aContributions in arrears include arrears payable under Conference authorizations by instalments due in 1983 (in 1982 in comparative figures) and in future years (on 1 January 1983 $ 20 875.79 due in 1983 and $ 102 931.42 due in future years).

b Of which $ 1 500 000.00 relates to the Tax Equalization Fund.

cAppendix D to this Report sets out full details of the contribution positions of all Member Nations at 2 November 1983.

d Receipts include release on 1 January 1983 of cash surplus of 198011981 biennium: $ 345 595.00 applied to current assessments (0.19 percent) and $ 26 664.00 to arrears.

(b) Current Assessments

90. The cumulative percentage of current year’s assessment received during each month of 1983, as compared to receipts during the three prior years, was as follows:



































































91. The position at 2 November 1983 of the current assessments of Member Nations (as well as the number with arrears outstanding), with comparative figures at the same date during the previous three years, was as follows:

Current Assessments Arrears


Number of Member Nations


Paid in full

Part paid

No payment


1983 a














1981 b














a Includes cash surplus distribution applied to current assessments of 54 Member Nations.

b Includes cash surplus distribution applied to current assessments of 91 Member Nations.

92. The Council noted that the rate of receipts from Member Nations during 1983 to date had been at a higher level than in recent years, but that the overall position of Member Nations’ payments had deteriorated as compared with the same date in 1981, the previous Conference year. Thirty-seven Member Nations had made no payment against their 1983 assessments and only 82 out of 152 Member Nations had paid in full. While some Member Nations had improved the timing of their payments during 1983 as compared with 1982 and 1981, two of the largest contributors had only very recently effected payments.

93. Under these circumstances, the Council endorsed the view of the Finance Committee that the situation remained unsatisfactory from two points of view. Firstly, although in accordance with the Financial Regulations all Member Nations were under an equal obligation to pay assessed contributions to the budget of the Organization not later than the end of February each year, 70 had not as of 2 November fulfilled this commitment with regard to their 1983 assessments. Secondly, those Member Nations which delayed payment of their contributions were indirectly reducing the total amount of Miscellaneous Income which could be earned from interest on investments, while at the same time they would enjoy the eventual benefits of an “unearned” share of Miscellaneous Income produced from the contributions of the Member Nations which paid promptly.

94. Accordingly, the Council appealed to all Member Nations to fulfill their financial undertakings as Members of the Organization by paying promptly their outstanding contributions and arranging payment of their 1984 assessed contributions within the prescribed time, both to ensure the smooth functioning of the Organization and to avoid inequitable treatment to the disadvantage of those Member Nations which paid on time.

(c) Contributions in Arrears – Voting Right Problems

95. The Council noted with concern that 43 Member Nations had arrears, relating to assessments for 1982 and prior years. This was a significant increase since 1981, the previous Conference year, when only 22 Member Nations had outstanding arrears as of the same date.

96. The Council noted with particular concern that nine Member Nations continued to be in danger of losing their right to vote at the coming Session of the Conference in accordance with Article III.4 of the Constitution. The Director-General had brought this problem to the attention of these Member Nations several times over the last six months, but no payments had been received to date, nor had the Member Nations informed the Organization of other actions they were taking to ensure their right to vote.

97. The Council appealed to all 43 Member Nations with arrears outstanding to effect payment at the earliest possible moment and urged those Member Nations in danger of losing their right to vote at the Conference to regularize their positions without further delay.

(d) Application for Membership – Financial Implications

98. The Council was informed that an additional application for membership in the Organization had been received from Saint Christopher and Nevis. It noted that, in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Texts as well as past practice, the Government would be called upon to pay a first contribution relating to the last quarter of 1983, in the amount of US$4 400.00. Based on the present authorized level of the Working Capital Fund, US$13 250 000.00, the advance from the Government to the Fund would, in accordance with past practice, be US$1 325.00.

Headquarters Accommodation 5

99. The Council noted the report of the Fifty-second Session of the Finance Committee. It was informed of the latest developments since the last session of that Committee. As regards the construction of 70 rooms on the eighth floor of building D, the Council welcomed the positive action taken by the Host Government in approving the construction project and making available the necessary funds (2.5 billion lire) from its 1983 budget. The Director- General’s request for the adoption of the “urgency procedure” in the contract award process by the Ministry of Public Works was under active consideration and a decision was expected later this month. On the question of the proposal to construct a new wing adjacent to the main buildings, archaeological excavations had continued until the end of October 1983. It was hoped that the Superintendency of Archaeology would be able to complete the work and issue its report by the end of December 1983 as originally announced.

100. The Representative of the Host Government informed the Council that in view of progress achieved in connection with the construction of the 70 rooms on building D, it was expected that construction could be initiated early in 1984 and completed by mid-1985. He added that the Superintendency of Archaeology would in all likelihood complete the excavation work on the site proposed for the new wing and submit its report by the target date of end-December 1983.

101. The Council expressed its serious concern that no meeting had taken place yet between the President of the Council of Ministers and the Working Party appointed by the Conference in November 1981 (Resolution 14/81). It reiterated its request to the Host Government for an early meeting of the Working Party and the President of the Council of Ministers. The Representative of the Host country informed the Council that the Minister of Foreign Affairs had recently met with the Director-General and was in general agreement with the steps taken by the Director-General on the problem of Headquarters accommodation. He, therefore, hoped that the requested meeting of the Working Party with the President of the Council of Ministers would take place soon.

102. The Council endorsed the Director-General’s line of action and urged him to pursue his efforts with the Italian Authorities at the highest level with a view to accelerating progress on the construction projects.

Actuarial Review of Compensation Plan Reserve Fund 6

103. The Council noted that the actuarial valuation of the Compensation Plan Reserve Fund at 31 December 1982 showed a deficit on the Fund. The Council therefore endorsed the recommendations of the Finance Committee that the funding rate be raised on an interim basis on 1 January 1983 to 1.153 percent of payroll for Field Staff and 0.237 percent of payroll for Headquarters staff; and that the financial position of the Fund be reviewed by the actuary at 31 December 1984.

Allowances for Chairman of the Appeals Committee 7

104. The Council approved the proposal of the Director-General that in view of the high rate of increase in the cost of living and in air fares in recent years, the yearly allowance of $2 500, payable to the Chairman of the Appeals Committee, be increased to $3 500 and that, in addition, the Chairman be paid the travel costs once a year. The above measures would take effect from 1 January 1984.

Amendment to the Financial Regulations (External Audit Certificates) 8

105. The Council reviewed the proposed amendments to the Additional Terms of Reference governing External Audit. It noted that these proposals had been made by the Panel of External Auditors to the United Nations and Specialized Agencies, in order to harmonize practices within the UN system and reflect more adequately modern auditing practices with regard to certification of financial statements.

106. The Council, noting the comments of the Finance Committee, agreed with the External Auditors’ recommendation which would modify Financial Regulation XII and accordingly recommended the following Draft Resolution for adoption by the Conference:




Recalling that Financial Regulation XII provides for the appointment of an External Auditor,

Recalling in particular that Financial Regulation 12.3 provides that the audit of the Organization shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted common auditing standards and, subject to any special directions of the Finance Committee, in accordance with the Additional Terms of Reference Governing External Audit which are set out in Annex I to the Financial Regulations,

Noting that the Panel of External Auditors to the United Nations and Specialized Agencies has reviewed the scope and content of the certificate to the financial statements and has suggested amendments to reflect more adequately the modern audit approach to certification;

Noting the Report of the Council’s Eighty-fourth Session,

Decides that the Financial Regulations be amended as follows by deleting the words in square brackets and adding the words underlined:

Annex I


Annex para. 5

[The External Auditor shall certify the financial statements in the following terms: “I have examined the financial statements of the Organization for the period ended 31 December ... I have obtained all the information and explanations that I have required, and I certify, as a result of the audit, that, in my opinion, the financial statements are correct”; adding, should it be necessary, “subject to the observations in my report."]

The External Auditor shall express and sign an opinion on the financial statements in the following terms:

I have examined the following appended financial statements, numbered ... to ..., properly identified, and relevant schedules of the Organization for the financial period ended 31 December 19... My examination included a general review of the accounting procedures and such tests of the accounting records and other supporting evidence as I considered necessary in the circumstances.”

and which states, as appropriate, whether:

  1. The financial statements present fairly the financial position as at the end of the period and the results of its operations for the period then ended;
  2. The financial statements were prepared in accordance with the stated accounting principles
  3. The accounting principles were applied on a basis consistent with that of the preceding financial period;
  4. Transactions were in accordance with the Financial Regulations and legislative authority.

Annex para. 6 -

The report of the External Auditor to the Conference on the financial [statement] operations of the period should mention

Annex para. 8 -

Whenever the External Auditor’s scope of audit is restricted, or whenever he is unable to obtain sufficient evidence, the External Auditor shall refer to the matter in his opinion and report, making clear in the report the reasons for his comments, and the effect on the financialposition and the financial transactions as recorded.

Annex para. 10 -

The External Auditor is not required to mention any matter referred to in the foregoing which, in his opinion, is insignificant in all respects.

B.R. Sen and A.H. Boerma Awards 10

107. The Council recalled the provisions of the B.R. Sen Award established in pursuance Of Resolution 33/67 of the Fourteenth Session of the FAO Conference and the A.H. Boerma Award established pursuant to Resolution 1/75 of the Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference.

108. The Council noted the disparity between the two awards, the B.R. Sen Award involving a cash prize of $3 000 and the A.H. Boerma Award involving a cash prize of $10 000. Taking into account that the B.R. Sen Award was an annual one, whereas the A.H. Boerma Award was a biennial one, the Council agreed that the amount of the cash prize of the B.R. Sen Award be increased from $3 000 to $5 000.

Education Grant 11

109 The Council noted that th International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) was recommending certain changes in the education grant to the current UN General Assembly. It endorsed the recommendation of the Finance Committee that FAO follow the decisions of the UN General Assembly on the recommendations of the ICSC and amend the FAO Staff Regulations accordingly.

Second Report on Unscheduled Sessions in the 1982-83 Biennium 12

110. The Council noted that since its Eighty-second Session, further 24 unscheduled sessions had been approved and 48 sessions had been cancelled, making a total for the biennium of 37 unscheduled sessions and 64 cancelled sessions.

111. Details of the unscheduled sessions approved and of the.sessions cancelled since the Eighty-second Session of the Council are given in Appendix E.

1 C 83/3; C83/3-Sup.l; C 83/3-Sup.2; CL 84/4; CL 84/PV/3; CL 84/PV/6

2 C 83/8, CL 84/4, paras 2.162 to 2.169 and 3.89 to 3.90; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

3 C 83/4; CL 84/4 paras 2.170 to 2.175 and 3.91 to 3.96; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

4 CL 84/4; CL 84/LIM/l; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

5 CL 84/4, paras 3.69 and 3.75; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

6 CL 84/4; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

7 CL 70/REP para. 15; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

8 CL 84/4; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

9 See Financial Regulation 12.3.

10 CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

11 CL 84/4; CL 84/PV/4; CL 84/PV/6.

12 CL 84/3; CL 84/PV/5; CL 84/PV/6.

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