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Calendar of 1984-85 Sessions of the Council and Bodies which Report to the Council1

9. The Council approved the calendar of sessions for 1984-85 of the Council and Bodies which report to it, as set out in Appendix D to this Report.

Appointment of the Independent Chairman of the Appeals Committee 2

10. In accordance with Staff Regulation 301.111, the Council appointed his Excellency A.K. Atal (formerly Alternate Chairman of the Appeals Committee) as Independent Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

11. The Council also appointed His Excellency Ambassador Carlos di Mottola Balestra, Permanent Representative of Costa Rica to FAO, as an Alternate Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

Establishment of a Commission on Plant Genetic Resources 3

12. As requested by the Conference in Resolution 9/83, the Council took up the establishment of a Commission on Plant Genetic Resources.

13. Some members expressed concern that, despite their constructive interest and involvement in plant genetic resources activities, they had had no opportunity to consider the implications of the Conference Resolution. Nor did they consider that they had received in time for adequate consideration a document on administrative and financial implications as laid down in Conference Resolution 12/79. They also considered that the success of the Undertaking would depend on the scope of the membership of the Commission. It was suggested that this question would need to be reviewed at the next Session of the Conference. Some members reserved their position on the Resolution and requested that their reservations be recorded accordingly.

14. The majority of members, however, considered that the Conference request was binding on the Council which had therefore to proceed immediately to establish the Commission. They fully shared the desire for constructive cooperation among Member Nations. They noted that relevant administrative and financial implications had been set out in the Director-General's report 4 and in the proceedings of the Conference. They also noted the further information on these implications provided to the Council. Regarding the scope of the membership of the Commission they hoped that non-member States with interest in plant genetic resources would participate in the work of the Commission as observers.

15. The Council accordingly adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 1/85



Having noted Conference Resolution 8/83 on an International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and,

Having further noted Conference Resolution 9/83 on the Establishment of a Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, and

Having considered the relevant provisions of the Basic Texts of the Organization and in particular Article VI.1 of the Constitution and the "Principles and Procedures which should govern Conventions and Agreements concluded under Articles XIV and XV of the Constitution, and Commissions and Committees established under Article VI of the Constitution", set out in Appendix R of the Basic Texts of the Organization,

Decides to establish, under Article VI.1 of the Constitution, a Commission to be known as "the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources" the Statutes of which shall be as follows:

1. Membership

The Commission shall be open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization. It shall be composed of those Member Nations or Associate Members which notify the Director-General of their desire to be considered as Members.

2.Terms of Reference

The terms of the reference of the commission shall be:

(a) to monitor the operation of the arrangements referred to in Article 7 of "The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources", hereinafter referred to as "the Undertaking";

(b) to recommend measures that are necessary or desirable in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the global system and the efficiency of its operation in line with "the Undertaking"; and in particular.

(c) review all matters relating to the policy, programmes and activities of FAO in the field of plant genetic resources, and to give advice to the Committee on Agriculture or,where appropriate, to the Committee on Forestry.


Sessions of the Commission shall normally be held at the Headquarters of the Organization at the time of regular sessions of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG). The first session shall be convened by the Director-General and thereafter in consultation with the Chairman of the Commission.

4. Subsidiary bodies

(a) The Commission may establish such subsidiary bodies as may be required for the effective discharge of its functions;

(b)  the establishment of any subsidiary body shall be subject to the determination by the Director-General that the necessary funds are available in the relevant chapter of the budget of the Organization or from extra-budgetary sources. Before taking any decision involving expenditure in connexion with the establishment of subsidiary bodies, the Commission shall have before it a report from the Director-General on the programme, administrative and financial implications


At the conclusion of each session, the Commission shall submit to the Director-General a report on its activities and recommendations taking into account the need for the Director-General to be in a position to take such reports into consideration when preparing the draft Programme of Work and Budget of the Organization or other submissions to the Organization's governing bodies. The Director-General shall bring to the attention of the Conference through the Council any recommendations adopted by the Commission which have policy implications or which affect the programme or finances of the Organization. As soon as they become available, copies of each report of the Commission will be circulated to Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and also to international organizations and agencies that are concerned with Plant Genetic Resources.

6. Secretariat and Expenses

(a) The Secretary of the Commission shall be appointed by the Director-General and shall be administratively responsible to him. The expenses of the Secretariat of the Commission shall be determined and paid by the Organization within the limits of the relevant appropriations in the approved budget of the Organization;

(b) expenses incurred by representatives of members of the Commission, their alternates or advisers, when attending sessions of the Commission or its subsidiary bodies, as well as the expenses of observers at sessions, shall be borne by the respective "governments or organizations.

7. Observers

The participation as observers of Member Nations and Associate Members that are not members of the Commission, of states which are not Members or Associate Members of the Organization, and of international organizations shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the principles adopted by the Conference.

8. Rules of Procedure

The Commission may adopt and amend its own rules of procedure, which shall be in conformity with the Constitution and the General Rules of the Organization and with the statement of principles governing commissions and committees adopted by the Conference6 The rules of procedure and amendments thereto shall come into force upon approval by the Director-General.

Review of the Rules Governing Procedures for Voting on Candidates in Elections to Council and Conference7

16. The Council noted that it had been requested by the Thwenty-second Session of the Conference to review the rules governing the voting procedures where there were the same number of candidates as places to be filled in the Conference or Council, with a view to speeding procedures and thus saving valuable time 8

17. The Council agreed that this question be submitted for examination to the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters prior to its reporting on the matter, as requested, to the Twenty-third Session of the Conference.

Date and Place of the Eighty-sixth Session of the Council9

18. The Council decided that its Eighty-sixth Session should be convened in Rome from 19 to 30 November 1984.

1 CL 85/5; CL 85/PV/2

2 CL 85/6; CL 85/PV/2

3 CL 85/7; CL 85/7-Sup.l; CL 85/PV/l; CL 85/PV/2

4 C 83/25, paras. 172-175

5 The Governments of Canada, France, Germany (Federal Republic of), Japan, United Kingdom and United States of America reserved their positions with respect to this Resolution.

6 See Basic Texts, Section R.

7 CL 85/PV/2

8 C 83/REP para. 371

9 CL 85/5; CL 85/PV/2

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