73. The Council recalled the views it had expressed during its Eighty-seventh Session, when considering the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87 and, in particular, its endorsement of the strategies, priorities and programme proposals, as embodied in the document. It took note with appreciation of the detailed review of the Director- General's proposed Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87, subsequently carried out by the Programme and Finance Committees at their recent sessions. The Council welcomed the oral presentations made by both Chairmen and took note of the views and recommendations of these Committees.
74. The Council recognized the substantial changes introduced by the Director-General in the full Programme of Work and Budget in order to permit unanimous approval by the Conference. It noted that the Director-General's final proposals involved a reduction in the overall net programme increase from US$ 6.2 million to US$ 5 million, while maintaining in its entirety the net programme increase of US$ 9.4 million for FAO's technical and economic programmes. Moreover, the initial provision for cost increases had been reduced further by US$ 2 million.
75. The Council further recognized that the Programme of Work and Budget had been formulated against a background of uncertain prospects for the world economy as a whole, and in particular the grave food and agricultural situation in many developing countries, especially in Africa. The Council agreed that the solution of food and agricultural problems was essential in the quest for improved living standards and a more dynamic economic environment. The extensive unresolved agenda for action at national and multilateral levels entailed maintaining the Organization's capacity to meet requirements for assistance to Member Nations, as well as enabling it to continue its basic constitutional roles of being the international global source of specialized information and of the world forum for intergovernmental consultations.
76. The Council agreed that the full Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87 presented a coherent range of activities, responding to felt needs and could be expected to meet with the support of all Member Nations. The Council recognized that on the one hand, the proposals responded in a realistic manner to unanimously endorsed strategies and priorities and to ensure a level of FAO action commensurate with requirements. On the other hand, an effort had been made to keep the request for additional resources to a strict minimum. The Council welcomed, in this connection, the Director-General's continued efforts to reduce administrative and support costs, while at the same time safeguarding the effective delivery of FAO's technical and economic programmes.
77. The Council endorsed the six principal aims which had guided the Director-General in his priority selection: promotion of food production, increasing food security, consolidation of information systems, emphasizing training, enhancement of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries and ensuring impact at the field level. It fully supported the overall priority given to Africa. Views on the relevance of many FAO programmes and the future role of the Organization were also expressed, and would be elaborated further during the forthcoming session of the Conference.
78. Some members, while greatly appreciating the Director-General's efforts to reduce the overall request for additional resources, stated that they could not accept the programme growth contained in the Programme of Work and Budget. Some of these members called for renewed efforts to achieve zero real growth. A few of these members reserved their position on the budget level until its consideration by the FAO Conference.
79. Most members however rejected the concept of zero growth for international organizations and therefore gave their full support to the net programme increase proposed in the Summary. They pointed out that in view of the growing needs of the developing countries, they would have been prepared to envisage at an even higher level. Accordingly, they regretted the circumstances in which the Director-General had deemed it necessary to propose a lower budget level. They agreed however, to endorse the Director-General's proposals, in full understanding of the factors which had motivated these and in the strong hope that the proposals would be unanimously approved at the Conference.
80. In conclusion, the Council agreed to give its full support to the proposed Programme of Work and Budget and expressed the hope that the Conference would approve it unanimously 2.
81. The Council examined the Review of the Regular Programme 1984-85 and expressed its satisfaction with the structure, format and presentation of the document. The additional improvements made in the document were in line with the earlier suggestions of the Council and the Conference and the Review formed an essential element of the wider system of monitoring and evaluation in FAO.
82. The Council found the Review to be a comprehensive source of information and analysis concerning the activities and achievements of the Regular Programme. The Council commended the Secretariat on the analytical depth and objectivity of the document and encouraged it to pursue this approach further. The findings were candid and highlighted both the results achieved and constraints encountered. Accordingly, the results of this extensive evaluation could only be useful to the governing bodies and to FAO's management.
83. The Council recognized that the successive Reviews had permitted evaluation coverage of two Programmes, 17 sub-programmes, five programme elements and seven special topics. In terms of the number of sub-programmes, the coverage represented over one- quarter of the technical sub-programmes covering agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
84. The Council noted that the performance report (Part One) contained detailed and useful information on FAO's Regular Programme activities and included specific examples showing achievements as well as highlighting issues arising from the analysis. Particular mention was made of the Organization's assessment of the urgency of increasing food production and enhancing food security, policy studies to overcome the food crisis in Africa, the integration of population policy in rural development, concentration of marketing activities in specific areas (especially in the sub-Sahelian region) and strengthening FAO's data bases. The expanded coverage of the Regional Office activities was appreciated, as was the detailed review carried out by the Programme Committee.
85. The Council specially welcomed the in-depth reviews (Part Two) and noted that the four sub-programmes and one Programme element were all concerned with FAO's activities related to the needs of small-scale producers, rural poor and rural women. While the coverage of each in-depth review was comprehensive, the Council emphasized the need for additional effort in strengthening the sections related to the effects and impact of the sub-programmes.
86. In discussing the in-depth reviews, the Council drew attention to the catalytic role of FAO in eradicating animal diseases, promoting livestock production in the context of small-scale producers and in devising measures which could strengthen animal feed security. It emphasized the need for a comprehensive approach in developing the vegetable sector which had often been a neglected segment of agriculture in developing countries. The Council stressed the importance of developing inland fisheries, especially aquaculture, both to improve human nutrition as well as to increase the income of the rural poor. This called for developing cost-effective systems of fish culture suitable to the resources and capabilities of small-scale producers. The Council noted that the fuelwood component of FAO's forestry programme, which was also an integral part of FAO's rural development strategy, was of critical importance. While considerable progress had been made in promoting the role of women in rural development, the Council felt that a fresh impetus was needed, with special focus on promoting literacy among women and supporting organizations servicing women and led by them. The Council urged FAO to increase its efforts in all these critical areas which had a direct and positive impact on the rural poor.
87. The Council appreciated the two thematic reviews, research and ECDC/TCDC, and found them to be very informative and useful. Both reviews provided invaluable baseline information on FAO's support to research and ECDC/TCDC. The Council noted that FAO's main role in research was of a supportive nature to member countries in terms of policy formulation and establishing research priorities. Regarding ECDC/TCDC, some members cautioned against spreading the Organization's efforts in too many directions and stressed the need for the identification of specific areas of high priority. In this connection, the need for seed money in support of such priority areas was particularly stressed.
88. In conclusion, the Council considered the Review a very satisfactory document in itself and also as an invaluable complement to the Organization's Programme of Work, and Budget, providing a reasoned assessment of activities implemented and an indication of the lessons, both positive and negative, to be applied to future programmes.
89. The Council unanimously welcomed the concise, frank and constructive analysis contained in the document. It fully recognized that not only FAO but all development agencies at times faced implementation problems. In this context, it noted the important role of evaluation in identifying root causes of weaknesses in the implementation of technical assistance activities and in devising practical ways of overcoming them. In the light of the evaluation results, the Council stressed the need to look for further improvements, particularly in project planning and design and as far as possible in specifying quantifiable and appropriate output targets.
90. The Council noted with considerable concern the continuing stagnation in the allocation of UNDP funds to FAO and the low share devoted to agriculture. It emphasized in this context the primary responsibility of FAO for the execution of technical assistance projects within the United Nations System. While the increase in Trust Fund allocations had compensated for some of the shortfall in UNDP resources, it was apparent that multilateral technical cooperation was facing difficulties which had affected particularly the agricultural sector.
91. The Council fully supported the urgent priority accorded to Africa in the regional distribution of technical cooperation funds. At the same time, it recognized the need for an appropriate regional balance in the allocation of resources within realistic possibilities.
92. The Council underlined the important role played by the TCP, with its limited resources, in FAO's overall field programme. Similarly, it recognized the importance of the growing unilateral trust funds which were financed from resources provided by beneficiary countries themselves.
93. The Council welcomed the trend toward the increased recruitment of national experts and agreed with the emphasis on TCDC as an objective which should be pursued vigorously.
94. The Council greatly appreciated the emphasis on forestry development in the current Review, not only because 1985 was the Year of the Forest, but also because the link between forestry development, rural development and food production was being increasingly recognized.
95. The Council strongly supported the work of FAO's Investment Centre. At the same time, it recognized that the continuing difficulties faced by IDA (International Development Association) and particularly by IFAD in mobilizing adequate levels of resources would affect negatively the investment flow to the agricultural sector.
96. The Council noted the status of contributions at 6 November 1985, compared to the same date in 1984, as follows, as well as the details of receipts from each Member Nation during 1985 and of amounts outstanding, as shown in Appendix D to this report.
|1985 a||1984 a|
|Amounts outstanding at 1 January|
|Current assessments||197 940 000.00 b||197 940 000.00 b|
|Contributions in arrears||29 160 039.05||19 286 724.23|
|Total||227 100 039.05||217 226 724.23|
|Receipts 1 January to 6 November|
|Current assessments||145 804 669.80||170 908 100.38|
|Contributions in arrears||18 562 466.49||3 021 312.22|
|Total||164 367 136.29||cd||173 929 412.60|
|Amounts outstanding at 6 November|
|Current assessments||52 135 330.20 d||27 031 899.62|
|Contributions in arrears||10 597 572.56||d||16 265 412.01|
|Total||62 732 902.76d||43 297 311.63|
a Contributions in arrears include arrears payable under Conference authorizations by instalments due in the current year and in future years (on 1 January 1985, US$ 24 119.59 due in 1985 and US$ 113 998.72 due in future years).
b Of which US$ 650 000.00 relates to the Tax Equalization Fund,
c Receipts include the release on 1 January 1985 of the cash surplus of the 1982-1983 bienniutn: US$ 41 005 487.08 applied to current assessments (20.72 percent)and US$ 5 010 524.74 to arrears.
d Appendix D sets out full details of receipts from each Member Nation during 1985 and of amounts outstanding.
97. The positions at 6 November 1985 of the 1985 assessments of Member Nations (as well as the number with arrears outstanding), with comparative figures at the same date during the previous four years, were as follows:
|Number of Member Nations|
a To facilitate comparisons, applications of the cash surplus (20.72 percent) to the current assessments of 84 Member Nations are excluded from the Number of Member Nations,
b To facilitate comparisons, applications of the cash surplus (0.19 percent) to the current assessments of 54 Member Nations are excluded from the Number of Member Nations,
c To facilitate comparisons, applications of the cash surplus (1.65 percent) to the current assessments of 91 Member Nations are excluded from the Number of Member Nations.
98. The month-end cumulative percentages of 1985 assessments received during the first 10 months of 1985, as compared to receipts during the previous four years were as follows:
|Percentages of Current Assessments Received|
|(Cumulative – year to date)|
|1985 a||1984||1983 b||1982||1981 c|
a Includes US$ 41 005 487 (20.72 percent of 1985 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1982-83 biennium applied as of 1 January 1985.
b Includes US$ 345 595.00 (0.19 percent of 1983 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1980-81 biennium applied as of 1 January 1983.
c Includes US$ 2 269 696.22 (1.65 percent of 1981 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1978-79 biennium applied as of 1 January 1981.
99. The Council was informed that, notwithstanding the application to 1985 assessments of US$ 41 005 487 of the cash surplus of the 1982-83 biennium (20.72 percent of 1985 assessments), the rate of receipts to date this year, totalling 73.66 percent was less favourable than the rate on the same date of the two previous years. Only 79 Member Nations had paid their 1985 assessments in full, despite the fact that the Financial Regulations required that all Member Nations fulfill this obbligation of Membership in the Organization at the latest by the end of February each year. Seventy-seven Member Nations continue to have unpaid assessed contributions, while 62 had made no cash payment against their current assessments.
100. The Council endorsed the recommendation of the Finance Committee, urging all Member Nations with outstanding contributions to arrange to remit amounts due and overdue without further delay.
101. The Council noted that the position regarding outstanding arrears had improved notably during 1985, with substantial receipts from certain Member Nations which had had important amounts outstanding. Forty-three Member Nations, however, continued to have arrears outstanding relating to 1984 and prior years' assessments.
102. The Council noted with special concern that 11 Member Nations (Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Kampuchea, Guyana, Liberia, Mauritania, Paraguay, Romania, Sierra Leone and Togo) continued to be in danger of losing their right to vote at the Conference in accordance with the financial provisions of Article III-4 of the Constitution.
103. The Council was informed that the Director-General had pursued persistantly and through various channels, efforts to regularize the positions of the 11 Member Nations, and that he would be continuing to do so.
104. The Council appealed to these 11 Member Nations to regularize in accordance with the Regulations of the Organization their positions as soon as possible, in order to ensure their full participation in the deliberations and decisions of this Session of the Conference.
105. The Council took note of the deliberations of the Finance Committee concerning alternative measures to deal with problems of delayed payment of assessed contributions. These deliberations were in accordance with the recommendation of the Eighty-seventh Session of the Council (June 1985), that the matter be considered with a view to the possibility of allocating any cash surplus in the future on a more equitable and rational basis. The Report of the Fifty-sixth Session of the Finance Committee 6 contained a detailed description of the alternatives considered by the Committee, as well as the related possible variations from current Financial Regulations which could alter the allocation and distribution of future cash surpluses. In this regard, the Council endorsed the general approach of the Finance Committee, which was based on the following principles:
(a) "any policies adopted should provide encouragement and incentive for prompt payment of contributions, should not be aimed at punishing Member Nations, and should definitely avoid exacerbation of the current cash flow situation;
(b) the policies should not be aimed at particular Member Nations, but rather be objective and fair to all;
(c) they should provide more equitable treatment to Member Nations which paid their contributions promptly, since the availability of these funds generated interest income, which was an important element in any cash surplus."
106. The Council, being aware that the problem was a particularly difficult one, noted that the Finance Committee at its last Session had narrowed the focus of factors to be considered further. In this connection, it observed that the Committee had requested that the item again be on the Agenda for the next Session of the Committee.
107. The Council noted that the Finance Committee examined the level of the representation allowance for the Director-General and considered that action was needed to adjust it for inflation that had occurred since the last revision in 1981. The Council also noted that the Finance Committee had recommended a draft resolution for approval by the Conference.
108. The Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution, for adoption by the Conference in accordance with Rule XXXVI-1 (c) GRO:
Considering that in FAO the representation allowance of the Director-General had not been changed since 1 January 1981 when it was established at US$ 24 000 per annum, and that inflation during this period has been in excess of 75 percent,
The representation allowance of the Director-General be increased to US$ 32 000 per annum effective 1 January 1985.
109. The Council agreed to reappoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of the United Kingdom for a further period of two years commencing with the audit of accounts for the year 1986. The Council noted the Director-General's initiative with regard to formulating and submitting for consideration alternatives, including the present External Auditor. The Council, whilst appreciating the excellent services of the present External Auditor, requested the Director-General to again formulate and submit for its consideration alternatives, including the present External Auditor, with regard to future appointments.
110. The Council then adopted the following resolution:
Noting that the Finance Committee has reviewed the results of consideration given to the Auditors-General of several other Member Nations with a view to appointing an External Auditor for FAO, and recommends the re-appointment of the Comptroller' and Auditor-General of the United Kingdom as External Auditor of the Organization;
Recognizing the effective services of the present External Auditor;
Decides to re-appoint the Comptroller and Auditor-General of the United Kingdom as External Auditor of the Organization for a further period of two years commencing with the audit of the accounts for the year 1986.
111. The Council noted the Report of the Finance Committee on this subject.
112. The Council noted the Report of the Finance Committee on this matter.
113. The Council noted that since its Eighty-sixth Session (November 1984) a further 42 unscheduled sessions had been approved and 36 sessions had been cancelled, making a total for the biennium of 64 unscheduled and 53 cancelled sessions.
114. Details of the unscheduled sessions approved and of the sessions cancelled since the Eighty-sixth Session of the Council are given in Appendix E.
1 C 85/3; C 85/3-Corr.1; C 85/3-Sup.l; C 85/3-Sup.2; CL 88/4, paragraphes 1.1 - 1.7, 2.52 - 2.141 and 3.4 - 3.19; CL 88/4-Corr.l (E/S only); CL 88/PV/5; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
2 The delegations of Canada, Germany (Federal Republic of), Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America were not associated with this conclusion.
3 C 85/8, CL 88/4, paras. 2.5-2.44 and 3.80-3.82, CL 88/PV/3; CL 88/PV/7.
4 C 85/4; CL 88/4 paragraphs 2.45, 2.51 and 3.96; CL 88/PV/3; CL 88/PV/7.
5 CL 88/4, paras, 3.23 - 3.44; CL 88/4-Corr.l (E and S only); CL 88/LIM/l; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
6 CL 88/4, paras. 3.30 - 3.40; CL 84/4-Corr.l (E/S only); CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
7 CL 84/4; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
8 CL 88/4; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
9 CL 88/4, paras. 3.61-3.66; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
10 CL 88/4, paras. 3.67-3.70; CL 88/PV/6; CL 88/PV/7.
11 CL 88/3; CL 88/PV/7.