52. The Council expressed appreciation for the work of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG) and endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the Report of the Ninth Session. It noted that the Committee had structured its discussion under three main themes: (i) Review of FAO’s Programme of Work in the Food and Agricultural Sector, (ii) Food and Nutrition and (iii) Selected Development Problems.
53. The Council welcomed the analysis and recommendations made by COAG in its review of implementation of the programme of work 1984-86, and in its consideration both of the medium- and long-term outlook for food and agriculture and of the extract of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 concerned with Major Programme 2.1: Agriculture. It noted that its own agenda included consideration of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 and therefore limited its discussions on this topic to the comments of COAG. In this regard, the Council agreed with the conclusion of COAG that the scope and direction of the programme reflected the wishes of Member Nations, as expressed by the Conference, the Council, the Regional Conferences and other international fora. It further agreed that the overall programme priorities., which centered on promotion of food production and increasing food security, and the priorities in means of action which included improvement of information systems and enhancement of data bases, were appropriate. The Council therefore agreed that the proposals relating to this programme constituted a reasonable basis for the elaboration of the full Programme of Work and Budget in this area.
54. The Council agreed with the assessment of long-term trends which indicated a further imbalance in the world food system, with surpluses in some regions accompanied by chronic shortages in others and a growing threat to the environment arising from pollution and the degradation of natural resources.
55. The Council endorsed the eight principal goals identified for world agriculture and agreed that while their relative importance varied both nationally and regionally, they had sufficient universality to provide the basic framework for FAO’s medium-term objectives and programme of work in this area.
56. The Council endorsed the medium-term objectives aimed at increasing agricultural production and productivity, improving of trade of agricultural products and bettering of socio-economic conditions in rural areas. It noted that,. in this global effort, Africa remained a major priority area.
57. The Council noted that during the COAG discussions several members had recalled suggestions made at the last Conference and Council sessions that the time was ripe for another review of FAO’s long-term goals and strategies, and that the Committee had recognized that this matter could only be pursued in the Council and Conference. It was further noted that during the COAG discussions, some members had felt that a high level group of experts could be established by the Conference to assist in this review. Most, however, did not share this view and stressed that the long-term goals and strategies had been determined by a consensus which did not need to be questioned at the present time. The COAG recognized however that the matter could not be resolved within its mandate.
58. The Council agreed on the importance of COAG as a technical body and stressed that its technical nature should be preserved and strengthened, particularly through participation of strong delegations with technical expertise. Some members expressed the view that proliferation of technical commissions would increasingly lead to duplication and suggested that COAG could serve as the ‘umbrella’ committee to which other technical fora would report.
59. With reference to the Implementation of the Programme of Work 1984-86, the Council noted with concern the need to make programme adjustments during this biennium which had resulted in a slowdown in activities. It urged Member Nations to honour their financial obligations promptly.
60. The Council welcomed the up-turn in the level of UNDP resource commitments, the catalytic role played by the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and the major contribution of Trust Funds to field programme activities. It agreed that the emphasis given to Africa was fully justified.
61. The Council reaffirmed its support for TCDC (Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries) and ECDC (Economic Cooperation Among Developing Countries) and requested the Secretariat to continue its assistance to member countries in this field especially with regard to training, transfer of technologies and exchange of applied research.
62. The Council commended the emphasis of the Major Programme on training, both in the development of training of trainers and direct training of high and mid-level personnel, which was very relevant to the needs of Member Nations. It emphasized that training of women was essential in view of their pivotal role in agriculture.
63. Many members recognized the importance of the sub-programme on Plant Genetic Resources, expressed their appreciation of the progress made in the work of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, invited all Member States to join the Commission and urged the Director-General to continue improving coordination with the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR).
64. The Council expressed concern about the effective implementation of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides. For example, reference was made to the sale in some developing countries of dangerous agro-chemicals which were prohibited in their country of origin. The Council was informed that a progress report would be presented to the next Council Session in November. Some members proposed that the Code be reviewed and possibly amended; it was also suggested that the PlC (prior informed consent) concept be included. 0thers underlined that the time was not ripe for such a review and some suggested that a technical committee should examine the question at a later stage after the progress report had been submitted before considering any amendments.
65. The Council reaffirmed the importance of activities in the field of world food security, food and agriculture information systems and policy analysis including commodity and trade analysis.
66. In the context of FAO work on rural development including people’s participation, the Council stressed the role of women in rural projects and support programmes including improving their status and expansion, their access to means of production, training and technology. The Council emphasized the importance of integrated information systems in agriculture and rural development programmes and projects.
67. The Council noted with satisfaction that poverty alleviation was- being given high priority by several countries. The Council was informed that FAO would stand ready to participate in the Regional Conference of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Absolute Poverty (Cartagena Summit, Colombia, 1988). The Council attached great importance to the FAO Study on Latin America and the Caribbean, embodying a Plan of Action, to be submitted to the FAO Regional Conference in 1988 to be held in Recife, Brazil.
68. The Council emphasized the importance of the nutritional aspects of agricultural and rural development and urged that nutritional considerations be integrated into FAO programmes and projects.
69. The Council fully supported the need for strengthening the work of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission and related food quality and standards work.
70. The Council emphasized the roles of internationally agreed food standards, levels for food additives, pesticide residues, food contaminants, packaging and labelling in eliminating non-tariff trade barriers for foods. The Council urged countries to promote formal acceptance of recommended Codex international standards to facilitate international trade and promote consumer protection. The Council recognized the importance of such standards in protecting the economic well-being and health of consumers. It was stressed’ that quality control standards should not be used as a means for protection in disguise.
71. The Council recognized that countries needed to urgently strengthen national and regional mechanisms to improve food quality and safety. The need for development of food control infrastructure involving basic national lab oratories in liaison with more advanced regional laboratories was stressed. The Council also noted the role of updated food legislation based on FAO/WHO models and the Codex Alimentarius Commission recommended food standards, the need for appropriate national food control infrastructure, and cooperation between governments and the food industry in controlling food quality and safety.
72. The Council noted that FAO was working jointly with WHO (World Health Organization) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) to provide further guidance and assistance to member countries on problems concerning contaminants in foods, particularly aflatoxin contamination of foods and animal feeds. The Council was informed of the ongoing work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on acceptable levels of aflatoxin in food and animal feeds, along with agreed methods of analysis for aflatoxins, as well as mycotoxins.
73. The Council acknowledged the valuable work of FAO towards international standards for radionuclide contamination levels in foods and suggested enhanced cooperation and coordination with WHO in this regard. It called attention to the urgent need for intergovernmental agreement and adoption of agreed standards for radionuclide contamination of food moving in international commerce. The Council was informed that FAO had held an expert consultation in December 1986 which had recommended interim levels for radionuclide contamination in foods. It was also informed of ongoing joint FAO/WHO efforts with a view to having international standards for radionuclide contamination approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission as soon as possible. It was noted that the interim levels recommended by FAO for foods entering international trade were the only international recommendations currently available and that they were being used at present by a number of importing and exporting countries, as well as by WFP.
74. The Council recognized that out-migration appeared to be inevitable in many areas at present low levels of economic growth and high rates of population increase, since agricultural production was declining because of overgrazing, soil erosion and environmental degradation. It noted, however, that there was a high potential for increased production in the dryland areas.
75. The Council emphasize the need to evolve technologies better suited to small-farm situations in dryland areas, and endorsed the importance accorded to strengthening research services in the COAG paper. The Council stressed the need for extra efforts to increase the production of fuelwood and agreed that such campaigns could be combined with programmes of soil and water conservation.
76. The Council stressed the importance of an integrated approach based on an understanding of existing farming systems and agreed to the importance of small-scale irrigation, water harvesting techniques and a more efficient use of natural resources in general. It also endorsed the need for investigations and surveys of an applied nature to ensure that they led to practical recommendations.
77. The Council stressed that FAO should take the initiative in promoting south-south cooperation on drylands development. It noted with approval the offer of some members to share their country’s experience in dryland development with interested parties. The Council further recommended that FAO should play a leading role in promoting inter-agency cooperation on matters concerning dryland problems and possibilities.
78. The Council recognized the importance of continued analysis of the effects of land tenure and fragmentation of holdings on agricultural development, and noted the conclusions arrived at by COAG in its Report 2.
79. The Council agreed with the views expressed by COAG, particularly those concerning the crucial role of institutional factors in agricultural development It was pointed out that an equitable land tenure system was essential for the realization of the objectives of WCARRD (World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development).
80. The Council welcomed the initiatives taken by FAO for analysing and monitoring changes in land tenure systems and its consequences, particularly in Africa. The Council recognized the gravity of the problems of landlessness in many developing countries and the need for its reduction through provision of alternative employment opportunities, both farm and non-farm.
81. The Council emphasized the need for the countries to give more importance to policies and programmes which would provide women with better access to land.
82. The Council endorsed t importance of people’s participation in promoting rural development and therefore considered it necessary that FAQ assist countries In establishing cooperatives and any appropriate forms of rural associations and provide effective fora for dialogue between the governments and the people’s organizations involved in agrarian reform and rural development.
83. While commending the work done by FAO in the broad field of agrarian reform, the Council endorsed the view of COAG that future work in this field should be oriented to the needs of the individual countries.
84. The Council endorsed the recommendations made by COAG concerning the production of roots, tubers and plantains. It was requested that bananas be included among these staple crops. The Council stressed the need to promote the production and processing of these crops to increase food supply and to contribute to national food security in the humid and sub-humid regions of the tropics where agro-climatic conditions were conducive to their production. The Council recognized the progress made in varietal development and agronomic research by national and international research institutions and emphasized the need for national development programmes to further promote the transfer of the available technology to farmers through appropriate training and extension activities. It emphasized the need for national research and development programmes on these crops to be coordinated with the work of regional research institutions, the International Agricultural Research Centres, particularly those of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), and other specialized institutions.
85. The Council recognized that considerable crop losses resulted from pests and diseases. It emphasized the need to strengthen plant breeding programmes to develop high yielding, disease resistant varieties which could meet consumer requirements in terms of nutritive value and quality and the need for improved control measures including integrated pest and disease management. The Council agreed that priority should be given to improve post-harvest handling, storage, processing and marketing in order to reduce the high level of losses experienced during marketing of these crops.
86. The Council recognized the important role of producer groups in providing farmers with access to both credit and purchase of inputs and improved marketing and recommended that the formation of such groups should be encouraged.
87. The Council emphasized the important role of women in production, processing and marketing of these crops. It stressed the need for appropriate extension activities to reach the female members of farming communities.
88. The Council recommended that increasing attention should be given to the nutritional role of the major roots, tubers, plantains and bananas and also of lesser known traditional food crops and recognized the leading role that FAO was to play in promoting the increased consumption of local foods.
89. In considering the agenda for the Tenth Session of COAG, the Council supported the list of possible selected development problems which the Committee had recommended. A number of countries indicated their wish to discuss the social and economic significance of tobacco and its prospects at the next COAG session. It agreed that this list was in line with the recommendations of its Eighty-third Session that a satisfactory balance between technical and socio-economic areas of work be ensured.
90. The Council noted that some COAG members had expressed regret at the late arrival of the document containing the extract of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89. The Council welcomed the possible scheduling of the Tenth Session of COAG later in the year, such as in the second half of April or early May 1989, in order to facilitate the timely distribution of documents to Member Nations.
91. The Council recalled that the Thirteenth FAO Regional Conference for Africa had requested the Director-General to undertake an in-depth study of agriculture and food problems in Africa. The Study’s main findings and recommendations published under the title “African Agriculture: The Next 25 Years” were fully endorsed by the Fourteenth FAO Regional Conference, including the Director-General’s proposals for actions on the four “i’s” of agricultural development; on conservation based agricultural development; and for a feasibility study on expanding aid-in-kind. The Ninetieth Session of the Council gave the Director-General a mandate for such a study, with two principal objectives, namely to determine the likely gap over the next five or more years between input needs and availabilities, and to assess the potential role of aid-in-kind to close such a gap.
92. The Council noted that the justification for the feasibility study had grown in recent months, because a number of the problems affecting input availability had increased rather than subsided. In most African countries the debt burden had grown, and this, combined with a reduction or slow growth in export earnings, had further limited the ability of countries to import their input needs on non-concessional terms, in spite of new financial mechanisms such as the Special Facility for sub-Saharan Africa and Lomé III, for financing essential imports.
93. The Council was informed that the Study was launched immediately after its November 1986 Session. Letters were sent by the Director-General to Ministers, United Nations Agency heads and others requesting their cooperation and the nomination of contact points to take responsibility for bringing together data, Information and views from the various ministries and public bodies involved in the provision and receipt of input aid. Discussions had been held with the World Bank, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), and the Commission of the European Communities. Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) in developed countries and in Africa had also been requested to provide information on their experience with input aid Contacts with input manufacturers and distributors in donor countries and in Africa had been very constructive in the information and views provided.
94. The Council noted that contacts with donors and recipients had proceeded more slowly than anticipated when drawing up the work programme. Only half of the donor and recipient countries had responded to the request for the nomination of contact points. Members of the Council had indicated their willingness to nominate contact points and provide the information required.
95. The Council was Informed of the country case study missions that had visited Ghana, Niger, Senegal and Zambia during March and April 1987. The missions had made a thorough assessment of agricultural development plans and targets; past and present aid commitments and flows; current utilization of supply of farm inputs, and constraints thereto; and input supply gaps that could be filled by aid-in-kind. They had identified a number of input shortages, where neither donor support nor public or private sector mechanisms in the countries were currently likely to fill the gap. Their findings also indicated the need for a wider spectrum of goods to be provided through aid-in-kind, including the supply of feed grains in certain circumstances.
96. The Council was informed that desk studies on specific issues had been prepared in parallel with the country case studies. Such studies included, inter alia past donor and recipient experience with input aid; input requirements over the next 5-10 years; local input production and prospects for intra-regional trade; the improvements in incentives, institutions and infrastructure necessary to gain the maximum benefit from aid-in-kind; the use of counterpart funds for local cost financing; and finally, the possible role of NGOs in the distribution of inputs.
97. The Council noted that all of the areas of investigation recommended by its Ninetieth Session were being pursued. It expressed satisfaction with the progress made and the attention being given to examining qualitative as well as quantitative improvements in input aid. A number of members drew attention
to specific issues which they felt should be tackled by the Study. Some members also expressed their doubts about the utility of expanding aid-in- kind. These members also suggested that in order not to pre-judge the results of the Study, the line item in the proposed budget, which provided for US$ 250 000 for follow-up activities to the aid-in-kind studies, be utilized for other activities. The Council noted that in the full Programme of Work and Budget it would be identified as follow-up to the Africa Study.
98. The Council noted that attention was being given in the Study to the strengthening of local production and fostering of intra-regional trade. It recognized that aid-in-kind should not lead to the introduction of inappropriate technologies or be the means of disposing of developed country surpluses unsuited to African conditions nor to harm the development of local industries. In this light, some members also pointed out that increased resource transfers were a piece of the solution to agricultural development in the developing countries; also important were appropriate policies in developing and developed countries and improvements in the international trading environment.
99. The Council noted five very preliminary conclusions that. might be drawn from the work done so far. First, much of the present aid-in-kind was provided on an ad hoc basis. Second, a coherent policy framework for production input assistance was generally needed. Third, input assistance often required parallel actions on incentives, institutions and infrastructure. Fourth, some recipients had suffered from insufficient coordination of input aid. Finally, input aid must be tailored to country, area, or crop specific requirements.
100. The Council noted that the Study was proving to be more complex than had originally been expected, and noted that its recommendations should be relevant to a great variety of situations in individual African countries if the undertaking was to be truly effective.
101. The Council reaffirmed the significance of plant genetic resources for both agricultural development and food security. The Council generally expressed satisfaction with the constructive work of the Commission and its Working Group and endorsed the Commission’s report. A few members however felt that the Commission was duplicating work being done elsewhere.
102, The Council shared the Commission’s concern over the fact that there were very few truly international genebanks and that, in some instances, the ownership of germplasm was unclear. In this context, the Council noted that following the Commission’s advice, a Circular State Letter to governments, International Agricultural Research Centres and genebanks which considered themselves as custodians or depositories of international base collections was then being prepared by FAO, to ascertain their readiness to bring their collections under the auspices or jurisdiction of FAO and to indicate the arrangements they would favour for doing so.
103. The Council took note of the Commission’s discussions concerning the proposal to create an international fund for plant genetic resources. In this connection the Council was informed that the Director-General had opened a special Trust Fund for multi-donor contributions in support of activities related to plant genetic resources. The Council noted that care would be taken to seek support only for activities which could not be carried out by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR). While inviting governments, international and national organizations, public and private bodies, to contribute to the Fund and to make use of it, and while ensuring an adequate complementarity and coordination with IBPGR, the Director-General was urged to formulate an integrated action programme on Plant Genetic Resources. Some members stated that no new funding mechanism was needed.
104. The Council noted with satisfaction the Commission’s decision to initiate negotiations through its Working Group to achieve an agreed interpretation of the controversial parts of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, and to include in this interpretation clarification and recognition of plant breeders’ rights and farmers’ rights.
105. The Council noted the progress made over the past few years on in situ conservation, training and information activities and generally endorsed the Commission’s recommendations for further work in these fields.
106. The Council noted with satisfaction the recent memorandum of understanding between FAO and IBPGR, on administrative problems. This had been established on a trial basis with a view to reaching a mutually agreed permanent arrangement before the end of 1988. Many members emphasized the need to ensure full complementarity between the programmes of FAO and the IBPGR.
107. Those FAO member countries that had not yet become members of the Commission or had not yet adhered to the Undertaking were urged to do so.
108. The Council supported the decision of the Commission to include in the agenda of its next session an item on Biotechnology and a report by the IBPGR on its activities and complementarity between the activities of FAO and IBPGR.
109. The Council endorsed the Commission’s report. It expressed satisfaction with the work of the Commission in providing information and guidance to member countries, in particular on world production, consumption, trade and prices of raw materials and fertilizers and the outlook for their future supply and demand.
110. The Council agreed with the Commission that the general decline in the growth of fertilizer consumption in some developing countries and the fall in consumption in others was due to economic problems. The Council further agreed that balance of payments problems, shortage of foreign exchange and high transport costs and other constraints were major problems facing fertilizer importing countries despite the current relatively low level of international fertilizer prices.
111. The need for an appropriate crop/fertilizer price relationship to provide an incentive for farmers in developing countries to use fertilizers, particularly on food crops, was recognized. In this connection the importance of measures, including cost-effective distribution systems and subsidies to reduce the cost of fertilizers to farmers, particularly in the light of the low level of crop prices, was stressed. It noted that the results of comparative country studies being undertaken by FAO on fertilizer marketing and distribution systems, with a view to identifying removable constraints, would be presented to the Eleventh Session of the Commission.
112. The Council considered that fertilizers were a king-pin for agricultural production and emphasized the importance of increased fertilizer use to achieve the required three percent annual growth rate in food production for the rehabilitation of agriculture in Africa.
113. The Council noted with concern that shortages of fertilizers, particularly nitrogen, could occur in the foreseeable future since current prices were too low to attract investment in new capacity, particularly in the developed countries. It agreed with the Commission that ECDC joint-ventures and triangular arrangements had great possibilities for easing future supply problems. It also agreed that developing countries should be assisted by relevant agencies to fully develop and use the production facilities of existing plants.
114. The Council expressed particular concern about the forecast of a possible deficit in the supply of nitrogen in the early 1990s, unless more than the presently foreseen new capacity was built. It urged the Commission to closely monitor developments in the supply and demand situation of this important input.
115. The Council endorsed the Commission’s support of FAO fertilizer activities. It urged that greater effort should be made toward increasing the efficiency of fertilizer use and the application of all sources of plant nutrients within integrated plant nutrition systems, including available organic materials, green manure, compost, etc., biological nitrogen fixation as well as mineral fertilizers. The need for an integrated approach to the development of improved fertilizer use, including agricultural research and extension, distribution and credit supported by appropriate training activities, had been well recognized and was fully endorsed.
116. The Council noted with satisfaction the fruitful cooperation between FAO, UNIDO, the World Bank and representatives of the fertilizer industry in the field of fertilizers. It endorsed the Commission’s desire for enhanced collaboration between IFAD as well as other financing organizations and FAO in their fertilizer activities. The former was considered of particular importance in view of its potential for bringing about increased fertilizer use by small farmers. The importance of training and extension in this regard was recognized, as was the value of the Fertilizer Programme in undertaking and promoting these activities including the involvement of women.
117. While recognizing the need for priority in fertilizer activities to be accorded to Africa, the Council also agreed that emphasis should be placed on projects in member countries of the Latin America and Caribbean region. It further agreed that, on request., countries should be assisted by FAO in assessing and improving their fertilizer research and promotion programmes, particularly including green manuring.
118. The Council expressed concern about the small amounts of fertilizer aid channelled through the IFS and fully supported the combining of IFS fertilizer aid with the technical assistance activities of the Fertilizer Programme. Many members expressed support for the aid-in-kind study which would include fertilizers as the most Important input. In this connection the Council noted the importance of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme (IFS) experience for the planning and Implementation of aid-in-kind programmes.
119. The Council strongly endorsed the findings of the Commission with regard to the usefulness and efficacy of the IFS and stressed the necessity to continue and strengthen the Scheme. The Council deplored the negative replies received by the Director-General from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and UNDP to his appeals for funds to purchase needed fertilizers. It noted that these organizations, in accordance with their mandate, could not make resources available; however, the Director-General was urged to renew his efforts. The Council expressed appreciation to the Government of Ireland and to the Fertilizer Industry Advisory Committee (FIAC) for their recent support to the IFS. It urged other governments to support the Scheme.
120. The Council noted with satisfaction that FAO was assisting MULTIFERT in broadening and enhancing Its services to its member countries and that a FADINAP (Fertilizer Advisory, Development and Information Network for Asia and the Pacific) Working Group had been established to explore the possibility of establishing a similar organization in the Asia and Pacific region.
121. The Council generally endorsed the Commission’s recommendations with regard to future work. It recommended that the regular monitoring of fertilizer supply, demand and prices be continued and that reports on this important subject be provided regularly, and given widespread distribution, to member countries.
122. The Council reviewed the Report of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. It was pleased to note that several member countries had been represented at the ministerial level and that the statements given by a number of these Ministers would help in sharpening the focus of FAO’s programmes of activity concerned with fisheries management and development.
123. The Council was apprised of the current world fisheries situation and outlook for the future. Preliminary data suggested that the world fish catch might have approached a record 90 million tons in 1986, representing the ninth successive year of growth in terms of physical output. A large part of the recent increases in production had, however, come from catches of shoaling pelagic species, particularly in the Southeast Pacific. These fish were well known for their fluctuations in abundance and, in large measure, were used for conversion to fish meal rather than for direct human consumption. Elsewhere, production had either been relatively stable or marginal increases in some areas had been offset by declines in others.
124. The Council noted that an increase of approximately 20 million tons of food fish over the current level of supply was likely to be required in order to satisfy demand by the year 2000. It was, therefore, in full agreement with the Committee that, in order to effect the production increase as envisaged, major efforts by FAO as well as by member countries would be needed in the improvement of fisheries management, expansion of aquaculture and better utilization of fishery resources, including the reduction of post-harvest losses. The Council concurred with the suggestion of the Committee that a review of the trends and outlook for world fisheries should be placed periodically on the agenda of the Committee.
125. The Council commended the preliminary report on progress in implementing the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development, prepared by the Director-General in response to Resolution No. 3 adopted by the 1984 FAO World Fisheries Conference, and noted that an updated report would be submitted to the Twenty-fourth Session of the FAO Conference in November 1987. It also noted that several member countries and international organizations had found the principles and guidelines contained in the Strategy very useful in the promotion of effective management and development of fisheries.
126. The Council stressed the importance of training, transfer of technology and financial resources in the attainment of self-reliance in fisheries management and development of developing countries. The need for better information and data, both biological and economic, was also stressed. In this respect, it was of the opinion that FAO could play a key role in providing training and advice in the collection and analysis of fisheries information and data required for fisheries development and management.
127. The Council further stressed the importance of monitoring, control and surveillance of fishing operations in the rational management of resources within the exclusive economic zones of Member States. Because many of the developing countries had not the resources to implement this important management tool, FAO was urged to provide further training and assistance in such programmes.
128. The Council agreed that progress reports on the implementation of the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development be prepared for submission to the Committee on Fisheries and the FAO Governing Bodies at four-yearly intervals. Member countries should be encouraged to provide national reports based on simple but flexible standard formats and supplemented by other information they considered useful and relevant to the reports.
129. The Council noted the general progress made in implementing the five Programmes of Action approved by the World Fisheries Conference, both within and outside the framework of FAO. It noted further that whilst the FAO-executed projects were mostly financed by cash contributions from donors, some activities received significant in-kind support from donors as well as increasing cash contributions from the participating countries themselves. The Council wished to record its appreciation for the financial contributions provided by these donors which had reached the minimum annual indicative target of US$ 15 million.
130. Several members of the Council drew attention to the imbalance in the support received for the Programmes of Action. Specific mention was made of Programme of Action V “The Promotion of the Role of Fisheries in Alleviating Under-Nutrition”, which had received little extra-budgetary support. The geographical imbalance affecting Latin I and the Caribbean was also noted. The Council expressed the hope that additional support, with a view to rectifying these imbalances, would be forthcoming. It requested the Secretariat to consult with donor countries and financing institutions in order to remedy this situation.
131. The Council noted the progress so far achieved in implementing the World Fisheries Conference’s Resolutions concerning specific aspects of fisheries management and development. It stressed the importance of implementing
•integrated development programmes at the national level in order to enhance the quality of life of rural small-scale fish farms, fishermen and their communities. The continuing importance of the participation of women and youth in fisheries development was emphasized. The Council underlined the importance of inland fisheries and recommended that FAO give increased attention to them. It also drew attention to the extreme importance of protecting aquatic environment against degradation by pollution and the indiscriminate introduction of species.
132. The Council recalled that the theme of World Food Day 1986 had been “Fishermen and Fishing Communities”. The focus on this topic had increased general public awareness of the significance of fisheries in human nutrition and rural employment.
133. The Council underlined the importance of TCDC and ECDC in fisheries management and development. It recognized the key role that the FAO regional fishery bodies could play in this cooperation and recommended that additional support should be given to these bodies to enable them to organize workshops, seminars and training courses in their efforts to implement TCDC.
134. The Council expressed its appreciation for the fruitful work accomplished by the First Session of the COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade. It endorsed the Committee’s recommendations with respect to the future activities to be undertaken by FAO as well as the proposal for a Technical Assistance Programme for Fishery Commodities and Marketing Development. Such activities should be undertaken in close collaboration with other international organizations such as the International Trade Centre UNCTAD/GATT, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Food Programme (WFP). It agreed that the work of FAO should continue to be complementary to that of these organizations rather than overlapping.
135. The Council concurred with the Committee that, in order to have productive discussions, the timing of the next session of the Sub-Committee would depend on the progress made in the work of the Sub-Committee, taking into account the session of the Codex Committee on Fish and Fishery Products and the Eighteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries.
136. The Council noted that the Committee had indicated its general support for a uniform system for the marking of fishing vessels in view of the large number of different systems currently in use. The Committee had also considered the draft technical specifications elaborated by an expert consultation convened by the Director-General in June 1976, as a good basis for implementing such a system. Recognizing the complexities of the issue which should receive careful consideration by the governments concerned, the Council noted that the matter would again be considered by the Committee on Fisheries at its Eighteenth Session.
137. As regards the issue on the impact and extent of entanglement of mammals, fish and other aquatic organisms in gear and debris abandoned at sea and incidental capture, the Council supported the Committee’s proposal that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) could take a leading role in monitoring of entanglement in marine debris and that regional fishery commissions and other bodies with related responsibilities could be the appropriate fora to recommend follow-up action.
138. The Council recognized the important role played by FAO regional fishery bodies in planning and implementing FAO activities in fisheries within the framework of the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development and Programmes of Action approved by the World Fisheries Conference. It therefore assigned high priority to the technical and administrative support to these bodies within the FAO Regular Programme in fisheries. It agreed that the activities and functions of these regional fishery bodies should be reviewed at the Eighteenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries. Prior to this, the individual bodies should undertake an in-depth evaluation of their work.
139. The Council fully agreed with the conclusions reached by the Programme Committee at its Fifty-second Session, and supported by the Committee on Fisheries, that the proposals for Major Programme 2.2: Fisheries, responded to the needs of member countries and that the Summary Programme of Work and Budget provided a satisfactory basis for the preparation of the full Programme of Work and Budget in Fisheries for 1988-89. It recommended that special attention should be given to aquaculture development, better utilization of fishery resources including the reduction of post-harvest losses, and the socio-economic aspects of and management of small-scale fisheries.
140. The Council fully supported the Director-General’s proposed increase in the budget of the Fisheries Department.
141. The Council unanimously approved the report of the Seventeenth Session of the Committee on Fisheries and endorsed its recommendations. It commended the Committee for its high technical standard in approaching the various issues concerning global fisheries management and development and for its concrete recommendations.
142. The Council reviewed the financial requirements for protecting and conserving forest resources with particular reference to the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan on the basis of the report Mobilizing Funds for World Forestry Development It generally endorsed the analysis presented and strategies proposed in the report.
143. The Council expressed concern for the deterioration of forest resources in developing countries and its implications for sustained development. The Council strongly supported the Tropical Forestry Action Plan and the role of FAO in stimulating increased technical and financial assistance to forestry development. It was recognized that the identification of national policies and priorities was the exclusive competence of national governments and that no discussion on the Action Plan should be held without participation of the governments concerned.
144. The Council agreed that substantially higher levels of investment were required in forestry in developing countries and recognized that full account had to be taken of the current constraints in mobilizing expanded financial resources. Overcoming these constraints required that at the national level a clear political priority be assigned to action in forestry and that local resources through the involvement of the private sector and of rural people be mobilized to the maximum possible.
145. Furthermore, the Council stressed the critical importance of international financing. This entailed further mobilization of the entire donor community to expand the assistance flows and further cooperation and coordination between its members to improve the effectiveness of this assistance.
146. The Council underlined the importance of technical assistance geared towards strengthening national capabilities for the design and implementation of effective investment programmes. It recommended that FAO continue to attach great importance to its activities aimed at improving the human resource base of these countries through education, training, research and strengthening of forestry institutions.
147. In considering the feasibility of establishing a new mechanism to mobilize funds for tropical forestry development, some Council members pointed out that there was no evidence of the donor support that was needed to justify such an initiative, and they expressed preference for making full use of existing mechanisms. The majority of members felt that the proposal for a new mechanism should continue to be explored and for that purpose the Secretariat should draw up a study on the feasibility of that mechanism.
148. The Council recommended that FAO monitor the financial requirements and flows in support of the protection and development of forest resources in developing countries. It also recommended that FAO pursue its efforts in coordinating the implementation of the Tropical Forestry Action Plan and mobilizing increased donor support, bearing in mind the suggestions made in the course of the debate.
149. In presenting the Twelfth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA), the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) emphasized that 1986 was a record-breaking and innovative year for the Programme. He mentioned in this connection three achievements in particular: WFP shipped more food in 1986 than ever before - over 2.2 million tons; an all-time high in pledges to the Programme’s regular resources was reached - more than JS$ 1 100 million for the 1985-86 biennium; and the first management review in nearly 20 years was carried out. He pointed out that with respect to trends in WFP assistance, the waning of the African food crisis was the primary factor influencing the distribution of WFP food aid last year. Whilst shipments of food to development projects climbed to an all-time high - 1.4 million tons, compared to 1.1 million tons the previous year, the Programme was able to cut back emergency shipments by 21 percent in dollar terms or nearly 185 000 tons of food.
150. The Council noted with great satisfaction that more food had been shipped in 1986, at the lowest ever transport cost by WFP than ever before in a single year, which confirmed WFP’s ability to handle larger quantities of food aid in a cost-effective manner.
151. The Council welcomed the Programme’s continued emphasis on targetting its resources to the low-income, food-deficit countries, and to the fact that agricultural and rural development received 81 percent of the Programme’s commitments in 1986. In this connection it was noted with satisfaction that Africa, south of Sahara, would receive the highest priority, and no project request for that region had been turned down for lack of resources.
152. The Council noted that the improved weather conditions in the African continent had resulted in a 21 percent drop in emergency assistance from the previous year, and commended positively the action initiated by the Programme to phase emergency assistance into rehabilitation and development programmes. It was, however, concerned with the increased emergency commitments to man-made disasters, which had reached an all-time high, 78 percent in 1986, and expressed the hope that this unfortunate situation would improve in the future.
153. Emphasizing the need for speedy response to emergencies, the Council noted the recent improvements in the response time to many emergency requests, such as the one to Solomon Islands. It particularly commended the Programme for the efficient management of the large trucking operations in Ethiopia and Sudan.
154. The Council welcomed the purchases made by the Programme of over half a million tons of food, of which over 70 percent had been made in developing countries and nearly 40 percent in Africa. It was recognized that these triangular transactions made important contributions to South-South cooperation and increased the efficiency of the Programme. The Council expressed the hope that increased untied funds would be made available by donors to stimulate further WFP’s purchasing activities.
155. The Council expressed its appreciation for the Programme’s record use of vessels of developing countries, which in 1986 rose sharply to 27 percent of total shipments as compared to 12 percent in 1985, and the hope was expressed that this upward trend would continue in future years.
156. The all-time high-level in pledges to the Programme’s regular resources amounting to more than US$ 1 100 million for the 1985-86 biennium was welcomed by the Council. It also noted that at 31 March 1987, 64 percent of the target of US$ 1 400 million for the 1987-88 biennium had been reached.
157. Noting for the fifth consecutive year, contributions to the resources of the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) had surpassed its target, the Council expressed its gratitude to the donors, and particularly to the three developing countries that had contributed to the IEFR.
158. The Council emphasized the importance of the integration of women in mainstream development activities both as agent and beneficiary.
159. Mention was made about the independent management review, and the steps taken to implement changes in the organizational structure and management systems, with the primary goal of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the World Food Programme.
160. The Council wished to record its appreciation for the excellent spirit of cooperation between FAO and WFP, in particular in the implementation of the transfer of certain administrative and financial functions to WFP for its operational activity.
161. In response to concerns expressed by some members as regards a possible unbalanced geographical distribution of WFP’s staff and the share of developing countries it was noted that professional staff from developing countries compared rather well with other UN organizations; particularly at senior levels, their share was 40 percent of the total. The Executive Director said that he was committed to even better balance between staff from developed and developing countries.
162. Some members referred to the composition of the membership of the CFA and in particular to the need for higher representation from developing countries. Some other members felt that the present balance between developing and developed, and recipient and donor countries in the CFA provided an ideal framework of multilateral cooperation pursued by WFP. The Council noted that the appropriate forum for discussion of such issues would be the CFA.
163. The Council welcomed again the re-appointment of Mr James Ingram as the Executive Director of the World Food Programme for a second term of five years, which started in April 1987. The Council also commended the WFP staff both at Headquarters and in the country offices for their hard work and dedication.
164. Regarding the Pledging target for 1989-90, the Executive Director informed the Council of the underlying reasons for recommending to the CFA an unchanged pledging target level of US$ 1 400 million. The Executive Director pointed out that he preferred to see the target met, rather than arbitrarily setting a goal unlikely to be attained. He stressed that this would enable him to better project what the Programme’s resources would be for planning and managing projects. The CFA endorsed this pragmatic approach of setting the pledging target for 1989-90 at US$ 1 400 million.
165. The Executive Director pointed out that it was highly problematic to project what level of activities this funding would support because of the vagaries of commodity prices and exchange rates and stated that at the very least it should enable the Programme to maintain its current level of commitments, and if prices remained stable, it should even see an increase.
166. The Council noted that the Programme’s cash .position was positive and that WFP intended to spend almost US$ 60 million more in cash directly on project-related activities during the biennium 1989-90, for example, it envisaged to absorb the cost for offloading charter shipments In the recipient countries. It was also intended to intensify efforts to buy more food from developing countries out of the Programme’s own cash resources, particularly from those developing countries whose economy depended entirely on the export of agricultural products.
167. The Council unanimously supported the pledging target for the regular resources of WPP for the 1989-90 biennium at US$ 1 400 million and urged donors to fully meet this target. It also urged them to provide in the aggregate at least one third of the total contributions in cash pledges in accordance with WFP’s general regulations. Some members reiterated the view that although they supported the target proposed they considered that this target could be higher and that the effectiveness and the capability of the World Food Programme would ensure good use of a larger amount of resources.
168. The Council adopted the following resolution:
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1989-90
Noting the comments of the CFA concerning the minimum target for voluntary contributions to the Programme for the period 1989-90,
Recalling Resolutions 2462 (XXIII) and 2682 (XXV) of the General Assembly, which recognized the experience gained by WFP in the field of multilateral food aid,
DRAFT RESOLUTION FOR THE CONFERENCE
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1989-90
Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging Conference,
Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 10/77 of 30 November 1977 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1988, at which time governments and appropriate donor organizations should be invited to pledge contributions for 1989 and 1990, with a view to reaching such a target a may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Twenty-third Session and by the FAO Council at its Ninety-first Session,
Having considered Resolution 1/91 of the FAO Council as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,
Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs,
169. The Council expressed its satisfaction with the document which presented a clear picture of FAO’s role in various activities and programmes of the UN System. The Council commended FAO for its cooperative approach towards strengthening coordination in the UN System.
170. The Council considered the request made for the views and comments of the governing bodies of the organizations of the UN System by the Economic and Social Council, in its Resolution 1986/74. The request referred to the implementation of the resolution, in particular on the role of the UN Resident Coordinators, the use of the UNDP Country Programming process as a framework for operational activities, the co-location of field offices and the further harmonization of operational procedures.
171. The Council expressed its strong satisfaction with paragraphs 4 to 27 of the document. It noted that, besides presenting factual information, these paragraphs reflected the views of the Director-General which were positive and constructive in this connection.
172. The Council welcomed the good relations which existed between FAO Representatives and UN Resident Coordinators/UNDP Resident Representatives. It noted that coordination was working well at country level and recognized that the letter of accreditation of FAO Representatives contained appropriate provisions for productive cooperation between FAO and UNDP in the field. In recalling the sovereign right of recipient governments to exercise overall coordination of aid and assistance, the Council noted the usefulness of the direct lines of communication which existed between FAO Representatives and governments.
173. The Council welcomed FAO’s active contribution to the formulation of UNDP country programmes. It emphasized that the use of such programmes as a framework for operational activities would be enhanced by taking into consideration bilateral assistance as well as the activities of the multilateral funding institutions.
174. Regarding co-location of field offices, the Council agreed that FAO should continue to explore with governments, in consultation with UNDP, the most suitable location for FAO representations. Attention should always be given to the possibility of locating FAO offices, where feasible and agreeable to the host governments, within UN/UNDP complexes.
175. With regard to harmonization of operational procedures, the Council welcomed the useful steps which had already been taken, particularly with regard to personnel and financial matters.
176. The Council decided that its views and comments, as contained in paragraphs 170 to 176 of this report, should be transmitted, together with the relevant extract from document C 87/9 relating to the item “Operational Activities for Development”, to the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of 1987 (Geneva, 23 June - 9 July 1987) as the response of FAO to Economic and Social Council Resolution 1986/74.
177. The Council recognized the importance of the economic and social contribution of women to the development process, particularly their productive roles in the food and agriculture sectors.
178. The Council welcomed the efforts of the United Nations System, and FAO in particular, to promote the integration of women in development through, inter alia, the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies and the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan for Women and Development. The Council recommended that FAO continue and strengthen its cooperation with all the other organizations of the UN System in these efforts.
179. The Council felt that the Organization should assign high priority to the integration of women in development. The Council noted that proposals regarding women in development would be submitted to the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference, including a resolution endorsing the Nairobi Forward- Looking Strategies, and requested the Director-General to present a programme of action for that sector to the Conference.
180. The Council supported the active participation of the Organization in inter-agency bodies responsible for follow-up to the United Nations Special Session on the Critical Economic Situation in Africa. The Council noted the importance assigned to agriculture in the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development and recognized the key role the Organization should play in its implementation.
181. The Council took note of the outcome of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Agricultural Development and Food Security in Africa, organized in cooperation with FAO.
182. The Council took note with satisfaction that the Director-General would submit a report on the control of locust and grasshopper infestations to the Economic and Social Council at its second regular session of 1987, as requested by General Assembly Resolution 41/185.
183. The Council noted with interest the information provided regarding the review, requested by General Assembly Resolution 40/237, of the efficiency of the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations. It requested that it be kept informed of future developments in this regard.
184. The Council expressed satisfaction with FAO’s active involvement in the work of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) and its subsidiary machinery. In this connection, the Council commended the important contribution being made by FAO to the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition, as well as to the ACC Task Force on Rural Development, which was chaired by FAO.
185. The Council supported the steps being taken by FAO to formalize and strengthen its relations with UNIDO, which became a specialized agency in 1986. It also noted with satisfaction FAO’s co-sponsorship with UNIDO of the First Consultation on the Fisheries Industry held in Poland in June 1987.
186. The Council took note of the outcome of the United Nations Conference for the Promotion of International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy held in Geneva (23 March - 11 April 1987). The Council strongly supported FAO’s cooperation with IAEA in a number. of fields, as well as in relation to the inter-agency coordination established following the Chernoby1 incident.
187. The Council expressed its appreciation for FAO’s active participation in the International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking and recommended FAO’s continued involvement in this area of importance and concern to Member States.
188. The Council took note of the state of preparation for the Seventh Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD VII) and welcomed FAO’s willingness to assist the Conference in all possible ways.
189. The Council stressed the importance it attached to the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, in particular to negotiations on agricultural trade, tropical products and natural resource-based products. The Council agreed that FAO should provide support to and participate as appropriate in MTNs within its areas of competence. The Council expressed the hope that the MTNs would yield positive results,
190. The Council requested the Secretariat to provide further assistance to the front-line States in the areas of its competence, in particular early warning systems, emergency assistance and national food reserves.
191. The Council noted with appreciation FAO’s role in inter-agency cooperation in the area of environment which was of great concern to Member States.
192. The Council examined the draft Conference document prepared by the Director-General on. arrangements for the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference.
193. The Council approved the Provisional Agenda with the addition of an item entitled “Consideration of review of certain aspects of FAO’s goals and operations, including the need for reform in the programme budget process”. It was agreed that the wording of the additional item was wide and flexible enough to take into account the viewpoints and concerns expressed in the course of the discussion in the Council on the need for review of certain operations of FAO. It was further understood that the member countries would submit their views to the Secretariat on relevant aspects of this question, which would form the basis for the preparation of a paper by the Secretariat for consideration by the Conference. It was agreed this would obviate the need for the submission of any other items falling under this heading to the Director-General under Rule 11-5 of the General Rules of the Organization. The Council also agreed to the addition to the Provisional Agenda of a sub-item to item 6 entitled “World Food Day”.
194. The Council approved the general arrangements for the Conference and the provisional timetable with the insertion of the additional agenda item.
195. The Council noted that the Heads of Delegation represented at the Session had established a Contact Group as proposed by the Independent Chairman of the Council to seek an early agreement on the candidates who could be nominated by the Council at its Ninety-second Session to serve as Chairman of the Conference and Chairmen of Commissions I, II and III. Paragraph 8 of document CL 91/11 would be amended accordingly.
196. The Council noted that the. Conference at its Twenty-fourth Session would be required to appoint the Independent Chairman of the Council, the term of office of the present incumbent expiring in November 1987.
197. The Council also noted that with regard to nominations for this office, Rule XXIII-1(b) of the General Rules of the Organization (GRO) laid down that the Council determines the date for such nominations which must be submitted by Member Nations and addressed to the Secretary-General of the Conference. The Council accordingly established the deadline for the receipt of such nominations at 17.00 hours on Friday 4 September 1987.. Nominations would be circulated by the Secretary-General to all Member Nations by Friday 11 September 1987.
1 CL 91/9; CL 91/PV/5; CL 91/PV/6; CL 91/PV/19.
2 See paras 179-191.
3 CL 91/PV/7; CL 91/PV/19.
4 CL 91/14; CL 91/PV/7; CL 91/PV/8; CL 91/PV/19.
5 CL 91/15; CL 91/PV/8; CL. 91/PV/19.
6 CL 91/7; CL 91/PV/13; CL 91/PV/14; CL 91/PV/19.
7 CL 91/16; CL 91/PV/14; CL 91/PV/19,
8 CL 91/13; CL 91/PV/17; CL 91/PV/19.
9 C 87/9; CL 91/INF/17; CL 91/PV/8; CL 91/PV/18; CL 91/PV/19.
10 CL 91/11; CL 91/PV/17; CL 91/PV/19.
11 CL 91/11, para. 8; CL 91/PV/15; CL 91/PV/19.
12 CL 91/12; CL 91/PV/17; CL 91/PV/19.