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Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 and Medium-Term Objectives 1

34. The Council recalled the views it had expressed during its Ninety-first Session when considering the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89. It recalled, in particular, its agreement with the selection of priorities in the Summary and general endorsement of the balance of activities, despite the fact that diverging opinions had been expressed on the proposed budget level. The Council took note, with interest, of the review by the Programme and Finance Committees at their recent sessions of the full Programme of Work and Budget proposed by the Director-General. In this connection, it welcomed the oral presentation by both Chairmen of the views and recommendations of these Committees, as contained in the reports of their joint and respective sessions. The expanded information provided in the "Programme of Work and Budget document was also welcomed.

35. The Council recognized the changes introduced by the Director-General in the full Programme of Work and Budget in order to limit the request for resources through assessed contributions on member countries. It noted that the Director-General's final proposals involved only a 0.25 percent net programme increase, half of the increase which had been proposed in the Summary, as well as a reduction by US$ 5 million of the provision to cover the cost increases expected to materialize in 1988-89. The Council further noted with appreciation that this reduction was made as a deliberate measure with a view to reducing the eventual budget level. Accordingly, it did not reflect any prognosis of more favourable cost developments since the original estimate incorporated in the Summary. Indeed it appeared likely that the provision for Cost increases was now inadequate and that there would have to be some compression of activities in order to remain within the budget level.

36. The Council agreed that the proposals by the Director-General embodied a significant effort on his part to reconcile conflicting requirements and diverging expectations from Member Governments. On the one hand, the substance of FAO's technical and economic programmes had been preserved, and even slightly expanded, through further transfers of resources from administrative and support areas, in order for FAO to continue to be able to meet the most pressing requirements for assistance in all regions and to play an effective role. On the other hand, determined action had led to reducing the proposed budget level, including planned measures to absorb a substantial proportion of anticipated cost increases.

37. In the course of the debate many members referred to substantive aspects of the proposals of interest to them, and declared their intention to return to the issue with more detailed comments during the consideration of the Programme of Work and Budget by Commission II of the Conference. In particular, a few members stated that the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) appropriation could have been considered for a net reduction in resources, especially in view of expected financial difficulties in the foreseeable future. Many other members, however, reiterated their attachment to and unreserved support for the form of direct, rapid assistance rendered to developing countries through the TCP. Several of them recalled their wish to see the level of the appropriation increased in real terms in future biennia. Concern was also expressed by some members at the proposed establishment of four new FAO Country Representatives Offices, despite the reduction in the provision which was originally included in the Summary for this purpose. Many other members however felt that in view of the strong demand for these new offices from the concerned countries, this Programme proposal should be fully implemented. Some members stressed the need for clearer priority setting and expressed their desire to see the policy advisory role of FAO in agricultural and overall rural development in developing and developed countries further strengthened.

38. The Council reiterated its regret that the Programme of Work and Budget for 1988-89 had to be considered against a background of financial difficulties affecting the current Programme of Work and Budget, which had led to the enforcement of substantial programme adjustments. In this connection, some members reiterated their expectation that, in view of the likelihood of continued income shortfalls into the next biennium, a distinction should have been made in the full Programme of Work and Budget between on the one hand those activities which would be carried out even at a lower level of resources and on the other hand those whose implementation would be subject to income reaching the level anticipated in the budget. Other members, however, reiterated their opposition in principle to "alternative" budget levels being indicated in the Programme of Work and Budget, besides considering it impractical. They stressed that FAO's Basic Texts specified that the effective working budget voted by the Conference constituted the only basis for each Member Nation to contribute its share and, therefore, was the necessary formulation for the orderly management of FAO finances and the secure implementation of its approved programmes.

39. Regarding currency aspects, the Council noted the differing impact on Member Nations of the eventual increase of contributions in US dollar terms. As underlined by the Finance Committee, the resulting impact in terms of national currencies had to be seen in the context of the evolution of the relationship between the US dollar and these currencies. A number of main contributor countries could expect to pay less in their national currencies while many Member Nations, especially those affected by depreciation of their currencies, would pay significantly more. A few developing countries in the position of main contributors expressed their concern in this regard and suggested that those member countries whose national currencies had appreciated vis-a-vis the US dollar might maintain their contributions in their own currencies at the levels prior to the depreciation of the US dollar. It was underlined that assessments on Member Nations linked to the Programme of Work and Budget also had to be considered in connection with the proposals before the Conference for the replenishment of the Special Reserve Account and the increase in the Working Capital Fund which the Council was to address under item 11 of its agenda.

40. Regarding the proposed budget level, a few members stated that they were not in a position to support it. A number preferred to disclose their final decision during the Conference. A few-other members expressed the hope that suitable modifications to the proposals could be introduced prior to the Conference adopting the Programme of Work and Budget, so as to enable them to join in a consensus. The majority of members reiterated their support for the proposals, as they were fully satisfied that considered judgement and restraint had been exercised both in formulating a realistic programme and in meeting previously expressed concerns for the resulting impact on assessed contributions. Many members stated, in this connection, that they were reiterating their support for the Programme in a spirit of conciliation despite their disappointment with the modest increase proposed which, they felt, had to be seen in relation to vast, unfulfilled requirements for FAO action in member countries.

41. In conclusion, the Council expressed the hope that it would be possible for the Conference to approve the Programme of Work and Budget for 1988-89 by consensus.

Review of the Regular Programme 1986-87 including the Independent External Evaluations of Special Action Programmes on African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, Seed Improvement and Development Programme and Food Security Assistance Scheme 2

42. The Council appreciated the clarity and quality of the Review of the Regular Programme 1986-87 and supported the views of the Programme Committee on the format and content of the document. It noted that Parts II and III of the Review provided in-depth analysis on the achievements and problems of the four sub-programmes and the two special topics which cut across many technical programmes of FAO. In particular, the evaluation of the Extension Activities of FAO was considered to be of high quality. The Council also welcomed the independent external evaluations of the three Special Action Programmes. These evaluations were considered valuable and timely. The Council felt that such independent evaluations should be encouraged in the future on a case-by-case basis, pending the availability of resources.

43. The Council noted with concern the adverse effects of the liquidity crisis on the implementation of Regular Programme activities. It noted that the areas most affected were training, meetings and publications.

44. Several members expressed their support for selected sub-programmes and activities discussed in the Review. These included the Tropical Forestry Action Plan, environment and natural resources, plant and forest genetic resources, national fishery resources, policy analysis, roots and plantains, WCARRD (World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development) Programme of Action, TCDC (Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries) and computerized monitoring systems.

45. The Council endorsed the findings and recommendations of the evaluation reports covering the three Special Action Programmes of FAO as well as the actions proposed by the Director-General in response to the recommendation of the consultants.

46. On the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, the Council stressed the need for more extra-budgetary support under an umbrella programme, a balanced use of resources between problem-oriented research and overall development of the areas cleared from tsetse, urgent financial suppport for the Ecole de Lutte Anti-Tsetse (ELAT) in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, more effective participation of African countries in the work of the Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis, the need for strong national coordination committees and the presence of an effective national veterinary service to support the programme against tsetse.

47. Concerning the Seed Improvement and Development Programme, the Council endorsed the findings and recommendations of the evaluation and stressed the need for varieties suitable to the requirements of small farmers and long-term donor commitment for national seed projects/programmes.

48. Regarding the evaluation of the Food Security Assistance Scheme, the Council was satisfied with the progress made so far and agreed with the findings and recommendations of the evaluation report.

49. The Council recognized that the documents under this item would be considered at the Conference, when all Member Nations would have the opportunity for a more comprehensive review. It agreed that the comments of the Programme Committee be brought to the attention of the Conference at that time.

Review of Field Programmes 1986-87 3

50. The Council expressed its appreciation for the structure and content of the Review, which provided a concise and comprehensive analysis of FAO's wide-ranging field programmes. In noting the moderate increase in field activities which had taken place in 1986-87, the Council welcomed the prospect of a significant expansion in the next biennium. In this connection, the importance of FAO's active cooperation with UNDP was underscored and it was recognized that this had already led to a sharp acceleration in FAO/UNDP project approvals in 1987. In calling for further close cooperation with UNDP, the Council expressed the hope that the FAO share of UNDP would improve in line with the high priority of food and agricultural development in most recipient countries.

51. Appreciation was expressed for the steady support which Trust Fund donors continued to provide for FAO's technical assistance activities. Besides multi-bilateral programmes, the importance of Unilateral Trust Funds was underlined, financed from the resources of recipient countries themselves. During the biennium, the key role of Trust Funds in support of grasshopper and locust control activities was noted, with particular reference to the role of regional and sub-regional organizations in preventing outbreaks of locusts.

52. The Council welcomed preparatory work on the development and implementation of a long-term strategy for control of migratory pests in Africa which FAO was carrying out in cooperation with the World Bank, UNDP, regional organizations and donor and recipient countries.

53. In referring to the catalytic role of TCP, the Council noted the high proportion of TCP projects which resulted in subsequent larger technical assistance and investment activities. Continuing satisfaction was expressed with the work of the Investment Centre, which had helped generate some US$ 3 000 million in total agricultural investments in 1986 alone.

54. The Council gave its full support to the current focus of field programme activities on Africa, where food and agricultural problems were most severe. While regretting that the relative share of activities in Latin America and the Caribbean region was low, the Council recognized the numerous TCDC/ECDC initiatives in that region promoted by FAO and welcomed the comprehensive study of future development needs in the food and agricultural sectors which was being carried out.

55. The Council expressed its satisfaction with Chapter Two of the Review, comprising the assessment and evaluation of field projects, which was found to be frank and objective. In noting the expanding role of FAO Representatives in the appraisal and monitoring of field projects, the Council emphasized in particular the important function of FAO's Evaluation Service, which currently organized the evaluation of over 90 individual field projects per year. Particular satisfaction was expressed with the six detailed project examples presented, as well as important programme evaluations covering the fertilizer programme and projects for agricultural mechanization in Africa. The Council called for the further strengthening of FAO's project evaluation activities, and for special efforts, in conjunction with donors and recipient governments, to increase evaluations of completed projects.

56. Recognizing the continuing measures which FAO had taken to improve the management and monitoring of field programmes, the Council noted in particular the development which was underway of a computerized global system for field project information and monitoring. It was noted that this new system would be implemented in the coming biennium.

57. The Council expressed its appreciation for Chapter Three of the Review which covered FAO's planning and policy advice and assistance to governments, including sectoral and sub-sectoral review activities. It was noted that projects in this area were especially pertinent in view of the economic and financial difficulties presently facing many governments, and current efforts to improve the coordination and programming of development assistance, from bilateral as well as multilateral sources. The close link between FAO's Regular and Field Programme activities was noted in this connection. The Council recognized that planning and policy assistance by FAO contained large elements of training and institution building, aimed at strengthening the crucial human resource factor for improved planning and coordination by governments themselves.

58. The Council welcomed the increasing focus of FAO's field programmes on building up the self-reliance of recipient countries to deal with development matters. It called for further efforts in this direction, including the increased use of qualified national personnel in projects, use of National Directors and Coordinators, and support for the direct government execution of projects where appropriate. The importance of building TCDC approaches into FAO's projects was stressed, utilizing highly pertinent technical capacities which already existed in the developing countries.

59. In recognizing that FAO's field projects were heavily concentrated on meeting the development needs of the rural poor, in the spirit of the WCARRD Conference of 1979, the Council noted in particular activities in support of the role of women and in cooperation with locally based Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). It called for the further expansion of these and related types of activities which promoted development at grassroots level.

Second Report on Unscheduled and Cancelled Sessions in the 1986-87 Biennium 4

60. The Council noted that since its Ninetieth Session (17-28 November 1986) a further 11 unscheduled sessions had been approved and 84 sessions had been cancelled, making a total for the biennium of 45 unscheduled and 114 cancelled sessions.

61. Details of the unscheduled sessions approved and of the sessions cancelled since the Ninetieth Session of the Council are given in Appendix E.

Reports of the Fifty-third Session of the Programme Committee; the Sixty-first Session of the Finance Committee, and their Joint Session
(Rome, 14-25 September 1987)

Programme Delivery Costs 5

62. The Council took note of the document prepared on the subject, in response to the request made at its last session. It also noted the views of the Finance Committee, as expressed at its Sixty-first Session, on that document.

63. The Council emphasized that attention to efficiency in the delivery of programmes was a natural and continuing management concern in every programme- orientated organization. At the same time, the Council recalled that the definition of programme delivery costs was liable to different interpret- ations, as had been observed during discussion of the issue at its Ninety- first Session, and stressed that it was highly dependent on the nature of the organization and the type of activities under consideration.

64. The Council noted that an updated analysis of programme delivery costs would be submitted to the Finance Committee in the next biennium. The need for further periodic reviews would be taken up at that time. The Council also noted that the Secretariat would take up at inter-agency level the desirability and feasibility of a joint request to the Joint Inspection Unit to establish definitions and methodologies which would permit meaningful comparisons of programme delivery costs among international organizations.

65. Some members requested that a study on the profitability of FAO contributions for various types of countries be prepared in terms of technical consultation services, use of equipment, agricultural input and other services used by the Organization.

Financial Position of the Organization 6

Status of Contributions to the Budget

66. The Council noted the status of contributions at 5 November 1987, compared to the same date in 1986, as follows, as well as the details of receipts from each Member Nation during 1987 and of amounts outstanding, as shown in Appendix D to this report.

1987 a
(for comparison)
Amounts outstanding at 1 January
Current assessments 198 575 000.00 c 198 575 000.00 c
Contributions in arrears 78 069 434.69 b 24 210 846.98 b
Total 276 644 434.69 222 785 846.98
Receipts 1 January to 5 November
Current assessments 130 654 816.47 128 580 314.17
Contributions in arrears 47 755 077.13 b 9 895 945.99
Total 178 409 893.60 a d 138 476 260.16
Amounts outstanding at 5 November
Current assessments 67 920 183.53 a 69 994 685.83
Contributions in arrears 30 314 357.56 a b 14 314 900.99
98 234 541.09 a 84 309 586.82

a Appendix D sets out full details of receipts during 1987, the 1984-85 cash surplus distribution and of amounts outstanding relating to each Member Nation.

b Contributions in arrears include arrears payable under Conference authorizations by instalments due in 1987 (in 1986 in comparative figures) and in future years (on 1 January 1987 US$41 490.63 due in 1987 and US$194 479.26 due in future years); details are set out in Appendix D, footnote 5/ and on page D5.

c Of which US$575 000.00 relates to the Tax Equalization Fund.

d Receipts include release on 1 January 1987 of cash surplus of the 1984-85 biennium: US$17 337 491.34 applied to current assessments (8.73%) and US$11 743 285.66 to arrears.

Current Assessments (Appendix D sets out details of amounts received and amounts outstanding)

67. The month-end cumulative percentages of 1987 assessments received during the ten months of 1987,, as compared to receipts during the preceding four years, were as follows:

Percentages of Current Assessments Received

(Cumulative - year to date)

1987 a 1986 1985 b 1984 1983 c
% % % % %
January 10.41 10.37 24.69 6.28 4.63
February 24.25 15.89 28.25 8.73 18.81
March 32.40 24.50 30.95 14.21 26.52
April 44.75 30.26 37.31 27.09 32.74
May 49.62 36.10 47.89 30.92 45.58
June 61.00 40.67 51.35 51.90 48.08
July 63.25 62.48 59.63 55.42 51.87
August 63.78 63.00 60.14 57.44 53.06
September 64.47 63.40 63.33 60.66 55.33
October 65.77 64.75 73.52 86.34 75.17
November 65.86 91.35 91.44 89.09
December 66.96 92.50 92.60 93.81

68. At 31 October 1987, the position of Member Nations (and the number of Member Nations with arrears) with comparative figures at the same date during the preceding four years, was as follows:

Number of Member Nations
Current Assessments Arrears
Paid in Full Part Paid No Paymant Total
1987 a 65.77 90 22 46 158 42
1986 64.75 65 32 61 158 54
1985 b 73.52 76 15 65 156 43
1984 86.34 73 24 59 156 54
1983 c 75.17 79 16 57 152 45

a Includes US$17 337 491.34 (8.73% of 1987 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1984-85 biennium applied as of 1 January 1987; to facilitate comparisons, applications to the current assessments of 64 Member Nations are excluded from the number of Member Nations.

b Includes US$41 005 487.00 (20.72% of 1985 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1982-83 biennium applied as of 1 January 1985; to facilitate comparisons, applications to the current assessments of 84 Member Nations are excluded from the number of Member Nations.

c Includes US$345 595.00 (0.19% of 1983 assessments) as distribution of the cash surplus of the 1980-81 biennium applied as of 1 January 1983; to facilitate comparisons, applications to the current assessments of 54 Member Nations are excluded from the number of Member Nations.

69. The Council was informed that 90 Member Nations had paid in full, while 22 Member Nations had made only a partial payment leaving 46 Member Nations who had made no cash payment at all in 1987. The Council endorsed the strong appeal of the Finance Committee urging all Member Nations to pay their contributions on time, and to take urgent action to remit the amounts due and overdue, in order to enable the Organization to have the resources available to carry on its programmes effectively.

Deferral of Cash Surplus Distribution

70. The Council was informed that 21 Member Nations (Angola, Bahamas, Belize, Botswana, China, Colombia, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, France, Haiti, Honduras, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan (partial), Jordan, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Niger and Rwanda) had responded to the appeal of the Council with regard to relinquishing or deferring their share of the cash surplus. The significant impact of Japan's decision was noted with appreciation. These actions should improve the financial position of the Organization during 1987 by US$9 098 954. The Director-General appealed in October 1987 to these Member Nations to further defer the application of these amounts until at least 1989.

Voting Right Problems

71. The Council took note that nine Member Nations (Antigua and Barbuda, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Kampuchea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Paraguay, Romania) continued to be in danger of losing their right to vote at the forthcoming Session of the Conference. Four Notes had been sent during 1987 to these nine Member Nations advising them of their status. The FAO Representatives and Regional Representatives had also approached the Governments on these matters. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda, the Government of Guinea-Bissau and the Government of Guyana had requested instalment arrangements to pay arrears of contributions over ten years. These requests would be referred to the Conference for consideration.

Financial Matters

72. The Council reviewed the report of the Finance Committee concerning these agenda items and the draft resolutions, the first three of which it had requested the Finance Committee to prepare for consideration by the Conference after review by the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM).

73. The CCLM reviewed the draft resolutions from the legal and constitutional point of view at its Fiftieth Session (October 1987). It concluded that they were consistent with the Basic Texts and also that their adoption by the Conference would not require the amendment of the Financial Regulations or any other provisions in the Basic Texts.

74. The Council, notwithstanding the disagreement of some members to the draft resolutions 7, decided to submit them to the Conference for its consideration and action.

Measures to Deal with Problems of Delayed Payment of Assessed Contributions 8

75. The Council, recalling the extensive deliberations on this matter over the last several years, by the Finance Committee, and particularly at its Ninety-first Session, observed that the proposed changes might serve as an incentive for Member Nations to pay contributions more promptly.

76. Reservations were expressed by a number of members. Some members felt that the measures would further penalize developing countries already facing serious economic difficulties and would not address the main cause of FAO's financial problems. One member pointed out that its payment pattern was solely a consequence of legislative practices, which would not be altered, and therefore the changes would not serve as an incentive to pay contributions more promptly. Notwithstanding these reservations, many members considered that the changes offered a positive approach to the long standing problem of delayed payment of assessed contributions. The Council accordingly recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:




Noting with concern the severe limitations on the capacity of the Organization to implement the approved programme of work arising from the delayed payment of contributions, and of arrears,

Recognizing that current Financial Regulations provide no Incentive for Member Nations to pay contributions promptly,

Considering that current Financial Regulations do not provide a rational and equitable allocation of the interest income element of a cash surplus, which arises primarily from prompt payment of assessed contributions,

Decides that, notwithstanding the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.1(b),

a) the interest income element of any cash surplus shall be allocated

i) only among those Member Nations that have paid their assessed contributions in full by the end of the financial period;

ii) on a weighted basis, in accordance with the amount and the timing of payment of their contributions during the financial period;

b) all elements of any cash surplus, other than interest income, shall

i) continue to be allocated in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.1(b), among all Member Nations, based on the Scale of Contributions applicable to that period;

ii) be released to Member Nations which have not paid in full their assessed contributions for the period, only after receipt by the Organization of payment in full of the amounts due for that period.

Amending Present Procedures for Application of the Cash Surplus 9

77. This proposal contained a delegation of authority from the Conference to the Council to decide on possible deferment of the distribution of cash surplus until the subsequent Session of the Conference, should the Organization be affected by a substantial delay in receipt of contributions during any individual biennium.

78. Several members expressed reservations on this proposal considering that such a decision should only be taken by the Conference. Other members however recognized that this proposal would only mean a delay in the distribution of the cash surplus which would be credited thereafter as soon as so decided by the Conference. The Council nevertheless recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference.



Noting that in accordance with Financial Regulation 6.1(b) any cash surplus in the General Fund at the close of any financial period shall be allocated among Member Nations and, as of 1 January following the year in which the audit of the final accounts of the financial period is completed, shall be released and applied to liquidate, in whole or in part, first, any advance due to the Working Capital Fund, secondly, any arrears of contributions, and thirdly, contributions for the calendar year following the year in which the audit is completed,

Noting further, that at its Twenty-second Session (November 1983), the Conference delegated authority to the Council to withhold all or part of the distribution of the cash surplus from the 1982-83 biennium in order to ensure that sufficient funds were available to implement the 1984-1985 Programme of Work and Budget in full,

Considering the need to maintain at all times a cash flow sufficient to ensure full implementationof the current Programme of Work and Budget,

Bearing in mind that the Director-General keeps the Finance Committee regularly-informed of the financial situation, including the cash flow and status of contributions,

Considering that additional measures might be necessary to ensure implementation in full of future approved Programmes of Work and Budget:

1. Requests the Director-General to continue to keep the Finance Committee fully informed of the financial position of the Organization, and to submit to the Council detailed information concerning the status of assessed contributions, as well as that Of the Working Capital Fund and the Special Reserve Account;

2. Delegates to the Council the authority to decide, in the event of a significant delay in the receipt of contributions, and notwithstanding Financial Regulation 6.1(b), that cash surpluses which may arise in the present and future biennia be withheld in full or in part, with a view to ensuring that sufficient funds are available to implement in full the current approved Programme of Work and Budget;

3. Decides that it shall review the financial situation of the Organization after the Council has exercised the authority delegated to it in paragraph 2 above and determine the time of release of any cash surplus withheld;

4. Urges all Member Nations to ensure that action is taken as soon as possible to pay in full their outstanding contributions, and to remit in the future their assessed contributions in accordance with Financial Regulation 5.5.

Increase in the Level of the Working Capital Fund 10

79. The Council recalling the discussion held at its Ninety-first Session, recognized that the current level of the Working Capital Fund was inadequate to perform satisfactorily its functions as stipulated in Financial Regulation 6.2.

80. Some members questioned the need for any increase in the level of the Working Capital Fund. Some other members, indicated their agreement to a modest increase in the Working Capital Fund to US$20 million and a few members suggested that the funds be obtained from either receipts of arrears of contributions or from any future cash surplus. A few members also expressed reservation on adoption of a second incremental increase in the level of the fund. The Council nevertheless recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:



Recalling its Resolution 18/81, by which the level of the Working Capital Fund was fixed at US$13 250 000,

Regretting that in spite of the Council's appeals to all Member Nations to fulfill their obligations in full and promptly, the rate of receipt of contributions to the Budget was not satisfactory and expressing concern at the possibility of such a pattern being repeated,

Noting that the present level of the Working Capital Fund constitutes only three percent of the present Budget level and that this was lower than in most comparable organizations,

Having examined the recommendations of the Council:

Decides that the authorized level of the Working Capital Fund shall be US$20 000 000 as from 1 January 1988 and US$26 000 000 as from 1 January 1990 and that Member Nations shall be re-assessed in accordance with the provisions of Financial Regulation 6.2(b)(iv) and (v) as from 1 January 1988 and 1 January 1990 on the basis of the Scales of Contributions then in effect.

Replenishment of the Special Reserve Account for 1988-89 11

81. The Council noted the recommendation by the Finance Committee for a special assessment on Member Nations to replenish the Special Reserve Account up to half of its authorized level and that the remaining balance be funded through application of the sums received for payments of arrears of contributions to the extent permitted by other claims on those contributions, and by crediting the Account with currency savings on staff costs should they arise.

82. Several members supported the proposal, while others reserved their positions on this matter. A few members indicated their support for replenishment of the Special Reserve Account provided the funds were obtained either from receipts of arrears of contributions or from future savings. The Council nevertheless recommended the following draft resolution for adoption by the Conference:



Noting that the Special Reserve Account has been fully exhausted in the biennium 1986-87, as a result of the negative variance on staff costs due to the decrease in the lira/US dollar exchange rate from the budget rate of lire 1760,

Recalling Resolution 13/81 in which it decided that such portion of the cash surplus in the General Fund at the end of a biennium as is required to bring the level of the Special Reserve Account to five percent of the effective working budget for the subsequent biennium shall be withheld and credited to the Special Reserve Account,

Noting that at the end of the biennium 1986-87 there will be a negative the General Fund was expected,

Considering that by Resolution 13/81, it authorized the Director-General, in the event that a cash surplus should not arise at the end of any biennium adequate to bring the Special Reserve Account to the level specified, to apply to the Special Reserve Account any sums received in the subsequent biennium in payment of arrears of contributions,

Conscious of the uncertainties regarding the payment of contributions by the largest contributor, both in the current year and in the subsequent biennium, and of the substantial claims on the arrears of contributions for replenishment of the Working Capital Fund and elimination of the negative balance in the General Fund to be carried forward to 1988:

1. Decides to make a special assessment on Member Nations to provide for fifty percent of the replenishment of the Special Reserve Account, in the amount of US$ (precise amount to be determined after the Conference has adopted the Programme of Work and Budget for 1988-89);

2. Requests the Director-General to inform the Finance Committee and the Council in the subsequent biennium of the progress made in the replenishment of the Special Reserve Account and of any further action required to bring the level up to that authorized,

-Other Financial Matters

83. The Council noted the latest information available on the financial situation of the Organization and requested that an updated forecast of the 1986-87 out-turn and of the 1988-89 cash flow be submitted to the Conference.

84. The Council noted the comments of the Finance Committee on Alternative Currency Considerations and decided that, in view of the volatility of world currencies, the Finance Committee should study again at a future session, the various alternatives that may be available for consideration.

Personnel Matters 12

85. At its Ninety-first Session the Council had expressed keen interest in various personnel matters and had urged Member Nations to be alert to the economic difficulties faced by the staff of the Organization and to the need to safeguard their conditions of employment. 13

86. The Council was informed of the developments in conditions of service of the staff, including pension fund matters, which had been reviewed by the Finance Committee. It noted the Committee's concern regarding difficulties in retaining experienced staff and in recruiting sufficiently qualified new staff, particularly at the field level, thus hampering programme execution, but also learned that decisions taken by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) in July 1987, as well as the recommendations it had made to the Forty-second Session of the UN General Assembly, would tend to halt the general deterioration in the conditions of service, especially for staff in the field.

87. The Council further noted that the recommendations of the ICSC and those made in August 1987 by the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Board (UNJSPB) were still subject to review by the Fifth Committee, and that if adopted by the Forty-second Session of the UN General Assembly would enable a start to be made in restoring the Organization's capacity to attract and retain qualified staff and to discharge the responsibilities placed on it by Member Nations in a climate of confidence and efficiency.

88. The Council noted the Statistics of Personnel Services and the Finance Committee's request that the Secretariat continue its efforts in providing as complete and up-to-date statistics as possible to the autumn sessions of the Committee.

1 C 87/3; C 87/3-Sup.l; C 87/3-Sup.2; C 87/3-Sup.3; CL 92/3; CL 92/4; C 87/3-Corr.l; C 87/3-Corr.2 (Eng. only); CL 92/PV/3; CL 92/PV/4; CL 92/PV/7.

2 C 87/8; C 87/8-Sup.l; C 87/8-Sup.2; C 87/8-Sup.3; CL 92/4, paras 2.3-2.43, 3.121-3.123; CL 92/PV/4; CL 92/PV/7.

3 C 87/4; CL 92/4, paras 2.44-2.58, 3.124-3.129; CL 92/PV/4; CL 92/PV/7.

4 CL 92/3; CL 92/PV/4; CL 92/PV/7.

51/ CL 92/4, paras 3.18-3.20, CL 92/8; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

6 CL 92/4 paras 3.32 - 3.39; CL 92/LIM/l; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

7 See paras 76, 78, 80 and 82.

8 CL 92/4 para. 3.76; CL 92/5 paras 11-18; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6;

CL 92/PV/7.

9 CL 91/REP, para. 273; CL 91/6, paras 3.56-3.58; CL 92/4, paras 3.72-3.75; CL 92/5, paras 11-18; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

10 CL 91/REP, para. 282; CL 92/4, paras 3.68-3.71; CL 92/5, paras 11-18; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

11 CL 92/4, paras 3.52-3.60; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

12 CL 92/4, paras 1.8 and 3.95 - 3.107; CL 92/PV/5; CL 92/PV/6; CL 92/PV/7.

13 CL 91/REP, para. 288.

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