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Report of the Ninth Session of the Committee on Forestry (Rome, 9-13 May 1988 )1

49. The Council endorsed the report of the Ninth Session of the Committee on Forestry, which reflected the general consensus on the importance of forestry in socio-economic development and in environmental conservation for present and future generations. It agreed in particular with the Committee’s recommendation that FAO allocate an increased share of its Regular Programme budget to forestry activities. Some members emphasized that if FAO was to be able to effectively respond to the many and urgent requests from the Member Nations concerning the forestry sector, its financial crisis must be solved.

50. The Council confirmed its full support to the Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP) as an excellent framework for the coordination of national and international action in forest development and conservation. The interdisciplinary approach of the TFAP was commended as a model which could be applied to other sectors such as agriculture. The Council recommended that TFAP be brought to the attention of the Committee on Agriculture. It recognized the importance of strengthening FAO’s coordinating capacity in consonance with the good response received so far to the TFAP from the member countries and the international community. It was informed of action taken by FAO to that effect. Some members recommended that the Council invite regional development banks to participate more actively in the Tropical Forestry Action Plan.

51. The Council emphasized the contribution of wildlife to food security and rural development. It endorsed the Committee’s recommendation to incorporate wildlife management and utilization in national development plans and to give it a higher priority in FAO’s programmes.

52. The Council furthermore recognized that the international community should also be aware of its responsibility towards developing countries and help create an economic environment that would allow them to accomplish socio-economic development without having to resort to activities that might endanger their ecological systems in general and their forestry resources in particular.

53, The Council recognized the contribution of forest-based small-scale enterprises to rural development and the stabilization of rural communities through the generation of income and employment. It also noted their beneficial role in the conservation and development of forest resources through their enhanced value for local communities.

54. The Council stressed the importance of proper forest harvesting techniques to prevent environmental deterioration. It supported the Committee’s recommendation that FAO give increased emphasis to technical assistance in forest harvesting operations and to harvesting methodologies of non-wood forest products.

55. The Council recognized the important contribution that forestry could make to sustained agricultural development, particularly with respect to soil conservation, watershed management and control of desertification. It also encouraged FAO to increase the coordination of agricultural and forestry activities, including the incorporation of farm forestry in its programmes.

Venue of the Tenth World Forestry Congress 1991

56. The Council noted that five countries - Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, France, Italy and Tanzania - had offered to host the Tenth World Forestry Congress to be held in 1991. The Council agreed that the delegates of the prospective host countries consult amongst themselves with a view to arriving at a consensus to be announced before the end of the Council.

57. When the Council resumed its discussion on this subject, the delegates of France and Tanzania confirmed their candidacies to host the Tenth World Forestry Congress, while the delegate of Italy withdrew his country’s candidature in order to facilitate the choice. The Council agreed to postpone a decision on the venue until its Ninety-fifth Session, in order to provide more time for the two countries and the Secretariat to reach a consensus.

Aspects of FAO’s Policies,Programmes, Budget and Activities Aimed at Contributing to Sustainable Development 2

58. The Council considered the document prepared in response to Resolution 9/87 of the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference in 1987 regarding FAO policies, programmes, budget and activities contributing to sustainable development.

59. The Council commended the conciseness of the document which provided a comprehensive overview of FAO’S activities on environment and sustainable development. However, some members considered that future reporting by FAO should be more analytical, should be extended to include a wider range of institutional issues, and should cover field activities financed from the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) and other extra-budgetary funds.

60. The Council noted with appreciation FAO’s long involvement in actions to promote sustainable production systems, as well as the breadth of its current activities on rational management and conservation of natural resources to increase agricultural production and to improve the living conditions of rural people. It considered that FAO’s mandate and vast experience made it the key agency within the UN system to promote environmentally-sound and sustainable agricultural development.

61. The Council accepted the conclusion of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) report that overcoming poverty was a prerequisite for sustainable development. The Council recognized that desertification and other forms of environmental degradation were not solely the results of rural and urban poverty. It was agreed that only global, equitable, inter-dependent and coordinated efforts amongst international organizations, governments, national institutions and individuals could provide lasting solutions.

62. The Council noted that environmental issues in developing countries were closely related to their economic difficulties and that the political will on the part of all countries was needed to establish enduring arrangements to allow them to meet the basic needs of their people and to preserve their natural resources for future generations.

63. While agreeing that environmental priorities and policies were sovereign decisions to be made by governments, the Council recognized that FAO had an important role to play in planning and in providing assistance to solve problems related to sustainable development at global, regional and country level. Furthermore, FAO should continue to contribute to the development of national conservation strategies along with other international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Council considered that FAO should give higher priority to wildlife utilization, alternative post control strategies, conservation of both plant and animal genetic resources, promotion of sustainable tropical agriculture, and land use planning.

64. The Council stressed the importance of forestry, and particularly of agro-forestry, in sustainable development, and the major role that the Tropical Forestry Action Plan had to play in this respect.

65. The Council emphasized the importance of people’s participation, including farmers’ organizations in sustainable development, and the need for FAO to create environmental awareness and to support appropriate actions at grass-root level. The Council welcomed the willingness of one member country to finance an FAO study on the present and potential role of farmers’ organizations in the protection of the environment and in sustainable development.

66. The Council’s attention was drawn to the fact that pressure on natural resources resulting from the influx of refugees led in many cases to environmental degradation. In this connection suggestions were made that FAO should assist in assessing the impact of refugees on the host country’s environment.

67. The Council noted the very important linkage between energy conservation, renewable energy technologies and sustainable development, both in developing and developed countries.

68. The Council was concerned with the rapid rate and large scale of the degradation of biological diversity. It noted that the next session of the Committee on Agriculture would discuss issues and consider recommendations regarding the conservation of animal genetic resources. Some members requested the Director-General to examine the possibility of expanding the scope of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources and the related Fund to encompass both plant and animal genetic resources conservation. A few members, however, believed that such an examination was premature. Close cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) was requested in the implementation of the UNEP Governing Council Decision 14/26 (June 1987) on the Rationalization of International Conventions on Biological Diversity. The development of any umbrella convention on biological diversity should be based on existing international agreements and funding mechanisms.

69. The Council considered that past development efforts had not dealt adequately with the problem of environmental degradation. It felt that environmental concerns and sustainable development should be taken into account in a continuous forward-looking process in the programmes and activities of FAO through an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, the Council requested FAO to further strengthen its internal coordination mechanisms on environment and sustainable development. The Council urged FAO within its specific mandate and its limited financial resources, to progessively translate the concept of sustainable development into practical and operational policies and programmes in the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors including natural resources management, conservation, technology development and delivery, private and public investment in the rural sector to promote growth beyond the subsistence level, policy reform, institution building and grass-root participation in development planning and management.

70. The Council noted that most developing countries found themselves considerably strained in providing the necessary resources for their ongoing development programmes. Additional funds for environmental protection would put further strain on limited national resources. It called upon donors to take into account the need for external resources to support incorporation of environmental concerns and to strengthen national capabilities in the application of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as they make their assistance allocations.

71. The Council re-emphasized the need for effective FAO collaboration and coordination with its international, multilateral and bilateral partners for the promotion of environmentally sound and sustainable agricultural and rural development, particularly with the World Bank, the Regional Development Banks, UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and IFAD (International Fund for Agricultural Development), as well as with international NGOs.

72. The Council noted that there would be a. number of opportunities in 1989 to discuss environment and sustainable development issues in various meetings of FAO’s governing bodies. The main opportunities would be given in COAG during considerations of proposals for the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 1990-91 and under the items on Preservation of Animal Genetic Resources and People’s Participation in Agricultural and Rural Development; at the Ninety-fifth and Ninety-sixth Sessions of the Council in the context of the PWB 1990-91 and the Report of COAG; and finally at the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference under the item on State of Food and Agriculture 1989 which would contain a special chapter on sustainable development, the Reports from the Council, the PWB 1990-91, and the Review of the Regular Programme 1988-89 under its chapter on “Support to member countries in Conservation and Amelioration of the Environment and the Introduction of Environmental Considerations into FAO Projects and Programmes”. The Council noted that at its next session on the item Summary Programme of the Work and Budget 1990-91, a substantive discussion could be held on FAO’s plans and strategies to enhance the concept of sustainable development. Some members stressed the importance of the provision of a brief outline by the Secretariat on this issue to facilitate the discussion.

Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development 3

73. In accordance with the decision taken at the Twenty-fourth Session of the FAO Conference in 1987, the Council reviewed the Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development and the Summary of the Expert Consultation on Experiences of Institutional Changes Concerning Women in Development, as requested in Resolutions 3/87 and 4/87. The Council thanked the Director-General for the comprehensive Plan of Action as well as for having convened the Expert Consultation. The Council appreciated the Plan of Action presented by the Director-General, unanimously approved it and agreed that it be implemented in a step-by-step process. In this respect, it was pointed out that the Plan should be flexible enough to be adjusted according to the specific conditions of the countries.

74. The Council expressed its satisfaction with the fact that the Plan of Action embodied the two-pronged approach recommended by the Conference: women-specific projects and programmes as well as those where women’s concerns were integrated.

75. The Council also recommended that FAO identify concrete priorities and a timetable of activities for the implementation of the Plan of Action. In this context, the Council recommended that priority be given to the training of FAO staff on means for addressing women in agriculture and rural development in FAO’s activities including programmes and projects and their planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Special attention should also be paid to strengthening the technical aspects and the institutional linkages between the Regular Programme and field projects, to reorienting and strengthening the curricula of training programmes for agriculture and home economics, and to developing information on gender-issues which would be used to improve the design and implementation of agricultural and rural development projects to benefit rural women.

76 The Council also recomended that high priority be given to the strengthening of the Women in Agricultural Production and Rural Development Service (ESHW) including filling all vacant staff positions. It was also recommended that all technical divisions of FAO participate fully in including WID (Women in Development) concerns in their programme of work and that focal points, with clear responsibilities, be designated in appropriate technical divisions.

77, The Council also stated that Member Governments should take into consideration the full integration of women in their development programmes. It was also indicated that FAO should provide assistance to Member Governments in introducing WID concerns in policy formulation, in development projects and particularly in training decision-makers. To this end, it was recommended that strong central focal points in related ministries of government be promoted.

78. It was also stated that in those countries which so requested, research should be continued on the juridical and legal situations that affected women in their activities as rural producers. The Council also stressed the promotion of employment opportunities for rural women and of working through women’s groups and organizations. The Council noted that

women played a very important role in agricultural production, particularly in developing countries. It therefore urged that ways of encouraging rural women’s access to credit programmes, training, marketing, and extension services be promoted.

79. The Council also recommended a closer collaboration with the sister agencies within the UN system, other international organizations, national agencies and NGOs and that efforts be made for the best and most efficient use of existing data studies, guidelines, and training programmes related to agricultural and rural development.

80. The Council stated that the implementation of the Plan of Action should take place within the mainstream of FAO activities and should be funded from the Regular Programme, paying due attention to the implementation of other key aspects of FAO core programmes. However, this should not preclude the use of such extra-budgetary resources which could become available during the course of implementation. The Council stated that the Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91 should take into consideration the implementation of the Plan of Action. It asked FAO to prepare an updated document that would guide the Organization in clarifying more specific action areas needed to be presented to the next Conference, taking into account the views expressed in the debate, with cost estimates that would particularly reflect the work to be carried out using Regular Programme resources and extra-budgetary funds. Systematic monitoring of progress was also considered to be important as implementation of the Plan was undertaken.

81. The Director-General’s representative indicated that the Plan of Action was requested by the Conference. As it embodied important policies and programmes which went well beyond the present biennium, he considered that it should be referred to the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference. Some members indicated that the report on this agenda item should be brought to the attention of the experts assisting the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee in reviewing the objectives and roles of FAO. It was also indicated that those activities that would be accommodated in the Programme and Budget proposals for 1990-91 would be given high priority as requested. The Council expressed the view that the training programme should be completed by 1991 and that the Plan of Action should become fully operative by 1995.

82. A draft resolution, presented by the delegations of Mexico, Argentina, Algeria, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Philippines, Spain and the United Kingdom, received general support from the Council. Identified in it were basic guidelines and priority areas to implement the Plan of Action. The Council requested the Conference to approve the Plan of Action, taking into account the views expressed by the Council, and adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 1/94



Recalling Conference Resolutions 3/87 and 4/87, 12/85, 4/83, 14/77, 10/75 and Council Resolution 2/66,

Convinced that women’s key role in rural areas and in food-related processes requires that special efforts be made by Governments and by FAO in order to ensure that such women have an equitable share in the benefits of legislative, social, economic and technological progress,

Appreciating the holding of an Expert Consultation on Experiences of Institutional Changes concerning Women in Development, as requested in Conference Resolution 4/87, and taking note of its conclusions,

Thanking the Director-General for submitting the Plan of Action for Integration of Women in Development in response to Conference Resolution 3/87,

1. Endorses the Plan of Action for Integration of Women in Development in FAO’s substantive areas of competence, and urges the Director-General that all units concerned perform these tasks in accordance with the guidelines contained in Annex II;

2. Requests the Director-General to implement as soon as possible all such features of the Plan of Action as are intended to make the staff of the Organization, both at Headquarters and in the field, aware of the content of this Plan. In this respect it considers priority should be accorded to the following activities, which can be carried out with existing resources;

  1. Bringing up to date FAO’s operational and administrative processes, as referred to in paragraphs 1 b) and 4 a) and b) of Resolution 10/75, paragraph 2 of Resolution 12/85 and paragraph 5 of Council Resolution 2/66, in line with the terms of the Plan of Action;
  2. Establishing basic guidelines for action to be taken by the various units of the Organization at Headquarters and in the field, ensuring that special attention be paid to the specific needs and issues arising from the integration of women in all its areas of competence, in accordance with the Plan of Action;
  3. Drawing up a two-year training programme for the professional staff of FAO concerned, both at Headquarters and in the field, aimed at achieving significant improvements in the attention paid to women’s special place in agricultural and rural development. This programme should be based on the guidelines in the Plan of Action and should incorporate a methodology to include the specific issues of women in all aspects of FAO’ activities;
  4. Adopting all such measures as may be required to increase the access of women to professional posts at all levels, in order to make progress toward reaching the target established by the United Nations of a 30 percent share of the total by 1995, without affecting the principles of professional quality and equitable geographical distribution. Special efforts should be made to encourage the promotion of women in all positions within the Organization;
  5. Designating an officer responsible for matters concerning Women in Development in every technical unit of the Organization, who will also coordinate with the Women in Agricultural Production and Rural Development Service, and with IDWG/WID (Inter-divisional Working Group on Women in Development);
  6. Ensuring, in collaboration with Governments, that the Sixth World Food Survey for the 1990s and the World Census of Agriculture 1990, include an analysis of data according to gender.

3. Requests the Director-General, when preparing the Programme of Work and Budget for the 1990-91 biennium, to give special consideration to the need to allocate resources for the implementation of the Plan of Action, with the expectation that the training programme could be completed by 1991 and the Plan of Action could be fully operational in 1995;

4. Requests that FAO’s main Committees include on the agenda of the next sessions an examination of the issues arising from the participation of women in the sectors for which these Committees are responsible, with a view to making specific recommendations for action in order that FAO may pay due attention to these issues;

5. Asks Governments to make all possible efforts to contribute to the implementation of the Plan of Action for the Integration of Women in Development in FAO’s main fields of competence, complementing the tasks of FAO with regard to the planning and execution of the Plan of Action;

6. Urges member countries to put forward suitable women candidates for posts falling vacant in the Organization;

7. Requests the Director-General to present a report on progress achieved in fulfilling this Resolution to the Ninety-sixth Session of the Council.

World Food Programme

Thirteenth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the UN/FAO World Food Programme4

83. In presenting the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA), the Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) underlined that 1987, the Programme’s 25th year of operations, had been an exceptional year with many remarkable accomplishments. He pointed out that in 1987 the Programme had been called on to meet the needs

of about 35 million people, of which nearly 15 million received emergency food aid, and that some 20 million people would benefit from new development projects approved. As a result of this high-level activity, WFP had shipped a record amount of 2.4 million tons of food in 1987. He emphasized that the Programme was always looking for new ways to improve the effectiveness of food aid, to find new and innovative ways of using food aid, to speed up food deliveries, to rationalize the distribution and to streamline the Programme.

84. The Executive Director emphasized that in 1987 WFP had shipped more food than ever before in its history. Requirements for emergency relief increased and consequently there was a considerable strain on emergency resources. It appeared that in 1988 pressure on these resources would probably continue at the same level as in 1987. He went on to state that for that reason it was becoming increasingly clear that despite the generous response by donors to WFP’s call for additional resources, the International Emergency Food Reserve was not providing a sufficient volume of food to meet the needs of victims of both natural and man-made disasters. He also drew the attention of the Council to the recent CFA approval of a WFP Plan of Action for Africa with an expected investment level of more than US$ 1 800 million for the period 1986-90; to the record quantity of food purchases made in 1987, three-quarters of which were made in developing countries; and to the commitment of WFP to promote measures to combat environmental degradation.

85. Regarding WFP’s Headquarters Accommodation which was contingent upon the signing of a Headquarters Agreement for the World Food Programme, he voiced the hope that negotiations on the agreement, prepared on the IFAD model and almost finalized, could be resumed forthwith. He thanked the Italian Government for its generous offer, and its goodwill and patience.

86. The Director-General’s Representative, in pointing out that the Thirteenth Annual Report of the CFA was of interest to FAO, drew the Council’s attention to certain points which the Director-General wished to be highlighted. He stated that the resource position of the IEFR had been of particular concern to the Director-General. The year 1987 was the first in the Reserve’s history that did not finish with a positive balance. In this connection, he particularly referred to the Director-General’s earlier suggestions to transform the Reserve into a legally-binding Convention and to create stand-by pledges of 1.5 million tons of cereals to be mobilized only when required. With respect to the WFP study on triangular transactions, he stated that FAO had already supplied data collected by the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) and that the Director-General looked forward to a constructive discussion on this subject as soon as possible in the hope that guidelines for promoting triangular transactions could be eventually developed.

87. Regarding estimates of emergency food aid requirements, which WFP had presented to the 1987 autumn session of the CFA, he mentioned that emergency requirements for the needs of refugees and displaced persons could be estimated with some precision in advance, but estimates of requirements resulting from natural disasters could only be made on the basis of the food supply situation assessments at the time of the main crop harvest each year in individual countries. On the basis of data collected by the GIEWS, FAO had, by the end of each year, preliminary estimates of the aggregate food aid needs for the following year, which could be used for presentation to the CFA. As far as the development of WFP’s International Food Aid Information System (INTERFAIS) was concerned, he added that FAO was interested in this data collection effort and expressed the hope that INTERFAIS would complement, and not duplicate, the already developed FAO data bank on food aid. In conclusion, the Director-General’s Representative confirmed that as the awareness of environmental considerations had been growing in recent years, FAO and WFP had collaborated usefully in that field and had been conducting an appraisal of the potential environmental impact of selected WFP projects, with a view to minimize or avoid environmental degradation.

88. Noting with satisfaction that WFP shipments of food had increased in 1987 to a record level of 2.4 million tons, thus directly benefiting approximately 35 million people, the Council commended WFP on its record-setting achievements in 1987 which demonstrated that food aid could be, and was, an effective development resource.

89. The Council, however, expressed regret for the unprecedented need for emergency food assistance in 1987 and for the fact that the resources of the IEFR had been exhausted by November, making it necessary to draw in advance against 1988 contributions. Some members raised the point as to whether the IEFR provided the right mechanism to deal with such a magnitude of unpredictable emergency situations, although its set target had been exceeded repeatedly in recent years. The Executive Director informed the Council that between other donors and IEFR, emergency needs were being met. Since the IEFR was very difficult to manage, however, he was thinking of certain changes to make it more effective, which he would propose to the CFA in future.

90. Members expressed satisfaction with the critical contribution of WFP in getting emergency food aid to people in need throughout the world. They made particular reference to WFP trucking operations in Ethiopia, overland transport of food to southern Sudan and Malawi, its coastal shipping service in Mozambique and its initiative in coordinating food aid to refugees, including the Agreement with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide food aid to emergency operations in Pakistan, Somalia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Council also noted with concern the recurrence of incidents of insecurity experienced by food aid convoys in some countries.

91. The Council supported the continuation of WFP assistance to low-income, food-deficit countries, in particular the high level of assistance to sub-Saharan Africa. Given the recent fall in the proportion of WFP commitments to low-income, food-deficit countries, a few members emphasized that this trend should be reversed. It was also recognized that a number of middle-income countries were in need of food aid to address their pockets of poverty and to ensure that their policy reforms did not bear heavily on the poor. Hope was also expressed that the commitment level to development projects would increase in 1988 to the levels of 1985 and 1986. The Executive Director, however, cautioned the Council that WFP assistance was expressed in food tonnage, while most pledges were expressed in monetary terms. In view of the recent rise in food prices, the pledges made available to WFP would have less purchasing power in 1988 and 1989, resulting in a consequent decrease in commitment levels.

92. The Council expressed its appreciation for the recent CFA approval of the WFP Plan of Action for Africa, which had a projected expenditure totalling more than US$ 1 800 million of food aid of which well over US$ 1 500 million was slated for sub-Saharan Africa during the period 1986-90 for the UN Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development. It also noted that in 1987 WFP had devoted 37 percent of its development resources to sub-Saharan Africa.

93. The Council welcomed WFP’s increasing recognition of the importance of the role of women in development activities. It urged WFP to enhance the approach to ensure the effective participation of women in WFP-assisted projects, both as beneficiaries and agents of development.

94. The Council welcomed the fact that environmental improvement continued to be of major importance to WFP, and that it had become one of the largest providers of assistance for that purpose, involving more than 100 operational WFP-assisted projects in 1987 with a total cost of over US$ 1 200 million.

95. Successes in the areas of environment and women in development indicated that project food aid could be used in innovative ways, such as for research and extension projects.

96. One member expressed the need for better projects and acceleration in project cycle implementation. It expressed its regret that the evaluation services were in its opinion somewhat downgraded. It was recognized, however, that progress had been made in 1987 in a training package which included a major focus on project design. The Executive Director assured that there was no question of downgrading WFP’s highly-regarded evaluation service, and the emphasis was now more on the use of built-in monitoring and evaluation methodology to improve project design and implementation. He also informed the Council that considerable progress had been made in the speedy implementation of the new project cycle to improve the quality of WFP-assisted projects.

97. One member raised the problems encountered in some projects where funds generated by food sales were not meeting the objectives of the project. It was noted that these problems were being addressed and that the guidelines approved by the Twenty-third Session of the CFA on the “Management of funds generated by food-assisted projects” were being put into practice. These guidelines were also considered useful by bilateral donors for their projects. The whole question, however, was related to the deteriorating economic situation of the developing countries which did not have the resources, particularly in Africa, to support implementation of project objectives.

98. Some members stressed the need for more regional cooperation, particularly in the field of food security where WFP could make a valuable contribution. References were made in this connection to the Third Ministerial Conference of the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the initiative of Southern African Development Coordination Conference countries. The Executive Director pledged WFP’s collaboration with all agencies, including regional bodies, and welcomed the recent initiative of the Islamic Conference. He said that WFP was second to none in its record of collaboration with agencies, including World Bank, UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization), ILO (International Labour Organisation), WHO (World Health Organization), UNEP and of course, FAO which was the major contributor of technical assistance to agriculture-related WFP projects.

99. The Council welcomed the record quantity of food purchases made in 1,987, three-quarters of which were in developing countries, which contributed positively to south-south cooperation efforts. The Executive Director informed the Council that the share of developing countries had increased to 80 percent in 1988. The Council also appreciated WFP’s initiative in undertaking a major study on triangular transactions and local purchases to ensure that all feasible avenues were explored to maintain and increase their volume.

100. In response to concern expressed by some members regarding the use of ships from developing countries for the transport of WFP commodities, the Executive Director assured the Council that every effort was being made to ensure maximum utilization of developing country vessels, subject of course to project exigencies, rates and service competitiveness.

101. Noting the development of the new International Food Aid Information System by WFP, the Council invited all concerned with food aid, including FAO, to continue to cooperate with the Programme in its implementation by providing timely and accurate data and information.

102. The Council commended the Programme on the speedy and efficient reorganization of the WFP Secretariat following the management review, as well as the introduction of the Unified Service, which had a positive impact on staff morale and efficiency. It also expressed satisfaction with WFP’s low level of administrative expenses, one of the lowest for any development assistance agency.

103. It was noted with concern that there had been delays in the negotiations for a Headquarters Agreement for WFP, while the staff faced serious accommodation problems which adversely affected its morale and efficiency. In this connection the Council was advised by the Representative of the Host Country that it had expected to conclude negotiations before the end of this year. It would then have looked for a suitable building. His country, however, could not influence the pace of the ongoing negotiations because that was now a matter to be decided within the UN family. He stated that in the meantime, in a spirit of good will, the Italian authorities had paid the bulk of the rent on WFP’s present premises.

104. The Legal Counsel described the status of progress made on the negotiations for the Headquarters Agreement for WFP. A first draft of the Agreement had been prepared and a round of negotiations had been held with the Italian Government in July. During these negotiations, a number of changes to the draft had been suggested by the Italian authorities which had given rise to some concern and the need for further reflection on the substance of the proposed modifications. The Legal Counsel had discussed these concerns with the UN Legal Counsel in New York. He said that at least some of the original reasons for urgency in concluding a separate WFP Headquarters Agreement were no longer operative in that such an Agreement was, for example, no longer required to facilitate payment of rent for the existing WFP accommodation. The Legal Counsel stressed the importance of Headquarters Agreements and the need for care in their negotiation. He pointed out that WFP was presently functioning under the FAO Headquarters Agreement. While he appreciated the concern expressed by some Council members for a speedy conclusion of an agreement, he said that it was necessary to resolve all outstanding problems satisfactorily before entering into a binding agreement. It was hoped that the problems could be resolved in due course in consultation with the UN Legal Counsel.

105. In conclusion, the Executive Director, thanking the Council for the very positive and constructive debate and for the generous support extended to the World Food Programme, said that in all the seven years he had attended Council sessions, without exception, the remarks of this Council had been an encouragement for WFP.

Election of Five Members of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes5

106. The Council electedthe following five Member Nations to the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes for a term of office of three years (1 January 1989 to 31 December 1991): Congo, France, Germany (Federal Republic of), Mexico, Zambia.

Recent Developments in the UN System of Interest to FAO 6

107. The Council expressed its appreciation for the careful and objective preparation of the document. Some members suggested that a more analytical approach would have enhanced its usefulness. It was also suggested that the most important issues and events, and the parts of the document requiring action by the Council should be highlighted.

108. The Council noted with satisfaction FAO’s cooperation with other UN organizations. The Council underlined the importance of enhanced coordination among the organizations of the UN system, and among the Rome-based organizations -- WFC, WFP, FAO and IFAD -- in particular. The Council urged FAO to continue to seek ways to improve this cooperation. The Council further noted that as was the case with FAO, reviews had been undertaken or were underway in a number of multilateral institutions, including the multilateral development banks.

109. The Council agreed that its consideration of operational activities for development would be subsumed under its discussion under Agenda Item 13 7

110. The Council expressed its support for the Cyprus Initiative Against Hunger adopted by the World Food Council (WFC) at its Fourteenth Ministerial Session held in Nicosia, Cyprus, from 23 to 1988 26 May 1988, and noted with satisfaction the establishment of a Consultative Group which would meet for the first time in Paris on 19 and 20 December 1988. It called for the early implementation of the Initiative and noted with satisfaction FAO’s willingness to cooperate with WFC, and others, in this regard.

111. The Council noted the work undertaken at the Uruguay Round of the Multilateral Trade Negotiations. It expressed appreciation for the technical support extended by FAO to the Secretariat of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the Negotiating Groups on Agriculture, Tropical Products and Natural Resource-Based Products. The Council urged FAO to continue to provide technical assistance to interested developing countries in connection with their preparations for the negotiations. The Council hoped that the mid-term review of the Uruguay Round, to be held in Montreal in early December 1988, would yield positive results.

112. The Council noted the status of implementation of the UN Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-90 and the outcome of the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee-of-the-Whole of the General Assembly, held in September 1988, on the mid-term review and appraisal of PAAERD. It expressed its concern with the insufficient progress made in the economic recovery and development of Africa. In this connection, the Council strongly urged all concerned -- the African countries, developed countries, international organizations and others -- to fulfil their responsibilities for the implementation of PAAERD. It called for maximum mobilization of resources for Africa, and underlined the importance of the implementation of the recommendations of the Advisory Group on Resource Flows to Africa.

113. The Council noted the assistance provided by FAO in the formulation of PAAERD. It expressed satisfaction with the role being played by FAO in its implementation and agreed that Africa should continue to be the regional priority for FAO, taking into account the needs of other developing regions.

114. The Council considered matters related to science and technology for development, with particular reference to Resolution 4(ix) of the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development (IGC), adopted at its Ninth Session in August 1987, which dealt with policy guidelines for the harmonization of activities of the organizations of the UN system in this area. In compliance with the request made to the intergovernmental bodies of the UN system by the IGC, the Council considered the report of the Secretary-General in this regard (A/CN.11/84 of 12 June 1987) on the basis of paragraphs 169 to 174 of document CL 94/12. It noted, in particular, the information provided in paragraphs 173 and 174, and was in full agreement with the views expressed therein. Accordingly, the Council decided that this section of its report, together with the above paragraphs, constituted its response to Resolution 4(ix) of the Intergovernmental Committee on Science and Technology for Development.

115. The Council, noting the importance of the agricultural sector in the economies of countries undertaking structural adjustment programmes, stressed the need to take into account the impact of such programmes on the sector. The Council noted the role FAO should play as an agricultural policy adviser, as requested by Member Governments. It urged FAO to coordinate closely in the field with other bilateral and multilateral agencies in identifying and counteracting any possible negative effects which such adjustment programmes might cause in the agricultural sector, especially in the poor areas, where arid whenever this occurred in the developing countries concerned.

116. The Council approved the proposed new title of the FAO/IAEA Joint Division: “Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture”.

117. The Council noted with satisfaction the special plan of cooperation for Central America formulated by the UN Secretary-General, in close cooperation with UNDP, and in close consultation with the governments of the region and appropriate organs and organizations of the UN system. The Council expressed appreciation for FAO’s cooperation in this undertaking.

118. Some members asked the UNDP to intensify, when convenient, its policy of stimulating governments to execute some projects. It also noted that the process of arriving at new agency support cost reimbursement modalities had begun, and that FAO was fully participating in this process. Some members stated that the process would include, inter alia, a broad look at the UNDP/Specialized Agency relationships as they had evolved in the implementation of UNDP operational activities for development. A question was raised about the methods by which UNDP held FAO accountable for the implementation of UNDP projects. The Secretariat answered that FAO had no standard Basic Agreement with UNDP, but pointed out that the relationship was governed by the project documents signed by the parties concerned, that is, the governments, UNDP and the implementing agencies.

119. The Council noted with concern that UNDP and the World Bank were increasingly executing technical assistance projects including those falling within the competence of specialized agencies such as FAO. An appeal was made to avoid duplication and to make full use of the capacity and technical knowledge of specialized agencies.

Progress Report on World Food Day Activities8

120. The Council noted with satisfaction the myriad of activities which were organized at national, regional and international level, in more than 140 Member Nations all over the world to mark the observance of World Food Day in 1988. It also expressed its satisfaction for the continuous effective support extended by the Secretariat to national observances.

121. It recognized the usefulness of the theme selected by the Director-General for 1988 to focus public attention on the obstacles faced by rural youth and the support they needed to realize their full potential as producers and as individuals. FAO’s contribution to the worldwide observance of World Food Day, despite present financial constraints, was appreciated by the Council.

122. The Council supported the Director-General’s decision to choose ‘Food and the Environment”, an extremely topical subject for developed and developing countries alike, as the theme for 1989.

1CL 94/8; CL 94/16; CL 94/PV/7; CL 94/PV/8; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/17.

2CL 94/6; CL 94/PV/8; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/17.

3CL 94/13; CL 94/13-Sup.1; CL 94/PV/9; CL 94/PV/10; CL 94/PV/17.

4CL 94/9; CL 94/PV/11; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/17.

5CL 94/11; CL 94/PV/11; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/17.

6CL 94/12; CL 94/PV/10; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/17.

7See paras. 141 to 151 below.

8CL 94/INF/4; CL 94/PV/10; CL 94/PV/16; CL 94/PV/l7.

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