LE PRESIDENT: Mesdames et Messieurs les Délégués, je déclare ouverte la douzième séance de la Commission. Nous allons aborder le point 14 de l'ordre du jour qui est l'objectif de contributions au Programme alimentaire mondial pour le biennium 1995-96 et je vais tout de suite, pour ceux d'entre nous qui viennent des capitales, introduire ceux qui sont à cette tribune: Monsieur Salahuddin Ahmed, Directeur exécutif adjoint, qui remplacera le Directeur exécutif, Mme Bertini qui est absente de Rome; Mme Birgitte Karlström Dorph, nouveau Directeur des ressources du Programme alimentaire et Monsieur R.J. Perkins, Directeur de la Division des produits et du commerce de la FAO.
Le document de support à ce point de l'ordre du jour, C 93/LIM/5, reprend l'extrait du rapport de la cent troisième session du Conseil qui a eu à examiner le dix-huitième rapport annuel du Comité des politiques des Programmes d'aide alimentaire ainsi que le projet de résolution qui a été adopté par le Conseil, puis le projet de résolution relatif à l'objectif de contributions au PAM pour la période 1995-96.
Je donne la parole à M. Salahuddin Ahmed, Directeur exécutif adjoint, qui va introduire ce sujet
Salahuddin AHMED (Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme): The agenda concerns WFP's regular pledging target for the biennium 1995-96. The target has been recommended by governments in the CFA and endorsed by the FAO Council for approval of the Conference. Separately, the ECOSOC has endorsed the target for the approval of the UNGA.
The target of US$1.5 billion sets the minimum level for a collective commitment. It has been retained at the level of the two preceding biennia from a purely pragmatic consideration. In an environment of economic recession, budgetary constraints and cost-cutting, especially but not exclusively, in major donor countries, the CFA considered it prudent to concentrate more on the realization of the target already accepted than on raising the level without reasonable expectation of reaching it. Since 1989-1990, there has been a slow-down in realization of the target.
At the same time, it is recognized that the need for food aid, in the foreseeable future, far outweighs the projected availability. To cite but one example, the Conference on Nutrition, here in this palazzo, starkly reminded us that despite improvements in the nutritional situation around the world, close to 15 percent of the world's population - some 700-800 million people - continues to suffer from hunger and malnutrition. According to the World Bank, close to a billion people live without access to a dollar a day. Countries that have undertaken Structural Adjustment
know too well its social impact which they find difficult to address on their own.
On the other hand, countries look up to WFP for assistance to face the challenges of food security and development. They look upon it as the largest single source in the UN system of grant assistance, and of assistance to benefit poor women. WFP accounts for about half of total grant expenditure for operational activities in Africa. It is the largest provider of grant assistance for environmental activities in developing countries; the largest purchaser of food and services from them. WFP' s Logistics and Transport services are acclaimed as second to none in moving large quantities of food cheaply, efficiently, and over difficult terrain.
All this adds to the challenges faced by WFP and the high expectations of developing countries. However, we would humbly state that WFP handles normally close to a quarter of the total food aid which itself represents about 6 percent of total ODA. But this assistance provides a basis of hope, for survival, for self-reliant development and for integration of individuals and families into the community as dignified partners.
Hence our appeal to donors, current and potential, from all parts of the world, to make every effort to reach the approved target. On our part, we are taking further measures under our budget for 1994-95, recently approved by the CFA, for strengthening our financial and managerial accountability and operational support to country offices, and increasing, overall, the Programme's efficiency and effectiveness in promoting development, providing relief, and ensuring a disaster to development continuum in the interest of sustainable growth.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Directeur exécutif adjoint de cette brève introduction. Nous nous souviendrons que dans cette même salle, à l'occasion de la réunion du CPA, nous avons célébré le trentième anniversaire de la création du PAM. Pendant trente ans, cet organisme n'a cessé de soutenir les déshérités et les sinistrés à travers le monde.
Je vais tout de suite demander aux délégués qui souhaitent prendre la parole de lever leur pancarte.
Marcos NIETO LARA (Cuba): Mi Delegación agradece la clara y concisa presentación del señor Ahmed, como lo ha hecho en otras oportunidades. Deseamos asimismo felicitar a la señora Catherine Bertini por la ejecutoría que está demostrando en la conducción del programa y porque ha dado muestras de impulsar cada vez más el trabajo de la mujer en el desarrollo de una manera amplia. Mi Delegación considera que la propuesta de resolución que estamos examinando debería ser aprobada por unanimidad. Cuba, señor Presidente, es un país beneficiario de la asistencia del PMA, pero al mismo tiempo es contribuyente del Programa. Mi país reitera su compromiso y expresa que hará todo lo posible por cumplir con los compromisos contraídos con el PMA a pesar de las difíciles circunstancias en que se encuentra nuestra economía en estos momentos por diversas razones, algunas de las cuales son ampliamente conocidas en el ámbito internacional.
Nuestra Delegación respalda plenamente lo expuesto en el párrafo 87 del documento C 93/LIM/5 y desea resaltar el papel que ha venido desarrollando el Programa. Aquí hay cifras muy elocuentes. Solamente en el bienio 1992-93
se estableció un nivel de compromiso de cerca de 3 000 millones de dólares, y más adelante se señala que el PMA se ha convertido en la principal fuente de asistencia multilateral para los países en desarrollo. En períodos recientes ciertas circunstancias, que no dependen propiamente del Programa sino del panorama político internacional, han obligado a que este Programa introduzca ciertos cambios en su estrategia operacional. Me refiero a que ha tenido que dar una mayor preferencia a los problemas de la asistencia de emergencia, cuando durante etapas anteriores la tendencia era cada vez más creciente hacia la asistencia al desarrollo. Esto nos preocupa en alguna manera y creo que debería quedar constancia, por parte de esta Conferencia, de que se estudie y aplique una estrategia que permita combinar adecuadamente estas dos líneas de actuación. Evidentemente, en el documento C 93/LIM/5 se recoge esta idea que ya está siendo considerada por el Programa. Eso nos demuestra que el Programa es muy dinámico, muy objetivo y que actúa con mucha sensatez en sus decisiones.
Finalmente, señor Presidente, desearía refrendar también el informe que presentó el Programa ante el Consejo, felicitar al Progama y felicitarnos todos nosotros porque el PMA haya cumplido 30 años ya de un ejercicio y de una labor muy fructífera en benficio de toda la humanidad y, especialmente, de los más necesitados.
A.N.M. EUSUF (Bangladesh) : Let me first of all congratulate Mr Salahuddin Ahmed for his very brief but eloquent presentation of the document C 93/LIM/5. The Bangladeshi delegation has very carefully examined this document. We very much commend the preferments of the World Food Programme during 1991-92 in which period the total amount pledged was nearly US$3 000 million. It is a commendable performance that during 1992 the total expenditure has been US$1 700 million.
We are however concerned that the developmental content of the Programme of WFP may be neglected in view of the fact that the World Food Programme is becoming increasingly involved in emergency operations. We believe that WFP should make firm efforts to increase its developmental activities. We support the Pledging Target of US$1 500 million, of which not less than one-third should be in cash or services.
My delegation endorses the Draft Resolution contained in the document which we are considering.
Sra. María E. JIMÉNEZ DE MOCHI ONORI (El Salvador): Atendiendo su solicitud, seré sumamente breve. La delegación de El Salvador desea manifestar su total apoyo al proyecto de resolución sobre el objetivo de promesas de contribución al PMA para el período 1995-96 contenido en el documento C 93/LIM/5. Respaldamos sin reservas el objetivo de contribuciones voluntarias de 1 500 millones de dólares. Solicitamos que se cumpla la proporción de una tercera parte del total de las contribuciones en efectivo y nos unimos al llamado que se hace en la resolución para que hagamos todo lo posible por alcanzar plenamente ese objetivo establecido. Creemos que la valiosa labor que el Programa Mundial de Alimentos realiza con la mayor eficiencia, como nos ha indicado hace un momento el Director Ejecutivo Adjunto en su presentación, es razón más que suficientes para apoyar ese objetivo. Solicitamos, por lo tanto, pasar este proyecto de resolución para su aprobación en la Plenaria de la Conferencia.
No queremos dejar pasar está oportunidad para felicitar al Programa Mundial de Alimentos por sus 30 años de valiosa labor. Asimismo, queremos felicitar y agradecer el excelente trabajo que está llevando a cabo la Directora Ejecutiva, señora Bertini, al frente de esta Organización acompañada de sus excelentes colaboradores.
XU NANSHAN (China) (Original language Chinese) : First of all I would like to thank Mr Salahuddin Ahmed, the Deputy Assistant Director, for his introduction.
The Chinese delegation notes with appreciation that during the past 30 years WFP has provided large quantities of emergency relief and development assistance for developing countries, thereby making a major contribution to agricultural development and food security. It is our view that in the present international situation the provision of emergency relief is highly necessary, but at the same time we note with concern that increases in this sector have had a direct and active impact on the development assistance provided by WFP, leading to a decline in the resources available for this sector, which currently stand at only about one - third of the total WFP resources. It is our hope that in the future development assistance will be given the full importance it deserves. At the same time we believe that emergency relief should be organically linked with development assistance in the areas concerned, so as to fundamentally and substantially solve the problems of poverty and hunger in the world today.
The Chinese delegation agrees with the US$1.5 million programme for voluntary contributions for the 1995-96 period. We consider this a realistic and feasible figure. China is a developing country, and our economy is still in the early stages of development; but during the past years, in order to support the work of WFP, we have made persistent efforts and have continually increased our contribution to the Organization. In the coming years we shall continue our efforts in supporting the WFP in carrying out its tasks.
We also hope that other countries, especially major donor countries, will make joint efforts to ensure the realization of the target set for the 1995-96 period.
Patrick PRUVOT (France): La délégation française remercie tout d'abord M. Ahmed de son introduction claire et très brève. La nôtre sera aussi brève.
Nous approuvons le projet de résolution de la Conférence figurant au paragraphe 93 du Rapport de la cent troisième session du Conseil de l'OAA, repris dans le document C 93/LIM/5 particulièrement en ce qu'il insiste sur l’importance de verser en espèces un tiers des contributions aux ressources ordinaires et fixe pour les deux années 1995 et 1996 un objectif de contributions volontaires de 1,5 milliard de dollars.
Nous ne pouvons toutefois confirmer cette approbation formelle sans redire notre préoccupation exprimée au Conseil de l'OAA comme au CPA du PAM.
L'objectif du présent exercice n'a été atteint qu'à 77 pour cent et l'on ne peut dire que, depuis, les situations financières des pays donateurs se soient notablement améliorées.
Dans ce contexte, sinon en termes de réponses aux besoins, tout au moins en termes de probabilité de réalisation, cette proposition de reconduction de l'objectif biennal 1995-96 au niveau du précédent risque encore d'apparaître comme optimiste.
Adrián ISSETTO (Argentina): La delegación argentina quiere expresar que nuestro Gobierno está reorganizando el mecanismo de ayuda alimentaria después de la supresión del órgano oficial de comercialización de cereales.
Consciente de sus obligaciones internacionales como país productor y exportador de alimentos, Argentina es parte del Convenio Internacional de Ayuda Alimentaria, del Consejo Internacional del Trigo y contribuyente del Programa Mundial de Alimentos.
El objetivo actual es otorgar por lo menos diez mil toneladas de cereales a través del PMA, aparte de la asistencia acordada en términos bilaterales por circunstancias especiales a algunos países de América Latina.
Se está estableciendo un sistema nacional de cooperación alimentaria que instrumentará las compras para donación y la posibilidad de monetizar, es decir, de vender estos cereales por parte de los países recipientes y utilizar los ingresos provenientes de tales ventas en asistencia para el desarrollo de su propia producción agrícola.
Creemos que este sistema se encuadra en las directivas del Comité de políticas y programas de ayuda alimentaria al complementar la ayuda en cereales con asistencia para el desarrollo agrícola.
Kanji KAWAKAMI (Japan) : With 30 years at its back as a joint programme of the United Nations and FAO, the World Food Programme has become the largest source of grant assistance to developing countries within the UN system.
Our delegation highly appreciates all the activities which the World Food Programme has carried out in the last 30 years.
Recently, the increasing number of victims of natural and man-made disasters had made it necessary that about two-thirds of all deliveries of WFP food should be allocated to relief aid.
However, development activities of WFP are still very important in order to help poor people in the developing countries to improve their socioeconomic situation and overcome the basic causes of poverty and hunger.
In this sense, our delegation would like to support the US$1 500 million Pledging Target for development activities in the biennium 1995-96 and we also sincerely hope that such a target will be obtained.
Finally, I would like to say that the Government of Japan will continue to support WFP's efforts for the benefit of the people in need in the developing countries.
Nasreddine RIMOUCHE (Algérie): Je voudrais d'abord remercier M. Ahmed pour son exposé clair. Je remercie également le Secrétariat d'avoir préparé ce document.
Ma délégation approuve le document C 93/LIM/5, qui contient des points essentiels. Ma délégation considère qu'il est en effet extrêmement important d'augmenter les contributions au Programme. Ma délégation demande aux pays donateurs de déployer un effort supplémentaire pour que les objectifs soient réalisés. Ma délégation demande à l'Organisation et au Programme d'accorder un intérêt croissant pour faire face à la famine et de porter une attention plus particulière aux activités de développement. Ma délégation demande davantage d'appui dans ce domaine.
Le Programme a déployé des efforts considérables que mon pays encourage, et ce, grâce à l'accroissement des ressources et des contributions afin de faire face aux besoins alimentaires.
Nous profitons de l'occasion qui nous est offerte pour remercier le PAM ainsi que les pays membres du rôle qu'ils ont joué dans notre pays et de l'aide qu'ils ont apportée aux réfugiés. Nous leur réitérons notre soutien.
Soumaila ISSAKA (Niger): Le Niger voudrait appuyer le projet de résolution fixant les contributions du PAM pour la période 1995-96 à 1,5 milliard de dollars. Ce faisant, nous voulons souligner, en rappelant ce que vous venez de dire à l'occasion de la commémoration du trentième anniversaire du PAM, l'éloge unanime qui a été fait à cette occasion concernant l'importance des activités du Programme, importance capitale pour les pays pauvres à déficit alimentaire chronique.
Le paragraphe 87 souligne les performances du Programme, notamment au niveau des contributions pour la période 1991-92. Cela ne doit pas nous faire oublier que, notamment pour la période 1992-93, tout comme cela a été rappelé par la délégation de la France pour la période en cours, la courbe des contributions reste en deçà de l'objectif et en deçà des attentes, . notamment des pays bénéficiaires. Cependant, nous ne voulons pas considérer cela comme une raison pour être plus prudents dans la fixation de l'objectif de contributions 1995-96. Nous devrions au contraire tirer argument de cette situation, notamment en ce qui concerne l'objectif de la période en cours, pour lancer un appel aux pays donateurs pour qu'ils renforcent leur confiance et leur soutien au Programme.
Nous pensons qu'au-delà des flux bilatéraux de l'aide alimentaire, la réalisation des objectifs de contributions est la meilleure garantie du multilatéralisme de l'aide alimentaire. C'est pourquoi nous renouvelons cet appel pour que les pays donateurs, tous ensemble, puissent aller dans le sens de la réalisation de cet objectif.
Il y a un autre aspect que nous voulons également souligner, c'est qu'à travers l'analyse que nous faisons de la performance particulière pour la période 1991-92, nous aimerions pouvoir espérer que les contributions au Programme ne dépendent pas simplement des situations d'urgence mais puissent mettre également l’accent sur la fonction de développement de l'aide alimentaire. Nous sommes donc convaincus que les pays donateurs et tous ceux qui apportent leur soutien au Programme sont conscients de cette situation et renforceront la réalisation des contributions que, j'espère, la Conférence va adopter avec 1 ' appui de l’ensemble des pays membres pour que cette dimension de l'intervention du PAM dans le domaine du développement, à travers l'assistance en aide alimentaire, puisse être renforcée au niveau de l'Organisation.
Nous allons nous limiter à cette considération, étant donné que mon pays, étant membre du CPA, a participé aux débats sur ce sujet. Nous tenons à indiquer que nous souhaitons que notre Commission, et la Conférence plus tard, pourront appuyer cette résolution en appelant également à la réalisation du tiers des contributions en espèces qui sont indispensables pour la réalisation totale, adéquate et performante des activités du Programme.
William H. MARSH (United States of America) : Mr Chairman, first I should like to apologize to you for coming in late, but I was ambushed by successive waves of candidates for election to Council which made it difficult to move through the halls. I should also like to apologize to the Deputy Executive Director, whose statements are always informative and a pleasure to listen to. I would like to say to Mr Ahmed that I shall certainly read his remarks when they are reproduced in full, as I trust they will be.
I have four brief points. First, the United States wholeheartedly supports the resolution, and we are happy to do so. Secondly, the United States has noted a very heartening trend, that is that a number of developing countries have substantially increased their contributions to the Programme. We find this a very encouraging sign of compassion and identification on the part of countries which themselves may be confronting difficulties. Thirdly, the United States has also found extremely interesting the way in which the Programme is attempting to relate development activities and alleviation of emergencies by trying to use development projects as part of the effort to counter these troubles. Fourthly, concerning the proportion of the Programme taken up by the tragic necessity presented to us by emergency situations, it seems to us that one should not lose sight of the fact that, in absolute terms if not in relative terms, the development activities of the Programme have increased, so that more money is going into development work than before, although of course the pressure upon the Organization resulting in a tripling at least of its workload has arisen due to emergency situations and to refugee operations. I think we can all take a certain amount of encouragement from these trends.
In closing, allow me to join others in wishing a happy 30th birthday to the officers and staff of the World Food Programme.
Carlos A. DA ROCHA PARANHOS (Brazil): First, I should like to thank Mr Salahuddin Ahmed for his brief but substantive introduction to this matter. I should also like to take this opportunity to commend the World Food Programme on the excellent - I stress the word "excellent" - work that it has been doing over the last 30 years, and I join other colleagues in complimenting them on their 30th anniversary.
I should also like to say that Brazil welcomes the idea of having a Pledging Conference in order to attain the US $1.5 billion target for voluntary contributions for the two years 1995-96. We obviously hope that the major donor countries will be in a position to help the World Food Programme fulfil its huge task of ensuring food aid to the most needy countries and situations. Therefore, we are in a position to support the Draft resolution.
Moses MBUGUA (Kenya) : We wish to convey our most sincere gratitude to the World Food Programme for their work and for their response to the disastrous situation of hunger in Kenya, which was caused by the continuous drought, and to the many other African countries that adjoin Kenya.
In congratulating the programme officers for the outstanding work they have done in Africa in the present and past years, those of us involved in relief work have the following observations to make to the World Food Programme.
First, we realize that an emergency situation is a real emergency which calls for food aid. This should be treated as an emergency and as soon as possible the World Food Programme should identify the nearest regions from which to purchase food. We have found that the transportation of food from distant places sometimes takes too long on the high seas.
Secondly, a recovery programme during and after such drought situations is essential in order not to keep the recipients dependent on emergency relief. A recovery programme should be designed to run side by side with relief programmes.
We have also observed that it is very important to have cash-for-work and food-for-work programmes identified. They should be encouraged in order that the recipients do not think that they will be fed for ever but that when they are involved in this kind of work they know they are contributing to their own development and can grow their own food for the future.
Fourthly, storage facilities for food should be encouraged both at country level and household level. This is very important because sometimes there are excesses of food which become lost because of lack of facilities to store the food, and food should be used for these purposes.
Finally, we wish to thank all of those who have supported the World Food Programme in any way possible. We look forward to the Pledging Conference at the United Nations Headquarters in 1994, with the hope that the pledges will be met.
We support the Draft Resolution for the Conference for the period 1995-96, and we wish a very happy 30th anniversary to the World Food Programme.
Ms Marínela R. CASTILLO (Philippines): The Philippines has frequently been a beneficiary of food aid from the World Food Programme, especially following the series of natural disasters which have befallen our country in recent years. Therefore, we are anxious that the World Food Programme continues to be provided with the resources it needs to continue doing its commendable work.
Like other delegations, we view with concern the increasingly larger proportion of resources which the Programme has had to devote to emergency relief along with the corresponding decline in the share going to development activities. We hope that this situation can be rectified and that more resources and attention can be allocated to development activities-with a larger scale of contributions from donors.
We have been encouraged by the actions which the World Food Programme 's Executive Director, Mrs Bertini, has been taking to make the Programme's operations even more efficient and more quickly able to respond
to emergencies. We also commend the steps she has taken to give women broader opportunities to participate not only in the management of World Food Programme's Work here at the Rome Headquarters but also in its development activities in the field.
Finally, my delegation endorses the resolution establishing a pledging target of US$1.5 billion for 1995-96.
Hassan AL-AHMAD (Syria) (Original language Arabic): First of all, my delegation feels every gratitude to the World Food Programme for offering help and assistance to my country. Our special gratitude goes to the Executive Director, Mrs Catherine Bertini, Mr Salahuddin Ahmed and all their collaborators who work on the Programme. We would obviously like to see the WFP with a larger share of development activities but at the same time we approve the programme targeted for the period 1995-96, which amounts to US$1.5 billion. We also welcome the adoption of this Draft Resolution contained in C 93/LIM/5. We wish everybody in the Programme a happy birthday and many happy returns.
Ms Hannelore A.H. BENJAMIN (Dominica) : I would like to thank Mr Ahmed for his very precise introduction to the document under discussion. My delegation fully supports the Draft Resolution before us and hopes it will be adopted en bloc in Plenary because of the fine work carried out by WFP, whether in providing emergency food aid or helping developing countries with projects which encourage those in need in their struggle for economic development. My congratulations also go to Mrs Bertini, who, with her staff, has led WFP into its 30th Anniversary, helping all present here at FAO and WFP, the developed and developing countries, to work hand in hand and in harmony. Let us hope we can do the same for the next thirty years. I would also like to thank the Chairman for leading such a wonderful Committee. He is doing an excellent job.
I.G.K. SWASTIKA (Indonesia): The Indonesian delegation wishes to express its thanks to Mr Ahmed for his introduction to the document before us. We would like to join other delegations in commending WFP for the excellent work it has done during the last thirty years. We recognize the necessity to continue WFP activities in assisting the neediest sector of the population. We appreciate the sincere intention of WFP in looking at ways to release food aid for relief and development purposes. The Indonesian delegation therefore fully supports the Draft Resolution.
Joseph TURKSON (Ghana): When one attains the age of thirty one is seen to be mature. The WFP is now more than mature and has done much for the developing countries in terms of mitigating the effects of disaster. My delegation recognizes the good work being done by WFP in Africa and elsewhere, for which we express our gratitude. My delegation, like previous speakers, endorses the Draft Resolution before Conference in respect of the target for WFP Pledges for the period 1995-96. I trust all of us here will support the target of US$1.5 billion, the amount proposed for the 1995-96 voluntary contributions. My delegation further supports that one-third of the contributions be in cash.
Ato Assefa YILALA (Ethiopia): We would like to thank Mr Ahmed for his introduction, although we did not have a chance to listen to it because of the other responsibilities we had to fulfil. Ethiopia, as you know, has been a major beneficiary of the Food Aid Programme of the WFP, be it for emergency aid, development purposes or the refugee feeding programme, because Ethiopia has hosted a large number of refugees. We therefore fully understand the need to support the Organization in fulfilling the pledging targets and would like to join with the appeal made by a number of countries this afternoon. We therefore fully support the endorsement of the Draft Resolution. I would also commend the World Food Programme for its important work and I would like to add my words of encouragement that it should continue as it has in the past.
Harald HILDEBRAND (Germany) (Original language German): The Deputy Executive Director of the WFP, Mr Ahmed, mentioned in his introduction some very impressive figures, which highlight how significant the performance of the WFP has been over the past thirty years. He has also demonstrated the importance of the contributions of donors for the achievement of the aims of WFP. Germany is a traditional donor and participates actively and quite considerably in bilateral and multilateral food aid. We also do this in the framework of the European Community.
As an aside, may I say that this year's World Food Day on 16 October was used, as it is every year, to increase the awareness of the public of the dire straits of the millions who are malnourished. We do this through publicity work of different kinds and it contributes to the activities of non-governmental organizations such as the German World Food Aid Organization in giving help and encouraging self-help in the implementation of their programmes.
My delegation regrets the fact that, because of recent outside circumstances, the share of development oriented aid has gone down because of the increased amount of urgently required emergency aid. Nonetheless, everything must be done to ensure that development oriented measures in food aid be strengthened, and we must find suitable ways to ensure that emergency aid can be combined with development-oriented aid. This means that self-help must be promoted. My delegation has already expressed its support in the 103rd Council Session for the Draft Resolution with respect to the target for WFP Pledges for the 1995-96 period, and we are in favour of the adoption of this Resolution.
LE PRESIDENT: Après avoir écouté les intervenants, je serais pour ma part assez tenté de ne pas déranger Monsieur le Directeur exécutif adjoint vu qu'il n'y a pas eu de questions précises qui lui ont été adressées et que, je crois, il y a unanimité autour de l'action du PAM. Cependant par respect et par courtoisie pour lui, je lui cède quand même la parole pour qu'il puisse donner son sentiment.
Salahuddin AHMED (Deputy Executive Director, World Food Programme): My thanks to the distinguished Members of the Committee and to you, Mr Chairman, for all your words of appreciation, support and encouragement. We value them tremendously and I will convey your congratulations to the Executive Director. I am indeed very grateful too for your kind words to me
There are two or three points to which I would like to respond. Something has happened to the overall resources made available to WFP, which we call our turnover, that is, the totality of all the resources made available to us for all our operations between 1986, when the turnover was US$ 800 million and which has now gone up to US$ 1 700 million in 1993. However, in that process there has been an overwhelming swing towards humanitarian emergencies, which perforce have to be met, and therefore there is an apparent imbalance in the growth pattern of the development projects and the Regular Budget. This is a concern shared by us all, and we are determined to maintain the development thrust of the Programme with a view to creating assets and sustaining development through employment and otherwise. This is a point I mention because it is very close to our hearts and we feel very encouraged by your comments.
The questions began with the distinguished delegate of France, but I think the answers were provided by the distinguished delegates of Japan and the United States of America. Japan said it firmly believed the targets should be realized and was very positive. The distinguished delegate of the United States referred to the increased contribution coming from many developing countries. These are very encouraging signs and, for our part, we assure you there will be no let-up in our efforts to realize more and more resources.
On the continuum, I have only referred to one figure and that will give an indication of what we are trying to achieve. While in 1991 it was US$ 1.4 billion on the regular resources managed by the World Food Programme, exactly US$ 1.4 billion was managed in 1992 on the IEFR alone.
This demonstrates the swing that is taking place, but we are aware of it and, in common with governments, the WFP is determined to see that it does not all disappear into the humanitarian operation, however necessary and worthy it is. Therefore, we are trying to build assets which will last, which will mitigate future disasters, and hopefully prevent disasters occurring in some places, and leave some assets behind. That is the effort that is going on and we call it the "disaster to development continuum".
One point on the cash contribution: cash is very much needed to move the food, and unless we have adequate cash, we will find it difficult to manage the food that you give us. That component of cash to get the operation going is very important and I am glad this has been stressed on the record.
Mr Chairman, one other point was made by Argentina but that is a point I will discuss separately with the Argentinian delegation.
We thank you enormously for your wholehearted support of the target and we hope that together we shall be able to achieve the target.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vous remercie, Monsieur Salahuddin Ahmed, pour votre intervention. Je suppose qu'il vous paraît nécessaire que je résume, bien que nous ayons tous le même sentiment sur les questions qui ont été abordées, mais il est 18 h 15 et, si nous observons une pause comme à l'accoutumée, nous disposerons encore de deux heures d'interprétation. Profitant de la présence de Mme Killingsworth et de notre Vice-Président qui doit animer ce thème, je serais tenté de vous proposer de passer tout de suite après au point 15.1, "Faits nouveaux survenus dans le système des Nations Unies" afin d'aller de l'avant. Je pense que, même si nous ne terminons pas ce soir, cela présentera au moins l'avantage de clore ce
point en fin de matinée demain de manière à laisser aux délégués l'après-midi de jeudi libre et au Secrétariat le temps de préparer les documents pour le Comité de rédaction pour sa réunion de l'après-midi.
Puis-je considérer que vous êtes d'accord pour que, tout de suite après mon résumé, nous observions une brève pause et qu'ensuite nous passions directement au point 15.1?
LE PRESIDENT: S'il n'y a pas d'objection particulière, nous allons procéder de la sorte et j'aimerais tout de suite clore ce point 14 en exprimant la gratitude de la part de tous les membres qui se sont exprimés pour le rôle et les objectifs du PAM. Tout le monde a tenu à saluer les réalisations du PAM à l'occasion de son trentième anniversaire, et tout le monde a reconnu que c'est la seule organisation qui constitue la source principale de l'aide multilatérale.
Je crois que nous avons salué également l'action de Mme Bertini, Directeur exécutif à la tête de cette Organisation, de même que nous avons salué sa gestion du Programme.
On a noté une satisfaction face aux performances qui ont été réalisées en 1992 avec les annonces de contributions de 3 milliards de dollars et des dépenses d'1,7 milliard de dollars. On a d'autre part noté une inquiétude de la part des personnes qui se sont exprimées à propos du niveau de l’aide au développement qui est en baisse par rapport à l'aide d'urgence. M. Marsh a dit que, globalement, par rapport aux années précédentes, l'aide au développement augmente mais je crois que la plupart des intervenants avait fait cette comparaison dans le cadre de l'enveloppe globale. L'aide au développement diminue par rapport à l'aide d'urgence lorsqu'on considère une année ou un biennium. On a émis l'idée qu'il était intéressant d'avoir une stratégie afin qu'il y ait une symbiose entre ces deux types d'interventions. Le délégué du Kenya a parlé d'un programme de relance qui serait un relais entre l'aide d'urgence et l'aide au développement.
Il y a eu un appui unanime aux objectifs de contributions d'un milliard et demi de dollars pour le biennium 1995-96. Tout le monde a reconnu que les contributions étaient essentielles pour que le Programme puisse mener à bien ses activités. Le délégué de la France a fait une remarque, mais je pense qu'avec son accord, elle n'apparaîtra pas dans le rapport. Il a souligné que l'objectif d'un milliard et demi était trop optimiste; pour lui au cours du biennium actuel, nous n'avons atteint que 77 pour cent de l'objectif. Cependant nous resterons dans le cadre de l'unanimité qui a été exprimée par tous les membres de cette Commission, à savoir le soutien de l'objectif fixé.
On a également exprimé un avis selon lequel on devait absolument respecter le fait que le tiers de ces contributions soit versé en espèces, parce que cela est indispensable pour le bon fonctionnement, et la gestion des projets. Il y a eu un appel lancé aux donateurs pour qu'ils continuent à apporter leur soutien actif et pressant au PAM. On a même noté un signe encourageant à propos de la contribution de certains pays en développement aux activités du PAM.
Finalement, je terminerai en disant qu'il y a eu un accord unanime sur le projet de résolution qui est contenu dans le document et qui sera soumis à la plénière de la Conférence pour approbation.
Je crois que j'ai décrit là le sentiment de cette réunion sur ce point 14. En votre nom, j'aimerais remercier M. Ahmed, Directeur exécutif adjoint, ainsi que Mme Karlstrom-Dorph, Directeur des ressources, pour avoir été présents à nos côtés, et je remercie M. Perkins pour avoir participé au débat. La discussion sur le point 14 est close. Les travaux continueront ce soir et demain matin sous la présidence de Mr Paranhos et Janus. Nous nous retrouverons vendredi pour l'adoption de notre rapport.
Carlos Da Rocha Paranhos, Vice-Chairman of Commission II, took the chair
Carlos Da Rocha Paranhos, Vice-Président de la Commission II, assume la présidence
Carlos Da Rocha Paranhos, Vicepresidente de la Comisión II, ocupa la Presidencia
CHAIRMAN: Thank you all for understanding the problem which was presented by our dear Chairman. We need to utilize the services of interpretation. We have some more time on interpretation but obviously I do want to push this session until the very possibility of interpretation. The idea is to give the floor to Mrs Killingsworth for her presentation and to have an indication of those countries which would wish to intervene. Depending on the time, we would then close the session today and resume tomorrow morning at 9.30.
We shall now deal with Item 15 on our Agenda, Relations with other Organizations, and 15.1, Recent Developments in the UN System of Interest to FAO. The basic documents for Agenda 15.1 are as indicated in document C 93/INF/1, which are C 93/9, C 93/9-Sup.l, and C 93/9/LIM/12. There is an indication in this document of documents C 93/13 and C 93/13-Sup.l, which have already been dealt with in Plenary on the first day, so we should cross these documents out and retain C 93/9, C 93/9-Sup.l, and C 93/LIM/12 for Item 15.1.
As regards Item 15.2, Recent Developments in FAO's Cooperation with Intergovernmental and Non-governmental Organizations, you have before you documents C 93/2 0 and C 93/2 0-Sup.l.
On the subject I shall now give the floor to Ms Killings worth, Director of the Office of External Relations, for the presentation of Item 15.1.
Ms Kay KILLINGSWORTH (Director, Office for External Relations): With your permission, I shall start with Item 15.1 and then perhaps go on to say a few words on 15.2 separately.
For this Item, Recent Developments in the UN System of Interest to FAO, the Conference has before it, as you have mentioned, Mr Chairman, the document which has already been considered by the Council in June. The Council's Report on this discussion is contained in C 93/LIM/12, which is before you. Since the June Council, we have produced a supplement which represents some further developments, primarily the outcome of the substantive session of ECOSOC.
Before providing you with some further updated information, I would like to give a few words of explanation about this Item on your Agenda, and about the information which we provide to you for it. As you know, this is a standing Item of the Agenda not just of Conference, but also on every Council. It arises from the need to keep our Governing Bodies informed and abreast of decisions which have a bearing on the work of the Organization. Therefore, the documents submitted to you present, in as concise and factual a form as possible, the essential information on those decisions and indicate their incidence on FAO's work. We do not go into great detail on the deliberations of other bodies involved which are primarily, as you might imagine, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Commission -because you, the Member Nations, are represented in those fora as well and you have taken, or are taking, your positions there on the issues in question. Unless any particular decision is requested from FAO's Governing Bodies, which this year is not the case, we do not provide in-depth views and analysis from the Secretariat which you might expect if you were required to take any particular action. Where action is required from the Conference concerning FAO's own programme, normally you have a separate agenda item to permit the kind of adequate and focused discussion you need to arrive at your decisions.
I should also point out that, in the interests of economizing your time, we also try not to duplicate information which may be provided to you under other items on your agenda. As an example, I would cite the whole question of follow-up to the UN Conference on Environment and Development. There is a section on it in the main document here, C 93/9, because that document was going to the Council last June. However, Commission I, as you know, has - and I believe is still having - a very detailed debate on FAO's work in the area of environmental sustainable development, and has been fully informed about developments concerning the Commission on Sustainable Development and other related inter-agency work in which FAO is involved.
I would also point out that we have given you a short update on the ECOSOC discussions on operational activities for development, but you have already had a discussion of the Programme Implementation Report and its special supplement on operational activities for development.
In view of all this, you will understand that while the documents are indicative of the broad spectrum of system-wide activities in which FAO participates, they do not tend to be reports on FAO's work per se with other organizations of the system, or certainly not on the subject of coordination in general. For good overall views of the Organizations's
work, you have the famous quartet of documents which you have already considered, which I think give a more complete picture of the range of issues on which FAO cooperates with sister-agencies, with the UN itself, and, for that matter, organizations outside the UN system.
One subject which perhaps is not covered in most of those documents, and which may be of interest to the Commission, is inter-Secretariat coordination arrangements, so I would like to say a few words about the main inter-Secretariat coordinating mechanism which exists in the UN system. That is the Administrative Committee on Coordination. This Committee, which was established by a Resolution of ECOSOC in 1946 - it goes back a long time - is chaired by the Secretary-General, and it groups the Executive Heads of the 16 major UN Agencies, with the participation also of the heads of the major UN programmes. It meets twice a year at the Executive Head level, but it is supported by what we normally refer to as a "subsidiary machinery" - a number of Committees which cover programme and operational questions, administrative questions. We have recently established an Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development, we have a Committee for coordination of information system, another for public information, and some ad hoc systems which are established as needed to help ensure a coherent, system-wide input to major events such as Conferences.
Over the past year and a half a significant restructuring has taken place in this ACC machinery. Reporting lines have been changed, a number of committees have been abolished, the terms of reference of others have been brought up-to-date - but even the streamlined ACC set-up is a fairly complex one, and it represents a formidable and very important tool for the system as a whole to coordinate its activities. FAO has always participated extremely actively in the ACC and its subsidiary bodies. FAO chairs one, on a permanent basis, which is the Sub-Committee on Rural Development, which was established as a follow-up to the World Conference on Agrarian Reform in Rural Development. It chairs others on a rotation basis with sister-agencies, and contributes to the financing of jointly funded Secretariats for a number of these Committees. The October meeting of the ACC was the last one for the Director-General, to whom tribute was paid by his colleagues for his active and committed participation in the Committee's work over 18 years.
On the occasion of his departure, the Director-General pointed out to the Committee that he considered the ACC itself only the tip of this iceberg, because work is going on all year in the various Committees, both to prepare for ACC deliberations and decisions and also to implement joint or coordinated work in various areas covered by the Committees. Following his suggestion, the ACC has decided to produce a short paper for Member Nations explaining how the restructured machinery works. We will be providing to you in due course copies of this note.
Going to another ACC-related activity, the Committee for Programme and Coordination of the United Nations, which is the inter-governmental body responsible for planning, programming in the UN itself, meets periodically with the ACC. The 27th series of these meetings took place recently again, in October, to discuss the question of follow-up to the UN Conference on Environment and Development. At that meeting FAO presented a paper describing the Organization's response to UNCED - the material, substantially, which is also before the Conference in Commission I - and that was cited by a number of delegations as an example of how programmes
are expected to be adapted to the new climate for implementation of Agenda 21.
Going on now to recent developments in the General Assembly concerning the restructuring of the central inter-governmental machinery, which is mentioned in the document before you, the General Assembly, at its resumed 47th Session, which took place during this year, adopted on 17 August a Resolution entitled "Revitalization of the Work of the General Assembly". It did not however conclude its discussion on the broader question of restructuring of the economic and social sectors of the UN. On this, informal negotiations are still on-going in New York.
At its final Plenary Meeting on 20 September, just before the beginning of the 48th Session of the General Assembly, the Assembly adopted a Resolution on "Agenda for Peace", which is also covered in the documentation before you. On this, I would point out that in his report to the General Assembly on the work of the United Nations, the Secretary-General had drawn attention to the considerable increase in expenditure for peacekeeping activities and humanitarian assistance. The UN budget for peacekeeping has more than doubled, from US$1.4 billion in 1992 to an estimated US$3.6 billion in 1993.
In the past five years, the share of all contributions and funds for relief assistance has grown from 18 percent to 33 percent. The growth of expenditure in these two areas is indicative of what is widely perceived as a trend towards greater funding availability for addressing problems over the short term, the immediate needs of relief and rehabilitation, with a corresponding constraint on funding for work to deal with the root causes through longer-term development. This is in spite of the recognition that development plays a key role in preventing conflicts and natural disaster, and that prevention tends to be more cost-effective and durable than post-emergency disaster relief and rehabilitation.
As you know, the 48th Session of the General Assembly opened in September, and is expected to complete the main part of its work before the end of this year. One matter before the Assembly is a proposal concerning the feasibility of establishing a diversification facility for Africa's commodities. The document which had been requested of the Secretary-General for this item was prepared at the request of the Secretary-General by FAO. I point this out because it constitutes a good example of how the expertise of FAO can be marshalled, and is marshalled, not only for its own Governing Bodies but also through good inter-Secretariat cooperation for the central Inter-governmental Bodies as well.
We were discussing the question of resources for humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian assistance and disaster management has remained an area where FAO is increasingly involved. We have continued to contribute to the preparation of reports, appeals, and to participate in missions organized by the Department of Humanitarian Affairs. We have also been an active participant through the Deputy Director-General in the Interagency Standing Committee which meets periodically, and groups those agencies and programmes most closely involved in emergency relief work with the Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
In the meetings which took place in October, first of the Standing Committee's preparatory working group and then of the Standing Committee itself, discussion focused on humanitarian mandates in conflict situations involving peacekeeping; on the follow-up to the agreed conclusions of the
ECOSOC which are described in the documents before you and on discussions concerning the forthcoming deliberations of the General Assembly on this subject; also on the consolidated appeal process and resource mobilization strategies, a very important subject; the relief, rehabilitation and development continuum; also some attention to the question of complex emergencies; on building up an information system on humanitarian assistance; and on de-mining.
Going on from the work with DHA, FAO has also agreed to participate actively in the World Conference on Natural Disaster Reduction which will be held at the instigation of the Government of Japan in Yokohama from 23 to 27 May 1994. The Organization has undertaken to organize a topical session on drought management, which will also include a component on locusts. It is foreseen that the session could be organized in cooperation with WFP and IFAD, and we have already contacted both organizations in this regard.
The documents before you indicate that there are a number of international conferences currently being prepared under the auspices of the United Nations system. I should just like to bring you up to date on what we are doing in preparation for those conferences. For the Fourth World Conference on Women, which is going to be held in Beijing in 1995, FAO is currently assessing the needs of several countries for technical assistance in the preparation of country reports. In addition, we will be focusing on ensuring that Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development contribute information from the agricultural sector for inclusion in the country reports, and also work towards enhancing member countries' capacity to achieve the goals of the Conference's foreseen platform of action.
We have continued our involvement in preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development which will be held in Cairo in September of next year. In addition to participating in the second preparatory committee meeting in March and in the meeting of the ACC ad hoc task force in July, we shall also be participating in two technical round-tables.
The World Summit for Social Development, which is going to be held in Denmark in 1995, is foreseen to be a major event in the UN calendar for that year. FAO has been attending informal interagency consultations convened by the Summit's Secretariat in New York, and we expect to contribute to the first substantive meeting of the preparatory committee which will take place again in New York at the end of January and early February 1994. At the recent session of the ACC which I mentioned earlier, it was concluded that the World Summit should address issues that lie at the intersection of economic and social sectors and deal with the relationship between society and development. It is foreseen that it will have a global perspective and in some way constitute a continuation of the real summit in underlining the fact that global problems require global solutions and therefore international cooperation.
Going on to the theme of drug-abuse control, I am pleased to inform the Conference that a new Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) has now been concluded. This agreement replaces the Memorandum of Understanding which had been signed earlier between FAO and the predecessor to the UNDCP, which was the United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control.
FAO was also represented at the last meeting of the ACC interagency meeting on Drug Abuse Control which considered the need for all UN organizations to develop agency-specific implementation plans in connection with the System-wide Action Plan on Drug Abuse Control. FAO has already prepared such an agency-specific plan. We envisage that the Organization's main contribution to drug abuse control will continue to be in the area of integrated rural development and sustainable agricultural production, in order to enable a multi-disciplinary approach to assisting farmers to find viable alternatives to the production of illicit drug crops.
On this subject, may I just indicate one small correction in the document C 93/9-Sup.l which quotes from a resolution adopted by ECOSOC. There was a later version of that resolution which, in the sixth line, should read "Also, it noted ACC had given due attention" rather than requesting ACC to give due attention. For the sake of the record I wanted to make that correction.
Finally, going on from drugs to tobacco, as a follow-up to the ECOSOC resolution in 1993 on multi-sectoral collaboration on tobacco and health, which has been an initiative led by WHO, UNCTAD has been designated focal point within the UN system for this subject, and FAO will continue to cooperate with UNCTAD and WHO and other UN system organizations on this matter.
Mr Chairman, if I have not abused my time too much, I will go on to say a few words about the two documents for Item 15.2, Relations with Intergovernmental and Non-governmental Organizations. I can be much briefer primarily because this document should also be seen as something which is selective rather than exhaustive. The major forms of ongoing cooperation with international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, are those foreseen in the Basic Texts and in the agreements reached with these organizations. That primarily involves exchange of information, reciprocal participation in meetings, consultations on matters of common interest. It would obviously not be possible to report on all that was done in this area over a two-year period. What we have attempted to do, as in the past, is to highlight certain activities of particular intrinsic interest and to identify trends in cooperation which are illustrative of the scope and range of the Organization's relations with the IGO and NGO sectors.
This time, however, we have made some changes in the format. The first part of the document, as two years ago, has a regional focus. This is because, as you know, the regional offices play a very important role in maintaining relations with the organizations in their regions, and recent years have seen a strengthening of many regional institutions with which FAO relates. I would point out, however, that the regional breakdown in the document is not a rigid one. Some organizations which are global in character or membership are reported on in one or the other of the regional sections simply because the activities described took place during this biennium in those regions.
In the second section, however, we have introduced a slight departure from past practice. We have wanted to focus on a few activities which we consider would be of interest to the Conference as indications of some new directions in FAO's cooperation with various types of organizations, and to cover them in enough detail and depth to give you a more complete picture of the kind of cooperation which is being promoted here.
At the beginning of the section, there is a report on some of the work in follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition, coverage of some of our work at, let us say, the global level with the international nongovernmental organizations primarily those represented here in Rome. There is a little section on the cooperation which has been built up and which has been extremely productive and fruitful for all concerned in the context of the Global Information and Early Warning System; and finally some experiences from the Freedom from Hunger Campaign, one which has taken place over the past few years in Senegal, one in South Asia and one in Latin America. I will not go into any detail on them. I believe the description you have in the document is as complete as we could make it within our constraints of space.
There are two other short updates. Since the document went to press we have had a meeting in Bangkok in September 1993 which was entitled "NGOs and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development in Asia, Challenges for Policy and Practice". This was a consultation organized with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific with a view to initiating, together with NGOs and government representatives, a process of shared analysis, understanding of some of the major issues concerning sustainable agricultural and rural development, and also to facilitate exchange of experience and information, and finally to try and identify some concrete areas of collaboration.
There were thirty participants from fourteen Asian countries, some governmental, some non-governmental; some participation from FAO staff, and a wide variety of experiences and approaches relevant to sustainable agricultural and rural development were discussed. Conclusions and recommendations from this tripartite consultation pertained to the need to identify qualitative and quantitative indicators of sustainability, to undertake more systematic analyses and synthesis of local agricultural practices, with which NGOs could assist greatly, and to forge links between these and public policies which affect the development process at the macro level.
Finally, Mr Chairman, you also have a document before you called C 93/INF/1, which is the Report of the Informal Meeting of International Non-Governmental Representatives attending this 27th Session of the FAO Conference as Observers. Their meeting, which is a traditional meeting, takes place at the beginning of the Conference - on this occasion on Tuesday 9th November - and thirty-eight Observers participated. It had been prepared with the active participation of the ad hoc group of representatives to FAO residing in Rome and focused on three topics which have figured on the Agenda of the Conference. Each of these items was introduced by a senior FAO staff member from the relevant Technical Unit, and the Report of the discussion has been issued in time to be considered by you during your substantive debates on the three items, which were the follow-up to the ICN Plan of Action, the follow-up to the UNCED Agenda 21, and the Plan of Action on Women in Development. The meeting provided an opportunity for the INGO Observers to bring their viewpoints to your attention in more detail than would have been possible through a series of individual interventions.
Of particular relevance to your discussion under this item are suggestions presented in paragraph 17 of the Report, which emphasized the importance of concrete, action-oriented collaboration between the Organization and NGOs, particularly at the country and regional levels.
Mr Chairman, I will conclude here but will, of course, remain at your disposal to give any further clarification you may require.
CHAIRMAN: You will all agree that we must thank Mrs Killingsworth for her extensive presentation. She told us at the outset that these are information items and she gave us complete yet brief information, because in certain items it is not necessary to have a very extensive explanation of what is going on in the UN system, but she was able to give us a very clear indication of recent developments in the UN system of interest to FAO, especially in terms of cooperation with intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.
The meeting rose at 19.30 hours.
La séance est levée à 19 h 30.
Se levanta la sesión a las 19.30 horas.