G. SATARI (Indonesia): My delegation would like to thank Mr. Walton for his brief introduction of this agenda item. He stated clearly that the situation now, as compared to the last six months, has not changed substantially. Our comment will therefore be short, repeating, as it were, what the Indonesian delegation stated several times in various fora during the last months.
It was reported that in many developing and developed countries the results of food production in 1975 and 1976 were favourable. The world food supplies have continued to improve and the average annual increase in food production in developing countries has now risen to 2.6 percent, The world should now be better protected against harvest shortfall through the existence of stocks which, by the end of the current 1976/1977 season, are expected to amount to 159 million tons, that is, about 70 percent of the annual consumption considered as the minimum safe level for world food security. It should be noted, however, that the production of rice in 1976 was 1 percent lower than in 1975 and that stocks of rice are expected to decrease slightly by the end of the 1976/77 season to 60 million tons.
Moreover, experience has shown that adverse wheather conditions would lead to a sudden and unexpected deterioration in the situation. The existence of huge carry-over stocks in exporting countries does not directly constitute a security for many developing countries, in particular for those who are not in a position to have full access to the international market due to their balance of payments constraints.
Furthermore, in many developing countries the improvement in food production is merely the recovery to earlier levels of food consumption and therefore does not in any way solve the problem of immensely large numbers of people who have been suffering from hunger and malnutrition. However, we must not lose this opportunity, when stocks are high and prices are relatively low, to set aside part of it to build grain reserves. This could restore the balance of supply and demand in favour of the producers and at the same time the world is safeguarded against sudden shortfall in supply. This is in line with the objective of the International Undertaking on World Food Security which should be fully achieved.
With regard to the rice situation, special efforts have been and will be made by the developing and developed rice producing countries to achieve their targets and improve and develop gradually their national stocks. Support is needed from the international community and FAO for substantial additional resources and technology. In this connexion the line of approach and integrated policies developed by the Director-General fully respond to this need, in particular the policy in mobilizing in developing countries and the implementation of the technical cooperation programme and the use of national institutions and training at grass root level.
In conclusion, although there is an easing in the immediate world food situation it continues to be fragile and the long term of production in developing countries remains below the level required to meet the rise in demand due to population and income growth. Concerted international actions are needed to mobilize substantial additional resources and technology in the field of food production, expansion of land and water resources, world food security, nutrition improvement and rural development.
I. OROZCO (Mexico): El documento que consideramos pasa revista a la situación alimentaria mundial, y de la información proporcionada se desprenden varios imperativos. Primero, la necesidad de incrementar las tecnologìas que permitan infraestructuras mas sólidas para un aumento de la producción en los paì-ses en desarrollo al abrigo de las graves repercusiones de los infortunios y catástrofes naturales o la baja producción causada por las malas condiciones del clima.
Dos, la necesidad de incrementar y estimular la creación de reservas nacionales. Tres, la urgencia de establecer un sistema internacional de reservas que provea precios estables para los productores y accesibles para los países importadores en desarrollo. Cuatro, este sistema de reservas debería incluir fertilizantes, plaguicidas y otros insumos necesarios. Cinco, no es convincente el hecho de haberse logrado últimamente un aumento del 4 por ciento en la producción agrícola por parte de los países en vías de desarrollo. Los esfuerzos deben encaminarse a lograr niveles de producción y de productividad mucho más elevados.
Seis, la importancia creciente de la pesca como fuente de alimentos proteínicos para los países en desarrollo y las necesidades crecientes de asistencia externa para fomentar el desarrollo de los recursos pesqueros de las nuevas zonas económicas marinas de jurisdicción nacional.
Siete, la necesidad de esfuerzos coordinados y con un sentido de integración para la cooperación eco nómica y tecnológica, así como en el comercio de alimentos entre los propios países en desarrollo, f incluso en condiciones preferenciales y con espíritu de creciente solidaridad.
Ocho, el reforzamiento e incremento de la asistencia técnica, incluido el programa de cooperación técnica como concepto y realidad cotidiana de los programas ordinarios de esta Organización que provea una medida mínima y continua en este sector.
Nueve, a pesar del aumento en los precios de algunos productos de exportación de los países en desarrollo, se constata un continuo deterioro y desigualdad de los ingresos de los países en desarrollo frente a los altos costos de los bienes importados provenientes de los países desarrollados.
Respecto de todos los puntos señalados, la FAO está llamada a cumplir un papel más presente y actuante en los países en desarrollo por lo que mi país ha apoyado y alienta las propuestas del actual Director General que imprime una nueva dimensión a esta Organización.
En este sentido, la FAO, a través del renovado apoyo de sus miembros sobre todo de los países que contribuyen con mayores recursos, debe estar a la vanguardia para permitir a los países en desarrollo alcanzar niveles de seguridad y confianza en el área de la agricultura y de la alimentación libres del espectro de las condiciones de hambre y malnutrición y alentar su constante desarrollo integral para lo cual instamos a los países desarrollados y a todos los potenciales países donantes a hacer realidad los objetivos de asistencia para ayuda al desarrollo y para lograr las metas de la Conferencia Mundial de la Alimentación.
B. de AZEVEDO BRITO (Brazil): My delegation already had a chance to speak yesterday in the name of the Group of 77 and we touched all too briefly on the agenda item we are discussing now. On this occasion I will make some very brief and general remarks on the question of food production and agricultural development.
In our statement we have already indicated that first, although production in developing countries has improved in the past two years, actual distribution among developing countries is not even; we still have serious problems of food production in many developing countries. However, I think one point is quite clear: that we, developing countries, are all making strenuous efforts to improve our production of agricultural products. However, it is not only a question of having to produce more, it is a real participation in trade of agricultural products. The results in that respect are not altogether satisfactory. The gains registered in 1976, for instance, were indeed very small. Moreover, if one takes into account actual export earnings the results are not very satisfactory (I am speaking in global terms of developing countries) - even less satisfactory if one takes into account the cost of their imports. It is against the price of their imports that we really have to measure the export earnings of developing countries. As in fact we have tried to reflect in our joint statement, developing countries are also facing very serious problems in terms of competition with synthetics. I do not want to elaborate on this point since it is very well known to a all of us.
Again, as we also touched upon briefly in our joint statement, developing countries are facing increasing problems in terms of restrictive practices in trade that make it difficult and sometimes even impossible for our products to have access to the markets of some developed countries; and that, of course, is a question of concern. As I mentioned before, developing countries are making very considerable internal efforts to produce more to satisfy their own markets and their own populations and at the same time, and as far as possible, also to contribute towards better world food security.
In the particular case of Brazil I think a few figures will give the Council an idea of the magnitude of our own efforts and the results that we have thus far succeeded in achieving. For instance, in terms of rice, from a figure of 6.4 million tons in 1974 we moved in 1975 to 7,5 millions tons; last year, 1976, to 9.6 million tons of rice. Production this year, 1977, is expected to be reduced marginally mainly as a result of world conditions in the market of rice. Production this year is expected to be around 8.7 million tons. Even then, however, this production is significantly above what is needed for internal consumption. Roughly, internal consumption of rice in Brazil is between 7 and 7.5 million tons and therefore a production of 8.7 million tons leaves more than 1 million tons of exportable surplus.
In the case, of soya we reached a production in 1976 of 11.2 million tons; the current crop just being hai vested is estimated at 12.4 million tons and a significant part of this is for export and will therefore help meet world demand. Expected exports for this current year will be around 4 million tons of beans, 500 000 tons of oils and 4.5 million tons of meals - as a contribution to satisfying world demand.
The case of two other products might be of interest. In maize Brazil reached in the past season 19 76/77, practically 18 million tons compared to the usual level in the past two or three years of 16 million tons, which again gives a margin for export. On the critical product of wheat which is the basic and perhaps the only major commodity in which Brazil is deficient, we are, however, making strenuous efforts to reach self-sufficiency. After a crop failure in 1976/77 which produced only 1.7 million tons, we succeeded last season, the harvest of 1976/77, to have 4.5 million tons and we are therefore approaching self-sufficiency on wheat which is in fact the only product in our food basket for which we depend on imports.
Similarly in other crops like sugar, cocoa and also coffee, we have recent improvements and production is increasing. In the case of coffee it is a question of recovering from a frost the magnitude and results of which you are all familiar with. Efforts to increase production are promoted by a number of policies which have been consistently followed by the Brazilian government, in several different areas. In transport we have policies to ensure easy, efficient and cheap transport to the centres of consumption and for export, in the case of crops for export. Rural credit policies with special emphasis and special programmes for the small farmer and his specific requirements and needs are being developed. We also have policies for quality control of products and efforts to promote research and extension; in research, just one example of the new areas being developed in rice is dry rice for our arid plains, where we have at present about 70 percent of our rice crop as opposed to irrigated rice. The opening of new lands is also a normal part of our production, which we combine with efforts to improve and increase productivity, so that we can meet demands of our increasing population and at the same time provide an exportable surplus.
The Brazilian population, as you know, grows at approximately 2.9 to 3 percent a year. Agricultural production has been growing since 1969 at the level of 6 percent with some years of very high growth rates. For instance, in 1971, we had an 11.4 growth rate; in 1974 we had an 8.4 growth rate and in 1977 we expect a growth of around 10 percent. We are trying to build up surpluses in a consistent manner so that we can contribute in our own way to world food security. That, we believe, is the manner in which we can answer the concern of the world community to eradicate hunger and malnutrition from the world.
Now Mr. President, if you will allow me to go back to my initial point. The world food situation depends not only on our internal efforts - all of us in our own way are making great efforts within our own limitations - but also on an external environment favourable to these efforts, favourable in terms of aggregate external resources to support our own efforts and favourable in terms of access to markets. We cannot look at only one side of the coin however. It is not enough to tell developing countries, ''You should make the effort''. We are making these efforts as hard as we can. It is necessary that we have also real support for a policy of increased production in the developing world from the international community.
M. GUERIN (France): L'excellent document CL 71/2, dont il faut féliciter les services de cette grande maison et les prévisions qui nous ont été apportées depuis hier montrent une nette amélioration de la situation alimentaire mondiale depuis 1975 et annoncent de bonnes perspectives pour 1977, en particulier pour les pays en développement. La France ne peut que s'en réjouir mais, comme d'autres délégations, elle tient à mettre en garde la communauté internationale, non pas nous ici qui en sommes parfaitement conscients mais je dirais l'opinion publique internationale contre un excès d'optimisme, tout d'abord parce que la production agricole reste étroitement soumise aux aléas climatiques, vous le savez tous, et la France en a fait l'amère expérience en 1976, année d'extrême sécheresse, comme notre pays n'en avait pas connu depuis cinquante ans, qui a gravement affecté nos récoltes de céréales, notamment, de betteraves, mis en péril notre élevage et atteint gravement le revenu des producteurs agricoles, et cette campagne 1976 venait après deux campagnes déjà médiocres où l'augmentation brutale des coûts de production s'était ajoutée à des calamités naturelles localisées.
Il nous a donc fallu, pour ne pas décourager les producteurs et dans une conjoncture économique générale difficile, prendre des mesures exceptionnelles sur le plan national.
Deuxième point: tous les économistes agricoles que nous sommes savent que la caractéristique principale des productions et des marchés agricoles est de subir des fluctuations cycliques qui prennent une ampleur d'autant plus grande que les économies s'interpénétrent et que les courants d'échange augmentent. 11 est de notre responsabilité de tout faire pour régulariser ces cycles, en écrêter les hauts et les bas, afin que les producteurs agricoles qui, plus que les autres, ont besoin de sécurité et de stabilité, s'engagent raisonnablement et durablement, dans la voie d'une production agricole croissante et maîtrisée.
C'est à ce titre que nous souhaitons faire quelques observations en ce qui concerne le stockage. Certes, la reconstitution des stocks de report de céréales en augmentation même est un signe encourageant et il est à noter que ces stocks augmentent non seulement chez les pays exportateurs mais aussi chez certains pays en développement importateurs, ce qui doit d'ailleurs leur poser de sérieux problèmes de financement de coûts d'investissement. Mais il n'existe malheureusement pas toujours de politiques concertées de ces stocks au niveau international et, faute d'un accord de ce type, il est à craindre qu'une accumulation de stocks, puis leur écoulement ultérieur, n'entraînent une chute brutale des prix et donc un découragement de la production. Cela nuirait manifestement au développement à long terme et risquerait même de faire réapparaître des situations de pénurie du type de celle rencontrée au début des années soixante-dix. Seul donc, à notre avis, un accord international d'organisations de marché " où le stockage serait régulateur, peut-être accompagné de dispositions économiques appropriées, comportant notamment une fourchette de prix maximum et minimum, valable aussi bien pour les producteurs que pour les consommateurs, pour les importateurs que pour les exportateurs - peut permettre un développement continu de la production.
Un tel accord devrait bien sûr comporter un volet particulier d'aide alimentaire et contenir des dispositions préférentielles de nature à prendre en réelle considération les problèmes spécifiques des pays en développement, tant importateurs qu'exportateurs. Je pense, en fonction des derniers événements connus que nous pouvons être raisonnablement optimistes pour la conclusion d'un tel accord sous les auspices appropriés du GATT et de la CNUCED.
Je terminerai sur une dernière note d'optimisme car je crois que les résultats de la Conférence Nord-Sud de Paris, surtout en ce qui concerne nos problèmes d'alimentation et d'agriculture, sont bons puisqu'un accord total a été enregistré sur tous les points en discussion et je pense que le Conseil en prendra acte à propos des divers points de son ordre du jour.
A.E. HANNAH (Canada): The Canadian delegation has listened with great interest to the many comments on the world food situation that were made yesterday and this morning, and we have also studied in detail the very fine report that was prepared by the Council Secretariat.
We were pleased to hear the Director-General emphasize yesterday in his statement the importance of increasing food production in the developing countries through the programme such as the development of human resources for food production.
However, we would like to suggest that this alone will not be enough if the people involved do not take up the challenge and use the technology and the aid effectively.
This is the first time that I have had the honour of attending this august body, and I was rather expecting to hear statements from the various countries as to what was happening within their countries in respect to food production, with respect to how they are preparing to solve their problems, and how they had intended to use the technology that was being offered through international bodies such as the FAO.
Brazil indicated what they were doing, which is a very fine summary of an effort and a programme. I would have thought that we would have heard many other statements such as this as to how the solutions to the food problem were being tackled in the various areas of the world. China left us, I think, with . a very significant message and a very interesting report of how the people of China have solved some of their problems of food production and overcome some of the problems of drought as well as other things in their country by well-directed programmes and much hard work, and I would like to suggest that this message is applicable to many countries of the world.
In Canada last year we harvested a record crop of cereals. However, the're was some indication of drought in 1976/77 and 1977/78, which gave us cause for some concern. Although we do have stockpiles of grain, of wheat, more than normal this year, and prices are down, it does indicate that we are very dependent on weather, and the assurance of a crop in the next year cannot be taken for granted. With weather conditions more favourable, of course, we can harvest an excellent crop, but weather alone, I would suggest, does not ensure a successful harvest, and this applies to all countries of the world. We need human resources to manage the operation and to plan the use of resources to seed and harvest the crop and to ensure adequate storage of that crop. This we are pleased to see in the Director-General's programme, that he does emphasize some of these aspects, but this alone, of course, as I indicated earlier, is not enough. It must be taken into account and integrated into the programmes. Such programmes as rural development, as outlined, are, along with the adequate price policies, financing and pertinent socioeconomic structures, the only things that will ensure increased food production and adequate distribution. Canada, of course, will continue to place emphasise on and increase its development assistance in the agricultural sector. We believe these programmes are important and will continue to support them.
With respect to food aid, we are presently supplying one million tons of food grain, which is one-tenth of the World Food Conference target of 10 million tons, and we would urge other countries to try as well to participate more actively. As I indicated, in our own production area we do have surpluses of grains, of wheat, this year, but this is temporary, and I would also echo what France has indicated, that we must not be overly optimistic but we must also increase our production around the world so that we will have effective food supplies and efficient distribution of those food supplies.
I am very interested, since this is my first meeting, to hear what is going on and hear how we can solve the food problems of the world, but here again, as indicated by France, this body knows what the problems are. It is a problem to ensure that the rest of the world also knows and institutes adequate policies.
A. UL HUQ (Bangladesh): As I said in my brief intervention yesterday, Bangladesh is sitting as a member of this august Council for the first time this year. We appreciate your words of welcome to us. May I extend to you, Mr. Chairman and distinguished colleagues, friendly greetings from the people and the Government of Bangladesh. We participate in this meeting of the Council with a deep sense of appreciation and expectation of mutual exchange of ideas and experiences conducive to meaningful approaches to the problem of food and nutrition for the people of the world.
We compliment the Director-General for his forthright exposition of the world food situation and priorities of action as he sees them. It is heartening to note that the gloomy days of 1974 have been succeeded by brighter prospects in 1975 and 1976. Yet it is somewhat sad to note in the middle of 1977 that some of the major tasks we set for ourselves in the World Food Conference of 1974 have not yet been substantially achieved. Some among other features of the situation are: the rate of increase of food production in developing countries still remains well below the target of 4 percent for the Second Development Decade; an internationally coordinated system of world food security is still not in the offing; food-aid commitments in respect of cereals for 1976-77 are below the targets suggested by the World Food Conference; improvement achieved in 1965 and ¡976 has hardly generated a process of growth conducive to solution of longer-term problems of production.
There are other features, but these are of vital importance. The world community has the means to solve these problems. The need of the hour is increased investments in terms of resources and care.
Since the World Food Conference of 1974, commitments by the donor countries and international agencies for agricultural development in developing countries in general, and to the MSA and LDC countries in particular, have not increased. On the contrary, in 1976, the commitments have come down not only in quantum but also in real terms. And even among the developing countries, per capita commitment to food deficit countries was much lower than to other developing countries. We firmly believe that all developing countries irrespective of their per capita income and level of development, require massive
assistance for development of their agriculture. Poverty and hunger is to be seen in all these countries; it is only a question of degree rather than of kind. The world community is faced with the challenge of eliminating hunger, to quote the World Food Conference, by a decade. If hunger is to be eliminated in the foreseeable future, the world community must recognize its obligations to the developing countries in general and to the food deficit countries in particular, who require special attention.
As a developing country and one of the most seriously affected, we in Bangladesh are conscious that the process of growth has to start at home. External assistance is an essential supplement to indigenous efforts, but by no means a substitute for that. We have a big population. With our limited land resources our obvious choice is higher agricultural productivity. We have to harness our land, water and human resources simultaneously and intensively. Our farmers are fortunately responsive to technological innovations. But adoption of the new technology of intensive agriculture calls for huge investments in equipment, fertilizers, pesticides, storage and so on. We are in serious difficulty in respect of finding increased resources for investment in improved agriculture. To add to our difficulties, we are subjected to much too frequent natural disasters.
We have consciously attached the highest priority to programmes of food grains production, population control and rural institution-building. We have reason to believe that in spite of many difficulties we have been able to engineer a process of planned change for the better. This process, however, deserves to be strengthened and extended without delay. We have launched simultaneous efforts to remove the cereals gap, to reduce the protein gap, to diversify agricultural production and to increase employment opportunities in and around agriculture. We have initiated concerted action to organize and involve rural people in the process of planning for production and distribution of agricultural commodities. We have an integrated programme of agricultural and rural development.
In this context we have been particularly happy to note the Director-General's concern in respect of post-harvest losses of food grains- In our situation the estimated food loss is about half the deficit in our food needs. We earnestly believe that the proposed fund to deal with post-harvest food loss should be launched expeditiously. We similarly wish that the process of finalizing projects under the Technical Cooperation Programme should be made more simple and quick.
We note with some disappointment that the International Fund for Agricultural Development, (IFAD), has had a slow and painful process of birth. We wish the Fund will become operational within the earliest possible time.
Food is a matter of common concern for all humanity. Problems of raising crops, fish, livestock, cannot be left to experts only. Similarly, while a large part of the human family faces starvation or suffers from severe malnutrition, there is no sense in wastages of food in any fashion, or in artificial barriers in the movement of food from the producers of surplus to those who need them.
The world today has the skill to produce the food it needs. The will to so use this skill as to solve the problem of human hunger is what is most urgently needed. Where else can the world look to for a lead other than this distinguished assembly? This Council has the obligation to provide the leadership it is so eminently suited to do.
A. CISSE (Niger): La delegation du Niger remercie le secrétariat pour son excellent rapport sur la situation alimentaire mondiale. Il pense d'autre part que l'existence de stocks mondiaux n'est pas forcement une mesure de sécurité permanente pour l'ensemble de l'humanité. Cela permet de juguler l'effet de la famine en un point du globe. La meilleure solution ne serait-elle pas la sécurité par pays, ou, à la limite, par région ou sous-région? En effet, quand le Sahel souffrait de la sécheresse, l'effort financier fut énorme. On s'était rendu compte que le coût de transport des produits dépassait de loin le coût d'acquisition des produits vivriers. Le problème de la lutte contre la famine passe par conséquent par l'exécution de projets agricoles mais aussi-par le développement de l'infrastructure agricole, du transport, du désenclavement de certains d'entre eux. Les six pays du Sahel ont présenté un programme à moyen et long termes pour résoudre le problème de l'autosuffisance. Les premiers projets ont été estimés à 3 milliards de dollars E.-U. et les projets à long terme allant jusqu'à l'an 2000 on été estimés à 15 milliards de dollars E.-U. Les chiffres vous montrent combien est grand l'effort auquel il faut consentir pour le développement de notre région. C'est pourquoi le Niger appuie le programme de coopération technique visant à solutionner les problèmes de développement dans nos régions: transferts de technologie, production d'engrais, irrigation, etc.
T. MINKOUE (Gabon): La délégation gabonaise accueille avec satisfaction les conclusions du Secrétariat sur la situation alimentaire mondiale et se félicite de la clarté du document CL 71/2. Bien que l'incertitude plane sur les statistiques à long terme, on peut admettre déjà que, d'une façon générale, le niveau de production alimentaire s'établit dans les pays en développement. Le taux de 3 pour cent d'accroissement de la production alimentaire mondiale est encourageant bien qu'inférieur aux 4 pour cent prévus. Si les résultats sont satisfaisants dans l'ensemble, il n'en reste pas moins vrai que beaucoup de pays dépourvus des ressources nécessaires ne peuvent satisfaire leurs besoins alimentaires. Il convient donc à nos gouvernements respectifs de redoubler d'efforts, pour qu'à l'avenir on enregistre une production agricole toujours accrue.
Le Gabon, en ce qui le concerne, ne manque pas à cet appel. Bien que présentant une situation toute particulière parmi les pays en développement, il ne va pas sans dire que, dans son essor économique, le problème alimentaire soit l'une de ses principales préoccupations. Cette situation a fait que le Gabon dans son troisième plan quinquennal 19 76/1980, accorde la priorité à l'agriculture. C'est là pour le Gabon, une stratégie qui consiste à utiliser les ressources financières tirées du pétrole en vue de préparer l'ère de "l'après-pétrole" en réalisant des investissements dans une des principales activités susceptibles d'assurer, dans l'avenir, une croissance permanente de son économie dans ses efforts d'investissements. Pour atteindre ses objectifs pour 1980, le Gabon se propose d'accorder un quart des investissements des secteurs productifs à l'agriculture. Il estime le taux de croissance du secteur agricole à 3,5 pour cent par an. Ce faible taux, malgré la priorité donnée à l'agriculture et le très grand effort qui lui est consenti, s'explique par les lents délais de maturation des investissements agricoles; la véritable croissance de la production agricole ne pourra alors se faire sentir qu'après 1980. Cette politique d'investissements dans le domaine agricole ne peut aboutir par la seule volonté des planificateurs. Le programme de coopération technique de la FAO, que nos délégations ne sauraient remettre en cause, peut de beaucoup aider à la mise en oeuvre et à la valorisation des nombreux projets de cette agriculture que l'on veut prospère. Notre délégation, qui a suivi avec grand intérêt l'allocution du Directeur général à l'ouverture de la présente session, ne peut que se féliciter des décisions d'aboutir qu'il a employées tout au long de son programme. Ma délégation, comme elle l'a manifesté lors des deux précédentes sessions, ne peut qu'appuyer l'énergique programme de travail du Directeur général et souhaiter son succès.
F. GOMEZ IRURETA (España): Me felicito del crecimiento que ha experimentado en producción agraria durante el año pasado el mundo. Desafortunadamente en España solo hemos tenido un crecimiento del 1,7 debido a motivos climatológicos, como la sequía y heladas. En este momento tenemos un déficit de la balanza comercial de productos agrarios del orden de 1 000 millones de dólares; por ello somos netamente importadores de materias primas agrarias; hay algunos, como el café, el cacao y maderas tropicales que por su situación climatológica y geográfica España siempre es dependiente del exterior.
Desafortunadamente hemos observado un crecimiento desmesurado en el precio del café; en las razones que han producido este crecimiento no voy a entrar.
Tenemos, podríamos decir, un déficit estructural de maíz y de soja. En maíz haremos un esfuerzo para producir más de lo qua ahora producimos, pero en soja vemos muy limitado nuestro crecimiento por razones climatológicas.
Apoyo la nueva tendencia del Director General hacia una cooperación técnica más intensa con los países en vías de desarrollo, pero espero que dentro de esta cooperación tecnica que puede ser puesta en valor de tierras, nuevos regadíos, etc., también la FAO de alguna manera oriente a estos países posibles productores en aquellos bienes que pueden ser complementarios para otros países, de manera que hubiera una complementariedad entre producciones de nuevas puestas en valor que seguramente iban a encontrar una acogida en determinados países, como por ejemplo el mío.
Actualmente también registramos un crecimiento de precios casi desconocido en la soja del que se conoció el año 73. Por eso insisto que esta cooperación técnica no sea meramente una aplicación de fertilizantes, una mejor aplicación de regadíosetc., sino también una orientación á estos países de qué tipo de cultivos pueden poner que tengan un porvenir a un medio o largo plazo.
En cuanto a lo que ha apuntado el Delegado de Bangladesh, España se ha adherido hace escasamente dos semanas al FIDA con una aportación que no ha sido todo lo grande que hubiera deseado, pero dadas las circunstancias actuales ha sido lo más que podíamos hacer.
EL PRESIDENTE: Señores, llegamos así a la conclusión del tema 4 sobre el cual quisiera hacer un resumen breve y concreto.
Tal vez podríamos decir que el Consejo tomó nota de que en los últimos meses ha habido pocos cambios en la situación alimentaria mundial; situación que presenta algunos aspectos relativamente alentadores, aunque no puede expresarse excesivo optimismo porque subsisten algunos problemas principales pendientes de solución, particularmente las tendencias a largo plazo son preocupantes, así como el deterioro del comercio internacional en desventaja para los países en desarrollo.
El Consejo tomó nota de que algunos de esos problemas pendientes serían estudiados más adelante en este mismo período de sesiones cuando consideremos los informes del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y del Comité de Problemas y Productos Básicos.
El Consejo observó que había tenido lugar en algunas regiones cierto apreciable crecimiento de la producción agrícola, especialmente de cereales, pero una vez más el Consejo insistió en la necesidad de asegurar un crecimiento sostenido de la producción alimentaria mundial, único medio para evitar que en el futuro puedan presentarse nuevas crisis.
El Consejo apoyó la política del Director General de la FAO dirigida a estimular el aumento de la producción agrícola, particularmente en los países en desarrollo.
Algunas delegaciones hicieron observaciones concretas; sus textos están en las actas que podrán ser utilizadas si se considera conveniente por el Comité de Redacción para los efectos pertinentes.
Creo que si no hay ningún comentario por parte de los miembros del Consejo podríamos así terminar este tema 4.
Amin Abu Seneina, First Vice-Chairman of the Council, took the Chair Amin Abu Seneina Premier Vice-Président du Conseil, assume la présidence Ôcupa la presidencia Amin Abu Seneina, primer Vicepresidente del Consejo
R.W. PHILLIPS (Chairman, Programme Committee): Members of the Council will recall that a number of different arrangements have been used in the past for presenting the report on The State of Food and Agriculture to the Conference and the Council and, in particular, that since 19 74 on an experimental basis the Conference and Council had received what has been called a ''mini-SOFA'' which is essentially a preliminary version of the world chapter of the printed report supplemented by an updating statement tabled at the session while the printed SOFA was, as far as possible, finalized towards the end of the year in question.
The Eighteenth Session of the Conference expressed its general satisfaction with that system and agreed to continue it for another two years on a trial basis. That further two years is now ending and the Committee, after having examined the situation, endorsed the Director General's proposal that the trial system which had been in use for the past four years should now be confirmed as the best practical solution.
In doing this the Programme Committee wished in particular to emphasize the usefulness of this report on The State of Food and Agriculture and the widespread interest it has consistently attracted. It is probably one of the most widely quoted of FAO's publications and is in fact what could best be described as the "best seller" among those publications.
I would only add to this that in paragraphs 2.124 and 2.125 of the document before you (CL 71/4) there are some suggestions regarding the special chapters that might be incorporated, about new procedures for reproducing the SOFA so that some time and money will be saved, and also an endorsement of the Director-Generai's approach that SOFA should be development-oriented with a high content of policy analysis of direct practical usefulness to governments, that there should be flexibility in planning its content, and, while endorsing brevity wherever desirable, that this should not be done at the expense of omitting important and useful material. The Committee also stressed the use of SOFA wherever feasible to get widespread distribution of important materials that might otherwise reach only a limited audience.
I need say no more than that. The Committee did endorse the Director-General's proposal and it is for the Council to decide whether to agree with that endorsement and if so then this experimental trial period of four years would be continued as the permanent arrangement for the preparation of material on The State of Food and Agriculture and the issue finally at the end of the year of the full document commonly called SOFA.
F. SHEFRIN (Canada): After listening to Dr. Phillips introduce the subject, one has difficulty in disagreeing with anything he has said and we can accept it as it stands. But I have a problem and it may be that we will want to have another look at it. I am not sure what we are going to get in the new State of Food and Agriculture. It is all right to say that in the past it has been one of the most popular of the FAO publications. That was partly because it provided information which was not available anywhere. But basically it was a source from which you could run a comparison from year to year. I recognize that one cannot maintain for several centuries the same type of report, there must be a certain flexibility, when I looked at this report I was thinking of some of the other FAO publications - for example, there is CERES which is an excellent outlet for policy discussion. It is certainly development oriented, there is no question about that. It offers scope for a more independent discussion by the Secretariat and by outsiders. There are a number of monthly publications issued by the Organization which provide interesting date whether in agriculture, fisheries, forestry or economics, but when I finished reading what is being proposed for The State of Food and Agriculture I said "this has everything for everybody but not enough of anything for anybody". That is my difficult in trying to understand what kind of a report we are going to continue. I address my comments to the Chairman of the Programme Committee which is where the comment will be at this stage. It seems to me that we have to decide what sort of a report we want to have. If I get an annual report every year and one year it is one thing and another year there is another type of approach then although it is very useful it does not provide us with the opportunity for comparison. The proposal contains all the right words: flexibility, development-oriented, interesting, brief, on time. But that can be applied to everything, so perhaps, Dr. Phillips, you could explain a little more as to what was in the minds and brains of the members of your Committee when you made these recommendations.
DOÑA P. de CASTRO MONSALVO (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia apoya en general las recomendaciones del Comité del Programa sobre este tema 5 en relación con el examen del contenido general, estructura y periodicidad del SOFA. Consideramos que el sistema actual permite que el mini SOFA, complementado con una exposición actualizada, representa un adecuado medio de información para el Consejo,
Por lo tanto, la delegación de Colombia apoya la opinion del Comité del Programa en el sentido de que al terminar los dos años del período experimental se continue ese ensayo en su forma actual por constituir una solución muy práctica. Somos conscientes de que el metodo vigente ofrece algunos inconvenientes pero consideramos que esta manera es la más indicada.
La delegación de Colombia apoya igualmente la intención del Director General de que en adelante el SOFA se reproduzca a partir del ejemplar mecanografiado, pues ese sistema representará ahorro y en realidad lo que nos interesa es el contenido y no la belleza de su presentación. Finalmente, la delegación de Colombia apoya la propuesta del Director General de que el SOFA trate de ser cada vez más un documento orientado hacia el desarrollo con análisis de política práctica para los Estados Miembros.
H. ABDALLAH (Egypt) (Interpretation from Arabic): I should like to thank Dr. Phillips for his very clear statement, and the members of the Committee for the excellent study they have made. The delegate of Colombia expressed eloquently what we had the intention of saying and therefore I can be very brief. I will say that we give our support to the continuation of the system of this experiment and that we second the proposals made by the Di rector-Gene ral that this publication should deal essentially with development and with analysis of agricultural development. We also give our support to the proposal made with regard to the mimeographing of this document, in order to make savings.
A.A.W. LANDYMORE (United Kingdom): First of all, I think it is worth recalling a little history on this subject, because it goes back quite a few years. Several years ago we found that if SOFA was produced in time for consideration by the governing bodies, it had to be started too soon and its information was out of date by the time it actually reached the governing bodies. Essentially, this is a question of time and timing of the presentation of relevant information and in particular the analysis of the year, for which SOFA has achieved a deserved reputation. My understanding is that the mini-SOFA is a sort of advance installment of the main chapter on analysis together with such statistical information as is normally attached to that chapter, and that its topicality and relevance are maintained in that form so that what reaches the govering bodies on that essential part of SOFA is timely, up-to-date to the extent that it can be. It is a question of time, in the view of my delegation.
In view of those considerations and what is put forward in the report of the Programme Committee, my delegation endorses the proposal that the experimental system should now be put on a permanent basis.
D. FRANTZGSUAUIS (Greece): The Greek delegation fully supports the decision by the Programme Committee at its 32nd session last April, by which it endorsed the Direetor-General's proposals on the future arrangements for the annual report of the State of Food and Agriculture. The system introduced a few years ago on a trial basis should be confirmed so as to be continued on a permanent basis.
As regards the disadvantage mentioned in the report, this delegation agrees that important regional material is incorporated in the mini-SOFA and relevant special charts be presented as separate documents for the Conference and Council consideration. The SOFA should be issued before the end of the year to which it refers and should contain, as far as possible, detailed information which will be of practical usefulness to all Member Governments. Topics for special consideration should be chosen on the basis of the Di rector-General's priorities. In its analysis of the world food and agriculture situation, an attempt should be made to distinguish the effects of the weather and of government policies, and be a development-oriented document incorporating the necessary information concerning economic and social factors to enable member countries to prepare and apply a most successful development programme.
N.M. MWAUNGULU (Malawi): The delegation of Malawi welcomes, like the previous speakers, the recommendations that the Committee has made regarding SOFA; especially it finds no difficulty in accepting that the trial period be made permanent, that the publication be produced in typewritten copy instead of letterpress, in order to reduce costs.
Also we support, of course, the objective of making it more development-oriented in the content of policy analysis. On this, though, we would be interested in being enlightened as to what is meant by development-orientation, because something is probably necessary here to avoid making the document more theoretical and less practical by emphasizing development-orientation,
B. de AZEVEDO BRITO (Brazil): I would like to offer some brief comments on this particular issue; first on the contents, second on the presentation. On contents, we are inclined to agree with both the Director-General and the Programme Committee that brevity in so far as possible, is good and useful in such a document. We believe that the document should provide a general view including regional trends. We would also agree with the Director-General that such a document should be development-oriented. The way I understand development-oriented - and here I take the point of my good friends from Malawi - is that it focusses on the problems of development of agriculture in developing countries in order to identify better where are the problems and where the solutions can be found. That is my interpretation of development-oriented and, with that interpretation, I would, of course then be more than happy with the suggestion that the document should be development-oriented.
We also agree with the Director-General - and this point I think is very important - that the document should not only provide data but should also emphasize timely policy analysis of direct usefulness to governments; and we believe that the document can, by the inclusion of such policy analysis, become extremely useful to governments without, of course, becoming a purely theoretical paper.
As far as presentation is concerned, we believe that the practice which we have tried in the past two years proved good in that it presented, first, a condensed version and then a final complete version, which we would, of course, appreciate having as early as feasible, although we understand the problems inherent in completing the final version too early in the year.
I. OROZCO (México): Seré muy breve. Unicamente para apoyar las conclusiones del Comité del Programa acerca de la estructura, contenido y periodicidad del SOFA, así como para asociarnos a las declaraciones que han hecho los delegados del Brasil, Grecia y Malawi.
H.L. CLAVERI R.(Venezuela): Dentro de la concreción y de la claridad con que el tema ha sido presentado a la consideración del Consejo, mi delegación se siente proclive a no extenderse en el comentario que tan claramente ha sido enjuiciado por el Consejo mismo en esta reunión.
La delegación de Venezuela siempre ha dado especial importancia al SOFA, al Estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación, y ha estado en general de acuerdo con su presentación y la forma con que ha venido desenvolviéndose. En todo caso la propuesta del Comité del Programa, y la del Director General específicamente, gozan de nuestra simpatía, llamando la atención solamente sobre el hecho de que por la rapidez en el tiempo y la concreción en la implementación de las políticas diseñadas como aparezcan en el SOFA y en el ''mini-SOFA'' no vayan a incurrir en detrimento del análisis y del trasfondo analítico que el mismo mensaje debe dar al lector.
Nos mostramos de acuerdo con la propuesta del Director General y con la implementación del SOFA,tal como lo ha dado el Comité del Programa.
F. GOMEZ IRURETA (España): Apoyo por agilidad y menor costo la puesta en permanencia del sistema ac tual y, efectivamente, si se trata de dar una orientación sobre políticas, comprendo las dificultades que supone para los redactores el poder distinguir entre lo que han sido daños climatológicos y lo que ha sido cambio de política. Ello no obstante, se podría hacer algún comentario indicando si el aumen to o disminución de determinados productos en una región han sido afectados por la climatología; por supuesto, sin llegar a afinar excesivamente en cuánto han podido ser las pérdidas que hay an experimenta do esas regiones, pero se puede tener una idea de si ha habido un cambio radical en la política de pro ducciones o si siguiendo la política de producciones una tónica general, sin embargo ha sido afectada fuertemente por la climatología, lo cual nos daría una orientación de cuál es el movimiento a nivel mun dial de la tendencia de las producciones agrarias.
Es un ejercicio difícil, pero posible, difícil de cuantificar, pero se puede orientar en cuanto a un as pecto cualitativo. ~~
A. GRAY (Trinidad and Tobago) These four brief paragraphs from the report of the Programme Committee, in spite of their brevity, must surely be ranked as one of the more solid and commendable offerings. Having ourselves reviewed the practice of the FAO over the years on this matter on the content and presentation of SOFA we find we can generally endorse the recommendation made by them.
The document which we call SOFA is a most important one. Our assessment of the food and agriculture situation determines the FAO's overall ethos, its pursuits, priorities, organization,recruitment patterns, everything. It is also against this that the performance of FAO and all the institutions in the food and agriculture field is measured. This final point requires no emphasis since perhaps the World Food Conference and the events leading to, as well as the conclusions, which prompted its convening are too recent to be recalled on this occasion.
The importance of assessment of the food and agriculture situation is also highlighted by your general rules which in Rule No XXXII.2c highlights the importance of the annual publication as communication to member nations and associate members of a detailed world survey of the State of Food and Agriculture. Mention might also be made of Rule II, paragraph 2C(i) among others as to the timing of this SOFA, bearing in mind the difficulties and time resources required to obtain, analyse, and publish all • relevant data we agree with the views of the Programme Committee according to which the Council and the Conference would be presented with a condensed document. It has to be updated to the particular session, while the complete assessment will be made towards the end of the year. This would indeed appear to constitute a very practical solution. Ultimately we feel that the most important thing is that the State of Food and Agriculture should be constantly monitored and that the information so derived be assembled in such a way as would allow rapid adjustments to it should these be indicated.
We are speaking in general terms, stating general principles. Perhaps we may add that FAO has of late been very vigorous in obtaining and disseminating data on production, trade prices and other relevant information on a very wide range of commodities. In particular we appreciate the current live information contained in the supplements of the global information and Early Warning System.
As we have stated then we opt for constant monitoring. There is always a lapse of time before problems are recognized, then before measures can be elaborated and then for those measures to take effect and the aim must be to shorten these lags in a way which FAO now seems able to do, although we must not be complacent here.
With reference to the content of the document we absolutely endorse the view that SOFA should be thoroughly reviewed with a development orientation and I think the definition given by Brazil goes a long way to satisfy us.
We are particularly satisfied with the content of paragraph 2.125 in the Programme Committee's Report. Especially we do recognize that a more flexible approach should be taken to the contents of SOFA aiming at a blend of the minimum necessary standard material with maximum coverage of topics with subjects of interest. Of course, at a later stage there may be a difference of opinion as to which particular topics are to be treated or as to the manner of such treatment but this does not detract from the basic principle enshrined in the paragraph to which I have referred. Indeed, I suspect that most of the difficulties we have had in the past about SOFA and its contents arose from a feeling that certain vital issues were left outside the focus of FAO. With the World Food Conference but two years behind us and with a constant flood of literature on the FAO and the problems of the food and agriculture sector we cannot be unaware of the needs of FAO to keep abreast of world developments, to keep in tune with the changing situation and to respond rapidly and efficiently to the food and agriculture needs of member countries. A thorough implementation for this new approach will just about fulfil our expectations.
A.TEJAN WADDA (Gambia): We would just like to add our voice to those who have already endorsed the report presented by Dr. Phillips. As we have seen in paragraph 2.122 to paragraph 2.125, it is quite clear that SOFA was produced on an experimental basis since 1974 and now the Director-General is recommending to bring an end to this experimental period and start a permanent form of production. A recommendation has been made as to the content and the production of SOFA. It is quite clear, with regard
to the production, that the Director-General's reasons for recommending the typewritten copy instead of the typograhical composition is based entirely on costs saving and more rapid production. I do not think that any member of Council will argue with his reasoning, the saving on rapid production. SOFA is an information giving medium and the quicker it is readily available to its recipients the better and any form of production that will delay its production or distribution will be most unwelcome.
With regard to its contents now that it has been through the experimental period and it is found that SOFA should be development oriented, it is most welcome by all who have spoken from the developing world and not only that it is being development oriented but that it should contain policy analysis. This type of content will fill a gap within the developing countries agricultural programmes and I would join my delegation's voice with those who have endorsed Dr. Phillip's report.
R.W.PHILLIPS (Chairman, Programme Committee): As I listened to the discussion I think I heard rather complete agreement with the Director-General's proposals and the Programme Committee's comments thereon so I will direct my attention only to the question raised by Canada.
I would first point out to him that he made a Freudian slip when he referred to me as the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Those of you who have been in this Council for many years I think are. well aware of Mr. Shefrin's enjoyment in sticking needles in people; also that he takes particular pleasure in sticking needles in citizens of that country south of that common border which is one of the longest in the world!. So if I may I would like to give a partial answer to his question and then share the effects of the needle with the Secretariat!
It seems to me that basically there are to be two kinds of material, one is what might be called the ongoing factual material about the world food situation and the analysis of the trends in that situation, what I think the delegate of Trinidad and Tobago referred to as the monitoring of the current situation, getting the factual material before governments. The key issue here is the timing, as pointed out by the United Kingdom, and the proposal visualizes three timings of materials, the so-called mini-SOFA which gets it out for the appropriate session of the governing bodies, updating of that material as the governing bodies' session and a final updated version as near the end of the year as possible. So there is that material which is the on-going material, which would not really change very much in general nature, it would change only in the specific details of the contents as it reflected the world food situation in any particular year.
Then turning to the so-called policy-oriented materials; here, I think, without going into any detail one of the best examples of what at least the Programme Committee considered was in the minds of the Secretariat, is an item on the Agenda of this Council Session, i.e.. the reduction of harvest and post-harvest losses. Let us assume that over the years we can expect continuing concern with the world food situation and whether there is adequate food supply, adequate food distribution, etc.
Then, in relation to that, some key topic of interest might be discussed, and taking the one just noted, the reduction of harvest and post-harvest losses, and considering what are the potentials for helping to meet food needs by a more adequate control of these losses, what are the steps that governments and others can be taking to increase the food supply by reducing those losses, etc. So it is this kind of a problem which I think, again in the words of Malawi, would be a practical problem that needed to be tackled by governments and gone into through SOFA as to how it could be best tackled.
Those are the kinds of materials one could go on about in great detail, but I think, Mr. Chairman, if you would agree, it would be desirable to have Mr. Bhattacharjee of the Secretariat add his response to this analysis so as to absorb a part of the punch of the needle and continue the answer.
J.P.BHATTACHARJEE (Director, Policy and Analysis Division): Somehow I do not seem to feel the punch of the needle to which Mr. Phillips referred to earlier. Having known Mr. Shefrin for quite some time, we know that he always has a good intention.
The Director-General in making his proposal has, as you know, broadly taken into account the various issues which have been raised in meetings of the Council and Conference of the last two to three years, so in proposing that the present experimental arrangement be confirmed as a regular arrangment, he has in the first instance taken into account the need to provide SOFA on time. In the second place, he in line with his policy thinks there should be a little brevity in the size of the SOFA and particularly that there should be in that context a flexibility given to him in deciding the mix of contents which will go into each issue of SOFA, and here may I emphasize this point, namely, it is a mix of contents, not any particular chapter or anything else.
In all these three aspects, the main approach that he has in mind is that in line with the previous recommendations of this body and the Conference, the SOFA should be given a development orientation in the sense that it will not be concerned with the state of the monsoons or the state of the harvest as of the time of reporting but it will look at the changing agricultural situation against the background of the goals that are envisaged or laid down by the various conferences, by the governing bodies, and other international fora, and this approach towards the goal will be evaluated, as the Council has said many times, against the longer term trends.
In this connexion, there have been various recommendations and suggestions made by the Council. One question came up today in the intervention by Spain, namely, the changes in the situation have to be identified to the extent possible to the various factors and related to the various factors, not just weather, but as far as possible related to the effects of the various policies that the different governments adopt and the results or the impacts of those policies.
Accordingly, what the Director-General proposes is that the SOFA in its World Chapter will contain, of course, the necessary minimum amounts of analysis of the ongoing current features on production, trade and consumption, stocks, prices, and also development assistance including food aid and the conditions of the particularly vulnerable countries like the most seriously affected countries, less developed countries, etc.
This minimum coverage I can assure Canada will always be there, in the World Chapter as well as any annexed tables, but around these general coverages and the continuing element of analysis, the Director-General wants to inject in every issue of SOFA a policy theme which, as was mentioned in one issue, may be the post-harvest losses, and another it may be the review and appraisal of progress in the development decade, as will be the case in 1977 in SOFA. In another one, it may be a particular aspect of the world food security. This will depend on him, and he wants flexibility to be able to decide on it so that he will explain in his own introduction or foreword why he selected the particular topic.
Secondly, there is in this question of flexibility the question of the extent to which the SOFA should go into development in each region. This has been a difficult problem. We could not get every year an adequate amount of information to include in the regional chapters. Therefore, the Director-General and the Programme Committee feel that the obligation to bring out a regional chapter in every issue should not be there, and the Director-General should be given the flexibility to decide in which years the regional chapter should be brought out and in which years it should not be.
Here again, in the light of our other publications, the regional chapters also provide not just detailed information country by country but significant policy developments and responses of the governments in the regions of major changes in the world situation.
Thirdly, there is the question of the special chapter which always brings in something different which is related to issues of particular concern that the Director-General feels FAO should have an analysis on. In SOFA J 976 the special chapter related to energy and its use in agriculture ; in 1977 the chapter will be on the state of natural resources and human environment of food and agriculture. It is a review of the environmental and human resources aspect from a longer term point of view. These are special chapters about which the governing bodies have indicated special interests, but on the whole, the main point here is that the Director-General feels that if all the recommendations of all the Sessions of the Conference and Council are to be taken into account by him and implemented in a systematic manner, it just will not be possible within the size limitation of SOFA to implement them in every issue. He therefore expects that the Council will give him the needed flexibility. He takes into account the need to maintain the certain types of data and information which are required and used by all readers, and I can assure you those things will be there.
CHAIRMAN : If there is no further comment we move on to the following item.
CHAIRMAN : The Committee wishes to draw attention of the Council in particular to the points on page 4 of Document CL 71/10.
DOÑA P. DE CASTRO MONSALVO (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia ha estudiado con atención este documento CL/71/10 que contiene el informe del segundo período de sesiones del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria reunido en Roma durante el pasado mes de abril.
La delegación de Colombia desea apoyar en particular en la parte A, recomendaciones y solicitudes a los Gobiernos, el apartado(b) del párrafo ii, en el sentido de hacer un llamado a los países desarrollados y a los donantes en general a fin de que aumenten su asistencia financiera y técnica a los países en desarrollo para acelerar la producción alimentaria.
La delegación de Colombia quiere referirse al apartado [e) de este mismo párrafo para apoyar también el esfuerzo que debe hacerse para que los países en desarrollo logren constituir adecuadas reservas nacionales de alimentos.
La delegación de Colombia expresa su complacencia por el hecho de que el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial haya pedido al Director General que, de acuerdo con las disposiciones vigentes, envíe este informe al tercer período de sesiones del Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación que se celebrará en Manila próximamente.
Consideramos que es uno de los medios para coordinar la acción de los órganos de la FAO con el Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación, lo cual corresponde a lo que ya decidimos en este Consejo.
En la sesión D párrafo vii en la cual el Comité manifestó su acuerdo sobre la necesidad de elaborar medidas internacionales que permitan a los países en desarrollo reforzar su autodependencia en la producción y seguridad alimentaria, la delegación de Colombia piensa que si bien las asistencias son necesarias en ciertos momentos de emergencia lo esencial es asegurar la propia producción alimentaria de los países en desarrollo.
Finalmente mi delegación apoya plenamente la declaración del Grupo de los 77 sobre la cual se ha venido discutiendo en el seno de este Comité. El Gobierno de Colombia es solidario con la opinión del Grupo de los 77 en que es urgente adoptar medidas concretas y eficaces para lograr objetivos mínimos.
La delegación de Colombia apoya en particular la posición del Grupo de los 77 reflejada en el apartado (b) del párrafo 51 y en el párrafo 53 sobre la necesidad de que se adopten medidas en el comercio internacional para defender los intereses de los países en desarrollo.
G. SATARI (Indonesia): The Committee on World Food Security should be commended on the work they have done in making useful conclusions and recommendations to which my delegation can lend its support. Many of the recommendations should receive our sympathetic consideration and support. In regard to their assessment of the world food security situation, my delegation would like to stress two main points.
The first is the important determinant of long-term production prospects and food security in different countries would be their ability to sustain and further increase their agricultural production, and furthermore the flow of resources needs to be increased and landing terms improved.
Second, although world cereal stocks approach the minimum safe level required for food security, no formal international food agreement on stocks has yet emerged as to their level, composition and management. In this connexion we also agree that an international grains agreement should be concluded soon, and that the objectives and main elements of the international undertaking on world food security should be appropriately reflected in the provisions of the agreement. The Director-General should be requested to bring the proposals on specific policy provisions submitted by the Group of 77 to the attention of the preparatory group of the International Food Council for appropriate consideration.
In the light of our statement on the world food situation on agenda item 4, in particular with reference to rice, my delegation fully supports the request of the meeting that the Secretariat analyses the long term implications of the past rates of growth in rice production, which have been considerably lower than for wheat, on the food security situation of rice consuming countries, in particular the Far East, and suggests steps needed to remedy the situation in conjunction with other bodies. To make food security effective, as a first step it is necessary that the undertaking be fully implemented by member countries, and in this regard all countries should, by the end of 1977, define and adopt national stock policies in conformity with the guidelines of the Undertaking.
The Committee was assigned by the FAO Conference to assess the efficacy of stocks needed to meet the objectives of world food security. The Secretariat, after elaborate and comprehensive preparation, suggested that in order to maintain world consumption of cereals in one year, in around 95 percent of the cases the minimum safe level of carryover stocks of cereals would need to be within a range of 17 to 18 percent of world consumption.
My delegation appreciates the efforts made by the Committee to come to a consensus on the figure for the minimum safe level of food for world food security. We therefore underline the outcome that they, pending further explanation, agree with the Secretariat's figures as a reasonable basis for this assessment.
Finally, we also agree on the need to develop the national resources in support of food security in developing countries with a view to strengthening their self-reliance in food production and food security with the ultimate objections of obviating their dependence on external food assistance in accordance with national plans and priorities.
A. DAS (India): The Indian delegation would like to lend its full support to the adoption by the Council of the Report of the Second Session of the Committee on World Food Security. We have already expressed our views on the issues relating to providing expanded external assistance to agriculture in the developing countries, which according to the views of the Secretariat, appears to have declined in 1976 as compared to the previous year.
For improving the World Food Security, the Council should strongly support the provision of food aid and financial resources not only for meeting current consumption requirements, but also for helping developing countries to build up and maintain stocks, and to create storage capacity. Unless these countries have their own stocks which can be used for meeting emergencies at short notice, the food position of these countries will continue to remain highly vulnerable to natural hazards and disasters.
The Indian delegation would therefore urge that che donor countries and the concerned international and regional organizations should take steps to provide the necessary food, financial and technical assistance in the form of grants and on specially favourable and soft terms to develop and implement national policies and to build and maintain food reserves in developing countries, including storage and transport facilities.
An important point on which we have some satisfaction is that the Food Aid Committee has, pending further examination, accepted the Secretariat statement that the estimated figure of 17 - 18 percent of the world consumption as the minimum safe level of carryover stocks in a reasonable basis for future assessment. The figure of 17 - 18 percent consists of 5 - 6 percent as a reserve element, the rest being working stocks. The Council should endorse these figures, and ask for their adoption by the Committee on World Food Security and other international agencies for the purpose of making further assessments.
My delegation would urge that the Director-General may be requested to forward the proposals made in the statement by the Group of 77 to the International Wheat Council. In particular, the International Wheat Council should be requested to implement the recommendation made by the Committee on World Food Security that the objectives and main elements of the International Undertaking on World Food Security should be appropriately reflected in the provisions of the new International Grains Agreement, which should also pay particular attention to safeguarding the special interests of developing countries, and all efforts should be made by the concerned Governments to conclude the discussions and negotiations of a new International Grains Agreement before the expiry of the current extension of this agreement. We would urge that the new International Grains Agreement as recommended by the Committee on World Food Security should be concentrating on building up food stocks appropriate for ensuring food security as well as price and supply stability.
My delegation shares the views expressed by my distinguished predécessor the representative from Indonesia,on World Food Security and we endorse the recommendation of the Committee on World Food Security about analysing the long term implications of the fact that rates of growth in rice production -which had been considerably lower than for wheat - on the food security situation of rice producing and consuming countries, specially for the Far East, and we suggest possibly steps may be taken to remedy the situation in cooperation with other concerned bodies.
We also fully share the view of the Committee on World Food Security that there is urgent need for an international agreement which should envisage the building up of reserve stocks, not merely for ensuring food security, but also for ensuring price and supply stability. The maintenance of price stability is very vital and of crucial importance for ensuring the level of production and level of supplies, particularly on the part of food-exporting countries, so that supplies are not ir any way slackened and there is not merely stability in the availability of food grains but also stability of prices for the benefit of the growers as well as of the consumers.
R. FOUAD (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): First I should like to say that the question of World Food Security has often been discussed by the Committee which deals with this problem and by the World Food Conference, but given the practical nature and the importance of this problem, particularly as far as it concerns developing countries, and given the development of agriculture during the last few years and the possibilities of meeting World Food Security, I should like to say once again that there are some subjects which have not benefited from agreement form all interested parties.
The first point concerning increase in agricultural production in developing countries concerns funds which have been allocated by the Secretariat of the Organization and by the World Food Conference. Although there has not been an agreement on this question, we think that it should be reviewed in more detail.
The second point concerns the minimum of 10 million tons of cereals established by the World Food Council. This aid reached a figure of eight million during last year whereas during preceding years a higher level was reached, namely fourteen million tons. That aid should continue and intensify given the population growth in the world today. The third point concerns emergency stocks. The quantity laid down for these stocks, namely 100 000 tons, has not yet been reached. The fourth point concerns world stocks. We have estimated these at being 17-18 percent of world consumption and we have not reached that level, unfortunately. The last point concerns some partial objectives - for instance in fertilizers. We note with satisfaction the progress achieved in the early warning system and decisions taken by various governments on stocks. At this stage I should like to repeat our support for the statement made by the Group of 77 contained in the report of the Committee on World Food Security requesting governments to guarantee world food security.
A. NIKKOLA (Finland): My delegation gives its general support to the recommendations presented in the Report of the Second Session of the Committee on World Food Security. In our view the good crops of the last two years and the considerably improved stock position make it possible to so improve world food security that the food crisis of the years 1972-74 could not repeat itself in the future. We fully support the view that the objectives of the FAO International Undertaking on World Food Security should as far as possible be taken into account in the formulation of the new International Grains Agreement. Therefore, we note with satisfaction that the proposal for a reserve stock scheme is under discussion in the preparatory group of the International Wheat Council.
My delegation also supports the proposal that a new food aid convention should be an integral part of the new Grains Agreement.
I should also like to draw attention to the important recommendation of the First Session of the Committee on World Food Security to the effect that all countries should define and adopt national grain stock policies and targets or objectives and modify them as required in order to conform with the FAO Undertaking. So far as my country is concerned for many years we have applied a defined national stock policy which includes an obligatory stock target of food grains, corresponding to approximately seven months' domestic consumption. When developing our policy in the future we will fully take into account the requirements of the FAO Undertaking.
C.R. FRANK (United States of America): The United States has noted with particular interest the Report of the Committee on World Food Security. The subject of world food security is, in our view, a vital subject of continuing importance to every nation, one that needs our very best efforts not only in that particular Committee but in all the international fora which deal with matters of food, food supplies and food nutrition.
The United States has subscribed to and believes in the International Undertaking on World Food Security. We regret that some countries, including some major trading nations, have not yet seen fit to subscribe. We hope that they soon will be in a position to do so.
The United States is prepared, as we said at the Committee on World Food Security, to work with other nations to narrow differences on major issues and develop a new international agreement to succeed the present International Wheat Agreement. We hope that these efforts can meet with eventual success and can lead to the early establishment of a reserves agreement and negotiation on a renewed food aid convention.
As many delegates know, the United States has already taken action to establish national reserves of wheat and rice. The stocks will be held on farms under a programme of 3-year extended loans for the 1976 crop. The programme has specific provisions related to price movements for the release of reserves so that they will be held when they should be held and will be released if changes in circumstances warrant. We view this programme as a stabilizing influence at home and abroad and see it as supportive of the efforts of the International Wheat Council to develop an international system of nationally held grain reserves.
On a closely related manner I should like to draw attention to the fact that the United States has announced its readiness to contribute up to 125 000 tons of food aid,in concert with other donors, towards the 500 000 ton international emergency reserve called for by the Seventh Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly. We feel that this emergency reserve can in the short runmeet important food aid requirements. At the same time, we place paramount emphasis on the speedy implementation of an international system of nationally held grain reserves as the basis for broader world food security. Further, at the recent meeting of the Conference on International Cooperation in Paris, the Development Commission recommended that steps be taken to provide technical and financial assistance for seed production, training and research in developing countries in an amount of at least $20 million. The United States is proud to have a part in the agreed recommendation and is ready to do its share.
Those are some of the recent concrete actions taken by my country in support of the objectives in the struggle towards world food security. They are evidence of our willingness to cooperate with other nations in seeking a common goal.For it is only through international cooperation that the goal of world food security can be achieved.
J.M. SCOULAR (United Kingdom): First of all may I draw the attention of delegates to document CL 71/10 Corr.1 which is now the agreed record of the meeting. The point was not raised in earlier discussions and we should make it clear that the corrigendum is now part" of the record.
Secondly, may I say that we in the United Kingdom delegation have read this report with great interest and in particular we endorse the review of the current situation set out in paragraph 16. The major outlook is, as we see it, very much in line with the Committee's views.
Thirdly, we support very strongly the development of the global early warning system. This is very effective and very valuable and helps to meet the needs of those developing countries in most particular-need of assistance in planning their future and in dealing with the problems they face.
Lastly, we also feel that this valuable document should go to the ministerial meeting of the World Food Council in Manila as is the view of other delegates.
F. SHEFRIN (Canada): In listening to the discussion on food security I believe we should bring a note of balance into the discussion because if our understanding is correct, when we discussed food security we discussed two aspects, the question of increased production in the countries that need the food and also the question of stockpiling or storing food and having reserves. During this morning's discussion there has been no reference to that first and most important part the question of increased production. You cannot establish stocks, even if you receive aid for a number of years, if you do not increase production. That point has not been discussed adequately so far it seems to us.
We have also heard several appeals by a number of speakers that more should be done to finance the building of stocks. We are certainly in agreement with those appeals. The tendency, however, has been to refer to wheat-producing or wheat-exporting countries and that is a very limited approach. There are many other countries which are not wheat producers or wheat exporters, which can also assist in the building of stocks in developing countries and I suggest to our friends that they should also think of those countries which are not necessarily the ones which are exporting wheat or are large-scale wheat producers. Many of them are very important importers and others are producers of other commodities which bring in substantial revenues. I hope therefore that there will be a more balanced approach to these requests.
So far as Canada is concerned, we are at present carrying a very large stockpile of wheat. Our production has increased in line with the appeals made for more wheat. At the same time we are providing as a form of aid one million tons of wheat per year in line with the World Food Conference Resolution. But it costs money to carry such large stocks. Nobody talks about the cost of carrying them at a time when the price of wheat is low and our producers are faced with the problem of having to carry stocks on the farms and of also receiving low wheat prices. So when we talk about this subject we should maintain a balance in what we are asking.
At the same time, Canada is very active in the negotiations for a new international wheat arrangement and certainly this is an area where we will be looking very carefully at the concept of establishing stocks. However, if any conclusions are to come out of this meeting it would be advisable to look at paragraphs 21 to 23 of our Report of the Second Session of the Committee on World Food Security, especially in relation to the aspect of targets. There was no agreement of the figure of 17-18 percent. There was a compromise statement which said in effect that it should be considered that that estimate provided a reasonable basis for assessment but it would carry no particular commitment as to the desirable level of stocks in an International Grains Agreement. Our delegation had argued in the Second Session that we did not know what the figure should be. We are carrying far more than 17 percent already. If one stops to calculate what it would cost to carry 60 million tons one would find that the storage costs would be between $4 and $6 billion. We urge caution therefore and I hope that the Council will not go beyond this sense of compromise which was carefully worked out in the Report. We also made the proposal in the Committee on World Food Security that this Report should be submitted to the World Food Council which will be meeting in Manila at the end of this month.
B. de AZEVEDO BRITO (Brazil): The views of the Group of 77 were presented at the time of the Committee on Food Security, as all of us know, through a comprehensive position paper updating our own paper presented a year ago. Of course, in our updating statement we took into account events which took place between the two sessions of the Committee on World Food Security. As is made clear in the report now before us, the developing countries in their joint statement laid special emphasis on a number of points. I will just very briefly refer to some of them; I do not believe I need to go on extensively since the report explains our views quite clearly.
On the question of the minimum safe level of carry-over stocks, I must say we were happy to see that for future assessments the Committee on World Food Security found it possible to agree with the definition of minimum safe level of carry-over stocks on the basis of 17-18 percent of annual consumption, out of which 5 percent to 6 percent as reserve stocks. We understand that the acceptance of this figure for future assessment was a positive step taken by the Committee on World Food Security.
Secondly, we attach special importance to the attainment of the target of 10 million tons a year of grains as food aid; the fact that in 1976 this figure was not reached, and that the prospects for 1977 do not look too bright, of course give us concern. We expressed our concern at the session of the Committee on Food Security and we repeat our concern here. The other target relevant in this case relates to the emergency food reserve within the World Food Programme, of 500 000 tons of grains while some progress occurred after the Session of the Committee of World Food Security, at the Committee on Food Aid, when additional pledges were announced, the target of 500 000 tons has still not been reached and, in fact, we have not even reached 50 percent of that specific target.
In our joint statement at the time of the Committee on Food Security we also laid particular emphasis on the early conclusion of the new International Grains Agreement. Moreover, we also placed special emphasis on a number of clauses and provisions which we think are very important for inclusion in this new International Grains Agreement. I call attention to the two general lines of thinking which are important in this connexion: safeguarding thé interests of the developing countries in the International Grains Agreement and providing preferential facilities for the developing countries before us and I do not think I need to elaborate beyond that point.
Another point on which we laid emphasis in the overall question of food security ia the question of aid to build and maintain reserves: aid in the form of food aid, technical aid and financial aid. We believe that it is very important that developing countries receive such assistance to build up their national reserves; such aid should be a consequence of the recognition by the international community of the need to build up such reserves.
Another point on which we laid emphasis in the overall question of food security is the question of aid to build and maintain reserves, aid, food aid, technical aid, financial aid. We believe that it is very important that developing countries receive such assistance to build up their national reserves, that is, it should be a consequence of the recognition by the international community of the need for building up such reserves.
Also, we elaborated briefly in our statement before the Committee on World Food Security on the question of sub-targets. Let me speak on them very briefly. Our idea is that while the Committee on World Food Security will in the future continue looking into the implementation of arrangements for food security, we will probably need benchmark estimates to see whether there is, in fact, reasonable progress in the direction of food security, for instance in terms of fertilizer and other inputs.
As one final point, I would like to mention the emphasis that the developing countries lay on food production. For use it is an agreed fact - that was a point made by the delegate of Canada moments ago - that food security without food production is meaningless. Real food security can only be ensured by food production and by increased food production in the developing countries. If I may add one point in this respect, it is that food security cannot -e based purely on grains. We developing countries rely on a number of products for our basic nutrition and our nutritional security requires attention to a number of different products. Therefore, more and more in the future, we shall have to look at food security not only in terms of grains but of other products as well. Possibly, this is such an important question, that this Council may wish to give direction to the future deliberations of the Committee on World Food Security. In fact, the Committee on World Food Security has already suggested the need to look more into these other areas of production.
I would like to conclude my statement, in which I tried to summarize the views of the Group of 77, by saying that we developing countries need to have assistance to stimulate our own production. We also need to have assistance in building up our own reserves.
M. GUERIN (France): Si vous permettez, un certain nombre d'observations sur les différents points de ce document qui est soumis à l'examen du Conseil. A propos de l'objectif de dix millions de tonnes pour l'aide alimentaire en céréales, comme cela a été acté à la Conférence de Paris qui vient de se terminer, nous sommes d'accord, il y a un consensus général pour obtenir rapidement le niveau des dix millions de tonnes pour l'aide alimentaire en céréales et la France, aussi bien sur le plan bilatéral qu'à travers l'aide alimentaire de la Communauté européenne, y contribuera en fonction bien sûr de ses disponibilités physiques et budgétaires.
Nous sommes d'accord, néanmoins, sur le principe d'une planification pluri-annuelle de cette aide et au sein de la Communauté économique européenne nous sommes en train actuellement de définir les modalités d'une telle planification, mais je crois que nous devons également améliorer la connaissance des besoins réels nutritionnels par une approche plus fine par pays fondée à la fois sur des critères quantitatifs; normes minimales en matière de nutrition, revenu par habitant, examen de la situation de la balance des paiements et des critères qualitatifs, et nous nous félicitons qu'une décision sur l'étude dans ce domaine ait été prise lors de la réunion du Comité.
De plus, nous ne devons pas perdre de.vue que la priorité en matière d'aide alimentaire doit aller au soulagement des situations d'urgence et à la lutte contre les famines qualitatives ou quantitatives; que l'aide alimentaire soit utilisée par certains pays en développement pour constituer des stocks est naturel et tout à fait conforme aux recommandations de la Conférence mondiale de l'alimentation de 1974, mais, de toute évidence, comme l'a dit notre collègue canadien, la constitution et le maintien de tels stocks sont des opérations très coûteuses, nécessitant des investissements supplémentaires considérables. Il s'est dégagé un consensus à Paris pour aider, sous la forme de fonds ou de contributions à caractéristique spécialement favorable, les pays en développement à mettre en oeuvre les politiques nationales de stockage comprenant des investissements d'augmentation de capacité et d'amélioration de la conservation et de la distribution des produits. Cela est indispensable,quel que soit l'appel fait à l'aide alimentaire, pour garantir la sécurité d'approvisionnement à partir des productions nationales et pour éviter qu'en cas de pénurie le poids des augmentations brutales des prix, inévitables du fait de l'absence de capacité suffisante de stockage, soit supporté par les couches les plus pauvres de la population. Donc, pour nous, l'aide alimentaire pour le stockage par les pays en voie de développement peut constituer en elle-même une solution suffisante, d'autant plus que les aléas climatiques qui peuvent affecter d'une année à l'autre des régions très éloignées du monde obligent à conserver une grande souplesse dans l'utilisation et la mobilisation des réserves. Il faut ajouter que, dans le cadre de la priorité à donner par les pays en développement eux-mêmes à l'augmentation de leur propre production agricole et alimentaire, et notamment les productions vivrières, il faut veiller à ce que l'aide alimentaire n'ait pas pour effet de décourager les producteurs nationaux. Tout le monde le reconnaît. Il faut se féliciter à cet égard, également, d'un point acté lors de la Conférence Nord-Sud, consistant dans des cas appropriés à mettre en oeuvre des opérations que l'on appelle ''triangulaires" entre pays donateurs, pays en voie de développement exportateurs et pays receveurs.
Je rappelle enfin, toujours sur ce point de l'aide alimentaire en céréales qu'elle doit être le corollaire d'un véritable accord international de régulation et de stabilisation des marchés dans l'intérêt de toutes les parties et j'ai relevé avec intérêt ce qu'a dit notre collègue de l'Inde tout à l'heure à propos de la stabilisation des prix et je partage également ce qu'a dit notre collègue canadien quant à l'inclusion dans un tel accord d'un pourcentage à partir de l'estimation faite par le Secrétariat de la FAO.
Le deuxième point que je voudrais évoquer c'est celui des actions d'urgence, la réserve de cinq cent mille tonnes. Je crois que nous avons pris l'engagement de participer à cette action et nous saluons en particulier l'action du PAM dans ce domaine, tout spécialement pour le lien qui est fait avec des progrès concrets de développement, et la France, comme la Communauté économique européenne, s'est engagée à indiquer au PAM ses disponibilités pour les actions d'urgence, disponibilités qui sont croissantes mais, en fonction d'engagements internationaux, il est compréhensible que le PAM ne soit pas pour nous le seul canal d'acheminement des aides d'urgence Il faut rappeler aussi qu'il ne peut pas être établi
a priori la part que l'aide d'urgence doit représenter car il faut bien tenir compte du caractère imprévisible des événements susceptibles d'affecter la situation agricole et alimentaire de la communauté internationale.
H.L. CLAVERIE R. (Venezuela): Venezuela ha venido actuando activamente y ha seguido muy de cerca pertenecer al Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y esta materia ha merecido toda nuestra atención y nuestro mayor interés.
En esta ocasión la Delegación venezolana ha estudiado en detalle el documento CL 71/10 que estamos analizando referente al Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial. Lo encontramos aceptable y acorde con lo que el Comité ha venido tratando; por lo tanto,, en líneas generales, le concedemos todo nuestro apoyo, pero nos gustaría comentar algunos aspectos que nos merecen especial atención ante el tema en cuestión.
En cuanto a las conclusiones sobre la estimación de la situación de la seguridad alimentaria mundial, nuestra Delegación ve con preocupación lo relatado en el apartado 6 del párrafo 16 sobre el nivel mínimo seguro exigido para una seguridad alimentaria mundial.
Estamos totalmente de acuerdo en que un compromiso internacional formal sobre existencias contribuirá a solucionar el problema de la inestabilidad en las perspectivas seguras de aprovisionamiento cerealero mundial.
Reiteramos nuestro acuerdo con lo formulado por el representante del Grupo de los 77 sobre el nivel mínimo estimado del 17 al 18 por ciento de consumo mundial como mínimo seguro deseado para cumplir con el compromiso.
Igualmente declaramos nuestra reiterada adhesión a la declaración del Grupo de los 77 en la cual se actualiza su declaración del año anterior.
Tal como hemos declarado en ocasiones anteriores, la delegación venezolana estima que el esquema general de la problemática incluido en la declaración del Grupo de los 77 continúa siendo vigente y valedera y, por lo tanto, cree necesario llamar la atención de este cuerpo sobre lo útil y conveniente de acoger sus recomendaciones.
En cuanto al sistema mundial de información y alerta manifestamos nuestra simpatía por la forma como ha venido funcionando. Creemos, eso sí, que el sistema se debe reformar y potencializar, pues sin la contribución v colaboración de la totalidad de los países acreditados ante la FAO sus efectos se verían disminuidos y debilitados.
Por lo tanto, otorgamos todo nuestro apoyo a los esfuerzos del Director General en relación con la prioridad que le otorga a esta materia. Por supuesto, la Delegación venezolana manifiesta su simpatía con la propuesta de que el Director General ponga a disposición del Tercer Consejo Mundial de Alimentación, que se reunirá próximamente en Manila, el informe del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial.
I.A. IMTIAZI (Pakistan): My delegation has read document CL 71/10 with interest and would wish to compliment the Secretariat on presenting a useful and comprehensive paper on the state of world food security. The Committee no doubt has made some progress but we have a long way to go. Examples of progress are (a) the Committee's tentative agreement to the Secretariat's estimated figures for the minimum safe level of carryover stocks to maintain world food security and (b) the Committee's agreement to the provision of assistance to developing countries in areas such as irrigation supplies, purchases of fertilizers and pesticides, of high-yielding varieties of seeds, storage facilities, development of agriculture and agricultural infrastructure in general and prevention of harvest and post-harvest losses. No doubt such measures will contribute significantly to increasing agricultural production in developing countries. These measures are matters of common concern to developing countries and we urge their implementation in earnest since we firmly believe that the only real solution to the problem lies in improving food production in the developing world itself. However, coming to the more specific issues we would like to endorse the Committee's assessment of the world food situation as outlined in paragraph 16 of document CL 71/10. My delegation feels particularly perturbed to note the decline in external assistance to agriculture and this trend must be reversed if the world is to be freed from hunger and malnutrition in the foreseeable future. My delegation would also like to commend for favourable consideration in view of the ideal opportunity that the present cereal stocks provide to formulate international agreement on stocks.
As regards the position of the Group of 77 my delegation fully supports their position. We would further like to add that in view of the urgency in achieving a sould and fully coordinated system of world food security we do hope that the FAO Council would not only endorse the conclusion of the Committee on World Food Security but also accept the basic principles and approaches enumerated by the Group of 77 at the time of the first and second sessions of the Committee on World Food Security. In particular we would like to stress the need for a speedy conclusion and negotiation of a new grains agreement, including provisions of reserve stocks and other economic provisions before the current International Wheat Agreement expires. This should facilitate the full implementation of the conditions in the international undertaking.
As regards the minimum safe level of overall stocks on world food security, my delegation supports the position as outlined in paragraph 21 of the document under reference. The Committee on World Food Security has examined this question in detail and has had the benefit of studies not only by the Secretariat but by some of the most prestigious institutions in the world that have all come to the same conclusion, namely that the minimum safe level of carryover stocks is 17 to 18 percent of world consumption of cereals.
As regards the Global Information and Early Warning System, my delegation supports the findings of the Committee that the System has worked well and that the information supplied is of practical use to user governments. I would particularly commend the initiative taken by FAO to help interested countries to set up international early warning systems, including data and crop forecasting and providing machinery for assessing all emergency needs.
Lastly, my delegation would recommend that the Committee on World Food Security continued to make specific policy oriented and action oriented recommendations arising out of the periodic reviews of the world food security situation so as to make its task useful and meaningful on a continuing basis.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Rep. of): The positive attitude of my Government towards food security is very well known so I do not think I need to go into detail but I just want to highlight some points. My Government helps inasmuch as possible developing countries, in accordance with their own priorities, to increase food production because we do feel, and other speakers before me have said it several times, that this would be the only lasting solution towards achieving food security.
For this reason my Government also supported right from the beginning the idea of establishing a Global Information and Early Warning System for food and agriculture in various international fora because we do feel that this is a pre-requisite to food security. Unless we have permanently, on a continued basis, some sort of balance of what is happening in production and consumption we cannot hope to achieve food security. My delegation notes therefore with particular interest what the Committee on Food Security says in paragraph 31 of its report, namely that this system is working very well. We regretted that a number of countries, including some major food producing countries had not yet joined the system and urged them to participate to make the system truly global.
My Government was also one of the first to subscribe to the International Undertaking because we do feel that this is an effort in which, hopefully, all countries will join to help to get food security. My Government for the same reason participates in FAO's food Security Assistance Scheme and hopes that others also find it useful to participate in this action-oriented approach.
As to the International Emergency Reserve my Government contributed last year 35 000 tons to that reserve end announced at the Second Session of the Committee on World Food Security that we are prepared to contribute the same amount this year. My Government is also in agreement with all those who think that we should come to an early conclusion of a new international agreement but if we look into the report we find that the Committee on World Food Security, for various reasons, felt it very wise not to prejudice these deliberations and therefore I do feel that it would be difficult for my delegation to agree if the Council intended to go further in its recommendations than the Committee on World Food Security in its report. It refers in particular to the question of a certain level of stocks to which the Committee on World Food Security referrred in paragraph 23 but I do feel now, after the intervention of the delegation of the United Kingdom, who drew the attention of other Council members to the corrigendum which is issued to that report, that we can all agree that a further examination of such a level has to be done and in our view it would be the Committee on World Food Security which would have to take up that task.
Now, as to the proposals put forward by the Group of 77 at the First and Second Sessions of the Committee on World Food Security, here we do have in the summary of the report in paragraph B(i) a clear statement namely that the Director-General is asked to pass, with appropriate considerations, the views expressed by the Group of 77 to the preparatory group of the International Wheat Council. I have no doubt that if the Director-General has not done so yet, that he will of course be prepared to do that,
Now with this understanding that there are further points which have to be taken up by the Committee on World Food Security, we generally endorse the report as it is presented to us by the Committee.
CHAIRMAN: I would like to draw the attention of the Council that we will reconvene at 14.30 hours.
The meeting rose at 12.45 hours.
La seance est levée à 12 h 45.
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.45 horas.