CHAIRMAN: (interpretation from Arabic): This afternoon's session is called to order.
MAPELA NGA-MA (Zaïre): De même que toutes les autres délégations qui ont pris la parole ce matin, ma délégation voudrait, elle aussi, une fois de plus, renouveler l'appui sans réserve qu'elle a donné lors de la quatrième session du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale au plan d'action en cinq points, conçu par le Directeur général de la FAO, en vue d'assurer et de renforcer la sécurité alimentaire mondiale.
Nous pensons que, tel qu'il figure à l'Annexe F du document CL 75/10, ce plan d'action ne devrait pas poser de difficultés au Conseil en ce qui concerne son approbation. Nous en sommes convaincus, parce que tout d'abord, ainsi que vous l'avez rappelé et souligné ce matin vous-même, nous savons que le Plan d'action du Directeur général, plan que ma délégation appelle d'ailleurs "Plan Saouma", ne vise pas à remplacer l'accord international sur le blé et encore moins à retarder la reprise des négociations en vue d'un nouvel arrangement international sur les céréales; par ailleurs, et ce n'est un secret pour personne, nous savons aussi que le Plan d'action qui est recommandé au Conseil pour approbation est un plan qui ne vise que les actions minimales et indispensables qu'il convient d'entreprendre aux niveaux national et international en matière de sécurité alimentaire mondiale.
Nous ne voulons pas rouvrir ici les délibérations qui ont eu lieu au sujet de ce Plan d'action lors de son examen par le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale; ce n'est pas là notre intention; mais nous voudrions insister sur le fait que ma délégation approuve le Plan d'action tel qu'il figure à l'Annexe F du document précité ainsi que le projet de résolution qui figure au paragraphe 39 du même document. Nous appuyons la demande adressée au Directeur général pour que ce plan d'action soit communique à la cinquième session du Conseil mondial de l'alimentation et, pour terminer, ma délégation appuie sans réserve les recommandations formulées par le Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, au paragraphe 57 du document, en vue d'améliorer et de renforcer le système mondial d'information et d'alerte rapide sur l'alimentation et l'agriculture.
M.S. SWAMINATHAN (India): We consider that the report of the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security represents a distinct advance in tackling a very complex matter. Although food is the first among the hieraohic al, needs of. man, it is obvious by its very importance the matter in terms of international arrangements becomes very complicated, and we are therefore very happy to see some progress being made and we do hope that soon a satisfactory arrangement on the lines recommended by the World Food Conference in 1974 will emerge. Meanwhile we have noted and supported the Director-General's proposal as an interim measure until the negotiating conference for a new International Grains Agreement is able to meet again and lead to a satisfactory conclusion.
I would now like to offer a few specific comments on the five points mentioned in the Director-General's programme, the first relating to the national reserve stock policies. I am sure that every national government will give the highest priority to this recommendation because I think no government is worth its name unless it can ensure adequate supply of food to its population. We support fully this particular concept in India. We have accepted it as a fundamental obligation of the government and the Government of India, even with its meagre resources, has committed a very large amount of its reserve for grain storage. We are fortunate, of course, to have a position in the world today of havin.g one of the larger grain reserves and we do hope we will maintain this position in spite of adverse circumstances which might come, as a result of weather and so on.
Our stocks axe also going now to be distributed all over the country. We have embarked upon a very large programme of establishing a national grid of grain storages all over the country for the purpose of, first, preventing distress sale by farmers, because as you know one of the unfortunate points in agricultural development, particularly in countries with low purchasing power, is that almost a 5 per cent increase or decrease may make all the difference between an uncomfortable glut and an acute scarcity. Therefore, it is very important for us to insulate the farmers from harm in prices as a result of their working hard and increasing production. Therefore, our decentralized system of national grain storage is intended for avoiding distress sale by poor farmers, panic purchases by the rich people in the world, because too many times in the world important food calamities have resulted not so much from the absolute scarcity of grain, but mal distribution.
CERES, the journal of FAO had a very interesting article two year s ago on the famous Bengal famine of 1943 where over a million people perished of hunger. It was entitled "Statistical chickeas'' and was written by one of our eminent economists Professor Sen and he showed in the year the famine occurred the actual food production was higher, the index of production, by 8 percent, but nevertheless people died and that shows the great importance of managing the food budget in an effectual way from the point of view of distribution. The third important purpose of our national grid of grains storage is promoting scientific land use patterns.
We there fere support fully the number one point of the Director-General. Me would also recammended and urge strongly that the international emergency food reserve should be at least one million tons, although we do recognise that even half a million ton target has not been reached, but we do appeal to the International Community to ensure that this reserve reaches one million tons.
The seoond point on agreement or criteria for management of international food reserve; there are no specific recommendations here, but generally we would be happy to collaborate with other interested countries in developing suitable criteria.
The third point on special measures to assist low income food deficit countries; this we consider as most important among all the points, because this is the one which is the key to the successful accomplishment of all the others. Here I would like to make two points: First, we wholeheartedly support the Director-Gene ral's plea for an increase in food aid commitments under the Food Aid Convention, but we would like to urge for the consideration of the Director-General the question of developing a suitable missionary for servicing the Food Aid Committee. Now obviously, the Wheat Trade Convention is more of a o orarneroial nature and we should now try to develop a missionary for servicing the new Food Aid Convention, because the new Food Aid Convention unlike the .earlier agreements, provides not only for wheat and millet, but also for rice, which is a new addition, and in my part of the globe, South-Bast Asia, rice is a very important commodity. Therefore, we feel in our judgment FAO is the appropriate agency for servicing the Food Aid Convention since it is already associated with the World Food Programme, it is operating the Food Security Assistance Scheme and is also in charge of the Early Warning System. This is one aspect of item 3 of the Director-General's programme. The other important one is how are we really going to convert this particular recommendation of the Direotor-General into reality? We feel that unless we have some mechanism and institutionalized mechanism, like, for example, a special fund from which interest-free loans can be given to low income countries for acquiring and maintaining stocks, it is going to be very diffioult for many countries and a special fund for operating stocks by poorer nations is also very beneficial because here, in addition to the countries which can contribute in kind in terms of grain for the International Food Aid Programme, many others who are fortunately placed in terms of monetary resources, they can also make a contribution.
There we feel that if the Director-General really wants to implement this particular recommendation, he should convene a small informal consultative group in order to explore the possibility of creating a special fund to render appropriate assistance to those countries which could be in need of it. In my opinion, it should be a loan, an interest-free loan.
The next point is also related to point 3, desires for strengthening national security food arrangements. Here I mentioned yesterday that his excellent early warning and alert programmes distributed by FAO must be supported by appropriate early warning actions and for this purpose I would like to suggest that FAO should consider and come forward at the General Conference with concrete proposals for following up in a concrete way, either under the TCP or other programme, to help such countries as may require help - not all countries, it must be at the request of the national government to render appropriate assistance for developing an early warning programme to avoid the disasters implied in the early warning system.
The other aspeot we would like to suggest for the consideration of the Director-General and also as a discussion point for the Fifth Session of the Committee on World Food Security is greater delineation of point 4. Point 4 implies that every national government should build a strong national food security system. So far the food security system has by and large implied only the building up of reserve and stocks. But we feel that the national food security system should have at least three major components. The importance of the components may vary from country to country.
The first component is ecological security. By ecological security I mean protecting the basic agricultural assets on which the future of agriculture is dependent. You know only too well not only the tropical rains forest but many others are in grave ecological danger. Therefore it is very important that as a component of the national food security system there is detailed attention to ecological security.
The second aspect of the national food security system should be technological security, namely growth with stability, stability being as important as growth itself. Here we would like to draw your attention, Mr. Chairman, and through you the attention of the House, to the tremendous potential for advance which is available. The group at Wageningen (Holland) who have been working on the absolute maximum production potential of the world have shown that the absolute maximum production potential in terms of grain equivalents is nearly 49,000 million tonnes, as compared with about 1,400 million tonnes which are being produced, and Asia, Africa and Latin America, who are all part of the developing world, have the highect potential. The African potential is over 10,000 million tonnes. Latin America is 11,000 million tonnes and Asia is over 14,000 tonnes, but purely in terms of grain equivalents. Therefore technological security of exploiting the potential with stability of performance is very important.
The third and very important component of the national food security system must be social security which can ensure that everyone has his daily bread, those who are prepared to work. In India we have given very high priorities to this aspect. Last month the Government of India sanctioned 1.5 million tonnes of grain, wheat and rice for a food-for-work programme. There is also an employement guarantee scheme and a project called Anlyodaya. We often overlook in FAO meetings the fact that the malnutrition problem in many developing countries is sometimes better stated in terras of man years of jobs rather than in million tonnes of food grains because unless people have the wherewithal to buy the grains it will be difficult. This is why the social security component should ensure adequate opportunities for gainful employment.
Lastly, promotion of collective self-reliance of developing countries. We fully support this and we will be prepared to play our part in whatever way FAO would like. The only caution we would like to enter is that no programme should be so designed as to serve to lull national governments into complacency - in other words, food aid must be to promote food production. A classical example of this point in relation to my own country is the World Food Programme and the EEC Programme on Operation Flood, which has led to a considerable increase in milk production. There the skimmed milk powder supplied from Europe was utilized to improve milk production. It is important for national governments to be aware that all assistance, whatever food aid you get, must .not depress local prices, must not cause difficulties for local farmers, but must stimulate increased production. All the profits must be ploughed.
Lastly we would like to endorse the following two suggestions for the future programme of the work of the Committee on Food Security: first, a study of the causes of the sharp rise in cereal imports in developing countries. I would like to urge FAO to undertake with the help of the national governments, at least in a few cases, a detailed inter-disciplinary constraints analogy to identify the constraints which are responsible for the growing requirements of food imports. We hope before the next meeting of the Committee on Food Security a few case studies of this kind will have been made so that they can consider this matter further. The second important point in the future programme is the role of non-cereal foods in world food security. In my own country we have seen a potato glut, when we produced nearly 10 million tonnes of potatoes, and seven years ago we produced only about 3 million tonnes. Production has trebled, but unfortunately it is a perishable commodity and people still do not accept it as a staple and unless there is an enormous amount of storage it becomes difficult. The role of non-cereal foods should be stated in greater detail.
Finally, we will endorse the hope of the Committee on World Food Security that our great friend China, as well as the U.S.S.R., will also join in the food security system.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): The progress made by India in this field is an example to be followed by other developing countries. This is also quite clear in other documents that have been produced by the Organization. Of course the comments that India has just made will be taken into due account by the secretariat. Concerning the other agricultural commodities - rice, wheat and so on -I would like to assure the delegates that when there is no more wheat to consume we will turn to other commodities such as potatoes. I will leave it to the secretariat to reply to the various comments of the delegate of India, which are all very pertinent ones.
K. DEVAHASTIN (Thailand): In view of the fact that we are running out of time, allow me to skip the words of congratulation and appreciation, though I would like to say that we share the sentiments already expressed by a number of preceding speakers.
Though we have not long been a food surplus country, Thailand neither ignores the need for nor refuses to join the World Campaign on Global Food Security. In fact Thailand was one of the early members of the World Food Council and the Committee on World Food Security. The surplus rice production of Thailand has for many decades been served in the rice bowls of people in various rice-deficient countries, and her increased production of maize and cassava has lately served as part of the world's animal food and human food.
Thailand shares the common concern over the alarming food situation of the world. We are trying to do the best we can in maximizing the potential for agricultural production with the aim of bettering the lives of our farmers and of contributing further to the World Food Security Programme.
The present government has announced that from this year on it will be the year of farmers in which all of the government's, as well as the private sector's, actions will be intensified to help realize the planned target. This is not a mere gesture but a genuine determination of the government to get our agricultural sector moving ahead at a more rapid pace. The development investment in this sector in toto this year will be about double that of last year. Yet however much Thailand can produce, she is still an economically developing country and exports of rice, maize and cassava are our major sources of foreign exchange. But this does not bar us from the will to join others in striving for world food security, and for our own security on rice, which is our own main staple and approximately 1,000,000
tonnes of white rice are set aside within the country each year, to meet the minimum safe level of rice for domestic consumption and export requirements or our foreign customers. Thailand has considered the setting up of a national rice stock programme since 1972. In the meantime programmes to stabilize and support domestic rice prices have been under way. In addition we have lately joined our Asean colleagues in establiching the Asean Food Security Reserve Scheme, initially emphasizing rice. The size of the reserve of 50,000 metric tonnes has been agreed upon in principle and the initialling of this agreement is expected to take place in Manila some time next month.
In view of possible conflicts likely to emerge in a negotiation process among the countries of different food habits and socio-economic backgrounds, we believe that the similar establishment among country groups of similar size and of close socio-economic backgrounds could perhaps be more easily met.
In addition we join others in expressing our sympathy on the inability of the world to meet its food aid target of 10 million tonnes and the International Emergency Food Reserves target of 500,000 tonnes of cereals. In connexion with this a number of economic models have been built to trace out how the Asean as a group could contribute its resources for both regional and international food security.
We should like to express our wholehearted support of the Plan of Action on World Food Security and the draft resolution which contains the Director-General's Five-Point Plan of Action on World Food Security. The Global Information and Early Warning System, as well as the Secretariat's efforts to explore ways of including more relevant information from China and the U.S.S.R. are also welcomed and appreciated.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic) : I thank the delegate of Thailand for the concern that he has expressed and his support of the Plan of Action.
H.L. CLAVERIE R. (Venezuela): Aunque no hubiera sido nuestra intención tener una intervención bastante reducida por el llamado que nos ha hecho, la larga lista con que nos ha iniciado esta reunión, obligaría a adoptar ya un esquena bastante reducido en la intervención. La mía será muy concreta; en está ocasión sumamente concreta porque participamos de la idea de que en esta ocasión el tema no debe entrar en la profundidad de detalles que ya ha tenido en ocasiones anteriores.
Pero no obstante esta concreción, quiero restar unos instantes de mi intervención para hacerle saber la agradable sorpresa con que nuestra delegación ha podido comprobar la forma como usted viene dirigiendo las labores en esta ocasión del Consejo. Es su forma de acción tan gentil, tan amable y tan humana, tan particular también, la que nos hace comprobar que aun trabajos que pueden ser un poco duros, como el nuestro, pueden ser conducidos de una forma tan agradable y humana como la que usted está haciendo. Reconozco que la vía que ha adoptado no es fácil, pero la conduce usted con inteligencia y mucha simpatía. Por ello la felicitación de nuestra delegación.
La delegación de Venezuela agradece al Dr. Islam y a la Secretaría la preparación excelente de este documento que nos ha presentado. La forma como el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria condujo sus labores era ya conocida por nuestra delegación, que fue miembro del Comité y por lo tanto las observaciones en este caso, he mencionado que no las vamos a alargar. En todo caso, la felicitación a la Secretaría por la documentación.
Nuestra delegación respalda en su totalidad el informe del TV Comité de Sesiones de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial. No tenemos objeciones a la materia que el informe plantea, ni a las acciones en general que el mismo propone. Y damos nuestro total apoyo a las medidas en estudio y a las ya en aplicación para lograr un máximo nivel de seguridad alimentaria en el mundo. Específicamente apoyamos muy calurosamente, cono lo hicimos ya desde el momento de su anuncio por el Director General, el Plan de Cinco Puntos tendientes a agilizar al máximo la capacidad de seguridad alimentaria mundial. Y apoyamos también sin reserva la Resolución anexa que se presenta a consideración del Consejo. Damos nuestro apoyo decidido a la idea de que el Director General presente el Plan de Acción que ya un distinguido miembro ha designado "Plan Saouma", lo presente a la 5a Sesión del Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación. Y por últi mo, damos nuestro apoyo también a las medidas indicadas en el párrafo 57 del documento tendientes a reforzar el funcionamiento del Sistema Mundial de Información y Alerta. No tenemos más nada que decir en esta ocasión, y creemos que con ello hemos ayudado un poco a la agilidad que usted nos ha pedido.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank Venezuela for the very kind words that he has expressed,, and without any doubt, the position of Venezuela as a member of the OPEC countries has always been of benefit to the developing countries - this in spite of the fact that Venezuela is a developing country.
Sra. C. DOMÍNGUEZ (Panamá): La delegación de Panamá ha leído con detención el documento CL 75/10, que contiene el informe del Cuarto Período de Sesiones del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y desea hacer algunos comentarios al respecto.
Al inaugurar el período de sesiones del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial el Director General señaló que la situación alimentaria mundial sigue siendo tan precaria como antes de la crisis alimentaria mundial, y que no se han puesto en práctica los principales elementos del Compromiso Internacional de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial adoptados por 75 gobiernos y la Comunidad Económica Europea.
Es del conocimiento de todos que después del aplazamiento de las negociaciones para concertar un acuerdo internacional sobre cereales, el Director General de esta Organización, consciente del papel que desempeña la FAO en esta materia,'presentó al Comité el Plan de Acción de Cinco Puntos que contiene medidas que refuerzan la seguridad alimentaria mundial y que deben llenar el vacío existente en el Sisterna con el fracaso de las negociaciones.
Nuestra delegación desea dar su aprobación al Plan de Acción de la Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial presentado por el Sr. Director General; en consecuencia, da su decidido apoyo al Proyecto de Resolución sometido a la consideración de este Consejo. Mi delegación considera que es un programa eficaz encaminado a ayudar a los países en desarrollo más susceptibles a graves escaseces de alimentos.
El Plan desea poner en práctica las promesas hechas por los gobiernos en el Compromiso Internacional sobre Cereales. Igualmente apoyamos la petición del Comité hecha al Director General en el sentido de que se presente el Plan de Acción al quinto período de sesiones del Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación. Para finalizar, en lo referente al funcionamiento del Sistema Mundial de Información y Alerta, apoyamos las recomendaciones hechas por el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial contenidas en el párrafo 57 de dicho documento.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the Ambassador from Panama for having so clearly supported the Plan of Action.
S. de MARE (Sweden): As we did not take the floor when the current World Food Situation was discussed and saved some time for the Council that way, let me begin by complimenting the Secretariat for document CL 75/2, which in our view gives an excellent and comprehensive picture of the present very complicated and ambiguous World Food Situation. If we only look at the total production and stock situation of the world, the present food situation could be painted in rather bright colours. If, however, such factors as the geographical distribution of stocks, the fast increase of cereal imports of developing countries and the non-existence of a system of internationally coordinated reserve stocks are taken into consideration, the picture is in reality rather gloomy.
As has been stated by my delegation on earlier occasions, no durable and effective world food security can be arrived at without a new International Grains Arrangement containing, inter alia, a legally binding system of internationally coordinated reserve stocks. Thus, no efforts must be spared to overcome the differences of opinion now preventing the resumption of negotiations which would lead to a new and effective arrangement.
In the present situation, however, we would like to reiterate our support for the Director-General's Five Point Plan of Action that could fill the present dangerous gap in food security created by the suspension of the grains negotiation. Thus, we would also like to approve the draft resolution contained in document CL 75/10 and the other two matters raised in the document as matters requiring attention by the Council.
As is said in that document, and also mentioned by Dr. Islam in his excellent introduction, the Plan of Action includes certain elements which are complementary to a new International Grains Arrrangement. It is therefore important to review the plan in the event of a new arrangement. When this Plan of Action has been finally approved by the Council, it has to be carefully implemented on both the international and national level if it should really contribute to the level of world food security we are all striving for.
In Sweden, we are at present investigating different options on how to implement the Plan in the most effective way, including, inter alia, the possibility of establishing a new national reserve stock to be used on the new international market in accordance with the Plan, that is, in periods of acute and large-scale food shortages. The lack of concrete provisions in the Plan concerning price limits, sizes of stocks, etc., makes it very urgent, in our view, with an intensive exchange of information concerning international and national steps taken to implement the Plan. If the aims and purposes of the Plan are to be reached, it has to be carried out in a consistent and equal manner by all parties concerned.
The large number of emergencies that arose during the last years shows, in our view, the importance of reaching the target quantity of 500 000 tons of the International Emergency Food Reserve. Sweden has always been a firm advocate of the Reserve, its establishment on a continuous basis, and of the need of putting the quantities under the Reserve at the disposal of the WFP. Sweden has thus decided to support the Reserve with up to 40 000 tons during the present and following two fiscal years.
I would like to conclude by saying that I found the statement by India very interesting. His proposals both for national food security systems and future work for the Committee on World Food Security really needs close and positive examination.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the representative from Sweden for having supported the Plan of Action, and I think that this Plan of Action will be of benefit to all developing countries. I also would like to thank him for the clarification that he has made about the Swedish contribution with regard to cereals.
D. NSABIMANA (Rwanda): Lors de mon intervention sur le point se rapportant à la situation actuelle de l'alimentation dans le monde, j'ai évoqué avec beaucoup de satisfaction tous les principes d'action présentés par le Directeur général en cette occasion. J'ai également évoqué nos inquiétudes combien nombreuses quant aux nouvelles négociations sur le nouvel arrangement devant remplacer l'Accord international sur le blé de 1971. En plus de mes observations contenues dans cette intervention, je voudrais attirer l'attention de tous les membres du Conseil de la FAO présents à cette session, sur la situation dégradante de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale. Le Plan d'action proposé par le Directeur général de la FAO sera sans aucun doute très positif et bénéfique, si la Résolution que nous sommes appelés à approuver rencontre un bon accueil aussi bien dans la conception que dans l'application immédiate par la Communauté internationale. Cependant, ce plan d'action qui ne constitue qu'une mesure provisoire, faute du nouvel arrangement international,ne peut remplacer ce dernier. Aussi il appartient à la présente session de conclure d'une façon très dynamique sur tous les moyens nécessaires quant à la reprise des négociations sur le nouvel arrangement international sur les céréales que le délégué de la France a bien voulu présenter dans son intervention d'une façon succincte mais assez précise. Je voudrais vous assurer que notre appui est certain et total, sous réserve cependant de quelques modifications dans le texte de la Résolution de façon à lui donner un caractère plus exécutoire. Avant d'en venir à ces propositions de modifications, je voudrais vous dire combien mon gouvernement a apprécié l'initiative très constructive du Directeur général de la FAO sur le Plan d'action contenu en cinq points dans ce rapport. Comme vous le savez le Rwanda, qui vient de souscrire à l'engagement international sur la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, est un des pays en développement placé parmi les plus enclavés et les moins avancés. Nous apprécions beaucoup les efforts que la FAO déploie pour notre développement dans ce secteur agricole et animal. Cependant, pour réussir dans notre effort de développement du secteur agricole et animal placé dans notre plan quinquennal de développement économique, social et culturel pour 1977/81, secteur qui concerne plus de 90 pour cent de la population nationale, il nous faut un appui financier et technique considérable de la part du monde extérieur. A cet effet, le soutien financier sur tous les projets d'intensification agricole, d'utilisation d'engrais et même de production de ces derniers projets portant sur la revalorisation du cheptel bovin et autres, projet d'élaboration du plan alimentaire national, etc., nous est indispensable.
Si je me suis permis de vous donner ces renseignements en ce qui concerne mon pays c'est pour souligner l'importance et la nécessité du plan d'action en question pour les pays en développement et à plus forte raison pour le Rwanda. Un représentant a dit hier, à juste titre d'ailleurs, que pendant que nous sommes réunis ici dans cette salle, très loin, ailleurs, plus d'un million de personnes n'ont pas de quoi se nourrir. Elles n'ont même pas le minimum vital. Il est inutile de commenter cette phrase car elle est assez claire. La FAO a aussi évolué dans son histoire. A cet effet et dans le contexte actuel de l'alimentation au niveau mondial, elle doit présenter à qui de droit les problèmes qui se posent d'une façon claire et ferme. Et c'est dans cet esprit de rénovation que ma délégation propose à cette assemblée, les modifications ci-après dans le texte de Résolution inscrit dans son Annexe.
A la page 9, dans le paragraphe qui commence par "exprimant" notre délégation pense que le Conseil puisse proposer à qui de droit un calendrier bien précis de reprise des négociations. Dans la page 11 jusqu'à la page 16, se rapportant au Plan d'action pour la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, ma délégation propose le remplacement du mot "devraient" par le mot "devront" ou bien par un autre mot plus ferme. Le Comité de rédaction pourrait faire en sorte que cette proposition reçoive un appui favorable.
LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Je prie le délégué du Rwanda d'exposer plus lentement la proposition qu'il présente.
D. NSABIMANA (Rwanda): En ce qui concerne le paragraphe qui commence par ''exprimant l'espoir que la Conférence de négociations sera convoquée à nouveau aussi rapidement que possible'', nous pensons que le Conseil devrait soumettre un calendrier de reprise de ces négociations.
La secondejnodification se réfère à l'Annexe de la Résolution, c'est-à-dire à partir de la page 11. Nous avons donc, à partir de la page 11 jusqu'à la page 16 de l'Annexe, le verbe " devraient''. Si nous pouvons donner un exemple, notamment à la page 11, nous lisons au point i) "tous les gouvernements qui ont souscrit à l'engagement international sur la sécurité alimentaire mondiale devraient, etc.". Le mot "devraient" revient chaque fois dans le texte. Nous nous demandons si ce mot ne devrait pas être remplacé par le mot "devront" ou par tout autre mot beaucoup plus ferme de manière que cette recommandation, ainsi que son Annexe, ait un sens plus exécutoire. Je crois m'être bien fait comprendre.
La troisième modification que nous proposons se trouve à la page 14. Le point 4 porte sur les Arrangements spéciaux pour l'assistance à la sécurité alimentaire. Nous avons le dernier point d) qui termine la page 14. Nous pensons qu'il y aurait lieu d'ajouter à ce dernier point "une idée d'assistance à la planification dans les pays en développement".
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): We apologise because at the outset we were unable to follow the various points and amendments raised by the delegate of Rwanda. Now, however, we have understood them sufficiently clearly, and I would like to know what the secretariat would reply to this. I personally feel that these amendments would not affect the real substnace of this text.
I would like to ask the representative of Rwanda if his amendments mean that he reserves his position on the Plan of Action and on the draft resolution, or would he be willing to agree to the Plan of Action subject to these minor amendments he has just proposed?
I would be obliged to the representative of Rwanda if he would reply to this.
D. NSABIMANA (Rwanda): En fait j'ai bien dit, et clairement, que ma délégation appuie totalement le Plan d'action proposé ainsi que la Résolution. Mais tout en l'appuyant ma délégation a proposé des modifications qui rendront la Résolution du Plan d'action beaucoup plus exécutoire.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am much obliged to the representative of Rwanda for having clarified this point and also for his support for the Plan of Action, and the secretariat will do its utmost to take these amendments into consideration. I refer to the amendment or arrangement suggested by the representative of Rwanda.
R. RALIBERA (Madagascar): Comme ma délégation prend la parole pour la première fois permettez-moi tout d'abord de vous dire que c'est un grand honneur de siéger au Conseil sous votre honorable présidence après une quinzaine d'années passées dans le rang des observateurs. Nous avons examiné longuement la situation actuelle de l'alimentation mondiale. Les chiffres et les informations qui nous ont été communiqués ne sont pas encourageants. Nous avons devant nous le rapport de la quatrième session du Comité de la Sécurité alimentaire mondiale, rapport que le Dr Islam nous a présenté d'une façon brève et claire. A la page 9 de ce rapport, au chapitre III, il est fait état de l'évaluation de la situation de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, et au paragraphe 13 il est dit que "la plupart des pays en développement restent exposés à des pénuries alimentaires aiguës en cas de mauvaises récoltes", et au paragraphe 14 que "la situation de la sécurité alimentaire n'est pas encore satisfaisante au niveau mondial". Et un peu plus loin que "l'objectif de 500 000 tonnes de céréales par an, établi pour la Réserve alimentaire internationale d'urgence n'a été réalisé qu'en partie et le volume annuel de l'aide alimentaire n'a pas encore atteint le minimum de 10 millions de tonnes fixé à la Conférence mondiale de l'alimentation en 1974".
Devant ces faits, ma délégation est fortement préoccupée parce que, d'une part,la situation de l'alimentation mondiale est incertaine et que,d'autre part,la sécurité alimentaire mondiale n'est pas brillante. Ma délégation est préoccupée car il semble que le jour, au lieu de s'éclaircir, continue à s'assombrir. Le nombre des mal nourris, des sous-alimentés, ne cesse d'augmenter au lieu de diminuer. Les efforts menés pour lutter contre la faim semblent se ralentir, le monde semble faire la sourde oreille à l'appel des millions d'êtres humains affamés. Par bonheur le cri de détresse n'a pas été lancé dans le désert. Des voix ont répondu à l'écho. Ces voix sont celles de la FAO, par le truchement de celle de son Directeur général qui n'a pas hésité un instant à avancer une proposition qui permettrait de combler le vide à la suite des échecs des négociations qui se sont déroulées depuis quelques années. C'est ainsi qu'il a présenté au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire le Plan d'action en cinq points, plan qui ne prétend pas remplacer le nouvel accord international sur les céréales mais qui constitue un moyen de mettre en oeuvre les promesses formulées volontairement par les gouvernements en 1974.
Ma délégation a eu l'occasion d'adopter le Plan d'action présenté par le Directeur général et renouvelle son appui total à ce Plan et demande instamment au Conseil de l'approuver à l'unanimité ainsi que les Résolutions figurant au paragraphe 39 du document CL 75/10. Conformément au Règlement même de l'Organisation, ma délégation demande au Directeur général de communiquer le Plan à la cinquième session du Conseil mondial de l'alimentation qui se tiendra à Ottawa en septembre prochain. Ma délégation se joint aussi aux orateurs qui ont pris la parole avant elle et demande aux pays qui n'ont pas encore souscrit à l'engagement international de l'adopter, de façon à ce qu'un véritable système de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale se réalise, tel qu'il est stipulé au paragraphe 37 du Rapport. Nous appuyons la recommandation figurant au paragraphe 57 du Rapport tendant à améliorer les activités du système mondial d'information et d'alerte rapide sur l'alimentation et l'agriculture.
Enfin la. délégation malgache ne saurait terminer son intervention sans remercier le Directeur gênerai d'avoir répondu à notre demande en dépêchant à Madagascar une mission de formulation de projets dans le cadre du programme d'assistance pour la sécurité alimentaire.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to the delegate of Madagascar for his statement. We may he sure that the Director-General, will pass this request on to all countries, in the hope that they implement the plan of action as proposed.
C. BATAULT (France): Je serais extrêmement bref. J'ai écouté avec grand intérêt les amendements proposés par le délégué du Rwanda. Ces amendements ont une signification certaine. Le projet qui concerne le calendrier m'amène à poser la question: "Appartient-il à la FAO de donner au Conseil International du Blé des instructions quant à la reprise des négociations" A la page 11, la proposition faite par le délégué du Rwanda de remplacer "devraient " par "devront" me semble changer le sens même du Plan d'action présenté par le Directeur général. En effet, le Directeur général en présentant ce Plan d'action qu'il avait fort bien étudié car il a beaucoup de talent, nous avait précisé qu'il s'agissait d'un Plan d'action volontaire non pas destiné à remplacer un accord sur le blé mais bien au contraire à faire face à une situation préoccupante qui se pose actuellement. Il s'agissait donc d'un Plan d'action volontaire, c'est pour cela que le mot "devraient" est un voeu exprimé par le Conseil, alors que "devront" constitue une obligation. Or il me semble qu'étant donné la manière dont le Directeur général a présenté ce Plan, on ne doit pas substituer "devraient" par "devront". Ce serait à mon avis changer tout le sens et cela risquerait de nous amener à des discussions fondamentales que nous avons pu éviter jusqu'à présent.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabie): I am grateful to the delegate of France. Yes, indeed, these amendments have not yet been accepted, nor do I think we can give instructions to any country on behalf of FAO or any other organization. When we passed the question to the Secretariat we said that we were awaiting the Secretariat's reaction on this. I shall now give the floor to the Director-General of the Organization who will give us his reaction to this.
LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Je crois que Monsieur l'ambassadeur Batault a déjà dit ce que je voulais dire.
Je voudrais, moi aussi, rendre hommage au délégué du Rwanda, qui a eu le courage d'aller plus loin en proposant d'utiliser le mot "doivent" au lieu du mot "devraient". C'est la première fois qu'il assiste à nos discussions sur un sujet important et je dois, au nom du Secrétariat, l'en remercier et lui rendre hommage.
Je reconnais, comme l'a dit le représentant de la France, qu'il ne s'agit pas d'un accord négocié par les gouvernements représentés ici; il s'agit d'une déclaration d'intention. Il ne s'agit pas d'un engagement qui a un caractère légal? il a un caractère moral. Je suis certain, toutefois, que tous les pays membres qui vont approuver ce plan d'action auront à coeur de faire de leur mieux pour le mettre en oeuvre. C'est justement, le caractère volontaire de ce plan d'action qui devrait faire - c'est du moins ce que j'espère - que tout le monde soit unanime pour l'approuver, même ceux qui tiennent à souligner que son caractère est volontaire.
Je suis certain que, lorsqu'il prendra la parole, Monsieur l'Ambassadeur de France, pour être conséquent avec lui-môme, sera le premier à appuyer ce plan d'action, cette résolution, sans proposer d'y apporter le moindre amendement, ou du moins aucun amendement dans le sens négatif} mais ici nous avons affaire à un amendement dans le sens positif.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabie): I am very grateful to the Director-General for shedding light on this matter and I hope that what he has said will clear away any clouds that may have gathered on the horizon. As the Director-General himself pointed out, it is indeed a voluntary plan of action and the adoption of such a plan should not in any way mean that it is binding. I am particularly grateful to him.
R. KOHISTANI (Afghanistan): I would like to congratulate you, Mr. Chairman, on chairing this Session of the Council, and also to thank Dr. Nouri Islam for giving us complete and full information on the subject of document CL 75/10 on World Pood Security,
My delegation supports the plan of action on World Food Security and commends the resolution for adoption. It is our hope that the IMP and developed countries will honour their obligations under the Plan.
My delegation shares the dismay and disappointment of the Food Security Committee in that none of the targets for alleviating human suffering in the world have been met. Official development assistance is low and World Pood Programme pledging is unfulfilled. Perhaps this is not the place here, but my delegation is also not satisfied that the global and international nature of the World Pood Programme is considerably damaged by the need for reference to donors for individual contributions. This means that politics continue to be played with food.
The slow pace of negotiations on the International Grains Agreement is a cause for worry. The Executive Secretary' s effort to highlight areas of agreement cannot conceal the fact that disagreement is far more substantial and, from the point of view of developing countries, more dangerous.
Our delegation has some very brief comments on document CL 75/10.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the delegate of Afghanistan. I believe that perhaps some of his points were not made clear in the Arabic version. The delegate of Afghanistan said he had some remarks to make on this document which we have before us. We are still waiting for his comments on this document under discussion. If the delegate of Afghanistan has any specific points he would like to raise in connexion with this document, perhaps he would do so now because this is the time to do so. May I call on the delegate of Afghanistan to clarify this point: would he really like to make any specific remarks on this document at this stage?
R. KOHISTANI (Afghanistan): Our main comment on this document is that we support the Plan of Action of the Director-General. Beyond that we do not have any specific comment on this subject.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am much obliged to the delegate of Afghanistan for clarifying this point and we are grateful for his support of the Director-General's Plan of Action,
P. REDA (Egypt) (interpretation from Arabic): First and foremost, allow me to say how much we support the terms of the draft resolution as contained in document CL 75/10 on the 5-point Plan of Action. We also support the other recommendations concerning the global information and early warning system. The various points I wish to make here echo those already enlarged upon by others in supporting this Plan of Action during the fourth session of the Committee on World Food Security.
Considering the present situation and despite the increase in production, in 1978, of grains such as rice, wheat and others, despite the increase in food production in certain developing countries, we find that the world food deficit in certain developing countries continues to increase. We have noticed that food reserves in developing countries have decreased since 1977. Despite increased food production throughout the world and although there are 39 countries which have already established the level of their national reserve stocks, only 18 developing countries have established their reserve targets or target levels. If we look at the international community as a whole, we find that aid to developing countries to increase their food production has indeed dropped or has not reached the desired level, the international community has not so far succeeded in achieving the goal of 50 thousand tons. This increase in food production in 1978 arid the amount of food aid established since 1974, has not yet been achieved. Undertakings within the framework of the Food Aid Programme for 1979/8O, the target which is $950 million worth is a target that has stili to be reached. I do not wish to go into details here as regards undertakings for the period 1981/82, because we are not yet debating this matter, but nevertheless I would point out that the international community has not so far succeeded in drawing up an international agreement on grains and wheat, nor even on the total amount of food aid. There are tremendous divergencies involved. I do not think I need to refer to them here, they are all too well known. The international community, however, within the various fora, during the various discussions in the United Nations, have not established precise objectives as regards the future of agriculture and food within the framework of the development decade. That being so and considering the increased production registered, considering the responsibility of the international community in such a regard, our Organization, as an organization that is in the forefront in this respect, has found it is necessary to put to the international community the terms of a plan of action which will enable the international community at large, will enable it in due course to make up the delays and shortcomings which have not yet been covered and it is on this basis that we wish wholehearted support to the plan of action which has been proposed by the Director-General and also the draft resolution on page 8.
What is more, we had great hopes in the studies to be carried out by our Organization as regards food commodities, because these studies will enable us to draw up an international policy on food and agriculture for the years to come.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I must say we all hope that this Council session will adopt clear resolutions in the interests of the whole of the international community in order to ensure that peace and love reign throughout the entire world.
M. KRIESBERG (United States of America): I think I can be brief - usually when one is in agreement with the proposal, one can be brief.
I should like to indicate at the outset that our delegation does support the report of the Committee on World Pood Security, including the resolution and the five point plan of action contained therein.
We share the concern of the Director-General and others who have spoken here yesterday and today that we need to put into place now the elements for an international food security system.
We appreciate the clarifying statement of the Chairman and the Director-General in connexion with suggestions made by our colleague from Rwanda, namely that it would be inappropriate for this body to set a time-table for another organization to undertake its negotiations on a wheat agreement or to introduce language of a compulsory nature in a voluntary agreement, such as the FAO's Five-Point plan.
As in any agreement among nations with very different needs and perspectives, the proposal probably does not meet all of our individual views, but the United States took an active role in discussions during the meeting of the World Food Security Committee and we are convinced that the proposal of the Director-General now before us is an initiative with considerable merit. We do not see this plan as taking the place of a new grains agreement or a new food aid convention which we still hope can be negotiated, and we do not see a need to encumber the plan with a new bureaucratic arrangement to make it operational. But having said this, let me reiterate, we commend the work done by the Committee on World Food Security and we warmly support the adoption of its report for submission to the Conference.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): That has further increased the support given by others. It is indeed support of which we are particularly proud. We are sure that the initiative to be adopted by the United States of America in the future will also be more positive, and for this reason I think we have every reason to thank the United States for this present support.
E. HRAOUI (Liban) (interprétation de l'arabe): Il n'est nul besoin de rappeler que le Comité de la sécurité' alimentaire qui s'est réuni dernièrement à Rome et qui compte 84 pays membres a adopté à l'unanimité, après de longues discussions et une longue étude, le plan d'aotion qui lui a été proposé par le Directeur général. Ce Comité a réussi i parvenir à un consensus global et c'est pour cela que ma délégation considère qu'ìl n'est pas besoin d'entrer dans le détail de ce plan d'action et que les discussions d'aujourd'hui devraient se limiter à apporter notre appui quand nous le sentons nécessaire et nous sentons, nous, nécessaire d'aboutir à une convention internationale sur les céréales qui indiquer assi bien les dispositions relatives aux prix qu'au stockage des céréales.
Nous /?/ d'avis également qu'il est nécessaire d'aboutir à une convention internationale en matière d'aide alimentaire. Je orois que cela est noté dans le projet de résolution qui nous est soumis, qui appelle à 1a reprise des négociations. Le plan d'action, en fin de compte, ne vise pas à remplacer cette convention internationale, qué ce soit la convention internationale sur le blé ou sur les céréales. Mais ce plan d'action vise á faire face à la situation actuelle. Si les négociations reprennent, nous pensons qu'il faudra un certain temps avant que les résultats qui en seront obtenus soient mis en application pour réglementer les relations en la matière.
C'est pour cela que j'en appelle aux membres de cette réunion pour qu'ils appuient unanimement ce plan d'action, et cela sans retard, afin que l'on puisse en commencer l'application, car la situation alimentaire mondiale est loin d'être stable et la plupart des pays en développement vivent une crise de plus en plus grave. Pour faire face à cette situation, nous ne devons pas retarder l'adoption du plan d'action afin d'éviter les conséquences graves que pourrait provoquer un retard, puisque des centaines de millions de personnes vivent une situation difficile.
CHAIRMAN: (interpretation from Arabie): It is quite true that your appeal that the plan of action be adopted by the Council is an appeal which comes from the very depth of your heart We all know very well what a terrible situation Lebanon is suffering at the present time and we all very much hope that Lebanon will Survive its trials at the present time.
So far the plan of action has had the unanimous support of all who have taken the floor. We hope very much that the other delegates who have yet to take the floor on this item will likewise give their wholehearted support.
S.I. ALMANNAI (Kuwait) (interpretation from Arabic): Since previous speakers have already covered all the aspects and points I wish to raise and considering that I do not wish to repeat what has already been said, allow me to say merely that I wholeheartedly support the contents of the report. I support the report of the fourth session of the Committee on the World Food Security and I would also like to tell you that our delegation wholeheartedly supports the five point plan of action proposed by the Director-General.
This plan of action, as other delegates have said, is certainly nothing that is intended to replace the International Grains or Food Agreement. We wholeheartedly support this plan of action, because this provides an effective means for consolidating the terms of food security following the breakdown in the negotiating conference on the new International Grains Agreement.
We similarly support the Draft Resolution on page 8 which covers this point.
AMIDJONO MARTOSUWIRYO (Indonesia): I will be very brief and I will try to follow my colleagues who spoke yesterday, like a simple farmer - short, straightforward.
The document under discussion is the outcome of the Committee on World Food Security which met about two months ago. The problem of world food security has been in existence for many years and food security in the years to come will continue to be precarious. Action must be taken in order to overcome the food problem. Indonesia, who until today could be regarded as a major cereal importer in spite of its efforts to produce more food and who has suffered from unpredictable disasters and from outbreaks of plant diseases and pests, is very much concerned with food security, whether it is at a national, regional or glabal level.
Having participated in the last session of the Committee on World Food Security, my delegation is pleaaed to inform the Council that Indonesia's position is still unaltered, in the sense that it agrees with the report and supports the report as set out in document CL 75/10 with special reference to the draft resolution on world food security.
Nevertheless, allow me to comment briefly on the necessity for FAO's plan on world food security. As stated by Dr. Islam when introducing the item, FAO has a constitutional duty to help solve the world's food and agriculture problem. In the opinion of my delegation this duty should be taken up irrespective of the negotiations on a new international grain arrangement. If in the future such an arrangement is made the FAO's Plan of Action could then be reviewed in order to strengthen and accelerate the efforts towards realization of world food security.
K.R. HTGHAM (Canada): Canada maintains a great respect for and a great interest in the annual deliberations of the Committee on World Food Security and we look forward to the documents produced by the Secretariat as an invaluable source of information and assessment of the current world food security situation.
The Canadian delegation to the last Committee on World Food Security presented Canada's ideas on two occasions but we feel they may be worth repeating here in summary.
We believe that the basis for improved world food security is twofold. The first is increased production in the developing countries themselves, and we are very pleased to note that this principle has been recognized by so many delegations speaking here today. Secondly we believe in the necessity for the conclusion of a commercially viable international grains agreement which includes provision for adequate reserves and for fair and stable returns to producers, thus ensuring levels of produotion necessary to make an accompanying PAC - Food Aid Convention - meaningful. We believe there is little point in a Pood Aid Convention without assurance that adequate food is available for distribution.
Whereas we support the spirit of the Five-Point Plan and subscribe wholeheartedly to the international undertaking, we remain slightly cautious about the action plan itself, and we want above all to avoid even the risk of inhibiting the earliest possible conclusion of a new international grains arrangement. In our view agreement to the Five-Point Plan at this time, although a voluntary and interim solution, could jeopardize a binding commodity grains agreement linked with a binding Food Aid Convention. Wé also believe that there is a certain risk in encouraging what is essentially a development assistance organization, FAO, to become embroiled in the complex business of negotiating international commodity arrangements. Canada has always participated in other international commodity arrangements of this kind; cocoa, coffee and tin arrangements are some examples. We feel that the chance of arriving at a final viable agreement is best through the institutions which have that responsibility now, UNCTAD and the International Wheat Council. We agree that the results out of the Geneva negotiations have not been encouraging so far but we interpret this as an indication of the complexity of the negotia-tions, rather than as an indicator of the need for other organizations to become too deeply involved in some of the particular difficulties. The International Wheat Council meets next week in London to consider the timeliness of a return to the negotiating table. It is with these reservations in mind that Canada agrees that it is time to send this Five-Point Plan forward to the World Food Council as well as to the FAO Conference for consideration but we wish not to take any final position on the Five-Point Piati itself until the FAO Conference sits in November this year.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I understand that the delegate of Canada has expressed some reservations concerning the Plan of Action because the Conference of the International Wheat Council will take place next week in London. I think though that the holding of such a conference should not delay the support and adoption of this Plan of Action. I can confirm that even this Conference which is going to take place so soon will not give the results expected by the developing countries. In addressing myself to the delegate of Canada, I would like to say that I think he was present when this Plan of Action was discussed during the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security and according to the records this Committee had adopted this Plan of Action. So is there a change of attitude by the delegate of Canada after only two months since the adoption of the report at that session of the Committee on World Food Security? Were these reservations expressed during the last session of the Committee on World Food Security? I would like to ask the delegate of Canada if he would clarify his attitude for the members of the Council.
K.R. HIGHAM (Canada): Your questions are very fair and I think I understand what your concern is. No, the reservations that I have expressed now are the reservations that we expressed at the Committee on World Pood Security. There has been no change in the Canadian attitude towards the Five-Point-Plan. Please understand me, I thought I was very careful when I worded our reservations to put them in such a way that we do not cause delay in the movement of the Five-Point Plan forward to the Conference for consideration by the FAO Conference. I just wanted to make it clear that we still harbour these reservations and do not want to prejud ce our right to speak out on them at a later date. I am afraid of falling into the kind of difficulty that you ave just mentioned because we expressed these reservations at the Committee on World Food Security before.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): Thank you for that clarification. I will leave it to the Secretariat to supply full details concerning the Canadian stand during the last session of the Committee on World Food Security.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Just a point of clarification, Mr. Chairman. The distinguished delegate of Canada has agreed to refer the Plan of Action and the recommendation to the Conference. This would mean that Canada is opposed to the adoption of the Plan of Action right now by the Council and would prefer to see the matter discussed during the Conference. This would be our understanding as Secretariat. It is also our recollection that Canada, who is, of course, free to change its opinion at any time, did not make any such reservation; during the discussion at the Committee on Food Security. We were all there that evening, at the time of the adoption of the Plan of Action and of the resolution. There was only one delegation which had some misgivings about it and, later on, this delegation -it was France - joined the consensus. If Canada has meanwhile changed its mind and prefers to leave the matter for the Conference for final adoption, instead of having it adopted here, it is of course, free to do so. I just wanted to make this clarification.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the Director-General. There is no doubt about the fact that any member is free to express his view on this matter.
K.R. HIGHAM (Canada): Now that I have agreed to speak I am not too sure it is necessary. In fact you have said what I would say, that we will reserve our position on the Five-Point Plan for the Conference. If I understand the structure - and I am still fairly new at the game - in any case Council recommends to Conference. We would not oppose Council recommending consideration of the Five-Point Plan to Conference. I want very specifically to make that clear. We do not want to delay that process.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: In order to clarify the role of the Council I would like to remind you that it was clearly said by the Legal Counsel, in April last, that something cannot be recommended which has not been adopted first. The Council must first adopt the Plan of Action and then recommend it to the Conference. It has already been adopted by the Committee on Food Security. I hope that the Council will not go backwards, since the Plan of Action has already been approved without any reservation by the Committee on Food Security. I understand that Canada now wants to prevent Council approval and just pass the matter on to the Conference for final approval.
We respect the position and just want to take note of it for the report. My concern is natural since, as Director-General, I have been requested to monitor the progress of the implementation of this Plan. I have to report on this matter to the Conference in November and, should Canada not approve the Plan of Action, I would not be able to report on its implementation by that country; that part of my report would remain blank. Should other countries support the Plan of Action and keep me informed of its implementation I would, of course, also report it to the Conference. Whatever occurs, I will have to keep the Conference informed.
This is something which concerns hundreds of millions of hungry people. We are not just playing with words, passing a resolution from one committee to the other. We have already spent four days here on this subject. I can see, in this room, many delegates who were present at the CFS when we discussed this Plan of Action. If now, some delegates want to shelve this matter, to pass it to the Conference, we would lose five or six months. This Plan is not binding, it is voluntary, it is a declaration of good will from the developed countries as well as the developing countries, and I appeal to all delegates to reconsider their position, if they have some hesitations, because the Plan has been unanimously approved by the CFS. Should we go backwards when the food situation is worsening, I would really be most concerned. I will come back to this important matter later, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the Director-Qeneral, and I hope that the delegate from Canada will not take a stand which will not be more or less in conformity with those that have taken the floor before him, or that he will not fail to take into account the hopes of the developing countries.
Does Canada have something to say regarding the comment of the Director-General?
K.R. HIGHAM (Canada): I do not want to drag this discussion on any longer than we have to. I think our position is clear. At the Committee on World Food Security we agreed to go along with the consensus of the Committee without making a specific reservation concerning our position. This is true.
Concerning the attitude of my Government towards the Five-Point Plan, nothing has changed, and I have the text of the speeches that were given to make that position very clear.
I repeat, we will maintain our usual good will in this matter, and happily join with the consensus of this Council, but I would like to make it clear and perhaps I should make it clear in terms of a wording of a short statement or a sentence for the record that we maintain, we still harbour some reservations about particular aspects of this Plan. I do not think I should delay or prejudice consideration by Council here.
CHAIRMAN ( interpretation from Arabic): I thank Canada for the explanation just given and think that this is a positive stand. We know that this Plan will be discussed during the general Conference, but this does not mean that there will be different views. In this Council or in any other counoil, this is quite natural, and I thank him for his explanation.
Q.H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): After the fourth intervention of Canada now it is clear to the Council, I believe, that Canada will join the consensus, because you remember that when we discussed this in the Committee on Food Security, we were looking for two words, and after the clarification given by the Legal Counsel, the Committee could not recommend it to the Council without adopting it. Similarly, this Council cannot recommend it to the Conference without adopting it. This is very clear, and on that point, I understand from the intervention of Canada that they will join the consensus.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, we have to put you in the place of the Legal Adviser, and I really appreciate your explanation on this point.
We accepted this, and finally the representative of Canada accepted this also.
Colombia is asking for the floor. Is it a point of order, Sir?
POINT OF ORDER
PUNTO DE ORDEN
G. BULA HOYOS (COLOMBIA). Sí, señor Presidente, se trata de una observación sobre los hechos recientes que han tenido lugar en nuestras sesiones del Consejo. La delegación de Colombia vacila mucho, pero no puede evitar el expresar su inquietud, con todo respeto, por el hecho de que cada vez que cualquier delegado difiere y no expresa un apoyo completamente incondicional al Plan de Acción, se le llama a juicio ante los demás miembros del Consejo y se le pretende señalar como un hijo reprobo en nuestra familia.
Sinceramente, creo que no conviene forzar los acontecimientos, que hay que respetar la libertad de pensamiento de cada uno de los delegados, y que el procedimiento debe ser el mismo que se ha adoptado siempre en las sesiones del Consejo: adelantar el debate, celebrar un diálogo enviando todo el material al Comité de Redacción, y esperar el proyecto de informe.
Me decidí a intervenir porque estamos apenas en el segundo día de nuestro período de sesiones y hay otros temas sobre los cuales, posiblemente, la delegación de Colombia tenga opiniones que puedan no satisfacer a la Secretaría, y me parece que sería un mal precedente continuar de esta manera.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic) : I think - and I am addressing myself to Colombia - that there is no objection either from the Chairman or from the Director-General nor from anybody else, so that each member, each delegate can freely express his opinion. This is what we had asked for this morning. This morning I had asked that any delegation be very clear in expressing its view on this document or any other document.
Now, if the Director-General is also asking for the floor, well, this falls within his rights. It is even his duty to defend the opinions, the inspirations, the needs of the developing countries. This is why he is sitting with us today. This is why he is filling his post. The developing countries are very pround to have someone defending our own rights. No one can object or prevent anybody or any delegation from expressing its opinion, its views, but we have asked that this be done on a clear basis without any fears or without any manoeuvering of any kind, because we all know how this can be done, but this is not the case, because we are facing a problem to which we want to find a solution.
K. R. HIGHAM (Canada): Sorry to come back one more time, Mr. Chairman. This is not the first time that we have agreed to go along with the consensus when we cannot subscribe to every minute detail of a question with the FAO, and this is only a very slight reservation, you understand, but it is an important one to us, and I want to be very sure the reservation and the freedom to express - the right, if you like, to express the reservation at a later time is maintained, and perhaps I could offer a sentence for the record which would keep that door open for us.
Due to my inexperience at the CFS Meeting, I agreed to go along with the consensus, thinking that that right is automatically maintained. You tell me now that it is not necessarily so. If we were to put a sentence like this into the record, and I will read it to you - I composed it just slightly before I gave my presentation in anticipation of the difficulty - "While agreeing in principle with the spirit and intention of the Five Point Plan, the Delegation of Canada wished to reserve expressing a final position on the Plan until the next FAO Conference", that is all I ask.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): Your views, Sir, were taken into account-and will be put on the record as you have asked. I personally would have preferred it if this reservation had been expressed when this Plan of Action was discussed in the Committee on World Food Security, but I think - I am even certain - that the Secretariat will take your views into consideration and it will be in the minutes.
Q. H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): We were waiting to take the floor to give our views on the Plan of Action and the resolution. The point of order, which was not a point of order, by our distinguished colleague and delegate of Colombia has almost encouraged me to take the floor. «
I assume that our distinguished colleague from Colombia was assuming himself to be in the Chair. We always recognize when he sits in this room that Mr. Bula Hoyos was Chairman of this Council for four years, and there is his picture on the wall, we cannot forget him.
As to his comments on how the Council should move and conduct itself, I feel the distinguished delegate from Colombia assuming himself in the position of the Chair, which is the privilege of the Chair, whoever holds it for the time being, whether you as the Vice-Chairman or the Independent Chairman or any of the other two Vice-Chairmen, so I feel that the business of how the Council is to be conducted is the prerogative of the Chair, whoever holds it for the time being.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to Bangladesh for his remarks. I myself have no remarks to make on this question. I am sure that Colombia heard what I heard.
P. MASUD (Chairman, Drafting Committee): I am speaking as the Chairman of the Drafting Group. I did not quite follow what the delegate of Canada said. My general impression was that while agreeing in principle with the Plan of Action he had certain reservations. Would this hinder the adoption by this Council of this Plan of Action? We have to deal with this in the Drafting Committee and I want to know if he is agreeing with the consensus, and I am just mentioning this as a matter for the record.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am very grateful to you. I have before me a list of speakers asking for the floor on this item. We will adopt this Plan of Action in accordance with the number of members who have accepted it, and reservations will not hinder the adoption of this draft resolution.
However, in spite of what I said previously, this question will be debated at the General Conference and the General Conference will have the opportunity to examine it. We should not be afraid of this position, the adoption of the Plan of Action should be on a majority basis. I do not think we have come today to listen to just one voice, we have come to listen to all members, and if the majority of members here appeal for the adoption of this Plan of Action we will adopt it, and will then forward it to the Conference with any reservations that may have been formulated.
I trust I have spoken clearly for the representative of Pakistan-the Chairman of the Drafting Committee - in particular, and for our other colleagues, and hope I have poured oil on some troubled waters. We have registered a certain stress as a result of some remarks but I would beg all of you to keep calm and I hope our discussions will continue to be constructive. We should have no fears on this, we are hearing various views here, and I hope very much with the assistance of God we shall adopt this Plan of Action.
E. HRAOUX (Liben) (interprétation da l'Arabe): Nous respectons le Président pour sa façon do diriger lo débat et pour l'objectivité qui incite tous les délégué* a douner lour opinion our un problème qui touche 500 aillions d'ttres humains et qui attendent cette Résolution pour éloigner la catastrophe do la fonine. Si quelqu'un désirs /?/ des explications, il a le droit do les domandar? il no faut pas qu'il y ait a l'intérieur do 00 Conseil certaines personnes qui se croient enoore présidents. Chaque membre, chaque délégué, a /?/ le droit ses d'exprimer ses opinions sans réserve et sans restriction.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabio): I am very grateful to our friend the representive of Lebanon. It is my right to captain this meeting, it is not the first mooting I have directed, it is not the first conference or session where I have directed the debato, so I shall allow every delegate to take the floor freely. I am sure the question will bo settled most satisfactorily, and I do not think there will be any other problem.
J. INURRIETA. (Cuba): Creíamos quo no íbamos a poder hablar on la sesión de hoy.
Bo nos Tamos a referir a le que so acaba do debatir, oreemos quo todo ha quedado claro.
Los graves problemas alimentarios que afrontan /?/ paìses subdesarrollados han llevado a la Commi-iaá Internacional a la neossidad da estáblecer un sistema da saguridad alimentaria mundial capas da sooorrer a los paisas an dasarrollo anta la /?/ da alimentos y otros dasastras que enfrentamos periódicamente.
El oraoiante déficit alimantario da los paisas an désarrollo indios con claridad que cada dia más estos paisas tandrán que solicitar con mayor frecuencia la benefaotora ayuda. Ss ésta una da las rasonos per las ouales la promooión da la seguridad alimentaria mundial constituyo uno da los principales objetivos dal Programa Mundial da Alimentos.
Mi delegación expresa su profundo posar anta al hacho da que la Conferencia da las Maciones Unidas para negeoiar un convenio internacional qua reemplace al convenio internacional dal trigo da 1971 haya fracasado. Opinamos, al igual que otras delegaciones, qua tal hacho crea una difíoil situación an un monento en el quo la existencia da los paisas on desarrollo está muy por debajo do su consumo. De ahi que ai gobierno haya apoyado el Plan da Aoción da Cinco Puntos en el cuarto periodo da sesiones dal Comité da Seguridad Alimentaria y en el Cornité Plenario da las Naciones Unidas celebrado en Nueva York.
Hoy, comsecuente con su aotitud, mi gobierno ratifica el apoyo ya dado a dicho Plan y expresa su conformidad con que el mismo sea presentado a la Conferencia de le FAO y a la quinta reunión ministerial del Consejo Mundial da la Alimentación donde Cuba, al igual que ha hecho aqué, le dará su total apoye.
Por último, manifestamos nuestro apoyo al proyecto da resolución que figura en el documento qua se somete a consideración. Igualmente apoyamos las recomendaciones relativas al sistema mundial da información y alerta que se hallan en el párrafo 57.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabio): I am very grateful to the representative of Cuba for his remarksf and for his support of the draft resolution, and particularly for being so brief and to the point.
A.M. FASLA (Algérie): La Conférence alimentaire mondiale avait suscité un grand espoir au sein de nos peuples, et les différentes décisions et résolutions qui ont été adoptées ont donné naissance à un optimisme vite estompé devant l'absence de résultats significatifs. La sécurité alimentaire mondiale n'est pas encore garantie. Les objectifs modestes que s'est fixés la Conférence ne sont pas encore atteints et je ne désire pas m'étendre sur cette question que j'ai traitée en détail ce matin. L'ajournement sine die des discussions et des négociations concernant l'Arrangement international sur les céréales qui constituent les principales importations alimentaires des pays du tiers monde a amené le Directeur général à prendre l'heureuse initiative de présenter un plan d'action en cinq points sur la sécurité alimentaire. Il s'agit en fait d'un plan d'urgence reposant sur l'adhésion volontaire des Etats pour faire face à une situation d'urgence résultant de l'échec des négociations.
Notre délégation voudrait réaffirmer ici qu'elle appuie dans ses grandes lignes le plan qui lui a été présenté. Nous avons écouté avec beaucoup d'intérêt les préoccupations et les réserves formulées par notre collègue du Canada, mais nous devons dire que ce sont justement les difficultés qu'il a évoquées, les réserves qu'il a soulignées, qui pourraient être estompées si nous adoptions ce plan, car cette adoption constituerait un pas très important susceptible d'aplanir les difficultés qui ont fait obstacle à la conclusion d'un arrangement international des céréales. Nous estimons que les institutions internationales doivent se compléter en coordonnant leurs activités plutôt que d'agir individuellement.
Concernant les cinq points évoqués dans le Plan d'action, il est nécessaire, au moment où nous passons à l'action, qu'une coordination étroite existe, mais sous l'autorité de la FAO, sous son égide, en collaboration avec toutes les institutions du Système des Nations Unies qui s'occupent de problèmes similaires. Je prends le cas de la CNUCED qui, par exemple, a adopté un programme d'urgence pour les pays les plus pauvres pour les années 1980-82. Peut-être faudrait-il souligner la nécessité d'une coopération étroite entre la FAO, la CNUCED et les Nations Unies lorsqu'il s'agit de mettre en oeuvre le troisième point de la proposition du Directeur général.
Ce sont les quelques remarques que ma délégation voulait faire sur cette question et je voudrais réaffirmer notre appui au plan qui nous a été présenté.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank our brother, the delegate from Algeria, for his support for the Plan of Action. We are appreciative of the very pertinent remarks he has made.
J.A.LEIVA (El Salvador): Voy a ser breve siguiendo el ejemplo de los que me han antecedido en el uso de la palabra.
La delegación de El Salvador ha estudiado detenidamente el plan de acción para la seguridad alimentaria mundial propuesto por el Director General de la FAO y estima que la situación de inseguridad alimentaria justifica esta propuesta que, en ningún momento, pretende sustituir al nuevo acuerdo internacional sobre cereales.
Es un hecho reconocido que el fracaso de la negociación sobre el acuerdo Internacional del Trigo vigente desde 1971 y prorrogado hasta el 30 de junio de 1981, motivo a la Organización a asumir su papel de organismo rector en materia de agricultura y alimentación; de ahí el origen del plan de acción ya mencionado.
Mi delegación apoya el plan de acción propuesto, junto con el proyecto de resolución incluida en el párrafo 39, e igualmente manifiesta su apoyo respecto al párrafo 61 al objeto de que el plan de acción sea presentado durante el quinto período de sesiones del Consejo Mundial de la Alimentación.
Compartimos también los criterios expuestos por otros delegados que nos precedieron en el uso de la palabra que calificaron la seguridad alimentaria como pre-requisito del nuevo orden económico internacional. Deben solventarse los irresolubles problemas del comercio internacional para garantizar un régimen más justo y equitativo y tener el firme convencimiento de que sólo la producción de alimentos permitirá a los países en desarrollo alcanzar su seguridad alimentaria.
Finalmente, sobre el sistema mundial de información y alerta, reconocemos la importancia que representa para los países en desarrollo y deseamos manifestar que estamos de acuerdo con las recomendaciones formuladas en el párrafo 57 por el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to the delegate of El Salvador. On several occasions we have reiterated that this Plan of Action is not a replacement; it is complementary to the International Undertaking on Grains. We have pointed out several times that this Plan of Action will be presented to the general Conference.
L.V. BORGES da FONSECA (Brazil): My delegation wishes to reaffirm the main observations that were made by the Brazilian delegation in the last Session of the Council concerning World Food Security. We believe that food security can only be seen in the context of food production. In our view, to promote food security in the developing countries must necessarily mean to support production efforts and all measures directly or indirectly related to production. We feel that reserve schemes must be planned and operate4 in full.conformity with production policies. That does not mean, of course, that we do not favour the basic objectives of food security in terms of guaranteed food supplies. In that sense we will always agree to recommendations conceived with the aim of supporting production efforts in the developing countries, so that each of us can become self-reliant in food and nutrition.
Thus, my delegation would like to point out that if on one hand Brazil expresses reservations as to the concept of food security linked to the lack of relation between increase of production and food security, on the other hand my country has favoured all proposed actions that, in conjunction with food security, have the objective of increasing production of food and improving nutrition conditions in developing countries, as well as all proposed actiors that have the objective of regulating the international grain trade.
Brazil is developing, as a matter of absolute priority and as a way of contributing to the solution of the food supply problem, its agriculture and food production so as to improve the nutritional standards of its own population and to generate a significant export surplus on a stable and permanent basis through improvements in its rural structure, extension of new areas in the northern part of the country, the north east and central region, and through strong efforts in the field of research.
In connexion with the Plan of Action on World Food Security that was adopted by the Committee and recommended to the Council for approval, and that "Consists of a series of measures which are necessary to implement the International Undertaking on World Food Security", my delegation would like to state that as Brazil has not subscribed the International Undertaking, we are not in a position to express here at this Session of the Council a decision on ways of implementing the undertaking or on the approval of the Plan and adoption of the draft resolution as presented in document CL 75/10. My delegation will not, however, in any way go against the decision desired and taken by the Council and we will follow the consensus achieved here.
T.J. KELLY (Australia): We were Parties to the discussion at the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security and our thoughts on the principles and practice involved were expressed as the Committee developed the report which is now before us. Our thoughts included some views on the feasibility of establishing an effective system of national grain reserves, the crucial role, as we see it, of an International Grains Agreement, and the importance of equitable burden sharing in any accepted international arrangement for reserve stock-holding.
That being so, I come immediately to the three points which you suggested this morning, Mr. Chairman, that delegates might address themselves to. First, Australia is prepared to endorse the 5-point Plan of Action and the draft resolution as they appear before us in document CL 75/10. Second, we are happy to see the Plan of Action being made available to the Fifth Session of the World Food Council. Third, believing that the global and early warning system is a much valued arrangement, Australia supports the recommendations in paragraph 57 of the document.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am particularly grateful to the delegate of Australia for his support of the Plan of Action and I am very grateful to him for having given such a remarkable example of the positive approach which will serve the interests of the peoples of our community.
C. BATAULT (France): Comme l'a fait observar le Directeur général, la position de la France, telle qu'elle a été exprimée au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale, est asses semblable á celle dm Canada.
Il me semble toutefois que nous pouvons accepter l'interprétation du délégué du Bangladesh que nous devons remercier d'avoir si brillamment joué le rôle de Conseiller juridique*
C'est toutefois en qualité de Président en exercice de la Communauté européenne que je vous ai demandé la parole, Monsieur le Président. Je suis heureux de pouvoir rassurer M. Saouma. Afin de faciliter les travaux du Conseil, nous ne présenterons pas d'amendement à la résolution proposée. Toutefois, afin de préciser certains points qui nous semblent essentiels pour l'avenir, je vous prie, Monsieur le Président, de bien vouloir dés maintenant donner la parole au représentant de la Commission des communautés européennes qui doit faire une déclaration au nom des neuf gouvernements qui la composent*
B. SUSSMILCH (Observer for the European Economic Community): My comments concern the discussion which took place during the fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security held in Rome from 5 to 11 April. The basis for those discussions was a proposal by the Director-General of FAO concerning the Plan of Action for World Food Security. The aim was to draft a corresponding resolution at the FAO Council's 75th Session for submission to the 20th FAO Conference in Noveuber. The Community delegate took an active part in the discussion and, through various constructive proposals expressing the opinion and the will of the main Member States, helped ensure that as an interim measure a resolution on a plan of action for World Food Security was prepared for submission to the Council.
The Community agreed that the resolution and Plan of Action be submitted to the 20th FAO Conference and considered, in the light of the follow-up of the resolution in this regard introduced by the Chairman of the negotiating group of Number Three, and adopted by ÜNCTAD in Manila, stressing the necescìty of a new international agreement to replace the International Grains Arrangement of 1971.
The Community wishes to emphasize once again, however, that the Plan of Action should in no way take the place of a future international cereals arrangement. It should merely act temporarily as a safeguard. Its main purpose should be to protect the developing countries from harvest and other disasters and satisfy their constantly increasing import requirements. The Community wishes to stress that it attaches the utmost importance to the conclusion of negotiations on an international grains agreement, taking full account of the interests of developing countries.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from Arabic): I wish thank the representative of the EEC. I am full of admiration for the discussion on this subject. I have before me a report which shows clearly that this Plan of Action was adopted during the meeting of the Committee on flood Security. I myself did not attend that meeting in April and I therefore do not know whether there were any reservations expressed which were added or included in the Minutes of that meeting but in the report before me it says that this is, in fact, the plan of action as adopted. The representative of the EEC speaks on behalf of the nine Member States of the Community, as he said that at the beginning of his statement; or rather, as was said by the delegate of France when introducing the EEC representative. He said that he was speaking on behalf of the nine countries. Now these nine countries I wonder, did they express any reservation of any kind during the meeting of the Committee on World Food Security in April? Any of the nine countries, did they express any reservation? This is a rather odd matter. It is a question which it is difficult for me to answer. I am sure, however, the Secretariat will be in a position to give a reply and shed a light on the situation which in fact is not very suitable, because if we accepted something in April and if we now oome here to go back on what we had already adopted when there were not even any reservations on this subject at the previous meeting, which was after all a very important one, after all the needy countries' eyes were turned to this meeting. When we find there are reservations on this resolution, then I think this is most distressing and if I am speaking in such terms now, I am doing so as temporary chairman of this meeting and also as a representative of Saudi Arabia, not only in this Organisation, but also in IFAD and other institutions. I do not think that we can adopt such a position for the future*
I certainly do not agree. I would not wish my Government to take such a position. I am sure that my Government will not do so because we have never done so in the past, and that is why I myself feel that some delegates asking to take the floor following the delegate of the EEC, although they are not on the list before me, in the cause of democracy and indeed in that of wisdom, I feel duty bound to give them the floor.
C. BATAULT (France): Je voudrais répondre parce que j'ai l'impression qu'il y a un léger malentendu dans le commentaire que vous venes de faire.
Je ne sais pas si vous avez eu le texte de l'intervention du représentant de la Communauté européenne.
Il est tout à fait clair et j'ai peur que votre interprétation ne soit pas la bonne.
Nous avons en effet, come vous l'avez souligné, pris une part active aux discussions. M. Marinucci a pris une part très active à la rédaction d'un texte. Nous avons exprimé trés clairement nos points de vue, notamment en ce qui concerne l'importance de la Conférence internationale sur le blé, point de vue repris aujourd'hui par un très grand nombre de délégations. Je ne vois pas en quoi ce que je viens de dire change quoi que ce soit à notre point de vue et représente une régression par rapport à ce que nous avons dit. La Communauté, dans cette affaire, a toujours eu un point de vue constant, que ce soit à Genève ou ioi: le succès de la négociation sur le blé est absolument essentiel. C'est ce que nous sommes en train de répéter ici.
Nous voulons clarifier notre pensée. Cela ne représente pas un changement de la part de la Communauté ni de la part de mon gouvernement
CHAIRMAN: (interpretation from Arabic): I could perhaps have replied on this, but since the Director-General has asked for the floor he has the floor now in order to shed further light on this matter.
LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Si j'ai bien compris le distingué délégué de la France, les pays de la Communauté seraient d'accord pour que, dans le rapport sur ce sujet, on dise: MLe Conseil a adopté le plan d'action pour la sécurité alimentaire mondiale et le recommande à la Conférence pour approbation".
Seriez-vous d'accord, Monsieur le délégué de la Prance, sur un texte rédigé de cette manière?
C. BATAULT (France): Je voulais simplement dire que la formule qui me paraît traduire notre pensée est: "recommande qu'il soit soumis à la vingtième Conférence de la FAO au mois de novembre".
LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: C'est là une position régressive, Monsieur le Président, Nous avons tous devant nous le rapport du Comité de la Sécurité alimentaire mondiale et, au paragraphe 38, on lit que: "le Comité a adopté le Plan d'action pour la sécurité alimentaire". Ce texte ne contient aucune réserve de la part d'aucun pays, d'aucune communauté. Et maintenant il semble que l'on voudrait enlever le mot "adopté" et simplement "soumettre" cette affaire à la Conférence; c'est régressif!
On vient de me faire parvenir le texte du représentant de la Communauté européenne. Le mot "adopté" ne figure pas dans ce texte. Il y est dit: "Le Conseil est d'accord pour que la résolution soit soumise à la vingtième session..." Ne jouons pas avec les mots. Je respecte le point de vue de la Communauté. Je suis le serviteur des gouvernements. Mais il s'agit pour moi de comprendre. Je ne pourrai pas, le mois prochain, écrire à la Communauté en demandant: Comment avez-vous mis en oeuvre ce plan d'action? Dans ce cas, il vaudrait mieux ne pas dire que vous avez adopté quelque chose que vous n'avez pas, en fait, adopté.
Je suis navré que le Canada, qui est le deuxième pays exportateur de céréales, se trouve ainsi sur une position négative; ne veuille même pas faire une promesse qui n'impliquera, d'ailleurs, aucune obligation formelle. C'est là une attitude que je ne puis que constater et regretter.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): What I have referred to in the last few minutes is explained by the statement made by the EEC delegate who speaks on behalf of the nine. It is quite clear from his statement that there is no agreement on this plan of action. We find ourselves in a situation of deferring this to the General Conference. Then why have we spent so much time in discussing this plan of action and this draft resolution. Then we should stop any discussion on this document since this document is going to be discussed at the level of the Conference and I think the position has been a very clear one, the Director-General has even shed more light on it.
C. BATAULT (France): Je crois qu'il y a un malentendu. Cela dit, je vais vous demander de bien vouloir donner la parole au représentant de la CEE qui définira l'attitude de Bruxelles. Il a assisté à toutes les discussions qui ont présidé à cette étude, qui a été faite très sérieusement, qui est reflétée dans les propos du Directeur général, auquel la Communauté a tenu à rendre hommage.
Mais la façon dont a été interprétée notre déclaration, qui ne répond pas à l'esprit dans lequel elle a été faite, me porte à penser qu'il serait utile que nous puissions avoir une conversation communautaire et que nous puissions éventuellement demander des instructions à Bruxelles qui est le siège de la Communauté.
Je vais donc vous demander de bien vouloir donner la parole au représentant des communautés et ensuite, s'il y a lieu, m' autoriser plus tard à prendre la parole pour faire un commentaire sur vos déclarations.
B. SUSSMILCH (Observer for the European Economie Community) : When I was asking for the floor I was not expecting the delegate of France would like to make a reservation for our position, because in our view our position was quite clear at the end of the fourth session of the World Food Security Committee, and for us it is not a step backward. We confirm what we have agreed until now, which means taking into account negotiations in Manila, the outcome of UNCTAD five and drawing special attention to a new agreement which cannot replace this intermediary plan of action.
I would like to make one thing clear: if somebody thinks that the representative of the Community takes part in international negotiations to destroy something or to bring some negative attitude into the forum» I must tell him this attitude is wrong. If we are participating in such a forum and in such discussions and negotiations, we are here to build up in a constructive way, collaborate with other Member States of this community, not to destroy something which already exists. So, please take our contribution in a positive sense and we will do our utmost to see that this plan of action and resolution will come through the Conference and will be approved there.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I would have liked to reply to the observer of the EEC as the representative of Saudi Arabia, but I do not wish to make delegates lose any more time and I do not wish to go into a long dialogue which may bear no fruits. Therefore I will give the floor to those delegates who have asked for it.
P. MASUD (Pakistan): I am constrained to speak at this juncture because I was very intimately involved in the negotiations which took place. It was actually a group of eight or nine countries which was known as the Group of Professionals and met under the chairmanship of Mr. Ragavan of India. The European Economic Community was fully represented by Mr. Marinucci, whose views were fully aired in the discussion. I would like to draw your attention to paragraph 23 of the report. I do not want to quote extensively, but it says: "Several delegates, while endorsing the basic intent of the Plan, and emphasizing the positive and constructive position of their governments regarding international action..." and so on, ultimately agreed, as has been pointed out in paragraph 38, to adopt the Plan of Action. This paragraph 38 says: "The Committee adopted the Plan of Action on World Food Security as revised in the light of the comments and suggestions made by the delegates and recommended it to the Council for approval". This is the crux of the whole matter. I heard the representative of the EEC. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development resolution on this subject says: "Urges all participating countries to exert the requisite political will at the next session of the International Wheat Council to be held in June 1979 in London to re-examine the main unresolved issue together with the new possible element of the condition that would allow for a successful conclusion of the negotiations, taking into account the interests of developing countries."
What are we doing that is in contradiction of this resolution? We are not doing anything that is in contradiction of this resolution. Therefore I would very humbly urge that there seems to be no problem. The delegate of France was present at that meeting. His viewpoint was taken into consideration and there was an extensive debate on one or two issues that were raised. To change so quickly appears to us not to be exercising the requisite political will that has been called for in this United Nations Conference on Trade and Development which is being supported by the representative of the EEC. The position which emerges is that the EEC, which has a common agricultural policy, is saying one thing and the constituents of that agricultural policy are saying another thing. What do we do in these circumstances? I pose this question to you. I would therefore urge once again very strongly that we should simply go ahead and adopt this Plan of Action, as you have heard so many speakers say, and I am sure you have seventeen or eighteen more speakers before you are thorough with this subject. This is what is causing us problems, that the Community says one thing and the constituent members of that community are not in total accord. Why are we to blame for that? Why are the developing countries, which are very keen to adopt this Plan of Action, being put into this somewhat difficult situation in which they have to make difficult choices?
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): The representative of the EEC speaks on behalf of nine member States, but among these nine member States none of the States of the Community has clarified its position as a country. But it is the representative of the EEC who defines the position of the EEC, which does not prevent us from adopting this Plan of Action.
Q.H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): First I would like to draw your attention to the number nine. For the purposes of this Council there are not nine. It is the four members of the Economic Community who are members of this Council. For the purposes of the Committee on World Food Security these were nine. For the purposes of this Council there are four. Four of the Community members are members of this Council; out of nine members of the EEC, four are members of this Council. So for our purposes they are speaking for four, not for nine; the rest of them are observers.
Secondly, I took the floor because in this situation I feel that it is the wearer who knows where the shoe pinches. If I am a little emotional in my intervention on this I believe you will forgive me. The current food situation in Bangladesh is critical. It is the only argument that the observer from the EEC has made since we met in April in the Committee on World Food Security and today, and the UNCTAD V resolution in Manila, urging an early resumption of the negotiations for an international agreement•
May I draw the attention of the members of the Community who are members of the Council to the resolution which they are going to adopt on page 9, paragraph 3, which makes the same urging from line 4 and urges the participating countries in the United Nations Negotiating Conference on a new international grains agreement to resolve the outstanding questions impeding the resumption of negotiation and to conclude a new international grains agreement as quickly as possible. So exactly the same urging was there in April, in which they had participated. There has not been any change whatever in the urging in Manila from the urging that the Committee on World Food Security made and we are endorsing here in this Council.
The other point about the Canadian delegation on inhibiting the prospective negotiations, the delegate of Pakistan in the first intervention made it very clear under what circumstances the negotiations broke down and what are the prospects for an early resumption. The Chairman of the Negotiationg Conference very clearly says that the negotiating conference could be reconvened only in the circumstances that the differences had been narrowed down and there was a most assured possibility of success. Have the differences been narrowed down or is there any possibility of assured success of the negotiations? We are a very active member of the negotiations in Geneva and to the best of our knowledge the position has not changed a little bit to expect that there could be a possibility of an early resumption of the negotiations.
Thirdly, the Director-General did not come forward with his proposals until the negotiations had failed. They failed in February and he came forward with his proposals in April. We have been told for the last three years in every forum that these negotiations will be successful. I clearly remember in Mexico in the session of the World Food Council that when the majority of the developing countries wanted the Food Aid Convention to be separated from the Trade Convention the answer was from a very distinguished delegate that that information was the progress had been made in London, so negotiations could be concluded. It is one year, and in February you saw the fate of the negotiations.
I just want to draw an analogy. The developing countries, particularly the poorest of them, are out in the winter and no one knows how long this winter will last. You are not providing them with a blanket because it is voluntary. What they are asking for is the minimum of voluntary help to do the things they must do in order to survive in the winter. Would you deny them even that on a voluntary basis? This is the question I pose to my friends from the developed countries. You are not providing a sure blanket for the poor developing countries. We are shivering outside in winter and no one knows how long this winter will last. Would you not provide them with even the minimum for survival? This is the question about which the developed countries should search their minds and find an answer.
We all know the character of this plan. It is voluntary. It is wishful thinking that good will will prevail in the developed countries, particularly the major ones. One of the most major countries, and this is a very happy note, has unreservedly supported the Plan of Action of the Director-General and on behalf of my country and other developing countries I congratulate in particular the most important exporter of grains who sits as a member of this Council. We all know that country.
We have deliberated quite a bit on this, whether we could refer to the Council without adoption, and finally we agreed that this could not be referred to the Council without the adoption by the Committee on World Food Security. Similarly I feel it cannot be referred to the Conference without adoption by this Council. If I understand my colleague from France and also my colleague from the EEC, they are not standing in the way and they will go along with the consensus to adopt the resolution and the Plan of Action to refer it to the Conference. If I understand correctly the delegate of Canada, Canada is also not standing in the way of adopting this resolution and the Plan of Action by this Council and referring it to the Conference. I see my colleague from France nodding his head, which means that he wholeheartedly agrees that the Plan of Action be adopted by this Council here and now and referred to the Conference. If that is so I think we are seeing the end of the tunnel so far as the resolution and the Plan of Action are concerned.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from Arabic): I thank the delegate of Bangladesh for the very eloquent statement that he has just made and I think that all the members here present do share his feelings and agree with him in thanking the two members of the Council who are the main exporters of cereals for having supported this Plan of Action. These two members are Australia and the United States of America. This is a great satisfaction.
J. LEVIS'TE Jr. (Philippines): I will not touch on the salient features of the Five-Point Plan. Suffice it to say that the Director-General personally presented this plan in Manila last month during the Plenary Session of UNCTAD V. I was a personal witness to the fact that the proposal and the plan were very favourably and positively received. It actually placed the question of food security in the forefront of the concerns of our own delegates from our own countries both developed and developing, both rich and poor, these delegates who are concerned primarily with trade and development. The reason for desiring development is poverty, and the most cruel feature of poverty is hunger. One therefore cannot speak of development if there is hunger, and the threat of hunger is threat enough.
The World Food Council has supported the FAO Five Point Plan. The leader of my delegation, the Vice-Chairman of this Council, the Minister of Natural Resources, has fully endorsed this Plan. While we in the Philippine Delegation concur, as stipulated on page 9 of document CL 75/10, that the Plan of Action is not a substitute for a new International Grains Agreement, with stock price and food aid provisions, with special provisions for developing countries, which is indispensable for a durable and effective world food system, nevertheless, this Plan has been unanimously - and I stress the world "unanimously" - adopted by the Committee on Food Security which remains to us here in the Council to give approval.
Therefore, at the risk of going further, let me just summarize our position, that the Philippine Delegation therefore now fully and strongly supports the Five Point Plan of Action initiated by the Director-General and that the Philippine delegation now calls for adoption by the Council during its Seventy-Fifth Session of the draft resolution on this Plan of Action for world food security which is reflected on page 9 of document CL 75/10.
CHAIRMAN (Interpretation from Arabic): I thank the delegate of the Philippines for hiw renewed support for the Plan of Action.
H. MENDS (Ghana): I am glad this matter has been resolved. Since my Delegation took the liberty of discussing the Five Point Plan of Action when we took the floor after the Director-General presented the Plan of Action, and since my Delegation participated in the deliberations of the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security a few weeks ago, I can really afford to be brief at this stage; even so, as the speakers who took the floor before me have covered the subject more elaborately and more eloquently.
We therefore associate ourselves fully with the report presented in document CL 75/10. We fully support the Five Point Plan of Action adopted by the Committee on World Food Security for unanimous approval by this Council.
We believe that the terrible food crisis of the early seventies will never be repeated if the steps enumerated are carried out as planned. It is also for this reason that we wholeheartedly endorse the draft resolution and hope the delegates here will find no difficulties in adopting it as recommended. As we did with the Global Information and Early Warning System, we find the recommendation in paragraph 57 quite in order and wholeheartedly support them for approval by this assembly.
C.O. KELLER SARMIENTO (Argentina): Le agradezco mucho, señor Presidente, que me haya concedido el uso de la palabra y sobre todo que me la haya dado ahora que los ánimos parecen más calmados que en el momento que la pedí en que todo parecía que iba a saltar por los aires.
Lo que sucede, señor Presidente, es que yo creo que, como bien dijo el representante de Bangladesh, tenemos un consenso básico en torno a los puntos que hemos tratado en nuestro temario. Quisiera también aclarar cualquier malentendido que pudiera haber y parece haberse expresado por varios delegados en confundir la palabra "reservas" con la palabra "comentarios". Algunas intervenciones en el curso de este tema fueron comentarios; comentarios que como en el informe del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial, y bien lo distinguió el representante de Pakistán, figura claramente expresado en los párrafos 22 y 23, yo me permití en mi exposición repetirlo esta mañana y configurar posición que, justa o no, debe ser respetada, pues es una posición de varios países que tratan de una manera constructiva de contribuir al problema de la seguridad alimentaria mundial, pero tiene razón que es específica para poner por delante algunos aspectos que son importantes para sus respectivos países.
Por lo tanto, a mi entender, señor Presidente, no han sido reservas las que han sido formuladas en esta reunión, sino comentarios en función de obtener un consenso. Lo que nosotros estamos buscando es un consenso y ha habido delegaciones, como la mía, que redundantemente han expresado que se reservan el derecho de formular comentarios. Esto es también inútil porque cualquier delegación en cualquier altura de cualquier discusión de cualquier tema tiene todo el derecho de formular las observaciones que estime pertinentes.
Ahora, esos comentarios no inhiben ni impiden una adhesión al consenso; lo que nosotros no podemos hacer es expresamente manifestar nuestra adhesión que no podemos expresar. Consenso significa solidaridad, y significa solidaridad con los países más gravemente afectados que son los que verdaderamente se benefician de este Plan de Acción.
Nosotros no queremos volver tampoco acá a los argumentos que hemos tenido para formular algunas reservas a este plan; son argumentos muy precisos y que se refieren a negociaciones que no deben mezclarse con lo que va a suceder en el plan de seguridad alimentaria de la FAO. Por eso creemos que no debe exigirse a las delegaciones expresar su adhesion por sus comentarios, y sí cabe, como hizo la mía, su no oposición; como dijo el representante de Bangladesh no estamos en el camino, pero queremos también que nos comprendan que no podemos expresamente aceptarlo sin formular algún comentario como los que hemos formulado.
Por lo tanto, creo que la posición de mi país será claramente interpretada como lo han sido las otras en función de un comentario y no de una reserva.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to Argentina. Everyone, of course, may express remarks or make comments. Each and every one can also express reservations. This is intended to reflect the opinions of the country they represent. If other delegations have asked questions or remarked on certain points, these points were not interpreted as criticisms or reservations. This is perfectly clear, I think, to all of us.
It is not for me to repeat here that it has certainly not been the intention of the Chair to hinder anyone from making remarks. We are all here to arrive at a consensus, to consolidate this consensus, but also to air our points of view, and when we are convinced of the item being discussed, then we can adopt it. If we are not convinced of the validity of what is being presented, then we have the right to reject it, but I am very grateful to Argentina for having been so forthright and so clear.
I see that China is asking for the floor, and of course, far be it from me to refuse the floor to the distinguished representative of China.
CHIN FENG-CHU (China) (interpretation from Chinese): As you know, China did not subscribe to the International Grains Undertaking, but as a Member State of the Council, the Chinese Delegation endorsed the Five Point Plan of Action on World Food Security proposed by the Director-General.
Now we would like to express our view on the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security:
One, as world food production has increased continuously in the past few years, the food security situation has improved to a certain extent. Numerous Third World countries have made considerable efforts towards food security. Many developing countries have formulated grain reserve policies and directives, while some of them have established and constantly replenished their grain stocks by overcoming various obstacles. This is especially inspiring, because they have made such contributions towards food security under very difficult conditions. The international aid some of them have received in setting up their grain reserves has undoubtedly helped with food security.
As China is a developing Socialist country with a big population, to feed the population is of the first importance for us. Therefore, to store grain against natural disasters is one of the basic policies for our economic construction.
For many years, in food production and consumption, the Government has followed the policy of increasing production and practising frugality, and their sustained efforts have established a three-tier system of stock-piling at the state, the collective and the individual commune members levels.
Two we note that the report of the Fourth Session of the Committee on World Food Security also dwells on the problems concerning food security. Analysing the current situation, the Director-General put forward a Five Point Plan of Action on World Food Security which was adopted at the session. The Plan of Action proposes, inter alia, that new arrangements be made to increase and coordinate international assistance to developing countries for food security and stockpiling, that special measures be effected to help our food deficit countries to meet their current requirement, and emergency needs, and that steps be taken to promote the collective self-reliance of developing countries. All these matters are most important to the terms of world food security. We shall continue to support related countries in holding international consultation on World Food Security to seek equitable and rational solutions to existing problems.
As for our views on establishing food reserves and on subscribing to the international undertaking on World Food Security, we have already made them clear on a number of occasions. These are settling down well and I hope will meet with the understanding of most developing countries and other friendly nations.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to the delegate of China for his admirable statement. We are particularly grateful to him for his support for the Plan, as we are for the support of a great number of developing countries.
I. OZORAI (Hungary): The Hungarian delegation attaches great importance to the FAO Plan of Action on World Food Security and it is fully supporting the Draft Resolution included in para. 39 of the document CL 75/10 1/.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): That has brought us to the end of this discussion on this document. We have had our troubled moments but despite certain reservations or opposition's requirements that might be produced, this has been a constructive debate aimed at the welfare and prosperity of our peoples. I believe I am right in saying that those who have expressed reservations will respond and they will provide all the possible aid for peoples who are crying out and suffering from hunger.
As I said earlier, we have gone through the list of speakers on this item and on document CL 75/10. The approval or adoption of this Plan which we are asked to carry out will be done by an overwhelming majority, because an overwhelming majority of members give their approval to this Five Point Plan of Action and to the terms of the draft resolution.
We all realize perfectly well that Canada and the Member countries of the EEC - and I would add as was mentioned by Bangladesh that the four countries of the EEC are attending this Council - have really expressed reservations. I cannot include the other members of the EEC, because they-are not here and we have not heard them.
I was saying "an overwhelming majority" - and I trust this will be accurately translated - an overwhelming majority has given approval for the Plan of Action and the draft resolution. In the report it will be pointed out that there has been unanimous support by Council for the Plan of Action. We will say "The Plan of Action was adopted by Council". That is what we are going to say. I was referring to the list of speakers, but in the report it will be clearly pointed out that the Council adopted the Plan of Action and the draft resolution - that is how it will figure in the report.
I repeat - in the report it will be said that the Council at such and such a meeting on such and such a date debated the Plan of Action and the draft resolution. (Applause).
This will, of course, all be stressed in the report and also in the verbatim report. It will all be reflected. The verbatim report will include the names of the countries, showing who will discuss this document again during the meeting of the General Conference. I am sure we all agree that that is their right. Of course, all this will be mentioned in the verbatim report and it will be perfectly clear, and I am sure Mr. Haque of Bangladesh will not be upset.
C.O. KELLER SARMIENTO (Argentina): Señor Presidente, usted ha comprendido inmediatamente que el movimiento de esta ala de la platea era modificar su apreciación sobre el resultado de nuestro debate. Efectivamente, la única observación que tengo que formular es que este Consejo aprueba el informe del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria por consenso, no por unanimidad. Unanimidad es una palabra que no debe utilizarse necesariamente en la función del Consejo. El Consejo ha aprobado tal cosa, pero no por unanimidad.
Lo que también deseo que quede constancia, y en eso me dirijo a mi amigo el representante de Pakistán, Presidente del Comité de Redacción, para que quede debidamente constancia en el informe sobre las observaciones de algunos países que formularon al plan de acción.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I am grateful to the delegate for Argentina. I am not an expert in drafting, I am afraid. We have a Drafting Committee, and the Drafting Committee will draft the text for this matter. The Committee has its Chairman, unanimously elected, and it is his duty to fulfil this task which you can be sure he will fulfil both satisfactorily and perfectly.
M. KRIESBERG (United States of America): I believe you have answered the question and I simply want to state my understanding of your statement - namely, that it would be indicated in the report that there were some countries who did have reservations, and who wished to discuss this matter further at the Conference.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): Yes indeed, that will be done.
G. de BAKKER (Observer for the Netherlands): As an observer, and also as a member of the Community, I would like to ask you a question about what I think is quite vital for our position, that is, what is the legal position of countries who are not members of the Council at present? Have they also taken part in the consensus?
If not, does the Council, with its 45 or however many members there are, take this decision on behalf of the Conference? Have they the right to act in this on behalf of the Conference, because if that is the case they are included. If that is not the case, then I feel in a difficult position to make it clear that there is not a new misunderstanding arising at ten minutes past six.
We can fully go along with this consensus, but this is not the point, the question is what is the position of a member state in the decision taken in consensus - is that consensus expressing the wish of the 140 member states or only the consensus of the 45 states?
I would like to get some clarification about the legal position.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the delegate of the Netherlands. I am expressing a personal view but I think the legal position is that it would be possible for the Council to adopt the decision in the general Conference. The decision will be one of the Council which involves the members here sitting in Council. I may be wrong, of course, and I therefore give the floor to the Director-General who will give you further information.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I would like to answer to the delegate of the Netherlands and remind him very kindly that he was heading his delegation during the meeting of the Committee on Food Security. He had with him the four people, he has adopted this Plan of Action, and he has adopted this resolution. I am afraid that today we are playing with words and we do not know where we stand anymore !
I have asked the representative of France whether he would accept a report saying that the Council has "adopted" and he said "No". However, when, a few minute later, it was stated by the delegate of Argentina that the Council had "adopted" the Plan of Action, the delegate of France did not object.
Being only an observer, the delegate of the Netherlands should not worry about the wording of the report. If observers disagree they should not be concerned, as this matter will go to the Conference anyway. But the situation is very ambiguous now, since it appears that some members are now challenging the fact that the Committee adopted this Plan in April; however, it is written here.
We, in the Secretariat, would like to know where we stand.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I thank the Director-General. He has clarified the position.
G. de BAKKER (Observer for the Netherlands): I was afraid that there was going to be a misunderstanding and it is very clear that it has arisen. It is not that we cannot agree or that our delegation during the Committee on Food Security could not agree: we could fully agree and we agree today. My only point is what is the legal position of a country which is not a member of the Council insofar as a decision on the adoption of this resolution in a consensus of this Council is concerned, is it a decision that binds the Conference? Because the text here in the resolution says that the Council adopts and the Director-General is going to report on action; it does not say that it is referred again to the Conference for adoption; that is not in the resolution. If it is again referred to the Conference for adoption - which I do not find in the text of the resolution - then I am fully satisfied legally. But my point is only a legal one and if you feel that it is going on too late and that perhaps we need the Legal Counsel to explain it, let us come back to it tomorrow morning. I am willing to be quiet now, but let us not have any misunderstanding that we are against this point.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I think that we have on more than one occasion made it clear that this document will be referred to the Conference; the Plan of Action will be presented at the level of the Conference and also the World Food Council. We have repeated this on countless occasions.
A.M. FASLA (Algérie): Je crois que nous nous éternisons sur des questions de détail. Notre collègue des Pays-Bas a le droit de poser une question qui est pertinente. Il a demandé des explications, il fallait les lui donner. Je ne crois pas qu'il soit utile d'entrer dans une polémique à cette heure-ci.
Notre collègue a raison de demander si la résolution doit être le libellé du Comité qui l'a rédigé au nom du Conseil. Puisque nous faisons nôtre la résolution du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire, nous devons donc changer partout le terme "Comité de la sécurité alimentaire" par le terme "le Conseil" et nous devons recommander à la Conférence d'adopter la résolution. C'est la pratique des Nations Unies. Si le Conseiller juridique nous avait donné cette explication, notre collègue des Pays-Bas n'aurait pas posé cette question.
En ce qui concerne la participation d'un membre observateur du Conseil, un membre observateur peut prendre la parole mais n'a pas le droit de participer à la décision.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): Yes, this is perfectly clear and I think that the Observer for the Netherlands has now been convinced of this.
G.S. MAGOMBE (Tanzania): I believe the delegate of Algeria has been reading my mind. We have two points here. The first point concerns Observers. I had the pleasure and privilege of being an Observer before being elected a Member of the Council, and during that time I never did open my mouth. That does not mean that I did not have some ideas but I left the Council to do its duty. I think we have a basic document; the mandate of the Council is known and also who is making the decisions. I am saying this because I was a very faithful Observer: I was listening, I was observing, as an Observer should. I took notes and ideas and then at the Conference, that is when I opened my mouth. I therefore think it is the Council which makes a decision and much as we tolerate Observers, I think they should allow us to make our decisions.
My second point concerns the Committee on World Food Security. I do not wish to reopen the substance of the matter. I thought we had discussed it in the Food Security Committee. We all endorsed the Plan of Action and our role - since the Food Security Committee has to report to us and we report to the Conference - I believe you have summarized it correctly, Mr, Chairman.
CHAIRMAN (interpretation from Arabic): I had the honour of representing my country in this Organization for the last year and a half and during that short period of time I have come to learn and to know the various rules and regulations of the Organization. I was therefore surprised by such a question coming up and I am wondering why it has been put to us. As you have said, Mr. Ambassador, and as has also been said by the delegate of Algeria, and as we have said on quite a number of occasions, the report of the Council will be referred to the Conference. At the same time, I should like to recall that we have also attended this Council as an Observer. There are others among you who have also been on Observer status and in some of the sessions of the Council we were not allowed to take the floor as Observers. This proves clearly that the Council with its full members takes the decisions and then submits its report to the Conference. The report is drawn up by the Drafting Committee and its Chairman,
Everyone will agree after these clarifications that no further doubts can arise. Can we then adjourn our meeting and the Drafting Committee will take up its responsibilities and it will reflect the views expressed here. We can thus conclude that the Council has adopted this document and has adopted the Plan of Action before us.
The meeting rose at 18.25 hours
La seance est levée à 18 h 25
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.25 horas
1/ Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.