CHAIRMAN: Good morning, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen. We resume the meeting and continue with our discussion of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget which we started yesterday. Practically everybody is on the list now for the floor.
P. LAOWHAPHAN (Thailand): First of all my delegation would like to express its profound gratitude and thanks to the Director-General of FAO for his very inspiring and concise introductory statement which he made yesterday morning.
The basic strategy adopted by FAO in working towards the New International Economic Order with emphasis on increasing food production in developing countries, expanding activities aimed at rural development with particular regard to the plight of the most poor and disadvantaged groups including and rendering practical services in the technical, economic and social fields of food, agriculture and rural development in the field at the country level has been of great significance in earning increased faith and confidence in FAO's activities from Member Governments.
The proposed budget for 1980-81 is indeed very modest, too modest perhaps, as expressed by a number of Distinguished Delegates, particularly in view of the Member Governments mandate to FAO to help more than 80 percent of the total population of developing countries in their quest for meeting the most basic need and that is food.
Besides, considering the need for concerted efforts by both national and international communities to ameliorate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries, the demand for assistance from FAO is bound to increase in the future. This, of course, will require increases in the amount of resources at the disposal of FAO.
In relative financial figures, there is an increase of US$60.31 million in 1980-81 as compared to US$211.35 million in 1978-79 and most of the increases will be absorbed by cost increases. There is only US$13.60 million in terms of real programme increase which is not, by any standard, an ambitious one. Moreover, we are pleased to note that a greater part of increase is earmarked for developing rural institutions and employment-generating programmes with emphasis on poorer section of rural communities.
In view of FAO's role in helping Member Governments in their efforts to provide food for all, the Director-Genral's budget proposal for 1980-81 deserves full support. My delegation in particular strongly endorses the Technical Co-operation Programme of the Director-General and his plan of action on food security.
Before closing, my delegation wishes to propose that while the Director-General has made special efforts to de-bureaucratize and decentralize FAO activities to country offices, he should also, in our opinion, look into the possibility of further decentralization to regional offices.
J.A. BAKER (United States of America): My Government has studied with great attention the Summary Programme of Work and Budget submitted for the consideration of the Council. We are in substantial agreement with the priorities selected for FAO activities. We give our full support to the energetic efforts of the Director-General and his attack on key problems such as food production and nutrition.
The initiatives taken by the FAO that face up to the new situation arising from the enlarged economic zones of coastal states and the problems of world food security deserve our admiration and support. The programmes of control of animal diseases and agricultural pests are high priority efforts of immense potential benefit for hundreds of millions of people. We support the strengthening of the Investment Centre and are especially appreciative of the seed-money nature of this activity. We know the contribution made by the Investment Centre - whose activities we were able to examine in the Programme Committee last month - to the support of IFAD and to other international funding organizations such as the African Development Bank, who are increasingly active in the agricultural sector.
We congratulate the Director-General for anticipating in his budget the expected proposals and results of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. In general we find the strategies and priorities indicated in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget are correct and realistic. We would like to note our comprehension of the difficult position in which the Director-General must have found himself while preparing the Summary Programme of Work and Budget with some member countries - as we have heard in this meeting - urging increased budgetary growth and others desiring financial restraint. The Director-General has obviously.made a sincere effort to find the middle ground while preserving the momentum of FAO's action oriented programme.
Not surprisingly, however, our views are influenced by the somewhat different perspective from which we are obliged to regard the document before us. The economic situation in the United States, in commom with that of many industrialized countries, is difficult. Respected economists now argue among themselves whether the United States is already in a recession - by that I mean experiencing negative real growth in GNP - or whether a recession will occur in the near future. The American people are seriously concerned with the high tax burden they carry, the inflation that; afflict s our economy ,and with the shortages, and especially, now, the rising costs of energy. Against this background, the rapid growth of the assessed budgets throughout the United Nations system has been a subject of public discussion and criticism. This has resulted in a United States posture towards that system which necessarily influences our posture towards the FAO, despite the high priority that the objectives of FAO deserve. Every penny spent by the United States' Government for any purpose has to be authorized and appropriated by a legislature which is extremely sensitive to these currents of public opinion'
If I may diverge a moment I can tell you from my own personal experience: today is the day when Americans living abroad have the deadline for filing their tax. That is a painful procedure. From my own personal standpoint - although this may not be typical - it would be a little less painful if a somewhat higher percentage of the gross product was going to official development assistance when I pay my tax; but, pay it I must, along with many other Americans.
In the domestic budget submitted by President Carter to Congress, particularly difficult decisions have been required by the need for fiscal restraint. It is no secret that it was my Government that was unable to join in the consensus in support of the proposed Summary Programme of Work and Budget level expressed by the remaining members of the Programme and Finance Committees. Both in the Programme Committee and the Committee on Agriculture the United States' representatives were under instructions to make suggestions on areas where economies might be achieved in an effort to achieve a lower level of net real programme growth in the 1980-81 budget. In some areas we suggested that a planned expansion of substantive programmes; for example, the public information programme, could be deferred without detrimental effect. However, the greatest number of our remarks pointed to possible areas of economy in the administrative and non-technical sectors in the budget. While recognizing the steady improvement in recent years of FAO's budget process, we continue to believe that tighter controls and economies can be effected in these non-technical sectors without impairing the priority areas of action where we - and I dare say the consensus of the Council - agree that the emphasis should lie. We have, for example, suggested that certain economies could be effected in the staffing of country representatives' offices in places where FAO programmes are relatively small. We have supported the suggestions of others that a growing FAO presence at the country level should permit some staff reduction at the regional level.
While we welcome the admirable controls on the authorisation of newly established staff positions, we believe that further savings could be effected if they were extended to other. categories of personnel. We have questioned whether more savings might not result from the occupation of the rent-free quarters being prepared in Building D and frem the postponement of some of the planned renovations.
We also suggested allocating a still greater percentage of investment projects' preparation costs to the investing institutions, given the FAO's established reputation for high quality and modest costs for work in this area. And we have commented in an earlier Council meeting on the question of the criteria of the Technical Cooperation Programme and how these might relate to budgeting in that area. As my colleagues in the Programme Committee can testify, I trust not too wearily,,I explored most of the above areas in the Programme Committee. I got a better understanding of some of these issues, gained some information and got some appreciation of our viewpoint, although, as you can see from the report of that Committee, this was something less than unanimous.
Turning to the area of cost growth, some proportion of the projected cost increases might be absorbed by still tighter cost control across the whole Organization. We wonder in particular whether provisions for post adjustment may not be too ample. I will withhold further suggestions but if the Director-General wants to cut my serving by 10 percent when I come to lunch today I will accept it!
These suggestions are meant constructively since we feel it would be incorrect to urge a budgetary restraint without indicating in general terms which activities might be subjected to further budgetary restraint without detriment to the FAO's important operational programme. We know the difficulty which any institution or any individual experiences in that third or fourth week of the weight reducing programme, when four or five kilos have already been taken off and each new kilo is more difficult. Some senior members of my Embassy who thought that they were in good shape had occasion to experience something like this last month. A very physically fit lady named Rosalyn Carter arrived on the scene and early in the morning invited them to join her for her morning 4-mile jog. Some of them realized that there was perhaps still a kilo or two that could be shed.
We hope our points will be accepted as serious and helpful suggestions as the Secretariat goes about producing the final version of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, since we believe that programme growth can be safely reduced to the 3 percent net biennium growth level we indicated at COAG and that provision for cost growth can also be somewhat reduced.
Among the United Nations Specialized Agencies the FAO has begun to build an enviable reputation for effectiveness of its field oriented and strategically focussed programmes. The control placed on the number of Council sessions, the de-emphasizing of paper work for paper work's sake is widely appreciated and it is an example that other United Nations Organizations can usefully emulate. It is really in support of these trends and in an effort to improve even further the image of the Organization that we favour here, just as we have been doing with our own major governmental programmes, a continued search for further economies. An army against hunger should be lean and operationally effective and these two characteristics usually go together. There are also characteristics which encourage approval and support from governments and legislatures in the constituencies they represent.
The United States government's concern in the struggle against hunger, along with the FAO and other important forces, is expressed in concrete ways. For example, in recent years our assistance programme has been increasingly oriented towards the food sector. At present over 50 percent of United States assistance goes to food and nutrition. Concern for the world food situation has prompted President Carter to establish a Committee on World Hunger chaired by Ambassador Linowitz, which with the inputs of many distinguished witnesses and speakers, including the Director-General on his recent visit to Washington, now is in the final stages of the preparation of its report.
We note with appreciation that our approach to food and agriculture programming with its focus on human needs and the rural poor closely parallels the strategy adopted by FAO. We consider ourselves allied to the FAO, to all effective forces engaged in the war on hunger. I believe that the Director-General's recent visit to Washington, the arguments he put before the Presidential Commission and before those preparing to lead a new development assistance structure, will give greater effect to our joint efforts in the field, where I have seen a number of excellent examples of fruitful collaboration between FAO Country Representatives and United States AID Missions.
In this intervention I have tried to indicate, the economic and political considerations which oblige us to maintain our reserve on the level of the assessed budget, the summary preview of which is before us. I would not have been so frank if I did not believe that the United States and the FAO share a fundamental unity in goals and that these goals can be achieved despite selective economy in the Programme of Work and Budget as submitted to the Council.
D. NSABIMANA (Rwanda): La delegation rwandaise a écoute avec grande attention le discours d'introduction du point de l'ordre du jour que nous débattons en ce moment, à savoir le sommaire du programme de travail et budget pour la période 1980-81, prononcé par le Directeur général de la FAO, et ceux respectivement prononcés par le Président du Comité du programme et par le Président du Comité des finances. Elle tient a les remercier pour leurs exposés succincts mais très complets.
Ma délégation a pris ample connaissance du document sur le sommaire de programme de travail et budget pour 1980-81, et appuie totalement la proposition du budget opérationnel total de 271,66 millions de dollars.
Cependant, le fait d'appuyer et approuver ce budget ne veut pas dire que nos aspirations soient entièrement satisfaites. En effet, comme certaines délégations l'ont souligné avant moi, nous pensons que l'augmentation réelle de 13,60 millions de dollars aurait dû être dépassée, ceci pour donner plus de portée au programme de travail de la FAO, car le tiers monde, qui a le plus besoin des services et des activités de notre Organisation, ne peut pas supporter des structures statiques, il évolue vers toute une gamme de nouveaux besoins qui exigent des moyens financiers, logistiques et techniques, dont il ne dispose pas. Aussi constâtons-nous que l'idée de croissance zéro du budget de l'Organisation ne devrait même pas être mentionnée car elle est contraire aux objectifs de la FAO qui, à notre avis, doivent s'adapter aux objectifs de ceux pour lesquels elle a été créée. Tout en appuyant la proposition du budget opérationnel pour 1980/81, ainsi que les recommandations qui nous ont été présentées par le Président du Comité des finances, nous voudrions lancer un appel, avec votre autorisation bien entendu, au Directeur général de la FAO, afin qu'il fasse tout son possible pour que les budgets des prochaines périodes aillent au-delà du minimum.
Ma délégation est d'accord avec l'idée du Directeur général de la FAO contenue dans le paragraphe 2.6 à la page 2 du document CL 75/3, à savoir que c'est aux pays en développement qu'incombe la lourde responsabilité d'accorder une priorité à leur développement alimentaire et.agricole. Nous espérons que par sa haute fonction au sein de la FAO, il sera notre interprète auprès des pays industrialisés ainsi qu'auprès des institutions de financement et autres, afin que les pays en développement puissent sortir du cercle vicieux dans lequel ils s'embourbent souvent, pour mieux s'acquitter de cette lourde responsabilité.
Nous appuyons également l'idée contenue dans le paragraphe 2.7 à la page 2 du même document, à savoir que les pays développés devraient absolument rompre avec le protectionnisme renaissant et s'ouvrir aux importations en provenance du tiers monde, ce qui aura pour effet, sans aucun doute, l'apaisement du sentiment de frustration qu'éprouvent les pays en développement devant l'absence d'une amélioration concrète face à la marche vers le nouvel ordre économique international.
S'agissant des actions menées par la FAO pour le reboisement, ma délégation se réjouit de la politique de notre Organisation tendant à mettre l'accent sur les forêts au service du développement communautaire. Comme vous le savez, beaucoup de pays en développement souffrent d'une déforestation de plus en plus grave et, quand il n'y a plus de forêt l'érosion s'installe, le climat est perturbé et le bois de chauffage manque, etc.
En ce qui concerne les stratégies et les priorités pour la période 1980/1981, nous tenons à soutenir l'idée contenue dans le paragraphe 5.2 à la page 7 du document CL 75/3, c'est-à-dire l'accent qui est mis sur l'accroissement de la production alimentaire et agricole et le renforcement de l'action en faveur du développement rural et la coopération entre les pays en développement. Il est important de souligner ici que le Secrétariat ait pensé à donner une vaste ampleur au développement rural de façon à toucher les catégories les plus pauvres et les moins développées (comme les femmes rurales dans les pays en développement) car nous pensons que c'est là l'un des noeuds du problème. Nous espérons que ' le Secrétariat, le moment venu, fera un bilan détaillé des actions entreprises à cet effet et ceci, d'autant plus, que nous vivons actuellement la décennie internationale de la femme ainsi que la décennie internationale de l'enfant.
Pour ce qui est de la coopération technique, nous pensons que c'est là un des meilleurs moyens mis à la disposition du tiers monde pour son développement. Je peux vous assurer que le Rwanda l'exploite déjà, avec ses voisins à savoir le Zaïre et le Burundi, et qu'il est membre de la Communauté économique des pays des grands lacs. Il fait également partie de l'Organisation pour l'aménagement du bassin de la rivière Akayera à laquelle adhèrent la Tanzanie et le Burundi.
Ma délégation espère que le Centre de coordination dont le Conseil a parlé lors de l'examen du document CL 75/14, avec l'appui de la FAO bien entendu, pourra donner une assistance particulière à ces deux organisations. En ce qui concerne la décentralisation de la FAO, c'est-à-dire l'installation des missions de coordination dans les pays en développement, permettez-moi de vous dire que ma délégation appuie cette proposition d'autant plus que mon pays en a déjà fait la demande; cependant une contrainte en cette matière semble insurmontable. Il est demandé aux pays qui souhaitent recevoir une mission FAO de mettre des bureaux à la disposition de cette dernière. Cette disposition est souvent irréalisable pour certains pays en développement, notamment les plus pauvres et les moins avancés.
Ma délégation voudrait demander au Secrétariat, et c'est là un détail qui a son poids, s'il n'y aurait pas lieu d'étudier, cas par cas, et faire des exceptions pour certains pays.
Ma délégation a suivi attentivement les paroles que vous avez prononcées avant le début des débats portant sur le document CL 75/3 concernant le sommaire du programme de travail et de budget 1980/81, document que nous sommes encore en train de discuter.
A ce sujet, vous avez indiqué qu'il y aura sans doute deux groupes opposés au sein de ce Conseilla savoir celui des pays en développement et celui des pays développés, gros donateurs en majorité. Mais n'est-il pas clair et indiscutable que le Directeur général de la FAO se soit efforcé de fixer le niveau du budget opérationnel pour 1980-81 à 271,66 millions de dollars, en fonction, non pas de nos espoirs (j'entends les espoirs des pays en développement), mais surtout afin de contenter les gros contributeurs. Serait-il possible que ceux-ci n'en soient pas satisfaits? Ces mêmes pays ont approuvé le budget de l'Unesco et celui de l'OMS, tous deux plus élevés que le budget de la FAO. Les objectifs et les activités de la FAO seraient-ils moins importants que ceux de l'Unesco, ou bien sont-ce les priorités du programme de la FAO qui sont remises en question sans que l'on ose le déclarer ouvertement. Ceci est un mystère inexplicable.
Ma délégation a beaucoup apprécié et appuyé les délégations qui ont jusqu'à présent témoigné leur appui total à la proposition du budget 1980/81, notamment les déclarations de la délégation de Zaïre. Ma délégation tient cependant à exprimer son étonnement vis-à-vis des réserves qui ont été exprimées par d'autres délégations quant à l'appui du même budget. La délégation du Rwanda est déçue du fait que la prudence et l'esprit de conciliation du Directeur général ne soient pas appréciés par ceux-là mêmes qui auraient dû l'en remercier car les pays en développement, on ne le répétera jamais assez, considèrent ce budget bien trop modeste compte tenu de leurs besoins sans cesse croissants.
Il a été maintes fois souligné au Directeur général de la FAO qu'il courait le danger de perdre son pari en s'obstinant à contenter une partie des membres qui feraient sans doute la sourde oreille à ces arguments; il a notamment été informé que la majorité écrasante représentée par les pays en développement souhaite vivement un accroissement plus substantiel du budget, alors pourquoi courir le risque de nous décevoir sans pour autant contenter qui que ce soit? Mais le Directeur général, soucieux de rechercher l'équilibre avant tout, n'a pas écouté la voix de la majorité et en voici le résultat. Ma délégation pense qu'il faudrait tirer une leçon pour l'avenir et que le budget devrait tenir compte avant tout des besoins des pays en développement.
Le Rwanda, ainsi que d'autres pays africains et d'Extrême-Orient, que l'histoire, la géographie et la nature n'ont décidément pas gâtés, sont bien trop anxieux de nourrir à tout prix leurs populations, pour se résigner à encore et toujours demeurer modestes dans leurs exigences.
L'aide publique au développement ne cesse de décroître en valeur réelle; l'aide bilatérale suit la même pente et on nous demande d'être raisonnables et patients dans nos demandes! Pourquoi .ne serait-ce pas aux plus nantis de se montrer plus raisonnables en accordant un accroissement des contributions? Pourquoi n'admettraient-ils pas, de bonne foi, que l'aide n'est jamais gratuite et qu'ils reprennent souvent de la main gauche ce qu'ils ont donné de la main droite? Les pays en développement constituent un immense débouché pour les produits et la technologie des pays industrialisés. Ne l'oublions pas, l'aide a aussi pour but de générer une demande solvable. Pour en revenir à la FAO, nous ne serions pas surpris d'apprendre que certains des gros contributeurs sont largement payés en retour lorsque la FAO fait appel à leurs experts, à leur équipement et à leurs produits.
Enfin, ma délégation renouvelle son appui total au programme de travail et au budget opérationnel pour 1980-81, qui n'est qu'un minimun et est en droit d'espérer que le même budget soit approuvé à l'unanimité par le Conseil.
Q.H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): For a change on this occasion I will refrain from complimenting the gentleman on the left of the podium. Speaking at this juncture I have the advantage of having listened to the opening statement of the Director-General and the statements of many of my colleagues, including the important one which was the one before the last one.
I would begin with remembering the concluding observation of the Director-General yesterday, that in the preparation of his proposals he was guided by professionalism, careful consideration of priorities, and the concern for economy. We have complete confidence in the abilities and professionalism of the Director-General and his colleagues. But in their considerations the guiding factors to my mind were the present situation of food and agriculture in the world which was assessed on the first day of this Council session wherein we saw that hunger and malnutrition are growing at a faster rate than the growth of food production. In that situation naturally the aspiration of the hungry and the malnourished was to look for ways and means to alleviate the hunger, and FAO has a constitutional responsibility to deal with the hungry and the malnourished.
I feel that the Director-General was also guided by the previous proposals for the programme and budget of this Organization. You will notice that the present proposal is by far the lowest in terms of real growth, compared with all previous programmes and budgets of this Organization. The real growth of 5.3 per cent is the lowest so far proposed and it does not include the proposal which was experienced not long ago in this Organization to have a staff growth of 350. I also feel that the Director-General had a look at the trend and growth in the. Programme of Work and Budget of other sister organizations, like UNESCO, which had in the last budget a real growth of more than that proposed for FAO, with the budget level higher than that of FAO. The same applies to WHO, it is much more than FAO, in spite of the priorities that one would attach to FAO. Quoting the Director-General of WHO, he once said that it is recognized by all that food is the best medicine.
I am sure that the Director-General and his colleagues were alive to the need for restraint and economy and in that situation they had to strike a balance in their proposal. I am afraid that while trying to strike the balance it has gone in favour of restraint and economy perhaps at the cost of disappointment of many hungry developing countries.
The question may arise, who bears the burden of the budget of FAO? It is the poor and the rich alike, the poor and the rich proportionate to their abilities. I must stress further, it is the poor who pay more than proportionate to their ability in the case of the poorest, because there is a minimum level of contribution of 0.02 percent which would have been much lower for many tiny developing countries and for the rich there are many for whom there would be no increase in the contribution in spite of this real growth proposed, 5.3 percent , due to the current devaluation. In spite of that, the poor would have liked to see a higher budget level in recognition of the need 'and that could have been carried by a vast majority in this House. But neither the Director-General nor the developing countries propose that course in the interest of cooperation and harmony that exists in this House between the poor and the rich and the big and the small.
Coming on to the preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget, the Director-General was guided by the directions given by this Council in its previous sessions, the resolutions and recommendations in the regional conferences held last year, wherein you will find that there is an undertone, an underline, to see that this Organization responds to the need of the day.
I have heard with great interest, as I said, the statement of the speaker previous to the last, and
it is very heartening to note that that great country agrees with the general strategies and priorities proposed in the Programme of Work and Budget and is in substantial agreement of all the priorities. One can see in the report of the Programme Committee that that country as a member of the Committee has agreed with the major programme proposals and the priorities of Work and Budget. The reasons assigned for this trend are very interesting; it is because of recession or near-recession in that country.
The total growth, real growth, is $13.6 million, and the share of the country which pays 25 percent will be a little over 3 million and if it reduced to 3 percent it will be a little over perhaps
2 million, so it is perhaps a difference of a million. Wouldn't you think that the members of this Council would be surprised if a country that big is concerned for a million of dollars which would go for the benefit of eliminating hunger and mainourishment?
It has been proposed that somewhere there could be some areas of economy, and one or two have also been cited, for instance, the country offices. Mr. Chairman, you may recall that the proposal of country offices has come by definite direction from this Council and the Conference to decentralize FAO activities to country level. The proposal of country offices you will find in page 30 on the Report of the Joint Committee on the Programme of Work and Budget in paragraph 3.21. The staffing is 2 professionals, including the representative, and 6 general service which includes messengers, cleaners and guards. Could there be a smaller staffing for any representation whether, it be FAO or any other organization to maintain an office without at least two professionals, which includes the representative himself? We in the Finance Committee considered this at length and we are of the view that under no circumstances could there be a proposal for a lower staffing for a country office if FAO means business so that its presence is felt in the country.
Another proposal that was postponed was the renovation of buildings. I am not an engineer. One who knows would feel that if you delay in renovation you may have to reconstruct. While it is for judgement to see whether a reconstruction will be more expensive than a renovation, a renovation in time will save more money than having to take up reconstruction of the same.
There was an observation regarding the Technical Cooperation Programme. You will find in the history of the growth oí TCP in this conntry. T:his Council in a staff session passed a resolution to improve and strengthen the TCP operation of this organization, but I would say that in spite of this resolution the Director-General has not. paid sufficient heed in his proposals. The growth of TCP is just as the growth of the budget, it is 12 percent ci" the budget in the present as it was in the last biennium. I would feel it to be in the fitness of things if the Director-General were to respond to the Council resolution, the proposal for TCP should have been higher.
There was also an observation about the cost increase. I wonder how this cost increase could be further tightened up by control. One of the examples given is not too frequent post adjustments. I happen to be a silent member, a quiet member of the Finance Committee. The post adjustments are guided by the principles laid down by the United Nations system and which is followed by all the Organizations in the United Nations system, which is a trigger-point of five. When you reach that five point you have to pull your trigger to shoot, you have no other choice, so if you have accepted that principle, I do not know how you could refrain from pulling the trigger. Your finger will automatically go to the trigger and pull to shoot. I do not think the Director-General or anybody in this house has any choice but to have tighter control on not too frequent post adjustments.
I feel that while we agree with the general thrust of the Programme and priorities, there is no choice for us but to endorse the proposed increase and the level of the Programme of Work and Budget. This was considered at length by the Programme and Finance Committees and they have fully endorsed the proposals of the Director-General.
Under the circumstances we feel that the increase is the absolute minimum, although we would have been happier to see a higher budget level, but at this stage we will not press and we will fully support the budget level of 271.66 million at the rate of $US 1 to Lit. 879 for biennium 1980/81.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Bangladesh. I do not think you can be a silent member of anything.
Srta. C. DOMINGUEZ D. (Panamá): Deseamos manifestar el agradecimiento de nuestra delegación al Sr. Director General por la presentación del resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el proximo bienio 1980/81. De igual manera, agradecemos la participación de los Presidentes de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas, quienes nos han pre sentado los informes sobre las labores realizadas en sus Comités respectivos. Hasta el momento hemos analizado los temas relacionados con la situación alimentaria mundial, la cual sigue siendo alarmante, la seguridad alimentaria mundial sigue siendo incierta. Nos toca ahora debatirt . docatnento CL 75/3 sobre el resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el proximo bienio. Vodos los países miembros de la Organización, que estamos conscientes del papel cada vez mayor de la Organización en la comunidad internacional, y cada vez más, los Estados Miembros solicitan ayuda para resolver los graves problemas impostergables de la agricultura y de la alimentación por los cuales atraviesan sus poblaciones marginadas.
La solución de estos problemas requiere sin lugar a dudas un incremento en el presupuesto de la Organización. En la Introduce ión del documento, el Director General propone un presupuesto total efectivo de 271,66 mil lones de delares, el cual incluye un incremento real de los programas de 13,60 millones de dólares. Nuestra delegación apoya el nivel del presupuesto presentado por el Sr. Director General. No obstante, consideramos que el incremento no va de acuerdo con las urgentes necesidades de los países en desarrollo en lo que a agricultura y alimentación se refiere. Expresa el documento que si bien se ha producido una mejora general, el hambre y la malnutrición no dan señas de reducirse y que el número de malnutridos en el mimco va en aumento.
Reconocernos que las conclusiones del Congreso Forestal Mundial celebrado el pasado año en Indonesia tendrá notables consecuencias para el próximo bienio. El Gobierno de Panamá está empeñado en una importante campaña de reforestación debido a que en las regiones pobladas, los recursos forestales han sido, con frecuencia, destruidos para dedicar la tierra a la explotación agrícola y ganadera. Deseamos expresar el reconocimiento de nuestro Gobierno a la Organización por la valiosa ayuda que en materia forestal nos ha prestado. Apoyamos el interés de la Organización de dar una respuesta a los deseos expresados por la Conferencia pasada en lo referente al Nuevo Régimen Marítimo, y en general, la formulación y aplicación de actividades relativas a las zonas económicas exclusivas.
En general, apoyamos los aumentos en los programas de agricultura, pesca y montes, aunque consideramos que los aumentos son sumamente modestos. Las peticiones de los Estados Miembros sobre el establecimiento de oficinas de la FAO nos demuestra el interés, cada vez mayor, de los Gobiernos en los programas y políticas de la Organización y su deseo de trabajar en programas conjuntos de desarrollo, en los cuales cada vez debe tener mayor participación la utilización de la instituciones nacionales.
Para nuestra delegación, es motivo de orgullo hablar de la mujer. Consideramos que la mujer debe ser plenamente integrada al proceso de desarrollo y que constituye una enorme fuerza productiva. Su integración social no es solo una obligación ineludible de los gobiernos, sino también una necesidad para lograr el progreso económico-social de los pueblos. Nuestra delegación aprueba el incremento propuesto para el programa de cooperación técnica para reforzar cualitativa y cuantitativamente los programas que llevará a cabo, aunque hubiéramos querido un incremento mayor. El programa de cooperación técnica ha sido para nuestro Gobierno un gran aliado financiando y asesorando programas de alta prioridad.
Durante la reciente visita del Sr. Presidente de la República, Dr. Arístides Royo, a la Organización le expreso al Sr. Director General su reconocimiento por la forma positiva y dinámica en que se han desarrollado los programas de la FAO en este bienio. En esta ocasión, nuestra delegación desea ratificar este reconocimiento aprobando el nivel del presupuesto, aunque lo consideramos, como hemos dicho, sumamente modesto, y a la vez alentamos al Sr. Director General a seguir adelante en su empeño por aliviar las necesidades de los marginados del mundo y establecer un verdadero y justo orden económico internacional.
M. PANJSHERI (Afghanistan): My delegation has carefully studied this document CL 75/3 and listened to the introductory remarks of the Director-General's representative. We appreciate the format of the document and in our view it gives the right backdrop to the Programme of Work which the Director-General proposes to implement in the next biennium.
The State of Food and Agriculture in the developing countries remains discouraging. The average annual increase of food continues to stagnate well below the target set out in the strategy of the Second International Development decade; in many countries such as mine it is below the rate of population growth. The incidence of manultrition has increased, and dietary energy supply may as well have fallen. Food aid has not reached the minimum level accepted in the World Food Conference five years ago.
The International Emergency Food Reserve remains low. In this context we are not surprised that the Director-General shares the frustration and dismay of the developing countries, as indicated in paragraphs 2.7 and 2.8 of the document. Equally, we understand and appreciate the underlying apprehension of the Director-General, as suggested in paragraphs 2.17 and 2.18, that the different organs of the United Nations system are still quibbling about the methodology, the superstructure and the nice ties of roles to be played and underplayed by the specialized agencies.
It is our firm opinion that the time has come to look the facts in the face and give priority to projects and ideas that bring quick and lasting improvement to the quality of life of the poor masses in our developing countries. In my own country, we are engaged in a grim struggle to bring about fundamental and basic changes and eliminate the feudal and exploitative system of the past.
You should not be surprised, therefore, that we find ourselves in almost total accord with the Director-General in his priorities. We are also happy to note that the Committee of the Whole of the UN has supported the strategies worked out by the FAO.
Larger investments through concessional assistance by the development financial institutions; increase in trust fund resources of FAO geared to priorities of their organization already approved repeatedly, in the International Community Special Action Programme and TCP; replenishment of the fertilizer supply scheme which seems to be one source of comfort in a world where fertilizer prices are manipulated at will, making them beyond the reach of a poor country like mine; a thrust towards attaining food security through increased food aid and production in the developing countries; and support to the Five Point Plan of Action initiated by the Director-General, are ail designed to focus attention on the immediate and overriding needs of the countries themselves.
We are happy that the Director-General promises to continue the establishment of FAO offices, and very much hope there would be some way of opening all the offices requested in paragraph 5.13. We do not think the impact of all new initiatives of FAO can be felt in individual developing countries without this measure.
We have heard some voices of dissent on the issue of decentralization, and are amazed that the same countries that at other forums agree there is a need for international agencies to find the support costs for their own field work come around to criticising FAO for doing precisely the same. My country has expressed its support earlier, and we would like to reiterate the necessity for and reasonableness of decentralization at the country level.
At this stage we do not intend to go into the details of individual priorities mentioned in paragraphs 5.1 to 5.35. If there is another opportunity, we would like to dwell on the special interests of our country, but we would like to say we admire the tenacity and wisdom of the Director-General in keeping the budget at the minimum level, and we support his refusal to increase posts in Headquarters and Regional Offices.
We have seen the Comparison III chart at page 18 of the document CL 75/3, and feel rather sad that the real programme increase could not be higher than 13.60 million dollars, and that cost increases alone had accounted for as much as 47.91 million dollars.
We consider this budget level as reasonable, and would like to remind the developed countries that we, the developing countries, have to make much greater sacrifice than they in terms of real value of each dollar we spend. Our delegation supports the budget level and hopes that in working out the details, the priorities relevant to the least developed countries would receive utmost appreciation and care.
I want to indicate once again thay my delegation fully supports the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, 1980/1981, as presented by the Director-General.
M. A. PAPAGEORGIOU (Grèce): Prenant rapidement la parole en mars dernier, le jour où les représentants permanents ont été convoqués pour prendre connaissance en avant-première du programme de travail et de budget pour le biennium 1980-1981, je saluais avec satisfaction cette initiative innovatrice du Directeur général. Je disais alors que cela soulignait entre autres la grande attention que le chef de l'exécutif de cette organisation apporte à la bonne préparation et à la bonne exécution de ce programme, puisqu'il avait décidé de le soumettre aux feux croisés d'un premier examen avant la procédure normale qui vient d'être commencée. Je félicitais le Directeur général parce que, en en décidant ainsi, il voulait bien nous apporter un temps largement suffisant pour passer son budget au fil d'une inspection minutieuse et absolument complète, tant de la part de nous-mêmes, représentants permanents, que de la part des autorités compétentes de mon gouvernement.
Je voudrais vous faire part aujourd'hui de quelques observations sur le sommaire du programme de travail et budget sur lequel sera élaborée la version définitive. Ma tache est considérablement facilitée par la manière dont les documents soumis à notre attention ont été rédigés. De cela, je me permets de féliciter le secrétariat et son équipe rédactionnelle. En effet, la clarté et la concision du sommaire ainsi que la précision du rapport du Comité du programme et du Comité financier - je demande au Président du Comité financier et au Président du Comité du Programme d'accepter ma reconnaissance pour le travail accompli - nous permettent de juger objectivement les activités et l'état financier de l'Organisation.
Tout d'abord, nous reconnaissons tout de suite, à travers les pages de ces documents, l'image de la FAO telle que nous l'avons souhaitée et que nous avons à plusieurs reprises retrouvée dans le fait concret des activités de cette organisation ces toutes dernières années, et pour laquelle nous sommes d'ailleurs unanimement félicités, je parle de l'image d'une FAO nouvelle, rajeunie et dynamique, mais en même temps sérieuse et surtout économique.
La stratégie et les priorités répondent bien à la situation mondiale de l'agriculture ainsi qu'aux orientations des politiques adoptées les trois dernières années par le Conseil et la Conférence. Les propositions répondent aux besoins et aux possibilités d'action de la FAO pour le prochain biennium. Dans ce contexte, nous souscrivons absolument à la décision de l'Organisation de poursuivre une stratégie axée sur des actions concrètes et efficaces orientées vers le terrain et vers les pays.
Nous constatons d'ailleurs avec joie que progressivement le souvenir d'une FAO bureaucratique et rigide cède la place à une organisation rapide, élastique, pratique, directement liée aux exigences des temps modernes.
Mon gouvernement a scruté plus particulièrement, avec une attention concrète, quelques chapitres essentiels du sommaire pour juger de l'orientation générale proposée pour les deux ans à venir.
Tout d'abord, l'investissèment.
Comme nous l'avons remarqué à plusieurs reprises, et comme l'a souligné il y a deux jours, de cette même place, le chef de notre délégation, l'investissement est une des pierres angulaire de nos efforts pour accroître la production alimentaire de tous les secteurs de l'agriculture. Nous sommes d'accord avec les observations du Comité financier qui a souligné l'importance du programme relatif à l'investissement pour accroître les courants de capitaux destinés à être investis dans l'agriculture des pays en développement. Nous notons en même temps avec satisfaction que l'expansion attendue des activités de prêts à l'agriculture des principales institutions de financement, bien qu'elle impose une charge supplémentaire au programme, n'a donné lieu à aucune création de postes.
Le programme de coopération technique.
Le gouvernement de la Grèce a toujours soutenu le programme de coopération technique. Nous avons à plusieurs reprises expliqué les raisons qui nous ont amené à ce soutien. C'est pour cela que nous sommes soucieux de vérifier si ce programme continue à demeurer fidèle aux objectifs qu'il s'est fixé. A ce titre, les conclusions du Comité du Programme contenues dans le paragraphe 2.102 et 2.103 du rapport semblent à notre avis très encourageantes. Je ne vois donc aucune raison valable de contester la majoration demandée pour ce programme qui s'élève à un peu plus d'un million et demi de dollars. D'ailleurs, je partage les vues exprimées par le Comité financier au paragraphe 3.23 qui fait remarquer que cette majoration respecte le rapport existant actuellement entre le PCT et l'ensemble du programme de travail et de budget, soit 12 pour cent environ. Nous estimons que le programme continue de répondre de manière pratique et efficace aux besoins urgents et à court terme des Etats Membres sans se substituer à d'autres sources de subsistance.
Les bureaux régionaux de la FAO.
Examinant la rubrique consacrée aux représentants de la FAO, je vois là une confirmation de la réussite du processus de décentralisation. L'ouverture de quinze bureaux durant cet exercice est un objectif valable, mais ne peut pas, à mon avis, être considéré comme un objectif très ambitieux. Je note avec satisfaction la participation des gouvernements-hotes aux frais de fonctionnement des bureaux dans les pays. Je me demande, comme il est bien compréhensible que cette participation soit plus limitée dans les pays les plus pauvres, s'il ne serait pas souhaitable qu'elle soit encore plus grande de la part des pays qui auraient les moyens financiers de soulager, par une participation plus grande à ces frais, le budget de la FAO. Cette éventualité, avec la proposition du Comité financier d'envisager la création de bureaux desservant plusieurs pays, ainsi que d'autres suggestions, pourrait sans aucun doute soulager davantage le budget de l'Organisation dans ce chapitre.
Dans ce contexte, je voudrais noter avec joie quelques points aux par. 2,96 à 2.101. Il est dit que les fonctionnaires de la FAO sont expressément chargés d'identifier et de formuler les projets en étroite collaboration de consultation avec les représentants résidents du PNUD et que le représentant de la FAO résidera, en règle générale, dans le même immeuble que le représentant du PNUD ou d'autres institutions des Nations Unies.
J'ai fait ce petit tour d'horizon dans l'espoir de contribuer à renforcer le climat de compréhension et de solidarité que le Directeur général est soucieux de maintenir entre nous tous, pays membres de l'Organisation.
De plus, le Directeur général, comme nous le savons très bien, assure de façon impeccable une gestion saine, énergique, équilibrée, des moyens que nous portons à sa disposition. Cela, de l'avis de notre gouvernement, constitue une garantie supplémentaire pour souscrire à son budget.
A.S. FASLA (Algérie): C'est avec un grand intérêt que notre délégation a suivi l'exposé clair et détaillé du Directeur général et la présentation du Président du Comité du programme et de budget sur le sommaire du programme de travail et de budget 1980-81 qui constitue l'un des points les plus importants de notre Conseil.
Le niveau de budget proposé pour le biennium 1980-81 nous paraît modeste par rapport aux tâches immenses qui attendent la FAO qui a la responsabilité primordiale de s'attaquer à la faim et à la malnutrition, et de promouvoir une véritable coopération internationale dans le domaine alimentaire et agricole, en vue d'assurer le développement accéléré des pays en voie de développement et de contribuer à la croissance économique mondiale. Une augmentation en termes réels de 5,3 pour cent est modeste, réaliste, nécessaire. Son acceptation traduit la volonté de nos Etats de développer les programmes de notre Organisation qui doit recevoir un traitement au moins égal à celui qui est réservé à d'autres institutions du système des Nations Unies. Son acceptation manifeste la confiance de nos Etats, confiance que nous plaçcons dans l'Organisation et dans le role qui lui est assigné par les textes fondamentaux.
Cette augmentation répond aussi aux nouvelles tâches que doit entreprendre l'Organisation, tels que les programmes de coopération technique entre pays en voie de développement, sa participation active et sa contribution à l'élaboration de nouvelles stratégies internationales pour le développement, la mise en oeuvre d'un nouvel ordre économique international, la mise en oeuvre de décisions relatives aux zones exclusives, ainsi que d'autres tâches qui ont été présentées dans le programme de travail.
Alors que des milliards de dollars sont engloutis annuellement dans les dépenses d'armement et dans leur perfectionnement, alors que des milliards de dollars sont gaspillés dans des dépenses de luxe, l'augmentation sollicitée est somme toute dérisoire. Elle est inférieure à ce que l'humanité engloutit en moins d'une demi-heure dans les dépenses d'armement.
Nous avons déjà écouté une opposition, ou plutôt j'espère une hésitation, quant au niveau proposé. Il y en aura certainement d'autres, selon les informations que nous avons eues dans les couloirs. Mais nous voulons lancer un appel aux pays développés pour qu'ils acceptent le niveau proposé en ce qui concerne l'augmentation du budget. D'ailleurs, notre collègue du Bangladesh l'a déjà souligné, pour la plupart des pays développés, cette augmentation en termes réels est en fait inférieure à 5,3 pour cent, du fait de la revalorisation des monnaies de ces pays par rapport à la devise américaine. D'autre part, nous ne devons pas oublier que la plupart des contrats, des marchés, pour ce qui est des équipements, sont enlevés justement par les sociétés des pays développés.
Les grandes orientations du programme de travail, les stratégies et les priorités fixées par la FAO, montrent le souci de l'Organisation d'inscrire son action dans le cadre des objectifs d'un nouvel ordre économique international afin de mieux répondre aux préoccupations des pays du tiers monde et afin de contribuer à instaurer un ordre d'équité et de justice.
La décentralisation qui s'est traduite par le déplacement des activités de la FAO du siège vers le terrain et le renforcement des bureaux régionaux, ainsi que par les représentations dans les Etats, constitue un élément positif de lutte contre la bureaucratie en vue d'une meilleure efficacité de notre Organisation.
Nous appuyons le programme de coopération technique qui constitue un instrument excellent pour faire face à certaines situations d'urgence. Ce programme a déjà fait ses preuves, car il a déjà assisté plusieurs opérations ponctuelles dans des pays en voie de développement.
La priorité accordée au programme de sécurité alimentaire, à la réduction des pertes alimentaires, au développement rural, répond aux exigences de la situation alimentaire mondiale, situation critique qui fait peser de lourdes menaces sur une très grande partie de l'humanité.
Notre délégation se félicite des coupes budgétaires décidées par le Directeur général en matière d'administration et de la décision qui a été prise de limiter l'augmentation de postes au siège ainsi que sur le terrain.
Je dois souligner que nous devons oeuvrer, au sein de cette Organisation, pour une plus grande utilisation des représentants des pays du tiers monde, notamment en tant que consultants. Un appel a été adressé hier par le Directeur général à nos pays pour lui fournir les consultants nécessaires. Je m'associe aux commentaires pertinents du délégué de l'Inde lorsqu'il a parlé d'une sorte de discrimination de salaires qui existe entre les consultants des institutions du système des Nations Unies et les fonctionnaires de nos pays et je crois que la situation tendant à faire des requêtes directement aux institutions de recherche et de formation qui existent dans nos pays est excellente. Nous la partageons pleinement.
Je voudrais informer d'ailleurs les membres de ce Conseil qu'au niveau du mouvement des pays non alignés, nous avons déjà conmmencé une coopération pour dégager les directives concernant le renforcement de la coopération dans le domaine des consultants entre pays du tiers monde. Il serait peut-être souhaitable que l'administration puisse avoir des contacts avec le président en exercice du mouvement pour voir les possibilités existantes.
La lecture de la page 5 du document CL 75/3 montre les difficultés passagères et conjonctuelles existantes dans le rapport entre la FAO et le PNUD.
Nous espérons que ces difficultés seront surmontées grâce à la sagesse et à la clairvoyance des responsables des deux institutions car il y va de l'intérêt de la coopération internationale et de l'intérêt du système des Nations Unies.
Nous comprenons que la coordination est parfois difficile, nous comprenons que la coordination est quelquefois délicate, mais nous estimons qu'il appartient aux Etats, lorsque cette coordination ne peut pas se faire, de trancher.
Ce sont les quelques commentaires que ma délégation voulait faire à ce stade, sur le programme du budget et travail pour le biennium 1980/81. Nous nous réservons le droit de revenir sur la question plus tard, lorsque nous écouterons d'autres orateurs. Naturellement nous réitérons notre appui aux propositions qui nous ont été faites.
J. PILANE (Botswana): Naturally, my delegation should be arguing for a larger increase than has been proposed, but we have to accept, though grudgingly, the Director-General's proposed increase for we understand the situation in which he finds himself. Moreover, we would like to avoid polarisation of this debate if possible. We have therefore decided to modify our original stance. We equally sympathize with some of our colleagues from the developed countries for we can understand their situation. We trust, however, that their governments will be moved by sheer human plight.
The debate here in some way reminds us of some historical incident. We understand that at the time of the French Revolution the Queen of Prance at the time, hearing people's noises outside, asked her aid what was the matter. When told it was because they wanted bread she asked why they could not be given cake. Our colleagues from the developed countries are, of course, by far more informed than the Queen of Prance was at that time. They know full well that when we say that our people are hungry we mean there is nothing for them to eat.
The delegation of Botswana wishes to record its full and complete support for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, on the basis of which the Director-General intends to present his proposals to the Conference.
It is encouraging to note that the strategies of FAO are fully supported by the Committee-of the-Whole of the General Assembly in New York. It has confirmed the relevance of all of FAO policies and priorities to the implementation of the New International Economic Order.
While this is important my delegation places its support for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget on the fact that it received the most searching scrutiny and overwhelming approval of our Programme and Finance Committees at their last session. We would like to express our appreciation to the Committee for the thoroughness and perfection with which they carried our their work.
The proposals are a rational but modest extension of the direction and programme already endorsed by the Conference. To improve the efficiency and effectiveness of FAO's programmes a considerable amount of resources have been shifted from lower to higher priority. The balance among priorities is not only responsive to our needs but also takes account of the other considerations.
In fact, based on our needs, we could say that we wish the Director-General had submitted proposals for a considerably larger programme, as I have already hinted. There could be no question of imposing an arbitrally determined minimal rate of growth in the level of the budget. I am sure that those of our colleagues who always feel that their governments cannot bear the burden of the higher budget are relieved by the token increase and in fact they will not have failed to notice in the Report of the Finance Conmmittee the comparative figures for the proposed biennium as given on the document CL 75/4. As has already been pointed out by other speakers the programme increase in FAO's budget over three biennia has come down from 23.4% to 5.3%. What more could the Director-3eneral do to prove that he takes to heart the demand for budgetary restraint from governments, at the same time as the majority of the Member Governments are making ever greater and more frequent appeals for FAO assistance.
We have to. continue repeating in one way or another, or even in exactly the same way for that matter what our other colleagues have already said, if only to drive a simple point home. If the plight of the many desperate souls around the world is to be alleviated some kind of increase is imperative and the proposed increase is the lowest possible, unless, we can be convinced otherwise that an already hungry man can afford to wait for the world's economy to improve. In our view the proposed increase has struck a unique balance between the demands of donor countries and those of recipient countries.
Our requests, are, of course, based on our urgent and direct need but our turning to FAO for help is based on our proven experience and conviction that FAO has the competency and the capacity to help us. As the Director-General has shown gradually in the last three years, moreover, he uses the modest resoruces as his disposal to attract and generate amounts many times greater from bilateral donors and financial institutions.
After having listened attentatively to previous speakers in this debate I can only say that the Council must give its unanimous approval to the proposals of The Director-General.
I. OZORAI (Hungary): The Summary Programme of work and Budget for 1960/81 biennium was an excellent presentation of the work and the priorities FAO is suggesting for the next biennium. My delegation particulary appreciates the brief introduction of the Director-General on this subject.
The Director-General's introduction, as well as the presentation of the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees were helpful to the delegates to identify quite clearly the general approach and the main considerations to be put into practice in the next two years.
To start with I would like to refer to paragraph 2.20 of the document before us summarizing briefly the main duties and capacities of FAO. My government has full confidence in the work FAO is doing for the improvement of the world food situation and it sees this Organization's role in the United Nations family to be firm and strengthened.
My delegation approves of the level of the Budget as proposed and we are prepared to meet the increased requirements as far as the contributions are concerned.
Vie do also concur with the views of the Director-General on the highest priorities to be attached to various activities during the forthcoming biennium.
Having said this, with your permission I would like to offer some remarks and comments on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. The document is devoting considerable attention to the financial position of UNDP and to FAO/UNDP deliveries. As you may well know, there are some unused funds piled up from the contributions of my government to UNDP paid in national currency. There have recently been some promising initiative, both from the Hungarian and FAO side to make use of part of these funds for the sake of developing countries through the FAO programme and projects. I wonder whether these first steps could be followed up by the competent divisions of FAO.
May I turn my attention now to some minor items of the Budget. Speaking about zero-base, the document is hinting at the elimination of activities producing little benefit or being unessential to established priorities. We are convinced this the right approach to manage in the most efficient way the resources available to FAO, though I should like to advocate caution in the application of this principle so that the discontinuation of some programmes and their activities should not result in a complete loss in the benefits Member countries have so far had by these activities.
The basic concept about the increased utilization of national institutions and consultants is a current motive of the suggestion the Summary Programme Work and Budget is making on the use of Funds. We do agree with this principle, and we would be happy indeed to be able to see at a later stage the /?/ in which the Organization is going to put this into practice.
We fee the recommendations of the document discussed on TCDC the other day by this Council as to the full use of consultants, etc., from developing countries may also be taken into account here.
My delegations has already expressed its deep interest in the investment oriented activities of FAO stating our belief that these activities are very important and need to be strengthened. We were happy to note that provision has been made to reinforce investment support and other related units.
We would welcome some information about the structural changes in the Development Department for this purpose as indicated in paragraph 5.11, hoping the Department will be increasingly geared at fostering development in developing countries, take this opportunity to declare our full support to the reinforcement of the Technical Cooperation Programme and we do agree with the increase of 12% in real terms of this Programme.
May I now touch briefly upon rural development. We share the Director-General's view on the paramount importance of this activity. Rural development has for long been believed by my delegation to be one, if not the most important vehicle of overall agricultural development. Rural development is certainly the programme the benefit/cost ratio of which is the most favourable in the medium and long/term. We very much appreciate the Organization's and the Director-General's intention to grant rural development an increase in funds above the average. The Summary Programme of Work and Budget state to have foreseen the possible recommendations likely to be expected by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform Development and to have built in the budget the funds needed for a proper follow-up by FAO. I am not quite sure however, the the impact of the World Conference could have been fully considered at this stage of the preparations. What I would like to suggest is that the final version of the Programme of Work and Budget to be submitted to the Twentieth Session of the Conference should use the possibility of reallocating resources to strengthen further the staff and institutions in charge of this activity, or at least to indicate other sources by which the staff and the consultants asssisting developing countries in the rural development programme can be strengthened.
I feel encouraged making this statment by the document which has been distributed to us just this morning about the second regular 1979 session of the ECOSOC meeting and Interagency Action in Rural Development where the very last paragraph 43 is saying about some possible Interagency effort to be determined after the World Conference.
Coming briefly to some subprogramme included in the document I would like to make some brief comments. There are only a few subprogrammes where a fair level of training activities has nou been envisaged. We approve of this. We wonder whether the final version of the Programme of Work and Budget could offer an informative proposal on the total level of the funds and resources earmarked for training.
Subprogramme 2.1.8 envisages the discontinuation of commodity projections. May I refer back to what I said before about elimination of some activities?. We feel that a modest contribution of FAO to the battle against the protectionist measures by which some industrialized countries and TNC's are hampering the food trade of developing and socialist countries alike may also consist of inssuing from time to time unbiased projections as to the forescasts in trade of some major food commodities.
Finally, may I have a word on the European activities of FAO? I am not of course proposing additional funds to be allocated to the programmes of European activities, though as a delegate of a European country I should like to draw your attention to the fact that very modest programmes carried out by FAO in the European region are of benefit to the developing countries too, for instance the European cooperative research nerwork, which has proved to be a success story in the European region.
In conclusion, I suggest that the Council approve the Programme of Work and Budget as contained in document CL 75/3.
J. OLIVEIRA (Guinée-Bissau): Je prends la parole après que différentes délégations ont eu l'occasion d'exprimer leur avis sur les deux points en discussion concernant le sommaire du programme et le niveau du budget pour les années 1980-81.
Je ne vais pas m'attarder à défendre point par point les rapport du Comité financier et du Comité du programme qui concluent tous deux en recommandant l'adoption du budget proposé, comme ma délégation veut le faire elle aussi. Cet exercice a déjà été brillamment exécuté par mes collègues du tiers monde.
Après tout ce qui a été dit, il est bien clair pour nous tous que le Programme de travail et budget est parfaitement satisfaisant et ne pèche que par son extrême modestie. Il paraît malheureusement évident que nos arguments se heurtent à des positions de principe rigidement préétablies et nui n'ont rien à voir avec les faits.
Bien sûr, certains délégués ont critiqué ici et là tel chapitre du budget pour tenter de montrer des faits alors que ceux-ci en sont absents.
C'est la troisiêmefois que nous nous réunissons pour discuter de ce budget et c'est toujours la même chose, certaines délégations présentent des critiques et des réserves qui certainement reposent sur des arguments spécieux. Je demande pourquoi les pays qui font des réserves et qui ont critiqué le budget dès le début ne se montrent pas plus directs? Pourquoi se déclarent-ils d'emblée opposés à toute croissance du budget, si minime sort-elle, et quelles qu'en soient les justifications? Ceci faciliterait la tâche de tout le monde et particulièrement des pays du tiers monde qui cesseraient peut-être de miser indéfiniment sur l'esprit de collaboration.
Permettez-moi, Monsieur le Président, de lancer ici un appel dont je ne redoute ni la simplicté ni la franchise: Messieurs les délégués qui avez critiqué, ou qui pensez encore présenter des réserves sur le budget, ne tirez pas trop sur la corde car vous courez le risque de ternir votre image pour quelques dollars qui sont bien peu pour vous, alora qu'ils sont pour nous d'une importance vitale. Nous ne demandons pas la charité. Ce que nous demandons, c'est davantage de justice, de compréhension, en un mot, de bonne foi de votre part.
M. DESSOUKI (Egypt) (Interpretation from Arabic): We have read with great interest document CL 75/3, which includes the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1980-81. At the outset we would like to express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the Director-General and his assistants, the members of FAO who have laboured in drafting this crystal clear document.
We would also like to commend the Director-General for having submitted to us a balanced programme which objectively deals with the basic activities of the Organization in the field of agrarian and agricultural development. We would like to support the priorities Which he has established for the Programme and we would also like to express our appreciation of the difficulties he has faced, in spite of which he has come up with a realistic programme which aims at objectively dealing with the urgent problems of developing countries.
Before entering into details of the Programme I would like to express our full approval of the Programme of Work and the proposed budget level, both of which were approved by the Programme and Finance Committees. We would have liked to see a larger increase in the programme and budget in order to satisfy the increasing demands of the developing countries, but we can accept this modest increase in the existing circumstances.
Our attention has been drawn in this document to a number of world conferences which directly or indirectly affect agricultural development, conferences whose success we hope for. We agree with the alarm voiced in this document concerning the lack of progress in establishing the necessary steps and measures in the new International Economic Order. Such concern was repeated at the latest UNCTAD conference in Manila, where the developing countries and the advanced countries were unable to close the gap between them and to arrive at a successful conclusion which would respect the legitimate aspirations of the developing countries. We hope that the next conference, which will take place here in July, will come up with results that will benefit agrarian reform and rural development in the world. We also took note of the encouraging steps taken in agricultural investment, as well as the expected developments in this area through regional and international banks.
We also wish to express our appreciation of the activities of the Investment Centre. This we have directly felt in our own country through the means that have been undertaken with the support of the International Bank in order to implement agricultural projects in Egypt. We hope that the Centre will be further developed in order to assist the developing countries which benefit from these activities in the various stages of preparing agricultural projects.
With regard to UNDP, we feel a certain concern in connexion with the redelegation of some of this competence to other organizations and I agree with the delegate of Colombia in this respect. We realise that some of these UNDP projects could be implemented through other organizations. Nevertheless we hope that UNDP will take into account that FAO is the main instrument in agricultural development that must be used as much as possible. As we deal with this item we would like to refer to the Technical Cooperation Programme which the Director-General launched at the start of his term of office and we have already expressed our full support for this programme and for the excellent services submitted by this programme to developing countries as well as the independence and flexibility with which it has been imbued. We would like to express our continued support for TCP, a programme which we hope will be further developed and expanded.
With regard to the priorities of the new programme, we would like to draw attention to the need for attaching greater importance to developing agricultural marketing and agricultural credit facilities in developing countries, because the lack of credit facilities to small farmers and the inefficiency of credit organizations affect in turn the production of the small farmer.
With regard to crops, we would like to express the great importance that we attach to the assistance of different countries in developing high quality seeds and in providing the means of producing such high quality seeds through modern and developed technological practices.
We would also like to express the importance of the prevention of post-harvest losses, losses which often occur due to lack of storage facilities. We also wish to refer to the importance of handling the crops, especially in the post-harvest phase.
Moving on to the field of livestock, we would like to draw attention to the need to provide adequate genetic resources in order to develop livestock resources, especially artificial insemination. Furthermore, we would like to refer to the need to develop poultry production, since through this we could have low cost protein supplies. Such activities could be found existing nowadays in many developing countries. Meat and dairy production also are of great importance and we would hope that the international project for the intensification of meat and dairy products will continue its activities especially through making use of the national institutions involved in this endeavour.
With regard to livestock, we also wish to refer to fisheries, and we would like to express appreciation of the survey on this item. We would also like to refer to the need to develop the various means of preserving fish. This is extremely important, as important as the scheme for the prevention of post-harvest losses.
Because of the shortage of time we do not wish to dwell on the various details of this subject under considerations, but we cannot conclude without referring to the importance of the AGRIS system and to the great advances we have secured in Egypt in this field. Even though our own national institute has only entered into operation recently, we have produced approximately 800 surveys and studies in 1978. Our national institute produces approximately 60 percent of the Arab production and such progress was achieved thanks to cooperation with FAO.
To conclude, I would like to reiterate our congratulations to the Director-General and his colleagues for this valuable programme and for this excellent document submitted for our consideration.
J.J. LEIDO Jr. (Philippines): Mr. Chairman, the Philippine delegation is pleased to endorse the proposal contained in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.
We have closely studied the said document and we agree that it is consistent with and supports the priorities that we, the Member Governments, have established for the Organization in various meetings in the past.
It is rational that priorities and programmes, once established, must be supported by adequate resources. Otherwise they would remain simply as statements of good intentions.
We believe that the present level of budget is the minimum required to lend flesh, substance and reality to these priorities and programmes, representing as it does a real increase of only 5.3 percent per biennium or less than 3 percent per annum.
We therefore sympathise with members of the Programme Committee who stated that they would have preferred a larger programme increase.
However, before I go on with further observations on the budget, I would like to make some comments on some points of the Programme priorities for 1980/81.
On rural development: In the field of rural development, we feel that the attention it should get is indeed well deserved. Considering that the majority of the population of the developing countries resides in the rural areas, efforts in this direction are not only desirable but essential as well.
On fisheries: In fisheries, more and more people are beginning to realize that the sea and other waters will have to supply a significant portion of their protein requirements. This highlights the tasks of improving the production capabilities of the survival fishermen, the need to ensure the continued productivity and ecological viability of the production areas and to continue collaborative cooperation among institutions such as SEAFDEC and the Asian Institute of Aquaculture for the development of the appropriate technology for fish farming and increased fish production. The Philippines have made substantial headway in this area, and it is in this context that we truly appreciate the priorities in inland fisheries and agriculture.
On forestry: The area of forestry is of particular interest to us. We have since recognized the value of forests to rural development as well as their central role in the total web of life. My country has initiated several measures which seek to re-establish the verdance of our forest areas, protect their sanctity and still be able to meet the wood needs of our people and of our economy.
We have programmes which have organized the shifting hilly land cultivators and are transforming them from destroyers to protectors of forests. In another effort we have also implemented agro-forestry programmes which combine forest revewal with immediate economic returns for the people. These concerns, we are happy to note, are reflected in the FAO thrusts for 1980/81.
Natural resources: We are also happy to note that natural resources in general will be a priority for the next biennium. More specifically, we refer to remote sensing applications for natural resources management. The Philippines have experienced the efficacy of remote sensors to generate data in assistance to planning and policy making. Through our natural resources management centre, for example, we have completed an inventory of our forest and coral resources of the Philippines Archipelago using LAÑDSAT images. We hope that through FAO, more countries will be able to avail themselves of the benefits of remote sensing.
The environment and rural life: Our delegation notes with satisfaction the threads of concern for the environment and rural life that weave through the summary Programme of Work and Budget. The environments integrety is essential to the quality of human life. In much the same way, rural life should not be allowed to deteriorate. Rather, rural life should be raised and improved so that mass unemployment and mass migration into cities which creates a disfunctional balance between rural and city life may be avoided.
On FAO's decentralization programme: Our delegation also notes with approval the efforts to strengthen the field operations of FAO. We feel that this is truly reflective of the intention to infuse self-reliance and develop the capabilities of our respective countries.
On the budget: In all these proposals we agree that there should be a consistent and continuous concern for the eradication of hunger. We feel that it might be worth while to remind ourselves of an adage of ancient Rome: "Prius esse quom melius esse." Man must first live, then he can be able to think of improving his lot. Yet it is with some sense of disappointment that we note that the proposed budget is less than that of the World Health Organization and Unesco. Nevertheless, we would like to take the view that the proposed budget is an investment in the future. We realize that the situation for which FAO was created still exists, that this situation could very well take a turn for the worse before it could take a turn for the better, that for a longer time than we would like there will still be hunger and malnutrition in many parts of the world, that procrastination of decision and action will not improve the situation.
It is therefore in consideration of all of these that the Philippine delegation expresses its support for the proposed Programme of Work and Budget.
On reducing the magnitude of the Technical Cooperation Programme, I believe that the increasing value of requests from developing countries should be the factor to be considered.
This delegation is pleased to note that most Member countries have given full support to the Programme of Work and Budget, including the one country which had made some reservations on sections of the budget, and is in general agreement with strategies and priorities.
Certain economies have been suggested such as that which refers to staffing with a flexibility of country representatives, timing and appropriateness of construction, post adjustments. I submit that these are matters which we could very well defer to the sound and judicious decision of the Director-General.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation fully agrees with the Director-General when he feels that there seems to be a broad consensus on how in general our Organization could best fulfil its mandate. We appreciate it very much that the Director-General and his staff have contributed so much to a stronger focusing on priorities. We note with particular satisfaction that he made the Secretariat of our Organization work more smoothly and more efficiently. The Director-General will have our support for continuing with this policy.
As a whole, the document CL 75/3 shows extremely well the general framework which the Secretariat defined for the Programme of Work and Budget 1980/81. Necessarily, however, at this stage it is limited to the overall framework within which the Programme of Work for the next two years is outlined in general. Therefore, the document does not give detailed information on the individual programmes and sub-programmes, in particular on their changes in the current budget. That is the reason why it is not possible at the present moment to comment in detail on this Programme and the budget proposed and to take a definite position. Therefore, we are looking forward to a further and closer examination of the complete proposals as soon as these are available.
We state with satisfaction that the Director-General has provided for a strengthening of some programmes which also to us seem particularly important, namely - those set out in Table 1 of the document under paragraphs 2.1.1 and 2.1.6. Among these programmes, we attach special importance to the prevention of food losses, to the control of the desert locust and of the African swine fever. A closer examination of all detailed programmes will probably show that there are also other programmes which will find our full support.
However, in our opinion it is necessary to look a bit closer at the proposals concerning the further decentralization to the country level, in particular to set up FAO country offices. The political decision on this policy taken in 1976 is shared by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. We feel, nevertheless, that we should proceed carefully in setting up country offices and avoid the creation of costly new bureaucracies. The FAO country representative should be an overall agricultural expert and thus an adequate interlocutor for the government of the host country and for the important coordination work with the representatives of other international institutions at the country level.
Concerning that coordination, we are in full agreement with the distinguished delegate of Zaire, who stressed at the first day of our session that the real coordination at country level is the task and responsibility of the governments themselves, and I can assure him that we fully share his warning against the proliferation of new posts of bureaucrats. There is no doubt that the FAO country representative will need a minimum of auxiliary staff. However, what is stated in paragraph 2.99 of the Report of the Finance Committee with regard to the personnel of FAO country offices goes beyond what we consider adequate and should by no means be taken as a must for all FAO country offices. Self-restraint and adaptation to the conditions prevailing in the country as well as the greatest possible use of already existing facilities of other international institutions would, I am sure, be of much greater benefit for FAO than the hasty establishment of overstaffed country offices. We feel FAO should not set a negative example. This should be possible if the work of the country representatives is concentrated on the really important activities.
According to the present proposal, already 5.6 percent of the total budget is intended to be spent on FAO country offices in the next biennium. That is a considerable amount, which will increase even more quickly when further offices are established. This will reduce the resources available for the priority technical work of the Organization. It has, therefore,to be examined whether part of the new posts could be shifted from Headquarters or from the regional offices to the country level.
The regional offices should by no means be expanded. If new tasks are assigned to them, it will be necessary to establish new priorities. Economy and cost-benefit analyses are of particular importance for the assessment of this reorganization process.
The Government of my country asks the Director-General to review the programme proposals when elaborating the individual sub-programmes and projects with an aim to reduce wherever possible the overall financial expenditure. Some savings among others might be possible upon close examination of the individual proposals for the following item: administration, food and agricultural policy and crops with regard to practical demonstration projects at the village level which many countries might be able to carry out themselves.
As far as the increase for rural development is concerned, it is our understanding that this includes costs for activities arising from the forthcoming World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, to which my government attaches great importance.
Furthermore, we would appreciate very much some further clarification on the budget in general, for example, whether the Director-General intends to propose a further adaptation of the proposed budget to a new dollar/lire exchange rate when we meet again in November and in that case whether the additional amount would be absorbed within the present budget level proposed. We also would like to be informed about the envisaged number of new posts and up-gradings which will result from the budget proposal before us. In this context, Sir, I would like to draw the attention of the Council to the fact that FAO has permanently a large number of unfilled posts.
In addition, I should like to make some general remarks on the bugetary issues. In paragraph 3.49 of the Report of the Finance Committee, comparisons are made between three different biennia on various budget elements. From these we note that figures for the cost increase which have been US $25 million in 1976-77 and nearly US $30 million in 1978-79 are supposed to rise to more than US $46 million in 1980-81. Unfortunately, there is no reason to hope that this situation will soon fundamentally change to the better. On the contrary, energy problems will probably heighten the actual difficulties. That is why my delegation thinks that in the long run worldwide inflation will not fail to affect also the real growth rate of FAO's Budget. The Director-General, nevertheless, proposes a programme increase which in absolute figures is slightly higher than two years ago. I feel that the annual cost increase will force us, at the latest for the Budget of 1982/83, to critically review all current programmes. Otherwise FAO might no longer dispose of sufficient resources for new priority activities and programmes. We are looking forward to recommendations by the Finance and the Programme Committees on this problem, which so far have not been presented.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, delegate for Germany. In now wish to welcome the Minister of Agriculture of Malta, who has joined us since the session began, and I would like to give him the floor.
F. MICALLEF (Malta): May I first of all take this opportunity to express my sincere congratulations to the Director-General for his Opening Address, which I have read with great attention, and also for his introduction to this debate on the Programme of Work and Budget 198o/8l, to which I have listened with interest.
It is clear now that the year 1976 was an important year for our Organization, It marked the revival of the importance of its objectives in all its activities. The drastic change adopted by the Sixty-Ninth Session of the Council in July 1976 created a new image of FAO and a complete reorganization of its activities. Now, on the threshhold of a new biennium, we are asked to share FAO's programme of work.
This induces us to examine, first of all, whether the Programme of Work and Budget for the current biennium, which had to consolidate and put into practice the decisions taken in July 1976, has fulfilled our expectations; and secondly, whether the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1980 /81 before us now will ensure the continuation of this new trend.
We must ask ourselves which essential elements in the Programme of Work and Budget decided upon in 1976 characterized the turning point in FAO's life after about 30 years of its existence? Summed up in a few words I would say it was a return to the freshness of the original ideas which in an atmosphere of enthusiasm were at the roots of its creation. FAO was set up as an action-oriented body. In the initial period, FAO sent missions to countries to assess their problems. Most of these countries were suffering the consequences of war. The next period of FAO's activities was the development of a worldwide approach to the problem with projects shaped to suit such an approach.
Then we witnessed the first move towards decentralization through the establishment of Regional Offices. This was followed by what I term as a "fluid" approach on a country basis through technical assistance. Though Malta has benefited through the advice of a number of experts and through the establishment of demonstration centres for farmers, we have realized by hard experience that this approach could not suffice. Requests for urgent assistance both in terms of experts and assistance were complicated by the necessity of having to act through other bodies. Most of the time we have had to rely on bilateral assistance from friendly countries, to whon we are most grateful.
We have on several occasions expressed our view that more emphasis should be given in FAO's Regular Programme to projects with an outright country focus.
Therefore we welcomed wholeheartedly the creation of the Technical Cooperation Programme launched by the Director-General which, in our view, removed a lot of red tape through the flexibility with which it is being executed. Let me again commend the Director-General for his continuing efforts for the expansion and administration of this vital Programme.
Through this Programme, to which reference was made by our colleague from Algeria, Malta also received quick initial assistance to enable my government to combat in time the spread of severe animal disease. We would like to see this Programme go further than it is doing now. Assistance for the replenishment of animals destroyed and lost by small farmers through outbreaks of disease should also be considered for inclusion in this Programme. The small farmers have had their stooks taken away in the execution of a plan devised by FAO and agreed by the Government in the interests of not only the country struck by animal disease but also in the interests of other countries. The urgent intervention of the Government, along with the assistance of the FAO, in the re-stocking of these farms is imperative. FAO can intervene directly only in so far as it has the means. It can also intervene in getting Third World countries involved in replenishing the stock.
My own delegation therefore supports fully a continued shift of resources from global perspectives to action-oriented and country-focused activities contained in the new priorities. This should, in our opinion, be the basis for the formulation of the New International Development Strategy, and the achievement of the New International Economic Order. In short, we believe in adequate and timely transfer of resources to deserving recipient countries, especially following natural disasters as in the early days of our Organization.
In all international fora, Malta has played an active role in promoting peace and security, and it is through our actions and initiatives in this field that we are, more than ever before, faced with an urgent need for the development of our agriculture.
May I point out that the closure last March of the military base in Malta has released an amount of labour, our only natural resource, we have absorbed a percentage of this labour in an agricultural corps aimed at settling them on land and helping them to earn their living: through food production. We have thus avoided their dispersal by emigration. We have embarked on an ambitious land reclamation scheme, and we are requesting assistance for the further implementation of this plan, which includes the provision of water for irrigation. We sincerely hope that our project will gather enough support to obtain the additional finances required.
Our initiatives on the international level are not limited to the political sphere. We are hoping to become the centre for action-oriented programmes in all spheres. We already host in Malta a Mediterranean Oil Pollution Combating Centre, and we shall host a Centre for the Development of Alternative Sources of Ehergy. Both of these have a special bearing on agriculture and fisheries. The former aims at reducing pollution risks which could be disastrous for fishing, and the latter aims at providing homes for alternative sources of energy for agriculture. In this connexion, Malta would be pleased to host a demonstration centre of solar energy and wind-driven water pumps which was suggested by the delegate of India in the course of the discussions held on the COAG document at this session.
In the field of fisheries, we have realized that a certain lack of technical staff available in the Mediterranean in terms of Master fishermen, engineers, etc. is becoming apparent. We therefore urge FAO to try and improve the situation by holding seminars at expert level and by organizing training facilities. Here again, we offer Malta as an ideal location for such seminars and for training programmes.
While on the subject, I must congratulate the Director-General on his intention to submit a document on Exclusive Economic Zones for Fisheries to the Conference. I would like to ask the Director-General to consider in the preparation of such a document the special conditions of the Mediterranean where the number of countries involved presents special and delicate problems in this section.
Allow me to conclude by stating that in our opinion, as stated already by a member of my delegation in an earlier intervention following the Director-General's Opening Speech, it must be the Regular Budget which should provide all the mans to achieve the work that FAO has initiated and has to carry out. I must express our gratitude to all the donor countries and all those who are contributing to the Special Action Programmes of FAO, but this financing is not always available on a continuous basis.
A new target should therefore be considered, since we think that the means calculated are too modest, probably short of the requirement, considering the current rate of inflation, transport cost increases, and the growing needs of the people in the developing countries. It also appears that the trend of increase in emergencies has not been fully taken into account.
Nonetheless, we wholeheartedly commend the Programme of Work and Budget and congratulate the Director-General, the Secretariat and the staff for its preparation. It was indeed extremely difficult to bring the needs and requests of all member countries to a common denominator and the priorities.
I recall the discussion and the resolution of the Sixty-Ninth Council Session with we fully agreed, and in concluding I must emphasize again that our preference should go to practical country-focused projects.
May I here mention as examples the need for the animal health services, the extension of irrigated areas also in the Mediterranean in addition to Africa, and the setting up of regional stocks of grain where national stocks could prove very expensive. These projects should be given the highest priority, and very low priority should be given to theoretical academic studies, which in many cases could be much better carried out by national or international scientific organizations.
V. MRISHO (Tanzania): My delegation wishes to associate itself with all other delegations which support the incremented requirement of $13.6 million for the 1980/81 budget. My delgation understands that all FAO Member Nations strongly agree that it is our mandate to address ourselves to hunger eradication programmes and raising the nutritional standards of the developing populations. For this reason it has always been surprising to many delegations as to why tense debates have been arising in approving the minimum budgetary requirements for implementing important programmes which we accept and approve as basic strategies for achieving our targets.
My delegation has reviewed and analysed the summary budget for 198o/8l and has found it very justified. The budget touches on some important requirements necessary in several, if not all, developing countries.
The proposed budget of $271.66 million indicates an incremental requirement of $13.6 million only, which is actually a result of much closer attention to development problems requiring immediate solutions. As has been indicated, this increase is only 5.3 percent above the budget for the previous two years while it should be noted that over the last ten years the simple average percentage increases of the budgets of eight other agencies have been considerably higher than that of the FAO.
Moreover, looking at how FAO utilizes its budget indicates that the percentage of expenditures on established posts in the total budget went down substantially in 1976/77 and is progressively being reduced, not only in the current biennium but also in 1980/8l, despite the fact that with each reduction the next or further reduction becomes more difficult.
It should be realised that a large part of the current cost increase of 5.3% arises from developments which occured during the previous biennium. The estimates are based on a careful analysis of a large number of individual items based on essential development requirements.
A look at the crucial responsibilities of the FAO and how FAO is proposing its budget for 1980-81 to implement such responsibilities, would indicate that there is need to invest $8.1 billion a year in order to reach a growth rate of 4% in food production. FAO is making a very important contribution in catalysing resources for investment through arrangements with the World Bank, IFAD and other financing institutions, and its special action programmes. Over the last 14 years FAO has formulated investment projects approved for financing amounting to an average of $1 billion per year. This important task must be continued and, when possible, expanded to cover several problem areas.
The Regular Programme, and particularly the increases proposed for the priorities in 1980--1981, will mobilise very important amounts of extra-budgetary funds for direct employment in fields such as prevention of food losses, food security assistance schemes, meat and milk development schemes and desert locust control. The application of these programmes is of great importance to Africa and FAO's involvement is a great measure of international desire for hunger relief strategies. FAO's Regular Programme is also the catalyst of large amounts of technical assistance funds. At present FAO is executing 1,750 field projects for an estimated cost of $850 million. My delegation is sure that the approval of the proposed budget will enable FAO to identify and execute many more projects in order to meet the growing needs of the developing countries.
In connection with the approved decentralization policy of FAO to country level, FAO has authorized the creation of 47 offices. Nearly all of these will have been established by the end of this summer and there are requests by different Member Governments to bring the total number of offices to 70. The proposal in the budget for 1980-1981 is for a further 15 offices, bringing the total to 62 offices. These offices have proved their usefulness in identifying new projects as well as addressing their capacities in solving urgent country needs. They have close access to the government technical departments and therefore they have been very useful in assisting governments in framing their agricultural strategies as well as assisting in meeting some of the technical and financial needs for implementing development projects.
In Tanzania the newly created FAO Office is helping in meeting agricultural needs through the creation of projects which are strengthening our agricultural development plan. It is our delegation's view that the small increase proposed in the budget for the creation of another 15 regional offices is therefore evidently well justified to enhance closer problem analysis in member countries.
The TCP project for which some budgetary allocation is made has proved its usefulness in Tanzania, and indeed in many other countries, particularly in the fields of training and identification of projects for further investment. It is also assisting governments in tackling urgent needs. My delegation supports this programme and believes that it warrants the budgetary requirement as indicated in document CL 73/3.
My delegation also wishes to mention the definitely important role that the Crop Monitoring and Early Warning System project will play in identifying in advance information and assessments to governments on crop production, stocks and supplies of food grains. This will enable governments to expand their rxroduction efforts as well as encourage food supply trade among developing countries. These important objectives must be seriously effected and therefore the necessary budgetary implications for implementation of the project should receive positive approval.
The proposed budget emphasizes field action particularly through increased use of consultants and contractual services including the utilization of national institutions. My delegation approves of this trend and in particular those aspects which involve technical cooperation among developing countries.
My delegation supports the proposed programme of work and budget for 1980/81 amounting to $271.66 million and wishes that other delegations of the Council will give similar approval in total.
On this occasion my delegation wishes to congratulate the Director-General of the FAO, Dr. Edouard Saouma, for his able leadership whose new implementation strategy has made the services of FAO more effective to the developing countries.
A.K. OSUBAN (Uganda): I should like to express my delegation's complete support of the summary proposals of the Director-General regarding the Programme of Work and Budget for 1980/81. The proposals are admirable not merely for their clarity but because we see how well they reflect the Director-General's understanding of the complex area of problems in world food and agriculture and, even more important, an intimate knowledge of our needs. It also incorporates the needs that exist to strike a compromise between the haves and have-nots. We therefore fully agree with the strategies and approach of the Programme. The task of our Council is greatly facilitated by the valuable work done by the Programme and Finance Committees in their detailed examination of the proposals. My delegation would like to pay tribute to their Chairmen and nembers. We find ourselves in entire agreement with the conclusions of these Committees and there is therefore no need for me to repeat my Government's views on each aspect of the matter. I shall confine myself at this stage to drawing attention to those programmes which my Government considers to be of the highest priority. We attach particular importance to work on livestock development and welcome the proposed emphasis on production system at the small farmer level. We are pleased to note accordingly that the trypanosomiasis programme represents a full world development programme. The priority given to rural development will be fully reinforced by the forthcoming World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. We therefore also attach importance to FAO being given the necessary resources to assist governments in the implementation of the programme of action that this Conference will approve.
Aside from the sectoral priorities, we are very much aware of the substantial benefits we receive from the orientation field action that the Director-General has given the Organization. This embracer, the special action programmes, the TCPs, the process of decentralization for action at country level. All this means for us an effective FAO of which we are proud to be a member and which assures us of appropriate PD and effective collaboration. My delegation endorses and urges the Council to endorse unanimously, without reservations, the proposals of the Director-General.
D.H.J. ABEYACOONASEKERA (Sri Lanka): Like all members who spoke before me I wish to congratulate the Secretariat for their simple and comprehensive presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget for 98O-81. As the Chairman pointed out yesterday, the Director-General's dilemma is one of not being able to satisfy all Member Countries of this Council, or having to accomodate, as far as possible, what developing countries in general want the Organization to do, and of having to assert selective economies at the same time. We do not for a moment doubt his sincerity and eagerness to achieve a compromise.
While we are in general agreement with the modest work programme, the increases proposed in the fields of investment, in the fisheries programme and the Technical Cooperation Programme could have been higher. My delegation would like to see the highest priority given to the development of fisheries, as many poor countries with unerploited coastal belts are trying hard to exploit the seas, as the land and soil resources in which they live and toil are inadequate to provide them with sufficient food. The exclusive economic zones declared by these coastal states require additional resources for formulating plans and implementing them.
We therefore feel that the proposed increase of $480 000 is inadequate. We see only a sum of $252 000 allowed for the exploitation of fisheries. You will recall that at the Seventy-fourth Session of this Council we agreed to give the highest priority to this Programme.
Next, we should like to comment on the Technical Cooperation Programme. An increase of Si 665 million is recommended. This figure may have been kept at this level in order to keep it within the 12 percent increase in the total Programme of Work and Budget. Sri Lanka shares the views of all developing countries who have spoken on behalf of strengthening the Technical Cooperation Programme, as it has been of considerable benefit, and that it should be strengthened in the 1980-81 budget. We have been the recipients of assistance under the TCP during periods of distress and the promptness with which such assistance was given is commendable. We should also like to see technical cooperation assistance move into the form of equipment and financial assistance because many developing countries have built their own technical expertise and need other resources to buy the crucial inputs.
We also note that FAO's Investment Centre services to developing countries have been recognized. At a time when we are requesting all aid-giving organizations to expand their volume of lending towards agricultural activities, it would be prudent to have a greater degree of flexibility as to the resources made available to the Investment Centre, to enable it to participate in these activities. Me are thinking now of the 1980-80 budget and if we are to help the poor countries it may be desirable to build this flexibilité now.
Finally, I would also wish to commend the Director-General for his efforts to decentralize the administration by the appointment of the organization's own representatives to Member Countries. By thin arrangement the Country Representatives could have access to the appropriate policy and planning levels of governments in the agricultural, animal husbandry, forestry and fisheries sectors, which will enable the FAO to play a lead agency role to make the Organization's programme more meaningful and advantageous to the host countries. We are in agreement with the proposal to expand this programme.
As I said at the beginning we would have liked to see more emphasis on areas as mentioned by us. But considering the need for the Director-General to exercise essential restraint on the FAO's puree we. endorse the recommendations made by the Programme and Finance Committees and their adoption by the Council.
The meeting rose at 12.35 hours
La seance est levée à 12 h 35
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.35 horas