CHAIRMAN: We will continue with the next item on the Agenda, which is Item 7, the Report of the Fifth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers, and I would like, to call on the Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Peckham, to introduce this subject briefly.
A.J. PECKHAM (Chairman, Commission on Fertilizers): I think I need not say very much about the Report, because I think such a very good job was done by those who drafted it. Perhaps I may just say that the Commission's meeting in January was extremely well attended. I think there were 54 members of the Commission present. The World Bank, UNIDO, and the other Specialized Agencies all contributed, as did 12 Observers from Industry. I think it would be generally agreed that it was an extremely good meeting and, much more important, it was constructive. I would like to go out of my way to say how much the strong Indian delegation contributed to that meeting.
The Commission really is concerned with five things, very briefly. This of course you will see from the Table of Contents in the Report before you. First is the World Fertilizer situation and Outlook. I might recall here that the Commission was set up to ensure that all countries but particularly the developing countries)have sufficient quantities of fertilizer at their disposal at a reasonable price, so that is the first thing we looked at.
Secondly, we looked at Investment and Production Costs, which are a very material consideration, and thirdly, we looked at the subject of Price Stabilization Measures. Then, fourthly, we examined' Fertilizer Aid to Developing Countries and the future of the IFS, the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, in particular.
Lastly, we looked at FAO's Fertilizer activities in the broader context, and I think it was probably the first time we examined some of these things in the broader context. I myself found it extremely interesting to see the role which Fertilizer plays within FAO's overall programme in assistance to the developing world. So those were the five main headings I noted, and perhaps when you look at the section on World Fertilizer Situation and Outlook, it might be well to bear in mind what Dr. Bommer said to us when he opened the meeting. He said it was unlikely that the growth of agricultural production in the developing countries during the Second Development Decade would rise much beyond the 3 percent achieved in the sixties. That was a long way below the 4 percent target of the International Development Strategy. He went on to say that if food production in the developing world continued to lag behind the IDS target, there would be a heavy burden on food markets and they might reach unmanageable proportions. I make that point in the Introduction of this Report because I think it is a very important one.
I do not think I will say more about the Introduction, but I will go straight on to the first point, which concerns fertilizer supply and demand. Markets are very susceptible to change, and I do not think for a moment what we have said in this Report in January would exactly match the circumstances of today. The important thing, I think, to note about fertilizer supply and demand is FAO's expectation that there will be a doubling of fertilizer consumption in the developing market economies over the next ten years. That again, I think, is something worth dwelling upon.
As against that statement, we were told by the Indian delegation that India's consumption of fertilizer had in fact doubled in the last four years from 2,5 to 5 million metric tonnes. These are realities which I think it is well worth making. I will not go into details of the different supply and demand situations for different types of fertilizer; they are set out in the Report.
I will now proceed to Investment and Production Costs, the second item which I identified. The important thing about an increase in the production of fertilizer is the time it takes to plan fertilizer plants and to get them into production. New production facilities to
meet the increasing demands which are expected in the mid-eighties are already under consideration, and we had some extremely interesting information from the World Bank's representative, which again I think is shown in the Report, about the very large scale of investment which is involved. Again I refer to the Indian delegation's remarks commending the World Bank's effort. He said the critical point was the planning of projects in such a capital-intensive industry. He said the major role of the World Bank in subjecting fertilizer projects to stringent appraisal was in the interest both of lenders and of the recipient alike.
I turn very rapidly to the third point of Price Stabilization, and we will take a little more time perhaps over this, because this was one of the major and critical items for the Commission to consider. There was in fact a Press Release after the Fertilizer Commission met in January, where the Chairman of the Fertilizer Industry Advisory Committee, better known as FIAC, made the point that Price Stabilization Measures are a second line of defence. That is because, as I was saying a moment ago, the timing of new productive capacity is critical, and there are bound to be ups and down in supply over the next 10 years. It is therefore important that measures are available and can be quickly brought into effect should the need arise to protect the developing countries from the worst effects of price fluctuation. This is where the so-called options proposal comes in. Under this Scheme a manufacturer would be committed during a five-year period to supply an agreed tonnage of fertilizer at a pre-determined price equivalent to sales on the home market on the basis of a firm order and a clear understanding on delivery. As you will see from the Report, this was a step which was very much welcomed by the Commission, although the precise terms of the contract under the Scheme were still to be worked out.
Fourthly, Fertilizer Aid in developing countries and in particular the future of the International Fertilizer Scheme: this again is in the Report, I cannot put my finger immediately on the section, but the interesting thing under this heading was the useful debate which we had between the spokesman of the developing countries on the one hand, who naturally wished the Scheme's activities to be continued and strengthened, and the spokesman for the donor countries on the other, who drew attention to the quite significant increases in Fertilizer Aid under their bilateral programmes. In a sense, therefore, the discussion of the future of aid was a little inconclusive but not, I think, in the sense of the urgency and importance of increasing fertilizer aid.
I might perhaps again single out the announcement on India's part that she would withdraw from the list of the beneficiaries under the Scheme, and moreover, in recognition of the assistance which she
had herself received,announced her readiness to make a token contribution to the Scheme. India, I would like to see, a major part of bilateral assistance channelled through the IFS and directed to the Most Seriously Affected Countries with a positive bias in favour of the small farmer. I am mentioning that because I think it signifies broadly the opinion of the Commission.
I do not think we ought to weary this Council with all the details of the bilateral aid given by the various countries, but I think that the statement of the Netherlands representative, who said that fertilizer aid from all sources was now running at much the same figure of $350 million a year, which is the annual budget of the World Food Programme, is a very significant statement. As I say, the details of the contributions of other donor countries is available in the record.
I think I would only add under this particular heading that in his summing up, Dr. Bommer said he was interested in the comments which had been made as regards the IFS forming part of FAO's Overall Programme to improve supply and demand of fertilizers.
I think I was right in saying he was firmly of the view that the IFS was an important part of FAO's overall fertilizer strategy.
Finally, to my last point. The end of the Commission's discussion was on FAO's fertilizer activities in the wider context. This was in fact the first occasion on which the Commission received a comprehensive statement of the activities of FAO in this field. Everyone agreed on the usefulness of this overall view of what FAO was doing to promote the use of fertilizer and the extension work therein of staff training, storage and credit facilities, etc.
There was not enough time for a complete and comprehensive discussion, but the Commission welcomed the report of the overall activities of FAO; perhaps I might finish on that note except I would like to make a reference to the Commission's future Programme of work.
It will wish to review local developments of new production capacity, both in regard to nitrogen and phosphate, beyond the mid 1980's. This is because of the time it takes to get production into play.
I should also mention there was strong support at the end of the Commission's meeting that it should meet annually.
I was myself responsible for putting a suggestion, which came originally from the Secretariat, that perhaps we might meet less frequently, but there was such opposition to that that I am quite clear the demand should be met - that is to say, the Commission should meet once a year.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr. Peckham, for this comprehensive introduction. Now the subject is open for discussion.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La presentación que acabamos de oír del señor Peckman, Presidente de la Comisión de Fertilizantes, ha sido muy clara y completa. Esto facilita la intervención de la delegación de Colombia que se limitará a destacar aquellos aspectos del documento CL 75/17 que, a nuestro juicio, podrían incorporarse en el Informe de este período de sesiones del Consejo.
Estamos de acuerdo en que hay que señalar la necesidad de hacer esfuerzos para aumentar la capacidad de producción de fertilizantes en los países en desarrollo. Apoyamos la recomendación, igualmente, de que las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales proporcionen ayuda en condiciones de favor, particularmente para establecer fábricas de fertilizantes en los países en desarrollo.
La delegación de Colombia comparte la preocupación expresada por la Comisión sobre la posibilidad de que los altos precios de los fertilizantes afecten la capacidad de los agricultores de los países en desarrollo para utilizar fertilizantes en cantidades adecuadas, lo cual, como es natural, reducirá la producción agrícola en nuestros países.
Nos complace destacar la asistencia adecuada que el PIF ha proporcionado a los países en desarrollo, y pedimos que el Consejo inste a que se intensifique esa asistencia, para ello será necesario, como se afirma en el párrafo 36 del Informe, que se aumenten los recursos del PIF. Creemos que el Consejo debería apoyar el llamado que la Comisión ha hecho en este sentido.
Notamos con satisfacción la cooperación que ha empezado a establecerse entre el PIF y la recientemente establecida ADIFAL, Asociación para el Desarrollo de la Industria de Fertilizantes de América Latina, con sede en México, así como con la FADINAP de Bangkok. Creemos que son útiles estos contactos con organizaciones regionales, y esperamos que de todo ello resulten los mejores beneficios.
Encontramos acertada la colaboración tripartita entre el Banco Mundial, la FAO y la ONUDI; a ese respecto tal vez el Consejo podría apoyar la recomendación de que en la ONUDI se establezca un Comité ad hoc para encauzar estas actividades.
En cuanto al Banco Mundial mismo, cuyo papel es esencial en estas actividades, la delegación de Colombia apoya el párrafo 55 sobre la asistencia a los países en desarrollo para la evaluación y la supervisión de los proyectos en este campo.
Acerca del Programa de Labores y futuro de la Comisión, recordamos que esta Comisión fue creada en un momento difícil particularmente para los países en desarrollo; creemos que viene trabajando bien y que el resultado de su labor se utilizará en los países menos desarrollados y estamos de acuerdo, también, en que la Comisión se siga reuniendo cada año.
C.S. RANGACHARI (India): As the delegate of Colombia said, our task has been made easy for us by the very concise and lucid presentation by the Chairman of the Fertilizer Commission of the iiip,hlip,hts of the discussion at the Fifth Session. It is indeed a tribute to his mastery of the fact and his familiarity with the ground that he was able to cover most of the ground in five to ten minutes.
The Indian delegation would like to place on record in the most positive and emphatic terms its appreciation and acknowledgment of the work done by the Commission on Fertilizers.
As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, to a developing country which is striving to achieve a breakthrough in agricultural production, fertilizer is probably the most crucial input, and to a country like India with its high man/land ratio and the net area under irrigation showing only limited possibilities of expansion, fertilizer, for all practical purposes, is food. We believe in our country, that about 70 per cent of the additional production of food and fibre required to meet the needs of our growing people in the next five years will have to come from the use of fertilizers. For these reasons, fertilizer holds the centre of the stage in our agricultural strategy and that will continue to do so as we go ahead with greater intensity of cropping.
I would like to bring to the attention of this august body that the work of the Commission on Fertilizers is primarily in three areas: first, the collection, review and dissemination of information on prices as well as the current, short-term and longer-term prospect of availability of a demand for fertilizer; the second area is ensuring the availability of fertilizers at reasonable prices in developing countries, in the short-term, through schemes such as the IFS, the option scheme and the other measures for price stabilization and, in the longer-term by encouraging the flow of financial assistance to developing countries for setting-up new production facilities, including development of infrastructure for marketing and distribution, in cooperation with other United Nations and multilateral organizations and financing institutions; and, thirdly, the review and analysis of factors affecting fertilizer use in developing countries, including pricing, credit, marketing, transportation and other policies, thus making available a large fund of information on governmental measures adopted in these countries and throwing new guidelines on policy desiderata.
In the Commission on Fertilizers we believe an institution has been built up, thanks to the painstaking effort made by FAO and the individuals concerned with it over the last five or six years, which will be difficult to replace.
It is in this background that we note with concern, even alarm, the tendency to view the fertilizer situation with complacency as though the crisis of 1973, in the wake of which the Commission was set up and has played a most useful role, no longer exists, and has outlived its usefulness.
In this context, I would like to draw your attention, Mr. Chairman, to one or two specific facts. The first is the statement made at the Fifth Session by one or two developed countries to the effect that there is no need for the Commission to meet for perhaps another two years. Fortunately, this complacent viewpoint did not prevail, and the Indian delegation would like to reiterate to this august body the need to convene the Sixth Session of the Commission not later than January, 1980 -for two reasons.
First, as paragraph 36 of the report of the Fifth Session of the Commission notes, a large number of countries had expressed concern at the steady declining of IFS resources in recent years. In this context of the growing indifference of the developed countries to the needs of MSA countries, India announced its intention to make a token contribution to the IFS scheme. In making this gesture, we had hoped it would stimulate other richer countries to maintain and strengthen their support this important programme.
We believe that there is a dire need for vigorous action on the part of this Organization to obtain binding and long-term commitments "from producing countries with the ultimate objective of having all bilateral and multilateral fertilizer aid routed through the IFS scheme. We also believe that countries with smaller requirements of fertilizers (of say, 10 000 tons of nitrogen or 6 000 tons of phosphates) should be provided with not less than 50 per cent of their requirements through the IFS scheme.
We particularly appreciate the new orientation given to the scheme by adding a component of providing to recipient countries consultant expert services for the improvement of the marketing and distribution primarily to small farmers. This could in fact open up a very fruitful area of technical cooperation among developing countries.
In our opinion, it is therefore important to review the fortunes of the scheme at an early date.
Secondly, while I do not wish to create alarm or panic, the fertilizer situation in the international market is deteriorating faster than was anticipated before. The prices of fertilizers are in fact increasing at an alarming rate. I quote the figurai in US dollars for each ton in illustrative terms: price of urea in bulk was US$126.50 per ton in May 1978, and in May 1979 it wasUS$135. Di-Ammonium phosphate has increased more markedly from US$129.50 in May 1978 to US$160.00 in May 1979 and : similarly, the price of the third important fertilizer Muriate of Potash, has advanced from US$52.50 in May 1978 to US$63.00 per ton in May 1979.
Even though India has contracted rather large quantities of fertilizer, supplies received are not very satisfactory. We even apprehend that some of the suppliers may already be holding back supplies anticipating further increases in prices. While the situation is serious for a country like India with its very large import requirements to support its ambitious agricultural production programme, it is not less so for other developing countries, especially MSA countries dependent on imports.
It is therefor essential that the next session of the Commission is convened early.
In fact, if our apprehension that another of those cyclical imbalances between supply and demand of fertilizers may be round the corner is well founded, a time may have come for this Organization to devote greater attention and resources to the problem of efficient use of fertilizer.
Reference has been made to this in paragraph 18 of the report of the Fifth Session, though not in the specific context that I am submitting before this body. The context I am submitting is that of a possible global shortage emerging in the availability of fertilizers in relation to demand at prices which can be afforded by the developing countries.
In this context the need for the Commission or one of its bodies, such as the Consultative Working Group, to study the fertilization practices in different agro-climatic regions and for different crops, and evolve appropriate guidelines to suit different countries, would assume high priority.
M. A. PAPAGEORGIOU (Greece): In the first place I would like to congratulate the Commission and its extremely qualified chairman on the concise and comprehensive report of the Fifth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers presented to us. As we all know, the average annual growth of agricultural production in the developing countries is still much below the four percent target of the International Development Strategy. We also know that hunger and malnutrition continue to spread.
A few days ago the Director-General, in hi3 opening statement to this Session, said that the number of malnourished people has reached the figure of half a million. Food and agricultural production are still far behind the basic target of four percent. This demonstrates the lack of progress towards the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. Efforts should therefore be made to increase agricultural productivity. The use of fertilizer can play an important role in the achievement of greater self-reliance in food supplies of developing countries. The efficient use of fertilizers, together with the other approved practices, accounts for almost 50 percent of the increase in crop yields.
We therefore welcome the recommendation of the Commission that information on supply and demand and data on fertilizer use be made available to Member Governments. The use of fertilizer is a most import-ant input for agricultural production. We have a very good example in India where fertilizer consumption has doubled in the last four years, which has resulted in the increase of land productivity. This example should be followed by the developing countries.
We support the view of the Commission that progress in the establishment of proper marketing, storage and distribution networks down to the village level in the developing countries should be reviewed and the necessary assistance provided. FAO's emphasis on the role of the use of fertilizers in agricultural production in the developing countries is fully justified. My delegation shares the view of the Commission that studies of investment and production costs be continued both in the new and in the existing plans.
We also agree that "stepff should be taken to reduce the cost of fertilizer plants, raw materials and relevant infrastructures as low prices of fertilizer will increase its use, particularly by the small farmers in the developing countries. As regards price stabilization methods, we endorse the establishment by FAO of the option system. This system, however, should not replace but" rather complement the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme.
Coming to the subject of fertilizer terminology, we support the recommendation of the Consultative Working Group of the Commission for the adoption of the elemental expression of all plant nutrients on an international and national basis. We very much appreciate the appeals made by the Director-General to governments to continue and increase their contribution to the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme to enable FAO to reactivate the functions of IFS and to redirect its activities in support of the developing countries, and in particular the MSA countries and their small farmers. In addition to the promotion of efficient and more widespread use of fertilizer, greater efforts should be made for the removal of constraints and for improvement of distribution, marketing and credit systems in order to ensure that small farmers are able to readily obtain fertilizer within easy reach of their funds.
In my country a quick programme in the research field has been designed according to FAO data. We organize seminars for agronomists and training courses for farmers based on the results of this Programme. Furthermore, in order to improve the planning of our fertilizer requirements, we shall carry out in the near future surveys of fertilizer practices as in other developed countries. My Government also intends to change the existing State-run system of marketing and distribution of fertilizers and pass it on to the free trade.
H. BAEYENS (Belgique): Je voudrais, pour commencer, remercier le Président de la Commission des engrais sur l'introduction présentée, et également attirer l'attention de tous ceux qui se servent du texte français de ce document sur une erreur, quelque peu gênante, au paragraphe 36. J'en suis d'autant plus navré que j'ai été membre du Comité de rédaction et qu'à ce titre je me sens responsable. Le paragraphe 36 en français dit ceci: "Un grand nombre de pays ont constaté, avec beaucoup d'inquiétude, le fléchissement constant des ressources du Programme engrais au cours des dernières années ".
Dans le texte anglais il s'agit en fait de IFS, le Programme international d'approvisionnement en engrais. Les ressources du Programme en engrais de la FAO n'ont pas baissé ces dernières années mais ont augmenté, à mon avis.
En intervenant à propos du Programme de travail et budget, ma délégation avait déclaré que la Belgique appuyait avec conviction le Programme engrais de la FAO. En effet, mon pays pense que dans les circonstances actuelles il convient de concentrer son attention, avant tout, sur le Programme "Engrais" sans toutefois négliger l'IFS auquel d'ailleurs mon pays conribue aussi. Il y a entre ces deux programmes une différence d'approche qui se retrouve dans d'autres domaines également. Je songe par exemple à l'aide alimentaire. Si je puis faire une comparaison, je dirais ceci: il y a une aide alimentaire qui consiste à fournir des aliments à des gens qui en manquent. Certes c'est nécessaire. Mais ce n'est pas suffisant. Cela ne résout pas le problème à plus long terme. Un autre type d'aide alimentaire apporte de l'aide à des gens qui ont faim et les aide à résoudre leurs problèmes en utilisant l'aide alimentaire à des fins de développement.
Le parallèle se trouve donc au niveau des engrais. A ce propos, je recommande la lecture d'un article paru sous la rubrique "Fertilizers sciences news" dans la brochure "Land and water" de publication interne du Département de l'agriculture de la FAO. La notice technique publiée dans la brochure "Land and Water", mars 1979, démontre clairement que dans certains cas le véritable problème n'est pas de disposer des moyens de paiement pour financer l'importation des engrais.
En effet, sur la base d'une expérience du Programme "Engrais" de la FAO, dans un pays d'Afrique déficitaire en aliments, je veux parler du Burundi, l'article démontre que pour produire le blé, le maïs et le riz, qui font défaut et dont l'importation coûte 187 millions de francs du Burundi au Trésor du pays en question, il suffirait d'appliquer à 11 000 hectares des engrais pour une valeur de 65 millions de francs du Burundi. L'économie nette en devises serait de 122 millions de francs du Burundi.
Pour chaque dollar dépensé pour importer les engrais, trois dollars sont donc économisés sur les importations alimentaires. Le noeud du problème est donc bien dans ce cas la diffusion du bon usage des engrais, et c'est ce que fait le Programme "Engrais" de la FAO.
J'ai tenu à faire ces remarques parce que dans le Rapport de la Commission des engrais, comme dans les documents soumis à d'autres réunions internationales, l'accent est toujours mis sur l'approvisionnement en engrais au travers de l'IFS alors qu'un programme particulièrement efficace et utile, comme le Programme "Engrais" de la FAO, est souvent passé sous silence. C'est tout ce que j'avais à dire.
L.V. BORGES DA FONSEGA (Brazil) : First of all I would like to congratúlate the Commission and its chairman for the report presented to us. My delegation notes with deep satisfaction the part of this report which refers to the FAO activities related to fertilizers and would only like on this opportunity to stress the recommendation stated in paragraph 62 of document CL 75/l7 that a review of the emerging production capacity for nitrogen and phosphatio fertilizers beyond the mid-eighties should be presented at the next meeting of the Commission.
S.A. PERVEZ (Pakistan): My delegation would also like to associate itself with the gratitude expressed to the Chairman of the Commission on fertilisers for his introduction. We have read document CL 75/17 with great interest and would like to compliment the Commission on this lucid document.
Before we proceed to comment on the contents of this report, we would like to say a few words about the position relating to fertilizers as it exists in Pakistan. To cut a long story short the use of fertilizers in Pakistan during the last six years has increased at a compound rate of 13.8 percent. In spite of this increase, the overall application rate, even in irrigated areas, is only about thirty-six and a half kilogrammes to a hectare, which is one of the lowest in the world. Thus on the one hand we are faced with a situation in which there is a total realization of the fact that the use of chemical fertilizers in correct proportion at an appropriate time and by suitable methods of application is the most effective practice for increasing crop production. On the other hand the situation exista where this vital input is not available to the farmer in adequate quantities.
While we hope to expect to be self-sufficient in nitrogenous fertilisers by the end of 1981, the present domestic production of fertilizers is sufficient to meet only about fifty percent of the total requirements of fertiliser. The balance shortfall has therefore to be imported from abroad. Since the cost of imported fertiliser is much higher than the cost of fertilizer produced locally, the sale of fertilizer has to be heavily subsidized by government. This would indicate the extent of my government's commitment to the use of fertilizers.
The farmer in Pakistan is highly sensitive to changes in fertilizer prices. After all, increased production and availability of fertilizer would be of no avail unless this vital input is brought within the reach of the small farmer who constitutes a majority of the total farming community»
The cyclical trend in international prices, the sharp escalation in the prices of fertilizers, and the formation of cartels of purchases are trends which give rise to concern»
It is therefore in this context that we have examined the report of the Fifth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers and would like to express our support at the efforts of the Committee and especially the Director-General of FAO to complete the Options arrangement in cooperation with interested parties to facilitate its implementation once commitments by fertilizer producers had reached a target figure set by the commission.
We would also take this opportunity of strongly recommending the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, and would suggest that a percentage of bilateral fertiliser aid of traditional donor countries might be channelled through this scheme to reactivate it and at the same time take full advantage of its establishment maohinery and ezperience in this field»
We also fully agree that high prices would adversely affect the capability of farmers in developing countries, particularly of the small farmers who produce and use fertilisers in the required quantities which would in turn adversely affect crep production in these countries.
This may perhaps not be the most apprepriate /?/ te point this out but we would like to stress on the fact that in developing countries like ears the use of fertiliser has a close relationship with the extension of credit facilities particularly te the small farmer. Availability of fertiliser is sometimes by itself not enough» The extensión of credit facilities brings this vital input within the reach of the small farmer»
In conclusion I would like to say that the use of fertiliser in Pakistan is firmly established» The task of winning its acceptance by farmers is ne longer neeessary. In fact now adequate availability is the cause for close and careful attention» The use of fertiliser has been assigned the highest priority by the goverment of Pakistan» In this context, therefore, we hope that FAO would extend its activities in Pakistan in the following fields: training in fertiliser use development, study of the environmental prablems and study of the relationship between prices of agricultural products and fertilisers»
We would also like to record our deep sense of /?/ for FAO assistance to the National Fertilizer Development Centre in Pakistan, and the offer of possible fertiliser grant by the European Economic Community. We look forward to further possible developments in this regard»
D. NSABIMANA (Rwanda): Le facteur engrais est une des contraintes importantes que pose l' augmentat ion de la production dans beaucoup de pays du tiers monde souffrant d'une forte population et accusant par là un rapport homme/terre assez élevé. En effet, dans beaucoup de pays en développement, la terre de culture étant fixée par la nature une fois pour toutes et la démographie croissant chaque année davantage, pour ne pas dire chaque jour, il s'ensuit que le rapport homme/terre se détériore davantage. De ce fait, on est obligé d'adopter des méthodes intensives de culture en mettant l'accent sur l'utilisation des engrais et des fumiers de toutes sortes ainsi que d'autres méthodes d'intensification agricole afin de produire plus sur une même superficie agricole utile.
Le facteur engrais constitue également, il faut le dire, un grand facteur économique et agricole des pays industrialisés; oes mêmes pays en fabriquent en grandes quantités et les utilisent également presque partout dans leur processus agricole.
Ceci dit, ma délégation est très reconnaissante au secrétariat d'avoir inséré dans l'ordre du jour de la présente session du Conseil le rapport de la cinquième session de la Commission des engrais, rapport complet qui nous donne beaucoup de renseignements utiles sur la plupart des problèmes que pose le secteur des engrais dans le contexte mondial. Aussi, nous limiterons-nous à quelques observations sur ce rapport portant référence CL 75/l7.
Ma délégation partage l'inquiétude de la Commission des engrais quant à une augmentation du prix des engrais car ceci aurait pour effet la réduction de la demande de la part de tous les exploitants agriculteurs du tiers monde. Je dis bien tous les exploitants, car dans certains pays en développement il est assez difficile de faire une distinction entre grands et petits exploitants agricoles. Cette réduction pourrait d'ailleurs à la longue affecter le sort de l'industrie des engrais. A cet effet, ma délégation appuie la recommandation de la Commission des engrais contenue dans le paragraphe 17, page 3 du document CL 75/17, à savoir que des moyens de réduction du coût des usines d'engrais, des matières premières et des frais annexes d'infrastructure devraient être recherchés à tout prix et que des institutions financières internationales devraient s'efforcer d'octroyer des fonds à des conditions de faveur dans le secteur de production d'engrais. Nous comprenons très bien les difficultés de la conjoncture économique internationale actuelle, notamment avec la crise pétrolière, mais nous pensons qu'avec un effort soutenu de tous les producteurs d'engrais et de tous les financiers intéressés par ce secteur, des résultats satisfaisants de réduction, sinon de stabilisation des prix des engrais, peuvent être trouvés.
Dans le même ordre d'idées, nous pensons qu'une stratégie de promotion d'usines de production d'engrais dans les pays en développement, ne fût-ce que sur une base régionale, pourrait quelque peu débloquer la situation, car un des facteurs de détermination du prix, â savoir la main-d'oeuvre dans ces pays, ne coûte pas cher. Ceci pourrait d'ailleurs s'inscrire dans le cadre de la coopération qui s'en trouverait renforcée dans les pays en développement, S'agissant de la détermination des engrais, ma délégation est très favorable à l'adoption de l'expression "sous la forme élémentaire de tous les éléments fertilisants".
Pour ce qui est de l'aide en engrais aux pays en développement et des activités de la FAO dans le secteur engrais, ma délégation, tout en souhaitant un accroissement toujours soutenu des ressources du programme engrais par les pays et organismes donateurs tient à remercier tous les donateurs, pays et organismes, ainsi que la FAO, bien entendu, pour ce qui a été déjà fait dans le domaine des engrais dans les pays en développement et ne peut que les exhorter à une continuité toujours accrue. Elle tient tout particulièrement à remercier le Gouvernement de la Suisse qui participera bientôt au financement d'un des premiers projets engrais sur le territoire rwandais. Ce projet, qui n'est qu'un projet pilote et qui couvrira moins d'un dixième de tout le territoire, a retenu l'attention de nos autorités. Ma délégation espère que ce projet pourra connaître une continuité et s'étendre sur tout le territoire. Elle espère également que d'autres donateurs de pays industrialisés se joindront â la Suisse et que la FAO, à travers le programme engrais, accroîtra ses activités dans ce pays qui, pour nourrir toute sa population d'une façon satisfaisante, ne peut que compter sur l'intensification de son secteur agricole afin d'augmenter la production agricole.
Ma délégation apprécie les initiatives combien louables de la FAO pour ce qui est des frais de transport des engrais à destination des pays en développement bénéficiaires, car ces mêmes pays ne disposent pas d'un budget suffisant à cet effet. Pour ce qui est des frais de transport à l'intérieur de ces pays, nous nous demandons - et ceci dans la mesure du possible - si la FAO ne pourrait pas supporter ces frais car, ne l'oublions pas, ses apports en projet, engrais ou autres, ont pour effet de soutenir les efforts propres au développement de ces pays bénéficiaires dont le budget est parfois chancelant de par les lourdes dettes qui les accablent, etc.
Pour ce qui est de la méthodologie générale des projets engrais dans les pays en développement, à savoir la vulgarisation des exploitants agricoles afin de mieux utiliser les engrais, l'incitation à la demande des engrais par ces mêmes utilisateurs ainsi que l'augmentation des revenus de ces derniers, ma délégation est très favorable. Afin de réussir cette mission, notamment la vulgarisation pour une meilleure utilisation des engrais, elle suggère aux services compétents de la FAO d'organiser plus fréquemment des stages de formation de courte durée, des séminaires et des visites dans des centres et pays déjà avancés en matière d'utilisation d'engrais pour des techniciens agricoles et même des exploitants agricoles du tiers monde.
En matière d'utilisation des fertilisants, engrais ou autres, ma délégation pense également qu'il faudrait mettre l'accent sur l'association de l'agriculture et de l'élevage pour produire du fumier; cette méthode étant pratiquée chez nous a beaucoup d'effets significatifs quant à l'amélioration des sols de culture. Enfin, ma délégation appuie la recommandation de la Commission des engrais contenue! au paragraphe 62, page 9, document CL 75/17, portant sur le programme de travail futur de cette Commission ainsi que celle contenue dans l'Annexe E du même document se rapportant à la terminologie des engrais.
I. MOSKOVITS (Malta) : We are extremely grateful to the Commission for its very valuable work and very valuable contribution it made by its Fifth Session. We realize the auccess of this meeting was mainly due to the very accurate participation in this of the excellent Chairman who really made the greatest part of the success his own success. We thank Mr. Peckham also very much for the very lucid introduction of this item on our agenda.
In order to be brief, I wish to deal mainly with two aspects of the report, the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, and FAO Fertilizer Activities.
The assistance provided to developing countries through the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme is a very essential one. It is an important, very well organized and managed unit within FAO. We are very sorry to see such a contribution to this excellent programme declining. Expressing our gratitude to those of the donor countries which are contributing their fertilizer aid multilaterally through the IFS we hope that an increasing number of countries will do the same. We are particularly grateful to India for its generous gesture with which it renounced all the aid from the IFS and on the other hand is making a total contribution to the programme*
There is indeed a great need for the contribution to this scheme, not only because the prices of fertilizers are increasing again but also because the government which in most cases have to bear alone the burden of fertilizer donations to their small farmers have a very heavy burden in their balance of payments through the buying of fertilizers. In the ciroumstances we wonder if IFS should remain entirely an assistance scheme based purely on voluntary contributions. Would it not be possible to contribute a small part of FAO's regular budget to the scheme in order to ensure its continuity?
Coming now to FAO fertilizer activities, this delegation fully shares the opinion of the delegate of Rwanda that there is a great need for more demonstration activities. I recall that we made suggestions during the meeting of the Fertilizer Committee that a demonstration programme on fertilizer use at a relevant training centre be organized for the benefit of small farmers in South Europe and most African developing countries.
K. DEVAHASTIN (Thailand): We would like to compliment the Commission and its Chairman for the excellent document presented to us. We would like to present certain views for further consideration of the Commission and FAO.
Many developing countries, including Thailand, are consuming both the three main single fertilizers and the compound fertilizers. So the information on the compound fertilizers should be included in the document in order that the c.i.f. prices of both types of fertilizers from the exporting countries will be made known. In the case of Thailand, where marketing and distribution of fertilizers is rather inefficient, the fertilizer market is of monopolisistio competition type where the collusion of traders or dealers may occur occasionally. So such information will help facilitate the determination of the price of fertilizers that is reasonable to farmers.
It is felt that the establishment of proper marketing, storage and distribution networks down to the village level in the developing countries should be reviewed. Although efforts have been made in Thailand and many other countries, the problems still exist. Small farmers still have to pay more for fertilizers. There is always fertilizer shortage during the cropping session and thus less fertilizer is applied per unit area. The failure may be caused by financial deficiency and ineffective management. Programmes should be designed to launch perhaps a pilot scheme aiming at the development of marketing and distribution of fertilizer in developing countries.
Regarding the studies of inves-bnent and production costs, we agree with the request of the Commission that the studies be continued both in new and existing plants. For the existing plants the study should aim at increasing efficiency and reducing costs of production.
The Thai Government is interested in the establishment of a new nitrogen fertilizer plant using natural gas as feedstock. A feasibility study on the investnent and managing capital for different sizeB and production processes of the plants is required.
As to the price stabilization measures, various measures, namely the option proposal, long-term contracts and the Iran proposal., are agreeable to the Thailand fertilizer situation. The extent of cooperation among producers or exporters and purchasers is still doubtful. Meanwhile the prioe of agricultural products is insignificantly correlated with the prioe of fertilizer. This problem needs to be further studied so as to bring about an appropriate solution. In view of the steady deoline of IPS resouroes in recent years we believe that it is quite necessary that the IPS resources will have to be reactivated While being appreciative that the IFS provides fertilizers to those MSA countries, we hope also that the scheme will be extended to cover the developing countries.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Sri Lanka): My delegation would like to commend the Report of the Fifth Session of the Commission on Fertilizers. As explained by the Chairman of the Commission, there are five very important aspects and we would certainly welcome definite attention and if possible specific measures adapted to the implementation of these programmes as quickly as possible.
All developing countries are trying their best substantially to raise agricultural output in the shortest possible time by resorting to import substitution in the domestic sector and the expansion of agricultural exports in the cash crop sector. There are two ways of solving this: (i) through expansion of the area under cultivation and (2) by intensification of production.
In view of limited land resources the expansion of the area will not be possible under export crops. In the domestic sector it would be possible to double the output in the cultivated area. Such expansion in both the medium and long term will incur heavy investonent. This is where the importance of fertilizer is felt.
As recent studies have shorn, the levels of fertilizer application in most MSA countries have been very low. The experience of my own country will illustrate this. We import annually about 258 495 tons of fertilizer for three main export crops - tea, rubber and coconut - and of course rice. The cost of imported fertilizer is about £19 million, and the value of output is about £536 million. If the recommended levels of fertilizers are used the quantity needed would be double and the value of production would be almost double. It is in this situation of continuous cropping that demand for chemical fertilizers increases, and especially in paddy production where we are encouraging the use of high, yielding varieties. It is in this context that wè should like to see a strengthening of the IPS. we would request countries in a position to do so to contribute to the IFS liberally, also for the FAO to reactivate the IPS and see that through it the fertilizer requirements of the MSA countries are met as far as possible.
We would like next to commend the introduction of a price stabilization scheme for fertilizers, rather than leave the MSA countries at the mercy of intermittent price changes. We all know that no farmer likes to see a price increase in fertilizers during the middle of the season.
Finally, we would like to see a judicious application of the option proposal, long-term agreements and also a measure of bilateral aid where countries have been used to doing so being encouraged.
M. KRIESERG (United States of America) : Our remarks will be brief but we did want to comment on some of the issues addressed by the Commission on Fertilizers at its Fifth Session.
First I would like to say that the United States warmly supports and encourages FAO's market data collection and analysis activities. This kind of information is essential for helping to avoid future fertilizer crisis situations. The Commission had for review a study by the World Bank concerning the costs of fertilizer plants, and we think that this kind of study is useful for the Commission to review and that additional studies, perhaps considering additional variables, would also be useful.
Concessional financing for infrastructure associated with the building of fertilizer plants is of course important. However, the final cost of the fertilizer products to farmers may be too high to afford if all the infrastructure costs are charged against the cost of building the fertilizer plant and then built into its pricing structure. As regards an options pricing system that has been suggested, the United States Government is not in a position to speak on behalf of the United States fertilizer industry in this regard. We do think however that long-term contracts offer a more practical approach to the problem of stabilizing international fertilizer prices.
Concerning the Commission's reoommendations which would give FAO responsibility for promoting uniform expressions of plant nutrients, we recognize the value of some of this kind of activity but we feel that this probably should be of a somewhat lesser priority for FAO. We feel that FAO's work in helping developing countries in their marketing of fertilizers and in the utilization of fertilizers, particularly by small producers of food crops, is useful and ought to be of high priority.
The Commission also urged bilateral donors to channel a portion of their assistance through the International Fertilizer Scheme. This prompts me to comment on work done by the United States Agency for International Development on a bilateral basis. The United States' aid is providing fertilizer materials, technical assistance and financing for fertilizer production facilities and we think it is doing so rather effectively. The funds allocated for these purposes are carefully monitored to ensure that they are spent efficiently in and for developing countries.
I should also note for the record that about thirty percent of the fertilizer materials moving through all multilateral and bilateral assistance programmes in the past four years have been supplied by the United States.
Finally, a word about scheduling the next session of the Committee. It is our feeling that in the interest of efficiency and economy these meetings might be held biennially unless there is some evidence that a crisis situation is imminent. However, we also recognize the concern that some countries have expressed that this may lead to a lessening of vigilance over the years, and we are therefore prepared to accede to a consensus view on frequency of meetings.
D. RICHTER (Germany, Federal Republic of): In my Government's view, the Commission on Fertilizer has also proved at its Fifth Session to be a useful forum for the discussion of all questions relating to the application, supply and distribution of fertilizers. The delegation of my country has agreed to the Report of this meeting. I can therefore restrict my remarks to a few important aspects.
For the years to come, a further balanced development of supply and demand is to be expected on the fertilizer market. As the situation has eased off for some years, the supply of fertilizers has improved in the developing countries. These countries could substantially increase the consumption of nitrogenous and phosphatic fertilizers in the last five years and expand production considerably. It is, however, often not yet possible to supply agriculture with fertilizers to the extent necessary. In particular for MSA countries it is difficult to cover their increasing requirements through imports. The Government of my country, therefore, takes special account of MSA countries within the framework of its fertilizer aid. It has again substantially increased in 1978 its fertilizer aid with nearly 80 thousand tonnes.
The expansion of production capacities in developing countries will continue and contribute to an adequate supply. A stable as possible supply situation in line with requirements can, however, in view of the high investment cost for new facilities not only be reached by expanding capacities. An even greater weight should in many cases be given to the utilization of all already existing production facilities, because this requires a much lower expenditure. It is necessary, as has also been expressed by other speakers, to continue at the same time the efforts to expand the distribution system and to improve the granting of credit to farmers for the purchase of fertilizers. The Government of my country is prepared to provide in future more capital aid in support of such infrastructural measures.
The Commission on Fertilizers has thoroughly examined various possibilities for developing countries to conclude contracts also in a high price situation on fertilizer supplies at reasonable prices comparable with the domestic prices of supplying countries. The recommended option model can now be applied, since fertilizer producers in, industrialized countries have declared their willingness to cooperate. Let me point out in this connexion that my Government can exert no influence in this respect. Partner of this system can in my country only be the fertilizer industry itself which negotiates with the respective contracting party on price fixing and the distribution system and makes arrangements on quantities and other modalities of the contract.
The necessary increase in food production in the developing countries requires the use of yield-increasing inputs. Fertilizers have in this respect a spearhead function. My Government has therefore substantially increased its fertilizer aid. These measures are in line with the objectives of the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme and are notified to FAO. The functions of the IFS could still be improved by the fact that developing countries inform FAO about their planned projects for submitting them to donor countries which could then take such requests into account in their bilateral programmes.
To conclude, let me, like India, recall the appeal that in view of the limited energy and raw material resources available, fertilizers should be used as carefully as possible and in the most effective way. The Commission on Fertilizers has been dealing with these problems in cooperation with FAO's activities in the fertilizer sector. My Government hopes that the Commission will also in future give special attention to this aspect.
G.H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): For this Organization, the subject matter under discussion is a very important one. First of all, we compliment the Fertiliser Commission for the Report at its Fifth Session. In any developing country, the most important inputs for speedy increase of food production is water control and use of fertiliser. Water control is an expensive exercise and at times, time-consuming. Fertilizer application, as we have seen from our experience, can grow very fast with more than adequate returns to the investment. We have seen that the application of fertilizer may triple the yield in the particular land if properly applied.
In that context, we see the operation and exercise in the Fertilizer Commission as very important for developing countries.
In Bangladesh when it became independent, the consumption of fertilizer was very negligible.
It grew to 400 thousand tonnes in 76/77 and then over '76/77 in '77/78 it was 600 thousand tonnes and still underestimated. That means an increase of about 50 percent.
In 78/79, which is now conoluded in June, it was 800 thousand tonnes, an increase of 33 percent over '77/8 end in '79/80 the production is 1 million tonnes. That means over a period of 4 years it has grown from 4co thousand tonnes to a million tonnes.
Our domestic production is about 300 tonnes. That means our import requirement was 100 thousand tonnes in '76/77, and in the next year, July'79-Jons '80 it will be 700 thousand tonnes. You can imagine the pressure we have to mobilise the resources and aid to import 7co thousand tonnes of fertiliser for the next financial year, which is July '79 to June '80, but this has paid dividends and we have noticed that application of fertilizer has up to three times increased the yield.
In that context we feel that fertiliser pricing, supply and price stability should receive priority attention from this Organization, and that was the main task of the Fifth Session of the Commission on Fertilisers. In that context, we endorse the recommendations of the Commission, particularly urging FAO to see how best and how quickly they could ensure the Option Proposal, which has been responded to by the industry very favourably, could be put into operation, and I am sure that with the efforts of FAO, this Option Proposal, which has also been favourable responded to by the Industry, could be put into operation.
In the fertiliser activity of this Organization, the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme is a very important element. You may recall that it was recommended and accepted by this Council to put this fertiliser supply scheme on a permanent basis. It is on a permanent basis in this Organization. But the irony is that placing this scheme on a permanent basis, the source has gone dry. You will notice that in '74/75 it had its peak, but since then it has gradually gone out, and today the IFS has virtually no resources. We feel that it is important to put something on a permanent basis, but it is more important to see that the permanent thing operates and works. We have a permanent organisation and mission but it has no resources, which is all the more lamentable. I understand that except for one major donor which I believe is the United States, there is hardly any donor to this Scheme, whereas the fertilizer requirements of developing countries is growing every day. Ho doubt the IFS can make its efforts, as suggested by Germany, in helping developing countries to identify projects and addressing them to the donors, but it has no resources of its own. I really do not understand how it can effectively keep its reputation and credibility as a means of helping the developing countries in the procurement of fertilizers. So we strongly urge not only that the IFS should be reactivitated but the donors should be persuaded, and I am sure that they will say that the IFS is a good source of supplying fertilizers to the developing countries.
We really feel that the Commission has done a good job and if these two important items which we stressed, the introduction of the Option Scheme and the reaotivization of the IFS, are done and done quickly, we will feel satisfied that the Report of the Commission had produced some concrete results.
C. PARIAS MARFIL (Cuba): Nuestra delegación desea en esta oportunidad reiterar el apoyo al informe final del 52 período de sesiones de la Comisión de Fertilizantes, como ya lo hiciera en enero pasado durante la celebración del evento; pero, como algunos de los delegados que me han precedido, quisiéramos llamar la atención sobre algunos elementos relevantes de la situación mundial de fertilizantes que creemos que debe ser, como ha venido siendo hasta ahora, preocupación de la Comunidad Internacional.
Según la Resolución 33/62 VII de la Asamblea General se ha situado una meta de contribución al PIF para lograr a final de año un millón de toneladas anuales de nutrientes para las plantas y vemos la situación actual y nos damos cuenta que es necesario para la consecución de este objetivo que las Organizaciones Internacionales y los países donantes aumenten sensiblemente su contribución.
Ya en la 19 Conferencia de FAO se analizó el exceso de los países en desarrollo en la importación de fertilizantes y pesticidas acordándose entonces que ese exceso fuera a precios competitivos y no a precios superiores a los internos de los países desarrollados exportadores, lo cual no ha sido totalmente obtenido, por lo que creemos debemos seguir abogando.
Es de todos conocida la importancia de la utilización de los fertilizantes y pesticidas para el aumento de los cultivos, de su rendimiento, así como la escasez de recursos financieros de los países en desarrollo para su adquisición.
Es igualmente conocida la insuficiencia técnica y económica de nuestros países que impide el necesario y sustancial incremento de las instalaciones y servicios de producción y almacenamiento en estos dos tipos de productos; y como todo ello trae como consecuencia que se mantenga un alto nivel de dependencia de los países en desarrollo con relación a los países exportadores desarrollados, nuestra delegación en este sentido está convencida de que debemos continuar trabajando en función de aumentar las instalaciones de producción y almacenamiento de los países en vías de desarrollo y reducir al máximo ese nivel de dependencia de los países en vías de desarrollo hacia los países desarrollados, para lo cual es necesario, en primer lugar, aumentar la asistencia financiera de las organizaciones internacionales y de los países donantes.
Como se podrá constatar, estos aspectos que hemos planteado de una manera muy escueta y concreta están contenidos en los párrafos del 5 al 7 de los Acuerdos sobre agricultura y alimentación del 22 período de sesiones del Comité Plenario de las Naciones Unidas, creado en cumplimiento de la Resolución 32/74 de dicha Asamblea General, y decimos esto ya que estos elementos nos demuestran cómo todas las reuniones de los Organismos Internacionales han venido destacando y repitiendo la importancia de los temas tratados y que aquí hemos querido enfatizar una vez más.
Es todo cuanto queríamos señalar, señor Presidente.
L.S.O. SAMIZI (Tanzania): I will start by expressing my appreciation of the work of the Commission and of the excellent presentation of the document. My delegation studied document CL 75/17, the report of the Fifth Session of the Commissiqnon Fertilizers with great interest, and would like to endorse all that has been recommended therein.
Without taking up much of this Council's time, allow me to reiterate our stand on some aspects of this report which we consider as very important.
As a matter of policy, the current Five-Year Development Plan of my country attaches great importance to increase food production and agricultural production as a whole. To implement this objective, two basic strategies are followed.
The first one is the opening up of new agricultural land, and the second one is the utilization of improved agricultural technology. The latter approach calls for an increasing use of fertilizers. The use of fertilizers is not limited to large estates only, but small farmers have also been benefiting by the use of this very important import. Major problems have been incurred in rendering this assistance to small farmers. These range from marketing storage and distribution and is also associated with credit availability and recoveries.
My delegation endorses the view expressed by the Commission at the end of paragraph 12 of their document "that progress in respect of the establishment of proper marketing, storage and distribution network down to the village level should be reviewed and necessary assistance by way of expert advice and consultancy provided where necessary''
When considering the production costs of new and established fertilizer production costs, Tanzania has been experiencing a difficult situation when costs of the fertilizer plant has been very high, thus necessitating an increase in the price of the fertilizer to farmers to the extent that government has to subsidise the farmers heavily in order to enable them to use the fertilizer.
We therefore endorse the view that has been expressed in paragraph 19 of the report, and call for assistance to research and the provision of improvement to new and already existing fertilizer plants.
In addition, my Commission wishes to give support to the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, and we pledge our request to donor countries to channel part of their contribution to this scheme. Tanzania has benefited from this scheme. The revenue that has been realized from sales of this fertilizer has been channdled to other areas of development in the agricultural sector.
K.R. HIGHAM (Canada): Concerning Item 10 of the report, Canada can endorse the comment that in spite of the outlook that the developing countries' market share of fertilizer production will increase substantially by 1982/83, they will continue to be heavily dependent on imports from the rest of the world.
This is particularly true for potash, of which most of the known deposits are in North America and USSR.
In order to meet the anticipated future increased world demand, Canadian production capacity will increase from 7.5 million tonnes to about 10 million tonnes by 1982/83. This will include two new mines in New Brunswick, and an expansion of existing mine capacity in Saskatchewan.
Regarding Item 16, the Commission expressed concern that prices of fertilizers produced in new plants are expected to be higher mainly on account of higher investment costs. We are questioning that assertion, based on experience in Canada, where in 1977 two new nitrogen plants came on stream. So far they appear to be doing fairly well, despite excess capacity in the North American market and high initial investment costs. We believe the reason for this to be improved efficiency in productivity and securing economies in handling and distribution costs.
If the Commission's assertion were true, then one might expect old plants to survive against the new ones in the period of sluggish demand and excess capacity, but in North America this has not been the case. During 1977/78 and 1978/79 numerous old plants shut down as they could not compete with the new plants and new production facilities.
On Item 18 the Commission urged that fertilizer prices should be kept as low as possible through steps such as reduction in investment and production costs, etc. Private fertilizer companies keep investment and production costs as low as possible in order to improve their profits. Fertilizer prices, on the other hand, we find are determined for the most part by competition on the world market; hence, the Commission's concern that high fertilizer prices would adversely affect the capability of farmers in the developing countries is valid in conclusion. However, we question the Commission's suggestion for solving the problems of high prices.
Again, going back to the situation in Canada, our experience is that one of the most important factors putting an upward pressure on fertilizer prices at the local level is the fertilizer storage capacity at the retail level. A recent study by the Canada Department of Agriculture indicates that storage capacity at the retail level in Alberta is insufficient to meet the current distribution requirements. Hence, there have been delivery problems with spot shortages at the peak of the season with consequent upward pressure on local prices.
We feel, too, that the Commission might be more concerned about the availability of fertilizer at competitive prices to the farmer in the developing countries, rather than just low prices. More attention might also be directed towards developing an efficient and adequate delivery and storage network at the retail level.
Fertilizer are of particular interest to Canada. We have an active fertilizer development assistance programme of our own, and we have considerable industrial expertise at both the production and utilization levels. We are currently reviewing the question of bilateral United States and overseas multilateral routes for delivery of the substantial fertilizer components of our development assistance work.
The work of the Commission and the IFS has not gone unnoticed. At present our system responds to bilateral requests for fertilizers as part of individual country development assistance programmes from, Canada.
J. A. LEIVA (El Salvador): Vamos a ser breves en nuestra intervención.
La 5 reunion de la Comisión de Fertilizantes se celebro en Roma del 22 al 25 de ebero de 1979 y le tocó a nuestro país participar por vez primera en esta Comisión.
La exposición del señor Peckham ha sido muy amplia y clara, por lo cual nos permitimos felicitarlo.
Queremos también apoyar la posición del señor delegado de Brasil respecto al párrafo 62 al recomendar la Comisión que el programa de su 6a reunión se preparase en cooperación con el grupo de trabajo consultivo de la Comisión teniendo en cuenta las conclusiones de la Conferencia sobre la Reforma Agraria y otras reuniones, entre ellas la del CCIF y las conclusiones de la 5 reunión.
Nuestro país utiliza una gran cantidad de fertilizantes para el desarrollo de los cultivos agrícolas, por lo cual los mismos desempeñan un papel importantísimo en la agricultura, por lo tanto, estamos totalmente interesados en el programa de labores futuro de la Comisión, de tal forma que el mismo sea adecuado a los fines que persigue y que se puedan superar todas las dificultades que puedan presentarse.
Finalmente, queremos manifestar nuestro apoyo a la Comisión en el párrafo 17, al pedir insistentemente que se buscara la manera de reducir los costos de las fábricas de fertilizantes, las materias primas fertilizantes y las infraestructuras correspondientes. Asimismo, su recomendación de que las instituciones financieras internacionales se comprometieran a proporcionar ayuda financiera tanto para las infraestructuras como para las fábricas de fertilizantes en los países en desarrollo.
D.F.R. BOMMER (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): I do not think that any specific question has been put in this very valuable discussion for the Secretariat to respond to. I can only say that from the side of the Director-General and all the staff concerned, we appreciate very much this discussion and the number of valuable comments that have been made, including very specific ones on the study and production costs which we will certainly convey to our friends in the World Bank to see if in further studies the Canadian experience could be taken into consideration, and to check whether the outcome in the next Commission meeting could be revised accordingly. We have taken note of the various suggestions made on the work of FAO's fertilizer activities in developing countries, some of them very specific, and requests from specific countries. Again, we have taken note of this and we will certainly see how we can accommodate this in our programme.
I just want to stress one point that came up several times in our discussion. We are fully geared and committed -as expressed by the delegate of Belgium- that our support activities in the fertilizer field as one of the most important production interests is to combine the message of improved and effective use of fertilizers with the supply side. But the one side is useless, I must say, is a drop in the ocean if there is nothing coming behind it. This means, what is the value of speaking about an efficient use if there is no fertilizer available.
This leads us back to IFS as the international mechanism of fertilizer aid within the context of all other fertilizer aid activities on the bilateral scale, and I would repeat, the only word I have heard from, I think, most of the developing countries in this round stressing the continuous need for this channel, and the hope that this channel will be used. It is nice to hear that recommendations are being made that the scheme be used to formulate projects. We have done this and we have even passed on the project to bilateral donors for possible support but we get a negative reaction. So I think the project formulation loan is not enough: there must be commitment with it that this project can be supported, and there are enough cases in which bilateral activities are not possible or fail for lack of access to a country because of specific relations. Here the Scheme is of very important and possible use.
I therefore think more initiatives from those providing such important assistance in the field of bilateral fertilizer assistance should come forward to make more concise and improved use of this established channel, in future.
CHAIRMAN: This concludes the discussion on this item and we will now go on to item 9.
Before we go any further, I would like to call the attention of the Council to the front page of document CL 75/8 and, since it is important, I would like to read it because we need to be properly guided in the discussions:
"In this document the Director General reports, for the information of the Conference and Council, on a number of recent developments in the United Nations system. The emphasis is on decisions and recommendations adopted by the General Assembly at its 33rd Session, in 1978. The main decisions of the General Assembly on the re-structuring of the economic and social sectors of the United Nations system, which were adopted in December 1977, were reported to the Council at its 74th session in November/December 1978".
Therefore members can see that the report itself is for information. The Director-General is informing us and then we will pass it on to the Conference, what has been happening in the United Nations system. When we come to discuss it we do not want to go one by one: I will open discussion on the whole report-so that members can debate any part of it that they like. Before that, I would like to call on Mr. Walton to give a brief introduction to the papers.
D.J. WALTON (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): I do not need to make any extensive introduction of the paper itself but I would like, if I may, just to say one or two additional words of background exploration. It is envisaged that the main paper before the Council, CL 75/8, together with its supplement, will be reproduced again as a Conference document and will be supplemented with a further addendum reporting on any substantive developments that happen between now and the time of the Conference. The Conference will thus have before it the main documents, the comments of the Council and the updating supplement.
I should also like to draw the Council's attention to the fact that several subjects dealt with in the Director-General's opening address appear in the paper before you. Thus, document CL 75/8 contains the full text of the agreed conclusions of the General Assembly Committee of the Whole on certain aspects of food and agriculture. The Director-General in his opening remarks also brought the Council up to date on certain aspects of the restructuring of the economic and social sectors of the United Nations system. I should explain also that when the Programme Committee considered the question of restructuring, as reported in paragraphs 2.110 to 2.115 of this report, it did not have this document before it and therefore the report of the Programme Committee on this subject is self-contained and a factual account.
The preparation of the new International Development Strategy is another subject mentioned by the Director-General on which work is now proceeding. The Preparatory Committee appointed by the General Assembly is meeting now in New York and was addressed last Friday on behalf of the Director-General by Professor Nouri Islam. Work is going on this week and it is too early to report on the result of this session of the Preparatory Committee.
Finally, I would like to mention that preparations for the United Nations Conference on Science and Technology for Development are also moving forward rapidly these days. The report before the Council refers to the possible institutional implications of this Conference for the system. I have myself just returned from a meeting in New York on this subject, which remains obscure to say the least. I need say nothing more about the document but I shall be glad to at least attempt to answer any questions that delegations may have.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Nos ha parecido interpretar en forma muy adecuada la observación suya, acerca del resumen que aparece en la portada del documento CL 75/8 en el sentido de que dentro de la totalidad de los cambios que están operándose en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas, corresponde a nosotros, como miembros del Consejo de la FAO, referirnos exclusivamente a aquellos asuntos que atañen directamente a nuestra organización.
Si es así, la delegación de Colombia desearía declarar, en primer lugar, que le conforta el hecho importante de que las novedades que se están cumpliendo en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas, estén orientadas, como dice este documento, hacia el establecimiento del nuevo Orden Económico Internacional, En cuanto a la FAO respecta, es satisfactorio registrar el hecho de que el importante Comité Plenario de las Naciones Unidas se está ocupando a fondo de las cuestiones relacionadas con la agricultura, lo cual confirma la importancia de los cambios especializados que abarca la FAO, y por lo tanto, el papel vital de nuestra Organización en el emplio y general contexto de todas las Naciones Unidas.
Es satisfactorio ver, como según aparece en el párrafo 12, que el Comité Plenario de las Naciones Unidas ha incluido en su programa de trabajo, un tema llamado ''Medidas relativas a los problemas alimentarios y el desarrollo agrícola en el mundo". Esperamos que la FAO continúe haciendo, como lo ha afirmado el señor Walton, aportes significativos al trabajo del Comité del Plenario.
Encontramos muy bien que nuestra organización haya participado con otras agencias en la elaboración de documentos para este fin, y también que la FAO, por sí misma, haya preparado un documento sobre el Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional en los órganos competentes de las Naciones Unidas. Encontramos muy bien igualmente, que los jefes de las agencias hayan destacado la conveniencia de señalar al Comité Plenario la insuficiencia de los recursos disponibles para las actividades operacio-nales en comparación con las grandes necesidades de los países en desarrollo. Ojalá que en el Comité Plenario se tenga en cuenta esta opinión de los jefes de las agencias, y que ese concepto fundamental que hemos citado, se incorpore en el examen global de las operaciones que hará el ECOSOC por petición de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas.
En los párrafos 24 y 29, del documento CL 75/8 están descritas algunas actividades de la FAO en estos campos, las cuales apoyamos. En los párrafos 32 a 36 se habla de la asistencia que se ha venido ofreciendo al pueblo palestino con lo cual estamos de acuerdo sobre descolonización y funciones conexas. La delegación de Colombia también apoya la acción de la FAO de asistencia a los refugiados y pueblos de los territorios coloniales de Africa, así como los estudios para determinar en qué medida ciertas políticas han afectado al sector agrícola.
En el párrafo 5 del documento, hay la afirmación de que la nueva estrategia internacional para el desarrollo perseguirá entre otros el objetivo de aumentar sustanciaimente la producción alimentaria y agrícola en los países en desarrollo y facilitar efectivamente el acceso de sus exportaciones agrícolas a los mercados internacionales de una manera estable y más predecible y a precios justos y remunerativos.
Esta afirmación, a nuestro juicio, está muy de acuerdo con otra que se hace en el documento, en. la cual se dice que casi todas las cuestiones de que se ocupa la FAO tienen consecuencias para otros
organismos. Creo que estas consecuencias expresadas a tan alto nivel, confirman la interrelación de todos los factores que conforman la totalidad del desarrollo y que es una respuesta nítida y enfática a los distinguidos colegas que, en ocasiones anteriores, han dicho que la FAO no es necesaria para ocuparnos de ciertos temas. Nosotros creemos que nuestra organización debe adelantar sus labores en relación directa con todos los otros sectores, de los cuales no puede separarse. Quisiéramos que no se nos insista en que aquí no se traten asuntos de vital importancia para los países en desarrollo, porque no queremos ir hacia atrás.
Tenemos el recuerdo de que, hace unos veinte anos, cuando por primera vez vinimos a la FAO, ésta era una Organización inmensa, burócratizada, cargada de experiencias y de conocimientos, pero cansada, anquilosada, encerrada en su torre de marfil, aislada de la realidad económica, social y política del mundo. Afortunadamente, sobre todo a partir de cuando ese gran hombre que es el señor B. R. Sen llegó a la Dirección General de la FAO, las circunstancias han cambiado; los representantes de los países en desarrollo somos más conscientes de la importancia de esta organización, y esperamos que esos cambios sean progresivos.
Finalmente, la delegación de Colombia desea reafirmar su apoyo a ciertos principios fundamentales que figuran en el Pacto Internacional sobre Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales.
En cuanto a la FAO destacamos los principios contenidos en ese Pacto, del derecho fundamental de toda persona a estar protegido contra el hambre y el derecho del hombre a liberarse del hambre y de la miseria.
A.M. FASLA (Algérie): Ma delegation a examine avec soin le document CL75/8 et écouté avec attention l'introduction de M. Walton.
Le document qui nous est présenté est un document concis, qui nous donne un aperçu exact et objectif des mutations survenues au sein du système des Nations Unies, soit au niveau des problèmes d'approche du développement et de la coopération économique internationale, soit au niveau des problèmes de la restructuration du système lui-même.
En 1980 aura lieu une nouvelle session extraordinaire de l'Assemblée générale consacrée au développement et à la coopération. Ce sera la troisième, après la sixième et la septième session, et nous nous félicitons de voir la FAO contribuer à la préparation de cette Assemblée qui, nous l'espérons, pourra donner un apport concret et positif, qui ne se limitera pas seulement à des déclarations d'intention qui finalement demeurent des voeux pieux.
Au cours de cette Assemblée générale, on examinera la mise sur pied de la nouvelle stratégie internationale pour le développement. Là encore, la FAO a un rôle très important à jouer, et ce role a d'ailleurs été indiqué par le Comité plénier à sa session de mars, consacrée presque exclusivement aux problèmes de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture. Nous estimons que cette stratégie doit être la stratégie du nouvel ordre économique international, tel qu'il est défini par la sixième session de l'Assemblée générale et par la Charte des droits et des devoirs économiques des Etats. Nous savons qu'il y a des oppositions, mais nous ne perdons pas l'espoir que ces réserves s'estomperont avec le temps et que la raison finira par prévaloir dans un secteur qui est le plus important et le plus vital pour l'humanité, le secteur de l'alimentation, car il s'agit d'éviter à des millions d'êtres une mort lente et terrible et la menace de cette mort que provoque la faim.
Nous avons, au cours de notre déclaration générale, fait quelques remarques sur la situation de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture, et ces remarques s'appliquent à la stratégie internationale pour le développement.
Pour ce qui est de la restructuration des questions économiques et sociales, c'est une question très complexe et très difficile. Nous avons, en tant que pays en développement, au cours de la septième session extraordinaire, demandé que le système devenu lourd, onéreux, où il y avait énormément de double-emploi, où les institutions se disputaient les prérogatives, nous avons donc demandé que l'on s'attaque à ce système avec objectivité, avec dynamisme, pour le rendre plus apte à répondre aux exigences de notre époque, pour le mettre en mesure de répondre avec rapidité aux problèmes cruciaux, urgents, que connaissent les pays du tiers monde. Cette restructuration, tout le monde l'appelait de
ses voeux. Elle visait à rendre le système plus souple, moins lourd, et surtout elle visait à rendre le système plus capable de résoudre les véritables problèmes, et non pas de s'embourber - ce qui est malheureusement quelquefois le cas - dans des considérations de prestige de telle ou telle organisation.
Nous voulions une coordination réelle,qui évite justement que des experts de très haut niveau soient pris par des organisations alors que l'on pourrait, à travers un organe appartenant à tout le système, avoir par exemple un fichier auquel on se référerait chaque fois qu'il s'agit d'un problème touchant à la science ou à la technologie, pour ne prendre que cet exemple. Je dois souligner que tout le monde s'occupe à l'heure actuelle de la science et de la technologie dans les organisations du système des Nations Unies, que ce soit l'Unesco, la CNUCED, l'ONUDI, la FAO. Ce que nous voulons, c'est qu'il y ait une coordination au sein du système qui, hélas, fait défaut. Cette coordination commence à se faire jour, notamment avec la création du poste de Directeur général pour le développement, mais nous connaissons toutes ses difficultés, tous ses obstacles, et je crois que les institutions du système doivent redoubler d'efforts pour parvenir à cette coordination si nécessaire, car elle permettra de redéployer au moins 30 à 40 pour cent ,du personnel et des experts du système des Nations Unies vers d'autres activités, notamment sur le terrain, et elle permettra d'économiser des millions de dollars qui sont nécessaires pour la promotion de la coopération internationale multilatérale, et pour la promotion du développement,
M, Walton nous a parlé d'une "réunion obscure", si j'ai bien retenu ses mots. Je crois que nous avons l'habitude - je parle pour moi - de ces réunions, et je crois que la FAO, comme toutes les institutions des Nations Unies, devra faire l'effort nécessaire pour que ces réunions obscures se transforment en réunions claires, où les décisions qui seront prises seront des décisions efficaces servant les intérêts des Etats.
Il est certain que l'Algérie ne peut pas diminuer le rôle des institutions du système des Nations Unies, bien au contraire, mais elle souhaite que ce rôle soit renforcé, que les organisations du système des
Nations Unies multiplient leurs efforts pour s 'acquitter de leur mandat, et s'il y avait des difficultés qui découlent quelquefois de malentendus, d'une mauvaise coordination, d'un chevauchement des prérogatives, il appartient aux Directeurs des différentes agences, notamment au cours de leurs réunions, de trancher ces problèmes, car il y va de l'intérêt de nos peuples, et il y va de l'intérêt du système des Nations Unies.
Déjà, dans les années soixante-dix, il y a eu une tentative d'essayer de rendre le système plus simple, plus souple. Mais nous avons vu le système s'alourdir et devenir beaucoup plus complexe, et seuls quelques initiés pouvaient comprendre tous les mécanismes qui le faisaient marcher.
Cette coordination est nécessaire et ne devrait pas empêcher les différentes organisations représentées dans nos pays d'avoir accès à tous les échelons du gouvernement,de l'administration, surtout lorsqu'il s'agit des institutions s'occupant d'activités opérationnelles comme la FAO.
Je voudrais préciser que nous sommes d'accord, nous l'avons déjà dit, avec la déclaration du Directeur général lorsqu'il stipulait que la coordination devait d'abord et avant tout revenir aux Etats qui sont mieux placés pour connaître leurs intérêts.
Ce document comporte de nombreuses références aux décisions de l'Assemblée générale, qui demeure l'instance suprême où sont prises les décisions, par les plus hautes autorités de nos pays. Il est tout à fait normal que l'Assemblée générale donne des orientations qui doivent guider le travail et les activités de toutes les institutions du système des Nations Unies et assimilées, qu'il s'agisse de la FAO, de l'Unesco, du Fonds monétaire et de la Banque mondiale. C'est avec satisfaction que nous enregistrons que la FAO entend donner suite à sa résolution et coopère étroitement avec les autres institutions du système à cet effet.
Je voudrais plus particulièrement mettre l'accent sur l'assistance à accorder aux pays les plus gravement touchés. Nous en avons déjà parlé. C'est un thème économique qui revient au niveau de toutes les institutions du système. Mais je voudrais encourager la FAO à poursuivre son assistance aux pays qui se trouvent encore sous le joug colonial et sous la domination de l'occupation étrangère, que ce soit en Palestine, que ce soit en Afrique, notamment en Afrique australe. Nous apprécions le travail déjà réalisé par la FAO, et nous souhaitons qu'elle renforcera son action, car il s'agit de la dignité de peuples qui luttent pour leur indépendance, qui luttent pour être représentés parmi nous. La FAO peut et doit faire beaucoup dans ce domaine. L'Algérie ne peut que l'appuyer et lui apporter tout son soutien dans cette noble tâche, qui est celle d'assister les peuples encore sous la domination coloniale, ou sous l'occupation étrangère.
Nous avons noté avec intérêt la participation de notre Organisation et sa contribution à la prochaine Conférence des Nations Unies sur la science et la technique, qui doit se dérouler en août à Vienne, ainsi que la disposition de la FAO et le début de ses préparatifs pour la Conférence sur les énergies nouvelles non renouvelables, organisée par les Nations Unies. Nous sommes sûrs que les différents services de notre Organisation apporteront une contribution valable, qui permettra à la Communauté internationale de parvenir à des décisions susceptibles de l'aider à résoudre les problèmes qui assaillent l'humanité, et notamment le problème de la faim et de la malnutrition.
M.T.S. SIDDIQUI (Observer for Namibia): At ike very outdet I wish te convey the profound gratitud of the people of Namibia to the Member States of FAO, whose support and solidarity to the cause of Namibia enabled FAO at its Nineteenth Session in November 1977, in a pioneering and historic act, to admit Namibia to full membership of the Organization.
We are also grateful for the invitation extended to us to participate in the deliberations of the current session of the Council and do recognize the great significance of the issues that are the subject matter of this Session.
My delegation has followed the deliberations of the meeting with great interest and attention and fully shares the concerns and /?/ of the develeping /?/
In discussing the present item of our agenda - that is, recent developments in the United Nations System of interest to FAO - and in consideration of the documents CL 75/4, CL 75/8 and CL 75/18 one aspect that engages the attention of my delegation is the singular contribution that FAO has made through its various activities to the promotion of the objectives and implementation of the resolutions of the General Assembly. FAO's close cooperation and collaboration with other agencies within the United Nations System indeed deserves special appreciation.
Of particular interest to my delegation has been the activities of FAO to the cause of decolonization and of organization of effective international programmes of assistance, as reflected in paragraphs 28 to 41 of document CL 75/8.
It will be recalled that in Resolution 32/36 the General Assembly requested the specialised Agencies to render, as a matter of urgency, all possible moral and material assistance to the peoples living under alien occupation and foreign domination in Africa. The United Nations Council for Namibia, as the sole legal administering authority for Namibia until the territory achieves genuine national independence, has actively pursued these objectives and participated in the work of international conferences, the specialized agencies and other United Nations organizations with a view to safeguarding Namibia's interests and ensuring that South Africa does not attempt to represent Namibia illegally in any forum.
The United Nations Council for Namibia besides being a full member of PAD is an associate member of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization and has also participated with full status in the work of the United Nations Conference on the succession of States in Respect of Treaties, the United Nations Conference on Desertification UNCTAD V, and others.
In assuming direct responsibility for the territory, through the United Nations Council for Namibia, the United Nations incurred a solemn obligation to assist and prepare the Namibian people for self-determination and genuine national independence. The creation of the United Nations Fund for Namibia and the Institute for Namibia are concrete examples of successful measures designed to assist Namibia.
The United Nations Council for Namibia is deeply indebted to the FAO for the close cooperation and assistance it has received. The great number of activities FAO is undertaking with regard to decolonization are a reflection of its commitment to the cause of decolonization in support of the oppressed people of Southern Africa.
In regard to Namibia, it is my particular pleasure to mention that FAO has played a major role in the development of the nationhood programme for Namibia.
The nationhood programme for Namibia is the first of its kind in the history of the United Nations.
The programme requires technical assistance that can be of particular relevance and importance for Namibia in the pre-independence period. These programmes include training and research programmes for displaced Namibians outside the territory and eventually to assist their return to Namibia after independence. The United Nations Council for Namibia has so far received about 100 project proposals from different United Nations agencies to be integrated into one comprehensive proposal. FAO in particular by its participation in the planning workshop in Lusaka in May 1978 has greatly contributed to these efforts. FAO is, now involved in nine pre-independence ,projects, totalling $1 160 700 of special mentíon is the assistance given to the research and training programmes in developing necessary skills and techaiques in the area of agriculture, fisheries and food.
FAO's participation in the nationhood programme, however, is only one part of its efforts geared to Namibia. FAO's Freedom-from-Hunger Campaign prepared a Report on assistance for the preparation of training programmes in rural development and related project areas for the United Nations Institute for Namibia in 1978. This description of FAO's continuous fruitful cooperation with the United Nations Council for Namibia and other specialized agencies within the United Nations System and its valuable contribution to the fight against colonialism as reflected in paragraphs 37-41 in document CL 75/8 certainly offers a very hopeful scenario in view of the crucial role these projects bear upon the future social and economic development of Namibia.
However, we must not overlook that all these activities shall remain of very limited significance unless the people to whom these activities are extended achieve genuine national independence. In this regard, in conclusion I would like to invite the attention of delegates to the recently concluded resumed Thirty-third Session of the General Assembly, which vide Resolution 33/206 has again
underlined the urgent need to ensure the attainment of the inalienable rights of the Namibian people to genuine self-determination and national independence of Namibia in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration of the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and reaffirmed the direct responsibility of the United Nations for Namibia, renewing its determination to ensure the effective and complete discharge of this responsibility and to this end called upon all Member mateó and bodies and organs of the United Nations to support fully the United Nations Council for Namibia as the legal administering authority until independence in the implementation of its mandate.
My delegation, while expressing its deep gratitude to the FAO and the participating delegates for the consistent support to the cause of Namibia, urges them to redouble their efforts to enable the Namibian people to take their rightful place in the international community as a sovereign and independent nation in the not-too-distant a future-
N.M. MAPELA (Zaïre): Je voudrais remercier M. Walton pour la présentation du document et les explications qu'il a bien voulu nous donner. Bien que ma délégation ne soit pas, en ce moment, en mesure de prédire ce qui pourrait résulter de toutes ces mesures de restructuration des secteurs économique et social du système des Nations Unies, nous partageons cependant les inquiétudes exprimées par le Comité des programmes au par. 2.111 du document CL 75/4. à savoir qu'à la suite de la décision contenue dans la Résolution 33/202 de l'Assemblée générale, le Comité des programmes note qu'il faudra de plus en plus éviter les doubles emplois entre la FAO et les Commissions régionales dans les projets et autres activités.
Ceci dit, et pour terminer, ma délégation tient, une fois de plus, à souligner le fait qu'au niveau des pays la coordination de toutes les activités de développement incombe à juste titre au gouvernement de chaque pays concerné.
J.A. BAKER (United States of America): We appreciate having, even though with some delay, the good document prepared for this item and also having the useful introduction given to us by Mr. Walton. The document deals with a number of issues of interest to the FAO and to the members of its Council, among which I will focus on only one or two.
For several years my Government has played an active role in efforts to bring about more coherence and more focus to the farflung and expanding United Nations activities in the economic and social spheres. Our participation in what has become termed restructuring of United Nations activities has been motivated exclusively by a desire to minimize duplication among United Nations Agencies and maximize the relative strength of each in an effort to be of the greatest possible assistance to the developing countries. We visualize the single official described in the documentation as responsible for coordination of United Nations activities in the field . The person would be appointed by the Secretary General to harmonize the work of all agencies in the field, while at the same time recognizing the unique responsibilities of each agency and its representative, including the FAO and its representative, all with respect to the host country. We see this new effort to achieve a more rational allocation of resources available within the United Nations system as fully compatible with and indeed complementary to the decentralization of FAO activities to the field, of which the Director-General is a major champion.
The document before us, CL 75/8, suggests in quite a dispassionate manner that FAO's basic relationships remain governed by the United Nations Charter, the FAO Constitution and the relationship agreement between the two Organizations.
In the field, we would not expect that the kinds of exchanges of information and of views and of cooperative spirit which now exists between the best United Nations representatives and the best representatives of other United Nations organizations will really need to change very much in character. It is our belief that where competent people are' involved, cooperation and coordination are already growing. Hopefully the new arrangements will assist and extend this evolution. We believe there is room for improved coordination in some field posts. We do not regard coordination as a bad word. In fact, we believe that FAO's record in the field posts and elsewhere warrants a somewhat more positive posture on the subject than we sometimes hear from FAO. It seems to us that it is not proper coordination but over-coordination or unnecessary coordination, particularly at United Nations capitals that we ought to guard against, and .if this is the heart of the concern expressed at the outset of our work at this Session of the Council, we share it, and we will work to resist over-coordination.
With respect to paragraphs 32 to 36 of the document, which has been provided for our information only, I must note my Government did not support the two EC0S0C Resolutions which are addressed therein, although we have been supporting and will continue to support assistance to the Palestinian people. In examining the modalities on assistance under these Resolutions, the recently created Inter-Agency Task Force sets a good example by pursuing its work in consultation with Governments and with relevant Organizations in the area as well as with the PLO, as required by the Resolutions. We believe this example is worth attention, given the normal practice of this and other international agencies of responding to project requests when made by or endorsed by Member Governments.
Q. H. HAQUE (Bangladesh): At this late hour our intervention will be very brief. We are very happy that, as promised to the Finance Committee, the Secretariat has been able to submit to this Council document CL 75/8. It is a very useful document and contains up-to-date information on the recent developments in the United Nations system which are of interest to the FAO. We are happy to note that participation of FAO in the Committe of the Whole has been active and effective, and the result is the Committee of the Whole resolutions and recommendations on the item food security,
I also feel that FAO will continue to take an active role in the preparation of the Special Session of the General Assembly to be held in 1980 on new international development strategies and in the implementation of a New Economic Order.
One specific item on which we want to comment is appointment of a single official. Bangladesh, as I am aware, is a party to the General Assembly Resolution No. 32/197. Bangladesh, as any other developing country, is in favor of coordination of activities of the various United Nations Agencies operating in the field in all developing countries, but what we are concerned with is that in our anxiety for coordination we do not disturb the equilibrium in a manner which may be detrimental to the interests of developing countries and to the interests of development in those countries. Coordination, as you know, is a sort of a fad with the present-day world, and over-coordination has always a negative effect. You will find in the Report of the Programme and Finance Committees, CL 75/4, in paragraph 2.114, how the FAO Senior Officials are engaged in running back and forth between Rome and Geneva and Rome and New York in the interest of coordination and how much effective and useful manpower and man hour loss that is to this Organization at the Headquarters.
The purpose of this appointment of the single official is coordination, and the name to be given to this official is Resident Coordinator of UN Systems Operational Activities for Development. To understand the implications of this designation will take quite a long time in many developing countries, and the purpose for that is multi-disciplinary dimension in sectoral development assistance programmes. Again a jargon for the UN but for the developing countries to understand in the field will be quite difficult, a jargon which may be very easily understood by New York but at the field level this might create problems for understanding in the developing countries.
While I make it very clear we are in favor of coordination in the field and there is a need for that, what we are afraid of is that in the implementation of that and our anxiety for coordination, it should be in an orderly way so that the equilibrium that exists at the present moment is not disturbed to the detriment of the interests of the developing countries.
Lastly, in the interest of the relationship of developing countries and the Organizations, the United Nations Agencies, and the relationship the Organizations have with their representatives and the Organizations themselves, in other words, the developing countries on the one hand, the relationship with the Organization, collectively and separately, and the relationship of the representative of individual Organizations and themselves, that should not be disturbed in a way that may be in the interest of coordination but disturbing to the detriment of development.
We know from our experience that in Bangladesh, coordination as at the moment done by the Resident Representative of the UNDP is quite happy and effective. As far as this Organization is concerned, its representative in Bangladesh has the best of relationships with the UNDP representative, and there is no problem of coordination and mutual help in the best interest of the country and the Organizations.
We also believe that the primary responsibility rests with the developing countries, and the countries themselves must have and should have the last word. No matter what kind of coordination the operating agencies may assume, they should not trade sovereign rights to the organisations themselves to coordinate.
From that point of view I believe FAO is cautious, although in the ACC it has been agreed on the Letter of Appointment of the single official that the terms of reference of this single official should be very clearly and distinctly spelled out. This jargon, "multi-disciplinary dimension in the sectoral development assistance programme must be clearly understood, not by people in New York alone, or people in Geneva alone, or in Rome alone, but it should be understood by the developing countries so that it is properly implemented in an orderly way.
In the statement of the Director-General on the Opening Day he dwelt at length on this subject, and his concluding sentences were: "Therefore we should be openly concerned about possible damage to our vital field action by excessive impractical coordination detrimental to the interests of developing countries themselves."
This is our concern, we very much want the activities of the agencies to be coordinated, and coordinated effectively, but it should not be done to the detriment of the interests of developing countries and development in those countries. As long as it is orderly and understood, we are all for the purpose of it.
S. A. PERVEZ (Pakistan): We have taken note of document CL 75/8. It is important for us in the Council to know of the changes and developments taking place in the United Nations system that are of interest to FAO. It is an obvious and imperative need, as almost every aspect dealt with by FAO is in one way or the other of inter-agency implication.
FAO has an important and effective role to play in the development of a new inter-agency strategy for the APs. The need for the establishment of a new economic order has been the subject of universal concern. Towards this end, also, inter alia, inter-agency relations and organisational restructuring assume importance, and need to be noted.
We are indeed grateful to the Director-General for taking care of this need and keeping us informed of developments in this regard through his report, and look forward to the detailed analysis the Director-General intends to submit to the Council in 1980 on recent trends and inter-agency relations.
G. HAVORD (United Nations Development Programme): Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to say a few words to the Council. In view of the lateness of the hour, I shall be as brief as possible. Unfortunately, I myself was only able to arrive in Rome today, but my colleague has been present throughout the Council so far and has informed me of the discussions which have taken place, and I would like to comment very briefly on one or two of the items which have been before you.
I noted - and the Administrator had the opportunity to note in New York - the favourable comments the Director-General made in his Opening Statement last Monday on the effective cooperation between UNDP and the FAO in many fields, and particularly in the exclusive economic zone of Fisheries. I would like to note here that the UNDP and FAO have been collaborating for many years in this as in other fields, and UNDP's financial contributions to a series of programmes in the Fisheries field over many years are well known to the Council.
The Director-General also made reference to the activity FAO has undertaken in order to deal with the recent outbreak of locusts in parts of Africa and the Near East, and I am glad to report that as the Director-General foresaw, the UNDP Governing Council has given its approval to the project which was put together by FAO and UNDP working in liaison to provide an additional sum of $2.1 million to the programme, primarily for training of personnel at the national level and the regional level for developing more effective long-term coherent control and vigilance programmes, and for general technical support at the various centres which are dealing with the present outbreak, and which, hopefully, will continue to deal with the problem in the future.
In addition, the UNDP is providing from regional funds in the African region very shortly the sum of, I believe, $345 thousand for additional support to this programme, and we also expect to be able to allocate the sum of about $950 thousan4 from the special funds made available to UNDP through OPEC.
I would also like to mention, as yet one more example of the cooperation between FAO and UNDP on problems of immediate concern, the negotiations which are now proceeding between UNDP and the FAO for a series of regional projects in the field of prevention of post-harvest losses, which will be supplementary to the special programme in this field which is going forward. I could, of course, give many other examples, but do not wish to take up too much of your time.
I understand there was a very encouraging and forward-looking discussion on the subject of technical cooperation among developing countries. I need not elaborate on the interest the Administrator of UNDP has in this subject. As you know, he was Secretary-General of the Buenos Aires Conference, and an equally instructive and forward-looking debate has been going on, and continues, in the Governing Council of the UNDP in New York at the moment. The Administrator is discussing with the Council a number of specific measures which he is taking to strengthen the ability of the UNDP, working closely together with the agencies, in order to strengthen the permeation of the concept of TCDC as an integral part of programmes of the United Nations system in all developing countries.
I would like to refer briefly to the question of the proportion of the FAO executed programmes as a percentage of total UNDP resources, A number of references have been made to the fact that it appears the proportion of UNDP programmes implemented by FAO is falling, and this appears to have been so over the last few years. FAO does remain by far the largest executing agency for UNDP, and is implementing very nearly double the proportion of the programme (I do not think this is quite true, perhaps, but it is nearly double the amount being implemented by the next-largest executing agent, which is the United Nations, and something between two and three times as much as the third-largest, which is the ILO.
When looking at this question, there are very many factors which have to be borne in mind. The number of agencies which execute projects financed by the UNDP has been growing in recent years; the promotion of a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary type have been more common.
We are encouraging, as is FAO and as are all the other organizations of the system, increased use of national resources, both human and material. The UNDP, as is well known, has established its own operational mechanism, OPE - the Office of Project Execution - and is executing a number of projects directly. At the country, regional, and inter-regional level, the operations of OPE have only the very smallest and extremely minor effect on the FAO's role as an executing agency; the total of OPE project executions in 1978 was $44 million, of which only $2 million were in the field of agriculture.
More important than all of these different factors is the increasing role of governments themselves, in determining their own priorities for UNDP assistance, and also the role of governments in the decision of which should be the executing agency. This decision is no longer made by UNDP Headquarters. It is made by governments in consultation with UNDP.
Another factor has been the rapidly increasing volume of business which FAO is conducting in the field which is financed by other voluntary sources of funds, such the multi-by programmes, trust funds, etc., and there is the impact which perhaps the Technical Cooperation Programme may have had. Not to continue this whole catalogue, I think there are very many factors which need to be borne in mind when looking at this problem, if it is a problem, and I would like to explore on my return to New York whether it would seem to be valuable or feasible for UNDP and FAO to consult jointly so that a rather more specific analysis of this situation might perhaps be available for the Conference of FAO next November.
I should perhaps say in this connection, too, that as you know, there is an increasing wish on the part of the developing countries and on the part of our Governing Council and the Governing Bodies of most of the agencies for an increasing role for governments in the execution of projects; and this matter, too, is being discussed in New York.
Questions have been raised as to what impact increasing execution of UNDP-financed projects will have on the role of agencies, and the Administrator has made it clear as recently as last week in debates in New York he envisages an extremely valuable and positive role on the part of specialized agencies in helping governments to build strength in the first instance to implement projects financed by UNDP, and also to assist them in the implementation of certain aspects of the UNDP-financed projects -perhaps in the procurement of equipment, perhaps in advice on sources of expertise, and so on.
This, of course, in dollar terms is the kind of assistance which will not be very costly, but I believe it will be absolutely vital to the successful development of an increased volume of Government execution.
Turning very briefly to the question of support costs, I have little to add to the very excellent and comprehensive statement on the current situation made earlier today by Mr West. Suffice it to say that the Administrator is very much concerned with this problem and its difficulties and complexities. Perhaps I should say a number of speakers in the UNDP Governing Council in the last few days have constantly referred to what some of them regard as the excessively high administrative costs of the UNDP activity as a whole, adding together UNDP direct costs, field office costs, support costs, etc. I believe, as Mr West said, this subject will continue to be examined with great care.
Finally, I would like to make a brief Reference to a study which is being initiated now by UNDP and the principal executing agencies together. This is an examination of the experience of country programmes so far. UNDP is working directly with the agencies represented on the Inter-Agency Task Forces at UNDP Headquarters, and FAO is also participating very fully in this exmination. we are hopeful that this study, which will examine the strengths and weaknesses of country programmes and the importance of procedures and processes, successful or less successful, will contribute substantially to an improved approach to country programmes and to a more effective participation .by the. specialized-ageocies as we approach the Third Development Cycle.
This study which is being focussed on UNDP agency experience we hope and trust will also form a useful input into the broader study of development which has been referred to in these discussions which is being undertaken by the Director-General of Development.
I said 'finally' but I do have one more point and that refers to the resident coordinator and his role. We have noted the concern expressed by the Director-General in his opening statement and subsequently repeated by a number of delegates in this Council, most recently by the delegate of Bangladesh, concern that coordination can be overdone. we could not agree more: of course coordination can be overdone; it can become an end in itself and as far as UNDP is able to avoid this, we will certainly do so, I think everybody here who has worked in development in any country at any stage of development is fully aware -as we are - that coordination of activities by different public agencies is always a problem in the most advanced and in the least developed of countries. And as a system providing assistance to governments in these efforts, we feel it behooves the United Nations system to be as sure as it can that its inputs are coherent and coordinated, and not duplicatory or divisive, or going in different directions.
As I am sure you are aware, the procedures which have been established through the ACC for the nomination and appointment of resident coordinators - appointment by the Secretary General - do provide for consultations to ensure that the official so designated does command the highest confidence of the entire United Nations system.
I was interested in the remarks of the delegate of Bangladesh that in that particular country everything is working reasonably well; that the Resident Representative is performing a useful and effective coordinating function, that he is working extremely well with the the representative of FAO. This is as it should be be. If this were so everywhere there would be no need for any change in the system at all, but perhaps there are countries where what is happening in Bangladesh could be emulated and one would hope that the intention of this element of restructuring is to achieve precisely that.
C. BATAULT (France): Je voudrais simplement faire quelques remarques qui reprendront celles qu'ont faites un certain nombre de délégués en ce qui concerne l'excellente coopération qui s'était développée et se développe entre les représentants de la FAO et ceux du PNUD. Nous nous en réjouissons beaucoup et ceci nous paraît être l'essentiel dans l'intérêt de tous.
Pour ce qui concerne la question des prêts de soutien, il semble à ma délégation cependant que le chiffre de 14 %,est un minimum et qu'il faudrait tout au moins s'y tenir.
Quant â la responsabilité de la coordination, je suis d'accord avec ce qu'a dit mon collègue du Bangladesh, un certain nombre d'orateurs et ce qu'a dit le Directeur général lui-même dans son discours. Il nous semble que les responsabilités de cette coordination doivent incomber avant tout aux gouvernements.
Maintenant, pour parler d'un autre excellent document qui nous a été soumis, qui est le document CL 75/18, nous voudrions dire que la délégation française se félicite également de la coopération qui se développe entre la FAO et le Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement dans le domaine des ressources naturelles de l'environnement humain. Ceci nous paraît un problème extrêmement essentiel du monde moderne, et nous pensons que cette coopération ne peut qu'améliorer l'efficacité des actions menées par les deux organismes de la famille des Nations Unies. La mise au point de projets conjoints paraît du plus grand intérêt, en particulier dans les domaines de la dégradation des sols, de l'utilisation des matières organiques, de l'utilisation des sous-produits des récoltes, des études et de l'aménagement écologique, de la lutte intégrée contre les ravageurs et pour la conservation des ressources génétiques.
De nombreux projets indiques dans le document CL 75/18 semblent intéressants.
La délégation française tient à souligner l'importance particulière de certains d'entre eux :
Lancement et coordination d'un programme mondial de coopération PNUE/FAO pour la mise
au point et l'application d'un programme intégré de lutte contre les ennemis des cultures.
Réunion technique sur l'élaboration d'un programme international d'aménagement écologique des parcours arides et semi-arides en Afrique et au Proche-Orient.
Consultation technique sur le programme mondial PNUE/FAO de lutte intégrée contre les ennemis des cultures grosses consommatrices de pesticides.
Elaboration d'un programme visant à promouvoir l'utilisation des matières organiques comme engrais.
Conservation des ressources génétiques animales.
Aménagement écologique des parcours arides et semi-arides en Afrique au Proche-Orient
et au Moyen-Orient (EMASAR) - Phase II.
Conservation des ressources génétiques forestières.
Conservation des ressources génétiques végétales.
Conservation des ressources génétiques animales.
Projets "dans la filliére"
Enfin, parmi les programmes envisagés, la délégation française apprécierait qu'une priorité soit donnée à ceux indiqués ci-après :
- Exécution et coordination du programme mondial de coopération PNUE/FAO pour la mise au point et l'application de la lutte intégrée contre les ennemis des cultures (suite du projet en cours FP 0108-76-05 (EP/INT/028).
- Carte mondiale de désertification à 1 : 5 000 000.
- Programme d'action international pour la conservation des sols et le recyclage des déchets organiques en agriculture.
- Programme multinational pour la mise au point et Inapplication de la lutte intégrée contre les ennemis du cotonnier en Amérique latine.
D. J. WALTON (Director, Office for Interagency Affairs): I do not think I need detain the Council at all because although a number of extremely interesting remarks were made, there were no specific questions addressed to the Secretariat and I do not think I need make any reply.
G. BULA HOYOS (COLOMBIA): De acuerdo con el calendario que adoptamos, el miércoles discutiremos el tema 10: "Preparativos del 20 período de Sesiones de la Conferencia". Este tema incluye el subtema 10.2: "Designación del Presidente y la Mesa de la Conferencia".
Muy respetuosamente preguntamos a Ud., señor Presidente, si tiene la intención de convocar alguna reunion de los Jefes de Delegación con usted como Presidente. Hacemos esta pregunta con el deseo de que no la considere usted inoportuna, ya que nuestro objetivo es el de disponer de nuestro tiempo en forma adecuada.
CHAIRMAN: This, then, concludes the debate on the whole of item 9 so far as it relates to the documents we have already dealt with but we will have one more item under this which we will take tomorrow, item 9.2.
The meeting rose at 17.55 hours
La séance est levée à 17h55
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.55 horas