(a) Thirteenth Report on the Activities of the JIU (July 1980-June 1981)
(a) Treizième rapport sur les activités du Corps commun d'inspection (juillet 1980-juin 1981)
(a)13° Informe sobre las actividades de la Dependencia Común de Inspección (julio 1980-junio 1981)
(b) Control and Limitation of Documentation in the United Nations System
(b) Contrôle et limitation de la documentation dans les organismes" des Nations Unies
(b) Control y limitación de la documentación en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas
(c) Status of Internal Evaluation in the United Nations System Organizations, and Second Report on Evaluation in the United Nations System
(c) L'évaluation interne dans les organismes des Nations Unies, et deuxième rapport sur l’évaluation dans le Système des Nations Unies
(c) Situación de la evaluación interna en las organizaciones del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas y segundo Informe sobre la evaluación en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas
(d) Methods of Determining Staff Requirements
(d) Méthodes de détermination des besoins en personnel
(d) Métodos para determinar las necesidades en materia de personal
(e) anagement Services in the United Nations System
(e) Les services de gestion dans le Système des Nations Unies
(e) Servicios de gestión en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas
(f) Application by the United Nations System of the Mar del Plata Plan on Water Development and Administration
(f) Application par le Système des Nations Unies du Plan d'action de Mar del Plata sur la mise en valeur et la gestion des ressources en eau
(f) Aplicación por el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas del Plan de Acción del Mar de Plata sobre el desarrollo y la administración de los recursos hídricos
(g) Work Programme of the Joint Inspection Unit for 1982
(g) Programme de travail du Corps commun d'inspection pour 1982
(g) Programa de Trabajo de la Dependencia Común de Inspección para 1982
(h) Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities
(h) Coordination des activités dans le domaine de l’information
(h) La coordinación en el campo de las actividades de información pública
CHAIRMAN: We have eight different joint inspection unit reports. These have been examined by both the Programme and Finance Committees of the Council and I shall first request the Chairmen of these two Committees to give their comments and introduce them and afterwards we will take them up together, all of them, so that delegations which wish to make comments can do so on any or all of the reports. Earlier I had mentioned that both our Committees, Programme and Finance, met twice this year; they worked very hard and carefully examined all the reports and material put up before them. I wish to thank Professor Trkulja and his colleagues on the Programme Committee and Mr. Abeyagoonasekera and his colleagues on the Finance Committee for their very hard and dedicated work. I am sure the Council Members would like to record our sincere appreciation both to the Chairmen and Members of these two Committees.
M. TRKULJA (Chairman of the Programme Committee): Thank you very much, Mr, Chairman, especially for your very kind words. I am not quite positive that at least as far as I myself am concerned, I deserve such compliments. You rightly pointed out that we studied at our last Session eight JIU reports, so it is quite obvious that JIU continue to keep the Committees and indeed the Council busy. I will just try to highlight the main positions of the Programme Committee on the most substantive issues emerging from the JIU reports.
The first report is of rather routine nature; that is the report on the activities of the Joint Inspection Unit which, as you aware, contains very condensed summaries of the studies done in the reporting period July 1980 to June 1981. Then, very tentative lists of the studies to be worked out in the next couple of years as a consequence of decisions already taken by General Assembly and indeed very bitter complaints about the bad treatment of the Inspectors in New York at the United Nations Headquarters.
My Committee was very happy to learn that FAO always provided decent service facilities to the Inspectors whenever they visited either Rome or FAO's field offices. The Committee, as usual, merely took note of report.
The second report is on the control and limitation of documentation in the United Nations System. We found, indeed, the report to be very useful and we expressed our general agreement with the main findings of the Inspectors as well as with the main comments of ACC. It might be too monotonous to continue always in this way, but we were actually happy to realise that FAO ranked very prominently within the United Nations System family. We have in particular welcomed the recent steps taken by the Director-General to impose an overall cut of 10 per cent in wordage for meetingsj to limit the length of individual pre-session documents and to condense lay-outs.
Finally, on the same report, the Committee was fully aware of the importance of documentation in the House so, after a lengthy debate,it expressed its wish to continue with the periodical reviews of FAO documentation, of course based on very, very simple information provided by the Secretariat.
The third document contained actually two reports, one is the joint report on the Status of Internal Evaluation in the United Nations System and the second is the Report on Evaluation in the United Nations System. Just a brief reminder of the involvement of JIU in the field of evaluation which goes back to 1977 when they produced the first report, the status report on evaluation in the United Nations System, then they continue with the evaluation terms in just an attempt to clarify the terminology. Then they continue with the initial guidelines that the Council and the Conference have already studied. Now we are faced with two reports, as I said and again the first report is a status report showing evaluation services in 23 United Nations organizations. I see again there is no doubt that FAO maintains its leading role in the field of evaluation, as after all fully recognized by the last two FAO Conferences which examined at length the evaluation system of FAO. Further we found that the FAO continued to use properly its resources for evaluation on a selective and judicious basis. We underline the need for FAO to be more active in strengthening the capabilities of member nations in the evaluation, especially in the field activities and JIU is just about to complete a study;of that matter.
We considered indepth the evaluation service with FAO, the staff qualifications, the procedure used by FAO with a particular attention to the field activities. We recommended that the secretariat should make full use of the report of the panel of experts organized by FAO in various fields.
The next report is on the Methods of Determining Staff Requirements. The committee complimented JIU for a very concise and useful document. The committee agreed with the basic thrusts of the JIU recommendations with certain exceptions to which I will refer a bit later, as well we were in full agreement with the ACC comments, especially with regards to the recommendations 3 and 4. On the issue of these two recommendations there was a split in the committee. The majority in the committee believed and shared, if you like, the views of the ACC that the insertion of the programme elements in the Programme of Work and Budget document would not be useful or, even could be counterproductive. However, some members fully supported the two recommendations of the inspector, that is recommendations 3 and 4. I will not go into detail as you are aware, Mr. Chairman, that the committee had a very long debate on that issue but if I am asked, either by you or members of the Council I am prepared to clarify any points or answer any questions.
The next report, Management services in the United Nations System, I will only say a couple of words. I will leave it to a friend of mine, Mr. Abeyagoonasekera to say more because it belongs to the Finance Committee rather than to the Programme Committee. We were basically in agreement with the, JIU report. We felt that the FAO's functions in management services were proper. Further we found that most of the recommendations of the inspector had been already implemented by FAO. Here again the FAO really ranks very high in the United Nations System. On a very small technical issue of the place of the Manual, we felt the Manual should remain in the personnel division.
Then in the report of the JIU, Application by the United Nations System of the Mar del Plata Plan on Water Development and Administration, very briefly, we found the report very informative and useful. We especially underlined the need for FAO to do its best to assist the government in the respective region. We commended the FAO work in this field which preceded by many years the Mar del Plata Conference itself and as had always been the position of the Committee we especially supported the national institution, the institutional building aspect, and encouraged the Director-General to pursue vigorously that direction. We noted improved coordination among the United Nations organizations related with water programmes but we found that perhaps the role of the Economic Commission should be more clarifield in that regard.
The last but one report: The Work Programme of the Joint Inspection Unit for 1982, we only took note of it. You will certainly notice the inspectors want to undertake the whole set of studies, some of which would be of great interest to FAO membership but I will not go into that.
Finally, the last report is on the information activities among the members of the United Nations System. In essence, the findings of the inspectors were related to three main fields. One is how to strengthen organisationally the cooperation in the information field in the UN and the whole issue is basically addressed to the strengthening of Joint United Nations Information Committees, (JUNIC). The committee was not in full agreement with the JIU. We found that progress had been made through JUNIC which offered certainly very useful and valuable opportunities for the heads of information services of various UN organisations to exchange views and to establish cooperation whenever practicable and necessary but we did not share the suggestion or the recommendation of the inspector that the secretariat of JUNIC should be strengthened. We thought it should be done through more effective contributions by all participating organizations. The second is relating to the Development Forum. We recognize the very difficult financial situa-tion which prevailed over years and after lengthy debates we recommended that the FAO should perhaps consider contributing certain amount of funds in support of Development Forum, though we were fully aware that the FAO had its own magazine basically for the same purpose but we found it might be useful for FAO to consider providing financial help for Development Forum, provided adequate attention is paid to food and agriculture.
The third and last point is the problem of pooling of facilities, especially at the field level. We in general supported the idea of the JIU and encouraged the Director-General of FAO to pursue the basic thrust of the recommendation whenever possible.
We went into a number of technical issues with regard to the information services but I am not going into that area. Of course again I stand ready to give any explanation if either you or the members of the council wish me to.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Chairman of the Finance Committee): I do not think I need at this stage give you a long introduction on these 8 JIU reports because the Chairman of the Programme Committee has dealt sufficiently at length with the substance of these reports but nevertheless since this committee is entrusted with looking into the financial aspects of these reports, I will make my comments.
At the 49th session we were presented with seven JIU reports, including the JIU programme for 1982. The views of the committee on these reports appear in paragraphs 95 to 114 of our report of the 49th session. I refer to the document CL 82/4.
Then at the 50th session one more report of the JIU was presented to the committee and our comments appear in paragraphs 2.80 to 2.83 on page 48 of our report, CL 82/11.
The comments I would like to highlight in respect to these 8 reports very briefly are as follows: the 13th report on the activities undertaken by JIU for the period July 1980 to June 1981, referred to in paragraph 95 of this report, would require a sizable input of efforts and time by the FAO staff.
On the document control and limitation of documentation in the UN system referred to in JIU document CL 82/7 the committee found that the practices and procedures followed by FAO in controlling and limiting documentation was sound and effective. Our comments in this regard appear in paragraphs 96 to 98 of our report. The committee was pleased to note that the JIU had commented favourably on the FAO's method of internal evaluation in document CL 82/13 and felt that the Organization should continue to strengthen its evaluation system in order to maximize cost effectiveness of its programme in the future. In reviewing the JIU report on methods of determining staff requirements in document CL 82/9, our comments appear in paragraphs 103 and 104 of our report. In this regard the committee, while agreeing in principle with the views expressed by the JIU inspectors considered that in any attempt to have a uniform set of procedures one should not overlook the varying comments of the governing bodies of specialized agencies. In regard particularly to the JIU Recommendations 3 and 4 which have been referred to by the Chairman of the Programme Committee, while we felt that providing information and documentation did meet the requirements necessary, there ought not to be too much detail which would lead to clouding the issues rather than simplifying them. We ought to bear in mind the cost of providing further information as well. The Committee's views in this connexion appear in paragraphs 103 and 104 of the Report of the Forty-Ninth Session.
On the Report on the Management Services in the United Nations System, the Committee was satisfied with the activities of the Organization in this field. Our comments appear in paragraphs 106 to 109 of our Report.
The report on the Mar del Plata Plan on Water Development and Administration, the Committee accepted the recommendations of the report. For our comments please see paragraphs 110 to 112 of our Report.
So far as the JIU Work Programme for 1982 is concerned, the Committee felt that several of the studies planned, particularly the one on ESCAP, could be of interest to FAO.
The last report of the JIU on Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities, which was presented to us at the Fiftieth Session, we felt, that the coordination of information was desirable but the peculiarities of each organization's policies should be recognized. With regard to their comments on the Development Forum the Committee felt that FAO might consider contributing financially on a voluntary basis but not on an obligatory basis towards the publication of this bulletin. Our comments concerning this appear in paragraphs 2.80 to 2.81 of our Report.
CHAIRMAN: We are grateful to the Chairmen of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee for their introduction of these reports, also for appraisine the members of the views of the two Committees on these reports. The floor is now open for discussion. As I said earlier, you may take all the reports together or deal with them individually.
N. KISHORE (India): My delegation compliments the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee on their deep examination of the various reports of the Joint Inspection Unit and for offering valuable suggestions.
My delegation also compliments the Chairmen of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee for their brief, precise and excellent introduction of the items.
My delegation will deal with only three reports, namely the Report on the Control and Limitation of Documentation in the United Nations System, the Report on Status of Internal Evaluation, and the Report on Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities.
As regards the report on the Control and Limitation of Documentation in the United Nations System, my delegation has noted that the report contains very useful recommendations in order to keep control of the volume of documentation in the United Nations System. My delegation has also noted that the United Nations Administrative Committee on Coordination is in general agreement with the recommenda-tions of the Joint Inspection Unit inspector. The Programme and Finance Committees of FAO have also found the report useful and constructive and have expressed their general agreement with the recommendations and the comments of ACC. My delegation supports the recommendations contained in the Report of the JIU on the Control and Limitation of Documentation in the United Nations System and the comments of the ACC thereon. My delegation has noted that the DG FAO has recently taken a decision to introduce an overall cut of 10 percent in documents and has also decided to limit the length of papers to maximum of 8 000 words. My delegation appreciate the dynamic decision taken by the DG FAO in reducing the quantum of documentation. My delegation would however suggest that the Director-General may report to the next session of the Council on the quantum of reduction of the documentation achieved as a result of his decision. My delegation would also suggest that a periodic review of FAO documentation should be undertaken in order to eliminate unimportant and escapable documents and thus reduce expenditure on documentation.
My delegation has noted that the Joint Inspection Unit inspector in his Report on the Status of Internal Evaluation in the United Nations System Organizations has reported that the FAO has made considerable strides to make the internal evaluation system more comprehensive in the past few years. He has also reported that internal evaluation was introduced in the Organization in 1978 as a built-in periodic activity by programme managers at all levels to review progress achieved and problems encountered. The Organization has also undertaken a review of regular programmes. My delegation compliments the DG FAO on the successful introduction of a comprehensive internal evaluation system in the Organization, and for maintaining its lead within the UN System in the field of evaluation.
My delegation has carefully read the Report of the JIU on Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities among members of the United Nations System. My delegation has noted that so far there is no closer coordination in the field of public information activities among the members of the United Nations System. The principal reason for this, as reported by the inspector, is the.lack of readiness to combine efforts by the members of the United Nations System. The Inspector has also reported that attempts have been made to defend their legal positions underlying specific tasks as if the world could be divided sectorially with little scope for joint action. My delegation believes that FAO has had closer coordination with other UN agencies in the field of public information activities. My delegation has also noted that so far FAO has not contributed to Development Forum as it already set aside considerable resources for CERES. The inspector has recommended that Development Forum should be the only system-wide periodical in the field of economic and social development and its financing should be on the basis of a formula ensuring obligatory contributions by each member of the United Nations system in adequate amounts. The United Nations Administrative Coordination Committee has also concurred with these views of the inspector.
The September 1982 session of the Programme Committee while considering the JIU Report on Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities felt that the possibility of FAO contri-buting voluntarily towards Development Forum within the existing budgetary resources was worth considering provided that Development Forum paid adequate attention to food and agricultural issues and to the work of FAO.
My delegation fully supports the views of the Programme Committee and suggests that the FAO Council may agree in principle to making voluntary contribution towards Development Forum provided that Development Forum will give adequate attention to food and agricultural issues and to the programmes and activities of FAO. The amount of voluntary contribution may be left to the discretion of the DG FAO. However, my delegation feels that an assurance may be obtained from Development Forum that adequate attention will be paid to food and agricultural issues and to the programmes and activities of FAO.
MS. G. LAPOINTE (Canada) : I should like to begin by stating that Canada values very highly the work of the Joint Inspection Unit and attaches great importance to the JIU Reports. We believe these reports to be well-prepared and very thorough, and we believe that they provide an excellent overview on many important aspects of the activities within the UN system. That is why my delegation is parti-cularly happy to see FAO being given very high marks by the JIU in a number of areas.
I should like to mention briefly the area of the control and limitation of documentation in the United Nations system. The JIU reports stress particularly the regulations that exist within FAO concerning the wordage of documents, the satisfactory schedule of documentation, a reduction in the number of meetings, that has led in turn to a reduction in the volume of documentation. Canada strongly supports the FAO's initiative for a systemwide document reform in the United Nations and wishes to congratulate the FAO on the steps it has already taken and encourage it to continue to strive for more reduction in the overall level of documentation. We should all bear in mind that more efficient documentation frees scarce United Nations resources for more directly beneficial operational activities.
I should also like to mention the Report dealing with Internal Evaluation. FAO is again given high marks for having introduced a new auto-evaluation system as well as for the introduction of the Review of the Regular Programme. The Inspectors have described the above measures as having consi-derable potential for strengthening the FAO operations and accountability in a comprehensive and systematic way.
My delegation has taken note with satisfaction of the substantial improvements in the area of evaluation in the past two years. Canada considers such measures particularly important in a period of scarce resources, given that good and full evaluation is a fundamental step in establishing priorities within a given programme.
Finally I should like to mention the report dealing with the application by the United Nations system of the Mar del Plata Plan on Water Development and Administration. Canada believes that FAO and other organizations should be encouraged to fully coordinate their efforts in this area, especially in view of the report's conclusion that the United Nations system has a demonstrated capability in the field of water resources that should enable it to satisfy requests for assistance in practically all of the rounds of action required for the implementation of the Mar del Plata Action Plan.
F. FEQUANT (France) : La délégation française voudrait d'abord souligner l'intérêt des questions traitées et la très grande qualité des rapports préparés par le Corps commun d'inspection, comme l'ont maintes fois rappelé le Comité du Programme et le Comité financier lors de leurs récentes sessions. Les tableaux comparatifs et les recommandations des Inspecteurs sont particulièrement utiles pour améliorer le fonctionnement et accroître l'efficacité du Système des Nations Unies.
- Toutefois, ma délégation souhaiterait soumettre au Conseil deux propositions:
- La première concerne la présentation des rapports du Corps commun d'inspection au Conseil et aux comités compétents. En effet, le nombre et le volume considérables de ces rapports impliquent pour leur examen attentif une somme de travail importante. Le Secrétariat pourrait-il préparer un résumé regroupant les recommandations et les extraits de chaque rapport qui concernent directement l'OAA, ainsi que les observations correspondantes du Comité administratif de coordination, en les accompa-gnant d'un bref commentaire avant leur présentation aux comités compétents et au Conseil?
A notre avis, chaque résumé du rapport ne devrait pas dépasser quelques pages afin d'éviter un surcroît de travail pour le Secrétariat. L'intérêt de ces résumés serait de concentrer les débats sur les points essentiels et de faciliter le travail préparatoire des délégués, qui pourraient toutefois avoir accès aux rapports complets s'ils souhaitaient s'y reporter.
En particulier, ces résumés permettraient au Comité du Programme et au Comité financier de se consacrer davantage à leur mission essentielle, qui doit être d'examiner en priorité les programmes et le budget de l'Organisation. Ces deux comités passeraient ainsi moins de temps à l'étude des rapports du Corps commun d'inspection qui absorbe actuellement une part trop importante de leurs travaux.
- Ma deuxième proposition concerne le suivi des recommandations des Inspecteurs. En effet, la préparation, la traduction, la reproduction et la distribution des nombreux rapports du Corps commun d'inspection représentent un coût très élevé pour tout le Système des Nations Unies et pour l'OAA en particulier. En outre, ces rapports absorbent une part notable des travaux des organes intergouvernementaux, ce qui entraîne des frais supplémentaires importants pour chaque organisation.
Or de telles dépenses ne sont justifiées que dans la mesure où ces rapports ont un impact réel sur les activités des organisations. C'est pourquoi ma délégation attache une grande importance à la mise en oeuvre effective des recommandations du Corps commun d'inspection.
Nous pensons donc qu'il serait souhaitable que le Secrétariat prépare tous les deux ans, pour le Conseil et ses Comités compétents, un court rapport dévaluation concernant les progrès réalisés par par l'OAAdans la mise en oeuvre des recommandations pertinentes du Corps commun d' inspection.
MRS. J.S. WALLACE (United States of America) : We have studied the JIU reports on the agenda and have listened with great care and concern to the comments of other delegations. The strong support that the United States gives to the JIU and its work is well known. Let me make just a few comments, therefore, on some of the JIU reports before us.
Control and limitation of documentation has been a chronic problem in a number of the UN system institutions. My delegation is very pleased to note that this Organization is not as burdened with an overwhelming paper flow as are some others. Thanks in this regard are due to the Director-General, who has personally seen to it that the deluge of superfluous information has been halted. This has resulted in a savings in printing, drafting and other administrative costs. Nevertheless, Member governments do need informative, useful documentation in order to carry out their task of representing the Member sovereign states that comprise our institutions. My delegation would hope therefore that while controlling and limiting documentation in the FAO, management will consider the needs of Member governments for concise but specific information. My delegation is also pleased that FAO has received high marks for its internal evaluation efforts. The United States has always been a strong advocate for effective evaluation which includes not only candid appraisal but follow-up efforts to ensure that recommendations are implemented.
With respect to the subject of coordination in the field of public information activities, my dele-gation finds the report raises numerous questions. The Programme and Finance Committees logically concluded that specialized agencies have their own specialized information needs and that there may be little utility in placing all public information activities of the system under a single roof. Nevertheless, as the JIU report indicated, public information activities carry a considerable price tag. The JIU report specifies that the cost of public information activities in the FAO between 1977 and 1979 increased from 2.4 million dollars to nearly 2.9 million dollars in regular budget funds. During this biennium, our regular budget for this programme has reached a total of 7.3 million dollars. The JIU report raises the question of how such large sums are spent in the propagation and dissemination of information materials or in staff travel. My delegation believes that FAO management should take such questions seriously in planning future activities in this area.
The US delegation would like to make a comment on a JIU report which we believed would have been on the agenda, that is the JIU report 82/4 on the Status of Women in the professional category and above. My delegation believes that this meeting should focus on a basic inequity that has prevailed throughout the United Nations system as long as the system has existed, and I refer to the well-documented need to improve the record of every UN agency with regard to recruiting women into professional and managerial posts. My government continues in its commitment to the goals of the UN Decade for Women : Equality, Development and Peace, which calls for the full participation of women in both the formulation of policy and the implementation of programmes at all levels of activities of the UN system and Member States. We know that this is a problem that has already received the serious attention of the Director-General and of FAO managers. Nevertheless, the record of recruitment and advancement of women in the FAO service requires improvement. My delegation urges the Director-General to instruct his staff and encourage them to increase the number of women in posts, subject to geographical distribution, to 25 percent of the total. We would hope that the future reports of the Director-General to FAO's governing bodies will show a direct and dramatic increase. We hope that he will be able to submit to the UN Secretary-General as Chairman of the ACC a status report of the role of women in FAO for the presentation to the 1985 World Conference on Women.
And finally, the US delegation endorses both proposals made by France.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): In picking up a point made by our active Chairman of the Programme Committee in his very useful introduction, I can assure him that we have nothing against being kept busy with Joint Inspection Unit activities. On the contrary, we feel this time is well spent, and it is in the interests of all Member states.
We also wish to thank the Chairman of the Finance Committee for his introduction and the members of the two Committees for their work. Following your guidance, Mr. Chairman, I will give you our views on all the issues before us in one intervention. On the work of the Joint Inspection Unit, the Federal Republic of Germany attaches throughout the United Nations system great impor-tance to the activities of the Joint Inspection Unit. Its work aims at increasing the efficiency of the UN organizations through critical analysis and constructive suggestions. In view of the difficult world economic situation, increasing budgetary problems of the UN contributors, a worldwide increase in costs and above all, growing problems also in many of the developing coun-tries, this aim has gained immense importance. It should therefore be in the interest of all FAO Member states to support the work of the Joint Inspection Unit and its increasing cooperation with FAO. Developing countries in particular to which FAO's work is to a great extent devoted could particularly benefit from this work. In this respect, my delegation also considers the input of time and effort on the part of the Secretariat necessary to achieve the aims pursued. On documents, with regard to reducing the number and extent of documents as well as eliminating superfluous documents, we support the proposals submitted by the Joint Inspection Unit and the Administrative Committee on Coordination, and we wish to commend the Secretariat for the high marks given to it by the JIU. In this connection, my delegation would like to take as an example a concrete proposal for a substantial reduction of documentation for the FAO Council and Conference Sessions. As the Governments of the UN Member states anyhow receive the reports of the Joint Inspection Unit, we consider it unnecessary to reprint and dispatch again these documents, which are normally quite extensive. It would suffice in our view for the work of FAO bodies if only the recommendations contained in the reports of the JIU and also those parts which concern FAO were dispatched as Council and Conference documents. At Council and Conference Sessions, a limited set of complete documents could be made available for the use of the delegations. For our current Council Session, the realization of this proposal would mean a saving of about 200 pages per set of JIU reports or about 50,000 pages in total.
On internal evaluation with regard to the problem of internal evaluation, my delegation welcomes the conclusion of the JIU that FAO has made substantial additional progress in the past two years in extending its evaluation system to the regular programme. We support the suggestions made by the Programme and Finance Committees with regard to further improvements of the evaluation systems and the use of evaluation results from expert groups.
Within the framework of internal evaluation, emphasis should be laid on the proper use of the evaluation results and their appropriate implementation. Of great importance in this connexion is the adequate participation of the governing bodies, and their adequate information.
In this respect we agree in particular with the statements of the JIU reports in document JIU/Rep. 81/6, paragraphs 101 (g) and (i) and paragraph 104, and support recommendations 2, 3 and 7 spelled out in the same document.
On methods of determining staff requirements, these are in general of special importance for my government, and are of course, and without any doubt, also for all Member States. This applies in particular to areas of activities which require by nature high staffing, with the consequence that a particular high percentage of the total programme expenditure goes into personnel costs. The importance of the factor "personnel costs" in the budgets of international agencies is stressed by the fact that this factor represents about 70 percent of the regular budget, and amounted in 1980 to about US $ 900 million. Adequate information is therefore imperative because of the dimension of the funds involved.
The respective Inspection Report of JIU contained in document CL 82/9 offers good approaches which can also be pursued in FAO. According to the findings of the JIU, the problem in that sector is not the elaboration of the information material, because information on the personnel sector is generally sufficiently available within the secretariats. In view of the JIU, the main problem is to facilitate the governing bodies’ access to other existing information material. We share this conclusion of the JIU.
My delegation supports the recommendation of the JIU to include more information on personnel costs within the programme objectives. In this respect my delegation assumes that the JIU proposal to break down costs per programme element and the personnel working months per programme element, could be introduced step by step if it is too difficult to do it at once.
In this context, my delegation differs from the view of the majority of the members of the Programme and Finance Committees as expressed in documents CL 82/3 and CL 82/4. It supports the corresponding recommendations 3 and 4 of the JIU, as contained in document CL 82/9.
Finally, my government deems it necessary that all Member States of the Organization are informed about the actual filled posts situation which would allow them to be checked against the established budgeted posts.
T. SATONE (Japan): Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and also the Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees. My delegation would like to express its appreciation of the efforts of the JIU in preparing such detailed reports relating to the resources relating to evaluation. Many of the points which were raised by the JIU are quite acceptable to us. We hope FAO will make its best effort to try to arrange effective management in accordance with recommendations of the JIU regarding documentation, staff requirements, etc.
My government is in agreement with the suggestion of the JIU, that each organization should strengthen its internal system to reflect the effects of the variation in the formulation of the draft require-ments of the Programme of Work and Budget as well as policy making. Concerning the completion of the internal evaluation system, we would like to mention that it might also be important to consider introducing the external expertise regarding the evaluation measures.
In addition, my delegation would like to support- the proposal presented by the delegate of France that the Secretariat should consider preparing the summary of the JIU reports of the activities of FAO for the members of the Council.
KHANDAKER ASADUZZAMAN (Bangladesh): My delegation will deal only with the report on Coordination in the Field of Public Information Activities, CL 82/27.
My delegation generally endorses the findings and recommendations as contained in the report to reduce the duplication of activities of various information offices of the United Nations systems, and unnecessary and unproductive expenditures. My delegation also agrees with the measures which are proposed to be taken to increase the effectiveness of the information activities and to enhance the image of the United Nations.
My delegation, however, has certain suggestions to make which may enhance the image of the United Nations in the developing countries. At present the United Nations information system uses only United Nations languages, and as a result their communication is confined mainly to urban areas whereas the developing countries are predominatly rural. My delegation therefore proposes that the United Nations news bulletins and radio broascasts should include events in regional languages as far as possible.
In this connexion, my delegation would like to mention that at the last meeting of the United Nations Committee on Information, it was decided that the introduction of a Bengali service in the United Nations radio would be considered, but this has not yet been done.
My delegation feels that the vast network of the United Nations Information System should be increasingly used as an instrument to accelerate technological transfer. The United Nations news and publications could give greater coverage to science, technology, and developmental issues relevant to developing countries.
At present there is some imbalance in the content of the UN Information System. Developed countries appropriate more space than the developing countries. My delegation therefore feels that greater coverage may be allocated to developing countries on matters which are of common concern to them.
An imbalance is also noticed in the personnel of the UN Information system. Representation from the developing countries is insignificant. This results in presenting the developing countries as stereo-types. Greater representation from the developing countries would improve the image of theses countries.
Finally, my delegation would like to suggest that the Editorial Board for Development Forum include competent representatives from the developing countries.
J. M. SCOULAR (United Kingdom) : I would like first of all to take up a general point made by the delegates of France, Germany and Japan about the weight of documentation. I have read these documents, and would welcome anything to shorten this task. It certainly is worth the consideration of the Secretariat. It may be the costs do not work out right, but it is worth looking at.
Next, may I turn to the actual reports. I propose to comment on the evaluation report and on the report on public information activities. First, evaluation. We have read the JIU report contained in paper CL 82/13 with much interest and have noted with interest the progress made by FAO in the field of evaluation.
We have also noted the growing acceptance of built-in evaluation as the basic component of most organizations' international evaluation system. While this approach has a great deal of merit, we have some doubts about putting too great an emphasis on it, since it carries the risk that because people are having to evaluate their own work there may not be much cutting edge in their comments. We feel, therefore, there should be a separate section within any organization which is responsible for carrying out evaluation work and which should be able to engage outsiders for at least some of the activities that it undertakes.
A further lesson to be learned from the report is the need for adequate staff training, as expressed in Recommendation 10. There is a risk that evaluation may become an activity simply added to normal programmes rather than being built into this system. We would like to hear what the Secretariat's attitude is to this recommendation in particular and would also welcome an indication of the Organization's attitude to the other recommendations in the report.
We regard feedback as one of the weakest links in evaluation, and we urge FAO to give as much attention as possible to improving the feedback of the results of the evaluation work within the Organization. If the main emphasis is to be on "built-in self evaluation" the question arises of who will be given the responsibility for ensuring that the lessons learned at project level will be applied within the agency as a whole.
In this respect we have some doubts about the "memory banks" mentioned in üaragraph 54 of the Second report. The potential value of these banks could be reduced because those responsible for new projects will not know what information they contain or how to retrieve it. We ourselves are giving priority to more direct person-to-person linkages.
Now if I can return to the report on the public information activities, our view on this is that it contains a number of reasonably constructive criticisms, but I do not think it mentions all the good aspects of the United Nations information system. All in all, we consider JUNIC is not doing a bad job. The roots of its trouble lies in not having funds of its own, and it has to deal with organizations with different priorities, different perspectives, different ideas of what is important in the field of information.
The report also includes some criticism of the Development Forum newspaper. Our own view is that this is a well-written and well produced paper, probably one of the better vehicles for publicising UN's development activities, and should be encouraged. We think this should be placed on a sound footing with financial support within the United Nations' budgets.
M. PHOOFOLO (Lesotho) : Our delegation is in agreement with recommendation (c) on page 12 of document CL 82/6 referring to the inclusion in the Agenda of sessions of intergovernmental bodies of the United Nations organizations and of the question of discontinuing production of recurrent documents which have become redundant or have lost their usefulness.
We also support recommendation 41 (a) of the same document as it applies to the control and limitation of documents in the United Nations system. This recommendation prescribes the establishment of rules concerning the maximum length of documents. Obviously this will be a difficult task but we hope they will do their best to implement the recommendation.
My delegation is aware that the FAO Secretariat has continued to exercise good judgement in regard to the volume of documentation, but clearly they were rather on the general side when it came to these reports. However, we feel that the reports have provided useful information to us and most of their recommendations will be beneficial not only to the United Nations system institutions, but also to the Members of this Council. The substance of these reports will, I am sure, help individual governments to control their own documentation, develop economical methods of determining staff requirements, improve management services and identify obsolete government activities.
Our delegation has read the summary reports for the Joint Inspection Unit very carefully. We are convinced^that they will involve much work. They have dealt with evaluation of several United Nations Organizations including ours, which has been found to be performing extraordinarily well in all aspects evaluated by the Unit. It is our hope that all Council Members will treasure these reports so that there will be no need for producing them again in future.
We therefore reiterate what has been said by other delegations who spoke before us, that these reports have sufficiently delivered the message they were intended to disseminate, and that in future the Secretariat should prepare shorter and concise reports of the Joint Inspection Units on FAO activities.
Once again, our delegation wishes to thank the Secretariat for providing such useful reports. We will try to do all we can as a country to implement most of the good recommendations, although they were actually meant to apply to the United Nations System.
A. F. M. de FREITAS (Brazil) : My delegation would like to express its support for the JIU's work. In this respect I would like to make a few comments on the proposal by the delegate of France. As a Member of the Programme Committee, my delegation has the trouble every session to face a certain number of very thick JIU reports and I would like to support the proposal made by the delegate of France to the effect that perhaps the Secretariat could study a way of preparing a presentation of a summary for each report highlighting the topics that touch directly on the action of FAO.
The second proposal also seems to be very interesting to my delegation, namely, a kind of periodical short evaluation of the implementation of the JIU recommendations on the different activities of FAO. I shall have some brief comments to make on two of the JIU reports.
The first one is the one on control and limitation of documentation in the United Nations system. My delegation joins the previous speakers praising FAO for the effort already accomplished in trying to limit the volume of documents that are submitted to delegates in this Organization. We think that this effort should be pursued so that the size of documents may be kept under control.
The second report that is of special interest to my delegation is the one regarding coordination in the field of public information activities. My delegation shares the view of the ACC as contained in the report of the Programme Committee, paragraph 1.85 to the effect that the common goal can perhaps best be achieved by a diversity of action. Nevertheless, I think that some effort should be started in the direction of trying to save the scarce resources at the disposal of the international organizations.
On the item of publications, I was thinking that perhaps publications addressed to the general public or to the specialized public dealing with the same area of interest - for instance, agricultural subjects or development oriented agencies of the United Nations - could perhaps sometimes be consoli-dated, so that the expenditure in this area could be reduced.
SRA. DOÑA M. IVANKOVICH de AROSEMENA (Panama) : Mi delegación desea agradecer a los Presidentes de los Comités del Programa y Finanzas por la presentación del documento. En el tema "Métodos para determinar las necesidades en materia de personal", al igual que en otros temas que consideramos en el punto 9, mi delegación tuvo la oportunidad de manifestarse en la reunion del Comité de Finanzas, del cual soy miembro. Compartimos las conclusiones a que llego el Comité acerca del Informe de la Dependencia Común de Inspección, en principio como lo dice el Informe. Estamos de acuerdo con los objetivos y recomendaciones que tratamos, pero consideramos que la uniformidad de los procedimientos propuestos deberán quedar subordinados a los requisitos de los diferentes programas de los distintos organismos, así como también a las necesidades específicas de los órganos rectores.
Consideramos que la aplicación equilibrada de las recomendaciones III y IV del Informe, nos llevará a facilitar a los Estados Miembros la información y documentación necesaria para la adopción de las decisiones, considerando a la vez las consecuencias financieras que conllevan.
Sobre el tema "Control y Limitación de la Documentación en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas", deseamos comentar lo siguiente; creemos que a todos resulta alarmante el volumen de la documentación producida en las organizaciones del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, y sobre todo y como lo expresa el documento CL 82/7, resulta más alarmante el costo que entraña la producción y distribución de los mismos, sin contar el costo de la redacción. Es más, el documento señala que la eficiencia y la relación costo/eficiencia de las Naciones Unidas mejoraría considerablemente si pudiera reducirse el volumen de sus documentos, mejorar su calidad y puntualidad, motivo por el cual, consideramos necesario disminuir el volumen de publicaciones sin perjudicar a los Estados.
Mi delegación está de acuerdo con los plazos establecidos en la Organización para la presentación y distribución de los documentos. Consideramos que los documentos deben circular en las distintas lenguas de trabajo de la Organización al mismo tiempo, de tal manera que no se presenten aparentes disminuciones hacia ninguno de los cinco idiomas oficiales de la Organización.
Mi delegación está de acuerdo con las conclusiones a que llegaron los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas sobre las recomendaciones de la Dependencia Común de Inspección, y las observaciones for-muladas por el CAC, que recomendó la aplicación de un criterio de flexibilidad inherente a las necesidades específicas de cada organismo.
Estamos de acuerdo con que las prácticas seguidas por la FAO para controlar y limitar la documentación son adecuadas y eficaces, y felicitamos al Director General por lo logros positivos de la FAO en este sector. Compartimos las recomendaciones del Comité del Programa de examinar periódicamente la documentación de la FAO sobre la base de una información suministrada en forma sencilla. También queremos apoyar lo dicho por la delegación de los Estados Unidos de América sobre la participación de la mujer a todos los niveles en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas. Consideramos que la FAO ha hecho esfuerzos en este sentido, pero consideramos también que se debe lograr una mayor participación de la mujer en la FAO en los niveles profesionales y de dirigencia.
Y ahora, y ya que estoy en el uso de la palabra, quería solicitarle su permiso para decir unas breves palabras en nombre del Grupo Latinoamericano, sobre el Tema 9 del Calendario, que se suscitó esta mañana "Elección de los cinco miembros del Comité de Programas, de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria". La situación de nuestra región es la siguiente: América Latina y el Caribe sólo tienen cuatro puestos sobre los 30 miembros del CPA. En esta ocasión, corresponde al Consejo cubrir un puesto para nuestra región, y Cuba es nuestro único candidato. Por lo tanto, quisiéramos, los Miembros del Grupo Latinoamericano y del Caribe, solicitar, pedir al Consejo, que apoye la candidatura de Cuba.
Mme G. LAPOINTE (Canada) : Je voudrais simplement indiquer l'appui de la délégation canadienne aux deux propositions faites par la délégation française quant au suivi du rapport du Corps commun d'inspection. Cela nous semble une excellente façon de tirer le maximum de ce très bon rapport.
MS. G. ROSSI PEROTTI (Italy) : I too wish to give our support to the proposal just made by the delegation of France and already supported by several other delegations. I believe that it is in the interests of us all and that it could really facilitate our deliberations.
B.N. SEQUEIRA (Angola) : My delegation wishes to make a short intervention to support the statements just made by the delegates of Panama and the United States concerning the advancement of women in managerial and professional posts within the United Nations system. We gather that there is plenty of room for improvement and therefore, the sooner we start the better.
With regard to reduction of documents, we warmly welcome this measure and support previous speakers on this subject. Towards this commendable objective, may I suggest - with your permission, Mr. Chairman - that we start ourselves by reducing our own interventions.
SRA. DOÑA G. SOTO CARRERO (Cuba): Trataremos de ser sumamente breves. Con la relación al 13° Informe sobre las Actividades de la Dependencia Común de Inspección, mi delegación considera aún válidas y pertinentes las recomendaciones que aparecen en los párrafos 22 y 50 del documento CL 82/6; asimismo, las contenidas en el párrafo 79 de las relacionadas con las consideraciones que deben tener en cuenta las organizaciones del Sistema de Naciones Unidas.
Con relación al "Control y Limitación de la Documentación en el Sistema de Naciones Unidas" apoyamos las gestiones que se hacen en ese sentido, y en especial, felicitamos a la FAO por estar trabajando positivamente. En ese- sentido, aprobamos el Informe presentado por la Dependencia Común de Inspección en el documento CL 82/7, y consideramos que de tenerse en cuenta debidamente las recomendaciones que el mismo contiene, se obtendrían resultados muy favorables en esa costosa actividad de edición de la documentación.
Con relación a la "Evaluación Interna en las Organizaciones del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas", nuestra delegación aprueba el Informe presentado y apoya la recomendación del CAC de que exista una Dependencia central para controlar la autoevaluación o evaluación integrada de los diferentes organismos del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, así como los planteamientos encaminados a incorporar los requisitos previos a la evaluación en los procesos de planificación y programación, según se indica en el documento CL 82/3. Mi delegación considera que este Informe constituye una importante guía para el establecimiento de eficientes sistemas de evaluación.
Con relación a los "Métodos para determinar las necesidades en materia de personal", la delegación cubana considera conveniente el realizar estudios para determinar con precisión las necesidades de personal en relación con las diferentes organizaciones que componen el Sistema de Naciones Unidas, y subrayamos la importancia de que los órganos legislativos pertinentes posean la información necesaria para tomar las debidas decisiones.
Asimismo, apoyamos los planteamientos formulados en relación con el inicio de intercambio de información entre los diferentes organismos, sobre esta situación y, en particular, sobre las normas de productividad para los tipos de trabajos en que puedan aplicarse. En general, apoyamos el Informe, y hacemos énfasis en que debe lograrse una 'reducción de los costos de personal en los presupuestos ordinarios de la Organización, sin que esto implique una afectación en el desenvolvimiento de las tareas fundamentales.
Con relación a los servicios de gestión en el Sistema de Naciones Unidas, quisiéramos resaltar la importancia de coordinar centralizadamente la capacitación y la reunion de personal de los servicios de gestion de todo el Sistema de Naciones Unidas. Asimismo, apoyamos la necesidad de intercambio de información entre los servicios de gestión del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, así como el fortaleci-miento de los mismos. En general, la delegación cubana apoya este Informe por constituir un instru-mento valioso para ayudar a tomar decisiones de gestión y proporcionar información de antecedentes a la administración de los departamentos.
Con relación a la aplicación por el Sistema de Naciones Unidas del Plan de Acción del Mar del Plata sobre el desarrollo y la administración de recursos hídricos, la delegación cubana reafirma la necesidad de realizar una planificación racional para el uso de este recurso, teniendo en cuenta los proyectos que requieren del mismo a nivel nacional y regional. Asimismo, apoyamos el fortalecimiento y consolidación de los conceptos de políticas e instituciones desarrollados por el Sistema de Naciones Unidas con este fin.
Con relación a la coordinación en el campo de actividades de la información publica, nuestra delegación quisiera subrayar la importancia de fortalecer las medidas en la esfera de la información publica y la necesidad de que exista una coordinación y cooperación entre los diferentes organismos del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, cumplimentando las decisiones de la Asamblea General y el ECOSOC. En general, nuestra delegación apoya este Informe.
Relacionado con la contratación de mujeres en el Sistema de Naciones Unidas, la delegación cubana siempre ha tenido una posición en favor del incremento del contrato de las mujeres. En ese sentido, también consideramos que nuestros Gobiernos tienen una gran responsabilidad en que esta contratación no sea del todo favorable, y mi delegación considera que este Consejo debe exhortar a los Gobiernos a que presenten a las plazas vacantes, mujeres con los requisitos necesarios para ser contratadas.
B.E. PHIRI (Zambia): We would like to join other delegates in welcoming the work of the JIU and the comments made by the Finance Committee as well as Programme Committee.
This question of documentation is something we have been talking about for sometime now in the meetings of this Organization, and the JIU has brought this out clearly, in spite of the fact that they themselves have fallen prey to producing long documents to let us know this! We hope now that this matter has been clearly put. We shall begin to see shorter and shorter documents but not at the expense of clarity. We hope that the documents will be brief but carry sufficient messages to us so that we understand what has taken place.
Now on the question of coordination, we think that a lot should be done to organize the work of the various agencies, particularly agencies dealing with food and agriculture. We sometimes find it difficult to discuss issues because one organization dealing with the food and agriculture may be in disharmony - I do not want to use a strong word like disunity with one another. We belong to these organizations, we are members of these organizations and therefore I think there should be a greater effort on the part of the organizations to try and harmonize their work so that it saves our interest. There should be harmony among them as there is also harmony among us as members belonging to these organizations.
On the question of staffing we think that sufficient mechanism has been put in place for selecting staff but as one delegation mentioned the other day we sometimes wonder why certain regions do not appear to be sufficiently represented in the Organization. We think that while the mechanism is being applied adequate distribution of posts should be seen to be carried out.
M. TRKULJA (Chairman of the Programme Committee): First I wanted to express the gratitude of the Programme Committee for the support given to our views why Council and I want to assure you, Mr. Chairman and Council, that we will spare no efforts to serve as efficiently as we possibly can.
The problem of the famous recommendations 2 and 3 were mentioned by a very close friend of mine, Mr. Grabisch and I think it might be of interest to Council to mention that the issue was debated at length in the committee, not only on this but on many other occasions as well and I actually asked the secretariat to produce a sample of programme elements for more or less typical FAO technical activities and to distribute such material just to make sure that everybody fully understood what it actually implied. Even after that the committee was not able to reach unanimous position but we agreed internally and agreement was made with the secretariat that the next programme committee on an experimental basis take, for example, one of the very typical programmes, that is all sub-programmes in one area on a perfectly elemental basis and go into all details and in the light of this experimental experience, if I may say so, we will then express our views to the Council. Of course, it will be done by the next programme committee. The issue is really very important. It falls quite logically within the problem of format that we are going to deal with in a couple of minutes so that I wanted to provide some additional information to make sure that the committee took the whole issue very seriously indeed.
Many delegates expressed the importance of the further progress reports on the women above a certain category in the UN. Unfortunately the report was not ready when we met the last time but the report appeared, of course, on -the list of JIU for this year and it is now in the processing I would say and the next programme committee session would certainly deal with the report. By the way we are aware now that as many as 8 JIU reports might be at our spring session and we are a bit worried, not necessarily because of the programme committee but we are worried how the Council might be able to deal with the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and so many JIU reports at the same time.
Finally, I feel that the French proposals are very very good. I do not think that the Delegate of France perhaps really concerns the Programme and Finance Committee because we are supposed to deal with the full JIU report, there is no way out but we have to go into detail. It might be very useful for the Council to have a summary and a periodical brief follow-up or progress report on the JIU reports.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Chairman of the Finance Committee): I would also like to join the Chairman of the Programme Committee in thanking the delegates for the words of praise they have for the members of my committee. As you know in your superior wisdom you elected us to this committee,and I can assure you that we will study all the reports that are presented to our committee thoroughly and present our views to you. As the Chairman said we had 8 reports at the last two sessions but we have been warned that we might have 8 to 10 reports at the next session in April 1983. I assure you we will be considering these reports humbly and our views presented to this council.
The only thing I would like to mention besides this is that as a committee looking into financial aspects, we are also looking into ways and means of effecting savings because that is basic when you have to consider a budget. When we make recommendations we want to cut down expenses as far as possible in order to effect economies.
The Chairman of the Programme Committee mentioned Item 12 which comes up for discussion next Tuesday. There we have made concrete proposals for integrating the medium-term objectives document with the Programme of Work and Budget document, which in our view would result in savings of approximately around 50 000 dollars. The JIU recommendations themselves are very important. I must also say that in our discussions we are not only looking at financial aspects solely but other aspects as well because most of the members come from countries with various backgrounds in their national' civil services and experiences. In fact sometimes I forget whether I am chairing the Finance Committee or the Programme Committee because we discuss at length these very useful reports which are relevant to all UN agencies.
Finally, I wish to thank you for the words of encouragement that you have given us. We will continue with our work in earnest.
As regards the other questions which were raised, since they were addressed to the Secretariat, the Secretariat will be providing the required information.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: This debate has been commendable and to the point. I was delighted to hear the suggestion made by the delegate of France and supported by others for relieving all of us of this enormous burden, and this is only part of it on one occasion.
I think we need time to consider the statutory requirements for the production of JIU reports, and also the system by which they are produced, because some are translated in New York and the trans-lations are supplied to us and some we have to do ourselves. So they are not all on the same level. What I think provisionally would be the simplest and most economical arrangement would be simply to reproduce the JIU Reports' own Summary and Recommendations. In each Report they have a Summary of Conclusions and a Summary of Recommendations. Those which emanate from New York are already translated for us, so the expense of reproducing them is considerably reduced. On the other hand, to produce a summary of our own would mean extra work, extra translation, extra documentation. So this needs to be looked at and submitted to the Programme and Finance Committees and brought back here.
On the suggestion of an occasional implementation report, this will also need to be looked at by the Programme and Finance Committees in the light of the rather mixed character of the JIU Reports, some of which are directly concerned with us, some only indirectly, and which are usually addressed to the whole United Nations system and therefore require quite a lot of time to be considered by the General Assembly and by the governing bodies of other organizations. We try to overcome the problems involved in reports addressed to system-wide questions by providing one set of comments-- the ACC comments, rather than individual agency comments, although we do provide to the Programme and Finance Committees the Director-General's observations at an earlier stage so that they can formulate views more closely related to FAO's interests.
The ACC comments in general embody FAO's comments. Sometimes ours would be more detailed or more critical than those of others or vice versa, but the problem is in providing notes of implementation to be able to give you any concrete information. On some we might say we invented these, for example Evaluation. The report in telling us how well we are doing does somehow give the impression that we were waiting for the JIU to come along before we thought of doing things, whereas in fact we were pioneers in field evaluation and in auto-evaluation. So our comments on the implementation of a report like that might be "We were doing it before, thank you very much". On others we might say that the matter is still under review by the General Assembly or somebody else. So, with that understanding I think we can look at what kind of report we might provide you with at certain periods of time in order to facilitate your views.
Coming back to the JIU Reports, we were invited to comment on these but, as I said before, this would be a bit redundant because our views are generally incorporated in the ACC comments. There are only two particular comments I would like to make. On documentation we have received encouragement from you, for which we are grateful. But one delegate said "You can make the first contribution to this by restricting your interventions". But you can also make a fundamental contribution to the subject of limiting documentation by not asking for more documentation, in fact by making suggestions for cutting down the documentation that we do supply. The responsibility rests on you rather than on us, the matter is in your hands,.
On information., this is obviously the most difficult of the reports for us. It is very important, given the concern over the impact of the United Nations system on public opinion, the resource problem, and so forth.
There are some fairly ambitious proposals being put forward in certain quarters of the united Natlons system. There have been suggestions this afternoon. The report says rather airily And the cost of all this additional stuff can easily be met from existing resources". I do not know about easily, especially as we are under instructions from the Conference to cut down on administrative-type activities, and information to some extent falls in this category. How are we going to find additional resources for the technical programmes within existing resources if at the same time we have to find resources for additional information or support activities out of existing resources? It simply cannot be done. So I think there has to be a certain sense of realism about such recommendations. I must say the JIU are given to making rather ambitious proposals involving a lot of additional work and sometimes additional staff and then they seem to be saying "And do it within existing resources . So we have to face reality when we deal with such proposals.
CHAIRMAN: I would like to join Council Members and the JIU in complimenting FAO on the various reports which have been submitted to us and, as Mr. West said, we should compliment FAO in taking the lead on being a pioneer in some of these areas. I am sure the Organization will continue to keep up this tradition. Whether with the JIU or without, what is important is auto-evaluation and continuous improvement. External examination gives us confidence that we are on the right path. Therefore the JIU Reports are extremely valuable. As the Chairman of the Programme Committee said, this particular report on women has not been examined. I can anticipate that the Organization will again get high marks by the time the United Nations Conference on women takes place in 1985. We do hope that the Director-General and his staff will ensure that FAO occupies a rather high position in the United Nations system in relation to this matter also, but we will await the examination of the Programme and Finance Committees of this JIU Report.
There is one other point that I want to refer to which was made by the delegate of Bangladesh about publication in other languages. On the one hand we have been talking about containment of publications; trying to achieve economy, and so on. The other is to enlarge the field of publications in many languages. I entirely share the view that several of the publications are exceedingly valuable for a larger reading public who do not know any of the standard United Nations languages. I would only like to suggest to Mr. West and his colleagues that they might examine the whole question of co-publication arrangements in other languages, in other words at no cost to the Organization; particularly publications involving blocks, figures, and so on. It is very easy to come to an agreement with a national government, say in Bengali, so that it could be translated in works alone, if the basic format and blocks are provided by the Organization.
The system of co-publication is extremely valuable when we want to disseminate the information on a wide scale. Perhaps this could be done. My own organization does it very effectively and some of our books have been translated into 25 or 26 languages at very little extra cost. Mr. West says they are already looking into this question of co-publication arrangements. I think saving on publication could be false economy here, because many FAO publications contain valuable information and must be read widely. So necessary curtailment must be done, but essential information must be disseminated very widely. Soil and water publications in particular are of great value.
We have come to the conclusion of this item on the agenda. I want to thank the members for their contributions. I am sure the Secretariat has taken note of the various valuable suggestions that have been made and will consider them carefully. We have now completed our work for today.
The meeting closed at 16.30 hours
La séance est levée à 16 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 16.30 horas