RADIN SOENARNO (Malaysia): The Malaysian delegation has read document CL 82/5 and document CL 82/LIM/2 with great concern after hearing the Director-General's explanation on the subject. Further, we feel apprehensive at the unfavourable, turn of events that surely will lead to a number of negative consequences on the smooth performance and the longer-term functioning of this Organization. The problem is a delicate and a complex one and we do not intend to add anything more to make it even more intractable. We just want to say that our colleagues before us have adequately enumerated the consequences that will follow as a result of the decision of the court so far as it is known. My delegation would like therefore to associate itself with all the other delegations in calling upon the Italian Government to assist FAO in this regard and take all necessary steps to ensure that this matter be settled amicably.
CHAIRMAN: Before we proceed further I think it might be useful to hear from the Legal Counsel clearly what are the issues on which the Council should give its views so that we are clear when we record our proceedings that these are the items which ought to be considered by the Council.
LEGAL COUNSEL: First I will address myself to the specific question you have now asked. That is, whate are the basic issues before the Council? I think the first one is the question of the interpretation of section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement, I believe that, from the speakers I have heard this morning, the Council supports the position that the Director-General has taken hitherto and which was in fact endorsed by the CCLM. That is to say, section 16 means exactly what it says; FAO is immune from all forms of legal process with the one exception, and that is the cases in which it has expressly waived its immunity. If it has not waived its immunity, it is immune from all forms of legal process. This is the provision which is set out in section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement and which also appears in the Conventions on the Privileges and Immunities both of the United Nations and Specialized Agencies, to which approximately 100 countries are parties. That is I think the first issue which, if I have interpreted your interventions this morning correctly, you have actually decided.
This raises two more problems: first what is FAO going to do now that the Corte di Cassazione has decided that it is not immune from legal process. Here the problem divides itself into two,. I think this is clear from the Director-General's statement this morning and also from the way the matter was handled by the CCLM.
There is a first and an immediate problem, and that is how to settle the dispute: i.e what methods should be adopted to settle the dispute that has arisen with the landlords in the specific case of the lease. There I think some delegates have already indicated some of the ways in which this should be solved, and the delegate of Italy himself has given the Council assurances that no measures of execution would be taken against FAO. But that is only part of the problem. The other part is that the Italian Government, it is hoped, will find an appropriate method of settling this without recourse to the courts, that is not only with respect to measures of execution but also with respect to further proceedings which will now be resumed in the lower courts. On that, it would be helpful for the Council to give its views, so that the Director-General may know in which way the Council wishes him to proceed. It would seen from some of the interventions this morning, that at least some members of the Council agree that FAO should not be involved in any of the further proceedings. In which case if further court orders are served on FAO, or if attempts are made to serve further court orders on FAO in this particular case, these will be returned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who would be asked to settle the matter in a way which would avoid further litigation before the courts. These are two parts of the first problem, which relates to the specific question of litigation with the landlords of Building F.
The second problem relates to the long-term effects of the judgement on FAO's status in Italy, and I am sure these effects will also apply to a number of other organizations; particularly those in the United Nations family who have offices of their headquarters in Italy. In fact some delegates have already remarked on this. There are various solutions, and one of them - and here I would like to refer to a point raised by Italy this morning - is arbitration. Now, the question of arbitration would only arise if there was actually a dispute between FAO and the Italian Government. If the
Italian Government takes measures which would counteract the judgement of the Corte di Cassazione, in other words, if the Government, as a whole, as opposed to just the judiciary, agreed with the interpretation given by FAO to Section 16 - that is the interpretation I mentioned before and which I believe has the Counci''s support - then no dispute will arise and the Italian Government can be expected to take the necessary measures to remedy the situation. As the delegate of Italy himself mentioned, there was also the possibility of an exchange of letters approved by Parliament, which would then be given effect through appropriate Italian legislation. This legislation would clearly show that FAO enjoyed immunity and would ensure that this immunity would be applied. The Courts would then have no doubts as to how to interpret the provisions governing FAO's immunity. As I said, if this can be pursued, then no dispute will arise, and it is purely a question of reaching agreement on an amendment, in one "form or another, to replace the existing provision.
Now, clearly this is a matter which takes time. The Headquarters Agreement of the International Fund for Agricultural Development took two years, I think, before it was actually ratified, and in this respect, we would of course hope that any remedial legislation that might be introduced would be put through Parliament as soon as possible.
In the meantime, we have the assurance of the Italian Government that measures of execution would not be applied against FAO. But if the new legislation took, say, two years to be introduced, other cases could conceivably arise, and we would wish FAO to be adequately "protected in that event.
Therefore, I think the task of the Council this afternoon is pursuing the discussions that it began this morning; is to stress the action that should be taken to remedy a situation which I think the Members of the Council agreed is a very unfortunate one, and thus to ensure that henceforth the immunity of FAO will be fully safeguarded so that FAO may carry out its functions in absolute independence. That, Mr. Chairman, I believe, is the general line on which perhaps the Council may wish to proceed.
Now, there is another, .question I wanted to mention, and that is that I have a copy of the judgement, which we have been discussing. It was deposited at the Registry of the Corte di Cassazione in October this year, I shall be very happy to provide a copy to the representative of Italy so that he can study its contents and gauge the full effects that this judgement may have. The Secretariat has perhaps an advantage over Members of the Council, in that it has already seen the judgement, has read it, and has studied it very closely. I can assure you that the implications the Director-General described this morning, and the conclusions that we have drawn from the judgement, are extremely preoccupying.
The only other minor point I should mention, or perhaps repeat, is that FAO began litigation before the courts on the advice given to it by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and in this respect I should perhaps again refer to something which the delegate of Italy said this morning. He said "Why did you go to the Corte di Cassazione?" Well, the answer is that rather than have protracted litigation before the lower courts and gradually work our way up, with a lot of waste of time and money, all the way to the Corte di Cassazione, and having already had its immunity disregarded by one of the lower courts, FAO felt justified in bringing it before a very high-level court, particularly a court which would be. more accustomed to dealing with the treaty obligations of the Italian State, and one which would be perhaps more conversant with the principles of international law which apply to the case. I should also add - because this is a question which may have crossed the minds of some delegates - that by putting in an appearance, one might almost say under protest, the Organization never waived its immunity. It has always considered itself to be immune. It has done nothing more than plead its immunity and, in fact, on that.question, the courts have never interpreted the action taken by FAO to have itself represented, as a renunciation of its immunity. The lower courts,in the same way as the Corte di Cassazione, merely said that they considered on the particular issue of immunity, that FAO's argument based on the wording of Section 16, was not well-founded.
I think I have covered the various points which have been made this morning, and I think I have given you some indications which might help orient the discussions which you are about to have.
CHAIRMAN: I think the Legal Counsel has articulated some of the issues, and also I am glad you referred to the last point because this has been agitating the minds of several delegations whereby entering into the litigation process inadvertently you have yourselves surrendered the right to be immune from every legal process, but I am glad you clarified that issue very well, that the appearance of FAO has at no time been at the cost of compromising this basic principle.
S.S. BALANZINO (Italy): I will be very brief. I would like simply to point out to the Council that the suggestion that was given to FAO by the Minister of Foreign Affairs was a suggestion, it was not an instruction or a recommendation. FAO has very eminent legal advisors. It was up to them to evaluate, to assess the suggestion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and decide whether to go to the lower court or not.
Second, as to the appeal to the Corte di Cassazione, it was indeed a decision taken by FAO, probably in the hope of speeding up a procedure and getting a favourable sentence. Unfortunately, it has turned out to be a failure in that sense, in that the Corte di Cassazione has now rendered a sentence which is valid for ever and that we cannot reverse.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL : I think the debate is now becoming very interesting. I would like to ask Italy whether the Italian Government believes that we are immune from legal process. Thank you.
S.S. BALANZINO (Italy) : I have to refer to the sentence of the Corte di Cassazione. We are bound by that sentence. I do not have the text in front of me but if in that sentence it is said that FAO is not immune, there is nothing I can do.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL : I think it must be recorded now, that Italy believes that based on the decision of the Corte di Cassazione, Section 16, FAO is not immune. This means FAO could be taken to court even by staff. If I have hesitated to distribute the judgement, it is because it could create serious problems for you. Further, many more lawyers would be needed in FAO to be able to cope since any supplier could sue FAO.
Nous finirons par avoir les huissiers dans nos locaux. Nous nous mettons dans une situation tout à fait impossible malheureusement.
A. RODRIGUO PIRES (Cap-Vert) : Ma délégation, après avoir écouté avec beaucoup d'attention l'exposé fait par le Secrétariat sur les documents CL 82/4 et CL 82/5, et après avoir écouté la brillante intervention du conseil juridique, a étudié très soigneusement toutes les questions relatives au problème que nous débattons et particulièrement en ce qui concerne le litige - je dis bien le litige - avec les propriétaires du bâtiment F où beaucoup de services de l'Organisation se trouvent situés. Je dois vous dire que ma délégation est très préoccupée et partage sans réserve la position prise par les autres délégations sur ce même problème. Nous insistons pour que l'immunité dont notre Organisation doit bénéficier soit inviolable - je dis bien inviolable - à tous les niveaux et respectée scrupuleusement en pratique.
Nous avons écouté également avec beaucoup d'intérêt la déclaration de la délégation italienne, et nous espérons que le Gouvernement Italien déploiera les efforts nécessaires pour aider la FAO et le Directeur général dans la solution de ces problèmes, afin que la FAO puisse accomplir les tâches qui lui ont été confiées, dans les meilleurs délais et dans les meilleures conditions, au service des pays membres.
Nous saisissons cette occasion pour appuyer la déclaration du représentant de la République d'Angola.
J. TCHICAYA (Congo) : Je ne voudrais pas allonger un débat qui me paraît suffisamment complexe et délicat.
Au stade actuel de ce débat, ma délégation souhaite indiquer simplement qu'elle se rallie entièrement aux recommandations du CQCJ sur ce problème précis de l'immunité de notre Organisation. A cet égard, ma délégation souhaite apporter son appui à l'analyse faite ce matin par le délégué de l'Angola qui nous a fait un exposé fort approprié et documenté.
Nous sommes ici en face d'une situation qui demande une solution pragmatique, et nous pensons que la déclaration du délégué italien, ce matin, nous rassure quelque peu. Il ne nous reste plus qu'à émettre le voeu que le Gouvernement italien prenne toutes les dispositions pour garantir la stricte application de la section 16 de l'Accord de siège telle qu'elle a été citée par le CQCJ.
Nous sommes d'avis que la FAO ne doit pas se laisser entraîner dans des processus judiciaires auxquels elle n'est pas tenue, conformément à l’Accord de siège. Les Affaires étrangères du Gouvernement Italien devraient seules être habilitées à régler un tel litige.
M. TATIETA (Haute-Volta) : La délégation de Haute-Volta a écouté avec émotion et inquiétude les déclarations du Directeur général. Cependant, il nous donne l'espoir que le pire sera évité dans cette affaire, afin de permettre à notre Organisation de jouer son rôle éminemment humanitaire. Notre pays partage les positions du Directeur général dans ce différend, positions qui du reste sont conformes aux accords internationaux et à l'Accord de siège.
Nous souhaitons qu'un dénouement heureux intervienne dans les meilleurs délais car il s'agit là d'un problème très sérieux qui, s'il n'est pas résolu, pourrait affecter le fonctionnement de l'Organisation.
Ma délégation soutient l'argumentation présentée ce matin par le délégué de l'Angola.
A. PINOARGOTE (Ecuador): La delegación del Ecuador piensa que este Consejo debe apoyar totalmente la defensa de la FAO, que en este asunto está efectuando el Director General. No obstante es preciso señalar que el tono dramático de la situación se disuelve con lo expresado por el delegado de Italia en el sentido de que las autoridades de su país no ejecutarán ninguna medida que viole la inmunidad de la FAO. Fero, sin embargo, sigue pendiente el incomodo trance del trámite del Comité de Justiciaj por lo que me permito sugerir que este Consejo, en apoyo concreto de las acciones que está desplegando el Director General, debería dirigirse al Sr. Presidente de la República de Italia, Senador Pertini, a fin de poner en su conocimiento la viva preocupación por este proceso judicial, pues el Sr. Presidente Pertini es el Jefe del Estado Italiano y representa a Italia frente a los otros Estados, en este caso los países Miembros de la FAO.
La situación desde el punto de.vista jurídico-político, considerando la forma republicana de gobierno de tipo parlamentario de Italia con tres funciones estatales separadas, se puede resumir en lo siguiente: un proceso a cargo de la función judicial, proceso éste que viola la inmunidad de la FAO. Luego, en una promesa de la función ejecutiva de no ejecutar ningún mandato que viole esa inmunidad mientras, entretanto, el Parlamento aún no trata el tema. Ahora bien, el Sr. Presidente de la República es el representante de estas tres funciones del Estado italiano frente a los otros Estados. Por esta razón el Consejo como una gestión propia podría dirigir a través de usted, Sr. Presidente, una comunicación al Sr. Presidente Pertini dándole a conocer la preocupación de este Organismo por la situación suscitada. El Sr. Presidente Pertini, estadista de gran inteligencia y sensibilidad, de gran prestigio no sólo en su país sino internacionalmente, posiblemente dará alguna atención a esta comunicación del Consejo en el sentido que él estime más conveniente.
Nuestra delegación en todo caso presenta esta propuesta como una gestión propia y directa del Consejo a través de su digno intermedio, Sr. Presidente.
O. AWOYEMI (Nigeria): It would appear to my delegation that one of two issues may be involved in this problem. Either the headquarters agreement is not recognized by the Italian courts, at least to the extent that it is inconsistent with the laws of Italy, or that there is a basic problem of interpretation with the relevant clause in the agreement. Since it is reported to have been passed by the Italian Government, the former cannot be the case. It may be advisable for the CCLM to review the relevant clauses and if necessary prepare amendments, which would place the position of the Organization beyond doubt no matter how the agreement is interpreted. On such amendments which are proposed to the Italian Government, the Director-General should continue with diplomatic consultations with the Government.
Fortunately we have a very understanding and accommodating Ministry of Foreingn Affairs. While this country should not encourage the Director-General to defy the courts, he should do his best not to allow a dangerous precedent to be created which would make the other UN agencies vulnerable, wherever they may be.
H. H. CARABASÑO (Venezuela): Yo, Sr. Presidente, no soy jurista pero entiendo que fuimos inducidos de buena fe a incurrir en un error de procedimiento cuyas consecuencias nos han metido en lo que parece ser un túnel sin salida. Es una situación preocupante no sólo para la Secretaría y para el Director General, sino para todos los miembros de esta Organización, sin excepción alguna. De modo particular debe ayudarnos a encontrar una salida quien de buena fe nos indujo a incurrir en el error. No obstante, pienso que aquí no se trata de buscar responsabilidades ya que se actuó de buena fe y basta; lo que importa es buscar vías para salir del atolladero en que estamos metidos y por ello hace falta el parecer de todos ya que el problema es de todos. Entendemos que estamos frente a dos situaciones, a dos cuestiones simultáneas, una en el orden de los principios, y otra de carácter pragmático.
El asunto de la inmunidad de todo procedimiento judicial es una cuestión en la que pienso que todos estamos de acuerdo, porque considero que ninguno de los Estados Miembros pueda pretender que la FAO tenga un régimen de excepción distinto al que rige en la Sede principal de las Naciones Unidas o de otras organizaciones especializadas.
Por lo demás el distinguido delegado de Italia ha hecho una declaración esta mañana clara, categorica que no deja lugar a dudas de que así lo ha entendido su país. Sin embargo, si le he entendido bien, parece que piensa que podría ser necesario algún nuevo instrumento que precise y consagre sin posibles dudas ese fuero, de hecho, no debe estar tan claro cuando los jueces dictaron su fallo, y si se trata de un fallo que no puede cambiarse, la situación es todavía mucho más grave. Creo que el nos dijo que la FAO no debe preocuparse porque ese fallo de la orden de desahucio por las autoridades se cumpla. Desde el punto de vista práctico, mi delegación piensa que esto podría tranquilizarnos en cuanto a los hechos, pero no en cuanto a los principios; pero estamos en una situación inestable por cuanto éste es un país donde la democracia funciona como en pocos países, y aquí la independencia de las distintas ramas del poder es clara y es posible que alguien exija que ese fallo del poder judicial se cumpla y el gobierno se encontraría en un conflicto de lealtades.
Piensa mi delegación que por esto se nos abren dos vías. En cuanto a los principios no hay sino una sola solución, que este cuerpo de manera unánime' ratifique su convicción de que la FAO está asistida por este fuero. Y el otro, pedir al gobierno hospedante que con la buena voluntad, amplitud y generosidad que siempre ha demostrado hacia la FAO intente negociaciones con el propietario a fin de que quede sin efecto ese juicio y si es posible que haga proposiciones tal vez de una opción de compra, ya que el problema de los edificios para la FAO parece distante, de manera que por esa vía del hecho de una opción de compra podría dejarse sin efecto este fallo que siempre va a estar pendiente para la FAO como una espada de Damocles porque vendrá uno y otro juicio, tal como lo ha dicho aquí el Director General. Por lo demás, mi delegación respalda lo dicho por la delegación del Ecuador.
M. ZJALIC (Yugoslavia): My delegation wishes to support the report of the Finance Committee and the material contained in paragraphs 82-94, and particularly to support the report of CCLM and express our full agreement with the interpretation of Section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement. This interpretation contained in paragraphs 16-20 of document CL 82/5. We also support the position of the Director-General on this issue. We think that the only partner of an inter-governmental organization is the government, and if it is a Host Country, it is the government of the Host Country.
We also share the opinion that the rationale of the immunity from legal process accorded to intergovernmental organizations is to ensure that they can carry out their constitutional functions independently. We are fully convinced that the solution of this problem will have, and has, far-reaching consequences for the work of this Organization. We have also learned from the previous discussion and from statements by various delegations that the legal position of the Organization is not certain, and this uncertain situation cannot be tolerated. It will always create difficulties for its work and its functions.
We therefore fully endorse the Director-General's proposal to undertake measures to solve the position of the Headquarters Agreement and other forms of immunity.
As for this particular case, we would like to express our firm belief that the Italian Government, as I said, — which, is the only partner of our Organization in this country - will find appropriate methods to solve this problem in the best spirit of international cooperation so clearly expressed by this same Government on other occasions.
A.H. EL SARKI (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): After having heard the statement of the Director-General as well as the Italian representative and the other delegations, here in the Council, my delegation would like for this Organization to be recognized as having full immunity, as is the case of other United Nations organizations, and that there be an application of the Headquarters Agreement in full. My delegation calls on the Italian Government to apply all measures so as to guarantee the Organization's immunity and to make the necessary amendments in the Headquarters Agreemen so as to settle any dispute between the organizations and the landlords, not only because the Government of the Host Country must safeguard this Organization, but also because the Italian Government is one of the founding fathers of this Organization and has always emphasized the fact that this Organization should be considered as fully immune. We are sure that the Italian Government will make all necessary efforts to solve this problem.
SRA. DNA D. SANCHEZ (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia ve que se está poniendo en tela de juicio lo dicho expresa y categoricamente en un convenio suscrito entre dos sujetos de derecho internacional: la República de Italia y la FAO por parte de la Corte de Casación, asimismo, lo expresado en acuerdos y convenciones internacionales sobre la inviolabilidad e inmunidad de los organismos internacionales.
El señor representante de Italia, quien, como él lo ha dicho, está hoy en el banquillo, ha mostrado la mejor disposición de su Gobierno para la solución de estos problemas y propuso esta mañana buscar un método apropiado para llegar a una solución, y, si no oí mal, el intercambio de comunicaciones para aclarar la interpretación de la Sección 16 del artículo octavo del Acuerdo sobre la Sede.
Compartimos plenamente lo primero, pero en cuanto a lo segundo nuestra delegación ve que la Sección 16 es supremamente clara, que no necesita interpretaciones y que es de una firmeza que no da lugar a intercambio de comunicaciones para lograr su aclaración.
P.S. McLEAN (United Kingdom): To avoid any misunderstanding, I had not intended to participate in this debate because as a member of the CCLM, the United Kingdom of course is associated with and entirely shares the views contained in the report of the CCLM. But having taken the floor and having listened to the statements of Mr. Roche - who is appearing, incidentally before us for the first time as Legal Counsel, and I would like, if I may, to offer him our congratulations on his appointment to this office - I have concluded it is not now necessary for me to make any substantive intervention on this topic, since it seems to me that the Legal Counsel has pointed the way for this Council and the action it should take. And I believe he is absolutely right and that we should therefore adopt the recommendations in the CCLM report.
However, I wish to make one point. While my delegation has no doubt at all that Section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement means what it says - that FAO is immune from legal process - the question remains of the rental on Building F. We believe that this is a matter which is not resolved and cannot be resolved simply by resting of FAO's procedural immunity. We therefore share the views expressed by others and the hope that the Organization will try to do everything in its power to settle that dispute; and if it is possible that the Italian Government could use its good offices to ensure a just outcome on that question, then I believe they will be willing to do so.
As to the broader question on the Headquarters Agreement, in brief I agree very much with the comment made by my colleague from Yugoslavia, that the Council should have full confidence that the Italian Government will take all possible steps to resolve this matter.
B.E. PHIRI (Zambia): My colleague should have taken the floor but I think the point he raised this morning was that there appears to have been an omission and possibly what we can now do is to hope that the Italian authorities will correct the omission because it would appear this was the case, and that possibly no statutory instrument has been prepared and we do not know if this was done because the Legal Counsel did not mention this when he made his statement. And if an instrument was prepared we do not know why the question of immunity would have to come into dispute today.
As for the case that is before us now, we can only hope that the Italian authorities will find a solution to this which is amicable to all of us.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I want to clarify one issue which was raised by the delegate of the United Kingdom and who is a Member of the CCLM. If I understood you well, you stated that the Organization should be requested - or could be requested - to settle the dispute with the landlord about the rent with the help -of the Italian Government. You also said earlier that, as Member of the CCLM, you supported fully the report of the CCLM. I think there is a contradiction here. I want to read you the report of the CCLM which says that:
"The CCLM considers that in the event of a judgment being granted by the Corte di Cassazione that did not fully recognize FAO's immunity from legal process, the Council would wish to invite" - not me - "the Host Government to find a suitable method of solving the problem, in consultation with INPDAI - which is the landlord - without further recourse to the Italian courts and without any attempts to impose executions of any judgement on the merits, since this would be contrary to various provisions of Headquarters agreement"
In other words, what the delegate of the United Kingdom is asking is for me to negotiate with the landlord to avoid eviction and to plead not to pursue the matter in the Court; while the CCLM -of which you are a Member - is saying something quite different. What we have been saying to the Council is that we would appeal to the Host Country to kindly settle the matter on behalf of FAO, because they are the protector of the Organization in this matter with the landlord.
P.S. McLEAN (United Kingdom): It would not, I think, be appropriate for me to engage in a debate in this forum with the Director-General on this issue, but I fear that he has misunderstood what I said. The CCLM did not, as I recall it, engage itself in the merit or demerit in the question of rental demand on Building F, and I believe we must distinguish the question of that issue in which -as the Legal Counsel and FAO have always said - the contracts which are prepared are prepared in a way which is intended in any case of dispute not to deny justice.
I do not want to enter into the debate but I am trying to distinguish between that and what I said is what I believe to be the fundamental point of the CCLM report is to entirely agree with the Director-General and the Legal Counsel interpretation of Section 16, and that is what I said. But perhaps, since the Director-General has, in effect, challenged and said that I have contradicted myself, perhaps after the Council or during the remaining days, I could speak to him or perhaps through the Legal Counsel.
CHAIRMAN: Please do so.
M. NAANANI (Maroc) : Ma delegation ne pourrait que s'indigner si une mesure quelconque ne garantissant pas l'immunité juridique de notre Organisation venait à être rendue publique dans le pays hôte. Ma délégation est satisfaite des démarches entreprises par le Directeur général pour sauvegarder cette immunité. Nous sommes sûrs que le Directeur général persistera dans cette voie et dans ces efforts. Nous l'appuyons car nous mesurons la gravité des conséquences de la violation de l'immunité juridique de la FAO. Nous avons entendu ce matin les différentes interventions du distingué délégué de l'Italie qui n'a cessé de donner la preuve de la bonne volonté du gouvernement italien à collaborer avec notre Organisation et lui fournir toute l'aide possible pour résoudre les problèmes des locaux du Siège. C'est pourquoi ma délégation aimerait lancer un appel fervent au gouvernement italien pour qu'il prenne toutes les mesures à même de garantir à la FAO les conditions normales de son fonctionnement. Ces conditions sont toutes définies, écrites : elles sont claires. Il serait dommage qu'au lieu de résoudre les problèmes de l'alimentation et de la faim dans le monde notre Organisation effectue des dépenses aussi réduites soient-elles à des fins autres que celles pour lesquelles elle existe. Nous sommes convaincus que notre appel sera entendu et qu'il sera pris en considération.
Sra. Doña M. IVANKOVICH De AROSEMENA (Panamá): Vamos a referirnos al Informe del 42° período de sesiones del Comité de Asuntos Constitucionales y Jurídicos que mi delegación aprueba, y en particular al tema "Inmunidad de Procedimiento Judicial de la FAO en Italia". El Comité de Finanzas estudio atentamente este problema, y sin lugar a dudas, expreso su preocupación ante el problema mismo y ante las consecuencias financieras. Mi delegación considera que se trata de un problema de compleja naturaleza jurídica, y en el Acuerdo de Sede suscrito entre el Gobierno de Italia y la FAO en 1950, en el artículo 8, sección 16, señala, -y aquí cito- : "La FAO y sus bienes, cualesquiera que sea el lugar en que se encuentre y cualquiera que los tenga en su poder, disfrutarán de inmunidad de todo procedimiento judicial, salvo en la medida en que en algún caso particular, la Organización haya renunciado expresamente a esta inmunidad", y sigue.
La sección 16 nos da una solución de. forma clara y precisa cuando dice que la FAO goza de inmunidad de todo procedimiento judicial; que la FAO y sus bienes, cualesquiera que sea el lugar en que se encuentren y quienquiera que los tenga en su poder goza de la misma inmunidad; que la renuncia debe ser expresa, cosa que no ha sucedido por parte de la FAO.
Mi delegación desea apoyar el contenido del párrafo 23 del documento CL 82/5. Consideramos, sin embargo, que una debida comunicación a alto nivel entre el Gobierno de Italia, el Director General y el Comité nombrado por la Conferencia contribuiría a resolver definitivamente problemas que tienden a emañar las buenas relaciones que existen y deben existir entre la Organización y el Gobierno de Italia, como generoso huésped.
AMIDJ0N0 MARTOSUWIRYO (Indonesia): I have listened attentively to the explanations made by the delegates of Council, the last question raised by the Director-General and the answer given by the representative of Italy. My delegation believes that the clue or the basis to resolve the problem is to write an agreed interpretation of the Section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement. My delegation thinks, of course, FAO should avoid the legal process, should enjoy immunity as other UN organizations. I should like to underline what was said by the delegate of Malaysia that the delicate problem should be solved amicably. I believe that the Government of Italy is not too rigid and would be willing to conserve the immunity of the FAO, where Italy is one of its Member Countries.
T. AHMAD (Pakistan): After listening to the Director-General and the Legal Counsel, and the concern which has been expressed bv so many distinguished delegates from the Council there is very little for us to say, except to share our concern with the other members of the Council that it is very unfortunate that we are in such an awkward situation that instead of discussing more broader problems of food and hunger, we are discussing more local and specific problems of legal immunity. However, we also tend to look at the problem from two aspects. We see the more broader question of the legal immunity of FAO from any legal process in Italy, in the host country, and the second problem and the more specific problem, of the building F and the rent and eviction thereof. We feel that the second specific problem has emerged because the first broader problem has not been resolved. So we therefore urge the Director-General and we request the Italian Government to resolve the broader issue of legal immunity as soon as possible and if necessary have the requisite legislation to cover that so that the question once and for all is resolved, and there are no other further litigations.
As far as the specific problem of rental of building F and the eviction thereof is concerned, we wish to convey appreciation to the delegate of Italy who in the morning assured the Council that even if there was a legal verdict against the FAO it would perhaps not be executed. We appreciate that gesture, but we feel that is not the real answer because that would only solve one particular litigation regarding building F. What would be required would be broader resolution of the bigger question of the immunity of FAO from any legal process and consequences accruing from such legal process. So we are in agreement with the delegate from Venezuela when he pointed out that it is not only the question of one specific case, it is the question of the broader principle and we wish this to be resolved as quickly as possible. We are hoping that by the time the Council meets again -perhaps that is a very optimistic hope, but we still hope that by the time the Council meets again all the issues will have been resolved and we will have no such problems.
G. KELLEY SALINAS (México): La delegación de Mexico se une a la preocupación y argumentación del Director General y de otras delegaciones, con respecto a este diferendo de interpretación en relación a la inmunidad que consigna el Artículo 16 del Acuerdo de Sede. Sostenemos el principio de que la FAO debe estar al margen del proceso judicial como prerrequisito fundamental de independencia y autonomía en sus funciones. Parece ser que la Corte de Casación italiana tomó una resolución contraria a este principio. Mi delegación espera que se dé una solución no sólo práctica sino permanente de este problema. No parece suficiente la promesa hecha de muy buena voluntad del Gobierno italiano, de no proceder en ningún caso a la ejecución de las decisiones que violen la letra o el espíritu del Acuerdo de Sede.
Confiamos en que el propio Gobierno de Italia encontrará la forma de sostener la inmunidad de la FAO sin renunciar a los principios, también inviolables que consagra la Constitución de su país.
I.P. ALVARENGA (Observador por El Salvador): Nuestra delegación quería en esta ocasión en que por primera vez vemos al Señor Alex Roche en sus funciones de Asesor Jurídico, expresarle nuestras sentidas felicitaciones por su reciente nominación a tan alto cargo que estamos seguros sabrá defender, sabrá ejecutar con la habilidad profesional, con las características personales que lo distinguen.
El problema que tenemos entre manos, en lo relativo a los alquileres y en lo relativo al litigio con los propietarios del Edificio F es de una compleja naturaleza jurídica, en la cual entran en juego problemas del Derecho Internacional y de legislación interna italiana, especialmente en materia de arrendamientos, la cual es en extremo amplia y complicada.
Sin embargo, no es necesario ni creemos que se deba entrar en el fondo del litigio, pues lo que se necesita es aclarar, ante todo, si los tribunales italianos tienen o no competencia para enjuiciar a la FAO. Para la respuesta, nos bastan dos principios jurídicos de aplicación universal, al menos en los sistemas legales que derivan del Derecho Romano, como es precisamente el italiano. Hay un principio de interpretación que dice que cuando el tenor literal de la Ley es claro, no se debe consultar su espíritu. Segundo, otro principio dice que donde la Ley no distingue, no debe distinguir el intérprete. Como si no bastasen esos principios, sabemos que la aplicación del Derecho se rige, aparte de lo establecido por normas positivas, por lo que juzgan los grandes tratadistas, por lo que juzgan los entendidos. Uno de los juristas italianos más autorizados en la materia, el Profesor Ricardo Monaco ha escrito un tratado donde se analizan los problemas jurídicos de los organismos internacionales; y en un capítulo se dedica exclusivamente a dilucidar el problema de la inmunidad, considerando una sentencia emitida por un Tribunal en Trieste contra un organismo internacional en los años inmediatamente sucesivos a la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
El Profesor Monaco rebate esa sentencia y critica acerbamente al Tribunal. El Tribunal se fundaba en que ese organismo no tenía personalidad jurídica internacional reconocida, y por eso no le reconocía inmunidad. El Profesor Monaco dice que aun cuando un organismo internacional no tenga personalidad jurídica internacionalmente reconocida, debe gozar de inmunidad ante los tribunales para el mejor desarrollo de sus fines.
En este caso, pues, no vemos, sinceramente, de dónde puedan surgir dudas. Con base en lo anterior, nuestra delegación cree que es imperioso concluir, en primer lugar, que no ha cometido ningún error la FAO al haberse presentado a los tribunales, puesto que la sentencia de los tribunales que hasta hoy se han emitido, no se ha basado en esa comparecencia de la Organización, y lo mismo habrían decretado con o sin la intervención de la FAO. Segundo, que la defensa de la FAO debe continuar basándose en el respeto de la inmunidad, y que si en consecuencia se exigiese un proceso sobre el fondo del asunto, o sea, sobre los alquileres, la FAO no debe comparecer para no dejar ninguna duda de que respeta su inmunidad. Tercero, que se debe aprobar, desde luego como ya ha sido prácticamente hecho, el Informe del Comité de Asuntos Jurídicos y Constitucionales, particularmente en la recomendación de que se encuentre un método apropiado para resolver este problema.
Otra conclusión a la que llega nuestra delegación, es que se debe reafirmar, digo reafirmar porque ya fue aprobado en el respectivo Informe del Comité de Finanzas, la recomendación de este Comité en el sentido de que el Director General se niegue a cumplir cualquier sentencia de los Tribunales italianos, o cualquier mandamiento emanado de los mismos -cito Informe aludido-, que a su juicio no esté en consonancia con el Acuerdo de Sede.
Esto, que a primera impresión pudiera parecer una rebeldía ante las leyes italianas, que pudiera parecer un negar la soberanía del Estado italiano, no lo es tal. Simplemente, sería poner en práctica el derecho de la FAO. Finalmente, nuestra delegación sugeriría que si no hubiese inconveniente de tipo jurídico, la sentencia de la Corte de Casación se ponga a disposición, al menos de los Miembros del Consejo para tener más elementos de juicio. Además, sugeriríamos que el Director General examine la posibilidad y la necesidad de llevar este conflicto, sobre todo en lo que se refiere a la inmunidad, sobre todo en lo relativo a la cuestión de principios, a un Tribunal Internacional para que quede la cuestión definitivamente zanjada.
No quisiera terminar, y pido disculpas por lo extenso de mi intervención, sin señalar algo que no se ha mencionado y es que la inmunidad de las representaciones acreditadas sólo ante la FAO y no simultáneamente ante el Gobierno italiano derivan, en cuanto a privilegios e inmunidades, del mismo Acuerdo de Sede. Si a la FAO no se le reconoce inmunidad, nada impedirá que, en el futuro, aquellas delegaciones que no forman parte directamente de sus representaciones ante el Gobierno italiano, también sufran mengua en sus privilegios e inmunidades que les corresponden.
CHAIRMAN: As the Chairman of the Committee mentioned this morning there are two aspects, one relating to the revised statutes of the Advisory Committee on Marine Resources Research. Here we endorsed the recommendation of CCLM and I have noted it for our information.
Then there is the more important question with which the Council has been seized for the last two and a half hours, which relates to the immunity question.
I have put together a short Resolution on the basis of the comments of the delegations, the comments of the Chairman of the Finance Committee, the Director-General and Legal Counsel. If you agree with it we will incorporate it in our minutes as it is:
1. reaffirms the sanctity of Article VIII, Section 16, of the Headquarters Agreement concerning FAO's immunity from every form of legal process;
2. appreciates and welcomes the assurance of the Representative of Italy on the Council that the government of Italy will ensure through appropriate executive action that FAO's immunity from legal action is protected until the time the implications of the judgment of the Corte di Cassazione are studied and appropriate remedial steps taken, if necessary through exchange of letters supported by legislative approval. In the meantime the host government is requested, in consultation with the landlords, to help in settling the dispute out of court;
3. authorizes the Director-General to take such steps as may be necessary to protect FAO's legal rights under Article VIII, Section 16, including refusal to submit to the legal process;
4. asks the independent Chairman of the Council to convey to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Italy and the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Italy the concern of the Council in this matter and seek their help in ensuring that FAO enjoys the status envisaged under the Headquarters Agreement, both in letter and in spirit;
5. requests the Director-General to keep the CCLM and Council informed of the steps taken and progress made."
S.S. BALANZINO (Italy): There is a passage in paragraph 2 where you refer to protection or a guarantee by the Italian Government against legal action - in the meantime legal action. I would like to ask Legal Counsel or the Director-General what legal action means, if that has to be interpreted as exemption from execution.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: We are sometimes going too fast. Let us be realistic. If action could be taken by the Italian Parliament to clarify more Section 16 of Article VIII - although I do not know how they can clarify it more because it already says "immune from every form of legal process". But anyway, they need another law to clarify this so as to modify the effects of the decision of the Corte di Cassazione. It may take some years, I do not know. We have been negotiating together for 9 years on the interpretation of the Headquarters Agreement. It took two years to have the IFAD Agreement passed by Parliament. 'Meanwhile we are very happy to hear that you will prevent the execution of any Court decision, because how the Corte di Cassazione has delivered its judgement, the Lower Courts will resume their proceedings, unless the landlord receives satisfaction in the meantime. In that case appropriate executive action would not beneeded. But there might be others who have seen the documents submitted to Members of the Council and, as mentioned by the delegate of El Salvador, anybody can ask the court for a copy of the judgement. Thus anyone who has dealings with FAO may decide to sue us. Therefore we need protection, because it will taken several months, or even years, before the Parliament will, in effect, overrule the Corte di Cassazione by passing a new law. If we are not adequately protected by immunity we may be faced with a number of judgements. I am not going so far as to ask the delegate of Italy to send me a signed letter about this commitment. I would certainly appreciate one, because I think this would constitute a specific undertaking that has greater legal significance than a passage in the report. But if you can send us such a letter, it will be very much appreciated and enable us to sleep soundly tonight,
B.N. SEQUEIRA (Angola): I stand to be corrected and I am seeking clarification. I did not quite get the full sentence in paragraph 2, namely the phrase which I think goes like this: until the time the implications of the judgment of the Corte di Cassazione have been studied. It is on this subject that I would like to seek the advice of Legal Counsel by referring to the decision of the Corte di Cassazione. How does this equate with the wider ranging principle that the Organization must be free to carry out its functions independently of the influence of any authority of m independent Member State. What I am saying is that one individual State or its judiciary system cannot influence the working of an international organization. This is the principle of international law which has been fully clarified by the delegate of El Salvador. So I am seeking the advice of Legal Counsel how this equates.
CHAIRMAN: Before I ask Legal Counsel to answer I would like to say that the second component of our Resolution has a short term and a long term. One is an immediate step, as was repeatedly emphasized - something immediate, the other is long term. That is why it has two parts to it.
LEGAL COUNSEL: In reply to the question raised by the delegate of Angola, I should like to mention that we have already looked at the judgment. It the meantime, and subject to assurances that we have been given by the Italian Government, we are in a grey area - that is, FAO can be sued, but no measures of execution will be enforced against it. The Director-General has already expressed his concern about this. In the light of the judgment as it stands now; FAO is liable to be sued by any Italian company that it deals with., possibly even individuals. Thus, we have to find a way to affirm what we thought was an absolutely clear provision. FAO will now probably have to negotiate with the Italian Government so that legislation can be passed to give to Section 16 the meaning that we had always thought it had until we learned the interpretation given to it by the Corte di Cassazione. As the Director-General said, we hope this can be done as soon as possible, because in the meantime we can be sued and we may get judgments against us. And the only assurance that we have is that measures of execution will not be applied against FAO. But of course we do not want to be in that situation, we do not even want to have any cases brought against us before the Italian courts. We would much rather, if for instance we have a dispute with a supplier, immediately to arbitrate in the way that we have always provided for in the past, and without any question of appearing before a national court. Moreover, under such arbitration, the complainant would be afforded a fair hearing. So, in the meantime, we are in this somewhat uncertain position, but some guarantees have been given to us by the Italian Government. We hope that, as soon as possible, there will be new legislation which will entirely clarify Section 16. After that we would hope that no further actions would be brought against FAO in the Italian courts, or if they were, that no Italian court would be in a position to interpret the provision on immunity from legal process in a restrictive manner.
While I have the floor, I might just explain that the Headquarters Agreement is part of Italian law. According to the Italian legal system, international treaties such as the Headquarters Agreement are then promulgated and become part of the national system by an appropriate law. The Headquarters Agreement is in fact in the Official Gazette and was promulgated a few months after its actual conclusion in Washington.
CHAIRMAN: I think with this clarification we adopt the Resolution.
J.J. GORMLEY (United States of America): I would like to apologise to the Council for arriving late. We have either neglected to or not received a copy of the Resolution. This is a very serious matter and we would like to hear or see the Resolution before any further action is taken.
CHAIRMAN: Well, the Resolution I have drafted here and then shown to the Director-General on the basis of the discussion, so nothing has been distributed. All I can do is read it, or we will have to make copies and circulate it.
J.J. GORMLEY (United States of America): With apologies to the Council again, we would like to hear it re-read.
CHAIRMAN: "The Council 1) reaffirms the sanctity of Article VIII, Section 16, of the Headquarters Agreement concerning FAO's immunity from every form of legal process". That is number one. Number two: "Appreciates and welcomes the assurance of the Representative of Italy on the Council that the Government of Italy will ensure through appropriate executive action that FAO's immunity from legal action is protected".
The Legal Counsel has suggested here a small amendment: that "FAO's immunity from measures of execution" instead of "legal action"; I will read it again.
"Appreciates and welcomes the assurance of the Representative of Italy on the Council that the Government of Italy will ensure through appropriate executive action that FAO's immunity from measures of execution is protected until the time the implications of the judgement of the Corte di Cassazione are studied and appropriate remedial steps taken if necessary, through exchange of letters supported by legislative approval. In the meantime the Host Government is requested, in consultation with the landlords, to help in settling this dispute out of court.
"3) Authorizes the Director-General to take such steps as may be necessary to protect FAO's legitimate rights under Article VIII, Section 16, including refusal to submit to legal process.
"4) Asks the Independent Chairman of the Council to convey to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Italy and the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of Italy the concern of the Council in this matter and seek their help in ensuring that FAO enjoys the status envisaged under the Headquarters Agreement both in letter and spirit", and finally, "Requests the Director-General to keep the CCLM and the Council informed of the steps taken".
J.J. GORMLEY (United States of America): Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Then shall I take it we proceed on this basis? We hope that things will work out all right, and the new Legal Counsel, I want to congratulate him on behalf of the Council; he has taken over at a critical time and with proper adjustment and discussion at all levels we hope this matter can be amicably settled.
It was so decided.
Il en est ainsi decide.
Así se acuerda.
CHAIRMAN : I request Mr. Sylla to introduce this topic.
LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL : Ce point comporte deux documents CL 82/INF/7 et Supplii. Ces deux documents comportent deux aspects, le premier est à titre d'information et le deuxième requiert une décision.
Conformément aux règles générales de 1!Organisation, le Directeur général entre les deux sessions de votre Conseil et sur leur demande a invité la République démocratique allemande et l'Union des Républiques socialistes soviétiques à participer à des réunions de l'Organisation pour les raisons indiquées dans les deux documents.
Le deuxième aspect qui appelle une décision du Conseil est indiqué dans le par. 4 du document susmentionné et dans son supplément N° 1. Il s'agit d'une part d'autoriser le Directeur général à inviter la République démocratique allemande et l'Union des Républiques socialistes soviétiques à participer en tant qu'observateurs à la 7ème session du Comité de l'agriculture. L'autre décision concerne également l'autorisation que sollicite le Directeur général pour inviter à la conférence sur l'aménagement et la mise en valeur des pêches tous les Etats Membres de la FAO, de l'Organisation des Nations Unies et de ses institutions spécialisées ou de l'Agence internationale de l'Energie atomique afin de permettre à tous les pays qui s'intéressent aux pêches d'y participer, soulignant ainsi le caractère universel de la conférence envisagée.
CHAIRMAN : I take it that this has the approval of the Council. Thank you.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL : You have before you the proposal to establish a new Commission on Food Security in the Region, and it is a long-standing practice endorsed by the Council that wherever possible, regional commissions and other statutory bodies which have outlived their usefulness or are of low priority should be abolished, so we do bring before you from time to time proposals to abolish statutory bodies. In that respect this proposal is not something special but part of a long-standing process, but I mentioned the other proposal because it is particularly relevant on this occasion to find something which can be abolished in order to make room for a new commission. You have not yet approved the establishment of the new Commission, but assuming that you do, this proposal would relieve the programme and the budget of a commitment which could then contribute towards the establishment of the new body, but in any case, as you will see from the document, the case for continuing with this Commission does not exist. It has hardly met over the last few years. On the last occasion when it met, very few members were represented, and I think except in one instance they were represented by local representatives of the governments in the capital and not by specialists sent from the various countries, so evidently it is not of high interest to the countries of the Region. This is evident from the practice rather them the theory. I dare say that many will feel that the subject is important. Indeed it is, but the abolition of the Commission does not mean that it is not important. It only means that this particular method of work is not found convenient by the Member Governments and that other methods of work on this subject are more profitable, and to that extent, of course, the Programme of Work and Budget will provide for other methods of work on this subject.
P. ELMANOWSKY (France) : On peut peut-être s'étonner que j'intervienne sur ce point, mais nous sommes membres de la Conférence régionale pour l'Asie et le Pacifique et comme cela se passe dans cette région je demande à intervenir à la tois sur la suppression de la Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations en Asie et en Extrême-Orient et d'autre part sur la création d'une Commission régionale de la sécurité alimentaire pour l'Asie et le Pacifique.
Nous sommes évidemment favorables à la tenue de cette Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations et à la création de la Commission régionale de la sécurité alimentaire. Mais ce qui nous amène à prendre la parole c'est en quelque sorte la question financière, c'est-à-dire le financement du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire. Certes, en lisant les deux documents pertinents, il y a d'une part le CL 82/14/Rev.1 qui traite de la suppression de la Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations agricoles et de l'autre, c'est le CL 82/28 qui parle de la création de la Commission de la sécurité alimentaire. Dans les deux documents on parle de cette question. En particulier il est dit que la nouvelle Commission régionale pour la sécurité alimentaire pourra être financée grâce aux économies réalisées par la tenue de la Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations. On nous dit, tout particulièrement au paragraphe 12, je crois, du document CL 82/28, que l'on prévoit que la nouvelle Commission régionale tiendra une réunion de cinq jours en 1983. Le coût direct de cette réunion dépendra du nombre de langues utilisées (et on suppose l'utilisation des trois langues), le coût s'élèverait à environ 150 000 $ E.-U. Ceci je crois est une dépense particulière à prendre sur le budget et à l'intérieur des organisations au cours des réunions de 1983. Par contre, on précise que les autres coûts de la réunion seront financés en partie par les ressources économisées grâce à l'abolition de la Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations, c'est le paragraphe 13. Donc, d'un côté nous avons une dépense de 150 000 dollars pour la tenue d'une réunion ce qui est normal, ceci étant prévu dans le budget de l'Organisation pour les réunions de 1983, mais ce qui m'inquiète c'est qu'il est stipulé que les autres frais seront couverts par les économies réalisées. Quand on se reporte au document CL 82/14-Rev-l où il est proposé que la Commission régionale sur la gestion soit supprimée (c'est le paragraphe 6), on s'aperçoit qu'au paragraphe 7 on dit qu'il est envisagé que les objectifs de la Commission soient poursuivis dans le cadre de réunions ad hoc et de conférences-ateliers sur la gestion des exploitations ou de séminaires axés sur les besoins des petits exploitants. Si l'on doit faire des réunions ad hoc et des conférences-ateliers en substitution de la Commission régionale, cela est possible, mais il faudra financer ces réunions ad hoc ou ces réunions-ateliers et je me demande (je pense que M. West va répondre à ce sujet) où est l'économie réalisée par la suppression d'une commission si en même temps on prévoit des réunions spécialisées sur ce point. Est-ce que cette manière de faire ne va pas culbuter les crédits que vous vouliez reporter sur la Commission de sécurité alimentaire régionale ? Voilà la question.
RADIN S0ENARN0 (Malaysia): With regard to document CL 82/14-Rèv,l and CL 82/28, my delegation would like to raise the following points. When the proposal to change the title of the Regional Office for Asia was discussed during the 20th Conference, Malaysia indicated its full support based on the reality of the world political situation then. I do not want to repeat those remarks, but we feel the situation has remained the same today.
It is based on these realities that we welcome the proposal to change the title of the Asian and Far East Commission on Agricultural Statistics.
On the question of the abolition of the Regional Commission on Farm Management, I would like to recall the point made by you, Sir, in your closing remarks on Agenda Item 4. You emphasized that management of farms is vital to agricultural development. As agriculture proceeds from traditional to commercialized farming, the need to manage farms efficiently becomes crucial. The development of farming systems in the Asian and Pacific regions today requires the knowledge and practical application of modern farm management practices.
The different stages of development in these countries made farm management experiences of the members countries in this region useful to other members. In short, farm management knowledge is essential to farmers in this region.
It was based on this need that the Regional Conference approved the formation of the Regional Commission on Farm Management, to provide a forum for the exchange of experience for the benefit of member countries.
For some reason, this Commission did not function as effectively as we wished it to do, prompting the Director-General to propose its abolition with a view to using the resources thus saved for the initiation of another commission, currently a proposal to be established.
My delegation is of the opinion that before any decision is taken to abolish the Commission on Farm Management, the Regional Conference which proposed its formation in the first place should be given the opportunity to discuss this proposal of whether or not this Commission is still useful in serving its original purposes, and to consider its future.
In this regard, my delegation feels that this proposal to abolish the Commission on Farm Management should be taken as a separate item, and not in relation to the proposal to establish the Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific, as stated in document CL 82/28.
When the resolution for the establishment of the proposed Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific was discussed at the FAO Regional Conference in Jakarta this year, there was no intimation there that the proposed Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific could only be established at the expense of another older Commission. We were informed then that existing resources would be adequate to support the operations of the proposed Commission.
My delegation is all for the proposal that any agencies that are no longer useful or effective should be abolished or scrapped to save costs. What we are merely suggesting here is that the question of the abolition of the Commission on Farm Management should be taken on its own merit and not in relation to the establishment of another Commission now under consideration.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for the very clear expression of your views.
AMIDJONO MARTOSUWIRYO (Indonesia): Let me say a few words in connection with the recommendation that the Council should exercise its authority to abolish the Commission on Farm Management for Asia and the Far East.
While taking nòte of the considerations which have given rise to such recommendations, my delegation would like to draw the attention of the members of the Council to the following: as set out in the document, the original Commission on Farm Management came into being in 1959 on the recommendation of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Far East, which took place in 1958. The establishment of the Commission was referred to as a Working Party, and was aimed at stimulating and co-ordinating farm management activities and creating a clearing house for the exchange of information and experience among member nations in the region. There can be no doubt that at that time delegates representing countries in the region had valid reasons for supporting the establishment of the Working Party because of the significance we attached to the matters of farm management and extension activities.
It is regrettable, therefore, that the sessions of the Commission have not been attended by many of its members. The last two sessions were held six years apart. My delegation wonders whether this irregularity in attending the sessions should not be considered as one of the reasons why there has been less interest in the work of the Commission than in years past.
It is also true that in the last four years many more meetings of various FAO bodies have met not only in Rome but in various countries as well, and this fact may have attracted greater attention to the significance of these bodies which met at regular intervals.
However, the subject of farm management research and activities involving participation of the rural population has by no means lost its significance. This matter should not in any way be undervalued since it is very closely related to rural development.
My delegation has difficulties in supporting the views that the objectives of the Commission can be attained by means of holding ad hoc meetings or management training workshops or seminars oriented towards small farms. The needs of the Commission are more than that.
Coming to the question of abolishing or retaining the Commission, I must say that Indonesia is greatly attached to this Commission; the fact that Indonesia was the host of the last meeting proves that.
My delegation would like to suggest that the matter be thoroughly studied by the next Regional Conference for the Asia and the Pacific. The reason is that the countries of the Region could then have the opportunity to express their views and to make suggestions. No other forum would be in a better position to do that. The findings and the recommendations of the Regional Conference would then be considered by the FAO governing bodies, either the Council or the Conference; considering that it was the Regional Conference in 1958 which proposed the establishment of the Commission, it would be also proper to follow the procedure in requesting the next Conference to deal again with the matter before deciding on the abolition of the Commission.
T. AHMAD (Pakistan): My delegation, and myself particularly, normally have a great amount of admiration for Mr. West's sagacity, analytical brain and wisdom, but we beg to differ today, Mr. Chairman. We beg to differ because of the way the item was introduced. Mr. West linked the two things together, the abolition and the establishment of the Commission, whereas on our agenda we have two separate items. We have 19.3 which is abolition and 19.4 which is establishment.
The reason we regret is that by linking them together you are more or less prejudging the issue. If you recollect, this issue was brought up before the Programme Committee, may be merely for information, but even there, members of the Committee very strongly suggested that the establishment of a new Commission should not be automatically linked with the abolition of another. We agree that if there are commissions that are not doing good work they should be abolished. We agree that there should be a dynamic approach towards the whole thing. We agree on all this but at the same time we insist that there should be no direct automatic link between the abolition of one and the establishment of another.
With your permission, Mr. Chairman, I would take you to paragraph 1.95 on page 12 of the document CL 82/11, where it is stated - and I will quote - "It was emphasized that the creation of a new commission should not automatically entail the abolition of an existing body and the Committee considered that the proposal to abolish the Farm Management Commission should be considered as a separate issue on its own merits."
We agreed with this recommendation and we, through you, suggest to the distinguished members of the Council looking at the issue on its own merits entirely. When we look at the issue on its own merit entirely, this Commission on Farm Management was established by the Regional Conference on the recommendation of the Asian Regional Conference. Unfortunately this has not been referred to the Asian Regional Conference and as the distinguished delegates from Indonesia and Malaysia pointed out, it is but appropriate that this issue should be taken back to that Conference, the views of the Conference obtained and brought back. That is not only this Farm Management Commission but the whole question of the commissions in the Asian region should be referred back to the Asian Regional Conference and they should be asked to study the whole issue in the same way it was done in the Near East Regional Conference held recently in Nicosia. And the result in the Near East Regional Conference was that the then existing commissions were reduced and merged into five, which was a very rational solution. It entailed economy and meant that those which were not doing good work were merged together. That was the recommendation of the Regional Conference. Initially we had suggested that this issue should be taken back to the Asian Regional Conference, not only the Farm Management Commission but the Asian Regional Conference may be asked to look at all the Commissions existing in the Regions and come back with.a more rational solution.
We therefore strongly urge that instead of taking a decision during this Council on the abolition of the Farm Management Commission, it should be referred back to the Regional Conference.
V. ISARANKURA (Thailand): Thailand has been a member of the Regional Commission on Farm Management for Asia and the Far East since its inception. My delegation would like to express our position on item 19.3 as follows: First, we agreed with the proposal made by the delegate from Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan that it is too early for this Council to make a decision in this Session. We also believe that any decision to abolish the Commission for any reason should be referred to the Regional Conference for consideration.
Secondly, we were unhappy when we learned from document CL 82/28 that if a Regional Commission on Food Security is established, the costs of the meeting will be met partly through the proposed abolition of the Regional Commission on Farm Management. This surprised us since at the Sixteenth Session of the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta of last June, we were informed by the Secretariat that FAO would allocate the existing funds for this new Commission; but no mention was made about the Regional Commission on Farm Management. Like the delegate of Pakistan, we understand that if we create a new Commission it does not mean the automatic abolition of the existing Commission, particularly as they deal with different matters and are not related to each other.
Thirdly, we also agree that we should examine further why only a few countries attended the last meeting of the Regional Commission on Farm Management. The poor attendance may be due to a lack of interesting topics or of qualified papers for discussion, or even insufficient allocation of funds. We do remember that occasionally we received regularly Farm Management notes from the FAO Regional Office at Bangkok.
Regarding the Asia and Far East Commission on Agricultural Statistics, my delegation has no objection to changing its title, but we are concerned that it may face problems like the Commission on Farm Management, in the future.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I am happy to withdraw any impression that I might have given that there was an automatic link and that one proposal depended on the other; that was not my intention. The two proposals stand in full on their merits and should be considered separately. All I wanted to do was to remind the Council that it is the Council which establishes and cancels statutory bodies. They may be influenced by recommendations of other bodies, but it is not they who have the responsibility for establishing or abolishing statutory bodies. It is a general function of the
Therefore, though the matter was not raised at the Regional Conference because we did not at that time know the occasion was to arise as soon as the Conference had taken the decision, we asked the Regional Representative himself, Mr. Puri, to tell us what regional body could be abolished, so as to keep the number of statutory bodies down, as this was his suggestion and it was put forward, purely because of the record; I repeat: it has nothing to do with the importance of the subject. The importance of the subject is recognized in other ways. It is entirely to do with the record, and the record does not stretch back just to one previous session but to the last 21 years. And even though this administration may have failed in the way suggested by some of the delegates to make the Commission interesting enough or sensational enough to attract delegates, other administrations lasting over 21 years must not have been guilty of the same fault; I believe that is for the rest of the debate to ponder.
T. AHMAD (Pakistan): We greatly appreciate the very lucid explanation given by Mr. West. Recognizing the fact that it is the Council which abolishes or establishes such Commissions, I -through you, Mr. Chairman - appealed earlier to the Council that instead of taking a decision now, the Council may, in its wisdom, decide to refer the matter back to the Regional Conference for Asia and the Far East; and not only, I suggest further, to examine the question of abolishing of this Commission on Farm Management but to rationalize the whole system of commissions in the region, so that instead of having commissions which may overlap and be of no use or be poorly attended it may be possible to merge, and get the Commissions together. I make the same appeal to Members of the Council.
CHAIRMAN: We will take this up as soon as we have heard all the delegations.
N. KISHORE (India): As it is a matter relating to a particular region, my delegation strongly supports the views of the delegates of Malaysia, Indonesia and Pakistan, that the question of abolition of the Regional Commission on Farm Management for Asia and the Far East should be first considered by the Regional Conference for the Far East. My delegation also feels that a review of other commissions and sub-commissions should also be undertaken simultaneously. However, for the present the Council may change the title of the Commission to read: FAO Regional Commission on Farm Management for Asia and the Pacific, so as to bring this in line with the Conference resolution adopted at the 20th Session of the Conference.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Las delegaciones están tratando conjuntamente los dos subtemas 19.3 y 19.4. Vamos a proceder así para facilitar la brevedad de nuestra intervención. Deseamos apoyar a nuestros colegas asiáticos en el sentido de que no se suprima la Comisión Regional sobre Administración Rural para Asia y el Lejano Oriente sin consultar previamente a los órganos competentes de la región.
Deseamos igualmente apoyar el establecimiento de una Comisión Regional de Seguridad Alimentaria para Asia y el Pacífico. Sobre este punto, intervenimos en nuestra condición de representantes de un país en desarrollo, perteneciente a una región distinta a la asiática, porque hemos sido siempre atraídos favorablemente por el interés que esa región ha concedido a la seguridad alimentaria, a la luz de acciones regionales y subregionales.
Sin duda, el caso de la CEAM sobre las 50 mil toneladas de arroz fue uno de los primeros pasos positivos. En este sentido, queríamos entonces relacionar un poco todo lo que se hace en Asia, y que repetimos tiene nuestro aprecio positivo, con lo que estamos empezando a hacer en America Latina. La FAO está asistiendo al Sistema Económico Latinoamericano, al SELA, en estas actividades subregio-nales y regionales de seguridad alimentaria. Hemos leído el documento 28, que contiene los objetivos de la Comisión que se propone para Asia y el Pacífico. Están después del párrafo 7 y están también en la parte dispositiva de la Resolución. Pensamos que la Secretaría puede encontrar en esos objetivos, elementos útiles que estimulen la colaboración de la FAO con el SELA.
En el documento de información 8, que contiene un resumen de las principales recomendaciones de las últimas Conferencias Regionales, se encuentra la referencia a la propuesta que hizo en la última Conferencia Regional para América Latina y el Caribe, celebrada en Managua, el Ministro de Agricultura de Nicaragua, y que recibió apoyo en términos generales; una propuesta dirigida a la Constitución de un Consejo de Seguridad Alimentaria Regional. Pensamos, repetimos, que los elementos que han expuesto los colegas asiáticos para fundamentar su solicitud, pueden ser útiles para intensificar la cooperación de la FAO con el Comité de Acción del SELA.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation welcomes all measures to improve food security, in particular those taken by developing countries. We are convinced that these efforts must be made at all levels, that is at the national, regional and global level. In this respect we also welcome better coordination and speeding-up of regional and sub-regional efforts to improve food security.
Nevertheless, my Government has certain doubts as to whether for this purpose it is really necessary to create regional commissions on food security, or whether the existing FAO and United Nations institutions will be sufficient. Irrespective of the considerations concerning the need for and usefulness of a regional commission on food security, there is the delicate question of costs which stems from the establishment of such a body, an issue to which also the delegate of France referred. We would welcome in this context the suggested abolition of the Regional Commission for Farm Management with a view to partly financing expenses for the proposed new commissions; but after hearing differing views on that issue, my delegation would support the suggestion - if it could be acceptable in particular to the Asian Member States of the Council - that the issue be referred, as proposed by Pakistan, to the FAO Regional Conference and that a thorough review be made about the whole picture of committees and commissions dealing with agriculture and agriculture-related problems such as food security.
CHAIRMAN: I might add before you speak if you are speaking on Item 19.4, we have not come to it. I hope you will restrict your comments because somehow some delegates have taken Item 19.3 and 19.4 together but we are now considering only 19.3.
M. KRIESBERG (United States of America): Let me just say that the United States has been privileged to participate in the Regional Conferences on Asia and the Pacific and quite traditionally we have followed the lead of our colleagues from the region in the past on most of the matters coming before the regional conferences so I might say that we took their lead also on the Commission which is under 19.4, but I will not discuss that at the moment. As it pertains, however, to the observations that have been made both in terms of the abolition of one commission and the reconsideration of another commission, I am disposed again to agree with a colleague of ours from Pakistan that it would perhaps be appropriate for the regional conference again to review the several commissions which are existent there, those that are effective, those that are useful at this juncture and those which may not be so and they then refer to this Council with their recommendations at an appropriate time.
I am mindful of the views expressed by Mr. West, not so much of linking a new one with an old one or an old with a new one, but the general concern of the Council at large that the renewal of allocation resources available to the FAO for all regions and for all purposes within the jurisdiction and concerns of this Organization. In that sense there is a linkage shall we say of different proposals for different commissions and their related activities and so let me simply urge that we would certainly support the views expressed by our colleague from Pakistan as a general referral and then come back to the Council as they wish to make their recommendations for this Council's action.
W.E. ADERO (Kenya): I wish to give my support to what the delegates of Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and others have stated in the object of abolishing the Farm Management Commission.
Ï wish now to elaborate on the role of farm management in rural development and the need to support it in all ways possible. We regret that the meetings of this Commission used not to take place regularly. However, as the delegate of Pakistan says there seems to be need to look at the whole question of commissions in that region. If this is the feeling of our colleagues from the region we support the suggestion that the region discussed this matter before it is brought to the Council.
CHAIRMAN: I take it from so far in the interventions, and in particular the comments of all Asian members, where there has been unanimity in their views, we conclude on this item as follows; first, agree that the change in the title on the Commission of Agricultural Statistics, that is to Asia and the Pacific Commission on Agricultural Statistics, everyone here is agreed we make this chanee. Number two. with reference to the proposal for abolition,of the Regional Commission for Asia and the Far East, the Council should defer its decision until the Regional Conference which will now be held, I presume, in the middle of 1984 until the Regional Conference has gone into this question as well as the entire question of the Commissions of that region in an integrated way. We seek the view of the Regional Conference in 1984 on the totality of all the commissions and an integrated recommendation, which commission should be retained, which commissions should be abolished and so on and I think that is the more rational way of doing it and I feel that if the Council has no objection, we accept this recommendation.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: One comment, in considering this suggestion I hope the delegate of Pakistan will now take a reverse position and agree with that review which he has proposed and which has found acceptance is not prejudicial to the next item.
CHAIRMAN: No, I think it is not necessary to intervene because I have not taken up the next item, I do not want now the discussion. 19.3 is under question and I have summarised the consensus.
W.A.F. GRABISCH(Germany, Federal Republic of): I agree. But as the two issues during the discussions were linked together I took the liberty to take them together and actually I felt that by your summing up the other point also was covered. We feel that this is some sort of package and that also this issue is of great importance and I had to say that we had certain doubts as to whether it was really necessary to establish such a new commission or whether the existing institutions would not already serve.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, but at the moment we are only considering the question of the Regional Commission on Farm Management for Asia and the Far East. We may take a similar view on the next item but I am not going to pre-judge what is going to happen, but at the moment the Asian delegates strongly feel, and I think this has been supported by other members, including the United States, that the decision be deferred on this item until the Regional Conference has considered this matter. The specific issue, as well as the overall issue of the number of commissions in that region, that they would like and so on, these are all the present limited issues which are under discussion.
P. ELMANOWSKY (France) : Je sais bien que nous discutons le 19.3 mais lors de la présentation par M. West, il y a eu le 19.3 et le 19.4 ensemble et c'est pour cela que je suis intervenu compte tenu de ce lien qui apparaissait à la lecture des documents, (je dis bien "à la lecture des documents") et je me souviens aussi, ayant participé à la Conférence de Jakarta., qu'il est exact, comme nos collègues ayant eux aussi participé à cette conférence l'ont dit, qu'on n'a pas abordé la question de la suppression de la Commission régionale sur la gestion des exploitations en Asie. Ceci n'a pas été abordé du tout. En revanche, comment faire pour ne pas interférer sur le point 19.4 compte tenu de ce qui a été dit à Jakarta à ce momejit-là. Le Secrétariat que nous questionnions sur le coût de la commission nouvellement créée, nous répondait : il n'y aura pas de problèmes. D'une part, nous avons la possibilité d'utiliser des crédits pour financer prochainement une réunion et secondo, a-t-il dit, pour le fonctionnement de la commission nous pourrons faire des économies sur d'autres points. Je suppose donc que cette réponse qui nous a été faite - vous la trouverez dans le rapport du comité technique de la Conférence régionale - laissait supposer que dans les économies on pensait peut-être à cette suppression. Si cette suppression n'intervient pas, l'économie ne se réalise pas et c'est cela qui m'amène à être obligé de dire ceci, il y a tout de même un lien qui se crée indirectement.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I am not going to anticipate the next item. I just want to answer the point about financing in relation to the hypothetical savings on the Farm Management Commission. It was hoped that by abolishing the Farm Management Commission we would be able to contribute something towards the cost of the new commission. If it is not to be abolished and we do not have any savings we will have to sacrifice some other lower priorities.
N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economie and Social Policy Department): As the Council will be aware the recent Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific in Jakarta invited the Director-General "to take the necessary steps to study a Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific within the existing legal and administrative framework of the Organization". The Director-General's proposals on this subject are contained in document CL 82/28 which is now before the members for consideration.
This Council will recall that the Conference Resolution 3/79 on the Plan of Action on World Food Security recommended that the governments in the regions vulnerable to food shortages should examine ways of strengthening their collective self-reliance. The Asian and Pacific area is, of course,
one of the regions most vulnerable to food insecurity. It is a very heavily populated region, food consumption levels are low and it is subjected to great overwhelming uncertainty. Progress in food production has been made in recent years, partly due to good weather conditions, but also reflecting the intensive efforts made by governments and farmers to improve yields and increase output. Some countries are even approaching self-sufficiency. However, the region as a whole remains a major net importing area of cereals and also remains highly vulnerable to natural and man-made disasters. The refugee problem has also created an additional food security hazard.
The Regional Conference discussed both these problems at both its 15th and 16th Sessions. It recognized that although cooperative ventures were taking place between some regional countries on and ad_ hoc basis, there was a lack of specialized forum at regional level to coordinate and promote such initiatives. It was also pointed out that opportunities existed for pooling the experiences of some countries in the region in pioneering sub-regional arrangements for food security, for example within the ASEAN framework, as well as the technical know-how and resources of developing countries in the region who are already actively contributing in this field. All this could be better drawn through the interchange of experiences in a regional forum. It was felt that a regional FAO commission could provide a vehicle for transmitting the special problems and requirements of the region to a global level for follow-up, perhaps through the Committee on Food Security. Conversely the existing programme at a global level needs to be applied more systematically at the regional level.
Finally, it could provide a focal point for considering the proposals of other regional bodies. In this connection it should be noted that ESCAP's Executive Secretary has recently stated that the proposal is a significant and constructive step. ESCAP has indicated that its own food supply study would form an input into the work of the proposed commission when established.
The Director-General, therefore, has proposed in the document before you that this new regional commission should be established by the Council under the authority invested in it by Article VI-1 of the Constitution. The costs should be met through the adjustment of the sources and the redeployment of the existing staff of the regional office from which the Secretariat would be designated. If the Council agrees to establish the new Food Security Commission it is intended to call its first session in the middle of 1983, I should add that the Programme Committee has been consulted on this matter and it generally supported the creation of such a regional Food Security Commission in Asia and the Pacific Region. The Programme Committee supported proposed deployment of resources from lower to higher priority activities.
Following the established practice, therefore, a draft resolution containing the statutes of the proposed commission and included in the Annex 2 of the document is before the Council for its consideration.
H. CARANDANG (Philippines): The regional conference has unanimously endorsed the establishment of a Regional Commission for Food Security for Asia and the Pacific.
The members of the region I believe are the best judges of their own needs. As explained earlier by the members of the Secretariat the establishment of this Commission is not necessarily connected with the abolition of the other commission which has been discussed previously. The Philippines delegation therefore wholeheartedly supports the establishment of this Commission in accordance with the Resolution indicated in document CL 82/2, page 4, Resolution 82/1, and hopes that the other Members of the Council will support this endorsement.
T. AHMAD (Pakistan): After the very excellent and articulate introduction by Professor Nurul Islam there is very little for me to say, but the fact that Professor Islam in his introduction has very ably brought out and highlighted all the issues and problems which require the setting up of this Regional Commission on Food Security. It is indeed true that the Asian Region is a region with multitudes of people who are still vulnerable to food shortages and malnourishment. It is also true that there are a number of countries in the region who have been making efforts in the agricultural development and have achieved some progress, but it is still true that there are a number of countries in the region where millions of people are still dependent on the vagaries of the weather. One bad harvest, one bad flood, one bad drought would render their vulnerability very open. It is therefore true that the region does need such a Commission, and since the Regional Commission in Jakarta has fully recommended this and it has been endorsed by the Programme Committee we appeal to the members of the Council that this Commission should be established.
N. KISHORE (India): The Prime Minister of India in her McDougall Memorial Lecture at the last Conference gave the message of achieving self reliance through collective and collaborative action. The aims and objectives of the proposed Regional Commission for Asia and the Pacific are in consonance with the message of our Prime Minister and its terms of reference are laudable and unexceptionable.
My delegation has supported the proposal to establish a Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific at the Regional Conference held in Indonesia this year. At this Conference my delegation also fully supported the establishment of the Commission with the terms of reference contained in the proposed resolution in Annex 2 of document CL 82/28.
My delegation is optimistic that the Commission will be able to establish stable and vital food security in the region.
AMIDJONO MARTOSUWIRYO (Indonesia): First I would like to thank Dr Nurul Islam for his excellent introduction. Last week the Council discussed in depth the report of the Committee on World Food Security which is closely linked with the item under discussion now. From the deliberations last week we may infer that international society in the developing countries still has to work hard to improve food security at global, regional and country level. Much has been said about action that must be taken in the field directed towards increasing food production, building food stocks, and the right distribution, so as to reach the needy people.
It is not my intention to deal extensively with the consideration which has been made. It is for the countries of the region to decide on the desirability for the abolition of commissions, since the relevant information is adequately presented in the document, particularly in the preamble to Resolution 82/1 on the establishment of a Regional Commission for Food Security for Asia and the Pacific, as contained in Annex 1. This being the case, my delegation would like to limit itself to emphasize on the significance of food security in the region, which is the home of hundreds of millions of people, representing a very substantial part of the population of the world.
Food security would help to create stability in the region. It would also pave the way for further economic development and a spirit of mutual hope, especially in the days of food scarcities and emergencies.
We now have a draft resolution of the Council on the establishment of a Regional Commission for Food Security for Asia and the Pacific and my delegation hopes that the Council can approve the establishment of this Commission.
P. ELMANOWSKY (France): Ma delegation a été parmi celles qui ont approuvé à Jakarta la résolution prise par la conférence régionale en vue de demander la création de cette commission sur la sécurité alimentaire pour l'Asie du Sud-Est.
Nous ne revenons pas sur cet accord mais je suis obligé de reprendre la question que j'avais posée tout à l'heure indirectement sur le 19.3. Etant donné que certaines économies ont disparu comment va-t-on les compenser et comment va-t-on financer correctement cette nouvelle commission, compte tenu de ce qui nous avait été déclaré à Jakarta? Il y a une partie de la réponse dans le paragraphe 12 du document CL 82/28 où l'on parle de 150 000 dollars qui seront certainement pris sur le budget normal de l'Organisation. Pour le reste, on dit au paragraphe 13 que "les autres coûts de la réunion seront financés en partie par les ressources économisées grâce à l'abolition..." et en partie "grâce à un ajustement des ressources (principalement dans le domaine général de la sécurité alimentaire)". J'aimerais bien avoir une précision sur ces économies.
W.A. COCHRANE (New Zealand): New Zealand has a very strong interest in all effective measures aimed at enhancing food security in the Asian and Pacific Region. Our interest is naturally also very much focussed on our close neighbours, the Pacific Island States. While the people of the South-West : Pacific have relatively high nutritional levels per capita, there are serious problems with respect to ensuring adequate food supplies for the future. All these countries are large net importers of food. For most there are few possibilities available for substantially increasing exports to pay for rising food imports, while the scope for replacing imports with domestic food production is limited by many other factors and a lack of arable land. There are other difficulties too.
It is not entirely clear from the documentation what precise activities in food security might be undertaken to meet the specific needs of the South Pacific countries. But should it be agreed to establish the proposed regional commission we would expect that these needs would not be overlooked.
Turning to the proposal before us, we would note the recommendatory function of the proposed commission and the need to ensure that any new regional institution should of course be closely coordinated with the efforts of other existing international and regional organizations engaged in food problems. The purpose should of course be to minimize duplication of effort to the greatest possible extent. We welcome a specific reference to this matter in the draft council resolution.
The FAO Regional Conference in June recommended that the commission be established within FAO's existing legal and administrative framework.
As regards funding, our understanding has been that all the required finances would be found from existing resources under the Regular Budget and from savings.
The Deputy Director-General's concluding remarks under the preceding item have addressed the question of savings. But we take it that our basic understanding remains correct and we are accordingly happy to support the proposal.
A. NAGA (Japan): My delegation would like to thank the Secretariat for having well prepared document CL 82/28. As you know, many developing countries in Asia and the Pacific Region are rapidly increasing cereal demand because of population increase and income growth. On the other hand, their cereal production growth rate barely keeps equal to or is marginally ahead of population. The infrastructure for production and for food losses also calls for food security. In these circumstances Japan recognizes the necessity for strengthening food security in the region and supported the resolution for the establishment of a Regional Commission on Food Security at the last regional conference for Asia and the Pacific. At the same time my delegation requested the Commission to seek thorough cooperation with ESCAP and other relevant organizations to avoid duplication of efforts. In this sense my delegation appreciates the recent meeting between the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Director of ESCAP. My delegation supports the draft council resolution on the establishment of a Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific.
Before I conclude I would like to make a brief comment on the Programme linkage between two issues under item 19. Although I would like to support the proposal by the Secretariat on the abolition of the Regional Commission for Farm Management for Asia and the Far East, at the same time I think that there is no linkage between the two issues,
S. HASAN AHMAD (Bangladesh): I compliment Professor Islam for giving us an excellent introduction with a comprehensive brief on the current status of the proposed Regional Commission for Food Security for Asia and the Pacific.
As far as Bangladesh is concerned we have already signified our endorsement to the setting up of such a Commission through the deliberations in the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific held last June in Jakarta, when the issue was debated and deliberated at some length. That Conference adopted the resolution in question unanimously. We were a willing partner in the adoption of that resolution and it fully reflected our concern for having such a commission based on our appreciation of facts. We are accordingly in full support of the proposed resolution.
We are delighted to see from paragraph 10 of document CL 82/28 that ESCAP as the regional body has also fully endorsed and welcomed the recommendation of the regional conference as a significant and constructive step, pledging its support for the work of the proposed commission. In this connexion we also appreciate the recent meeting of understanding between the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Secretary of ESCAP. My delegation congratulates ESCAP for their cooperation and assurance of help.
We would like to suggest that the establishment of such a commission or the evolution of some such concrete arrangement to strengthen the food security of the region is long overdue. Through our discussions on the state of food and agriculture we have had occasion to say that increase of agricultural production, important as it is as a national objective to be self-reliant and to attain food security at the national level, is by itself not enough to ensure food security globally. Today production is at a reasonably satisfactory level. Nations are striving to achieve even higher rates of growth. The world as a whole is not short of food now, and considered as a whole production might remain ahead of the requirement to feed all the people. Nevertheless that by itself is not going to ensure food for all. As we have heard Professor Islam say in his introductory remarks, the Asian and Pacific Region as a whole remains a food deficit area. To ensure food security in the true sense of the term action is needed at global, regional and national levels. At the global and national levels things have got off to a fairly good start, but at the regional level so far initiative has comparatively been the weakest and hence the urgent need for reinforced measures to augment and strengthen food security and related measures at the regional level.
It is now our firm view that creation of a specialized regional forum as the proposed Commission would immensely help harness technical information, exchange of experience, promotion of regional food security efforts and encourage coordinated action and implementation of global security in the light of regional needs. At the sub-regional level in this Region, there is an excellent example of cooperation among the Asean countries, and the concept can be expanded to cover the region. We therefore wholeheartedly support the adoption of the Council Resolution for the establishment of the Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific, including the adoption of the Draft Statutes-proposed in Annex 2 of document CL 82/28, and congratulate the Director-General of FAO for the very expeditious step he has taken in honouring the wishes of the Member Countries of the Asian and Pacific Regions, as expressed through Resolution No. 82/1 adopted in the last Regional Conference.
M. KRIESBERG (United States of America): I welcome the opportunity to address item 19.4 at this time. As our delegations have said on other occasions, the United States takes very seriously efforts by countries to improve their individual and collective food security. We have long encouraged other countries to maintain food reserve systems with stocks of basic grains. Hence, our delegation at the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific earlier this year concurred in the Resolution which calls for the establishment of a Regional Commission on Food Security for the area.
I should remind the Council, however, that the U.S. delegation then and now does have some concern about budgetary impact, if any, of the Commission and its operations. We are, however, pleased at the kinds of reassurances we have had from the Secretariat, from the Director-General himself at the Regional Conferences and this late afternoon from his Deputy as to the importance of seeking to offset new programmes of higher priority with the lessening of resources or the abolition of programmes of lower authority. It is our understanding, then, on this matter, as expressed by the Secretariat, and in part embodied in the documents we are looking at at this time, that costs for establishing and operating the Commission during the current biennium will be met within existing budget levels and with personnel at the Regional Office or currently working on related FAO activities in Rome or in the field, and if the Commission is involved in special field activities that these costs would be borne by voluntary contributions.
As we agree upon the establishment of another FAO body, our delegation would welcome more information on how the Commission and its work would be related to other FAO activities and bodies. For example, how will the Commission relate in its work with FAO's Food Security Assistance Scheme, which is now a well-established and functioning body of this Organization? Also, will FAO's Committee on Food Security receive reports on the Commission, and will the Committee on Food Security, which is a committee of this body, have any oversight over the new Commission and its work? Or would this Council, acting on behalf of the Organization as a whole, provide any oversight or any guidance for the Commission as it goes about its activities?
As I say, we support the Resolution involved for the creation of the Food Security Commission for Asia and Pacific, but we do have these questions which we would appreciate comment on by the Secretariat.
L. ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): Nuestra delegación quiere expresamente apoyar la creación de la Comisión Regional para la Seguridad Alimentaria para Asia y el Pacífico, de acuerdo con los términos en que fue aprobado por la Conferencia de Yakarta. Nuestro único interés es apoyar una medida que puede ayudar a esta región a enfrentar los graves problemas alimentarios.
RADIN SOENARNO (Malaysia): It seems the paper CL 82/28 is very clear and pinpointed further by the excellent introduction of Professor Islam. I have no further remarks to add except to say that in view of the importance of food security issues in the Region and the practical role that the proposed Commission will play in enhancing the efforts for improving the food security situation in Asia and the Pacific, my delegation fully supports the proposal for the setting up of the Commission and requests the Director-General of FAO to implement it as soon as possible. We are looking forward to playing our role in the Commission.
P. GOSSELIN (Canada): We have been listening with much interest to a number of delegates applaud the establishment of a Regional Commission for Food Security in Asia and the Pacific. Canada is a country of the Pacific rim and therefore is deeply interested in the future of that Region. My delegation applauds the objective of food security for Asia and the Pacific but would have hoped that it could have been obtained without creating yet another body. In this context I would echo the concerns raised by the Federal Republic of Germany.
We understand that some research on the question has been carried out in the region, mainly by ESCAP, and that such research is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 1983. Under the circumstances, it would in our view have been preferable to wait until governments in the Region had had the opportunity to study the results of that research before deciding whether a specialized commission was really required. However, if in the wisdom of this Council and certainly as we have heard from the Members of the Region, such a Commission is established,we would like to echo the concerns and the wishes of some of our other colleagues who have mentioned the question of financing and would also like to join with them in applauding the Secretariat in their assurances that the establishment of such a Commission would not entail any new expenditure of resources but rather a redeployment.
Finally, I would like to join with New Zealand in requesting that assurances from or an enjoinment to the Secretariat be made that mention of the need for cooperation among existing bodies in the Region on the question of food security appear in the minutes.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): In order to be brief, I will refrain from restating what I have already said under 19.3 of our agenda on the issue before us.
Now, having listened to the clarification given by the Deputy Director-General saying that some other lower priorities would have to be sacrificed, we assume that the funding for the supposed Commission would be done by redeployment of resources out of the share normally allocated to the Region concerned from the regular budget.
Y.A. HAMDI (Egypt) (original language Arabic): I simply wanted to say that my delegation is in favour of the establishment of a Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific because I think there is an ever-increasing need for the setting up of such a Commission. It would make it possible to define basic policies as well as determine measures necessary for the implementation of food security strategies for the countries in the Region. I think this Commission could also be an example for other regions to follow.
S.Z, KHAN (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific): I am indeed grateful for having this opportunity to speaks. Since ESCAP was mentioned we should make a statement to this august body. In the mid-1970's, the Asia-Pacific region contained 69 percent of the world's malnourished population, and by 1980 their number had increased beyond the 300 million mark. In spite of good production gains in the recent past, per capita food consumption in many low-income food-deficit countries of the Region has not substantially improved compared to the situation of the late 1960's.
At the same time, under the dynamic leadership and guidance of the Director-General of FAO, Dr. Edouard Saouma, FAO initiatives generated a world-wide consciousness regarding food security. A number of significant plans and programmes were launched to strengthen world food security.
The food scenario of the current decade is different from what it was earlier. The use of the abundant North American stocks and food aid has declined. The conscious thrust towards national self-sufficiency has led to residual imports. Three categories — traditional, occasional and high-quality rice-exporting countries — have emerged in Asia. Some low-income food deficit countries have narrowed the food gap by imported wheat in spite of marked preference for rice.
A few countries have graduated to middle-income status and thus face fewer problems in obtaining needed food imports. The changing food scenario seems to offer better prospects for reducing food insecurities through collective action. There is an increasing realization in the region of the possibility of collective action for reducing the vulnerability of low-income, food deficit countries to large scale harvest failures; achieving more orderly food import and export arrangements; and, increasing the flow of investment in order to spur domestic food and agricultural production. The first such successful collective action, as the Council is well aware, is the ASEAN Food Security Reserve.
At the regional level, the concern of the member countries of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) with persistent food problems was expressed at the 37th Session of the Commission in 1981, when it directed the Secretariat to prepare a special study on food supply in the Asia-Pacific Region. Early this year the 38th Session of the Commission discussed food supply as the theme topic. Subsequently, pursuant to a Commission Resolution, feasibility studies are being done by the Secretariat keeping in view FAO's global plan of action and other programmes of relevant international agencies.
The 16th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific, as the Council is well aware, held in Jakarta in June of this year devoted special attention to the food security issues of the region. The positive outcome of the regional conference was the call for the establishment of a specialised forum to deal with the food security problem on a comprehensive and sustained basis. The Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Mr. S.A.M.S. Kibria, welcomed this development at the ECOSOC session in July this year as a "significant and constructive step". He further stated that ESCAP's food supply study would serve as an input to the work of the proposed Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific.
Working in close harmony with other United Nations bodies and specialised agencies has been the cornerstone of ESCAP's policy. In pursuance of this policy the Executive Secretary of ESCAP recently met and held discussions with the Director-General of FAO in Rome, and it was agreed that the existing close collaboration between FAO and ESCAP will be further enhanced through strengthening the joint review process and frequent mutual consultations. The Executive Secretary reiterated ESCAP's intention to complement, in any way deemed suitable and appropriate, the FAO's efforts in respect of the Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, delegate for ESCAP, for this very useful statement.
N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I would like to answer a few questions which were raised in the course of the debate. First, the question of financing. As it has been stated earlier, and also in the document, I can repeat that the question of financing of the Commission was discussed at length at the Regional Conference. It was explained that the cost would be met by the adjustment of resources and redeployment of the existing staff, and the savings which might have been obtained from the abolition of any other Commission would now be obtained from savings from other items of expenditure with lower priority, as the Deputy Director-General explained a while ago.
A question was asked about the South Pacific countries - how would this Commission deal with their problems? As you can see from the resolution itself, Mr. Chairman, this Commission is open to all Member Nations in Asia and the Pacific in territories in the Asian and Pacific Region, and it is expected that the Commission would consider the regional and sub-regional food security problem, including various sub-regional groups. It is open to the Member Nations of the Organization coming from any particular sub-region to bring their problem to the attention of the regional commission and have it as an item for discussion or examination.
A question had been asked about the relationship of the proposed Commission with the FAO Council and the Committee on Food Security. I draw attention to paragraph 4 of the Resolution itself. It says: "The Director-General shall bring to the attention of the Conference through the Council any recommendations adopted by the Commission which have policy implications or which affect the Programme or finances of the Organization." As far as the Committee on Food Security is concerned, it goes on to say: "The Director-General shall also bring the recommendations of the Commission to the attention of the Committee on World Food Security."
Naturally it will be a two-way flow. The Director-General would also keep the new Commission informed about the recommendations of the Commission on Food Security which are relevant for the region.
Questions were also asked about the relationship with the Commission of other programmes of FAO dealing with food security. I again draw the attention of the members to the Resolution, Section 2, terms of reference (d). It says that the Commission should "make a continuing assessment of the food security assistance requirements of developing countries in the Region" and "recommend ways of mobilizing the necessary resources within the framework of the FAO special action programmes, including the Food Security Assistance Scheme and the Action Programme for the Prevention of Food Losses, as well as through other relevant multilateral and bilateral programmes".
On the question of cooperation with other bodies, I again refer to the Resolution itself, Section 7, paragraph (b). It says: "The Commission shall seek the full cooperation of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and other international organizations concerned including UNCTAD, WFC, WFP, IBRD, IFAD, ADB and APFC with a view to ensuring their active participation in the work of the Commission, and thereby harmonising activities carried out by various agencies in the Region, and avoiding duplication of efforts."
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Professor Islam. I think it is clear there has been overwhelming support to the idea of looking at problems in a more desegregated way, and that this initiative will form a useful step in terms of discussing global food security problems in a much more meaningful manner.
I think obviously national food security is the first block, then regional consideration, and finally, global consideration, which is a more logical way of doing things in such a complex and unequal world that we live in.
I am glad Professor Islam drew attention to the fact that although global reserves may be satis-factory, in this region we are considering where there are 300 million people who are malnourished; and anyone who lives in that region or goes to rural areas will know too well the state of undernutrition, calory depletion, and malnutrition of various kinds.
I would like to suggest to Professor Islam a small addition to the Resolution under Item 4, Reporting. I would suggest: "The Director-General shall also bring the recommendations of the Commission to the attention of the Committee on World Food Security and the Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific." I think it is implied, but it is important that under Reporting it is the Regional Conference which should consider more the conclusions on the state of the Commission than a general conference, because after all that is a diverse view. So I would like that to be properly incorporated, giving importance to this.
Shall we then, in view of the clarifications of Professor Islam, launch this new Commission? It is a particularly important initiative. And should we say that the funds should be found in the way that has been described by the realignment of priorities and voluntary contributions and so on?
We approve this resolution, and approve the creation of this Regional Commission on Food Security for Asia and the Pacific. I want to thank Professor Islam and all the contributors.
It was so decided
Il en est ainsi decide
Asi se acuerda
The meeting rose at 17.40 hours
La séance est levée à 17 h 40
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.40 horas