M. MOMBOULI (Congo): En abordant l’exaraen du point 8 de l’ordre du jour consacré au neuvième rapport du CPA dont est saisi notre Conseil à travers le document CL 86/9, permettez-nous d’abord d’exprimer à M. Ingram, Directeur exécutif du PAM, les vives felicitations de la délégation congolaise pour son brillant expose liminaire. Par ailleurs, nous remercions M. Régnier pour les reflexions premieres qu’il a bien voulu nous livrer sur le sujet, antéríeurement,, aux débats.
Ceci étant fait, venons-en au vif du sujet. Notre délégation a examine avec toute l’attention qu’il méritait ce neuvième rapport du CPA au Conseil,comité dont notre pays est membre. D’emblée nous appuyons d’une manière générale ce rapport dont nous sommes du reste solidaires des autres membres du CPA. C’est d’ailleurs pourquoi à ce haut niveau des organes supérieurs du PAM nous tenions à vous faire part de ce qui suit: nous nous réjouissons de ce que 80 pour cent environ des engagements du PAM aient été affectés aux pays à faible revenu et. à deficit vivrier car nous considérons cette attitude du PAM comme étant conforme au mandat à lui confié par la communauté internationale.
Notre délégation estime pour sa part que le niveau. de plus de 1,5 million de tonnes des expeditions d’aide alimentaire aux projets de développement et des operations d’urgence atteint par le PAM est encourageant mais, eu égard aux besoins de plus en plus élevés des pays touches par la crise alimentaire, nous invitons les différents donateurs à se dépasser dans leurs efforts à l’aide alimentaire. Notre délégation sait gré au Secretariat du PAM et à tout son personnel pour les efforts spéciaux et mesures spéciales consentis en 1983 par le PAM à la resolution de la situation de crise alimentaire de l’Afrique subsaharienne.
Dans ce même ordre d’idées nous exprimons notre satisfaction au PAM pour avoir réagi avec vigueur aux besoins d’aide d’urgence aux réfugiés de par le monde. Notre délégation saisit l’occasion que lui offrent les présentes assises de notre Conseil pour remercier solennellement les différents donateurs qui, dans un elan de solidarité spontané, ont annoncé des contributions de leurs gouvernements aux ressources du PAM lors de la Conference des contributions qui s’est tenue le 6 mars 1983 à New York.
Notre délégation nourrit l’espoir que grace aux contributions de tous les donateurs potentiels l’objectif de 1,35 milliard nécessaire pour les activités du PAM pour son exercice 1985-86 será atteint.
Notre délégation a apprécié vivement l’initiative, heureuse du gouvernement des Pays-Bas qui a abouti a l’organisation avec le PAM en octobre 1983 à La Haye du séminaire sur l’experience du PAM et sur les principes de l’aide alimentaire. C’est un bon exemple de cooperation entre le PAM et les gouvernements de ces pays membres, exemple qui mérite d’etre suivi par d’autres gouvernements membres de notre programme. Que l’aide alimentaire soit une partie intégrante de l’assistance au développement tant que les pays bénéficiaires n’auront pas atteint l’autosuffisance alimentaire, voilà la signification veritable que nous souhaitons de tout coeur que le PAM donne à l’aide qu’il apporte à ceux qui en ont besoin. L’aide doit s’intégrer au plan de développement national des pays bénéficiaires dans le cadre de strategies visant la sécurité alimentaire. Le PAM doit promouvoir davantage les projets de développement plus que tout autre projet pour prévenir les crises alimentaires cycliques enregistrées dans les pays en développement. Nous engageons le PAM à presenter, dans un programme à venir, le résultat de sa reflexion sur la notion de droit à la nourriture pour tout être humain ainsi que les applications que lui inspire le fruit de cette réflexion.
La fonction de coordination de l’aide issue de sources diverses, voilà aussi une preoccupation non des moindres tant des gouvernements donateurs que de ceux bénéficiaires. Ce faisant, nous continuons à croire que pour être suivie d’effets bénéfiques cette fonction doit relever de la compétence des gouvernements bénéficiaires auprès desquels les fonctionnaires du PAM doivent prêter un concours utile.
De même, dans ses transactions d’achat d’aliments destines à l’aide nous continuons à insister pour que le PAM veille autant que faire se peut, à ce que ses preferences se portent vers les opérations triangulaires tout en respectant les habitudes alimentaires locales.
Nous aimerions disposer de données chiffrées précises à ce sujet au cours des prochaines sessions: formation du personnel de terrain et du personnel correspondant du gouvernement bénéficiaire, voilà aussi un volet qui doit continuer à occuper une bonne place dans les preoccupations du PAM.
Notre délégation note non sans regret que certains pays continuent à s’opposer à l’idée visant le relèvement de l’objectif de l’aide alimentaire de 10 millions de tonnes à 20 millions de tonnes de céréales alors que le besoin alimentaire des pays touches par la crise est de plus en plus important.
Nous espérons que les pays précités pourront réviser leur position et se montrer plus coopératifs à ce sujet. Nous insistons pour que le PAM continue à accorder de plus en plus d’attention au rôle des femmes dans ces programmes d’aide. Il est hautement regrettable que les situations d’urgence inhérentes aux catastrophes imputables à l’action de l’homme restent encore importantes. A l’oppose, il est heureux de constater qu’en 1983 la part de la sollicitation du concours du PAM pour les cas d’opérations d’urgence pour les sécheresses ait baissé; que 89 pour cent de l’aide ait été acheminé par le canal multilatéral du PAM, voilà qui est encourageant pour les pays victimes de la faim. De même la participation de l’Argentine et de la Colombie, tous deux pays en développement, membres du Groupe des 77 à la RAIU, quand on sait qu’ils font eux-mêmes face à d’énormes difficultés, témoigne de leur esprit de haute solidarité avec les plus démunis.
Avant de terminer nous souhaitons obtenir quelques précisions suivantes du Secrétariat. Concernant les opérations de transport le Secrétariat du PAM nous donne au paragraphe 67 quelques indications sur l’usage des navires des pays en développement. Le Secrétariat peut-il nous assurer, à conditions similaires à celles offertes par les pays développés, si toutes les disponibilités des pays en développement ont été exploitées? Si oui,quelles sont les données qui seraient disponibles à ce sujet?
Toujours à propos des dépenses effectuées au sujet des opérations de transport, nous notons avec satisfaction que le coût total par tonne expédiée a encore diminué. Le Secrétariat peut-il nous donner davantage d’explications sur les facteurs ayant contribué à cet heureux résultat?
Enfin, ainsi que l’ont déjà souligné les autres déclarations qui nous ont précédé, pour les prochaines sessions il serait souhaitable que le Secrétariat du PAM nous donne quelques indications sur les efforts déployés par lui pour accélérer le rythme de ces livraisons aux victimes des crises alimentaires.
A. EL SARKI (Egypt) (Original Language Arabic): In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Allow me to start my statement by congratulating Mr Ingram, the Executive Director of the Programme, for his simplified but precise introduction to document CL 86/9. I would also like to thank Dr Saouma and Mr Ingram for the constructive and continuous efforts that they have undertaken to combat poverty and hunger in the various parts of the world. Especially I would like to thank them for the special interest they have shown for the problems prevailing in Ethiopia and a number of other African countries. I would also like to thank them for their continued efforts to draw the attention of international organizations in the United Nations system and of other fora to the help needed to save the lives of the citizens of these countries.
My country’s delegation, after having reviewed paragraphs 3 to 9 and 54 to 56 about commitments to the Programme and its undertakings, wishes to express its satisfaction with the level of commitments. After having reviewed paragraph 15 of the document and paragraphs 60 and 61, on the Programme’s purchases, we fully support the policy undertaken by the Programme to achieve triangular transactions, as this is beneficial to developing countries and helps the Programme to reduce handling and storage costs.
The success in achieving maximum efficiency from any programme depends on the training of the personnel in charge of such programmes. Thus we urge the programme to provide training facilities to its own staff or to national staff members in the framework of food aid projects. We welcome the training seminar to be held in Egypt which is to be attended by the trainees of the Programme and other trainees in implementation and follow-up of food aid projects and we will provide it with all facilities. Women in Egypt play a major role in the agricultural sector and in food security. The major role for the implementation of a number of agricultural activities falls on the woman’s shoulders. She is also responsible for her fair share of social duties. Therefore we thank the Programme for its continuous efforts to support the role of women and urge it to provide further help.
At the end of my country’s statement I wish this Programme full success. It is a Programme that has been active in Egypt since 1963. We also wish to express our appreciation for the food aid that was extended to Egypt as it has had a great effect on development in my country.
A.M. QURESHI (Pakistan): First I would like to thank the Executive Director of the World Food Programme for his comprehensive presentation of the Ninth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes bearing on its Seventeenth session held in May/June 1984. I would also like to thank Mr Regnier for his very clear and succinct introduction of the subject.
We are one of the oldest members of the CFA. It is a matter of great satisfaction to us to see that the World Food Programme over the years has grown to be one of the largest sources of assistance, apart from the World Bank group, within the UN system.
We are happy to note that the World Food Programme continues to do an excellent job in alleviating hunger from various parts of the world. Eighty percent of the aid is going to the low-income food-deficit countries and the resources are presently reported by the document that we have, CL 86/9, at $696 million and we are encouraged to note from the Executive Director’s statement this morning that they will exceed $1 billion this year. We express our confident hope that the administrative structure which has been approved in the 1984/85 budget will help to strengthen the Secretariat to be more effective in responding to the growing needs of the developing countries.
Pakistan is one of the important beneficiaries of the emergency assistance being funnelled by the UN/FAO World Food Programme and we deeply appreciate the food aid to a total of 2.2 million Afghan refugees in 1983, although their number has swelled to over 3 million now.
I would like to join the distinguished Ambassador of India in commenting on the timelag between the time that emergency assistance is sanctioned, and when it reaches the community. I understand that food aid should expeditiously reach the people who need it - that is the rationale behind emergency assistance. So may we know a little more about the steps being taken to improve upon this situation.
I would also like to refer to paragraph 43 of the report which shows that manmade disasters have declined from 69 percent in 1982 to 54 percent in 1983, although I believe there has been no decline in disasters, because the world has been lurching from one disaster to another. So how has this percentage gone down? Has the figure been taken off of other headings? I would like some explanation on that.
We would also like to express our appreciation of the triangular transactions being undertaken by the WFP, and hope that not only will these transactions be continued, but that they will be encouraged.
I would refer to paragraph 23 of the report regarding food aid and training, and emphasize briefly the importance and key role of training in national and community development, of course with special emphasis on the training of women.
Further, we would like to support the suggestion of the Secretariat on the diversification of supplies for increasing the nutritional value of food to the recipients. Lastly, we would like to lend our full support to the Director-General, and agree that the target for the IEFR should be increased from 500,000 tonnes to 2 million tonnes. We fully endorse the Ninth Annual Report of the CFA which has been presented to the Council.
A.Y. BUKHARI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of) (Original Language Arabic): This report now before us was submitted during the Seventeenth session of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes in the form of a draft report. We all know full well that many of the points raised by a number of members of the CFA were first raised when the report was submitted to the Committee. Those points undoubtedly were important ones and were under consideration. The report now before us does not contain any changes as compared to the draft report submitted to the Committee. This either means that those points raised by the members of the Committee at the time were not taken into account, or that time was not sufficient for the Programme to prepare another document or another report that would take into account those points.
We have listened very carefully and attentively to those important points raised here in the Council about this report. These points were raised by those speakers who preceded me. As this report is always submitted to higher authorities and bodies for approval and adoption, I reiterate my request that these important points be taken into account by the Programme, and that the next report, that is to say, the Tenth report, be clearer and more precise than the present one.
In order not to waste the time of this Council, I will not raise many of the points mentioned by previous speakers. I would like to express my support, for example, for what was said by the distinguished delegate of Lebanon and the distinguished Ambassador of India. They both raised very important points which we should very carefully examine. In my opinion, these points should be fully taken into account by the Programme. I mean by this, for example, those points dealing with commodity purchases, or those dealing with development aid, the diversification of development projects and the drop in the share of these projects over the last three years. These points require
clarification from the Programme, clarification as to the reasons which have led to this. I would also like to know what are the policies or measures adopted by the Programme to correct or overcome obstacles and difficulties which have impeded its path. Such a général policy adopted by the Programme must be very clearly stated in the report. As I said earlier, this report is submitted to higher authorities apart from this distinguished Council for discussion.
If I may, I wish to add an important point to those raised by my other colleagues, a point dealing with transport and other related activities. Paragraph 67 states that the percentage of tonnage carried by developing country vessels amounts to 11 percent, while ships owned by developing countries represent 17 percent of the number of vessels used. Such a percentage is a very low one. We have drawn the attention of the Programme to the need to increase the percentage of use of vessels belonging to developing countries. There may be some reason for not using vessels flying the flags of developing countries, but in such an annual report the Programme ought to make those reasons clear to us.
We also need to know whether the Programme has made any attempt to increase this percentage of vessels belonging to developing countries. We believe, Sir, that it is logical that an explanation and reason for this be given in the next report, in addition to the other points raised. The reason is that this is a very important and vital subject. As I said earlier, the CFA has repeatedly requested the Programme to increase its use of vessels belonging to developing countries. The remaining 83 percent means that the vessels were owned by developed countries or which were flying the flag of developed countries, so I hope the Tenth report will clearly and comprehensively state the identity of those ships used, or which are currently being used, and the country of which the flag is flown or the authority or organization to which such a vessel belongs.
We would also like the next report to contain a reference to the amount of expenditure on transport of shipments by vessels flying the flag of developing countries, that is to say, the cost carried by the 17 percent of the ships used. We would like to know the amount of expenditure on the use of vessels belonging to non-developing countries.
The last point I wish to raise is in the form of a question addressed to the Programme. Does the transport of food shipments constitute the entire responsibility of the Programme, or does FAO have any share of this responsibility? This is a very important point. Is the Programme entitled to or does it have the liberty of concluding contracts for shipments, or does FAO have the right to intervene in this subject? Those are the comments I wish to make, and I thank you for your kind attention.
WU CHAOLIN (China) (Original Language Chinese): The Ninth Annual report submitted to the present session of the Council and the introduction made this morning by Mr Ingram, Executive Director of WFP, has shown the state of food aid in 1983, and has given a summary of the implementation of policies and programmes of food aid last year. This enables us to have information on WFP activities and contributes to the intensification of cooperation between WFP and beneficiary countries in order to improve food aid in the future.
During the last year, WFP has carried out a good deal of work on the definition and implementation of food aid policies and programmes. It has made a useful contribution to emergency food aid, particularly in Africa, and to the support of efforts by low-income food deficit developing countries in order to increase their food production and their level of food self sufficiency. Since 1979, the Chinese Government has developed and intensified cooperation with WFP. China is a very large country. It is also a developing country of the Third World. Its agricultural production has considerable imbalances between the different regions. At the moment people in certain mountainous regions and far off pastoral regions are experiencing considerable difficulties in food production and living conditions.
The projects we have carried out and those which are being implemented with WFP food aid have played a positive role in transforming these low-income food-deficit regions by using the agricultural resources and by the improvement of the standard of living of the people. In the future, we shall continue to give our support to WFP activities to strengthen and develop cooperation with it.
M. GIFFORD (Canada): Most of us here are either professional agriculturalists or development specialists. The thread that binds us together is our mutual appreciation of the importance of agriculture and economic development and our belief in a multilateral system. One of the most concrete manifestations of this common bond was the establishment of the World Food Programme in the early 1960s. Since that time, we have seen the Programme grow from a small experimental programme to its present size. As the distinguished delegate from Pakistan mentioned earlier, it is now the largest single source of multilateral agricultural development assistance outside the World Bank.
With respect to the question of the relationship between FAO and the WFP, I will simply say that the Canadian delegation fully supports the views expressed by the Indian Ambassador and others this morning.
M. ABDELHADI (Tunisie): Ma délégation voudrait remercier vivement M. Ingram, Directeur exécutif, pour son excellente introduction de ce matin au document CL 86/9 qui est soumis à la réflexion du Conseil. Je voudrais également remercier M. Régnier pour les commentaires pertinents qu’il a développés ce matin sur le sujet qui le préoccupe. Ma délégation a examiné attentivement ce document très intéressant du Comité des politiques et programmes d’aide alimentaire. Les activités du Programme y sont relatées d’une façon claire, ce qui a permis de saisir l’extrême importance du Programme comme instrument du développement pour les pays en développement et moyens efficaces d’acheminement d’aide d’urgence, surtout dans les conjonctures défavorables que nous connaissons dans plusieurs pays africains subsahariens.
Nous sommes heureux de constater que l’année 1983 a été pour le PAM une année riche en activités diverses, une année record puisque les engagements, en faveur des projets de développement et des opérations d’urgence,ont atteint le montant important de 896 millions de dollars correspondant à un volume d’aide de 1,5 million de tonnes d’aliments. A cet égard, les efforts spéciaux consentis par le PAM en faveur des pays sinistrés dans les zones subsahariennes sont considérables et ils méritent les encouragements du Conseil. Qu’il me soit permis à cet égard d’exprimer les vifs remerciements de ma délégation au PAM pour les résultats positifs obtenus en 1983 par le Programme et soutenus par la FAO; mes remerciements sont également adressés aux pays donateurs qui ont contribué efficacement à renflouer les ressources du PAM à un moment crucial de la vie de plusieurs pays touchés par les calamités naturelles et autres facteurs défavorables, freinant un minimum de production agricole et alimentaire.
Il est tout à fait normal que le PAM, dont les activités ont fortement été développées ces dernières années, dispose de moyens appropriés lui permettant de répondre sans retard aux exigences d’une situation alimentaire évolutive, qualifiée de critique et de dramatique, et de répondre aussi normalement aux sollicitations des pays membres pour une assistance dans leurs projets de développement.
Ma délégation soutient en consequence les demandes du Directeur exécutif en vue d’étoffer dans des proportions raisonnables le personnel du PAM. Je tiens toutefois à noter avec satisfaction que le rapport mentionne dans son paragraphe 8 “que les frais de soutien administratif technique et opérationnel” ont diminué en 1983. Je suis convaincu que ces moyens budgétaires nouveaux permettront au PAM de pallier les quelques insuffisances exposées par certaines délégations qui m’ont précédé ce matin et tout à l’heure (je pense notamment au Liban, à l’Inde, à l’Arabie saoudite), notamment insuffisance en matière de durée des approvisionnements. Il semble à cet égard que la durée moyenne des approvisionnements serait passée de 60 à 77 jours comme l’a précisé le représentant de l’Inde ce matin; des doubles emplois ont été soulevés (également par le représentant de l’Inde) ainsi que la synchronisation et la coordination des approvisionnements avec les pays concernés, de même que l’augmentation des volumes de fret au profit des pays en voie de développement, problème soulevé tout à l’heure par l’Arabie saoudite.
L’année 1983 a été pour le PAM une année importante. C’est l’année pendant laquelle a été célébré partout dans le monde le vingtième anniversaire du PAM, célébré aussi bien au niveau national, régional qu’international; le terme proposé par la FAO pour cette célébration - à savoir la sécurité alimentaire - a été le centre d’ntérêt adopté par plusieurs pays qui ont voulu souligner la nécessité de donner un contenu à la notion de sécurité alimentaire mondiale en mettant l’accent sur le problème économique de l’accés des pays défavorisés aux ressources alimentaires.
Par ailleurs, l’année 1983 a été également l’occasion pour mon pays de présenter son expérience en matière d’utilisation de l’aide alimentaire. A cet égard je suis heureux de noter les bonnes relations de coopération fructueuse qui existent entre la Tunisie et le PAM. Les multiples projets de développement, exécutes depuis plusieurs années ou en cours d’exécution, ont revêtu différents aspects allant de l’aide au petit agriculteur, au développement de l’arboriculture, à la conservation des eaux et des sols, à la protection des bassins versants, à la lutte contre l’érosion des sols, etc. Les résultats positifs obtenus par mon pays ont fait de l’expérience tunisienne un exemple plein d’enseignements sur la bonne utilisation de l’aide alimentaire aux fins du développement.
L. GANSORE (Burkina Faso): La délégation de mon pays tient tout d’abord à remercier le Directeur exécutif du PAM pour la présentation claire et concise du document CL 86/9 consacré aux activités du PAM. Mon pays qui a pris part aux travaux de la dix-septième session du CPA estime que ce document contient des éléments fort utiles, et nous tenons à féliciter la FAO et le PAM qui ont su, et qui devront plus que jamais, mettre en commun leurs efforts pour venir en aide aux populations affectées par les catastrophes de tout genre. Mon pays appuie surtout les conclusions et les propositions de ce rapport, et notamment celles relatives aux mesures destinées à la formation en milieu rural. Nous appuyons également les efforts faits en faveur des pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier, particulièrement le contenu des paragraphes 50 et 76.
Au cours des débats sur ce point, des réflexions ont été faites par les uns et les autres. Nous souhaitons que ces réflexions puissent servir de source d’inspiration à l’elaboration d’un programme d’action destiné à soulager les populations.
A.K. OSUBAN (Uganda): My delegation wishes to join the other delegations which have congratulated the Executive Director on his lucid presentation of this item. We would also like to applaud the entire Secretariat for the most impressive development of the World Food Programme in its twenty years of existence. The response of a record number of countries at the pledging conference early this year in New York is a clear demonstration of the confidence that the donors and beneficiaries attribute to the activities of the World Food Programme. My delegation would like, to put on record its appreciation for the emphasis being given by WFP to the sub-Saharan region which region has been engulfed by an unprecedented drought for almost ten successive years. The drought that has swept across the continent is believed to be the worst in a century and has decimated human life, lifestock and food crops, forcing nations to spend their meagre and scarce resources for food imports. The quick response of WFP and the entire world community is highly commendable.
Secondly, we welcome the emphasis placed on assistance to agricultural and rural development projects as reflected in paragraph 23. This is in line with the objectives that food aid should be used to encourage increased food production domestically. We are very much aware that food aid is a necessary evil. We do not want to be dependent on food aid either on a bilateral or a multilateral basis entirely. The main objective of food aid apart from providing relief in emergencies should be to release the resources for utilisation in development activities. We therefore appreciate WFP’s orientation of programmes towards agricultural production and rural development.
Finally, on the question of food aid targets, we are informed in paragraph 17 that WFP and FAO Secretariats had estimated cereal requirements to be just over 20 million tons a year by 1985. Regrettably, we are informed in paragraph 18 that the Committee did not come to any agreement on the increase in the target of 10 million tons. My delegation is of the view that in the light of the present disasters, an estimate of cereal aid requirements of 20 million, tons is more likely to be the correct one. We would therefore urge the Council to request the Committee to review this issue of raising cereal aid targets.
Finally, I wish on behalf of my delegation to thank the World Food Programme for the substantial assistance which my country has received from it. In conclusion, my delegation supports this report.
A. RODRIGUES PIRES (Cap-Vert): Tout d’abord, je tiens à associer ma voix au reste des délégations qui m’ont précéde pour remercier M. Ingram, Directeur exécutif du PAM, pour la présentation du rapport annuel du Comité des politiques et programmes d’aide alimentaire, document CL 86/9.
Je voudrais également remercier le représentant du Directeur général à la FAO de son intervention faite ce matin sur le document.
Je commencerai mon intervention en commentant le paragraphe 40 du chapitre 4, intitulé “opérations d’urgence’. Effectivement, en 1983, comme il a été d’ailleurs très bien dit dans le rapport, le Programme alimentaire mondial a engagé 200 millions de dollars pour fournir 577 000 tonnes de vivres dans le cadre de 68 opérations d’urgence dans 38 pays (y compris les rallonges accordées pour un certain nombre d’operations approuvées antérieurement). On peut dire que jamais les engagements pour les opérations d’urgence n’avaient atteint ce niveau. Toutefois, à notre avis, nous pensons qu’il serait utile de revoir les rubriques globales, et par région; je dis bien par région. Il serait utile également de connaître le temps qui s’est écoulé entre le moment où les pays ont adressé leur requête d’une part, et d’autre part le moment où la décision sur la requête a été prise, les vivres effectivement distribuées sur le terrain, les opérations terminées, car il s’agit bien là d’opérations dites d’urgence.
En ce qui concerne les projets, notre délégation pense que l’evaluation des projets est fondamentale, c’est-à-dire que nous aurions souhaité que dans ce rapport il y ait des informations concernant les résultats des projets terminés en 1980. En d’autres termes nous souhaiterions qu’une analyse concrète de la performance des projets figure à l’avenir dans ce type de rapport.
Pour ce qui est du paragraphe 65 du chapitre 6, notre délégation aurait souhaité savoir combien sur les 1 905 000 tonnes de produits expédiés proviennent des réserves régulières, et combien sont expédiées pour le compte des donateurs bilatéraux. De même, nous pensons qu’il faut pouvoir acheter autant que possible des denrées locales dans les pays du tiers monde.
A cet égard, une analyse plus détaillée des achats et moyens financiers dont le Programme dispose pour ses achats, aurait été extrêmement utile à ce Conseil. Il faut absolument diversifier, je dis bien, le panier alimentaire. Notre délégation demande au PAM d’utiliser davantage les flottes des pays du tiers monde pour effectuer les transports maritimes de vivres entre ces pays. Je tiens à appuyer pleinement l’intervention de l’ambassadeur de l’Arabie saoudite sur ces propos.
Pour terminer nous voulons affirmer que selon notre experience, l’aide alimentaire doit être intégrée au développement et elle doit être intégrée aussi étroitement que possible dans les plans de développement des pays bénéficiaires, comme l’a si bien dit ce matin le représentant du Directeur de la FAO. C’est pour cela que nous pensons qu’une programmation exacte par pays de l’aide alimentaire est importante pour assurer l’intégration de cette aide dans le cadre des plans nationaux de développement en tenant compte des situations spécifiques qui prévalent dans chaque pays. De même nous pensons que les futurs rapports de ce type devront tenir compte également des éventuels effets négatifs que l’aide alimentaire peut avoir pour le système de production nationale.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia reitera su apoyo al Programa Mundial de Alimentos. A ese respecto, declaramos que nos produjo singular complacencia la primera parte de la Declaración de Canadá, país amigo ligado al nuestro, Colombía, por importantes vínculos de cooperación, amistad y simpatía. Sinceramente compartimos la profesión de fe que se ha hecho en favor de la cooperación multilateral, seguros de que ese importante país, alto contribuyente del PMA, seguirá apoyando la función multilateral del Programa sin condicionamientos ni limitaciones.
Nos complace que la celebración del vigésimo aniversario del Programa haya coincidido con el más alto nivel de asignaciones para el desarrollo en toda la historia de este organismo.
Es satisfactorio registrar el hecho de que el PMA haya logrado esa posición destacada con el apoyo de Naciones Unidas y FAO, dentro del actual adecuado marco de cooperación.
El párrafo 5 habla de la participación del PMA en el Grupo Mixto de Acción con la FAO. Desearíamos que esa cooperación FAO/PMA se mantuviera, se incrementara y se reforzara en pleno entendimiento y con mutua cooperación en todos los aspectos comunes a las dos Organizaciones.
Todo esfuerzo de la FAO y del PMA, en conjunto, debe estar dirigido al mejor servicio a los países beneficiarios. A la delegación de Colombia le complace que los recursos del Programa sigan aumentando. Sin embargo, el objetivo de 1.350 millones para el bienio 1985-86, que nos había entusiasmado y que fue recibido con una relativa simpatía en la Conferencia de Promesas de Nueva York, parece que no se va a alcanzar, como lo declaró esta mañana el Señor Director Ejecutivo. Esperamos que en algún bienio, como no ha sucedido nunca hasta ahora, se logre alcanzar la totalidad del objetivo de las promesas.
Decimos esto porque el párrafo 54 indica que para el bienio 1983-84, de los 1 200 millones de dólares fijados, solo se han alcanzado el 82 por ciento. Por el contrario, la RAIE ha avanzado en condiciones satisfactorias.
Estamos agradecidos al distinguido colega, amigo y vecino de la derecha, el representante del Congo, quien señaló el párrafo 56 en el cual se hace referenda a dos países en desarrollo que, por primera vez, han contribuido a la RAIE: Argentina y Colombia. Como lo dijo nuestro colega del Congo, esa esa es una demostración de muestra voluntad hacia la buena cooperación internacional.
Sobre la distribución regional, el dato según el cual el 10 por ciento, el más bajo entre todos, corresponde a América Latina y el Caribe, seguramente obedece a las características y condiciones de nuestra región. Sin embargo, algunos países de América Latina y el Caribe aún necesitan ayuda alimentaria, sobre todo para proyectos de desarrollo y alimentos por trabajo.
Por lo tanto, dentro de las prioridades del PMA que apoyamos, en cuanto a los países menos desarrolladosy con más graves déficits de alimentos, convendría que, en el futuro, se considerara la posibilidad de identificar y preparar proyectos para aquellos países de otras regiones que aún necesitan asistencia alimentaria.
En relación con las “operaciones de urgencia”, la parte referente a América Latina y el Caribe, merece nuestro apoyo; particularmente los desplazados en la América Central necesitan seguir recibiendo asistencia, así como los países damnificados por calamidades naturales. A ese respecto, y en nombre del gobierno de Colombia, deseo agradecer a los señores Saouma, Director General de la FAO y al señor Ingram, Director Ejecutivo del PMA, la oportuna y eficaz asistencia que hace poco más de una semana vienen ofreciendo a algunos sectores de la población colombiana afectada por las recientes inundaciones.
Sobre compra de productos, ya el colega Embajador de Cabo Verde y otros, han hecho alguna referencia a fin de seguir explorando todas las posibilidades para que las compras se hagan en lo posible en países en desarrollo. La transacción triangular financiada por donantes bilaterales son importantes y producen beneficios a todos los países en desarrollo involucrados. Lamentamos que las compras bilaterales y las financiadas por Organizaciones de Naciones Unidas hayan descendido en un 24 por ciento en 1983 en relación con 1982.
Sobre el transporte, compartimos plenamente lo que ha dicho nuestro colega y amigo el Embajador Bukhari, de Arabia Saudita, quien con lujo de competencia presidió presidió el CPA durante el año 1982, de manera que él conoce muy bien esa situación.
Se nos dice en el párrafo 67 que los países en desarrollo transportaron el 11 por ciento, y que ese porcentaje representa el 17 por ciento en número de barcos utilizados; pero no se hace comparación con los años anteriores. Desearíamos saber si son inferiores o superiores a los del año 1982. Tenemos la impresión de que en años anteriores estos porcentajes eran màs altos y, como nos dijo el señor Bukhari, el CPA había experimentado un incremento.
Finalmente, y una vez màs Señor Presidente, en tono mesurado, cordial, de respeto, pero firme, la delegación de Colombia desea referirse a la distribución geográfica del personal del PMA, a la cual aludió nuestro común amigo Abdel-Malek del Líbano. El párrafo 8 del documento habla de la propuesta aprobada en el 16º período de sesiones del CPA, sobre aumento del personal, pero no se agrega ningún dato màs. Quisiéramos pedirle al Director Ejecutivo con todo respeto que cumpla su propósito de equilibrar esa situación que es desfavorable a los países en desarrollo. Cuando se discutió el considerable aumento de personal en el 16º período de sesiones del CPA, se nos dijo que ese aumento del personal facilitaría el balance de la situación, pero entendemos que no se ha logrado.
Sobre este asunto de personal seguiremos con toda atención y con permanente vigilancia la situación, y agradeceríamos al Director Ejecutivo que cuando lo considere oportuno se nos informe por los medios que considere convenientes.
Finalmente, apoyamos con toda simpatía la declaración del colega y amigo Abdel-Malek, del Líbano.
B. H. DJIBRIL (Benin): Mon intervention sera assez brève compte tenu du retard déjà accusé par le Conseil dans son travail de séance. La délégation de la République populaire du Bénin a attentivement pris connaissance du document CL 86/9 qui fait présentement l'objet de nos délibérations. Ce rapport précis et concis mérite les félicitations que nous adressons à M. Ingram et également à M. Régnier pour ses commentaires pertinents.
Ma délégation fait siennes les observations d'ordre général faites par la délégation de la République populaire du Congo. Par ailleurs. comme l’a déjà fait remarquer le délégué du Liban, nous aimerions avoir des informations sur la politique que le PAM a l’intention de suivre à l’avenir à la lumière des actions entreprises en 1983.
Nous avons également note le manque d’informations sur les difficultés rencontrées et les moyens qui ont été mis en oeuvre pour y pallier. Le rapport ne dit pas non plus si les objectifs ont été atteints ou non ; il ne parle pas des pourcentages de réalisation, des goulots d'étranglement, pour ne citer que ces quelques points.
Par ailleurs, ma délégation se félicite du fait que le PAM s’intéresse aux pays à faible revenu et à déficit alimentaire mais il serait intéressé aussi de connaître si cette aide a été jugée adéquate, opportune par les pays récipiendaires c'est-à-dire si l'aide arrive à ces pays au moment où il faut en tenant compte des habitudes alimentaires.
Ma délégation soutient sans réserve les objectifs de 20 millions de tonnes comme cible à atteindre en matière d'aide céréalière.
En ce qui concerne le chapitre 6 relatif au transport et activités connexes, ma délégation fait siennes les observations de l'Ambassadeur de l'Arabie saoudite et souhaiterait avoir des informations sur les points ainsi soulevés.
Pour terminer, ma délégation voudrait saisir cette occasion pour remercier le PAM et la FAO d’avoir apporté une aide substantielle à mon pays en 1983 au moment critique. Nos remerelements vont également aux différents pays donateurs et spécialement à l'Argentine et à la Colombie, deux pays en développement qui ont su donner l'exemple de la solidarité Internationale.
REAZ RAHMAN (Bangladesh) : We welcome the report which is now before us of the CFA. It is concise and factual and its eight sections have comprehensively reviewed the activities undertaken by the programme. We have noticed with satisfaction the highlights that were elaborated today by Mr Ingram. The WFP is no longer an experiment; it has celebrated its Twentieth Anniversary and it has come into its own as the largest multilateral source of assistance short of the World Bank.
We note also with satisfaction that it reached the highest level of development commitments in its history in 1983, and that in 1984 this is expected to rise further by 20 percent. The vast size of its operations entailed in its shipping 1.5 million tonnes is proof of its growth.
We have noted the efforts that have been directed towards alleviating the worsening crisis in Africa, and WFP’s entry into the field long before the present crisis or climax.
We welcome the emphasis placed on the recognition of the imperative reality that food aid must of necessity be regarded as an integral and continuing part of development assistance until these countries have achieved self-sufficiency.
An important rider to this is that food aid must contribute towards national development and ultimately to self-reliance through linkage of food aid with national development.
We are happy also to note many of the innovative organizational approaches that have been initiated by the Executive Director, the review of selected national experience of individual countries which has proved to be of such beneficial use to the CFA.
The emphasis on food aid and training, particularly the role and participation of women, steps to improve the design, monitoring and management of the projects, the composition of carefully selected food baskets, the organized classification of development and projects in terms to achieve their developmental objectives, whether they be agricultural or rural development or the improvement of human resources. We have seen in this report the regional distribution trends. We have seen the categorization of development assistance according to the functions of food, and also the categorization in accordance with the beneficiaries, all of which have given us a much clearer picture of the direction of the Programme.
More important, we would like to commend the Executive Director for the concerted efforts to expand food aid on a multilateral basis, and we hope that his efforts will lead to the accomplishment of the target for the pledge for the 1985/86 biennium.
Mr Chairman, in commending and welcoming the growth of the Programme, we are conscious that there will always be room for improvement inherent in the very process of evolution. The touchstone of the Programme's success is ultimately linked to the usefulness of food aid as a catalyst in overall development. We are fully cognizant of the complexities involved, the variegated circumstances affecting not only groups of countries but each and every individual country.
It is in this connection that we welcome the constructive suggestions raised by Mr Regnier, the Director of the Office for Inter-agency Affairs, when he elaborated on four important aspects in the progressive evolution of the Programme, the stress of integrating food aid into the national development process, particularly measures to strengthen programming to the reinforcing of the cycle of projects; the need for closer examination of the food baskets with a view to diversification so as not to adversely affect established dietary habits, the steps to overcome the growing liquidity problems and its more effective use of cash in terms of purchasing policies, division of services, transport and logistic needs.
Bangladesh for obvious reasons has a vital if not imperative stake in the working of the FAO Council and the CFA and has a corresponding obligation to participate actively in this work. We recognise, along with the Director-General of the FAO, the complementarity of the objectives of FAO and CFA, and the essentiality of FAO's support for the Programme's success. We therefore express our fullest confidence that the Director-General of the FAO, in the very affirmation of this integral link, will indeed take into account all the views expressed by all the governments in consolidating and furthering the progress already achieved by the WFP and the FAO in maximizing food aid to developing countries.
F.J. FERNANDEZ DE ANA MAGAN (España) : Voy a ser muy breve, quiero simplemente, en relación con el apartado 7 del documento en estudio, informar al Director Ejecutivo del PMA, señor Ingram, que el gobierno español está dispuesto a mantener los compromisos adquiridos con el Convenio de Ayuda Alimentaria Mundial y la RAIE. Al primero de estos Organismos, España aporta una cantidad de 20 000 toneladas anuales y, al segundo, 10 000 toneladas de trigo y 200 000 dólares en
efectivo. De la aportación en alimentos de los últimos cuatro años, el 80 por ciento ban sido enviados por el PMA a países de Africa. En estos días se está llevando a cabo el embarque de 5 000 toneladas de trigo con destino a Etiopía.
Por último, mi delegación quiere unirse al llamamiento del ilustre Embajador de Colombia para que el PMA no olvide las necesidades puntuales de Latinoamérica.
ASSEFA YILAIA (Ethiopia): The Ethiopian delegation would like to congratulate and thank the Executive Director, Mr Ingram, for the excellent presentation of the Ninth Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes. The importance of WFP and all other sources of assistance for supplementing food shortages and its contribution to the development efforts of the recipient countries is immense.
Ethiopia is benefiting in WFP’s Food for Work project and settlement projects. The emergency operations are of great significance to the continuous drought that affects a major portion of the country at present. The development projects in forestry development, soil and water conservations, construction of access roads to rural areas, training of personnel and the target operation is gaining recognition, and it is a commendable effort.
At this point we would like to indicate that the critical food shortage created by the severe drought in the 1984 cropping season will require the attention of all. Almost all of WFP’s assistance programmes are playing very important roles in the long-term development projects and supplementing food shortages at the same time. These will continue to function because they will contribute to the long-term solutions of food problem in Ethiopia.
The present situation in Ethiopia is an emergency situation that will require an emergency response to which WFP has already responded and will continue to respond.
The emergency situation that we observe in Ethiopia today was revealed through the press and at a number of UN organizational meetings, among these the most recent, the IFAD in Paris, the CFA meeting in Rome and the Council meeting at present. The situation is very tragic and should be considered as the worst blow.
Finally, I would like to express our thanks for the substantial amount of assistance that WFP is providing to Ethiopia.
N.H. PASINI (Argentina) : Agradecemos la presentación realizada esta mañana por el Director Ejecutivo del Programa Mundial de Alimentos y por el señor Regnier referente al 9° Informe Anual del Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria.
Paso brevemente a señalar la posición de mi delegación sobre este importante tema de la agenda. En primer lugar, deseo reiterar, como ya lo hiciéramos en distintos foros, nuestro conveneimiento de que la ayuda alimentaria debe ser considerada como parte integrante y continuada de la cooperación para el desarrollo. Precisamente por ello es que tal programa requiere de un diálogo permanente entre donantes y beneficiarios a fin de que la cooperación se integre de forma màs racional dentro de los objetivos y estrategias alimentarias nacionales.
Favorecemos también que se eleve el objetivo global de los 20 millones de toneladas sugeridos en el Noveno Informe. La situación de emergencia alimentaria que se vive en varias regiones del mundo y, muy particularmente en la de Africa, demuestran que el objetivo fijado con anterioridad no responde, lamentablemente, a las necesidades reales.
Asimismo debe tenerse en cuenta que la ayuda alimentaria debe constituir un instrumento de la comunidad internacional no sólo para enfrentarse a las catástrofes, sino principalmente para coadyuvar en las soluciones de los problemas estructurales que afectan a los países en desarrollo con déficits crónicos.
Por otra parte, vemos con agrado en el párrafo 15 del Informe que el Programa Mundial de Alimentos continúa realizando algunas operaciones triangulares. Confiamos que las mismas se amplíen sensiblemente en un futuro cercano, y debo decir que mi delegación comparte plenamente lo señalado por el señor Régnier en su presentación, en el sentido de que también se utilicen los fondos del Programa Ordinario para las adquisiciones de países en desarrollo.
Reiteramos lo dicho anteriormente en el sentido de que se amplíe la canasta de alimentos que componen la ayuda alimentaria adecuándola a los hábitos alimentarios de las poblaciones beneficiarias y a la capacidad real de producirlos localmente.
Por último, nuestra delegación quiere uhirse a aquellas delegaciones que han manifestado su preocupación por la falta de una presencia equitativa del personal en la Secretaría del Programa proveniente de países en desarrollo, y particularmente de América Latina. No es ésta la primera oportunidad que nuestra delegación se refiere a este aspecto y, desafortunadamente, debemos reiterar esa preocupación nuevamente ya que entendemos no se han adoptado las medidas correctivas del caso.
El Programa Mundial de Alimentos cumple una misión muy importante canalizando la ayuda a quienes màs la necesitan; merece nuestro total respaldo y puedo asegurarles que mi país continuará canalizando un alto porcentaje del total de sus contribuciones a la ayuda alimentaria a través de este Programa.
H. HØSTMARK (Norway): On behalf of the Nordic countries my delegation welcomes the document in front of us and appreciates the introduction given to it by the Executive Director of the World Food Programme. In view of the late hour I find it impossible to go into the document in the detail that it deserves. I must heed your wish in this respect..
The Nordic Governments have followed with interest the progress of the World Food Programme since its inception as a small working operation 20 years ago until today it has grown into the largest channel of aid in the UN system apart from the World Bank. We supported this important work and we will continue to support it. We particularly appreciate that 80 percent of its volume goes to the low-income food-deficit countries and we wish this trend to continue.
We also appreciate the focussing on Africa as a continent that has had more than its share of misfortunes. We also wish this trend to continue in the present situation.
We support the concept of triangular transaction but we find here a practical difficulty to see how the Programme could devote much more of its regular resources to this, as the way we see it these resources are tied to the transport phase of the food that is otherwise given to the Programme.
A difficult problem concerning food aid is to combine it with long-term development, a concept that we are very much interested in and almost wedded to. Many delegations here have already stressed this question. But we welcome the efforts that the Programme has made to solve this question, and we understand the difficulties of this task, which is of paramount importance, especially for developing countries, but it is also important to those of us who believe that development is a common concern, a common task, for all countries. These difficulties make it even more necessary to at least not have administrative difficulties hindering the efficient operation of the Programme. That is why we note with appreciation the statement of the Director-General at the opening of our Council session and also the remarks of the Executive Director concerning the same matter, that a Task Force has been established to look at and to propose solutions to these difficulties.
As far as the Nordic countries’point of view is concerned I need only refer to the statement of my Minister speaking to this Council session on Tuesday morning in a major statement on behalf of the Nordic Governments.
H. WETZEL (Germany, Federal Republic of): First I would like to thank the Executive Director of the World Food Programme for the clear and comprehensive introduction to this agenda item.
The delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany would like to make some brief comments. The World Food Programme did reach in 1983 a volume which it never reached so far. After the World Bank group it has become the largest development assistance resource within the UN system. This can be taken as evidence that the Programme and the work of its Secretariat are highly estimated by the donor community. My Government got the impression that the World Food Programme does its best efforts to fulfil its task in a concrete and pragmatic way. The Programme deserves our continuing support in order to enable it to use scarce resources in the most efficient way. To this end, the relatively small Secretariat of the World Food Programme must be enabled to concentrate all its capacities and energies on its important tasks, which include the implementation of the decisions of the CFA. Furthermore, it is necessary to secure good cooperation and mutual respect within the family of international organizations with the aim of optimizing the achievements of the UN system as a whole. Only under these conditions we can be sure that international cooperation will get that support which it deserves.
It has to be stressed that the work of the Programme is not confined to a single sector. Quite the contrary, the Programme is entitled to and in a position to contribute to development efforts in nearly every sector. The Programme has to explore innovative ways to integrate food aid into other forms of development cooperations. In this context we welcome the cooperation of the Programme with UNICEF, which is a UN organization with a multi-sectoral character as well. We welcome too the increasing cooperation of the Programme with the World Bank and other international financing institutions. Cooperation with NGOs can have a positive effect on the work in the field as well as on public opinion in donor countries.
Coming back to the statistics offered to us in the annual report 1983 I want briefly to comment on the activities of the Programme to low-income countries, in particular in sub-Saharan Africa. My Government as the third largest donor for Africa welcomes the high priority which the Programme attaches to this continent, notwithstanding the fact that it seems unavoidable that the bulk of the activities has to serve emergency operations, at least for the very near future.
I. MINTCHEV (Bulgaria): Let me congratulate that staff of the World Food Programme on 20-year-long work in managing and distributing the Programme’s funds in the developing countries. The small number of staff, highly efficient and for the most part enthusiastic and dedicated, have greatly contributed to the good name of the Programme and have made significant efforts aimed at satisfying the needs of many countries of the world in terms of food production.
My delegation has studied document CL 86/9, presented for the attention of Council members, which reflects the work of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme. Our country does not take part in the World Food Programme but follows both its activities and results with attention. It appears to us that the universal character of the UN system, in which the WFP plays an important role, there is universality and justice in the actions undertaken with regard to all participating states. In this vein we will continue to follow the Programme's operation with attention and interest and will try to coordinate our bilateral aid programmes where by concurrence of circumstances projects of WFP are under way, so that the recipient country could utilize the resources provided by us in the most effective way.
In this connection, we fully support the activities of the Director-General of FAO for the technical backstopping of the activity of WFP and its efforts for just, efficient, and according to the real needs distribution of the emergency food aid.
May I express once more the conviction that the WFP will continue in the future to operate in collaboration with FAO in keeping the hope of millions of desperate people all over the world that there always will be the helping hand of international solidarity when they need help in cases of emergency.
T. KITLELI (Lesotho): My delegation would like to join those who have expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Executive Director of WFP, Mr Ingram, for a well balanced document. Undoubtedly this subject of the agenda is one of the most important to us because it touches on a commodity which life is dependent on, which is food.
My delegation wishes to reflect on the following points. Our governments have development plans varying from village, district, regional and national. It is gratifying to see that in food aid policies and programmes there is provision for this. It could have been an enormous error if that was left out. My delegation strongly believes that self-sufficiency can be obtained in close collaboration and coordination with the programmes. Paragraphs 11 and 12 clearly spell out this idea.
The next item to which my delegation would like to pay attention has been addressed in numerous fora. I believe it would not be a waste of time if I took it up again. This is training, or to be most appropriate the human resource development in its widest context. Training can be organized for all levels of people. What my delegation would like to solicit is that there are existing institutions of excellence in all continents. It would be a question of strengthening their capabilities so that they can operate at their most efficiency, I am tempted to say that more often women are forgotten when preparing such training programmes and yet they form the most important segment of the community in contributing towards food production.
Therefore my delegation would like to echo the idea of training women, as the idea appears in paragraphs 23 and 24 of this document.
On the basis of the available information in document CL 86/9 it is observed that this Programme is increasing in leaps and bounds, especially in those developmental areas. Hence this calls for an increase in the original target of cereal food aid which is to be 20 million tonnes by the year 1985. My delegation believes that this idea has to be supported.
One area which requires great attention is the development of dairy projects. As we all know, this enterprise takes a long time before returns are noticed, but with proper management the project is economically viable. My delegation therefore supports the notion of committing certain funds to national dairy projects. This will riot only step up the economy or generate income but it will also provide products which are of high nutritional value to human beings.
Although I mention this last it is not that its importance is less. This is overland transport which appears in paragraph 70 of the same document. Low-income food-deficit countries mostly do not have the capability to transport the commodities from where the donors deposit them to the needy people in the rural areas. The tendency is that such aid is left in stores which are not adequate and this results in wastage. My delegation wants to make a humble plea to the UN agencies and to WFP to look into this matter very seriously.
Once again we fully support this document and agree with all constructive contributions made this morning and this afternoon.
G.M. AHMED (Sudan) (Original language Arabic): We have reviewed the Ninth Annual Report submitted by the CFA to the Economic and Social Council and the Council of FAO. We join all the previous speakers in thanking the Executive Director for this report. We commend the Programme and FAO for the efforts that they have undertaken to meet emergency needs. We thank the donor countries who have increased the aid provided through the Programme. However, we do hope that a special policy will be undertaken to face problems of drought and desertification in Africa. These problems are complicated ones and require coordination with other authorities. They require increased aid and a programme more able to combat the continued drought. The affected countries must be helped to adopt those development policies that take into account this hazard.
Finally, we support the questions and comments made by the delegates of Saudi Arabia and Lebanon and we hope that we will soon have answers from the Secretariat and receive further clarification in the next report.
ANDRE CRAVID (Sao Tomé-et-Principe): La délégation de Sao Tomé-et-Principe voudrait avant tout féliciter M. Ingram, Directeur exécutif, pour l'excellent exposé sur la situation du PAM. Notre délégation a eu l'occasion de lire les documents qui nous ont été soumis, notamment le CL 86/9 concernant les politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire et nous voudrions manifester notre accord avec leur contenu, en particulier pour ce qui est des paragraphes 11 et 15 qui disent que l'aide alimentaire devrait faire partie intégrante et continue de l'assistance au développement national pour permettre aux pays bénéficiaires d'atteindre l'autosuffisance alimentaire et que les opérations exécutées par le PAM devraient aussi avoir un caractère triangulaire et ces transactions pourraient être plus nombreuses à l'avenir. De même nous voudrions manifester notre accord au paragraphe 23 sur l'importance de l'aide alimentaire dans le rôle de la formation aussi bien dans le domaine non agricole qu'en agriculture. Sao Tomé-et-Principe a subi dans les dernières années une sécheresse qui a provoqué une baisse aussi bien des cultures d'exportation, en particulier le cacao que dans les cultures vivrières, ce qui a diminué la capacité du pays à importer les biens de consummation. C'est pour cela que le pays a soumis au PAM un projet d'aide alimentaire destiné aux travailleurs des entreprises agricoles et de projets de développement en cours, avec pour objectif de stimuler à une augmentation de la production et de la productivité. Notre délégation souligne l'importance et l'impact de ce projet pour le développement national, en particulier dans le domaine agricole et souhaiterait voir leur exécution pratique dès que possible. Pour terminer, notre délégation voudrait réitérer son appui au PAM dans son activité pour l'avenir.
M. YOSHII (Japan): First of all, I would like to thank Mr Ingram for his excellent presentation of the agenda item. Since 1963 the WFP has been steadily developing as a leading international agency for implementing food aid to assist developing countries. It is now the largest source of assistance within the United Nations system. We believe that this is witness to the fact that the important role of WFP has been recognized in the international community. In fact, my Government much appreciates the performance of WFP through the efforts made by the Executive Director and his staff. We hope WFP will continue its efforts to make this already reputable organization more efficient and more effective.
Taking advantage of this opportunity of my intervention, my delegation is pleased to inform the Council of the decision recently taken by my Government on the additional food and agricultural assistance to African countries this year, which amounts to 11.7 billion Yen, which is equivalent to around 50 million U.S. Dollars. This amount is additional to that already announced of 115 million U.S. Dollars.
As mentioned in the previous Japanese intervention in this Council, my country will continue to promote its assistance to African countries not only by way of food, food aid and emergency purposes, but also in the sphere of agricultural rehabilitation and further development of agriculture in those areas.
CHAIRMAN: We thank the distinguished delegate from Japan for his intervention and are grateful to his Government for this additional commitment.
J.R. LOPEZ PORTILLO (México): Agradecemos al Director Ejecutivo, el Sr. Ingram, la presentación de hoy de este tema. La delegación de México aprueba el Informe Anual del CPA correspondiente al año 1983, debido a que refleja los logros obtenidos por el PMA en ese año.
En efecto, el vigésimo aniversario del Programa puso de manifiesto el importante papel que puede desempeñar, como segunda mayor fuente de ayuda para el desarrollo dentro del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas. Hemos notado que el PMA ha sabido inspirar la confianza de los países donantes, muchos de los cuales canalizan gran parte de su ayuda, tanto bilateral como multilateral, a través del mismo, señal inequívoca ésta de la eficiencia que le reconoce, ya que prefieren utilizar al PMA en vez de establecer complicados y costosos mecanismos internos.
De la misma manera, un gran número de países en desarrollo contribuye a los recursos del Programa demostrando así su compromiso con el desarrollo y con la cooperación Sur/Sur.
Lo más notable de esto, señor Presidente, es que el porcentaje de los gastos de carácter administrative, técnico y de apoyo a los proyectos, representó en 1983, como lo afirma el párrafo 8, el 1,9 por ciento y en dólares bajaron de 24 a 20 millones del bienio 78-79 al 1984-85.
Felicitamos al Programa Mundial de Alimentos por ello, y recordamos que fue por esta razón que el CPA aprobó en su 16° período de sesiones un aumento del personal en presupuesto administrativo, ante las seguridades dadas por el Director Ejecutivo, de que, en el mismo, no había nada que fuera en contra de la relación existente entre el PMA y la FAO, establecida por los documentos básicos; o que duplicara cualquiera de los servicios prestados por la FAO, y también de que no era su intención llegar a ello, de ninguna forma.
Nos hubiera gustado que esta afirmación contenida en el párrafo 149 del Informe de este período de sesiones, se transcribiera al documento que hoy analizamos. Al respecto, señor Presidente, se nos aseguró también que los puestos aprobados contribuirían a mejorar, en general, la inequitativa distribución geográfica del personal, aun aumentando el número de funcionarios provenientes de países en desarrollo. Destaco, en particular, la solicitud de la región de América Latina. Quisieramos saber si esto sucedió.
Como miembros del CPA hemos tenido la oportunidad de participar activamente en los debates del mismo, y nos hemos dado cuenta de que, como resultado de la insatisfactoria situación mundial de la agricultura, y de la carencia de un sistema de seguridad alimentaria, temas estos ampliamente tratados en este Foro, la ayuda alimentaria ha cobrado desafortunadamente una importancia fundamental que hace indispensable un análisis a fondo de su impacto en los países receptores.
Volvemos a insistir, por tanto, en que el PMA debe planear mejor y a más largo plazo el tipo, modo, monto y distribución de la ayuda alimentaria, a fin de hacer efectivo el objetivo de ligarla al desarrollo y a las estrategias nacionales de autosuficiencia y de seguridad alimentaria.
Nos preocupa, en particular, que a las operaciones de emergencia tengan que dedicarse tantos recursos. Deseamos que no se esté sacrificando, por ello, lo importante por lo urgente; y que, en todo caso, se recoja nuestro tradicional énfasis en que las calamidades recurrentes o los problemas prolongados sean atendidos de manera sistemática y rápida con el fin de atacar sus causas también con proyectos productivos.
Quisiéramos proponer, por tanto, que los aspectos teóricos y políticos de la ayuda alimentaria sean también considerados por este Consejo, y que se recomiende al CPA que en su próximo Informe Anual proporcione mayores elementos que permitan a todos los miembros, aun a los no representados por él, dar a conocer sus puntos de vista sobre este problema.
El Consejo podría así contribuir a las labores del CPA con orientaciones que reflejasen un abanico más amplio de opciones y de opiniones. Sabemos que el diseño de las políticas es responsabilidad inicial, pero no exclusiva, del CPA; y en areas de la congruencia, reafirmamos aquí que la ayuda alimentaria no puede ser un fin en sí misma y que, dada la situación actual, debe ser parte integrante de la estrategia de la seguridad alimentaria, para que mientras sea necesaria incida en el proceso de desarrollo.
Quisiéramos enfatizar también, le pedimos disculpas por el tiempo que estamos tomando, algunos párrafos del Informe Anual que contienen conceptos que, creemos, este Consejo debe refrendar.
Me refiero al párrafo 11, donde se afirma que el Comité subrayó que la ayuda alimentaria debía contribuir al desarrollo nacional, y en ultimo término, a la autosuficiencia. Asimismo, como lo afirma el párrafo 12, dicha ayuda alimentaria debe estar encaminada a reforzar las medidas a nivel nacional, dentro de los planes de desarrollo de los países receptores. Tal y como se expresa en el párrafo 14, la coordinación de toda la ayuda debe ser dirigida por los gobiernos receptores.
Se nos ha presentado un documento que pone de relieve los grandes logros del Programa, de los que nos congratulamos. No debemos olvidar, sin embargo, que la propuesta inicial de establecer un objetivo de promesas en 1 500 millones de dólares para 1985-1986, aumento modesto pero indispensable, no fue aceptado ni tampoco lo fue el incremento a 20 millones de toneladas de cereales, como indicador de las necesidades de ayuda alimentaria en 1985.
Los hechos han demostrado que esos objetivos no eran demasiado ambiciosos. Por otra parte, la RAIE superó por segunda vez su objetivo de 500 000 toneladas, aunque sin embargo, ese objetivo es también insuficiente, como ya se indicó en la séptima Conferencia de Jefes de Estado o de Gobierno de los Países no Alineados, presidida dignamente por la Sra. Gandhi, cuya pérdida no dejamos de larnentar, y quien solicitó que aumentara a 2 millones de toneladas.
Esto refleja que la situación en que se encuentran actualmente los Organismos internacionales, aun aquellos que como el PMA gozan del apoyo de los países desarrollados, es digna de preocupación por los esfuerzos enormes que tienen que realizar para poder llevar a cabo sus tareas en favor del desarrollo, a pesar de la restricción de sus recursos.
Hemos asistido recientemente al Consejo de Gobernadores del FIDA, y sus resultados negativos nos obligan a reafirmar la validez de la búsqueda de soluciones a los problemas de los países en desarrollo, dentro del marco multilateral, y de acuerdo con los lineamientos establecidos por los Organismos del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas, única forma justa de establecer las relaciones entre las naciones.
De acuerdo con este orden de ideas, creemos que el PMA debe reafirmar su vocación multilateral, como ha sido señalado ya por varias delegaciones, recuerdo en particular la de Canadá, tomando muy en cuenta lo que se afirma en el párrafo 64, y cito: "Hay que velar por que las operaciones bilaterales atendidas por el PMA no redunden de forma alguna en perjuicio de las actividades del Programa, y promuevan ulteriormente los objetivos de éste".
En este sentido, solicitamos también que se incrementen las operaciones triangulares. En lo que se refiere al tipo de proyectos realizados, queremos manifestar nuestra preocupación porque el porcentaje de los proyectos de desarrollo ha disminuido. Notamos también que no hubo ningún proyecto para establecer reservas de alimentos. Esperamos, sin embargo, que esto se haya corregido en el reciente año, e instamos al Programa a que lo tome en cuenta para sus actividades futuras.
Por último, consideramos que el párrafo 58 señala que el 88,5 por ciento de los productos proporcionados, corresponde a cereales, harina de cereales y productos lácteos. Solicitamos que el PMA diversifique los proyectos de ayuda alimentaria abarcando, en lo posible, todos los alimentos básicos, no sólo cereales sino también pescados, raíces, tubérculos, legumbres y otros alimentos complementarios que tienen mayor aceptación en las poblaciones objetivo, preservan los hábitos alimenticios tradicionales y coadyuvan al desarrollo de la producción local de los mismos.
De ahí se desprende la importancia de que el PMA obtenga la proporción que señalan las normas generales con respecto al monto de los recursos en dineros y servicios para que esté en posibilidad de adquirir ese tipo de productós en los países en desarrollo.
Igualmente, notamos que la utilización de buques de esos países fue notoriamente baja. Esto debe corregirse, como lo han dicho otros distinguidos delegados. Nos referimos en particular a las cuestiones que destacó la delegación de Arabia Saudita. La responsabilidad del Programa Mundial de Alimentos es enorme. Como instrumento de transmisión de la ayuda alimentaria, debe poner en práctica numerosas re-soluciones ya adoptadas por la comunidad internacional en las Naciones Unidas y en la FAO, instituciones que le dieron origen y de las que, legal y estatutariamente, depende. Su actuación debe estar, por tanto, ligada a la estrategia general para el desarrollo y ser congruente con el concepto arapliado de seguridad alimentaria mundial. No deberá permitir que la ayuda alimentaria sea utilizada como instrumento de presión política. Cuenta para lograr ese objetivo con el apoyo de todos los países re-presentados aquí.
H.M. MBALE (Malawi): I wish to congratulate the Executive Director, Mr Ingram, on his very lucid report and introduction. Mr Chairman, the highlights of the World Food Programme for 1983 indicated the upswing of its activities with regard to commitments of 696 million dollars. We wish to commend the role played by the WFP in coordinating major policies in various countries of the Third World to alleviate human suffering there. We wish to endorse fully the action taken by the Committee in supporting the Executive Director to increase staff in order to cope with the increased workload. This is commendable action under the prevailing circumstances.
With regard to food policies and programmes, I wish to comment on the review of food aid policies. While support the views expressed by the Committee in paragraphs 11 and 12 of document CL 86/9 which is before us, it must also be emphasized that such food aid must contribute to agricultural development leading to self sufficiency in food. Therefore, the Executive Director of WFP, in consultation with FAO, must establish cut off points when further food aid is unnecessary. We further endorse that the proposal in the document at paragraph 13 needs to be studied. We will be pleased to know the findings of such a study and the proposed follow-up on the exercise when it is finalized.
On the subject of coordination and the role of the CFA, my delegation fully agrees with the Committee that coordination at national level is important, as stated in paragraph 14. My delegation fully supports triangular transactions as outlined in paragraph 15 as they help Third World countries to obtain foreign exchange as well as food aid which they need so badly. Efforts should not be spared to obtain foodstuffs within the affected region, if this is possible, for obvious reasons.
We fully endorse the observation of the Committee in paragraph 16 that there is need for training for WFP field staff and the staff of the recipient government. Such training should enhance the efficient use of food aid. Where problems have been observed in the Programme, remedial action should be taken promptly. On the theme of food requirements and targets, I make the point that since the problems of human suffering from hunger have increased substantially in developing countries, and noting the warning of the Director-General that food production will be insufficient to feed people in Africa in 1985, we have no choice but to take appropriate steps in order to avert the impending human catastrophe there, so that the international Community is prepared to assist.
The Council should therefore accept the new target, raising it from 10 million to 20 million tons, in spite of the fact that there was no unanimity within the Committee when this matter was discussed, as revealed in paragraphs 17 to 18.
Experience with Food Aid Programmes and Policies: on this point my delegation fully accepts the proposal under paragraph 19 to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of WFP and therefore, we urge the Council to approve the proposed and justifiable action.
With regard to food aid and training, my delegation is in full agreement with the proposed action in paragraphs 23 and 24 that women in developing countries be the target group for the proposed training. However, my delegation would like to know how women will be involved. I am pressing this point because it has not been clearly spelt out in the report.
On development commitments to low-income and least developed countries, my delegation would like to know if food aid pegged at six percent of the total development commitment is in actual fact above the needs of the least developed countries, as stated in paragraph 28. The picture portrayed there could be misleading without this piece of information to elucidate it further.
On outlook for 1984, although the task before the WFP is formidable, my delegation urges the Executive Director to pursue the goal he has set himself in paragraph 75.
L. ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): Nuestra fe en la ayuda multilateral nos ha hecho apoyar al PMA como instrumento de ayuda eficaz para el desarrollo de los países, además de llegar con urgencia en los casos debidos.
Felicitamos la presentación del señor Ingram, Director Ejecutivo del PMA y al señor Regnier, de FAO, por el Noveno Informe Anual del CPA, al ECOSOC, o Consejo de FAO. Sobria y objetiva la introducción del señor Ingram nos permite saludar los resultados del trabajo del PMA durante 1983 y sus logros. Esperamos que se continúe con el mismo ritmo. Mi país considera que la función hacia el desarrollo de los proyectos puede contribuir a eliminar los efectos negativos que pueda tener dentro de los países en cuanto a los desincentivos de la ayuda en cuestión que se ha analizado repetidamente.
Las urgencias en 1983 paliarían la difícil situación alimentaria que se atraviesa, aunque se demostró con la urgente crisis al sur del Sahel, que la emergencia y urgencia no eran suficientes; por la que creemos debe incrementarse la cantidad propuesta.
Queremos apoyar lo planteado por el señor representante de Cabo Verde, en la necesidad de que se incremente también la compra en países en desarrollo, cuestión que contribuye además a ayudar a estos países.
Finalmente, apoyamos el documento y al Director Ejecutivo, señor Ingram, por su empeño en la ayuda multilateral.
J. BELGRAVE (New Zealand); First could I just put on record my delegation's appreciation of the introduction that Mr Ingram and Mr Regnier gave this morning to this comprehensive Report of the CFA. I think that the success and impact of the WFP is more than evidenced by the continued support from donor countries, and indeed if one reads the report, particularly at paragraph 7, contributions hopefully are expected to increase the 1985/86 biennium budget based on the pledging conference held earlier this year.
I have one or two other points that the New Zealand delegation would like to refer to set out in the highlights for 1983. This is not to say that the ones that are not referred to are not important, but to note, first of all, in 1983, as the report says in paragraph 3, the 20th anniversary of the WFP was marked by the highest development commitments in its history, some 696 million, representing over 1.4 million metric tons of food, a significant figure in anybody's judgement.
Second, in paragraph 5, the report of course does point up the real efforts made by the World Food Programme and that are continuing to be made in relation to the serious food problem in Africa.
Paragraph 7, as I said earlier, refers to this pledging target of 1.35 billion for the 1985/86 biennium, and while this is only a target, it has subsequently been endorsed and certainly is evidence of the confidence that member nations have in the Programme.
Finally, from the report, it should be noted that at paragraph 8, the comment is made that currently, measured against total World Food Programme assistance, operational costs represent only about 1.9 percent. I think that is a thing that should be kept in mind, because it does instance the effectiveness and tightly run approach of the World Food Programme.
New Zealand sees the World Food Programme as the best way of handling multilateral food aid, and indeed, we have preferred this approach to bilateral food aid. We feel the Programme remains a very good way of getting food aid to where it is needed most, and the African situation of course is a prime example of this.
We would like to thank Mr Ingram and his staff. The challenges facing the Programme are no less important for the future than they have been in the past. New Zealand feels it is important that lessons learnt in the past twenty years as to how successfully the Programme can handle multilateral food aid must indeed make the Programme even more effective in the future. Particularly, I would like to echo the comments made earlier by the Federal Republic of Germany when he referred to the World Food Programme initiatives with other international agencies. We are confident that the initiatives of this kind currently being undertaken by the Executive Director will provide additional methods by which multilateral food aid can be made even more effective and worthwhile.
Finally, there is no evidence that the World Food Programme is resting on its laurels. Indeed, far from it. The Programme continues to shoulder the immense responsibilities which face it, and it is seeking out ways in which these responsibilities can be discharged even more effectively.
In conclusion, we think the report is ample evidence of a job well done.
Sra. M. FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela) : ya sería un lugar común felicitar al señor Ingram por su buen informe, pero yo quisiera recalcar algunos de los hechos que contiene este informe y que nos parecen interesantes.
Sencillamente para apoyar su labor y para desear que en el futuro este Programa continúe los lineamientos que ha seguido durante la gestión que usted preside y especialmente para atender un poco a los países en desarrollo y a la colaboración que éstos pudieran prestar. Entendemos que lo más urgente es atender a aquellos países que están entre los más necesitados; pero hay algunos puntos del informe que quisiéramos resaltar.
Apoyamos, por ejemplo a México cuando plantea que la ayuda alimentaria no debería continuar siendo exclusivamente a base de cereales, cuyo porcentaje es realmente absorbente de toda la ayuda alimentaria. Países que están en regiones tropicales, están cambiando sus hábitos alimenticios casi a
fuerza de no proporcionarles más que cereales de los que se llaman de primera calidad. Siendo que la agricultura de estos países imposibilitados de producir trigo, y habituados al consumo de otro tipo de alimentos, en este caso podría ser estimulado por programas agrícolas de cultivos de estos tipos de plantas, con lo cual podría ayudarse a sus propios países y a los paises que están en iguales circunstancias en regiones geográficas similares; eso es lo que yo pienso que podría sugerirse como un aporte al desarrollo futuro del programa de ayuda alimentaria.
Asimismo, podríamos pensar que esta ayuda multilateral, creciente cada vez más, pudiese constituir una colaboración más inmediata de los países que actualmente están sufriendo las mayores calamidades, como son los países africanos y los países asiáticos.
En la operación triangular, por ejemplo, esos programas mínimos a que hago alusión en desarrollo agrícola, podrían inducir a países pequeños que no tienen una base de agricultura para la exportación, a desarrollar alguna producción que pudiera servir para estimular el desarrollo de una agricultura mejorada y que pudiera servir también de estímulo para los países que están en similares circunstancias. De esta misma manera podríamos incluir, estando de acuerdo con alguien que lo sugirió, creo que fue Lesotho, que este programa se ampliase, como lo señala el informe del Señor Presidente, no sólo a esta ayuda alimentaria en el sentido de ayuda por especies, sino a la capacitación para la producción de alimentos incorporando a las mujeres de estos países que actualmente, en muchos casos por su incapacidad, porque son analfabetas o no están suficientemente orientadas para ser productoras.
Quiero felicitar al Presidente por la atención que le ha dado a un programa de fomento lechero, que espero va a atender en estos países a una porción de la población duramente golpeada por la falta de alimentación en los primeros años de vida de los niños. Estos niños que en sus primeros años de vida no pueden alimentarse con un aliraento vital como es la leche, cuya repercusión en su vida, no solamente física, sino también intelectual, es ya un lugar común entre los científicos que estudian los efectos de los alimentos en la infancia y en los primeros años de la vida.
Quería plantear asimismo, otro problema relacionado con esta población desplazada; y quiero subrayar población desplazada, que van de un país a otro no por la guerra como anteriormente, o por los desastres físicos, sino por la falta de trabajo en sus propios países. Hay comunidades que realmente llegan casi al hambre porque en sus países no hay posibilidad de desarrollar un trabajo y acuden al vecino que les ofrece unas condiciones un poco mejores que el suyo. Eso conduce a que estos otros países mantengan una inmigración en muchos casos irregular porque en los países de origen no hay posibilidad de alimentos.
Si nosotros pudiéramos atender con este programa esta situación, no sólo de desastres y de causas de la guerra, sería una interesante oportunidad y una mejora para que la ayuda multilateral pudiera ser más efectiva.
Creo que no podríamos nosotros abarcar todo el informe porque es demasiado largo, pero estos puntos que nos han sido referidos por los oradores que me han precedido en el uso de la palabra, podrían ser tornados en cuenta para quienes tengan que hacer el informe de esta reunión y para el inmediato futuro de este Organismo de Programa y Ayudas.
J.C. INGRAM (Executive Director, World Food Programme): Realizing that you have passed your 4 o'clock deadline, realizing also that it would take probably take me an hour or so to respond to all the points raised, I will try and be short, but first I would like, of course, to thank all the delegations who have spoken. This debate, in fact, as is invariably the case in relation to the World Food Programme, elicits a large number of speakers. We find that in itself very encouraging indeed that so many delegations are sufficiently interested in the Programme to comment at some length. It encourages us, and that is what we need.
I should also say perhaps before I go into some points of detail that the report itself, of course, is a report to three bodies. It is not only to the FAO Council, it is to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the World Food Council. It is of necessity rather synoptic, and it is always presumed that if a delegation has a deep interest in a particular matter, they will of course refer to the reports and documentation of the two sessions that take place during the period of the review, and I would particulary refer in this context to the annual report of the Executive Director, which includes a great many of the detailed statistics which have been sought by many delegations, so I am not going to give you all those statistics because most of them are in the Executive Director's Annual Report.
Now just a few, I think, of some of the more interesting questions that came up. I think the first point which recurs fairly frequently really is this functional allocation of WFP'S resources between agriculture and rural development and human resources development. The fact is that under the general regulations of the Programme human resource development is seen as an equally important
form of investment as our other activity, and we find, and indeed over the years have found, a fairly consistent interest by governments in programmes of human resource development, and as I said earlier, there are fluctuations from year to year, but overall the basic distributions of around two-thirds for agricultural and rural development and one-third for human resources development has been maintained over the years. You do get fluctuations from year to year, and in 1983, as it happened, purely by coincidence, many expansions of existing projects in the human resources area came before the Council, and I might say that many of them relate to countries which have spoken on this point in the debate.
Food reserve projects: in fact, there were actually two food reserve projects approved in 1984, not one, and we have in the pipeline for 1985 seven projects whose value is $66 million, which is quite significant, but I have to say also that at the last session of the CFA there was an evaluation document, a sectoral evaluation study of food reserve projects, and that study revealed that while the concept is admirable and must be pursued with great vigour, nevertheless there are many real complexities and difficulties in designing and implementing such projects, but, as I say, compared with 1983, two in 1984 and seven projected for 1985. On the question of the emergency response time, the Ambassador of India referred to certain figures which are actually not in the report but which we gave to him at the last meeting of the CFA. We are showing that there has been an increase in the time from 60 days to 77 days. This is based on a comparison of the first six months of 1983 compared to the first six months of 1984. Now I will just make two points, that this is a subject which is always before the programme, because obviously one wants to reduce the response time in emergencies to the lowest extent possible, but we also have to recognize that there are certain constraints. In 1983 for example, we were able to initiate distribution under emergency operations in 57 percent of the emergency operations on the basis of stocks which were either belonging to WFP in the country concerned or from the governments own stocks, and this in practice is the quickest way of providing an emergency response. But I have to say that recently we have been experiencing more difficulties than perhaps on average in our opportunities for borrowing, because it happens sometimes that the government itself - for various reasons - would prefer not to see borrowing because after all these borrowings come, say, from development projects, and the government may feel that it wishes not to see such projects disrupted. We also have situations where, for some reason or other, - and it is very laudable - there may be pledges available from nongovernmental organisations, and so the priority is given to their utilization ahead of the use of WFP stocks, the government preferring to wait for the arrival of the actual shipment. So I am only mentioning this to indicate it is a complex issue, as all issues are in relation to food aid, and the experience of one six months compared with another is not all that critical. The important thing is that we seek to try and bring the time down, and for example we also divert shipments that are intended for one country to another, but again that is done with some reluctance as you can imagine, because again that is going to possibly cause some difficulties for the other countries. To give you a very concrete example, just today we are diverting a ship with 28 800 tonnes of wheat which was destined for a particular country - the food comes from Australia - and it has been diverted to Ethiopia and it will arrive at the beginning of December. So there are many ways in which we try to deal with this problem but it is something where in every case we have to be very careful that what we are doing will not, so to speak, cause more trouble than the remedy itself.
I will just mention briefly - this is in relation to some remarks which were made about how do we assist performance of projects, and should we not say more about it in each of these reports. The fact is that since WFP was born, project evaluation has been a feature of its work and every session of the CFA has before it detailed evaluation reports. I say, I think without fear of contradiction, that there are not any other bodies within the UN system that present such full and open evaluations of their activities, and again I would suggest for those who are interested, that they examine some of these evaluation reports that were at our CFA session for example, just a few weeks ago.
The same goes of course for emergencies and we used not to evaluate performance in emergencies, but we have in the last year or two begun to do this because equally the lessons you learn from the mistakes or otherwise, and successes that you make in particular emergency projects, are just as valuable for the future as are the lessons from development projects.
On the use of vessels from developing countries I have to stress that the policy under which we operate is to give preference to vessels from developing countries whenever they are competitive. It is not an absolute preference; it is a preference if their prices are competitive, and the difficulty is of course that who we use at any particular time is going to depend upon the particular pattern of movement of commodities from the donor country who has possession of the commodities - WFP does not own anything at all, or very little anyway; we only take the title when it is given to us. We do not have a big stock of food waiting to use. So therefore the very nature of the pattern from donor to recipient will vary every year. We also have to take account of the fact in most cases developing country vessels are only available for the movement of food shipped as return freight to their homeland. This is the way that the shipping trade for the main developing countries operate. Now it is true that in 1983 less was moved in developing countries' vessels than in 1982, but the reason is precisely the one that I just gave, that in 1982, as it happened, there were many vessels available from developing countries able to take food to their homelands. These circumstances vary from year to year. I have the figures for each year and there is no particular
pattern in them except that it oscillates about 15 percent from year to year. We have had an outside consultant review our transport operations and one of the aspects they looked at was whether in fact we are giving the requisite preference to developing countries, and his report, which was available in full to the CFA shows that we do.
On the purchasing policy of course again we share very much the view expressed by so many countries that purchases from developing countries should be maximized, and of course they can only be maximized if we have got the cash to do so, and also if the commodities are available because again they are not always available. As explained in paragraph 61, the drop in 1983 as compared with 1982 was essentially due to our inability to purchase where we normally had been able to purchase from developing countries. After all, if there were vast quantities of food available for purchase in developing countries we would not really need food aid either. We have to keep in perspective that that is not the case, and that in Africa for example, while we have made very big purchases from Kenya and Malawi, we have not been able in the recent year or so to purchase from Zimbabwe which has been the main source of maize. But a few concrete figures, for you; purchases in 1982 were 87.7 million dollars. Of that amount, 21.5 million dollars was for purchases in developed countries. The balance of 66.5 million dollars was from developing countries, so the overwhelming amount of purchases are from developing countries. But where they are from developed countries it is because a developed country has made cash available under, for example, its food aid convention commitment and it has got to come from a developed country. It is not a matter of choice by the Programme.
Now the cash position of the Programme is such that the amount of cash available to us for purchase from our regular resources is declining, but I am pleased to say that at least in this new biennium we are about to begin, the biennium 1985 86, in the pledges that have been made the percentage of the pledges in cash and services has risen, so perhaps there may be a little more scope as we enter that biennium than there has been in the past, but I would stress it really is a function of our overall cash situation, and while the availability of cash seems to be rather high, in practice on the basis of future projections it will be imperative for donors to provide more cash in the future if the programme is not to enter a general liquidity problem situation.
I think, Mr Chairman, those are some of the main points I wish to speak about. On the geographical distribution of staff, this comes up at every meeting I ever go to and Ikeep giving the same answer, but either I am not clear or someone is not listening. Anyway the fact is: in practice there is an imbalance not only in relation to developing countries but in relation to quite a number of developed countries. This Programme has only a relatively small staff. It takes time to overcome, it is being slowly overcome, and we will continue to make our efforts in those directions.
I also welcome very much the delegations who commented on the importance of training efforts. That is someting that we will be doing a great deal more of in the future as our capacity staff-wise is being increased in this respect, and we will be making particular efforts to help the developing countries train their personnel in areas relating to food aid.
I think, Mr Chairman, I would like to say a lot about women and development because I think it is such an important issue, but I fear that if I start on that topic it will lead me into too long a discourse, but simply to say that we do give a lot more than lip service in WFP. It is not actually a very easy subject to deal with. It is one of those things like motherhood today, everyone is in favour of it but it is not easy. We are serious about it and we recognize that in so many developing countries women working in agriculture bear much of the production burden and that so many aid efforts - not only ours but almost everyone's - have not taken full regard to her role, and we are very anxious indeed to see that our projects over time do seriously address this issue.
A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe): Je m'étonne des réponses fournies par M. Ingram et en fait les questions qui lui ont été posées étaient fondamentales. Néanmoins je n'ai pas eu de réponses à ces questions que j'ai posées. Les réponses ne m'ont pas été données. Donc, c'est qu'il n'a pas pris note de ces questions. Je suis prêt à les reformuler et j'attends une réponse.
J.C. INGRAM (Executive Director, World Food Programme): I suggest that the representative repeat his questions.
A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe): Le rapport n'a pas été clair en ce qui concerne l'achat des produits. 1) Il n'y a jamais eu d'analyse sur les produits achetés, sur leur origine et sur les pays qui ont bénéficié des ces produits 2) ensuite il est fait mention des transactions tripartites qui ont été financées par les donateurs bilatéraux. Mais qu'en est-il des achats faits par le budget ordinaire du Programme? 3) En 1983 quel était le volume des achats? et queues ont
été les dépenses en liquide? 4) Quelssontles services que le PAM fournit aux donateurs bilatéraux et auxquels se réfère le paragraphe 63 du rapport et y a-t-il d'autres moyens de distribution que les quatre indiqués? 5) Il existe un tableau des redevances perçues par le PAM sur les services rendus à des organisations bilatérales. Y a-t-il encore lieu d'assurer les coûts de ces services dans le cadre du nouveau programme? Si tel est le cas quels seront ces coûts? 6) Dans le paragraphe 64 il est dit que le PAM pense que les services qu'il fournit à des opérations bilatérales ne nuisent en aucune façon à ses activités, comment cela peut être exécuté? Des explications à toutes ces questions peuvent-elles nous être fournies?
J.C. INGRAM (Executive Director, World Food Programme): I did give in fact some information about the purchasing in 1983. I said that US $87.7 million had been purchased in 1983. I will give you all the countries and all the amounts if you need it but I think it might be easier to pass it separately to the distinguished representative from Lebanon, but I have the full breakdown here of the US $87.7 million. The main commodity purchased was maize - US $35 million; rice - US $26.9 million; wheat -US $12.6 million; pulses - US $5 million; sorghum - US $1.9 million; miscellaneous -US $6.3 million, making a total of US $87.7 million.
The source of the funds of the US $87.7 million was US $4.8 million from WFP's own regular cash resources, US $3.1 million from cash pledges by donors specifically for commodity purposes, US $2 million provided by United Nations agencies, US $53.3 million from bilateral donors, US $3.4 million from FAC donors, US $21.1 million by IE.FR donors. That is the cash breakdown.
The services provided too by bilateral donors depend on the particular donor but it may involve the purchase of that food. I mentioned, for example, a moment ago that they provided US $53.3 million for purchases. They wanted us to arrange the purchase, they wanted us in that case to ship the food depending on the particular transaction because each transaction is different, they would want us to engage in some form of monitoring. If you want us to engage in some form of monitoring of what happens to the food that reaches the country in question it may be simply to be handed over to the authorities of the Government to use as they will. It may be in support of very specific development programmes of the sort that WFP specialize in. They may have invited us to arrange the insurance, a whole range of services. These services are performed for a fee. They are not done for nothing, they are done for a fee. The fee is intended to cover our marginal costs. The level of fees has been approved by the CFA and was recently revised in fact.
As regards paragraph 64 it means what it says. Clearly there has to be some balance in the Programme between the total amount of the efforts spent on multilateral activities and the amount done for bilateral donors. We .keep that amount reasonable, relatively small in relation to the total activities of the. Programme, and in fact it is not really different in concept from the multibilateral activities undertaken by all of the specialized agencies, every one of which accepts large sums of money from bilateral donors to be spent on projects of one sort or another. But the essential point, as I have said, is to keep the balance reasonable so that the bilateral activities do not assume a disproportionate importance.
H.J.H. TALEYARKHAN (India): May I request Mr Ingram to be good enough to clarify one point which I mentioned, whether the food aid at the WFP's command at present is sufficient to meet the needs of people for the duration of the situation.
J.C. INGRAM (Executive Director, World Food Programme): Each emergency problem is approved for a period which appears to be sufficient for the purpose. If it is going to be a very protracted operation it will be subject to successive approvals. Refugee situations are the commonest in that regard. But we undertake to support a given number of beneficiaries with sufficient food for the period that is deemed necessary, for example, until the next harvest. That it is a defined number of beneficiaries. We are not of course undertaking to satisfy every country's total problem.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La delegación de Colombia considera que el Sr. Ingram tiene razón cuando ha dicho que en materia de personal, siempre planteamos los mismos asuntos; y siempre él nos da las mismas respuestas. Siemprenos dice que está tratando de mejorar la situación. Creo que el Director Ejecutivo tiene toda la razón cuando lo ha dicho así, pero nosotros desearíamos que además de esa frase ritual, se nos diera como ya lo dije, por los medios convenientes, no aquí en este Consejo, la información en detalle.
Sería conveniente que el Sr. Ingram enviara a las Embajadas, somos representantes de Gobiernos, a las Embajadas interesadas en estas cuestiones, una información acerca de cómo se distribuyó el nombramiento de los nuevos puestos autorizados por el 16° período del CPA. Repito; no queremos que esto se haga aquí pero si que se atienda a los representantes del Gobierno por el canal más adecuado.
J.C. INGRAM (Exexutive Director, World Food Programme): I must say, Mr Chairman,that the issue of how particular posts established in relation to a particular budget are filled seems to me to be something which would not give a very meaningful view of what was happening. What matters is the geographical distribution of staff. There are no secrets about this. We have given plenty of figures. We are willing to give them again. I do not have them with me now but we will let Ambassador Bula Hoyos have some more detailed information.
CHAIRMAN: Will you kindly send them? I would now like to thank all the delegates who have spoken on this very important item. I want to thank you, Mr Ingram, for your presence, for your lucid introduction and for your clarifications. I want to join the other delegates in congratulating and thanking you and your dedicated colleagues on your outstanding work reported during 1983. Mr Regnier, do you want to say something?
A. REGNIER (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): Just a small clarification, if you will allow me. The question was raised whether FAO intervenes in the purchase of commodities by the WFP or the shipment of foodstuffs. Some clarification on this could be given in a few words. The answer is simple. It is no. The purchase of foodstuffs from commercial suppliers is normally made by competitive bids and FAO does not intervene. Tenders are issued by the World Food Programme. If you look at the guidelines and procedures for purchases by the World Food Programme you will see that it is clearly stated that the Executive Director exercises overall control and supervision over purchases made by the Programme. The final operational responsibility for all decisions regarding purchases rests with the Director, Resource Management Division. Internally there is a Working Group of not less than 5 staff members, and FAO does not participate, and the Director of the Resource Management Division may at his discretion waive tender procedures for purchases below $25 000. For purchases from private commercial firms in excess of this amount he may do so only after prior approval of the Executive Director. So the Executive Director has a unlimited authority in the matter. Also all purchases affected by the Programme are covered by a purchases contract signed by both parties, and FAO is not a party to the signature. So WFP is absolutely autonomous in these operations. FAO does not intervene. It is also the case for transport and shipment of foodstuffs. Of course we are not speaking about tiny amounts. During the biennium 1982/83, the amount involved for the purchase for commodities and transport was around US $180 million. I hope that answers the question raised.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Regnier, also for your opening statement. May I join the very many delegates here in wishing the Programme well. The world will be happy when the Programme is not needed. That is the ultimate goal of the World Food Programme. We need not have a Programme of this kind when all human beings enjoy the right to food. But I think we will not see that day during this century. Until 2000 AD at least we will need the World Food Programme. I share the hope of many delegations that the symbiotic bonds between FAO and WFP will grow under the wise leadership of the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Director of WFP.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Chairman, Finance Committee): This item is taken up under Organizational Matters in both our Reports. I would draw your attention to paragraphs 60 to 80 in our 53rd report and paragraphs 2.62 to 2.87 in our 54th report. Under the caption "Questions arising out of Relations with the Host Government" there are five sub-items under the main item 16.
Let me briefly comment on what the Committee felt on each of the sub-items under the main heading.
First, Headquarters Accomodation. I should remind delegates that accomodation here refers not to any future plans for expansion for accommodating the existing staff. Regarding the construction work on top of Building D, we were informed that work had commenced, but during the last 3 months there has been no action. There is urgency to undertake major repairs in Building E. This cannot be done because alternative space cannot be found for the staff working there.
Still no alternative accommodation has'been found for WFC staff who are occupying part of Building A.
Further renting of some rooms in a building close to the present Building F toaccommodate some 50 staff members, apart from having to pay rent, would also incur further costs to the Organization for providing travel and other services. It is immaterial as to whether FAO or WFP pays, but the fact is that additional costs are being incurred because of the delay in finding solutions to the accommodation problem. The Director-General's alternative proposals, which have been referred to in the document CL 86/15, were explained to the Committee at its previous meetings. The Committee, however, has no final news on this matter, although reference has been made by the Director-General in his introductory statement, which may give the Council some hope that some action will take place soon. The need for a permanent solution which would enable the Organization to vacate Building F was authorized. Personally, my view is that the Finance Committee will continue to have this item on its agenda for some considerable time.
The Committee appreciated all the efforts that the Director-General has been taking in this regard and confirmed its support and reliance on him to take all steps which he thinks are necessary to resolve the issues. It also appreciated the efforts taken by the Permanent Representative of Italy to FAO, Ambassador Francisci, to resolve some of these problems and particularly the cooperation he is extending to the Director-General on these matters.
It is because of the absence of any positive results so far that the Committee was compelled to think of further ways of pushing the authorities towards finding a solution, that it thought it fit to even very reluctantly hint at the possibility of moving the Headquarters seat to another country - paragraph 2.65.
On Import Licences - both for goods required for official purposes and goods for the Commissary. Since both types of licenses are issued by the same authority, the difficulties which FAO has to cope with are similar, and these were explained at length by the Secretariat. Your attention is drawn to paras. 2.66 - 2.72 of our 54th report. In this regard, the Committee noted that FAO could not work under such conditions since delays lead to additional costs, if these goods have to be purchased on the local market; also that the programme of work, will be disrupted making it difficult to plan for the future.
The negotiations on the Interpretation of the Headquarters Agreement have gone on for the last 10 years. They have been recently resumed but while discussions continue the Committee was informed of certain unilateral decisions which were being taken by government departments, which were unacceptable to FAO. The Secretariat will no doubt provide details of such actions.
The Committee was informed of certain measures, which are being contemplated and if allowed to materialize, would by next year affect certain sections of staff, both Italians and non-Italians, who are presently enjoying certain privileges through the services provided by the Commissary.
A distinction to be drawn up between categories with rights or no rights would not only cause frustration among staff, but would certainly lead to additional expenditure by the Organization in the form of additional remuneration to compensate for the privileges which are to be withdrawn. In this connection please see para. 2.72 of our report.
The Committee was also informed verbally of the considerable benefits to the economy of the Host Government, as a result of FAO being here. Though it is very difficult to quantify all the benefits, it was nevertheless understood to be substantial - about US $85 million annually.
On the question of immunities, the Committee felt that the financial implications of Italian, court rulings, if not reversed through other means, would be quite serious. Any measures of execution consequent to the present judgements in the INPDAI case would certainly mean additional payment on rent which is in arrears, together with interest on the sum due, throughout the period covered by the dispute, that is to say from 1974 to the present date. These costs would have to be borne by the Organization.
The substance of these issues will be dealt with by the CCLM.
In view of the serious nature of the above issues - the issue of import licences without delay, interpretation of certain articles of the Headquarters Agreement, more particularly the Organization's immunity from legal process - the Committee decided unanimously to recommend to Council the draft resolution which appears in paragraph 2.77 of our 54th Report. This is in no way to be understood as disrespect for the host country; it reflects the sense of frustration in the minds of the members of our Committee that nothing concrete has happened to change the present situation.
CHAIRMAN: We will take up item 16.1 to be presented by Mr Crowther and Mr Georgiadis.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): Mr Chairman, with your indulgence we would like to do several things in introducing this subject this evening. First, we would like to give a brief introduction and then we would like to dim the lights and have a 35 mm slide projection demonstration to look at both the problems and some of the solutions. Some of the solutions have been demonstrated in a model that is at the right-hand side of the stand here. We will demonstrate those solutions further by the slides. I think they will be more vivid to the entire audience if we use slides. First of all, may I take a moment to describe the reasons for using this type of demonstration to emphasize the need for solution.
The problem of Headquarters accommodation has been with us for some 24 years, since 1961, when the Organization had been separated into various buildings. As members of Council will know, in Building F there are some 900 staff, both with WFP and FAO. That is some 5,5 kilometres away which requires a bus service, which requires continual disruption and additional costs in the attempt to find measures to bring these people together. Attempts have been made over many years to find specific solutions to this particular problem.
We have examined various solutions here upon the ground, and we now have a proposal to present to Council in this regard. We have tried several other possibilities which we will discuss very briefly. I think that in order to more vividly display both the problems and the proposed solutions, it would be appropriate for us to go to the 35 mm. slides.
A.G. GEORGIADIS (Director, Administrative Services Division): This is an aerial view of the main buildings in this location. It is the reality; we can see just exactly how our buildings are today in the Via delle Terme di Caracalla complex, which houses 3 200 staff members. For the sake of orientation, this is Building A - (indicating) - and this is connected to building B with two bridges containing offices. This is building D, and parallel to it is building C. What cannot be seen from here is between these two buildings at lower level, the 4-storey prefabricated building, so-called building E constructed in 1964, where about 150 staff members and consultants work.
Building F - this is the Via Cristoforo Colombo - about 6 kilometres away from here. These two towers house WFP, two other FAO departments, forestry and fisheries, and some other smaller units. Naturally, we have to connect between the two buildings by using a bus shuttle service which runs every half hour in both directions.
This is one of the offices on the Via Cristoforo Colombo in which there are about 900 staff members.
This is prefabricated building E which cannot be seen in the previous slide giving the aerial view of the compound. It was erected in 1964 with an expected life of between 8 to 15 years maximum. Now, of course, it is 20 years ago, and the building is in much need of repair.
This is the same building photographed from the back between buildings D and C; you can see at the top there is urgent need for repair and repainting; it is rusting. There are urgent needs for other repairs to plumbing, heating and other installations.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Department of Administration and Finance): We will now take a few minutes to demonstrate the interior of building E. There are much smaller rooms. In this instance you can see the supervisor has little room for confidential discussion, and the employees are in tight corners and it is difficult for them to accomplish the business and objectives of FAO.
A similar room in building E with the same indication of crowded conditions, which indicates the need for storage, which is not available. There is no room even to provide adequate filing cabinets.
This is a slide of the hallways and demonstrates them as they were when the building was first built. We have to use many of these, and we will show you how -
- We have built rooms opposite in part of the hallway to provide office space for as many people as we could possibly accommodate, but that makes for very cramped quarters and it is difficult to perform efficient work.
Hallways again. They are both a health and a fire hazard. If we had to vacate the building quickly it would be difficult to do so.
This is our security group working in very cramped quarters. They must deal with confidential information, but because of the large rotary files - they have to be accessible to all staff members dealing with them - they are confined in a very limited space, and is a further indication of the need for additional space.
This is a picture of one of our supervisors who has an office with several people in it. Since we have introduced word processors we have had to put in a telephone booth to house the printing. No other space is available, because it must be acoustically controlled.
Back to building E. Obviously there is no room in this office because the man has to use a filing cabinet in the hallway, and someone is getting in the lift.
A.G. GEORGIADIS (Director, Administrative Services Division): This is the ground floor in our mail and pouch rooms between Buildings B and C, showing the temporary storage. This is a common scene every day, with the movement of mail, parcels and correspondence. We move about one and a half tons of mail every day, inward and outward. There is not enough space in the rooms themselves to the correspondence and parcels have to be stored outside with little space for the man manipulating the cart to move the mail into the pouch room. There are about 140 destinations of diplomatic pouch services.
One cramped corner of the mailroom, which shows the difficulties in sorting and distributing mail in very congested conditions.
Storage and documents. We have to go all the way up to the ceiling and use ladders when we need Council, Conference and other documents. They are stored neatly, but the situation is very cramped, as you can see.
This is part of the shelving for storage of documents. The kind of wardrobe doors are numbered and are moveable with a lever to make it easier for staff to go into one of them to retrieve documents and to store them again. Every inch up to the ceiling is utilized.
Here is another example of congested conditions in a room used for producing and distributing documents. There is very little space for the staff to move around in order to handle all the parcels which go to all the countries in the world. This is in the Publications Division, in the training area for distribution of documents.
Here is another example of lack of space in offices which receive and distribute the computer printouts in the Financial Services Division. We have to use landings and marble staircases on which to open parcels and distribute papers into the offices which can be seen at the back.
Here is the inside of that same office, with the clerks coding the pages for further distribution.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Department of Administration and Finance): You have now seen some demonstration of the problems: Now we will attempt to get to some of the solutions. One of the first solutions to be examined was an attempt to find whether we could build a new building adjacent to the existing building. You can see some excavation between the trees. This excavation was done to determine whether or not it was feasible, but unfortunately during the digging some antiquities were discovered. If you look in the corner you can see the remains of an old Roman wall. Upon discovery of this wall, the Italian Government said that we certainly could not construct anything here upon this site, so we had to look for other solutions.
This is one of the solutions we will explore. This is a picture of the building as is. You will notice at the far end at the moment there is no space occupied, and that is the way it stands at present. There is an orange building at the rear which is St. Stephen's school, which we will discuss later.
A.G. GEORGIADIS (Director, Administrative Services Division): This is the preliminary proposal now submitted to the governing body by the Director-General for general restructuring in order to construct additional space within the main compound within the Terme di Caracalla complex, to enable us to bring there 900 staff in FAO and regroup in one location for the first time for 24 years.
This is a model for additional cost. To solve half of the overcrowding and to stop the additional expenditure, which over the years up to the end of 1983, particularly in terms of rent paid by FAO and other buildings, from time to time exceeded 13 million dollars, and maintenance of utility services which exceeded 4,5 million dollars over the same period.
This a model of the main building representing exactly the original picture taken from the air. It shows again Building A north side, and Buildings B, C, D and E. In view of the need to undertake urgent repairs in Building E, or better, the desirability to demolish and reconstruct completely, the first solution was to demolish and reconstruct a new building E which would look exactly the same as the grey part in its place. This would take about 170 staff compared to about 150 using Building E at present, and would give us extra space for about 20 - obviously far from solving the problem. Therefore, that solution was abandoned. We shall show two models of how the new Building E would look if that project were to be undertaken.
This is a front view again between the two buildings D and C.
This is the side view showing the bridges connecting it to the other buildings.
Therefore, we instructed a reputable firm of architects to study the global solution, one that would enable us to bring all the staff here from building F. This has allowed, too, a proposal involving the construction of several structures in various parts within the same compound, and we start from the first. Building E will be that shape - much in order to permit adequate light in the buildings next to it, and another structure at the end of this area - between buildings D and C.
This is a second additional structure, what we would now hope to call building F. It could take about 530 staff members, if constructed with a new building E which could take about 130 more than the present building E.
This is the same model seen from the other side, from the front of the main compound of buildings E and F. A third additional structure would be involved between A and B in addition to the two bridges, this one and this, with the construction of a third bridge larger than the other two, of the same type, and a fourth floor on all three, together with the row of offices at the back of building A. These extra offices could take another 240 staff, the three structures together would accommodate approximately 900 staff members.
Here is the same compound photographed from the back showing the conditions. It will be noticed that there is no change in the overall height of the buildings and the original structure would biend nicely with the existing buildings.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Department of Administration and Finance): Now we will try to demonstrate from the completed model that looks to scale precisely what the total construction of this solution would mean. One of the things we would like to point out is the additional parking that would be required, and we have a few views that point this specifically out front. This particular model also includes the additions that Mr Georgiadis was referring to, with the other three specific additions. Youwill notice thatthis is a good view to show the additional crossovers between A and B that houses the extra offices there, and from the roof of this you can see very little change in the total roofline of A, but it would house a number of additional offices along this very line.
You can see the entrances here to the proposed parking garage. This parking garage would be a total of four levels - two levels below ground, one level at ground level and one level above ground level. Also, as you see a different view you will notice the relative height of this parking level to the trees so that it is unobtrusive, is designed well and fits in well with the architecture both of the building and the surrounding area.
This is a front view of Building A. Notice that there are a number of windows or acoustical areas, both for ventilation of the garage area but also to separate this from Building A in order to avoid any excessive noise into Building A from the parking area.
This is a good description of the relative height of the existing trees that are there versus a proposed construction of the parking area.
From the Caracalla you would see very little difference in the building after it was constructed, even including a parking area that would increase the number of parking spaces by about 350 and make it much easier for everyone to go and come, including an additional number of spaces for delegates that would be very helpful to them in ease of coming and going.
You can see from this view the overall crossovers. There is an additional level put on each of the three, and you will notice that the roofline changes practically not at all from this view, the elevation is practically the same. I think it is extremely important from an environmental standpoint that the Caracalla complex will not be changed from the perspective of the Aventino or the Caracalla.
This is an overall view, and from this you can begin to see where the new building E would be constructed and the new Building F at the end. We will show you the relativity both of their height and their location.
This is a closer view the new Building F at the end that closes Building C and D and would house a number of people, but there is still an open courtyard to be architecturally sound and create a nice environment.
As you can se, there is a great deal of window space that is left open for natural sunlight on both Buildings C and D that exist, even though there are considerable structures that would be included inside that would house a total of some 900 people.
From the back view: now this is totally at the rear of the building. This new Building F would blend in nicely with the ends of both Buildings C and D. We would have to build over as a pier, much like a bridge, for the utilities that exist, the steam lines, the electrical lines, the water and sewer lines. Nonetheless, with this type of construction there would be very little excavating that would be required, and yet we could still house approximately 900 additional people
A. GEORGIADIS (Director, Administrative Services Division): This is a longitudinal cross-section of the buildings to show the dark areas, the new Building F here and the new Building E, so that the skyline does not change and the overall height of the buildings does not change.
Building E would of course not be seen from the outside.
Another longitudinal foresection covering mainly Building A in order to demonstrate the new parking areas that we intend to build here, just in front of Building A in three levels, two underground, one ground level and one above. Even the one above is well below the level of the trees.
Preliminary cost estimates for the whole project, as worked out last April, about six months ago, were as you see $12.7 million. By the time the project is completed, this figure might reach 15 or maybe 20 million dollars, but it would still be a very reasonable cost for solving the Headquarters accommodation problem in a permanent way.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): Now, this is one more view of the entire complex, but we would like to stress that if this complex were built with the solution proposed here by the architect, we would be able to house the additional 900 people that are now located in Building F. It would not allow us the expansion space required, so in addition to finding a solution to our immediate needs, some consideration must be given to the future needs.
We talked about the St. Stephens School earlier on, this brown building at the very rear of the present complex. It is housed on an area immediately adjacent to the building. Also, the area along the Aventino houses an automobile dealer with a petrol pump and garage connecting with it. If this entire area were purchased some time in the future and plans were prepared during that period of time for future expansion, eventually a building could be constructed that would tie in directly with the existing building or with the proposed construction that is here. Unless some thought is given to future construction, we will again find ourselves in very cramped conditions, not being able to accommodate the staff, not being able to perform the functions as efficiently as we would hope to do because of the building constraints that would be placed upon us. It is necessary for us - and the Director-General is proposing - that considerations not only be given to finding solutions to the present problem, as were proposed here, but also to the long-term needs.
This completes the slide presentation. We will turn the lights back up and we can then get into the discussion.
The meeting was suspended from 18.00 to 18.10 hours.
La séance est suspendue de 18 h à 18 h 10
Se suspende la sesión de 18 a 18.10 h
M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italy): I have to thank the Secretariat for this pleasant entertainment illustrating this project. What I can say is that the Government of Italy was the first to regret that the previous project had to be abandoned for reasons that are well known to the Council. And now I think that this new project with its own peculiarities is quite a clever project because it tries to avoid some obstacles that we have encountered with the previous project. In fact, I think, as far as I have understood, that this project does imply excavations which are very dangerous in this area, and Italy must itself do some enlargements, new buildings, without a change in the general shape of the present headquarters. So I think that all conditions are present to have a speedy and positive examination of this project by our authorities. I can assure the Council and the Director-General that this examination will be started in a very few days, as a matter of fact on December 3rd and it is an examination that will be conducted at a very high level in the Presidenza del Consiglio in which the Prime Minister and the Under Secretary will act as coordinators and stimulators for this examination, and I hope that through this renewed political interest at the highest level, this time we will succeed in having a project for assuring new space to FAO.
I want to state once again that Italy is proud and happy to have this organization here and is ready, as she has been in the past, to ensure that the life and activities of the organization could flourish and develop without any major obstacle.
H. CARANDANG (Philippines): First of all, I should like to thank Mr Crowther and Mr Georgiadis for giving us a very nice explanation with visual aids that allowed us to appreciate the beauty of the new plan without disturbing the skyline with which the Italian Government and the Italian people are very strict. Having said that, I should also like to express the appreciation of my delegation to the delegation of Italy for the very positive attitude that it has taken with regard to the proposal.
Now having said this, I would like to introduce a resolution which is co-sponsored by Indonesia, Argentina, Cuba, Panama, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon which is very straightforward. It has four preambular paragraphs which indicates first of all the grave concern that since 1961 up to this date the headquarters units have been separated in two or more locations with the resulting insubstantial additional costs to Member Nations including the loss of staff time in moving to and from the various locations or the various buildings. That would constitute the first preambular paragraph, second-having been seized with the problem of finding a suitable permanent headquarters accommodation in one location continously during the last seven years. The third preambular paragraph deals with the fact that all the previous attempts had not been successful, and bearing in mind that the Finance Committee had recommended some very drastic solutions if the solution to the problem had not been found, we therefore endorse the Director-General's current proposals for restructuring, enlargement and improvement of the buildings of the Caracalla complex which would allow all the headquarters staff to be located in one place which is very important, and then we avoid the time that is lost shuttling the staff from one building to another. The second operative paragraph would say we welcome the high interest shown by the highest authorities of the host country as already indicated by the delagation of Italy. In fact the Permanent Representative of the Host Government indicated that the proposal is going to be examined very soon on the 3rd of December by the Prime Minister himself. So we consider that the adoption of the plan, the resolution of the legal, administrative and financial issues involved, and the initiation of the implementation are vitally urgent in order to avoid unnecessary and mounting additional costs to Member States.
Having said that, we urge those concerned in considering these matters to do so as urgently and constructively as possible, acting in concert with the use of any special procedures that are of use or appropriate to avoid delays.
Finally we invite the government of the host country to approve the plan and to take all the necessary measures to implement it as quickly as possible, and we request the Director-General to report on the progress made to the next session of the Council and then to the Conference.
So Mr Chairman, this is a very straightforward resolution. I think that everything that has to be said is said in here, but nevertheless there is nothing controversial and it would allow action that would be required to proceed to implement the beautiful plan that we have seen as presented to us by Mr Crowther and Mr Georgiadis.
M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italy): Mr Chairman, I have just two observations on this draft resolution. The first is that I noted that when Italy is concerned, the concern is always grave but there must be some reason for that. But what I object to, because it is really an unpleasant paragraph, it is the first one on page two, "Bearing in mind, etc....the feasibility to transferring the Headquarters to another country". Could we drop this paragraph, because as I said we are very glad to have the headquarters of FAO here and we intend to keep this organization here.
CHAIRMAN: Unfortunately this resolution is now in the hands of delegations. Would the Philippines delegate read it out fully in the form of a resolution so that we may all follow.
H. CARANDANG (Philippines): I do not think that the preambular paragraphs add anything to the resolution. If it causes the Italian delegation some problems I am willing to drop that paragraph. I hope that with that amendment we can adopt the resolution.
R.C. GUPTA (India): We must express our appreciation for the presentations of our distinguished colleague, Mr Abeyagoonasekera, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and the pictorial presentation from Mr Georgiadis and Mr Crowther.
Mr Chairman, the whole scheme presented to us appears to be extremely attractive, feasible and would avoid some of the difficulties which the Organization has been facing in proposals for additional construction at a little distance from the existing complex. The proposal, as we have seen, appears to be architecturally, aesthetically and environmentally sound. It fits in with the existing complex, it does not raise the skyline and it takes care of the common concern that we do not create monsters. It merges very well with the surroundings and we would like to commend it.
Just one more point, Mr Chairman We were told that during the last 20 years or so the organization has spent in the neighbourhood of 18 million US dollars for rents and maintenance of the buildings that they have hired, and this proposal costing between 15 and 20 million US dollars is definitely a more cost-effective way of utilizing the scarce resources that the countries and the international organizations have.
A very positive aspect of the helpful attitude which Ambassador Francisci di Baschi has always shown is that the proposal would be taken up at the highest level in the government, and we have every hope that this change of attitude - because we have been feeling frustrated that for a number of years the organization had a number of problems to which we would come a little later, and there was a lack of response. Now if this proposal for additional accommodation would entail contacts at such high levels, we are sure that the other issues we are going to discuss would engage the host government in equally serious consideration of the issues, and we welcome this very positive attitude.
Insofar as this resolution is concerned, we always, had this problem that our distinguished colleagues in their enthusiasm would bring up resolutions which are not circulated as yet, with the reserve that others do not have an opportunity of commenting upon them, particularly this preambular paragraph 2 to which the distinguished Ambassador from Italy has referred. My delegation feels that we should strictly avoid any reference to this thought for the time being because this has very serious repercussions for the entire U.N. system. It has repercussions immediately for three sister organizations dealing with food and agriculture stationed in Rome, IFAD, WFP and the World Food Council, because the very justification of their location here is that they can utilize the services of FAO, they can utilize the expertise of FAO, so any thought of shifting FAO out of Rome would by definition lead to shifting all these Organizations out of Rome, and I for one would feel a terrible sense of loss that this Organization has to think even of shifting out of this beautiful place with hospitable people and a charming city, so we would say we should not do these things. This is premature, it is inopportune and this would only lead to hardening of attitudes. It does not help.
A.M. QURESHI (Pakistan): I would like to say a few words on this item. I would like to express my appreciation to Mr Crowther and Mr Georgiadis for a very clear presentation with slides and Mr Abeyagoonasekera for his presentation of the item. The document that is before us is CL 86/15 regarding the Headquarters accommodation and gives the details of the Director-General's positive proposals and the need for a permanent solution to finding the Headquarters buildings at one place.
We observe from the presentation that nearly US $18 million, a colossal amount, has so far been spent on scattered accommodation at various places which is adversely affecting the efficiency, the smooth functioning, of this great Organization. The proposal of the Director-General of restructuring to have the accommodation at one place which would only cost US $12 million presently would go a
long way in solving the accommodation problem for the staff of the FAO. We wholeheartedly support and appreciate the efforts of the Director-General in this direction, and we also appreciate the assurance that the Ambassador of Italy has given to this august body here that the proposed project and its examination would commence expeditiously at the highest level. It is a matter of great encouragement for all of us and it is indeed heartwarming that the Italian Government would lend a hand to the Director-General in the resolution of this grave problem.
Lastly I would like to support the adoption of this resolution minus paragraph 2, as already agreed by the delegate of the Philippines.
A.Y. BUKHARI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of) (Original Language Arabic): This is a matter that has been discussed many times but in the past we thought we had no choice other than to try and carry on with what was there. Now we have a paper before us which shows what can be done here. But in the past we did not seem to have an open door for a quick solution to the problem. We certainly felt in the Finance Committee that we had to try to open a few doors, that it was part of our responsibilities vis-à-vis this Council to at least point to possible thoughts.
Now at this time we have heard some interesting information concerning the favourable reception which this project has had from the Italian authorities. His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy has just told us that there is great interest and they want to look at it quickly and expeditiously and he has assured us that the Italian Government is looking into this matter very quickly and with the utmost good will in a very realistic manner. This puts a different complexion on matters because we may now hope that there may be a very quick agreement on this. Obviously this encourages us to hope for quick action on this issue which is what we all desire. We note this with pleasure and we also note that His Excellency Mr Craxi is going to come here next week and we are sure that at that time the Director-General will not miss the opportunity to discuss this matter with Mr Craxi. This again encourages us to hope for a speedy and harmonious solution. FAO seems to be able to find a solution to all problems and we find that once again a lot of ingenuity has gone into finding a solution that makes everyone reasonably happy. We would commend the Secretariat for having moved ahead along these lines and we appreciate and support this project which has been put before us in principle. We agree that the second paragraph of this resolution should be omitted. We would then support the resolution entirely.
REAZ RAHMAN (Bangladesh): The preceding discussions have made my task very easy. Very simply we would like to thank Mr Crowther and Mr Georgiadis and the Chairman of the Finance Committee for their presentations which have very clearly spelled out the background, the evolution, the possible solutions to this problem which has beset us for some 24 years. We believe that the solution that has been suggested and which was beautifully visually demonstrated has the merit of being functional, aesthetic, cost saving and environmentally efficient.
We are also particularly glad to hear from the Permanent Representative of Italy welcoming these solutions the fact that his Government at the very highest level will be examining this proposal and the expedition with which they will be able to implement this.
Finally, we would like to extend our support to the outline of the draft resolution which was introduced by the delegate of the Philippines. We also agree that any negative reference should be removed, particularly the preambular paragraph.
SUHARYO HUSEN (Indonesia): The Indonesian delegation supports the proposal made by the Philippine delegation and agrees to delete the second paragraph as proposed by the delegate of Italy, also agreed by the Philippine delegation. Finally, my delegation would be happy if the Council would endorse it.
A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (Langue originale arabe): Il est bientôt sept heures moins vingt. Nous en sommes encore au point 16.1. Nous remercions vivement Son Excellence l'Ambassadeur d'Italie pour toutes ses informations précieuses qu'il nous a données ainsi que les auteurs de ce projet. On a demandé d'annuler le deuxième paragraphe et je vous demande de vous en tenir là puisque tout le monde est d'accord. Il nous faut peut-être finir et clore le débat à ce sujet afin de passer à d'autres points.
Y.A. HAMDI (Egypt) (Original Language Arabic): After having heard the suggestion from Lebanon it is very difficult for me to say anything. However, I would simply like to thank all those who have spoken on this. I would like to congratulate the author of the project and thank the Ambassador of Italy for the favourable views of his Government on the project, and that is all. Let us put it to the Drafting Committee.
M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italy): I want just to say that the paragraph to be deleted is the one on the second page. I think this is clear.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: This is a question to the Ambassador of Italy, for clarification. With reference to the Resolution, Ambassador, I understand you suggested that, where it says "Noting further with grave concern," on the first page, you would delete "grave". Then on page 2, the whole paragraph, starting with 'Bearing in mind'. Is there anything else you want to delete?
M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italy): You can put "continuous concern".
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Ambassador, and also the Director-General. Shall we move on to item 16.2 and 16.3 - FAO's immunity from Legal Process in Italy, and FAO's immunity from Measures of Execution in Italy. This will first be introduced by the Chairman of the CCLM then supplemented by the Legal Counsel.
I.P. ALVARENGA (Presidente, Comité de Asuntos Constitucionales y Jurídicos) Señor Presidente: Como los distinguidos miembros del Consejo han advertido, el tema está contenido en el documento CL 86/15, et cual toma lo fundamental de los docamentos CL 86/5 y CL 86/5 (a). Estos últimos se refieren a los períodos de sesiones 44 y 45° del Comité de Asuntos Constitucionales y Jurídicos. El 44 período de sesiones tuvo lugar el 24 y 25 de mayo de este año. El Comité fue convocado de urgencia para tratar fundamentalmente une sentencia que había sido dictada por el Pretor el 4 de abril ordenando a la Organización al pago de casi 945 millones de liras.
Dado que era la primera oportunidad en que el Comité se re.unía después de que sus nuevos miembros habían sido elegidos por la Conferencia, se procedió desde luego a la elección de su mesa directiva integrada por un Presidente y un Vicepresidente. La elección del Presidente recayó en quien habla, y aprovecha la oportunidad para agradecer de nuevo la confianza en él depositada, y expresar su firme deseo de contribuir a los mejores trabajos de la Organización. La Vicepresidencia recayó en el representante de Argelia, el señor Benattallah.
El tema que se enfocó en esa oportunidad fue exclusivamente lo relativo a la inmunidad de la Organización y se empezó por recordar los antecedentes de la situación que ahora tenemos entre manos. El antecedente concreto más remoto es el litigio con los propietarios del edificio F, cuyos pormenores son suficientemente conccidos y no voy a repetir. Otro precedente, otro antecedente importante, es la sentencia dictada por la Corte de Casación de Italia y las solicitudes que se habían hecho al Gobierno Sede para que interviniese en el fondo del problema.
El representante del gobierno italiano informó en esa ocasión sobre las reuniones que había tenido con el representante de la Avvocatura Generale dello Stato, o sea, la oficina que representa los intereses del estado italiano, al final de la cual se proponía lo siguiente: Primero, que se interviniese ante el Pretor para alegar sobre el fondo de la materia a juzgar, o segundo, que se interviniese ante los tribunales italianos alegando siempre por parte de FAO las disposiciones pertinentes del acuerdo de Sede o, tercero, que el gobierno italiano señalaría a los tribunales en el momento oportuno las disposiciones del Convenio de Sede, pidiendo que fuesen respetadas.
El Comité recordó que los órganos rectores de la Organización habían ya tornado posición en el sentido de pedir al Director General que no participase en ninguna forma ante los tribunales italianos, y recomendó por consiguiente, que ni directa ni indirectamente el Director General se presentase ante la adjudicatura de este país. Por consiguiente, se dejaba sin lugar las dos primeras propuestas planteadas. Tomó nota de que el gobierno italiano intervendría oportunamente para hacer notar la vigencia del artícuio que en el Convenio de Sede garantiza la inmunidad de la Organización y, naturalmente, lo deja a la discreción del Gobierno Sede.
En consecuencia de todo ello el Comité concluyó: primero, pedir al Gobierno italiano que continuase con las conversaciones con los propietarios del edificio F para llegar a una solución sin recurrir a los Tribunales Italianos; segundo, pedir al Gobierno Sede que legisle en manera adecuada para resolver la cuestión de la inmunidad en forma clara y definitiva; tercero, sugerir al Consejo que considerara la conveniencia de recurrir a la Corte Internacional de Justicia de La Haya para que interprete el Convenio de Sede; y cuarto, recomendar igualmente a este Consejo que estudiase la conveniencia de aplicar la cláusula de arbitraje incluida en el Convenio de Sede.
El 45º período de sesiones encontró la situación con relación a la inmunidad en el mismo estado en lo que concierne al litigio con los propietarios del edificio F, no se había llevado a la práctica la amenaza que pendía en la oportunidad anterior de que fuesen ejecutados los bienes de la Organización, pero, al contrario, se había agravàdo dado que nuevas acciones judiciales habían sido iniciadas contra la Organización a raíz de las cuales quedaba igualmente pendiente la posibilidad de una ejecución en los activos de la FAO.
Se discutió sobre la doctrina italiana recogida fundamentalme.nte en el fallo de la Corte de Casación en materia de inmunidad y se tomó conocimiento de una propuesta de reforma legislativa que existía y a raíz de la cual se esperaba que mejorase la protección de la Organización en materia de ejecución. Sin embargo, el Comité, el resto al menos de los miembros del Comité en cuanto hubo una discrepancia con el señor representante de Italia, notó con preocupación que la situación de fondo estaba sin resolverse y de ahí que reiteró las recomendaciones formuladas en el período de sesiones anterior, que son a las cuales me he referido con anterioridad.
Eso es todo de nuestra parte, señor Presidente. Como el Consejo sabe hay otros aspectos del Comité que están en otro punto de la agenda que serán expuestos oportunamente.
LEGAL COUNSEL: Mr Chairman, I believe it is your wish that the introduction should be made to Items 16.2 and 16.3 together. Before I go into further detail, it might be useful if I gave an initial explanation regarding the distinction that exists between these two Items.
Item 16.2 deals with the problems connected with FAO's immunity from legal process in Italy in general. Above all, it concerns the fact that FAO can be sued in the Italian courts by almost anybody, and it is up to those courts, when seized of a case, to decide whether or not they wish to exercise jurisdiction.
Item 16.3, on the other hand, relates to the results that flow from the fact that Italian courts may exercise jurisdiction over a case, as they now frequently do despite the fact that FAO has not waived its immunity. As you know, in accordance with the Council's instructions, FAO does not appear in court, and the courts nonetheless proceed and tend to find in favour of the plaintiffs. Thus, in brief, Item 16.2 covers immunity in general, while Item 16.3 covers some specific consequences of this immunity not being fully respected.
Now, as the Chairman of the CCLM has said, document CL 86/15 contains so to speak a concise history of the problems before you. I am sure certain delegates will have a slight feeling of déjà vu when reading this document but the matter has been under consideration now by the Council for two full years and, of course, some delegates have not had the opportunity of following this matter right from the beginning and, therefore, may not be fully conversant with the actual origins of the various issues that arise. It is for this reason that the Secretariat has attempted to gather the various threads, and present them to the Council in a manner which will be easy to follow from the beginning.
The Council will see, in particular, that as far as Item 16.2 is concerned there is a summary of the problems as they stand at present in paragraphs 30 and 31 of document CL 86/15, and the action that is suggested for consideration by the Council is listed is paragraph 55. There are corresponding paragraphs for Item 16.3, where the summary of the problem is set out in paragraphs 57 and 58, and the action suggested for consideration by the Council is contained in paragraph 70 of document CL 86/15.
With your permission, I would like to draw the attention of the Council to certain specific substantive issues which arise in connection with the two Items before you. First, immunity from every form of legal process of intergovernmental organization such as FAO, and especially those organizations in the UN system is neither unusual, nor even an iniquitous concept, as has been suggested on some occasions. Such immunity, in the same terms as provided in section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement, is provided for in the general conventions adopted by the General Asembly on the privileges and immunities of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies. There are 119 parties to the UN convention, and 90 parties to the specialized agencies convention.
As far as the rationale for this immunity is concerned, it is intended merely, to permit organizations to carry out their activities independently and without interference by the judicial authorities of any of their Member States, not only of Host states as may be provided for in a particular Headquarters Agreement. The general underlying principle is that intergovernmental organizations such as FAO should not be subject to the national jurisdiction of 156 countries, as would be the case with FAO.
Nor does this immunity lead to any injustice because, as you are aware, provision is made for alternative modes of settling disputes, in particular by arbitration. I shall come back to the question of arbitration in a minute.
It is also important to bear in mind that when the Headquarters Agreement was concluded with the Government of Italy in 1950, the Italian Republic granted FAO the same immunity as was already recognized in the two general conventions which I have just referred, and also in a number of other headquarters agreements which contain identical clauses. It may be speculation on my part, but had FAO known in 1950 the way in which section 16 of the Headquarters Agreement was going to be interpreted, I very much doubt whether Italy would have had that very narrow victory, by one vote, which resulted in the seat of FAO being transferred from Washington to Rome.
It would perhaps also be useful if I explained exactly the extent to which FAO’s immunity from legal process is not recognized in Italy, because the distinguished representative of Italy has correctly pointed out on a number of occasions that it is not a question of a total denial of immunity; it is a partial denial. The judgment of the Corte di Cassazione has never been submitted in its full detail to the Council - and I can assure you it makes extremely complicated reading, but I can sum up in a nutshell what the reasoning of the Corte di Cassazione was. The Corte di Cassazione held in the dispute with the landlords of Building F that the immunity of FAO under the Headquarters Agreement could not exceed the immunity traditionally accorded to the seat of diplomatic missions, because the. Headquarters Agreement dealt with the Organization’s headquarters seat. This agreement deals with a great many other things, too, but that is what the court said. They also said that in any case the immunity of FAO must be determined on the basis of the principles of international law applicable to foreign states.
Then, on the basis of this premise, the Corte di Cassazione went on to distinguish between sovereign acts performed by FAO in the pursuit of what is called its institutional aims - to use the Latin tag, jure imperii - and transactions of a so-called private nature - jure gestionis. In applying this doctrine, and I would like to stress that this doctrine is generally accepted as far as states are concerned, the Corte di Cassazione found the conclusion of a lease for office premises was entirely extraneous to the achievement of the basic aims of the organization. Therefore, on those grounds, the Corte di Cassazione denied FAO immunity from legal process in the particular action relating to the lease. Of course, I would not presume to query the reasoning of the Supreme Court of any country, but I would suggest that perhaps the Court did not fully take into consideration a distinction which I think must be made in this connection. That is the difference in the law applicable to organizations whose immunities are based principally on individual treaties, and the law applicable to states which is based on customary international law, and which is now very well established. I think this distinction does warrant a little explanation because it is fundamental if the Council is to fully appreciate the exact legal position in which FAO finds itself in Italy.
The extent of the immunity enjoyed by intergovernmental organizations depends almost entirely on the treaties that they have concluded with their host states, or to the general conventions applicable to them. There are headquarters agreements concluded with Italy by a number of intergovernmental organizations, and the clauses on immunities vary considerably. Therefore, the extent to which an organization has immunity in Italy or in any other country is a matter of negotiation. It is a matter of how much a country wishes to give to a particular organization, and it is up to the organization to decide whether the organization will be prepared to establish the headquarters of the organization in that particular host state.
I believe the provisions on immunity contained in the FAO headquarters agreement are very clear. In the past, the Council has already affirmed that Section 16 should be given its full, literal meaning. I should add that the very provisions contained in Section 16 of FAO’s Headquarters Agreement is the same as clauses contained in similar agreements concluded by other United Nations organizations whose headquarters are in Vienna, Paris and Geneva. So I should repeat that section 16 is not an unusual clause. Perhaps I should also add that, to the best of my knowledge, none of these countries has ever interpreted the clauses corresponding to Section 16 in the manner in which it has been interpreted by the Corte di Cassazione.
I should also mention that there are a number of states, such as Canada and the United States which have given different degrees of immunity to different organizations. Under their national legislation, they give the same immunity to organizations as to states, but they also have treaty obligations which go beyond that, because both Canada and the United States are parties to the United Nations convention on privileges and immunity. I believe it would be the case that if the application of the corresponding provision to Section 16 came up for interpretation by the courts of either of those countries, they would say that the immunity was absolute, whereas if, for example, the organization were only covered in the United States by the International Organizations Immunity Act, the courts would hold that that organization has a lesser degree of immunity because in such case the Government has chosen to grant the organization concerned less immunity.
I should also like to mention another problem which arises out of the judgment of the Corte di Cassazione and which gives considerable concern to FAO; that is,the dictate of the court regarding the arbitration clause contained in virtually all FAO contracts and those of many organizations in the United Nations system. The Corte di Cassazione held that the arbitration clause which envisaged reference to the International Chamber of Commerce was not valid and could not oust the jurisdiction of the Italian courts. We immediately consulted the International Chamber of Commerce and obtained their comments on this. Although the answer we received is too intricate to explain here, the gist was that the arbitration clause should be held to be valid by Italian courts because Italy is a party to the New York Convention.
The conditions under which arbitration clauses would be valid depend to a certain extent on whether the arbitration is envisaged as taking place in Italy or abroad. But I think the point to be borne in mind here is that whether or not the arbitration clause is valid, its validity would be irrelevant to establishing the organization's immunity. If FAO were to appear before the courts it would argue the lack of jurisdiction of the Italian courts on the basis of the validity of the arbitration clause, this would involve a waiver of FAO’s immunity from legal process. This is such because such an agreement is not a denial of jurisdiction on grounds of immunity, but a denial of the jurisdiction based on internal Italian procedural law. So I am afraid this is not a satisfactory solution.
As the Council has pointed out on more than one occasion over the past two years, the situation is rather serious. The Council has already adopted resolutions at its 82nd and 83rd sessions, as you will recall, and has urged the host government to take the necessary action to safeguard FAO immunity from legal process in the future. I believe that the Council will agree that the only way of safeguarding this immunity is for legislative action to be taken because, as has been pointed out before, the judgment of the Corte di Cassazione is a fact and something has to be done to legislate, so to speak to overrule, that judgement.
As the Council will recall from the introduction made by the Chairman of the CCLM, that Committee and the Finance Committee have been keeping this problem under review and have explored the question of what further action the Council might envisage to solve the general problem of FAO’s immunity.
One course of action that had been recommended is for the Conference to request the International Court of Justice in The Hague for an advisory opinion on the interpretation of sections 16 and 17 of the Headquarters Agreement; both those provisions relating to immunity. I belive this suggestion deserves the Council’s most serious consideration, since the International Court of Justice is undoubtedly the most competent judicial body which can determine the extent of the Italian Gvernment’s treaty obligations under the Headquarters Agreement.
I know I have been rather long already, but I should just like say a few words on Item 16.3 which relates to immunity from measures of execution. This matter too has been under review for the last two years and, as the Chairman of the CCLM explained to you earlier on, when the Organization approached the Government for protection as measures of execution were imminent, it appeared that certain measures could be taken by the Government but none of these measures would actually guarantee immunity from measures of execution.
Although Section 17 of the Headquarters Agreement does refer to FAO’s property being immune from confiscation, sequestration and all forms of judicial administrative or other interference, it is obviously a risk for FAO to expose itself now to an intepretation of section 17. What appeared to FAO to be very clear language in section 16 received an interpretation which I must confess came as a great surprise. Needless, to say, it would be extremely undesirable to risk another surprise relating to section 17.
The situation therefore, as it stands now, is that at any moment at least two plaintiffs, one of them being the landlords of Building F, can at any moment seek to apply measures of execution, and this is a constant threat to FAO's property, including the contributions of all Member States.
On this particular aspect, the representative of the Italian Government informed the CCLM that certain measures were being taken to amend legislation which at present only applies to states, whereby any measure of execution would require the prior authorisation of the Minister of Justice. This, if the legislation is passed, and we hope that it will be passed very soon, gives FAO only some measure of reassurance - and as the Council has already recognised at its previous session - is not a solution to the general problem of the Organization's immunity. It would merely mean that FAO could be sued, judgements could be rendered against FAO, but the plaintiffs would remain unable to obtain satisfaction by, for example, getting FAO to pay damages .This is one of the reasons why Items 16.2 and 16.3 have been kept separate, because what we basically need now is a general solution; a legislative solution to the problems that arise under item 16.2. In other words, full recognition of FAO's immunity from legal process.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Roche, for your clear enunciation of the problems.
R.C. GUPTA (India): We have carefully gone through the Council document CL 86/15, the two Reports of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, and the Report of the Finance Committee.
We also listened carefully to the opening remarks of the Director-General on this particular issue. In view of certain positive developments, namely the visit of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Italy and that of His Excellency the Foreign Minister and the likely visit of His Excellency the President of the Council of Ministers next Tuesday, the Director-General rightly felt and in a way suggested to the Council that we approach this issue with restraint in a positive spirit.
Mr Roche's clear delineation of the problem is most welcome because though this issue has been discussed a number of times in the governing bodies of the Organization, perhaps at no time did we have such a clear explanation of the legal implications of the whole issue.
If on the subject of Headquarters accommodation, the Council could do well with expressions of continuous concern, perhaps on this issue it will be an understatement to say that we are only concerned, because this threatens the very existance of this Organisation in this country. It is a much more serious matter.
Still we would find it difficult to believe this attitude of the host Government, because we have seen in our various discussions, Italy is one of the most generous countries in terms of providing assistance and so on and so forth, even in the case of IFAD. We have been attending the various negotiations, and we found the Italian Government's attitude most positive. Where other attitudes were at times, in our opinion, obstructive, the attitude of the Government of Italy was always constructive and generous and we find it very difficult to appreciate this kind of diffidence, this kind of hesitation.
So far as the concept of immunity is concerned, we have before us a judgement of the Supreme Court of the host country, which has tried to put a certain interpretation on this concept of immunity, but even so, we are not very clear what the content of this immunity is. It does not extend to the hiring of buildings, of course, not for private use, it was for carrying out the purposes of the Organizations It does not extend to contacts for supply of goods. A contractor that was supplying goods for the Organization sued the Organization successfully. His goods were not required for any other purpose except to carry out the objective of the Organization The Organization had somebody to instal air conditioning machinery on certain floors. The enterprise met with an accident, it caused damage to the property of the Organization. No only is the Organization prevented from recovering those damages, the Organization is being called upon to pay the damages to that individual for damage to his equipment.
Now, with all this, it appears that this immunity perhaps is interpreted as something which is intangible. It is a concept without any content, it is perhaps a fiction, and it is time that something is done to defend this concept.
We have the highest regard for the independent judiciary which we feel is the fountainhead from which all liberties flow, but certainly, when a sovereign government enters into international treaties. As Mr Roche rightly pointed cut, the Government of Italy should have been conscious of these legislations, their interpretation, and it would have allowed the Organization officially to decide whether this charming city was the right place in that context. It was the best place, there is no doubt about it, but considering the facilities, the privileges that the Organization would get it could at that time decide. Ex post facto interpretation of the interpretation of the local laws to deny
immunity to the Organization to our mind most humbly is a question of bad taste, and we would strongly urge upon the host Government to modify its laws, because we are quite sure, we have no dispute in the courts, the courts would interpret the local law as it exists, but it is for the host country, for the executive, for the political fovernment of a sovereign state to assure that its international treaties will be honoured by its courts.
Coming to the question of immunity from execution is just a small step that if immunity from legal process is not there the immunity from execution of those processes certainly cannot exist, and if we insist upon a situation where the Organization does not have immunity from legal processes but from execution only, with the highest respect to the judiciaries, I would say it will make a mockery of the judgements of the courts. It will be a most untenable, unacceptable situation in any democracy that the decrees of its court cannot be executed, so the solution lies in a clear definition of what the immunity is and that this immunity will be respected. We fully support the suggestion of the CCLM that the governing bodies of this Organization should refer for advisory opinion in this matter to the International Court of Justice.
It will not only be fair to the Organization, it will be fair to the Host Government, it will clear many cobwebs to clarify the position where the extent of immunity is, because it is nobody's case that one can get away with murder but while the Organization is entering into certain legal obligations to carry out the purpose for which it was established, it should have the facility.
It is unfortunate that in a crisis through which we are passing, the time, effort and finances which are devoted to this wasteful enterprise of finding solution to these problems is distracting from the object of the Organization.
We also feel that the course of action suggested by the Advocate General is fraught with many implications. It will amount to the Organization providing a waiver to its immunity and the Organization certainly would be ill-advised to appear in the court at any time for any purpose to claim its immunity from legal executions, etc.
With this, we fully support the resolution proposed by the Finance Committee which is on page 26 of Council document CL 86/15 and as I said in the beginning, we have an atmosphere now after a lot of deliberations, after a lot of efforts, whereas the Host Government is taking a positive attitude towards all these problems and we are sanguine that we will find some workable solutions to all these problems.
A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe) : La délégation libanaise a étudié attentivement le rapport du Comité financier et le document du CQCJ concernant l'immunité de l’organisation contre les mesures exécutoires en Italie. Notre délégation apprécie toutes les questions qui ont été abordées par le document CL 86/15. Le sérieux que nous accordons à ces problèmes vient de leur diversité et de leur importance. Il n’est pas besoin d'être un homme de loi pour se convaincre qu’une organisation telle que la FAO doit bénéficier de l'immunité juridique dans tous les pays où elle exerce. Je ne vois aucune justification pour soumettre l'Organisation à des lois et à des juridictions nationales. Nous pensons que tout litige relevant de l'exercice statutaire de l'Organisation doit être soumis à un arbitrage et non pas aux tribunaux ordinaires, et ce, conformément aux procédures applicables pour les Nations Unies. Il est done indispensable de prendre une disposition juridique pour préserver l'immunité de l’Organisation contre les mesures exécutoires. La délégation libanaise apprécie également la proposition demandant au Directeur général de prendre les mesures indispensables pour présenter à la prochaine Conférence une demande de consultation auprès de la C.I.J. en ce qui concerne l’interprétation des paragraphes 16 et 17 de l'Accord de Siège. Il est indispensable de prendre une telle mesure afin de permettre à la C.I.J. de faire connaître son avis sur les engagements qui incombent au Gouvernement italien.
En un mot, je dis que la situation est fort critique; et ma délégation est d'accord avec les paragraphes de 55 à 70 du document CL 86/15 souhaitant que le Directeur général entreprenne les efforts pour parvenir à la résolution de ces problèmes. Je vous remercie.
CHAIRMAN: I would again, draw your attention to the resolution of the Finance Committee which was introduced by the Chairman of the Finance Committee and supported by the delegate of India and we would like to know that there is a consensus supporting this resolution.
M. FRANCISCI di BASCHI (Italy): I thank the Chairman of the Committee on Legal and Constitutional Matters and Mr Roche for their exposition once again of this very serious problem, and you will allow me, Mr Chairman, to expound a bit on these two points which I will treat at the same time because that they are strictly connected.
So many things have been said about the alleged incorrect behaviour of Italian authorities that I am forced to make once again a brief outline of the real terms of the situation with the hope that this time I will be understood by all members of this Council as well as by the representatives of the Secretariat.
The 1982 judgement of the Corte di Cassazione, which has become familiar to all of us but which I think only Mr Roche and myself have read, does not deny FAO’s immunity from legal process but only specifies the limits of the said immunity.
The said judgement is based on concepts which have long existed and which have been affirmed by a long series of court judgements not only in Italy but in the great majority of countries.
In accordance with this contract, immunity from legal process of foreign states and other subjects of international law, such as international organizations, FAO of course, is not without boundary but rather is limited to so-called acts of jure imperii through which the entities carry out their institutional purposes, thus representing themselves as sovereign in no way subject to the local state.
On the contrary, when a foreign state or an international organization carries out within the legal system of the local state any acts which are typical of private individuals, the so-called acts jure gestionis, such as entering into a lease contract, in accordance with the local laws, then immunity from legal process is not recognized.
I wish to stress that the concepts to which I have just referred, namely the distinction between acts jure imperii and acts jure gestionis, are not at all a novelty that has emerged in the 1982 judgement of the Corte di Cassazione. Suffice it to say that in a judgement of June 25/1969 the Pretore di Roma, that is the first judge, made use of this very concept in order to declare that FAO, which - I underline this - which at that time did not hesitate to appear in court, I said that FAO enjoyed indeed immunity from legal process in a labour dispute involving the Organization and a staff member. This is a practical case, and I address myself to India, where I can indicate the content of this immunity in the field of jure imperii.
The 1982 judgement of the Corte di Cassazione, therefore, although it has produced so much commotion, has really said nothing new. It has simply answered a query, made by FAO, on whether Italian courts lacked jurisdiction in the dispute concerning the FAO/INPDAI lease contract, and it has confirmed that a lease contract is a typical act jure gestionis for which no foreign State and no International Organization could possibly claim immunity from legal process.
In connection with the general question of immunity from legal process, there are two points that I wish to stress with the greatest emphasis, hoping that all members of this Council will pay due attention to them, because they appear to me to have been the source of much confusion.
The first point is the validity of arbitration clauses. This point concerns the validity of arbitration clauses (which FAO might include and in fact includes in all the contracts it executes in Italy) aimed at avoiding that any dispute arising from the contract be subject to the jurisdiction of Italian courts.
This matter was dealt with briefly and incidentally, as an obiter dictum as we say in Latin law, in the 1982 judgement of Corte di Cassazione. The Corte stated that the particular arbitration clause contained in the FAO/INPDAI contract (which clause had not even been invoked by FAO) was not valid under Italian laws, and that therefore it could not possibly derogate the jurisdiction of Italian courts.
The matter, however, and this is very important, deserves a lot more of attention. Italy has become a part to the New York Convention of 6 October 1958 on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. So this Convention now is a law of the Italian State, Not only the said Convention has been approved by the Italian Parliament under its law of the country but the Corte di Cassazione has maintained in numerous judgements that arbitration clauses providing for foreign arbitral awards in accordance with the New York Convention, do have the power to derogate the jurisdiction of Italian courts. In practice, therefore, FAO could very well thus be no longer subject to Italian courts in any dispute arising from its contracts. It goes without saying, however, that, if the other contractor attempted to ignore the arbitration clause and initiated legal proceedings against FAO before an Italian court, the Organization would have to appear before the judge, in order to demonstrate to him the existence of a valid arbitration clause - otherwise, the proceedings would continue in absentia until the issuance of a final judgement. Under the Italian laws of civil procedure, it is not conceivable that anyone else but FAO appeared before the Court to protect its own interests and in the case of immunity from jurisdiction. In particular the Italian Government could not defend FAO’s interests before a court, but could at most put at FAO's disposal, with no charge, the Avvocatura dello Stato, which is a body of lawyers by which the Italian State itself is represented and defended in court disputes.
The second point which deserves utmost attention is the complete distinction which exists between on the one hand the general concept of immunity from legal process, with which I dealt at the beginning of my speech, and on the other hand the concept of immunity from measures of execution.
While the former concept has some limits, that is to say, it applies only to acts "Jure imperii" as opposed to acts "jure gestionis" - the immunity from measures of execution enjoyed by FAO under the Italian legal system is full and complete. It is true that there has never been any test case to prove that the courts would uphold such immunity, but it is not difficult to understand that the reason why no one has ever tried to attach FAO's property (for instance INPDAI, which already obtained a court judgement condemning FAO to pay) is exactly the legal impossibility to carry out measures of execution against the Organization. In this connection too, however, it is important to realize that, if someone attempted to carry out measures of execution against FAO (by initiating an ad hoc proceeding before the competent "judge of the execution" in accordance with the code of civil procedure), the Organization would have to appear before the judge, in order to point out the existence of its immunity under Section 17 of the Headquarters’ Agreement. Such appearance in court could be made through any lawyer, including the Avvocatura dello Stato, which the Italian Government, as I said before, is willing to put at FAO's disposal free of charge. If, on the other hand, FAO refused to appear in court, the Italian Government could only try to help FAO by calling the attention of the judge of the execution to Section 17 of the Headquarters’ Agreement. Such course of action, however, would not be the best to follow, since the most reliable way of convincing a judge - in a legal system based on total separation between the Judicial Power and the Executive Power - is to present one's case in court properly through a lawyer.
Finally, I should like to add that, in order to make FAO's immunity from measures of execution even more explicit, and to avoid even the need for FAO to appear in court and to claim immunity under Section 17 of the Headquarters Agreement, the Italian Government has taken the initiative to adopt a new legislative provision. The new law, which is presently being elaborated, provides that no measures of execution against any international organization can be carried out by any court, unless there is an express authorization by the Ministry of Justice. Only under such a system, which already exists with respect to foreign States, the Executive Power will be actually allowed to block (for reasons of political convenience) the otherwise independent functioning of the Judicial Power.
I have made the best effort I could, to try to convey to this Council an honest view of the real situation in which FAO finds itself nowadays with respect to the question of immunity within the Italian legal system. This situation is not dramatic. If things were viewed by all with a spirit of collaboration and mutual understanding, many problems would really appear to be nearly nonexistent.
Above all I do hope to have explained that the decisions taken by the Council and the Conference by which the Director-General was instructed not to participate in legal proceedings before Italian courts under any circumstances, need to be reviewed, because they are not in the interest of the Organization. Their only effect is to keep nerves tense, and to block the solution of these problems. If the Director-General were allowed a certain flexibility to decide whether in some future case it would be opportune or necessary to put in an appearance in court, in order to defend the Organization's immunities before the independent judicial organs of this country, he would simply be following a practice which was followed by FAO in the past, and which is still followed in Italy by many or the majority of all foreign States and International Organizations, including NATO. Only a few days ago we have learned that the President of the United States, represented by a high-level officer of the Department of Justice, has lodged a complaint to the Italian Corte di Cassazione, seeking a decision to the effect that a judgement issued by the Catania Tribunal, concerning a labour dispute of the American military base in Italy, is not enforceable.
If FAO followed this course of action, it might recognize the existence of Italian courts only for the limited purpose of seeing its immunity reaffirmed in the proper fora, thus avoiding that the legal proceedings continue on its merits.
To ignore completely the existence of the courts and of the legal system of the host country is quite an anomalous attitude on the part of FAO. Certainly when the Organization executes contracts which are governed by the Italian legal system, it does act as a legal person within the said system, On the other hand, Section 14 (c) of the Headquarters's Agreement expressly states that the Italian Government recognizes the juridical personality of FAO and, in particular, its capacity to institute legal proceedings.
In this connection I believe that it might be useful to examine such matters in more depth, perhaps through a meeting at high-level between Italian jurists and jurists of the Organization or maybe also these matters could be reconsidered within the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters.
Before I conclude, Mr Chairman, I should like to add a few words about the dramatic presentation, according to which, after the Corte di Cassazione judgement, FAO would be exposed to all kinds of risks and would have been made the target of very numerous litigations.
I repeat, first of all, that until now no measure of execution has been attempted against FAO. As far as other legal actions are concerned, apart from the INPDAI case only two new cases have arisen, and both derived from the same accident in which two Italian companies working on FAO grounds were involved.
With one of these companies FAO has already made a settlement, of which I am grateful to the Organization. Therefore according to my information there is only one legal action pending, which the second company might not even pursue.
As far as INPDAI is concerned, my government has complied with the invitation made by the Council and the Conference, and has done all that was possible in order to facilitate a settlement between FAO and INPDAI. Some meetings have already taken place, and I believe that the negotiations have already gone so far that a rapid solution of this dispute appears now quite possible. I do hope that the Organization will not delay much longer the payment of some rent increases which are due since 1974.
Now in concluding this intervention of mine what I want to stress is that in my opinion this possibility, flexibility, desirability that the Director-General could, in certain cases, appear or be represented in Italian courts just to defend immunity, should be examined and considered very seriously. For all these reasons, Mr Chairman, it is clear that my Government cannot accept the draft resolution proposed by the Finance Committee which appears in document 86/15, page 26.
A.M. QURESHI (Pakistan): Mr. Chairman, we appreciate the detailed expositions of Ambassador Alvarenga and the Legal Counsel.
We have carefully studied the Reports of the Fifty-third and Fifty-fourth Sessions of the Finance Committee and the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Sessions of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters.
My delegation, Mr. Chairman, is conscious of the fact that we are engaged in a marathon race against time. Any long statements at this late hour would throw us behind schedule. Therefore, we would like to be brief.
The Director-General has, in his opening statement, apprised the Council of the impasse that the Organization had reached with the Host Government regarding FAO's immunity from legal process and measures of execution in Italy. We appreciate the constructive and pragmatic approach of the Director-General on the issue and hope that the expression of his faith expressed in his opening statement in finding a solution to this grave problem finds practical manifestation on the part of the host government.
Mr Chairman: compulsive optimist that my delegation is, we more than agree with the distinguished Ambassador of Italy that there is no problem which does not have a solution.
We endorse the adoption of the resolution urging the host government to take immediate steps in line with their traditional generous hospitality to find an urgent solution to the problem.
The forthcoming visit of His Excellency the president of the Council of Ministers, Government of Italy, lends further hope that the matter will be amicably resolved with the urgency that it deserves.
Mrs M. FENWICK (United States of America): The United States is deeply concerned, as we all are, about the issues involving the host country, this beautiful host country. I expect to make a more detailed intervention on the other aspects of this agenda items later, but now I am happy to present what I consider a most positive step forward.
What I am presenting is a proposed resolution to take the place of the resolution following paragraph 109 in document CL 86/15. It is relevant in the consideration of agenda item 16, but the full document in all the official languages will be presented at the end of the discussion when there is time for the translations. This text has received general acceptance by the delegation of Italy from whom I received the text, and by the highest levels of the Secretariat. I will read the text now, noting that it is of course open to constructive improvement.
Having considered the reports of the Fifty-third and fifty-Fourth Sessions of the Finance Committee and the Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth Sessions of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters;
Noting that the Host Government had taken some steps to facilitate the settlement out of court of disputes between FAO and Italian contractors;
Noting also that the Host Government had elaborated a draft law to be submitted to Parliament in order to strengthen the Organization's immunity from measures of execution;
Noting, however, that no fully satisfactory solutions had yet been found to ensure the Organization's immunity from legal process and from measures of execution;
Noting further that for a number of years these problems had been discussed at length in the Finance Committee, the CCLM, the Council and the Conference and that Conference and that practical solutions to these problems were now required;
Concerned about the serious delays in obtaining licences for the importation free of customs and other levies of articles which it had a right to import for its official purposes under Section 10 of the Headquarters Agreement, and that these delays not only hindered the smooth operation of the Organization, but also resulted in additional costs to the Organization that devolved on all Member Nations;
Being aware that in negotiations with the Host Government on the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement, the Host Government was adopting a position on the privileges and immunities accorded to the staff entailing the possible limitation of such privileges and immunities;
Convinced that the Director-General should have the flexibility of action necessary to respond to or initiate steps that would resolve or mitigate these problems;
Strongly urges the Host Government:
(i) to accelerate the adoption of legislative measures that would guarantee, in the future, the Organization's immunity from legal process including measures of execution;
(ii) to ensure that licences for the importation of articles required by the Organization for its official purposes are granted expeditiously so as not to hamper its work and cause additional costs to the Member of the Organizations;
(iii) to take into consideration, in the context of the negotiations on the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement, all the financial and other implications that its position may have for all Member Nations both now and in the future;
Invites the Director-General to consider, and to submit to the CCLM for further examination, the question whether it would be desirable for the Organization to accept the services offered by the Host Government to defend the organization's immunity in the Italian Courts, without cost to the Organization "
1 commend this text to you, my colleagues, with respect and appreciation for the untiring efforts of the Italian Ambassador and the Director-General for the goodwill of the host Government and the Secretariat in the sure hope that we will arrive at good relations all round.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I want to thank the Ambassador of the United States. 1 would like to allow myself to propose some small changes and one addition to the text, which is otherwise very acceptable to me and I think the text is being distributed in all languages. Unless it is distributed it is difficult to follow what I am going to suggest. But meanwhile I can still say something very important.
There is complete disagreement, 100 percent, between the point of view expressed by His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy and that of the CCLM, the Council and the Director-General of FAO about the interpretation of Article 16. According to the Ambassador of Italy our immunity is limited. We believe that it is unlimited, because Article 16 says FAO is immune from any form of legal process. That means it is unlimited. If it said that FAO was immune from certain things, then one could say there are limits.
The same language has been used in the agreements signed between other international organizations in Paris and Geneva about their immunity from any form of legal process: the Governments in France and Switzerland have given unlimited immunity. The only way to deal with this problem is to ask for interpretation. This is why I would suggest that you add to the Resolution a small paragraph requesting interpretation, as recommended twice by the CCLM. We have to know what the interpretation is and we should accept the decision or the advice of the Court at The Hague. Either it is limited or it is unlimited. According to the Italian Government it is limited.
Although I personally accept the Resolution, the last paragraph is not going to solve anything. If we go to the Avvocatura, the State lawyer, and ask him to go to court on our behalf and say that FAO is immune from legal process and the court should not discuss the case against FAO, we are going to lose because the Corte di Cassazione, the highest court, says that we are not immune. So the other courts which are lower than the Corte di Cassazione cannot say something which is contradictory to what the Corte di Cassazione has said.
Anyway, I accept this paragraph. We will make a study that we will present to the CCLM, and the CCLM will report to you about it, but I certainly would not advise to start imediately appearing before the court. Anyway, you are not asking me to appear before the court, you are asking me to study this possibility.
I think we can approve this Resolution with an additional paragraph and some editing.
I leave the first paragraph as it is.
The second paragraph would read, "Noting that the host Government had taken some steps to facilitate the settlement out of court of certain disputes between FAO and Italian contractors".
Then the third paragraph: "Noting also that the host Government informed the Council that it was elaborating a draft law to be submitted to Parliament ..." etc.
Then the paragraph beginning "Noting further" would read: "Noting further that for a number of years these problems had been discussed at length in the Finance Committee, the CCLM, the Council and the Conference and that early and practical solutions to these problems were now required." I add the word "early".
The next paragraph, commencing "Concerned", no change.
Then the paragraph beginning "Being aware" I would add towards the end of that paragraph after the words: "Immunities accorded to certain categories of staff," because it is not all staff.
Then I have nothing to change in the rest. But I want to propose to add to the Resolution: "Requests the Director-General to make such preparations as might be necessary to enable the Conference, if it so decided, to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the interpretation of Sections 16 and 17 of the Headquarters Agreement, unless legislative action has been taken to safeguard FAO's immunity from legal process that would render an advisory opinion unnecessary".
Mr Chairman, this paragraph is very important, because as I have said, there is a complete disagreement about the interpretation of this Agreement. It has been emphasized by the statement of the delegate of Italy and we know that the Italian Government for the time being is not taking any measures, no law has been elaborated to give FAO full immunity. The law which has been elaborated is to protect FAO from execution, not to give FAO full immunity in their own understanding. This is why I think it is necessary to clarify this issue, and nobody can do it except the International Court as recommended by the CCLM on two occasions.
M. FRANCISCI di BASCHI (Italy): I have no objection at all to the amendments, improvements, that have been suggested. I was just wondering if this initiative to seek an advisory opinion of the International Court could be treated separately, not in the same Resolution, because perhaps some countries have different opinions on one part of the Resolution and on the opportunity to seek this advice. So I think it could be more expedient to keep the two things separate.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I think, Mr Chairman, since this part of the Resolution is of concern to the Director-General, who is requested to take measures, for me there is no problem. If this part constitutes a paragraph of the report, saying the same thing without going to the Drafting Committee for hours (but the same text, becoming a paragraph) no problem, because I will act according to the wording of this paragraph.
CHAIRMAN: What the Italian Ambassador has stated is that this last paragraph read out by the Director-General should be a separate resolution or, as the Director-General says, as a paragraph in our report?
Mrs M. FENWICK (United States of America): I would be happy if this paragraph could be separated. I join with the Italian delegate.
R.C. GUPTA (India): Our understanding is that this Resolution and the paragraph proposed by the Director-General, which would be a separate resolution, would have the unanimous approval of the Council. If we have to go into the exercise of many delegates, the majority of delegates, and all that, is not acceptable.
CHAIRMAN: The Indian delegate proposed that this should be unanimously approved and it should not be recorded what some members felt, and so on. I hope this is agreeable to everyone, that the proposal of the United States delegate, with the amendments suggested by the Director-General and an additional paragraph suggested by the Director-General, be included in the report as the unanimous recommendation of this Council. Then I suggest that we need not have any further discussion. I am very grateful to you for approving the Resolution unanimously. I want to thank all of you for this very nice ending for today. We have passed two resolutions and a statement unanimously and I am grateful to you.
It was so decided
Il en est ainsi décidé
Así se acuerda
The meeting rose at 20.15 hours
Le séance est levée à 20.15
Se levanta la sesión a las 20.15 horas