CHAIRMAN: Distinguished delegates, as you were told on Friday afternoon I am going to be in the Chair for the next two items, after which the other Vice-Chairman, Mr McLean, will take over.
When we adjourned on Friday last we had discussed items 16.2 and 16.3, and in fact a Resolution was accepted by the delegates on those two items, but you will observe that the Resolution does in fact take in item 16.5 and possibly some aspects of 16.4. In view of that fact, I would suggest that 16.4 and 16.5 be taken together when they are being introduced by Mr Crowther. If there is no objection from the floor to this procedure we will continue in that way. Since I see no objections, Mr Crowther will introduce items 16.4 and 16.5.
D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): First on 16.4, this involves the negotiations regarding the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement. On this item there are two basic problems; one has to do with the decision by the Host Government to limit duty-free privileges to all Italian nationals and to some non-Italian nationals. The second problem involves delay in the import licences for the Commissary.
First if I may give some very brief background on this subject. When the Headquarters Agreement between FAO and the Government of Italy was concluded in 1950, it was later ratified by the Italian Parliament and promulgated into law on 9th January 1951. An exchange of letters was concluded between the representatives of the Host Government and the then Director-General which gave details on the interpretation of certain clauses in the Agreement. These letters, which essentially interpreted the Headquarters Agreement at that point in time, are still in force today. Subsequently further agreements were drawn up in the form of an exchange of letters which set forth agreed interpretations of specific provisions or agreed procedures for their application.
In 1972 the Permanent Representative of Italy notified the Director-General that the Government had denounced the exchange of letters that occurred after 1951, and that a new text to replace them would be prepared by the Government in order to specify the scope and method of application of certain sections of the Headquarters Agreement. Negotiation on a new exchange of letters was initiated in February 1974 but no agreement had been reached.
Further negotiations started on 6th February and there were three meetings held between 6 February and 23 March of 1984. Negotiations were interrupted after the meeting on 23 March but were resumed on 29 October 1984. In the meantime there has been an exchange of correspondence between the Director-General and the Permanent Representative of the Host Government, and copies of those exchanges of letters are attached in the documents that you have with you.
The Italian Government states that it is determined in any case to exclude all FAO staff members of Italian nationality from customs benefits as from 1 January 1985. In addition, the Ministry of Finance has indicated that it wishes also to exclude non-Italian staff in the second and third category from duty-free purchase of petrol, liquor and tobacco. The Government wishes to cancel privileges enjoyed by Italian staff since 1971 following an official communication by His Excellency the Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time.
It may be helpful at this time, Mr Chairman, to give just a brief definition as to what is meant by these categories. Generally the first category staff could be defined to include all P-5s and above, as it provides essentially for full diplomatic privileges and immunities. The second category staff can be referred to as P-1s through P-4s, and they receive limited privileges and immunities. The third category staff is the General Service staff, and while they have received Commissary privileges, the only immunities they receive are for official acts only.
As a result of a number of delays in the granting of import licences during 1984 for the Commissary, duty-free petrol coupons and other items that were being sold were exhausted in July, with a result in financial losses not only to the staff but also to the Commissary. In view of these reduced sales it was necessary to curtail operations and close Building F Commissary from the beginning of August 1984.
For the first time in the history of the Organization, the Ministry of Finance refused or delayed the issue of duty-free licences for the FAO staff, as provided for in Article 12, Section 27 of the Headquarters Agreement. The denial of privileges to the staff have administrative and financial consequences for the Organization since they are part of the conditions of employment of the staff, and the denial adversely affects the basis of the post adjustment of the Professional staff and of the comparison with the best prevailing rates in Rome as applied to the salaries of the General Service staff.
A permanent discontinuance of duty free imports for certain staff members would inevitably entail considerable extra cost to the Organization in the form of eventual upward adjustments in staff remuneration, since some duty free privileges are taken into account in the calculation of staff remuneration, salaries of General Service staff and post adjustment for Professional staff.
The Director-General considers that he should maintain the same privileges and immunities which the Organization and its staff have enjoyed since its Headquarters were transferred to Rome in 1951 and since they were subsequently extended to staff of Italian nationals, as communicated to the Organization by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1971.
The Director-General further considers that it would be difficult to continue negotiations in a constructive spirit leading to their successful conclusion under the conditions which the unilateral decision taken by the Host Government revoking the privileges granted for so many years in the past seeks to impose.
The question has been reviewed by the Finance Committee, which observed that the attitude of certain authorities was at variance with the benefits of the Italian economy deriving from the presence of the Organization, and did a disservice to the Organization and its staff.
On Friday a resolution was taken up that refers to this particular point and it strongly urges the Host Government to take into consideration in the context of the negotiations on the interpretation and application of the Headquarters Agreement all the financing and other implications that this position may have for all Member Nations both now and in the future.
If I may, I will take just a moment concerning item 16.5, which is to do with delay in issuance of import licences. Import licences are provided to FAO for those goods that are required to be imported for official purposes. Article 7 Section 19 of the Headquarters Agreement was incorporated into Italian law on 19 January 1951 and specifically states that "Articles imported or exported by the FAO for official purposes shall be exempt from customs duties and other levies, prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports." There has been a difference in understanding what this means. The Organization views it as being an unlimited authority to import goods for official purposes. Each time an application is made for duty free importation of official goods either the Director-General or the Deputy Director-General certifies that the request is for official purposes. The Ministry of Finance has viewed this differently and has questioned the official purposes. It raises questions on either the quantitites or the purposes that the items are being imported for. There were a number of cases where the imports for official purposes were essentially blocked for some period of time while questions were being resolved. This occurred in 1982 and eventually was resolved, and the Finance Committee took this up at its session in April and May of 1983, when it was informed that the situation had improved substantially and an understanding had been reached. However, the Ministry of Finance again stopped granting licences during the last three months of 1983, blocking all the Organization's requests in respect of 1984 requirements.
The effects in terms of unbudgeted extra costs incurred amounted at the end of May 1984 to approximately US $20 000. The Director-General protested repeatedly, both verbally and in writing, to the Italian Permanent Representative. Some licences were then issued, but with considerable delays, in subsequent months, which caused additional expenditure in the stoppage of the Organization's work. Through the good offices of the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Francisci has done a great deal to assist in alleviating this problem. He has personally intervened on a number of cases and attempted to resolve the issue. In most instances today we have been able to successfully get release of most of the import licences for official goods. However, there still remains outstanding, for example, the importation request for 2 500 000 envelopes covering the requirements of the Organization for next year, 1985. A number of questions have been raised concerning how this quantity fits in with the entire plan for importing for 1985. However, we have made euery effort to provide information each time it has been asked for and we will provide the information requested in this instance. I think it is a good example of the type of question that has been raised.
Again let me say that the Finance Committee had put forward a resolution and again on Friday the Council took this resolution up as well and strongly urged the Host Government to ensure that licence 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 cost to the Member Nations of the Organization.
The Council may wish to consider these. The documents are in front of you. This completes my opening remarks. I will be available for any questions that you may have.
CHAIRMAN: I thank Mr Crowther for his introduction. I now put the matter before you for discussion.
Mrs M. FENWICK (United States of America): I appreciate having the opportunity to speak again on this agenda item. There are a few points that my Government has asked me to make for the record.
Many of us have expressed a sense of urgency concerning the immunity of FAO from legal process and from measures of execution both. I want to add the voice of the United States to theirs and to urge upon the Host Government my Government's belief that FAO must have effective immunity from legal process and measures of execution.
Having said that, I would like to observe that the solutions to the Host Government's relations question lie, in our belief, right here in Rome, where so many successful negotiations have been brought to a conclusion, and not in The Hague. My Government hopes that all these difficulties which FAO is having with the Host Government will be worked out amicably and soon. I think we saw proof of that the other day and I think we should continue in that vein and on that path. We therefore believe that it would be premature either to resort to the International Court of Justice or to invoke the arbitration clause in the Headquarters Agreement. What is required is legislation which the distinguished Representative of the host country spoke to us about the other day, legislation right here in Italy.
We look forward to the speedy introduction and passage of this necessary legislation right here in Rome.
With respect to the host country's desire to limit the diplomatic privileges of its nationals in FAO employment, my delegation lends it full support to the position of the Host Government. Sovereign States have the right to do this, as my own country does with its nationals who are members of the international civil service posted in the United States. Similarly, we support the sovereign right of the Host Government to levy income tax upon its nationals in the FAO service. My own Government taxes its nationals in the international civil service. The modalities exist for doing it. While these measures, taxation and limitation of duty free privileges, may ultimately have some financial implications, we would not oppose the exercise of the sovereign right of a State upon such grounds. However, we would strongly oppose, and we urge that FAO strongly oppose, any such limitation on non-Italian nationals being imposed by the Host Government.
M. FRANCISCI di BASCHI (Italie): Je dois avant tout remercier M. Crowther, Sous-Directeur général, pour l'exposition des problèmes qu'il a faite et je voudrais faire une observation de caractère général. M. Crowther et moi-même sommes engagés dans des négociations délicates, difficiles que nous espérons conclure avant la fin de l'année. Pour cette considération de caractère général je pense qu'il ne serait pas opportun d'entrer dans les détails d'une négociation qui est en train de se dérouler. Nous étudions actuellement différentes formules et peut-être que les intérêts légitimes, économiques et financiers de l'Organisation, trouveront une solution plus optimiste que ce que l'on pense. Done j'invite le Conseil à avoir assez de patience parce que je ne conteste pas le droit du Secrétaire d'informer le Conseil sur les négociations mais je pense qu'en ce moment il serait opportun d'avoir une information de caractère très général.
Sur le problème des employés et fonctionnaires de la FAO de nationalité italienne, ce n'est pas une tâche agréable pour moi de suivre cette ligne, qui est parfaitement légitime, de mon gouvernement. Le problème des fonctionnaires italiens n'est pas inclus dans l'échange de lettres que nous sommes en train de renégocier. Je voudrais rappeler au Conseil que le Gouvernement italien a étendu ces privilèges aux fonctionnaires de nationalité italienne en 1971. Cela a été une concession unilatéral, un geste disons de générosité, de compréhension. Maintenant mon gouvernement pense que ces privilèges doivent être retirés. Done ce point particulier ne fait pas partie des négociations parce qu'il n'a jamais fait partie de l'échange de lettres et le Gouvernement italien, en retirant ces privilèges pour les citoyens italiens, ne fait que suivre une pratique qui est généralement suivie par les autres pays.
Pour le reste, je pense que je peux m'engager devant le Conseil au nom de mon gouvernement à trouver des solutions et des formules qui soient absolument conformes à la lettre et à l'esprit du Traité. En revanche, je dois dire que le problème des licences d'importations est vrai et sérieux. Je m'en suis occupé presque tous les jours depuis que j'ai été nommé représentant de l'Italie auprès de l'Organisation. Dans cette question il y a eu des hauts et des bas; quelquefois j'ai réussi à résoudre les problèmes, quelquefois les choses ont mal tourné, mais je pense que, comme l'a dit M. Crowther, maintenant la situation est en train de se normaliser. Le Gouvernement italien est tout à fait d'accord sur l'interprétation de cette partie du décret. Le Gouvernement italien n'a ni l'autorité ni la compétence pour juger les quantités et les qualités des marchandises qui servent à l'Organisation pour fonctionner. Je pense que tout le monde ici connaît le caractère traditionnel, historique des administrations financières dans chacun de nos pays, et, en effet, la négociation avec mon Ministère des Finances est plus difficile sur ce point qu'avec M. Crowther.
H. CARANDANG (Philippines): Mr Chairman, I just wanted a little clarification. I thought when you opened the debate this morning you were talking about items 16.4 and 16.5 and that we had already finished items 16.2 and 16.3. I was just wondering whether the interventions relating to this would form part of the record of the debate.
CHAIRMAN: As far as I am aware we concluded discussion on items 16.2 and 16.3 on Friday last: and we are now discussing items 16.4 and 16.5, so that the discussions here will in fact form part of the record. This is my understanding. The Secretary has advised me that I am correct in my understanding. The floor is still open for discussion on this subject. Again I must point out to delegates that on Friday last a resolution was accepted by the Council and in that resolution mention was made of the need to seek an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice. In an intervention this morning we had an expression that this was premature, but this was just an expression that was made by the delegate of the United States.
R. SALLERY (Canada): Just a point of clarification. My understanding was indeed that the Council had accepted that resolution but that the last paragraph referring to the ICJ was to form part of the report itself and not part of the resolution. Is that correct?
CHAIRMAN: The Secretariat informs me that that is correct. It is the view of the Council that the clause relating to the seeking of an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice does not in fact form part of the resolution, but will be included in the report.
R. SALLERY (Canada): Thank you for that clarification. Canada did not speak on this issue because the Council had arrived at what we thought was a very useful position on this. This being said, the view of the Canadian Government was that matters should be solved within the house. We have no serious problem with helping the International Court but we urge that the problem be solved here, so our understanding of the Council "urging" is that it is a general statement.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): With regard to the relationships of FAO with the Host Government, my delegation notes with satisfaction taking into account decisions arrived at on Friday and the statements made so far, that we seem to have arrived at the turn of the tide. We feel both partners should be commended for their action, and fully encouraged to make every effort. We expect that this change will also include the issuance of import licences for the duty-free entry of goods destined for the Organization. We hope that the Secretariat and the Host Government will succeed in ensuring the smooth functioning of the FAO Secretariat, and in avoiding possible additional operational costs.
H. CARANDANG (Philippines): Briefly, we hope that negotiations will be carried to a successful conclusion in such a manner that there will be no additional cost to the Organization. As has been clearly explained by Mr Crowther, revocation of certain privileges would include additional costs for the Organization and would therefore mean additional assessed contributions to governments or reduction of monies which could more usefully be allocated to the programmes and work of the Organization for the realization of its objectives.
H. MALTEZ (Panamá): Después de haber reflexionado mucho sobre este tema el Consejo relativo a las cuestiones derivadas de las relaciones con el Gobierno del país huésped expresamos nuestra preocupación en el sentido de sentar precedentes que pongan en peligro los derechos que atañen a las representaciones contemplados en las convenciones internacionales que regulan la materia, y señalamos, asimismo, que, objetivamente, la suma de tiempo que la Conferencia, el Consejo y los Comités de Finanzas y Asuntos Constitucionales y Jurídicos han dedicado a estos problemas, que debieran ser de fácil solución existiendo la buena voluntad de las partes, restan tiempo a estos Organos Rectores de la Organización para la atención de los problemas que fundamentalmente deben atender, como el del establecimiento de las medidas concretas que den respuesta a los graves problemas alimentarios y agrícolas que confrontan muchas áreas del mundo.
Sabemos que el distinguido hospedante sabrá apreciar este importante señalamiento.
Igualmente, los Comités de Asuntos Constitucionales y Jurídicos y de Finanzas, así como el Director General, deben seguir de cerca la marcha de estos acontecimientos e informar a este Consejo en sucesivos períodos de sesiones.
Finalmente, vemos con satisfacción el anuncio que nos hizo llegar el Director General sobre la visita del Excelentísimo Señor Presidente del Consejo de Ministros de la República de Italia para el próximo martes 27 ya que abre un compás de espera a la respuesta que pueda darnos el Gobierno italiano a través del honorable Señor Craxi.
La delegación de Panamá no tiene dificultad en aceptar los términos de la Resolución que se propone a este Consejo sobre las relaciones con el Gobierno huésped que aparece en el párrafo 109 del documento a examen.
S.J. KAO (Lesotho): I want only to ask for some clarification in relation to that part of the resolution beginning with the word "convinced" just before the words "strongly urges", because I wish to be clear to what it refers. We have been informed that the Council and the Conference have taken decisions to the effect that the Director-General would not appear in Court on these issues. To me, the sentence as it stands is not clear as to whether it refers to appearing in Court, now granting flexibility to the Director-General on that matter, or whether it restricts that flexibility only to the ongoing negotiations. I request that we add something somewhere there to enable the sentence to be more clear.
CHAIRMAN: I draw the attention of the distinguished delegate of Lesotho to the fact that this subject is closed. This resolution was passed and accepted by Council on Friday and we cannot now reopen discussion on that item which has been passed. As I see it, that is the position. We are now on Items 16.4 and 16.5. The distinguished delegate has referred to the resolution passed on Friday last, and his suggestion that he be allowed to amend that resolution.
S.J. KAO (Lesotho); I am not asking for amendment, but clarification; for my own clarification as to what this is restricted to.
CHAIRMAN: If we go further into this we shall be turning back the clock and discussing the matter, which was done on Friday last. I do not think this is an appropriate time to go back on this item for clarification.
A.Y. BUKHARI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of) (Original language Arabic): In fact, this question was discussed in the Finance Committee, of which we have the honour to be a member. During discussion on this matter, we noted that for a number of years it has not been settled in an acceptable way and, therefore, this situation will inevitably have a negative effect on the Organization, on its efficiency in the pursuance of its activities, and in the achievement of its objectives. Furthermore, this will be very expensive, and the funds available to the Organization should be directed towards other priorities.
If we can find a solution to this problem, which is not a recent one, and the Finance Committee will continue its discussions on the matter, we are convinced that the solution will be an effective one. There is no doubt that His Excellency the Ambassador of Italy has made many efforts, and is still continuing his attempts, to find a solution to this problem. We hope it will be possible to put things back in order and that the Organization will be able to obtain the international immunities it deserves.
As to granting privileges to Italian staff members and exempting them from Customs duties, Council no doubt will have noted that the Finance Committee has not specifically considered this particular point. As the representative of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, I would like to give my unreserved support here to all measures and to any laws and decrees to which the Italian staff are subject. We should respect the laws promulgated by the Italian Government, and accept them. The Italian staff are local staff and if their Government does not wish to grant them privileges it has the absolute right to do so.
One last point. So far as concerns the decision taken on Friday and the last paragraph which was added to that resolution, the Director-General is not asked for arbitration from the International Court of Justice; he is simply asked for consultation, for a legal advisory opinion. This will not prejudice either party. It was something we accepted in the Finance Committee. Therefore, we see no objection to the Organization taking this advice and proceeding with the consultation, and afterwards it will inform the Finance Committee and the other Committees involved. That is what we wanted to say.
CHAIRMAN: We seem to have exhausted discussion from the floor, so I call on the Deputy Director-General.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Thank you. First let me say that as you have rightly ruled, Mr Chairman, the subject of immunities was closed late on Friday evening. Furthermore, it was closed with certain understandings. One understanding was that the resolution will contain certain amendments which the Director-General read out which were accepted. Secondly, it would not contain a clause on the possibility - as the distinguished delegate of Saudi Arabia rightly says - of submitting the question of immunity to the International Court. Instead of being in the resolution, this was put in a paragraph of the report, but the reason I myself am referring back to a closed item is that there may be some misunderstanding about this now as a result of the earlier interventions.
I fully understand that certain delegations wanted to get certain views on record. On the other hand, I think it was said explicitly by the Director-General on Friday evening, and was accepted by the floor and by the Chairman, that in the paragraph referring to the International Court of Justice the possibility was adopted unanimously and would not be changed in the Drafting Committee. I wanted just to recall that. Of course, this does not prejudice the particular view expressed by certain delegations on the timeliness or desirability of actually doing this. The matter has to he studied; that is the unanimous decision in the words read out by the Director-General.
Mrs M. FENWICK (United States of America): I just wanted to be sure of one thing. We passed unanimously a resolution which did not contain this paragraph. This paragraph was to appear in the report as separate from the resolution - is that correct?
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Yes, I have just confirmed that, but as adopted by the Council without qualifications and reservations. This is the point I was making.
Turning to items under discussion this morning, I appreciate very much the spirit in which this has been dealt with by His Excellency Ambassador Francisci di Baschi, and members of the Council could well listen to his appeal not to go into detail. I appreciate the point he is making to us rather than to you on that particular point. However, I must make one or two points.
First, I want to emphasize that no-one is questioning the sovereign rights, of the Host Government of any country. They exist and will be applied. We are discussing the interpretation of an agreement which was entered into on the basis of the sovereign rights of the host country and they are bound by that agreement just as much as we are. It is the interpretation which is causing the trouble. If certain things are changed, in particular matters which affect the calculation of the salaries of staff in the manner suggested, the costs will not be negligible; they will be substantial, and as pointed out, they will be shared by all of you. So this is a matter which has to be taken seriously by the Director-General at any time, but particularly when he is doing his utmost to recognize the demand being made all round for austerity and prudence in budgetary matters.
Secondly, I would like to say as regards income tax which has been introduced into the discussion, but does not form part as far as I am aware of the negotiations with the Host Government - I pause for His Excellency the Ambassador to correct me if I am wrong - I would appreciate his intervention at this point because it was not we who raised the question of income tax, but someone else, and I would like to dispose of it rather than get into that subject. If His Excellency can confirm that is not at issue, we can leave that question aside.
M. FRANCISCI di BASCHI (Italie) : Oui. Après une longue méditation, le Gouvernement italien a décidé de ne pas parler de cette question. Elle ne figure pas dans les négociations. Nous n'avons aucune intention de soulever ce problème.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Thank you, I am most grateful for that clarification. We are left with certain other matters. As regards the question of import privileges for Italian staff, we understand very well that in most countries which are hosting organizations, they do not provide import duty-free privileges to the nationals of their own countries. It is not universally true. It is done in at least one place, but it is generally the case that nationals are not included. Now if they had never been included in Rome, then we would not have a problem, but they were included, not by this
Director-General but by a previous one in the past with the concurrence and cooperation of the host country provided by the then Minister of Foreign Affairs in a letter which we have in our possession, a very distinguished Minister of Foreign Affairs who became Prime Minister and was later most horribly and tragically assassinated. At that time, the Italian State decided they were entitled to certain privileges, and I refer in particular of course to the question of access to the Commissary. As I said, if they had not had it given to them by the fiat of the Italian Government at that time there would not be a problem now, but it was given to them by the Italian Government. Now the Italian Government has decided that it does not wish any longer to give it to them.
Well, we cannot go into that as a matter of right, as the Italian Ambassador said, under the Headquarters Agreement. You will not find it there. On the other hand, I think most of the members of the Council will understand and sympathize with our position that we cannot be consenting and willing partners to introducing discrimination against any member of our staff, and that is our position, and that is what we are putting before the Host Government.
The same applies but only more so to the question of limiting the number of staff in Category I. On this it is not only a question of discrimination but it is a question of interpretation, which we think is open to argument, and it is also a question of your rights, because the number and grades of staff are determined by the Conference. And as far as the Conference is concerned, you are determining the number of P-4s, not the number of P-4s or P-5s, who shall be either in a first-class citizen category or who shall be a second-class citizen. We cannot go to the Italian Government in advance of coming to the Conference and say, how many more P-5s will you tolerate in FAO, unless the new ones are second-class citizens and do not have privileges, nor can we go to the Conference and say, please approve this number of P-4s and P-5s subject to the agreement of the Italian Government on their status. This is the problem. It is a practical problem and moral problem, as we see it, but also to some extent a constitutional problem.
Now, I do not want to whip up a controversy on these issues today. We would like to continue in the same way as we did on Friday evening, and therefore I hope that what you have already approved in the resolution on these matters in a general way will cover this issue too, and that we shall continue to negotiate in a friendly and constructive way, which I am sure will be the case as long as we are dealing with the present Ambassador sitting here today.
However, I must speak much more strongly and appeal to your strong and explicit support in this case, because I think this is required to enable Ambassador Francisci to do his job. I must ask you to be very clear and very strong on the subject of import licences for the Organization's official needs. He has already made our case for us, I think, in his statement, so I need not say too much on that issue, but I would like to add just one or two practical examples.
It really is incredible and intolerable that an official, someone in the Ministry of Finance, should be in a positon to oblige us to incur increasing demurrage costs for paper for printing held up in railway wagons for lack of an import licence because he thinks that - well, I do not know what he thinks. He thinks that either he is entitled to enquire why we need so much paper, so I have to say to him because international organizations consume a lot of paper and delegates are always asking for more documents, or whether it is because he thinks that instead of buying it on the basis of an international tender more cheaply from Sweden, we ought to buy it in Italy, which is the practical consequence of our not being able to have this paper or for any other reason that he might have on his mind. It is not for him to determine the needs of the Organization. If he believes that we are importing this paper and selling it off to somebody, then of course he should produce evidence, and we could deal with this matter in a proper way, but no such suggestion has been made. It is incredible similarly that we do not have our supply of official envelopes with the FAO title and symbol on it for 1985 because he thinks - well, he does not say anything. He has not granted the licence for 1985 for official envelopes in which we need to dispatch documents and letters. This is not something that happened last week and will be resolved if we have a little patience. We made that application in April 1984 and we are still waiting for the import licence.
It has been indicated that certain things are not linked with other things, but we have the feeling that maybe they are linked, that maybe this pressure by the Minister of Finance - I do not want to whip up the atmosphere so I am not going to go into it any more, but I just want to make it clear where we are with this intolerable situation.
My last point on this will be yes, we are encouraged by recent developments, but I think the words used by the Federal Republic of Germany were perhaps unconsciously correct - I was going to say they were a Freudian slip. I do not know, I will talk to him afterwards. But he said this seems to be the turn of the tide. But the tide goes out and it comes in, it goes out again. This is what we have been experiencing for the last few years. So I hope it is not simply the turn of the tide, I hope it is the conclusion of the problem.
M. FRANCISCI di BASCHI (Italic): Sur ce dernier point, la position du Gouvernement italien coĭncide exactement avec celle sur laquelle M. West a beaucoup insisté. Ma tâche sera d'éliminer ce problème, pas à travers une série de hautes ou basses marées, mais définitivement.
Sur le problème de l'exclusion des fonctionnaires de nationalité italienne des privilèges fiscaux et de douane: le Gouvernement italien est parfaitement conscient de ce qu'il y a des conséquences financières pour l'Organisation. En effet, entre 1971 et aujourd'hui, l'ltalie a été l'unique membre de cette Organisation à intégrer les salaires des fonctionnaires de la FAO. Si dans l'avenir cette tâche sera partagée par tous les membres, je ne vois là rien de tragique ni d'irréalisable. Je reconnais que c'est un problème désagréable pour le management de l'Organisation mais il faut quantì même y faire face. Merci M. le Président.
Mrs M. FENWICK (United States of America): This is the first time that I have heard the question of appointment of staff being brought up, and the position is that we support the administration. It seems to me impossible that anybody that tries to run an organization has not the power of deciding about the staff they wish to appoint, so we would support the Secretariat of FAO in this regard.
M. FRANCISCI DI BASCHI (Italie): Le Gouvernement italien n'a aucunement l’intention d'interférer dans la politique du personnel du Directeur général ni du Conseil. Nous parlons simplement d'une négociation de privilèges matériels, pas d'immunité; done nous n'avons aucune intention de faire des pressions indirectes sur le Conseil, par exemple sur le groupe de fonctionnaires P-5, mais on doit rappeler au Conseil que depuis son implantation à Rome, le groupe de fonctionnaires de première catégorie gorie est passé de 50 à 500. C'est de cela dont on parle; et en tout cas, si on a l'intention, au moins de la part du Gouvernement italien, de congeler ce nombre ou plutôt de le réduire, cela n'a rien à voir avec les privilèges juridiques qui sont reconnus à n'importe quel fonctionnaire international. Donc, disons qu'il y a d'un côté des privilèges physiques, matériels et de l'autre des immunités de caractère juridique. Ce second type d'immunité n'est pas touché par les négociations; il y a simplement le désir du Gouvernement italien d'avoir un accord avec l'Organisation sur un nombre de fonctionnaires qui a terriblement grandi au cours des dernières années; et il s'agirait en fait de calculer avec une certaine bonne volonté des deux côtés.
J. TCHICAYA (Congo): Nous avons suivi avec beaucoup d'intérêt la discussion sur cette question qui nous touche nous tous membres de la FAO. Nous pensons pour notre part, et c'est ce que nous avons toujours encouragé, qu'il faudrait que le gouvernement hôte de la FAO puisse aboutir le plus rapidement possible à un accord satisfaisant toutes les parties. Mais nous voudrions nous appesantir un peu sur ce point qui concerne les privileges matériels accordés jusqu'ici aux fonctionnaires de la catégorie I par exemple. Nous pensons qu'il est extrêmement dangereux que l'on puisse créer des différences à l'intérieur de cette catégorie. Je prends l'exemple des fonctionnaires P-5, il serait extrêmement difficile de faire une distinction entre les P-5 qui pourront jouir des privilèges matériels que l'ltalie pourrait accorder, et les autres qui n'en jouiraient pas.
Il convientlors de ces négociations de faire en sorte que la justice puisse être sauvegardée; si les P-5 sont concernés, il faut que tous les P-5 puissent bénéficier de ces avantages et non pas que certains en bénéficient alors que d'autres n'en bénéficieraient pas. Il faut éviter de créer des discriminations au sein de ce groupe de fonctionnaires, discriminations qui risquent d'avoir des répercussions dangereuses dans le cadre du travail. Je vous remercie.
CHAIRMAN: In brief summation, it seems to me as though the agreement reached could be accommodated under the draft resolution which was passed on Friday, a general consensus that the host country should ensure that FAO is allowed to have immunity from legal process and execution. The view was expressed by one or two delegations that it may be premature for the Council to resort to the ICJ for an advisory opinion, but this view does not detract from the fact that a clause was included in the report to the effect that even though this clause is there, the Secretariat, having a mandate to proceed, will determine when and how and if they should so proceed.
We also heard from the Italian Ambassador that the Council should show some restraint in view of the fact that discussions are now being held, and he cautioned patience.
DEPUTY-DIRECTOR GENERAL: Mr Chairman, you have just summarized what occurred here this morning but it is my understanding from the exchanges between myself and others that there will be no reference in the report on this item to the discussion about immunity. The verbatim records will take care of what people said.
A. REGNIER (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): I take pleasure in presenting to you, on behalf of the Director-General, document CL 86/12 on recent developments in the United Nations system of interest to FAO.
It will be recalled that the last documents on this item were submitted to the Twenty-second session of the Conference in November 1983. The present document intends to summarize important developments since then. As in the past, in accordance with the pattern established by the Council, the document deals with developments of an inter-agency nature in the United Nations system which are not covered elsewhere.
It will be seen that it covers a wide range of subjects and reflects the increasing degree of FAO's involvement in the coordination of and contribution to matters of system-wide interest.
This involvement assumes different forms, depending on the degree of interest the Organization has in the subject and the nature of requests for cooperation. We have substantively contributed to the documentations and debates on a variety of subjects, such at the International Development Strategy, economic and technical cooperation among developing countries, population, industrialization, and the review and appraisal of the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women. In certain areas, our cooperation assumed the shape of joint or collaborative activities, such as in the case of science and technology for development, or nutrition. In certain others, like agrarian reform and rural development, FAO has the lead role. In passing, it may be mentioned that, up to end of October of this year, we have been asked by the United Nations to contribute to as many as a hundred reports and invited to attend over 500 meetings of the UN system, besides over 600 non-UN meetings.
This of course showed the important scope of inter-agency activities.
These are only a few examples. It is neither our intent nor is it possible in fact in a document of this nature to give a complete view of the inter-agency aspects of FAO’s activities.
I would therefore confine myself to updating the Council since the issue of this document on developments regarding selected items.
I would like to deal with them in the order in which they are listed. First of all:
The International Development Strategy. The Council and Conference have been kept informed of the various stages of the review and appraisal of the IDS. Our participation in the process is briefly described in paragraph 6 of the document. The resumed and final session of the Committee on the Review and Appraisal of the Implementation of the IDS. was held from 10-18 September 1984. It unfortunately failed to fulfil the task entrusted to it by the General Assembly. In the absence of a consensus, the Committee would present a brief factual and procedural report to the Second Committee of the General Assembly. A possibility envisaged is that a decision might be taken by the General Assembly with a view to continuing and completing the review and appraisal exercise in early 1985 but a decision has still to be taken.
Critical situation in Africa. Subsequent to the ECOSOC discussions in July this year referred to in paragraph 33 of the document, the World Bank, in late September, presented a report entitled "Towards consistent development: A joint programme of action for sub-Saharan Africa". I am sure most delegates are already very familiar with this document.
The report inter alia recommends that the African governments should undertake necessary policy reforms and the international community should provide adequate and consistent external financial assistance. Agriculture was singled out as the most crucial sector for policy reform and external assistance. The report also recommends that an additional funding of US$ 2 billion should be placed in a special assistance facility to support reform programmes.
The Development Committee expressed strong support for the report's proposed action programme, but the key problem of financing the plan, and particularly the annual funding of $2 billion, is still unresolved and the World Bank is continuing its discussions with donor countries.
As recommended by ECOSOC at its July 1984 session, an item on the critical economic situation in Africa was inscribed on the agenda of the current session of the General Assembly. The General Assembly, for the consideration of this item, had before it a report reviewing the emergency situation in 27 countries facing abnormal food shortages and nine countries also affected by drought, as identified by the FAO/WFP Special Task Force. FAO participated in the preparation of this report. The debate on the subject in the General Assembly was concluded on 6 November but according to our latest information just received this morning, informal discussions are still going on. The President of the General Assembly has appointed an open-ended working group to elaborate a draft "Declaration on the critical situation in Africa". A text has been presented by the African Group and negotiations, as I said, are still proceeding informally.
A few words now on ICARA II, the International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa. FAO participated actively in the preparation of the Second International Conference on Assistance to Refugees in Africa, held in Geneva in July. As mentioned in the document, FAO prepared 40 agricultural project profiles to the value of approximately $91 million, equal to about 25 percent of the total value of the 128 project proposals submitted to ICARA II. The situation with regard to the exact amounts of pledges for the project proposals placed before the Conference, the extent to which such pledges represented or would represent additionality in resources, and the issue of the channelling of the resources through multilateral means are still not clear three months after the channelling of the Conference. Two focal points have been set up within the United Nations for handling all contributions channelled through it. UNHCR is the focal point for all assistance dealing with emergency relief and voluntary repatriation of refugees; UNDP is the focal point for technical and capital assistance for refugee-related development projects. As of 31 October, 22 governments had indicated a pledge or contribution in response to a letter of August 17 from the Secretary-General asking for information on action in response to the refugee needs.
On Science and Technology for Development. Paragraphs 81 to 89 of the document summarize developments in this regard. I should like to add only a few words about the latest situation relating to the United Nations Financing System for Science and Technology for Development. As indicated in paragraph 83, the Secretary-General convened a preparatory meeting on resources at the end of October. Sixteen governments and interested members of the European Economic Community indicated their readiness to contribute a total sum of $10 million for the first year of the Financing System. This amount is far short of the target of $50 million for the initial year. A suggestion was made at the meeting that an informal open-ended intergovernmental working group be constituted to continue the negotiations. Thus, so far, there is no substantial progress to report, and the future of the Financing System is still hanging in balance.
On Environment. As indicated in paragraph 103 of the document, the World Commission on Environment and Development held its first meeting in Geneva. The Commission gave preliminary consideration to its own mandate, identification of key issues and its strategy, work plan and timetable. The Director-General sent a message to the Commission highlighting the global environmental issues as seen from the perspective of agriculture and the growing food requirements. The Commission intends to work in close collaboration with, among others, UN bodies and specialized agencies, including FAO, and to hold discussions with them. FAO has assured the Commission of its fullest cooperation.
ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition. It will be noted in paragraphs 122 to 125 of the document that the three priority areas identified by the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition were endorsed by ACC, the Administrative Committee on Coordination. I am happy to report the following further action. As regards Initiative Africa, the United Nations University has undertaken to organize missions, in consultation with FAO and WHO, to identify the African institutions to be strengthened. Also, consultations are under way on the strengthening of the Joint FAO/WHO/OAU Regional Food and Nutrition Commissions for Africa, and the matter will come up for further consideration at the next session of the ACC Sub-Committee in February 1985. As regards coordinated country-level approach, Kenya has been selected to study the coordinated support to nutrition activities at the country level. A consultant and a panel of Kenyan national experts is engaged in preparing a review of the nutritional problems, policies, resources, external inputs, and opportunities. This will form the basis of a symposium which will take place during the next session of the Sub-Committee planned to be held in Nairobi in February 1985. As regards control of vitamin A deficiency, ACC, at its October 1984 session, requested the Sub-Committee to prepare for its review a detailed ten-year plan of action for concerted action by the United Nations organizations concerned.
Mr Chairman, it will be noted that, in response, to a suggestion made at the twenty-second session of the FAO Conference, a section of the document on relations with international financial institutions has been included. In this context, by way of updating, it would suffice to say that the discussions on the replenishment of IFAD, held during the session of the Fund's Governing Council in Paris in October, did not prove conclusive and the negotiations are expected to be resumed next month.
In conclusion, I would like to share information on two other matters which are not included in the document but may be of interest to the Council. The first relates to the establishment of a UNIDO-sponsored International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology with the purpose of undertaking training, research, development, exchange of information, and transfer of technology activities in these fields. At a plenipotentiary meeting held in Vienna in April 1984, in which 25 developing and developed countries participated, it was decided to establish the two components of the Centre respectively at New Delhi and Trieste in Italy. The unit in India is reportedly expected to focus on agriculture and human and animal health, while the focus of work in Italy would be on energy, microbiology and protein engineering. The Centre would have affiliated institutions in individual countries, which would participate in the training, research and development activities of the Centre.
FAO’s views were sought in the early stages of the elaboration of the proposal, and FAO was represented at the various meetings which led to the establishment of the Centre. In May 1984, the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Preparatory Committee of the Centre were invited to visit the laboratory of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Isotope and Radiation Applications of Atomic Energy for Food and Agricultural Development located at Seiberstorf, Austria. They showed great interest in the biotechnology activities of the laboratory and thought that it could become an affiliated centre for agricultural biotechnology in the proposed scheme for the Centre.
The other matter relates to the 1984 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities which was held in New York on 7 and 8 November 1984. At this Conference, pledges to UNDP by 98 countries amounted to $511 million. Contributions by governments which have not yet announced their pledges would, according to the estimate of the Administrator of UNDP, bring the expected total of UNDP resources for 1985 to $672 million. This represents a virtual stagnation in contributions before inflation, since the actual contributions amounted to $676 million in 1983, and $671 million up to 30 June 1984.
With these few introductory notes I would like to submit this document for the Council's consideration. I would just like to add one small thing, a misspelling in paragraph 102, unfortunately, in the first name of Mrs. Brundtland. It should read Mrs. Groharlem Brundtland. We apologize for this misspelling.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Nos complace, Señor Presidente, intervenir bajo su dirección, Embajador Williams.
Como siempre nuestro amigo André Regnier ha hecho una presentación clara y completa de este documento. No sólo el texto de este documento, sino la oportunidad de participar en actividades realizadas en diversos foros, nos permite registrar con satisfacción el hecho de que la FAO, nuestra Organización, ocupa un lugar preminente y destacado en el contexto de las Naciones Unidas. Particularmente en los últimos nueve años la FAO ha logrado escapar de la torre de marfil en la cual se le tenía segregada, tristemente aislada de la realidad de hechos que tienen lugar en el seno de las Naciones Unidas, víctima de las políticas conservadoras, negativas y retrógradas de algunos países. Para satisfacción nuestra hoy la FAO es la Agencia más importante de las Naciones Unidas y es reconocida su labor por la manera eficaz y positiva en que se adelantan sus labores.
La riqueza de este documento pleno de datos e informaciones útiles, confirman la presencia viva, activa y permanente de la FAO, así como la adecuada y eficaz coordinación de las actividades de nuestra Organización con los demás Organismos de las Naciones Unidas. Nos complace esta evolución favorable en la posición de la FAO, porque es evidente que los problemas de la agricultura y de la alimentación no puedenconsiderarse ni responderse aisladamente, ya que están directamente relacionados con todos los otros aspectos que integran la economía mundial.
Deseamos referirnos al examen y evaluación de la Estrategia Internacional del Desarrollo, a partir del párrafo 2.
Este Consejo debe lamentar que, como l-o indie an los párrafos 3 y 4, ni siquiera pueda llevarse a cabo el examen y la evaluación de esa estrategia, que como tantos otros documentos quedó convertida en letra muerta y sin que se alcanzara ninguno de los objetivos, particularmente en los sectores de la agricultura y la alimentación. Claro que a ciertos países no les conviene evaluar el resultado de esa estrategia porque se confirmaría que vamos de año en año y de promesa a promesa siempre incumplida.
Bastaría referirnos a las negociaciones globales. Creemos que ésta es una de las raras ocasiones en que en este documento, que siempre estudiamos en el Consejo en el otoño, no aparece ninguna referenda a las negociaciones globales, y sin duda cuántos de nosotros recordamos las veces que se ha dicho en este Consejo que ya casi van a empezarse las negociaciones globales.
En su discurso de apertura el Director General dijo que ya no se habla de las negociaciones globales; está en curso el 39º período de sesiones de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas y se nos ha informado que no existe ninguna posibilidad de que esa Asamblea General vuelva a ocuparse de las negociaciones globales. Esto debemos de lamentarlo y hacerlo constar en nuestro informe; pero seguramente el amigo Regnier podrá aún darnos la esperanza e informarnos de que por lo menos antes del año 2000 volveremos a ocuparnos de las negociaciones globales.
La Delegación de Colombia apoya plenamente la participación de la FAO en el incremento de la cooperación económica y técnica entre los países en desarrollo. En nuestro informe deberemos pedir que se intensifique este apoyo por parte de la FAO, al cual hay que asignársele más recursos, si bien reconocemos que la responsabilidad principal en la CEPD corresponde a los propios países en desarrollo, Debemos igualmente destacar lo que se dice en el párrafo 12 en el sentido de que los organismos internacionales no deben esperar pasivamente a que se les presenten peticiones de asistencia, sino que necesitan actuar como Agente catalítico para promover en forma activa esa cooperación.
En el párrafo 14 el Director General ha presentado muy bien los problemas con que se enfrentan los países en desarrollo. Apoyamos ese enfoque positivo del Director General pidiéndole que siga concediento muy alta prioridad a la CEPD en el Programa de las Labores y Presupuesto para 1986/87.
La Delegación de Colombia desea expresar su reconocimiento al Director General de la FAO por la presencia de nuestra Organización en la reunión de Bucarest celebrada en marzo pasado bajo la hábil y competente dirección de nuestro distinguido colega amigo y vecino el Embajador Tchicaya, del Congo, que entonces era presidente del Grupo de los 77.
Estamos igualmente agradecidos a la FAO, al PMA, al CMA, y al FIDA por haber enviado sus propios representantes a la Tercera Reunión de Seguimiento y Coordinación del Grupo de los 77 celebrada en septiembre pasado en Cartagena, Colombia, con la asistencia oportuna y eficaz de nuestro Presidente actual del Grupo de los 77 el colega y amigo Horacio Carandang, de Filipinas.
El primer día de nuestros trabajos el Director General se refirió al FIDA.
El capítulo de este documento sobre las relaciones con las instituciones internacionales de financiación a partir del párrafo 170 cita el Fondo Internacional del Desarrollo Agrícola, FIDA, y nuestro amigo Regnier en su reciente declaración se ha referido al fracaso con que concluyó el 8 período de sesiones del Consejo de Gobernadores del FIDA celebrado en París.
La delegación de Colombia desea hablar del caso alarmante del FIDA por las siguientes consideraciones:
El FIDA es una agencia de las Naciones Unidas cuyos acontecimientos recientes preocupan seriamente a la comunidad internacional. La situación del FIDA es la más escandalosa en el deteriorq patente e incontenible de la cooperación multilateral. Los objetivos del FIDA coinciden con los de la FAO; la FAO, particularmente por medio del Centro de Inversiones, ha participado activa y eficazmente en la identificación y preparación de numerosos proyectos del FIDA. Además el FIDA es el último y más reciente ejemplo que confirma la posición de los delegados de Colombia en diversos foros sobre la crisis creciente y deplorable que afecta a la cooperación multilateral.
Aún nos parece increíble, señor Presidente y distinguidos colegas, la actitud que desgraciadamente logró el apoyo de los miembros de todos los países industrializados, países que nosotros sabemos que no pueden estar en favor de la eliminación del FIDA. No podemos aceptar un sentido tan negativo de la cooperación internacional dentro del cual persista la obstinación irracional de que por que el FIDA empezó coyunturalmente sobre la base de cierta distribución de las contribuciones esa proporción deba mantenerse al infinito sin ninguna consideración, sin importar que esa obsesión produzca un final tan doloroso como el de París.
¿Cómo es posible que hoy se exija a los países de la OPEP la misma proporción de contribuciones y que no se reconozca que ahora las condiciones económicas y políticas de esos Estados son muy distintas a las de 1977 cuando se inicio el FIDA?
La Comunidad Internacional debe reconocer los cambios ocurridos, hechos irrefutables, y expresar su reconocimiento a los Estados de la OPEP, categoría dos del FIDA, que así han reiterado su generoso apoyo a ese Organismo.
Nos resistimos a creer, ojalá que la impresión no corresponda a la realidad, que para algunos países de la categoría uno pueda significar más una cierta distribución de contribuciones que la vida, la suerte, los sufrimientos, el hambre, la miseria y la malnutrición que padecen millones de campesinos entre los más pobres del mundo.
¿Cómo es posible que una delegación haya declarado aquí, en el Consejo, cuando discutimos el tema y cito: "estamos muy animados por el progreso reciente que se ha hecho para lograr la reposición del FIDA y tenemos confianza que pronto se llegará a un acuerdo sobre la reposición"?
Es realmente demasiado cinismo hablar de recientes progresos cuando la fecha para la nueva reunión de diciembre de 1984 ha sido transferida a enero o febrero de 1985 o diciembre de 1999; ese cambio de fechas es contrario al espíritu de la Resolución que como tabla de salvación aprobaron en París 139 Estados Miembros según la cual esa reunión del Grupo de Consulta debería celebrarse preferiblemente antes del 23º período de sesiones de la Junta Ejecutiva que va a iniciarse el próximo 11 de diciembre.
La delegación de Colombia desea rendir homenaje especial al Gobierno de Francia, Miembro de este Consejo. Los representantes de Francia en todas las instancias han demostrado particular preocupación por la subsistencia del FIDA. Desgraciadamente esa constructiva actitud francesa, apoyada inicialmente por la gran mayoría de los países de la categoría uno, fue arrollada por la falta de flexibilidad de algunos representantes de gobiernos cuyas actuaciones fueron definitivamente negativas, para que no se lograra ningún acuerdo sobre la segunda reposición de los recursos del FIDA.
La reunión de París constituyó otro eslabón de la cadena de paradojas y de injusticias a través de las cuales se está consumiendo el FIDA. Asistieron dos Jefes de Estado, los Presidentes de Francia y Argentina, numerosos ministros, se eligió un nuevo Presidente, se nos anunció que pronto el FIDA dispondría de una sede moderna y confortable ofrecida por el gobierno italiano, generosa siempre Italia. Todo ello, naturalmente, constituye una fachada maravillosa, pero con un interior vacío, sin recursos.
No podemos entender que haya indiferencia frente a una situación como ésta; resulta extraño, incomprensible, e inaceptable que se esté cumpliendo la conjura contra el FIDA, organismo que fue creado por recomendación de la Conferencia Mundial de 1974 en atención a las condiciones que existían en ese momento, condiciones que hoy lejos de mejorarse son aún peores.
Señor Presidente, distinguidos delegados; les rogamos unos minutos más para concluir nuestra referenda al FIDA que consideramos un organismo excepcional, la evaluación de cuyas actividades ha demostrado plenamente el cumplimiento de sus objetivos.
La delegación de Colombia propone que en nuestro informe se señale la grave situación del FIDA y que haga un llamado a todos los contribuyentes a fin de que no permitan la muerte del FIDA. Deberemos pedir también a los más altos contribuyentes de la categoría uno que reconozcan hechos nuevos y se aparten de la distribución de las cargas para que su contribución en definitiva permita la subsistencia del FIDA.
Al analizar serena y objetivamente lo que está sucediendo en las Naciones Unidas y también fuera del Sistema nos lleva a una conclusión triste, lamentable, dolorosa, inconcebible en pleno siglo 20 cuando los seres humanos se divierten en el espacio. Toda la cooperación multilateral está sometida a la falta de voluntad política de algunos países desarrollados; países que en el seno del Consejo Internacional del Trigo se oponen a la adopción de un nuevo Convenio Internacional sobre Cereales; países que en la reciente reunión del Grupo Intergubernamental sobre el Banano como mayores importadores torpedearon y bloquearon toda la posibilidad sobre un acuerdo internacional del banano; países que ejercen presiones económicas sobre la UNESCO y la ONUDI; países bajo cuya influencia la EID (Intl.Develop.Strat.) debió reducir sus recursos en un 25 por ciento; países que en el Fondo Monetario Internacional se oponen a la apertura y ampliación del Servicio Cerealero; países que en el CSA se oponen a la adopción de un pacto sobre seguridad alimentaria mundial; países que mediante sus propios servicios de evaluación constatan que el reducido personal trabaja de manera excelente y sin embargo no vacilan en aceptar un golpe irreparable para la moral del personal del FIDA, organismo del cual han comenzado a retirarse altos, pequeños y medianos funcionarios. Países que en la categoría uno lograron el milagro de la unánime conversión, y en fin, países que incumplieron el compromiso moral y legal con la primera reposición de los recursos del FIDA, y originaron desde entonces todos los males de ese Organismo hasta su actual agonía.
Esta ha tratado de ser una descarnada, aunque benévola, radiografía de esos países todopoderosos. Amén.
R.C. SERSALE DI CERISANO (Argentina): En primer lugar, queríamos agradecer al Ser. Regnier por el magnífico documento que nos ha presentado, y por la exposición que él ha hecho al presentar el documento. Queremos decir que este documento nos es muy útil para enterarnos de lo que sucede en el área de la agricultura y la alimentación, o en otras agencias del Sistema de Naciones Unidas; y también nos sirve mucho para coordinar nuestra posición con las delegaciones que tenemos acreditadas ante esos Organismos.
Queremos referirnos especialmente a dos cuestiones. La primera es el examen y evaluación de la EID. Lo que queremos decir cuando acá se analizan los parrafos 3 y 4, es que si estas negociación es no han tenido éxito no ha sido justamente por la postura en materia de agricultura y alimentación que ha tenido el Grupo de los 77, en su momento, que fue en abril de este año bajo ìa presidencia del Presidente del Congo, que presidía el Grupo de los 77.
Nosotros desde Roma, el Grupo de los 77 en Roma, envió sus comentarios sobre el examen de lo actuado por la EID, en materia de EID, y sobre cuáles debían ser las modificación es para actualizarla, con lo cual consideramos que el Grupo de los 77 en Roma ha hecho un aporte para que sea evaluado.
Eso no se ha reflejado después en la práctica en haber adoptado una posición al respecto por el resto de la comunidad internacional.
En cuanto a la segunda cuestión que es la cooperación económica y técnica entre países en desarrollo según surge en el documento, vemos que estas cuestiones siempre están incluidas entre las atribuciones de las agencias especialistas del Sistema de Naciones Unidas.
El problema es que ello no se refleja, en la misma manera, en los programas y en los presupuestos. Quizá sea porque estos Organismos no tienen identificados claramente en sus programas y presupuestos, las actividades de apoyo a la CEPD y CTPD. Quizá una manera de avanzar en este sentido sería señalar el Consejo Administrativo de Coordinación y al Comité del Programa y Coordinación, que consulte con el Grupo de los 77 acerca de las propuestas concretas que el Grupo de los 77 tiene, y que son muchas, para todos los Organismos del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, y que se incluyan entonces esos programas para los bienios. Me refiero a consultas con el Grupo de los 77 en sus distintos capítulos, en Nueva York, en Ginebra, en Nairobi, en Kenya y en Roma, y en el caso que corresponda también en Paris. Eso es una cuestion concreta en lo que hace a la FAO. Por supuesto que destacamos y agradecë-mos muchísimo la participación de la FAO en todos los temas de apoyo al CEPD y al CTPD que ha tenido un papel muy activo en este bienio, y esperamos que lo tenga aún más.
En ese sentido, creemos que las reuniones de Bucarest, y la del Comité Intergubernamental de Seguimiento y Coordinación, que ha tenido recientemente lugar en Colombia, le dan mandato para ello. Y lo que queremos decir acá, en este sentido, es que nosotros, el Grupo de los 77, tiene constituido un Grupo que se llama Grupo de los 16 formado de cuatro países por region, que se ocupa de identificar y de coordinar todas las acciones que tienen que ver con la CEPD y la CTPD. Esto es resultado de una Conferencia de la FAO del año 1979, en que salio por mandato. Este Grupo está trabajando muy activamente bajo la presidencia del delegado de Filipinas. Entonces, lo que sugerimos acá, y lo que queremos que quede constancia es que haya una coordinación de la FAO con este Grupo para la identificación de todas las acciones de la CEPD y CTPD que puedan surgir.
Esto es todo. No queremos abundar en detalles que han sido muy bien planteados por la delegación de Colombia. En cuanto a la gravedad de la disminución a la finaciación del desarrollo, creemos que ese tema ha sido abordado en el punto 4, cuando se hicieron referencias concretas a la gravedad de la disminución y de las tendencias decrecientes de financiación para el desarrollo, y como nos referirnos en aquella oportunidad, no lo vamos a hacer ahora.
H.J.H. TALEYARKHAN (India): There is no doubt in the mind of any one of us about the excellence of the report document CL 86/12 which is a feature of Item 9, and also the admirable presentation of it in summary by the Director of the Office for Inter-Agency Affairs. Both have impressed us very greatly. I am sure that the exertion of FAO in the interest of the hungry people in the world has left its impress on the sands of time in the corridors of the United Nations. From what the Director has said, we learn that FAO has been invited to as many as 100 meetings and has presented as many as 500 papers to different world organizations associated, allied and aligned to food promotion to different parts of the world, and this bears eloquent evidence and testimony to the indispensable importance of FAO.
The three principal agencies, FAO, the WFP and IFAD, have been the focal points for taking succour to the affected peoples of the world. From the documentation I see that almost every variety of food aid and agricultural production activity, and various steps which are the appendages of such assistance and aid, have been undertaken. The involvement of FAO in so many United Nations activities cannot be denied or questioned insofar as the food front is concerned. FAO will want to increase this aid still further with the valuable suggestions which will be coming forth from the floor and at the initiative of the FAO Secretariat itself, under the inspiration of its very able and dedicated leader, the Director-General, Mr Saouma.
United Nations confidence in FAO in matters of food production, supplies, research and programmes in general is fully borne out by the wide extent of United Nations consultation with FAO. This itself proves that the United Nations has come to look upon FAO as an organization which can carry out the aims and objectives of reaching far-off areas in the affected world with the aid, assistance and programmes which are required to save suffering humanity from starvation and death. As everyone has repeatedly mentioned, at present our hearts go out particularly to the Continent of Africa and its many countries which are the worst victims for the present.
There are a number of areas - as a matter of fact all of them - in which India has always given the fullest cooperation to FAO and other international agencies associated with it for these programmes. While the demand for food in the developing countries is increasing, production in many developing countries is not only lagging behind the growth in population, but the level of production is becoming stagnant. The developing countries face food shortages, and their imports have registered a sharp increase. This requires to be kept under constant observation, with a sense of alertness, not only by FAO but by its associated agencies provided by the United Nations. These countries continue to face protectionist practices by the developed countries which impose severe constraints on the efforts of the developing countries to improve their food aid and agricultural prospects.
It is hoped and trusted that in view of the calamitous situation now prevailing, the developed countries, whom I believe have also the same measure of human sympathy as those who are suffering, will try to reconsider and relax their policies of protectionism which affect the developing countries so badly. Food aid and agricultural assistance to the developing countries for the improvement of their agriculture have been lagging behind the internationally agreed targets of various international organizations with which FAO has been associated, and which has been pointed out in the excellent document before us.
With a view to stepping up the rate of agricultural growth in developing countries in general and in the context of the worsening food and agricultural situation of the developing countries, I would like to stress that agencies, led by FAO, must constantly endeavour to press, as we have done, for maximum priority to be given by FAO to strengthening technical assistance directly and through international agencies and bilateral assistance for programmes aimed at raising food and agricultural production. Continued stress on the minimization of tariff and non-tariff barriers on trade in agricultural commodities, improvement of terms of trade in agricultural commodities and increased flow of assistance for agricultural and rural development from international institutions - these will require the involvement of all the agencies concerned so that FAO can get adequate support and strength from the efforts which they are trying to make on their own.
The implementation and increase of various internationally agreed targets for food and food security to the developing countries by the developed countries is another area in which international agencies will have to play a leading role. In the coordinating group of experts from developing countries held in New Delhi in February 1983, we proposed a three-tier strategy for food and agricultural development in the developing countries. This strategy was 1) to give an agreed high priority to food and agriculture at national level; 2) to intensify mutual cooperation and collaboration among developing countries for increased food and agricultural output by achieving collective central reliance; and 3) by extension of assistance on liberalized terms to developing countries by the international community. This is where FAO, with assistance of its parent body, the United Nations, will have to exert still greater influence, with the help of all Council members, to make sure such assistance on liberalized terms to developing countries is forthcoming from the international community. I would like to feel that with the donations which have been coming from donor countries in this hour of crisis, they will not be wanting in their response.
It may be stated that, along with the help of other countries and agencies, FAO is involved and r. engaged in the mighty task of providing food security for teeming millions all over the world. For this purpose, the main elements of our food security system on which FAO will have to work along with other international agencies, and to which it has been paying attention, but which will have to be accelerated to a greater extent, are: 1) ecological security, by which I mean protecting the land, water, flora, and fauna resources in such a manner that sustained agricultural advance is possible; 2) technical security which can help to increase and stabilize production under varying agro-climatic conditions; 3) public policy packages which could help to stimulate both production and consumption, particularly by small and marginal farmers who constitute the majority of the farming community in the developing world on the one hand, and urban and rural consumers living below the poverty line on the other; 4) to provide for safe storage of grains and their effective distribution. This is another area in which FAO can effectively seek the assistance of all other agencies concerned in order to make it more efficient; the build-up and the maintenance of buffer stocks meant primarily to ensure stability of supplies and prices over the years are among the most important planks of India’s food policy and I am sure that with the assistance of other international agencies in other countries, it should be possible to help Africa in such a way that that country never again finds itself in the same straits to which most catastropjiically they are reduced today.
May I mention the Seventh Non-aligned Conference held in New Delhi. Our beloved Prime Minister, Mrs Indira Gandhi, laid stress on the solidarity and collective self-reliance of the developing countries with the international agencies to reduce the vulnerability to continuing pressures in affluent countries with a view to sponsoring food security. We have always shown readiness to pool our experience in the field of agricultural production, marketing storage, food management, research, and so on.
Other areas in which such experience could be expanded to developing nations and other assistance given bilaterally or on a sub-regional basis - and I identified them when speaking on one of the earlier items - are the building up of infrastructure for operating food reserves, construction and storage, setting up of extension and training centres, training of personnel in food management, formulation of projects for food security, and so on. I consider it should be the constant endeavour of the international agencies, again under the expert direction of FAO, to provide not only sufficient quantities to meet growing needs in food, but that we should contribute to the food security of developing countries. If we had a comfortable stock position, we would be able to provide food grains to the countries afflicted by shortage.
I believe that what the Director mentioned was perfectly correct: FAO certainly is the main organization for the purpose. But it must have the full cooperation of all concerned, all the member States as well as all the international agencies. This is where the involvement of various organizations to which reference has been made would be of such great value. Every year we have been pressing for the attainment of the annual food aid target of ten million tonnes of cereals set by the World Food Conference in 1974. Recently, we have been pressing for increased food aid. International agencies must support this for developing countries, for coming to their rescue, especially to the rescue of those so severely affected. We have been pressing in the IEFR for a figure of at least 750,000 tonnes rising to 2 million tonnes. What is important is the whole-hearted support of the international agencies, as mentioned in this report, for the objective of promoting food security in the world. We have laid stress on the need for fully replenishing international development assistance, for international food and agricultural development, to which my distinguished colleague, the Ambassador of Colombia rightly referred, and on reversing the decline in the United Nations Development Plan for Agriculture in favour of expansion and liberalization of the IMF cereal and í. import financing facility. We have always favoured the establishment of world food aid security, which has been discussed earlier.
An important point is the disturbing development in the world today of the total collapse of commodity prices.
While the prices of commodities, of exports from developing countries have fallen sharply, there has been a sharp upward movement in the prices of esential imports into developing countries, with the result that the terms of trade have gone against the developing countries, particularly the non-oil-exporting countries. The collapse of commodity prices has left a severe impact on the earnings of the developing countries and consequently to the development of the developing countries. On the basis of the available indications that we have, the 1980s may well be a period of considerable commodity prices fluctuations, since the current period of abnormally low real prices of several agricultural commodities like tea, jute, etc., will inevitably have adverse effects and consequences for production capacity in the world’s primary commodity sector. There is therefore need for formulati of an international policy undertaken by all the organizations concerned. There is therefore need, I repeat, of formulation of international policy measures to deal effectively with the current prices in the crisis in the world commodity economy. Already programmes and mechanisms, namely an integrated programme for commodities and the Common Fund for Commodities, have been thought of and have been pursued in UNCTAD, but not with much result as yet. We should support the innovative programme and mechanisms to restructure the world commodity economy, which would be of great help to us.
Reference has been made to the importance of the international community having been able to adopt the integrated programme of commodities at UNCTAD IV in 1976. Under the integrated programme of commoditie the establishment of a common fund, which would be the key and the integrating element of the IPC, v was envisaged to contribute to the financing of international stocking measures for stablizing prices as well as to finance the commodity development measures such as research and development, market improvements, productivity improvements, marketing and so on. India has signed the agreement and accepted it. Our interest is to give a push to the international forums by persuading generally the countries which have not so far ratified the Common Fund Agreement to do so quickly so that the Common Fund becomes operational without any further delay which cannot be afforded. Similarly we have to think of stabilization mechanisms on a global basis. We should also plead for expeditious conclusion of international commodity agreements in a number of commodities representing producers and consumers so that development measures and financial facilities for the same would be possible to be realized in the near future.
I would like to mention about the International Agricultural Adjustment. It has been referred to bu£ passingly. Eleven guidelines for international agricultural adjustment were adopted by the Eighteenth Session if I mistake not of the Conference in 1975; I think I am right. The Nineteenth and Twentieth Sessions of the FAO Conference decided that the guidelines should be reviewed and revised in the light of developments since their adoption in 1975. A government consultation was held in March 1981 under the auspices of FAO to revise and update the guidelines and targets for IAA. The consultations, however, appeared to have failed to reach a consensus of the revised guidelines. Later the Eighty second Session of the FAO Council, held November-December 1982, which considered the report of the government consultation and to endeavour to reach a consensus. This contact group after a number of meetings reached consensus on all proposed twelve guidelines except one part of the revised guideline if I am not mistaken, number ten. I am not too sure. The revised guidelines relate to production
growths, inputs to production, institutions, structures and incentives in developing countries, people’s participation, which is most important, and we should stress more and more on it, and public relations, integrated food and nutrition policies, better distribution and utilization of food, access to markets, and access to supplies, trade among developing countries, food security, food aid, and internal assistance to agriculture. These are some of the very important points which have come up.
One reference which requires to be made is to what the Ambassador of Colombia mentioned, and that is of very great and vital importance in sustaining the IFAD, the International Fund for Agricultural Development. I could not agree more with him when he mentioned that it is most essential that the IFAD, in which we have also been taking a great deal of interest to try to bring about an agreement, should not fail. At present, IFAD has got only $100 million left for 1985. That means even for subsequent years in the absence of any agreement having been arrived at, in spite of our most strenuous efforts both in Rome as well as subsequently in Paris, which unfortunately I could not reach. There all the efforts were made by all the delegates to try to see whether Category I and Category II could come to a conclusion so that the 58/42 formula of load sharing could be accepted. Even then, it was possible to arrive at some kind of a compromise and from the original target of $1 000 million, which was the target for the second replenishment, we agreed to bring it down to $800 million, and a compromise was suggested by the Ambassador of Colombia and myself and others that if the Category I countries which do not have a resources problem and which can also be considered to be second beneficiaries, because they get the contacts, the consultancy, the exports and other advantages, should be able, if not all the 465, which was the original target of the formula, could be 442 million, in which case it might have been possible to persuade Category II countries, which are also in difficult straits now because of the fall of oil prices, to agree to as much or as near as possible to not the original 335, which would have been their share had 465 been agreed to, but to 295. It might have been possible. Category III countries, which are not the donors but which are the beneficiaries, might also be able to make some nominal contributions from whatever is possible.
I would suggest that even if we cannot reach all the $800 million, at least 750 or 730 should be arrived at and the rest might be possible to be found from voluntary donations and from small donations by Category III countries to reach the $800 million before the period of the Second Replenishment is out, but it is most vital that it should continue because it has got a programme of $350 million in 1985, it has barely got $100 million left, and how will it be able to carry out this programme unless good friends in Category I countries will very kindly agree to reconsider their stand and with all their, I like to think, good will and good hearts to assist developing countries, just like they have been doing in the case of donations which they have been giving, also consider this as the same idea and the same purpose, and then we could be able to do al least 720 or 730 million dollars.
I agree with the Ambassador of Colombia that there is no need delaying further negotiations beyond December, because January begins within a month or two, and I have no doubt that it will be possible for us to sit together once again in Rome and, as the Ambassador said, do in Rome as the Romans do, show their generosity which the Italians have shown in other matters, so I would suggest that this is of great importance.
In conclusion I would only like to state that the importance of public relations for preservation of environment to which the Director has made reference is very important. Intensifying transfer of knowledge from the industrialized countries to countries of the Third World through FAO and other organizations must be undertaken to a greater extent. The research, that is intensification of studies of causes and effects, say, of forest destruction which we discussed at such length the other day, and elaboration of strategies and forest management systems which would ensure the perpetuation of forests. We have to stop cutting the woods in order to be out of the woods once and for all. The application of more rigorous criteria for organization of projects such as industrial projects, projects pertaining to powers projects and road construction, regulation of waters, clearing of these areas for purposes of development without effecting the forest, development without destruction should all be a part of the international programme, the development and application of exploitation technologies which are ecologically harmless to the wealth of the world, namely forests, and pay special attention to the reduction of waste and conservation of food: to my mind are those considerations we have to keep in mind.
In conclusion, I would only mention the legend of the Yeti, that means the Abominable Snowman, many of you might have heard. Whether that legend actually exists or not is another matter but what we cannot afford to have at this stage is the Abominable Snoxsmian in administration, because the world cannot have any negative attitudesany more from any part of the world, especially those which have a unity, sympathy and desire to assist each other.
A. EL SARKX (Egypt) (original language Arabic): In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
At the outset I would like to thank Mr Regnier for his introduction of the document before us. My country’s delegation examined the document that deals with recent developments within the United Nations system of interest to FAO. We noted that the ordinary budgets of international organizations
have been unable to assume the burden of activities related to economic and technical cooperation. We also noted that there is a need to improve the flow of information from the United Nations to developing countries. Considering that these two factors are very important, we hope that further resources will be made available for these activities and that efforts will be undertaken to improve the flow of information.
My country’s delegation agrees with the contents of paragraph 12, that is to say that developing countries must assume the larger responsibility in strengthening economic and technical cooperation among themselves. I would nevertheless like to express my country’s satisfaction with the efforts undertaken by the Organization and for the attention it has accorded this type of programme.
My delegation has reviewed paragraphs 19 to 25, and wishes to express its satisfaction for FAO’s effective participation in implementation of the special programme of action to support the activities of LDCs.
We also wish to commend FAO’s efforts to overcome the critical food situation in Africa. My country participated in the Tenth Ministerial Meeting of the World Food Council held in Addis Ababa. We supported the decisions and resolutions adopted by that Meeting. The resolution adopted by that session on encouraging small landowners was implemented in Egypt, and we reduced the cost of a number of inputs for small farmers and have also removed the freeze on some other commodities. We have provided soft loans as well as production inputs at reasonable prices.
We attended the International Conference on Population Activities, lie welcomed the resolutions issued by that Conference. I would like to point out here that in my country we have a high rate of population growth. This has led officials to reconsider the population situation and to redraw the population distribution map in our country in order to reduce the erosion of agricultural land by urbanization. We however hope that the necessary progress will be achieved to find the necessary financial resources in the field of science and technology for development.
We also reviewed paragraphs 111 to 114 dealing with agrarian reform and rural development, and we wish to commend the organization for its efforts.
After having reviewed paragraphs 162 to 164, we wish to commend the Organization for the aid it has provided to our Palestinian brothers. Egypt has responded to the request of this Organization requiring us to appoint an official in the Ministry of Agriculture as a liaison officer for the preparation of rural youth programmes. We hope that the necessary procedures for the establishment of a network of liaison between the countries concerned will be completed soon so that we may undertake the preparation of this programme.
We fully welcome the increased commitments provided by financing institutions to the agricultural sector, but we are still concerned about the declining trends to provide soft loans for developing countries. We therefore urge donor countries to provide further financial aid to such institutions to help them undertake their task.
My country’s delegation also examined paragraphs 176 to 184 dealing with the Investment Centre. We welcome the important and constructive role undertaken by this centre, especially in developing countries. This centre has helped the developing countries to identify or draw up projects for financing. I would also like to thank the centre for the services it has extended to my country.
F. RIBADENEIRA (Ecuador): Me complace intervenir en esta sesión bajo su presidencia y en su calidad de distinguido representante del Grupo Latinoamericano y el Caribe. Igualmente, apreciamos la lúcida presentación del Sr. Regnier.
Mi delegación, señor Presidente, estima que el documento CL 86/12, que sirve de base para este estudio, contiene una completa síntesis de los principales y mas recientes acontecimientos en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas de interés para la FAO. Por ello comentaré solamente, y en forma breve, ciertos puntos relacionados con las actuales circunstancias internacionales preferentes para mi delegación y de mayor interés, aunque reconociendo que todos son importantes. Para seguir el orden del documento, citaré en primer lugar el de la Cooperación Economica y Técnica entre Países en Desarrollo.
Apoyo plenamente la declaración efectuada por el señor Director General de la FAO en las reuniones conjuntas y recogidas en el párrafo 14, en el sentido de que los países en desarrollo se enfrentan con graves problemas para llevar a cabo una efectiva cooperación entre ellos, por lo que es natural que se dirijan al Sistema de las Naciones Unidas para coadyuvar a la superación de esas dificultades.
La FAO, como lo ha hecho en el pasado, debería continuar asignando alta prioridad a este asunto bajo el espíritu del Programa de Acción para el establecimiento de un nuevo orden economico internacional aprobado en 1974 por la Asamblea General de la ONU que señala a la promoción de la cooperación entre los países en desarrollo un papel fundamental para el reordenamiento de las relaciones económicas mundiales.
Con respecto al medio ambiente, al Ecuador le complace la colaboración acordada entre la FAO y el PNUMA y en particular la expresada en el párrafo 109 para la conservación, ordenación y aprovechamiento de los mamiferos marinos y anhelamos que puedan extenderse a otras especies e intensificarse dicha cooperación en el año que transcurre, como señalé brevemente en otra intervención.
La Comisión Permanente del Pacífico Sur con sede en Quito e integrada por Colombia, Chile, Ecuador y Perú, que cubren la totalidad de la extensa costa occidental de Suramérica y recogiendo una declaración de los ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de los cuatro países, protesto enérgicamente por la reiniciación en mayo ultimo de explosiones nucleares en la cuenca del Pacífico y pidió el cese de las mismas al advertir desechos reactivos en la zona que perjudican gravemente el ambiente con el consiguiente riesgo para el medio marino y sus recursos naturales que constituyen base sustancial de la economía y la alimentación de nuestros pueblos.
Por otro lado, miramos con simpatía todo aquello que realice la FAO como lo señalado en el párrafo 143 para combatir el cultivo y la producción ilícita o incontrolada de plantas para la obtención de estupefacientes que constituyen una verdadera plaga para la humanidad. Constituye una dicotomía que en muchas areas del mundo se amplien las zonas para la elaboración de drogas en menoscabo de la agricultura y la alimentación.
Mi país, aunque sin ser de los mas afectados, es profundamente sensible a la necesidad de combatir ese fenomeno que ha rebasado los límites de acciones aisladas de los Estados por lo que requiere acciones multilaterales orientadas a liquidar el narcotráfico. Así, hace apenas unos tres meses, en agosto ultimo, siete países latinoamericanos, representados algunos por sus propios Jefes de Estado como el caso de Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia, Panama y Venezuela, junto con altos dignatarios de Nicaragua y Peru, suscribieron la declaración de Quito contra el narcotráfico, la primera multinacional y regional en la materia y en la que tras manifestar la plena evidencia de que está íntimamente vinculada a diseños y acciones dirigidos a subvertir el orden jurídico y la paz social en nuestros países, a fin de afirmar sus innobles propositos mercantilistas, acordaron someter a la consideración de las Organizaciones Internacionales competentes los siguientes:
Primero: la consideración del narcotráfico como delito contra la humanidad con todas las consecuencias jurídicas aplicables al caso; y segurído: la creación de un fondo mundial o regional destinado a suministrar ayuda a los países en desarrollo afectados por el narcotráfico, a fin de combatir y superar las causas creadoras de tales circunstancias y dotarles de los instrumentos idóneos de lucha contra tales actividades ilícitas.
Pensamos que esta Organización podría jugar un importante rol en el logro de los objetivos de esa Declaración de Quito.
Para terminar, resulta saludable, igualmente, que la FAO haya contribuido a preparar y difundir los pronunciamientos emanados dentro del Sistema de las Naciones Unidas sobre el desarme, como es el caso citado en el párrafo 153.
Es necesario profundizar la conciencia universal acerca de la vinculación entre desarme y desarrollo; bien lo señalo el Señor Director General en su declaración inaugural al manifestar que el usogeneralizado de las armas lleva a los países pobres a derrochar la poca riqueza que pueden obtener,en perjuicio de la situación alimentaria.
Parafraseando la declaración de la Conferencia Económica Latinoamericana efectuada en enero pasado en mi país, insistimos en nuestro llamado en favor del desarme que permita reasignar los recursos dilapidados en la carrera armamentista hacia objetivos que contribuyan a fortalecer el desarrollo de todos los pueblos del mundo.
H. HØSTMARK (Norway): Mr. Chairman, even if our agenda item is called “Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO”, I should like to begin by quoting of the premable to the Constitution. It reads as follows:
“The aim of the Members should be to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action for the purposes of raising levels of nutrition and standards of living of the peoples under their respective jurisdiction, recurring improvements in the efficiency of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products, bettering the condition of rural populations and thus contributing towards an expanding world economy”.
Thus if you analyse the objectives of this Organization and also our efforts as member countries towards achieving them, clearly all activities within the UN system are of interest to FAO. We therefore have taken a great interest in this agenda item and in the document placed before us. In our opinion it has given a very valuable examination of the activities that we take such an interest in as members of this Organization. It reflects also FAO’s own active involvement in the various conferences throughout the year on subjects, directly or indirectly, related to all our activities.
The Norwegian delegation is pleased to note the emphasis placed on the Fourth General Conference of UNIDO where a number of positive conclusions were reached. We also agree with FAO’s endorsement of the International Conference on Population held in Mexico. The support for world-wide programmes on population are a priority for the Norwegian Government. It therefore welcomes the recognition of the close connection between food production and the rural population as we find it stated in paragraphs 71 to 80 of the document before us.
Mr Chairman, concerning the preparations for forthcoming conferences, my delegation welcomes the participation of FAO in making ready the documentation for the World Conference to be held in Nairobi in 1985 to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations Decade for Women. This Conference will have the role of women in development as a major item. Norway places great emphasis on the promotion of the status of women in general, and women as a target group for aid among the rural population in particular. Not only should women be given due recognition for their role in agro-production but also be given the chance to participate fully in the formulation and implementation of agricultural policies.
We look forward with interest to the report to be presented in Nairobi, of the efforts made by FAO to facilitate the recruitment and promotion of women in the Secretariat, as well as in the activities where FAO is the guiding agency.
Another sector closely linked to FAO’s activities is environment. My Government welcomes FAO’s positive attitude both towards the World Commission on Environment and Development, and to the general follow-up of ÜNDP’s decisions. Rural development, Mr Chairman, is indeed extremely closely linked to environmental aspects and energy economization. They must be taken into account in the planning process. Both the planning and the realization of rural development requires from FAO a close a continuous collaboration with UNEP and other relevant institutions, respecting, of course, their different mandates and divisions of work.
Finally, I should like to point to paragraphs 170 to 175 in relation to International Financial Institutions. My delegation welcomes these paragraphs as a part of the report, but would like to have a clearer description of the programmes of cooperation mentioned, especially those regarding the regional development banks.
In the development process it sometimes seems as if the vital fields of food production, energy, environment and population form a vicious circle where a step forward in one area may result in a step backwards in other areas. It must be our task in FAO to help break with negative circle and turn it into a positive one, where progress promotes progress in the inter-linked areas of development. This will demand close collaboration, as I earlier stated, between the various members of the UN family which, while respecting the different mandates and the principle of division of work, only concerted action can create this positive inter-link needed for broad-based lasting development.
CHAIRMAN: Before calling on the distinguished delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany, I would like to give the floor once again to the Indian Ambassador who has asked for the floor to make an additional comment.
H.J.H. TALEYARKHAN (India): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for your kind indulgence; I will not take more than a minute.
The Director referred at length to the genetics project. I am very glad to say that it has taken off the ground very quickly and a high level delegation from Delhi is coming here the day after tomorrow to proceed to Trieste for the purpose. The funds have been allocated by both Governments and the work is about to start. I believe it has already taken off the ground from Trieste and is about to do so from Delhi as well. It has secured the sanction of most of the countries of UNIDO already, gratification from most of the countries of UNIDO under whose auspices the project has started, and it is expected that in both areas the Director has quite rightly identified what can be done at the Delhi centre and what can be done at the Trieste centre. It is one of the biggest projects on genetics of the kind which will bear fruit in the near future, God willing.
W.A.F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation wishes to thank the Secretariat for the information on recent developments in the UN system of interest to FAO, summarized in document CL 86/12 and supplemented by Mr. Regnier in his introduction. This report is in our opinion a quite comprehensive and detached description of the state of affairs, and an improvement on the last document. Therefore, and because we lag somewhat behind on our time schedule, I should like to confine myself to some remarks only.
First, the Federal Republic of Germany fully supports economic and technical cooperation among developing countries, ECDC and TCDC. We feel that in the wide field of food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, there is still plenty of room for extending and strengthening the regional, sub-regional and inter-regional cooperation. We welcome in this context the action programmes for the 1980s for the least-developed countries and the instructions given to FAO Country representatives for close cooperation with others at country level. This is of course of particular importance now in many African countries.
Second, at the Tenth Session of the World Food Council a full account is given in the document. This session mainly concentrated on the critical food and agricultural situation prevailing in many African countries and is, as such, an important contribution to ECOSOC and General Assembly discussions on that subject.
Third, my delegation notes with satisfaction the involvement of the FAO Secretariat in the preparation of the International World Conference on Population which took place only recently in Mexico City. We consider that FAO’s major study on potential population-supporting capacities of land in the developing world and the popularized report based on the study were most valuable contributions to the Conference showing clearly what could happen if not sufficient action is being taken to bring food production and population into a better balance. We are glad that the Conference gave due emphasis to population and the food problems, and to the inter-relations between population and rural development in general.
Four, we note with satisfaction the FAO Secretariat’s cooperation in the ACC Task Force on Science and Technology for Development, and the readiness of the Task Force to respond to specific requests.
Five, as regards the forthcoming conferences, the FAO Secretariat should have no difficulties in drawing attention to the fact that the important and often key role of women in food, agriculture and rural development has increasingly been taken into account in FAO’s work and that this policy would be pursued also in the future.
Six, in the area of environment and the maintenance of ecological balance, close cooperation and coordination between the relevant organizations is absolutely necessary, in particular between FAO and UNEP. The forests and their conservation play a key role in this crucial area for the future of mankind. After having taken a positive decision on the International Year of the Forest, UNEP should be approached in order to help make forestry a real global concern already in 1985, In the area of food and agriculture we very much hope that close cooperation is being assured on issues like the UNEP discussions on harmful substances and the draft of FAO’s conduct on the use and application of pesticides.
Seven, FAO’s role in the ACC Task Force on Rural Development is of great importance. We followed its activities closely and welcomed the account given thereon at the last ECOSOC session. We feel that FAO can particularly influence within the Task Force activities towards practice-oriented work.
We welcome the support given by IFAD to help in preparing guiding principles for the design and use of monitoring and evaluation in rural development projects and programmes.
Eight, to conclude, and after having taken up only some of the issues before us, I should like to restate that in our view there is no alternative to international cooperation. The Federal Republic of Germany therefore supports it strongly. This attitude leads my delegation also to welcoming the decision of the UN Secretary-General and of the Director-General of FAO on the setting up of a task force with a view to eliminating problems identified and with the aim to further improving the efficiency in the area of food aid, and to strengthening the already longlasting cooperation between FAO and WFP. It goes without saying, in view of my delegation, that this task force has to draw on all relevant available information, experience and expertise. We wish to see soon constructive and positive results. The assurance given in this respect to the Council by both heads of the different agencies should be taken as an encouraging feature. I will not dwell further on this subject on which amongst others the delegate of India so eloquently spoke last Friday.
The meeting rose at 12.30 pm.
La séance est levée à 12 h 30.
Se levanta la sesion a las 12.30 horas.