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CHAIRMAN: Mav I call the Eiehty-seventh Session of the Council to order. Mr Director-General, distinguished members of the Council, observers, ladies and gentlemen: May I extend to each and every one of you a very warm welcome to this Eighty-seventh Session of the Council. Since we last met in November 1984 nine of our members who were with us have been re-elected to the Council. They are Ecuador, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom,. I welcome all of them again in our midst and I am happy that we will continue to have their guidance and assistance in the work of the Council.

I would also like to extend a particularly warm welcome to the new members in the Council. They are Afghanistan Australia, Denmark, Senegal, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. May I welcome them all to this meeting of the Council.

We are also particularly privileged to have in our midst two Honourable Ministers, the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, His Excellency. Tomé Dias Da Costa of Sao Tomé and Principe and His Excellency, Lassaad Ben Osman, Minister of Agriculture of Tunisia. I want to extend a particularly warm welcome to these two Ministers who have spared time to join us.

I also want to welcome the observers from Member Nations of FAO, representatives of various United Nations bodies and observers from Intergovernmental and Non-governmental Organizations. We value their presence.

May I also extend a welcome to Mr Giovanni Tedesco, our new Assistant-Secretary General, who is here on the podium. He has had a long, varied and distinguished career with FAO since 19 66 and has also served the Council earlier between 1974 and 19 77. His help and advice will therefore be of great help.

This is the month of Ramadan. Special arrangements for prayers have been made for our Islamic colleagues.

Distinguished Members of the Council, Mr Director-General, ladies and gentlemen: We have a rather heavy agenda before us. In particular we have to consider the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, 19 86/8 7, as well as the preparations for the Twenty-third Session of the FAO Conference. This year marks the fortieth anniversary of FAO and of the United Nations. You may also recall that at our meeting last November we decided to declare 1985 as the International Year of the Forest. Soon the World Forestry Congress will be held in Mexico.

This is also the United Nations International Youth Year. Soon there will be a World Conference in Nairobi to review and appraise the achievements of the United Nations decade for women.

All these events are symbols of the continuing human quest for peace and for freedom from hunger. The famine of purchasing power among the world's poor is becoming a more important cause of hunger than the famine of food itself, and an unfortunate consequence of poverty is added damage to our basic life support systems, like land, water, flora and fauna.

Equity and ecology are therefore the twin foundations for sustainable agricultural development.

The different international activities planned for this year make 19 85 a year of equity and ecology,

and soon we will hear from the Director-General an account of the world food situation to date.

I think these particular events of the year provide a rational backdrop for our discussion on the problems of agricultural rehabilitation of the drought-ravaged countries of Africa and on the development of an enduring food security system. I therefore hope, distinguished members of the Council, that these two weeks will prove to be memorable in terms of discussing problems of great importance.

1. Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable
1. Adoption de l'ordre du jour et du calendrier
1. Aprobación del programa y del calendario

I now turn to the Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable. You all have document CL 87/1 and also the Provisional Timetable, CL 87/INF/1 for consideration under Item 1 of the Agenda. I have a small correction to report. To those members who read the Spanish version I would like you to take note that document CL 87/1 carries a typographical mistake in the document reference for Item 12 of the Agenda. This document should read C 85/9 and not CL 8 5/9. All the other language versions are correct.

In addition there is one change to the Provisional Annotated Agenda. I refer to Item 17.1, Appointment of the External Auditor. This Item should be deleted from the Agenda, since it has not been examined by the Finance Committee at its Spring session. I am informed that the Finance

Committee will take up this Item at its next session in September. We will then consider it at the session preceding the Conference.

Turning to the Provisional Timetable, CL 87/INF/1, again Item 17.1 should of course be deleted from this as well.

I would like to propose that we meet promptly every day in the mornings from 9.30 till 12.30, and again from 34 .30 to 37 .00 hours in the afternoons.

May I now invite your concurrence to the adoption of the Agenda and Timetable, including the amendment which I indicated - that is, deletion of Item 17 .1. Have I your concurrence to adopt the Agenda? I see nods around. Thank you very much. So we adopt both the Agenda and the Timetable. They are no longer provisional.

Before I take up Item 2 of the Agenda may I draw your attention, particularly Heads of Delegations, to Item 33.2, namely Nomination of the Chairman and other Officers of the Conference. You will find within brackets "(Heads of Delegation Members of the Council, in closed meeting, to select names of persons to be approached.)" Since this Item will come on the morning of Tuesday 25 June, may I suggest to Heads of Delegations that we meet on 25 June a little earlier at 9 .30 and we will start the main session at about 10 o'clock. So on 25 June we will have a closed meeting at 9.30 first to decide on the names to be approached.

2. Election of Three Vice-Chairmen and Designation of the Chairman and Members of the Drafting Committee
2. Election de trois Vice-Présidents et nomination du Président et des membres du Comité de rédaction
2. Elección de tres Vicepresidentes y nombramiento del presidente y de los miembros del Comité de Redacción

I would like to proceed to Item 2 on the Agenda. I am informed that consultations are still in progress with regard to the election of three Vice-Chairmen, and designation of the Chairman and members of the Drafting Committee. If I may have your approval, we will take this up first thing in the afternoon. So shall we postpone Item 2 until after lunch? Is that agreed? Thank you very much.


20. Other Constitutional and Legal Matters, including:
20. Autres questions constitutionnelles et juridiques, notamment:
20. Otros asuntos constitucionales y jurídicos, en particular:

20.1 Applications for Membership in the Organization
20.1 Demandes d'admission à la qualité de membre de l'Organisation
20.1 Solicitudes de ingreso en la Organización

LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL: Les membres du Conseil se souviendront sans doute qu'à la dernière session ils avaient pris note de la demande d'admission à l'Organisation des Iles Salomon.

Depuis cette date, une seule demande d'admission nouvelle nous est parvenue, celle des Iles Cook. Tous les Etats Membres ont été informés de cette candidature le 18 avril 1985, et la demande sera bien entendu soumise à l'approbation de la Conférence en novembre 1985.

Entre-temps, conformément aux paragraphes B-l, B-2 et B-5 des principes régissant l'octroi du Statut d'observateur aux Nations, aussi bien qu'à l'Article XXV.11 du Règlement général, le Conseil peut autoriser le Directeur général à inviter des représentants de cette nation à assister, en qualité d'observateur, aux réunions du Conseil ainsi qu'à des réunions techniques régionales ou à toute autre réunion présentant de l'intérêt pour cette nation.

CHAIRMAN: In the light of what we have heard, may I ask for your approval that the Representative of the Cook Islands be invited to attend in an Observer capacity as appropriate?

M.J. BLAMEY (Australia): Australia supports the proposal for Observer status for the Cook Islands pending consideration of their application in November.

As the Representative of the Southwest Pacific Region we have been in close consultation with members of the Region prior to this Council, and are fully aware of the interest of the Cook Islands in FAO, its activities and, indeed, in membership.

My country supports the membership of the Cook Islands, and will be doing so at Conference later this year. However, in view of the close relationship between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, it may be appropriate for the Observer from New Zealand to comment on the application at this stage.

J,D.L. RICHARDS (Observer for New Zealand): I am grateful to the Council for agreeing to let me make this statement. I should like to join Australia in welcoming the application for membership submitted by the Cook Islands. It is appropriate for me to make these remarks because of the long standing constitutional relationship between my country and the Cook Islands.

For a number of years the Cook Islands were a dependency of New Zealand. Progress toward self-government culminated in a United Nations-supervised election to the Cook's Legislative Assembly on 20 April 1965. This led, later that year, to the Cook Islands being removed by General Assembly Resolution 2064 from the United Nations list of non-self-governing territories, and becoming a fully self-governing state in free association with New Zealand.

New Zealand retains power to enter into international obligations fot the Cook Islands only when specifically asked to do so by the Cook Islands authorities . The Cook Islands can change their constitution without reference to New Zealand; they have the capacity to conduct their own external relations and to enter directly into international arrangements. In practice, they have participated on an equal basis with other South Pacific States in regional organizations and political consultations. The Cook Islands are party to international agreements such as those establishing the South Pacific Bureau for Economic Cooperation, the Forum Fisheries Agency and the South Pacific Regional Trade Agreement. They signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; they have ratified a maritime boundary treaty with the United States and have concluded a fisheries agreement with the Republic of Korea. The Cook Islands are a member of the Asian Development Bank and last year became a member of the World Health Organization.

As the Observer for New Zealand, I make these remarks to illustrate the ability of the Cook Islands to fulfil the requirements of our Organization only because of the longstanding ties between New Zealand and the Cook Islands- it is not my business to go further. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Cook Islands has very properly made the necessary undertakings in support of his country's application on his own behalf as set out in the documents already distributed.

I should like briefly to note that primary production is the mainstay of the economy of the Cook Islands chiefly in copra, bananas, citrus fruit, and fish drawn from the vast area of ocean over which the islands are scattered. It is a country to which this Organization can give advice and assistance. It is a country which, in its own way, will enrich FAO. I hope the Council, in passing this application on to the Conference, will lend its warm support.

THE CHAIRMAN: I take it that we all welcome the Cook Island's Representative as an Observer.

It was so agreed.
Il en est ainsi decide.
Así se acuerda.


3. Statement by the Director-General
3. Declaration du Directeur general
3. Declaracion del Director General

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Monsieur le Président, j'ai une fois encore le plaisir de vous souhaiter la bienvenue, ainsi qu'à tous les représentants des Etats Membres, à cette très importante session du Conseil.

Votre ordre du jour est extrêmement chargé, plus même qu'à l'ordinaire. Je serai donc bref. Si je m'abstiens d'évoquer certaines des questions inscrites à votre ordre du jour, cela ne veut pas dire que je les considère sans importance. Ainsi, contrairement à mon habitude, je ne commencerai pas par faire le point de la situation mondiale de l'alimentation. De toute façon, nous allons avoir bientôt l'occasion d'en parler puisque c'est la première question que vous allez aborder: le point 4.

Vous examinerez en particulier la situation alimentaire en Afrique. Elle reste si grave que je vais m'y arrêter un instant pour évoquer d'abord les besoins d'aide alimentaire d'urgence, puis notre programme de relance de la production vivrière.

Mais auparavant, je tiens, en mon nom et au nom de tous mes collègues du Secrétariat, à exprimer notre profonde sympathie au gouvernement du Bangladesh récemment dévasté par un raz-de-marée effroyablement meurtrier.

Chaque jour, hélas, nous apporte la preuve que le monde où nous vivons est un monde de violence. Violence de l'homme. Violence aussi de la nature, dont les forces primitives peuvent à tout moment semer partout la mort et la détresse. Certains Etats Membres semblent poursuivis par sa vindicte. C'est le cas du Bangladesh, si souvent victime d'inondations, comme d'autres le sont de la sécheresse. Dure épreuve pour un peuple et un gouvernement qui se battent de toutes leurs forces pour se libérer de la pauvreté. Dernièrement aussi, des inondations dévastatrices ont ravagé le nord comme le sud de l'hémisphère occidental. Nous compatissons à la douleur des survivants et des gouvernements en butte à ces nouvelles catastrophes.

Ces tragiques événements donnent plus de force encore à ce que j'ai si souvent répété: si des catastrophes s'abattent simultanément sur plusieurs régions en développement, la communauté internationale n'a pas les moyens de répondre comme il faudrait à tous les besoins d'aide d'urgence - alimentaire ou non alimentaire. Cela a été le cas aussi cette année.

Monsieur le Président, venons-en à la sécheresse en Afrique. Vous vous en souviendrez peut-être, c'était par là que j'avais commencé mon intervention à l'ouverture de votre dernière session, qui s'est tenue ici fin novembre-début décembre. J'avais parlé de ces millions d'hommes, de femmes et d'enfants réduits au plus extrême dénuement et à la mendicité; j'avais rappelé ces images de corps décharnés qui ont bouleversé et indigné le monde entier.

Depuis lors, un énorme effort a été fait pour leur venir en aide. Rendons de nouveau hommage aux pays développés pour leur générosité, et aussi aux pays en développement, comme la Chine et l'Inde, qui n'ont pas hésité à faire des sacrifices pour secourir l'Afrique. Je tiens par ailleurs à réaffirmer mon appui aux initiatives du Secrétaire général de l'ONU, ainsi qu'aux efforts déployés par mes amis et collègues, MM. Bradford Morse et Maurice Strong, du Bureau des opérations d'urgence en Afrique, en vue d'une action concertée du Système des Nations Unies. J'ai le ferme espoir qu'ils réussiront à mobiliser, je l'espère, les fonds nécessaires pour répondre aux besoins d'urgence.

Depuis la dernière session du Conseil, il a plu en Afrique. Malgré cela, le calvaire de l'Afrique ne doit pas cesser de hanter notre coeur et notre esprit.

Un document spécial - cote CL 87/13 - est consacré à la crise de l'Afrique. Vous noterez que, malgré la hausse prévue des importations commerciales et les 5,7 millions de tonnes d'aide alimentaire promises par les donateurs, il manque encore plus d'un million de tonnes pour répondre aux besoins des 21 pays africains les plus gravement touchés.

Jamais l'Afrique ne s'est vu allouer autant d'aide alimentaire que l'année dernière. Malheureusement, elle n'est pas arrivée à temps pour empêcher la faim de faucher des milliers de vies humaines.

De même, cette année, plus de la moitié de l'aide alimentaire promise n'est pas encore arrivée à destination. Le coeur serré, nous regardons les sacs de grain s'entasser dans les ports alors que la faim continue ses ravages dans l'arrière-pays. Il y a le problème de l'engorgement des ports, mais il y a aussi celui de la distribution des vivres dans le pays. La situation est particulièrement grave au Mali, au Niger et au Tchad pour le Sahel, en Ethiopie et au Soudan pour l'Afrique de l'Est.

Dans ces pays, et aussi au Mozambique, seuls d'énormes efforts concertés au plan national et international permettront de parer à la catastrophe. D'autres pays restent dans une situation précaire. En Afrique du Nord, le Maroc est particulièrement exposé.

Pendant que nous parlons, le sort de milliers de personnes est en train de se décider puisque c'est le temps des semailles dans beaucoup de pays. La situation l'an prochain dépendra pour beaucoup du résultat de ces semailles. Au Sahel, les semailles ne commenceront que dans quelque temps. Là encore, nous ne pouvons qu'espérer une bonne récolte. Mais rien n'est moins sûr, et nous devons plus que jamais nous tenir prêts à livrer très vite l'aide d'urgence qui pourrait être nécessaire.

Très peu de pays africains s'estiment désormais à l'abri d'une crise alimentaire. Il faut les aider à se préparer à des lendemains difficiles et à relancer leur agriculture.

Heureusement, il y a dans toutes les sous-régions des pays où les perspectives sont bonnes, car des pluies abondantes sont tombées au bon moment. C'est encourageant, et cela nous rappelle aussi que, si les conditions s'y prêtent, l'Afrique peut et sait produire.

Parmi les causes directes de la crise alimentaire actuelle, la principale demeure les caprices du climat. Il serait simpliste d'y voir uniquement le résultat de politiques erronées. L'Afrique peut faire davantage pour s'aider elle-même, c'est vrai, mais elle a aussi besoin d'assistance. Et elle est capable d'en faire bon usage, à condition que cette assistance soit conçue rationnellement et dispensée avec libéralité.

C'est dans cette perspective que j'ai présenté, en janvier et en mars, des programmes de relance de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture dans 21 pays africains.

L'effort de relance doit marcher de pair avec l'aide alimentaire d'urgence. C'est seulement ainsi que les pays touchés pourront reconstruire leur capacité de production, surmonter la crise et éviter de dépendre de plus en plus de la charité d'autrui.

Le programme que j'ai présenté pour les pays les plus touchés est unique en son genre; en effet, il ne s'agit pas d'approximations mises bout à bout par des non-spécialistes, mais bien de projets concrets, élaborés avec les pays eux-mêmes.

La FAO a déjà financé certains de ces projets par ses ressources prores. Mon collègue, M. Lignon, vous donnera davantage de détails quand il présentera son rapport à ce sujet.

Nous avons des conversations suivies avec les donateurs. La communauté européenne a déjà financé certains projets en Ethiopie. Le Gouvernement de la Chine, la Belgique, l'Espagne et d'autres gouvernements sont en discussion avec nous. Ils ont déjà montré leur intérêt et leur engagement pour financer un certain nombre de projets. Le pays hôte, l'Italie, a pris en considération quelque 70 propositions en vue d'une sélection et assistance ultérieures. Nous sommes en discussion très active. Le montant des projets serait d'environ 52 millions de dollars. Je m'en réjouis, mais le déficit reste énorme alors que la campagne agricole est déjà en cours ou va s'ouvrir incessament: en Ethiopie, on sème en mai-juin, mais en Afrique de l'Ouest on sème dans les prochaines semaines. Je tiendrai au courant le Conseil de la situation.

A ce sujet, je me félicite d'une décision prise par le Comité financier, appuyée avec force par le Comité du programme et dont l'application a déjà commencé. A concurrence de 15 millions de dollars, nous sommes autorisés à utiliser les économies réalisées, notamment sur les traitements du personnel, exclusivement pour financer des projets de notre programme de relance qui n'ont pas obtenu à temps de fonds bilatéraux.

Avancer l'idée - et prendre la décision - de financer directement une aide concrète et substantielle sur le budget ordinaire d'une organisation du Système des Nations Unies, voilà qui sort sans doute des sentiers battus. En tout cas, la proposition comme la décision sont parfaitement conformes aux canons de l'orthodoxie en matière de programme et de finances. Il s'agit simplement d'utiliser les économies disponibles pour une action urgente de relance dans les pays d'Afrique les plus éprouvés.

Certes, cela représentera un petit sacrifice pour tous les Etats Membres de la FAO - je dis bien tous - qui devront renoncer à une partie de l'excédent de trésorerie qui aurait pu leur revenir pour 1984-85; néanmoins, l'excédent distribué restera considérable. J'ai la conscience tranquille. Qui pourrait me reprocher d'avoir proposé de saisir cette occasion? Si certains sont inquiets, qu'ils se rassurent: cela ne change en rien la base du budget et n'aura pas d'effet sur le niveau de celui-ci pour le prochain exercice.

Monsieur le Président, d'habitude, c'est vers la fin de mon expose que j'aborde la question du sommaire du Programme de travail et budget. Mais, puisque j'ai commencé à en parler, venons-y tout de suite.

Il faut voir les choses en face: les besoins sont énormes, mais les contraintes aussi. Je suis donc obligé de demander une augmentation de programme pour 1986-87, mais il s'agit d'une augmentation minime.

Ni le Conseil ni la Conférence ne se sont jusqu'ici ralliés à la doctrine simpliste et brutale de la croissance zéro dans toutes les organisations du Système des Nations Unies, quels que soient leur mission, la situation du secteur dont elles s'occupent, les appuis suscités par leurs politiques et programmes, leur efficacité et l'économie de leur gestion.

Parlons net: après avoir mûrement pesé ces exigences contradictoires, je suis sûr d'avoir fait le bon choix en proposant une nouvelle réduction d'environ 3,75 millions de dollars des frais administratifs et de soutien de façon à pouvoir relever de 9,4 millions de dollars, c'est-à-dire de 3,8 pour cent, les ressources consacrées aux programmes techniques.

Ces propositions s'inspirent des recommandations des Conférences régionales, des grands comités du Conseil et des organes consultatifs techniques. Je me félicite que tous les principaux comités intergouvernementaux de la FAO, le Comité de l'agriculture, le Comité des pêches et le Comité du programme aient appuyé avec force les priorités que je propose. Dans certains cas, on m'a même pressé d'aller plus loin. Je suis heureux et fier que les priorités de la FAO continuent à faire l'unanimité.

Il n'y a aucun programme que le Secrétariat a proposé qui n'ait été adopté par les gouvernements. Il n'y a aucun programme que l'on ait demandé de couper ou de ne plus continuer à réaliser.

En réduisant les frais administratifs et autres dépenses de soutien, j'ai réussi à limiter à moins de 1,5 pour cent l'augmentation nette de programme en termes réels: 1,4 pour cent et ceci pendant deux années environ, soit moins de 1 pour cent par an.

Loin de moi l'idée de minimiser les difficultés que cette augmentation, aussi modeste soit-elle, risque d'entraîner pour tous les Etats Membres sans exception.

Bien au contraire. C'est après avoir évalué minutieusement le cadre financier dont dépendra le montant net de leurs contributions que j'ai mis la dernière main à mes propositions. Je ne me suis pas contenté de réduire au minimum les augmentations de coûts, mais j'ai tablé sur une augmentation sans risque des recettes accessoires qui, comme toujours, seront déduites des contributions mises en recouvrement pour financer le programme. J'ai aussi pris en compte l'évolution probable de la situation monétaire.

En conséquence, comme vous le montre la version définitive du Programme de travail et budget qui sera présentée à la Conférence et sous réserve du taux de change dollar/lire qu'elle approuvera, le montant global des contributions sera, en dollars, égal ou même inférieur à celui de l'exercice en cours.

Monsieur le Président, est-ce qu'une croissance zéro des contributions en dollars ne vaut pas mieux qu'une croissance zéro du programme, qui serait aussi artificielle que néfaste?

Je ne m'étendrai pas davantage sur cette question, si ce n'est pour vous renvoyer à ce que disait le Président de la Banque mondiale dans son dernier discours au Conseil des Gouverneurs: "Il faut accroître le volume et l'efficacité des flux d'aide libérale, d'origine multilatérale aussi bien que bilatérale si l'on veut s'attaquer avec la moindre chance de succès aux problèmes gigantesques des pays les plus pauvres". Je suis fermement convaincu qu'il en va de même de toutes les formes d'assistance fournie au titre du Programme ordinaire de la FAO.

Monsieur le Président, le Programme de travail et budget figure tous les deux ans à votre ordre du jour. Celui-ci comporte aujourd'hui deux autres questions très importantes.

La première concerne le projet de code de conduite pour la distribution et l'utilisation des pesticides. Nous nous sommes dépensés sans compter pour vous présenter un projet qui puisse être transmis à la Conférence et y obtenir un consensus et un appui sans réserve. Ce projet constitue inévitablement un compromis entre des intérêts bien légitimes et même des revendications extrêmes.

Il est le fruit de négociations intenses: nous en sommes à sa huitième rédaction. Il a reçu l'appui de principe du Comité de l'agriculture, mais, à l'issue d'un long et difficile débat, on m'a demandé de continuer à y travailler afin d'obtenir un accord plus large encore.

J'ai donc examiné avec soin les suggestions de toutes les parties intéressées, et je vous présente, sous la cote CL 87/9 Sup.1, un nouveau projet où sont indiqués les changements proposés.

Il ne satisfera pleinement ni les partisans les plus acharnés de la libre entreprise ni les fanatiques de l'écologie. Hélas, rien n'est parfait ici-bas. Nous avons fait de notre mieux.

Au Sommet de Bonn, on a évoqué la nécessité d'associer les mécanismes de la vigilance publique et les disciplines du marché pour résoudre les problèmes écologiques, par exemple le contrôle des produits chimiques toxiques et la protection des sols, des eaux douces et des espaces maritimes.

J'en appelle donc au bon sens et à l'esprit de coopération du Conseil, et je lui demande de tout faire pour que ce projet puisse être adopté par consensus, ici et à la Conférence.

L'autre problème inédit dont vous êtes saisis concerne le projet de pacte mondial de sécurité alimentaire qui a suscité des controverses et même des discussions passionnées au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale.

Comment le rappel d'un certain nombre de principes moraux sans aucun caractère contraignant peut-il déchaîner autant de passions? Parce que, dès l'aube de la civilisation, c'est justement en s'attachant à des principes moraux et religieux que l'homme a cherché à garantir sa présence, sa domination, son avenir dans l'univers.

Ce pacte ne va pas changer la face de la terre. Il vise un objectif beaucoup plus modeste. Mais je tiens à insister sur sa valeur morale qui n'est le monopole de personne - ni individu ni nation - et sur sa portée universelle.

Dans le monde où nous vivons et compte tenu plus particulièrement des questions dont s'occupent le Conseil et la Conférence, on ne saurait nier l'importance absolue du principe de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale et de l'idéal qu'elle représente.

A l'heure où les catastrophes et la famine s'abattent sur l'Afrique, où les privations et la malnutrition font des ravages dans d'autres parties du monde, le moindre signe, le moindre geste, le moindre mot qui nous rapproche de cet idéal est précieux: une inspiration, un encouragement, un stimulant pour les gouvernements de toute idéologie, pour les organisations gouvernementales ou non gouvernementales et pour les simples citoyens.

Je suis donc fermement convaincu que ce pacte s'impose et qu'il vient à point nommé. Nous ne pouvons évidemment donner suite à tous les desiderata de chacun de nos 156 Etats Membres. Je ne crois pas que nous puissions, dans la pratique, résoudre les différends en transformant le Conseil et la Conférence en comités de rédaction.

Je ne pense pas non plus que nous puissions faire fi des préoccupations suscitées par le texte présenté au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire, si un changement ici ou là peut permettre le consensus.

Et quelle meilleure occasion que le quarantième anniversaire de la FAO pour adopter par consensus un pacte mondial de sécurité alimentaire?

Ainsi donc, bien que le CSA ne me l'ait pas expressément demandé, j'ai pris sur moi de revoir une fois de plus le projet de pacte et de vous présenter, sous la cote CL 87/10 Sup.1, une nouvelle version où sont indiqués les changements que je suggère.

A ce sujet, je voudrais demander à tous de suivre l'exemple de la Suisse, qui a retiré les réserves qu'elle avait formulées, et de travailler de concert sur cette nouvelle version avec la volonté d'aboutir à un consensus qui permette à la Conférence d'adopter ce pacte en toute sérénité et de marquer ainsi sa détermination d'assurer la sécurité alimentaire mondiale dans les années qui viennent.

Monsieur le Président, votre ordre du jour comporte plusieurs autres questions importantes qui découlent des sessions de la Commission des engrais, du Comité de l'agriculture, du Comité des pêches, du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale ou concernent nos relations avec le Gouvernement de notre pays hôte et avec le Programme alimentaire mondial.

Nous avons en outre des décisions importantes à prendre pour l'organisation de la Conférence.

Mes représentants et moi-même vous présenterons ces questions à mesure que vous les aborderez.

En vous parlant tout à l'heure du Pacte mondial, j'évoquais l'atmosphère exceptionnelle qui s'attache pour nous à cette année 1985, et c'est là-dessus que je voudrais terminer.

Nous allons célébrer cette année le quarantième anniversaire de notre Organisation. Le 16 octobre, nous serons honorés de la présence des plus hautes autorités italiennes qui participeront à des cérémonies spéciales à notre Siège, y compris la pose de la première pierre de nos nouveaux bâtiments. Notre pays hôte, et plus précisément le Comité national placé sous l'éminente présidence de Mme Tina Anselmi, organisera de nombreuses autres activités pour commémorer cet anniversaire de façon éclatante à Rome et dans toute l'Italie.

Nous espérons aussi qu'à cette occasion du quarantième anniversaire de la FAO, Sa Sainteté le Pape Jean-Paul II célébrera une messe pontificale à Saint-Pierre, à laquelle les participants à la Conférence seront invités.

Au cours de la Conférence, le 14 novembre, nous espérons recevoir la visite de deux Chefs d'Etat, le Président de la République française et le Président de la République d'Indonésie, qui prendront la parole à l'occasion d'une cérémonie spéciale.

Tout cela témoigne de l'extrême importance que revêt la mission de notre organisation et l'intérêt que lui portent nos Etats Membres - j'oubliais encore de mentionner qu'un Président de la République sera aussi présent pour la Conférence. Son nom sera décidé par vous-même la semaine prochaine. Cela témoigne aussi de leur volonté inébranlable de rester fidèles à leurs engagements après 40 ans de lutte pour un monde meilleur, 40 ans de succès et d'échecs, de réalisations fructueuses et de plans avortés, d'espoirs comblés ou déçus, de foi dans l'idéal international et dans la coopération entre toutes les nations souveraines.

Nous devons nous battre de toutes nos forces pour cet idéal. Cela exige des convictions inébranlables, une honnêteté et une franchise totales dans notre dialogue, une grande ouverture d'esprit, de la tolérance, de la compréhension, le sens du compromis et du consensus, car tel est le fondement indispensable de la concorde internationale.

La session de la Conférence qui coïncidera avec le quarantième anniversaire de la FAO doit être l'expression suprême de toutes ces qualités. La maison de la communauté internationale doit être unie et non divisée contre elle-même. Le goût des joutes oratoires, la passion de la controverse nous font parfois oublier que ce qui nous unit est plus fort que ce qui nous sépare.

Pour notre quarantième anniversaire, puissions-nous montrer, dans les débats du Conseil et de la Conférence, que tous nos efforts tendent vers cet idéal de l'unité. L'occasion exaltante s'offre à nous de donner le plus haut exemple de l'esprit de coopération, du consensus, de la collaboration véritablement fraternelle et de la concorde internationale.

Nous ne pouvons moins faire pour tous ceux qui sont en fin de compte notre unique raison d'être: les millions de pauvres, de faibles et d'affamés du monde entier.

Je vous remercie.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Mr Director-General, for that very clear, comprehensive statement, which was both realistic and a statement of hope for the future. As Council members we are aware that normally we do not have a discussion immediately following the presentation of the Director-General's report, because many of the points to which he referred will come up for discussion under different items of the agenda. However, I have been requested by the Chairman, Group of 77, to now give the floor to the Ambassador of Libya, the Chairman of the Group of 77.

B. SAID (Chairman, Group of 77)(Original Language Arabic): On behalf of the Group of 77 1 am happy, first of all, to welcome you back here to this room for our Eighty-seventh session. We are very glad to see you once again sitting up there (and keeping us in order). We are also very happy to extend the most hearty welcome to the heads of all delegations, and to each and every individual delegate attending the session.

The Group of 77 would like first of all to express its gratitude to the Director-General for his very deep, thorough-going and exhaustive statement on the complex problems before us in the field of food and agriculture in the middle of this troubled decade. We have all been moved, and we have all felt some concern - growing concern - on listening to his very clear and lucid presentation of the situation in which certain parts of the world enjoy abundance of agricultural products, whereas in other parts of the world - especially Africa - hunger and malnutrition are rife. No-one can challenge the fundamental idea of the Director-General's statement - namely, that we cannot live together as a society, as a community, upholding civilized values, if hunger prevails in certain areas whilst certain others have their silos full of grains or have mountains of butter. The Report on the Current World Food Situation highlighted this paradox which must not be condoned.

The Group of 77, of course, realises quite clearly that we are holding this Session at a time which is of particular significance to our Organization. The Twenty-third session of the Conference, which will be held next November, coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of FAO and our debates will be of great importance, because they will help the Conference to map the way for the next two years and thus guide us both as regards the programme and budget level. We will have an opportunity in the course of the debates to discuss in detail the matters raised by the Director-General in his statement, as well as the various proposals which are contained in that statement and in the reports of all our Committees, and so on. The detailed preparatory work performed by the Secretariat (for the actual session), the careful documentation which it has put before us, and the analytical studies done by the Programme and Finance Committee, as well as the governments themselves, give us very practical proposals from the technical points of view which are in line with the priorities and concerns of Member Nations. This exercise in which many parties have worked ensures that we will follow the right way on a balanced basis. I am confident that this will ensure that a climate of consensus on basic measures will prevail in our Council discussions.

The Group of 77 would like to take this opportunity to express its appreciation for the special efforts of the Secretariat, especially in the weeks which have preceded this session - to intensify the process of consultation and provide a balanced approach to various trends in these documents. We believe therefore that, the chances for early agreement on the various proposals have greatly improved, as well as agreement on the Code of Conduct on the Production and Use of Pesticides and on World Food Security Compact. These are all matters which have already been considered in depth.

The Group of 77 prompted by the spirit of consultation and consensus will cooperate with everyone so that a consensus might be reached on all these measures proposed to us, so that we may make a contribution towards the building of a better and more humane world.

The substantive issues which are put before us in the session are witness of the fact that FAO is at the present time a mature organization, with a great deal of experience; yet it is always evolving and developing. Although it has its share of problems it strives hard to achieve the ideals set by those dreamers, the founding fathers - who got together forty years ago. We all recall that the founding fathers met shortly after the end of the second world war and realised that hunger could defeat man and create wars and knew through bitter experience how malnutrition could erode people's trust in the future. The Organization ever since has made a great contribution to alleviate the scourge of hunger in many parts of the world.

The Organization is called upon today more than ever to redouble its efforts in Africa and elsewhere in order to achieve the old dream of a world which will be free from hunger and thus create trust in a common future. We are all invited to contribute in a constructive and enlightened spirit to deal with these complex issues in the field of food and agriculture. We have no time for argument while millions die of hunger. It is a great honour for the Group of 77 to cooperate with all in this humane task.


4. Current World Food Situation
4. Situation actuelle de l'alimentation mondiale
4. Situación actual de la alimentación en el mundo

N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates, the documents for discussion under the "Current World Food Situation", are CL 87/2 and its supplement, CL 87/2 Sup.1. This latter document contains information available as of the third week of May. It also updates information on the current situation in Africa, which will be discussed as the next item on the Agenda.

Although, Mr Chairman, technically speaking, the economic recession is over, the economic environment is still conditioned by its aftermath. There is uncertainty about the durability and spread of the recovery, and what effect this will have on development prospects of developing countries. Growth of the U.S. economy slowed, even though it has accelerated a little in other industrialized economies. This has implications for growth prospects of developing countries.

At the same time, the patterns of merchandise trade, of which agricultural trade is an important component, are being distorted by pressures on different countries to expand their exports at a time when commodity markets are weak.

As a consequence of these various forces, agricultural commodities face rather weak demand, and as their production increased quite rapidly in 1984, commodity prices on world markets are low. In some cases, such as free-market price of sugar, they are at an all time low. With prospects of ample supplies of agricultural commodities, prices are being forced even lower.

This unstable situation has been worsened by various forms of protectionism and the increased use of subsidies to promote export sales. This situation accentuates the difficulties of exporting countries while it offers short-term advantages to importing countries -- not all of which are developing or low-income. It also adds a new measure of uncertainty to agricultural markets, which is aggravated by instability in exchange rates. Although the dangers of protectionism to the continued growth of trade are recognized, little has been done to reverse such measures. Only slow progress has been recorded in getting underway discussions to liberalize trade, under the auspices of GATT.

The debt burdens of some indebted countries have eased somewhat in recent months, but at the cost of a major compression of imports. For example, the volume of imports of non-oil developing countries fell by 10 percent during 1982 and 1983, and this setback was not recouped by the modest recovery of 1984. The volume of these countries' imports was back to the level of 1980. It is also uncertain whether these countries can expand their exports rapidly enough to service their debt, particularly in the face of protectionist pressures, more intense competition in agricultural markets, and rates of interest that remain high in relation to inflation.

Financial flows to developing countries including external assistance to agriculture were also affected by the recession and its aftermath.

In current prices, total bilateral and multilateral commitments to agriculture fell in 1983, between 2 percent and 3 percent, back to their 1980 level.

Concessional commitments fell by even more, 12 percent. Indeed, so severe was the decline in concessional commitments, both bilateral and multilateral, that even allowing for the strengthening of the United States dollar and a much lower rate of inflation, commitments to agriculture in constant prices declined by 8 percent. The fact that concessional commitments declined more than total commitments means that the terms on which development assistance to agriculture has been offered has hardened in 1983.

On the other hand, food aid has greatly increased and is approaching 12 million tons of cereals in 1984/85, the highest figures reached since the beginning of the 1970s. This of course largely reflects increased commitments of emergency assistance to Africa.

Against this uncertain and somewhat difficult economic background, the global food sector performed well in 1984. The increase in food production globally was more than 4 percent, and cereal supplies, to the middle of this year, increased by 100 million tons or by approximately 5 percent. Much of this increase was, however, due to greater production in North America and western Europe.

The developing countries did slightly better than in 1983 and their combined increase in food production was about 2.6 percent in 1984. The developing countries of Asia consolidated their large gains made in 1983, and food production in Latin America also recovered. However, the increase in Africa failed to offset the decline of 1983.

For the developing countries as a whole and considering the average performance over the periods during the years 1980-84, production during this period was about 3.7 percent per year. However, there are wide regional differences. China and India in particular have done well in expanding food production in the 1980s. In China, the increase during 1980 to 1984 has been more than 25 percent, and in India over 20 percent. But the other developing regions have done less well. In Latin America the average rate of increase in food production during 1980-84 was less than 2 percent.

The outlook for global food supplies in 1985/86 is reassuring in some respects. Current stocks of cereals are equivalent to about 18 percent of expected consumption in 1985/86 and prospects for cereal production remain favourable in both northern and southern hemispheres, including parts of Africa. However, it is still early in the main crop season in many countries, and much depends on local weather conditions in the coming months.

Offsetting this more favourable short-term view, there are underlying threats to the long-term stability of the world's food economy. It must be faced that Africa is confronted with a crisis in terms of its food supplies and prospects for economic growth.

Furthermore, on the side of the major food suppliers, new tensions have emerged. In the documents before you, we have drawn attention to the recent introduction of supply control measures affecting cereals and dairy products in major producing and exporting countries. As surpluses mount and competition for markets of a wider range of commodities increases, the possibilities for farmers to shift their resources into alternative enterprises have narrowed.

The consequences of domestic agricultural policies, especially agricultural price regimes, obtaining in developed exporting countries are increasingly felt, not only in terms of heavy income losses for the farmers and government budgetary difficulties, but also in terms of the possibility of conflicts in international agricultural trade.

DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Just to guide delegates, as you see, item 4 is on the Current World Food Situation, and there is item 5 on Food Situation in Africa, so my colleague, Dr Islam, has introduced item 4, The Current World Food Situation. When you finish with the discussion on item 4, then on item 5, I will again ask my colleague, Dr Islam, to introduce the Food Situation in Africa from the point of food aid, food delivery, food requirements for 1985/1986 etc. and then Mr Lignon will introduce, just after him, another sub-item which is the progress of the FAO's Programme for Rehabilitation for Agriculture in Africa, on which he will provide information.

A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (Langue originale arabe): Je voudrais tout d'abord remercier le Directeur général pour les précisions qu'il vient d'apporter concernant l'étude des points 4 et 5 de l'ordre du jour. Je pense que nous pourrons étudier ces deux points de façon séparée puisque le point 5 sera présenté à la fois par le Dr. Islam et par M. Lignon.

Permettez-moi maintenant de présenter quelques observations sur le point 4 de l'ordre du jour relatif à la situation actuelle de l'alimentation dans le monde. Je voudrais commenter la présentation du Prof. Islam et le contenu du document CL 87/2 et CL 87/2-Sup.1.

En premier lieu, il convient de remercier la FAO, et notamment le Département du Prof. Islam pour la préparation de ces documents qui contiennent des données très importantes concernant la situation actuelle de l'alimentation dans le monde, en particulier au niveau régional, au niveau sous-régional et au niveau de chacun des pays pour nous donner une image claire et fidèle de cette situation compte tenu des différences entre chacun des pays et de l'évolution d'une campagne à l'autre.

Nous voudrions dire également que nous apprécions les renseignements donnés quant à l'amélioration de la situation de l'alimentation dans le monde tel que cela apparaît dans les deux documents précédemment cités. En effet, l'amélioration de la situation alimentaire par rapport à 1983 s'est traduite par une augmentation de la production de 4,4 pour cent. Cela se manifeste notamment en Amérique du Nord et en Europe occidentale. Au contraire, l'augmentation de la production n'a été que de 2,6 pour cent dans les pays en développement. Cette amélioration s'explique notamment par l'augmentation de la production du blé, du riz et des autres céréales secondaires ainsi que des graines oléagineuses dans les pays en développement.

Cette amélioration de la production mondiale ne doit pas nous faire oublier le déséquilibre entre les pays développés et les pays en développement en matière de production et de capacité de l'augmenter. Il est en effet apparu que l'augmentation de la production par rapport à 1983 a été, presque exclusivement, enregistrée dans les pays développés. La production est restée la même dans 104 pays et a baissé dans plus de 40 pays, dont 15 avec une baisse de production de 5 pour cent et plus et 6 pays africains qui connaissent un déficit alimentaire très grave. Bien sûr, ces pays ont besoin d'une aide internationale et notamment de la part de la FAO.

Je voudrais également souligner ce qu'a dit Dr. Islam concernant la situation qui se détériore en Afrique. Nous y reviendrons dans le détail plus tard mais le document CL 87/2-Sup.1 que nous avons sous les yeux prouve dans les paragraphes 10 à 20 qu'il est nécessaire de faire davantage d'effort pour apporter une aide alimentaire aux pays africains les plus touchés, une aide alimentaire aux pays dont les besoins n'ont pas encore été satisfaits. Ces pays ont également un besoin urgent de semences et autres facteurs de production nécessaires à la campagne 1985.

Nous notons par ailleurs avec une certaine inquiétude que les engagements d'aide extérieure à l'agriculture et à des conditions de faveur ont baissé au sens étroit en prix constant (1980), en 1983, bien qu'il y ait eu globalement une augmentation en prix constants.

Mais nous ressentons un certain soulagement à voir augmenter l'aide alimentaire acheminée en Afrique et nous remercions ceux qui ont fait par leur générosité que cette aide alimentaire atteigne 11,8 millions de tonnes.

Nous savons également que les engagements de participation à la RAIU seront de 653 000 tonnes pour ce qui est des céréales et nous reviendrons bien sûr en détail sur cette question lors de l'examen de la situation alimentaire en Afrique.

Mais je voudrais dès à présent dire que la situation alimentaire et agricole, qui s'est améliorée depuis les années soixante, a vu cette amélioration se produire surtout dans les pays développés. Ces pays ont actuellement des stocks très importants de produits alimentaires dont une partie pourrait être mise à la disposition des pays en développement afin d'améliorer la situation alimentaire de ces derniers.

Malheureusement le pouvoir d'achat des pays en développement est très limité et ces pays ne peuvent donc acheter les produits alimentaires dont ils ont besoin. Il faut donc une augmentation de l'aide alimentaire aux pays en développement. Les dernières statistiques prouvent qu'il y a une amélio-ration de l'aide alimentaire apportée aux pays en développement, mais il y a encore beaucoup à faire. Je voudrais donc remercier le Secrétariat de la FAO et le Département du Dr. Islam des efforts qu'ils déploient pour suivre de près la situation alimentaire dans le monde et nous permettent d'en avoir une image claire.

S.M. MATIUR RAHMAN (Bangladesh): May I express how happy we are, Mr Chairman, to see you again chairing this important Council session. We reiterate our confidence that with your intimate knowledge and wide experience in the subjects before us you will guide our discussion, as in the past, to bring the session to a very successful conclusion.

On behalf of my delegation let me first express our special thanks and gratitude to the Director-General for expressing his condolence and sympathy to the people and Government of Bangladesh at the colossal loss of valuable lives and properties in coastal areas of our country caused by the recent cyclone and tidal bores. His messagy of sympathy will be a source of consolation and strength for us to overcome the aftermath of the national disaster. We will convey his message to our Government.

The Director-General, in his thought-provoking opening statement, has set the tone and given definite focus and directions to our deliberations on important issues to be dealt with in this session. We are conscious of his dynamic lead and persistent efforts for eradication of hunger and malnutrition, which is the main mandate of FAO and common cause of all of us here. He deserves our unstinted support and encouragement in his pursuit to achieve this objective. My delegation places on record its deep appreciation of his untiring efforts toward this goal.

We also wish to thank Professor Nurul Islam for his very lucid and concise introduction of the subject, which by its very nature is complicated and involves a wide variety of countries and regions with diverse circumstances that affect each of them.

We also commend the FAO Secretariat for presenting before us such a comprehensive document giving up-to-date information on region and countrywide food and agricultural situation covering cereal and non-cereal foods.

The document has also given a short review of the current world economic situation and an assessment of its impact on the food and agriculture sector.

We consider the assessment of the current world economic environment and of its impact on world food and agriculture situation as contained in the document and referrred to in the Director-General's opening address as very relevant, realistic and fair. We therefore generally concur with this prognosis. However, while doing so my delegation would like to make a few observations which are relevant to our experience.

It is quite obvious that the picture of the current world economic situation that emerges from the review is a mixed and diverse one. Although the economic recovery started in the developed world in 1984 with increased output and track, its full beneficial impact has yet to reach most of the developing countries.

Not only that, the economic growth in the developing countries has not been comensurate with the recovery in the developed countries, but most of the developing countries are still bearing the burden of short-term domestic adjustment measures at the cost of their urgent need for long-term structural changes and economic development.

Further, the economic growth and development of the developing countries is being hindered by various adverse external economic constraints. To name a few, these are heavy debt-servicing burden, protectionism, limiting marketing prospects of their products, unremunerative prices and weak demand of products, currency fluctuations, adverse balance of payment difficulties, cutback of development assistance to agriculture, etc. These constraints are needed to be eased and gradually eliminated, not only in the interest of the developing countries but also to ensure sustained recovery and growth of world economy as a whole.

Turning to the current world food situation, although it is heartening to note that at the global level there was substantial increase in food and agriculture production in 1984 compared to slight decline in 1983 and that carryover stocks would be at the satisfactory level for world food security, about 18 percent, at the same time it is a matter of deep concern that as many as 21 African countries are facing acute food shortage and hunger as a result of reduced food production for two successive years of drought.

As pointed out in the document, my country, Bangladesh, is one of the three countries in Asia whose foodgrains production also fell significantly short of the target during the year due to flood loss of more than 1 million tons of rice, but it was marginally higher than the output of the preceding year. However, we met this abnormal shortfall situation by timely import of a large quantity, about 3 million tons, of foodgrains against cash purchase and under aid and by their quick distribution, and no hardship was caused to the population.

It may be pointed out that as a food deficit country Bangladesh has been according highest priority to agriculture, food production and rural development in its development plan, and consistent with this priority the highest demand of our development outlay is being allocated to this sector.

The major emphasis of our agricultural development programme is on increasing foodgrain production in order to achieve food self-sufficiency in early Third Five-Year Plan which starts from July 1985. Priority will also be given for increasing output of oilseeds, fishery, livestock and forest products. For implementing this agricultural development programme more external concessional assistance will be needed to supplement our national resources.

Regarding external assistance to food and agriculture, at a time when most of the low-income countries are faced with chronic food shortages and hunger and there is crucial need for investment in the food and agricultural sector in these countries, the decline in the concessional part of external assistance to agriculture is of particular concern to my delegation, because it will adversely affect these countries that rely heavily on such external assistance for investment in their agriculture.

The low level of replenishment of IDA, as well as the uncertainty and probable low level of replenishment of IFAD, will also have serious implications on the investment and development of the food and agricultural sector of these countries.

Regarding food aid, it is a great source of satisfaction to my delegation that, mainly in response to the exceptional food aid requirements of African countries, commitments to food aid during 1984/85 at 11.6 million tons reached the highest level since the early 1970's. For this all the donor countries, especially the United States of America, who mostly contributed to this increase, deserve our sincere gratitude.

Similarly, contributions to LEFR in 1984 and 1985 are also quite encouraging, for which the donor countries should be praised. We hope that pledges to the regular resources of WFP will also reach the target of US $1 300 million.

A.K. OSUBAN (Uganda): 1 must echo the statement of the previous speaker in expressing our delight at seeing you again in the Chair, Mr. Chairman. I wish to extend my congratulations to the Director-General for the comprehensive appraisal of the world food and agriculture situation in his opening statement, and to congratulate Professor Islam for his excel lent introduction of this agenda item.

1 will make only a few observations since this subject will be discussed thoroughly by most delegations. Although it is noted that the year 1984 has marked the beginning of end of the deepest economic recession for 50 years, we must bear in mind there was a striking contrast between agricultural production in the northern countries which produced enormous surpluses, and the southern countries where the bulk of the population were unable to feed themselves.

We learn from the Document that food production increased by 3.6 percent in Africa in 1984 after declining by 3.7 percent in 1983. However, production per capita was only 1 percent higher than in 1983, and 11 percent below the 1974/76 average for the region. In the low-economy countries per capita production has slumped. These countries now find it hard to import the food they need even though cereal prices appear to be low. The future for investment plans in agriculture looks uncertain, and this is combined with growing debt burdens on the part of the developing countries.

This leads me to echo the request made by the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture when he was addressing the Eleventh Ministerial Session of the World Food Council which has just ended in Paris. He requested that the debts of those countries which are severely affected be written off and those of the less severely affected countries be rescheduled. We believe this is a matter of morality.

Still on the question of multilateral assistance, we solemnly appeal for the replenishment of IFAD to enable it to carry out its targeted obligations.

We note with the same happiness that the food aid component of assistance has been doing very well. Commitments of food aid in cereals are estimated to surpass the 10 million tons annual target set up in 1974. The recipient countries firmly believe that food aid is an essential element for food security, especially in providing relief for the victims of such disasters as drought and famine as have been witnessed in Africa, and the floods in Bangladesh and elsewhere. Further, we are also committed to the notion that the ultimate aim of food aid programmes must be to make food aid unneccessary.

With reference to fertilizers, we believe that along with improved seeds and water, fertilizers are an indispensable input in bringing about increased productivity of food to enable countries to become more self-reliant. Therefore, my delegation shares the concern expressed by the Commission on Fertilizers in their February meeting that the present growth rate in fertilizer use in developing countries is far below what is required to achieve self-reliance in food and therefore food security. So, we appeal for increased fertilizer aid generally through the international fertilizer supply scheme.

In conclusion, 1 thank FAO for its efforts in assisting the severely affected countries of Africa, for the World Food Programme and other agencies who have come to the rescue of Africa in its hour of need.

F.G. POULIDES (Cyprus): First of all, 1 wish to say that it is gratifying for my delegation and myself, Mr Chairman, to see you again in the Chair. Secondly, 1 wish to congratulate warmly the Director-General for his very to-the-point statement, particularly in stressing and drawing the attention of all of us to the concluding paragraph of the statement.

Concerning Item 4, the delegation of Cyprus has carefully studied Document CL 87/2 and its supplement, Document CL 87/2 Sup.1, and would like to commend the Secretariat on its comprehensive assessment and analysis. We would like to thank also Professor Islam for his clear introduction.

We note from the documents, and we welcome, the real increase in staple food produced in 1984 at a global level, and the higher production recorded in almost all geographic regions. However, figures of production have to be related to population growth if a picture is to emerge in relation to food availability. In this respect, we note with concern that in most parts of the world food availability is deteriorating. In 1984 production of food per capita was less than in the period 1974/76 in 72 out of the 144 countries for which preliminary data were available. Most of these countries are in Africa, but the problem is not confined only to this continent. Negative performance was also recorded in countries of Latin America, the Near East and countries in Asia and in the Pacific area. A real increase has been recorded in the developed parts of the world. An increase in carry-over stocks anticipated to rise 18 percent over the forecast world consumption in 1985/86, although adequate, is mainly attributable to this increase and will be concentrated in developed countries.

Given that the performance of developing countries in producing staple foods was no better than for cereals, as we are informed in the document, it is obvious that developing countries have to rely on imported food items to satisfy the needs of their population, but the ability of most developing countries to import foodstuffs has been limited by economic and financial constraints. Although the international prices of cereals are relatively low, the foreign exchange resources of many developing countries have been under great pressure from large debt-servicing charges and from continuing weak markets for many of the commodities exported by them. As well as strong protectionist tendencies in the major importing countries, the high value of the United States dollar is adversely affecting the ability of these countries to import required food. As a result of all this, we see the inability of a great number of developing countries either to produce or import what they need.

So what remains for them to do? Either they have to rely on food aid and the generosity of the world community for their survival, or they must be helped to increase their production. There is evidence that the donor countries do care about the starving people and have shown this by providing aid either bilaterally or, better still, through the international organizations.

The minimum annual target of 10 million tons of food aid set by the World Food Conference in 1974 is expected to be reached this year for the first time. Contributions to the international emergency food reserve in 1984 amounted to over 600 000 tons. The minimum target was 500 000 tons. Over and above this, 41 000 tons of non-cereal foodstuffs were contributed.

We hope contributions to the LEFR for the current biennium, which is for February 1985, amounting to

512 000 tons of cereals and 17 850 tons of other foodstuffs again will be generous and will pass the

minimum target. We welcome the contributions made to the reserve by such countries as India, Lesotho, Mauritius, and others.

We believe more permanent solutions should be found on the subject of overall temporary provision of food aid. In this respect we commend the Director-General for having assigned to special task forces the preparation of development projects for the rehabilitation of agriculture in cooperation with the governments of affected African countries. As we know, these projects have been presented to a specially convened meeting held in this room on 29th March.

My delegation expresses its appreciation of the interest expressed by some donor countries in assisting in the implementation of these projects. At the same time, we urge others who are in a position to do so to come forward and assist in this respect.

When discussing food supplies, one cannot help but refer to the subject of rural development which, although complex and difficult, is directly connected with food production. In this respect, what the developing countries wish to do in order to overcome their problems does not always depend on them. The most important input they need - capital - is so scarce and is getting even more scarce and difficult to secure. In order for a country to be able to plan and implement development projects, capital is a crucial factor, but certainly not the only one. There are other factors also. Nevertheless, without it nothing can proceed in the direction planned. On the question of the flow of development assistance, we do not share the cautious optimism expressed in paragraph 87 of the document under review. Rather, we would like to express our disappointment at the reduction of external assistance to agricultural development. The reduction in the resources of the International Development Association, and the failure to reach agreement for the Second Replenishment of the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, are seen by this delegation as a step backwards in the effort to assist developing countries to improve their agricultural performance.

R.D. KAUZIARICH (United States of America): 1 would like to join the previous speakers who have expressed their happiness, Mr Chairman, at your continuation in the Chair for this important meeting of FAO. 1 can assure you of the cooperation of my delegation in accomplishing the goals of this Council. 1 would like also to congratulate the Director-General for his eloquent and, indeed, moving intervention to begin this meeting. He certainly has set the spirit that should motivate all of us as we go about the work of this Council.

On this particular Item, I wish to make first some general observations, and then some specific points on particular paragraphs of the document in question. This document, and the excellent introduction by Professor Islam, have underscored the useful and generally well-balanced survey of the current world food situation before us. We have the survey by commodity and by region, which is a useful way of distinguishing problem areas which persist despite abundant world food supplies. In particular we note the Secretariat identified that food prices have a strong inflationary influence and that this impact may indeed have grown in 1984. We draw from this the clear implication that both developed and developing countries must closely analyse agricultural policies in order most efficiently to allocate resources especially because these policies dramatically affect other sectors of the economy. I repeat, this is a responsibility for both developed and developing countries.

In particular, we commend the Secretariat for drawing attention to the problem of agricultural protectionism. We agree with the Secretariat when they say in paragraph 7 of the document that "...agriculture cannot be permanently excluded from adjustment reviews".

I think it might be useful to say a few words that might update the Secretariat description of the United States 1985/86 cereal supply utilization estimates. Mr Chairman, we expect that 1984/85 grain production will rise 50 percent from our 1983/84 levels. This will reach a total of 512 million metric tons. The increase is due largely to greater coarse grain production, although wheat and rice have exceeded the previous year's levels. Exports, however, seemed to rise only slightly with ending stocks of about 86 million tons of which 38 million tons are wheat, 2 million tons rice and 46 million tons coarse grain. These are up 20 percent from 1983 levels. Obviously, the outcome of present farm programme legislation will affect grain production and that outcome is unclear. We still anticipate in 1985/86 a slight rise in that production to 315 million tons. Declines of 5 percent in wheat production and 10 percent in rice production probably will be offset by a 3 percent rise in coarse grain production which we expect to reach 245 million metric tonnes. Exports of all cereal grains are expected to fall with projected ending stocks rising one-third to about 115 million tons.

Mr Chairman, as I mentioned earlier, we attach particular importance to the role of domestic policies particularly because a healthy international economy depends on healthy domestic economies. I think it is useful to give a bit of background on President Reagan's proposed agricultural farm programmes.

We have a strong feeling in the United States that the current US farm programmes need revision. These programmes are costly, very costly, and they encourage excessive production. The US Government is considering changes in the farm programmes in the context of our 1985 farm bill. President Reagan

has proposed this legislation to Congress and has called for a market-oriented programme in which price support levels would be set in relation to market prices rather than negotiated levels that are determined through a political process. It would also mean a phase-out of acreage reduction programmes so that farmers production decisions are guided by market signals rather than by Government. (We have an excess in those crops which by and large do not compete with the exports of most developing countries.) With these changes we expect that farmers will derive a greater share of their own income from the market place and, I believe, compete more effectively in world markets.

It is important to note that the farm bill also includes recommended changes in the Food Security Wheat Reserve, which will eliminate the existing reserve and replace it with a humanitarian reserve of about 13 million metric tonnes. The new reserve would be authorized for humanitarian use both overseas and domestically and would accomplish greater flexibility for the Administration as it operates the reserve, including corn and sorghum in addition to the existing reserves of wheat.'

Mr Chairman, on to some specific remarks occurring in relation to paragraphs in the document. Paragraph 93 of the document asserts that the minimum annual replenishment target of the IEFR of 500 000 tons is grossly inadequate. The United States accepts the utility of the current target, but we feel that rather than increasing the minimum replenishment level that the donor communities should have the flexibility to respond to needs as they occur. I think that the response of the donor community in connection with the situation in Africa demonstrates that the increased levels of assistance will be forthcoming as they are required.

We also note in paragraphs 96 through 100 that the document reports a rapid growth in consumer food prices, especially in Latin America, and the trend in the Far East towards reducing budgetary expenditures on food subsidies.

We believe that a lowering of such subsidies is to be welcomed if, and I underscore if, it is accompanied by appropriate policy incentives to increase food production and make the marketing of food more efficient, as well as by appropriate monetary and fiscal policies to defeat the erosion of consumers' income by inflation.

Finally Mr Chairman, let me pick up on a point that the distinguished delegate of Uganda also raised, and that has to do with the discussion in paragraph 108 regarding the concern of the Commission on Fertilizers that fertilizer use in developing countries is growing too slowly. I recognize that we will be discussing this issue later on, but I did want to point out in the context of this report that we have, as we have noted at the meeting of the Commission on Fertilizers, some concern about the emphasis on the role of the IMF in this area.

We understand that if a country should encounter a balance of payments problem arising from increased costs of importing fertilizers, the IMF provides assistance by permitting members to draw up to 450 percent of their quota if they are willing to undertake significant adjustment measures.

The United States prefers to provide fertilizer through bilateral assistance programmes. We do not believe that assessed programme funds should be used to increase the International Fertilizer Supply Scheme, but we do agree that the IFS does provide a useful aid channel for some donor countries. Nevertheless, I think the facts show that the overwhelming share of fertilizer aid - about 98 percent in recent years- has been provided through bilateral programmes.

W. A. F. GRABISCH (Germany, Federal Republic of): My delegation wishes to thank the Director-General for having drawn so clearly drawing our attention to the salient topics on our Agenda. As usual, we will refer to them once they have been taken up.

My delegation would like to thank the FAO Secretariat for the balanced and analytically clear description of the present world food situation, as we find it in document CL 87/2.

We are largely in agreement with the statements in the document. We welcome the fact that world food production, which still stagnated in 1983, rose in 1984 by more than 4 percent, as stated in paragraph 11 of the document.

The situation in Africa where per caput food production in 1984 was 11 percent below the average of 1974-76 continues to be a matter of concern to us. However, we welcome the fact that the per caput food production in Africa in 1984 was one percent higher than in 1983.

Despite increases in production in the Far East, Asian Centrally Planned Economies (ACPE) and in Latin America, per caput food production in 1984 did not reach the level of 1974-76 in many countries of Africa, Latin. America, Near East, Asia and Pacific, as stated in detail in paragraph 15 of the document.

Of particular importance seem to us the production increases for coarse grains, edible oils and root crops.

We are concerned about the increased food imports of Africa due to widespread production losses, as mentioned in paragraph 21.

The statement in paragraph 23 of the document to the effect that external assistance to agriculture in developing countries declined in 1983 is not true as far as my country is concerned. Agriculture and rural development have been priority areas almost from the beginning of our economic cooperation with developing countries. Their share in our overall economic cooperation with developing countries has been increasing for years, and it is now 29.1 percent of total commitments. In 1984 we spent D M 804 million for that sector, and for 1985 almost DM one billion has been earmarked for that purpose.

Paragraphs 24 and 25 of the document give the figures for pledges to the regular resources of the World Food Programme and to the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR) up to mid-February 1985. Therefore, my delegation suggests that these figures be updated according to the figures given in the recent issue of Food Outlook.

Mr Chairman, my delegation would like to stress some other details contained in the document which seem to us of particular importance.

First, we welcome the fact that the crop production in Latin America, Asian Centrally Planned Economies (ACPE) and, even Africa, though to a lower extent has risen more sharply than population, as referred to in paragraph 27.

Second, we are concerned about the large number of African countries in the group of countries which had to record declines in food production of more than 5 percent, as stated in paragraph 30.

Third, this also applies to the statement in paragraph 32 that 86 percent of the countries in Africa produced less food per caput in 1984 than during 1974-76.

Fourth, world trade in cereals is forecast to increase in 1984-85. As stated in paragraph 48 of the document, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which is expected to import 45 to 50 million tons of wheat and coarse grains, will have a great share in the world trade volume of cereals.

Fifth, we welcome the production increase for cereals as stated in paragraphs 53 to 65 of the document. We also welcome the increase in world cereal stocks which rose to 292.4 million tons as shown in Table 6 of the document. The recent Food Outlook also shows a higher figure of 298 million tons. These figures represent more than 18 percent of world requirements forecast for 1985-86. We are glad that the level of 17 to 18 percent, which is considered adequate for the maintenance of food security at the global level has been reached and even exceeded.

Sixth, we agree with the analysis as regards the other agricultural commodities in paragraphs 62 to 82 of the document.

Seventh, we regret the decline of external assistance to food and agriculture as shown in Table 8. As I have previously stated, my country did increase our assistance to agriculture. In this connection we should bear in mind that it is the first choice of the recipient countries for which sector it seeks external assistance.

Eight, by taking up the remarks of Dr Islam in his introduction on the world agricultural market situation and on trade issues, I should like to recall what my Minister stated last week at the Eleventh Session of the World Food Council in Paris. He stated, "Since the beginning of the cooperation between the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany and developing countries it has been and still is our chief concern to give aid to self-help. In our opinion development aid and trade are not contradictory but are complementary in their impact. Development aid and trade, as well as aid through trade are indispensable preconditions for us in our cooperation with developing countries. We therefore welcome the idea of world trade expansion, which is stressed strongly in the document."

Later, he said: "It will only be possible to accelerate the presently still too slow growth of world economy," - which is criticised, rightly, in the document, - "if every country makes great efforts to put its own house in order and to ensure an exchange of trade as free as possible." For my country this is no lip-service but is consistent with our action. Developing countries have been able to benefit from it, as the following figures show. The imports of the Federal Republic of Germany from developing countries, including agricultural imports, distinctly rose in 1984 as against the previous year by 11 percent to DM 70 billion. More than one-third, or 36 percent, of those imports were semi-manufactured and manufactured goods. Their share in the basket of commodities imported from developing countries in 1984 increased by 20 percent while imports of raw materials only went up by 3 percent. During the five year period from 1980 to 1984, our imports from developing countries increased by almost one-third. Aid through trade will also in future be one of the guidelines of our cooperation with developing countries. This is clearly reflected by the EEC/ACD LOME III as being the way, at the Convention which entered into force this March with our full support.

Ninth, as regards informing FAO Member States about efficient development assistance, we suggest that complementary to Table 9 there should be another table giving overall all the figures as well as the sources, as is done every year by OECD. We share the Secretariat's opinion of a more optimistic view concerning external assistance and international cooperation, as stated in paragraph 87 of the document before us.

Tenth, my delegation is concerned about the expected decline in food supplies in 35 low-income food-deficit countries, as referred to in paragraph 104 of the document. This shows that great efforts of the international community are still necessary to improve the world food supply situation, particularly in low-income food-deficit countries.

The Federal Republic of Germany will continue its fruitful cooperation with developing countries in that sector, with the aim of contributing towards greater self-reliance of developing countries in eliminating hunger and malnutrition.

The Meeting rose at 12.30.
La séance est levée à 12 h 30.
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.30 horas.

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