CHAIRMAN: I think distinguished members of the Council are aware of the entire process which goes into preparation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. We are fortunate to have the Director-General himself to introduce it this morning; but may I say that almost immediately after the last Conference a process of consultation and inputs, from various Regional Conferences, Committees and so on, started which formed the basis for the preparation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. Last month both the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee, separately and jointly, examined this document in great detail and we have this comprehensive report CL 87/4 with us. The two Committees met for nearly two weeks and spent a large proportion of the time considering this Summary Programme of Work and Budget.
After our discussion, the Director-General can proceed with the preparation of the detailed Programme of Work and Budget, and the Programme and Finance Committees will meet in September to consider the document before the Conference session.
The procedure which we will adopt is that first I shall request the Director-General to introduce the basic elements of the Programme and what went into its making; then the Chairman of the Finance Committee will introduce the recommendations of the joint meeting of the Finance and Programme Committees and after the Chairman, Mr Abeyagoonasekera, makes his presentation I shall request the Chairman of the Programme Committee, Mr Trkjula, to introduce the Report and Recommendations of the Programme. Then, Mr Abeyagoonasekera, Chairman of the Finance Committee, will deal with some of the financial aspects. We will then start general discussion of document CL 87/3.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: In my opening address to the Council, I offered some comments on the main features of my Summary Programme of Work and Budget, as proposed for 1986-87. I also indicated the many factors which had influenced me in formulating my proposals. Let me now review the basic issues behind my proposals.
In preparing the Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87, I have firstly taken into account the world economic situation and the prospects. Some economic recovery has been experienced in the developed world. Real GNP growth was 4.75 percent in 1984, the highest since 1976. However, some major problems remain. While inflation has decreased from an average level, for all industrial countries, of 9 percent during the early 1980s to some 4 percent currently, it is by no means subjugated. In Italy it is still around 9 percent. Unemployment remains at unacceptably high levels, particularly in Western Europe. In three of the four largest European economies it is between 10 and 13 percent of the labour force. I need hardly talk about unemployment in the developing countries which is chronically at many times that level. According to OECD, the GNP of its Member Nations will increase by barely 3 percent this year.
Such an outlook continues to dampen the demand for agricultural and basic commodities from the developing world, which also suffer from low export prices. The IMF expects per caput growth of the GNP of developing countries at less than 2 percent. In Africa economic growth will still register a decline. In the next two years the world population will increase by an additional 170 million. The economic engine of the developed world continues to affect the economic fate of developing countries. The external debt of developing countries now totals some US$ 950 billion. The debt service burden remains heavy. The relief of some debt rescheduling was purely temporary. By the way, I wonder how many developing countries are able to claim not only the interest, but the capital? I am not getting information on repayment of the capital of the debt, only, essentially, the interest is there, and not the capital, which means that the debt will continue for many, many years. In Latin America alone, 40 percent of exports go for debt servicing alone. Developing countries continue to face the basic questions of their credit worthiness. Many African countries are not credit-worthy - they cannot get loans on commercial terms. At the same time, aid for development, particularly on concessional terms, has declined substantially in 1983, with no sign of an increase in 1985-86. UNCTAD and World Bank projections also indicate that there is no prospect for increase in prices of agricultural commodities until 1990. The situation for developing countries as a whole remains precarious. For many, particularly in Africa, it is
catastrophic. While we can be happy that some Asian countries have given proof of impressive increases in agricultural production, these improvements can be shortlived. Small variations in the course of any one year can cause a major crisis. We have had the tragedy of Bangladesh, and I have noted also that a country like Pakistan, which had reached self-sufficiency in wheat and rice, this year, all of a sudden, because of drought, has had to import two million tons of grains.
The developing world is far from a state of assured security. I am mentioning these facts to show that this is not the time to have a zero-growth budget or a minus-one budget - on the contrary this is a justification for having a budget with a larger increase in terms of real growth.
Against this background, I consider that FAO has an ever greater responsibility to respond to the increasing demands addressed to it, and I should add that the demands we are unable to satisfy continue to increase. In shaping its response I have been guided by four basic factors: firstly, we need to respond to the priorities indicated by you, by governments directly to FAO, as well as through our intergovernmental meetings and special conferences - I mean, the World Conference on Fisheries, for instance. These priorities are distilled and established in a balanced way.
Secondly, our Programmes are oriented even more to support the action of governments for impact at the field level. In this connection, the Regular Programme has to be seen in relation to our Field Programme. We used in the past to be told that no matter if the Regular Programme had a small increase - you have such a large Field Programme, especially the Field Programme financed by UNDP, and if you take the total Field Programme and Regular Programme of FAO, it is the largest Programme in the UN. Now the situation is quite different. We are all concerned that the FAO/UNDP Programme has declined from US$ 182 million in 1981 to barely US$ 110 million in 1984. In real terms, the US$ 110 million of 1984, compared with the US$ 182 million in 1981, represent perhaps US$ 75 million in 1981 - the decline is very great. Even if you consider that inflation each year is 6 or 7 percent, over 14 years it is 100 percent - one dollar in 1981 is equivalent to two dollars in 1984. So we have had this decline. Its share in FAO's Field Programme has fallen, over the same years, from over 60 percent to under 44 percent - it used to constitute 60 percent of our Field Programmes for UNDP; now it is only 44 percent.
Thirdly, the African continent deserves unquestioned priority while needs elsewhere cannot be ignored.
Fourthly, I pay careful attention to the views of all governments as to the eventual budget level they desire.
The proposals I have formulated respond to those governments who look for zero-growth as they are not far from zero-growth - 1.4 is not very far from zero-growth; at the same time, they respond to those governments who look for greater support from FAO. The nominal growth I am proposing still permits a Programme increase of 3.8 percent for our Technical and Economic Programmes, which are the backbone of FAO. All countries are interested in the Technical and Economic Programmes - they are not interested in the support cost.
With this approach, I sincerely hope that my proposals could be approved by all groups of member countries.
There are four basic factors which have guided me.
Firstly, I am sensitive to the financial burden on all Member Nations. If developed countries are experiencing budgetary problems, these problems are even more acute for developing countries, where dollar contributions bear even more heavily.
Secondly, I continue to pursue every possible means of maximising the benefit to Member Nations from the resources placed at our disposal, both in terms of their effective utilization and their effective management.
Thirdly, the provision for cost increases in the next biennium has been pruned systematically.
The present biennium budget for 1984/85 included a provision for cost increases of some US $52 million. This is for 1984/85. I am proposing for the next biennium to reduce this cost increase by more than half and to make it only $24 million.
The Finance Committee has reviewed both the methodology and the content of the proposed cost increases and presents to you its positive conclusions thereon.
Fourthly, I have carefully reviewed the prospects for miscellaneous income with a view to reducing the eventual contributions of Member States to the same or less in dollars than for the current biennium.
So I am expecting a contribution from the Member States to the budget of 1986/87 equal to the 1984/85 or possibly less but the final figures of course could be presented at the time of the Conference.
The strategies and priorities proposed for the next biennium accord with the policy guidance of the Conference and the Council.
They take into account the recommendations of the regional conferences and the main Council Committees, our technical bodies and the recommendations of other inter-governmental bodies within the United Nations system.
I do not need to repeat the information which is presented in detail in the document, since the proposals have been reviewed by the Committee on Agriculture and the Committee on Fisheries, within the terms of their mandates and in their totality by the Programme and Finance Committees. Those are Committees appointed by you.
The unanimous endorsement of the proposed strategies and priorities by the main Committees, where most of you are represented, and by the Programme and Finance Committees is most notable as well as very reassuring. So is the recommendation of the Programme and Finance Committee to you to endorse the Programme proposals and the level of balance of resources to be allocated.
Here I wish to assure the Council that the recommendation of the Committee on Agriculture, the Committee on Fisheries, the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee, as may be endorsed by the Council, will be fully taken into account in the preparation of the full Programme of Work and Budget, in the final version.
That is to say that I am ready to consider the need to amend or add to my proposal if the Council wishes me to do so, based on the recommendations of those Committees or of the Council. Of course I will not increase the budget, although some of these recommendations may call for increase of the budget.
So as I say, to the extent possible I repeat, specific points of emphasis on activities indicated by these bodies will be incorporated in the full Programme of Work and Budget.
A clear response to strategies and priorities, a sharpening of programme proposals through the continued approach of cutting programmes and activities of relatively low priority and a renewed effort to reduce administrative and support costs for the benefit of technical and economic programmes, lead to the main impact of my proposals.
The result is to increase the resources from technical and economic programmes, including the Technical Cooperation Programme, by $9.4 million or 3.8 percent over the current base. This is the whole increase. Two years - $9 million, about $4 700 000 for a year, for the whole of Africa, Latin America, Asia, etc. This is the increase which I propose, increase on paper because the net requirement, I hope, will be possibly less than in 1986/87 than in 1984/85.
How this operation was able to be carried out? Of course this was by reducing by $1.7 million, the administrative support and common services, and also resources for general policy and direction are curtailed by over $600 000, and those for development support, by US $1 million. So we cut year, after year, and we add to the technical programmes, because we have been told by many delegations, especially from developed countries, that we have to shift resources. So we have shifted resources but I think this is the last time. I do not know if for 1988/89 it will be possible to shift resources, because we have done it for two biennia now and next time it will not be possible to have a budget with 1 percent or 2 percent overall increase, with an increase of 3 or 4 percent for the technical activities, but I hope that in the future the economic situation will improve for all countries.
The proposals will result in a further reduction of the percentage of expenditure of established posts. What are established posts? Those are the posts which are established and very difficult to eliminate. It means that you have a post for the staff who occupy it, who will need a room, who will need a telephone, who will need a secretary, who will need the money to travel, and every year the service is increased, and this is really the very big burden and it goes on and on. This is something which the governments are looking at very carefully, the established posts, because we became hostage over those established posts. While there are consultants or fixed-term posts, you can cancel after a limited period, you are the master for the duration of those posts. So my policy, with your support, has been always to have a smaller percentage of established posts because they really eat into the budget, leaving no flexibility. So from over 77 percent in 1974/75, we went down to 56 percent in this biennium 1984/85 , and I propose to go even further to 54 percent in 1986/87 .
Mr Chairman, I want to conclude by saying the composite result is a net programme increase of only $6.2 million for the biennium - a mere 1.4 percent over the re-costed current base. I said it was 9 million dollars but we have taken 3 million dollars from cutting here and there, so the net is 6 million dollars. I think the budget of this biennium is 421 million dollars. The next budget may be something like 427 million.
I realize the concern of all Member Nations regarding the eventual budget level and I would emphasize some key points regarding this issue:
The Programme of Work and Budget has still to be refined but the summary gives a fair idea of the eventual budget level which will be placed before the Conference.
The full Programme of Work and Budget will place my final proposals before the Conference.
The eventual budget level will be determined by you, by the Conference, through its decisions on the Programme and on the dollar/lire exchange rate it will adopt for the budgetary appropiation. Usually the Conference adopts the prevailing rate of the day when it votes the budget. Today the dollar is 1,963 but who can predict the variation of the dollar?
Mr Chairman, of course I hope that your own deliberations will lead to an endorsement of my summary proposals. We shall listen very carefully to all your interventions; we shall try to answer every question; my colleagues are all here ready to clarify. We have had the opportunity to have our programme proposals scrutinized during the previous weeks. Some distinguished representatives honoured us by calling on my colleagues with a series of questions. Some of them have spent several hours with these representatives; we have tried to answer: we are ready to do so again; it is part of our duty and we appreciate the fact that the governments are interested in getting information and details, but I should say this time we have had the opportunity to provide a lot of answers to many questions and we are grateful to the governments who have shown this interest, and we can continue to do it after the meeting, until we prepare my final programme and budget proposals.
I hope that this budget will be approved like the other budget of 1984/85. The 1984/85 budget was approved unanimously. It called for an increased contribution compared to the 1982/83 of I think $55 million. The budget of 1984/85 called for an actual increase of $55 million from all member countries - USA of course 25 percent - and it was approved unanimously. Now this budget either will not call for an increase normally or maybe a decrease, so I hope we can, by mutual effort from everybody, reach a consensus, I am therefore very much at ease, Mr Chairman, in presenting such a budget which should not create a very big problem in terms of actual contributions.Thank you.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Director-General, for that very clear introduction. As I said earlier, we will first hear the Chairman of the Finance Committee, Mr Abeyagoonasekera, introduce the Joint Session of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Chairman, Finance Committee): I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity to address the Council on behalf of the two Committees. I will try to be very brief, and will only highlight some of the more important points in the joint report.
Both Committees expressed their satisfaction with the format and presentation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and welcomed the improvements introduced over a period of years which had made it possible to present a more balanced and informative documents which would reflect faithfully the directives and requirements of the Council.
Members of both Committees agreed with the Director-General's perception of the world situation, which is contained in the document as well as in his opening address to the Joint Session. His analysis of the problems in food and agriculture clearly indicated that there was still a climate of uncertainty regarding prospects for sustaining non-inflationary growth in the future and that, particularly in developing countries, stringent measures were necessary to adjust their economies which were facing severe problems in debt-servicing and deteriorating trade balances.
Given this critical situation the Committee deplored the fact that there was a decline in multilateral concessional financial assistance towards improvement of agriculture and livestock development in developing countries.
The Committee stressed the extremely serious situation facing some twenty drought-stricken countries in Africa and agreed that besides short-term solutions, such as emergency food aid, such efforts would have to be complemented by measures for agricultural and livestock rehabilitation and long-term development. They felt that the Director-General was fully justified in the overall priority given to Africa and supported the FAO's useful and catalytic action in this regard even though the resources at its disposal were limited.
Both Committees endorsed the strategies and priorities proposed by the Director-General for the 1986-87 biennium. They agreed that they were in accordance with the policy guidance of the Conference technical committees of FAO and other inter-governmental bodies within the United Nations system.
The members felt that the four principal tenets guiding the Director-General in framing his proposals - namely, promotion of food production, increase in food security, impact at field level, and the promotion of technical cooperation among developing countries - reflected a very judicious assessment of the requirements of member countries and FAO's capacity to respond to them.
The members recommended to Council that it should endorse the programme proposals and the level and balance of resources to be allocated to them.
The members also commended the Director-General for his continued efforts to curtail programmes and activities of relatively low priority. They agreed that the share of administrative support costs could be reduced for the benefit of technical and economic programmes, but in doing so it should not impair FAO's ability to implement its programmes efficiently and effectively as it had done in the past.
The Committee therefore recommended the Summary Programme of Work and Budget as a sound basis for the preparation of the full Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87. A few members, however, wished to reserve their position on the budget level, and their reservations have been placed in the record of the Joint Session.
M. TRKULJA (Chairman, Programme Committee): It is with great pleasure that I am recommending to the Council the views of the Programme Committee on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, which in a sense could be viewed as the very core of the committee's mandate. As I am confident the Council members and observers have carefully studied both the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and the Committee's comments on it, I do not need to be long. I will confine my introductory remarks to the salient features of the Director-General's proposals for the next biennium and then I will add a few general remarks on the annex to the document.
I have hardly anything to add to what my colleague, Mr Abeyagoonasekera, has just said about the joint review on the format and presentation of the document.
Indeed the Programme Committee particularly appreciated the fact that the balance between conciseness and clarity and the high standard that Council recommended two years ago have been further improved, in part due to the suggestions made by the Council and the Committee itself.
The Committee fully concurred with the perception of the Director-General, as expressed in Section II of the document and updated comprehensively in his exposé to the Joint Session of the Programme and Finance Committees with regard to the current global economic situation as well as the factors which characterize the food and agriculture sector. Since the Council has already extensively discussed those issues and the situation in Africa, I will not make specific reference to the Committee's views on these issues. I trust that the Committee's comments on those matters were in harmony with the views that have been clearly reflected in the Council's debate. It is sufficient to say that the Committee agreed that the Director-General's perception was balanced and that he had drawn realistic conclusions on the implications of the global economic situation, and particularly the food and agricultural sector, on the FAO programme for the next biennium.
May I therefore merely highlight some of the policy issues on which we commented. These are: uncertainties with regard to the economic recovery from the high level of unemployment in some industrial countries; the critical situation in developing countries, particularly in view of the heavy debt servicing, increasing protectionism, sluggish growth in the volume of agricultural trade and even fall in the volume of agricultural commodities; the declining trend in official development assistance, particularly assistance to agriculture, and in that context a sharp decline in multilateral concessional funds.
I have to add that the Committee underlined that there was no alternative to FAO's unique role in assisting member countries to improve their food situation, to alleviate poverty and to prevent further erosion of their ecosystems.
With regard to Field Programme, I would like to emphasize the modest satisfaction of the Committee with regard to some increase in FAO field programme delivery that is likely to materialize in the current biennium with the prospect of a further small increase in the next two years. However, this modest satisfaction was heavily over shadowed by the decline in the development assistance to agriculture, particularly its multilateral part, and also by the fact that the present level of FAO delivery is in fact well below the levels in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Delivery under UNDP funds is continuing to decline. It is indeed an unfortunate trend of historical significance that delivery under UNDP projects will for the first time be below the delivery under Trust Funds. Still on Trust Funds, the Committee was informed of the reasons for the decline in delivery under the Near East Cooperative Programme. The same relates to the OSRO operations in 1984. In this connection the Committee again stressed its concern with the lack of adequate support to the FAO special action programmes. Finally, the Committee expressed satisfaction regarding the generous contribution by the Government of Italy to FAO's Trust Fund programmes.
The Committee fully endorsed the strategies and priorities proposed by the Director-General for the next biennium. The Committee particularly stressed that priorities for the next biennium represented yet another step in consistently implementing the general policy directives of the Conference and Council approved in 1976. The Committee noted that strategies and priorities had also been in line with the recent recommendations of the Council, with recommendations of FAO Regional Conferences as well as the requests from other parts of the UN System. It reviewed and took into account the views expressed by the last sessions of COAG and COFI on the proposals.
The Committee noted that four principal closely inter-related objectives: promotion of food production, increase in food security, impact at field level and enhancement of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries, very faithfully captured the most essential needs of the member countries.
While commending the valuable services of FAO Representatives in linking FAO technical assistance capabilities and experience with the need of member countries, the Committee noted that the scheme of FAO representatives was for the time being stabilised.
With regard to the Regional Offices, the Committee welcomed the indications given in the document and in the debate, of the concrete contributions in the context of the integrated programme. In this connection, the Committee agreed to review in further detail the activities of the Regional Offices at its next session, on the basis of the material to be provided in the Review of the Regular Programme.
The Committee again expressed its unanimous support of the Technical Cooperation Programme. It was pleased to know that the Director-General would communicate the findings of an independent evaluation of the TCP which would be studied by the Committee in September next.
You will not be surprised, Mr Chairman, to notice that several members, in fact the majority in the Committee, again underlined that the increase proposed for TCP was far short of what was required in developing countries.
The Committee enthusiastically approved the emphasis placed by the Director-General on the activities of FAO in promoting TCDC and ECDC. The Committee felt that it was even more essential now, given the current climate in international economic relations. The Committee also welcomed the Director-General's proposals on consolidation of FAO's data bases and dissemination of information and analysis.
With regard to the Programme Budget impact, the Committee was assured that the Director-General had very carefully studied the proposed decrease in Administrative Support Services so as to make sure that the reduced level would not impair the level and quality of FAO's technical programmes. The Committee therefore commended the Director-General for again proposing to strengthen substantially the main technical programmes of the Organization by about 3.8 percent, partially through the reduction of costs on Administrative and Support Services.
The Committee fully agreed with the proposed distribution of resources by' object of expenditures. It particularly noted that the share of established posts in the budget would further be reduced to 54 percent despite a modest net increase in the number of posts. The Committee again raised a word of caution with regard to the continuation of such an approach. It underlined that a further reduction could not be pursued indefinitely as it might jeopardize the efficiency of the organization technical and economic programmes.
Mr Chairman, may I now refer you and the Council to the concluding comments of the Committee. The Committee fully recognized that the activities proposed by the Director-General represented a balanced approach and a continuing attention to both economy and efficiency. The Committee agreed that the Director-General had to be commended for his careful examination of all relevant external and internal factors in presenting his proposals for the forthcoming biennium. He had particularly
taken into account the urgent needs of food deficit countries, most of which belong to the least developed countries of Africa. In this connection the Committee fully concurred with the further increase of assistance to African countries south of the Sahara.
The majority of the members strongly stated that the extent of the needs for FAO's assistance and the Organization's proven capacity would warrant a budgetary level considerably higher than the one proposed by the Director-General. They expressed the hope that in future the Director-General would be in a position to relinquish such restraint and continue to expand the Regular Programme resources so as to meet the needs of the developing member countries for FAO assistance.
The Committee, after thorough review of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, agreed to recommend that the Council support the proposed level of resources as a sound basis for the preparation of the final version of the Programme of Work and Budget. Mr Chairman, I have to recall that one member, while joining the Committee in the full endorsement of the proposed level of the Programme of Work and Budget, reserved her Government's postion on the budget level.
Finally, I cannot obviously go into all major programmes and sub-programmes because it would take too much öf your precious time. May I only emphasize that the Committee very thoroughly studied all programmes and sub-programmes and in most cases down to the programme element level. May I emphasize further that our report faithfully reflects the detailed debate we had on these issues. If I may say so, the last session was the longest, at least as far as I am able to remember, that we have ever had. The Committee worked late in the afternoon and even had an evening session just to be able to scrutinize all the details of these programmes.
In general, the Committee supported the proposed sizeable changes in the base, though perhaps not too precisely, or what the Secretariat refer to as non-current activities. These reflected the changes expressed by the FAO membership.
May I end on a personal note. It was indeed a pleasure for me to guide the deliberations of a very able group of highly motivated, competent, hardworking and above all committed friends, people who are committed to our common cause.
May I again recommend to you, Mr Chairman, and the Council the views of the Committee on the Summary of Work and Budget and hope our advice will help the Council in its own deliberations.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. We are most grateful to you and to the other members of the Committee. The Chairman of the Finance Committee will now introduce their report.
D.H.J. ABEYAGOONASEKERA (Chairman, Finance Committee): May I say that we all missed your presence at the last meeting, since you have always contributed usefully to our discussions. I conveyed your message to the members that you were otherwise engaged in the Organization and could not be present. The Chairman of the Finance Committee has to report to you under Rule 27.7(a) and I am doing just that.
Our examination of the proposals and estimates revealed that the Director-General had made his proposals after taking into consideration the situation prevailing in the world's food and agricultural sector which, as explained, remains unstable, although some limited improvement had been made in some areas, while the extremely serious situation facing some 22 countries in Africa called for greater priority to be given to that continent. But the problems facing other developing countries in all regions were no less important.
Likewise, developed nations were undergoing certain economic and financial hardships. A proportion of the budget for the biennium 1986/87 would have to respond to all circumstances, yet it is not possible to have a Programme of Work and Budget to satisfy everyone. The Committee felt that the efforts of the Director-General in this instance were a balanced response, and took into consideration all the stresses, constraints and shortcomings felt by all the Member Nations.
In doing this, the Committee felt that the Director-General continued particularly to examine all the programmes' present operation and had selected only those more important and suitable for further improvement and continuation, and had discontinued those of a lower priority. He has also tried to make the optimum use of resources at a time when resources were not readily available. The Committee devoted considerable time to discussing cost increases. The methodology for calculating and presenting cost increases is the same as that used in past biennia and is approved by the Finance Committee, Council and Conference. Therefore, the basis of the formulation for the 1986/87 Programme of Work and Budget was acceptable.
On the subject of cost increases, the attention of Council is drawn to paragraphs 7.1 to 7.77 on page 25 of the report, and to the table on page 26 of the document. The Committee observed that the cost increase amounted to 5.68 percent of the current Programme of Work and Budget of FAO and was impressed that this is half of what was required for this biennium.
At this stage, I would like to make some specific comments on such other areas which we examined. The Committee welcomed and approved the further decrease in expenditure on established posts which had already been referred to by the Director-General as a proportion of total expenditure. Council's attention is drawn to paragraphs 3.18 to 3.20 on page 31 of the report.
However, the Committee pointed out that a continuation of this policy should not jeopardise the ability of FAO to deliver food programmes efficiently and effectively. The Committee felt that the proposal to establish 14 new professional posts was justified as these were necessary to acquire expertise in specialist areas in order to undertake new programmes. Some members of the Committee stressed that the establishment of new posts should take into consideration possibilities of redeployment.
On Chapter 5, Administration, the Committee felt that the planned computerization in the spheres of financial and administrative management was in the right direction. The Committee felt that the development of financial management and personnel management systems would require further investment in 1986/87, and that their development would also lead to savings in terms of both funds and time in future.
On Chapter 7, Contingencies, the Committee felt that proper use had been made in the past of the provisions of this item. The proposed budget constituted only 1.8 percent of the total budget. Some members felt that a reduction might be made here as enough flexibility was already available to the Director-General.
On the level of the budget, the majority of the Committee stressed the need for austerity and felt that maximum restraint had been exercised by the Director-General in making proposals, as the overall increase was only 1.5 percent over the current base. Some members of the Committee stated that they would have preferred to have seen a higher level. Three members recalled the position of their governments overall. All the members of the Committee expressed the hope that there would be a consensus by the time the full Programme of Work and Budget was presented to Member Nations.
The Committee recommends to the Council the proposed budget level as a sound basis for the preparation of the full Programme of Work and Budget.
G. BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Como siempre el Director General con su declaración elocuente, clara y afirmativa ha confirmado su condición de estadista respetable y líder indiscutible. Nuestros colegas y amigos Trkulja y Abeyagoonasekera, Presidentes de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas han demostrado una vez mas la competencia y el dominio en sus respectivos campos.
En este Consejo, organismo eminentemente político, la delegación de Colombia considera que la discusión de este tema es propicia para hacer algunas consideraciones de orden general. Porque el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto ha sido tradicionalmente la Biblia, el conjunto de directrices, que rigen la labor de nuestra Organización en cada bienio. Seguimos con atención la marcha de esta Organización por la importancia fundamental que representa para los países en desarrollo, y por nuestra dedicación personal estamos en condiciones de juzgar el pasado, el presente y su proyección hacia el futuro.
Desde 1959, durante 26 años sin interrupción, hemos sido testigos presenciales y actuantes de la transformación de la FAO. Transformación afortunada, tangible, formidable en la preparación y ejecución de sus programas, en sus métodos de trabajo que hoy producen resultados verdaderamente encomiables.
En los últimos nueve años y medio la FAO ha cambiado muy favorablemente. Ha aumentado y consolidado su prestigio en el contexto de las Naciones Unidas y de toda la Comunidad Internacional; tiene una presencia viva y actuante en las regiones y en los países; sus labores se cumplen con orden y eficacia ampliamente reconocidos. Este Proyecto del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto ha sido elaborado con base en las prioridades que han fijado los Gobiernos. Ahora, los proyectos de la FAO son siempre reflejo de las indicaciones prioritarias, de lasjiecesidades y aspiraciones de los Estados Miembros, a través de ese proceso de saludable renovación, cada vez con mayor decision y firmeza la FAO ha consolidado su función de importante agencia de las Naciones Unidas al verdadero servicio del tercer mundo, en los campos de la agricultura y de la alimentación, que son vitables para nuestras economías.
Los representantes de Colombia nos sentimos orgullosos de haber compartido con nuestros colegas estas actividades. Hemos sido plenamente solidarios con los representantes de los países en desarrollo en la búsqueda del cambio del actual Orden Económico Internacional injusto, contra el cual reiteramos nuestra inconformidad. Esa lamentable situación a que se nos tiene sometidos no podra prolongarse por mucho tiempo, pero estamos igualmente reconocidos a los Estados industrializados que con su valiosa e indispensable contribución han hecho posible ese notable mejoramiento en nuestra Organización que se confirma en este documento. Reiteramos nuestro agradecimiento a los países industrializados por su asistencia multilateral y también bilateral que tantos beneficios representan para nuestros países.
La delegación de Colombia confía que en las conclusiones sobre este tema se demostrara una vez mas el entendimiento y la cooperación que deben existir entre todos los representantes de Gobierno, sin distinción, trabajando en favor de todos los Estados Miembros, particularmente de aquellos en vías de desarrollo.
La gravedad de la crisis alimentaria mundial, la disminución de la asistencia al desarrollo dentro del continuo proceso contra la cooperación multilateral, la significación creciente de la agricultura en las economías de nuestros Estados; éstos y muchos otros factores imponían al presupuesto de la FAO para 1986-87 un nivel mucho mas alto.
Como lo dijo el Director General todos los programas y las prioridades han sido aceptados y apoyados por los principales Comités del Consejo y de las Conferencias Regionales y no hay duda de que con mayores recursos, más trabajo, necesario, indispensable, eficiente y positivo, podrá ser realizado por la FAO. Estas propuestas no corresponden plenamente a nuestras aspiraciones y necesidades; no estamos completamente satisfechos. Si forzosamente tenemos que aceptar este mínimo crecimiento del Programa, será a la sola condición y en el entendido de que otros no intentarán reducirlo aún más.
Si los problemas alimentarios y agrícolas aumentan y se agravan, si la crisis, particularmente en Africa es cada vez más seria y dramática, siempre de forma unánime, se reconoce que la FAO contribuye muy válidamente a mejorar esa situación si, como lo ha dicho el Director General, el constante, detallado y riguroso análisis que se viene haciendo de las labores de la FAO, indica que hay una excelente administración de los limitados recursos que se invierten de manera adecuada, escrupulosa y objetiva con los mejores resultados si todos apoyamos a las prioridades y los programas en que se basa este documento. ¿Cómo podría algún miembro del Consejo hablar de nuevo aquí del funesto crecimiento cero? Sería una actitud ilógica, incoherente,¿cómo se podrían negar a nuestra Organización los medios y los recursos mínimos para que sigan cumpliendo su valiosa y eficaz tarea? ¿Cómo podría algún miembro de este Consejo desconocer el gran esfuerzo realizado por el Director General con sus criterios pragmáticos, objetivos y realistas al preparar este resumen? Con inteligencia, buen sentido, amplia comprensión y justo equilibrio el Director General ha presentado propuestas tratando de atender las demandas de los países en desarrollo, sin herir la sensibilidad y prevención de aquellos países desarrollados que no obstante la recuperación económica en marcha parece que aún no están dispuestos a ofrecer todos los recursos necesarios a una Organización como la FAO, cuyo trabajo eficiente todos destacamos.
Los programas técnicos y económicos que son la base del trabajo real y efectivo de la FAO han sido incrementados en un 3.4 por ciento. Ese aumento está muy lejos de representar lo que nosotros deseábamos y habíamos solicitado. Sin embargo, con sentido práctico y criterio excelente nuestro administrador, el Director General, ha reducido aún más los gastos administrativos y de servicios y ha contenido el aumento de la plantilla para lograr así que el aumento de los programas técnicos y económicos sólo representen el 1,4 por ciento sobre el nivel del presupuesto. Aún más, como lo ha dicho en su declaración de esta mañana el Director General ese mínimo 1,4 por ciento podrá aún ser menor.
La delegación de Colombia piensa que este Consejo debe rendir homenaje de reconocimiento a esa actitud pragmática, seria, objetiva y realista del Director General. ¿Podrá acaso concebirse otras medidas más prácticas y eficientes que estas que se nos proponen en este documento?
Limitaremos nuestras observaciones concretas a solo unos pocos de los capítulos de este proyecto de Programa de Labores y Presupuestos: El Programa de Cooperación Técnica.
El mínimo aumento que se propone del 0,4 por ciento debería ser mucho, muchísimo mayor. Nunca podremos aceptar ningún argumento según el cual los fondos del PTC deban permanecer estáticos, sino por el contrario deberán seguirse aumentando.
El PCT ha sido una de las innovaciones fundamentales introducidas por el Director General en el Programa de nuestra Organización y no obstante las reservas iniciales de algunos países desarrollados el PCT ha confirmado su gran valor, su carácter de efecto multiplicador, su función de conductor útil para identificar y procurar medios destinados al aumento de la producción.
El PCT es un instrumento válido, seguro y rápido con que hoy cuentan los países para obtener la asistencia inmediata de la FAO.
El Director General suministro esta mañana datos y cifras alarmantes sobre la deuda externa a la cual se hace referencia en el capítulo 2, Antecedentes, punto 2.5. Esa inmensa deuda externa que particularmente afecta a los países de América Latina y el Caribe se ha convertido en un caso gravísimo con repercusiones que afectan niestras economías y, por consiguiente, limitan las posibilidades de nuestros países para aumentar la producción.
El Presidente de la República de Colombia, Belisario Betancur, en la reunion del Grupo de los 77 celebrada en Cartagena en septiembre pasado destacó la gravedad de esa deuda externa. El líder cubano Fidel Castro hace poco, con cifras irrefutables y argumentos sólidos, ha declarado, cito, con el visto bueno de mi colega Ariza Hidalgo, que "la deuda externa de América Latina y el Caribe es impagable."
Un ilustre ex-Presidente colombiano, en una conferencia en la Universidad de Harvard, manifestó que esa situación de la deuda externa Latinoamericana podría llamarse el "anti-Plan Marshall".
En efecto, en 1984 los países de América Latina y el Caribe tuvieron que desembolsar 55 mil millones de dólares para afrontar el especial costo del servicio de la deuda sin ningún abono a los capitales, como ha dicho el Director General. Esa cifra representa tres veces más de lo que recibieron los países europeos a través del Plan Marshall, después de la última guerra mundial.
En su reciente visita a la FAO, el Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores de la Colombia expresó que la deuda externa es un claro problema político relacionado con el comercio, nuestras posibilidades de exportación y las tasas de interés.
Nuestros Estados están haciendo grandes esfuerzos para tratar de cumplir sus compromisos, pero ¿a qué costo?, ¿con qué consecuencias?
Hemos venido limitando nuestras importaciones, es decir prescindiendo de los medios que determinan el crecimiento económico de nuestras economías para ahorrar divisas que luego no podemos utilizar porque se requieren para pagar el servicio de esa deuda. En esa forma se está consumando otro atentado contra el derecho al progreso, al mejoramiento, a la vida, a la alimentación, a la subsistencia de nuestras poblaciones.
La delegación de Colombia considera que este documento contiene propuestas verdaderamente importantes. Los gastos correspondientes a los puestos de plantilla disminuirán a un 54,3 por ciento frente al 77,2 por ciento de hace diez años. No obstante la difícil situación económica habrá una gran disminución del incremento de los costos que se reducirán en 22 millones, o sea un 5,7 por ciento de la base actual.
Las principales prioridades corresponden acertadamente a las recomendaciones de los gobiernos: producción de alimentos; seguridad alimentaria; capacitación, sistemas de información; cooperación técnica y económica entre países en desarrollo; efectos positivos a nivel del campo.
En esta forma el Director General responde adecuadamente a la grave crisis alimentaria que todo el mundo deplora y acrecienta nuevamente la especial importancia atribuida a Africa en los programas de la FAO.
Esas esquemáticas referencias a este importante documento confirman plenamente que la FAO está viviendo hoy uno de los mejores y más significativos momentos de su historia: orden, trabajo, reducción de la burocracia, más efectividad y pragmatismo, menos teoría y menos estudios académicos, mayor aproximación al campo, contactos permanentes con los gobiernos, seguimiento de las prioridades fijadas, consagración al cumplimiento del deber y de las altas responsabilidades, atención vigilante y preocupación constante por fortalecer el prestigio de la FAO en el contexto universal.
Este proyecto de Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1986-87 está dirigido a consolidar esos progresos, esos mejoramientos reales, esa renovación generalmente reconocida.
Hacemos un llamado sincero y convencido a todos los miembros de este Consejo para que apoyemos las iniciativas del Director General y dotemos a la FAO de un instrumento válido y fundamental como es éste para que nuestra Organización siga enrumbada por los buenos y exitosos caminos de acción eficaz y positiva que la viene consagrando como una de las más importantes y eficaces agencias de las Naciones Unidas al servicio del Tercer Mundo.
Somos conscientes de que el apoyo de los países desarrollados ha sido y seguirá siendo esencial para el anhelado fortalecimiento de la FAO.
La recuperación económica se está llevando a cabo solo en los países industrializados y aun en buena parte a expensas de las economías de los países en desarrollo, como lo han dicho prestigiosos estadistas latinoamericanos.
Después de la crisis económica, ahora superada por los países desarrollados, esos Estados están en posición favorable y cómoda para ofrecer aquí, en el seno de la FAO, una demostración real de la voluntad política que venimos demandando en favor de la solución de los problemas alimentarios y agrícolas del tercer mundo.
Conviene observar que algunos países en desarrollo contribuyen al presupuesto de la FAO con cifras más altas que ciertos países desarrollados y no obstante las dificultades de las economías de esos países ellos aceptan este pequeño aumento y cumplen fielmente sus compromisos; en cambio, señor Presidente, debemos destacar, con la franqueza y la claridad que nos caracteriza, que nos preocupa seria y profundamente las presiones y los condicionamientos indebidos y exagerados que se vienen ejerciendo sobre la FAO con las consecuencias que registramos en este proyecto de Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, que aceptamos excepcionalmente en esta oportunidad, pero que consideramos que no podrá prolongarse en el futuro porque así se hará un mal irreparable a nuestra Organización.
Acudimos al espíritu altruista, generoso y positivo de los países nórdicos, de Francia, de Italia, de España, de Bélgica, de la República Federal Alemana, de Austria y de otros estados industrializados dentro del grupo de Ginebra de la OCDE o de cualquier otra organización para que nos ayuden a que no se siga llevando a cabo este proceso de degradación desafortunada; sin embargo, queremos concluir nuestra declaración con una nota serena, con un llamado cordial y respetuoso a todos los miembros de este Consejo, particularmente a los países desarrollados, para que ofrezcan una prueba más de sinceridad y solidaridad y nos acompañen sin reservas, dilaciones ni aplazamientos que sería inconcebible apoyar este proyecto de Programa de Labores y Presupuesto.
Nos reservamos el derecho, señor Presidente, de si fuere necesario intervenir más adelante para referirnos a algunos otros aspectos concretos de este importante documento.
R.G. PETTITT (United Kingdom): My delegation welcomes the positive manner in which the Director-General has opened the dialogue with the Council in his Summary Programme of Work and Budget and in his remarks on the subject on Monday. We are also grateful for the way in which he and the Chairmen of the Committees have led us through the proposals today.
My remarks are in three parts: on the content, the presentation, and the order of magnitude.
First, on the pattern of allocation: as the Summary rightly says an important feature of the Budget is major programme impact, It is encouraging that in constant price terms the three major Programmes increased by - I think the Director-General said - 3.18 percent, and Field Programme Planning increased by over 5 percent. There is proposed a welcome transfer from Head Office to developing countries' capitals and to the field. Savings in administrative costs have been allocated to substantive programmes. The priorities command I believe universal support. The. absolute priority for Africa, which we have pressed elsewhere, is proposed to receive more than half the net programme increase proposed. My delegation strongly commend all these features of the suggested Budget.
Turning to the detail of the substantive programmes, I would put forth a few suggestions.
In considering the allocation of resources to a particular programme or sub-programme, my delegation takes the view that it is necessary to consider not only whether the activity is worthwhile, but whether it is best carried out by FAO rather than left to bilateral or other action. Against these criteria, my delegation, after examination of the Programme with our in-house experts within the Aid administration, can give unqualified support to the weight given in the draft to some of the Technical and Economic Programmes in Chapter II, and particularly to those concerned with desertification and rainfed agriculture. We can give qualified thought to others. As regards Major Programme 2.1 we give unqualified support to the allocation of Sub-programme 18.104.22.168, Genetic Resources; 2.1.3, Livestock - which has a well-directed set of proposals; 2.1.7, Food and Agricultural Information and Analysis - this is a unique service, on which we have already commented; and 2.1.8, Food and Agricultural Policy. The same applies to Programme 2.1.1, Natural Resources, and its sub-programmes, except for the country programmes included in 22.214.171.124, Assessment and Planning, which could in our view be left to others to support. Sub-programme 126.96.36.199, Crop Improvement and Management, should concentrate on regional activities only; similarly, 188.8.131.52, Seeds, we support, if emphasis is placed on regional or international activities - national seed programmes could be left to others.
Crop Protection Activity 184.108.40.206, should also be concentrated on those aspects which transcend national boundaries, e.g. regional control and assessment activities, plant quarantine, and so on, leaving routine national activities to others.
Much of the excellent work on Agricultural Engineering and Prevention of Crop Losses, 220.127.116.11, and 18.104.22.168, Food and Agricultural Industries, could be reduced, as it is at the national level.
The proposals for Research and Technology, 22.214.171.124, are sound; but there seems to be considerable overlapping and savings could probably be made as a result of coordination with other donors. The research on agricultural application of isotope research seems to have disproportionate prominence. We note the major switch of resources proposed to rural development, and agree with this provided that it is understood that here there is a critical need for control and effective evaluation. I will not continue with such a list of our views on the other programmes of fisheries and forestry. Our full support for this work has been expressed several times before and but for a change in our agenda we would have been talking of fisheries today with commendation.
I now come to the second half of my intervention on presentation.
The Programme Committee, in the Report of the Forty-eighth session, noted that "the format and presentation of the Budget had now achieved a satisfactory balance between conciseness, clarity and information." We agree with this commendation, but I am afraid, with a characteristic Oliver Twist-like attitude, we are asking for more. We acknowledge with gratitude the helpful response of the Secretariat to particular questions put by our Mission here and colleagues in Rome, but in our examination of the Budget in London we have missed some aids to understanding. What we miss is a side-by-side presentation of the proposed expenditure with actual expenditure on proposed out-turn, comments on the effectiveness of the Programme, and information on the availability of funds to be carried forward. We also miss a guide on how the expenditure is apportioned under the headings of Programme Management, Field Support, Regional Offices and other Administration. Perhaps the Secretariat could help us here by saying whether and where this information is available and whether more analytical material will be available for the Budget which goes before the Conference.
I now come to the question of the magnitude of the Budget. The Budget as presented shows an increase in real terms of 1.4 percent over the biennium. There are, of course, various ways of measuring this increase which give slightly different results, but my delegation is content to use the methods employed in the paper, and which has been used before. It will come as no surprise to members of the Council if I say that my Government finds particular difficulty with this aspect of the Budget proposals - indeed, the Director-General has anticipated this in his remarks on Monday and today. Observers of the behaviour of the United Kingdom in the examination of the budgets in the United Nations family over the last few years will know that we have been calling for moderation in the growth of core budgets, and more recently, a standstill in real terms. This is not a doctrine, as the Director-General characterizes it - though I hasten to admit that one result of our efforts to ensure consistency and equity of treatment for all members of the UN family has been the acquisition of an appendage of case law, which could well mislead anyone in thinking that this simple idea is a doctrine, and I have every sympathy with the Director-General if there is this confusion. I repeat: it is not a doctrine, it is not a view which has validity for all time. It is a view which relates to a particular situation, and arises from the thinking of ministers deeply concerned with the welfare of public support for the United Nations system, and particularly for the aid agencies, as a means of delivering international assistance.
The essence of our view is that while donor governments are finding it as difficult as they are now to match the level of their aid expenditure to the urgent needs of the Third World, and while they are having to restrict or reduce their domestic expenditure, international organizations must be asked yet again to contain the expenditure in their core budgets, as they have been in the past. This request relates only to the Regular Budget which in the case of FAO, in the text of the Budget document CL 87/3, cover "mainly activities which represent the main constitutional function of FAO, such as information gathering, analysis, and providing a forum for intergovernmental discussion. And, of course, the function of advice, which is shared with the Field Programme. It in no way refers to expenditure from extra-budgetary resources. The other positive aspect of the situation is that expansion of the activities and improvement in the effectiveness of agencies to meet real needs can arise from economies in the management of the organization and from the extent to which the agency attracts resources at the disposal of donors, recipients and other bodies; and also as a result of the growth of reputation of its services and advice - and also, I might add, on the extent to which as a catalyst the agency is able to mobilize bilateral aid in the area of its concern. Here, one must bear in mind the success of FAO in its efforts to do this in the context of rehabilitation in Africa.
I would assure delegates - and particularly the distinguished delegate of Colombia - that the United Kingdom would not make the proposition that the FAO's budget should be contained in the amount of the present biennium, if we were convinced that this would weaken the efforts of the Organization in meeting the identified needs of the Third World, especially in Africa. The plans of the Director-General can in our view be carried out without real growth in the budget, according to the definitions used in this discussion. We continue to believe that the necessary reductions can be made in administrative or management costs, through tougher management control, and a review of staffing levels in regional offices and headquarters. All this involves a shift in resources from
overheads to operational programmes. Using the figures given in CL 87/3, we estimate the overheads could be as high as 40 percent of the total budget. However, if, as the Director-General has said, after all the work that has been done on this in the past, no further savings can be found here - well, I am afraid that these cuts fall on that part of the operational activities which are included in the Regular Budget - that is to say, the Technical Cooperation Programme(TCP).This is the same logic which has permitted us in this year to increase the TCP at the expense of administrative saving - but I regard this as a last resource. Whatever may have been our views on the merit of the TCP as part of the Regular Budget, we acknowledge that the response of the Organization to the requirements of Africa justifies the TCP proposed.
The Director-General asked in his remarks on Monday why it was that Member States were concerned about the amount of growth, rather than the amount of dollars which they had to pay. In a way, the thought behind the Director-General's question is right. In our case - and I expect other governments operate in the same way - every penny saved from our contribution to the Budget of FAO or specialist agencies in the aid field is used for relief or rehabilitation, or whatever are the priority needs at the time the saving occurs - and, I might add, in response partly to the distinguished delegate of Colombia, that this additional expenditure can be used both in the bilateral and in the multilateral sphere. So an objective is to minimize the cost to aid budgets of donors of the assessed contributions to the agencies.
But donors would not wish to impose the vagaries of currency fluctuations and cost changes on to the international organizations; they wish neither to penalize them for changes in the wrong direction, nor give them the benefit of changes the other way round. The fairest arrangement is to fix the programme in real terms and permit Member States to cope with the inconvenience of most of these capricious factors.
In his written conclusions on introducing the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, the Director-General says that he has made his best efforts for Member States to be able to exercise their sovereign will in partnership and consensus. I am grateful for the effort in presenting this well-conceived budget and the steps taken to accommodate the pressures which the Director-General acknowledges. But to achieve this consensus, I must ask that the Director-General re-presents his budget to the Conference in a way which involves no growth and with all increases in operational programmes offset by management and administration economies. This alone will allow my government to be associated within a consensus. Specialized agencies have to be judged not merely for the responsiveness to needs, the requirement for their services and their concentration on problems which are capable of solution, and I think on this FAO has no cause for criticism, but also on their sensitiveness to the requirements of public opinion in the countries from which so much of their support must come.
A. ABDEL-MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe): Permettez-moi tout d'abord de féliciter le Directeur général de sa présentation du sommaire du Programme de travail et budget pour 1986-87. Je suis entièrement d'accord avec mon collègue de la Colombie quant à ses remarques à la louange du Directeur général et je suis convaincu que, quoique l'on dise, nous serons toujours en deçà de la vérité car le Directeur général, depuis 1976 qu'il est à ce poste, consent des efforts considérables, incroyables, et nous lui souhaitons plein succès. J'aimerais féliciter également les Présidents du Comité du Programme et du Comité financier et permettez-moi maintenant de faire quelques observations sur le point 14 de l'ordre du jour relatif au sommaire du Programme de travail et de budget pour les années 1986-87.
Cette question a déjà été étudiée au sein du Comité du Programme et du Comité financier, et en ma qualité de membre du Comité du Programme j'ai eu l'honneur de participer aux travaux de ce Comité. La question a été débattue avec les responsables des différents départements techniques et administratifs de l'Organisation. Les autres comités techniques, dont le Comité de l'agriculture (COAG) et le Comité des pêches (COFI) ont approuvé le Programme de travail et de budget, dans sa globalité, et en ont approuvé tous les chapitres et toutes les recommandations.
Il est apparu clairement que le Secrétariat a consenti de grands efforts pour établir ce Programme de travail et de budget et nous l'en remercions d'autant plus qu'il est parvenu à réaliser des économies considérables dans les dépenses administratives sans pour autant porter atteinte à l'efficacité administrative et technique.
C'est avec grande conviction et' objectivité que nous appuyons les quatre principaux objectifs sur lesquels reposent les activités de ce Programme, à savoir: stimuler la production vivrière, améliorer la sécurité alimentaire, obtenir un maximum d'effets et de rendement sur le terrain et enfin promouvoir la coopération économique et technique dans les pays en développement. Il apparaît très clairement aujourd'hui que l'augmentation de la productivité agricole est étroitement liée à la disponibilité des facteurs de production, à savoir les engrais, les machines agricoles, la lutte contre les maladies et les insectes, éléments essentiels, qui exigent des décisions à l'échelle nationale afin d'assurer les fonds et l'aide technique nécessaires.
Ce qui nous attire le plus dans ce Programme et qui nous amène à l'appuyer c'est la tendance d'agir de plus en plus sur le terrain,permettant ainsi de toucher plus directement ceux qui ont le plus grand besoin d'assistance de formation et de conseils, à savoir les petits exploitants agricoles.
L'augmentation de la production vivrière est une priorité absolue mais elle ne nous dispense pas de prendre toutes autres mesures nécessaires à l'amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire. C'est pourquoi nous appuyons avec force toutes ces mesures, notamment le renforcement du système global d'information et d'alerte rapide mis sur pied par l'Organisation qui nous permet de prévoir les catastrophes alimentaires bien avant qu'elles ne surviennent.
A cet égard j'aimerais insister sur la nécessité de consolider les liens de coopération économique et technique entre les pays en développement afin de permettre à ces pays de procéder à un échange d'expériences et de techniques les mieux adaptées aux circonstances particulières de chaque pays et d'utiliser pleinement leur potentiel politique et technique dans le développement des ressources humaines et naturelles.
Tout en appuyant la compression des dépenses afférentes aux postes existants nous approuvons la création des nouveaux postes techniques proposés par le Programme et rendus nécessaires par les impératifs du travail sur le terrain. Ces propositions ont été approuvées par le Comité du Programme et c'est pourquoi nous les appuyons également. Comme nous estimons que notre principal souci est l'efficacité, que nous rechercherons la perfection dans nos activités techniques et que nous réclamerons de nouveaux programmes et projets en matière de développement agricole ou rural, nous devrons donner à notre Organisation les moyens financiers et administratifs de le faire. Il s'agit là d'une règle élémentaire de la bonne gestion et de la bonne organisation du travail. On ne peut demander à l'individu plus qu'il ne peut donner. C'est pourquoi comme nous sommes responsables il nous appartient d'assumer nos responsabilités et de donner au Directeur général les moyens financiers de remplir sa mission et de mener à bien sa tâche très difficile.
C'est pourquoi également j'estime qu'après les compressions et réductions opérées dans les dépenses des coûts administratifs de l'Organisation, l'augmentation du budget 86-87 qui est uniquement de 1,1+ pour cent avec une augmentation légère des programmes techniques, à savoir 3,8 pour cent, on ne peut opérer d'autres compressions et d'autres réductions.
La délégation libanaise ne peut accepter le principe de la croissance zéro surtout lorsque nous parviennent ces nouvelles alarmantes sur la famine en Afrique et dans d'autres régions du monde et lorsque nous avons un nombre croissant de projets de programmes qui ont besoin d'être préparés, conçus et exécutés. Comment, je vous le demande, voulez-vous, dans un monde en mouvement, un monde dynamique où les exigences augmentent, où le nombre des nécessités augmente, comment voulez-vous que dans une Organisation telle que celle de la FAO, l'augmentation soit nulle? C'est-à-dire égale à zéro. En d'autres termes cela voudrait dire que la FAO ferme la porte aux progrès et au développement. C'est une situation que nous ne pouvons accepter. C'est pourquoi je réitère l'appui inconditionnel de la délégation libanaise au Programme de travail et de budget et j'invite tous mes collègues du Conseil à l'appuyer également.
L. ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): La delegación cubana quiere agradecer al Director General por la preparación y presentación de este documento referente al Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1986/87, en un momento que, como dice bien en su declaración inaugural, son muchas las necesidades por una parte y las limitaciones por otra. Asimismo queremos agradecer a los colegas Abeyagoonasekera, Presidente del Comité de Finanzas, y Trkulja, Presidente del Comité de Programas, que han hecho presentaciones muy precisas sobre sus respectivas ramas.
Al analizar la situación económica mundial en el presente documento, ya reconocen y admiten los problemas que plantean los desequilibrios de las relaciones económicas internacionales, de lo cual sin duda alguna es responsable el injusto orden económico internacional que se nos impone por parte de algunos países desarrollados. Este propio documento nos plantea que actualmente se registra una recuperación. No sabemos cuál, si mínima, modesta, porque se habla también de incierta, se habla, pero, bien es una recuperación en el mundo desarrollado específicamente, lo que ya nos induce a pensar que estarán en mejores y buenas condiciones para cumplir con el deber moral que tienen para con los países en desarrollo, y, por consiguiente, finalmente, comenzar a desplegar acciones para modificar las actuales estructuras financieras y económicas internacionales. En este contexto, el propio documento y los análisis hechos por diferentes Comités que se han reunido este año en el ámbito de la FAO, reconocen que el sector alimentario y agrícola sigue caracterizándose por una situación de escasez en medio de la abundancia, ya que la mayoría de los países subdesarrollados, además de no tener producción suficiente para cubrir sus necesidades, tuvieron que disminuir sus importaciones de alimentos debido a la incapacidad de financiar las acciones por falta de divisas y por los problemas de balanza de pagos y de su deuda externa.
En el caso de la región de America Latina expresó con su elocuencia acostumbrada el colega Bula Hoyos, de Colombia, la situación difícil que atraviesa esta región: Nosotros podíamos dar algunos datos. La deuda de esta región se eleva a 365 750 millones de dólares, y, según cálculos recientes, dentro de 10 años habrá que desembolsar por sus intereses la cifra de 400 000 millones. Actualmente el pago de servicios de la deuda ya alcanza el 60 por ciento de los ingresos por exportaciones de América Latina y se convierte en un problema político a escala internacional, al comprometer el proceso de desarrollo de las naciones del área y amenazar con estallidos sociales de imprevisibles consecuencias al no poder resistir los mecanismos e imposiciones del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) que les obliga a una austeridad que las grandes masas de obreros y campesinos, pequeños agricultores, saben que esto no se practica en los centros urbanos industrializados con sus patrones de yida consumista irracional y anarquista. El Fondo Monetario Internacional de esta forma se convierte en promotor de revueltas para que no vayan a buscar otros chivos expiatorios después.
Queremos aclarar que los datos anteriores solo abarcan la deuda publica externa, la deuda privada ejerce una influencia mucho más perjudicial por funcionar en muchos países fuera de los canales y al margen del Estado.
Sin embargo, señor Presidente, ésta es solamente una parte del problema. Consideramos que no basta con la solución del problema de la deuda porque sería refinanciar para dentro de diez años aquel ciclo, otra vez la situación, además volvería a haber deudas externas cada diez años. Consideramos necesario, repetimos, rectificar el injusto orden económico existente en el mundo e implantar las medidas del Nuevo Orden Económico Internacional aprobado por las Naciones Unidas y en favor del cual la FAO ha jugado un papel fundamental. Una muestra palpable de ello es el esfuerzo que hace la Organización y en especial el Director General para con escasos recursos ejecutar un programa donde se prioriza efectivamente a los países más necesitados, Africa y su drama, que parece insoluble sin financiación. Además la FAO ha tenido siempre en cuenta las otras regiones en desarrollo de acuerdo con las situaciones.
Mi delegación, señor Presidente, apoya esta propuesta del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el bienio 1986/87. El crecimiento del mismo en términos reales del 1.4 por ciento con respecto a 1984-85 es prácticamente un crecimiento cero de acuerdo con las necesidades que hoy son superiores a las de 1984. La filosofía de este crecimiento cero creemos que no es otra que ponderar el hambre en el mundo, mantenerla a un nivel que permita administrarla, si no no nos explicamos porqué no se trata de resolver este problema realmente. Hay que insistir en el derecho al desarrollo como línea y estrategia, no sólo el derecho a que se les ayude y la FAO ha demostrado que puede apoyar eficientemente, multilateralmente sin discriminaciones políticas para ningún país su desarrollo agrícola y alimentario.
Estamos obligados a insistir en un mayor apoyo de todos los contribuyentes, principalmente de los que aportan una mayor cuota y cuyas economías se han recuperado, como dijo nuestro distinguido representante de Colombia, y se ha dicho muchas veces, a costa del mantenimiento y la recesión en los países en desarrollo.
Consideramos que tienen que hacer mayores esfuerzos a fin de garantizar una mayor expansión e intensificación de las actividades de la Organización, cuyas prioridades, que sin duda apoyamos, han estado orientadas por las preferencias regionales y los principales Comités del Consejo. Por lo tanto los apoyamos en todas sus partes.
Consideramos, además muy acertada la orientación del Director General de centrar la actividad de la Organización en cuatro objetivos principales; o sea, fomentar la producción de alimentos; mejorar la seguridad alimentaria; conseguir resultados sobre el terreno y promover la cooperación económica y técnica entre los países en desarrollo. Para cumplimentar los mismos, la FAO podrá contar con la modesta contribución de mi país, especialmente en lo que se refiere a la colaboración con otros países menos desarrollados.
Para cumplimentar estos objetivos la FAO cuenta con instrumentos muy valiosos como son los Planes de Acción de la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural y de la Conferencia Mundial de Pesca, las cuales se comprometerán con los Presupuestos de Acciones que sean aprobados en el Congreso Forestal que se celebrará en México próximamente.
Nos preocupa en este contexto el retraso en la implementación del plan de Acción de la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural que contempla todo lo que estamos hablando en estos momentos sobre los pequeños agricultores y los campesinos sin tierra y los arrendatarios. A pesar de que ya llevamos dos Conferencias Mundiales de Reforma Agraria, creo que estamos atrasados porque este mundo de realizaciones verdaderas que deben garantizar estructuralmente su participación, y estamos haciendo mucha fuerza en esto, a través del limitado y excluyente desarrollo rural integrado que todos sabemos aquí que son la base del costo y beneficio, que sólo va a llegar a unos pocos y que no va a poder llegar a los pobres y a los que viven independientes, a los que viven en tierras con no muchas posibilidades de beneficio. Por eso creemos que debemos insistir en los mecanismos de la Conferencia Mundial de Reforma Agraria y Desarrollo Rural, lo cual está muy claro planteado
en los programas a seguir no con un modelo único, sino un modelo de acuerdo con el carácter específico de cada país, pero sí con una intención única para la justicia social en el mundo. Aquí también queremos expresar nuestro criterio, señor Presidente, por el cual hablan los pequeños agricultores y campesinos sin tierra, creo que debemos recordar que bastante se hace en esta FAO, pero aquí hay que recordar otra vez la situación del FIDA. ¿Por qué hay que recordarlo? Porque el FIDA es el único Organismo del sistema que tiene un mandato y un grupo objetivo y tiene la decisión de apoyar a los pequeños agricultores y se debía pensar que ese es el único, el verdadero que va a llegar a la justicia, a todos, porque es el único que financia créditos para producción no exportable, para producción alimentaria; o sea, que es un grupo objetivo no dependiente de los grandes bancos ni de las grandes empresas. Y estos proyectos del FIDA van directamente a esos grupos olvidados de la agricultura, del costo y beneficio.
Quisiéramos referirnos y por supuesto apoyar la tendencia propuesta de reforma a algunas actividades consideradas secundarias dando incremento de los cultivos secundarios de la producción de alimentos, la capacitación y la participación que son necesarias para no seguir arrastrando estas diferencias que arrastramos después de cuarenta años de ejercicio de las transferencias de tecnología, siempre que ésta se enmarque dentro del criterio general de desarrollo de los países subdesarrollados y en concordancia con su capacidad de asimilación, así como la atención especial a los pequeños productores y a los campesinos sin tierra, para evitar elevados desplazamientos y deudas y que son los menos que trabajan las tecnologías, así como la atención especial a los pequeños productores y al campesino sin tierra, porque estos elementos, que si bien no garantizan no porque no quisieran, sino porque la tierra que les han dejado procede de la ampliación de la gran empresa, pero sí pueden contribuir a garantizar la producción alimentaria de su zona y por lo menos de subsistencia para que no pasen hambre.
Mi delegación quisiera expresar sus criterios con respecto a la descentralización. Si bien entendemos que la necesidad de limitar el crecimiento del presupuesto y asegurar un control estricto de las asignaciones de recursos induce al Director General a no incrementar los presupuestos de las Oficinas Regionales en los países, consideramos que ambos son instrumentos de gran utilidad.
En nuestro caso podemos decir que el Representante de la FAO está desempeñando un papel fundamental en el logro de la participación de todos los organismos nacionales vinculados con la agricultura y la alimentación en las actividades del Programa Ordinario de la FAO, así como en el desarrollo de las actividades del Programa de Campo financiadas con otros recursos. Por lo tanto expresamos nuestra preocupación aquí. También queremos expresar que los aumentos del Programa de Cooperación técnica no creemos que basten para cubrir las necesidades de los países geneficiarios y que lo piden porque constituye la transferencia tecnológica más eficaz por su gradualidad, por la participación total en los planes nacionales, por la dinámica de su ejecución, por la asimilación total, por corresponder a reales y verdaderas necesidades de los ejecutores de los países en desarrollo.
Queremos respladar aquí también los trabajos de recursos fitogenéticos a través de su Comisión que garantizaría la continuidad de estos trabajos en momento muy difícil para la agricultura en el mundo.
Ratificamos también la prioridad del Programa de Ganadería a través de los trabajos de salud animal y producción animal plenamente integrados en trabajos de conjunto.
Para finalizar, señor Presidente, queremos expresar la satisfacción de mi delegación por un hecho que considero muy unido al análisis que nos ocupa, aunque tal vez me esté adelantando a su discusión. Se trata del apoyo que ofrece mi país a la decisión tomada por el Comité de Finanzas en el Programa de 15 millones de dólares para ser utilizados en el Programa de Habilitación para Africa.
A este respecto, quisiéramos demandar una mayor comprensión de algunos países industrializados, no de todos porque tenemos que hacer excepciones de los que la tienen, a fin de que contribuyan a regularizar el acceso de los países con problemas de insumos fundamentales que requieren la producción de alimentos, tales como fertilizantes, plaguicidas, maquinaria y respuestos, semillas, vacunas, etc. y que es muy fácil hacerlo apoyando programas de la FAO.
La política de precios cada vez más alta y de control y manipulación de los recursos no dan posibilidad de mejorar la capacidad productiva en países subdesarrollados, los cuales continuarán en la precaria situación actual con la perspectiva de agravarse su situación.
Llamo la atención sobre la política de precios que juega mucho si queremos hablar de agricultura.
Para terminar apoyamos el Programa en todas sus partes y este Presupuesto como mínimo, porque consideramos que es insuficiente para las necesidades crecientes de una agricultura ya determinada por la falta de atención.
Por lo tanto, creemos, que la acción más eficaz que puede tomar este Consejo es apoyar este Presupuesto y este Programa en todas sus partes para presentarlo a la próxima Conferencia.
R.D. KAUZLARICH (United States of America): I, too, would like to join with previous speakers who have congratulated the Director-General and the Chairmen of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee for their excellent and lucid introduction of this item. In the last general session of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee Ambassador Fenwick stated my Government's position on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. That decision remains the same.
We are delighted with the direction that FAO programmes have increasingly taken towards supporting the small farmer, and the increased priority given to Africa. Both of these are needed; they are important, and they have our full support. At the same time, my Government finds unacceptable the rate of real growth that the Summary Programme of Work and Budget calls for.
Let me be very clear about this financial position. The United States of America supports change, innovation, new activities and flexibility. However, we strongly believe that the capacity of nations to pay ever-increasing costs now and, more important, in the future, has been stretched to beyond what is desirable. Whatever the cost consequences of programme expansion now, unless these are offset by elimination of other costs now the consequence in the future will be a geometric increase in costs. My Government believes, that in suggesting that the appropriate financial position is zero net programme growth, we should at the same time be prepared to offer proposals on ways to achieve that without impeding the ability of the Organization to deliver its very important substantive programme.
With this in mind, we urge the Director-General to consider the following when he frames the full Programme of Work and Budget. The elimination of net real growth can be achieved in any of a combination of measures. The following are some suggestions, although we are sure the Director-General can think of others.
One element should be to reduce the requested amount for the Technical Cooperation Programme from the proposed $59,905 000 to $54 121 000. There is usually a very large balance of unexpended TCP funds at the end of a biennium. Perhaps it would be appropriate to re-evaluate the level of TCP projects for 1986/87 and to request funding for those projects FAO has professional and managerial manpower to implement during the 1986/87 biennium itself. In that regard, even the $54 million may be more than the Organization can effectively implement during the biennium.
Another element which could easily be combined with that suggestion would be to eliminate entirely the request for $800 000 for contingencies. If we look at document CL 87/4, the report of the Programme and Finance Committees and in particular at Annex A, page A.2, we can see in the Budgetary Performance Report that in this biennium at least, as at the end of 1984, not one penny of the contingency funds had been used. For the next biennium the amount requested is one third greater than the amount that has not yet been spent in this biennium. Over recent biennia, contingency funds have seldom been fully used and if the need for such flexibility arises financial regulation 4.4 provides a method of transferring funds within the overall budget. Such a transfer operation my Government believes could have easily covered the contingencies that arose, in the past. Therefore, we think that the contingency provision can be eliminated entirely from the budget without any harm to programmes.
Another area where the Director-General might fruitfully look for savings is in the area of several service contracts, personnel service contracts, and consultants. FAO management has done a good job in keeping an eye on these, but we believe that additional savings may well be possible without any lessening of programme delivery. Other savings might be achieved if FAO would follow UNDP rules for travel regarding home leave and educational travel. We are pleased with the fine job the Director-General has done in identifying reductions in the cost of general policy and direction, common services, development support programmes and programme management. These savings of $4.3 million have been reallocated to ongoing programmes. We see this as a significant achievement. We hope that in a like spirit he can find a way to implement the programmes he has presented in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget without the need for net programme growth. As I mentioned earlier, growth will expand geometrically in years to come.
Another item of great importance to my Government has to do with official exchange rate calculations. The Summary Programme of Work and Budget was prepared at the current official rate of It Lire 1 615 to the dollar. This has permitted comparison between the current budget and the proposed 1986/87 budget, though the latter comes to us without any details of the cost increase at programme and sub-programme levels. My delegation would be very interested to receive information on how the budget will be recosted when Conference adopts the 1986/87 official rate of exchange, on what elements of the new budget will be examined for adjustment based on the new exchange rate, on why only these elements will be examined and finally, an indication of what the 1986/87 Summary Programme of Work and Budget financial total might be at the exchange rate prevailing today.
In sum. The United States of America finds much to commend in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. We particularly commend the direction chosen for FAO programmes, and the effort of the Director-General to hold down cost increase requests to a minimum, and to reduce overhead organizational costs. However, we find unacceptable the high request for real growth.
My delegation urges the Director-General to prepare his full 1986/87 Programme of Work and Budget without real programme growth. Zero real programme growth could be achieved without sacrifice to the ability of the Organization to deliver the very important programmes that we have discussed this week.
Y. A. HAMDI (Egypt) (Original language Arabic) : First of all, I would like to thank the Director-general for his lucid and clear presentation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. Also, I thank the Chairman of the Programme and Finance Committees for their reports.
We took part in the deliberations of the Programme Committee, and supported its decisions. We approved all its decisions. May I make the following brief remarks. First of all, we support the priorities and strategies governing the Programme of Work and Budget and also support the fact that more attention must be given to the problems of Africa.
Secondly, we support the Programme of Work and Budget, and the efforts of the Director-General to reallocate the budget resources by putting more emphasis on the technical aspect.
Thirdly, we support the proposed budget level, and congratulate the Director-General for his efforts to reach this rather modest level which has taken into account the different points of view expressed by member countries, the current world economic situation and the urgent need to enhance agricultural production in developing countries.
O. FRIIS (Denmark) : May I first compliment the Secretariat on the very handy material presented to us on this important point. May I thank the Director-General and the Chairmen of the Committees for their clear introduction of this subject this morning. I would like to make some preliminary comments of a more general nature on the level, composition and the programme priorities of the proposed programmes. The reason for the preliminary nature of my comments is, of course, that these matters will be considered in depth by Conference on the basis of more detailed information. All we can do at this stage, therefore, is to give the Secretariat some indication of our initial response to the proposal.
The first question I would like to raise concerns the level of the regular budget for 1986/87; whether the proposal envisages an increase of $30 million approximately compared to the present sum, out of which $2,6 million, or 1.4 percent, represents a net real programme increase in the main technical and economic programmes. While not opposed to budget increases in multi-lateral organizations as a matter of principle, my Government feels that such an increase should be carefully reviewed on the basis of the fullest and the most transparent information possible in order to judge its justification and appropriateness. As stated in the document, any consideration of the level and composition of the Regular Programme must bear in mind the nature and scale of the full programme which, although funded from two distinct sources, is closely linked and certainly mutually supported. Since information on the level of the expected Field Programme for 1986/87 by programme and sub-programme will not be available until a full Programme of Work and Budget is finalized by the Conference, we are not able at this stage to indicate our final position on the proposed increase.
Having said that. I should like to express our satisfaction with the continued reduction in administrative costs in the proposed budget, which has enabled FAO to reduce the net real programme increase from $9.5 million to $6.2 million. We hope that further reductions in the administrative costs could be obtained by rationalization and better targeting of the existing programmes and activities, and we would like to encourage FAO's futher effort in this respect.
Turning now to the composition of the Budget by each chapter, I am not going into detail at this stage, but we note from the Danish side particular satisfaction with the proposed reduction in the budget item called General Policy and Direction. We think that the possibility of further reduction in this area should be studied very carefully, also taking into consideration possible reductions in the number of meetings held by FAO.
As far as the TCP is concerned, my Government finds that it has already reached an adequate level. In view of this we find that a decision on an increase should await the result of the external evaluation of the programme which will be submitted at the Conference.
Concerning the Strategies and Priorities for 1986/87, we note with appreciation the increased regional concentration on Africa. Furthermore, I want to stress that my delegation considers a real decentralization to the country level to be of great importance in order to assure that the assistance provided is adapted to local needs and priorities.
As far as the Programme Priorities are concerned, my delegation generally supports the proposed Programme Priorities which place emphasis on the increase in food production programmes and food security, including the Global Information and Early Warning System and National Early Warning Systems. I would, however, like to add that my delegation would have liked to see a somewhat higher priority given to programmes aimed at improving the conditions for women in rural areas for realizing their potential in agricultural production.
My delegation finds that by re-allocating resources greater emphasis might be given to forestry and fisheries, which in our opinion need further attention in order to solve the serious problems in those sectors.
In order to strengthen the impact of resources used for development purposes my delegation once again wishes to stress the emphasis which my Government is placing upon coordination with other United Nations bodies in connection with the rehabilitation programmes of FAO.
The administration of scarce resources is always a difficult task, but it is also a challenge to make the most effective use of such resources. There is no doubt that the current financial situation facing most countries today will have impact on the resources available in the future. Previous speakers have mentioned this. This is a fact of which we should be aware, and that is why the time may have come to take a look not only at the 1986-87 biennium, but to look perhaps further ahead. During the last forty years FAO has developed a very valuable expertise concerning development in rural areas. It is of great importance that this experience is used as effectively as possible. In this respect it might be appropriate to start considering more fundamentally in what way we could utilize this expertise even better. More and more often a question mark is being put on the effectiveness of the traditional technical cooperation, which mainly takes place in the form of small or bigger projects in the developing countries. At the same time these countries are building up groups of very qualified persons who with limited assistance can carry out the work even better than the traditional experts previously did.
In the light of this development it is now time to start considering how we would like to see FAO function during the coming years? In our view our Organization should foresee a process of reform that could result over the years in a situation where FAO is mainly acting as an organization for planning and consultations, a task which is in our opinion extremely important.
Time may be running out for the traditional technical cooperation activities in which the United Nations has been engaged for many years, and therefore we would like to promote as soon as possible a discussion on the future role of FAO so that the limited resources available can be utilized to the maximum benefit of all Member Nations.
R. SEVCOVIC (Czechoslovakia): On behalf of the delegation of Czechoslovakia I would like to express our thanks to the Director-General as well as to the Chairman of the Finance and the Programme Committees for preparation of this very important document, for their excellent statement on the budget of FAO, and for the comprehensive analysis of the financial situation of FAO.
Naturally, the November Conference alone can make a definitive statement on the Programme of Work and Budget.
Still, my delegation would like to express its preliminary position. The draft Programme of Work and Budget of FAO for 1986-87 is considered by us to be basically well-balanced and in keeping with the needs of the Member States, particularly the developing countries, and to have properly chosen priorities. It is therefore acceptable to my delegation.
We fully support the efforts of the Director-General to achieve further savings, particularly by cutting administrative costs. We assume that the trimming of administrative costs is not final.
The serious problems of agricultural development in many African countries prove beyond doubt the correctness of the priority interest of the Director-General in focusing the efforts of the Organization on their solution.
With regard to the future financial policies of the Organization, we believe that after the experience of the last two-year period, this year's Conference will be faced with the very serious question of the overvaluation and, for the economic health of the Organization over a long period, rather dangerous fluctuation of the US dollar, particularly its operational rate of exchange in relation to the Italian lira by the Conference has a direct impact on the size of the Budget and the assessed
contributions by member governments, we expect that in consultations between the Secretariat and member countries a still more realistic decision will be reached than for the current biennium.
May I, as a delegate of one of the European countries in the debate on the FAO Programme of Work and Budget, touch upon the effectiveness of the European programme which surely does not draw any substantial amounts from the current or proposed budgets. It is in the interest of FAO's universality, as well as in the interest of the developing countries of other continents, to recognize once more the importance of technical cooperation in Europe, particularly in applied research.
The network of European agricultural research and cooperation in the utilization of renewable sources of energy in agriculture is financed primarily by extrabudgetary funding and voluntary contributions, with the support provided by the European countries through their participating institutions. The Twenty-second FAO Conference places a high value on these networks, especially in view of the fact that the output of these cooperative activities is used also by the developing countries. Currently more than twenty non-European countries have direct participation in the cooperative programme of the European region. It is also an encouraging fact that, following the example of European cooperation, the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and Caribbean is setting up its own network. It has been also noted that in the Asian region the results of European scientific research can be used to organize a similar system of cooperation.
Given the existing conditions and the urgent priorities of the programme of development assistance, surely no European delegation intends to propose any increase in the financing of the FAO European programmes from the regular budget. But I deemed it appropriate in the interest of FAO's universality to draw the attention of the Council to the importance of the scientific and technological cooperation of European countries with different socio-economic systems which is a source of significant background information for the solution of technical projects faced by FAO in the developing countries.
M. SUBRAMANIAN (India): My delegation fully endorses the recommendations of the Director-General and of the Programme and Finance Committees relating to the maximization of the programme impact, even with modest increases in the financial outlays.
However, I am unable to understand the suggestion made by some delegates that there should be no growth in the real resources made available for international cooperation in agriculture. It seems to me that national economic goals are clearly in favour of national economic growth, which is vital for the survival of nations. It makes no sense to suggest that growth in real resources made available for international cooperation should be denied, and to believe that it will not harm efforts to bring about a better international economic order.
I should also like to point out that we are deeply concerned not only about the very slow growth in the available real resources for international cooperation in agriculture, we are concerned on other fronts. Here I would like to draw your attention and that of this Council to paragraph 3.5 on page 6 of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87. Member countries present here are also associated with the international organizations referred to in paragraph 3.5. While calling upon the FAO to economize in its expenditures, these friendly countries also call upon themselves to match their real formation of priorities with respect to agriculture with the level of contributions they are making to the replenishment of IDA and to the provision of resources to IFAD so that the problems which the Director-General has drawn to our attention are not perpetuated.
On page 7,you will find that it is a negative growth rate. Would the distinguished delegates from the United Kingdom and the United States support me in calling for the prevention of this negative growth, so far as the field programmes and adjustment programmes are concerned? It perhaps would have been overlooked by us, but for the generous contributions made by Italy in recent times to support some of these programmes.
As mentioned in 3.10 on the same page, although we are recovering from the shock of the reduction of such assistance available through UNDP and other listed programme heads, we will not be able to return to the level reached in 1981 of $302.6 million. So would the distinguished delegates from the United States and the United Kingdom join me in calling for concerted efforts to restore the level to at least $302 million, from $252 million, which was there in 1984, or more? - the idea being that we should go somewhere, and, irrespective of the resources, whether bilateral, multilateral, FAO, IFAD, or World Bank, I think all of us are concerned that the total resources made available by the international community for establishing a better international agricultural order are on the increase, and they do not share a zero or negative growth.
I therefore suggest that we endorse fully the proposed Programme of Work and Budget 1986/87 unanimously, so that we can move forward without spending more time - whether the Director General could do better, but we are unanimous in formulating them. I do not think it is appropriate for us to go on questioning whether they are adequate economies, or whether more economies could have been affected. I certainly do not disagree with the comments made by some other delegates, that if greater economies can be achieved and if zero growth can be avoided, that is fine - but it is clear that we cannot achieve any greater economy in expenditure without affecting the development process. I think we really should not involve ourselves in this meaningless debate - we should rather concentrate on ensuring that the funds are adequately utilised for the programme priorities which are laid down.
Turning now to the Programme of Work itself, I would like to draw attention to the fact that we need a sharper focus on some of the areas which have already been identified.
You, Mr Chairman, as a distinguished genetic engineer and a plant breeder, would fully agree with me that the promotion of genetic engineering, without the consideration of depleting genetic resources, and preserving the maximum for future use, may spell danger to agricultural growth and to the environment in many ways. I would therefore commend to this Council the suggestion, on behalf of my delegation, that greater emphasis is necessary on the conservation of all genetic resources, considering their rapid depletion and occasional concentration in the hands of multi-national companies.
I would like to draw attention to the fact that while there is a sub-programme, 126.96.36.199., on animal genetic resources, this programme has been hit by the reduction of allocations from Trust Funds, and is now required to survive on the scarce allocations from the normal budgetary resources. Also, while there is a pointed reference on page 90 in sub-programme 188.8.131.52, to the objective of conservation of forests and genetic resources, I do not find this concern reflected in the preamble to this paragraph - it does not match with the sub-programme of the same kind as in the case of animal genetic resources. I would therefore suggest that we should provide, either out of Trust Funds or from the normal budget programmes, sufficient to ensure that the countries concerned are encouraged to identify and preserve their genetic resources, without which future development will be greatly retarded.
I then turn to paragraph 5.2.7, and I would commend the FAO Secretariat and the Programme and Finance Committees on their support of the identification and enhancement on the role of women as producers and marketers; but I would also like to add for your consideration the organization of youth in rural areas. I do not find any specific attention in this document to sub-programmes which would draw attention to the organization of youth in rural areas, particularly as the real animators for improving the environment. This would be perfectly appropriate in the context of our declaration of 1985, as the FAO Year of the Forest. Since 1985 is also the International Year of Youth may I suggest to the Secretariat that within our scarce resources we could identify this programme, which would provide for the involvement of rural youth in the developing countries in environmental programmes, particularly related to forestry.
I then turn my attention to the observations in the Summary Programme on food security. While there is a welcome reference to the need for animal food security, I do not find that food security in a larger sense is covered in this document. It seems that food security continues to be defined in terms of cereal availability. As a country which has faced recent shortages in its food security, and in a large sense relating to edible oils - and I believe there are other countries, such as India, which have serious shortages of edible oils and fats - I would suggest that self-sufficiency should be defined in broader terms, and security aspects should not be confined to either cereals or animal feed. Security programmes will have to be designed to also pay great attention to areas such as oil and seeds.
Again, my delegation takes the opportunity to compliment the Director-General and the Programme Committee on the emphasis which has been placed in Chapter II on improved land and water use and management as part of the Technical and Economic Programmes. We note with satisfaction that a part of the net programme increase at headquarters is directed towards this very important aspect of agricultural management, to which I had drawn attention in earlier interventions.
Again, in Chapter II, on page 49, we would like to call for a sharper focus on setting up centres for development of improved agricultural implements and relevant post-harvest technologies, both of which are relevant for improving the real incomes of farmers. While we note with satisfaction that there is a sub-programme 184.108.40.206, on this subject, I would call for a greater focus on it, and possibily reallocation of resources to help developing countries in this area.
As you are well aware, world food security could be endangered by the large volume of crop losses due to poor post-harvest technology. Imagine a country like India, with 150 million tons production of cereals - if poor management could cost us 10 percent we would lose 15 million tons, and 15 to 20 million tons would make all the difference between security and its lack.
I would also therefore like to commend the suggestion as an integral part of a security programme - the saving which we would achieve by better technology, better agricultural engineering better post-harvest practices - this, I think, is an area where fund allocations should be redirected in greater measure.
I would then draw your attention to one other very important issue. All over the developing world livestock is being developed with adequate support, and, I would say, with greater awareness. But what is not being developed is the grassland - the forage and other food resources without which livestock development cannot survive. All good land - as you are aware - is bound in terms of food security to be diverted or to be sustained on crop production. Therefore, it becomes necessary that marginal land in arid and semi-arid regions will have to be developed more effectively to provide the grass and forage and other food required by the livestock development programme. Here, May I call on the Secretariat to integrate these programmes under various divisions and subject's? I am not sure whether this has already been done - but if it has not been done, the time must come when the programme must be on one focus. I referred to programmes in other areas, such as the water and soil management programme in 2.1.1 - natural resources relating to arid and semi-arid regions. I also referred to the sub-programme under forestry, 220.127.116.11, Agro-sylvo-pastoral Development. All these programmes have a convergent focus on providing pastoral development in the arid and semi-arid regions; but since there are different sub-programmes which concentrate on an area of importance, I thought I should draw attention to the need for all developing economies to give greater attention to the food without which their animal resources
I would then like to draw attention to another important area, sub-programme 18.104.22.168, where there is a reference to the need for animal health. Here may I call for a more definitive programme by which at least major diseases such as rinderpest will be eliminated as a particular target. May I here call upon this Council to request the Director-General to indicate the possibility of eliminating rinderpest, as we have eliminated malaria, as we have eliminated smallpox, by a particular target here, and to indicate the resources required, so that good friends who have supported the economies and establishment expenditure and improvements in programme expenditure could come together to ensure that livestock throughout the world is more productive and meat is more exportable, by the elimination of some of these major diseases in Asia, Africa and other countries.
If this is the objective I am sure there has to be redirection of resources, not towards the reduction of disease but towards the elimination of disease as far as animal health is concerned.
Lastly, Mr Chairman, I am happy that the FAO is studying commodity policies on trade with a view to helping member countries in designing national commodity prices and trading policies. Here, may I request the headquarters to redirect their attention to promoting greater mutual cooperation relating to edible oils to which I have earlier referred. Areas like jute and other fibres have received considerable attention but I think oilseeds is becoming a more important area in terms of food security as well as international trade, so any effort to bring the nations together, the producers as well as the consumers, to understand mutually the benefits of internationally relevant policies on production and export of these important commodities like edible oils, would be of great help to countries as well as the producers such as Malaysia, the United States, Canada and others, and therefore I would request the Commodities and Trade Division to take the initiative in attempting with greater ardour international production and trade relating to edible oils.
With these deliberations, it is my delegation's privilege to acknowledge the excellent work done by the Director-General and his Secretariat, of the two Committees and their Chairmen, and to provide our fullest support for the implementation of these programmes. I agree with the objectives discussed in the budgetary resources, which seem to be in sight.
The meeting rose at 12.30 hours
La seance est levée à 12 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.30 horas