CHAIRMAN: I have thirty speakers on my list. I hope that Council Members will kindly cooperate and make their points as precisely and concisely as possible.
M.J. BLAMEY (Australia): We have before us in the documents a Summary Programme of Work and Budget. My delegation is not in a position to take a definitive position on the matters before us until we have received and fully considered the full Programme of Work and Budget and the usual reports evaluating FAO's activities in the current biennium. However, we can indicate some important considerations which will help determine our final position.
First, we must take into account what has been happening in the current biennium. At the last Conference a budget was approved which on the basis of certain assumptions about cost increases and the exchange rate at the time involved a real increase of $2.2 million, or .5 of a percent. What has happened is that the US dollar has appreciated sharply and inflation has been much lower than estimated at the time of the Conference. We have an example of the effects of this in the $15 million saving that is being transferred to the TCP. On that account alone real growth in the 1984-85 budget was on our calculations significantly greater than forecast. This is only an example. The Organization is making very substantial fortuitous gains on all items of expenditure for all programmes and sub-programmes, and of these gains only those costs of established staff paid in Lire in Italy are being credited to the Special Reserve Account. Against this kind of background we do not think that we are being unreasonable in suggesting that the Organization's activities could be stabilized at the unexpectedly high level of 1984-85.
This view is reinforced by financial restraints which is being strongly enforced by our own National
Administration. It gives us no comfort that the United States dollar is appreciating while the
Australian dollar has appreciated by some 35 percent over the last 18 months, which means much greater assessed contribution in Australian dollar terms.
A further and very important consideration is the Australian Government's support for the general principle of zero real growth in the budget of United Nations specialized agencies. This is a position we share with a number of significant donor countries.
This principle has been described as a religion. Therefore, it may have appeared to some delegates as a mysterious or even blind act of faith with no necessary associated down-to-earth practical logic. This is far from the case. Zero real growth is a simple and, in my experience, well-known management tool. It is a means of encouraging additional discipline on the financial and management approach organizations. As the Director-General has indicated, it can be a harsh and indiscriminating approach. Because of this, it is not an approach which is adopted lightly. In my experience it is adopted only when other more cooperative approaches fail to yield results or are adjudged for one reason or another not to be worth pursuing. I am sure delegations from the major donor countries are familiar with the approach and that many of their own organizations have been subjected to it at one time or another.
I must emphasize that zero real growth in my experience is not simply an end in itself. It is also a means of encouraging organizations to examine financial and programme options more openly and more rigorously against the changing goals and objectives. I am saying this not to be critical, but to be helpful. It would be most unfortunate if Council Members were to be lulled into underestimating the real purpose and significance of the zero real growth principle.
Even more important is to understand the inevitable dynamic of the principle, which is that if zero real growth continues to be advocated and an organization's financial or management approach is not modified, the advocates of the principle are eventually likely to find themselves in a position where they must develop special and more concrete measures either individually or on a cooperative basis to deal with the situation. Our Organization, FAO, has an opportunity to avoid a drift towards this situation. I hope we have the foresight to grasp it.
As a minimum I feel it would be useful to have before the Conference a paper which shows some options for the work programme under the zero real growth constraint. Also I hope that the well-conceived proposals for additional information from the delegate of the United Kingdom can be taken up by the Secretariat.
G.H. MUSGROVE (Canada): It is always strenuous after a heavy lunch to be only the second speaker and to work one's mind into the appropriate degree of agility required to address oneself to this complicated subject. My delegation wishes to thank the Director-General and both Mr Abeyagoonasekera and Mr Trkulja for their introduction to this particular item. I have been looking at the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for some weeks and have never ceased to be impressed with its complexity. I am similarly impressed by those people who can address it with what appears to be great authority and some facility.
Turning to document CL 87/3. we should say at the outset we have much to be pleased about in terms of its tone, styleand thrust. The Director-General has emphasized a good management principle in seeking to address priority issues and problems and, where necessary, to address these at the expense of activities of somewhat lesser importance. The proposal acknowledges to some large extent the financial constraints that the present economic situation imposes on most, if not all, of the contributing members, and recognizes the finite nature of funds available to address virtually infinite demands. It clearly attempts to identify, with the assistance of COAG, COFI and the CFS for example, the new directions and activities needed to address priority problems.
The Summary Programme of Work and Budget, however, is not without its imperfections both in terms of format and content. For example, while recognizing the proposal is not a substitute for the full Programme of Work and Budget, nevertheless we would like to see somewhat more attention given in a few words or sentences to stating objectives or hoped for accomplishments on each of the disaggregated activities. This would be particularly pertinent in areas for which budgetary increases are proposed.
Also we would like to see greater transparency and possibly greater detail in the application of the formulae to the calculation of the impact of currency adjustment and to cost increases. Indeed, there is one item with which we are unable to agree; that is, as our friends from the United States would call it, the bottom line. We believe the absolute budget can - indeed, should - be reduced by some $8 million to $10 million, and that this can be done without loss to the efficacy of programme content.
The Director-General in his opening statement on Monday suggested that zero real growth in United States dollar contributions was to be a preferred alternative to zero programme growth. In fact, the present budget proposal would mean an increased contribution from virtually every contributing member save only the one with the muscular dollar, while even the modest budget reduction I have suggested would permit, in my thesis, a programme growth.
I will return perhaps later in my remarks to the financial aspects, but I would like to make a few observations now on the programme. Of course, we have made observations in the various committees of the Organization and made note of or have emphasized a number of these in the appropriate agenda items, but there are at least two general observations I would like to make at this time.
The four principal aims of the Director-General outlined in paragraph 5.13 on page 12 are to be strongly supported. As an aside, we believe the word "principle" used in that particular paragraph should be spelt somewhat differently!
To these four strategies we would like to suggest a possible fifth when we are able, or the Organization is able, to move from crisis management to longer-term development. This fifth suggestion is the matter of environmental degradation and its relationship to production in the agricultural, forestry and fishery sectors. We feel that no area of the world is free from this particular concern, but I would like to underline the particular case of the growing desertification in Africa.
The four strategies outlined in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget flow clearly into a number of specific themes and actions, outlined in pages 12 to 23 of document CL 87/3. Collectively these form the basis of the programme.
While here and there our delegation can take issue on specific activities, nevertheless we feel on aggregate they are worthy of our support. A few themes deserve emphasis; we would particularly like to mention the role of women, the importance of nutrition, the need for improved information and early warning systems and above all, the vital requirements for better communications to effect information dissemination, training and technology transfer.
With respect to this latter point we should like to draw particular attention to a number of issues. Firstly, there is the issue of data-based activity and the dissemination of information as outlined in paragraphs 5.44 to 5.47 on page 17. We strongly support the role of FAO as a central repository for global information on food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry matters.
However, we feel the power of such information is not only related to its quantity, its quality and its organization, but above all, to its easy accessibility by all who need to know at little or no cost. We note the increasing recourse to computerized systems by our Organization, but feel that universal access could be greatly enhanced if these systems were joined to the United Nations International Computer Centre in Geneva. We understand that at present the FAO is one of only two United Nations agencies which are not members of this Centre. Using only inexpensive technology, technology available to all such as personal computers and telecommunications, in Canada we now have direct access to the whole of the United Nations information system saving only, of course, that of FAO. We have used the system, for example, to communicate directly with the World Food Programme in order to coordinate our food aid shipments so as to avoid bottlenecks. We strongly urge FAO to join the International Computer Centre at least to provide access for all to the evolving Global Information and Early Warning System.
The second point is not dissimilar and is relevant to the converging themes of research,communications, technology transfer, extension work, education and training. We think that in the details there is some lack of cohesion in these issues, and a treatment of each of them is a discrete or isolated activity in itself. Furthermore, while continuing research into new technology is both desirable and necessary, it is more often observed that a mass of existing technology has not as yet reached the grassroots level of the basic units of production such as the small farmer. We would like to encourage FAO to address this issue by measuring present efforts against the yardstick of the widest possible impact on the individual farm unit. There can be closer cooperation with other agencies, most notably including national extension systems, farming cooperatives and other regional organizations which might be better utilized in getting maximum impact from programme dollars in this area.
Turning to finances, it will be no surprise that we are concerned at the level of the proposed budget. The delegates here will know that most, if not all, contributing members are under some severe economic stringency. We would not mean to suggest that our problems in Canada are either unique or of the order of magnitude of some of our developing country partners. Nevertheless, the fact remains that Canadian unemployment is running at 11 percent, our national debt exceeds $200 000 million and our budgetary deficits are running at $35 million a year. Government spending in our country has been under the most severe restraint for the last four or five years. The taxpayers have been taking a critical view of both the absolute levels and the efficacy of government spending at home and, more particularly, abroad in our programmes of overseas development and our participation in multilateral institutions.
On May 23rd this year, just three or four weeks ago, a new Canadian budget was announced which cut some $3 500 million from government spending which, among other things, will result in the loss of some 15 000 government jobs. Cuts were made in welfare payments, old-age pensions, and unemployment insurance benefits were constrained. However, the Government defended our overseas development assistance budget, which is running at over $2 billion a year. The price of this defence is to assure the Canadian public, firstly, that the maximum possible proportion of such expenditures reaches those who need it; secondly, that such a system is cost-effective; and thirdly that international institutions exercise the same restraint expected of national governments.
We are obliged to approach the FAO budget proposal with these elements in mind, as we approach all international organizations. There will be those who say and those who have said that with the African crisis in particular now is no time to be reducing contributions to food and agriculture. Canada is not reducing its contribution, it is increasing it, and most dramatically so in the case of Africa. Other donors are doing the same, but every dollar spent on institutional budgets is a dollar less in emergency food aid or direct development assistance.
There are those who will say that relative to other agencies the FAO has been a prudent manager, that it has shown restraint, that it directs the larger part of its resources, and increasingly so, to action ends. In large measure it is true that the FAO in a multilateral system that is suffering a crisis in confidence has been a relatively good example. We feel that its reputation would be considerably enhanced by adding at this critical stage the level of no growth to its accomplishments. In the long term it will benefit not only from the sharpened management induced by financial strictures but from the consequent support it will enjoy when other agencies have lost favour.
Looking briefly at the budget proposal in its larger sense, we might note a number of features, some of which can be deduced from budgetary performance in the present biennium. The new budget proposal at $451 million for 1986-87 is an increase of just over $30 million from the $421 million of 1984-85. Of this, $24 million is estimated cost increases, while $6.5 million more or less is for real programme growth. The specific figures are available, of course, on page 33 of our document,
but it is this figure of $6.5 million on which we shall focus for comparative purposes our following remarks which we feel indicate that there is ample flexibility within the budget proposal. Some of the factors might be as follows: the question of currency exchange rates and most particularly the US dollar/lira relationship; windfall savings resulting from the benevolent currency movements which are traditionally moved to the Special Reserve Fund, which subsequently when in excess of fund requirements are redistributed to contributing members. In practice such gains are acknowledged largely though not entirely in relation to General Service salaries. Little or no accounting is made of other currency gains in Italian or other currencies realized through items such as local service, materials, contracting, and so on. While such gains are not apparent to scrutiny, they are doubtless substantial and could be of the order of $10 million. They would doubtless be repeated in 1986-87, although perhaps not of the same volume, as this budget is prepared on the basis of approximately Lire 1600 to the dollar, while current exchange rates are running close to Lire 2000.
Secondly, similar gains were realized, as has been indicated by a number of speakers, in the case of professional salary adjustments. These have been indicated by the Director-General to be in the area of $15 million, and more indirectly I think than the previously mentioned expenses. Nevertheless, they derive in origin from benevolent currency movements. That has been a net increase in growth to the budget in the present bieniumm.
We know in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget that some $14 million has been identified as non-recurring costs. These savings in the proposal have been reincorporated into the budget for new programmes. This, of course, is new programme growth proposed for 1986-87. It is not a matter with which we would be critical. We have encouraged the Director-General to identify lesser activities and to reallocate funds, and when he has done so we feel that he has a right to use those funds in the new budget. Nevertheless, it is new programme growth.
In addition, there are increasing amounts of flow-back funds coming into the Organization which in past bienniums were of lesser amounts. In the case of the TCP I understand that approximately $5 million flows back into the programme in each biennium. We believe that there are similar and substantial flow-backs into such programmes as the investment activity.
We believe that the cost increase component at $24 million may be still somewhat enlarged, although the Director-General has indicated that component has been substantially reduced from original proposals. This cost increase, of course, is based on the inflation estimate of 9.1 percent, a rate which in global or average terms is somewhat high on today's evidence, and indeed there is every evidence that within Italy itself such inflation may not be realized. We believe that there may be savings yet in the component of cost increase.
In addition to the above major points, there are a number of lesser notes. The proposal to increase professional staff positions, for example, by nine we believe is unnecessary. Given the reallocation priority, the evidence of non-recurring programmes, we believe that such positions, if not the people themselves, could be found within the Organization.
There is also the question of the staff position vacancy rate. We understand that the staff turnover runs in excess of 8 percent with many job positions empty for extended periods of time. These result in some additional financial savings and give better flexibility.
I think I have said enough to make a case for reductions in the overall proposed budget level. We could refer, of course, to Chapter VII and the contingency fund which we feel is largely unnecessary given the budget flexibility available to the Director-General. We could also attempt to comment on the Technical Cooperation Programme, but other speakers have done so and we will refrain from further comment.
In summary, we believe that a budget reduction is necessary to enhance the confidence of contributing governments and their people in order to ensure that finite donor country funds are directed to the maximum extent possible directly to developing country needs. The reduction would further encourage the FAO to focus on priority issues and to continue its good work in administrative streamlining. It will also enhance FAO's substantial management reputation vis-à-vis other multilateral agencies. In consequence it will attract more voluntary contributions. We maintain that such reductions as requested would not in any way reduce the programme proposals and will allow for a measure of new programme growth.
We close by encouraging the Director-General to give consideration to these comments in the constructive spirit in which they are intended. We do not seek a willful confrontation on what appears on the surface to be a relatively small sum of money. We do, however, strongly feel that given the inherent elbow room and flexibility in the budget proposal, there are indications of some surplus funds and the possibilities of real growth, not least in the reabsorption of non-recurring costs. We feel that the Director-General has the wherewithal to prepare a full Programme of Work and Budget within the cost-adjusted parameters of the 1984-85 budget levels.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I appreciate the statement made by the delegate of Canada. Nevertheless, I think it is necessary at this stage for me to comment in a brief manner, and later on I will ask my colleagues to comment on the various proposals for making reductions and economies.
If we have to observe to the letter what the delegate of Canada had said, we can cut the budget by $ 50 million and carry out the same programme and gain confidence. As Director-General, I cannot accept the idea that if I cut the budget by 1.4 percent, I will gain the necessary confidence of some member countries. I am sorry - as I see it, cutting the budget to zero-growth has nothing really to do with gaining confidence. It was said that such confidence will help FAO to focus more on priority issues. In fact, there is no other organization in the United Nations System, which has had for the last eight or ten years the unanimity we had here on priorities and strategies.
The Programme and Finance Committees have approved the priorities and strategies of this Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87. I am happy that the delegate of Canada is a member of the Finance Committee. He will thus have ample opportunity there to discuss the inflation rate in Italy, and other issues on cost increases in our budget for 1986-87.
The representative of Canada, like others, has said that the problem is that there is austerity and his government has had to cut their budget. We know that, but I contend that, if the developed countries have economic problems and problems of matching their resources to their requirements, they will not solve their problems by reducing FAO's budget increase to zero. For Canada, such savings would amount to less than $270 000 for a two-year period, which is their share of the real increase of $6.5 million for two years.
Developed countries cannot solve their domestic problems or their economic crisis by cutting such amounts. In any case, I maintain that the cheque for contributions which will be requested from the governments for the 1986-87 budget will probably be less in US dollars than they have paid for this biennium. This is zero-growth - zero-growth in paid-up contributions. I know the dollar is costing you more - you said, very rightly, that perhaps the USA will be the only country which will benefit. Even Panama will pay more, and Liberia, etc. - but this will in fact be a budget which will cost the member countries less in dollars than the present budget.
What prompted me to intervene at this stage is the assertion that the governments will lose confidence in FAO if the Director-General does not propose zero-growth but a small increase in the budget.
Also, I have been told that some insinuations against the management of the Organization were made by other delegates before I came. If there are to be insinuations or accusations, I would ask any delegate to indicate what is bad in the management of FAO. Some countries are represented in the Finance Committee - they have access to all documents, on all subjects and recently we have been scrutinized for days and days by several representatives of countries who have come to us with a list of questions. We have answered these questions. If you want information, tell us and we will provide it. In fact, those on the Finance Committee have every opportunity of obtaining such information. So we do not want to accept now unjustified accusations without proof against the management of FAO. I think a general insinuation is completely unfair to all my colleagues.
Having said that, I found the last statement very constructive and very interesting.
M. J. BLAMEY (Australia): I am sorry that the Director-General could not be here when I was speaking. The report which he has had is inaccurate. I will not repeat my address, but I am sure it is available to him. I am glad for his comment that if we want information he will provide it.
I concluded my address by asking for a document to be prepared for the Conference which would show some options, - simply options - for the Work Programme under the zero-real growth constraint. I also asked that some proposals put by the delegate of the United Kingdom for additional information be taken up by the Secretariat.
M. MOMBOULI (Congo): Merci Monsieur le President. Comme vous le savez, nous sommes inscrits sur la liste pour intervenir un peu plus tard, mais je pense qu'après avoir entendu cette dernière intervention du Canada, qui se termine par ces mots "c'est trop", nous ne pouvons rester sans rien dire, car effectivement on ne peut plus ternir! Ce matin on nous a fait croire que la théorie de la croissance zéro n'était peut-être pas une idéologie, mais je me rends compte que ce que nous avons entendu jusqu'à présent ne fait que confirmer que c'est bien une idéologie. Pourquoi? Je vais essayer de l'expliquer.
On reconnaît que sur les 30 millions demandés, 24 millions se justifient dans la mesure où il s'agit d'une augmentation liée aux coûts. Ensuite on dit que le problème se pose aussi en millions de dollars. Nous pensons pour notre part, que si la théorie de la croissance zéro n'était pas une idéologie, on n'aurait pas eu besoin de faire autant de justification pour 6 millions de dollars, quand on sait les sommes énormes que l'on dépense pour d'autres choses insignifiantes qui n'ont rien à voir avec la survie des populations.
Je pense que nous ne pouvons pas nous laisser divertir, et nous sommes davantage convaincus que la croissance zéro est une idéologie; la preuve vient d'en être donnée par les différentes délégations qui nous donnent plus de mille justifications pour dire qu'il faut s'en tenir à la croissance zéro, alors que maintenant on parle de réduction! Je pense qu'on a exagéré et nous ne pouvons pas rester indifférents! Je vous parle franchement. Nous sommes inscrits sur la liste mais étant donné ce que nous venons d'entendre, nous ne pouvons rester indifférents et j'ai tenu absolument à réagir à ma façon !
G.H. MUSGROVE (Canada): I had a Point of Order although it is a little late. The Point of Order was to ascertain from the Chair whether the previous intervention was a Point of Order.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL : I should say also that the previous intervention was not a Point of Order - but we will have the text of the Australian delegation, and I hope that I am mistaken.
A.M. KHALED (Yemen, People's Democratic Republic of) (original language Arabic): My delegation believes that this Summary Programme of Work and Budget before us is a very good synthesis of the push-and-pull forces referred to by the Director-General in his introductory statement. We know that there are tragedies and crises of food and malnutrition and under-nutrition in the developing world for reasons which are natural or man-made. In fact this situation reflects the prevailing international economic order. There is great need to support the developing countries, technically and financially, through bilateral and multilateral aid. This aid is in fact decreasing, and this creates critical and alarming situations. Therefore, we think that this Programme is based on a correct analysis of the international situation, and is consistant with very appropriate priorities and strategies. In fact, it is this ability to assimilate changing conditions which enables the Director-General to lead FAO successfully and to develop the Organization. It is also the result of the innovâtiveness and creativity of Dr Saouma which we very much appreciate. We also thank the Chairmen of the Finance and Programme Committees, and the Secretariat, for their preparation of these documents and their clear introduction of them.
As for the Programme and Budget, we think that all the recommendations of the Programme and Budget are based on deliberations of international and regional meetings within the Organization, and we know that the Programme has trimmed down administrative costs and maintained the level of contributions for the current biennium. Although our country thinks that the normal thing to do would be to introduce a Programme of Work and Budget which would enable the Organization to meet the increasing requirements in services and activities, particularly in regard to Africa, I should however like to express our approval of this Summary Programme of Work and Budget as a basis for the preparation of the full Programme and Budget for the next biennium.
I should also like to commend the remarks made by some delegates regarding the trimming of some Technical Assistance Programmes, or even, to balance expenses as a last resort. In the light of our experience in this Programme, we think this is one of the most useful and wonderful programmes which has an effective impact and will continue to be beneficial in many areas. We would therefore like to see this Programme given a higher priority and further development, and to be allocated more resources.
I would like to share the appeal of the Ambassador of Colombia for cooperation and coordination between developing and developed countries in order to conduct fruitful action, to find solutions to the problems of food in the world, and in order to further support the international organizations and in particular FAO, which has a leading role in this field. In fact, we have a very good example of this in Italy.
In conclusion, I call upon delegates and Members of the Council to approve the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.
M. ABDELHADI (Tunisie): Nous félicitons le Directeur général pour la présentation du programme et budget pour le biennium 1986-87.
Les explications qu'il a données et l'analyse qu'il a faite pour justifier la stratégie et les priorités proposées recueillent sans réserve notre agrément.
Le Programme de travail et budget de l'Organisation constitue, à notre sens, un document essentiel, capital, qui doit refléter les choix et les priorités et traduire dans les faits les aspirations des gouvernements membres et les recommandations des conférences régionales et autres comités de la FAO.
Le projet qui nous est présenté nous paraît de prime abord répondre à tout cela. D'autre part, la présentation claire et nette des présidents des Comités financier et du programme a confirmé notre conviction dans la justesse des choix et des priorités proposés par le Directeur général.
Par ailleurs nous partageons les appréciations du Président du Comité du programme, notamment lorsqu'il a exprimé les préoccupations du Comité en ce qui concerne le déclin de l'aide au développement, surtout de l'aide multilatérale.
Nous exprimons toutefois notre vive satisfaction en ce qui concerne notamment le développement constant du programme de coopération technique de la FAO grâce à un choix volontaire du Directeur général et nous apprécions également la contribution du Gouvernement italien au Fonds fiduciaire de la FAO ainsi que celle d'autres pays donateurs.
Pour revenir au sommaire du Programme de travail et budget pour 1986-87, l'analyse qu'en a faite ce matin le Directeur général nous paraît judicieuse et équilibrée. La situation mondiale de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation, et notamment la situation alimentaire instable en Afrique, ne peut que nous inciter à approuver un budget et un programme de travail évolutifs avec un taux de croissance conséquent. Il nous paraît en quelque sorte aberrant et mal venu de présenter un budget pour les deux années à venir avec une croissance zéro, au moment où la communauté internationale, les organisations internationales et notamment la FAO sont appelées à fournir un effort intense afin de venir en aide aux pays touchés par une crise alimentaire sans précédent.
Je ne vois pas comment encourager la FAO à mener à bien la réalisation de ses programmes, comme l'ont affirmé certaines délégations, si la théorie de croissance zéro est mise en application. Les conséquences, à notre sens, seraient graves sur le développement des activités et programmes d'action de l'Organisation.
Comment, en effet, permettre à la FAO de mettre l'accent sur les questions prioritaires si on bloque la croissance, si modeste soit-elle, des moyens budgétaires de l'Organisation? Cela me semble difficile.
En conséquence, il ne saurait être question, pour ma délégation, de retenir la notion de croissance zéro.
Le taux de croissance proposé par le Directeur général constitue, pour ma délégation, le minimum acceptable pour ne pas tomber dans la stagnation, surtout au moment où il est demandé à la communauté internationale un effort soutenu pour contribuer à juguler la crise alimentaire actuelle en Afrique. Nous aurions souhaité un taux de croissance supérieur à celui proposé pour tenir compte de cette situation.
Ma délégation retient et apprécie l'effort louable du Directeur général pour diminuer les coûts administratifs en faveur des programmes opérationnels sur le terrain. Ce déplacement de ressources ne pourra que profiter aux pays qui en ont besoin.
A cet égard, permettez-moi d'exprimer la vive satisfaction de la délégation tunisienne qui apprécie à sa juste valeur les efforts consentis par le Directeur général en faveur de la relance de l'agriculture dans les pays. A cet égard, ma délégation appuie l'affectation de 15 millions de dollars provenant de l'excédent de ressources antérieures au profit du Programme de coopération technique pour le financement des projets intéressant la réalisation de l'agriculture dans les pays africains touchés par la crise alimentaire.
Ma délégation souhaite très vivement que le budget et le Programme de travail proposés recueillent une approbation unanime du Conseil, compte tenu d'une part de la modestie de leur croissance et d'autre part des choix et du transfert d'importantes ressources au profit des programmes opérationnels de terrain.
KONG CANDONG (China) (Original language Chinese): Thank you Mr Chairman. First of all the Chinese delegation would like to express its appreciation for the introduction made this morning by the Director-General and by the Chairman of the Programme Committee and the Chairman of the Finance Committee. With your indulgence, I wish to make the following comments on this agenda item.
First. Regarding the world economic situation and food and agriculture backdrop against which the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1986/87 was formulated, the introduction of the Document has given a comprenhensive account and analysis. In general, 1984 witnessed improvement of the world economic situation which exercised a favourable influence on food and agricultural production. Nevertheless we cannot lose sight of the complexitiy of the world state of food and agriculture. The short term trend embodies a great number of unstable factors; for instance, the gap between Africa and other developing regions has further expanded; developing countries are still facing constraints in trade, debt-servicing and access to concessional assistance. Given the circumstances, it is necessary to make timely and appropriate adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium. In the Programme of Work and Budget proposed by the Director-General, the adjustments were clearly explained. In our view, this is a well-thought scenario, and the "Summary" itself has demonstrated FAO's competence in coping with the challenge.
Second. Concerning the budget level, taking into account the current world economic status and food and agriculture situation as well as the needs of developing Member Nations, it is essential to have increases, as appropriate, for the budget level for the next biennium. As is indicated, the programme increase for 1936-87 will be 1.4 percent while that in the current biennial budget is 0.5 percent. But the cost increase in the new budget is obviously low. This is of course necessary to check budget growth. We consider that the 1.4 percent increase is justified and therefore it provides a basis for its acceptance by member countries. As for our part, we can accept it.
Third. We noted that the proportion of continuing posts will drop to 54.3 percent from 56 percent in the current budget. This adjustment will make available more of the limited funds for the agricultural development of member countries.
This also reflects the consistent efforts of FAO in pursuing the policy of reducing administrative expenditure to ensure economic and technical programmes since the Director-General took office.
We cannot but express our appreciation for the Director-General's endeavours in this regard.
Fourth. We also noted that "ensuring food production and security" continues to top the list of priorities in the programmes of the next biennium, which is accordingly reflected in the allocation of funds. We are of the view that such a policy keeps in line with the recommendations made at the previous sessions of the conferences and councils for the Organization.
Fifth. The difficulties confronting Africa are not strange to the international community. As economic ties are getting increasingly close in today's world, the food and agricultural problem is no longer a problem concerning Africa alone. Therefore, we agree that Africa will continue to be given priority in the Organization's programme of work as well as in the allocation of budget for the next biennium.
Sixth. In the programme for 1986-87 , the information system will be strengthened. This is an important activity in the regular programme of FAO and a unique feature of the Organization.
We think it is undesirable to separate information and the field programme, but just on the contrary the ties between the two fields should be intensified. Information should serve at various degrees the field programme and be. more objective-specific. As we are living in an era of rapid development of science and technology, FAO, in the future, should attach greater importance to the strengthening and extension of scientific and technical know-how suitable for developing countries, combining information with the field programme and production practice.
C. LOIZIDES (Cyprus): Mr Chairman, the Cyprus delegation wishes to espress its appreciation and support for the efforts made by the Director-General to optimize the use of available resources taking into account the world economic situation and the enormous needs of the developing countries.
In view of the present climate of acute economic problems, and in particular the food crisis in Africa and other regions, this effort constitutes a difficult task indeed. The proposed real programme increase by 1.4 percent or $6 230 000 is probably the minimum necessary increase under these conditions, whilst the transfer of funds amongst the major programmes and sub-programmes was inevitable in order to accommodate an austerity budget. This shift of resources is reflected very vividly in the substantial cuts of expenditure for the governing bodies in general policy and direction as well for investments and FAO representatives in the development support programmes. We express the hope that these cuts are under the circumstances the least painful ones, and that they will not jeopardise FAO's ability to meet its basic objectives and deliver its very substantial programmes.
We support the proposals regarding the strategies and priority sectors about to receive net incremental funds, namely the technical and economic programmes covering various development programmes concerned with agricultural production, such as crops and livestock, agricultural research and rural development, fisheries exploitation and utilization, forest resources and environment. The absolute increase by almost $2.5 million for the Technical Cooperation Programme is also a positive step towards the continuation of FAO rapid assistance to needy countries for unforeseen needs and problems that arise.
We do not however doubt that in relative terms the funds allocated to the TCPprogramme relative to the 1984/85 budget indicate a slight reduction from 13.6 percent to 13.3 percent. We wish in particular to emphasise the importance that my country attaches to the TCP and we modestly request the Director-General to extend additional efforts to increase the provision for this programme. Mr. Chairman, I wish to conclude by expressing once again our support for the budget proposals as submitted by the Director- General.
J. POSIER (France): Ma delegation voudrait tout d'abord adresser ses remerciements au Secrétariat pour la qualité des documents qui ont été soumis.
La délégation française a déjà eu l'occasion de faire part de façon détaillée de ses commentaires sur le Programme de travail lors de la réunion du Comité de l'agriculture, puis à l'occasion de la réunion du Comité du Programme. Comme le temps nous est compté, elle se bornera à un rappel rapide de quelques-unes de ses réflexions.
De façon générale, les objectifs et les stratégies proposées au titre du Programme de travail pour 1986-87 recueillent notre agrément. En particulier nous approuvons la suggestion de l'Organisation et de son Directeur général de concentrer leur action sur la promotion des cultures vivrières et le renforcement de la sécurité alimentaire en visant un impact accru sur le terrain et en favorisant le développement de la coopération technique et économique entre pays en développement.
De même, nous approuvons pleinement le renforcement de la priorité accordée au continent africain. L'accent mis, en ce qui concerne les politiques agricoles alimentaires, sur l'appui aux efforts nationaux pour l'établissement de politiques de prix qui encouragent véritablement les producteurs, le rappel de l'intérêt qui s'attache à la création de groupements régionaux, le souci d'améliorer la liaison entre la recherche et la vulgarisation, la prise en compte des cultures dites secondaires et la recherche d'une plus grande adéquation entre les techniques utilisées, sont autant de points positifs.
L'ordre de présentation des programmes qui figurent dans nos documents a été approuvé par la Conférence lors d'une session précédente. Sans du tout remettre en cause cette présentation qui demeure globalement satisfaisante, nous constatons qu'elle ne permet pas toujours d'établir une hiérarchie claire entre les différents sujets et qu'elle conduit parfois à des doubles emplois, par exemple entre les questions qui sont évoquées au titre du développement rural et les questions qui figurent dans la rubrique "politiques alimentaires et agricoles".
Comme nous l'avions dit lors de la réunion du Comité de l'agriculture, nous continuons à nous demander si une réflexion visant à améliorer cette présentation ne serait pas opportune. Dans cette perspective, il nous semble notamment que l'on pourrait réunir de façon plus cohérente tous les sujets qui relèvent du domaine macro-économique.
S'agissant du projet de budget qui nous est soumis, je voudrais tout d'abord rappeler que, d'une manière générale, le Gouvernement français estime que, compte tenu des difficultés économiques persistantes que connaissent bon nombre de nos pays et la rigueur budgétaire à laquelle ils sont astreints, les budgets des organisations internationales ne doivent pas connaître d'augmentation en termes réels au cours du prochain biennium.
Toutefois, nous sommes pleinement conscients de la gravité de la situation alimentaire dans de nombreux pays, notamment africains, et du rôle particulier qui incombe à l'OAA pour contribuer à l'amélioration de cette situation;
De ce point de vue, nous nous félicitons de l'évolution que traduit le projet de budget en ce qui concerne la répartition des masses budgétaires au profit des programmes opérationnels et au détriment des dépenses administratives générales. Il serait cependant souhaitable que des informations encore plus précises puissent nous être fournies par le Secrétariat sur la part des crédits consacrés à l'Afrique, dans le cadre du Programme de coopération technique.
Si une réduction des crédits opérationnels nous paraît, dans la conjoncture actuelle, totalement à proscrire, nous nous demandons en revanche si des progrès supplémentaires ne seraient pas encore possibles dans le domaine administratif; en particulier une réduction des dépenses relatives à certains bureaux régionaux venant s'ajouter aux efforts déjà réalisés pourrait peut-être être envisagée.
Monsieur le Président, c'est à la lumière de l'ensemble de ces éléments, et notamment des informations complémentaires qui nous seront fournies par les services de l'Organisation, que le Gouvernement français arrêtera sa position définitive.
K. SHIOZAWA (Japan): First I would like to thank the Director-General for this lucid introduction of this very important agenda item.
Before going into the content of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget my delegation would like to make some important observations on the way that the Summary Programme of Work and Budget has been presented. We notice with appreciation that the Summary Programme of Work and Budget which is now before us has shown improvement as compared with the previous one in the way that effort has been made to facilitate a better understanding among the Member Governments regarding the various activities which FAO intend to implement during the next biennium. At the same time I would like to say quite frankly that the present Summary Programme of Work and Budget still has various ambiguous points in its description which may need to be clarified. My delegation therefore wishes to encourage the Secretariat to continue its efforts for further improvement in the future presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget. In the course of scrutinizing this Summary Programme of Work and Budget my delegation contacted the Secretariat and requested further information and explanation on some of these points. Taking this opportunity, my delegation would like to express its appreciation for the cooperation expended by the Secretariat at that time.
Having said this, I would like first to make some general remarks about the 1986-87 Summary Programme of Work and Budget. In Section V, Strategies and Priorities for 1986-87, paragraph 5.13 states: "the Director-General re-affirmed his four principal aims in priority selection: promotion of food production, increase in food security, achievement of impact at field level, and enhancement of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries". My delegation, as it has already expressed its support at the last session of COAG, shares the view of the Director-General regarding these priority areas and therefore lends its support to this.
Paragraph 5.43 and the following paragraphs indicate the priorities in means of action, such as improvement of data bases, training, TCDC, ECDC, and TCP. My delegation, taking into account the expertise and knowledge of FAO, as well as the need expressed by the international community, recognizes that these priorities in means of action are all appropriate except for TCP. In this connection my delegation wishes to express its full support of paragraph 5.44, which reads:
"It is perhaps primarily as a unique potential source of information at the service of its Member Governments and the public at large that FAO was viewed by its founders forty years ago. FAO has accumulated an unrivalled capital of information in the large number of fields and disciplines under its constitutional mandate. The Director-General intends to continue the process of consolidating these efforts."
We think that the Global Information and Early Warning System is one of the good examples of such action. With regard to TCP, my delegation would like to express its views a little later on.
The proposed budget shows a net programme change of US$ 6.23 million, or a 1.4 percent net increase. My delegation fully recognizes the effort made so far by the Secretariat' in order to reduce the net increase by cutting the resources allocation for the less priority areas, such as in Chapter 1 on the Technical and Economic Programmes and Chapter 6 on the Common Services. Furthermore, we can generally support the direction taken by the Director-General to increase the resources allocation in Chapter 2 on the Technical and Economic Programmes, which is the core activity of FAO.
Seeing the tremendous need in the field of food and agriculture, forestry and fisheries, one may say that a net increase of l.4 percent is minimal. However, we feel that there is a possibility to reduce this figure even more down to zero growth. We also recognize that resources are limited and what we could do is to try to utilize in the best way possible the limited resources in the priority areas. Bearing this in mind my delegation would like to make some specific comments on the way in which the resources have been proposed to be used in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.
First, non-çecurring items. In the course of examining the Summary Programme of Work and Budget my delegation has often come across descriptions which read as follows: "Resources stemming from non-recurring items have been re-programmed." Although the total amount of non-recurring items is not mentioned in the document, it seems that FAO could have available some $US 13 to 14 million which could possibily be allocated for new activities. This amount represents more than 3 percent of the current budget. We understand that the non-recurring items are to be considered by their very nature as activities which have no need to be continued any more. Therefore the resources stemming from these items should not be taken as if they were authorized to be reallocated automatically to new activities. The reallocation should be made only for the utmost priority areas. However, throughout the Summary Programme of Work and Budget only a few explanations have been provided as to their new uses. This can hardly allow us to judge whether or not the reallocations are justifiable. My delegation therefore wishes to receive some comprehensive information regarding this matter when the full Programme of Work and Budget is presented to us. In this connection my delegation would like to suggest to the Secretariat to use more tables and figures rather than complicated descriptions.
Turning to my second remark, Chapter 7 on Contingencies, although the contingencies reserve is expected to increase $200 000 up from $600 000, it is only mentioned that the reason being is merely to bring the increase in line with the overall budgetary level of FAO's Regular Programme. Therefore my delegation would like to receive further justification from the Secretariat, particularly in regard to the information on the balance of this reserve from the past several biennia. In the meantime my delegation feels that this Chapter could be one of the possible areas where a reduction of resources is needed.
Now I would like to briefly touch on the Technical Cooperation Programme. According to the document the budget allocated to TCP is expected to increase by 4.2 percent while the total overall increase for the next biennium is 1.4 percent. Subsequently, the share of TCP will further increase from 13.6 percent to 14 percent. Although we recognize the important role of TCP in the field of emergency assistance, at the same time my delegation repeatedly has expressed its concern over the sharp increase of TCP in the total budget. The reasons are as follows.
First, TCP is a UN-programme reserve, while the other provisions come under programming budget systems. This means that Member Governments have no specific measure to check the expenses of TCP. Furthermore, there is a problem of transparency. In this connection, my delegation is very much looking forward to receiving the report mentioned in paragraph 5.69 of the document.
Secondly, we believe that coordinated activities among the various United Nations agencies at field level could mainly be achieved through effective allocations of UNDP funds. Therefore, in principle we are not in favour of the fact that each specialized agency has its own resources for development projects and has a regular budget.
Thirdly, we have been unable to obtain from the document information regarding the actual basis which would justify an increase of exactly $2.435 million. On the other hand, we have noticed that about $21 million was carried forward to the current biennium and that at the end of 1984, only $10 million had been used out of the $57 million allocated as provision for the current biennium. Therefore, we think that TCP is another possible area where reduction of resources can be made.
Before I conclude my statement, I would like to stress that in spite of the remote sign of recovery of the world economy, we are still facing a very difficult economic and financial situation. This is particularly the case with regard to the financial situation of many governments. Taking as an example our own experience, the government of Japan has been keeping the nominal budget growth at almost zero level under the financial reconstruction programme, which means a severe cut in expenditure in real terms. In fact, the travel expenses for government officials have been frozen for several years. This means that when my colleagues come from our capital to Rome for FAO, they are usually obliged to buy discount air tickets instead of travelling business class. I wonder whether FAO have examined such kinds of alternatives in order to economise on its expenditures.
When the resources are depleted we should try and use them more rationally and effectively. In spite of the tremendous problem which FAO is currently having to deal with we shall continue our efforts in this direction. We believe that by doing so FAO can obtain zero real increase in the budget without jeopardizing the activities of the priority areas.
Even though the final decision of my country on the proposed budget will be finalized after further examination of the full Programme of Work and Budget which will be studied at the Eighty-eighth Council and the Twenty-third Conference, we believe that there exists further possibilities to improve the present Summary Programme of Work and Budget. My delegation cannot go along with views that this Summary Programme of Work and Budget consists of a sound basis for preparing the full Programme of Work and Budget. We believe that the best way to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of FAO is to show the world that FAO is a good example of effectiveness and efficiency among the United Nations Agencies.
A. Y. BUKHARI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of) (original language Arabic): I do not want to discuss in detail the proposed budget submitted by the Secretariat since we have already examined it extensively in the Finance Committee. But I do believe that the budget has been prepared very wisely and in a very flexible manner by the Director-General, assisted by the Secretariat. We do know the amount of pressure to which the Director-General has been subjected while preparing the budget. He strove not to diminish the programs and activities carried out under this budget. He also took care to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of the Organization, and to allow it to continue to carry out its honourable task.
We are also aware of the amount of pressure put by the Director-General on all people working in this Organization under his instructions so that the total value of the budget, would not be diminished because the Director-General knows the world economic situation, and the importance in such circumstances to take into account needs of all member countries. The Delegation of Saudi Arabia now feels great sympathy towards the Director-General because of the difficult situation he and his organization are facing. The Director-General has to take into account three important considerations; the first relates to the fact that all States, without exception, are calling upon this Organization to give the highest priority to Africa, a continent suffering from a grave situation due to famine. This appeal, which we all made, is based on humanitarian considerations and is very realistic. It is only natural that the Director-General should respond to it. It is also a legitimate right for Africa and the African peoples to be given highest priority.
The second consideration which the Director-General had to face and take into account is that all countries in other regions are calling upon him not to cut down programmes addressed to their regions. They do urge him strongly, and insistently to increase the FAO's contributions and activities directed towards their regions. Undoubtedly this is also the legitimate right of these countries, particularly as they expect it from an Organization which has played a leading role in the field of food and agriculture. In fact, it is the pioneering organization in this field.
The third consideration is that some countries which are developed in terms of the level of their industry and of their agriculture, and which are highly developed in general, are asking the Director-General to cut down the proposed budget, or more precisely to make it grow at zero rate. Not only that, but these same highly developed countries have asked the Organization to carry out activities and implement additional programmes which are beneficial to developing countries; such as, the Code of Conduct, genetic resource engineering, etc. These States have called upon the Organization to carry out such additional activities financed from its regular budget. These are three considerations which the Director-General has to take into account. He has to find some magic formula to respond to these three considerations. We do not believe that he has such a magic formula.
The Director-General has confirmed many times that it would be possible for this Organization to respond to the first or the second consideration. However, we believe that the Organization could also respond to the three considerations because, the planned increase in this budget is a zero rate increase. Therefore, the three considerations can be taken into account if we approve the proposed budget. We do hope that this budget will be approved and that these three considerations will be taken into account on the basis of the slight proposed increase.
The delegation of my country does not accept and has completely objected to any administrative expansion in any international organization which causes bureaucratic complications and limits production. In the meantime we do support sincerely any technical expansion which has beneficial effects on developing countries.
As we all know very well, this pioneering organization under the able leadership of this hardworking Director-General is pursuing the path of limiting any unnecessary expansion of its administration. Administrative expansion, as we all know, has been constantly limited and reduced to a minimum by the Director-General. The Director-General has promised many times that he will continue to limit any further expansion of the administrative structure, despite the fact that this is a specialized agency which relies mainly on specialists and professionals. However, we find that since he assumed his post, the Director-General has continuously striven to put the RIGHT man in the RIGHT position, and there is an abundant evidence here of a good administration combined with an attempt to attain the highest productivity for this Organization.
We also note the large savings made by the Director-General in the previous budget. Such savings could have been used in various ways by the Director-General since the previous budget has been already approved, but the Director-General did not do that. He proposed only to reallocate some of those economies for the benefit of countries facing the spectre of famine and malnutrition. This is alnother demonstration of the efficiency and wisdom of the Director-General.
Regarding the first and second considerations which I have mentioned, the delegation of my country can only approve this proposed budget with the modest increase, and we hope that it will be approved unanimously for the benefit of the most needy peoples.
J.M. WATSON (Panamá): Llegamos al importante tema que cada dos años este Consejo discute durante el primer semestre de los años impares. La discusión del resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, que se refiere al marco dentro del cual el Director General de esta Organización proyecta para el próximo bienio, lo que reviste siempre especial importancia y, a juicio de esta delegación, en esta oportunidad la discusión se da cuando existen situaciones particularmente graves que hemos estado analizando durante la presente semana y que tienen que ver fundamentalmente con la situación económica y financiera, en general, y muy en particular con las situaciones alimentaria y agrícola que se viene a caracterizar por escasez, por una parte, y la abundancia por la otra.
Tomando en cuenta estas consideraciones, la delegación de Panamá desea precisar en esta primera intervención de carácter general, lo siguiente:
Primero, consideramos realmente como un verdadero logro que tanto este Consejo como la Conferencia haya rechazado la teoría del crecimiento cero que se quiso aplicar en la preparación del Programa presupuesto de esta Organización. Reitero, que este rechazo se mantiene, y se mantiene, indudablemente, gracias a la eficacia y economías que en su administración en general, ha logrado esta Organización.
En segundo lugar no hay dudas de que la discusión de los Comités más importantes que asesoran a este Consejo, y en los cuales se han discutido aspectos referentes al Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el próximo bienio, ha existido una clara aceptación de los principales aspectos en que se fundamente este Programa, así como las prioridades y estrategias propuestas. Esto lo pudimos constatar en las recientes pasadas reuniones de los Comités de Agricultura y Pesca. Y es frente a esta aceptación de prioridades y estrategias de los Programas de esta Organización, que mi Delegación ha planteado con anterior oportunidad y lo hace en ésta, que no le resulta fácil entender cómo se aceptan las mismas y luego se regatean al máximo cualquier incremento que se desea realizar en el Presupuesto. Las dificultades, señor Presidente, debo de comprender están en incongruencia y las seguimos teniendo.
En tercer lugar, reconocemos el esfuerzo y la habilidad del Director General y sus colaboradores en la preparación del Programa presupuesto, específicamente durante los dos últimos bienios, esfuerzos y habilidades que han consistido en la disminución de gastos administrativos, así como de eliminación de posiciones aparejado esto al reforzamiento de los Programas Técnicos y Económicos; pero a nuestro juicio, este ejercicio ha llegado al límite, porque creemos que de continuar se atenta contra la eficiencia del funcionamiento de esta Organización y creemos que los que apoyan las prioridades y estrategias en los Programas no pueden, lógicamente, querer esta falta de eficiencia. Así, tenemos que reducir una vez más en 3 750 000 dólares el sector administrativo de apoyo y aspectos no técnicos y con estos recursos ahorrados se ha contribuido a aumentar los Programas técnicos en 9 400 000 dólares; es decir, se han incrementado éstos en un 3.8 por ciento.
Por todo esto, señor Presidente, la delegación de Panamá no tiene dificultad en dar su aprobación al resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1986-1987 que se nos propone en el Documento CL 87/3; pero al dar nuestra aprobación a esta propuesta que viene a significar un aumento real neto con relación al bienio anterior del 1.4 por ciento, lo hacemos convencidos de que se trata realmente de un incremento simbólico y que es lo mínimo que se puede aceptar para una Organización como la FAO que se enfrenta a solicitudes crecientes por la situación que confrontar los países en vías de desarrollo, como bien se ha precisado en este Consejo y que atinadamente el Director General destacó al presentar el tema.
Finalmente, señor Presidente, no con cierto pesar, hemos escuchado las opiniones al Programa de Cooperación Técnica; esta delegación conoce de las ventajas de este Programa y su capacidad en el suministro de asistencia rápida y eficaz que demandan nuestros países. Comprendemos que ciertos países desarrollados no entienden la ayuda que este Programa representa al llenar lagunas en los Programas de Asistencia para el Desarrollo.
Por último, señor Presidente, esperemos los resultados de la evaluación del cual nos habla el párrafo 5.69 y no prejuzguemos.
H.M. MBALE (Malawi): Mr Chairman, I wish to thank the Director-General and the Chairman of the Programme and Finance Committees for the clear introductory remarks which they made on the documents before us. I wish to assure the Director-General that my delegation has welcomed the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87 with interest and appreciation, particularly because a number of changes appear to be an improvement over the 1984-85 budget.
To highlight one of these changes, it is heartening to note that the Technical Cooperation Programme has risen from 4.8 percent in 1984-85 to 5.8 percent of the budget in 1986-87 in respect of Support Services, Common Services, Contingencies and Policy and Direction.
It is my sincere hope that with the improvement in manpower development in Africa in particular we will see an ever-increasing budget on the Technical Cooperation Programme in place of Common Services and Contingencies and Policy and Direction.
While appreciating the efforts of the Director-General to keep the Development Support Programmes at an effective momentum, we learn with regret of the decline of external assistance for development as described in paragraphs 2.15 and 2.16 on page 4 of document CL 87/3. Those who have been instrumental in this decline will, I hope, change the direction of their policies to improve the prospects for the poorest countries beyond those at the moment.
With particular reference to the African situation, which is described in the document as grimmest, we have during the previous sessions highlighted our views and comments on what needs to be done to improve the situation in the short term and in the long term. If our proposals meet with favourable response the situation will improve. Paragraphs 2.17 to 2.20 at pages 4 and 5 of this document should therefore be regarded as a challenge both to donors and recipient countries whose efforts must be complementary if the food crisis is to be solved.
It is proper for me to voice our concern about the lack of support that donors are giving to IFAD and IDA. This Council meeting should seriously consider this development as a major setback in our coordinated efforts to get out of the grimmest situation in the African region. Paragraph 3.5 at page 6 of this document clearly spells this out. My delegation is of the view that those donors who can help should do so and should not withhold their assistance on the basis of the burden-sharing principle.
The need is there and should be met through human goodwill. It is, however, gratifying to know that this is not the case in every sector. I note with appreciation in paragraph 3.11 on page 7, the consideration which our Hosts, the Government of Italy, is showing by increasing its Trust Funds to our rescue - this is a move which the African region deserves at this moment in time.
My delegation has noted with regret that the payment of assessed contributions from Member Nations is in arrears to a total amount of $14.3 million. This is one Organization which has our problems at heart and which is doing its level best to get us out of them. I would solicit for those Member Countries in arrears to consider fulfilment of their commitment: it is money paid for a justified cause.
From the foregoing it goes without saying that my delegation supports in toto the Harare Declaration of the Regional Conference for Africa as presented in 5.6 on page 11.
Regarding priorities of selection of programmes of action, I wish to appeal to the Director-General to make his choices more judicious by considering priorities of individual countries on the one hand and complementing these with the Organization's priorities. It may be that we will achieve our objectives better if more consideration is given to national requirements. In saying this I am particularly objecting to the approach indicated in 5.11 on page 12, mainly because problems differ from one place to another and from one country to another and so on. We fully endorse the views of the Director-General that, in view of the continuing severe crisis and the greater needs of African regions for assistance, an even larger portion of the Organization's resources than heretofor will be channelled towards work for Africa. Africa needs those and that help must be given at the proper time, which is this moment.
With regard to paragraph 5.21 on page 14, I wish to request that the case for my country should be given special consideration, in that my country has been waiting for a long time to have an FAO office in Malawi. The progress we have made in the field of agriculture deserves special consideration, as we now move vigorously towards emphasizing the nutrition aspect of our target of self-sufficiency in food security. I would ask the Director-General to consider this appeal.
My delegation wishes to endorse the Programme priorities described from paragraphs 5.22 to 5.42, and priorities in the means of action from 5.43 to 5.75. If savings are to be found, these should come from contingency items - the TCP should not be reduced, in our opinion.
Finally, may I express my full support of the Budget in respect of the increased support to and special programme emphasis on African regions, especially the Director-General's proposal to transfer an amount of up to $15 million to Chapter 4, Technical Cooperation Programme, from other budgetary chapters, in order to fund projects for the rehabilitation of agriculture in Africa (paragraph 1.8 of document CL 87/4), provided it is used for actual productive work rather than merely supporting technical assistance personnel.
J. DIAZ YUBERO (España): Quiero agradecer al señor Director General la presentación que ha realizado así como a los Presidentes de los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas. Quiero agradecerle el esfuerzo que me consta ha realizado para que el crecimiento del presupuesto se haya limitado al nivel presentado. Estamos de acuerdo con el incremento de los gastos destinados a los Programas principales, con la política de transferencia de recursos de la Sede al campo y con el aumento de recursos destinados a Africa.
También estamos identificados con los objetivos de fomentar la producción, mejorar la seguridad alimentaria, conseguir resultados sobre el terreno y promover la cooperación económica y técnica de los países en desarrollo que han sido enunciados por usted.
El método de preparación del documento nos parece correcto pero quizá debiera haberse especificado más algunos aspectos, especialmente aquellos subprogramas que afectan a conceptos a veces no totalmente homogéneos como pueden ser los puntos 2,1.6.3 que trata de normas alimentarias y calidad de alimentos o el 126.96.36.199 sobre conservación y fauna silvestre y alguno más que hay en este mismo sentido.
Agradecemos la disminución de gastos en el Capítulo 1.1.1 que seguramente también se podría hacer en el 1.1.2 y todo ello sin necesidad de disminuir el número de reuniones haciéndolas más cortas y siguiendo las propias instrucciones de FAO, en cuanto a duración de las intervenciones, agradecimientos, felicitaciones, etc.
Los niveles de gastos son altos. A nivel nacional se hace todo lo posible por reducirlos y el mismo tratamiento pedimos para las Organizaciones Internacionales. Mi país está dispuesto a hacer sacrificios, está dispuesto a aumentar la ayuda a los que sufren, a los países en desarrollo como acabamos de hacerlo con el Plan de Rehabilitación de la Agricultura en Africa.
No nos vamos a manifestar definitivamente hasta tanto no podamos disponer del documento final, del definitivo, pero sugerimos que se puedan hacer ciertas modificaciones que corrijan el incremento como por ejemplo eliminar la solicitud de los 800 mil dólares de imprevistos en este bienio que hasta la fecha no se han utilizado.
Tenemos una gran incógnita que no sabemos cuál será el tipo de cambio que se aplicará al dólar respecto a la lira, sí sabemos que el encarecimiento del dólar supone para nuestro país un incremento importante del costo de la cuota en nuestra moneda. Por estos motivos preferiríamos que se aceptasen el criterio de crecimiento real cero, sobre todo adoptándolo como filosofía que lleva aparejado un más eficaz control del gasto.
V. ISARANKURA (Thailand): My delegation has carefully studied both the Programme of Work and Budget of 1986-87 and the reports of the Programme and Finance Committees. We agree with the Committees that the Council should endorse the strategies and priorities proposed by the Director-General for 1986-87, because they were in accordance with the policy guidance of the Conference and Council and took into account recommendations of the Regional Conferences, and the Council's Technical Committees, as well as those of other intergovernmental bodies within the UN system.
However, we would like to make some comments on two specific points.
The first comment will deal with the proposed budget level. In this connection we would like to recall that at the Twenty-first and Twenty-second FAO Conferences, the Thai delegation had to support the proposed budget at a very low level, since at that time the world was in the economic recession period. Then, we have to accept that our Organization should maintain a minimum level of programme activities. This year the situation is much different from that period. A recovery is now underway in the developed world, while there is a serious food crisis in Africa as is well known to all delegations in this Council. The African region needs more assistance from FAO. At this point my delegation would like to refer to the FAO Basic Texts which indicate that one of the main pourposes in the establishing of this Organization is to ensure humanity's freedom from hunger. In this connection, my delegation agrees with the Director-General in his focus on the critical situation in Africa and the special requirements for assistance to the African continent. It is fully justified that the priority given not only for the relief assistance to Africa, but also for rehabilitation through longer term assistance programme which is to help redress the deep structural problems faced by African agriculture. We also concur with the Programme Committee that there was no substitute for FAO's unique role in responding to Member Nations requirements. Therefore, my delegation is of the opinion that the real programme increase should be higher than 1.4 percent and we recommend that this increase should be at least 2 percent.
Our second comment relates to the percentage distribution of the Budget. We are not happy with the budget proposal for the TCP which is limited only to 14 percent of the total budget.
Mr Chairman, Thailand attaches great importance to the Technical Cooperation Programme since it came into operation in 1976. As a representative of a recipient country, the Thai delegation has always emphasized that TCP is an important instrument enabling the FAO to respond promptly to urgent requests for assistance from governments. The TCP also helps in filling the gap in the range of the technical assistance that is so important for the developing countries.
Today, we would like to confirm again that this Programme has always responded promptly to emergencies and to the needs and priorities of governments. It is also an instrument in promoting TCDC through support to regional networks of national institutions.
We therefore hope that all Members of this Council, especially distinguished delegates from developed countries, will listen and lend their support to us.
Mr Chairman, at this juncture, I would like to draw your attention to page number 100 of the document CL 87/3. The table indicates that since 1976 the number of TCP projects have been increased continuously. This fact confirms our statement. Unfortunately there is evidence indicating that the budgets for TCP have not always been sufficient. You may look at paragraph 3.31 on page no. 32 of the document CL 87/4 regarding the Director-General's proposal to transfer savings of up to US $15 million from other expenditure to the TCP.
Although the Finance Committee has already approved the above proposal to transfer the other budgetary items to the TCP, we still can see that a great number of requests for TCP are now being delayed due to financial constraint. This is good evidence to confirm my statement.
My delegation would like to appeal to the members of this Council to consider my delegation's proposal to increase the level of real programme and to readjust the already allocated budget accordingly.
As we foresee it this budget increase proposal will not cause any financial constraints to the members of this Organization, as earlier mentioned in the opening statement by the Director-General.
Last but not least, the distinguished delegates of this Council may have witnessed the significant reduction from other extra-budgetary resources which play the valuable complementary role to the TCP, such as UNDP, IDA and IFAD.
I believe, therefore, my modest proposal will not be interpreted as an exaggerated one.
A.F. de SA BARBUDA (Brazil): Mr Chairman, on behalf of the Brazilian delegation, I express my deep appreciation for the Director-General's introduction to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, and for the Chairmen of the Finance and Programme Committees extremely useful contributions to item 14 of the Agenda. I would like to reiterate our firm commitment to support FAO's efforts to help developing countries at a time when multilateral cooperation is being systematically questioned.
My delegation also reiterated support for the four aims envisaged by the Director-General in the priority selection for 1986/87 Programme of Work as stated in paragraph 5.13 of Document CL 87/3. Once more we stress the importance that Brazil attaches to ECDC and TCDC, one of those priority aims. FAO and other international organizations and bilateral donors could greatly enhance ECDC by their engagement in triangular transactions that procure items produced by developing countries in the implementation of the development projects. Our recommendation in this regard has recently been approved by the report of the Technical Consultation on ECDC in the supply and use of agricultural inputs held in Rome this month. We appreciate the frequent reference to ECDC and TCDC in the present proposals and their inclusion among the FAO major means of action, all of which deserve our deepest support such as data bases, training and technical cooperation. In general we agree with the change proposed for the programmes, especially the focus given to the technical and economic programmes. We have nevertheless some remarks to offer.
We fully support the continued emphasis on the major agriculture programme and the strengthening of some of its programmes such as crops, livestock, and research and technology development. We at present attach great importance to secondary crops as a way of substituting the consumption of imported commodities by locally produced items. We notice with satisfaction the emphasis given by FAO to this area.
On the other hand we feel that more potential could be given to the natural resource programme.
My delegation also took notice with concern at the relative decline of resource in the livestock production sub-programme and consequently in areas of interest to many developing countries as, for instance, small animal breeding.
We agree that attention should be given in this programme as well as in others to the often-mentioned small farmers, but with due consideration to the priority objective of increasing food production in the short term.
As regards the fisheries major programme, the Brazilian delegation endorses the priority areas indicated at page 81 of the document, but would also like to see due attention given to the evaluation of stocks which is of extreme importance for developing coastal countries.
We also want to mention our satisfaction with the establishment of a sub-committee on fish trade under the Committee on Fisheries, and look forward to participating in this work. On the other hand, Mr Chairman, we call attention of the Secretariat to the fact that the expression "shared stocks" was again used on pages 16 and 83 of the document CL 87/3. Since the drafting of the Report of the World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development, it has been decided these expressions should be replaced by the equivalent wording of the Convention on the Law of the Sea which says "resources occurring within the exclusive economic zones of two or more coastal states". My delegation recalls that, cumbersome as it might be, that is the legal way to phrase the notion. I, therefore, ask the Secretariat to amend the text accordingly.
Mr Chairman, the Brazilian delegation reiterates its support to the high priority given to Africa in the Programme of Work and Budget.
We regret nevertheless the lack, in the documents, of indications, even on an approximate basis, of regional allocations. As it has been noticed elsewhere, Latin America agriculture goes through a difficult phase, which, and we hope it does not, could even indicate the beginnings of a serious problem in food production. It is essential that we should be able to correctly evaluate the amounts and uses of the scarce funds to be put at our disposal by FAO.
On the other hand, we deeply appreciated FAO's efforts in order to present us balanced budget proposals, based on main increases of the technical and economic programmes and on cutting, whenever possible, of expenses in other areas.
In this respect, I would strongly propose that no attempt be made to reduce the already modest levels of funds assigned to technical cooperation programmes, as it was suggested by a previous delegate. As well, we attach great importance to the regional offices which should not see a reduction in the resources at their disposal.
In this context, we welcomed the expressions of the Director-General regarding the Programme of Work and Budget. His words came to confirm what had been registered at document CL 87/3, that is "the financial consequences of the budgetary increase proposed for 1986-1987 can be expected to be largely, if not entirely, offset, by the possible cash surplus for currency gains and Miscellaneous Income 1984-85".
We stress these points because Brazil, as most developing countries, faces severe external economic constraints, mainly due to the heavy burden of our foreign debt servicing. We also have blatant regional imbalances in development: the Northeast of the country, an area as large as many nations, faces severe problems of food production and nutrition and suffers now from the effects of floods after protracted drought. It is, therefore, with sacrifice, that Brazil honours her contributions to international organizations, contributions sometimes not commensurate with her economic, financial and social problems. We will get back to this issue on the occasion of the discussion of item 16.2 of the agenda.
Notwithstanding our economic difficulties and the disproportionate share of our contribution to FAO, higher than that paid by many industrialized nations, Brazil presents her support to the 1986-87 Summary Programme of Work and Budget and recommends it as a basis for the preparation of the full Programme.
DIRECTOR-GENERAL: One comment. I just want to express my great satisfaction at the statement made by the delegate of Brazil. For those who do not know it, Brazil pays 1.68 percent of the budget: much more than or as much as many developed countries who have adopted the zero growth approach to the budget, and I wanted therefore to take this opportunity to thank very much Brazil who has a big debt problem as we know, and who has not a surplus in trade of 30 or 50 million dollars like some countries who are recommending zero growth.
REAZ RAHMAN (Bangladesh): Mr Chairman, we would like to thank the Director-General for his frank and lucid introduction and to commend him for the extraordinary efforts he has undertaken in presenting his proposal for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the 86/87 Biennium. We also wish to thank the Chairmen of the Finance Committee and the Programme Committee for their useful reports.
The Director-General's efforts have resulted in a format and presentation that is clear, concise and informative. The Summary of the main features is easily grasped and retained, and the evaluation of this Document evidently reflects extensive adjustments and reprogramming of resources all in direct response to the recommendations of this Council.
The Director-General's remarks on the world situation and background to his Summary Proposals placed in clear perspective the major rationale for FAO's Work Programme and Budget at continued, if not higher, levels of resources.
We fully concur with his perception of the world economic situation and in particular his analysis of problems affecting the food and agriculture sector.
For over three decades the international community has placed as a major priority on the global agenda the cause of economic development for the poorer countries of the world. A cause built around the twin pillars of accelerating just and equitable growth and alleviating poverty, particularly the absolute poverty that has placed hundreds of millions of people on the margins of survival. There is universal recognition that a prime mover to promote this cause in a great majority of the poorer countries revolves around the key sector of food and agriculture. It is also recognized that there is no substitute to FAO in responding to many of the felt needs of the Member Nations as the Programme Committee specifically recognizes.
While we welcome the many improvements at the global level, we cannot but be concerned at the fragility of the world agricultural situation and the continued uncertainty regarding prospects for sustained and non-inflationary growth which has had such a pronounced adverse bearing on many of the world's poorest countries, and has imposed upon them insupportable burdens which have been further exacerberated by external factors beyond their control, including the repeated incidence of natural calamities. The crisis in Africa and the recent national disaster in Bangladesh are but glaring symptoms of this malaise. It is therefore a matter of extreme concern that given this tenuous situation on the one hand, and the critical need to reinforce and sustain the process of development on the other, there appears to be some faltering some diminution in the will to cooperate and further the cause of development,.
An immediate symptom is the decline in the overall trend of external assistance to agriculture, especially through multilateral concessional funds, as witnessed in the wellknown situation facing IFAD and IDA and the concessional windows of the Development Banks. In the specific context of the 1986-87 budget we are already cognizant of the severe constraints and reductions in its field programme activities which remain well below the levels of the late 1970s and early 1980s. This is particularly evident in the instance of the delivery by the FAO/UNDP programme which has seen a reduction from $182 million in 1981 to barely $110 million in 1982, and which in real terms is even more severe.
It seems to us ironic that there is unanimous endorsement and praise for the strategies and priorities proposed by the Director-General in pursuit of the four principal aims that he identified in shaping this proposal - namely, promotion of food production, increase in food security, achievement of impact at field level, and enhancement of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries - while at the same time there is increased insistance above and beyond the call for financial austerity and maintaining a zero or minus growth level on budget reserves. We believe that we should not confuse the issue of managerial efficiency and marginal savings with the overall lack of resources to meet the vast needs of the developing world. Emphasis on this aspect would be tantamount to allowing the tail to wag the dog.
We fully commend the Director-General's programme proposals, which are in fullest conformity with the guidelines, strategies and priorities approved by the Conference, the Council, the Regional Conferences and major inter-governmental and technical committees. We would like to record our fullest agreement on the concentration proposed for the Technical and Economic Programmes and the TCP component. In this latter context we eagerly await the findings of the independent evaluation of this Programme as also to express the view that the Technical Cooperation Programme should have been given a larger allocation precisely because of the immediacy of its impact and the unmet backlog of demands upon it.
We believe that that the Director-General's proposals on the budget are not only balanced but have indeed placed sufficient emphasis on the vital need for managerial efficiency and effectiveness. Given the already depleted prospects in the field programme activities, the nominal increase of Regular Programme resources is fully justified in our opinion for reasons advocated by the Director-General with what we consider patience, care and restraint, firstly because felt needs far exceed the level of resources prepared and the proposals represent an enforced compromise, secondly because nominal increases in net resources have been almost entirely met by substantial outs in the administrative and support areas, and thirdly given the situation on exchange rates in the host country the proposals result in the same or even lower levels of contribution in dollar terms compared with the current biennium.
In endorsing the Director-General's proposals we join our voice to the caveat placed on effecting economy for the sake of economy without jeopardizing the delivery and impact of the Organization's programme. We believe that the needs of the developing world and the critical multiplier effect of the food and agriculture sector deserve and fully warrant a much higher level of resources. We can only commend the Director-General for his restraint.
In conclusion, we endorse the Director-General's call that this Council support the level of resources proposed as a sound basis for the preparation of the final Programme of Work and Budget.
G. REDL (Austria): First I would like to thank the Director-General, Dr Saouma, for the excellent preparation and presentation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. My thanks go also to the Chairman of the Programme Committee and the Chairman of the Finance Committee for their reports.
The Austrian delegation studied document CL 87/3 with great interest.
In principle it may be pointed out that the definitive outline of the document, which enables a comparison to the Programme of Work and Budget 1984-85, is welcomed. In detail it may be commented as follows:
Austria principally appreciates that the priorities set in the last biennium - the promotion of food production, increase in food security, consolidation of information systems, intensification of training, and enhancing economic and technical cooperation among developing countries, and finally achievement of impact at field level - are continued. As regards regional focuses, it is welcomed that in the future Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87 the African region is given particular priority.
We are fully aware of the fact that, according to the relevant FAO Regulations, the draft budget was based on an exchange rate of 1 US dollar equals 1 615 Lire. This rate seems, however, to be theoretical, since it does not correspond to the actual exchange relation. In line with the deliberations at the last Conference, updating of the $/Lit. exchange rate is therefore expected with interest, because it will show a different picture. When submitting the draft Budget to the Conference, not only the $/Lit. exchange rate, but also the inflation factor, should be considered.
It was furthermore noted with satisfaction that personnel cost could be further reduced and amount to only 54.3 percent, while in 1974-75 they still amounted to 77.2 percent.
The increase of FAO's programme activities, under consideration of the priorities set up by the Director-General, is therefore advocated; in particular, strengthening of the activities in Chapter 2, Technical and Economic Programmes, and Chapter 4, Technical Cooperation Programme. Under Section III, Field Programmes, it was noted with regret that FAO/UNDP Programme decreased from$167.1 million in 1980 to $117 million in 1984. In spite of the increase of trust fund means from $98.9 million to $135 million, non-budgetary means decreased.
As regards the strategies and priorities for 1986-87, it was noted with satisfaction that the recommendations, in particular those by the FAO Regional Conferences, have been taken into account when planning the future work. In this context it may be pointed out that in a few days the World Forestry Congress will be held in Mexico City. It would be desirable, if the decisions of this meeting were, as required, also considered in FAO's Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium.
With reference to the individual Chapters of the budget, it may be commented as follows:
Chapter 1: We welcome that within the framework of this Chapter a saving of US$621 000 was proposed and hope that the meetings of the Conference and Council will be organized most economically.
Chapter 2: Under this Chapter mainly the deliberations of the Committees on Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries were taken into account. It is understandable that the greatest net increase will be in the agricultural programme. It was noted with satisfaction that this will be done in line with the priorities.
As concerns the work in Chapter 2.1.7, Food and Agriculture Information and Analysis, we should proceed more economically and avoid any form of duplicity. The increase in the sector 2.1.2, Crops, is appreciated and corresponds to the deliberations in the Committee on Agriculture, where in particular a medium-term planning of FAO activities was welcomed. Concerning the scientific network activities in the European region, I would like to support what the distinguished delegate of Czechoslovakia mentioned so eloquently. As regards Section 2.3, Forestry, we were pleased to note that more importance is attached to the activities in the field of Forest Resources and Environment. We hope that within the framework of this Chapter also the results of the World Forestry Conference will be considered. It was noted with particular satisfaction that the training activities both in agriculture and forestry are given special attention.
I now turn to Chapter 3. Also the statements in Section 3.4, FAO Representatives, page 99, were noted with satisfaction, while in Section 3.2.2, Investment Support Programme, a reduction of the means was found.
With reference to Chapter 4, Technical Cooperation Programme, it may be remarked that, as you know, the TCP should enable FAO to give prompt assistance to member countries. It is therefore suggested to consider the African Region particularly in this programme.
Under Chapter 5, Support Services, the increase in Section 5.2, Administration, and in particular Section 5.2.4, Personnel Services, seems to be relatively high. I would like to ask you to explain the proposed cost increases.
G.E. GONZALEZ (Argentina): Deseo, señor Presidente, en primer termino, dejar constancia de nuestro reconocimiento por la labor realizada por los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas y en forma muy particular a sus dos Presidentes que como de costumbre han sabido llevar adelante sus cometidos con eficiencia y con inteligencia.
La Argentina, como tuve ocasión de señalar durante las deliberaciones del Comité del Programa y las reuniones conjuntas con el Comité de Finanzas, ratifica su apoyo a las estrategias y prioridades propuestas para la Organización para 1986-87. Creemos que la misma responde nuevamente a las orientaciones y recomendaciones aprobadas en los distintos niveles de la Organización.
Vemos con gran satisfacción que el Director General de la FAO ha continuado sus esfuerzos para reducir la proporción de los gastos administrativos y de apoyo, así como las limitaciones impuestas en algunas actividades de baja prioridad en beneficio de los Programas Técnicos y Económicos. Esta política austera que lleva adelante el Director General de la FAO ha dado ya sus frutos y creemos que todos debemos reconocer que es una avanzada más en el sentido correcto.
Por supuesto, como lo han indicado algunas delegaciones, la Secretaría debe continuar por ese camino, aunque también debemos reconocer que hay ciertos límites en cuanto a los ahorros que eventualmente se podrían hacer sin que se afecte seriamente a los programas prioritarios de la FAO. Programas de los que muchos países nos beneficiamos y que nos resultan de gran utilidad para alcanzar un cierto nivel de desarrollo en el campo agropecuario y en el de la seguridad alimentaria.
Sí deseo solicitar a la FAO que continúe reforzando sus actividades en el campo de la ganadería, de la hortofruticultura. Estas dos últimas, la hortícola y la fruticultura tienen una importancia creciente para los pequeños productores rurales y en algunos casos para la producción de subsistencia y creemos que la FAO podría ser de gran utilidad para el fomento de dichas actividades.
La Argentina, como es bien sabido, debe arrastrar la pesada carga de su deuda externa que consume gran parte de sus excedentes en la balanza comercial. Mi Gobierno ha iniciado un duro proceso de reajuste económico y financiero interno, que entre otros aspectos implica para 1985 una disminución sustancial del presupuesto nacional. A pesar de la difícil situación que atravesamos, he sido autorizado por mi Gobierno para respaldar el nivel presupuestario para el próximo bienio.
Entendemos que el incremento del 1,4 propuesto está justificado desde el punto de vista técnico y constituye una demostración de que la Comunidad Internacional no es insensible al grave cuadro alimentario que se presenta en distintas zonas del mundo y particularmente en Africa.
Aprovecho la oportunidad para señalar también nuestro apoyo a la solicitud que la Secretaría nos hace para la transferencia de fondos entre partidas o capítulos con el objeto de poder atender con urgencia las necesidades financieras del Programa de Rehabilitación de la Agricultura en Africa.
Mi delegación, señor Presidente, actúa siempre con absoluto respeto hacia las distintas posiciones que los Países Miembros asumen en la práctica, sin embargo debo confesar que en esta ocasión me resulta difícil comprender la posición de aquellos que se oponen y en qué forma, a un incremento presupuestario relativamente modesto. Y ni la cifra involucrada lo justifica ni es coincidente, obviamente, con la actitud positiva que ha asumido, por lo menos otro organismo internacional.
Por eso, señor Presidente, me permito con todo respeto, solicitar, y al mismo tiempo confiar que a la luz de los debates se mire nuevamente esa posición y nos permitan aprobar en noviembre por unanimidad el Programa de Presupuesto para el bienio 1986-87. Creemos que la FAO lo merece y la situación internacional así lo requiere.
P. ALLEYNE (Trinidad and Tobago): My delegation appreciates very much the very lucid introduction of the documentation which was given to us by the Director-General, and also the contributions of the Chairmen of the relevant Committees. We have read and listened carefully to the background overviews of the world economy which have undoubtedly influenced the general direction taken by the Director-General in moulding the budget which has been presented to us.
The very first blue chart in the document, "Programme Changes by Chapter", is very impressive.
My delegation fully supports the shift in the sources from common services and development support programmes and the resulting increased allocations to technical and economic programmes.
From its initial conception, the TCP has been the object of extraordinary attention from some delegations. We trust that no-one will do or suggest anything to reduce its effectiveness, flexibility or rapid response capability. If it has some excess funds at this time we do not suggest that it be chiselled away. The shrinking of the budget of the Director-General may well necessitate him digging deeper into TCP funds.
Our delegation supports the view that the Director-General must stay with his four principal aims which are applied in priority selection of programmes. They are set out at paragraph 5.13 on page 12 and need not be repeated. We wish to mention a few elements of the overall programme activity for special support. First, economic and technical cooperation among developing countries. If used judiciously this programme could help to reduce the cost of achieving the desired result in agricultural development, especially at field level.
Second, programmes which focus attention on rural women, recognizing their critical contribution as primary producers; these are really worthy of support. Then we come to farming systems development, water development management, research and technology development, agricultural policy analysis and fishery exploitation and utilization - these are simply a few areas in which we feel there can be no let--up in emphasis. But we do support the broad strategies in general.
I would like to make a brief comment on shall we say the dollar aspect of the budget. My delegation has listened carefully to the various contributions on this matter. Almost no-one wants to pay more money to the international organizations today. Most economies are in serious trouble -both the oil producers and the non-oil producers. This means we have to be careful, even if we try to be magnanimous. We cannot try to deal with the matter by mere power of numbers. One other speaker has suggested this afternoon that we take note of discernible trends elsewhere.
I am of the opinion that I have heard a particular policy line emerging from this debate today. It would seem as if what is being said by some governments is that we are not reducing; in fact we are increasing our funding for technical assistance in agriculture, but under our own terms and conditions, largely by bilateral programmes. Therefore, we are not giving any more to FAO at least at this time. Consequently FAO must function on zero growth.
The real circumstances are indisputable, non-debatable, not lacking in moral fervour or general principle. They indicate that the current situation in food and agriculture requires that nothing be done to reduce FAO's programme of activities. In fact, it should be increased.
My delegation would also like to avoid our Government having to find more money after the November Conference, but we accept there are hard facts which would suggest otherwise and which can be illustrated, preferably on paper.
My delegation is impressed with the total effort of the Director-General in producing the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the 1986/87 biennium. Is there another agency which has demonstrated this kind of approach? Our delegation supports the proposed programme and taking into account these comments which have been made as to what adjustments may - and I repeat may - be possible, we trust the Director-General will present to us in November a budget which will be unanimously approved. We cannot in all fairness, expect him to do more.
A.M. QURESHI (Pakistan): We would like to thank the Director-General for his all-embracing exposition of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the biennium 1986/87 contained in document CL 87/3. We would also like to express the appreciation of our delegation to the two Chairmen of the Programme and Finance Committees for their outstanding work. I do not want to repeat what has already been said over and over again. I shall therefore make a few brief observations.
My delegation has been extremely disappointed in listening to some of the distinguished delegates, especially because they represent countries who are known for their generosity and support of noble ideals and international cooperation.
The Director-General, in his opening statement on Monday last, informed the Council of the various factors that have influenced his proposals in the next biennium. He has been deeply conscious of the uncertain global economic situation, and has therefore presented a budget with the major programme impact and with minimum budgetary increase wherein administrative costs have been reduced to boost the substantive programmes; wherein the main priorities have been fully taken into consideration; wherein Africa continues to be the special focus of FAO programmes and activities and finally, wherein cost increases have been further chopped.
In a veritably skilfull manner, a cut of approximately 3.7 million US dollars has been effected in non-technical, administrative and support areas, and this money has thus been directed towards the refurbishing of technical programmes, the technical programmes which the Director-General in his statement to the joint session of the Programme and Finance Committees termed as the raison d'être of the FAO. We appreciate the relentless efforts of the Director-General in assuring the highest levels of organizational efficiency in the overall working of FAO and the management of the FAO Regular and Field Programmes. We also appreciate the four cardinal principles and priorities round which his proposals have been built, namely, the promotion of world food production, increase in world food security, impact on food levels enhancing ECDC and TCDC.
I wear two hats, one as a member of the Programme Committee and the other as representative of my Government from Islamabad. As a member of the Programme Committee we worked to the end of our bones to give shape to a balanced Programme of Work and Budget, which was unanimously endorsed by this Council.
But now, as the representative of my Government, I have difficulty with this document because it promises so little in terms of increase in financial assistance to the agricultural sector of developing countries. The idea of no growth, zero growth, is intolerable and unacceptable to my delegation, especially when it is addressed to a specialized agency like FAO in the United Nations system which occupies pride of place for its most valuable service in eliminating all hunger and malnutrition from our world. It is unfair to an organization with such an excellent track record. Therefore, my delegation urges the Director-General that the policy of further reduction will not be pursued at the cost of weakening the essential fabric of technical programmes and adversely affecting the efficiency of this unique Organization engaged in the service of mankind. Reduction thus far, but no further.
With these observations, my delegation endorses the Summary Programme of Work and Budget as a sound basis for the preparation of the full programme for the biennium 1986-87 for presentation to the forthcoming Conference without any reduction.
J.R. LOPEZ PORTILLO (México): Agradecemos al señor Director General de la FAO por su magnffica declaración introductoria y felicitamos a los Presidentes del Comité del Programa de Finanzas por sus informes y su impecable labor.
Al analizar el documento CL 87/3 la delegación de México expresa que el diagnóstico que se incluye en él, completado y matizado por el Director General, es muy adecuado.
Efectivamente, la situación económica mundial se caracteriza por la permanencia o profundización de la crisis en casi la totalidad de los países en desarrollo que sufren un estancamiento económico permanente con altas tasas de desempleo, ritmo elevado de inflación, fuga de capitales y gran escasez de divisas ya que la mayoría de ellas se dedican al pago del servicio de la deuda y a crecientes importaciones de alimentos.
Asimismo el mercado de los productos básicos está muy deteriorado y no ha habido respuesta positiva a los esfuerzos de cooperación internacional o de diálogo Norte/Sur ni a la solicitud de dar al problema de la deuda externa un tratamiento político de alto nivel.
En este contexto los organismos internacionales adquieren una validez especial, ya no solo como foros de discusión, sino como catalizadores de la cooperación económica y del diálogo. Es precisamente por esta razón que México reafirma su fe en el multilatéralisme y apoya todo esfuerzo que se haga para fortalecer los diferentes componentes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas, teniendo presente además las necesidades de perfeccionarlo y optimizar su eficiencia.
Para ser congruentes el gobierno de México, a pesar de sus dificultades económicas y de los programas de austeridad internos, apoya desde ahora en este Consejo las propuestas hechas por el Director General, ya que las considera realistas al conciliar prioridades con recursos disponibles. Considera, además, que el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el próximo bienio en los niveles propuestos no podrá interpretarse como precedente de cualquier tendencia futura orientada a limitar las asignaciones presupuestarias de los organismos internacionales.
Se debe hacer hincapié en que el modesto aumento propuesto es posible gracias a la reducción de los servicios administrativos. Al apoyar esta tendencia pensamos que no debe impedir que la FAO continúe efectuando los programas correspondientes.
Nuestro apoyo se fundamenta en que notamos que en el Programa se mantienen las mismas prioridades; en las estrategias y medios de acción se aumenta fundamentalmente los Programas técnicos y económicos, sobre todo proporcionalmente Pesca y Montes además del programa principal de agricultura, lo cual le da al mismo el enfoque pragmático requerido por algunas delegaciones.
Ya nos hemos referido en anteriores temas de la agenda a la importancia que concedemos a la utilización de los insumos para la producción de alimentos, que constituye una prioridad en el programa principal, y a la otra prioridad en seguridad alimentaria; es decir, el sistema mundial de información y alerta.
Al reafirmar la utilidad del PCT la delegación de México espera que la evaluación del mismo será un buen instrumento de trabajo cuando tratemos este tema durante la Conferencia.
En lo que se refiere a los recursos fitogenéticos, apoyamos especialmente el subprograma 188.8.131.52 sobre semillas y estamos totalmente de acuerdo con lo expresado por la delegación de la India.
Al respecto, quisiéramos preguntar a la Secretaría si los recursos que necesitará el recién creado subgrupo de trabajo están ya incluidos como previstos.
De la misma manera reiteramos la gran importancia que otorgamos a la cooperación económica entre países en desarrollo y la cooperación técnica entre países en desarrollo y por tanto quisiéramos que las actividades en ese rubro queden plasmadas en el Programa, no nos es muy fácil identificarlas en el formato actual a pesar de que en todos los' Comités y Comisiones los países en desarrollo solicitamos que la FAO ponga efectivamente en práctica esta prioridad.
Señor Presidente, mi delegación otorga su apoyo y solidaridad a la gran importancia que se concederá a Africa en el próximo bienio, consciente también de que la universalidad que debe regir las actividades de la FAO se mantendrá en su justo medio.
Finalmente, subrayando el respeto que nos merece la posición autónoma y soberana de cada país, reiteramos junto con la totalidad de los países en desarrollo nuestra incomprensión por el rechazo de parte de muchos países desarrollados al nivel ya mínimo del presupuesto y su insistencia en aplicar la política de crecimiento cero a casi la totalidad del sistema de Naciones Unidas, en particular a la FAO. Nos parece incomprensible e injustificada esta actitud cuando los propios países industrializados están disfrutando del crecimiento más elevado en muchos años, ven las condiciones restrictivas de su economía reducirse y unidos, por ejemplo, en la OTAN están programando un aumento constante y efectivo en su presupuesto armamentista alrededor del 3 por ciento, lo que significa ya billones de dólares, y así se le niega a la humanidad toda la posibilidad de fortalecer el orden multilateral, que es el
único en el que hoy por hoy todos podemos dialogar en situación de igualdad sobre los aspectos trascendentales de nuestra situación crítica y espectativa de salida.
Abrigamos, señor Presidente, esperanzas de que para la Conferencia de la FAO en noviembre los países industrializados acepten el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto en la forma presentada, que resulta la más prudente y eficiente y que para los países que vivimos crisis profundas y prolongadas resulta a todas luces insuficiente. Decimos ésto porque sabemos que tenemos la razón de la evidencia y de los principios de la convivencia universal.
J. TCHICAYA (Congo): Nous voudrions remercier le Directeur général pour nous avoir présenté un excellent document de base relatif au sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1986-87.
Nous avons beaucoup écouté et nous voudrions, en tant que membre du Comité du programme, ne pas nous limiter à examiner ici programme par programme. Nous l'avons fait avec suffisamment d'à propos au sein de ce Comité. Je pense qu'il nous convient de faire une analyse autre que celle technique.
Chacun sait que le monde vient de connaître une récession économique sans précédent qui a frappé tous les pays, même si les effets ont été plus désastreux pour les pays en développement. Il était donc concevable que, face à cette récession, des mesures restrictives de rigueur budgétaires aient été prises pour, d'une part amoindrir les effets de cette crise dans chacun de nos pays, et d'autre part s'organiser pour sortir de cette situation.
Nous savons que dès 1983 des signes évidents de reprise économique étaient perceptibles dans quelques pays développés, alors que la totalité des pays en développement restaient collés à la pauvreté et à une crise alimentaire qui allait conduire des millions d'êtres humains à la souffrance et à la mort. L'humanité entière s'est émue devant la crise africaine puisque c'est d'elle qu'il s'agit. Elle s'est organisée tant bien que mal pour sauver ce qui pouvait l'être, et l'on en est à regretter la perte de millions de vies humaines due à l'impréparation de la communauté internationale à faire face à une crise de grande ampleur.
Nous savons tous que la crise économique qu'a traversée le monde a exacerbé les égoîsmes des Etats et conduit à une baisse inexorable de l'aide à l'agriculture acheminée par les voies multilatérales ou bilatérales à des conditions de faveur.
Déjà en 1983, à la vingt-deuxième session de la Conférence, nous avions dû être sensibles aux arguments de ceux qui mettaient en avant le fait que la crise pouvait justifier une croissance quasi-nulle du niveau du budget 1984-85. A présent cet argumentation tombe, puisqu'il est largement admis que les pays développés sont sortis de la crise économique qu'ils ont connue, et qu'une relance de leur économie commence déjà à porter ses fruits puisque l'inflation, qui avait atteint des taux inquiétants, est maîtrisée dans la quasi-totalité de ces pays, même si on nous dit que le pays hôte affiche encore près de 9 pour cent d'inflation.
Nous savons également que le taux de chômage dont on met en avant les effets négatifs est lui-même un phénomène lié à la faiblesse encore patente des économies des pays en développement dont la dynamisation relancerait l'économie des pays développés.
Je voudrais dire que la reprise économique actuelle ne pourra porter ses fruits que lorsque les pays développés auront tous compris que nos économies sont interdépendantes et que leur aide aux pays en développement a des effets multiplicateurs qui dynamisent les économies de ces pays plus que celles des pays en développement. Il s'agit donc pour eux non seulement d'une aide mais d'un placement.
Je me devais de faire ce développement pour montrer aux pays adeptes de la trop célèbre et sinistre doctrine de la croissance zéro qu'il s'agit là d'un dogme désuet, inefficace et retardataire, qui ne profite à personne et qui, de toute évidence, appliqué à l'alimentation ne répond ni à la situation de crise alimentaire que nous connaissons notamment en Afrique, ni même aux objectifs de relance économique dont on nous parle. Tout au plus, il s'agit d'une doctrine qui souhaite prolonger la situation de crise qui continue à sévir dans le monde en développement et perpétue la domination des puissants sur les faibles, ce qui nous semble inacceptable et rend nécessaire et urgent l'avènement d'un nouvel ordre économique international plus juste et plus équitable.
Comme vous le savez, je suis membre du Comité du programme, je l'ai déjà dit, et je dois ici confirmer ce qu'ont dit les Présidents du Comité financier et du Comité du programme que je me fais le plaisir de féliciter au passage pour le sérieux avec lequel le sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1986-87 a été analysé et présenté.
Cet examen qui est intervenu après la session de l'an dernier sur l'analyse d'exécution du Programme de la FAO a largement tenu compte de cette analyse. C'est pourquoi je ne puis, au nom de la délégation congolaise, que réaffirmer mon soutien au sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1986-87. En le faisant, je n'oublie pas qu'il s'agit ici d'un "minimum minimorum" que nous acceptons pour tenir compte des arguments des uns, y compris des tenants de la croissance zéro, carnous estimons que la croissance de 1,4 pour cent qui nous est proposée est beaucoup plus proche de la croissance zéro que ce que nous préconisions. Cela, nous l'avons admis dans un esprit de dialogue constructif qui doit animer les débats au sein de notre Conseil.
Ma délégation approuve les stratégies et priorités qui découlent de l'analyse profonde des objectifs menés par le Directeur général qui nous a clairement présenté ici le panorama exact de la situation mondiale ainsi que l'inventaire des multiples facteurs qui agissent négativement sur l'économie de tous les pays.
Ma délégation souhaite donc rendre hommage à l'effort de synthèse du Directeur général qui a dû tenir compte de toutes les opinions parfois très éloignées.
Monsieur le Président, le projet de Programme tel qu'il est présenté nous satisfait, mais nous pensons que les moyens qui sont proposés en limiteront la portée. Nous apprécions l'examen sur les problèmes techniques et économiques et nous approuvons les modifications qui ont été utiles pour aboutir à ce renforcement. Les efforts faits pour réduire les dépenses administratives et de gestion sont à notre avis très louables mais nous sommes d'accord avec le Comité du programme et le Comité financier qu'il faudrait désormais mettre un terme à cette diminution des ressources pour les services d'appui, car, à terme, l'efficacité de l'Organisation, et par conséquent sa crédibilité, pourraient s'en trouver compromises. Nous ne pensons pas que c'est le non-respect de la croissance zéro qui ferait perdre la crédibilité de la FAO mais plutôt le fait que la FAO n'atteigne pas les objectifs qu'on lui a fixés.
Il ne semble pas réaliste de marquer notre accord sur le Programme et d'indiquer un désaccord sur le niveau qui sous-tend ce Programme. Nous pensons qu'il s'agit là d'un cynisme que nous ne pouvons pas qualifier. Ne pas vouloir une augmentation du niveau du budget et vouloir que le Programme se réalise est quelque chose d'inacceptable et je crois d'inefficace,
D'aucuns voudraient pour cela réduire les ressources du PCT. On se souvient que le Programme de coopération technique a eu du mal à s'imposer chez un certain nombre de pays. A présent, indépen-, damment des résultats de l'étude d'évaluation en cours, tous les pays sont d'accord pour reconnaître qu'il s'agit là d'un mécanisme irremplaçable pour la FAO et les pays membres en raison de sa mise en oeuvre rapide, surtout à un moment où l'Organisation doit faire face à des situations d'urgence.
Comme l'a dit un délégué ici, certains pays sont loin des théâtres d'opération de la FAO et par conséquent ne possèdent pas d'éléments objectifs de jugement. La réduction de ressources qu'on nous propose ici tout en gardant le programme nous semble inacceptable, car irréaliste. Mieux, nous voudrions le renforcement, c'est-à-dire le renforcement du PCT pour tenir compte de l'expérience actuelle qui est une expérience concluante.
On voudrait voir aussi supprimer les imprévus. Nous ne pensons pas qu'il s'agit là d'une meilleure façon de gérer. Les imprévus sont là et nous ne pensons pas que le Directeur général en fera un mauvais usage puisqu'il nous a déjà montré, au contraire, qu'il en a fait un très bon usage jusqu'à présent. Nous devons laisser assez de flexibilité au Directeur général qui, grâce à cette ligne d'imprévus peut faire face à des situations urgentes que nous n'aurions pas prévues. Quoiqu'il en soit il s'agit des fonds qui en cas de non utilisation nous sont retournés. Lorsqu'on sait avec quelle rigueur le Directeur général exécute le Programme et Budget de l'Organisation, je pense que l'on peut être tranquille pour dire qu'il continuera à déployer tous ses efforts pour, contenir les coûts. Nous partageons l'idée soutenue ici et qui vise à renforcer l'aide aux petits agriculteurs qui jouent un rôle important dans la production vivrière mais ne nous ne comprenons pas que ces mêmes délégations oeuvrent à présent contre la deuxième reconstitution des ressources du FIDA dont la mission est précisément d'aider les petits exploitants pauvres à accroître leur production rurale pour se procurer des revenus plus élevés et améliorer ainsi leurs conditions de vie sociale. Oui, nous pensons que là il s'agit d'un cynisme encore que nous ne pouvons le qualifier. Nous ne comprenons pas qu'ici on nous propose de ne point accroître les ressources du PCT alors que les ressources consacrées à l'armement dans leurs crédits budgétaires sont sans cesse accrues. Oui, je crois qu'il est important de devoir le dire.
Je souhaite également dire un mot sur la décentralisation pour l'appuyer et insister pour que l'on renforce les ressources des bureaux régionaux afin de leur faire jouer un rôle de plus en plus important dans les activités de terrain, même si certains d'entre eux gagneraient à être restructurés.
Nous sommes heureux que l'élément de formation soit présent dans la quasi-totalité des programmes de la FAO et chacun sait que l'Afrique tient beaucoup à l'aspect formation dans tous les programmes avec la FAO. Nous voudrions ici rappeler tout le bien que nous pensons quant au renforcement du système international d'alerte rapide. Nous connaissons son utilité et l'avons appréciée lorsque nous avons été frappés par la crise africaine, utilité qui a été patente et il est réjouissant que l'unanimité se soit faite autour de ce système. Nous espérons que ce système aidera les pays vulnérables à se prémunir contre les crises prévisibles.
Enfin nous aussi pensons que l'appel du Directeur général est bienvenu contre toutes les contraintes, il nous a présenté un sommaire de programme et budget dont la caractéristique essentielle est son impact sur le terrain. Nous espérons que tous les pays donateurs l'aideront à accroître au maximum cet impact en augmentant les ressources du fonds fiduciaire. De même le PNUD devra résolument accroître sa collaboration avec la FAO en confiant moins de projets à son bureau d'exécution dont nous savons qu'il accorde peu de place à l'élément formation. Ma délégation n'a pas de contre-doctrine à proposer quant à la croissance zéro car nous croyons qu'il est vain dans ce domaine d'être dogmatique. Nous modulerons notre proposition en fonction de la situation réelle et je suis même disposé à voter un budget en diminution si la situation s'améliore sensiblement en raison d'un accroissement approprié de la capacité de production, de stockage, de transformation et de distribution des aliments dans les pays en développement, qui assure ainsi une sécurité alimentaire à tous. En attendant nous devrons nous résoudre à exiger de tous un effort dans un élément commun de solidarité humaine pour éradiquer la faim, la malnutrition et la misère.
Le sommaire du Programme et budget 1986-87 nous y conduit. Il nous fait faire un pas dans cette direction. Voilà pourquoi le minimum qui nous est proposé ne peut souffrir aucune autre réduction supplémentaire de niveau car il s'agit ici de donner à la FAO les moyens de mettre en oeuvre les priorités que semble-t-il nous appuyons tous. Nous ne partageons pas le point de vue de ceux qui pensent que la crédibilité de la FAO sortira renforcée si la croissance zéro était adoptée.
Enfin nous souhaitons féliciter une fois de plus le Directeur général pour avoir su mettre en oeuvre les directives contenues dans la résolution 1.86 adoptée par le Conseil en novembre dernier. En particulier nous nous félicitons de la décision prise récemment par le Comité financier d'affecter 15 millions de dollars pour relancer l'agriculture dans les pays sinistrés d'Afrique.
R.M. MUPAWOSE (Zimbabwe) : Upon a study of the document submitted by the Chairman of the Programme Committee and the opening comments made by the Director-General, and the plight of many developing countries, one is left in no doubt that recommendations of the Chairman of the Finance Committee must be supported. Those of us who live in small landlocked countries and in regions beset by harsh climates will find it difficult to understand why there is this preoccupation of zero-growth. Would it be zero? Or is what is being called for by some of these countries a minus budget? In our short experience of assistance programmes there are few, if any, which could match the speedy response which one gets from the TCP programmes. In the SADCC region late last year, during the cropping season there was an outbreak of army worm and later of red locust. The International Red Locust Institute of which Zimbabwe is currently Chairman had no funds to purchase chemicals. However, on both occasions FAO was the only organization which reacted urgently to such an outbreak. No bilateral assistance that we are aware of is capable of urgent reaction to such emergencies. There is no doubt in our minds that, while bilateral assistance does, and will continue to, play a role, FAO's role still occupies an important place.
Due to the sensitivity of some donors to the political systems which prevail in some of the developing countries, is it not only fair that the assistance by FAO be given due to real, felt need? Is it not true that the developed countries a few decades ago flourished because of, among other things, the cheap and free availability of African raw materials - and even today, in the so-called "supply and demand" prices? Is it asking for too much that the developing countries, and Africa in particular, should receive assistance during these difficult times? One is not oblivious to the generosity of the developed countries.
The problems of Africa are many and we hope that FAO will be given the resources to keep on with the task ahead. The Zimbabwe delegation calls on the Director-General to continue his efficient budget analysis and effect modifications and recommend changes, if any and when considered necessary. We support the Programme of Work and Budget proposed for 86/87. Thank you Mr Chairman,
CHAIRMAN: Now you will see we are very much behind schedule so we will take up on Monday, in addition to item 14 - that is our present item - and hopefully by lunchtime if we can complete the discussion, 15 and 16. In addition we will take up item 7, the Committee on Agriculture. There are certain items which are still left and we will try to complete it. That will leave us still with item 8 and item 9 of this week to be added to next week's programme, which is the Commission on Fertilizers and Committee on Fisheries. That also we will have to take, so I hope you all cooperate.
At lunchtime today I heard one of the Council members say "Thank God it's Friday". So for some of those "Thank God it's Friday" you will have beautiful Roman weather, and I hope you will enjoy the weekend, but I know the chairmen and members of our Drafting Committee and the people who prepare the verbatim records and many others of the Secretariat, there is no "Thank God to it's Friday". Friday, Saturday and Sunday, are going to be hard working days so let me say those who can enjoy the weekend, please do enjoy it and come prepared for short speeches on Monday, and for those who have to work, I hope you will find the work rewarding and pleasant. Thank you all very much and a happy weekend.
The meeting rose at 18.00.
La séance est levée à 18 heures.
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.00 horas.