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7.2 Election of Five Members of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes
7.2 Election de cinq membres du Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire
7.2 Elección de cinco miembros del Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria

LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL: Je voudrais attirer l'attention des délégués sur le document CL 90/11, "Composition du Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire". En annexe à ce document figure un imprimé pour la présentation des candidatures au Comité. Il semble que le libellé de cet imprimé a donné lieu à quelques malentendus que je voudrais dissiper. On lit en effet dans la première partie que "le délégué de…propose la candidature de…" et dans la deuxième partie que "le délégué de…accepte cette proposition de candidature". Ce que l'imprimé veut dire, c'est que le délégué d'un pays A présente la candidature du délégué d'un pays B et c'est le délégué du pays B qui doit signifier s'il accepte d'etre proposé comme candidat, et non pas que la proposition doit être secondée par le délégué d'un pays C. Lors de "nos prochaines sessions, nous modifierons le libellé pour éviter toute ambiguïté. Mais j'espère qu'avec les éclaircissements que je viens de donner, la situation est simplifiée.

LE PRESIDENT: Ces éclaircissements sont-ils suffisants ou il y a t-il d'autres observations? Je pense que ces éclaircissements sont suffisants. Nous passons à la suite de notre travail, à l'analyse du point 4.


4. State of Food and Agriculture 1986
4. Situation de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture en 1986
4. El estado mundial de la agricultura y la alimentación, 1986

Phillip JUICO (Philippines): Mr Chairman, first of all, I should like to apologize for passing up our turn. I was indisposed this morning. Nevertheless, on behalf of the government of the new Republic of the Philippines allow me to express our deepest appreciation for the opportunity you have given our delegation to contribute our own thoughts on the state of food and agriculture.

We attach special significance to this Ninetieth Session, not only because of the important matters to be discussed but also because of the fact that this is the first Council meeting to which the new government is sending representatives.

Before I give you our brief comments on document CL 90/2, permit me quickly to go over the present situation in the Philippines in macro-economic terms and in the food and agriculture subsector in particular. The Philippines views with great concern the issues raised in the documents and which were amplified by our colleagues from other member countries.

I will not attempt to provide you with details of how we managed to topple the dictatorial regime of a man and a woman who have brought our country to a state of near collapse. I will not give you a personal account of what my role was and the' role of millions of Filipinos in oringing about change in the Philippines. That duty, noble and inspiring as it is, will be left with the many historians who have been recording and analysing the dynamics of what we call "people's power" and what President Corazon Aquino called in her speech before the Joint Session of the US Congress as "the cheapest revolution in the history of mankind". Suffice it to say the Philippines, after

20 years of mismanagement faces enormous problems. Consider, Mr Chairman, the following: first, foreign debt that tops US$ 26 billion with debt servicing approximately 50 percent of export earnings. A large portion of this debt has disappeared and evidence shows it has ended up in foreign shores·

Second, even with the new measures of reduced expenditures and increased revenues, the Government is still facing US$ 1. 3 billion deficit in its budget.

Third, we have been experiencing negative GNP for the last several years.

Fourth, about 70 percent of the population is living in poverty.

The current economic factors resulted from the confluence of other factors including policies biased against agriculture and overly protective of manufacturing and industry. The previous government's policies tended to be concentrated on economic and political power in its hands and selected individuals in the private sector. Increased intervention in market and monopolistic structures promoted large scale waste and inefficiency, mismanagement and corruption-all of these at the expense of enhancing farmers' incomes.

During its relatively short tenure, the present administration has lifted government controls on the markets and on trade restrictions. It has encouraged truly democratic consultations and the participation of all sectors in policy formulation. The new government is committed to private enterprise and respect for human rights. The private sector is to serve as the prime mover in national economic recovery. It is deeply committed to implementing fundamental economic and political reforms. The major development priorities are to stimulate rural development and increase agricultural output and rural employment. As stated by President Aquino the highest priority will be given to agriculture, not only to realise the goal of equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities, but also to enable 70 percent of the population who live in the countryside to maximise their contribution to the economy.

Government also aims to dismantle crony monopolies and privileges and divest itself of public corporations and non-productive assets and implement measures to institute genuine public accountability and effect meaningful trade liberation. It is this last item, trade liberation, which we are very concerned about. As mentioned earlier, we have a huge foreign debt which we can service only if we are given freer access to markets by countries, and groups of countries, which are sympathetic to the situation of the Philippines and other developing countries.

A case in point is coconut oil which comes from copra, the product of the poorest of the poor of millions of our countrymen. Whilst we are grateful for the assistance given us by our friends, we are strongly convinced that trade concessions represent a much more meaningful and long lasting measure than outright monetary grants. In short we believe in the principle of more trade than aid. One way of implementing this is looking at the many possibilities that barter or counter-trade schemes can offer.

In concluding we once again express our hope that despite some reports of our well-meaning friends that tend to portray a country about to disintegrate, we shall, with the support of the international community and organisations like FAO, overcome the crisis in which we find ourselves. As in the February revolution, our faith in ourselves, people's power and most importantly, our faith in God, remains unshaken and forever strong.

Danilo VUJICIC (Yugoslavia):-At the very beginning of my statement I would like to compliment FAO's Secretariat for providing us with a very useful, comprehensive, analytical and realistic document on the state of food and agriculture in the world. The enlightening statement by the Director-General yesterday further clarified the picture of the world food agricultural situation in the world as well as problems and difficulties faced by the Organization itself. The introductory statements by Mr Islam have assisted us very much in better understanding the situation and problems faced by food and agriculture in the world. The general world economic situation has improved somewhat during the last two years. Compared to the serious global economic crisis which prevailed only three to five years ago, however, improvements in the economic situation were only measured by statistical averages. In fact, this recovery has been extremely uneven among countries, regions and economic groupings. On one side the recovery of economic growth and general position of developed countries have improved.

On the other side, the situation of most developing countries remains very unsatisfactory and unfavourable. There is, in fact, also a limited number of developing countries mainly from Asia which by great efforts and sacrifices by themselves succeeded in having a relatively good economic development during the last few years. However, the great majority of developing countries, because of internal difficulties and unfavourable external environments, continue to have extremely low economic performance since the beginning of the 1980s and their relative position in the world economy has weakened considerably.

I will not take the precious time of the Council to elaborate in detail on various data and assessments concerning the world economic situation and the deteriorating position of developing countries. This has been sufficiently and clearly presented and proved by figures in the reports of all international organizations dealing with trade, financial and development problems including UNCTAD, GATT and IMF, World Bank as well as by analysis of the OECD and by many scientific economic institutions of the world. On the basis of all these analyses and the data published, it is obvious that the position of developing countries in the world economy has been drastically worsened during this decade. In addition to international internal problems, difficulties and some weaknesses in management, the external economic environment has been particularly unfavourable. I will mention only some of the obvious and broadly recognised factors.

Expanding protectionism and discrimination of the imports of the developing countries to the markets of some developed countries significantly reduced the volume, and particularly export earnings, of developing countries. This, as a consequence, diminished their ability to import necessary goods for their production, development and consumption, including food. Prices of agricultural commodities of developing countries fell in 1985 by 41 percent compared to the level of 1980, according to the Trade and Development Report of UNCTAD. The collapse of commodity prices of the developing countries resulted in huge export earning losses amounting to tens of billions of dollars annually. The negative terms of trade of developing countries during this period resulted in a very significant real transfer of resources from developing to developed countries which, according to some reliable estimates by Western economists, goes far over a hundred billion dollars annually. This transfer of resources from developing to developed countries has been a significant blood infusion into the so-called policy of non-inflationary growth of the economies in developed countries.

In addition the development of the international monetary and financial system was also the source of great difficulties and losses for developing countries. Volatility of exchange rates, and increased high degree of uncertainty and insecurity caused financial losses to developing countries. Historically high and long-lasting rates of interest exhausted a substantial share of the export values of developing countries from one-third to one-half of the total export value. An accumulation of debts of developing countries reached US $1 000 billion. The servicing of this debt is the biggest burden for most of the developing countries. As a result of such an unfavourable external environment the growth of production of most of the developing countries contracted and many of them had negative growth rates when measured in terms of per capita. A further logical consequence was the deepening of the gap in the development between the developed and the developing countries. Even in such a general economic situation it could hardly have been expected for the conditions of food and agriculture performance to have been much better. The world food production increased by an average 2.6 percent since the beginning of this decade. That is far behind the target of 4 percent growth established by the World Food Conference 1974 and the strategy for the third development decade.

The regional analysis shows further that even this average was due to the relatively successful performance of a few countries in Asia. Many African and other less developed countries, and others, are still in a very difficult situation. Other important indicators of the general picture of the state of food and agriculture, particularly of developing countries, are not encouraging. As a result of economic, and particularly balance-of-payments difficulties, the average annual growth in use of agricultural inputs has decreased sharply. This is well-illustrated by the data presented in Table 7 of the document CL 90/2 which shows that the growth rate of the use of fertilizers dropped from 11 percent in the 1970s to 3 percent in the beginning of the 1980s. In the same period the use of tractors per arable land dropped from 8 to 5 percent and that of irrigation from 1.1 to 0.2 percent.

The flow of resources to agricultural developing countries, after some recovery in 1981/82, demonstrated a downward trend. The concessional OCA, which is of particular interest for the least developed and other low-income countries, dropped from 8. 2 billion dollars in 1982 to 7 billion

dollars in 1984, or by 15 percent. The same trend prevailed in non-concessional assistance while direct foreign investments, which by the way have never been much interested in food production of developing countries, have also shown a declining tendency.

It is unfortunate that the developed countries which have gained much through improvement of their terms of trade, particularly by promoting extremely cheap prices in commodities and energy, have not shown more understanding by keeping or increasing the level of assistance for food production in developing countries. But at the same time it would be unfair not to recognize that the developed countries did show a high degree of solidarity and generosity in assisting the drought and hunger stricken countries in Africa during the last two years. This assistance helped African, particularly Sahelien countries, to overcome for the time being the acute food shortages and hunger. This also contributed to the fulfilment for the first time of the 10 million tonnes aid grain target set by the World Food Conference in 1974 and of the target of 500 000 tonnes of grain in IEFR. While these facts have to be welcomed and praised, attention has to be drawn to the fact that food assistance is necessary and helpful, but only a short-term solution.

All efforts by the developing food-deficit countries and by the international community have to be concentrated in finding a lasting solution to the food problem by increasing their own food production and achieving the level of basic self-sufficiency. This period in which the pressure for emergency food assistance was eased somewhat, should be used to concentrate efforts and means for creating conditions for the growth of food production. The document which we are analysing contains a useful assessment of the resources invested in agriculture which shows that in the poorest coun-tries the bulk of investment in agriculture comes from the savings of the individual farmers themselves. These efforts have to be encouraged, supported and complemented by governments and international communities if we really wish to accomplish the set objectives. My delegation would encourage further and more comprehensive studies and suggestions by the FAO Secretariat in this report.

Turning to the question of world food trade and security, there is for the time being on one side an abundance of food, much higher supply than real demand; high stocks and historically Low prices of grains. On the other side there is great need for food by more than a half billion of undernourished people in the world, but this need for food is not considered as a real demand because it lacks foreign currency resources to buy it. At the same time some important developed food producing and exporting countries are spending tens of billions of dollars annually to subsidize food production and exports.

According to the latest assessment of GATT in its document CV 502 published just two weeks ago, only the United States and EEC are directly or indirectly subsidizing their food exports by 50 billion dollars annually, competing with each other and bringing world market prices to the level below the cost of production. This has some temporary benefits for buyers but it has or may have long lasting negative consequences for agricultural producers and exporters both in developed, including those that I mentioned; and developing countries. It is high time for the parties concerned and for the international community to take adequate steps to get rid of this anomaly and structural deficiency and to create conditions for normal and reasonable competitive agricultural production and trade in the world. This would better serve the objectives of the world food security in the long run than the temporary illusion of abundance of food and low prices which prevail for the time being. As the first step to a lasting solution of the food problem and a stable world food trade security, the parties involved in the food competition with food export subsidies may decide voluntarily to channel only a small part, let us say one quarter of these amounts which they are spending annually for subsidies, less the additional assistance to the improvement of food production in developing countries.

I would not dwell any more on various aspects of the state of good food and agriculture because it would probably be repetition of facts which are contained in the documentation or which have already or will be stated by other delegates. At the end I would like to mention only two elements, the first that my delegation would like to stress the importance and to encourage our Organization as well as member countries to support the economic and technical cooperation among developing countries in all aspects of food and agriculture, namely in food production, processing, marketing as well as in the food security activities.

Last but not least, I would say just a few words and only to mention that agricultural production in Yugoslavia this year was, according to the latest assessment, 5 percent higher than a year ago but it should be kept in mind that the previous year 1985 was lower by 7 percent than the record 1984. In fact, we could consider the crop of 1986 as a good average year.

John R. GOLDSACK (United Kingdom): The United Kingdom holds the Presidency of the European Community at the present time and as such I would like to give way to the Commission Observer to make a statement on behalf of the Community. With your permission I request that following the statement of the Commission Observer I may have the floor again to make the statement on behalf of the United Kingdom.

Jean-Jacques RATEAU (Communauté économique européenne): Monsieur le Président, c'est un honneur pour moi de vous exprimer, au nom de la Communauté européenne que préside actuellement le Royaume-Uni, notre satisfaction de participer aux travaux de la quatre-vingt-dixième session du Conseil de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture.

Jean Jacques RATEAU (Observateur de la Communauté économique européenne): Monsieur le Président, c'est un honneur pour moi de vous exprimer, au nom de la Communauté européenne que préside actuellement le Royaume-Uni, notre satisfaction de participer aux travaux de la quatre-vingt-dixième session du Conseil de l'Organisation des Nations Unies pour l'alimentation et l'agriculture.

Bien que quelques documents n'aient pu être communiqués à la Communauté et que d'autres l'aient été avec un certain retard, ce qui nous aempêché de procéder à une étude aussi approfondie que nous l'aurions souhaité, l'examen des documents disponibles auquel ont pu se livrer les services de la Communauté témoigne du grand intérêt des sujets abordés et des propositions faites. Au nom de la Communauté, je tenais à souligner cet aspect des choses et à vous en féliciter.

Avec votre agrément, Monsieur le Président, je souhaiterais, au stade actuel de nos travaux, vous faire part de quelques remarques sur le document CL 90/2 relatif à la situation de l'agriculture en 1986.

Au paragraphe 38 de ce document, la Communauté regrette qu'à la cinquième ligne du texte français, on ait utilisé les termes "subventions à l'exportation" plutôt que les termes "subventions et pratiques analogues affectant les exportations". Compte tenu de l'importance du problème abordé, il convient en effet de prendre en considération toutes les subventions et toutes les pratiques analogues qui affectent les exportations d'une facon ou d'une autre, même lorsque celles-cise situent dans l'ordre chronologique des opérations propres à la production et à la commercialisation très en amont des opérations commerciales d'exportation proprement dites. Faute de tenir compte, dans la suite de nos travaux, de cette correction apparemment anodine mais en fait fondamentale, le Conseil ne semblerait se préoccuper que de l'un des aspects de cet important problème, ce qui ne manquerait pas de limiter, voire de fausser, les conclusions auxquelles il pourrait aboutir. Une telle proposition serait en outre contraire à la Déclaration ministérielle de Punta de l'Esté. Par ailleurs, à propos de ce paragraphe 38, je voudrais souligner combien j'ai apprécié, hier, l'excellent exposé du Représentant de la Colombie. Mais je voudrais dire aussi qu'il n'est pas possible d'accepter les critiques qu'il a formulées à l'encontre de la Communauté sur cette question des exportations, observation reprise d'ailleurs aujourd'hui par le Représentant de l'Australie. La Communauté est d'accord pour reconnaître qu'il y a là un problème majeur, mais aussi que ce problème affecte cous les pays exportateurs de produits agricoles. Aussi convient-il que, tous ensemble, les pays concernés s'efforcent de le résoudre dans le cadre des negotiations GATT plutôt que de chercher à nous accuser inutilement dans le cadre de ce Conseil.

Au paragraphe 40, la Communauté doit vous signaler que le texte qui nous est soumis est, pour des raisons notamment de calendrier, tout à fait dépassé. Comme vous le savez en effet. Monsieur le Président, une réunion spéciale du GATT s'est tenue au niveau ministériel à Punta del Este, en Uruguay, en septembre 1986. Il serait souhaitable qu'on puisse en tenir compte. La Communauté souhaiterait en conséquence quel'on oublie, en quelque sorte, le paragraphe 40 quinous est soumis pour prendre en considération la Déclaration ministérielle qui a été adoptée à l'issue de la réunion du GATT à Punta del Este.

Au paragraphe 42, la Communauté vous signale, Monsieur le Président, que les trois mots "des produits agricoles" qui figurent à la première ligne du texte français risquent d'induire le lecteur en erreur. En effet, le Groupe de travail qui a été constitué au sein du GATT et auquel il est fait référence dans ce paragraphe, concerne les effets de l'entrée de l'Espagne et du Portugal dans la Communauté sur le commerce de tous les produits et non sur celui des seuls produits agricoles.

En ce qui concerne le paragraphe 192, je dois vous faire part, Monsieur le Président, d'une certaine déception de la Communauté au sujet du texte proposé au Conseil. En effet, le texte qui nous a été soumis ne semble pas apprécier à leur juste valeur les efforts considérables décidés par la Communauté pour assainir et équilibrer le marché agricole sans léser les revenus déjà bien modestes de nos agriculteurs. La réduction de 1 à 2 pour cent des quotas appliqués sur certains produits pour les deux années à venir, la taxe de corresponsabilité renforcée dans les secteurs des produits laitiers et des graines oléagineuses et maintenant étendue au secteur des céréales, la politique respective des prix agricoles qui se traduit depuis plusieurs années par leur réduction en termes réels et la réforme du régime d'intervention sont, à titre d'exemple, des réformes qu'il a été très difficile de décider et surtout d'appliquer. Tout autant que les agriculteurs américains, australiens ou canadiens, pour ne citer qu'eux, les producteurs européens souffrent de la situation dépressive des marchés mondiaux. Cette année encore, les revenus des producteurs diminuent dans la Communauté; les agriculteurs ages ne sont plus remplacés et les jeunes, malgré le chômage qui affecte les villes, se détournent du métier d'agriculteur. Voilà pourquoi la Communauté aurait souhaité que le Secrétariat de la FAO marque plus d'intérêt et de compréhension à l'égard de la réforme de la politique agricole commune qui a été décidée et entreprise.

Au paragraphe 193, la Communauté signale qu'il est tout à fait inexact d'affirmer que certaines difficultés s'exacerbent à mesure que l'Espagne et le Portugal s'intègrent plus étroitement dans la Communauté. Les difficultés liées à l'entrée de ces deux pays dans la Communauté ont en effet été analysées au cours de négociations et pendant la période intérimaire entre la signature du traité d'adhésion et sa mise en oeuvre. Depuis que l'adhésion est devenue effective, c'est-à-dire depuis le ler janvier 1986 ou plutôt, si vous préférez, depuis le ler mars 1986 pour ce qui concerne les produits agricoles, de nombreuses mesures ont été prises pour les résoudre, de telle sorte qu'on peut affirmer que les difficultés liées à l'élargissement ont été résolues dans certains cas ou sont en voie d'amélioration.

Au paragraphe 195, la Communauté vous signale que les dernières études conduites dans ce domaine montrent que le montant de 3 milliards d'ECU indiqué dans ce paragraphe n'a aucune réalité, et nous nous demandons sur quelle base le Secrétariat de la FAO a pu établir une telle estimation.

Telles sont les remarques que la Communauté souhaitait faire sur le document CL 90/2 qu'elle estime, par ailleurs, excellent.

En conclusion, la Communauté voudrait souligner l'importance qu'elle attache à l'action que la FAO conduit dans le monde, et appuie dans toute la mesure du possible l'action de la FAO pour lutter contre la faim, la malnutrition et la misère qui, malgré les progrès signalés dans quelques pays, sévissent encore dans trop de pays du tiers monde.

Comme vous le savez, la Communauté a elle-même engagé des moyens, notamment financiers, importants pour essayer de résoudre ces problèmes avec tous les pays du tiers monde, et plus particulièrement avec les pays signataires de la Convention de Lomé. Aussi comprendrez-vous, Monsieur le Président, que la Communauté étudiera avec le plus grand intérêt les actions et propositions qui ont été faites ou qui le seront dans cette enceinte.

John R. GOLDSACK (United Kingdom): You will have noticed that we have a new Commission observer, and in welcoming Mr Râteau I would like to thank the retiring observer, Mr Desesquelles, for his past contribution to our endeavours.

I would like to congratulate the Secretariat on the production of document CL 90/2 and the supplement, and I wish to make some observations, particularly on the forestry and fisheries sectors.

In the section on international agricultural trade, paragraphs 39-42, it is surprising to see no reference to the International Tropical Timber Agreement and the recent decisions on the effective establishment of the International Tropical Organization. 'Although the usefulness of this organization is yet to be proved it has great potential for securing greater benefit to both producer and consumer countries. This can be achieved through more efficient market information and assistance to conservation and development of the forest resource in tropical countries. This, incidentally, is the first such commodity agreement to include such a provision. We should like to draw the attention of Council to the need to recognize this important development and to encourage close collaboration between FAO and the International Tropical Timber Organization. This is required with regard to information on tropical timber demand and supply and to assistance for the improved regeneration, management and conservation of tropical forests through support for research.

In the section on recent development in fisheries, paragraphs 72-79, the report confirms the virtual levelling off of conventional fish catches and by implication confirms the forecast of an increasing shortfall of fish in the future. Accepted strategy do deal with this procedure is three-pronged: through the reduction of waste and losses, the development of aquaculture and the catching of unconventionalresources.

The report also notes the decline of catches in Africa. While this, as suggested, is partly due to faulty statistical reporting, there are real and quite familiar reasons for the general stagnation. Important to the United Kingdom aid programme is the almost complete failure of aquaculture in Africa to date. FAO proposes drastic measures to deal with this but will need major support.

Although the Director-General in his statement yesterday drew attention to the Tropical Forestry Action Plan it is surprising to see no reference to this in paragraphs 80-86. The plan is important for its detailed quantification of the need for a massive increase, twice the current level, in both national and external investments in forestry.

I would like therefore to draw the attention of Council and of the governments of member countries, both donor and recipient, to the plan and to the need for FAO and aid recipient countries to review their own priorities for the allocation of resources. Whereas investment in agriculture generally has increased over the past two decades, more than 95 percent of aid agency agricultural investment has been channelled into products aimed at short-term food production and less than one percent into forestry conservation.

We should like to congratulate FAO on the production of their study "African Agriculture, the Next 25 Years". We largely agree the analysis and we see the need to support the four i's identified in the study. I refer to incentives, inputs, institutions and infrastructure. We feel that although the study has been discussed at the regional African conference in September 1986 it is of crucial importance and should be on the agenda for further discussion at COAG in March 1987 and before any final decision is taken to pursue the proposed study of aid in kind.

In the field of policy reform, dealt with in paragraphs 105-122, we commend countries that have carried out the range of these politically difficult measures. The greater involvement of the private sector is now much to the fore in many countries and, despite traditional resistence in others, is likely to gain further credence.

Tan Sri Dato Alwi JANTAN (Malaysia):I take pleasure on behalf of my delegation to welcome you in the chair and to congratulate the other members of your bureau on their election. I should like also to commend the Director-General for his very inspiring address yesterday and Professor Nurul Islam for his splendid introduction of this agenda item.

I agree with those distinguished delegates who have spoken before me that the documents before us are both very comprehensive and thought-provoking. However, their message is worrying. The economic outlook for the developing countries is bleak and filled with uncertainties. They are still being saddled with the untenable debt problems, depressed rock bottom commodity prices and restrictive markets. The West or the North have changed the rules for free trade which they once expounded. Comparative advantage is thrown overboard. The dividing line between trade and aid is being continu ously blurred. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Taken to its logical conclusion I shudder to think what would become of this world.

Some countries in Asia, for example, have managed to overcome their food deficiency situation to the stage of self-reliance and even have enough for export. But then it seems the more we produce the less we get.

The order of the day as practised by developed economies seems to be in simplistic terms just to increase restrictions on imports and increase subsidies for exports. There is no way fledging economies of the Third World could match the billions of dollars allocated by the developed economies to shut out their markets.

It seems that such condemnation of protectionism, both tariff and non-tariff, is becoming a routine for us. However, I must say that we view this as the most critical issue in agriculture due to the inextricably close linkage between international commodity markets and the economic health of devel oping countries.

What are the solutions? I think this is the one big challenge facing the world community and this august body of ours. There are no easy answers. We have to watch for every glimmer of hope. I therefore share the optimism of the Director-General and welcome the recent decision of the Punta del Este GATT Conference to include agricultural products in its new round of negotiations. I note that the FAO Secretariat will provide every assistance to these negotiations. But" I begin to wonder. Would such a supportive role be sufficient? As the specialized agency on food and agriculture with a rich reservoir of knowledge and experience at its disposal, I would suggest that it could play a more meaningful and effective role by giving expert advice to these negotiations. In view of the already critical situation, perhaps there is even justification to hold an international round exclusively devoted to agricultural trade, policies and issues.

Turning to food aid, my delegation does not believe that handouts in the form of food aid, however generously given, would in the long term be the correct substitute for trade.

We also believe that there should be a distinction between food aid and aid to produce food as frequently voiced out by the Director-General. For the sake of developing self-reliance the balance should tilt towards more aid to produce food. My delegation therefore considers that increasing food aid, other than during emergencies, could kill effective demand and incentives to producers. It distorts markets and allows the justification by countries which produce huge surpluses to use these not solely for humanitarian reasons.

It was Confucius who once said give man a fish, he will eat it; but teach him how to fish, it will last him a lifetime. It is remarkable that such eastern wisdom can still bear relevance to present day international relations.

I should like to conclude by saying that economic health and food security are closely linked to trade, especially in agricultural products. The famine and suffering so far endured could have been minimized, if not avoided altogether, if those countries affected were in sound economic state. Therefore, it is not just a moral duty, but rather a matter of logic that the international community should work more diligently towards the restoration of a healthy international market for agricultural products in order to allow for a decent and dignified existence for those less fortunate among us.

Hermann REDL (Austria): Before I comment upon the document before us, with your permission I should like to say a few words concerning the statement of the Director of the Joint FAO International Atomic Agency Division in Vienna. My country is happy that this Division is situated in Vienna. We support the activities of this Division. We believe the training is of the utmost importance, especially for the developing countries. Therefore, my Government has decided on a contribution of US$ 750 000 for the training centre in Seibersdorf within the period of the next three years.

Perhaps I may now turn to the statement on food and agriculture which is in front of us. First of all, I would like to thank Professor Islam for the introduction of the document The State of Food and Agriculture 1986. However, the document before us should also be seen in connection with other FAO publications and studies such as Food Outlook. In the edition of October 1986, it is stated that the world grain harvest 1986 amounts to US$ 1. 82 billion, only one percent below the bumper crop of 1985, owing to a production increase by some three percent in the industrialized countries.

Worldwide, grain stocks will rise from 396 million tons at the end of the crop year 1985/86 and reach for the first time the level of 431 million tons in the current crop year. Thus, supplies would reach some 26 percent of the consumption expected for 1987/89. In view of the considerable export availability of grains on the one hand, and the restricted rise of the demand on the other, we will have to face a fierce competition in the world market. We have noticed with satisfaction the updated document CL 90/2 Sup. 1.

With a certain satisfaction it was further noted that the situation in Africa is considered to be predominantly good. We fully agree with what is stated in paragraph 36 of this document. This document and recent information confirms earlier assessments that growth in global food and agricultural production has tended to slow down. The given outlook, for cereals is in our opinion a realistic one. The agricultural trade in 1985 and the first half of 1986 was generally more depressed than other sectors. Furthermore, a continued fall in the US dollar unit value of agricul tural commodities brought about an overall deterioration in the agricultural terms of trade, and contributed to a sharp fall in the value of agricultural exports.

Financing agricultural development in the first part of the eighties has been affected by the difficult economic and financial situation, and this will remain in the near future.

Finally, I should like to mention the problem of unemployment and all its consequences. This problem is not included in the document before us. We would be pleased if in the future this could be included in the "State of Food of Agriculture".

Adel Helmy EL SARKI (Egypt) (original language Arabic):Mr Chairman, first of all I should like to say that we are pleased to see you chairing this Council, and we hope that you will be successful. We should also like to thank the Secretariat for preparing this document. We would also like to thank Dr Nurul Islam for presenting it.

My delegation is still somewhat optimistic despite the data contained in this document and especially in paragraphs 1 to 23 referring to the deterioration of the world economic situation in 1985 and the first half of 1986. What makes us cautiously optimistic are the projections of FAO as to the possibility of an increase in the agricultural production in the developing countries which will have a positive impact on the economies of the developing countries because agricultural production in the developing countries is still dependent, to some extent, on the aid extended, and investments made, by the developed countries. We note that in this document the size of the multilateral assistance has increased by 16 percent as mentioned in paragraph 34 of this document. However, we are still concerned by the deterioration of the systems of agricultural products exchange and the increase of protectionism as mentioned in paragraphs 38 and 39. Therefore, we hope that the multilateral trade negotiations will be successful and hope that they will be carried on a realistic basis as this is the only way to avoid fierce competition in the case of agricultural surpluses.

The data contained in Table 6 shows an increase in the productive capacity, labour force, and the arable land in the Near East for the period 1980 to 1984, as compared to the period 1970 to 1981. We hope' that this trend will continue.

Concerning the economic rehabilitation programme for Africa, the document shows that many interested parties are willing to provide financial and technical assistance. However, we would like to say that this assistance is not the only way to solve the food crisis in Africa. We think that self-dependency, hard work and regional cooperation are the most important factors to increase production. Against this background Egypt has asked during a meeting of the Union of African Agricultural Trade Unions held in Egypt October 1986 for a recommendation to establish a technical assistance fund in order to help the African countries solve their problems.

There is another point I should like to mention and that is the increasing indebtedness and debt servicing costs which led to a slow down in agricultural growth in most of the developing countries. We hope that the efforts aimed at rescheduling these debts and reducing interest rates will be successful. This will enable the developing countries to devote most of their national income to agricultural development.

The document mentions in paragraph 171 an increase in the level of food production in Egypt amounting to 4.2 percent. I should like to inform your august assembly that this increase applies also to most of the other agricultural crops reaching 12% in some cases during the last four years. This is due to the importance given by the Government to the agricultural sector because we have given the upmost priority to agriculture, so we agree with the contents of paragraph 274 which shows the important role national savings can play in agricultural development.

Finally, after listening to the statement made by Dr Saouma, the Director-General of FAO, my delegation would like to thank him for this frank and objective statement and for the way he presented the problems and how we can tackle them.

Mrs MILLICENT M. FENWICK (United States of America):I have a short paper that expresses my Government's position. We should like to thank you, Mr Chairman, and Dr Islam for the excellent report that we were given. This report correctly notes the existence of unusually large food supplies around the world. Cereal stocks at the end of 1985/86 were a nearly unprecedented 24 percent of total world consumption. Consequently, the Secretariat has devoted less space in this report to short-term food security concerns, and focused more upon the broader economic factors affecting agricultural development. The Secretariat documents have correctly characterized the US agricultural situation. To save time, we will not duplicate FAO's very fine summary. Presenting indicators of both internal and external resources in the section on financing agricultural development helps to begin to fill a very large gap in our knowledge of a crucial déterminent of agricultural development. We recognize that FAO is breaking new ground in the assessment of internal resource flows and we urge continuing focus in this area.

We were particularly interested in the finding that private savings, and more particularly rural savings, are the main source of funds for investment in agriculture. (This is to set out in paragraph 230). The discussion of the relatively greater impact of "implicit" tax policy as opposed to "explicit" taxes upon the creation of a favourable environment for agricultural investment appeared particularly important.

Also a major issue at the end of the report (paragraphs 294 to 319) we found to be especially thought provoking. We were impressed by its discussion of a realistic approach to adjusting to the potentially slower expansion of external resource flows in the near future. The recognition that future agricultural growth will more likely come from the stimulation of internal, rather than external, demand seems an important practical consideration for agricultural policy makers. The discussion of various policy tools for promoting agricultural development are also well worth reading for policy makers attempting to bring both private and public resources to bear most efficiently upon agricultural development.

The United States is acutely aware of external debt problems hampering economic development (I may say we have a very handsome debt problem of our own) in many countries.

We strongly believe that the IMF and World Bank are the appropriate fora for consideration of external debt issues. Detailed treatment of such issues should be confined to these established, technically competent bodies. We share the optimism voiced by several previous speakers concerning the positive start of the new GATT rounds. There are substantial opportunities for liberalizing agricultural trade in those GATT rounds.

Now I should like to say a few personal remarks. Many of us are gathered here again, year after year, hoping to be useful in a tremendous endeavour to try and strike a substantial blow against terrible suffering in the world. The fact is that there are some 600 000 million people with absolutely no purchasing power at all. What have we learned? We have learned a few things. One is that the other name for famine, for hunger, is poverty. We know that in every country without exception the rich, the people who have money very seldom suffer that kind of hunger, and it does not matter which country we are talking about.

It is poverty which is the terrible enemy here and the lack of any individual resources. How do you increase agricultural production and well-being at the very bottom of the line, at the end of that long road?You increase it by allowing the individual small farmer to produce and sell irrespective of fixed prices, to sell and put money in his pocket. That is the answer. We have seen it everywhere. Nations are turning to it one after the other. Where they had thought there were perhaps other better ways, they are now turning to this if they really want production. If we really want to see the end of this kind of helpless poverty, as somebody had said it must be "trade not aid".

How can you put people in the position of being able to choose for themselves what they want in the way of food or anything else?This can only be done if they can produce, sell, and become part of the world of production. We may have some good ideas about technology and how we could help them to make a more bountiful harvest, but there is something else which I think who have learned. You can go with that kind of information in your head, but if you have no respectfor people in your heart you are not going to persuade them. The minute that you turn your back, without respect for the people you are trying to help, you are talking to the wind. We have to understand that people have ways which are precious to them. Their grandfathers did certain things, and we cannot just say "You are foolish. We know better. We have some wisdom from on high". We must come with ideas, but they must be carefully, and with respect, eased into the ways of people, not saying "Nothing that you do is worth listening to".

I have a friend here, a member of delegation, going back to Papa who lives on a farm. Papa had said to him "Something is wrong with the crop", and he had said "Well, I have just come out of agri-cultural college. I will tell you, Papa, what we have to do for that crop". Papa listened and began to smile and said "I tried that three years ago. It doesn't work". He knew. He had lived with that farm, with that crop, with that land, with that soil and that moisture, and if he had not known he would not be alive.

You cannot just throw away all these things. You are not going to convince people if you do not care about them. I think that is one of the first things we have to learn.

We talk about unemployment here. What do I say about unemployment?I say:let these farmers have a little something, some agro-based industries, "and they will grow. When we had Mr Hamdi here from Egypt he told us about the remarkable thing FAO had done with the strawberry planting. All the people who had gone into strawberry planting had made some money, so they were able to produce a little employment locally because they had some cash. We have to be firm aboutthe cash component. If people are working on state roads, if they are landless, perhaps, and happy to work on state roads they have to have a cash component in their wages. You cannot treat people badly and expect them to produce as happy and independent citizens.

Nehru said a wonderful thing once which I think we all ought to remember. Nehru asked: "What is progress?" He answered it himself: "Progress is giving a man who. has a wooden plough the opportunity to get himself a metal plough, not just because you get more production but because you get the attitude and the belief of an independent man who is able to do something for himself and his family. "That is progress. That is the way I see it. I think that is what we have to concentrate on, and then all the big global business will take care of itself.

Robbie Matongo MUPAWOSE (Zimbabwe): This meeting is taking place at a time when many countries in Southern Africa are preparing for their new cropping seas. On, having come out of a reasonable production season in 1985/86 which has greatly improved the food supply situation in the region.

As a result of increase production by small scale farmers in the case of Zimbabwe, coupled with favourable rains over the last two years, and reasonable producer prices and other support services, the production of maize, sorghum and millets has increased substantially in relation to domestic requirements.

Deliveries of maize to the grain marketing boards reached the order of 1.8 million tonnes in 1985/86, with an additional 1.6 million tonnes in the current 1986/87 marketing year. In both years the small scale sector contributed 45 percent of the nationalintake of maize-about 800 000 tonnes

in addition to a quarter of a million tonnes of sorghum and millets. These quantities alone without including the commercial farmers, are in excess of the national off take, that is the national sales from the marketing boards.

We are therefore facing a situation where large stocks of these grains have accumulated, giving rise to high storage costs and considerable pressure on the facilities of the marketing institutions. Grain stocks at the commencement of the next intake season, excluding wheat, will be in ex-cess of two years' requirements at the current level of domestic sales, that is 1.5 million tonnes of stocks. Local sales have declined to only 650 000 tonnes per annum due to the increased avail-ability of food in the country, compared with 1 million tonnes during the peak of the drought in 1984 when many families had exhausted their food reserves.

Concurrently, export prices for these grains have fallen to a level which would result in very sub stantial trading losses on the disposal of surplus grains into overseas markets.

We have had to take stringent measures to reconcile the future production of grains with domestic demand and viable export opportunities by encouraging farmers to adjust their cropping programmes for next year and reduce maize plantings to about 50 percent of last year's deliveries.

Small scale farmers have, however, been exempted from the restrictions in view of the fact that maize is their staple food crop, and we would not want to destabilize the food production base that has been successfully established in that sector over the past five years. Drought is an endemic phenomenon in our region, and this is a fact to bear in mind when designing agricultural policies.

Efforts are being made to broaden the productive base in this sector and expand the present production of oilseeds, horticulture, cotton, sugar, tea, coffee, and also expand fisheries and possibly introduce other crops which can be readily absorbed by the market. Great priority is being given to the question of nutrition at the household level by encouraging the correct balance of crops grown by small scale farmers.

In addition to that, cattle and dairy production are being encouraged with emphasis on increasing the off-tàke of cattle from the small scale sector, not only in order to improve income for the farmers and beef supplies on the market, but also in an effort to control stocking rates and protect the environment. Efforts are being made in afforestation and in combatting soil erosion.

It is our policy not to produce grains for the overseas market, but at times, even with the best of plans, farmers react positively and produce surpluses. We aim at self-sufficiency and reasonable security stocks. Anything beyond our requirements, we are keen to export to our neighbours.

We were pleased and would like to support and restate the views of our Zambian colleagues expressed yesterday. Last year we expressed the same sentiments on triangular transactions especially for grains. We would like to reiterate them. The Director-General, Dr Saouma, has often made reference to the importance of triangular arrangements. Mr, Chairman, we are conscious of the surpluses in the donor countries and their farmer lobbies. But, it should be recognized that shipment of food commodities be they maize, beef or milk products, into our regions at subsidized costs only stifle our modest attempts to improve our agriculture. In our SADCC region, in the current period Malawi and Zimbabwe have been disadvantaged in disposing of surpluses. Instead of shipments from overseas into our region, we would plead that donor assistance be sourced from within the region and at realistic exchange rates. We appreciate the efforts by Australia, EEC, the United States and the World Food Programme, but the quantities involved have been very small. Further, it has been a battle to persuade some of these countries positively to commit themselves.

Major problems with the triangular transactions are caused by fluctuations in the supply of required commodities, the difficulty in finding willing donor partners, problems in fixing acceptable exchange ratios, the existence of cheap food in donor countries and the lack of information on demand projections in recipient countries.

The need for such support will become even greater in Southern Africa, especially in the case of landlocked countries, given the continued threat of South African destabilization activities and the possible impact of economic sanctions on agricultural production in neighboring states.

I thank you for the opportunity to highlight some of the critical issues related to food supply and marketing, and at the same time remind delegates of the increased need for international assistance for agricultural and transport projects to combat the current plight being faced by frontline states in Southern Africa.

It should also be appreciated that some of our countries live in a hostile region, with neighbours like South Africa who control our routes to the ports and destabilize the frontline states. Positive efforts should be made to help us wriggle from the South African clutches. Some developed countries, due to self interest, still play hide-and-seek on the issue of sanctions against South Africa. Until our region is rid of the South African apartheid scourge, we shall continue to spend resources on security which otherwise would be best used for meaningful development.

There are developed countries which continue to assist dissident activities in our region. Such assistance leads to making the life of farmers very insecure and intereferes with their agricultural activities, resulting in poor food production and hunger.

I would like to compliment FAO on a fine document on The State of Food and Agriculture (1986). Further, I wish to express our gratitude for support on projects in Zimbabwe, and also to the SADCC regional programmes. There are many efforts which can only be meaningful if tackled on a regional front. The document SADCC Agriculture Toward 2000 was well done and very much commended, and Combat on the Red Locust by assistants from the FAO. Also, we wish to draw attention to the menace by Army worm and qualea birds which often devastated a crop and also the problems we have had with the tsetse fly.

It is hoped that FAO, IFAD and the World Food Programme will receive meaningful resources to effect development assistance in our region and in other developing countries.

Guy FRADIN (France): Je ne reviendrai pas sur les problèmes que connaît l'économie mondiale: de nombreuses délégations ont fait état de leurs soucis-que nous partageons-à cet égaud, et il a été maintes fois rappelé les menaces que font peser sur le développement des pays une économie qui n'arrive pas à sortir de la crise, les difficultés financières des pays en développement dues, en particulier, au fardeau de leur dette et a la stagnation de leurs recettes d'exportation, la contraction de l'aide, y compris dans le domaine de l'agriculture.

Ma délégation réaffirme l'importance qu'elle accorde à ces problèmes, mais souhaite aujourd'hui se pencher sur quelques motifs que nous avons de fonder notre espérance dans le combat contre la faim et pour le développement.

Je note en premier lieu, la deuxième reconstitution du Fonds international de développement agricole. On m'objectera qu'il a fallu de nombreux mois d'efforts pour y parvenir et que le niveau de la reconstitution est de moitié inférieur à la précédente dotation. Mais c'est justement parce que ce résultat a été si difficile à obtenir et parce que nous avons eu de nombreuses fois des raisons de douter d'une issue favorable que je me félicite donc de l'aboutissement de cette négociation. La France attache une grande importance à l'existence et au bon fonctionnement de ce Fonds. La spécificité de ses objectifs et de son mode de fonctionnement en fait un outil indispensable du système multilatéral d'aide au développement.

Je rappelle ensuite la Session extraordinaire de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies consacrée à l'Afrique au printemps dernier. Là encore, on pourra regretter que des engagements plus précis n'aient pas été pris. Ce n'est pourtant déjà pas un mince succès que d'avoir, d'une part, tenu cette session, reconnaissant par là même la spécificité du problème africain et, d'autre part, dégagé un consensus sur l'analyse des causes de la crise économique africaine, sur la priorité du développement de l'agriculture et sur certaines orientations essentielles qui en découlent, à prendre par les gouvernements africains. Ma Délégation est convaincue que cette session extraordinaire de l'Assemblée générale a été un moment important pour l'Afrique, comme le montrent les suites concrètes que la FAO a commencé à lui donner lors de sa 14e Conférence regionale pour l'Afrique à Yamoussoukro.

En troisième lieu, et au risque d'être accusé de faire preuve d'optimisme forcé, je constate avec une certaine satisfaction que la situation alimentaire mondiale est globalement satisfaisante: je note en particulier que la croissance de la production alimentaire a été mieux répartie et qu'elle s'est améliorée au Proche-Orient, en Afrique et en Amérique latine. Le Directeur général-nous a même parlé d'un répit dans la lutte contre la famine en confirmant qu'à côté de situations de pénuries toujours présentes, certains pays ont vu apparaître sur leurs marchés des excédents. Même si la menace subsiste encore, je croîs qu'il faut se féliciter de tels résultats qui pourront nous permettre, au cours des prochains mois, d'être moins préoccupés par les problèmes d'urgence et de pouvoir ainsi nous tourner à nouveau vers les problèmes de développement.

S'agissant des excédents que connaissent certains pays africains, le Directeur général n'a pas manqué de souligner la situation paradoxale où sont ces pays dont la production maintenant excéden-taire ne trouve malheureusement pas de marché, et notre collègue du Zimbabwe l'a rappelé à l'instant. Nous estimons qu'il est fondamental d'aider ces pays à gérer ces excédents sous peine de voir leurs efforts de production réduits à néant. A cet égard, il est indispensable que les pays donateurs participent à la répartition de ces excédents entre pays du Sud par le biais d'opérations dites triangulaires et qu'il soit parallèlement apporté à ces pays une aide à l'organisation de leurs marchés, seul moyen à terme de résoudre durablement ce problème. Je peux vous assurer que les efforts de coopération de la France se porteront tout particulièrement dans ce domaine.

Je voudrais maintenant vous faire part de quelques réflexions que nous a inspirées le document que nous examinons.

Je partage tout d'abord l'inquiétude du Secrétariat en ce qui concerne la concurrence de plus en plus féroce qui se livre sur les marchés nationaux et mondiaux des produits. Le Président de la République française, M. François Mitterrand, rappelait il y a un an à la tribune de la Conférence l'opposition de la France au protectionnisme et son souhait de voir se développer les échanges. Il soulignait aussi, toutefois, que la libération non contrôlée de ces échanges ne ferait que tourner au profit des économies les plus fortes. Qui ne connaît, aujourd'hui, les différences importantes qui existent entre les économies des pays en développement, et comment ne pas voir que d'appeler à la libération des marchés sur un mode incantatoire ne pourra que mener à l'étranglement des économies les plus faibles, celles des pays africains en particulier. Je le rappelle une fois de plus, nous plaidons pour le droit de ces pays à protéger leurs économies et en particulier leur agriculture des aléas des marchés internationaux.

S'agissant de l'Amérique Latine, le document note que traditionnellement l'Etat a privilégié les villes au détriment de l'agriculture. C'est en réalité un fait que l'on peut constater dans beaucoup de pays. C'est en tout cas pour nous l'occasion de rappeler ce que ma Délégation a déjà souligné lors de la Conférence régionale pour l'Afrique â Yamoussoukro à propos de la complémen-tarité des développements des secteurs urbain et rural. Dans 20 ans la population sera essentiel-lement urbaine dans beaucoup de pays du Tiers Monde; l'agriculture de ces pays, pour faire face à cette demande, doit donc impérativement passer d'un stade de subsistance à un stade marchand. Il est, par conséquent, tout a fait essentiel de s'attacher à développer une agriculture susceptible de produire des surplus pour alimenter le marché local, et reconquérir ce marché au détriment des importations.

La deuxième facette de cette complémentarité entre secteur urbain et rural concerne la demande: il faut qu'elle soit solvable. Cela signifie une politique d'emplois et de revenus en milieu urbain.

Je voudrais maintenant attirer votre attention sur le para. 139: il est très important de noter que dans les pays ayant appliqué avec le plus de vigueur une politique économique libérale, la nécessité d'un plus grand pragmatisme est apparue et qu'ainsi beaucoup de formes traditionnelles d'intervention de l'Etat se sont rétablies. J'y vois, pour ma part, la confirmation de ce que je disais à l'instant: la libération des échanges ne peut se faire sans contrôle, tout particulièrement au sein des économies fragiles. Il ne s'agit évidemment pas de tout réglementer, mais il faut, surtout dans le secteur des produits agricoles, organiser et gérer les marchés. C'est une idée que nous appuyons depuis longtemps et nous apprécions d'en avoir souligné les fondements.

Enfin, je voudrais appuyer fermement les conclusions du paragraphe 235 sur l'importance de l'épargne intérieure et notamment rurale comme source d'investissements pour l'agriculture même si, au départ, cette épargne est modeste. Cela signifie que, d'une part, des revenus supplémentaires soient dégagés, d'autre part, soit accru l'intérêt pour le paysan d'investir cette épargne. C'est, je crois, une des principales questions auxquelles doivent répondre les politiques agricoles.

Pour terminer, je voudrais appuyer fermement la déclaration du Représentant de la Communauté. Nous sommes, je dois le dire, une fois de plus déçus de la façon dont sont présentés les problèmes communautaires dans l'examen des grands pays exportateurs. Ma Délégation apprécierait énormément que le Secretariat prenne mieux en compte, désormais, les spécificités de la politique agricole commune.

Leopoldo ARIZA HIDALGO (Cuba): La delegación de Cuba ha analizado con sumo cuidado el documento CL 90/2 que nos presenta la Secretaría de la FAO.

En primer término quiero felicitar al Director General por su intervención en la mañana de ayer en la cual nos ofreció la ocasión de analizar el camino recorrido y trazar la futura ruta de la organización, embarcada ahora en las dificultades financieras y el endeudamiento creciente de la economía y el desarrollo. Sobre estos dos aspectos tendremos oportunidad de referirnos específicamente durante la sesión de este Consejo.

El tema que analizamos sobre "El estado de la agricultura y la alimentación 1986", que nos ha sido presentado brillantemente por el profesor Islam, en una primera observación de nuestra parte, es la síntesis que nos facilita el análisis sobre su principal función en base de datos para una reflexión seria del tema. Como aparece en el párrafo 15, que para nosotros es una síntesis bastante objetiva, la estimación con respecto al 86 es poco alentadora para la mayoría de los países en desarrollo. Se prevé la caída constante de los precios de los productos básicos lo que causará un deterioro de su relación de intercambio, la reducción resultante de los ingresos de exportación, disminución inevitable de las exportaciones, menoscabará la capacidad de pago de la deuda y retrasará inevitablemente su crecimiento económico.

Esto puede ser el compendio de un análisis inicial, según nos plantea en esta parte el informe, que se llama Análisis Mundial. A nuestro entender no existen elementos que nos indiquen el inmediato cambio importante en la producción y la satisfacción de la demanda de alimentos, por lo cual la vulnerabilidad de las economías de los países subdesarrollados iráen aumento. Podemos expresar que estamos en presencia de una crisis permanente del sistema económico imperante.

Como usted bien conoce, señor Presidente, la llamada crisis alimentaria no es un fenómeno correspondiente a los últimos años. Para la mayoría del mundo subdesarrollado la crisis económica debe entenderse como una condición secular permanente de sus precarias vidas. Para ellos no tieneapenas sentido la hipotética recuperación de las economías desarrolladas, pues ni siquiera los más vigorosos auges económicos han sido capaces de evitar la presencia del hambre y la subalimentación en el Tercer Mundo. Para los centenares de millones de hambrientos que habitan en este mundo, la crisis alimentaria no es una simple referencia conceptual, sino una presencia diaria y una afrentosa real ided para toda la humanidad. La magnitud de las personas afectadas por la pobreza rural que cada decenio es redescubierta por las mismas corrientes de pensamiento que se aferran a un orden económico injusto donde el hambre y la malnutrición tienen un sostenido crecimiento, a pesar de lo relativamente satisfactorios niveles de producción. Esta es la palabra que siempre aparece en términos económicos en los informes. Por lo general, señor Presidente, este grupo de problemas se interpreta a través de expresiones como inflexibilidad de la oferta agrícola, de formación estructural del sector agrícola, son insuficientes como explicación comprensiva de un papel de crecimiento sin que desconozcamos que existe esta situación.

Esto, señor Presidente, no lo entienden las grandes mayorías ¿se puede entender la insuficiencia de producción agrícola para mitigar el hambre, si la confrontamos con la potencialidad de los recursos disponibles y con la necesidad de millones de mujeres, niños, hombres y ancianos en Asia, Africa, América Latina y en Oriente?Pasan hambre crítica, no desnutrición. Hambre crítica y desnutrición son distintos factores. Nos preguntaríamos nosotros ¿Son realmente estos problemas consecuencia del desarrolllo deficiente de la agricultura? 0, por el contrario, ¿tendría que empezar a decirse que es precisamente dicho desarrollo con sus modalidades específicas del orden económico actual lo que ha contribuido a su persistencia?

Por otra parte ¿la insuficiencia de la producción y de la demanda de alimentos y las consecuencias asociadas a los patrones de la utilización y control de los recursos básicos han constituido efectivamente problemas, obstáculos o distorsiones dentro de la lógica del funcionamiento de la agricultura del sistema económico en su conjunto?0, más importante aún, ¿hasta qué punto las estructuras económicas actuales son compatibles con la superación de dichos problemas e insuficiencias?Es evidente que estas preguntas no son pertinentes entre los esquemas del orden económico actual, pero ¿cómo explicamos a las masas de obreros, campesinos, mujeres y jóvenes la contradicción de que la penetración del progreso técnico provoca el empeoramiento de la condición de vida?

¿Cómo explicamos a una zona rural, a un campesino, que un tractor le puede hacer pasar hambre? Mientras hay más tractores hay más hambre. ¿Y cómo explicamos que la expansión de la producción se hace a costa de la permanencia de las deficiencias nutricionales. ¿Cómo explicamos que la disponibilidad de nuevos recursos productivos se hacen tanto que disminuyen relativamente la capacidad ocupacional agrícola?

En este Consejo, señor Presidente, se ha dicho que este tema se repite, se repiten los análisis de Consejo a Consejo, de Conferencia a Conferencia; que los problemas de la agricultura y la alimentación no se resuelven con los mismos análisis de 1984, cuando la Conferencia Mundial Alimentaria. Esto lo expresó sabiamente nuestro colega el Embajador Bula Hoyos, de Colombia.

Nosotros pensamos, señor Presidente, que todos conocemos los esfuerzos que ha hecho la FAO y su Director General durante su gestión para racionalizar el funcionamiento, reducir los gastos administrativos, conseguir fondos al Programa Ordinario para utilizarlos directamente con los Estados miembros, sobre todo con los más necesitados. En estos momentos en que las dificultades financieras de la Organización hacen necesario tener frente a ella una personalidad decidida y con experiencia¿podríamos hablar de imposibilidad de reelección? ¿Por qué?Cosa más grave aún, ¿podríamos privar a la Organización, cuando más lo necesita de la guia de una persona competente, de una personaque conoce a fondo todos sus problemas y sabe lo que es necesario para resolverlos y que si no los ha resueltoen alguna medida es porque está sometido su presupuesto hace muchos años al crecimiento cero?Cuando crece demográficamente el mundo, cuando crecen las necesidades, cuando crecen las Naciones miembros del sistema de Naciones Unidas el crecimiento cero impone restricciones que no le permiten aplicar la ayuda necesaria. Entre los mecanismos excepcionales de los que podríamos hablar hay uno que se llama Programa de Cooperación Técnica. Este es un mecanismo excepcional, operativo, expedito, de transferencia tecnológica a través de los pequeños proyectos, pequeños proyectos que llegan a juicio del que lo solicita, cada país; la FAO da la transferencia del apoyo y la ayuda de técnicos, en su mayoría técnicos del mundo desarrollado.

Estamos conscientes del nivel de desarrollo y de la diferencia del nivel de desarrollo y son los técnicos de los países desarrollados los que llegan a nuestros países con estos pequeños proyectos que no han creado deuda en ningún país y que garantizan una transferencia tecnológica limpia.

Ahora, señor Presidente, después de dicho esto creemos que si la ley fatídica del intercambio desigual del que aquí se ha hablado mucho, persiste, si los precios de nuestros productos básicos continúan deteriorándose hasta niveles nunca conocidos, si se incrementan las medidas proteccio-nistas, si se reconooen las prácticas del dumping que arrebatan mercados a nuestros productos, si continúan altas las tasas reales de intereses, si no se realiza la corriente de recursos financieros en condiciones apropiadas al desarrollo económico a que aspiramos, si se aplican políticas monetarias que encarecen el dólar estadounidense, moneda en la oue tenemos establecida la mayoría de nuestras deudas, y si no se desestimula la fuga de capitales nacionales hacia los Estados Unidos de Norteamerica, si no se revierte la irracional tendencia de convertir a nuestras regiones en exportadoras netas de recursos financieros y no se nos da acceso a los productos agrícolas, en el Tercer Mundo, en los mercados internacionales con precios justos no podremos ni siquiera mitigar nuestra tragedia económico-social dentro de la guerra de los aranceles que se desarrolla en todos nuestros despojos.

Con tendencia feroz se acaba de expresar nuestro colega de Francia; y nosotros en el medio. Actualmente uno de los problemas más graves que tiene el mundo, que considero que en el documento se ha tratado en algunos párrafos con un poco de ambigüedad, pero con bastante objetividad en todo su análisis, es el de la deuda externa. Esta deuda externa que tiene el mundo subdesarrollado hoy, debido al hecho de que por imperiosa necesidad de desarrollo, en ocasiones incluso de supervivencia, los países subdesarrollados se vieron en la necesidad de ir adquiriendo progresivamente compromisos que han traído como consecuencia un incremento notable de su deuda exterior y de su dependencia. Las estructuras económicas de nuestros países débiles y subdesarrollados se deforman aun más a causa de la deuda. Abundantes y fáciles créditos otorgados por la Banca Internacional, han convertido a los países subdesarrollados através de la deuda y del pago de sus servicios, en un conjunto de países cautivos, rehenes y tributarios de ese capital financiero sin perspectiva de pagar los intereses de esa deuda.

Ante este panorama creemos que más que analizar posibilidades y alternativas debemos pensar seria-mente en revalorizar la lucha por un nuevo orden económico internacional. Un nuevo orden económico internacional que nos ayude a suprimir las diferencias, a suprimir el desequilibrio en el desarrollo, el hambre, la miseria, la marginación por la pobreza, todo lo cual genera violencia; la violencia individual del hambriento que tantas inquietudes políticas produce, no sólo es la amenaza de la guerra nuclear, que nos tiene que concitar a defender una paz precaria; hay que crear una convivencia humana, saludable, educada y nutrida. Estos son los problemas primarios para un nuevo orden económico que elimine también todo vestigio de violencia, de subversión, de racismo, de apartheid, de guerras locales. Con guerras nucleares el mundo ecológicamente se hace inhabitable. ¿Cómo podremos resolver eso si el egoismo económico no nos permite ver más allá de nuestras fronteras?

Señor Presidente, un mundo técnico y científicamente en condiciones de grandes empresas extraterres-tres que insume miles de millones pero que no es posible dar algunos millones para apoyar a la FAO, Organismo del Sistema de Naciones Unidas, especializado en la agricultura y la alimentación, ¿por qué se ataca al sistema multilateral?. Este mundo tiene que cargar también con la afrenta de no ser capaz de resolver el hambre de más de setecientos millones.

Creo que la expresión económica bajo este orden económico financiero no permite la utilización de recursos y riquezas, sometido por un mecanismo de endeudamiento. Señor Presidente, si las Naciones Unidas deciden que el primer paso para liberar al hombre de la necesidad es liberarlo de la necesidad de alimentos ello requerirá una rigurosa acción nacional en cada país y una, igualmente fuerte, de carácter internacional para asistir a los países que carecen de conocimientos y medios financieros necesarios para mejorar la producción de alimentos.

Este párrafo es producto de la mente fecunda de Mc Dougall en su famoso memorandum. ¿Por qué en vez de mantener una posición intransigente no recordamos su grandeza, su dedicación a la causa del desarrollo, cumpliendo con sus postulados?. Hay que crear la verdadera solidaridad libre del egois-mo económico que es el que nos ciega fuera de nuestras fronteras.

Para finalizar, porque sobre las virtudes del documento y sobre la situación incierta los colegas han hablado con bastante objetividad, queremos finalizar diciendo que la delegación de Cuba apoya la propuesta del Presidente Barco, de la República de Colombia, sobre la convocatoria de una conferencia para erradicar la pobreza absoluta en América Latina y el Caribe. Esperamos que la FAO pueda participar en esa Conferencia para apoyar los esfuerzos de nosotros, los latinoamericanos.

Queremos también apoyar la petición de la delegación de México para que la FAO termine el estudio sobre la actuación yparticipación de las transnacionales en la agricultura y la alimentación. Estas son cuestiones muy importantes para Latinoamérica en estos momentos.

Chavaly SRINIVASA SASTRY (India): Permit me to join the other delegates in complimenting the Economic and Social Policy Department of the FAO Headquarters for the outstanding report in the two documents presented to the Conference. These cover not only food and non-food production but also forests and livestock and fish. Indeed they present the primary sector as a whole in its global dimensions.

The analysis presented in the report is all the more praiseworthy when we consider the limitations in terms of availability of data and variations in definitions over space and time. The two footnotes on page 49 of the document CL 90/2 succinctly sum up the difficulties that Dr Nurul Islam and his colleagues must have had to contend with in preparing this report. The quality of this documentation has been bettered, if I might say so, only by the masterly presentation yesterday by Professor Nurul Islam while introducing his report for the Conference.

I might add that, on certain aspects where our definition for agricultural statistics have been different from those of FAO standards, we have recently decided to adopt the FAO pattern.

Before I deal with some of the aspects covered by the report I would like to congratulate and compliment the developing countries from Africa on their agricultural success in 1985 and 1986. One could regard this effort as testominy, if testimony were needed, for the efficiency and effectiveness of FAO in helping the developing countries tackle their food production problems.

As paragraph 30 of supplement 1 points out, there has been a growth of over 8 percent in food production in 1985 and 1986 combined. In the context of the drought and the scarcity prevailing over large areas in Africa in the recent past, it is heartening to note that seven African countries have an exportable surplus of 2.5 million tons of coarse grains, while six others have localized surpluses. This welcome development clearly proves that given reasonable weather conditions with the national will and effort, coupled with the international cooperation, the problem of food shortages, at least in terms of production, if not in terms of distribution and availability, can be solved in most developing countries. We should also note that seven African countries are still facing abnormal shortages and that there is a serious risk of widespread starvation in Southern Sudan.

We have no doubt that through the efforts of FAO, World Food Programme and other international organizations and also through triangular transactions and swap arrangements, the shortage situation would be tackled effectively in the short term. We also hope that in the long term, programmes will be drawn up and implemented to augment agricultural production aiming at self-reliance, if not self-sufficiency, wherever possible.

Reading the report leaves me with some uneasiness with the trends and portents in world trade in agricultural commodities. While on the production front, or on the supply side, the signal could be regarded as cautiously optimistic, on the demand or distribution side, whether it is in terms of trade in international markets or the purchasing power of vast multitudes in the developing countries, the signs are somewhat disturbing.

As the report says, the production gains have been greater in the traditional importing food countries, while deceleration in output has been more marked in the developed country exporters, particularly North America, and in the main exporting regions among the developing countries in Latin America. As we are all aware, in the developing countries the base of the datum line is relatively low. As a result even small increases in absolute terms could look impressive as percentages and proportions. In contrast, in the developed countries, where the levels attained are already high, even a decelerated growth rate could in absolute terms be rather impressive.

The report goes on to underline a fact which is causing worry to developing countries, namely export earnings of virtually all agricultural exporters continue to deteriorate while low prices have failed to stimulate agricultural products. The report also points out that developing regions, the Far East in particular, are severely affected by adverse movements in agricultural terms of trade in 1985. What is, however, more worrying is that the report points out in paragraph 58 that with the lone exception of coffee a further fall in agricultural terms of trade is expected in 1986.

However, many developing countries can draw some comfort from the fact that largely due to the de-cline in petroleum prices, prices of fertilizers which many developing countries, including India, have to import to step up agricultural production have declined steeply. The fall ranges from 50 percent over one year for urea and ammonium sulphate to 12 to 16 percent for phosphatic and potassic fertilizers. This, in a manner of speaking, is some consolation.

We all know the compulsions, the complexities and the intricacies of international trade, particularly in agricultural communities, and the various factors which influence the fluctuating terms of trade. We are aware that in various international agencies and fora, whether it is GATT, FAO or the United Nations, efforts are being made to sort out these complicated problems. One does wish that these efforts will succeed in forging a solution that is just, fair and equitable. But what is really more worrisome is the long-term view, what is likely to happen in the next ten to twenty years on the world food front. As more and more developing countries increase their agricultural production and productivity and more and more carry-over food supplies have to be stacked in godocons, how is the situation going to be tackled?

As the report points out, the most troubling issue for agricultural trade in recent years has been the escalating competition in the world markets and the mounting agricultural surpluses, low commodity prices and shrinking export markets. Export subsidies have deepened and proliferated. As the years go by the chances are that this issue might assume larger proportions. In that event, how does one deal with the world order if, as the report says, even low cost producing countries cannot compete in world markets.

The second major policy issue, as so ably summed up by the Director-General, DrSaouma, in his address yesterday, is that food security is not just a problem of production but of income as well. As the report points out, in 1980 to 1984 the per caput calorie intake declined in 46 out of the 102 developing countries for which data is available.

Referring to the widening nutritional gap, the report observes that countries with already relatively high levels of dietary energy supplies were those where most significant progress was achieved during 1980-1984. Conversely, the sharpest losses in per caput calorie intake were suffered by countries with the lowest level of DES. In terms of the long-range perspectives for world order this is an aspect which calls for careful and serious consideration.

The other major issue is the level and extent of subsidies to agriculture to make it competitive in international markets. This is the only way in which, if the current trends continue, exports in the future would seem to be possible. However, in terms of proportions and in terms of capacity to afford subsidies, the position varies vastly from the developing to the developed countries. In a country like India where about 70 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture and agriculture contributes over 50 percent of the gross domestic product, any substantial subsidies to agriculture will cast a burden on the non-agricultural segment of its economy and the other sections of population, a burden that might well-nigh become unbearable over a period of time In contrast, in the developed countries with the percentage of population in agriculture being often in the single digits and the contribution of agriculture to the GDP not of significant magnitude, cross subsidization could possibly be an expedient which one could live with.

In this context it is significant and it is very interesting that the United States has to lower the price support levels for cereals for the 1986 crops. Predictably, however, this step has led to a further reduction in the wheat and maize prices.

In the long-term perspective how can this problem be tackled? One solution that is being tried out is to have more trade bilaterally so that imports and exports get tied up and matched. It is arguable whether in terms of international trade this is a healthy or desirable development, but this practice does seem to have some advantages at least in the short term.

I am sure that these larger issues must be bothering all the members, whether they are the developed countries or the developing countries, and one does hope that despite the inherent difficulties and the built-in conflict of interests some pragmatic solutions could be hammered out in the world fora so that the comity of nations get a feeling that the problems have been tackled fairly and justly.

I would now make a few observations on the aspects relating to India in the section relating to the Regional Review. We are happy to note from paragraph 62 of the report that in the 1980s growth rates in land and labour of productivity have increased in India, though with a score of 4 percent in labour and 5 percent in land we are well behind the Republic of Korea with 7 percent. While this is an area in which we have achieved some progress, the ways by which the farmer can be given flexibility in cropping patterns are now engaging our attention.

Similarly, as the report observes in paragraphs 151 and 155, India achieved a 5 percent growth in food and agricultural output resulting in plentiful supplies of cereals, cotton, tea and a substantial increase in the production of edible oils. However, despite the drought of 1985, we were able to maintain the record production levels of 1983 and 1984. In 1986 this was also the case despite the current drought and floods, and we are confident of reaching the production levels of 1983 and 1984, if not marginally exceeding them. But the real problem, as highlighted in paragraph 158, is that the grain surpluses can neither be exported without subsidies nor be disposed of. internally without reduction in market and support prices.

The dilemma of the policy makers, as the report so perceptively observes in paragraph 160 is the immediate concerns for food security, remunerative returns to farmers and alleviation of poverty and the long-term achievements needed by the economy.

We have as indicated in paragraph 161, increased grain distribution to target groups through enlarged food-for-work programmes. Simultaneously we have liberalized cereal trading. Now rural flour mills purchase their wheat requirements directly from the market and not through the

Food Corporation of India. Agricultural prices constitute an important factor in increasing production. We have also recently tabled a policy document in parliament setting out our approach to the long-term agricultural price policies. The pressures and the competing demands have been delineated, and it is hoped that the policy document charts a course of action which would make for a speedier and more balanced growth and development of agriculture with a rational cropping pattern consistent with the national priorities.

Another very perceptive observation made in the report in paragraph 162 is that in particular until recently a biased attitude existed against rainfed production technology and non-cereal crops in general. Under Prime Minister Rajat Gandhi's 20 point programme of 1986 a special programme has been launched in India to increase production and productivity in rainfed farming. Simultaneously efforts are being made for a viable technology package, a responsive extension service, and for a delivery system and pricing policy to diversify agricultural production, laying greater emphasis on oilseeds, pulses, vegetables, horticulture and floriculture.

Coming to Section III of the paper, dealing with f inancing agricultural development, I was fascinated by the turn of the phrase in paragraph 224 that there have been signs of "aid fatigue" in some donor constituencies. On behalf of the developing countries, may I express the hope that this fatigue will be temporary and will be overcome quickly and effectively.

We would wholeheartedly agree with the observation in paragraph 228 that agriculture both complements other economic sectors and also competes with them for financial resources. Yesterday, when the Director-General, Dr-Saouma, was referring to the financial state of the FAO which we shall be discussing here in the next few days, my mind went back to India where due to a sudden resource constraint an exercise is on to prune our developmental expenditure. Predictably the cuts are likely to be heavy on agriculture, rural development and welfare programmes.

We also agree with the findings summarized in paragraph 235 about rural savings and agricultural investments. It is heartening to note that rural savings are often higher than conventionally believed, but the problem really is how to mobilize such savings and once mobilized how to effectively channel them for agricultural progress and development.

Referring to taxes on agriculture, it is true as observed in paragraph 240 that explicit taxation of agriculture is not a major source of revenue. The reasons for this situation are notfar to seek. In a country with a large majority engaged in agriculture, if one tries to keep the "constituency" satisfied the segment of the economy likely to be least taxed is agriculture. An off-shoot of this tendency is the policy towards land tax. More and more States in India are abolishing land tax, although in terms of incidence it has been getting progressively light. A fall-out to this measure, however, has been that land revenue records which provide authentic proof about ownership tenure, mutations, etc., and which had to be kept up to date when land taxes were being levied, tend to become neglected and gradually become outdated. In the long term this could have repercussions in extending developmental credit to rural farmers based on security or pledge of the land.

As regards the dualistic development strategy referred to in paragraph 245 and 246, and the explicit and implicit taxes, based on Indian experience permit me to differ from the view presented in the report. With a predominant and vocal lobby of agriculturalists it would be difficult to slap on implicit taxes which the farmers lobby would not become wise to in a matter of days, if not hours. On the other hand, there is a feeling that the agricultural sector is heavily subsidized. The fertilizer subsidy in India alone totals up to Rupees 2 billion per year. In flow irrigation from canals in Government projects the farmer pays precious little as an extra for access to water, although the State invests an average of Rupees 37 500 per hectare to extend it.

Similarly, power to agricultural pumpsets is supplied at rates which are one third to one quarter of the cost of generation and distribution. In another area of the report I find this aspect has been touched upon in a different context in paragraph 303. In this context we feel that the observations in paragraphe 245 and 246 do not seem to be applicable to the Indian situation.

As regards external sources as a means of funding agriculture it is gratifying to note that the OCA (Official Commitment to Agriculture) from the FAO as indicated in Table 13, page 55 is all concessional. May I express the hope on behalf of the developing countries that despite the resource constraints which the FAO is facing the Director-General, DrSaouma, would be able to maintain the annual growth rate of 4. 8 percent.

As far as foreign direct investment in agriculture is concerned, we in India have very little experience to be able to comment. However, the long range aim of all external sources of assistance should ideally be, first, strengthening the infrastructure and extension service in the donee country. Secondly, to provide the necessary inputs in terms of technology, seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, etc., wherever required. Lastly, to build up science and research capabilities to innovate, adapt and improve what has been made available through the external assistance programme. Against this background our delegation would support the suggestions made in paragraph 317, 318 and 319 of the document.

May I conclude by saying that we eagerly look forward to the fuller report promised in paragraph 225 of the document.

Guillermo Enrique GONZALEZ (Argentina):Siendo ésta la primera oportunidad en que mi delegación hace uso de la palabra, quiero expresar mi satisfacción por verlo a usted nuevamente presidiendo nuestras deliberaciones. Felicito, asimismo, a nuestros tres vicepresidentes, que estoy seguro sabrán ayudarle en su difícil misión. Agradecemos también al Dr. Islam por la presentación en la tarde de ayer que nos hiciera del documento pertinente para este tema. El mismo constituye un excelente análisis de la situación actual de la agricultura y la alimentación y, en general, mi delegación coincide con sus apreciaciones y conclusiones, que estamos en condiciones de apoyar.

He escuchado las excelentes intervenciones de los señores delegados y en este sentido deseo dejarconstancia de nuestra total coincidencia particularmente con lo expresado por los señores Gonzalo Bula Hoyos y José Ramón López-Portillo, representantes de Colombia y México, respectivamente.

A fin de no extenderme en esta intervención me referiré sólo a algunos de los aspectos más importantes para mi delegación, pero en el entendimiento de que a los efectos de las estadísticas que suele llevar la Secretaría se cuente a mi delegación apoyando lo dicho por los referidos representantes de Colombia y México.

Mi delegación no puede dejar de reiterar los perniciosos efectos de las políticas proteccionistas, de la subvención a las exportaciones y de las otras prácticas análogas que algunos países industrializados llevan a cabo. Estas políticas, miopes a nuestro juicio, están causando un daño irreparable a países en desarrollo y particularmente a aquellos productores de bajo precio con vocación ecológica que no sólo hemos perdido mercados tradicionales, sino que debemos enfrentar hoy competencias desleales en terceros mercados.

El sistema de promoción aplicado tiene además, a nuestro juicio, características en las que cabría una consideración a nivel moral. Se incentivan producciones que se sabe que son excedentarias ahora y en el futuro. Los agricultores siembran y cosechan sabiendo que sólo el Estado absorberá en buena parte los productos, y que parte de ellos terminarán siendo destruidos. El sistema, evidentemente, ha avanzado de manera tal que ya casi no es sistema el riesgo comercial para muchos sectores agrícolas de países industrializados, pues éste está cubierto, al menos en gran parte, por el Estado. Todo ello contrasta seriamente con la situación y con los problemas de los países en desarrollo con sana vocación agrícola. Allí se produce sin apoyos, sin subsidios, sin protecciones y, en definitiva, siempre con la incertidumbre de saber si se podrá vender. Por ello, cuando el documento que comentamos habla de la reducción y debilidad de los precios, de la disminución y del crecimiento de la producción mundial y de las perspectivas futuras, croemos que sería conveniente identificar y poner con mayor evidencia las causas de todo esto y las graves consecuencias que esas actividades tienen y tendrán en forma creciente para el desarrollo de muchos países.

En lo, que concierne a la Argentina, estamos sufriendo con intensidad estos problemas afectando desde un punto de vista económico y social a importantes áreas de nuestra población rural. Es claro, Sr. Presidente, que nuestros países difícilmente puedan continuar haciendo frente a los pesados servicios de la deuda externa si no se producen cambios importantes en esta materia, si nuestros productos no reciben un precio razonable, y en definitiva, si no se alcanza un orden económico internacional más justo.

Como resultado de los factores climáticos adversos y del contexto internacional negativo, hubo en el período 1985-86 una menor área sembrada en la Argentina y con rindes inferiores. Durante dicho ciclo agropecuario 1985-86 se experimentó un descenso del 3, 4 por ciento general respecto ai ano precedente, atribuibles a un deterioro en la rama agrícola del-4, 1 por ciento y un leve ascenso en la pecuaria del 0, 6 por ciento. Este leve incremento que manifestó el sector pecuario debe exclusivamente imputarse a la reactivación de la producción láctea en un 5 por ciento, o sea, que los demás componentes reflejaron importantes declinaciones, que en el caso de ganado vacuno se debió a la forma en que ciertos países industrializados manejaron sus excedentes y que causaron el estancamiento y la descapitalización de todo el sector en Argentina.

Durante el mencionado ciclo agrícola 1985-86, la producción triguera disminuyó en un 27 por ciento respecto al año anterior, y en un 12, 9 por ciento respecto al último quinquenio, alcanzando un volumen por debajo de los 10 millones de toneladas.

La producción de maíz, por el contrario, aumentó en un 25, 3 por ciento respecto al ciclo precedente y un 25, 5 respecto a la media del quinquenio, alcanzando un volumen del orden del 11, 9 milliones de toneladas. Esta cantidad que constituye un segundo récord histórico debe atribuirse en gran medida a un mayor rendimiento de la superficie cultivada que superó los 3 560 kilogramos por hectárea.

La producción bruta de algodón disminuyó en un 8 por ciento respecto al año anterior, pero fue significativamentesuperior al promedio del último quinquenio.

La uva para vinificar alcanzó un volumen de 2, 2 millones de toneladas, lo que implica una sensible reducción en cualquier comparación.

Cabe señalar, por último, que las previsiones para la presente campana 1986-87, no permiten ser muy optimistas como consecuencia directa de las crecientes dificultades en el contexto internacional que, lógicamente, afectan a nuestros productores rurales. Confiamos en que este round de negociaciones que se abre en el seno del GATT. constituya un "turning point" de estas políticas y estas tendencias que han caracterizado al comercio internacional en los últimos años y que, sin duda, hoy limitan severamente toda posibilidad de crecimiento en los países en desarrollo, profun-dizando así el problema de la pobreza. Es por ello, Sr. Presidente, que con todo entusiasmo midelegación apoya la iniciativa del Presidente Virgilio Barco de Colombia para librar una verdadera batalla contra el flagelo de la pobreza extrema.

Por último, reiteramos también nuestro respaldo a la cooperación técnica y económica entre los países en desarrollo en el campo de la agricultura y a la labor de coordinación y apoyo que estamos seguros la Organización puede prestar.

Dominic D. BALLAYAN (Liberia): My delegation highly commends the FAO secretariat for the preparation of documents CL 90/2 and its sup 1; we are also pleased with the comprehensive picture presented on food, agriculture, forestry, fishery and trade.

My delegation also compliments the Director-General, Edouard Saouma, and Professor Islam for giving excellent previews to our deliberation, and it is our hope that we will amicably reach unanimous consensus in resolving some of the pressing issues facing the organization on agricultural and rural development.

Althoughthe increase in food production shows more modest progress in 1986 than in 1985, and even shows significant recovery specifically in some developing countries, my delegation is still displeased because of the growing threat of food shortage or starvation still confronting some of the regions of the world, especially those of Africa, as we see in paragraph 31 of document CL 90/2 Sup 1. We therefore support paragraph 36 of Sup 1 and its sub items in this line.

My delegation will not dwell on impediments to food production and economic growth in all regions facing malnutrition, starvation or even death since many have elaborated on these issues. Moreover, we are aware of these calamities some of which causes are natural and unnatural, or internal and external.

My delegation is appealing to the international community and other organizations and donors to continue giving both moral and financial support to all initiatives put forward by the Director-General and FAO in fully achieving better agriculture performance in those regions facing food shortage or starvation. We must also commend IFAD, WFP, the World Bank and other donor agencies providing continuous assistance to remedy Africa's food problem:

We also support the ideal of an in-depth study of African agriculture with respect to aid in kind as we feel this may remedy some of our immediate problems in promoting agriculture recovery. Furthermore, there are countries within the region producing surpluses, and my delegation feels that with this study of aid-in-kind, donor nations may be able to purchase these surpluses to be used as aid to other food deficit countries. We also agree that aid-in-kind will cover other inputs, including fertilizer.

My delegation also stresses that technical cooperation programmes and early warning systems are key areas that deserve unanimous support for they have continued to play an effective role in handling some of the worst food problems in Africa and other developing countries.

My delegation is also appealing to all developingcountries, especially African countries who are receiving moral and financial aid, to continue giving agriculture high priority, and in that respect my delegation highly supports paragraph 300 of CL 90/2, including its subsections.

Mr Chairman, my delegation is gratified to see you chairing this 90th Session of FAO Council and we congratulate those Vice-Chairmen elected to aid you guide our deliberations in the cause of FAO's future and including suffering humanity.

Robert SEVCOVIC (Czechoslovakia): Mr Chairman, since this is the first time my delegation has taken the floor, I should like to follow up on some of the principal problems to which the Director-General has drawn our attention. As for our position on all the secretariat documents prepared for consideration in the Council, we should like to express a tribute for the generally thorough preparation of these documents.

Document CL 90/2 is undoubtedly of fundamental importance. Together with document CL 90/10, it provides a relatively balanced and well-rounded overview of the world food and agricultural situation. It has already become a matter of tradition as well as of FAO's prestige that the Organization's statistics, analyses and other documents on the food situation offer a valuable source of information to Member Governments on the state and development of world output and consumption of food. However, what the documents on the world food situation lack, in our view, is a more profound socio-economic and political look at this set of problems.

Whereas we live at a time when the world stocks of cereals have surpassed by several percentage points the recommended size of stocks for world food security and, at the same time, three-quarters of a billion people suffer from hunger and malnutrition, this situation may rightly be called a paradox and the food problem may justifiably be included among the gravest global problems facing mankind.

The report shows one significant trend: while in the developing countries the food problem basically no longer exists, in the developing countries the agricultural output, the redistribution of food and agricultural products, their consumption as well as trade with them are highly vulnerable. Neither the current situation nor the outlook can be described as satisfactory despite certain positive trends in world economy, particularly with regard to the development of interest rates and inflation. As the document states, in our view correctly, certain encouraging trends in the world economy cannot be generalized and it would be a grave mistake to overestimate their significance, particularly with regard to their impact on the development of agriculture. All the more urgently arises the need for an analysis of the broader socio-economic aspects of the food problem.

We regard the food problem as a special form of underdevelopment of the developing countries. Its vast complexity consists in the fact that it represents a set of deeply interwoven internal and external economic, social, technical, demographic, as well as political, aspects of the production, exchange and consumption of foodstuffs.

Despite some positive shifts that have occurred in the implementation of national agricultural policies in many developing countries, not only in Asia but also, as the document states, in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America, the problem of hunger and malnutrition remains a pressing one in many other countries, particularly the least developed ones. It is precisely this trend that we consider to be extremely unfavourable and we are gravely concerned about the continuous growth of the disproportions between the level of agricultural development in the advanced countries and in the least developed ones.

The socio-economic conditions allowing an outbreak of starvation in many parts of the world date back to the period before the gaining of political independence by the majority of today's developingcountries. We are entitled to ask:what stands today in the way of solving the food problem?We are convinced that the problem cannot be successfully tackled and solved without an overall restructuring of the whole system of international economic relations on a democratic basis and without the establishment of a new international economic order.

The economic and, as a result, frequently also political dependence of the developing countries on capitalist economic centres, the continuing exploitation of the human and natural resources of the developing countries along with a number of other neocolonialist practices and the unjust and unequal division of labour between the developed capitalist states and the developing countries in the field of food production represent a serious hindrance to the economic development of the developing countries. This division of labour is imposed on the developing countries by the international market mechanism and by the actions of the transnational corporations. Very often a situation arises in which a country produces not what is urgently needed by its inhabitants but what is in demand on the world market. The priorities of that market are the decisive and determining factor in relation to the vast majority of the liberated territories. At the same time, the impact of that market leads in many cases to a distortion of the production profile of many countries and has thus a considerable share in the complicated food situation in the developing countries.

In enumerating the causes and the interrelations of the food problem it would be a mistake not to mention the impact of bad weather on agriculture and on poor crops. The document contains a sober and, at the same time, matter-of-fact assessment of the consequences of the rains in Africa and the Middle East which followed the disastrous droughts of the first half of the 1980s. This year in particular FAO has been giving particular attenion to the problem of locusts and grasshopper attacks in Africa and in the Middle East, and it has already undertaken a number of steps towards the solution of these problems. The common denominator of the climatic and natural factors is the fact that neither is insurmountable. We are convinced that their impact can be mitigated if the right agricultural policy is designed and. implemented. It is necessary to see to the elaboration of such economic programmes that would utilize both domestic and other resources, closely match the reconstruction of obsolete agriculture with the activities of other economic branches, with decisive assistance being provided by the state, which plays an irreplaceable role in economic development. Today agricultural development also represents a broad field of activity on the international scale involving operational and technical assistance including the transfer of technologies and know-how. We believe that this aspect of the development of agriculture would deserve greater attention in the document.

As far as the evaluation of the situation of agriculture in the region as well as individual countries is concerned, we are of the view that document CL/90/2 assesses the situation on the whole objectively and in a balanced manner. With regard to the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic it should perhaps be added to the stated evaluation tha t in the course of the last two years Czechoslovakia not only managed to reach self-sufficiency in the output of cereals but also, at the same time, to fully satisfy the demand for meat and dairy products and to produce also certain surpluses which have been exported to other countries of the world.

The Czechoslovak delegation is convinced that in order to overcome the current food situation it is important for a number of developing countries to strengthen their sovereignty over their natural resources, to limit the undesirable activities of the transnational corporations, to increase the role and the share of the state and cooperative sectors in agriculture, to utilize their own food resources and the experience of those developing countries which have succeeded in reaching self-sufficiency in staplee food stuffs, and to strengthen their regional independence in food.

We are deeply concerned about the unprecedented financial situation in FAO, especially in light of the shortfall in resources caused by delayed or reduced payments from the largest contributors.

The social and economic development of the developing countries in the broadest sense is related to progress in international negotiations on securing universal peace, gradual reduction of military budgets and disarmament.

My country will continue, insofar as it can, to extend assistance to developing countries, as well as its tried and tested experience from the development of state and cooperative sectors in agriculture. We have again a great deal of valuable experience in that respect, and we have successfully resolved the question of self-sufficiency in the output of the principal agricultural commodities.

As a founding and long-standing member of FAO, we shall continue to provide aid to the developing countries and to give support to their demands aimed at attaining their independence in food.

Javed MUSHARRAF (Pakistan): The most striking aspect of this commendable document and of the deliberations that ensued on it have been to highlight, (as stated in paragraph 4 of the document) how an essentially external factor, namely the overall economic environment of the world, can exert an influence on agricultural production and trade comparable to the factors and policies within the sector itself.

The inter-dependence between the various parts of the world have been pointed out by everyone--the massive chain (to quote the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia) linking South and North in the matter of growth and trade etc. At the cost of over-simplification, I would like to confine my intervention to a cursory look at the relation of the developing to the developed countries as a whole (labelled as North and South) and what prospects the South can be said to have for growth, development and for trade in a world that has come to be organized along North/South lines--a world in which growth and trade have stalled and protectionism and indebtedness have become endemic.

In a way, I would like to start where the delegate of Turkey left off in a statement on this item yesterday when he said that we in the South seem to be getting the advice that, "since the neighbourhood has gone a bit awry, put your own house in order". The delegate of Turkey went on to say, and one would like to ask, "What about the neighbourhood? Doesn't the neighbourhood affect the household as well?"

In my statement I would like to explore, in a wider and longer context than focused in our discussions, the relationship between that household and that neighborhood. What it perhaps is, what it might be, and what it may mean for trade, growth and development.

The bleak situation, which the Director-General in his eloquent introductory statement described as a worldwide economic malaise, has been described at length by almost every delegation. Therefore, without repeating that part of the picture, I will confine my comments to, and remind the delegates of, certain not unknown broad and general aspects of a global and historical nature against which the overall prospects and tasks before the developing countries may be assessed.

Since the vast range of specific issues arising from the documents have already been gone into, I wish to address a few broader, and I hope not too trivial, or irrelevant, aspects. It has commonly been accepted that growth in the developed parts of the world acted, through the mechanism of trade, as the engine of growth, pulling the less developed countries ahead on the growth path. Now, as we are informed by this document, that engine seems to have run out of steam. The question, and an important one for us, therefore, is when is the engine likely to speed up again? And what will happen if it does not?Can the "train" of developed countries keep going forward fast enough under its own steam or momentum?Looking at the first of these questions, namely when is the engine likely to speed up again, no one can be so bold or rash as to say definitely when. One may, however, perhaps look at the historical record in awareness, of course, of any rigid "historicism".

Over the last 200 years or so there have been with a striking, (and not fully explained) regularity, four long periods or cycles of roughly fifty years or so-the second half of each cycle of twenty to twenty-five years being the downswing or depression. The four periods of depression, one may recall, were: firstly the 1830s and 40s, (those 25 years); then again from 1873 to the end of the 19th century which came to be called 'The Long Depression'; thirdly, the "Great Depression" of the late 20s and 30s of this century; and, finally, this one since the last decade (and if one date is to be given--maybe since 1973). The question is, will it go on to the end of the century?Who can say?Whether what we have at present is such a "long wave" or Kondratieff Cycle, or whether belief in the existence of such cycles is in any case a sham (like the Babylonian exercises in numerology) is a matter for nervous speculation.

On the second question, namely what will happen if growth does not accelerate? One may recall and take heart from the fact that Germany, France, and the USA had developed their industry during the "long" depression in the end of the 19th century. Later, Japan, USSR, Canada, and Australia industrialized during the "great" depression of this century. Therefore (with due caution again, given the historical and other differences ) we may ask, could not the less developed countries also develop during the downswings, as did the other countries, and have an autonomous engine growth to ultimately pull the stalling engine of the North and then both engines might work together in tandem?

Are the tropical countries too hot (in climate) to develop? Are people too lazy and unenterprising? One may dismiss all such prophecies by remembering how, only a few centuries ago, Ibu Khaldun, the Tunisian philosopher (from your country, Mr Chairman), perhaps the most original historiographer of all times, had declared that Europe could never develop since it was too cold. But at that very time, the Renaissance was about to surface in Europe.

The safest bit of speculation is that people anywhere, at all times, of all cultures and climes, have the equal potential and possibilities to develop given the right circumstances, environment, policies and so on. To point to one historical episode, there was, in fact, an incipient industrial revolution in Bengal when the British came to India. Had it not been thwarted through colonial commercial policy, the history and position of what is now Bangladesh could have been very different. Thus, an optimistic answer to the second question (and we do seem to need under this Agenda item a dose of optimism), is that it can in principle be done i. e. an autonomous, independent growth

momentum for the South (independent of the North), should be possible -- the mechanism for South / South, cooperation and. South/South arrangements. The developing countries can, in fact, import their food, their fertilizers, their cement, their steel, their machines from other developing countries and make their own later. Some developing countries, the fast-growing ones, can, to start with, take the position of the present developed countries as. the engine of growth to pull the rest along. Preferential arrangements, however, on a global South/South level will have to be worked out, or perhaps a more restricted "customs union" route can be tried once again (although, for certain reasons, that route had not fulfilled its earlier promise).

The really difficult position, of course, for some time to come will be that of the "least developed" countries. For them, special support arrangements and frameworks will have to be necessary -- in-cluding, in particular, aid during the transition period. Internally, the developing countries will have to build up their own indigenous technological, organizational and policy making capacities as did some of the late developers amongst the developed countries, such as Japan. They will have to reduce their technological dependence and embark on a rapid training of the skilled personnel, even avoiding perhaps foreign investments in their major industries. Even a little "turning-in" the reduction of too much interdependence, at least for some time, may be called for.

Some of the leading developing countries are already embarked on that route. The others have to be sucked in, as it were, into this age-old process, through South/South cooperation (what we now call ECDC/TCDC).

Of course there are complicating factors not experienced before by the earlier late developers. For example, the existence of the transnational corporations. In a world in which two-fifths of world trade is conducted by transnational corporations and their subsidiaries, where developing country imports of food and technology are controlled by transnational corporations, and a world in which the exports of these countries are controlled by, or dependent for their market access upon, these corporations, it may be difficult to change flows from the current North/South pattern to new South/ South routes.

To take some UNCTAD figures, corporate control of the global commodity trade is such that in 1980 a handful of transnational traders, (as few as four or five in each case) accounted for 60 percent of the sugar market; 70 percent of bananas, rice and natural rubber; 80 percent of tea; 85 percent of wheat, coffee, corn, cotton, rubber, cocoa, pineapple; and 90 percent of forest products. There are, of course, both positive and negative aspects of the role of the transnational corporations. One cannot, and should not, paint things black and white. It depends on the specifics of the situation and the type of arrangements worked out with them. There is a need for carefully worked-out terms and conditions, agreements and negotiations with transnational corporations by host countries. I would agree with the delegate from Mexico when he proposed yesterday that there is an urgent need for a study by this Organization on the role of trans-national corporations and their position in the world trade of commodities. In addition to the transnational corporations, there are other daunting and complicating factors facing the developing countries. To cite only one is the reverse flow of technology called the "Brain Drain".

Having briefly looked at, as above, some aspects of the position on the side of the developing countries, one may now turn to the side of the developed countries and ask, "What can or should the North be (hopefully) expected to do?"Perhaps the answer is two things: first, put its own house in order; second open its windows; and if one may add a third, even help the less developed countries to put their house in order, including their efforts at South/South cooperation.

In the matter of putting their own house in order, the developed countries should perhaps tackle their own "structural" problems (which may, pending reliable research, be at the root cause of their present crisis). Their crisis is, in some respects, "structural" (apart from, or in addition to, being "cyclical"). The over-capacity in what are called their "ailing industries", (such as motorcars, shipyards, steel and plastics)-industries that are sick due to technological and economic reasons. For example, in the case of steel, development of substitutes, use of lighter construction materials, saturation of demand, and competition from new industrial countries.

In such a structural situation, recovery of the overall demand when the general recession is overmay still not be enough to restore the demand for such industries. Their malaise is structural, not cyclical. The answer therefore is "structural adjustment", something which in many respects is far easier in a developed country than in developing countries.

The developing countries, especially the poorest among them, do not have the capacity to adjust. Their capacity to adjust is more limited. Even if the will is there, the capacity to respond and to adapt is less. The capacity to shift resources towards tradeable production, to curb domestic expenditure and to "reposition" themselves, as it were, in new directions at high cost in terms of austerity. All this is far more difficult for an underdeveloped country with underdeveloped organizations and structures than for a developed country. The aggravating factors (for the developed countries) in the situation, however, are that the structural problems have over time to (through perhaps a perverse form of development), become regional problems as well, with regional, political and economic dimensions. Whole regions have become specialized in some of the ailing industries--for example, the steel regions or districts of certain European countries. The regionalization has been brought about by, I believe, an historical process of a few large organizations, concerns or firms entrenching themselves in a locality, sucking in all the labour and factors of production into its vortex, and driving out other industries and activities from the locality. The original local networks of economic activity therefore decayed and were replaced by a monolithic "steel frame", as it were, (literally in some places, figuratively in many more). Once such a situation has been established, changing the ailing structure (and if possible restoring older harmonies) may be like trying to replant the desert. But still, it is easier to undertake such structural adjustments in developed countries than in developing countries, even if need may see fit to have the IMF assist them in this respect.

As regards the second task of the developed countries, namely what I referred to as the "opening of their windows", both morality and mutual interest dictate the doing away with protectionism -- "morality", from the point of view of alleviating human suffering in the developing countries (granted that morality has never cut much ice since Adam, Abel and Cain), but "mutual interest" should be a more potent argument. Twenty percent of developed countries exports go to developing countries. Of course, in the long run, it may be true (as was said by Arthur Lewis) that even if the whole Third World sinks under the sea, it will really not make any difference to the "North". But that will be in the long run. In the short, or medium run, as Brandt has pointed out, plainly there is a mutuality of interest. The delegate of Colombia has quoted leaders of the North, Mr. Craxi, MrPandolfi, and members of delegations who attended the recent Punta del Este meeting as saying that it was not just an act of humanitarianism but one necessary to achieve economic balance and peace in the world and so on. Yet all such declarations have never led to action. What is the explanation for this puzzle? Neither "morality" nor "mutual interest really seem to cut the ice. I think the explanation lies in the politico-economic facts of life in developed countries, namely that appeals to remove protectionism, etc., would not cut ice because though they might be in the "general" interest, the things which are operational, which spur action, emanate from "particular" interests. Powerful "particular" interests dictate what action is taken, and not the "general" interest.

Now that explanation has to be grasped and acted upon because it has implications for policy and how the matter is to be approached. Even in the 19th Century when free trade was accepted in Britain, and in the post-First World War free trade period in the USA, it was "particular" interests which had spurred action in the direction of both; "particular" interests of industry and trade in Britain in the 19th Century and "particular" interests of industry and trade in the United States in the post war period had led to free tradism. But now the powerful "particular" interests in these countries are for protectionism. Therefore, given that fact, the arguments for "mutual benefit" and "morality" will have to be watered down and perhaps one has to use other methods in approaching these particular interests. The approach that can be taken is a sort of "bargaining approach" where the objective would be to identify a "particular" interest and bargain with it. In fact, examples are available where in the recent past this approach has worked. An example, in fact, can be given of several member countries sitting here, without naming any. In one case a restriction on textile exports was successfully removed by the withdrawing of orders of textile machinery. In the case of another pair of countries, a better treatment for the students of one country were sort of "extracted" through a boycott of that country's goods. In the case of another set of countries, an IDA replenishment was facilitated when one country threatened to withhold certain major contracts in order to get the support of another country for the replenishment.

In the case of yet another set the reduced grain purchases led to the removal of restrictions on textile imports. And so on.

The point is that, of course, such bargaining methods and such an approach may have a distorting effect, may escalate economic wars, and may really be further in the nature "beggar-thy-neighbour" policies. The possibility of retaliation and so on would also be there. But it would not be the worst off policy in every case. In a situation which is already not the first-best or the second-best, but perhaps the third-or the fourth-best, an additional distortion may in fact improve the situation, as indeed in the examples where I cited it did. Another example of a worthwhile second best policy, which would be bad in a free trade situation but would be all right in a protectionist environment, is the example of counter trade (now accounting for almost 20 percent of total trade). So the point is that second-or third-best policy, in an already second-or third-best environment, may in fact improve the situation.

The sources of such bargaining powers could be "buyer power", "debtor power", "political power", and "contract power", (contracts especially, since contracts touch upon particular interests). The least developed countries, of course, will find the least potential in the use of such an approach. But then the answer is collective bargaining. But, of course, caution has to be exercised in all this, as it may lead to situations where ultimately everyone is worse off. It cannot be predicted in individual situations. Therefore there is a need to play by the ear but best, of course, to avoid it altogether, that is to avoid such an approach of "bargaining" and "beggar-thy-neighbour" policies. For this the initiative, of course, lies with those who hold the cards, namely, the developed countries.

Finally, since it is already too long, to touch upon the third aspect which the developed countries could do, namely try to promoteSouth-South cooperation, the North could try to promote this South/ South cooperation through technical and financial assistance for the necessary structural adjustments through assistance for human resources development and through the creation of infrastructure and information networks which would facilitate true South/South cooperation.

Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Aunque en primer lugar debemos expresar nuestro apoyo al informe en discusión, quiero comenzar por manifestar mi congratulación al doctor Islam por la eficiente labor que revela este informe, y asimismo debemos expresar aquí algunas reflexiones a que nos han movido el estudio de ese informe.

Este informe pone en evidencia de manera clara una nueva realidad, la interdependencia económica, independientemente de las posiciones ideológicas y políticas de los países en referencia.

La interdependencia, sin duda, es un concepto nuevo que supera aquel cuadro tradicional de los países dominantes y países dependientes en el plano internacional, ciertamente, en el hecho subsistente por una diferencia en cuanto a la capacidad productiva de unos y las necesidades de otros.

Hoy tenemos, por cierto gracias al Sistema de las Naciones Unidas, y muy en especial de esta Organización para la Agricultura y la Alimentación en la cual estas relaciones pueden ser discutidas en el plano multilateral, una oportunidad en que todo puede ser discutido sin mengua de la soberanía de los países pobres, o como algunos los denominan países subdesarrollados o países en vías de desarrollo.

Esta interdependencia significa que no pueden subsistir países capaces de bastarse a sí mismos sin estar aislados de la Comunidad Internacional, por más poderosos que ellos sean política y económicamente. Los dominantes sin duda necesitan la solidaridad y las relaciones externas que es la base para llegar a su posición con base a la producción y necesitan además quienes consuman esta producción; esto es, necesitan un mercado. Es este justamente el punto que nos conduce al problema de la ayuda alimentaria, problema que concierne a la FAO y al cual se refiere el informe que hoy debemos aprobar. Y es este problema el que ha dado lugar al nuevo concepto de seguridad alimentaria, el cual no debe considerarse de otra manera que no sea el cumplimiento de la responsabilidad de velar por la supervivencia de poblaciones que por múltiples razones no disponen de medios propios para atender sus necesidades de supervivencia. Estas poblaciones son dependientes de tal ayuda alimentaria que necesariamente debe venir de aquellas naciones privilegiadas, por decirlo así,

privilegiadas por la naturaleza, por su situación geográfica, su clima y, ¿por qué no decirlo también?porque el devenir histórico les ha permitido las condiciones político-sociales propicias para su desarrollo cultural mientras que a los otros les han sido negadas las condiciones mínimas para la superación de su atraso y las posibilidades de acceder a otros estadios del desarrollo, o lo que es lo mismo medido en términos modernos, la capacidad de producir para autoabastecer sus necesidades esenciales.

Si analizamos este hecho de la interdependencia nos preguntamos: ¿podrían subsistir, podrían haber alcanzado el desarrollo que hoy ostentan los países industrializados, es decir los principales productores, sin haber tenido un mercado para sus productos y que, en consecuencia, son sus clientes consumidores?. No son precisamente los países en vías de desarrollo, los países del Tercer Mundo, unos porque es de aquéllos de quienes dependen para el intento de desarrollo de su agricultura y su industria, otros, los del Tercer Mundo, porque precisamente gracias a este programa de la ayuda alimentaria han encontrado una oportunidad para que de una manera muy eficiente puedan disponer de sus excedentes, en suma los países desarrollados son también beneficiarios de este Programa de Ayuda Alimentaria.

Es, pues, un juego de intereses el que se produce en esta relación de interdependencia, en el cual la parte débil es la de los que por efectos del subdesarrollo han llegado a unos niveles de pobreza extrema de los cuales es difícil, y será muy difícil, levantarse sin la cooperación de todos, y es precisamente este el programa de mayor excelencia que posee la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación es decir la FAO, que con sus programas de cooperación técnica cumple de un modo eficiente esa tarea de asistencia a los miembros de la Organización que aspiran a mejorar sus condiciones de vida y de supervivencia; por ello queremos dejar constancia de manera expresa muy en especial nuestro respaldo a la permanencia de este Programa de Cooperación Técnica del cual tantos beneficios derivan los países pobres.

Asimismo queremos apoyar la idea expresada en este Consejo por nuestro Director General, doctor Saouma, para extender este Programa de Ayuda Alimentaria, para que incluya además de alimentos insumos tales como semillas, fertilizantes, maquinaria, etc. al mismo tiempo que el Programa pueda extender su cobertura no sólo al Continente Africano, sino al Medio Oriente, a Asia y América Latina y el Caribe. Sería de esta manera la forma en que la ayuda alimentaria y la coordinación de esta ayuda alimentaria con el desarrollo de estos países pudiera ser realmente efectiva.

Queremos ratificar aquí la posición de Venezuela expresada en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas frente al proteccionismo agrícola y otros medios de descriminación contra los países en desarrollo que son exportadores de productos básicos.

Finalmente, porque quiero ser breve, debo recordar que está pendiente el estudio hace tiempo solicitado sobre las corporaciones transnacionales que no ha sido presentado todavía. Quiero apoyar la solicitud de la delegación mexicana sobre este punto a fin de que sea conocido tal documento.

Y por último, queremos dejar constancia del apoyo de Venezuela ya expresado por nuestro Canciller en el foro de las Naciones Unidas a la proposición del Presidente de Colombia sobre la Conferencia sobre la probreza absoluta a realizarse en fecha próxima.

No quiero agregar nada más porque todo lo han dicho quienes me antecedieron en el uso de la palabra.

Haris ZANNETIS (Observer for Cyprus): Being an observer and following so many statements I will be very brief. Nevertheless I would like to express my delegation's satisfaction for the comprehensive document and its supplements and to commend Professor Islam for his introduction.

The state of food and agriculture in 1986 in general can be said to represent a positive picture. Production of cereals and other major foodstuffs increased globally. What is more important is the even distribution of this increase between developed and developing countries. As a result of this increase in production carry-over stocks are rising and world prices are dropping. This by itself would have been a positive factor if developing countries, and more importantly the poorest of them,

were financially able to import the food that they need. But the ever growing burden of debt servicing of these countries associated with the declining prices of their agricultural export commodities result in worsening the balance of payments problem and reducing the financial resources of these countries, making it increasingly difficult for them to finance commercial inputs. The result is the reduction of food availability in these countries and the reduction in per caput food consumption.

This brings me to paragraph 52 of the present document, where we read with concern that in thecountries with relatively high levels of per caput dietary energy supplies the most significant progress was achieved during 1980-84 and conversely the sharpest losses were suffered by countries with the lowest levels of DES. This is very worrying and represents, we believe, the major tasks for the international community. Massive efforts should be made so that low-income food-deficit countries would be helped to be able to produce or import the food they need for their people. We recognize that efforts have been made but perhaps they should be intensified. We conceded the agreement reached early this year for the second replenishment of IFAD's resources to be a positive step. Although the agreed level of resources is well below our expectation it will neverthless enable the Fund to be operative for a few more years. We hope that negotiations for the aid replenishment of the resources of the International Development Association will aso be sucessful and resources will keep flowing through this body for the agricultural development of less developed countries.

Mrs Malgorzata PIOTROWSKA (Observer for Poland): Our delegation cannot be neutral on the point raised this morning by the Australian delegation. The future leadership of FAO is of extreme importance to member countries. We fully agreed with the Chairman, who decided that a discussion on this subject was out of order at that time. It was the reason why we did not raise our hand in protest and since we are here in the observer capacity. However, we cannot miss the opportunity to express our full support for Dr Saouma. The very difficult situation that FAO is facing now calls for the best man with a lot of experience to Bead the Organization. Dr. Saouma proved to be such a man. The interests of the Organization requirethat we profit from his knowledge and experience during his further term of office.

Coming back to the item on the agenda, I would like to Say that an analysis of the document under discussion indicates that it correctly reflects the progress in world agricultural production and in the rural life of most continents. The favourable trend of production and rural development growth in most countries of Asia, South America, socialist countries and some Africa countries is being consolidated. Also for Poland food self-sufficiency has been restored and the basis for further agricultural development consolidated. The progress, however, is dominated by intensification of alarming and unjust development in the proportions North/South. In part of the developing countries, particularly part of African countries, the agricultural food situation is aggravated dramatically without a real outlook for averting that dangerous trend.

It is emphasized rightly in the document that a reason equally important as the drought, and maybe more important, is the worsening credit relations between South and North and insufficiently effective aid granted to those countries. Those unfavourable conditions of exchange exercise a stronger checking effect on the agriculture of developing countries and the international aid programmes can act favourably. Also there is increasingly subsidized food production. It brings out ever growing economic social problems, not only in the agricultural environment but also among the consumer. The reluctance of taxpayers is also growing. On the other hand it also hinders the export of agricultural raw materials and food supluses on the part of developing countries.

All the above indicates that there is necessary radicalization of thinking of the international community and of our Organization in this respect. New ways and instruments have to be found for regulating production and for improving rural development by single countries, groups of countries, FAO and other organizations dealing with those problems. Such a new favaourable example of that approach to the difficult problems of world agriculture can be the recent initiative of the Director-General on agricultural development of Africa. Poland welcomes that initiative with appreciation and satisfaction. It will be important for the future aid, the acknowledgement of the need and the acceptance of the possibility of assistance in kind that will facilitate to may countries, Poland included, a wider joining of those aid programmes to other countries.

Poland expects that the FAO Council will devote considerable attention to the working out of effective forms of mobilization and use of the assistance in kind, which is more difficult that mobilization, and particular spending resources in cash which has been dominating so far.

The programme "Africa" also synthesises the experiences of the past years of the expert work of FAO and the instruction of specific features of the countries such as minor crops, traditional models of consumption and technologies of food preparing in households in social areas, women's role etc., which might increase the effectiveness of both multilateral and bilateral assistance.

Difficult problems of world agriculture, its dependence on conditions of general and trade development, make it necessary for FAO to join, especially, actively the new round of GATT. Without progress in improving general conditions of exchange there can be no improvement in the agricultural and food situation, not only in Africa but in Europe as well.

Poland expects the FAO Council to handle those issues with great care and activity in the coming years.

By way of conclusion, let me emphasize the satisfaction that in the document under discussion the agricultural questions of socialist countries were treated with more insight than they have been in the previous report of the State of Food and Agriculture.

We wish to thank Mr Hjort and his colleagues for so cooperative an approach and for efforts undertaken to provide the Council with an objective picture of the Polish agriculture. We are willing to cooperate with respective services in the future in improving those analyses.

Carlos DINATOR (Observador de Chile): Es para mí un honor asistir por primera vez a este 90° Consejo de la FAO. Nos complace mucho, señor Presidente, verle presidir nuestros trabajos, al intervenir a próposito del tema 4 de nuestra agenda sobre la situación mundial en la agricultura y la alimentación, tema sin duda dificil en los tiempos que corren.

El Sr. Director General de la FAO en la sesión inaugural destacó en breve síntesis la situación mundial poniendo énfasis, en opinión de mi delegación, en los problemas de comercio que, sin duda, cobran crucial importancia en estos momentos.

Poseemos para nuestros trabajos una buena herramienta en el interesante y valioso documento de la Secretaría CL 90/2 presentado acertadamente por el Dr. Nurul Islam.

El Sr. Director General nos ha complementado su texto haciendo referencia a las tendencias actuales en torno al proteccionismo, agregando una nota de moderado optimismo que genera el inicio de una nueva ronda de negociaciones del GATT comenzada con los acuerdos de Punta del Este. Seguimos, por cierto, muy atentamente tales negociaciones y, en especial, en materia silvoagropnecuaria, complaciendo a mi delegación el anuncio de la contribución que de la FAO para el éxito de las mismas. Mi país cree firmemente en que la decidida liberalización del comercio agrícola y el consiguiente crecimiento del mismo traerá beneficios para todos y será, asimismo, una verdadera contribución a la cooperación y a la paz mundial.

Al igual que otros países presentes, creemos en los esfuerzos en estas materias.

Cabe recordar respecto al problema de las barreras al comercio que, según revelara un reciente estudio del Banco Mundial, el proteccionismo agrícola en arroz, carnes, productos lácteos y azúcar reduce el ingreso nacional tanto de los países desarrollados como de los países en desarrollo. Estos últimos pierden por este concepto 18 billones de dólares al año y los desarrollados 46 billones en el mismo período.

Demás está decir, Sr. Presidente, que mi país participó decididamente en los acuerdos adoptados en las reuniones celebradas en los países en los que no se subvencionan sus producciones agropecuarias, que tuvieron lugar en Pattaya (Tailandia) y en la ciudad australiana de Cairns en julio y agosto del año en curso, respectivamente.

Debo señalar al Consejo que en mi país la balanza comercial arrojó en 1985 un superávit de 586 y medio millones de dólares, es decir, 67, 5 por ciento superior al año precedente, a lo cual cabe agregar otro superávit en el sector de la pesca por 500 millones de la misma moneda. Pero de igual forma, el informe de la Secretaría nos alerta por el deterioro de los términos de intercambio que llegaría al orden del 3 por ciento en el año recién pasado y que afecta por igual a todos los países.

También, a pesar de que la CEPAL estima en su estudio sobre el "Panorama Económico en América Latina" que las exportaciones chilenas crecieron un 19 por ciento, es motivo de reflexión la tendencia mundial negativa que menciona la Secretaría en cuanto a volúmenes exportados (en el párrafo 13), especialmente si consideramos que se nos indica que para América Latina hubo un descenso del 1, 2 por ciento.

Es asimismo inquietante la tendencia a una mayor baja que se observa en los precios de productos silviagropecuarios en relación a los manufacturados, variable que nos obligará a ser particularmente atentos respecto a los factores que generan tal situación.

De gran interés para mi delegación ha sido, Sr. Presidente, examinar el Informe en lo relativo a los sectores de pesca y silvicultura en los cuales se cita a mi país como de aquellos ribereños en el Pacífico sudoriental en los cuales la pesca ha crecido (en el párrafo 72). En tal sentido quisiera expresar ante este Consejo que los 5 millones de toneladas desembarcadas por mi país representan el 13 por ciento de las exportaciones. Es interesante agregar que en mi patria la tasa de crecimiento del sector pesquero es en los cinco últimos años del 14 por ciento anual situándose por cierto como primer país pesquero cuyas capturas tienen lugar dentro de su propia zona económica exclusiva.

También mi delegación ha visto con detención el capítulo dedicado a las políticas de ajuste y el sector agrícola en el decenio de 1980 contenido en los párrafos 138 y siguientes, que se refiere a América Latina. Mi delegación observa con algún desconsuelo que en este párrafo se ha mencionado por ejemplo los programas nutricionales que se han suspendido y reanudado, pero que no se haya considerado una alusión de estímulo para aquellos que pese a cualquier contingencia han sido mantenidos en el tiempo, como el caso de mi país. Puesto que estamos apoyando la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, especialmente en este último aspecto de la alimentación, nos complacería mucho ver en los documentos de esta naturaleza algunos antecedentes sobre la evolución de los índices nutricionales más importantes.

Para completar este documento CL 90/2, mi delegación tiene el placer de poner en conocimiento del Consejo que en Chile el índice de nutrición escasa bajó del 15, 5 por ciento en 1975 a un 8, 1 por ciento en 1985. Por otra parte, el índice de nutrición seria bajó de un 0, 7 por ciento a un 0, 1 por ciento en el mismo período. El notable repunte del nivel nutricional se tradujo por ejemplo en una impresionante baja en los índices de mortalidad infantil, partiendo de un 95, 4 pro mil en 1965 bajó a un 55, 4 por mil en 1975 y a sólo un 20 por mil en 1984.

En el documento CL 90/2 apreciamos asimismo el párrafo 3 relativo al financiamiento del desarrollo agrícola y en especial la letra "c" referente al uso de los fondos. Sin embargo, ya en el Consejo Mundial de Alimentación mi país expuso sus reservas respecto al exagerado significado que en algunos sitios se tiende a dar a ciertos parámetros tales como el gasto público en el sector silvoagropecua-rio, que no nos parece un índice significativo ni valedero para medir la dedicación de un país al sector social y agrícola, debiendo prestarse tal vez más atención a los resultados y muy especialmente a los conceptos más modernos, como es el del porcentaje del gasto social en el presupuesto, que coadyuva a entender mejor el efectivo apoyo en áreas rurales en pro de los sectores de población más necesitados.

Tengo el honor de informar a este Consejo que en mi país este porcentaje del gasto social en el presupuesto, excluido el servicio de la deuda, se ha elevado de un 40 por ciento en 1970 a un 5 por ciento en el año 1980, y al 57, 9 por ciento en 1985. Este gasto se utiliza principalmente en salud, asistencia social, previsión, educación y desarrollo regional en un proceso calificado como exitoso en el reciente informe del Banco Mundial sobre la pobreza en América Latina y al cual agradecemos su dedicación y tendencia innovadora en esta materia social tan importante para mi Gobierno.

Los aspectos de la deuda y del financiamiento externo mencionados al concluir el informe son sin duda importantes, porla trascendencia de la materia en todos los planos de la vida de los países Creemos que siempre será posible la acción nacional al respecto y mi delegación desea hacer notar que es posible disminuir la deuda principalmente como resultado de las operaciones de compra de pagarés de la deuda externa en el mercado secundario, materia en la cual mi país ha obtenido ya algunos resultados.

Concluyo estas palabras renovando la satisfacción de mi delegación por la preocupación de la FAO por la situación general de la agricultura y de la alimentación en el mundo, y en especial en el Africa subsahariana en la lucha contra los saltamontes en ese mismo continente, igual que respecto a la contaminación originada por Chernobyl. Asimismo, confiamos en que llegue a ser una realidad el estudio sobre América Latina que se recomendó en Barbados y que el señor Director General alentó en su declaración en el día de ayer en este Consejo.

Lino VISANI (Observateur de l'Alliance coopérative internationale): Monsieur le Président, Messieurs les délégués, je vous remercie de m'avoir donné la parole au nom de l'Alliance coopérative internationale. Je serai très bref.

J'ai déjà eu l'occasion de dire que la moitié des cinq cents millions de membres des mouvements de coopératives associées à l'Alliance coopérative internationale demeuredans les pays en développement. Ce nombre de membres des mouvements des coopératives augmente toujours, bien que très souvent la situation des coopératives soit très difficile. Toutefois, ces éléments montrent que, dans de nombreux pays, ce n'est pas seulement l'idée mais l'action coopérative qui représente l'un des facteurs de développement.

Nous retenons qu'il faut considérer les tendances de ces facteurs de développement lorsqu'on examine la situation de l'agriculture.

Je remercie le Directeur général de la FAO du très intéressant exposé sur la situation mondiale de l'agriculture qu'il nous a fait.

La situation de l'agriculture et du marché agricole mondial est parvenue à une crise complexe et difficile. Aussi le GATT, à sa dernière réunion, a-t-il examiné la gravité de cette crise. Celle-ci n'affecte pas seulement la situation de la production agricole et le marché agricole, mais aussi les rapports du secteur agricole et alimentaire avec la société dans son ensemble. Il faut donner beaucoup plus d'importance à l'homme et aux valeurs créatives de l'humanité sur la voie du progrès. Dans ce cadre, il n'est pas possible de séparer les problèmes de l'agriculture de ceux du développement rural, condition primordiale du développement de la société tout entière.

A ce propos, il est fondamental de tenir compte, dans le domaine agricole, du rôle joué par les divers mouvements de coopératives dans toutes les formes d'association rurale pour la participation au développement, surtout dans les pays en développement. Il faut augmenter les efforts pour favoriser le développement des coopératives grâce au soutien actif donné aux mouvements de coopératives.

Le PRESIDENT: Nous arrivons ainsi au terme des interventions. Je voudrais simplement rappeler, pour information, que le nombre des orateurs qui ont bien voulu contribuer à enrichir le débat s'est élevé à quarante.

Je donne la parole à M. Nurul Islam afin qu'il puisse répondre aux questions qui lui ont été posées. Elles sont nombreuses et j'espère qu'il pourra répondre à toutes ces demandes d'explication.

N. ISLAM (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): Mr Chairman, distinguished delegates, I thank the distinguished delegates for their valuable comments and suggestions which will help us improve and expand the final version of the State of Food and Agriculture. In my remarks I shall only cover a few of the queries made by distinguished delegates.

First, a request is made that the indepth study of the financing of agricultural development should be presented at the next Conference. I must point out for the distinguished delegate that in fact this section in the present document is a preview (as I mentioned in my introduction) of the special chapter in the full SOFA (State of Food and Agriculture). This section therefore will be expanded in coverage and in depth both empirically and analytically for this purpose. The comments and suggestions made by the delegates will certainly help us in improving this section.

A point was made that the document does not refer to the net outflow of capital from developing countries and its adverse impact on agricultural development. It is true that this issue, even though referred to in passing on page 6, paragraph 22, has not been dealt with in depth. The emphasis in this particular section was on the flow of external resources to agriculture, (gross flow rather than net flow) to the entire economy. The chapter does however refer to two issues of equally great importance, such as the fall in terms of trade, to two issues of equally great importance, such as the fall in terms of trade and debt service payments, which in some countries constituted almost thirty percent of the export earnings en 1985.

It was pointed out by some delegates that the document seems to emphasise the importance of domestic market resources to the neglect of external market resources. This was certainly not the intention of the document. The choice is not between one or the other but one of optimum combination depending on the particular circumstances in each country.

The report emphasises in various places the role of liberalization of trade as a factor in the growth of the developing countries. It was stated that not enough attention has been given to fisheries especially as a source of nutrition in developing countries. Indeed, the particular section on fisheries does concentrate on production and trade aspects, but in a separate section where we discussed dietary and energy supplies, fisheries do come in as an importance source of nutrition and dietary supplies.

Some distinguished delegates, including the delegate from the UK, mentioned that the documentdoes not refer to the International Timber Organization recently established. It is a unique organization. This was covered in the State of Food and Agriculture 1985 and the details are given in the Commodity Review and Outlook of 1984/85.

Similarly with the Forestry Plan of Action to which reference was made, to those who mentioned the earlier State of Food and Agriculture we do not necessarily cover all these issues in every State of Food and Agriculture. In fact, one must recall that the International Timber Organization is not the only organization of the type which concentrates on research and development, diversification processes, etc. The International Jute Organization had exactly the same purpose, and it has also been covered earlier.

Delegates from the EEC, Australia and a few others referred to paragraph 40 of the main document and considered that this was out of date. Indeed, it was, but the supplement does bring it up to date in paragraph 16 of document 90/2 Sup. l. Of course, the updating is also very brief necessarily in view of the size of the document itself.

We also agree that in the future we should provide greater space for treatment of EEC policy, not only because of its internal importance but also because of its importance for the rest of the world; but we hope in this context that we would be able to get access to various EEC publications to which at the present moment we do not have access. Reference was made to the need for preparing and implementing medium and long term action proposals to strengthen planned protection capabilities in African countries. This work has already been initiated. An informal consultation was held at FAO Headquarters in October to discuss the appropriate strategies. Plans will now be developed in close cooperation with each country concerned and the donor community. The proposals developed will cover both the immediate needs as well as the medium and long term requirements. Plans for this will be submitted to technical and donor meetings that will be held between 15 and 18 December this year at FAO Headquarters.

The delegate of Mexico and a few others asked a question about the state of progress of the study on the role of transnational corporations in the agricultural sector which has been undertaken by the secretariat at the request of a few delegations. The study, based on a survey of existing literature and studies undertaken by various international institutions, is at an advanced stage. We have sent it to the UN Center for Transnational Corporations for review and comments on it. As delegates are aware, this centre is the unit responsible in the UN system for the study of transnational corporations in all its various aspects and in all sectors. In the meantime, the study can be made available to delegations informally at the time of the next meeting of the. Committee on Food Security.

LE PRESIDENT: Pour conclure cette discussion extrêmement intéressante, je voudrais adresser mes vifs remerciements à tous les délégués qui ont bien voulu l'enrichir par une contribution efficace et constructive. Je voudrais également me joindre aux délégués pour féliciter M. Islam du document très important qu'il nous a présenté et qui a été apprécié, et notamment de l'introduction d'une nouvelle composante relative au financement dans le secteur agricole.

J'ai été très intéressé par le débat et par un élément positif important: en effet, de nombreux délégués ont parlé davantage de problèmes découlant de la surproduction que de pénurie. Cela est en soi un élément très positif que je me permettrai de souligner. Malgré cet élément positif-l'augmentation de la production dans les pays en développement-, malgré l'amélioration de la conjoncture internationale que représente la réduction de l'inflation et celle des taux d'intérêt, la situation, d'après ce qu'ont souligné de nombreux délégués, semble rester préoccupante en raison de facteurs économiques généraux tels que l'effondrement des prix des produits agricoles et de certaines pratiques protectionnistes.

Il semble donc que de nombreux pays en développement soient préoccupés, d'une part en raison des difficultés d'écoulement de leur production excédentaire dans certains cas et, d'autre part, de la difficulté d'obtenir les devises indispensables pour investir dans l'agriculture, le secteur prioritaire reconnu par tous.

J'ai noté avec beaucoup d'intérêt ce qu'a dit le Directeur général hier, à savoir que désormais la sécurité alimentaire ne doit plus être traduite en termes de produits et de production, mais en termes de revenus. Cela introduit donc la composante commercialisation ou vente dans le domaine de la sécurité alimentaire.

J'ai également remarqué que de nombreux délégués ont relevé, dans le rapport de M. Islam, la notion d'interdépendance économique. Je pense que si nous arrivons à retenir ce principe d'interdépendance économique entre pays en développement et pays développés, nous aurons avancé d'un pas car les intérêts bien compris de la communauté internationale dépendent évidemment de cette interdépendance. Personne n'a intérêt à voir sombrer économiquement les pays sous-développés car cela aurait automatiquement des répercussions sur l'économie des pays développés. Pour avoir un équilibre global, pour procéder à un commerce sérieux et méthodique, il faut être deux.

J'ai noté, en particulier, que certains délégués de pays développés ont souligné le fait que les pays développés se considèrent comme le catalyseur d'un effort de développement et de production qui, au départ, doit être de la responsabilité des pays en développement. Je pense que l'amélioration de la production que l'on a pu constater n'est pas due uniquement à des facteurs climatiques mais également à un effort constructif des pays en développement. La Déclaration de Harare, notamment, et toutes les occasions où les chefs d'Etat et de gouvernement ont eu la possibilité de proclamer la priorité de l'agriculture, sont la manifestation d'une prise de conscience au plus haut niveau de l'intérêt et de la priorité accordés au développement de l'agriculture par les pays en développement. Je crois que cette prise de conscience au niveau le plus élevé est la meilleure garantie pour cet effort commun des pays développés et des pays en développement visant à sortir de la situation actuelle.

Un élément important a été évoqué, à savoir que les pays en développement devraient pouvoir continuer leur action en matière de cultures vivrières pour ne pas être uniquement tributaires des cultures de rente. Je crois que la Conférence sur l'Afrique a été essentiellement axée sur les cultures vivrières.

D'autre part, j'ai noté une recommandation importante: celle de stimuler la demande intérieure tout en développant le commerce intérieur. Il me semble que cette recommandation mérite d'être soulignée car cela permettrait d'asseoir sur des bases plus stables les économies agricoles des pays en développement.

De nombreux délégués ont souligné l'importance de l'épargne rurale privée en tant que composante des investissements agricoles. Je crois que tout le monde en est conscient, tant il est vrai que l'agriculture est une action propre aux pays eux-mêmes.

Un paragraphe a été souvent souligné: celui de l'ajustement économique qui est demandé aux pays en développement. Ces pays ont commencé avec la volonté politique de développer leur production; beaucoup de pays ont adopté des mesures de réajustement économique sur la base des recommandations d'organisations internationales. Mais, le rapport l'a souligné-ainsi que certains pays, dont la France qui l'a fait avec beaucoup de clarté-ces mesures de réajustement économique doivent être corrigées par des mesures d'accompagnement de manière à éviter qu'elles ne se traduisent par un coût politique et social qui risque de les rendre inopérantes ou même négatives pour les pays en développement. Il reste que des mesures exogènes ont été suggérées par de nombreux pays en développement. En particulier, on a souligné l'intérêtd'étudier la possibilité d'analyser le problème de la dette et de voir dans quelle mesure il peut être traité de manière à soulager les économies en crise des pays en développement et à leur permettre d'établir leur système agricole sur une base plus dynamique. D'autre part, on a souligné l'immense espoir né de la réunion du GATT à Punta del Este et de l'Accord de principe pour entamer une négociation sur le commerce des produits agricoles, tant il est vrai que la pierre d'achoppement de tout le système économique international est l'assainissement du commerce des produits agricoles, lequel ne doit pas connaître les soubresauts que de nombreux pays ont connu, notamment les pays en développement.

Je pense que notre rapport pourrait faire état du vif intérêt accordé par toute la communauté internationale au lancement de négociations dans ce domaine et pourrait peut-être demander que la FAO, d'une manière ou d'une autre, contribue à ces travaux.

Il est possible que, du point de vue des pays développés, une amélioration de ce commerce international consisterait à progresser dans le domaine des opérations triangulaires. Le délégué de la Zambie l'a souligné, de même que de nombreux autres délégués. De même que la coopération Sud-Sud, cette coopération triangulaire permettrait d'écouler les surplus éventuels dans les pays en développement.

En ce qui concerne l'aide internationale, tout le monde a souligné avec beaucoup d'intérêt ce dont le rapport de la FAO a fait état, à savoir que l'aide extérieure s'est accrue de 12 pour cent et l'aide aux conditions de faveur de 16 pour cent. Il faut rendre hommage aux pays développés qui ont maintenu cet effort contre vents et marées mais il faut également insister pour que soient suivies et accélérées les directives énoncées ces derniers temps pour alimenter l'aide à l'agriculture dans les pays en développement. Je songe notamment à la caution de 300 millions de dollars de l'IFAD. C'est un point très important.

Nous pensons également au suivi de la réunion des Nations Unies qui a eu lieu à New York fin mai, qui se traduirait par l'engagement des pays africains à contribuer à ce pian de développement de l'Afrique pour une somme de l'ordre de 85 milliards de dollars. Il serait bon d'insister sur la nécessité de suivre l'évolution de cette opération.

Je pense également à cet effort entamé par le FMI pour accorder des crédits à des conditions plus favorables pour permettre de soutenir les actions de réajustements économiques. Nous pensons également à d'autres actions importantes dans le domaine international qui pourraient alimenter cette aide publique et la coopération publique entre pays en voie de développement et pays développés. Je crois qu'un point a été largement souligné outre l'aménagement du commerce international des produits agricoles, et c'est l'aide à la production. A cet égard, beaucoup de délégués ont souligné l'intérêt qu'ils, accordaient à une analyse plus en profondeur de la proposition du Directeur général relative à l'aide en nature, ou plutôt, en moyens de production pour développer la production. Beaucoup de délégués, me semble-t-il, ont souligné la priorité à accorder à l'aide au développement, l'aide à la production, plutôt qu'à l'aide alimentaire qui devrait peu à peu être limitée aux seuls cas d'urgence. Malheureusement, il en reste quelques-uns.

Enfin, je crois que le Pr. Islam a répondu à la demande de certains délégués d'Amérique latine au sujet de l'étude sur le rôle des transnationales. Peut-être pourrait-on évoquer également la proposition formulée par le délégué de la Colombie et d'autres délégués sud-américains pour cette Conférence sur la pauvreté absolue qui a été proposée aux Nations Unies. Mais je voudrais souligner une remarque faite par le délégué de la CEE et par le délégué de la France. Je pense qu'elle devrait pouvoir être examinée par la FAO, c'est celle qui consiste à ce que l'on puisse avoir une meilleure appréhension des motivations de la politique agricole de la CEE. Je ne sais pas comment le Secrétariat de la FAO pourra réfléchir à cette proposition et voir si elle pourra faire l'objet d'un examen attentif avec les parties intéressées.

Voilà ce que j'avais à dire. Je voulais apporter quelques contributions personnelles à ce débat. J'espère ne pas vous avoir retenu trop longtemps mais les problèmes étaient de taille et importants. J'espère que le Secrétariat de la FAO rédigera son rapport en tenant compte de ces suggestions et enrichira nos connaissances et nos informations dans ce domaine.

The meeting rose at 18. 30 hours
La séance est levée à 18 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.
30 horas

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