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15. Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 (cont'd)
15. Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1988-89 (suite)
15. Resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1988-89 (continuación)

Angus MACDONALD (Australia): The proposed Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the 1988-89 biennum is set at a time when member countries face difficult economic circumstances. The combination of events in international trade, international debt management, faultering economic growth and other pressure have placed a wide-range of developed and developing countries in extremely awkward economic positions. Not the least to be affected is Australia where budgetary pressures are now such that we find great difficulty in supporting proposals in UN agency budgets, including FAO, which imply increased contributions in our national currency.

When the Summary Programme was discussed in the Committee on Agriculture we were one delegation, along with many others, unable to give our full endorsement at that time to the Programme. The main problem then was to do with the late receipt of documents. This position is fully reflected in the COAG report at paragraph 69 in the recommendation IX, and this understanding was fully appreciated by all members of the Committee at that time.

We have now studied the documents before us, and as best as we are able we have ascertained that the budget implicit in unqualified support for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget will grow by at least twelve and a half percent. The money increase is not US$ 2.2 million as mentioned by several delegations, but will be over fifty million dollars depending on prevailing lire to US dollar exchange rates at the time. In this regard we believe it would be helpful for the Secretariat to provide the figures on the actual proportion of the budget spent in US dollars, lire and other currencies. The additional contribution by Australia based on the figures that we have before us would be considerable in real terms, even given some recent favourable movement in the Australian dollar to the US dollar rate. For those countries, particularly developing countries, whose national currencies are falling further behind the value of the US dollar, the increased burden will be extreme.

We consider that the Programme of Work and Budget should be recast to reflect the reality of these prevailing economic circumstances. When important and priority programmes face expenditure cuts in our own domestic economy, we have great difficulty in supporting real growth of any magnitude in the international environment.

We believe that a positive step has been initiated in the proposals enunciated in the papers before us. Broad priorities have been identified, and open and constructive discussion is now needed to ensure that these priorities are translated into a realistic and achievable programme consistent with the resources and capabilities of the Organization.

We have however great misgivings about the proposals to expand the number of overseas positions at a time when the Organization faces these financial problems. We would propose therefore that the opening of the additional four overseas offices be postponed for the time being at a saving of something in the order of 950 000 dollars. We believe a further debate on this and other issues would help the Secretariat in discharging its responsibilities in carrying out the programme endorsed by member countries.

We also consider that the proposed programme needs to take into account the implications of the financial problems confronted in the present biennium. The impact of arrears in payments will continue beyond the present biennium, and the run-down of the Working Capital Fund and the Special Reserve Account, which will both need to be replenished from future resources, cannot avoid having implications for the 1988-89 Programme. My delegation has initiated discussions with FAO staff on clarifying some of these Issues, and we are obliged to reserve our position on the Programme of Work and Budget until after my authorities have considered this new information.

Mr Chairman, let me reiterate the following. While we continue to face severe budgetary restraint, Australia adheres to the policy of no real growth in UN agency budgets with maximum absorption of inflation and exchange rate cost increases. We encourage all members to meet their financial obligations fully and promptly. We have concern that the proposals before us do not adequately address the current and future shortfall problems. We have some concern that the proposals do not offer sufficient prioritization In order to assist FAO to tailor the programme in the light of the cash flow and contribution realities which face the Organization now and are likely in the coming biennium. Clearly more guidance is needed for members and that requires open and free debate.

We urge the Organization to seek to identify in the months ahead an envelope of lower priority activities which could be deferred or recast in the light of the financial pressures at the time. This idea was raised in the most recent Finance Committee meeting and we believe it would be a positive contribution in helping to guide the Organization through the difficult times ahead.

Issues were raised previously in this debate which were declared out of order by the Body. We strongly disagreed with its interpretation and we continue to be of the view that the Council is an appropriate forum for members to air their views, share ideas and to raise issues of concern to them on the functioning of the Organization. We would hope that the debates between members would continue to remain free, open and lively, and the doctrinaire interpretations of procedures will not stifle such debate. In our view the points raised by the US delegation last week are worthy of closer consideration by the wider membership. In particular we support a recasting of the budget to reflect economic and financial realities currently facing members, and further, we see considerable merit in the proposal to have an independent high-level group reviewing the working arrangements and future directions of the Organization. We think this would be helpful to members and the Secretariat in guiding the Organization in the future, and we have said as much on a number of occasions previously.

George Henry MUSGROVE (Canada): The consideration of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget invariably raises a good deal of heat, and not infrequently reveals a sharp divergence of views between and amongst members. Due to the importance of the subject in terms of the significance of good programmes to global economic development as well as in terms of the large sums of money involved, a wide variety of views is to be expected; indeed to be encouraged. Such a discussion, as the United States delegation pointed out on Friday morning, identifies country interests, including shared and convergent interests, in the very necessary process of consensus building.

I should like to say that the intervention made by the United States delegation to start off our debate was perhaps the most articulate, perceptive and useful one that has been heard in this room for many years. It was a timely intervention, above all most pertinent, and if I may compliment Mrs Vogelgesang, it was delivered in an extremely lucid manner.

It was therefore to our deep regret that full reflection on that statement was marred by a rather specious procedural wrangle, prompted perhaps by disagreement at some of the elements of the intervention. Let us hope in the interests of the integrity, harmony and viability of our Organization that such incidents will soon be a relic of the past. In our view many of the essential elements of true international cooperation are an easy tolerance of diversity, an open and receptive audience, an honest search for consensus and a healthy disdain for manipulative procedures invoked to frustrate or intimidate free expression. We would like to hope these views are widely shared.

Having unburdened myself of these thoughts I should like to turn my attention to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget itself. This Council's purview of the Summary at this stage in its evolution into a firmly costed plan for 1988-89 is a particularly crucial one. This is the last chance for member guidance to the Secretariat before work is begun on the full Programme of Work and Budget. If a consensual agreement is to be reached on the budget at our November Conference it is particularly important that suggested changes made at this Council are considered and incorporated in the final report.

My own views will be broken down into three general areas, namely the financial aspects of the budget, the presentational and programme aspects, and finally some short reflections on the future. On the financial side we are bound to express grave concern at the proposed budget level, particularly in the light of the current global economic environment and the present state of FAO's own finances. While the budget proposal has been put forward with only an ostensibly modest element of growth we feel that this is only half the story.

It has not, in our view, satisfactorily addressed itself to an extremely adverse exchange rate situation involving its accounting currency, the United States dollar. It has not taken due note of the continuing austerity being practised in most Member Government countries reflected in a climate of retrenchment in Member Country agencies as well as in international agencies. Above all, the budget proposal seems to have been isolated entirely from FAO's own financial situation in the current biennium and the potentially more serious crisis that it may be facing in 1988/89.

As the Director-General pointed out in his introduction, we might expect the final budget out turn, based on an estimated November exchange rate, to be in the vicinity of $500 million. When each of us does our calculation of assessment even in rough terms and takes into account the absence of cash surplus projected for 1988/89, our assessed contribution in United States dollars is likely to be 20 percent to 25 percent higher than it was in the current biennium. For those many countries whose domestic currencies, often in a climate of structural adjustment, have depreciated vis-a-vis the United States dollar, the real cost of assessment will be many times greater. My authorities have heard of countries whose assessed contribution level will increase by 100 percent, and even by several hundred percent, in terms of their local currencies.

In this connexion, we noted the comments of many other delegations, including that of Argentina, on the very heavy price members will be called on to pay in the next budgetary biennium. There is scarcely a government today which is not heavily engaged in an austere budgetary process, a process wherein national budgets and individual departmental appropriations are either restrained, frozen or, in some cases, down-sized. Frankly, it is increasingly difficult for governments, including my own, to meet their many international commitments and obligations, some of which increase year after year, against a domestic background of severely limited governmental funds. The result has been a

concerted call on all international organizations for restraint, including a strong request to absorb where possible currency losses and cost increases. FAO must be a part of this process and seriously examine how the financial burden can be lightened on Member States. As it is, we cannot accept the present financial proposal. We would appeal to the Director-General to withdraw the elements of real growth inherent in the Summary while casting a sharp eye on even further cost-cutting measures.

As a final comment on finances, I would like to voice our concern that the Organization is living and spending beyond its means. This increasing tendency to accept without sufficient reaction a substantial variance between expenditure and revenues casts a most serious cloud over the 1988/89 biennium and beyond. The causes of the present crisis include the withholding of or arrears in contributions, declining interest rates and adverse exchange rates, which are matters to be discussed under agenda items 17 and 18. However, suffice to say that the Council seven or eight months ago noted that the Organization will havse unliquidated obligations approaching $100 million at the beginning of the new biennium. This proposal does not, even on a contingency basis, show us how this problem will be treated should delinquent contributions fail to materialize or, even worse, should the problem deteriorate.

During 1986/87, the problem was treated on an ad hoc basis to realize some modest economies. Is it proposed to do the same thing in 1988/89? We for one do not feel this is sound management or financial practice. We have proposed several times in the past (and will suggest most strongly again) that the 1988/89 budget be presented in two sections; a core budget comprising perhaps 80 percent to 85 percent of the total expenditure to cover the essential programmes and activities of the Organization, and a residual budget of perhaps 15 percent to 20 percent of the total which would cover highly desirable programmes or activities which would be implemented as finances permit. While we are proposing this process in its simplest terms for 1988/89 so that management will know exactly what is happening as and when it happens, we will also be proposing this process in a more sophisticated form for a future Programme of Work and Budget as a sound management tool when facing financial uncertainty.

In the interim, we should like to request that the full Programme of Work and Budget be presented in this form when it appears early next fall.

Turning to the presentation of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and the programme elements contained therein, my delegation welcomes the numerous presentational improvements in the Summary document. We particularly like the elaboration of programme activities and are heartened by the many references to priorities. The promise of rationalized publications in accordance with demand is entirely sensible, and we look forward to learning more about the approach to be taken.

The economies proposed in meetings schedules and services are equally welcome. Indeed, we feel a further careful review of all meetings and technical consultations is to be commended with a view to reducing their number, frequency and/or their duration. Despite these real improvements, my delegation is not convinced that either the document itself or the process which led to its production represents the kind of strategic perspective we think is needed to establish and define priorities. For example, we are told that 25 percent of the activities of FAO have been reprogrammed. But on close inspection we find only between 5 percent and 10 percent of the technical and economic activities initiated for the 1988/89 biennium involved genuine innovation. We find a high proportion of discontinued activities involves the completion of earlier phases of work in given areas which, nevertheless, are still being pursued in substantially the same fashion in the coming biennium.

Other activities such as studies or seminars which have been deleted can hardly be classified as activities of downgraded priority as a result of management purview. These appear to be finite by their very nature. It is helpful that the Secretariat has shown an increase and decrease for specific activities. It would be more helpful to have gross figures for these sub-programme activities to which these increases and decreases refer, as well as some indication of the time frame for the completion of discrete activities and a brief statement of the anticipated impact or desired effect.

Coming into the realm of programme content, we should like to support suggestions for higher and lower priority items as outlined by the delegation of the United States on Friday. As these are on the record, I will not take time to repeat them here. The Summary does contain much we can support. We welcome the increase for forestry, fisheries, and for the early warning systems. On the Technical Cooperation Programme, we hope the apparent decision to restrain its expansion indicates concern over such matters as programme selection criteria and membership input into the decision-making.

We are dismayed by the continuing inattention to agricultural policy at grassroots level. At a time when so many countries are facing complex and politically sensitive adjustment programmes,

we recommend a much more profound and targetted series of interventions in this area of policy advice. We feel valuable savings could be made in areas like Regional Offices as well as in general global studies or various undertakings. Such resources could be applied more directly to remedies for chronic food problems.

As a general observation, we are concerned that the present budgetary system, with a building up exclusively from sub-programme elements, inhibits the elements of prioritization. It introduces a rigidity over time in this period of financial uncertainty and leaves us without tools to adequately distinguish between the essential, the desirable and the superfluous. Accordingly, we suggest that a future Programme of Work and Budget presents in a structured way a certain format which would include some of the following elements: firstly, a statement of the nature of the problem; secondly, a proposed activity to address the problem; thirdly, the time frame for implementation of the activity; fourthly, a statement of the cost of the activity; fifthly, a statement of the expected benefits, to which we feel could be added some listing of complementary activities conducted elsewhere in the United Nations system, as well as identification of countries or regions in which the programme output is focussed.

Another feature lacking in the Summary in the past is a management strategy for carrying out the programmes described. We are pleased at the development of a system of work planning by FAO which has been outlined to us in recent meetings. It appears to us, however, that the increased preoccupation with field programmes at FAO has not been adequately accompanied, by parallel developments in financial control or management plannning, nor has the evaluation of management's attitudes on such matters as programme appraisal, evaluation, consultation with membership and cooperation within the United Nations system. There has been some recent progress here, but not yet enough.

In our view, we need a more consolidated approach to operational activities at FAO, an organizational structure designed to accommodate the most up-to-date programming techniques and disciplines as well as an enhancement of the cost effectiveness of programme delivery, and a strengthening of the framework for transparency and accountability.

If I may return briefly to the Programme content, we should like to register some disappointment that the emphasis given to women in development in the 1986/87 Programme of Work and Budget was not continued in the proposal now before us. As we have spoken at some length in earlier interventions, I shall not belabour the issue once more now. However, I should like to take the opportunity to commend the few women we presently have among the FAO professional and management establishment for their extremely high standard of performance and devotion to duty. Would it not be an outstanding example for women in development clearly to see FAO substantially increase the rate of participation of women at professional and managerial levels? We strongly commend this to the Secretariat for action, if necessary in an affirmative action programme.

What of the future? The important debate on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget is one of the few occasions when Members have to reflect on what the Organization does and how and why we do it.

Our remarks today have been somewhat lengthy and in a number of areas have provided suggestions for change or improvements. My delegation believes that we need a chance, all of us, to stand back and to take a look over the past 40 years and to appraise the Organization's role in the future. Despite the concerns we have voiced today it may well be too much to ask of any programme of Work and Budget to provide us with this vision.

As the Chairman of the 1985 Conference indicated, it is time for a substantive review to see not only where we have been but where we are going. Such a review with the FAO mandate as a touchstone needs to include FAO's role and priorities, its organizational structure, its management modalities and its decision-making process, most particularly the process relating to Member consideration of the Programme of Work and Budget itself.

Canada would support a proposal that the 1987 Conference establish an independent high-level group of experts to carry out a comprehensive action-oriented review of FAO. Such a full-scale appraisal should provide us with and overview and guidance necessary to tackle the medium to long-term challenge of food security in agricultural development.

In closing I should like to note my country's strong and continued support for this Organization. As one of the Founding Members, Canada was honoured to have chaired its founding committee, and to have hosted its official establishment in Quebec City over 40 years ago. We remain as concerned now as we were then that this Organization be effective in the many important, indeed vital, tasks it faces. To this end we would wish to engage in an open and full dialogue with our fellow Members on the future reform of our Organization. Some of our suggestions as a contribution to initiate dialogue imply change. Change for its own sake has little or no value. Change can be unsettling but considered change should never be feared. The status quo as an alternative is frequently a seductive and easy choice, but to blindly stand still is in our view an almost certain formula for failure, failure to adapt to evolving challenges in a rapidly changing world.

We believe that the report of this Council should reflect very clearly our common will to go forward in a comprehensive search for renewal.

Mlle. Faouzia BOUMAIZA (Algerie): L'examen du sommaire du Programme de travail et budget pour 1988/89 et du rapport conjoint du Comité financier et du Comité du Programme, respectivement consignés dans les documents CL 91/3 et CL 91/6, dont nous soulignons au passage la qualité et la présentation plus détaillée, nous inspire les commentaires suivants.

S'agissant du sommaire du Programme de travail et budget, la délégation algérienne apprécie l'amélioration de sa présentation, qui permet d'appréhender dans le détail les actions proposées pour le prochain biennium. A ce propos, notre délégation considère que celles-ci sont globalement conformes aux stratégies, objectifs et priorités assignés à la FAO.

En ce qui concerne les priorités, nous approuvons tout particulièrement les efforts concentrés sur le chapitre 2: Programmes techniques et économiques. Parmi ceux-ci, le grand Programme Agriculture a retenu notre attention. Si d'une manière générale nous sommes satisfaits des actions proposées dans ce domaine, notre délégation est cependant préoccupée par l'incidence sur l'action de la FAO des difficultés financières, du fait d'un budget lié aux contributions théoriques de nombreux pays membres. C'est ainsi que l'augmentation symbolique de 0,48% devient totalement insignifiante dans sa répartition sur les différents chapitres. La variation nette de 75 000 dollars proposée pour le programme Politiques agricoles et alimentaires en est l'illustration.

Au moment où de nombreux pays s'enlisent dans les méandres d'une situation économique mondiale qui se traduit, à moins de 15 ans de l'an 2000, par une persistance de pénurie alimentaire, notamment en Afrique qui connaît une succession de calamités alimentaires et qui se prépare à affronter une nouvelle catastrophe du fait des ravages probables des criquets et des sauteriaux considérés par les experts comme la menace la plus grave des dernières années, au moment où la situation alimentaire et agricole des pays du tiers monde est de plus en plus inquiétante le sous-programme sécurité alimentaire n'est augmenté que de 246 000 dollars.

Ces maigres ressources financières qui s'imposent à la FAO limitent son objectif d'accroissement de la production agricole dans les régions qui en ont le plus besoin et nous laissent quant à nous perplexes quant aux buts recherchés par certains membres.

Si nous ne sommes a priori pas opposés à une discussion aussi ouverte et aussi large que possible, nous ne pouvons accepter que cette question serve de préalable ou soit motivée par des arrière-pensées dont l'objectif est d'introduire des réformes préjudiciables en définitive au tiers monde.

Notre délégation regrette également que les ressources affectées au PCT soient en stagnation, alors que celui-ci a été favorablement accueilli par l'ensemble des pays membres et que le succès enregistré depuis sa création démontre son caractère dynamique.

L'attention particulière que nous apportons aux programmes de terrain nous a amenés à examiner la question des investissements.

Nous encourageons la FAO à poursuivre les efforts consentis dans ce domaine, notamment par l'intensification de la coopération avec les autres institutions des Nations Unies, et en premier lieu avec le FIDA par l'accroissement d'accords de cofinancement, d'autant que la priorité accordée à l'Afrique et reconnue par toutes les instances internationales gagnerait certainement à faire l'objet d'une étroite collaboration interinstitutions, ainsi qu'avec l'OUA qui, en tant qu'organisation régionale, peut aider dans l'adoption des programmes sous-régionaux.

Concernant les mesures énumérées aux pages 54 et 55 du document CL 91/6 et visant à pérenniser le fonctionnement normal de la FAO en dépit des difficultés financières actuelles, notre délégation, ainsi qu'elle l'avait indiqué au cours de la 90ème session du Conseil, est par principe opposée à toute formule ayant pour conséquence de pénaliser aussi ceux-là mêmes qui contribuent régulièrement.

Par ailleurs, et compte tenu de l'extrême austérité financière décidée par les autorités algériennes pour faire face aux effets de la crise éonomique mondiale, la délégation algérienne est opposée a priori à toute mesure visant à l'augmentation directe ou indirecte de sa contribution.

Notre délégation veut assurer ici qu'elle ne vise personne et que son opposition est l'expression d'une politique décidée au plus haut niveau de sa hiérarchie.

Quant à la proposition tendant à résoudre les arriérés de contribution contenue dans les paragraphes 3.73 à 3.76 du rapport conjoint du Comité financier et du Comité du Programme, notre délégation voudrait s'accorder un délai de réflexion pour exprimer une position motivée.

Mais d'ores et déjà l'Algérie en appelle à une certaine prudence, compte tenu des incidences de pareilles mesures sur les pays les plus démunis.

Nous devrions tous veiller à ne pas hypothéquer l'avenir et à maintenir à ces pays l'intégralité de leur droit de vote. N'est-ce pas là une des exigences fondamentales de l’universalisme?

Tout en approuvant les grandes lignes de ce Programme de travail et budget pour 1988-89, notre délégation toutefois tient à préciser qu'elle apportera son avis définitif lors de l'examen de la version intégrale du Programme de travail et budget pour le biennium 1988-89, au cours de la 24ème session de la Conférence.

Nous conclurons en réitérant la proposition que nous avions soumise lors de l'examen du document CL 91/2 relatif à la situation alimentaire mondiale, et qui concerne l'inscription, dans la version intégrale du Programme de travail et budget pour le prochain biennium, d'une étude sur l'incidence des agressions de l'Afrique du Sud contre les pays de la ligne de front sur la position agricole et la sécurité alimentaire, ainsi qu'une étude similaire dans les territoires arabes occupés par Israël.

Elhadj Habibou ALLELE (Niger): Monsieur le Président, ma délégation a pris connaissance avec beaucoup d'intérêt du Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget, et félicite le Directeur général et ses collaborateurs pour la qualité du document soumis à notre examen.

Les nobles objectifs assignés à notre Organisation demeurent plus que jamais pertinents, et font sans nul doute l'unanimité des délégations ici présentes. Ce qui l'est moins, me semble-t-il, ce sont les moyens à mettre en oeuvre pour atteindre ces objectifs qui ne sont autres que panser les blessures de millions de paysans affamés ou malnourris à travers le monde.

Notre Conseil doit se concentrer sur l'essentiel et consolider notre appartenance à l'Organisation.

Pour revenir au Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget, nous apprécions l'effort fait par le Secrétariat pour donner le maximum de détails dans ce document, et nous sommes heureux que les objectifs et priorités définis soient largement le relai de nos préoccupations actuelles.

L'Afrique doit continuer à être prioritaire dans les activités de notre Organisation, parce qu'elle demeure le continent où le problème de la faim et de la nutrition ne cesse de préoccuper les responsables de différents Etats. Je n'en veux pour preuve que le sommet de nos chefs d'Etat qui s'est tenu en 1985 à Addis-Abeba et qui a défini un plan d'action pour le développement de l'agriculture du continent africain, qui recevra 20 pour cent des ressources que les Etats consacreront à leur développement économique et social.

Notre Conférence régionale de Yamoussoukro a défini également un plan d'action pour l'Afrique en annonçant clairement les grands axes des activités que la FAO doit entreprendre pour cette région. Les programmes prioritaires définis dans le document sont de nature à répondre aux préoccupations de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation.

Cependant, à notre avis, les programmes suivants méritent plus d'attention: la promotion de la production vivrière et notamment mettre l'accent sur le système de production à petite échelle et à faible apport d'intrants; les échanges d'expérience d'une région à l'autre et d'un pays à l'autre; la fourniture d'intrants agricoles. Donc l'étude de faisabilité de l'aide en nature doit se poursuivre.

Les moyens à mettre en oeuvre pour exécuter ce programme sont essentiels. C'est pourquoi l'accroissement du budget proposé nous paraît faible pour répondre aux besoins prioritaires de l'Organisation. Mais puisqu'il s'agit d'un budget élaboré dans les conditions que nous savons, nous mettrons plutôt l'accent sur une meilleure utilisation des ressources.

Si les ressources prévues pour les programmes techniques et économiques nous réconfortent, avec un accroissement de 4,6 raillions de dollars, soit 2,3 pour cent d'augmentation, il n'en est pas de même pour le Programme de coopération technique. C'est pourtant un moyen essentiel de mettre les capacités et les compétences techniques de la FAO directement au service des Etats Membres. Un accroissement d'au moins un pour cent de ces activités est donc à prévoir. Cela est d'autant plus souhaitable qu'une réduction nous paraît encore possible au niveau des prévisions budgétaires des services de soutien et des programmes de soutien du développement.

Ce sont là les observations que formule ma délégation au sujet du Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget. Comme vous le constatez, nous l'appuyons dans ces grandes lignes, et nous demandons au Conseil d'autoriser le Directeur général à finaliser ce Programme de travail et budget en prenant en considération, bien entendu, les observations pertinentes des délégations.

Puisque nous parlons du budget, je lance un appel à tous les Etats qui ne l'ont pas encore fait pour qu'ils s'acquittent de leur contribution financière pour l'exercice en cours et de leurs arriérés de contribution afin de permettre à l'Organisation de sortir de cette situation difficile. Il s'agit d'obligations statutaires et chaque Etat doit prendre conscience du fait que l'Organisation doit disposer des moyens d'appliquer sa politique. C'est là la preuve la plus concrète de notre adhésion aux nobles objectifs de la FAO.

Pour terminer, je voudrais réitérer l'appui de ma délégation au Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget.

Ronald F. R. DEARE (United Kingdom): Before I begin the statement I have prepared setting out the position of the United Kingdom on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1988-89-like the distinguished representative from Canada who spoke earlier this morning-I am compelled to make some comment on the events which followed the delivery of the statement of the United States Delegation on Friday of last week.

During the past several months, when the financial crisis of this Organization has been in the forefront of our deliberations in many fora, I have listened to numerous pleas for our largest contributor to make up the arrears of payment of its assessed contributions. Those pleas have come from all quarters of the Organization and from the Secretariat. I have also heard it explained to us many times by the Delegation of our largest contributor that, under their system of government, the decisions on such matters lie in the hands of their legislature.

On Friday of last week the distinguished Representative of that country sought the assistance and support of this Council in the efforts that are being made to secure the agreement of their legislature to the restoration of full funding to FAO. Much to my regret-indeed, to my amazement-the majority in this Council rejected this very reasonable request-a request which had been made in order to be able to respond to pleas from many of the same member states that voted on Friday to prevent discussion of a matter which is central to the issues underlying the formulation of the Programme of Work and Budget now before this Council.

My delegation did not, of course, vote with the majority last week and we totally disassociate ourselves from a hasty and ill-considered decision by this Council which I hope we do not later have real cause to regret.

I would now like to turn to the major item which is before us for consideration today-the proposed Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium.

As has already been remarked by the distinguished delegate of Canada, at the FAO Conference in 1985 the distinguished Chairman from Cameroon suggested that during the present biennium member states should examine the role and priorities of the Organization in preparation for the 1987 Conference. It is against this background that we in the United Kingdom have considered the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.

If I may I would like to begin by outlining our approach. United Kingdom policy towards the role of FAO is clear. Britain considers that the improvement of agriculture in the developing countries, particularly in Africa, will remain the main global challenge well into the next century. It is important that the international community should have an agency dedicated to this task, and Britain supports this concept. While we believe that FAO has a role to play in relation to the industrialized countries in areas of statistics and technical issues which have a global aspect, for example, animal diseases, insect pests and agrichemicals, we consider that FAO should be primarily orientated towards the needs of the developing countries. This means that FAO must have a realistic remit which includes an operational capability; the Organization should not be restricted to the role of providing an information exchange or a repository of theory.

We believe that FAO should concentrate on those global and regional issues where it is best suited to operate, such as the articulation of major policy issues in a way which facilitates decisionmaking by politicians and senior officials; the global information and early warning system; the work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission; regional activities, including pest control and water resources management, global and continental predictions on land capacity; identifying priority subjects for research; developing rainfed agriculture and the collection of statistics. Equally, we consider FAO should desist from engaging in activities better tackled by other multilateral agencies, bilateral agencies or the private sector.

The presentation of paper CL 91/3 provides this Council with its first opportunity in this biennium to survey the broad range of FAO's proposed future activities.

One of the first things that struck us about this budget, given the continuing financial crisis facing the Organization, is that its formulation ignores the vital question of how it is to be funded. In our view it is unrealistic to present a budget that takes no account of the reality of this situation. Given the ongoing uncertainty about the payment of contributions-particularly by the largest contributor-and the very serious problems posed by the fall in the dollar/lira exchange rate, we would have expected a rather more prudent approach by the Director-General. By this we mean a budget structured in a way that provides sufficient flexibility for management and member states to respond to a variety of possible scenarios, rather than leaving it to the Director-General to propose economies on an ad hoc basis, as has been the case in the present biennium. One way in which this flexibility could be obtained-and this was touched on earlier by the distinguished Representative of Canada-would be through division of the budget into a core element and supplements or additional envelopes. The size of the core budget would be determined by the amount of financial resources known to be absolutely secure for the Organization in 1988/89. We all hope, of course, that the contributors which are in arreas will be able to discharge their legal obligations, partly if not wholly, during the next biennium and the suplementary or additional envelopes could be designed to absorb progressively the resources which became available over and above those required to fund the core budget.

Related to this point, which is really about the introduction of priorities, I have to express the disappointment of my delegation at the fact that-despite numerous requests from many members over a long period-there is still no clear identification of the ranking of real priorities in this document. There is, I recognize, much reference to priorities in the text; indeed so many activities are described as having priority that it is virtually impossible to detect where the real priorities-i.e. the essential core of the Organization's activities-lie. In other words, we find it impossible to determine which activities should have priority if the Organization could realize for example only 85 percent of the funding envisaged in this budget.

Sadly-again in spite of requests for economies from a wide cross section of the membership and in spite of the efforts of the Secretariat-the proportionate costs of programme delivery in 1988-89 will remain at much the same level as in the current biennium. We will return to the question of programme delivery costs when we get to item 17 of our agenda. But while on this point I wish to add my support to the point made by the distinguished Representative of the United States about the need for a proper accounting for FAO's personnel costs. The UK Delegation shares the concerns which she expressed on this issue-particularly in relation to the exclusion of the costs of consultants from the reckoning of personnel costs.

The presentation in CL 91/3 shows little real improvement on the current biennium's Programme of Work and Budget. It is an obscure document which does not facilitate our work. For example, at Council in June 1985 we commented that we felt a need for-and here I quote from the UK statement-"side-by-side presentation of the proposed expenditure with actual expenditure on proposed out-turn, comments on the effectiveness of the Programme, and information on the availability of funds to be carried forward". We still feel this need.

The financial uncertainties, the absence of ranked priorities, the lack of transparency and the unacceptably high level of programme delivery costs lead us to the conclusion that this is not the time to contemplate any real growth in the size of the budget for the regular programme. We would, of course, like to see real growth in the technical and operational programmes of the Organization and we believe it is possible to achieve this without any overall growth through better management and reductions in delivery costs. To quote just one example, we do not think that this is the approppriate time to open four new offices of FAO Representatives at a cost of nearly $1 million.

We have been told that real growth in the programme is about 0.5 percent. This is as maybe, but using other equally valid methods of calculating growth the figure could be put higher. But to some extent this is an academic issue, since the very real and difficult problems will emerge when the current dollar/lira exchange rate is applied to this proposed budget. We believe that this could take the nominal total as high as $550 million. As the distinguished Representative for Canada has already stated, this will mean very substantial increases in contributions for many member states in terms of their own currencies. Some of the poorest will be the worst hit and will have the difficult task of seeking increased allocations from legislatures already hard-pressed to find money for vital domestic expenditures.

When we look at what is happening in other UN organizations we see that already this year these problems are beginnning to be recognized and dealt with in a sensible and constructive manner. In the Governing bodies of both ILO and WHO, budgets have been approved which involved reductions in expenditure in real terms.

Two years ago, after the budget discussion in the June 1985 Council meeting, the Director-General subsequently presented a reduced budget to Conference. We believe that a similar process is necessary this year. The current proposals should be withdrawn and the Director-General should present to Conference a realistically reduced and restructured Programme of Work and Budget for the

next biennium. Until that is done, the UK Delegation must totally reserve its position on the proposals contained in CL 91/3.

Like the distinguished Representative of the United States, my Delegation also believes that Miscellaneous Income should continue to be applied to the financing of the Regular Programme Budget. We therefore oppose any change in this practice and we support the request of the United States for the Secretariat to provide detailed estimates of Miscellaneous Income by source to the next meeting of the Finance Committee. My Delegation also opposes the proposals to defer distribution of the cash surplus and to increase the size of the Working Capital Fund. We will, of course, return to these issues in greater detail when we come to discuss Item 17 of our Agenda.

Before I come to my final point I wish to return to the issue underlying the remarks with which I prefaced my statement. What was suggested by the distinguished Representative of the United States-but subsequently ruled out of order-was that the time is ripe for FAO to address the question of reform of the programme budget process. She made the point-with which my Delegation is in full agreement-that progress elsewhere in the UN system should not go unheeded in FAO. We also agree that this is a process which should-indeed, it must-provide greater opportunity for active participation by the member states whose Organization this is. Expanded joint sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees-to focus on both programme and budget and especially to examine the level of the budget-are long overdue and we fully support all that the United States Representative said on this subject.

The proposal of the United States requires no changes in the Basic Texts of this Organization. It is not even particularly new. What they have said about the need for a new approach is much along the same lines as statements we have heard at previous sessions of this Council. For this reason I was surprised to hear it argued that delegations could not be expected to comment because the particular formulation used by the United States Representative was not specifically on the Agenda. I have been present on many occasions when this precision has not been sought by the majority-and yet I have noticed no reluctance on the part of delegations to comment on those occasions.

Like the United States Delegation, my Delegation believes it necessary to reach a clear decision that reform is needed which allows fuller expression of the views of all members of this Organization, majority and minority, donor and recipient. We too believe that no time should be lost in achieving this reform. It is crucial to the future of FAO. At the risk of suffering the same fate as the United States, we join them in calling on all members to endorse the need for such a reform, and to reflect that endorsement in the report of this meeting.

Finally, our consideration of this budget demonstrates that this Organization is now facing two crises. We are all very familiar with the first-the financial crisis which has been the subject of much debate in the Organization over the past year. But I believe there is a second crisis which in the long term could be the more serious. It is the danger of FAO becoming what-for want of a better term-I can only describe as an institutional dinosaur-something from a previous age which has failed to adapt or evolve to the changing situation around it.

How is the situation changing?

First there is the continuing financial uncertainty. But, as I have said, it is ignored in the formulation of the agency's most important working document-its programme of work and budget.

Second, no organization can survive unless it knows and understands its real priorities and objectives. This information is singularly lacking from the document before us.

Third, in the current international financial climate organisations have to recognize that member states are concerned about efficiency and particularly about the cost of programme delivery. Very real concerns which have been expresssed on this score have been brushed aside. The problem has not been tackled with the vigour it deserves.

In short, despite all the efforts of member states-and of the Secretariat-we have again been presented with the mixture much as before.

We believe that this provides us with a clear warning signal that if FAO is to retain its relevance and the support of its members there must be a change in the way that the Organization interacts with those members. At the Conference in 1985 the then Minister for Overseas Development from the UK suggested that after forty years it was a time to institute a thorough review of FAO with particular reference to the Organization's long-term objectives and strategies. Mr Chairman, the two years that have intervened since then have reinforced our conviction that this review is urgently required. We believe therefore that the 1987 FAO Conference should take up the African initiative and agree to a high level group of independent experts.

Amadou Moustapha KAMARA (Sénégal): Selon l'analyse de ma délégation, le Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1988-89 de notre Organisation comporte les caractéristiques suivantes:

Premièrement, le Sommaire se situe résolument au centre des priorités originelles de la FAO, que sont la promotion de la production vivrière et l'amélioration de la sécurité vivrière.

Deuxième caractéristique: le Sommaire privilégie les programmes techniques et économiques ainsi que les programmes de terrain, en se focalisant:

- sur l'amélioration de l'aménagement du sol et des eaux et de l'approvisionnement en intrants;

- sur une utilisation efficace des biotechnologies;

- sur l'application du programme d'action tropical forestier et sur les programmes d'action adoptés par la Conférence mondiale sur l'aménagement et le développement des pêches;

- sur les études des politiques de développement agricole et d'amélioration de la sécurité alimentaire;

- sur la gestion et l'exploitation plus efficace de toutes les données scientifiques, techniques, sociales et économiques.

Cet exercice de priorisation et de hiérarchisation ainsi mené par la FAO apparaît si rigoureux qu'il semble à ma délégation déraisonnable de lui demander d'élaguer davantage son programme sans remettre en cause à la fois son fondement et sa justification. Il n'est donc pas étonnant de noter avec quel réalisme, voire avec quelle sobriété, les lignes du budget nous ont été présentées. En effet, le montant du budget proposé passe de 437 millions de dollars à 439 millions en 1988-89, soit une augmentation en termes relatifs de 0,48 pour cent, ce qui représente en termes réels une baisse à un moment où notre Organisation est plus que jamais sollicitée.

Ma délégation voudrait, à ce niveau, témoigner de la compétence et de la pertinence avec lesquelles la FAO a assisté mon pays dans l'élaboration des stratégies sous-sectorielles agricoles qui ont servi à l'établissement des plans d'action que mon pays a présentés à la Communauté internationale en juin 1986. A l'heure où l'unanimité est faite sur l'urgence de recentrer les politiques agricoles de nos pays, de façon à générer les dynamiques internes et externes aptes à garantir un développement agricole soutenu et durable, il nous semble impératif de préserver, voire augmenter, les ressources du PCT.

C'est l'occasion pour ma délégation de lancer un appel à tous les Etats Membres afin qu'ils puissent, en cette période particulièrement critique que traverse notre Organisation, s'acquitter dans les meilleurs délais de leur contribution. Plusieurs délégations, en analysant les propositions de programme de travail et de budget pour 1988-89, ont souligné la nécessité de réformes substantielles de la FAO. Ma délégation estime que la FAO pour rester forte a besoin du souffle de l'ensemble de ses membres. C'est pourquoi ma délégation s'oppose à toute tentative d'étouffement de l'expression ne serait-ce que d'un seul de ses membres. C'est donc avec sérénité que nous demandons qu'il soit tenu compte des propositions de création d'un comité de haut niveau chargé de réfléchir sur une réforme de notre Organisation. C'est également avec la même sérénité que ma délégation demande qu'il soit tenu compte des propositions de réforme des procédures budgétaires, pour autant que ne soient pas remis en cause les textes fondamentaux. Les résultats d'un tel exercice devraient être soumis à la prochaine Conférence, à condition qu'ils induisent plus d'efficacité et de justice. Ma délégation est prête à apporter au Secrétariat sa contribution pour la réalisation d'un tel travail.

Permettez-moi de me résumer ainsi: d'une part nous approuvons le Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget pour 1988-89 et demandons à l'ensemble des délégations d'en faire autant; nous demandons au Secrétariat de la FAO ainsi qu'au Comité du Programme et au Comité financier de lui diligenter la finalisation du projet de budget. D'autre part, nous restons ouverts aux réflexions exprimées par certaines délégations tendant à réajuster l'organisation et la structure de la FAO, à condition que ses fondements actuels soient préservés.

Chavaly SRINIVASA SASTRY (India): At the outset, may I crave your indulgence for making an intervention which might turn out to be somewhat lengthy.

As an extenuating circumstance, I would submit two facts. Firstly, so far in this Council meeting the Indian delegation did not speak on many agenda items, as those were in the nature of reports by committees and commissions. India participated in the discussions in these committees and commissions and in some of them India was also associated with the drafting. We felt this was the right course of action, keeping in view the provisions of para. 6 dealing with interventions and

reports in the Note on the Methods of Work of the Council, Document G/X/CC-702-91, Appendix A of March 1987, and secondly, even where the Indian delegation intervened, our interventions were brief and to the point.

In this background, we would request you to bear with us. My intervention would be in two parts. With your permission, I would first deal with and explain our vote on the appeal against your ruling on the point of order in the pre-lunch session on Friday last. As you are aware, our vote was a "no". This explanation would form the first part of my intervention.

In the second part, I would deal with agenda Item 15, Summary Programme of Work and Budget, 1988-89. The Indian delegation would like to deal with the events that led to the vote by role call in the Council on Friday in the context of the developments that took place in the United Nations during the years 1984, 1985 and 1986. Notwithstanding the point of order raised by the distinguished delegate from Mexico and your ruling thereon, Mr Chairman, what the distinguished delegate from the USA has said on Friday has gone into the verbatim records of the Council and will remain there. We are all aware that some other distinguished delegates had also referred to this matter, directly or indirectly, not only during the present meeting of the Council but also in the Council's last meeting in November 1986 and the COAG in March 1987, in both of which I had the privilege of participating. The Indian delegation is of the view that this matter in the FAO cannot be disassociated from what has been happening over the last two or three years in the UN system and in the United Nations. Considering the UN first I am sure that many distinguished delegates will have already studied the report of the Inter-Governmental Experts on the UN.

India was also a member of this eighteen member body of inter-governmental experts; so were many other countries which are also members of this forty-nine member Council of the FAO.

The sequence of events which ultimately led to the changes which were finally made in the UN in December 1986, almost as the zero hour, as it were, approached, bears recounting as it would be of topical interest to us in the FAO at this juncture. Firstly, Mr Chairman, in the UN for about eighteen months in 1984 and 1985 there was a rising crescendo about the functioning of the UN Organization. The main thrust of the criticism was that the functioning of the UN was not efficient or cost effective, that there was a proliferation of Committees and meetings, and the vast expansion of the bureaucracy.

The debate during this eighteen month period mainly centered on: (a) the need for a study, (b) the areas activities, aspects, that required to be gone into, and (c) the mechanism and methodology. The second stage was the setting up of the Inter-Governmental Group of Experts following a consensus which took over two months to emerge. The third stage was the work of the inter-governmental experts themselves. This body took about one full year to go into the matter and make its seventy-one recommendations. The break-up of the recommendations as given in paragraph 29 of document C 87/9, which was introduced by Mr Regnier the other day, makes interesting reading. Thirteen of the recommendations are on inter-governmental machinery and functioning, twenty-seven on the structure of the Secretariat, twelve on personnel, five on monitoring, evaluation and inspection, one-and only one-on planning and budget procedures. Here we may note, Mr Chairman, that in the IGE there was no unanimity on this important area. The Programme of Work and Budget that we are now discussing falls in this broad area, and as a result the IGE listed in the report three different proposals submitted on the procedure for preparing the medium-term plan and the programme budget made by three different groups of members of the IGE, and lastly the three recommendations on the implementation of the IGE's recommendations, making a total of seventy-one.

Step 4 in the sequence of events was a discussion on the recommendations of the IGE in the UN General Assembly. These lasted for about three months before a consensus was hammered out almost at zero hour as the deadline was approaching. Before all these decisions were finally taken by the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the UN obtained a legal opinion to the effect that the three operational paragraphs were actually in conformity with Article 18 of the Charter of the UN or of the eleven rules and procedures of the General Assembly giving effect to that Article. This is borne out by Annex II to Appendix A of document C 87/9.

There were thus four distinct stages that were gone through in the UN before the changes-which in the programme and budget area highlighted the importance of taking decisions by consensus-were finally agreed upon. As the distinguished US delegate said on Friday these developments "elsewhere in the UN system should not go unheeded in the FAO". We should pause here to see what has happened in the other sister UN bodies like the ILO, World Health Organization, etc. We understand that this process has been gone through in the World Health Organization. The only change was highlighting and accepting the desirability of adopting the work programme and budget of WHO by consensus.

In this context we should note with approval and satisfaction that the Director-General of FAO, in his introduction to the SPWB 1988-89, document CL 91/3 has, as early as in March 1987, stressed the need for full and genuine consensus in adopting these proposals. On Friday, during his introductory remarks when this agenda item was taken up, the Director-General has repeatedly highlighted the need

for and the importance of consensus in approving the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89. He also urged the same points, if I understood him correctly, in the two brief interventions which he made after the distinguished US delegate completed her intervention and before the roll call vote was taken.

Before dealing with our vote I would like to make the following points-firstly we believe that over the last 42 years among the UN agencies, FAO has been an Organization which is live and vibrant, technically competent and effective and responsive to the needs and requirements of the Member Nations. We also believe that the FAO, like any healthy and large organization, has its own in-house and internal systems and mechanisms for critical reviews of programmes, activities, structures and procedures, so that the necessary correctives could be applied on a continuing basis. These have been useful and effective. It is a result of these internalized and functioning mechanisms that the FAO has continued to remain lean, dynamic and responsive without becoming either a fat cat or a fat cow depending on whether we favour the comparison with the feline world or the bovine world.

Thirdly, that as a result the FAO has given a very creditable and commendable account of itself. It has been able to reorder its priorities at all times; reorient its organization and methods over the last four decades. As a dynamic and responsive organization FAO is expected to do so.

In this context, and in the background of the time frame and the modalities of the exercise which has been carried out at the UN, it would be clear that more time is needed before deciding on any exercise of comparable nature in the FAO. Before taking such a decision the Member Nations must be clear about firstly the need for a review, secondly the nature of the review, thirdly the areas and the activity of the review, and fourthly the methodology and the mechanics of such a review operation. We must be clear on these features to make sure that the proposed review or the changes contemplated would, if possible, enhance and would under no circumstances detract from the effectiveness and efficiency of FAO, particularly in relation to its specific mandate. Without being clear on these aspects, voting for a review would in our view amount to putting the cart before the horse.

Further we have to keep in view the nature of work and activities of the FAO as contrasted with those of the UN. In the context of the FAO we may have to distinguish between firstly, administrative and financial matters on the one hand, and secondly on the budget making and programme process on the other. In the FAO the budgeting and programming is a two-stage process. Under the FAO procedures the Council considers the SPWB and offers its views and comments and recommendations. On this basis the Director-General is to prepare the proposals for the full Programme of Work and Budget to be considered by the Conference. Procedural formalities, jurisdictional niceties and legalities apart, it is clear that the Council with a restricted membership of only 49, is much smaller that the General Body of over 150 nations. Propriety would seem to indicate that a matter of such primacy and importance should be considered by the Conference in which all the Member Nations participate and not the Council. Even if it were to be held that the Council should first consider this matter and make available its views and recommendations to the Conference, all of us would agree that two prerequisites have to be fulfilled for a proper consideration of such an important issue in the Council. These in our view are that there should be an adequate notice, and secondly, the required documentation should be made available to the member countries well in advance. These too would ensure and enable all the members of the Council to study the issue in all its aspects and dimensions.

Our attention has been drawn, Mr Chairman, to some reports in the press that some of the Member Nations have held some consultations in this regard and have also prepared some documentation. However, the Indian delegation did not have access to this documentation prior to this Council meeting. We are sure many other members are similarly placed in relation to the documentation. If only this documentation were available in advance we would also have had the time to decide, in consultation with New Delhi, the stand to be taken by the Government of India.

Further, having noted the time frame which was needed to work out the various steps in the UN, and noting the fact that even in the UN the inter-governmental experts could not make any specific or unanimous recommendations relating to the procedure for preparing the medium-term plan and the programme budget, we feel that it is not realistic to expect this Council to take a view on this issue here and now right in this meeting with only five more days left of the Council session.

Distinguished delegates will recall that the distinguished United States delegate seemed to want a decision on this matter before 26 June 1987 for what she said was: "Therefore, we believe that no time should be lost in achieving this reform. We call on all members to endorse such a reform, and to reflect that decision in the report of this meeting".

In this context of what I have detailed earlier-absence of notice, lack of documentation, lack of adequate time-we felt it was not possible for the Council to take a definitive decision on the US proposal for "an independent external high-level group" to review and reappraise the "FAO's organizational structure, especially concerning the administration of field programmes".

Nobody in good conscience could object to member countries expressing their views on matters of this nature. We would recall that this has been done by many delegations in the November 1986 meeting of the Council, in the COAG meeting in March 1987 and also in the current Council meeting. However, if a member country wants a definite and definitive decision to be taken by the Council on a proposal of this type, adumbrated in somewhat general terms in the intervention made by the distinguished United States delegate on Friday, then the prescribed rules on procedures indicate clearly how this should have been done.

Had this proposal been included formally in the agenda, which could have been done easily by following the required procedures and the rules, it would have been appropriate for the Council in this meeting itself to take a definitive view on the proposal of the United States. Therefore, it was entirely on procedural grounds and not on any substantive matter that the Indian delegation had no option but to vote "no" in the roll call vote taken last Friday.

This morning, the same suggestion which was ruled out on Friday has again been put forward by some delegations. We take it that the ruling of the Chairman on Friday would be applicable to all similar suggestions, to the effect that decisions on such proposals must be taken by the Council this week itself.

At this stage, may I point out that the Director-General himself has indicated that the Conference would possibly be the appropriate forum for taking a decision on a proposal of this nature. Further I am sure that India reflects the sentiments of all the Member Nations when we say that particularly in a body like FAO we should strive to take decisions on the basis of unanimity and by consensus. Voting should not ordinarily be resorted to. In this context, we feel it was rather unfortunate that the roll call vote had to be taken on Friday. We do hope that all members of FAO will endeavour to see that voting does not become necessary again in the current Council meeting and also, if possible, in the Conference, for disposing of the business included in the agenda.

Having said this, I would add that this is not a subject for rhetoric or dialectics. We are all aware how over the last 42 years since FAO was founded, the world order has changed. The environment in which the international organizations like the United Nations, FAO, etc., operate has changed. In the recent past in the United Nations family, and more particularly in the United Nations itself, there have been important changes. In Indian philosophy we have a concept that no human being is perfect. This concept could possibly be extended to organizations also. It would be difficult to take a stance that in any organization there is no scope for improving efficiency, that there is no scope for effecting economy and no scope for evolving better procedures and working methods. Change, innovation and adaptation are the very essence of life.

Keeping all these aspects in view, my delegation submits that the question of whether any of the aspects relating to the working of FAO requires a review, and if so, the mechanism for conducting any review as well as the time frame, be appropriately considered by the November 1987 Conference. Such a view, we feel, would be in the larger interest of FAO as also of the Member Nations. That, Mr Chairman, completes the first part of my intervention.

Now I will deal as briefly as possible with agenda item 15, the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988/89. We would especially compliment the Secretariat on the excellent document CL 91/3 considered by the Finance Committee and the Programme Committee in May 1987. This document adds substantially to the transparency and openness about which some delegations have spoken. The presentation has brought to bear an analytical approach and has resulted in giving a lot of clarity and lucidity to what otherwise would have been a rather complex, complicated and somewhat prosaic subject. The main features which has been summarized on one printed page, aided by a bar chart, two pie-charts and a graph, make the comparative position clear and intelligible, even to a person like me who has no head for figures!

The appropriate departments of the FAO Secretariat deserve to be specially complimented; simultaneously they should be urged and requested to keep up the good work. They must especially ensure that the document's brevity and focus on the broad proposals should also continue to be the hallmarks in the future.

The Chairmen of the Finance Committee and the Programme Committee also deserve our special thanks for their excellent report in document CL 91/6, as also the two detailed presentations made by them last Friday highlighting the work done in these two important committees of Council on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. India is a member of the Programme Committee. We were fully associated with the deliberations and decisions of the May 1987 meetings of Programme Committee. We especially commend the Director-General for his approach to the consideration by the Council of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget as shown in the document, and as epitomised by his remarks last Friday. He has stressed the importance of evolving a consensus on those proposals. He stated in his introductory remarks that the Programme of Work and Budget to be "a set of proposals which should receive the support of Member Nations in a spirit of full and genuine consensus". As we are aware, after the elaborate work in the Programme or Work and Budget, by the IGE in this area, the only

significant change effected was the approval of the Programme of Work and Budget through consensus. In this context, the Director-General's remarks are particularly welcome.

The purpose of the discussion on this agenda item in the Council is to have a full Programme of Work and Budget for approval by the Conference by consensus. We are of the view that the summary in the first four pages of document CL 91/3 and also the introduction of the Director-General on pages vii to ix of that document, along with the Summary of Recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees given in pages ν to viii of document CL 91/6, should all be of immense help in securing approval by consensus. In the documentation each area of programme activity has been dealt with separately, critically examined and a view taken whether further programme activities and levels of funding should be maintained, reduced or marginally increased, keeping in view the financial problems faced by FAO.

Thus, on all these critical and important areas of programme activity and funding, there has been an application of the management mind. The outcome of this exercise is the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988/89. This has been considered in detail by the Programme and Finance Committees. The whole approach and aim of the proposals is firstly, to secure increased efficiency and economies in the administration and, secondly, to prioritize the Programmes and Activities and to secure a transfer of resources from non-essential to essential programmes and from lower priority to high priority programmes. This has resulted in augmentation of funding to the technical and economic programmes notwithstanding the prevailing financial situation. This approach is commendable and deserves to be endorsed. Not only does the documentation present more details, but it presents things analytically and concisely-this is an important improvement. It is especially welcome, and we hope that this trend can gather momentum in years to come.

Our delegation is of the view that the priorities of the Programme and the views of the Programme Committee on their selection should be endorsed. Some delegates have specifically referred to some items of the Programme of Work and Budget in which they would like to see some reductions being made in the allocations. We are all aware that the Member Nations differ considerably when we compare their stages of economic growth, agricultural development, technical self-reliance and financial resilience. Depending on these factors the perceptions of Member Nations vary in their requirements and expectations of FAO.

A few typical examples are the views to be taken on plant genetic resources, commodity groups and also the early warning system. India supports the role of the FAO in plant genetic resources and opposes any reduction in the frequency of commodity group meetings. We should recognize these different perspectives and try to synchronize and harmonize them to the extent possible through the process of consensus. We should not consider in the Council the perceptions of certain Member Nations only, but should take into account the viewpoints of a large majority of the other members in a true spirit of consensus.

At this stage I would like to allude to two related issues which have come up for discussion in the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee, and also in this meeting of the Council earlier on. The first is the concept of the zero growth budget. In the prevailing financial situation and stringency, this zero growth option prima facie would appear to be really tempting. However, in an environment in which inflation rates, often in double digits, are endemic and the currency exchange rates fluctuate widely, the zero growth rate would not always be an attainable objective. In the proposals before the Council, the real programme increase is less than 0.5 percent. In normal circumstances, this minuscule increase would have been considered much too small and inadequate. The requirements of the Member Nations and their expectations from FAO would really have justified a much bigger increase. However, considering the financial constraints we commend the acceptance of the proposals through consensus as suggested by the Director-General.

The second related question is whether the budget should be pruned, keeping in view the likely delays in receipt of contributions from the Member Nations and the consequent cash-flow problem and the ways and means difficulties. As a corollary, should we have alternative proposals formulated? Should we have a contingency plan ready? These questions have been gone into by the Programme Committee and the outcome is presented in paragraphs 2.34 to 2.37 on page 7 of document CL 91/6. Similarly, the Finance Committee went into these two issues and their recommendations are in paragraphs 3.14 and 3.15 of document CL 91/6.

While dealing with these issues, what was said by the delegate of the United States of America in an intervention on Friday is of particular relevance.

"The United States government was present at the creation of FAO. We have been and remain the largest contributor and we stand now thoroughly committed to a vigorous and effective FAO".

She went on to say:

"Indeed, the United States remains committed to paying its assessed contributions to the United Nations organizations. The administration requested full funding for these organizations for the fiscal year 1988 to be achieved in part through a budget amendment and modification of the Kassenbaum/Solomon Amendment. We are working with the United States Congress so that the amount and timing of our payment will be known as soon as possible".

In this background, our attempt to prepare contingency or alternative plans would not only not be cost-effective, but would be tantamount to prejudging what the United States Government is likely to decide. We are all aware that in November last year we authorized a package of adjustments amounting to US$16.4 million. The Director-General was authorized to take further action as may be required and the total adjustments made by now amount to about US$25 million. A similar course of action may also be adopted in the future.

The third aspect is the zero-based budget concept, with which we are mostly familiar. It is a concept that is also mentioned in the Council/Conference documents. Were we to follow that concept to its logical conclusion it should theoretically be conceivable to work out a list of programme items with rigid prioritization. Should it be possible to prepare a list, again theoretically, it should be possible to keep on deleting programme items from the bottom of the list upwards in order to balance the budget in case we fall short of our income.

Theory apart, it is a moot point whether in an organization of the size of the FAO, considering the variety of its operations worldwide, which cover from primary agriculture and forestry to the latest in science, such as biotechnology, the introduction of zero-based budgeting would be a practical proposition. The exercise would involve a heavy load of work in terms of manhours and efforts invested, and it is unlikely to be cost effective. Further, it could result in many frustrations and frictions among the professional staff of the FAO.

This type of uncertainty in funding arrangements has been faced in the current biennium. The Director-General has shown that he and his staff have the necessary nimbleness, innovativeness and capability to prioritize and adjust the allocation. In a situation where the parameters are not clearly known, instead of preparing many different sets of Programmes of Work and Budget for all possible eventualities, it is prudent, practical and cost-effective to be prepared for the most likely scenario. The proposals in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 have been formulated on this basis. Should there be any unexpected developments that cannot be anticipated with a reasonable amount of certainty and exactitude, it is reassuring that the Director-General and his staff have proved, on the basis of their past performance, their capability to deal with unexpected shortfalls in cash inflows.

Mention has been made of the programme delivery costs. I find that that matter has been considered in detail by the Finance Committee on the basis of a document that was tabled before the Finance Committee. In that document the basis on which programme delivery costs are to be computed is specifically explained: "A large degree of subjectivity is inevitable and great circumspection has to be exercised in establishing cost-output relationships." The document came to the conclusion on the basis of analysis of the data that a figure of 18.8 percent for the Programme of Work and Budget 1986-87 is the delivery cost, while for the biennium 1980-81 the corresponding figure stood at 21.1 percent. It shows a reduction effectively in the programme delivery costs. However, we will all have occasion to deal with this subject when we consider agenda item 17.

A demand has been made that along with reduction in programme delivery costs more and more data, particularly in terms of programmes, allocations, actual expenditure and effectiveness of individual programmes should also be made available to the Council and to the Conference. I would submit that these two stances, on the one hand seeking a reduction in programme delivery costs and on the other seeking a lot more information, seem not to be mutually consistent.

In conclusion, we would submit that in the absence of the required authorization from the Conference that the Council is not to approve the budget level for 1988-89. The various views expressed by the Member Nations in the Council are available in the verbatim record irrespective of the fact that they will ultimately appear in the report of the Council. As indicated by the Director-General in his introduction to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89, we would submit that the Director-General may be requested to take the Council's views into consideration and to prepare his proposals accordingly for the full Programme of Work and Budget to be considered by the Council in November 1987.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): La presentación del Director General fue buena, afirmativa y adecuada, calidades que contrastan ligeramente, apenas un poco, con ciertos aspectos del documento que vamos a criticar con ánimo constructivo, con claridad y franqueza.

La presentación de nuestro distinguido colega y amigo, Embajador Bukhari, Presidente del Comité de Finanzas, fue precisa, seria y correcta. La presentación del Señor Mazoyer, Presidente del Comité del Programa, pudo haber sido más breve, menos inutilmente detallada.

El viernes en la mañana votamos abstención, porque era la unica tabla de salvación, en medio de una confusión exagerada, injustificada, con un resultado inconveniente y desafortunado. Esperamos que esto no se repetirá. Este es un tema muy amplio e importante dentro del cual caben muchas consideraciones. Usted, Señor Presidente, tiene la obligación institucional, sin votación, de garantizar la libre expresión de todos los miembros de Consejo. En la confusión perdimos un elemento muy importante: la información que gentilmente iba a suministrar la distinguida delegada de los Estados Unidos sobre el pago de las contribuciones de ese importante país.

En el Consejo de noviembre pasado sucedió algo semejante. Esa vez perdimos la misma concreta información en medio de la simpatía y la hilaridad que causaron la ambigua declaración de la querida Embajadora Fenwick. En esta oportunidad, pedimos formalmente, Señor Presidente, que como ella lo ha solicitado, se conceda la palabra oportunamente a la honorable delegada de Estados Unidos para que nos diga específicamente cuándo terminarán de pagar el 97 por ciento que aun deben del bienio 1986-87, y sí estarán dispuestos a pagar la totalidad de la contribución que les habrá de corresponder para 1988-89. Consideramos indispensables y esenciales estas informaciones, antes de la conclusión de este tema. De lo contrario estaremos construyendo castillos en el aire.

La delegación de Colombia piensa que el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto es la Biblia, la guía insustituible; es el compendio de orientaciones para los trabajos de la FAO en el próximo bienio. Este Consejo es el organismo eminentemente político de nuestra Organización. Por todo ello opinamos que la discusión de este tema 15 ofrece la ocasión propicia para expresar algunas consideraciones de orden político, sobre la forma cómo debe trabajar la FAO, que es nuestra Organización, que pertenece a todos los Estados Miembros, cuyos representantes debemos, tenemos la obligación de expresar libremente, sin presiones ni temores, todo lo que pensamos para que las políticas y los Programas de la FAO puedan corresponder verdaderamente a la voluntad de los gobiernos.

En esta oportunidad reiteramos un concepto, inmodificable, que sostenemos en todos los organismos integrados por Estados Miembros: el carácter prioritario de quienes representamos a los Gobiernos que han fundado y sostienen estas organizaciones, sobre los funcionarios de la secretaría, de todas las organizaciones, an al más alto nivel.

Trataré de enmarcar estos principios dentro del bien conocido objetivo del Gobierno colombiano, objetivo cuya suerte está directamente vinculada a la ejecución de este Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1988-89.

La delegación de Colombia piensa que la FAO vive uno de los momentos más difíciles e inciertos de su historia, debido en parte a la notable incidencia de la crisis que afecta a todo el sistema de las Naciones Unidas, posiblemente agravada por ciertos factores de subsistencia de predominio doméstico, contrarios a la renovación. Sin duda esta situación ha influido sobre la presentación de este documento, en el cual las prioridades que se dice: "han sido aplicadas a los programas con criterios más selectivos", parecen dar la impresión de que son literaturas dispersas, perdida entre las dos palabras, a las cuales se quiere asignar carácter taumatúrgico, hasta el punto de que resultan demagógicas, y contradictorias: "innovación y continuidad". Dos palabras que, ojalá, no vayan a aparecer en la versión definitiva del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto.

Una fugaz comparación con los otros documentos de los cinco bienios anteriores, nos permite confirmar que lejos de toda "innovación" parece existir, eso sí, una continuidad rutinaria, un poco carente de imaginación. Por lo demás el documento mismo señala, en la Introducción afirma: "Desde hace mucho tiempo mantenemos estos principios de examen y reevaluación".

El párrafo 4.18 dice "No se prevén cambios en las prioridades básicas de la Organización." En el párrafo 4.17, textualmente se dice: "Ello hace aún más imperiosa la necesidada de que los programas de la FAO vuelvan a demostrar su utilidad y pertinencia a todos los Estados Miembros y en particular a aquellos que más necesiten de su asistencia".

Preguntamos: ¿Es qué acaso y cuándo los programas de la FAO han dejado de ser útiles y pertinentes a todos los Estados Miembros y, sobre todo, a los países en desarrollo?. Ojalá se nos explicara el contenido de esa frase.

El párrafo 4.39 habla de la red de Representantes de la FAO en los países y dice que "los servicios que prestan se justifican sobre todo por la importancia que le conceden los gobiernos ante los cuales están acreditados".

La Delegación de Colombia reitera su apoyo a la existencia de propios representantes de la FAO en los países, pero piensa que las funciones de esos representantes deben limitarse a las de ser el conducto regular entre la Organización y los gobiernos, sin que las actuaciones de esos

representantes en los países se desvíen por cauces de interferencia en asuntos políticos internos de los Estados, porque cuando esa desviación se ha producido el resultado ha sido contraproducente, contrario a los fines que se perseguían.

¿Considera acaso la secretaría, serio, adecuado y pertinente el hecho de que en el Capítulo IV: Estrategias, Objetivos y Prioridades, se haya incluido el párrafo 4.7·? La delegación de Colombia piensa que en este momento de "sombrías perspectivas", como se dice en la Introducción, no es hora de hacer reminiscencias retóricas, evocaciones románticas, gloriosas o soñadoras, de lo que la FAO ha hecho en 40 años de su historia, ni hablar de "respuesta patente y flexible al cambio de la situación mundial", cuando en la discusión del tema 4 ya comprobamos que esa situación es siempre grave y preocupante.

La Delegación de Colombia opina que la falla fundamental que contiene este Proyecto de Programa de Labores y Presupuesto; lo que falta es la indicación clara de lo que la FAO no podrá hacer en 1988-89 si, como parece, el Marco Financiero continuará deteriorándose. Es en este sentido, en el cual pensamos que se han debido definir mejor las prioridades. Esto no quiere decir que de antemano esteraos aceptando el hecho, que condenamos sin ambajes, de que cualquier contribuyente, inclusive el más alto, pueda dejar de pagar sus contribuciones. Por el contrario este Consejo debe reiterar su posición en el sentido de exigir a todos los Estados Miembros, sin ninguna excepción, que cumplan el compromiso jurídico y moral que adquirieron al haber adoptado la Conferencia el nivel del presupuesto, dentro del cual corresponde a cada país pagar su aporte respectivo.

Los países en desarrollo viven en permanente crisis y, sin embargo, vienen haciendo esfuerzos enormes para pagar sus contribuciones y honrar el buen nombre de nuestros Estados. Pedimos que todos los gobiernos, con el primer contribuyente a la cabeza, sigan el ejemplo admirable de los otros países desarrollados. (En Colombia hay un proverbio que dice: Quien ríe de último, ríe mejor). Pedimos que todos los Gobiernos, repito, con el primer contribuyente a la cabeza, sigan el ejemplo admirables de los otros países desarrollados y del Tercer Mundo, para asegurar que un presupuesto sólido garantice el normal funcionamiento de esta Organización.

Después de sentar estos principios, consideramos sin embargo, que habría que ser realistas y estar preparados para lo peor, al golpe de los vientos que soplan. El viernes en la mañana sentimos la amenaza del huracán; por lo cual opinamos que será necesario que en la versión definitiva del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto se incluyan alternativas, dolorosas, pero realistas e inexorables. Eso sería menos negativo que seguir sometidos a las continuas reducciones del Programa como en este bienio en curso, y además tendría la ventaja de que ya un nivel razonable y verdaderamente realista de actividades, contaría de antemano con la aprobación de los órganos rectores. Desgraciadamente carecemos de poder coercitivo para obligar a los países a pagar sus contribuciones.

Consideramos que cada representante de país, libre y soberanamente, puede hablar de reformas y proponer cambios, aunque nosotros no comportamos sus ideas. La Comunidad Internacional no podrá vender ciertos principios fundamentales, si esa será la condición para obtener el pago de las contribuciones.

La delegación de Colombia coincide con la declaración hecha por nuestro colega y amigo, Sr. Kristensen, de Dinamarca, a nombre de los siempre positivos países nórdicos.

Particularmente ahora las prioridades deben concentrarse al máximo, limitarse a aquellos aspectos que conciernen más directamente a los campos especializados asignados a la FAO, no tratar de seguir abarcando demasiado, seguir eliminando actividades académicas, teóricas y literarias, como publicaciones, investigaciones, estudios, que a veces nadie lee, inclusive suprimir circulares, boletines propagandísticos de prensa, hasta invitaciones hechas en costosos pergaminos en mil idiomas, para acto de fugaz duración mínima, eliminación de fotografías. Todos esos costos, aparentemente reducidos, pueden no tener significación monetaria, pero, dado el volumen, la insistencia y frecuencia con que se hacen, no sólo suman, sino que causan generales desaprobación y disgusto.

Hay que reducir todavía más los gastos administrativos, viajes, consultores, comunicaciones y dedicar los escasos recursos a la asistencia directa a los países, conservando las reuniones que tengan como objetivo el incremento de la cooperación técnica y económica entre los países en desarrollo y las posibilidades de contribuir a mejorar la comercialización y la exportación de productos básicos, de los productos agrícolas de nuestros estados.

Esencialmente prioritaria, pero bien definida y seriamente aplicada, toda actividad dirigida a lograr el aumento de la producción en los países en desarrollo.

El párrafo 1.8 de los Antecedentes y en otros párrafos también se hacen referencia a la Ronda de Uruguay.

Preguntamos otra vez si la FAO, al suprimir el puesto D-l en la Oficina de Enlace en Ginebra, ¿estará o no debilitando su participación en la Ronda de Uruguay?

El párrafo 1.5 habla de la "situación de la pobreza generalizada". El Gobierno de Colombia opina que, como lo ha dicho nuestro Jefe de Estado en la última Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas: "Entre las múltiples amenazas a nuestro mundo, ninguna ha sido tan permanente como la pobreza absoluta, ningún otro problema requiere más rápida y más urgente acción".

Los delegados de Colombia en este Consejo nos sentimos profundamente orgullosos de representar al Gobierno colombiano, dirigido por el Presidente Virgilio Barco, Gobierno que ha venido dando muestras de gran seriedad, elevada competencia, dignidad sin sombras, defensa incejable de la soberanía y de la independencia, principios inalienables sobre los cuales seguiremos ocupando este sitio en esta sala los representantes de Colombia.

En el párrafo 1.4 de los Antecedentes se citan, entre comillas, la expresión de que existe "la sensación general de que la gente está cansada de ayudar". ¿No será acaso que la gente está verdaderamente cansada, desilusionada, de que la situación no mejora y los problemas se agravan y multiplican y, por lo tanto, se imponen el cambio, las reformas y la renovación, y mientras tanto han asumido esa posición de expectativa?.

En el capítulo II-Programas de Campo-se habla del Programa FAO/Banca y se citan la cooperación con el FIDA y algunos Bancos regionales, pero no aparece el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID).

Preguntamos: ¿Existe y cuál es la cooperación entre la FAO y el BID?

Después del párrafo 6.8 aparece el cuadro Aumento de los gastos para 1988-89, en el cual se indica que los fondos para consultores y viajes en comisión de servicio no se reducirán sino que se aumentaran.

Preguntamos: ¿Esa alta asignación de más de 23 millones de dólares para consultores podría ser acaso la fachada que cubre la posible dudosa reducción de puestos profesionales?

Preguntamos: Los viajes en Comisión de servicio más 6 por ciento anual en el bienio ¿corresponden a las nuevas necesidades? ¿Se ajustan al "Marco financiero" "el más complejo y precario que pueda recordarse desde hace más de un decenio", según dice el párrafo 3.1?

Preguntamos aún: los aumentos en viajes y consultores ¿son acaso parte del llamado incremento de los programas técnicos y económicos?

La delegación de Colombia piensa que el rubro de consultores es siempre muy discutido en cuanto a los favorecidos, los altos emolumentos, los largos períodos, el propósito verdadero de las consultorías.

Valdría la pena que, al azar, el Comité de Finanzas, nuestro Órgano asesor, escogiera algunos casos de consultores para que luego informara al Consejo sobre esas inquietudes, pues consideramos que, aunque algunos de los consultores, seguramente muy respetables, son bien conocidos y merecen el homenaje de nuestro reconocimiento a sus capacidades, inteligencia y consagración, justamente su alto nivel, la frecuencia, el alto costo y la perduración de sus contratos, el cruce frenético desde el otro lado del Océano Atlántico, o del Lejano o Medio Oriente, o más allá del Canal de la Mancha hacia las Termas de Caracalla, todo ello debería moderarse, sobre todo a la luz de los objetivos de esas misiones, particularmente en este año 1987, tan rico en acontecimientos políticos.

Los llamados Viajes en comision de servicio también aparecen con sombras inquietantes, aumento del 3 por ciento anual, como exagerado.

El Comité de Finanzas debería seleccionar, siempre al azar-no prejuzgamos en cuanto a ningún funcionario, menor o alto-alguno de los comprobantes de esos viajes, por ejemplo para seis o siete funcionarios P-3 y P-5-y tratar de establecer la relación costo-beneficio de esos viajes, costo total, objetivo de los desplazamientos, zonas visitadas, frecuencias, y también pudiera ser deseable y conveniente, por ejemplo, al nivel de 1, 2 ó 3 de los funcionarios más altos de la Organización, hacer lo mismo.

El subprograma Regionales indica que, en general, no se proponen aumentos de los recursos para las oficinas regionales.

la delegación de Colombia piensa que convendría vigilar, severa y constantemente, a fin de que en las Oficinas Regionales se cumplan las funciones para las cuales fueron establecidas, sin que los representantes regionales y los oficiales destacados en esas oficinas cambien sus tareas profesionales y técnicas por otras actuaciones indebidas.

Hemos concedido siempre gran importancia a las Oficinas Regionales y por ello nos duele pensar que pueda surgir la menor duda, estratégicamente calculada, en cuanto a la decandencia del nivel

político, intelectual y técnico que, en el ya lejano pasado, caracterizaban a los entonces dignísimos y respetables representantes regionales.

El Gobierno de Colombia reitera su pleno apoyo al programa de cooperación tecnica.

Es una lástima que no se hayan podido incrementar los recursos para el PCT.

En una gestión seria y objetiva, alejada de todo propósito coyuntural, las asignaciones del PCT deberían hacerse con base en las reales necesidades y solicitudes de los países, sin otros fines.

El promedio de los PCT, 73 000 dólares, es muy reducido. Se está dispersando la eficacia. A los PCT, en la medida de lo posible, será necesario vincularlos a formas subsiguientes de asistencia, técnica o financiera, mediante las cuales se consoliden y prolonguen los beneficios, para alcanzar el "efecto multiplicador" con que originalmente se concibió el PCT.

La delegación de Colombia piensa que para lograr los objetivos propuestos en este Resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, además de contar con los recursos y los medios indispensables, se requiere una adhesión plena, sin sombras, una convicción profunda y sostenida de todos los representantes de los gobiernos, a fin de que exista confianza en la administración y puedan complementarse adecuadamente, como es esencial, la función política y fiscalizadora de los representantes de los Estados Miembros, con la diáfana transparente labor profesional y administrativa de la gestión.

Pensamos que se requiere, también, una política de personal bien dirigida, debidamente equilibrada, sin discriminaciones ni excesos. Los ascensos, las promociones, deberán hacerse sólo por méritos, capacidades y rendimiento. Deberían corregirse todas las injusticias.

Exigir rendimiento y consagración al trabajo, pero con métodos racionales, sin espadas de Damocles, y, al mismo tiempo, ofrecer estímulos que contribuyan al mejor cumplimiento de sus responsabilidades a todo el personal.

Personalmente estoy a favor de la renovación, del cambio de métodos, y expreso el propósito de construir una nueva FAO, con rostro humano!

En la adopción y la ejecución del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto se requieren puertas abiertas, puertas democráticas, altas y generosas, para que entren con cordialidad y sencillez todos, sin distingos los representantes de gobiernos y, libremente, determinen cuáles deberán ser los métodos de trabajo, las políticas y los programas de la Organización.

No queremos a estas alturas de nuestra declaración suscitar ninguna polémica y por ello nos limitaremos solamente a expresar nuestro rechazo al documento C 87/18, que debería hacer parte de este tema porque está vinculado a la persona a quien corresponderá ejecutar el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto en el próximo bienio. Sólo queremos decir que hechos como éste, como tantos otros, han sido contraproducentes.

En un momento de crisis aguda como la actual, para que un Programa como éste produzca resultados acertados, no sólo en la FAO, repetimos, no sólo en la FAO, sino en todas las organizaciones, se impone periódicamente una renovación, una renovación sensata, una renovación sin traumas en todos los organismos, repetimos, una renovación después de cierto tiempo prudencial, una renovación, aun con el reconocimiento de la inteligencia, de los méritos, de las capacidades y de la valiosa labor cumplida en algunos aspectos, que sería injusto y que no pretendo desconocer. Pero, todo ello, dentro de un período razonable que facilite la necesaria e indispensable rotación.

Más, una profunda renovación en ningún organismo no sería realmente efectiva si se hiciese a base de una sustitución proveniente de otra estructura burocrática internacional semejante.

Si queremos y auspiciamos una verdadera y eficaz renovación, ésta sólo se lograría con una propia y directa extracción entre los representantes de los gobiernos.

Esas características aseguran la más plena receptividad a las opiniones de los representantes de los gobiernos para que, libremente, sin temor de represalias, puedan definir claramente los métodos de trabajo, las políticas y los programas.

Concluyo así esta declaración que no es coyuntural, que no ha estado basada en proselitismo político, sino que corresponde a una convicción profunda, a principios inmodificables que he sostenido siempre y seguiré defendiendo. Cualquiera habrá de ser la suerte política y espero que ésa será favorable a partir de 1988, de este modesto delegado de Colombia, su compañero, amigo y colega de todos los tiempos, que demanda el apoyo y la asistencia de todos ustedes para que pueda concluir la indicación certera del rumbo futuro y afortunado de la FAO que, con visión premonitoria, comenzó a señalar hace 13 años la mano derecha del retrato, que en esta Sala Roja les seguirá guiando invariablemente·

José Ramón LOPEZ-PORTILLO ROMANO (México): La delegación de México felicita al Director General por la juiciosa y clarificadora presentación de este tema.

Agradecemos a los Comités del Programa de Finanzas y a sus respectivos presidentes el excelente trabajo realizado.

Los documentos CL 91/3 y CL 91/6 presentados por la Secretaría merecen nuestro elogio.

Nos complace constatar los avances que realiza la Organización para brindar una información e imagen clara y transparente de cómo se constituye y se aplica el Programa de Presupuesto.

Apreciamos igualmente el gran esfuerzo positivo que realiza el Director General y el personal de la FAO en aras de ajustar por un lado el ejercicio del presupuesto y los faltantes de efectivo, y por el otro al cumplimiento de las prioridades de urgencia reconocidas por la mayoría de los Estados Miembros.

No podemos decir lo mismo del clima y la situación negativa y pesimista creada por otros Estados Miembros en lo que respecta al Programa y el Presupuesto para el próximo período 1988/89. La incertidumbre, el escamoteo y los malabarismos son los elementos que prevalecen.

Ante un entorno de hambre y desnutrición creciente, destacamos el grave daño que significa al multilateralismo, contra el sistema de Naciones Unidas y contra nuestra Organización, el que ciertos Estados Miembros utilicen sus contribuciones como mecanismo de presión, y hasta de chantaje y para imponer sus intereses en momentos en que la distribución de alimentos continua a concentrarse precisamente en esos países y mientras se debilita la capacidad de adquirir alimentos en la mayor parte de los países en desarrollo.

Al utilizar aquellos mecanismos arcaicos para imponer paquetes políticos oscuros y reformas estructurales pretenden doblegar y someter el libre ejercicio de la razón, del diálogo y la negociación; contaminan y mancillan así las posibles buenas intenciones y a sus portavoces.

Exhortamos, por tanto, a todos los miembros de la FAO a la unidad que impida secundar o ceder a prácticas que sólo tratan de dividir y de confrontar a países desarrollados y en desarrollo, y particularmente a estos últimos, poniendo así en peligro el logro de los objetivos mismos que dan sentido a las labores que realiza la FAO.

El llamado al diálogo de ciertas delegaciones no puede ser condicionado por ellas.

México seguirá defendiendo los textos básicos de FAO y los procedimientos prescritos en ellos; esa defensa no será cosa del pasado, sino cada vez más del futuro. Impugnaremos siempre la violación de las normas de FAO y de sus procedimientos por parte de cualquier delegación.

Respecto a la cita que de nueva cuenta han hecho ciertas delegaciones en cuanto a la reestructuración y la creación de un grupo de alto nivel, recuerdo aquí el fallo que al respecto ya tomó este Consejo de que estaba fuera de orden y que no se incluirá en el informe. Ese fallo vale para todos los casos. El delegado de India hizo ya una amplia exposición del caso.

Señor Presidente, puntualizamos: no queremos un Programa sin presupuesto, pero tampoco aceptamos un presupuesto con cualquier tipo de Programa. Estamos abiertos, eso sí, a la negociación y al diálogo. En todo caso, mientras la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas no tome una decisión respecto a la reestructuración del sector económico y social de esa organización y sus eventuales alcances en las diversas agencias nos oponemos a que se discutan aquí en FAO.

En este contexto, resulta patético comparar el descenso registrado en FAO en la cuotas recibidas totales de 92,35 por ciento en 1985 a tan sólo 65,9 por ciento en 1986.

Resulta igualmente patético que el crecimiento nominal de los programas sea de 0,48 por ciento para el bienio 1988/89.

Sin embargo, puntualizamos que los problemas financieros sin precedentes que enfrentamos no son imputables a FAO, sino a causas y motivaciones externas a pesar del llamado y el rechazo de la gran mayoría de los Estados Miembros.

Al aducirse problemas financieros internos en el mayor contribuyente como justificación para posponer el pago de sus contribuciones, se plantea un serio problema de credibilidad, cuando se constata que dedican miles de veces más recursos a programas armamentistas y destructivos.

Desanima igualmente que no se verifiquen reacciones positivas en el pago de las obligaciones a pesar de las muchas y profundas transformaciones y ajustes impulsados por varios países en Naciones Unidas y otros organismos. Esos cambios representan para esos países adaptaciones político-administrativas

sobre cómo colocar y destinar las cantidades de que disponen como porcentaje de su PIB destinado a la asistencia y la ayuda. Para los países en desarrollo significa, sin embargo, grandes sacrificios que dificultarán aun más el desarrollo de sus pueblos y sus posibilidades de negociación. Lo que está en la balanza es, por tanto, desproporcionado y desigual.

Rechazamos por ello el principio y la política del crecimiento cero.

Ciertas delegaciones han venido utilizando oportunistamente como pretexto la incertidumbre del pago del mayor contribuyente para postular la existencia de una crisis financiera y la exigencia de recortes y reformas de fondo.

Sin embargo, aquí no se ha dicho que no se va a pagar. Por ello coincidimos plenamente con el Director General y los Comités de Finanza y del Programa en que no puede asumirse tal punto de partida y, por tanto, no son necesarios a estas alturas recortes mayores o reformas de fondo.

Como se recordará, en el pasado período de sesiones del Consejo se presentaron algunas alternativas posibles a los problemas presupuestarios financieros que actualmente enfrenta FAO y que a su vez fueron examinados por el Comité de Finanzas en su ultimo período de sesiones. Ello se cotejó con los análisis y trabajos del Comité del Programa y hemos escuchado las claras y positivas declaraciones de sus respectivos Presidentes, con las cuales coincidimos.

Son muy elocuentes las frases del informe conjunto que dicen que de no haber sido por las limitaciones financieras hubiera habido justificación para que el Director General propusiera un mayor aumento en los programas, como se menciona en el párrafo 2.34. Llamamos, asimismo, la atención sobre los párrafos 2.35, 2.189 y 2.912 que apoyamos plenamente y que solicitamos enfáticamente que se incorporen en nuestro informe.

Nos unimos al llamado que debe hacer el Consejo a todos los Estados Miembros para que cumplan con sus contribuciones a la brevedad posible.

Abrigamos esperanzas de que pronto mejorará la situación financiera y en vista de la desproporción entre sacrificios e intereses invitamos cortés pero firmemente a los grandes contribuyentes a un esfuerzo de entendimiento y de responsabilidad.

En todo caso, le damos nuestro apoyo al Director General para que haga uso de sus facultades para zanjar los faltantes financieros, inclusive el que eche mano de la obtención de créditos, como lo hemos mencionado en el ultimo Consejo de la FAO.

Coincidimos con el enfoque de continuidad, de congruencia y de respuesta a las dificultades presentado por el Director General.

Apoyamos íntegramente el Programa y Presupuesto para el bienio 1988/89 en tanto ello no implique incremento en el nivel de las cuotas para mi país, en vista de nuestras graves dificultades financieras. Otorgaremos nuestra decisión final cuando se presente este asunto en la próxima Conferencia.

Finalmente, Señor Presidente, permítame destacar sumariamente algunas consideraciones específicas sobre el Resumen del Programa y Presupuesto:

Nuestra delegación da su apoyo a las estrategias, objetivos y prioridades de la Organización.

Revalidamos el marco programático, y señalamos que la capacitación, el desarrollo y la transferencia de tecnologías apropiadas, el apoyo a la CTPD y CEPD en la proporción y modalidad que mejor convenga a los países, debe dirigirse a los productores y grupos rurales más necesitados.

Apoyamos en su totalidad el Programa 2.1 de agricultura, y de manera prioritaria dentro del Programa de cultivos, el subprograma sobre recursos fitogenéticos.

Demandamos se continúe y acreciente el apoyo a la Comisión y a la ejecución del Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos, ya que son esenciales para la prosperidad agrícola de los países desarrollados y en desarrollo.

Destacamos también los cultivos autóctonos, los programas de prevención de pérdidas de alimentos, desarrollo del crédito agrícola y mejoramiento de semillas, así como el Plan Internacional de suministro de fertilizantes y el Código Internacional de conducta para la distribución y uso de plaguicidas.

Respecto al Programa de Ganadería recordamos que nuestra delegación apoyada por otras delegaciones, planteó en la pasada Conferencia de FAO la necesidad de integrar todas las actividades relativas al sector pecuario en un Comité.

Le damos gran importancia al Programa para el fomento de la investigación y la biotecnología. Conminamos a la FAO a que, a través de los subprogramas respectivos, apoye el desarrollo tecnológico de los países, realice una selección estricta de tecnologías experimentadas, impulse la capacitación y preparación de técnicos, y contribuya a la CTPD para que la transferencia se dé de una forma más natural y efectiva.

Damos nuestro apoyo al Programa de nutrición, incluyendo el relativo a las normas alimentarias y de calidad de alimentos.

El apoyo a la capacitación e incorporación de la mujer y su articulación con el Programa de Desarrollo son factores esenciales, asimismo el crédito para el desarrollo agrícola, pesquero, forestal y el desarrollo rural. Por ello la labor y el Programa del Centro de Inversiones deben fortalecerse.

El capítulo 3, Programas de apoyo al desarrollo, es un elemento esencial de enlace de nuestra Organización. Ante las limitaciones presupuestarias nos preocupamos enormemente de que el área de América Latina y el Caribe esté atendida por un número desproporcionadamente reducido de personal que, aunque de alta responsabilidad y capacidad, es insuficiente para atender las necesidades de nuestra región. Ahí solicitamos mayor apoyo en vista, sobre todo, de que sólo dos funcionarios son insuficientes para manejar el numero de solicitudes de asistencia de nuestra región.

Nuestro país da gran importancia al Programa de Pesca y a su ampliación. Dado que los Programas de Acción emanados de la Conferencia Mundial de Pesca dependen fundamentalmente de fuentes extrapresupuestarias y no obstante que ha habido una generosa respuesta, muchos de ellos, tales como la planificación, la contribución del pescado para aliviar la desnutrición y el comercio pesquero, han sido discriminados a pesar de su trascendencia.

Lamentamos el desequilibrio, por no decir la discriminación, hacia América Latina y el Caribe, que como región apenas recibe el 8,2 por ciento del presupuesto de los fondos mencionados. Hacemos un llamado a la solidaridad y equidad.

A fin de que los resultados logrados en la Conferencia Mundial pueden ser congruentes con su aplicación instamos a completar la adecuación del Departamento de Pesca.

Damos, asimismo, todo nuestro apoyo al Programa de Acuicultura, tecnología y mercadeo de los recursos pesqueros.

El Programa 2.3, Montes, y el cambio estructural propuesto son plenamente aceptables.

Nuestro país da la mayor prioridad y apoyo al Programa de Cooperación técnica, en vista de su acción catalítica y el impacto positivo demostrado en nuestros países.

Lamentamos mucho que mantenga su nivel nominal, que en términos reales equivale a una disminución.

Nos complace que la CTPD reciba dentro de las limitaciones del presupuesto global propuesto una mayor relevancia.

La evaluación realizada sobre los 10 años de existencia del PCT y el unánime reconocimiento de su gran utilidad por parte de países en desarrollo y muchos desarrollados prueba que el PCT ha aportado una importante contribución al desarrollo alimentario y agrícola.

Si bien aprobamos el Programa de Servicios de Apoyo, nos preocupa mucho que obligados por las presiones de ahorro se haya estado reduciendo ilimitadamente.

Para concluir, Señor Presidente, deseamos reiterar nuestro total respaldo al enfoque del Programa de Política y Dirección y extender nuestra felicitación a las dependencias ejecutoras y al Director General porque de una manera efectiva y transparente han sabido adecuarse y equilibrar de una parte las demandas y necesidades de los países y de otra las exigencias y restricciones presupuestarias impuestas.

Seiya NISHIDA (Japan): First of all, I would like to thank the Director-General and the Programme Committee for their lucid and elaborate introduction on this very important agenda item.

On behalf of my delegation, I should like to present the views of my Government on this Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium from two angles: one concerns the programme of work, the other-the budget level.

My delegation has already put forward specific comments on programme priority in the Committees of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and other fora and I would like to avoid restating these points here.

My delegation knows that there are tremendous requirements for this Organization in solving food problems and promoting agricultural development, and also recognizes that the financial environment for the next biennium of FAO will be severe under the economic and financial situations of the member countries.

In this connection, my delegation feels that it is necessary to use the resources in areas of high priority, reducing the less needed and less urgent programmes and avoiding the duplication of activities with other international organizations. My delegation also believes that it is important to foster financial flexibility by setting a project cycle on new programmes and by continuously reviewing and examining each ongoing programme. By doing so, the Organization could continue to execute the programmes effectively and respond promptly to urgent needs.

My delegation recognizes that the Secretariat has made a great and untiring effort to improve the document of the PWB in order to clarify for the member countries the details of proposed shifts of resources and programme changes. But what my delegation considers important now is how to review and evaluate ongoing programmes quantitatively and qualitatively in order to establish a more effective and efficient programme.

In view of the fact that our Organization has been growing and expanding for over 40 years and is now one of the biggest specialized agencies to deal with a great number of subjects and problems, my delegation believes that it is now necessary to consider reinforcing the Organization's reviewing and programming functions, by strengthening the Programme Committee, for instance, in order to ensure the effectiveness of the future work of FAO.

My delegation would therefore hope that a comprehensive review of the Organization should be examined in depth by an independent high-level group of experts as proposed by several delegations.

I would like to touch on the Technical Cooperation Programme. As has been pointed out by Japanese delegations on a number of occasions, the following questions arise with regard to Chapter 4: TCP is an unprogrammed reserve, while other provisions are under a programme budgeting system. This means that the Member Governments have no specific ways of checking and controlling TCP expenses.

My delegation believes that coordinated development activities among the UN agencies at the field level could mainly be achieved through effective allocation of UNDP funds. Therefore, in principle, my delegation is not in favour of the situation whereby each specialized agency has its own resources for development projects under the regular budget.

In Chapter 4, my delegation noticed that about 46 million dollars were carried forward to the current biennium, and that out of 61 million dollars allocated as provisions for the current biennium, only 11 million dollars were used by the end of 1986. According to the Secretariat's predictions, 31 million dollars, or 50 percent, will be carried forward to the next biennium as unobligated TCP.

My delegation considers, therefore, that Chapter 4 is a possible area where there could be a reduction of resources.

Mr Chairman, I would now like to move on to the second and last part of my statement, namely the budget level.

My delegation fully recognizes the efforts made so far by the Secretariat to reduce the net increase of the budget by cutting the resources allocation for Chapters 1, 3 and 5, and reducing the establishment posts. Furthermore, my delegation can support in principle the direction taken by the Director-General to increase the resources allocation for Chapter 2, Technical and Economic Programmes, which in fact is at the core of FAO's activities.

However, as a member of the Council, and considering the financial situation of member countries, my delegation is concerned as to whether the level of this Summary Programme of Work and Budget proposed by the Secretariat is realistic and satisfactory to the other member countries. In other words, my delegation wonders whether there is any possibility of causing an increase in arrears which might put the financial situation of the next biennium in difficulty.

At this point, ray delegation would like to ask the Secretariat to ascertain before the 24th Conference what amount all member countries consider the real contribution should be, including the amount incurred by the financial measures proposed in item 18.

Before concluding my remarks, I wish to state that the final question of my delegation on the proposed budget will be determined after further careful examination of the full Programme of Work and Budget, and will be indicated at the next Council meeting or the 24th Conference.


Antonio GAYOSO (United States of America): We cannot but exercise in a most indignant manner our right of reply to the absolutely unjustified innuendo and quite unnecessary remarks made against our country by the delegate of Mexico. Such remarks are inexcusable and completely out of place in this Council, and we reject them. Nobody, large or small, has the right to challenge or question the sovereignty of our country or any other in deciding on national priorities.

The meeting rose at 13.00 hours
La seance est levée à 13 heures
Se levanta la sesión a las 13 horas

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