Angel BARBERO MARTIN (Espefia): Hemos leído con atención el documento CL 95/17, y nos ha parecido suscinto pero, al mismo tiempo, muy clarificador, por lo cual nos unimos a otras delegaciones que han felicitado a la Secretaría de la FAO y a loa ponentes, que nos han completado con mucha precisión su contenido; contenido muy interesante y lleno de aspectos que, en nuestra opinión, son del máximo interés para la Organización. Otros oradores han comentado ya aquí prácticamente todos los puntos, por lo que nosotros nos limitaremos a comentar los que nos parecen mas importantes.
En primer lugar, expresaremos nuestra satisfacción por las novedades procedentes la Ronda de Uruguay, que nos ha ampliado muy amablemente el Sr. Dutia, con un sentido muy positivo, especialmente en lo que se refiere a las negociaciones sobre los productos tropicales y, sobre todo, al consenso logrado en el sector agrícola, que permite reemprender un camino esperanzador hacia los plazos previstos en las reducciones de ayudas y protecciones internas, así como en la eliminación de ciertas barreras arancelarias.
También nos ha agradado conocer el papel, cada vez mas activo, de la FAO cerca del GATT, en materias como el Codex Alimentarius o la protección fitosanitaria, porque con ello, sin ninguna duda, se contribuye al avance de las negociaciones.
Volvemos a apoyar, como lo hicimos en su momento, dentro de los Grupos Intergubernamentales de Productos Básicos, la petición que se ha dirigido al Director General para que realice gestiones cerca del Fondo Común, a fin de que estos grupos sean designados organismos internacionales idóneos en los proyectos financiables por la Segunda Cuenta del Fondo Común.
Seguiremos con el mayor interés la marcha de la preparación de la nueva Estrategia Internacional del Desarrollo, así como el examen de loa medios dedicados a la cooperación económica internacional, y muy especialmente cómo se va desarrollando el papel de la FAO en sus contactos con la Oficina del Director General de Desarrollo y Cooperación Economica Internacional. Querríamos estar informados de la preparación que esta realizando el PNUD aobre el documento relativo a la función futura de su Consejo de Administración, porque entendemos que todas estas actividades afectarán muy profundamente a la esencia y a la razón de ser de la FAO. Nos gustaria que se estableciese un procedimiento por el cual nuestras Delegaciones pudieran participar más estrechamente en estos debates, aunque sea indirectamente·
Nuestra Delegación está profundamente interesada también en el desarrollo del Plan Especial de Cooperación para Centroamérica, reglón hacia la cual mi Gobierno ha destinado esfuerzos y medios realmente importantes. Lo mismo podríamos decir respecto a los contactos y la colaboración que está desarrollando la FAO con el +PNUMA y el ONUDI. Entendemos que estos contactos, especialmente con el PNUMA, están proporcionando a la FAO una oportunidad única para que desarrolle todas sus capacidades en relación con el medio ambiente y la conservación de loe recursos naturales. Esperamos que la Conferencia Regional sobre Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo en Africa constituya un éxito, dados loe problemas enormes, podríamos decir que catastróficos que, relacionados con la desertización y la erosión, aquejan a ese continente.
Por ultimo, hemos acogido con el mayor interés el anuncio de la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición, que nos ha expuesto el Sr. Lunven, y podemos asegurar que nuestro Gobierno estudiará esta iniciativa con mucho interés, dado que contamos con recursos y técnicos en este aspecto de la nutrición que podrían constituir una ayuda importante.
David McGAFFEY (United States of America): I am pleased to be speaking on the subject of Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO. I note that in the previous Council the Council requested that this Report become more succinct and more analytical. I would like to congratulate Mr Luhe on a much improved product-it is indeed more succinct, it is more descriptive. I would however like to join with my Finnish colleague in the hope that improvements will continue. There are some areas which could have benefited from more information.
On Operational Activities for Development, we commend FAO for its close cooperation with the Office of the Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation and with its other partners in the UN system, particularly on the Consultative Committee on Substantive Questions. We also note with satisfaction that the FAO has established an internal interdepartmental group to deal with the "successor arrangements" for UNDP support cost reimbursement to agencies and is actively participating in the CCSQ (OPS) Task Force on this subject. We look forward to reports from the Secretariat on FAO's participation in the Triennial Review in the autumn of 1989 on this subject.
Turning to the Mid-term Review of the United Nations Programme of Action for Africa's Economic Recovery and Development, again this delegation would like to commend FAO for its continuing focus on Africa, and on the various initiatives within the Organization's programmes which support African countries in the implementation of UNPAAERD. We note with interest FAO's agreement to serve as the lead agency in the preparation of assessment and progress reports on such subjects as early warning systems, national food strategies, food production, food processing, other agro-based Industries, women farmers, drought and desertification. We suggest that FAO may wish to broaden the scope of its examination of women in development to include not only women farmers, but also women participating in markets and agro-industry, particularly in the informal sector.
On the ACC Sub-committee on Nutrition, FAO's report of the activities of the Sub-committee on Nutrition is welcomed. We commend the interagency cooperation that has contributed to the various outcomes outlined here, such as work on vitamin A and iodine deficiencies; interagency strategies on nutrition surveillance; assessment of nutritional impact of adjustment policies. We also welcome the special emphasis placed on the role of women in ensuring household food security, and agree that additional research on malnutrition and nutrition issues is required.
The United States was very pleased to contribute to the recently released "Update on the World Nutrition Situation and Recent Trends". This publication is welcomed by the nutrition community. We also view the progress outlined with respect to nutritional indicators as promising.
We note with interest FAO's proposal to organize a conference, in cooperation with WHO and other relevant United Nations organizations, on international nutrition in 1991-92. We suggest that consideration be given to the relative importance of visiting the topic of malnutrition as a major cause of sickness and death vis-a-vis other possible topics for special attention. Additionally, the cost of such a meeting and its potential benefits would have to be weighed.
There are a number of international nutrition conferences planned for 1989 in which FAO and others in the UN system participate. One conference for example, the International Union of Nutrition Scientists, will meet this year in August, and again four years from now. Another conference, the IVACG, will convene in Nepal in November. The issues of malnutrition, such as vitamin A deficiency, nutrition surveillance and monitoring, are nutrition education which interest the FAO and other UN organizations, may be on, or possibly could be added to, the agendas of these meetings. Given budget constraints, we suggest that FAO recommend to the ACC the possibility of appending their proposed agenda to an international meeting that is already planned. This could result in savings of budget resources that might otherwise be used on conducting parallel and duplicative meetings.
On the FAO/UNIDO Relationship Agreement, we note that FAO's relationship with UNIDO poses more complex problems than its relationships with other agencies. There are conflicting views among the two agencies concerning their respective areas of competence, which heighten chances for wasteful overlap. We suggest that the problem be addressed by both agencies at a very senior level.
We hope that the new agreement will prevent duplication, strengthen the complementarity of technical assistance activities of both agencies, and lead to increased coordination and cooperation between FAO and UNIDO.
On the subject of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Negotiations, the United States would like to draw special attention to the discussion of the Uruguay Round of Multinational Trade Negotiations in this document and to the framework agreement for agriculture that was reached in April this year in the context of the Uruguay Round. We believe that this is an important step in furthering necessary reforms of agricultural policies.
The United States would like to urge this body to endorse the important objectives laid out in the Mid-term Agreement on Agriculture, namely, that the "long-term objective is to provide substantial, progressive reductions in agricultural support and protection sustained over an agreed period of time, resulting in correcting and preventing restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets".
The United States also welcomes the technical work that FAO has done to support the current round of GATT negotiations. We encourage the continued FAO support of the trade round. We find especially interesting the work done concerning sanitary and phytosanitary regulations since the input of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and the International Plant Protection Convention is invaluable in this area.
On the subject of FAO's input to the proposed fourth IDS and the Special Session on Economic Issues, I would like to support the distinguished delegate from Colombia in his call for results and not rhetoric. I would commend to FAO's attention the words of Mr Trant relating to findings of the Agriculture Ministers at the recent meeting in Cairo, which said that each country must determine how to address its problems according to its national uniqueness. I urge FAO, in its input to the IDC, to join those voices seeking a flexible strategy that is able to meet the differing needs of the differing developing countries.
Finally, I would like to express my country's pleasure at the news of FAO's expanded involvement in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Afghanistan and the appointment of a Special Coordinator. As you know, the United States has been a strong supporter of the people of Afghanistan, and are pleased to see both the United Nations system and, particularly, FAO taking a lead role in overcoming the effects of ten years of war in that country.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): A few brief comments. We commend the Secretariat for their concise, helpful document prepared for our discussions, and thank them and Dr Trant for their introductory remarks·
With regard to paragraphs 9-18 of the document concerning the Uruguay Round, we welcome the important progrese noted, in particular that the April meeting of the TNC succeeded in adopting agreements in areas where no consensus was achieved in November, and we look forward to a successful outcome·
We also welcome FAO's continued technical support to the GATT, in particular on sanitary and phytosanitary issues.
With regard to paragraphs 19-22 the Common Fund for Commodities, established last week, we do urge interested member countries to ensure that their delegations to Common Fund discussions are fully briefed on the desire of FAO Governing Bodies that FAO's Inter-governmental Groups on Commodities, and of course the COFI Sub-committee on Fish Trade, be associated with the Second Account of the Fund. These FAO bodies will no doubt be competing with a range of other international commodity bodies for scarce resources.
With regard to paragraph 46 Climate Change, we agree that FAO has a unique role to play, namely, assessment of climate change problems and welcome its continuing contribution to international considerations of the implications of climate change. We endorse the areas chosen for concentration of FAO's efforts.
My delegation supports other delegations, particularly Argentina, in requesting that documentation for conference regarding the International Development Strategy be circulated as early as possible in order to ensure fruitful deliberations that will produce results, not rhetoric: especially as those papers and conference discussions will also probably contribute to the United Nations Special Session on International Economic Cooperation in April next year.
One further thought, not covered in this document, nor can I see clearly where to mention it on our agenda-although it does involve another UN organization, WHO-namely, the impact of AIDS on agricultural production and rural societies. I need not elaborate, but assume that the Secretariat will be keeping an eye on whatever international research, studies and findings may be indicating and, as appropriate, participate or support relevant meetings, discussions, etc.
Finally, with regard to the proposed Nutrition Conference, I would need to reserve our position until our relevant authorities have had an opportunity to reflect on this.
C. Srinivasa SASTRI (India): I shall start by thanking the four distinguished functionaries who sat with you, Mr Chairman, on the podium yesterday, for their statements in which the important aspects of document CL 95/17 have been highlighted, and some of the information provided in this document has been up-dated by bringing to our notice the most recent developments related to the issues under discussion.
Although paragraph 2 of this document makes it clear that "no specific action by the Council on any part of this document is requested," we would have liked to receive this document in the national capital in advance of the Council meeting. If a Council document were dealing only with
agriculture, then it would not be necessary for the Ministry of Agriculture in the national government to consult with other ministries. However, this Council document, dealing as it does with the UN system as a whole, covers and deals with organizations and agencies which deal with a variety of subjects and issues, not all of which are handled in the Agricultural Ministries of the national governments, but by different departments and ministries in the national governments. As such, we would have very much liked to have the benefit of consultations with, and obtain the views, comments and reactions of the concerned ministries and departments in the Government of India.
Against this background, we would be grateful if in future such documents could be made available to us before the delegation leaves for Rome. As the information contained in all such documents will at any rate have to be up-dated by appropriate introductory statements when the subject is taken up for discussion, sending the documents to the Member Nations at least a couple of weeks in advance should not pose any special problems or detract from the quality of the document.
We note with interest the major perspective study of emerging trends in development cooperation and the implications for the UN development system which the Director-General/DIEC referred to in paragraph 8 of the document CL 95/17. We look forward to being kept informed of further developments in this regard.
We have a couple of observations on the section relating to sustainable development and environment.
After carefully reading paragraphs 42 to 46 dealing with climatic change, one has an element of doubt whether, in working through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), FAO has fully discharged its responsibilities arising from its mandate. In paragraph 46a reference is made to the unique role FAO has to play in the assessment of problems relating to climate change because of its technical capabilities and long-standing work on agro-ecological zones, land use suitability of crops and forest resources assessment. We are not unaware that some organizations and agencies in the UN system do not seem to be averse to taking over the roles mandated to their sister agencies in the system. We would like to be reassured that in this important area of climate change, FAO is playing its mandated role fully and unequivocally, particularly keeping in view the assertions in paragraph 46 of Document CL 95/17.
I also request the Secretariat to inform us, if possible, about the outcome of the conference referred to in paragraph 47, held from 12-16 June in Kampala, to consider how the Brundtland Commission's Report and the UNEP Report on "Environmental Perspectives to the Year 2000 and Beyond" can be translated into practical action in Africa. We would also like to enquire about the role, if any, assigned to FAO as a co-sponsor in the follow-up activities.
I would like to conclude this statement by indicating our reactions to the proposed International Nutrition Conference. We note the proposal for the International Conference stemmed from the draft statements on malnutrition. Evidently, the other two statements considered by the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition, namely, on nutrition in times of disaster and small body size in populations were adapted by the ACC.
We have earlier referred to a tendency in some agencies in the UN system to encroach on the turf of their sister agencies in the system. Considering that the proposal to have the International Nutrition Conference arose out of the draft statement on malnutrition, and in view of the technical capabilities and constitutional mandate of FAO to raise levels of nutrition, promote and recommend action regarding nutritional research, public knowledge of nutritional science and improved education and administration relating to nutrition, and keeping in view the comparative advantages of FAO, we are in favour of FAO playing a leading role in holding this International Nutrition Conference in cooperation with other UN organizations or agencies.
We thought we should make our position clear, particularly in the context of the information furnished from the podium about the letter received from the Director-General of WHO, and the proposed meeting between the Directors-General of WHO and FAO, likely to be held in Geneva in early July. We feel that FAO's taking a leading role in holding the nutrition conference in Rome is especially appropriate in the context of the offer from the delegate of Italy who generously suggested Rome as the venue for the proposed conference. Since the conference would be in the biennium 1992/93, in our view there should not be much difficulty in making the required allocations in the budget for the biennium 1992/93.
I.C. FERGUSON (Canada); I would like to thank the members of the Secretariat and the Executive Director of the World Food Council for their presentations. We also compliment the FAO Secretariat on the production of a very concise and easily-oriented document. Unfortunately, Document CL 95/17 was received by my delegation only last week. This precluded more complete consultation with all of the Canadian authorities concerned, particularly on the new proposal for a nutrition conference. We would hope that documentation can be made available earlier when developments in the UN system next appear on our agenda.
We were encouraged to see the extensive cooperation of FAO with its sister organizations in the UN system. We attach particular importance to FAO's technical support for efforts under the Uruguay Bound to liberalize and expand trade in agricultural products, one concrete example being FAO's cooperation with the Working Group on Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Regulations and Barriers.
We would also like to register our support for the active participation of FAO in preparations for a new international development strategy and the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on International Economic Cooperation.
With regard to the UN Programme of Action for Africa's Economic Recovery and Development, as pointed out in paragraph 31 of the document, recent international meetings have provided added justification for FAO to continue focussing on Africa, and the FAO on-going lead in assessing progress in several key issues, including women farmers, drought, and desertification.
In the area of sustainable development, we have taken note from the introduction of the Director of the Office of Inter-Agency Affairs that the latest decision of the UNEP Governing Council will be brought to the notice of this Council in November. With other delegations, including that of Finland, we look forward to discussing at that time one of the UNEP recommendations dealing with a joint UNEP/FAO meeting on sustainable agriculture. Such a meeting would fall within the framework of the preparations for the proposed 1992 Conference on Environment and Development. We believe that the FAO Secretariat and governing bodies should be fully involved with preparations for that conference.
Finally, we welcome the report of Mr Trant, Executive Director of the WFC, outlining the highlights of the recent Cairo Declaration. My delegation is happy to join with other members of the WFC in endorsing this important call to action for members and non-members. One innovative proposal we would like to mention is taken up in paragraph 20 of the Cairo Declaration concerning support in principle for an international agreement on the safe passage of emergency food aid to those in need, and support for practical measures to protect vulnerable groups from the effects of civil strife, war and natural disasters. This will be an important undertaking requiring further attention by governments and international food agencies.
Horacio CARANDANG (Philippines): My delegation expresses its appreciation for document CL 95/17 which provides information to the Council on recent developments in the UN system of interest to FAO. My delegation is pleased that FAO has been providing technical support to the GATT Secretariat and the negotiating groups in connection with the Uruguay Round. Of course, FAO is aware of the views of member countries on the issues relating to the various commodities through the Committee on Commodity Problems and the various intergovernmental groups reporting to it. In this connection my delegation wishes to refer to some of the comments it made related to the Uruguay Round and multilateral negotiations during the last meeting of the CCP.
In the meeting, we reviewed one of the objectives of a certain group of countries in the Round which was to "adapt, support and protect". To my delegation, "adapt" means to adjust or to adjust protection which, according to the said group of countries, suffers from some disharmonization because of the availability of protection in one sector, cereals, and the lack of this protection in another sector, that is oilseeds. Therefore, to adapt protection means to balance the uncertainties and the disharmonization in external arrangements with the reduction of protection in one sector being balanced by increased production in another sector, or the reduction of import levies on cereals and the Introduction of levies on oilseeds. We hope this debate does not result in higher protection of any agricultural commodities of interest to developing countries, particularly the interests of the Philippines.
It appears strange that greater protectionism can be pursued in the oilseed sector when the great aim of all those taking part in the Uruguay Round is liberalization of trade. In this connection, my delegation supports the appeal made by the delegate of Colombia and many others for greater liberalization of trade and less protection and subsidized export of agricultural trade.
My delegation has also noted that FAO is likely to be called upon to play a more important role in relation to the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary Regulations and Barriers in view of the endorsement of the TNC at its meeting in April 1989 during the FAO Codex Alimentarius. The greater harmonization and acceptance of international standards accepted by all members of FAO, WHO, Codex Alimentarius and others, can help minimize the adverse affects of sanitary and phyto-sanitary regulations and barriers in agricultural trade.
My delegation is of the view that the Council should endorse the request of the various intergovernmental commodity groups that the FAO Director-General should approach the Common Fund when it becomes operational to designate these groups as eligible ICBs for sponsoring and following
up projects which may be financed from the Second Account of the Common Fund. My delegation has collaborated in the preparations for the Special Session of the General Assembly on International Economic Development.
Finally, my delegation notes with satisfaction the FAO/UNIDO relationship arrangement to be signed by the Directors-General of the two organizations after due consultation with the respective governing bodies. Ve are of the belief that this agreement is of paramount importance. In some cases it may not be possible to solve problems in agriculture only in terms of increased agricultural production, particularly in cases where surplus labour cannot be siphoned off to the agricultural sector. In many cases, from 50% to 70% of the population remains in agriculture when only a small fraction of that number would be sufficient to do the work. Greater collaboration between UNIDO and FAO to promote the processing of agricultural products in the rural areas of developing countries could help to alleviate problems of underemployment in the agricultural sector of developing countries.
Bashir El MABROUK SAID (Libya) (Original language Arabic): First of all, I would like to join the previous speakers in congratulating the Secretariat which has prepared this excellent paper which has been introduced in a very brief and clear way by Mr Dutia and his colleagues. I would like also to thank Mr Trant for his excellent introduction on the work by the World Food Council and the Cairo meeting. I support the conclusions reached at the Cairo meeting.
I do not have much to add to what has been said by the Ambassador from Mexico and from India, the Philippines and Cuba, especially when they referred to the Uruguay Round and the International Development Strategy, but I have a remark on paragraph 56 on the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition. We note the importance given to the problems of nutrition, and I think this importance is increasing day after day. This is a very encouraging development. The fact that we are thinking of holding an international conference on nutrition in the biennium 1990/91 is the proof of that. That, of course, will help mobilize world opinion on the problems in the field of nutrition. At the same time, we believe that FAO is the organization in a better position to find the solutions for these problems. Therefore, it should play a leading role.
Now I would like to comment on the Sub-Committee on Nutrition. I would like to ask Mr Dutia what is the role of this Sub-Committee? Do you think that the role of this Sub-Committee is of a coordination nature, and it does not have a role to play in formulating strategies on nutrition and agriculture and food? I think this role should be played by FAO, its General Conference and its organs. We think that when we propose holding such meetings, this should be done within the framework of FAO and its leading organs, any problem dealing, of course, with agriculture and food. We should concentrate on this role, and the other institutions and agencies will have a very subsidiary or secondary role to play. FAO should play the major role in this field.
Daniel D.C. DON NANJIRA (Kenya): Agenda item 11 highlights the recent development activities that have occurred or are planned within the UN System which are relevant to the work of FAO. These development issues have already been addressed by many delegations who have spoken before me. Particularly encouraging have been those interventions that have recognized the peculiar situation of the African continent which, as the documentation of the Secretariat has rightly pointed out, deserves particular, though not, of course, exclusive attention as the most seriously affected of all the continents by the critical economic and social situation of the world. I wish, therefore, to go into the substance of my intervention this morning at the meeting of the Council by addressing some remarks on the situation of one continent where it is held that homo sapiens originated. You can see how the various food habits of the world and its climatic conditions have had an impact on the human species. I do not know how often many of us stop for a moment and reflect on the fact that Africa is the mother of the human race. As some serious studies have concluded, humankind originated in Africa.
If this is the situation, the question that one can ask-and rightly so, I believe-is why on earth should Africa retain priority treatment by the International Community in the allocation of resources for development? I believe this is justifiable for a number of reasons. The fact is that Africa contains the largest number of least developed and most seriously affected countries. Africa has the poorest and weakest countries in the world, whose economic and social condition is so critical that the African countries need special treatment by the International Community. Africa has very poor countries with very high percentages of their populations depending on agriculture, predominantly at a subsistence level or, at best, having only limited access to monetized economic activities.
The African countries have an overwhelming proportion of the population living in rural areas, typically very badly served by transport and communications. Africa has rates of economic growth
which are very low indeed. Most of the African countries suffer either from severe geographical handicaps or from severe climatic conditions. The countries of Africa have a very low global level of development. They are low-income developing nations which are particularly vulnerable to sharp increases in the costs of their imports relative to export earnings. These countries suffer from an insufficiency of export earnings. Most of them are landlocked, an island of developing nations with serious structural adjustment problems.
Most of the African countries also are particularly disadvantaged in that they have especially low levels of Income and developed economic structures and excessive dependence on international processes beyond their control. They have ecological and environmental constraints. They have natural disasters which are beyond their control, and in many cases they have a very strange geographical location. These forces constitute exceptionally serious obstacles in the way of the transition of the African nations to sustained development.
Africa also has little surplus income after essential consumption for the savings and investment needed for economic development. The production structures of the African countries often work against growth and necessary change. They have a dismal inadequacy of their human financial commercial networks and infrastructures. They highly depend on subsistence or near subsistence agricultural production. These countries are experiencing serious debt problems with soft currencies which require these African nations to pay for their imports in the hard currencies of the Western industrial countries. The letter's protectionist policies and measures imposed on the manufactured imports of the African states undermine attempts by these nations to build up their industrial base, the very fabric of their economic security and social well-being. By reducing the outlets and earnings of these African nations' infrastructured manufactured exports, the North shrinks the South's capacity to absorb exports from the North. Africa is a continent that suffers greatly from this type of arrangement. Africa also is the hardest hit victim of all these external forces, and hence the justified call for increased resource allocation to help alleviate the critical social and economic situation of the African continent.
It is because of the foregoing facts that the Kenya Delegation notes with approval the decision of the World Organization to undertake a mid-term review of the UN Action Programme for Africa's Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990. The review should be continued to its fruitful conclusion. The efforts of the African governments themselves in the exercise are commendable. The African states know and accept the fact that the primary responsibility of developing their territories lies with these governments themselves. We therefore call upon our bilateral and multilateral donors to intensify their supplementary support to our governments which are exhibiting every determination to develop agriculture and its related sectors in Africa. I believe that it is the moral imperative of the International Community to help Africa solve its agricultural and economic problems. If this common objective requires a longer time to attain them, then we would recommend that the Action Programme be extended to allow for longer term investment.
Turning to the International Development Strategy for the fourth UN development decade, we also call for a thorough preparation for this strategy. It is an important exercise in which Kenya is and will continue to be involved. This new development strategy should provide for a review and appraisal mechanism for the implementation process. In like manner, we believe that the other planned conferences and meetings of the UN System will require inputs to the various governments and international governments of the United Nations System.
This is particularly the case Sir, for the International Conference on Nutrition to be convened in 1991/92 biennium. Increasing food production in itself will not alleviate hunger and malnutrition in the world. A faster growth of food production must be associated with appropriate policies which strengthen the economic command of poor people over food.
Improvements in health and sanitation are also important for better utilization of the food consumed. The planned Conference on Nutrition is thus important. We need however, an additional explanation as to the preparatory process for the Conference and I hope Sir, that the FAO Secretariat can do this soon if only in order to enable the interested Member States to prepare their inputs into the preparations.
As for the other conferences already held in the course of 1989, namely the Regional Conference on Environment and Development in Africa and the Conference on Hazardous Wastes, it will be necessary to submit progress reporte of these meetings to the FAO Conference later in the year.
Those agencies concerned, including WHO, should consult with one another and with their counterparts at national and regional levels to assure that the local nutritional needs and conditions, especially of the developing nations, are met. The national capacities of these States should also
be enhanced so that better qualified nutritionists to study and find solutions to related diseases can be trained and utilized in the developing world.
Mr Chairman, the Special Session of the UN General Assembly on International Economic Cooperation for Development scheduled in New York from 23-27 April 1990 will offer us an opportunity to review developments in the world economy and map out a strategy for the 1990s· We believe that that Should not be another occasion for empty talk and lamentation over the critical economic situation of the world. Both individual and collective measures should be taken by the members of the International community to ensure the success of the session.
The period 1989-91 with significant reviews is thus important Mr Chairman, and we hope there will be significant reviews which will be brought to our attention for consideration and ultimate adoption.
As for the Common Fund for Commodities, particularly interesting and welcome to this delegation is the announcement that the negotiating process for the entry into force of the agreement to establish a Common Fund for Commodities has been completed, with the Common Fund becoming operational and effective on the 19 June of this year. As I understand it Mr Chairman, the fund is being established with a budget of US$ 400 million or so to finance 18 commodities selected during the Nairobi UNCTAD meeting, and to be developed through research and other measures for the benefit of the developing countries. To facilitate the implementation of the R and D programmes especially under the Second Account, it will be necessary to appoint a management of the fund which will be expected to examine inter alia the various recommendations of the Member States of the International Commodity Bodies which will be established, hopefully, in the near future as the supervisory bodies of the Common Fund.
This matter Mr Chairman, needs further careful coordination and study to ensure that there is no conflict between the arrangements under the UNCTAD and those that may be established under other UN Agencies and/or bodies of the UN system. The limited resources of the fund will not allow for a wider programme financing. The Second Account will thus have to be used on a priority basis, and we look forward to an explanation of how this system will be functioning.
We in this delegation Mr Chairman, note with approval the objectives of the Uruguay Round as stipulated in paragraph 17 of the Secretariat document CL 95/17. It is an important document Mr Chairman. We hope that it will be well and carefully studied. We particularly welcome the negotiations leading to the liberalization of trade in tropical products. We want to see these products reach international markets without restriction. We believe it is necessary to allocate more resources to develop and improve the tropical products. We would like to see more of our basic export commodities such as coffee, tea, pyrethrum and horticulture products reach the international market more easily than hitherto. Thus Mr Chairman, protectionist measures that hurt the economies of the developing nations should be removed. Special attention should be given to tropical products, fisheries products, and natural resource based products. The access of the developing country products to the International markets should be guaranteed and the Uruguay Round should be brought to an early conclusion by 1990.
Under the operational activities for development, stress must be placed on the effectiveness of field operations and the role of the resident coordinators at the country level. Coordination must also be efficient at the International level; this would minimize duplication of efforts and avoid wastage of limited resources. The international community has recommended measures at all levels which should be observed. The purpose of coordination is thus to ensure efficient and maximum utilization of very scarce resources. Coordination at the international level may require the designation of lead entities and Member States have the primary responsibilities of requiring cooperative action to be taken by the participating agencies.
Let me now Mr Chairman, talk about those agencies including FAO, UNDP, GATT, that are involved in the exercise. These organizations and bodies of the UN system, and in particular, and in this case, IFAD, WFP, FAO, and WFC should undertake regular consultations, constructive dialogue and the availability of information necessary for efficient implementation of the decisions and recommendations made by member States. It is, for instance, essential in the cases of natural disasters and other disaster situations which would require that consultations, collaboration and coordination be effected between and among FAO and the other food and agricultural organizations of the UN system. These would include UNDRO, UNHCR, WHO, UNDP, UNICEF and the like, and even non-governmental organizations. All these agencies are expected to play major and thorough roles in the preparatory processes for the forthcoming meeting of the UN family of nations. FAO should, in particular, clearly indicate the kind of contribution that it intends to make within its competence. The FAO should prepare progress reports on the planned and executed activities of the UN Agencies mentioned in FAO document CL 95/17 and submit them to the FAO Conference later this year. FAO should, for instance, explain how they intend to finance projects from the Common Fund now that it has become operational; what working relationship does it intend to establish with UNCTAD in this respect; what inputs does it plan to take in mid-term review session on the UN Action Plan for
Africa, the IDS end the UN General Assembly Special Session on Development, and how does the FAO intend to coordinate its inputs with those of the other agencies based in Rome? All these, Mr Chairman, are quite relevant questions I feel, upon which we would like to be enlightened.
I cannot let this opportunity pass Mr Chairman, without making some remarks about the activities of the World Food Council. We too appreciate the information we received yesterday from Dr Trant, the Executive Director of WFC, on the recent session of the World Food Council in Cairo. Kenya has greatly benefited from the work of WFC. The Cyprus initiative, if fully Implemented will go a long way in improving and alleviating the situation of the hungry and malnourished of the world. WFC has a duty to promote world food security and assist in the development of human resources of the developing nations. This is why Mr Chairman, my delegation welcomes the Declaration of Cairo and the measures proposed therein in the Programme of Cooperative Action. We appreciate the assistance the WFC, like FAO, IFAD and WFP, have extended to Kenya. We look forward to closer cooperation between these agencies and the Kenya Government, and they can count on the fullest and constructive support of the Kenya Delegation and Embassy in Rome.
As you can see Mr Chairman, I have been very short but I thank you very much for giving me the floor.
Kota HIRAMURA (Japan): I would like to make some comments on this subject. My first comment is on Japan's contribution to FAO for the Afghan Rehabilitation Assistance Programme. As is mentioned in document CL 95/17 which was especially referred to by Mr Lüne in his introduction, my government has made a special contribution of US$ 105 million to the United Nations trust funds of the Office of the Coordinator for the UN Humanitarian and Economic Assistance Programme for the Afghan refugees, out of which US$ 10 million has been earmarked for the FAO programme for agricultural sectors.
Japan fully supports that FAO plays a major role in Afghanistan. In this regard we hope that the International donor community will make similar efforts as my country does to help in the rehabilitation of Afghan agriculture which needs a great deal of assistance.
Secondly, as for Uruguay Round, my country considers it is a great progress that an agreement was reached in agricultural negotiations together with the other three fields at the Trade Negotiation Committee held in April, and that further negotiation was reopened in every field resolving the situation of "freeze" which continued since last December. Japan strongly hopes that the negotiations will make smooth progress, and that fair and market-oriented trade systems will be established in the near future.
The Japanese basic position for negotiation is to accomplish further liberalization of agricultural trade following the Punta del Este Declaration. In the upcoming substantial negotiations, in line with the agreement reached in the TNC meeting, my country will continue to advocate establishment of a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system through the setting up of new GATT rules and disciplines for every measure affecting agricultural trade, taking into consideration various aspects that are required for individual agriculture, such as food security, land and environmental conservation, and other important roles of agriculture. Finally, as for the FAO/UNIDO relationship agreement, it will be welcomed from the viewpoint of cooperation and coordination between international organizations, and my government hopes that it will help to strengthen the partnership between FAO and UNIDO.
Tawfik A.H. Al MESH-HEDANI (Iraq) (Original language Arabic): Mr Chairman, upon reading the document and listening to the excellent explanations given by the Secretariat, and especially Mr Dutia, I find no difficulty in supporting the achievements realized so far. I do not need to reiterate those achievements.
I would like to commend the current cooperation between FAO and the other organizations of the United Nations system.
I would like to highlight the findings of the ACC Sub-committee on Nutrition in view of their importance for the future of mankind.
I would like to support the proposal to hold an International Conference on Nutrition. FAO should play a leading role in this field, because it is technologically and constitutionally qualified to do so. We are of the view that nutritional standards should be underlined, as well as the role of research and development in the field of nutrition. There should also be a study on how to increase the role of matters related to nutrition in the world.
Jang-Eae YOUN (Korea, Republic of) May I first of all express our appreciation to the FAO Secretariat for the high quality of the document before us. The document CL/95/17 clearly demonstrates that FAO has done very active and constructive work in collaboration with other UN agencies. Since many other delegations have already expressed valuable comments on this item, we shall be very brief. My comments will be on the Uruguay Round of GATT trade negotiations.
Firstly, noting that significant progress has been made in the GATT negotiations, we would like to emphasize the important role of FAO in providing technical expertise and information to the negotiating group on agriculture and the Working Group on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Regulations and Barriers. It is, however, foreseeable that there will be an increasing demand for FAO technical support as the negotiations progress. We therefore fully support FAO continuing to play a leading role in that regard.
Secondly, in relation to paragraph 10, my delegation would like to stress one of the important aspects of agricultural trade matters concerning the principle of special and differential treatment for developing countries. Problems arising from the negotiations between developing and developed countries could be solved in such a way that the specific economic and social conditions in developing countries are taken into account so that the developing countries would be able to implement their agricultural development policies, including structural adjustment measures, on a longer term basis, which would contribute to improving their food security situation and protecting the small and poor farmers, as well.
Joseph TCHICAYA (Congo): L'importance des sujets abordés dans la présentation de ce document nous donne l'occasion de faire quelques observations. Nos observations seront brèves étant donné que plusieurs déléguée avant noue ont prie la parole et ont passé en revue toutes les questions importantes qui sont soulevées dans ce document.
La délégation de mon pays a accueilli avec satisfaction le document CL 95/17 qui traite des faits nouveaux survenus dans le système des Nations Unies intéressant la FAO.
La présentation qui a été faite par quatre hauts fonctionnaires de nos organisations prouve à suffisance l'importance du sujet, et en tous cas nous noue félicitons de la concision du document présenté.
Certes, ma délégation aurait également souhaité que ce document nous parvienne plus tôt pour un examen plus large et plus approfondi, mais nous comprenons que la compétence et la qualité font qu'il ait été difficile de le présenter très tôt.
Cela dit, nous voudrions nous féliciter de la participation active de la FAO notamment dans l'examen à mi-parcours de l'exécution du Programme des Nations Unies pour le redressement économique et le développement de l'Afrique 1986-1990. Nous nous réjouissons des diverses initiatives prises par notre Organisation pour l'application de ce Programme. Nous nous félicitons également de l'évolution des relations entre la FAO et l'ONUDI dont les mandate sont complémentaires, et nous encourageons l'accord qui est en cours.
Notre appui à l'organisation d'une Conférence internationale sur la nutrition à organleer en 1991-92 est acquis. Voilà une Conférence qui vient à point nommé au moment où tout indique que la malnutrition continue à gagner du terrain dans nos pays. C'est une occasion que la FAO doit saisir en tant qu'organisation et chef de file pour les questions alimentaires et nutritionnelles. Le Conseil devrait donc donner mandat au Secrétariat pour que la FAO joue pleinement ce rôle de chef de file pour organiser, de préférence à Rome, une telle Conférence et ce, en étroite collaboration avec l'OMS et toutes les autres organisations intéressées par ces questions.
Nous partageons ce qui a été dit par certaines délégations sur le rôle de la stratégie internationale du développement pour la quatrième décennie des Nations Unies pour le développement. En effet, chacun sait que la troisième décennie du développement est considérée d'ores et déjà comme perdue, et nous souhaitons qu'il n'en soit pas de même pour la quatrième. Etant donné le rôle particulier de l'agriculture dans nos pays, 11 est souhaitable que le document en préparation à la FAO nous parvienne tôt pour être analysé en détail par les pays membres et faire bénéficier l'Organisation de l'expérience de nos gouvernements.
Ma delegation se félicite de la contribution de la FAO à la préparation de la session extraordinaire de l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies consacrée à la coopération économique internationale, afin de promouvoir la relance et la croissance économique et le développement des pays en voie de développement. Voila une occasion de plus qui devrait être saisie pour prendre des mesures hardies en faveur des pays en développement.
Nous espérons que la question de la dette sera abordée avec pragmatisme et une volonté politique d'aboutir à des solutions satisfaisantes.
Je vous remercie Monsieur le Président.
Amador VELASQUEZ (Perú): En primer lugar, nuestro agradecimiento a la Secretaría por el documento CL 95/17 por el nuevo enfoque que presenta, por su concisión y por la información que, no obstante, dicha concisión aporta.
En segundo lugar, con respecto al acápite: Actividades operacionales para el desarrollo, deseamos expresar nuestro reconocimiento a la Oficina del Director General de Desarrollo y Cooperación Económica Internacional de las Naciones Unidas por la consulta ya hecha a la FAO sobre el estudio prospectivo de las nuevas tendencias en la cooperación para el desarrollo y sus implicaciones para el sistema de desarrollo de las Naciones Unidas, y agradecemos asimismo el ofrecimiento de información a los órganos rectores de la FAO sobre la marcha de este importante estudio.
En tercer lugar, sobre la Ronda Uruguay de negociaciones comerciales multilaterales, queremos insistir en que la participación de la FAO en el grupo de trabajo al que se hace alusión en el párrafo 18, mantenga la finalidad de lograr una mayor liberalización del comercio de productos agropecuarios y someter todas las medidas que afectan al acceso de las importaciones y a la competencia de las exportaciones a normas y disciplinas del GATT reforzadas y operativas.
En cuarto lugar, sobre el acápite: Fondo común para los productos básicos, creemos que si bien aun no está en condiciones de funcionar, también es cierto que los preparativos deben avanzar. Y al respecto, manifestamos nuestra conformidad con los avances que en la FAO hemos hecho sobre las propuestas para la designación de los organismos internacionales de productos básicos, que financiarán proyectos con cargo a la segunda cuenta del Fondo Común.
En quinto lugar, sobre la Estrategia de Desarrollo, la IDS, para el Cuarto Decenio de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo y el periodo extraordinario de sesiones de la Asamblea General dedicado a la cooperación económica internacional, encontramos no sólo una ligazón entre ambos acápites y finalidades a través de la FAO, la misma que participará en el IDS, sino también con relación a la Conferencia Internacional sobre la Nutrición 1991-1992, donde la FAO deberá asumir un papel primordial en cooperación con otras organizaciones de las Naciones Unidas y tomando una línea de acción coordinada y consecuente con el llamado de la última reunión de ministros del Consejo Mundial de Alimentación, donde se pidió que temas como el hambre y la malnutrlción tuvieran tratamiento prioritario en todo evento internacional importante.
En sexto lugar y con respecto a los acápites relativos al desarrollo sostenlble, al medio ambiente y cambios climáticos, mi delegación se remite a las reflexiones y comentarlos que efectuó al tratar el tema 6.
En séptimo y último lugar, deseamos expresar nuestra conformidad al proyecto de acuerdo de relaciones entre la FAO y la ONUDI.
Antoine SAINTRAINT (Observateur de Belgique): Monsieur le Président, vous pardonnerez un observateur d'intervenir pour la seconde fois dans le courant de cet intéressant Conseil. Je me permettrais de parler en style télégraphique pour aborder deux points.
Le premier est l'Intention d'organiser une conférence sur la nutrition et je voudrais dire tout l'intérêt que nous attachons à cette conférence. La nutrition est un élément essentiel de l'alimentation, et nous sommes convaincus que si la conférence est organisée sur un plan très pratique, concret et opérationnel-et sur ce point nous espérons que dans la prévision de la conférence, nous pourrons disposer d'un premier document nous permettant de tracer les axes d'organisation de la conférence-incontestablement elle pourra être d'un apport utile. Quand on songe que dans un certain nombre de pays du monde 11 existe des milliers d'aveugles pour des problèmes de carence de vitamines, pour des problèmes de malnutrition, je crois que les sommes qui seraient affectées à l'organisation de cette conférence constitueraient incontestablement un bon investissement. Se nourrir est une chose, bien se nourrir est autre chose, et les relations entre les problèmes nutritionnels et les problèmes d'alimentation sont incontestablement une priorité absolue. La FAO a un rôle de chef de file à jouer. La FAO doit tenir ce rôle en concertation avec l'Organisation Mondiale de la Santé. Mais nous apportons en ce qui nous concerne notre plein et entier appui à l'organisation de cette conférence.
Le second point que je voulais rapidement traiter est la Résolution 43/210 intitulée "Plan spécial de coopération économique pour l'Amérique centrale".
Je crois qu'incontestablement le PNUD, qui a été chargé d'une mission de relance d'une situation économique parfois tragique dans les six pays d'Amérique centrale, a un rôle de coordination à Jouer, mais qu'il est très souhaitable que le PNUD-et nous avons déjà eu l’occasion de le dire à plusieurs reprises-utilise dans les domaines techniques de leur spécialisation les organismes des Nations Unies opérationnels dans leur spécialité, ce qui est incontestablement le cas de la FAO dans le domaine de l'agriculture.
On a parlé longuement hier de tous les problèmes de l'OPE et je crois que nous nous devrons dans cette enceinte, au sein du Conseil d'Administration du PNUD, de lutter contre la tendance du PNUD, qui est un organisme par excellence de coordination et de concertation, à se constituer en organisme d'exécution de ses propres projets. Je crois que ce n'est pas bon, que ce n'est pas sain, et que l'OPE, qui peut avoir un rôle à jouer, ne doit pas se substituer aux organisations spécialisées de la famille des Nations Unies.
Je sais que les pays ont à décider quelles seront les organisations opérationnelles qui auront un rôle à jouer et c'est leur décision qui est un élément essentiel. Mais je fais un appel pour que le problème soit posé de manière très claire et que dans le domaine de la relance agricole et dans le développement de l'agriculture, dans le cadre de ce besoin de coopération économique pour l'Amérique centrale, la FAO puisse jouer le rôle important qu'elle a à jouer en coordination avec le gouvernement des pays intéressés.
Tels étaient les deux points que je désirais soulever au cours du débat de cet intéressant document qui recouvre un très vaste horizon.
Je n'entrerai pas dans le détail des autres points, mais je crois que ces deux points étaient suffisamment importants pour me permettre, comme observateur, d'intervenir et je vous remercie, Monsieur le Président, d'avoir bien voulu me donner la parole.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vais donner la parole au représentant du Centre des Nations Unies pour l'établissement humain, Habitat, qui va nous lire un bref résumé du message que le Directeur Exécutif d'Habitat nous adresse à l'occasion de cette session du Conseil. Le texte intégral du message sera inclue dans le texte du Procès Verbal de la réunion de ce matin.
F. GUARDIA-BUTRON (UNCHS): On behalf of the Executive Director of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), it is my honour to etate his message on the occasion of the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
The developing countries are experiencing economic crisis of extraordinary magnitude caused, among other things, by demographic and physical changes of the type and scale never witnessed before. The recent past has specifically been marked by accelerated population growth accompanied by a rapid process of urbanization; shifting both production and employment opportunities from rural to urban areas.
In the urban areas of the developing world, crisis of over-population and over-concentration is usually manifested in the form of deterioration of the living environment; housing shortages, overcrowding of residential buildings, lack of services such as water, sanitation, garbage disposal, congested thoroughfares, air pollution and other environmental ills caused by congestion.
The Executive Director of UNCHS (Habitat) in his introduction to the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, in referring to the visible deterioration of quality of living environment, said: "Inadequate shelter is only one visual manifestation of a complex of physical and socio-economic factors that determine overall living conditions-the degree of access people have to land, security of tenure, living space, sanitary and environmental amenities, primary health care, community services, employment and education". This broad statement clearly describes s situation which affects the majority of population of developing countries, where the deterioration of the living conditions of the rural and urban poor can no longer be ignored. By the Year 2000, half of the world population would still be living in rural areas. If the issue of rural-urban is considered as a continuum and the process of urbanization as s necessary condition for growth and development; then the living conditions of rural settlements are very much related to the well-being of the urban residents.
Rural-urban unbalanced development contributes to the acute deficiencies in the quality of life of human settlements. The predominance of the urban sector and its lack of complementarity with the rural development is producing a rapidly unmanageable situation in the decades ahead, forcing multitudes of the poor people to move from rural areas to slums and squatter settlements in the cities, beyond the needs of these for productive labour force. If the present gap between urban and rural areas is to be reduced, effective government policies are required to distribute resources more equitably between the urban and rural poor. The eradication of poverty should include balanced development of rural and urban areas and equity and social justice in the sharing of productive resources and the benefits of progress.
The problem of rural poverty side by side with urban poverty is going to take on a new urgency in the 1990s as the developing countries embark on a new initiative for recovery and resurgence. It is, therefore, imperative to reconsider the content and direction of national development strategies in all sectors, including those dealing with shelter and human settlements.
Human settlements as centres of social, economic and cultural activities, in physical terms are comprised of housing, community buildings, schools, health facilities, recreation and open spaces, transportation, communications and energy systems. They are bases for creation of jobs, income, education and culture. As such, they are absolutely vital to the achievement of a satisfactory quality of life for all segments of the population. One of the first requirements for securing a satisfactory living environment is access to shelter.
Meeting basic shelter needs for all is a global responsibility. Inadequate and insecure shelter will lead to social and political instability and will certainly hamper physical and economic development. The right to adequate shelter is recognized universally and constitutes the basis for national obligations to meet shelter needs. However, no nation can claim to have reached the objective of adequate shelter for all, with current programmes incapable of coping with the scale of shelter needs of the population. The extent of the poverty to be found in the developing countries' marginal areas and in the countryside has already been well documented, and despite efforts by governments and International organizations, more than 1 billion people have shelter unfit for habitation. This number will expand dramatically unless determined measures are taken immediately. To address this obligation, governments must make a number of fundamental changes in existing approaches to the human settlements development. The measures must be taken aimed at profiting from the population trends, rather than being penalized by them. Moreover, it is a matter of satisfying one of the most elemental human needs. in order to avoid the fracturing of the social and political structures·
Recognizing and confirming the need to intensify national and International efforts to produce, deliver and Improve shelter for all, with specific emphasis on the poor and the disadvantaged, the United Nations General Assembly, at its 43rd Session, adopted Resolution 43/181 on "Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000". The Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution proclaiming shelter as a basic human right. Shelter problems are a global concern requiring solutions, not in isolation but in relation to other global problems. Shelter for all, as understood here, means adequate shelter conditions for all population groups, irrespective of income, gender, age and physical capacity, in all types of settlements, ranging from rural hamlets and villages, through intermediate towns, to cities and metropolitan areas. The core of the Strategy consists of integrated national shelter strategies that need to be based on a full understanding of the scale and nature of the problem and the national resource base available to address the situation. Its successful development involves the adoption of an "enabling" approach, whereby the full potential and resources of all the actors in the field of human settlements and in the shelter production and improvement process are mobilized; urging Governments to develop appropriate national and sub-national strategies for shelter and regularly report to the Commission on Human Settlements on their relevant experience and progress in implementing those strategies. The people concerned would be given the opportunity to improve their housing conditions according to their own needs and priorities.
The General Assembly designated the Commission on Human Settlements to act as the United Nations intergovernmental body responsible for co-ordinating, evaluating and monitoring the Strategy, and appointed the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) as the Secretariat for the Strategy and the lead agency for co-ordinating and monitoring the relevant programmes and activities of the other United Nations organizations and agencies concerned. The final results should contribute to the achievement of favourable conditions for national growth, the improvement of the living conditions of the poor and the alleviation of poverty in all developing countries.
In achieving the overall objective of the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000, there is a need to support projects related to provision and improvement of shelter. Priorities must therefore be reconsidered concerning both the recipients of the assistance and the types of projects. Activities relating to shelter and services development accord well with these priorities, and they are particularly suitable for support by food aid as one of the most effective incentives for improving the quality of life of the poor and disadvantaged by themselves. Given the precarious
state of the developing countries' economies and its severe impact on employment possibilities, food aid is becoming increasingly important as support to broader national economic policies, and as a complementary input to technical and financial assistance to accelerate economic development. The significance of the food aid in relation to shelter and services projects rests on the fact that food aid in connection with specifically defined objectives, is instrumental in creating employment, income and other possibilities for improvement and maintenance of an acceptable quality of life.
There is no doubt finally that the deplorable shelter conditions of the poor in the developing world are rooted in poverty, and that any strategy to improve this situation cannot be formulated outside a national economic context. It should be recognized that overall human settlements improvement, which includes the shelter situation is an investment in development. Shelter and development are mutually supportive and interdependent and policies must be developed in full recognition of the important links bewtween shelter and economic development. The concept of sustainable development implies that shelter provision and human settlements development must be reconcilable with a sustainable management of the environment. An approach to overcoming this problem is to stimulate a greater involvement of the people themselves in the Improvement of their surroundings. In this sense, food aid may serve as an incentive to stimulate and encourage self-help and co-operation efforts in the context of a durable popular participation, and as an avenue for social and economic mobility and not simply a short-term absorber of surplus labour. The flow, direction and use of food aid should be re-examined to determine their relevancy and appropriateness toward the targets of ending hunger and providing shelter.
No single aid agency or organization intent on assisting the development and improvement of the global shelter conditions has the resources, human, financial or material, to tackle the complex tasks envisaged. "Towards this end, co-operation within the United Nations system and with bilateral and mutilateral organizations must be strengthened. There is a need for project funding and for specialized technical assistance for all stages of this work. Technical support is critical for the effective use of the manpower resulting from food-assisted projects applied to such complicated and technical fields. The restoration of the living environment through the availability of food and shelter, together with increased work opportunity should benefit the workers and assure the stability of the workforce and also benefit governments through higher productivity, increased earnings and stable employment.
The United Nations agencies are supporting the developing countries in the design and execution of inter-agency and inter-sectoral development, as an essential component of balanced socio-economic development remains a primary concern of the majority of developing countries. In this regard, the FAO's programmes are supporting a wide spectrum of national actions with the primary role in Improving agricultural productivity, closely linked to the need to improve living conditions in rural settlements, which is increasingly recognized as an important dimension of development. At the threshold of the formulation of the New International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, and in view of the importance of the agricultural sector to the developing countries, the FAO's technical expertise should be most valuable in the formulation of a new food and agriculture policy guidelines coupled with an appropriate strategy oriented at reversing the alarming trends in the field of human settlements, in order to produce clear and visible improvements in the shelter and environment of the poor and disadvantaged by the Year 2000.
Habitat improvement in rural areas depends on the availability of food and water; shelter and infrastructure; as well as securing the necessary social climate and institutions, for maintaining a dignified life for rural inhabitants. Therefore, the upgrading of living conditions is, in most cases, linked with projects intended to increase production, create job opportunities, ralee incomes and conserve natural resources. It has become increasingly apparent however, that the complex systems of inter-relationships-political, economic, socio-cultural and physical-require a more comprehensive and integrated approach in development efforts. Towards this end, the FAO has emphasized a series of actions over a period of time aimed at a comprehensive and increasingly integrated programme of development, which would funcitionally interlock with the objectives of the Global Shelter Strategy of the United Nations, with a view to experiment with new and more effective forme for the organization of living space, the provision of facilities and the structures required for a better life and a more viable human habitat-using available resources.
UNCHS Habitat in co-ordinating the activities of the United Nations system in achieving the overall objective of the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000 is looking forward to development of co-operative efforts with all United Nations agencies, especially with the FAO on the basis of the theme of "Food and Shelter".
The Executive Director in conveying his best wishes for the successful deliberations of the Council, would like to solicit the assistance of this august body in making such a collaborative effort possible·
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le représentant d'Habitat. Nous arrivons à la fin du débat sur cette question très intéressante. Avec la permission du Conseil, je vais passer la parole à Monsieur Luhe et ensuite à Messieurs Dutia et Bonte-Friedheim pour apporter à notre Conseil les éclaircissements et les précisions demandée par les délégués.
Eberhard E. LUHE (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): First of all, I would like to thank all Council Members, Observers, Agency Representatives and, of course, in particular Mr Trant, for their most interesting contributions to the debate. I do not think I will reply to all the questions that were raised, first of all because I do not think it would be possible for me to do that-the document covers many, if not all, of the activities of the Organization, and secondly because after all, this is a debate of Council and many of the statements and comments made were addressed to governments rather than to the Secretariat of FAO.
On the format and content of the document itself, we were encouraged to note that our efforts to make the document more succinct and analytical were appreciated by many speakers. I should like to assure the delegate of the United Kingdom that we shall continue to try to improve the document even further. His proposals to this effect, to which I may come in a moment, were noted with great interest. The same is true for all other proposals made to improve the document. In particular, I am thinking of the delegates of Finland and Argentina. The delegate of Finland who was joined by the delegate of the Unites States this morning and others made the practical proposal, and I think in connection with paragraph 56 of the document requesting more technical information on arrangements to be made, etc-we can certainly do this, but there is always the risk if we put too much technical information into a document that it becomes unwieldy, with 150 or 200 pages, so we have to try to strike a balance between the two extremes.
The delegate of Argentina expressed some interesting thoughts about the purpose of the document. She wanted to have information well in advance, more specifically information on the IDS. Of course we try to do this, but there are certain limitations set by deadlines for printing, distribution, and so on. I can assure all those delegates who complained that the document was late that we are trying to do our best, and shall continue to try to do better.
Many speakers underlined the importance of coordination and cooperation between the agencies. Therefore may I make some very brief remarks on coordination in general. I would reiterate that the Director-General of FAO and the FAO Secretariat attach the greatest importance to coordination. Coordination alms at greater compatibility, on mutual complementarity of the activities of the organization and programmes of the Organizations of the system. It should concentrate on those issues and problems which require attention by the International community and effective joint action on the part of the system. Coordination is a policy instrument which should improve the performance; it is aimed at improving performance by enhancing the quality of the output of the agencies of the UN System, and should be aimed at avoiding unnecessary duplication of work. in my introduction I mentioned a few of those Instruments. We have the ACC with its so-called machinery. We have joint sessions of the ACC and the CPC, which is the Programme Committee of the United Nations. We have annual overview reports on the Administrative Committee on Coordination. We have cross-organizational reports, and so on. I am talking only about the formal instruments, not the day-to-day coordination and cooperation between agencies which is going on on a technical level. Here again, I can assure the delegate of the United Kingdom that FAO is responding to these coordination requirements to the best of its ability.
The delegate of the United Kingdom in particular wanted to know what FAO submitted to the Director-General for Development of International Economic Cooperation as input to the preparation for the trienniel review of organization activities. FAO had an opportunity to comment on the draft of the report of the Director-General through the ACC mechanism, and more specifically through CCSQ-OPS, which is the substantive committee for operations. There is another substantive committee on substantive questions for programme matters. There was a one-day meeting organized in Geneva at which the agencies had the opportunity to comment on that draft.
Yesterday, Mr Pettit himself suggested that coordination must not become an undue burden. It should not be unreasonably and unnecessarily imposed on organizations. It should not become an end in itself, as it were. In fact, I think I mentioned last year in November, when we were discussing this item, that coordination costs money-not thousands of dollars, but millions of dollars. This is why coordination has budgetary limits, and it should not become an end in itself, as I have said. Obviously it can never be a one-way street; it has always to be a two-way procedure.
In the interesting discussion yesterday afternoon and this morning, the delegate of Colombia made a remarkable and thought-provoking statement on the general trend of the document. He did not see many favourable developments for developing countries-of course, I am not going to try to reply to that, but I should like to tell him that I have attended quite a number of discussions of
inter-agency and intergovernmental bodies, mainly last year, about the new international development strategy. I must say there was a lot of scepticism expressed by many about the usefulness of another international development strategy. Yet, in the end, there was broad support for the adoption of another strategy. What would be the alternative?-no strategy at all? Everybody agrees, of course, that the new strategy has to be radically different from all its predecessors. It has to be less rethorical and more practical, more modest in objective and more ambitious in action; it has to be more analytical and more flexible; it should avoid rigourous growth targets, etc.
In this connection I should like to reply briefly to comments made by the delegate of Argentina and again by the delegate of the United Kingdom. The question was asked, "Does FAO and the United Nations System take into account the human factor, human development in a development strategy"? is "yes". At the interagency level, and in particular in the FAO contributions, the human aspect of any development strategy and of structural adjustment programmes is strongly emphasized. I should mention here that when the ACC discussed the IDS last year it adopted a decision which, inter alia, said that the emphasis of an international development strategy should be on human development and the well-being of people, with economic objectives and means for achieving the human goals. This is in line with FAO thinking. I am sure Mr Dutia will elaborate on this.
I will give a few quick replies to a few straightforward questions. To the delegate of Colombia-no, we have not forgotten IFAD in our document. We shall report on the financial relationships with financial institutions and developments in those institutions to the tall Session of the Council, so there will be full Information on IFAD in our next document in November.
Then some reference was made by a number of delegates to the Plan for Central America, to which FAO has contributed in various ways. As delegates may know, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has prepared a report on the Special Plan of Economic Cooperation. FAO has elaborated project profiles appended to the report and we are now waiting to hear from UNDP. I can assure Council we remain fully prepared to develop the project profiles, and to proceed further.
We have also participated in the recent Guatemalan conference on Latin American refugees organized by UNHCR, UNDP and others. In early July-next week-there is a conference on assistance to Central America due to be held in Geneva. FAO has been invited to the Conference and will participate at a senior level. I fully agree with those speakers who said that the most important thing in Latin America is peace. On the process of achieving peace and stability in Central America there is a firm commitment by the donor community which is trying to help finance the economic recovery of this sub-region.
On the economic side, the main donors support the strategy of associating aid with the attainment of peace and stabillty. As I said, FAO is very closely involved in this because the recovery of the agricultural sector in Central America is vital, as many speakers have said.
On the UNIDO/FAO Agreement which is mentioned in paragraph 72 of the document and which was referred to yesterday by the distinguished delegate of Switzerland and this morning by Japan and others, I would agree with Mr Pasquier (Switzerland) that the new agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding which is here-I have got it here, but it is rather detailed, and I shouldn't bother the Council members at this stage with it-that should be discussed under item 19 where the Council is requested to approve the Agreement. Of course, for this discussion we shall provide the Council with all relevant documentation and the necessary clarification.
The distinguished delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany yesterday raised a matter concerning cooperation within the European region in the field of agriculture. Mr Chairman, if you do not mind and if the distinguished delegate of Germany does not mind, I shall take up this bilaterally, and we can discuss it bilaterally.
I should express gratitude to the distinguished delegate of Japan for his government's contribution to Afghanistan of which FAO will receive or has received about $10 million for the rehabilitation of agriculture.
Finally, I am more than pleased about the very positive reaction of the Council to the planned international conference of nutrition for which there was very broad support by Council members. I should like to thank in particular the distinguished Ambassador of Italy who announced generously that Italy would be pleased to host the Conference. But I think here I am already encroaching on my neighbour's responsibility and what he is going to say. I stop here, Mr Chairman. I think here you may ask Mr Dutia to elaborate.
Β.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Départaient): I shall try to respond to some of the observations and questions that have been raised by the distinguished members of the Council concerning the International Development Strategy, the Nutrition Conference proposal
and the Common Fund. First of all, I would like to express our appreciation for the general support that the members of the Council have given to the Director-General's plans to initiate work in support of the International Development Strategy and the Special Session. In this connection, some members wanted to have more information on the type of contributions that FAO intends to make. They also wanted to know what contributions have been made so far. Concerning the latter point, I would like to inform the Council that FAO contributions so far to this exercise have been made in two ways. One is through FAO's participation in the ACC Task Force on long-term development which, inter alia, at one of its recent sessions, considered the possible broad approaches and issues that could be covered by the International Development Strategy. The report of this Task Force, in the preparation of which FAO has collaborated with other U.N. agencies, was one of the documents submitted to the June meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole for the preparation of the International Development Strategy. The second way in which FAO contributions have been provided is through the Secretariat of the U.N. Some documents have been given to the participants at the Ad Hoc Committee of the Whole. These background documents include the three documents that we gave to them. One is the major issues involving food and agriculture in the 1990s. The second was World Agricultural Trends to the Year 2000. The third was a position paper on climate change and its implications for agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The first two of these documents were based largely on the findings of the Agriculture Towards 2000, and the third document was based on the in-house work of an ad hoc group to prepare contributions for U.N. system-wide meetings including the meeting of the IPPC.
The distinguished delegates of the United Kingdom and Finland and, later on, the Ambassador of Kenya, also wanted to know more about the plans for our further contributions to these exercises as well as the nature of the documents that will be prepared by FAO for consideration by the governing bodies. As I mentioned in my introductory statement yesterday, the Director-General has initiated work within FAO for the preparation of a long-term strategy for the food and agriculture sector for the 1990s and beyond. This long-term strategy will be prepared with active participation of all technical departments and divisions concerned within FAO. This strategy should provide a framework for preparing FAO contributions to the International Development Strategy as well as to the Special Session of the General Assembly.
The Director-General plans to submit to the FAO Conference in November 1989 a very detailed outline of this long-term strategy for the food and agriculture sector with a preview of the main issues and approaches that will be developed. We shall revise this outline in the light of the discussions and suggestions made at the Conference and the general guidance that the Conference will provide to us on this matter. Later on, it is our intention to elaborate this outline document further, and the full strategy document will be submitted to the 98th Session of the Council in November 1990.
As yet, no definitive view has emerged at the intergovernmental level on the issues that would be finally selected for Inclusion in the agenda of either the Special Session or the International Development Strategy. These subjects are still under consideration at the inter-governmental level. Given this situation and also the need for FAO contributions to reflect to the maximum extent possible the views of our governing bodies, the strategy and the preparation within FAO will be based on an elaboration of the assessments and recommendations of the global and regional studies that have already been undertaken by FAO, such as the Agriculture Towards 2000 as well as the regional studies on Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe. In addition, the FAO or FAO-sponsored sectoral strategies, plans of action and undertakings will also be drawn upon to the maximum extent possible, as appropriate, in preparing this long-term strategy. Such strategies and plans of action from which we will draw include-and of course, this is not an exhaustive list-but these include the WCARRD Programme of Action, the Plan of Action for the Integration of Remaining Development, the Guldlines for International Agricultural Adjustment, the World Food Security Compact, the Tropical Forestry Action Plan, the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development, the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides, the Codex Alimentarius, and the Plant Protection Convention.
The question was also raised whether the contributions that we have made reflect the importance of human development. As my colleague, Dr Luhe, already mentioned, yes, it is so. We do emphasise the need to address the priority issues of undernutrition and poverty, and in particular the rural poverty, which indeed have been emphasised in the studies that we have already undertaken on a number of occasions. We believe that inadequate access to food by poor countries and by poor population groups is the one aspect of world food security which is likely to dominate for years to come.
Let me now turn, with your permission, to certain observations, comments that were made in relation to the proposal to convene an international conference on nutrition. On the whole, we are gratified and also encouraged by the general support that has been given to the proposal for convening by FAO an international nutrition conference in the biennium 1992-1993, of course, in cooperation with WHO and other concerned agencies. In this context, we very much welcome with great appreciation the generous offer made by Ambassador Valenza, the distinguished delegate of Italy, for his country'a readiness to host this Conference and we thank him for this. Some delegates, while
nothing this proposal with interest, have indicated that they would like to have more Information and more time to take a final view on this matter. We understand this position, and we are of course ready to provide more Information to them in order to help in reaching an early decision. Of course, more information will also be generated through the discussions which the Director-General intends to have with the Director-General of the World Health Organization.
In this connection therefore, Mr Chairman. I would also like to invite the attention of the members of the Council to the fact that the Director-General intends to present to the Conference in November 1989 a detailed document on this subject, on the basis of which the Conference will be in a position to take a final decision. Meanwhile the general support that has been expressed by the Council at this session to this proposal, and the lead role that it expects that FAO should play in the organization of this international conference, has been very encouraging.
Mr Chairman, the question was also raised by the distinguished delegate of Libya about the role of the Sub-committee on Nutrition. This is an ACC Sub-committee and its main purpose is to avoid duplication of efforts and waste of resources within the UN System in dealing with nutrition problems which have got multi-dimensional aspects. It is basically an advisory body which leaves the policy issues and decisions to the respective agencies which are members of the ACC itself.
Finally, Mr Chairman, I would like to turn to some of the questions that have been raised in connection with the Common Fund for Commodities. In the first place Mr Chairman, I would like to clarify that the Common Fund for Commodities has already come into force from 19 June 1989.
The second point I want to clarify is that the Common Fund is a specialized Agency of the United Nations. There was some misunderstanding that it is part of UNCTAD. It is not so; it is a separate specialized agency of the United Nations. Of course, the agreement establishing the Common Fund makes special provision for UNCTAD association with the Fund as well as, of course, with other concerned organizations.
Mr Chairman, I would also like to clarify in response to some questions about what the inter-governmental groups are doing or are planning to do in order to develop the projects which could eventually be submited for financing by the Common Fund. Mr Chairman, in the past few years-I think about 5 or 6 years-various inter-governmental groups in FAO had developed project ideas for eventual preparation of full project documents which could be submited to the Common Fund. Of course the Common Fund negotiations took a long time to come to fruition ant this work was in a sense kept in abeyance, and now various inter-governmental groups of FAO are beginning to give attention to the development of project ideas and priorities for consideration by the Second Account financing in anticipation that the Fund will become operational in the second half of 1990.
Mr Chairman, I would also like to express Secretariat's gratification at the general support that has been expressed by the members of the Council to the decisions taken by various inter-governmental groups to encourage the Director-General to approach the Common Fund when, it become s operational, with a view to the designation of the inter-governmental commodity groups as eligible inter-governmental commodity bodies, to sponsor and follow-up on the projects for consideration by the Second Account of the Common Fund. Of course, it is to be recognized that the final decision on the designation of the ICBs will rest with the Executive Board of the Common Fund, taking into account the criteria for such designation contained in the agreement on the Common Fund.
I think Mr Chairman, I have responded to the questions and observations made on these items by the members of the delegation. Again I would like to thank the members of the Council for the general support they have expressed.
C.H. BONTE-FRIEDHEIM (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): I would like to briefly reply to six important points which were made this morning and also some of them yesterday. The first one deals with two aspects and that is the importance of environmental sustainabllity.
First I would like to advise the Council that ACC in April of this year, prior to the UNEP meeting, agreed or made a decision which says that the ACC agreed to establish, under the authority of the Secretary-General, an ad hoc task force at the executive head level which would serve as an inter-agency mechanism for the system by preparation for the United Natlons conference on environmental development. This to me is the first time that such an ad hoc task force at the executive head level has been established. This task force consists of a core group of members of which FAO is a member.
With regard to sustainable agriculture, the resolution-not recommendation but resolution-from UNEP. We hope that what we have discussed before on the Code of Conduct that PIC, which means Prior
Informed Consent, will also be used when we talk about sustainable agriculture between agencies, and that PIC means what it meant in the Code-Prior Informed Consent-and not post-injunction conditions·
With regard to the Conference which was held in Kampala in June this year, it was a UNEP/ECA (Economic Commission for Africa), first regional conference on the environment and sustainable development in Africa, and FAO was requested earlier this year to become a co-sponsor and we agreed because of the importance of the subject. The co-sponsors of this conference were UNESCO, UNIDO, UNDP and FAO. This conference was preceded by a meeting of experts, and then followed a ministerial session. It was held from 12-16 June in Kampala. Thirty-five African countries participated, 12 at ministerial level. In addition we had some observers from four countries, some inter-governmental organizations and 16 UN organizations which attended the meeting.
The major recommendations were goals identified by the conference as seven, out of which some of them are of great and direct interest to FAO. The seven are: (1) managing demographic change and pressure; (2) achieving food self-sufficiency and security; (3) ensuring efficient and equitable use of water resources; (4) securing greater energy self-sufficiency; (5) optimising industrial production; (6) maintaining species and ecosystems, which is genetic resources, and lastly (7) preventing and reversing desertification. These recommendations are really recommendations to the governments, and government action and policy changes are expected. The follow-up action on the UN side will be coordinated by ECA and UNEP together with the other agencies which have an interest in these technical fields.
The third point I would like to make, Mr Chairman, is in regard to AIDS. We do agree that FAO should not merely monitor the work of others concerning AIDS. Current analytical efforts in and outside the UN System are focussed largely on short-term issues particularly those related to the incidence and transmission of the disease and potential medical costs. Longer-term issues and wider socio-economic aspects are receiving only limited attention. It is conceivable, however, that within 10-15 years AIDS could have an appreciable negative effect on food production and consumption in some countries, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, through its impact on agricultural labour supply and incomes. FAO therefore prepared last year a joint FAO/WHO research project on the potential impact of AIDS on food production and consumption. Two country desk studies completed by FAO have confirmed the potential seriousness of the impact of AIDS on food production and consumption and export earnings.
Mr Chairman, the delegate of India asked whether FAO has fulfilled or is fulfilling its mandate with regard to climatic change. It is the Secretariat's feeling, although we cooperate with the WMO that we have not been able to do it in the present biennlum, but I refer to the Summary Report of the Programme of Work and Budget where the new Sub-Programme 18.104.22.168 Sustaining Resource Potentials has one brand new programme element which is called the Analysis of the Impact of Climatic Change on Agriculture, and it is exactly this programme element that will, we hope, at least partially fulfil the mandate this Organization has with regard to climatic change and its impact on agriculture.
Two final points, sir, one with regard to GATT and the role of FAO with regard to sanitary and phytosanitary aspects. FAO is aware of the role that the IPPC, the International Plant Protection Convention, and the Regional Plant Protection Organizations will have to play, and therefore FAO is already calling in September of this year a technical consultation in order to prepare for the day when we will be called upon to assist. The Secretary of Council and Conference will advise you,. when you discuss the agenda for the forthcoming Conference, under what agenda item we will talk about that aspect of our work and cooperation with GATT.
My final point is the point raised specifically today by the delegate of Spain, but also by others, and that has to do with the special plan of economic cooperation for Central America. FAO has assisted the Secretary-General in preparing the background studies, and has assisted in identifying projects and programmes for implementation to fulfil the objectives of this plan. The Secretary-General has assigned the responsibility for the follow-up work to UNDP. A meeting of donors will take place I think next week in Geneva, but FAO has indicated to the UN, to the Secretary-General as well as to UNDP, that FAO has indicated to the member countries who are in Central America-and FAO has and is doing it now-indicating to the donors that FAO stands ready to assist in the implementation of this plan for the benefit of the people of Central America. In this respect I have nothing more to add to what has been said by the Ambassador of Belgium.
R.G. PETTIT (United Kingdom): Thank you, Mr Chairman. Before you close the plenary discussion on this item I would just like to make a clarification on the question of the suggested conference on nutrition. My delegation did not express a view on whether FAO should have a lead role in this conference because we wished to have the opportunity to have further details of the proposal, and the opportunity to consult with other members of our government on both whether or not there should
be a conference, and the precise role in it of FAO and WHO and the other agencies should, in our view, await the views after the July meeting of the two Director-Generale and the deciaion of the relevant governing bodies including our conference.
IIja HULIKSKY (Czechoslovakia): As a newcomer to this august body, I have to confess that I have learned just from the document CL 95/17 about the suggestion that an international nutrition conference be convened in 1991-92. As I understand from the document before us, a deciaion on this matter has not been taken as yet. After having listened to the debate in this Council, and after having done some homework of my own, I would like to put on record the position of my country on that suggestion.
The Czechoslovac delegation is of the opinion that FAO should be encouraged to follow up negotiations with other interested UN agencies, and especially WHO, on the suggestion of convening the nutrition conference. My delegation supports the view that FAO, by virtue of its mandate, and thanks to its technical and administrative resources, should play a leading role in cooperation with WHO in the organization and running of the conference.
B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-Cenerai, Economic and Social Policy Department): Mr Chairman, we have noted carefully the observations and explanation given by the delegate of the United Kingdom. We understand that and, of course, all the views that have been expressed on this matter will be duly reflected in the report of the discussion on this item by the Members of the Council. We certainly note, as I said in my remarks, that there are some delegations that wish to have more information and more time to consider this issue.
In that context, I also refer to the intention of the Director-General to put a detailed document to the Conference in November 1989 that will examine this question in all its facets with a view to helping the Member Governments to take a final decision on this matter.
I hope this will satisfy the delegate of the United Kingdom.
LE PRESIDENT: A la fin de ce débat, je voudrais me faire l'interprète du Conseil en disant qu'il a noté avec satiefaction l’intérêt particulier du document préaenté et a donné son appréciation sur la qualité du document CL 95/17 traitant des faits nouveaux eurvenus dans le système des Nations Unies qui intéressent la FAO.
Le Conseil souhaite vivement que les efforts appréciés du Secrétariat dans le cadre de cette clarification puissent être poursuivis. Ce document a permis de voir le rôle joué par la FAO dans le système des Nations Unies et d'apprécier l'intérêt du développement d'une coopération maximum de la FAO avec les autres organismes des Nations Unies. Les interventions de la FAO dans les domaines de sa compétence ont été constructives et efficaces dans les organisations économiques internationales. A cet égard le Conseil déclare que la FAO est particulièrement qualifiée pour participer activement à la préparation de la stratégle Internationale de développement pour la quatrième décennie, et il a prie note des dispositions déjà prises par le Secrétariat pour préparer aussl bien cette conférence que celle de la session extraordinaire des Nations Unies pour la coopération économique. Le document qu'est en train de rédiger le Secrétariat pour les perspectives de l'agriculture sera le bienvenu et permettra probablement d'éviter qu'il s'agisse uniquement de stratégie technocratique, mais aboutira à des résultats précis, concrets, à des actions qui permettent réellement de lutter contre la pauvreté et que cette décennie soit une décennie à visage humain, tant il est vrai que la décennie des années 80 peut être considérée comme perdue pour les pays en développement, et notamment pour l'Afrique et l'Amérique latine.
On peut dire également que le Conseil est heureux de l'entrée en vigueur de ce fonde commun des produite de base qui était attendu depuis neuf ans et formule le voeu que toutes les dispositions soient prises pour qu'on puisse agréer aussi clairement que possible les produits et les projets susceptibles d'être financés par le deuxième guichet de ce plan.
En ce qui concerne l'Uruguay round, le Conseil a formulé le voeu que l'accord-cadre sur l'agriculture, enregistré à Genève en avril dernier, puisse déboucher sur des actions concrètes en vue d'une plus grande libéralisation du commerce des produits agricoles notamment tropicaux.
Compte tenu de l'importance du rôle de l'Afrique dans le cadre des efforts de la FAO, on peut confirmer que le Conseil a été heureux de noter la participation utile de la FAO à l'examen à mi-parcours de la etratégie du développement économique et de redressement économique de l'Afrique. Le Conseil souligne que la FAO doit pouvoir continuer à jouer dans ce domaine pour l'avenir le rôle qui lui revient.
La majorité des membres du Conseil a souligné l'intérét attaché au plan d'action spéciale de coopération économique de l'Amérique latine qui devrait être également l'objet d'une attention importante, compte tenu du caractère précis des besoins de cette région.
En ce qui concerne la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition, 25 délégations ont pris la parole sur ce point, 14 délégués ont émis un jugement favorable à l'organisation d'une telle conférence, du fait qu'elle touche un point fondamental soulevé depuis plusieurs années dans ce Conseil auquel j'ai eu le privilège d'assister: la nutrition, qui figure dans l'acte constitutif de la FAO. D'autres délégations, à juste titre, ont dit qu'elles n'avalent pas recu à temps les matériaux suffisants pour prendre une décision en la matière et je souhaite vivement que l'Organisation puisse mettre à la disposition de toutes les délégations les éléments utiles permettant aux gouvernements de prendre la position qu'il faut, au moment où il le faut.
J'ai noté cette tendance du Conseil; c'est donc l'intérêt de la Conférence que les membres aient aussi rapidement que possible les moyens pertinents leur permettant de prendre leurs positions et des décisions circonstanciées en la matière. Voilà ce que je pourrais dire à la fin de cette réunion. J'ai été très intéressé par la qualité et l'intensité de cette discussion. Il s'agit d'un des points traditionnel du Conseil, extrêmement important, pour nous permettre d'avoir un round-up sur les activités générales des Nations Unies et la part de la FAO.
Mohammed Saleem KHAN (Pakistan): Mr Chairman, my delegation had refrained from taking the floor on this item because, as the delegate of India said, there are various issues on which we do not have a mandate from the Government of Pakistan, particularly the issue on Afghanistan, which is very important to us, and perhaps my Government may have wished to make some comments in that regard.
However, my purpose in taking the floor was not on that account. I noted that you were taking account of those delegates supporting the nutrition conference by FAO. Having heard the reasons given by India, Czechoslovakia, and the generous offer made by Italy, I think my delegation would also like to associate itself with those delegations supporting that FAO should play a leading role in that Conference.
LE PRESIDENT: Nous avons un Conseil trés chargé cet après-midi et ce afin de préparer la prochaine Conférence. Il est important plusieurs titres et l'un des rôles les plus importants c'est de bien préparer la Conférence et le budget. Il faut également organiser la Conférence. Mieux on travaille, plus la Conférence a de chances de se dérouler dans des conditions optimales. Donc nous allons nous séparer et je propose aux Honorables délégués d'être présents à 14 h 30 aussi nombreux que possible car ce probleme de l'organisation de la Conférence est très important.
Gonzalo BULA-HOYOS (Colombia): Pensamos, Señor Presidente, que la experiencia de ayer tarde cuando nos reunimos a las 3.30 fue satisfactoria. Queremos apoyar su empeño por el avance de nuestros trabajos, aunque observamos que el punto 13 podría no tomar demasiado tiempo. Por ello, de manera respetuosa, Señor Presidente, y muy cordialmente, le pedimos una nueva hora de reposo en medio del calor romano y, ojalé, nos reuniéramos a las 3.30.
LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais répondre aux délégués de la Colombie que l'année dernière en novembre nous avons eu un téléscopage entre les travaux du Conseil et ceux des Commissions et nous avons connu les difficultés que vous connaissez. Je crois qu'il serait souhaitable qu'on laisse au Comité de rédaction le soin de préparer son travail. Il y a une réunion à 18 heures cet après-midi. Notre devoir consiste à lui permettre de préparer son rapport en toute quiétude. Je vous laisse donc le soin d'apprécier. Si l'on commence plus tôt, on finit plus tôt nos débats. Tout dépend de ce que les délégués préfèrent. Veulent-ils partir 5 heures et avoir l'après-midi libre? Ce que j'ai noté hier, c'est que beaucoup de délégués ont reconnu qu'il n'avaient rien à faire jusqu'à 15 h 30. Je crois que lorsqu'on est sur un cheval il vaut mieux continuer et, si vous voulez, je vais donc lever la séance.
Hannu HALINEN (Chairman, Drafting Committee): I should like to inform the Council that the Drafting Committee is in the middle of a very important discussion at this moment, and I would like if possible to commence even earlier than 6.00 o'clock. Therefore, I would very much hope that we keep to the schedule for this afternoon and return at 2.30 p.m.
Gonzalo BULA-HOYOS (Colombia): Debemos confesar, Señor Presidente, que nos convencen las razones expuestas por usted y que los representantes de Colombia estaremos aquí a las 14.30 en punto.
Pero si he pedido la palabra es porque nos interesa mucho la labor que adelanta el Comité de Redacción. Quisiéramos saber, si es posible, que el Presidente, que acaba de intervenir Señor Halinen, de Finlandia, en el momento en que lo considere oportuno nos diga, cuál ha sido la marcha de este Comité, cuantos temas se han estudiado, cuáles faltan y que a la vez la Secretaria y usted, cuando sea posible, nos hagan una estimación, por lo menos una proyección, de qué parte del Informe, qué temas estarán listos, cuándo y dónde y también cuáles son las posibilidades de concluir este período de sesiones.
LE PRESIDENT: Je crois que le délégué de la Finlande en tant que rapporteur général pourrait s'exprimer sur cette question pertinente car 11 est bon que nous travaillions en symbiose, Conseil et Comité de rédaction. Si vous pouvez donner quelques informations je crois qu'elles seront utiles.
Hannu HALDEN (Chairman, Drafting Committee): Mr Chairman, I will be glad to do that. The Drafting Committee has finalized the items up to the budget, and as I understand, the document on those items has been printed.
Yesterday evening the Drafting Committee started to discuss the Report of the Programme Committee, including the progress report on the review. It is our intention to continue tonight. Referring to my comment that we are in the middle of a very important discussion, it seems that this is one of the key questions, the review of the budget.
But as I said, the other items have already been finalized and are ready to go to the Council in due course.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le délégué de la Finlande en sa qualité de rapporteur et je vais formuler un voeu, c'est qu'au cours de nos travaux nous puissions arriver à permettre au Conseil, lors de l'adoption du rapport, d'avoir le temps qu'il convient pour cette adoption. Habituellement il faut une journée et l'expérience montre que c'est une action importante, même très importante. Je vous propose de faire tout ce qu'il vous sera possible pour donner ce rapport à temps et permettre aux délégués de faire leur devoir sans être soumis à des pressions insupportables. Nous sommes arrivés à la fin des débats sur ces questions.
The meeting rose at 12.15 hours.
La seance s'est levée à 12 h 15.
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.15 horas.