Sra. Mónica DEREGIBUS (Argentina): Agradecemos al señor Director Ejecutivo del Programa Mundial de Alimentos, Señor Ingram, por su introducción al tema que nos ocupa hoy. También nuestro agradecimiento al señor Dutia por los comentarios que formulara.
Aplaudimos los excepcionales niveles de actividad alcanzados por el Programa Mundial de Alimentos en 1988, año en que cumplió su 25 aniversario, expuestos en el Informe, que cuenta con nuestra aprobación.
Nos preocupa, Señor Presidente, como al señor Director Ejecutivo, y a otras delegaciones, que el nivel de ayuda alimentaria pueda disminuir sensiblemente a corto plazo. Al respecto estimamos adecuado que este Consejo haga suyo el objetivo de contribuciones voluntarias propuesto y recomiende el texto de las resoluciones incluidas en el Informe que estamos examinando.
Nos unimos asimismo al llamamiento de numerosas delegaciones en el sentido de que se hagan los mayores esfuerzos para mantener el tonelaje de los envíos, a la vez que se asegure un porcentaje adecuado de contribuciones en dinero o/en servicios.
En relación con la cuestión de los informes que el Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria debe elevar, de conformidad con la Regla 14/4 de su Reglamento, que ha sido planteada durante esta sesión, quisiéramos expresar nuestra opinion en el sentido de que dichos informes deben contener tanto los aspectos operacionales cubiertos en el que estamos analizando, cuanto los asuntos de política en materia de asistencia alimentaria y las cuestiones de organización, administración y gestión y cualesquiera otra de relevancia que hayan sido motivo de consideración por el CPA. Varias delegaciones se han referido a esta necesidad: México, Congo, Pakistán, Kenia, entre otras. Y apoyamos su posición en el sentido de que la información que se ponga a disposición de este Consejo y del ECOSOC sea completa y oportuna.
Esta ultima condición, Señor Presidente, nos parece de primordial importancia, ya que no resultaría útil ni conducente, que los órganos a quienes informa el CPA se enteraran con un año o más de atraso de trascendentales decisiones que ellos deberían ratificar o modificar. Al respecto estimamos necesario que se estudie la posibilidad de que conjuntamente con el Informe operacional que se eleva anualmente, se pongan a consideración del Consejo y del ECOSOC también los informes de los períodos de sesiones del Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria en tiempo util y oportuno.
Horacio CARANDANG (Philippines): The Philippine delegation expresses its appreciation to Mr. Ingram for his most eloquent introduction to the 14th Annual Report of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, and to Dr. Dutia for his pertinent remarks on the report on behalf of FAO.
The present report covering the 25th year of WFP operations show how much the World Food Programme has grown from the initial experimental programme of approximately of US$ 100 million to the present level of operations of about US$ 750 million per year. We note with great satisfaction that the total resources made available to the WFP for the 1987/88 biennium had reached nearly 1.6 billion including the Food Aid Convention and IEFR resources, and that the pledges to the regular resources of the Programme for the 1987/88 biennium amounted to 1.24 billion, exceeding the record 1.1 billion pledged for the previous biennium.
The increase in prices of food commodities however, at present would mean lower quantities of commodities by the end of 1988, and would require higher pledges of dollar value to maintain the quantity of food provided to WFP programmes.
The Philippine delegation takes this opportunity to thank the WFP and the donors for the projects being implemented in the Philippines, particularly the food aid for refugees and for emergencies which, unfortunately, the Philippines has to resort to, because it is subject to typhoons which destroy property and lives and reduce harvests. After 25 years of operation a lot has been learned
on how to avoid the disincentive effects of food aid and how to use food aid, which would have been considered a surplus if sold, and if sold would have depressed the prices of agricultural commodities in the world market. Instead, this food is now being used to promote development and produce more food for the hungry.
The Philippines has still problems on how to use food for work because of difficulties in finding sufficient counterpart funding to complement the food aid component to reach the level of a daily wage. The Philippine delegation supports the Indian delegation's proposal on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the World Food Programme for a comprehensive study of the role of food aid in the past, the principle issues arising therefrom, and the future course of action and the required collaboration with other agencies concerned with food and agriculture. The Philippine delegation understands the problem of many of the members of the Council regarding the type of the report presented by the CFA to the Council. If the Council has the right to give its views on the report it receives from the CFA, it also has the right to give its views on the kind of report it wishes to receive from the CFA to enable all members of the Council, particularly those members of the Council who are not members of the CFA, to express their views on the policy decisions taken by the CFA.
The Philippine delegation reiterates its support for the good work being done by the Programme, and expresses its appreciation for the work of the dedicated members of the management and staff of the World Food Programme.
Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Nosotros, Señor Presidente, vamos a tratar de ser breves, pero no queríamos quedarnos callados frente a la discusión de un problema tan interesante como el Programa de Alimentos, que tiene, sin duda, muchas realizaciones positivas, pero que todavía algunos países están esperando satisfacer sus necesidades, porque, en realidad, se argumenta que este Programa de Ayuda Alimentaria, no está programado, o no está realizado atendiendo principalmente los intereses de aquellos países que tienen hambre, que están necesitados realmente de alimentos, ya que están imposibilitados de producirlos, sino que más bien atiende a las necesidades de los países que tienen exceso de producción de ciertos productos alimenticios y que deben colocarlos.
Yo no quisiera molestarles a ustedes citándoles detalladamente un trabajo llamado "rapporto-terra", publicado por WWF.Estos grupos de ecólogos, que no están precisamente tratando de combatir los programas alimenticios, sino que están mirando más allá de lo que en cierta manera estos programas inciden en la destrucción de recursos que en el futuro del próximo milenio quizá van a estar agotados, como es el caso del suelo, de los bosques, de las posibilidades de tener una agricultura natural y no con abuso de fertilizantes químicos.
Este trabajo, que se lo recomiendo a los amigos, y que se llama: "La Política de la ayuda Alimentaria" de un señor llamado Lloyd Timberlake, y que no estará acusado de ser un latinoamericano, o un africano, porque es un ciudadano de Estados Unidos, y que habla y cita casos muy concretos, históricamente verídicos, ayudado por citas de otros investigadores, algunos de ellos ingleses, o tal vez norteamericanos, en los que también citan casos entre los cuales la ayuda alimentaria no ha ido exactamente en beneficio de los países necesitados, sino que más bien se ha caracterizado por ser una ayuda alimentaria enfocada con otras miras y con otros objetivos.
Se hablaba aquí por ejemplo, en anteriores intervenciones, de la necesidad de poner a tono esta satisfacción del Programa Mundial de Alimentos con aquellos países necesitados, por la circunstancia de que esta ayuda enviada por el Programa Mundial de Alimentos en años atrás-espero que todo eso se haya ido mejorando-, llegaban los alimentos en momento inoportuno, no eran bien distribuidos y no había posibilidad de organizar la distribución internamente en los países necesitados. Todo esto traía como consecuencia que la verdadera necesidad en el momento oportuno no era satisfecha.
Aquí hay casos, por ejemplo, mencionados, y que ya los conocíamos, de Etiopía, o el caso de Kenya, o el caso de Guatemala cuando el terremoto, o algunos otros casos, pero es que según este "report', eso se hace crónico, y realmente no se satisfacen las necesidades inmediatas mediante la ayuda de la capacitación a aquellos países pobres para que ellos mismos puedan producir sus alimentos. Por esa razón, los países que objetan a la FAO no quieren el "programa de campo". Precisamente ésa es la razón y la conveniencia del programa de campo de FAO y es que éste permite la capacitación del individuo o de la comunidad in situ y los persuade de la necesidad de que produzcan ellos mismos sus alimentos y no continuar recibiendo el alimento del Programa Mundial de Alimentos. Está también el caso, por ejemplo, que citan aquí, de una comunidad que recibía según ese programa de "alimentos por trabajo",-que es uno de los que realmente son bastante efectivos-, pero que en un momento dado, un Gobierno que no quiero citar aquí resultó que "descontinuó"-para usar un término que a mí no me gusta pero es el que se acostumbra-, descontinuó el programa y lo cambió por la ayuda alimentaria. Esto dejó sin trabajo a varios miles de padres de familia, con lo cual aumentó el número de necesitados de alimentos casi por triplicado, por no haber continuado este programa de "alimentos por trabajo", que es uno de los mas eficientes que se hacen en el Programa Mundial de Alimentos.
Después hay otro caso, que es el de "madre e hijo", en el cual se daba el alimento a la madre y luego ella podría ser beneficiada, porque se convertía en un programa verdaderamente de ayuda social. Pero esto tuvo un inconveniente. Fue en un país de América Central. Tuvo el inconveniente de que, como lo que se les proveía era pan y mantequilla, las madres se acostumbraron a darles pan y mantequilla a los niños, y entonces eso va hacia otro aspecto negativo de este programa, que es el de cambiar la base alimenticia de las comunidades. No solamente es el caso éste de la "madre y el niño", sino también el caso de países que tenían su base alimenticia con productos indígenas, vernáculos, y que se acostumbraron a comer el alimento que se les llevaba como ayuda. Eso los hizo depender por ejemplo, del pan de trigo, cuando ellos estaban acostumbrados a comer su pan exclusivamente indígena. Esto, naturalmente, va en desmedro de la capacidad de producir sus alimentos las comunidades mismas para seguir siendo independientes de la ayuda alimentaria y, cuando más, convertirse en dependientes de compra de alimentos extraños a su propia naturaleza, lo cual también es un aspecto negativo de esta ayuda alimentaria.
Las personas que citan esto son personas responsables, pienso yo; no son gente que no conoce el problema, sino gente que se ha dedicado a esta investigación. Se cita, por ejemplo, el Comité para la Ayuda del Hambre y del Socorro contra las Necesidades, de Oxford; se cita a la Dra. Frances Stewart; del Sommerville College of Oxford, que también tiene un libro publicado sobre esos problemas; se cita a Paul Harrison, que tiene un libro reciente, llamado "L'Africa verdeggiante", que también habla del problema.
El caso de Nueva Guinea, por ejemplo, es citado en uno de estos "reports" de los investigadores, Francis Moore Lappe y otros. En Nueva Guinea, por recibir una ayuda alimentaria que era principalmente de arroz y de atún, la comunidad se acostumbró a esta base alimenticia y ya no quería cambiar a su antigua alimentación natural.
Estos casos los cito porque pienso que no hemos llegado todavía al momento en que esta tendencia es irreversible. Yo creo que es perfectamente posible que, a través de ese programa tan criticado y tan poco deseado de FAO, el trabajo de campo y la cooperación técnica, estos países que no tienen actualmente la capacidad por falta de educación, por falta de entrenamiento o de conocimientos técnicos puedan comenzar a producir su propia base alimenticia. En ultimo caso-no los voy a aburrir demasiado-, menciona los Estados Unidos, que generosamente manda a Mozambique, como su ayuda alimentaria, 28 000 toneladas de grano turco pero resulta que los malgash no comen maíz amarillo, como no lo comen muchos de nuestros países; ellos comen maíz blanco, y Estados Unidos les manda maíz amarillo, con lo cual reciben más bien un insulto que una ayuda.
Casos de esta naturaleza han ocurrido ya anteriormente, en razón de la ayuda alimentaria; casos en que los países reciben o demasiado de lo que no quieren o algunas cosas que a ellos no les gustan, porque la gente tiene sus apetencias alimentarias. Nosotros conocemos perfectamente bien lo que a los pueblos les gusta comer y lo que no les gusta comer. En Venezuela, por ejemplo, en mi país, donde hay diferentes bases alimenticias según las regiones, los montañeses no comen por nada del mundo un pan hecho de mandioca, que se llama casabe; no les gusta, no lo comen. La gente del Oriente no come pan de trigo; a la gente de Maracaibo le gustan los plátanos, que es la base de su alimentacion. Y así, por ejemplo, si ustedes comienzan a obligarles a comer, dentro del mismo país, las diferentes clases de pan, no les agrada; con mucha menos razón, estas otras que son culturas milenarias, aunque sean culturas primitivas; pero son gentes que tienen su propia manera de alimentarse y que no porque sea regalado tengan que comer lo que me mandan. Esa es la razón con que ellos reaccionan.
Hay muchos casos, pues citados en esto, que nos demuestran que la ayuda alimentaria-y, naturalmente del Programa Mundial de Alimentos-debe prestar un poco de atención no solamente a las necesidades de satisfacer el hambre, sino también de que esta ayuda alimentaria sea recibida no como lo que dice por aquí y lo que comentan muchos, no como una necesidad de los benefactores de deshacerse del excedente, generalmente de trigo, o de cualquier otro producto, sino como la necesidad que tienen estos países de recibir algo que les sea realmente conveniente para su hambre.
Esto no lo digo por el deseo de criticar el Programa, sino porque encuentro base aquí para refutar las críticas que se hacen a los programas de FAO, que son la Cooperación Técnica y el Programa de Campo. La razón del Programa de Campo es precisamente investigar y conocer la realidad de aquellos países pobres. Lo mismo que el Programa Mundial de Alimentos estudia cuáles son las necesidades en cantidad, cuáles son las necesidades en oportunidad, también debería estudiar las necesidades de capacitación y proveerles, no sé si de fertilizantes, las semillas etc., para poder iniciar una especie de recuperación de su vida de pobreza, de su vida de miseria.
Y finalmente quería hacer la observación, sobre lo que es el objetivo final de este trabajo que estoy citando, es decir, la preocupación por la conservación de esos elementos de nuestro suelo, de nuestra tierra, para que pueda sobrevivir; no abusar de los fertilizantes químicos, no excederse en
la deforestación or la ambición de usar mayor extensión de tierra. Esto es lo que pasa con los países-no quiero usar la palabra y voy a decir "superdesarrollados"-que ya tienen una agricultura, con miras hacia la posibilidad de aprovechamiento económico y no sencillamente para satisfacción de las necesidades.
Esto es lo que quería decir, lo cual no significa que vaya en mengua del apoyo que podamos prestar al Programa Mundial de Alimentos, tal como está. Pero como ha recibido tantos elogios, con los cuales yo acompaño al Sr. Ingram en su trabajo, siempre tiene que haber una oveja negra en el redil, y ésa soy yo; en este caso, para hacer estas puntualizaciones negativas, y me excusa.
Bashir EL MABROUK SAID (Libya) (original language Arabic): Firstly, I wish to extend very heartfelt thanks to Mr. Ingram for having given such a clear and explicit introduction to this agenda item, and I also wish to thank Mr. Dutia for the additional information that he provided.
We fully support the Fourteenth Report of the Committee on Food Aid, and we consider that the report submitted for our consideration covers very well what has been done over the latest period. We feel that the World Food Programme deserves praise for its worthy efforts in providing aid to the developing countries.
Having listened to what has been said so clearly and frankly by the representatives of Mexico and Brazil, I have not many comments to make.
Nonetheless, despite that, let me specify the following:
The first item I would like to touch upon concerns the Report submitted to Council for consideration. Those of us who have been reading those reports for a certain number of years observe that the Report itself is very often limited to statistics. Statistics are of course very important indeed, but the Report itself does not delve into the issues surrounding CFA policy. I would therefore add my voice to those of other speakers who expressed concern that the Report should refer to all of the issues and questions discussed within the FAO.
Another matter on which I would like to touch is the regional balance in the composition of the CFA. We note that the make-up of CFA member states-as indicated so clearly by the distinguished Ambassador of Brazil-does not take into consideration the geographical breakdown of the various regions. For example, the Near East region is represented by only two organizations within CFA; it is not therefore well represented. We hope that this matter will be taken into consideration and that the responsible bodies analyse the problem, so that representation on CFA can be equitable vis-a-vis the Member States.
Another point I would like to make by way of observation is with regard to the relationship between the FAO and WFP at this time. We would like to point out that this relationship should be an excellent relationship in the interests of developing countries, and all imbalance elements in that relationship would necessarily have consequences on the interests of developing countries. The relationship which now exists between FAO and WFP should be in conformity with the competence and the mandate, or terms of reference, within the constitutions of the two organizations. We should affirm that any and all imbalances in the carrying out of the mandates of the two organizations, FAO and WFP, would once again have consequences on the interests of all parties concerned, especially on those of the developing countries.
Cooperation and discipline are very important elements in any organization, and this applies to both FAO and WFP. We affirm that the excellent work which has been accomplished by the WFP, and the achievements which have been tabled so far, are the strongest possible evidence of the importance of the WFP.
One final point by way of conclusion: I would like to support the Draft Resolution annexed to this document, concerning the WFP during biennium 1991-92. We do however trust and hope that the countries that are in a position to do so, including the developing countries, will be able to increase their contributions so that it will be possible to achieve the desired objective.
Gian Luigi VALENZA (Italie): Je voudrais, moi aussi, féliciter le Directeur exécutif du PAM et M. Dutia, représentant du Directeur général de la FAO, pour leurs exposés factuels, clairs et précis.
L'Italie, comme vous le savez, est membre du Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire du PAM et, en cette qualité, elle a déjà eu l'occasion d'exprimer son point de vue lors de la dernière réunion de ce comité. Je ne crois donc pas indispensable de le réitérer aujourd'hui.
Par contre, je voudrais me limiter ici à m'associer vivement et sincèrement au souhait déjà exprimé par plusieurs délégués de voir améliorée et accrue la coopération entre la FAO et le Programme alimentaire mondial, tout en approuvant le document CL 95/13 que nous sommes en train d'examiner.
Atif T. BUKHARI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of): In the opinion of my delegation, this Report reflects many important ideas and valuable information, as well as other information. We do however believe that there is no perfect work-there can be no perfection. There are many different ways and means of improving any good work and this applies to the Report submitted to us, because there are many improvements that could be introduced to this Report.
We, as members of the CFA, have asked during previous years that this Annual Report should include the recommendations and resolutions adopted by the CFA, particularly those sections referring to activities which will be implemented, as well as the projects and the evaluation projects relating to refugees and others. Perhaps however there was insufficient time for the Secretariat to take our points of view into account in this connection.
Some delegations have asked for the introduction of reforms in the drafting and contents of this Report. I believe that it is the right of the Council to express its points of view and recommendations if it is to consider this Report. It is quite natural that it should raise such matters. It is the keenness and cooperation of Council members which have led to requests that this document should become more transparent, and a more deeply analytical paper that would give further importance to the work of WFP. We of course support this trend, and everything that has been mentioned by the distinguished delegates in this Council. We believe that if there are good intentions, we will not find embarrassment in accepting those proposals which are aimed at enriching the discussions of the Council and at providing the Council with very important information, particularly in view of the fact that many Council members are not members of the CFA.
We do not say this with the intention of opening the door for discussions once again on the contents of this Report. We do not approve of doing that. This Report is for the information of the Council, and the Council has to consider this Report briefly. We do not believe that the Annual Report of WFP should be the subject of a second discussion by Council members-that is a waste of time.
There are some basic principles which govern the activities of all the commissions affiliated to UN agencies, and we should not overlook these legislations and principles, or deviate from them. In our opinion that would be a principle of the jungle, and ve do not approve of that. We say this because the CFA is governed by some systems and laws which are quite appropriate, and we must abide by them. These are laws that would not adversely affect the activities of the Council, nor would they undermine the importance of the CFA activities. However, we must always remember that there are certain rules which must be observed, which add further respect to the WFP and the CFA.
We are very confident that the WFP and its Executive Director will take into account the Committee's proposals and recommendations adopted by the Council, in good faith and in a good spirit. We reiterate our full support of the WFP and the great services rendered by the Programme. This is exactly the kind of constructive dialogue that we are encouraging among organizations and governments.
C.B. HOUTMAN (Observer for Netherlands): I had not originally intended to ask for the floor, but as we listened to the debate we, as a member of the CFA, thought we should voice our growing concern. During the CFA debate on the level of the target for 1991-92, some countries preferred to keep the target at the same level as of this biennium. However in order not to block a consensus they agreed to the level of $ 1.5 billion and they adhered to that today.
On another occasion, during the debate on protracted emergencies, there was also not a consensus in the beginning, but the very few countries that could not immediately agree also finally did not block the consensus. However, they did not adhere to it today and I think that this is regrettable.
Secondly, listening to the delegate from Lebanon I could not help but get the impression that he was suggesting that FAO should participate in each high-level meeting in which WFP participates. This looks like reversing developments. We do agree that there should be cooperation between FAO and WFP and we all hope that this cooperation should continue and even that an improved cooperation will be created. This requires cooperation from both sides. Cooperation is something completely different from being patronising and I hope that the delegate from the Lebanon did not mean that.
Thirdly, with regard to more information on policy and programme issues in the Annual Report, we can imagine that there is an honest and genuine wish for more information. Therefore, we associate ourselves with what the delegate of Pakistan said on this and also with what the delegate of Kenya said regarding the restrictions we should put on ourselves. After all, it is possible for all delegations, irrespective of their regions, to obtain the CFA documents with all the things that are in them. It is possible for them to attend CFA meetings and express their views on certain issues during the debate in this governing body of the World Food Programme.
Therefore, we think it is not advisable to duplicate in the FAO Council or ECOSOC, or wherever these debates are held, as was said most fortunately by the delegate of Saudi Arabia. It requires consistency of position here and in other fora, but that should not be too difficult. We should not try to make this an issue. Needless to say, we do not consider it a good idea to put issues on the FAO agenda that are already dealt with in depth by the CFA.
G. SCHIRATTI (EEC): The report under discussion provides a succinct and precise account of the achievements of the World Food Programme in 1988, and achievements they certainly were. There was the shipment of 3.1 million tons of food to developing countries, compared with 2.4 million tons in the previous year; an increase in commitments to $779 million, 25 more than in 1987; the record shipment of 566,000 tons on behalf of bilateral donors and finally, the approval of projects estimated to benefit directly some 14 million individuals.
However, there is less cause for satisfaction in noting that the provision of emergency assistance placed heavy demands upon the Programme in 1988. The greater part of this was made available, it is sad to say, in response to man-made disasters. There was also a greatly increased need for food aid as a result of natural calamities such as hurricanes and floods. In the event, more than 15 million people in 29 countries received emergency food assistance, involving the commitment of 828,000 tons of commodities.
Of particular interest is the contribution of the Programme to environmental improvement. We attach considerable importance to the promotion of development which is environmentally sustainable. We welcome the fact that in July this year, the World Food Programme will chair a high-level meeting of the relevant United Nations organizations on the theme of environment and sustainable development.
It is noted that by the end of 1988 89 of the pledging target for the 1987/88 biennium had been realised. However, in the case of the current biennum 1989/90, pledges announced up to 31 December 1988 amounted to only 65% of the target of $1.4 billion. This explains why the Community had some misgivings, quickly overcome, in subscribing to the consensus reached at a recent session of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes that the pledging target for the 1991/92 biennium should be raised to $1.5 billion.
We congratulate the World Food Programme on the work carried out in 1988 and look forward to maintaining with it in the future the close collaboration which we have enjoyed in the past.
Amin ABDEL MALER (Liban) (langue originale arabe): Je voudrais demander au Président si l'Observateur des Pays-Bas a été prié par le PAM de répondre ou faire des commentaires au nom du PAM sur les déclarations faites par les délégués des gouvernements representés à ce Conseil. Si tel était le cas, je n'en félicite pas le PAM car les responsables du PAM pourraient répondre aux questions posées. Mais si le représentant des Pays-Bas veut faire l'avocat du diable, ce serait autre chose. Quant à ce que j'avais dit ce matin, je crois que ce que j'avais dit était clair et je crois sincéremant en ce que j'avais dit.
Yousef Ali Mahmoud HAMDI (Egypt)(original language Arabic): I apologise for requesting an opportunity to speak at this late hour but at the outset I would like to thank Mr. Ingram and Mr. Dutia for presenting this report which includes the Annual Report for the World Food Programme for the year 1988. Once again, we would like to welcome the great efforts exerted by WFP in order to achieve the sublime objectives in terms of using food in the different development programmes. Moreover, we are fully satisfied with the achievements of the WFP in terms of operations within the context of the regular programmes or the emergency programmes.
We approve of this report and accept the resolution submitted to the Economic and Social Council regarding their updated target for aid in the biennium 1990/91. I draw attention to the importance of strengthening relationships already existing between the two giant organizations, that is, FAO and WFP, in order to fully benefit from the available resources which are at the disposal of the two organizations to combat poverty-which is prevailing everywhere. I believe that only through these integrated efforts can we put an end to such poverty.
A.K.M. Fazley RABBI (Bangladesh): Mr Chairman, I am grateful to you for giving me an opportunity to speak because I am not a member of the Council. Bangladesh is a member of CFA, and that is why I want to speak on this subject. If you will give me four or five minutes, I would like to say that we give our full support to the Report. In this regard, without going into the substance of the debate of the Council, we would like just to say that CFA is unlike other such committees. It is the governing body of an organization. So we think the distinguished members will remember this, that this is unlike other statutory committees; it is a governing body. The report which was adopted by consensus in the governing body, as the distinguished representative of Saudia Arabia said, it should not be discussed at length again, in any other forum, whatever it may be. Without going into the text, I would only say that it is a story of success and achievement, and this success and achievement means improved services, more services to the millions of poor people in the developing countries. As I said, the report was adopted by consensus, so we do not feel there should be any problem in approving the Resolution as contained in the Annex and also approving the report as a whole.
James INGRAM (WFP): This was, as usual, a very interesting debate which raised a number of issues which I would like to say something about. Before I turn to the general issues, there were two particular questions that were raised from one delegation. The questions were whether all ancillary costs related to bilateral services are met by the bilateral donors themselves or whether part of them has to be borne by the Programme from its general resources. The answer is really quite simple. The bilateral donors pay all the costs related to the service itself. In addition, they pay a service fee. In 1988 we got approximately $3 million in service fees which make some contribution towards the overhead costs of the Programme. These fees are reviewed periodically, and it may indeed be timely to review them.
The other question related to the proportion of the transport cost for development projects. In fact, it was 56 percent. The cost of the transportation was for development projects. Development projects themselves took 58 percent of the tonnage.
I would like now to say a few words about the Report. Of course, it is true-of course, it is absolutely correct that any document, anything can be improved. Indeed, that is the philosophy that WFP follows in all its work, that anything and everything can be done better. Just because it has been done one way once for five years, ten years or twenty-five years, that does not mean it should not be reviewed periodically. And of course, it is obviously appropriate for this Council to make such observations as it wishes about the content of the report. It is equally clear that the Secretariat would take full account of what the Council says. We always do that in relation to any matters that are raised. This discussion itself draws to our attention various aspects, some of which I will touch on in a moment, in relation to the work of the Programme, which we find quite valuable, and equally your comments on the report are valuable. I suppose I have to point out, of course, though, that as many of you have noted, it is a report to three organizations, to three bodies: this body, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and it also goes to the World Food Council. Such a report is necessarily rather costly to produce. Its distribution is, in fact, very wide, and in the interests of economy some sort of choice has to be made as to what goes into it. It is, in fact, a synopsis of the Annual Report of the Executive Director, which is 82 pages long. Indeed, if we started circulating that eighty-two page document to all the various bodies that are interested, the cost would be entirely disproportionate. On the other hand, that Annual Report is available to, if not circulated to, every delegation in Rome. They may transmit it, and many do, to their capitals. So the problem essentially is what to put in it. I suppose for twenty-five years the format before you has been essentially maintained. This is not to say that there is not scope for modifying it to include more specific information about some of the important policy decisions taken by the CFA, and we will certainly have a good look at that.
By the way, I would also have to point out-and I hope the Committee will forgive me-the report that you have was, of course, approved not simply by consensus, but unanimously by the CFA. Not one delegation, including some who raised issues this morning and this afternoon, made any criticism of the report. There were no criticisms. It was simply accepted as an excellent report for transmission to the Council. So as I say, I hope you will not mind my pointing it out, because some of the delegates who were more vocal in their criticisms were, of course, members of the CFA. As I say, we are Interested in improvement, and we will certainly consider, very carefully, the possibility of including a short synopsis of the major policy decisions taken.
I would also have to say that we also hope that delegates will read even the one that we have, which is relatively brief, because I noted two criticisms that were made which are not really substantiated, if you look at the documents. One of the criticisms that was voiced by some delegates is that a very important decision of the CFA last year related to our Action Plan for Africa. But there are, in fact, three paragraphs about the Action Plan for Africa. It was, in our view, the most important decision taken by the CFA last year, and it is substantially reflected in the report in three paragraphs. Moreover, the third of the three paragraphs, paragraph 23, in fact, does deal with what we regard as some of the measures that need to be taken if the problems of the African region are to be dealt with. So again, I feel it is a little unfair to suggest that somehow we raise issues or do not raise them at all and then, when we do raise them, that we do not say anything substantive. There is a very substantive synopsis in relation to that important policy decision. Indeed, in your discussion this morning and this afternoon, that was basically the one issue of policy substance on which a number of delegates expressed views; that is to say, the problems facing the poorest, least developed countries in carrying out food development projects. This is an enormously difficult area, and I was pleased that a number of delegates this morning drew attention to the seriousness of this problem. I was also pleased that one or two referred to what I said to the CFA at its last session and which is reflected in the CFA's report, namely that the Programme in relation to the least developed countries will, on an experimental basis, examine-and indeed, not only examine-will actually, in fact, increase its financial support for these problems of internal transport and handling for the least developed countries and the whole management of projects. So I was pleased that a number of delegates recognized that it was a very important decision that had, in fact, been taken by the CFA at its last session in the interest of the least developed countries, not only in Africa, but in all the least developed countries.
A rather interesting issue was raised by the Distinguished Representative of Venezuela. She referred to herself as the black sheep of the Committee because she proceeded to draw attention and to speak against the grain, I suppose, to draw attention to the sins of food aid. I would have to say, of course, that in WFP those generalized criticisms to which she referred are, as far as we are concerned, long things of the past. It is unfortunate, I think, that many general statements based on practice, often of many years ago, which did not, in fact, even then involve the World Food Programme are sometimes extended as if they applied to the Programme, and in particular, this issue of the provision of the wrong food. I would like to say quite categorically that except in countries such as Pakistan and China and others where wheat, for example, is a staple, and where it is provided for direct distribution, WFP almost always exchanges a commodity like wheat for the traditional cereal of the country. For example, in Kenya, WFP wheat is always exchanged for maize and beans. It is the same in Uganda. We have done a great deal of similar exchanges for maize, for Central American maize. We are well aware of the preference for white maize and always seek to supply it. Of course, occasionally it is not always possible. When it is not possible it is truly an exception. Similarly in a country like the Sudan we exchange wheat for sorghum, the traditional cereal. We provide white maize in southern Africa, in Mozambique, in Lesotho, and in Botswana and so on-in that case often purchased in Zimbabwe. So I cannot take up all the points the distinguished representative made, but I would certainly like to make it clear the WFP is not dumping unwanted food on countries. I have to say on that point, the fact of the matter is that we have enormous demand for our food aid, far in excess what we are able to supply. I think that is understandable in a situation where governments face very severe balance of payments problems, where they face a situation for many of them where their debt repayments are in excess of the net flows to them of aid, and where we had a very eloquent appeal this morning from the distinguished representative of Peru about the circumstances of poor people of Peru. As we know in situations of structural adjustment which tend to bear very heavily on the poor, we know that in these countries people are hungrier than they have ever been, so it is natural and inevitable that there will be tremendous pressure, as there currently is, on the availability of WFP resources. We are not in the business of ramming it down anybody's throat if they don't want it. It is a relief for us because we are having great difficulty in rationing the limited supplies available.
That brings me Mr. Chairman, to an issue which was raised in the intervention of Mr Dutia, where he suggested that it might be desirable to have a comprehensive review and analysis on food aid. Well the CFA is certainly the body that would do such a thing, but the approach that has been taken
which I must say I find the most effective approach, is to deal with policy issues in terms of their practicalities, and Mr. Dutia's statement lists a number of reasons why he thinks that this would be a good thing, and one of them he mentions is the challenge of using food aid in support of structural adjustment. Well the CFA has already had a very long and full debate on that matter which led to certain decisions and which, if currently exercised, is the approach that we follow in relation to structural adjustments. Some of you this morning referred to the importance of food aid in relation to structural adjustment. In that regard we are in fact, I believe, collaborating with FAO in relation to the certain particular case studies that are to be made in Africa, and we are also collaborating with the World Bank. We are also going our own way in various countries in this particular area, but it has in fact been exhaustively considered.
The issue of the complementary measures to strengthen local storage is, of course, one that is always in our minds, and many of you will know-or perhaps you do not know but in your capitals they will know-that WFP has either itself funded or it has been instrumental in the provision of very substantial storage capacities in your countries. That does not mean that the storage situation is ideal in every country. The point that I am simply making is that it is an inherent part of the Programme's policy to ensure to the greatest extent possible that storage capacity is sufficient. The issue that, quite rightly, Mr. Dutia has drawn attention to is the fact that FAO has long advocated the need to raise the resource base of the IEFR, but again that will be the subject of a major policy paper at the CFA 29 in May of next year.
So I suppose WFP as the governing body-and I was pleased that that point was mentioned by many, and of course it is provided for in the Basic Text-is a different sort of committee from a generalized committee. It is very concrete and specific about issues which affect the work of WFP, and over the years there is not one significant policy issue which has not been discussed exhaustively and quite often more than once. If you simply have generalized discussions in such a forum they tend to lead nowhere because they are not a guide to action. We are concerned with the concrete here and now of reaching millions of people with millions of tons of food, and how we go about this and the policy framework within which we operate needs to be specific and essentially expert·
Mr. Chairman, another subject came up which rather disappointed me a little and it is this issue of cooperation with FAO, but in particular the fact-and Mr. Dutia also drew attention to it-that FAO is not referred to in the report as worthy of being singled out. You know the fact of the matter is, within the United Nations system there are over 30 different agencies, and WFP is cooperating in one way or another with nearly all of them. It has a day-to-day cooperation with specialized agencies like the FAO, like the World Health Organization, like UNESCO and so on. This report does not refer to every example of ongoing cooperation. If it did it would be a different sort of report. What it does is single out the more particularly outstanding examples of cooperation during the year. So I hope-and I in fact singled out in my speech this morning a reference to FAO which was the only agency I referred to. Also in my speech to the CFA I referred to our continuing desire to improve the technical support from FAO for our projects, and that of course is an ongoing situation. The fact of the matter is that of the 160 or so experts financed by the Programme from the specialized agencies last year who participated in the development of our projects, almost a 100 were from FAO. They were financed from WFP. Of course sometimes when they go to a developing country they do not even know that WFP is financing them. Of course everybody thinks it is FAO but it is not, it is WFP who is financing them, and 60% of those experts were from FAO. So the continuing cooperation is very important to the Programme and very valuable to us. We in fact are spending US$ 6 million per biennium on that technical cooperation from FAO. It is not an insubstantial expenditure.
Referring to the reference to the JCGP again, we have to come back to what I said earlier about this report. It is not just for the FAO Council; it is for the ECOSOC, and different bodies have different Interests, and in the Economic and Social Council the sort of things they are interested in as distinct from this body are at least two things: (1) development issues in general, i.e. development as distinct from support for agriculture and food production. Indeed that is why WFP is a joint UN/FAO agency because it is not simply an agency concerned about food production; it is an agency concerned with general issues of development.
The other aspect that ECOSOC is deeply concerned with is the issue of relationships with similar sorts of agencies. Now WFP is not a technical assistance agency. We buy technical assistance from FAO and other specialized agencies. WFP is about the transfer of resources in large amounts to developing countries. It is what ls called in the UN parlance a funding agency, even though a lot of it is provided in kind. The ECOSOC is very anxious that the cooperation between the funding agencies be particularly close, and the principal funding agency with which we collaborate is the UNDP. We also collaborate very closely with UNICEF, less so with UNFPA, and of course to the extent that IFAD's resources allow, very closely indeed with IFAD. So this JCGP is in fact an organization of the five principal funding agencies in the UN system.
For the particular meeting that we are having next week which is about the environment and sustainable development which involves the five agencies, we have turned to certain outside expert advice. It is a sort of seminar really. I am pleased to say that one of these experts that we have invited is from FAO, so there you are. There is always a lot of misunderstanding about what really goes on in Rome.
To conclude Mr. Chairman, I would like to say first of all that we are particularly appreciative of the remarks made by the representatives of a number of developing countries in which they expressed appreciation for support provided for the Programme. You know, it is quite demanding and exacting the work that we undertake, and it always gives a lift to the staff if their efforts are seen to be appreciated by the governments with whom we are working together. So I am sure that the staff will appreciate the remarks from those countries who felt that they wanted to express their thanks to us.
The other remark that I appreciated which was made by two or three delegates, was that they took up the reference I made to the fact that many of our staff are in fact risking their lives. It is not so long ago that one man was shot and had to have his arm amputated. In the last few weeks several have narrowly escaped-and I am not exaggerating at all-narrowly escaped miraculously, and we appreciate the fact that two or three of you felt it worthwhile to express thanks through the Cháirman to our staff for that sort of work.
You know WFP is rather unique in the UN system. I think it does probably transfer-the statistics vary a bit-but I think that it does at the moment transfer the largest volume of resources. I mentioned this morning that of the one and a quarter billion that we transferred last year only three percent went for staff costs. It is unusual in another aspect too (sorry I have got something in my eye that is disturbing me)-it is unusual in another respect in that it is entirely a-political in the distribution of its resources. The record of course is absolutely clear on this, and again I have to thank those delegates this morning who made it abundantly clear, through their interventions, that that is infact the situation.
So with those words Mr. Chairman, I would like through you to thank the Committee once again for its attention that it has given to our work, and to leave with the assurance that we will examine very carefully how best to improve the report to you, ECOSOC and the World Food Council. Thank you.
B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I would like to make a few observations concerning the proposal made by the Director-General at the last CFA session, which I had the honour to bring to the attention of the Council this morning, and to namely undertake a comprehensive study for the future of food aid in the nineties and beyond, and to which Mr. Ingram also referred in his remarks just now.
Of course, I am happy to note that this proposal has received some support from the Members of the Council. I also understand and appreciate the observation made by Mr. Ingram about the need to look at practical aspects, particularly in relation to the food aid provided by the World Food Programme. I also know fully well that the CFA has looked at a number of these questions in relation to the operations of the World Food Programme. However, I would like to submit that the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes has a wider mandate than just looking at the food aid programme of the World Food Programme itself.
For example, if one were to look at the mandate of the CFA, it says apart from providing general guidance and policy administration and operation of the World Food Programme, the CFA also provides a forum for inter-governmental consultations on national and international food aid programmes and policies. It also reviews periodically general trends in food aid requirements and availabilities. It also recommends to governments improvements in food aid policies and programmes on such matters as programme priorities, composition of food aid and other related matters.
When the Director-General made the suggestion for a comprehensive review of food aid and its role in the nineties and beyond, what he had in mind was the overall subject of food aid and not just the food aid provided by the World Food Programme. Of course, the World Food Programme plays a very important role in the multilateral aspect of food aid, and in this study certainly its role will be an important issue to consider.
In relation to the observation that the CFA has always given attention to practical aspects, while not in any way disputing this, I would also state that in the past the CFA has developed some important general criteria and guidelines for food aid as a whole. In a way, these serve as a charter for the operation of the food aid programme both bilaterally and multilaterally.
In the light of the past experience as well as what is needed for the future, the Director-General
is of the view that now is the time to look at the future of food aid, especially as the new factors that seem to be emerging in the overall food situation call for a certain pause and a certain reflection as to what food aid should be doing in the nineties and beyond.
Secondly, there have been references by a number of Members to the need for strengthening the cooperation between the FAO and the World Food Programme. Mr. Ingram, the Executive Director also made reference to that. I fully agree with him that there is a considerable amount of cooperation that is going on between the two organizations at the working level, and that certainly is amplified and demonstrated by the figures that Mr. Ingram just quoted on the FAO experts that are in the field financed by the World Food Programme.
While in general not disputing what has been stated, I would like to make a brief observation, particularly speaking on behalf of the Economic and Social Policy Department of FAO, that over the past several years the assistance required, in the policy area, from this Department seems to be rather declining. I do not know whether this is a trend that will continue in the future or it is just an accident. Certainly we from our side are very ready and willing to provide cooperation and full support in this area to the World Food Programme. This is especially so in the light of Article 31 of the general regulations of the World Food Programme, which does call for cooperation on food aid studi'es with the FAO and other UN agencies. However, again I would repeat that this is not in any way to underestimate or to deny the fact that the cooperation at the working level is continuing.
I would like to refer to an observation made by the delegate of Australia. He referred to the recent decision by the CFA at the last session concerning the use of IEFR resources for the need of protecting refugees and displaced persons. As far as I understand, he seemed to imply that this decision addressed the concerns I had referred to this morning on behalf of the Director-General.
With due respect, I wish to differ from the delegate of Australia on this point, because even in the document that was submitted by the World Food Programme to the CFA for consideration of this subject it was recognized that the decision to this effect would have a negative effect on the resources available to the International Emergency Food Reserve, although at the same time it was hoped that greater transparency may increase the resources for the IEFR.
This is also reflected in a way in the decision by the CFA itself that the question of the resources should be addressed in a separate document to be prepared by the Executive Director in consultation with the Director-General. Therefore, the question of the resources of the IEFR for meeting the needs of the emergencies that are other than the refugees remains to be considered.
In my statement I also referred to the long-term role of food aid, which again is not addressed by this particular decision by the CFA.
James INGRAM (WFP): To supplement what I said earlier, the CFA, of course, has on its agenda at every session a document that reviews food aid policies and programmes generally and collectively, not WFP. That document has been prepared and has been on the agenda as a result of the decision of the World Food Conference, which made the CFA responsible not only for being the governing body of WFP, but also to have the oversight of food aid generally. So at every session the Committee has before it a very comprehensive document. Indeed, at the last session, there were many complaints •that the document was too comprehensive, too long and contained too much information. As a result, we are going the review the document. So the fact is that there is a document already prepared by the Secretariat every year. As Mr.Dutia said, from time to time the CFA has taken decisions.
So I quite agree that there is no reason as such why the CFA cannot review general aspects of food aid. On the contrary, it reviews them already. My feeling is that it is very difficult to see that anything more than is being done already is needed. However, I believe it is up to the member governments of the CFA to decide, and we will be happy to do whatever is asked.
I do not know whether I heard Mr. Dutia correctly, but I think he said that the WFP paper in relation to protracted refugees said that there would be a negative effect on the IEFR. We definitively did not say that; I want to make that clear. The proposals adopted by consensus do not have an adverse effect on the IEFR. The debate made clear that the expectation of the WFP Secretariat that implementation of the proposals would lead to more resources being available for sudden disasters was rather an important factor in the consensus that was reached. In any event, this whole issue of resources for sudden disasters is, as I mentioned in my remarks, scheduled for CFA 29. It is a very important subject, and indeed I had already written to the Director-General asking to have the views of FAO as soon as possible on how we are to deal with this very important issue. We know some of their views, but we would like to know in greater depth the views of FAO
because ve see those views as a very important starting point for the paper to be prepared for CFA 29.
Β.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I wish to make a very brief observation. When I said that it would lead to a negative effect, I was really referring to paragraph 49 of the document submitted to the CFA on the subject of meeting the problem of protracted refugees and displaced person situations. The first sentence of this paragraph reads a follows: "While a decision by donors to shift resources currently provided by them for protracted refugee and disaster situations to a subset of the regular resources would, of course, necessarily lead to a reduction in the amount pledged to the IEFR, the Programme is of the view that the resulting transparency in relation to the overall use of resources as between emergencies and protracted refugee/displaced person situations should contribute to an increase in resources available for dealing with sudden disasters including crop failure". On behalf of the Director-General of FAO, I am very happy to assure the Council and also the Executive Director of WFP that we would be very happy to collaborate with him on the preparation of the document to be prepared for CFA-29.
Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Le agradezco su gentileza por concederme la palabra, haciendo uso del derecho parlamentarlo universal de responder cuando se le alude a uno por su nombre propio,y ese ha sido el caso del Sr. Ingram. Yo no puedo intervenir aqui sino con cuestiones generales, porque yo no estoy aqui en calidad de experta de los problemas de la alimentación y no conozco, Sr. Ingram, lamentablemente, las Interioridades del Programa Mundial de Alimentos y de sus relaciones con otros organismos. Estoy haciendo uso de un documento público en el cual, en primer lugar, he citado, ahora puedo decirlo, una cita de la Banca Mundial en el bienio de 1984/85 en donde dice que: "25 palees donantes han proporcionado alimentos para mas de 100 naciones" entre los cuales da una enumeración de la cantidad de toneladas que han proporcionado. Pero, lo que me interesaba precisar es que esa misma Banca Mundial dice-comentando a los que escriben, que generalmente es un organismo conservador, que está propenso a minimizar los hechos-sin embargo, la Banca Mundial dice: "la cantidad de ayuda alimentarla es, en muy estrecha relación con las exigencias del donador, más bien que con las necesidades del beneficiarlo" y Sir William Kyrie, Jefe de la Administración de "Oversea Development", un ente británico, ha escrito en 1986, cito: "constituye la masa de la ayuda azlimentaria, con toda franqueza, un medio para liberarse de los excedentes agrícolas de Europa, antes que una manera de ayudar a los pobres" y termina diciendo:"en realidad, para ser sinceros, muy a menudo tales adquisiciones significan en vez de un "excedente" de alimento para ayudar a los pobres, una manera de ayudar a los ricos. La otra cita es del llamado "Report Brundtland", que no necesito decir quien es el señor y quería simplemente leer un párrafo de ese "Report Brundtland" "la producción en los palees industrializados disfruta exclusivamente de un subsidio consistente y siempre ha estado protegida por la competencia a nivel internacional. Tal subsidio ha permitido, y favorece el abuso del suelo y de los fertilizantes químicos, que trae consigo el degrado de las reglones rurales y por consiguiente alios han sabido aprovechar y producir el efecto de crear los excedentes de producción, con el consiguiente daño para los suelos y con el consiguiente beneficio del cual derivan. Buena parte de estos excedentes, del Programa de Ayuda Alimentaria han sido enviados en condiciones agravantes, a aquellos palses en vias de desarrollo, minando asi la politica agricola de las naciones beneficiarlas". Cierro las comillas y termino mis palabras. Sin comentarios.
LE PRESIDENT: Nous 8000 rivés á la fin d'un débat extrêmement intéressant sur un point très.important de notre o:our. Nous pouvons considérer que le Conseil félicite le PAM pour l'excellent travail quality pour fournir de l'aide alimentaire à plusieurs millions de personnes dans des conditions souvent très difficiles, qui souvent nécessitent un courage physique de la part du personnel du PAM.
Nous pouvons dire également que le Conseil s'est déclaré particulièrement préoccupé par l'Insuffisance des ressources alimentaires, pulsqu'au 31 décembre 1988, 65% seulement de l'objectif d'un milliard quatre cents millions de dollars a été atteint. Le Conseil s'associe à l'appel pressant lancé par le PAM pour que les pays développés maintiennent leurs efforts afin d'atteindre l'objectif de contribution de 1 500 millions de dollars pour la période 1991-92, objectif qui a été admis à l'unanimité par le CPA.
Le Conseil appuie le projet de résolution du CPA au Conseil et l’ECOSOC concernant l'objectif de production. Il souligne par ailleurs la nécessité évidente de renforcer la RAIU par tous les moyens. Nous avons eu l'occasion de noter que la RAIU se trouve à un niveau inférieur au niveau requis.
On peut souligner par ailleurs que le Conseil a noté avec préoccupation la baisse des engagements en faveur de l'Afrique sub-saharlenne enregistrée depuis trois ans. Il souligne son appui au maintien et au renforcement de l'aide alimentaire á l'Afrique sub-saharienne.
A cet égard, nous pouvons souligner que le Conseil a manifesté son intérêt pour que le PAM intervienne pour réduire les effets négatifs des programmes d'ajustement structurel sur l'accès des pauvres z á la nourriture.
Par ailleurs, le Conseil, d'une manière générale, tout en affirmant sa considération pour l'activité excellente du PAM, a souligné sa conviction que le rapport du CPA au Conseil de l’ECOSOC pourrait inclure des questions d'orientation, de politique d'aide alimentaire, et a noté avec satisfaction la disponibilité du Directeur exécutif du PAM pour étudier la question en vue de l'amélioration du contenu du rapport du CPA au Conseil pour l'avenir.
Enfin, je crois que je suis l'interprète de ce Conseil pour souligner que le Conseil a rappelé l'intérêt d'une coopération accrue et renforcée entre la FAO et le PAM dans l'intérêt des pays en voie de développement pour lesquels opèrent avec enthousiasme ces deux organisations. Il n'y a pas de doute que les activités de la FAO et du PAM sont particulièrement inter-dépendantes et militent en faveur d'une coopération privilégiée et préférentielle entre ces deux organisations.
Enfin, je peux dire que le Conseil approuve le quatorzième rapport annuel du CPA. Tous nos voeux accompagnent les deux organisations PAM et FAO pour le plus grand bien des pays du tiers monde.
C.B. HOUTMAN (Observer for Hetherlands): I would l'ike to make it very clear that my delegation is not working working under the instructions of any Secretariat, whether it be that of WFP, that of FAO, or any other. My delegation works only under the instructions of my Government, the Government of the Netherlands. We do however like both organizations-WFP and FAO-as is proved by the fact that the Netherlands is the third or fourth largest donor of WFP, and the third largest donor of FAO.
LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais en clôturant ce point remercier M. Ingram et ses collaborateurs pour leur participation significative à ce débat.
Le Président du Comité de rédaction me signale qu'il souhaiterait que nous puissions travailler le plus longtemps possible aujourd'hui, de façon à faciliter la tâche du Comité qui a encore beaucoup de travail à faire. Dans ces conditions, nous vous proposons de travailler aujourd'hui jusqu'à 19 heures. Cela permettrait au Comité de rédaction d'avancer son travail et cela faciliterait notre approbation du rapport vendredi.
Hannu HALINEN (Chairman, Drafting Committee): To facilitate the work of the Drafting Committee, it is highly desirable that every effort be made to conclude the items on the agenda today. The Committee will commence work immediately after the Plenary Session concludes, and will work as long as necessary tonight. The final part of the draft text upon which we will work will be ready tomorrow morning, or at the latest by noon, so that the Committee can be convened again tomorrow afternoon in order to finish its work by the end of the day. Plenary would have the whole day on Friday to consider the Council Report, and this will enable it to bring the Session to a conclusion on schedule and in a normal manner.
LE PRESIDENT: Nos travaux sont complémentaires. Nous avons constaté que les discussions au sein du Comité de rédaction étalent très soutenues et nous devons faciliter la tâche de ce Comité. C'est la raison pour laquelle je propose au Conseil de poursuivre ses activités jusqu'à 19 heures.
Avec votre permission, je proposerais au Docteur Lieber, Vice-Président de notre Conseil, de bien vouloir présider la suite des déllbérations, qui comporterait la suite de notre ordre du jour, et laisser pour la séance de demain matin le point 19 qui mérite toute une matinée.
Je demande au Docteur Lieber de bien vouloir présider la séance.
Gerhard Lieber, Vice-Chairman of the Council, took the chair
Gerhard Lieber, Vice-Président du Conseil, assume la présidence
Ocupa la presidencia Gerhard Lieber, Vicepresidente del Consejo
CHAIRMAN: For the first time during this Council we are actually behind schedule so I would ask speakers to be concise, because we have a long list of speakers.
B.P. DUTLA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): The document CL 95/2 together with Corr.1 for this agenda item review the current world food situation. The document for this agenda item largely focusses on the food situation, leaving discussion of other issues to the SOFA document that will be considered later this year.
The current world food situation, as Council has already noted during its discussion on some previous agenda items, is markedly different from the one that prevailed a year ago. Global stocks of cereals, vegetable oils, dairy products and sugar have been reduced, and food prices on international markets, which had fallen in real terms to their lowest levels in many years, have shown significant increases.
This marked reversal in the world food supply and security situations has arisen mainly because of natural events, although for some products policy changes have also been important. Droughts, floods, hurricanes and locust infestations severely hit many developing countries including Bangladesh in Asia and several countries in Africa and the Caribbean. In a global food security perspective, however, the protracted drought in North America had the most far-reaching impact. It led to heavy losses in crop yields on a planted area that already had been restricted by government programmes. The resulting heavy reduction in food output, coupled with small crops in some other developed regions, led to a stagnation in world food production in 1988, for the second consecutive year.
While prospects for this year are for a recovery in cereal production, its extent is still uncertain. However, this year's increase in production is not expected to permit an early replenishment of cereal stocks to more comfortable levels and to restore trend levels of consumption. Although much depends on the outcome of the crops that are still to be harvested in the remainder of this year a tight world food supply and security situation is likely to persist in 1989/90.
In the meantime, changes in world food markets are having contrasting implications. On the positive side, the strengthening in International prices of some agricultural commodities has benefited exporters. Higher prices are also likely to enhance farm incomes, reduce the fiscal burden of government farm support programmes and encourage production. In a longer perspective, the persistance of high international prices for food commodities may help restore competitiveness to production in those countries, where world market prices determine the returns to producers. In the short-run, however, many developing countries are experiencing the negative impact of the tighter food supply situation. Against the background of a continuing adverse external economic environment and economic difficulties, including heavy external debt burdens, the increase in international prices of cereals, as well as lower food aid availability, have posed difficult problems for many food deficit developing countries.
In this overall context, it has been fortunate that many developing countries recorded improved harvests in 1988, thus limiting the negative effects of the tighter global food supply situation. Food production in developing countries as a whole increased by 3.2% in 1988, leading to an increase of 1.2% in per capita food production. Recovery in production from the sharp 1987 decline in some countries in Asia was most pronounced. Africa also achieved a marked food production increase of 4 percent, following the setback of 1987. As a result, per capita food production increased or remained stable in 53% of the total number of reporting developing countries in 1988 compared to only 28% in the previous year. In the case of Africa, the per capita food production increased by almost 1 percent, but it still remained 7 percent below the regional average level of a decade ago.
Against the background of a vigorous expansion of total merchandise trade, agricultural trade was also buoyant in 1987, the latest year for which detailed estimates are currently available. World exports of fishery and, to a lesser extent forestry products, showed the most dynamic expansion, which mainly benefited developed countries and some Asian countries. Export earnings from agriculture, however, declined for a large majority of developing countries. Overall, out of a group of 117 developing countries, nearly two-thirds experienced declining export earnings from agriculture, compared to only 40 percent in 1986.
Complete trade data are not yet in for 1988, but it is expected that growth in the value of world agricultural trade, while showing less dynamism than trade in other sectors, will at least equal that of 1987. However, this growth will arise from increases in prices, rather than volumes, and in food and feed products, rather than in beverages and raw materials.
Nevertheless, a recovery in the terms of trade and purchasing power of agricultural exports is expected to have occurred in 1988, as prices exceeded the average levels of 1987 for a number of major trade-aid commodities. The main exceptions included cotton, cocoa and robusta coffee.
An important positive development has been that the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations, which became stalled at the mid term review at Montreal last December, got moving again in April. This has enabled the trade liberalization measures, already agreed, for tropical products to enter the implementation phase which has already been noted by Council in its discussion of some of the previous agenda items.
With regard to recent trends in external resource flows for food development, concessional multilateral commitments in 1987 rose considerably above the previous year's low figure. However, in real terms they were only slightly higher than the average of the previous three years. Non-concessional commitments fell in 1987, but from the exceptionally high level of 1986. Total multilateral commitments are estimated to have increased slightly in 1988, but their concessional component will be lower than in 1987. On the positive side, the recovery in concessional commitments to agriculture by the IDA in 1987 and 1988, and in the increase in the World Bank's total authorized capital, are expected to benefit investment in food and agriculture in the future. The ninth replenishment of IDA, negotiations on which have recently begun in earnest, will be an important element in determining concessional flows in the early 1990s. Also, the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development at its session on 6-7 June 1989 has set a level of 522.9 million dollars for the third replenishment for the period ending 30 June 1992. At the same time, new private external lending remains at very low levels, which, coupled with rising interest rates, has perpetuated the disquietening situation of reverse flow of resources from the indebted developing countries.
The document CL 95/2 contains also a review of trends in food availability. This review shows that in terms of per capita calorie supply, the nutritional gap between developed and developing regions has significantly narrowed during the past two decades. However, this gap still remains of the order of 900 calories per capita per day. Furthermore, the rate of growth in per capita calorie supply has markedly slowed during the difficult period of the 1980s in all developing regions except Asia, and has actually been negative in Africa. The number of undernourished people is also estimated to have considerably increased during the first half of the current decade, to well over 500 million people, but the proportion in relation to the total population has continued to decline. The exception is again Africa, where one out of three people is estimated to be undernourished, virtually the same proportion as in the early 1970s.
Gonzalo BULA HOTOS (Colombia) A los representantes de Colombia nos causa gran placer verlo a usted, distinguido colega y amigo Lieber, representante de ese gran país la República Federal de Alemania, dirigiendo nuestros trabajos esta tarde.
Como siempre el Doctor Dutia ha hecho una presentación excelentaDurante muchos años este punto ha sido el primer tema de fondo de que se ocupara el Consejo, esto era lógico porque de la consideración de la situación alimentaria mundial surgen elementos directamente relacionados con el Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial y el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto.
A estas alturas, Señor Presidente, pensamos que no tiene mucho sentido entrar a fondo en la discusión de este tema. Esto no es una crítica a nadie, ya que nosotros los miembros del Consejo somos responsables porque aprobamos el Proyecto de calendario que se sometió a nuestra consideración el lunes pasado; pero queremos decir que los representantes de Colombia pensamos que esa innovación ha dado resultados desfavorables y convendrá que en el futuro se vuelva al sistema original de que este punto sea el primero entre aquellos de fondo.
Los representantes de Colombia hemos atribuido gran importancia a este tema, por ello habíamos preparado nuestras notas para intervenir, 27 páginas, 27; las hemos reducido a 19, y hemos dejado aquellas que tienen mayor contenido tercermundista. Miramos el reloj, atendemos los llamados de los Presidentes del Consejo y del Comité de Redacción y solicitamos la venia suya, Señor Presidente, y del Consejo, para entregar este texto a la Secretaría y pedir que se incluyen las actas.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, Distinguished Delegate from Colombia, for your constructive proposal. May I remind you that there is always the possibility that you hand your statement over to the Secretariat, and the Secretariat will see that it will be put into the verbatim record.
Mohammad Salees KHAN (Pakistan): Before starting. I think my delegation would also like to share the view expressed by the Distinguished Ambassador from Colombia that we would have liked to see this document earlier on the agenda, perhaps in conjunction with the report of CFS. It would have facilitated things because there are so many commonalities between the items. It would have facilitated the discussion and helped us proceed more quickly on the agenda items.
Having said that, we thank the FAO for presenting us with a most realistic review of the current world food situation. We would also like to thank Mr. Dutia for his presentation. We note with considerable concern that after two years of low cereal production and decline in world cereal stocks, the currently estimated prospects for 1989 cereal crops also do not indicate an increase in overall production to the levels that would be required to restore trend consumption and to rebuild stocks to more adequate levels. It is heartening to note that food output in developing countries increased in per caput terms by 1.2 percent. However, this increase was not evenly spread, and 52 out of 110 developing countries failed to record any such increase. The increase of one percent in per caput food production recorded in Africa in 1988 was still 7 percent below its average per caput production a decade ago. Moreover, after a prolonged period of drought and locust infestation, African countries which had been able to harvest food crops found themselves with undisposable surpluses. This all presents quite a bleak situation. Equally disturbing is the rise in world cereal prices which forced developing countries to reduce imports of food to the detriment of their food security. Even after significant cutbacks in volumes of imports, in value terms the developing countries were required to foot increasingly large food bills, accounting for an extremely high or even increasing percentage of their total export earnings. For 1989/90 it is estimated that despite a small increase in cereal import volumes, the cost of imports for these countries is likely to increase by something like 40 percent.
On the other hand, while a vigorous increase of 11.1 percent in the value of agricultural trade has been reported, the agricultural exports of developing countries have been reported to have declined by one percent. Moreover, within this group of countries 6 percent of 117 developing countries are reported to have declining export earnings from agriculture. Needless to say, all the adverse factors, coupled with reductions in food aid reported in paragraph 39 and commitments in external financing for agriculture reported in paragraph 33, do not constitute a conducive atmosphere for ensuring food security in developing countries.
Despite repeated recognition of this dilemma, it is sad to note that little is being done to overcome the global economic crises which is eroding the vitality of developing nations. Third World countries continue to face problems, including crippling debt burdens, low levels of development assistance, reverse flow of resources, trade barriers, protectionism, low commodity prices, adverse terms of trade, and an inequitable international monetary system. The problems of developing countries have been exacerbated by the economic stabilization structural adjustment programme they are forced to undertake by international monetary and financial assistance agencies without accompanying relief on the above accounts.
It is distressing to note that the North-South dialogue to establish an equitable international economic order still remains unresolved. In this interdependent world, the destinies of North and South are closely linked. We hope, therefore, that the developed nations would be responsive to the needs to introduce urgent reforms to make the international economic system just and equitable and to provide increased net flow of development assistance, easier access to the markets of developed countries, stabilization of commodity prices, easing of the debt burden, and the creation of a more democratic international monetary system.
We are encouraged by the proposal made by the Group of 77 last year before a special session of the U.N. General Assembly devoted to the reactivation of economic growth and development of the developing countries has been adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, what we hope will be an historic session addressing itself comprehensively to the problems of development in Third World countries.
The U.N. General Assembly has also set in motion the process of formulating an international development strategy for the fourth U.N. Development Decade. We hope that this Strategy will promote economic development in a realistic and effective manner.
Finally, a few brief statistics about the food production situation in Pakistan. After two years of drought, we have been blessed by a good monsoon this year, and we estimate a wheat crop of 14.2 to 14.5 million tons. Although less than the target of 15 million tons, it will be considerably higher than the 12.7 million tons we produced in 1987/88. In the case of rice, we estimate a production of 3.2 million tons during 1988/89 as against 3.24 million tons during 1987/88. With the bumper wheat crop this year, we hope our imports will be confined to small quantities to beef up our other stock. I also have statistics on other minor crops. If these are required by the Secretariat I can provide them.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): We are appreciative of the Secretariat's efforts in producing the report which provides a very useful and precise description of the features of the present world food situation. We share FAO's concern at the present tight global food supply situation and the low level of cereal stocks which has resulted from the severe North American drought and poor international trading conditions. Our view is that the tight supply of grains and other commodity markets is a consequence of producers adjusting to the previous seven years of very poor international trading conditions. Adjustment has been by allowing stocks to run down and by,not increasing investment in capacity. Relatively high interest rates have contributed to the adjustment by making stocks expensive to hold and new investment expensive to finance. We therefore expect markets to hold their price gains for some time. We would expect that world production of food should recover over the next few years because of firmer prices and would hope that countries can rebuild stocks purposefully to more adequate levels.
Finally, I refer to the suggestion made by the Distinguished Delegate of Colombia regarding the ordering of our agenda and joining the Committee on Food Security discussion to it. Our colleague always makes interesting proposals, and I am pleased on this occasion that I can agree with him.
Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Señor Presidente, de acuerdo con su solicitud de brevedad, hecha como Presidente de esta sesión de la tarde, permítame saludarlo con respeto y satisfacción, expresándole que acataremos, por justo, su pedido. En primer lugar, nos unimos al planteamiento de la distinguida Delegación de Colombia, en relación a la Orden del Día sobre este punto 4. De acuerdo con esto, y teniendo en cuenta que en nuestra intervención de la sesión inaugural de este 952 Consejo reflejamos temas que además de estar muy relacionados inciden muy directamente.sobre este importante aspecto de situación actual de la alimentación en el mundo, y en aras de evitar repeticiones, no vamos a hacer referencia a aspectoe planteados, pero sí dejar por sentado que están implícitos también en este punto, pues ellos son reflejo de cuestiones cruciales, tanto para el presente y para el futuro de la FAO como para nuestros pueblos, que con mil sacrificios se esfuerzan por salir del subdesarrollo, teniendo en cuenta que la FAO debe constituir factor catalizador en estos acuciantes problemas, en búsqueda de soluciones a la crítica situación actual de la alimentación en el mundo.
La Delegación de Cuba ha estudiado con sumo interés el documento preparado por la Secretaría y presentado de manera tan completa y clara por el Sr. Dutia. Consideramos que se trata de un documento actualizado, que refleja de manera clara y precisa los elementos más importantes de la economía mundial y, en particular, de la situación de la agricultura y la alimentación en los momentos actuales. En 1988, la producción mundial de alimentos estuvo por debajo del consumo, y solamente gracias a las existencias acumuladas de años anteriores, en que se obtuvieron cosechas excepcionales, se pudo abastecer la demanda. De otra parte, las perspectivas de la producción de cereales de 1989 no son tan favorables para esperar un cambio en esas tendencias ni consecuentemente, una reposición adecuada de las existencias. Las propias informaciones de la FAO nos indican que el año agrícola 1989/90 ha comenzado con unas existencias que significan solamente el 16 por ciento de la tendencia del consumo, lo cual representa la producción más baja desde la crisis de la década del 70. En las publicaciones "Perspectivas alimentarias" número 3, de 1989, se nos informa que los suministros mundiales de cereales seguirán siendo escasos en 1989/90, en particular respecto al trigo y al arroz. Suponiendo condiciones climáticas normales para el resto de la temporada en producción de cereales no aumentará este año en las medidas necesarias para restablecer la normalidad del consumo y reponer las existencias hasta los niveles mínimos requeridos para la seguridad alimentaria mundial.
Esta situación se repite constantemente, y usted conoce, Sr. Presidente, que la llamada crisis alimentaria no es un fenómeno correspondiente a los últimos años, aunque la profunda crisis económica actual contribuya a acentuarla. Y en particular los problemas derivados de la deuda externa y del rápido aumento de los tipos reales de interés, el endeudamiento, las deformaciones de las modalidad es de comercio y el proceso inflacionario han provocado en los países en desarrollo una creciente escasez de recursos que le impiden sufragar su desarrollo.
La transferencia neta de recursos de los países en desarrollo a los países subdesarrollados es realmente dramática en nuestra región de América Latina y el Caribe. El impacto de la crisis económica ha traído como consecuencia estancamientos de su crecimiento, no sólo en los campos de la producción y el comercio, sino que incluye también las repercusiones sociales derivadas de tal contradicción. En tal sentido, la Delegación de Cuba considera que la situación de la crisis actual exige de la comunidad internacional respuestas que tiendan a encontrar un desarrollo permanente que garantice el derecho alimentario de cada pueblo, efectuando una distribución más equitativa de los recursos de que se dispone.
Amador VELASQUEZ (Péru): En primer lugar, señor Presidente, le expresamos nuestra satisfacción de verlo presidiendo esta sesión de la tarde. Agradecemos la presentación de la Secretaría y la presentación del Sr. Dutia. Deseo expresar que estamos de acuerdo con lo señalado por el distinguido Delegado de Colombia, en el sentido de que no ha sido del todo acertado el cambio que se introdujo en el tratamiento de este tema; es decir, tratar de retornar en próximas oportunidades a su consideración junto al tema de seguridad alimentaria.
Sin embargo, debo manifestar, un poco paradójicamente, la complacencia para el Perú, porque en este caso excepcional nos da la oportunidad de aprovechar el tema para exponer asuntos que debíamos haber tocado en el tema de seguridad alimentaria, del que todos ustedes saben por qué no pudimos intervenir. Por eso, lamentablemente, no puedo seguir el ejemplo del distinguido Delegado de Colombia y de otros que me han precedido en el uso de la palabra; pero, haciendo caso de su llamado sobre lo avanzado de la hora, trataré de ser lo más conciso posible. Haré una pequeña referencia a siete párrafos del documento. Pero, antes de comenzar con el tema concreto, quiero pedir disculpas también a la Presidencia y a los colegas del Consejo, porque la Delegación de Peru hará uso, en el legítimo sentido de la palabra, de este tema para hacer un llamado internacional, cumpliendo instrucciones precisas. Por eso es que debe usted haber recibido en este momento, señor Presidente, un cuadro fotocoplado, al que me referiré en esta exposición.
Teniendo en cuenta, pues, señor Presidente y señores Delegados, la realidad expuesta en la intervención que sobre el tema 6 tuvimos, haciendo un recuento simbólico de la situación de crisis en el Peru, así como la alusión o referencia que al respecto hicimos en el tema 10, esperamos la comprensión de este Consejo para que apoye un llamado internacional de emergencia que permita la obtención urgente de 160 000 toneladas métricas de alimentos, para que el Per dé de comer en el segundo semestre de este año, que se inicia dentro de una semana, a su población pobre, que llega a 7 200 000 habitantes, de la cual 1 600 000 ha sido considerada de alta vulnerabilidad.
La situación de la alimentación en el mundo, que nos revela objetivamente el documento CL 95/2, es contundente y no deja lugar a dudas. Si bien los precios internacionales de los cereales se han reforzado considerablemente, lo que podría ser, en efecto, un incentivo para mejorar la producción a corto plazo y a continuación cito entre comillas "constituye un golpe devastador para muchos países con déficit de alimentos que se encuentran con dificultades en la balanza de pagos y unas necesidades crecientes de importación de alimentos."
En el párrafo 12 del documento se identifica a pie de página al Perú como uno de los dieciseis paises que registraron situaciones de emergencia alimentaria recientemente; vale decir en abril de este año, lo que no implica que haya terminado. De otro lado, en el párrafo 14 se señala que la producción pesquera de los países en desarrollo aumentará en un 4 por ciento, debido sobre todo a la recuperación en América del Sur, y particularmente de Chile y del Perú. Nos agradaría decir que ello obedece a otro tipo de causas, pero se debe a que, felizmente, no se han repetido los problemas creados por la corriente del Niño causante de daños en otras oportunidades.
Por tales razones, sin ignorar, sino más bien basándonos en el informe CL 95/2, que podrían resumirse en que la producción total de alimentos no alcanzará los niveles necesarios y que la escasez de suministros persistirá. Es pues, repito, por ello, que mi país no encuentra foro ni tema más apropiado y ad hoc que éste para reiterar su llamado de solidaridad internacional. Las mismas estimaciones de la FAO proyectan un descenso de 3,3 millones de toneladas con respecto a la ayuda alimentaria en cereales 1988/89. Los envíos de ayuda alimentaria serán los más bajos desde 1983/84 y no llegarán a los 10 millones de toneladas establecidos por la Conferencia Mundial de Alimentación de 1974. No obstante, insistimos con cierta esperanza, porque todavía las 9,8 toneladas proyectadas serán superiores al mínimo de 7,6 toneladas de cereales fijadas en el Convenio sobre la Ayuda Alimentaria por lo que, en caso de que este llamado fuera encontrado, y lo comprenderíamos eventualmente, como poco ortodoxo para foros como éste, pido se permita por lo menos, Sr. Presidente, la circulación oficial del Cuadro Revelador, actualizado al 20 de mayo de este año, que identifica, y que usted tiene a la mano, nuestras necesidades alimentarias, muy pero muy urgentes, las mismas que como verá llegan a 210 000 toneladas pero de las cuales ya la AID de Estados Unidos, el PMA, la Comunidad Económica Europea, Francia e Italia se han hecho presentes, reduciendo parcialmente dicho monto a las 160 000 ahora faltantes y de las cuales solamente 90 000 corresponden a cereales. Yo, de nuevo agradezco, Sr. Presidente, la comprensión, reitero las disculpas y esperamos una atención favorable a nuestro planteamiento en este tema que obviamente hubiera sido más propio en el de seguridad alimentaria pero que agradecemos la comprensión por haberlo tocado ahora.
CHAIRMAN: I thank the distinguished delegate of Peru. I listened with great care to your appeal. The Secretariat will certainly be ready to discuss with you, somewhat more in depth, what you have told us in your statement. Be assured that also the potential donors here in the room have listened quite carefully, and that your appeal will be heard within the measure of the possible.
Karl W. WEYBRECHT (Canada): We would like to express our pleasure at seeing you in the Chair. I would also like to thank Mr. Dutia for his introduction to this item. Along with others I would like to express my support to the point made earlier by the distinguished delegate of Colombia on the ordering of this particular agenda item.
Mr Chairman, we find the documents produced under this item to be a fairly concise and an accurate perspective on the global food situation. We note that food production in the developing market economies has shown some positive development, although growth in production has been uneven in regions and between regions.
The paper also highlights the sharp reduction in cereal production in North America caused by adverse climatic conditions, and the impact that this has had on global food supply conditions. We are in agreement with preliminary production forecasts for wheat and coarse grain production in 1989 as set out in the document. We agree that the recovery is dependent on continuation of normal weather conditions for the balance of the growing season. The current cereals outlook in Canada for the 1989/90 crop year is positive. Rain in the first half of June has further improved moisture conditions in most areas. If weather conditions hold in the major growing areas, the wheat crop could increase by 66% over 1988 to reach 26 million tons. Our coarse grain production may rise approximately 10% to over 21 million tons. This increase in production is a result of improved growing conditions and market prices, and not the result of any specific policies to stimulate increased production.
Some rebuilding of stocks is likely in 1989/90 in North America, and in particular for coarse grain. Cereal stock in Canada will increase from the extremely low levels of the 1988/89 period if yields are to be above average in 1989. However, because of the extremely low 1989/90 carry-over levels, our exports will not likely be able to reach the 1987/88 export levels in the coming years. With respect to fishery production, reference is made to increases in fish catches in Canada in 1988. Recently, however, scientific evaluation of the level has indicated lower level of stocks than originally estimated for some species such as Northern Cod. Authorized catches for such stocks may be lowered to protect future resource viability. Overall catches of fish by Canada are likely to continue to be of the same magnitude as in recent years. Reference has been made on many occasions in this Council to the Urguguay Round of trade negotiations. Canada attaches importance to improvements in the international trading environment in agricultural products, and with others has been seeking reform in the international trading system. The agreement worked out in April in Geneva of a framework for agriculture in the MΓΝ represents significant progress.
Assefa YILALA (Ethiopia): The Ethiopia delegation would like to express its pleasure in seeing you chairing the Council this afternoon, and we thank Mr Dutia for his comprehensive introduction.
The document before us indicates that the global food production has fallen below the aggregate consumption level for the second consecutive year mainly due to the drought in North America. This reduction in food production has also become a cause for increases in the food prices, thus adding to the difficulties of food deficit countries that are forced to import a reduced volume of food than in the previous year because the prospect for increasing resources so as to even by maintain the same level is not possible.
The same effect is also reflected in the food aid programmes. In examining the per caput food production we notice that 52 developing countries had a negative rate of change, which means that their additional requirement has to be met through importation. We therefore feel that the international community will have to use a cautious approach in maintaining the prices of food in order to at least maintain the nutritional intake at the existing level, which is precarious and below the acceptable level.
Even in those countries where the per caput food production rate of change is positive, we see that the food requirement is higher than the production. In Ethiopia, for example,the percentage rate of change in per caput food production is positive even though at a bare minimum. But the gap between food requirement and food production comes to about half a million or a little over half a million tons without accounting for the needs of about one million refugees and some displaced persons. The gap between the required consumption level and actual food production is much more severe than has been pointed out in the document. We feel that the mention of food production recovery without its relationship to the actual requirement might not be reflective of the actual situation, and we feel that it will have repercussions on the food flow.
Therefore, I would like to indicate that a mention of this relationship in future reporting will improve the practicality of the report. In this connection I would like to mention that the donor community will need to see the report in the light of the relationship that I have attempted to explain in the consideration of their food aid provisions. In stating this, let me admit that the food shortage situation is pointed out in paragraphs 12 and 13, even though in isolation with the recovery that was indicated previously.
Looking at the food trade changes, Table 5, we noticed that changes in both imports and exports were negatively directed for Africa and Latin America, and in most cases a continuation of the previous period. This negative trend in world agricultural trade is in some way indicative of the unhealthy situation that will require the attention of the International community.
In paragraph 35 of the document we observe that Africa's share of capital, assistance, commitment steadily increased in response to the acute financing needs of the region as articulated by the UN Programme of Action for Africa's Economic Recovery and Development. We feel that this is a very positive development, and we would like to thank all of those who contributed towards this positive effort. We would, however, like to see some more details that would assist us in analysing this situation and direct the attention of the international community towards areas that will require more attention.
Paragraph 53 of the document refers to incidence of undernourishment in areas increasing to a total of 512 million, of which the proportion of the undernourishment incidence is considerably higher than in Africa. While our belief is firm in the complete elimination of undernourishment incidences, focusing the attention of the international community according to requirements will also require equally as much firmness.
The document outlines very clearly the prevailing food production difficulties without any reference to possible measures to remedy the situation. Therefore, we feel that some proposals that will assist in improving this situation along with the reporting of the food situation would improve the deliberations of the Council.
Having said that, we want to state that we are fully convinced that the document before us deserves our support and endorsement.
Finally, I would like to share the views expressed by the Ambassador of Colombia at the beginning of the Session with regard to handling the current world food situation because of its bearing on subsequent discussions and conclusions.
Zhenhuan LI (China) (original language Chinese): The Chinese delegation is pleased to see you presiding over the discussion this afternoon. We would like to thank Mr. Dutia for his precise introduction.
Over the past two years the world food situation has undergone another change for the worse, which is a source of grave concern. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that cereal production has declined by 3 percent for two consecutive years. The world per caput food production has decreased by about 30 kg and a greater production has been registered in the actual per caput availability in developing countries. The global food stock has fallen below the security level, which is an unprecedented phenomenom Although the decline in global food production occurred in a few countries, as shown in the various statistical tables, yet its repercussions are of a global nature.
Facts have proved very convincingly that in order to meet the basic needs of mankind it is the common responsibility of all countries, be they developed or developing, to actively develop food agricultural production. In this respect I wish to make a few comments.
Firstly, food and agricultural development should always be accorded priority. During recent years many developing countries have adopted a series of policy adjustment measures designed to give top priority to food and agricultural production in their national economic development. They have effectively achieved growth in their food production. This has had a favourable bearing on efforts to stabilize the food situation in the world in general and in developing countries in particular. However, given, among other things, financial and technical restraints, the huge potential of developing countries in food and agricultural production has not yet been fully tapped. It is our hope that the International community can duly recognize this fact.
Secondly, it is essential to create an international economic environment conducive to the solution of problems in the food and agriculture field. The problem of food in the world is not an isolated issue. It has never been so closely related to the overall social and economic development and international economic environment as it is today.
Agricultural development in the world, particularly in the developing countries, is restrained to a large extent by prevailing external debt, trade and other problems. Therefore, we believe that joint efforts and concerted actions on the part of various countries are needed to overcome unfavourable external factors in order to promote food and agricultural development in the world.
Thirdly, the international economic cooperation technical transfer in the food and agricultural field should be further enhanced as it is an important way to promote agricultural development in the world, in the developing countries in particular. While we are very pleased to note that certain progress has been made in this field in recent years, efforts are still required to explore various means of effective technical and financial transfer.
I wish to recall here a well known fact, namely, in recent years external assistance has been decreasing and food aid is on the decline. This fact has caused us concern.
In conclusion, I would like to give a brief account of our situation in China. In 1988 China's cereal production was 2.2 percent less than the previous year. In order to redress the stagnation in food production the government has adopted this year a series of practical measures. They include, in addition to continuing rural reform, considerably increasing financial and technical input, raising cereal purchase prices and expanding the acreage sowed in cereal crops. The summer crops are doing better now than last year, offering promise of increase in the total production for this year if there are no unexpected calamities. China will continue to make its due contribution to world food security.
CHAIRMAN: Before I give the floor to the next speaker from Thailand I would like to explain to you in a few words where we stand. As far as item 4 is concerned, I have ten speakers on my list. The speakers on my list are: Thailand, Japan, Hungary, Nicaragua, Finland, the Federal Republic of Germany, Kenya, Korea, the United States and Spain. To help the Drafting Committee, I plan that we finish, in addition to agenda item 4 tonight, agenda item 20, which has three sub items, at least two of which should not take very long to conclude as they are for information. We have interpretation until seven o'clock so that is the limit of time for our Session. I therefore renew my appeal for brevity, and I would mention that the only Observer that we have on our speakers' list, the distinguished Observer from the EEC, has kindly offered to submit his remarks in writing to the Secretariat. I hope that that will be a good example to us all.
Mrs. Marasee SURAKDL (Thailand): First of all I would like to thank Mr. Dutia for his lucid introduction. My delegation would like to submit to this Council a brief comment on document CL 95/2. My delegation regrets to note that food aid in cereals in 1988 and 1989 will be 3.3 million tons lower than the previous season, as indicated in paragraph 39. This information confirms a phenomenon of food aid that we have observed before, which is that the food aid is always reduced in the year when the recipient countries need it more. It seems to us that some donor countries use food aid as a vehicle for disposal of their surpluses, and we hope that our observation of this will be noted. In this connection, my delegation would like to suggest that food aid should not be only the disposal vehicle of surpluses of some donor countries, but should be required to help the needy people in the recipient countries.
Norboru SAITO (Japan): My delegation, first of all, would like to present our compliments to the Secretariat for the excellent preparation of the document before us, CL 95/2, and we appreciate the comprehensive brief on the current world food situation made by Mr. Dutia. I am pleased to say that we are in principle in agreement with the contents of the document. However, I would like to make the following specific comments:
World agricultural production in 1988 has marked a decline for two consecutive years and the cereal produce will be one billion 700 million tons because of severe drought in Northern American countries in addition to the set-aside policy adopted by major cereal producers. World cereal stocks at the end of 1988-89 are forecast to be at the level of 16 percent of world consumption volume, which is less than the minimum level, 17-18 percent, indicated by FAO from the viewpoint of world food security. Although the production estimate of rice in 1989 is not yet made, those of wheat and coarse grains show 1 billion 600 million tons. That means an 11 percent increase from the last years' one billion 200 million tone due to the increased cropping by major producers, providing that weather is favourable. But this production increase is not estimated to be enough to replenish the world stocks.
It therefore seems that more production increase is required from the viewpoint of world food security. My country anticipates that flexible measures will be taken reflecting the world supply and demand situation so that the short-term production increase is only for the recovery of world cereal stocks to the necessary level and should not bring about structural changes of production which will lead to perpetual surplus of production on a medium-to-long-term basis.
My country fully recognizes the importance of the need to study and analyse the various factors affecting world food supply and demand. There are uneven and unforeseeable factors, such as policy changes in main producing and consuming countries, fluctuation of production owing to climate changes, increase in demand in developing countries due to a rise in the population and/or income. We expect that related fora in FAO, such as the Committee on World Food Security, the Committee on Agriculture, and Commodity Committees, will cooperate to complement with each other and carry out their roles efficiently and effectively, because we believe that FAO is the most suitable and capable organization having all of those studying and analysing capacities necessary to darry out these tasks.
My country believes it is important that, in order to solve food problems in developing countries, food-deficit developing countries should really place their priorities in the food and agriculture field, and adopt and implement the strategy including policies and social systems to guarantee that producers ensure results commensurate with their efforts. From this viewpoint, Japan believes it is essential that these developing countries should implement comprehensive rural development programmes, including agrarian reform policies aimed at medium and small scale farmers, as well as improving production methods and disseminating agricultural technologies. My country has been executing and will continue to promote financial and technical assistance through bilateral and multilateral channels in order to support those self-reliance efforts.
The FAO Secretariat forecasts that food aid volume in 1988-89 will decrease to 9.8 million tons, the lowest level in the last six years. On the other hand, some countries request the use of their surplus crops which come from last year's good harvest for the food assistance items. Recognizing the importance of food aid as a short-term measure for food-deficit developing countries, Japan has been carrying out food aid on bilateral and multilateral bases, and actively conducting triangular transactions for this purpose.
Finally, my delegation highly appreciates the FAO activities on food and agriculture information such as the Global Information and Early Warning System. I think those activities help us execute aid timely and smoothly.
lstávn DOBOCZKY (Hungary): All the factors which are characteristic of the present world food situation have been comprehensively summed up in the excellent paper before us, presented by Mr. Dutia. This document points out the serious facts which have already been considered at the World Food Security Session-that the food situation of the world is very fragile. There is a necessity to increase food production, to stabilize and improve the sensitive balances on the international food markets, and to enhance the access of food to the needy in a way which is timely and appropriate.
The increase of food production needs not only technicological developments, but it includes improvements of economic environment in the country as well.
The adjustments in my country's agricultural policies have to be mentioned in this respect. It has been called for by both our accumulated troubles affecting the national economy as a whole, and the need which has been manifested towards it. Our efforts have been led by the intention to develop food production conditions, and at the same time to work hard on creating better living conditions for our agricultural producers. We are to mobilize both internal and external resources, subordinating them to these objectives. Subsequently, it is our firm intention to give the green light to productive enterprises.
Permit me to note that Hungary has very early become a partner in drastic cuts in agricultural subsidies, in an effort to promote International convention. We have practically set some of the principal objectives of GATT to ourselves at a time when a global agreement could not yet successfully be completed. As an example, I may mention the revision of the system of custom-tariffs, from which we expect a sizeable reduction of levies on agricultural products in Hungary. We believe that this policy would prove to be of benefit for all of us. My country is trying to do her best for the benefit of all developing countries as well.
Mauricio CUADRA SCHULTZ (Nicaragua): Nos complace, Señor Presidente, verlo presidiendo los trabajos en esta tarde. Agradecemos al señor Dutia por su presentación.
Nuestra delegación, Señor Presidente, está de acuerdo con lo expresado por nuestro colega, el Embajador Bula Hoyos de Colombia, en cuanto al orden de presentación de este tema; sin embargo, ya que en nuestro país la comida, cuando hay, no se puede repetir, en palabras vamos a hacer algunas repeticiones en esta tarde.
Vamos a limitar nuestra intervención y entregaremos después el texto a la Secretaría.
Ha quedado claro, Señor Presidente, a lo largo de nuestros debates la precaria situación que atraviesa la Humanidad en cuanto a la alimentación y a la agricultura, y esta situación es de particular preocupación para los países en desarrollo, cuya dependencia del suministro de alimentos agrava la situación social existente con resultados explosivos que provocan la desesperación de sus poblaciones hambrientas, llegando a situaciones explosivas imposibles de controlar, muchas de las cuales hemos podido testificar en estos últimos meses en países latinoamericanos.
Vemos que se han señalado causas climatológicas, huracanes, inundaciones, sequías y otras; sin embargo, creemos que las causas principales del problema no sólo subsisten, sino que se acentúan haciendo la situación mucho más difícil para los países en desarrollo. Subsiste la situación de injusticia en la distribución internacional de 1 os recursos, y la deuda externa continua agobiando a nuestros países frenando toda posibilidad de salida; los programas de ajuste continúan siendo un arma de doble filo que al final han terminado agravando la situación de muchos países; en fin, subsiste esta injusta relación en general en los términos de intercambio internacionales.
Al proteccionismo, la enorme deuda externa y a todas estas condiciones que existen, nuestro país debe agregar el bloqueo económico y financiero que se nos impone, y la injusta guerra de agresión que sufrimos por parte de la mayor potencia de nuestro continente. Esta situación, cuya cifra en números y daño ha sido de sobra dado a conocer a este honorable Consejo, vamos a no mencionarla en esta ocasión. Incluso esta situación ha merecido la condena de organismos internacionales, entre ellos la Corte Internacional de Justicia de La Haya. Nicaragua sigue colocada en una situación de déficit permanente cuando podría ser un país no solamente autosuficiente, sino un país exportador. Con esta situación se nos destruyen nuestras capacidades no sólo de producir más, sino nuestra capacidad de ayudar a nuestros hermanos vecinos colaborando en la producción y compartiendo algunos de nuestros excedentes en Centroamérica. Esta injusta relación afecta obviamente a otros países vecinos, con lo cual Nicaragua demanda, Señor Presidente, el cese del bloqueo y la agresión que vendría a contribuir fundamentalmente a la paz de los pueblos centroamericanos.
A nuestra delegación preocupa además, Señor Presidente, que por encima de esta injusticia que subsiste, se nos presenta la reducción de los Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria, sobre todo a poblaciones de bajos ingresos. Creemos que esta situación, junto con el incremento de los precios de los alimentos va a ser sumamente explosiva y a incrementar las dificultades en el futuro próximo. Es necesario, por tanto, Señor Presidente, que se recomiende un esfuerzo especial por mantener los programas de emergencia alimentaria, ya que si la tendencia negativa persiste y las injustas condiciones económicas y tecnológicas no se van a resolver de un día para otro, estos programas se tornan vitales para aliviar las necesidades alimentarias de grandes masas de población en el mundo. Insistimos, sin embargo, que la solución pasa por la adopción de medidas estructurales que corrijan de una vez por todas las desigualdades existentes.
Para nuestro país sigue siendo prioritario, Señor Presidente, el fin de la guerra de agresión y el bloqueo que destruye principalmente nuestra capacidad productiva. Nosotros creemos que sin paz no hay desarrollo, que sin paz no hay alimentación, y que la guerra acaba con lo más preciado de nuestro patrimonio que es la vida de nuestros pueblos.
Finalmente, Señor Presidente, habiendo tenido quien habla el honor de representar a mi país por más de cinco años ante el pueblo peruano, quisiera apoyar y solidarizarme con el llamado de ayuda de este pueblo hermano y dejar patente la solidaridad de Nicaragua con el Perú en esta situación particular que atraviésalo
Leo GRANBERG (Finland): I wish to thank Mr. Dutia for his clear introduction, and the Secretariat for the interesting document before us. The topics in this document are of crucial importance and fit especially well into the basic role of FAO. In this connection my delegation wishes only to underline the need to analyse both short-term and long-term prospects of agricultural and food production and markets. Therefore, we welcome the information given under Item 11 about the planned activities of FAO concerning the issue of possible climatic changes. We are looking forward to being further informed on this issue in the future.
Having said this, I shall give the next delegate the.opportunity to speak, following the example of the delegate of Colombia and other previous speakers who left their written texts with the Secretariat.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your help and your comprehension.
Bernd von SYDOW (Germany, Federal Republic of): In line with other speakers before me I should like to express my appreciation at seeing you in the chair, Sir. (laughter)
My delegation thanks Mr Dutia for his introduction. We very much appreciate the document which is most analytical and informative. The document gives us an update of the current world food situation. Due to last years drought in North America, the situation on the world grain markets has fundamentally changed compared to previous years. Rising prices and declining stocks as a consequence of the reduction in production mean on the one hand production incentives for the producer, but on the other hand they mean problems for the food deficit countries, especially for low-income population groups in these countries.
We note with satisfaction that many countries in Africa are producing surplusses which can be exported to other deficit countries in the region. In our vie in the coming years an important task for national and international agricultural policies will be to stabilise the production levels in these countries. This can only be achieved if producers in these countries have stable access to export markets. Parallel to that, however, is the need for increasing the income capacity of those sections of the population which presently have no adequate access to food. In this respect, it is absolutely necessary to give the highest priority to the development of rural areas where the vast majority of the poor in developing countries live. Efforts in this direction, of course, would make a greater impact when the current rate of population growth in many countries can be reduced.
Daniel D.C. DON NANJIRE (Kenya): I want to assure everyone who may be apprehensive as to how long I am going to speak that I intend this time to be very brief. I hope that will please many, including the Secretariat, on the understanding that the full text from my delegation will be reproduced in the verbatim documents. I think this is a very good way out of this situation.
Like the delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany I am very happy to see you in the Chair, Mr Chairman, and I hope that you feel in excellent form, as I do. I also hope that all of us are prepared to meet after 7 o'clock so we can finish everything and then relax a little. This has been a very tight session, and I hope that the Drafting Committee will be able to finish its work. They can work until tomorrow morning actually, nd there will be no problem. Then they will be free on Friday. That is all I have to say. I thank you, Mr Chairman, for the opportunity. I look forward to seeing the text from my delegation in the verbatim report tomorrow-I see that a member of the Secretariat is nodding, so I think that is acceptable.
The item for our discussion now is the first item that we had planned to talk about when this session of the Council began its deliberations last week. That was going to be the best procedure following Council tradition, since the item actually covers all the items on the agenda of the session, and by speaking on it at the end of the Session it is inevitable that we shall repeat many of the points already raised while deliberating on other items.
Be this as it may, the current world food and agricultural situation is fraught with many fluctuations, tight food supplies, and the like. As we have said before, one of the ways of improving the current state of food and agriculture in the world is to increase resource flows to the agricultural sector of the developing countries. This would help arrest the decline and/or stagnation in food and agricultural production, including cereal production in the developing countries. Actions and policies intended to deny access of the traditional export crops of the developing nations to the international market should be removed.
I have already spoken about the food and agricultural situation of Africa and the measures required to improve it. We hope that the international community and FAO will continue to assist and increase their financial and other necessary supports to the African governments to supplement the efforts of these countries to increase the living conditions of the African peoples.
Likewise, I have touched on the experience of the Kenya Government in tackling some of the problems relating to the food and agricultural situation in Kenya. His Excellency President Danial Arap Moi of the Republic of Keny has initiated institutional and administrative measures which have gone a long way in alleviating Kenya's development problems. These measures include the establishment of the Permanent Commission for Soil Conservation and Afforestation which, inter alia, reviews legislation on soil and water conservation, afforestation and flood controls.
Creation of a Presidential Commission on a Tree Planting Fund in February, 1985 in order to involve all Kenyans in public and private sectors to contribute toward financing tree-planting projects. According to the presidential directive, tree nurseries have to be maintained by chiefs and sub-chiefs and for every tree cut down must be replaced by the planting of five (5) trees.
The Forestry Department in the Environment and Natural Resources Ministry campaigns for increased planting of indigenous trees. Similarly, the President has initiated anti-soil erosion campaigns throughout the country which terrace farms, irrigate schemes and construct water catchment dams especially in arid and semi-arid regions of the country.
Creation of the National Water Conservation and Pipeline Corporation in September, 1988 and creation on May 1, 1989 of a new ministry of arid and semi-arid lands and reclamation of marginal lands.
Thus, as you can see, Mr Chairman our President has shown and continues to exert every effort and determination to protect and conserve the environment as well as to attain increased food and agricultural production in marginal areas of Kenya. These efforts have earned him awards of international distinction and recognition. He, with the other Heads of State of East Africa, became founding fathers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Drought and Development (IGADD) which was created several years ago by the UN to serve the East African countries of Djibout i, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda.
From the severe and protracted drought of 1983-84. fortunately and thanks to the kindness of mother nature, and the determined efforts of our President and my Governement, the problems of that drought were overcome within a short period of time, and now Kenya maintains an exportable surplus in coarse grains, with more than 2.9 million tons of maize, and about 500 000 tons of grain bean; and with an expected surplus of over 660 000 tons, we have an exportable surplus in white maize, amounting to 350 000 tons. We shall, however, need up to 164 000 tons of wheat, and 46 700 tons of rice, the bulk of which we hope could be covered through commodity food aid arrangements.
Our Projections for the 1990s are as follows:
Maize: 1 600 000 hectares, with a production of 3 360 000 tons;
Wheat: 160 000 hectares producing 342 000 tons;
Rice: 19 000 hectares producing 57 000 tons; and
Beans: 560 000 hectares producing about 500 000 tons.
It should be noted, however, that Kenya's situation is not all that predictable, since historically Kenya undergoes a 5 to 10 year cyclic weather phenomenom, with drought following years of abundance. Kenya is not alone in this uncertain situation as most of the sub-Saharan Africa experiences similar, unpredictable weather conditions.
As I have said before, the food and agriculture situation of the world can only be improved through concerted national and international action. To succeed in the effective cooperation of the international community in improving the food and agricultural situation, certain conditions have to be met. These include the following.
First, there must be consultation, collaboration, and coordination of efforts of all concerned-governments and international secretariats alike; scarce resources must never be wasted. Information must be shared by all and for good ends only.
Second, governments should adopt policies which will only accelerate the implementation processes of the decisions that they adopt in international fora.
Third, harmful agricultural policies should be avoided. Strings and cundltional it les attached to structural policies or pricing policies of commodities will not help alleviate the economic problems of the majority of the international community members.
Thus, protectionist policies will not help, for example, attain increased food and agricultural production in developing nations. To do this, it is essential to remove the protectionist policies of some of the industrialized nations; evolve sound food and agricultural policies at national, regional and international levels to give farmers incentives to produce more food; encourage self-reliance in food production; formulate and apply sound soil and water conservation besides afforestation policies; use of food aid only as an instrument for development; devise efficient and effective early warning mechanisms to help especially developing nations to monitor crop prospects, crop movements and their supply situation, and to deter negative trends and gather, analyse and disseminate the necessary information. The FAO early warning system has been quite effective.
Fourth, economic and technical cooperation, including in science, research and technology development among the developing nations should be enhanced in the food and agricultural sector. Similarly, the use of traditional foods should be stepped up. To this end, the observations and recommendations of the secretariat document CL 95/10 are well-taken, and should be translated into concrete action.
Fifth, offer every support, financial, material and other support, to enable FAO to carry out its mandate competently. Policies and ideas, no matter how good they may be, are useless until and unless they are translated into action.
Sixth and especially in Africa, there is need to:
Develop, and coordinate fisheries, as well as elevate and prioritize even more fish production with the assistance of FAO and other concerned International agencies to increase training and other capacities.
Reduce post-harvest losses through the increase of storage processing, transport and credit facilities to farmers, especially the small-scale farmers who need technology transfers and financial assistance. Again, FAO could play a major role in strengthening the fisheries sector through manpower training and studies to help African aquaculture, etc.
Identify markets for foods that fit the changing demographics and lifestyles of society.
Agro-industries can be among the best markets for farmers. Agro-industries can display imports and thereby help in the resolution of the problem of' the purchasing power of consumers.
The need for good research which must relate to the food in industry, consumers, involving people from the very beginning, in order to ensure the chances of success for R and D.
In conclusion, Mr Chairman, I hasten to reiterate the fact that we the members of the International community have no choice but to cooperate in the resolution of development problems facing human-kind. Collaboration is not a favour, but a necessity. The idea of assistance is devoid of compulsion, but the moral imperative for human dignity, requiring that the "haves" help the "have-nots", imposes an obligatory nature to the act of giving. To challenge this reality would, Mr Chairman, be to challenge the fundamental UN charter principle of "We the People-------" being and agreeing to be obligated to protect and promote human dignity and welfare on the one hand, and keep world peace through cooperation for International development, on the other.
Thus, sir, whether we like it or not, we, all of us the members of the world community, have been condemned to succeed, but I can think of no lasting success, other than the one that assures adequate food and agricultural well-being to human-kind wherever he may be, on this "one globe" of ours.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much. I am really moved by your words. I say thank you again in the name of the Drafting Committee.
Jang-Bae YOUNG (Korea, Republic of): Mr Chairman, my delegation is also pleased to see you in the Chair, and we express our thanks to the Secretariat for their excellent preparation of the document. The document gives us a realistic and helpful overview of the current situation and the outlook for the food and agricultural sector of the world. As we are all aware, a tighter supply and high-price situation persists in the current world cereal markets. Cereal stocks are expected to draw down further and to fall below the level of world food security by the end of 1989. Therefore, a substantial increase in cereal output is needed for those stocks to be at adequate levels. We welcome the fact that growing conditions for cereal crops at global level by and large are good so far, and a sizeable recovery is expected for overall cereal output.
We note with satisfaction a substantial increase in Spring grain plantings has been achieved in the northern hemisphere. However, we note that exceptional measures in the major developed countries in the northern hemisphere should be carefully implemented in such a way that the longer-term production adjustment goals should be kept in order to avoid the structural surpluses experienced in past years.
With regard to the developing world, particularly low-income food-deficit countries, high international cereal prices and reduced food aid availabilities are exacerbating the difficulties in meeting requirements for staple food consumption. Since many developing countries have to face balance of payments problems, their capacity to import the required cereals from the world market is limited, in particular when the market is tight. Therefore, we are of the opinion that the governments of the food-deficit developing countries should pay greater attention to increasing production. On the other hand, however, donor countries and International organizations, including FAO, should provide increased technical and financial assistance in order to encourage them to produce more and consequently to enhance their food security levels.
E. Wayne DENNEY (United States of America): To follow the good habit of others I will be much more brief than I would have been, and would like to augment what I will say with a couple of paragraphs in the verbatim texts.
We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the world food situation and in particular on the outlook for food supplies in the United States.
The United States views the global food security situation as somewhat improved at this time, especially given the encouraging food production increases in the developing countries, particularly in many African countries. Obviously, the situation would be better if food stocks were larger and more broadly distributed. Nevertheless, the basic outlook remains favourable. Currently we expect world grain production to rise by 9 percent over last year with coarse grain production outside the United States at the highest level ever. Wheat and oilseed production outside the United States should also be regarded as the highest.
The United States again expects adequate food supplies to meet both domestic and export needs, especially given the record foreign grain production being projected. U.S. crop production in 1989/90 should recover from the depressed levels of 1988/89, although overall supplies are likely to remain tight. Our total grain production in the United States is expected to rise about 44 percent to some 294 million tons. We do not expect wheat production to rebound completely to 1987/88 levels, but coarse grain output could exceed 1987/88 production by 10 percent. Total U.S. grain supplies for the 1989 trade year about to begin are expected to remain unchanged from 1988/89, and stocks are projected to rise only about 4 million tons above the 80 million tons carried over at the end of the 1988/89 trade year. We expect total grain exports for 1989/90 to be 91 million tons, down 13 percent. The outlook for individual crops varies. Our wheat output is forecast to rise 12 percent to 55 million tons in 1989/90, but our total supplies are expected to fall 14 percent to 72.5 million tons. It is important to note, however, that this will still be substantially above projected domestic consumption and exports. Wheat prices are expected to be considerably higher. Availability and price will, of course, vary with the type of wheat. Our winter wheat crop was hurt by poor weather, but we anticipate a good harvest of spring wheat. We forecast U.S. production of coarse grains to rise 56 percent to 234 million tons in 1989/90. Again, supplies will be more than adequate and represent 130 percent of expected domestic use and exports. Ending stocks are expected to increase about 7 million tons from the 62 million tons at the end of 1989/90.
Regarding our U.S. agricultural policies, the United States remains strongly committed to major reforms in international agricultural trade through the Uruguay Round. Our goal for these negotiations is an International Agreement to progressively reduce and eventually eliminate subsidies, trade barriers and other practices that distort agricultural trade. Adoption of these reforms is intended to provide for a more open, flexible and equitable system of International agricultural trade of benefit to all nations that will spur further growth in trade flows worldwide.
Domestically, U.S. agricultural programmes are undergoing fundamental change to increase their market orientation by setting price support levels for major grains that are more in line with market signals. Price support rates have been reduced each year since 1986 for wheat, feed grains and rice. Beginning with 1988 crops, reductions in income supports are also authorized over a three-year period. For the 1988 crops of wheat and feed grains, target prices which determine the level of income support provided to producers were reduced by just over 3 percent. For rice, the reduction was 4 percent. Additional target price reductions have been announced for the 1989 crop.
Over the longer term, as U.S. crop production adjusts better to reflect the market demand, we expect the need for acreage reduction programmes to diminish. However, these programmes continue to be authorized with a level of reduction related to carryover stock levels.
The United States will maintain its strong commitment to providing food assistance. We are continuing to provide substantial food assistance this fiscal year including 5.6 million tons under PL 480 programmes. The Administration has requested $1.5 billion for these programmes for next fiscal year which should provide commodity shipments near the 1989 level. In addition to food donations under Title II of PL 480, in 1989 we have also donated about 900 000 tons of corn, sorghum and butter under Section 416 authority.
We continue to make food aid available in support of efforts to reform agricultural policies and promote development efforts. PL 480 commodities may be sold for foreign currencies which are then loaned to corporations, cooperatives and individuals to help finance private sector investment in participating developing countries. The Food for Progress programme is now authorized through 1990 and makes commodities available to countries either on a concessional or donation basis in support of sectoral reform in agriculture to promote market pricing of commodities at levels that give farmers adequate incentives, the growth of private sector markets and the timely availability of needed farm inputs.
Finally, like other speakers before us, we were surprised that this agenda item was not the first one before us. Perhaps suggestions made by Colombia for ensuring that this item is the first one, followed by suggestions of Australia and Peru of combining this item with the report on the Committee on World Food Security report have some merit. We would like to hear the Secretariat's view on this proposal.
Gian Paolo PAPA (EEC): Firstly, 1 would like to compliment the Secretariat for document 95/2 which presents a very clear and detailed picture of the world food situation over the last two years.
While the food situation in many parts of the world remained perilous over the last two years there were some positive developments, such as the 1.2 percent pro capite increase in production in developing countries and the decline over 1988/89 in a number of countries experiencing emergency food situations. These are quite significant developments and in my view far outweigh the importance attached to the global stagnation in food production due largely to the drought in North America and cutbacks in the Community.
Improving the food situation in developing countries in the long term is very dependant on the development of sustainable agricultural production and the 1988/89 experience would suggest that some advances are being made in this area.
Of course food supply in any particular region is not only a function of production but is also very dependant on, among other factors, distribution, food losses and population growth.
Given the infrastructural problems existing in many developing countries improving the food distribution systems will require much assistance from developed countries and is more of a medium to long term objective.
The reduction of food losses on the other hand, which can account for a large percentage of production can be more easily achieved through the provision of aid and technical assistance at local level.
On the question of global cereal production, while it has to be recognized that there has been a substantial reduction in stocks over the last two years, it is somewhat of an exaggeration to suggest that world food security is being threathened. Given that the situation in North America is due largely to climatic factors one should be cautious in suggesting an increase in production less we revert back to one of surpluses and depressed markets. The long term interest of developing countries is best served by a stable world market which reduces uncertainty and encourages the expansion of indigenous production.
The Community has already made a major contribution towards obtaining this stability through our unilateral reductions in agricultural support and production, and we will maintain our efforts aimed at achieving this objective in the context of the Uruguay Round of multilateral negotiations.
Conscious of the implications of the multilateral negotiations for developing countires, the Community has always maintained that it would be necessary to allow for special and differential treatment for these countries according to their needs.
In this context the Community welcomes the agreement on the liberalisation of trade in tropical products reached at the mid-term review in April, which we will implement it in January. This of course is supplementary to our commitments to developing countries under Lomé and the Generalized System of Preferences.
Finally, I believe the reference to the expected decline in food aid shipments of cereals from the Community and its Member States gives an unreasonably unfavourable impression of the situation. Administrative factors determine the promptness with which the Community's annual food aid programmes are executed and this accounts in part for the fact that shipments vary from year to year. A year in which a large quantity shipped-due to catching up with the execution of arrears of food aid is likely to be followed by one in which the quantity shipped is appreciably smaller. Since the total shipped in 1987/88 was 2 655 420 tonnes. It is probable that the 1988/89 total will be somewhat lower. However it should be noted that shipments for the July-December period of 1988 amounted to over 1.2 m tonnes.
I would like to point out however that the provision in the Community's annual food aid programmes has year on year either remained constant or has increased and that the 1989 programme provides for the supply of the same quantity of cereals as in the 1988 programme 1
1\ Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
Β.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-Cenerai, Economic and Social Policy Department): On behalf of the Secretariat, I would like to thank the Members of the Council for their reception to this document and their general appreciation of the quality of analysis that is contained therein. Until the last but one speaker asked me a specific question, I was in the happy position to say that I had no questions to answer. But now I will try to reply to the specific question that was raised by the Distinguished Delegate of the United States of America.
As regards the ordering of the items to be taken up for consideration by the Council, it indeed is a matter for decision by the Council itself. As you will recall, the timetable for considering different items that are on the agenda of the Council was approved unanimouslyoy she Coucil on she first day. That is the way in which we have taken up the items. However, we have noael carefully the views that have been expressed and the suggestions that have been made regarding the consideration of this item in the future, and of course, as always, the Secretariat will pay due attention to all these suggestions.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): If I could just reflect briefly on the last point that Mr. Dutia mentioned as one of the delegations who also raised it, I think part of the problem was that we only got the timetable five minutes before the meeting.
CHAIRMAN: I shall certainly not venture to summarise a debate on such a complicated issue and on such a high quality analytic paper. Just a few points. I think the Council agreed about the high quality of the paper before us, on the data and the validity of the forecasts. Another point which was stressed by a majority, I would say, of speakers is the importance of the Uruguay/GATT Round and the hope we all have for its successful conclusion. The Council agreed also that the actual situation is not an absolutely critical one, but it is a situation which has to be closely observed. The decline of the cereal productions caused prices to soar up and food aid to go down at a time when many countries really needed help very badly. Mr. Dutia has already mentioned the fourth point which was on my list, more of an organizational kind. I think everybody mentioned the ordering of this point or the fitting in of this point in the agenda. As a matter of fact, this is a very valid point, and it will be taken note of. We hope that for the next Council meeting things can be arranged and proposals can be made for the Council to avoid the dismantling of those two items on our agenda: the discussion of the results of the Committee on World Food Security and the Current World Food Situation.
LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL: Le point 20.1. traite des invitations à participer à des réunions de la FAO adressées à des Etats non membres. Il est soumis au Conseil pour information (CL 95/INF/8-Rev.l). Ce document indique dans le détail les sessions auxquelles des Etats non membres ont été invités.
J'ajouterai seulement, comme les membres du Conseil s'en souviendront et comme il est indiqué au paragraphe 3 de ce document, que le Conseil a accepté le lundi 19 juin que l'URSS assiste, en qualité d'Observateur, à sa quatre-vingt-quinzième session actuellement en cours.
Gonzalo BULA-HOYOS (Colombia): El Sr. Alessl explicó muy bien la situación. Una vez más deseamos reiterar la satisfacción de los representantes del Gobierno de Colombia por el interés creciente de la Unión de Repúblicas Socialistas Soviéticas en las actividades de la FAO. La URSS, ahora fortalecida en la comunidad internacional con la Perestroika y la Glastnost, son miembros fundadores de nuestra Organización. Esperamos que cuanto antes puedan ejercer el derecho de asociarse formal y oficialmente a la FAO. Igualmente consideramos importante que la República Democrática Alemana también participe en estas actividades.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): Once again I am very happy to be able to associate my delegation fully with the sentiments of the delegate of Colombia.
Mlle FAOUZIA BOUMAIZA (Algérie): Je crois que tous les délégués s'associent à ce qu'a dit le Représentant de la Colombie. On peut donc mettre un terme au débat en disant que le Conseil reprend ce qui a été dit par le Délégué de la Colombie.
CHAIRMAN: Very good, but I am the head of the Council, and as long as there are speakers I intend to give them the floor. Thank you very much.
Then I suppose that the Council took note of the document before us which is CL 95/INF/8 Rev.l and that the Council took note of the communication of Mr Alessi. Can we close this point and go on to the next one?
LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL: Le point 20.2 s'intitule: Modifications de la représentation des Etats Membres au Comité du Programme et au Comité financier. Il est présenté au Conseil pour information. Le document CL 95/INF/9 indique les modifications intervenues au Comité du Programme (Nigéria) et au Comité financier (Australie et Etats-Unis d'Amérique), depuis novembre dernier.
Gonzalo BULA-HOYOS (Colombia): Proponemos, que como es costumbre, en el Informe se agradezca a aquellos colegas que prestaron sus servicios en los importantes Comités del Programa y de Finanzas y se dé la bienvenida a los nuevos miembros de esos Comités.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your proposal. If there are any other remarks... No. That does not seem to be the case. Then we have concluded Agenda Item 20.2 as speedily as I expected. Thank you very much.
LEGAL COUNSEL: Mr Chairman, this item has been placed on the Agenda of this Council session at the request of the Government of Spain in accordance with Article XXV.7 (b) of the General Rules of the Organization.
On 17 May 1989 the Director-General received a letter from the Permanent Representative of Spain to FAO communicating a letter from the Minister of Foreign Affair of Spain, the country holding the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Communities. The text of the letter is set out in the document before you which is CL 95/19. In his letter the Minister of Foreign Affairs recalls that the EEC has had Observer status with FAO since 1962 but this status has, in the EEC view, proved inadequate to support a fully effective role for the EEC in the Organization in the areas in which it exercises authority on its own account, and indicates that the EEC Council is currently considering the possibility of the Community obtaining a status of Member commensurate with its powers. As this possibility raises a number of questions that need to be answered before any final request can be made to FAO, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain has requested that the matter be placed on the Agenda of the present session of the Council so that the possibility of devising such a status for the Community can be explored with the Commission.
Mr Chairman, the present status of the EEC with the Organization is that of an Observer. This status has been established by an exchange of letters between the President of the Commission of the European Communities and the Director-General in 1962. Observer status means that the EEC has certain rights to attend meetings of the Organization and participate in the discussions of these meetings on the request of the Chairman of the meeting. Normally Observers are required to wait until all Member Nations have spoken before making any statement. In practice however, a rather special and privileged status for the EEC has been developed over the last few years in recognition of the fact that in some subject areas, exclusive competence has been transferred to the Community by its Member States.
Under the special status, the Observer from the EEC is normally allowed to speak on behalf of its Member States during the course of discussions without waiting until all Member Nations have spoken. The practice is for the Member Nation holding the presidency of the Council of Ministers to request that the Observer from the EEC be given the floor to speak on behalf of its members, and unless there is an objection from the floor of the meeting this is normally done. In no case, however, is the EEC accorded the right to vote, this being an attribute of the membership.
The letter from the Foreign Minister of Spain raises the question of possible membership of the EEC in FAO. On this point it is clear that under the FAO Constitution as it presently stands, membership of the Organization is reserved to states only. The EEC would thus not be eligible to apply for membership in the Organization, nor could the Director-General accept any such application unless and until the Constitution and the other Basic Texts of the Organization are amended appropriately. However, such amendments, while complex, would not present insurmountable problems of a legal nature.
In the paper before you Mr Chairman, two possible avenues of approach have been suggested. One would be to refer the matter directly to the next session of the Conference in November for a political decision on the desirability of proceeding further with the question of possible membership. It may however, prove difficult for the Conference to take such a decision without having full information on the possible implications of the membership, the mechanics of such a membership, and the amendments to the Basic Texts that would be required.
With this in mind, the second possible avenue of approach would be for the Council itself to invite the Director-General to explore with the EEC Commission all of the implications of membership with a view to devising suitable proposals for presentation through the Council to the 26th Session of the FAO Conference in 1991 for decision. In any event the Conference will be informed at its 25th Session in November of the approach decided upon by the present Council session. Thank you Mr Chairman.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much Mr Moore. For the first speaker on the list I have the distinguished delegate from Spain.
Angel BARBERO MARTIN (España): Señor Presidente, en nombre de la Comunidad Europea le agradezco que haya comunicado a nuestro Consejo la carta que mi Gobierno dirigió al Director General de la FAO y que haya incluido en el orden del día la cuestión que se plantea en dicha carta.
Asimismo, quisiera agradecer a la Secretaría de la FAO la nota CL 95/19, expuesta puntualmente por el señor Moore, en la actualidad, que hace un análisis de la situación ajustado a la realidad a la que se enfrenta la Comunidad en la FAO.
En efecto, confirmo que el tratado constitutivo de la Comunidad Económica Europea traspasó a ésta determinadas competencias que correspondían antes a sus Estados Miembros, de manera que, en esos ámbitos, corresponde a la Comunidad pronunciarse y actuar en su propio nombre.
Habida cuenta de que la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación actuaba en algunos de esos ámbitos y de que el Acta Constitutiva de la Organización no contemplaba que una Organización Internacional pudiera participar en sus trabajos de la misma manera que los Estados que son miembros de ella, se convino, en 1962, mediante Canje de Notas entre el Presidente de la Comisión de las Comunidades Europeas y el Director General de la Organización, que, de conformidad con el Acta Constitutiva, se podría invitar a la Comisión a que participara, a título de observador, en determinados trabajos de la Organización.
A la vista de la evolución registrada y de la experiencia adquirida desde 1962, se ha comprobado que, en la actual situación, ni la Comunidad ni sus Estados Miembros pueden participar de forma satisfactoria en los trabajos de la Organización en aquellos ámbitos en que los Estados Miembros de la Comunidad han transferido sus competencias a ésta. Además, la Comunidad no puede participar con toda la eficacia posible en las actividades de su Organización en aquellos ámbitos en los que ejerce una competencia propia, en paralelo con sus Estados Miembros. Por estas razones, el Consejo de las Comunidades Europeas estudia en la actualidad la posibilidad de que la Comunidad goce del régimen de Miembro de la FAO que corresponda a sus competencias.
Esta eventualidad plantea algunas cuestiones que convendría aclarar antes de que, llegado el caso, se presente una solicitud formal a la FAO.
Esta es la razón por la que, en calidad de Representante del Estado Miembro que desempeña actualmente la Presidencia del Consejo de las Comunidades Europeas, tengo el honor de solicitar de usted, en nombre de los Estados Miembros, que también son miembros de la FAO y con arreglo al apartado 7 del Artículo XXV del Reglamento General de la Organización, que tenga a bien someter el asunto a los órganos competentes de la FAO, a fin de que puedan ustedes analizar con la Comisión las posibilidades de definir para la Comunidad este régimen. El Consejo decidirá basándose en los resultados de esas conversaciones exploratorias, las iniciativas que deben tomarse.
Observo, Señor Presidente, que la Secretaría de la FAO, en su nota CL 95/19 pregunta al Consejo si desea pronunciarse sobre dos posibles orientaciones. Responderé a su invitación señalando que la Comunidad y sus Estados Miembros consideran que la segunda orientación resulta por completo adecuada. Por ello sería deseable, Señor Presidente, que nuestro Consejo se pronunciara a favor de ésta para permitir que el Director General de la FAO inicie los estudios necesarios.
Gonzalo BOLA HOYOS (Colombia): Señor Presidente, con los representantes de la Comunidad Económica Europea, los delegados de Colombia hemos tenido algunas dificultades.
Muchas veces criticamos con franqueza las lamentables consecuencias de la que entonces llamabamos funesta Política Agrícola Comun (PAC); pero todo ello pertenece al pasado. Hoy debemos reconocer que en el campo político y en el campo económico más amplio, la Comunidad Económica Europea viene adelantando una fusión muy importante, cuyos beneficios han comenzado a llegar hasta los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Se han realizado contactos a muy alto nivel con representantes de nuestros Estados y destacamos particularmente la cooperación de la CEE en favor de la recuperación de la paz y del progreso de la martirizada región de Centroamérica.
El gobierno de Colombia esté igualmente muy reconocido a la CEE por las actividades recientes que demuestran el interés de esa importante fuerza económica y política en su asistencia a nuestro país.
Ademàs, en el seno de la CEE, los países latinoamericanos y del Caribe hemos tenido siempre nuestros propios voceros: Francia, Bélgica, Italia, Repùblica Federal de Alemania, todos, Señor Presidente, situación favorable y, más aún, desde el ingreso de España y Portugal, que son las dos naturales puertas de entrada de los países de América Latina y el Caribe a la Comunidad Económica Europea.
Nos complace que este tema se haya presentado en el año 1989, porque es un año particularmente favorable para la comunicación entre los representantes de Colombia y la Comuniad Económica Europea. El primer semestre de este año ha sido el Presidente de la Comisión de las Comunidades España, querido país, al cual estamos vinculados por gratos vínculos de tradición y amistad. Dentro de tres días, Francia, la gran nación de Francia, asumirá esa posición. Los representantes franceses en todos los organismos internacionales han demostrado siempre mucha comprensión y simpatía por la causa de los países del Tercer Mundo.
El distinguido representante de España hizo una declaración muy interesante y objetiva que señalamos como una contribución valiosa a este debate; sin embargo, permítasenos algunas referencias muy respetuosas a la propia declaración del colega de España, que ya aparece en cierta medida reflejado en el Párrafo 2 del documento, cuando se habla de "Situación insatisfactoria". Lo decimos realmente tal vez, esto lo decimos cordialmente, es algo exagerada esa expresión. Los observadores de la CEE participan tan ampliamente como lo desean en todas nuestras reuniones, e inclusive muchas veces hablan antes de los propios representantes de los gobiernos, y nadie dice nada, por el contrario, todos estamos complacidos porque generalmente esas contribuciones son positivas. Tal vez lo único insatisfactorio, y ojalá se pueda arreglar más adelante, es la carencia de la prerrogativa del voto del que habla el Párrafo 3. En el mismo párrafo se dice algo que no entendemos, ni siquera en este caso-y en este caso ni siquiera podemos invocar error de traducción porque la carta está escrita en la magnífica lengua castellana de nuestra Madre Patria-. Dice textualmente el Párrafo 3: "ni la Comunidad ni sus Estados Miembros pueden participar de forma satisfactoria en los trabajos de la Organización"·
Los representantes de Colombia compartimos gratísimamente nuestra participación con todos los representantes de gobienos miembros de la CEE y encontramos muy satisfactorio y, generalmente, constructivas sus actuaciones. Pensamos que este primer paso de la CEE hacia su calidad de miembro de la Organización como Estado, es muy importante y deberíamos facilitar, dentro de ciertos parámetros razonables, todos los trámites que puedan conducir a una solución satisfactoria.
El problema jurídico que plantea el Párrafo A del documento, opinamos que podría obviarse. En efecto ese párrafo concluye afirmando que: "no se plantearían problemas insolubles de carácter jurídico". Esperamos que la CEE-el colega de España entendemos que no lo dijo muy claramente-será un Estado más y no sustituirá a los 12 respetables países que la integran.
La contribución, habrá tiempo de considerarla, pero, en fin, como idea, como ejemplo, se nos ocurre podría ser como la suma de las contribuciones más altas de los tres países de la Comunidad Económica, más la ultima en nivel de contribución. Esto podría ser para un tema de discusión.
Para concluir algunas preguntas al colega de España Observador de la CEE. ¿Será la FAO la única agencia de Naciones Unidas en la cual la CEE sería miembro como Estado? En caso afirmativo ¿Por qué razones? ¿Cuál sería la posición de la CEE como Estado frente al Programa Mundial de Alimentos que es copatrocinado por Naciones Unidas y FAO y en el cual, en el PMA, la CEE es uno de los mayores donantes?
Sobre los dos apartados del Párrafo 5 concordamos perfectamente con el colega español en el sentido de que convendría disponer de tiempo para que se analicen todos los aspectos pendientes y una posible decisión definitiva se tome en la Conferencia de 1991. Una última pregunta, Señor Presidente, si como lo esperamos, la CEE será nuevo miembro de la FAO, ¿en que grupo regional se ubicará la CEE? ¿En la OCDE, en el Grupo de Camberley o en el Grupo de los 77?
CHAIRMAN: Your questions are noted; we shall come back to that. Just let me say that you have once again confirmed that your mind is sharp and analytical, and that your rhetoric qualities are unbeatable.
Masayuki KOMATSU (Japan): My delegation has listened carefully to the explanations made by Mr Moore, and also the comment made by the delegate from Spain. We have also reviewed with significant interest the document before us, "Communication from the Government of Spain Regarding the Status of the EEC with Respect to FAO".
Needless to say, for my country of Japan both FAO and the EEC have been of vital importance in the field of international cooperation and the economic relationship of various aspects. We recognize the significant contributions made to Member Countries by the EEC and indirectly by the Member States of EEC to the development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the areas where they are needed·
At the occasion of the meeting for discussion of the draft agreement on the establishment of the Indian Ocean tuna management body, we were fully aware of the problems involving the legal status of the EEC will; respect to its full membership in the FAO. We were informed by the EEC that the EEC is the exclusive authority to manage the fishing activity on behalf of the member nations. However, since the EEC is an Observer of FAO, the current legal framework of the FAO will not allow the EEC to participate as a full Member. We know in that sense the FAO cannot allow the EEC to participate in any FAO body, as stipulated in the FAO Constitution, if the Constitution remains as it is in its current form.
Our delegation is not in a position at this stage to immediately agree that this problem should be solved by accepting that the EEC becomes a full Member of the FAO, because the matter is so grave and very complicated. As the Legal Counsel and the delegate of Spain made clear, the EEC has several or more areas of competence and authority where Member Nations are not given any authoritative powers. Also, some are areas where both the EEC and Member Nations have authoritative competence according to their respective authorities. Therefore, we have to know exactly and with specific names of areas which ones are under the EEC's competence and which areas belong to the domain of Member States, and which areas may lie between those two.
Questions remain in imense areas with significant and grave implications. Perhaps we cannot simply say let us change the FAO Constitution to allow the EEC to become a full Member of the FAO, because of reasons such as mentioned above.
In addition, we have to pay attention to how it will or will not affect the voting rights and other factors, including possible participation by intergovernmental organizations other than the EEC.
On the other hand, the problem will also be grave if the current situation remains as it is and does not accommodate full participation, if not full membership, of the EEC in the FAO intergovernmental activities, such as I have mentioned in the case of the Indian Ocean Tuna Agreement, because the effectiveness of the body would be damaged.
Having said that, I do not think that I have exhausted all concerns and questions as the matter is so complicated and its implications are so immense. Japan has the advantage of being familiar with this issue since we participated in the draft agreement meeting of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission. However, this issue will definitely influence the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. As it is clearly recognized, today is the first time we have discussed this important agenda item. The Japanese delegation believes that after discussion here we should consult with our governments. The Japanese delegation recommends that at this time we do not take any action that could be premature, and that we do not take the decision as described in document CL 95/19, paragraph 5.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): May I commence briefly by saying that once again I am very pleased to be able to associate myself with at least one of the remarks of the delegate from Colombia, and that is that the Camberley group might get an extra vote. I am sure that several Members of our Council would probably support that.
Regarding the desire of the EEC to have membership additional to its Member Countries, we note that this arrangement seems to work well in other cases such as the OECD. We should point out that while the EEC participates actively in the OECD it is not a member, it is not required to contribute to the budget and does not participate in decision making. Similarly in the Common Fund context the EEC could participate actively, in this case as a member, but would not be entitled to vote or participate in decision making. In these examples the EEC may participate, but within clear guidelines which restrict its "membership" status and we would have no objections to such an approach.
We note that the communication from the Government of Spain canvasses the possibility of the Community gaining a status of member "commensurate with its powers".
Australia has no objection in principle to the EEC becoming party to a treaty as long as the conditions of EEC accession satisfy three criteria:
Firstly, the EEC should not have a vote additional to the votes of its member states.
Secondly, if the EEC does not have full competence in the subject matter of the treaty, then the EEC and its member states should be required to specify their relative competences.
Thirdly, if the EEC does not have full competence, then it should be eligible to become a party to the treaty only if all member states are also parties.
The first of these criteria means that the EEC, although represented on the Conference of the Organization as defined under Article III, should have no vote of its own. However, we would have no objection to its being able to exercise the votes of its member states.
The second criterion reflects our requirement that in the case of any breach of a treaty by an EEC member, it should be clear from whom an aggrieved party may-seek redress. In a treaty such as the FAO Constitution, this is unlikely to be of great importance, but in some treaties it is an, important consideration, and it would be preferable to avoid setting an undesirable precedent. However, it may well be that EEC has full competence in the area covered by the FAO Constitution, so that it is answerable for the actions of its member states in relation to the Constitution.
The third criterion is not an issue here, because all the EEC states are parties to the FAO treaty.
At present the FAO Constitution provides for Membership and Associate Membership (Article II). Membership is open to any "nation" on the approval of a two-thirds majority of the Conference. Associate Membership is open to a territory "not responsible for the conduct of its international relations" provided that the authority having that responsibility accepts the obligations of the Constitution on the Associate Member's behalf. The terms "Member Nation" and "Associate Member" are used throughout the Constitution.
It is clear that the EEC does not qualify for either category. However, Article XX provides that the Conference may amend the Constitution by a two thirds majority and that such an amendment will enter into force immediately for all members if it does not involve new obligations for members. Thus it would be straightforward for the Conference to amend the Constitution to admit the EEC. It would be preferable to assimilate its membership to one of the two existing categories, as otherwise consequential changes would be required throughout the Constitution. Since the EEC should not have a vote, the appropriate category would be that of Associate Member.
If it is decided to provide for EEC Associate Membership of the FAO, we would expect that this could be done by adding to Article II a paragraph along the following lines:
"3A The Conference may, under the same conditions regarding the required majority and quorum as prescribed in paragraph 2 above, decide to admit as an Associate Member of the Organization any intergovernmental organization of regional economic integration which exercises competence in fields of activity of the Organization. A reference in this Constitution and the Rules and Regulations of the Organization to the Member Nation or authority having responsibility for the international relations of an Associate Member shall, in the case of an international organization, be taken to be a reference to the competent organ of that international organization".
With regard to the proposed lines of action in paragraph 5a and 5b, my delegation would prefer to see action along the lines of paragraph 5b, namely, inviting the Director-General "to explore with the EEC..." but could we suggest that there be some more precision as to just which Council this process will report to-and could I suggest that, if this were to be proposed by our Council, we should make it whichever is the Session in November 1990, because otherwise we could be in a situation where it could be the Council immediately preceding the Twenty-sixth Session.
May I also suggest that the organs of the FAO which would normally deal with financial and legal matters should receive progress reports on the discussions taking place with the EEC, in order to ensure that the full membership is aware of developments.
Ilja HULIHSKY (Czechoslovakia): I would like to make two brief comments on Item 20.3 of our agenda. But before doing so I have to refer also very briefly to another question.
In the provisional verbatim record of the Council's seventh plenary meeting (document CL/PV/7, page 5) one may read in the record of the Czechoslovak delegation's statement a sentence that goes as follows: "...we would suggest to coordinate more effectively the European activities of FAO with those of EEC in the field of agriculture and nutrition". What I had been really suggesting was the coordination of FAO's activities with those of ECE (UN Economic Commission for Europe), not with the EEC, the European Economic Community. I have to ask for correction to be made in the official verbatim record.
I have to disappoint my colleague, Mr. Papa, the distinguished Observer of the EEC to FAO, also on another point. I am now turning back to my intervention on Item 20.3 of our agenda:
Firstly, I regret to say that the Czechoslovak delegation cannot and will not support the potential request of granting to any-I repeat, any-international organization the status of a FAO member. Such a request is incompatible with the very philosophy of the contemporary law of international organizations which has been inter alia based on the premise that only sovereign states represented by their government can become members of the family of UN organizations. To use the words of the document CL 95/19: "...only states are eligible to apply for membership in the Organization"· "Only states", not groupings of states. Indeed, to oblige to such a request, the FAO would create a precedent capable of undermining the very fabric of the whole present UN system.
Secondly, as for the document 95/19, it is my understanding that the Council is only requested to decide on procedural steps at this stage, inter alia to refer the request contained in that document to the next session of the Conference. While suggesting that if we decide we are going to engage the FAO in a debate that could turn to be a waste of time, my delegation may be flexible. If the Council wishes to decide so, the Czechoslovak delegation will not obstruct the reaching of consensus on that particular request, with the understanding that should the Council take a vote on paragraph 5(a) of document CL 95/19, my delegation would abstain. However as far as paragraph 5(b) is concerned, I am obliged to put in the record that my delegation shares the view of those who cannot support it. Any decision in this respect would require engagement by the FAO in the process of revision of the FAO's Constitution and would, to put it mildly, be premature at this stage, before waiting the outcome of the Twenty-fifth General Conference of FAO.
lstávn DOBOCZKY (Hnngary): In my opinion, the EEC is not a simple organization. It leads its own real life in the field of policies and culture and economic, beside its member states. That is a fact and practice-even more, it is a fact from 1992.
It is in the interests of all of us to have the EEC as a unity among us, with a full official aspect. The legal problems do exist, and are very sophisticated, but hopefully they can be solved.
For this reason, I propose that the paragraph 5(b) variation given by the Secretariat be accepted.
Joao Augusto DE MEDICIS (Brazil): At this stage, my delegation will not deal with the substantive nature of the request presented by the EEC, and for the sake of brevity, may I support the procedural section of the statement just made by the distinguished representative of Australia, and accept alternative (b) of the proposal by the Secretariat, with the qualification and additions indicated by Australia.
CHAIRMAN: After consultation with the Secretariat, I venture to state that we have a number of delegations who have spoken indicating that they can accept the solution proposed for the time being under paragraph 5(b) of document CL 95/19. I would like to put before the Council this question for decision-does the Council feel itself to be in a position to accept this proposal? In the case that a majority accepts it we can conclude our debate for the time being, in which case the Secretariat will have a clear-cut mandate. Delegations who are not able to agree, for them I would propose a footnote to this part of our report, recording their vote.
II ja HULINSKY (Czechoslovakia): With all due respect to Council, may I put one question very briefly. My delegation does not question the motives and intentions of the Representative of the EEC. What I am questioning is the possible consequence of the request for EEC membership in FAO. I will go even further and state that I can sympathize with my EEC colleagues' efforts to overcome their problems. At least I am doing my best to understand those problems, but I am of the opinion that they could find other ways of solving them, without creating an unacceptable precedent for the whole system of UN organizations.
Turning to sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 5, I said quite clearly that we are not in a position to support it. How can you expect the delegation of Czechoslovakia to support such a wording, that the Director-General would be invited "to explore with the EEC the full financial, legal and other implications for the Organization, of membership in the Organization of a regional organization such as the EEC, with a view to presenting suitable proposals...", etc. You are giving here mandate to the Director-General and to the EEC to discuss all of this. I am not suggesting for example that COMECON is also ready to apply for membership, but you are giving the Director-General a mandate to discuss all of this with EEC i.e. about other regional organizations without their presence.
I have said my delegation will have no problem with consensus if we should refer the question for discussion in General Conference. We are not against the objective as a democratic discussion so that all views can be presented, but not with the precondition that someone will prepare that discussion with the EEC.
CHAIRMAN: You have made your point clear and it is taken note of.
Masayuki KOMATSU (Japan): As I mentioned before, this huge matter Involves both the EEC and international organizations such as FAO. We do now how much and to what extent problems exist with us, although we all recognize there is a tremendous problem here. In that sense we wish to give further careful consideration as to how we as a government can respond to any course of action even of the kind suggested in paragraphs (a) and (b) of paragraph 5. We do not know what is meant exactly by it considering the grave consequences for the future. At this stage of considering such a grave matter I do not see any reason for putting in something which makes us take a certain position even if it is just a course of action. I repeat that today we are just listening so that we can take this Information back to our own governments for consideration. Maybe the delegate of Spain would like to raise this matter in the next Council. Maybe he would ask that Council to discuss the same agenda item. As this matter is too grave and important, I do not think we are in a position to respond to the course of action.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): As I indicated in my intervention, I made the suggestion that there needed to be more precision in paragraph 5(b) regarding the Council, the Legal Committee and the Finance Committee, etc., so before I can agree to a procedure on the lines of paragraph 5(b) I would like to see that in, and the delegate of Brazil associated himself with that view.
I have listened very carefully to the delegates of Japan and Czechoslovakia and reflected that in my own statement I made it clear we could support associate membership. I now realize that in paragraph 5(b) it says "membership" and I wonder whether, without getting into a Drafting Committee here, which I shall be in in about ten minutes, the Director-General should be not only exploring with the EEC the full financial, legal and other implications for the Organization, but also exploring options for forms of membership commensurate with the status of the EEC. That way it does not prejudge something we have not yet thought of. I offer that as a suggestion.
Earl W· WEYBRECHT (Canada): I would just like to note that the documentation we have before us, including the communication from the Government of Spain, was circulated to members during the course of this Council session. Consequently, we are not in a position to give any definitive views on this matter. However, we believe that the delegate of Australia has raised a number of relevant points that should be given careful consideration under this item.
Rudolf de POURTALES (Suisse): Comme la délégation du Canada, ma délégation n'a pas eu le temps de recevoir les instructions de sa capitale et ne peut pas se prononcer sur ce document à cet instant.
Joseph TCHICAYA (Congo): A l'image de ceux qui m'ont précédé, je dois dire que je n'ai pas d'instructions précises sur cette question, malgré bien entendu les bons rapports qui existent entre la CEE et mon pays.
Mais je voudrais toutefois indiquer que, pour notre part, nous pourrions accepter la proposition b), mais je comprends également les objections qui sont faites ici et là et je me demande si, pour essayer de clarifier les choses, 11 ne serait pas possible que nous adoptions la position 5 a) de saisir la Conférence sur cette question, afin que la Conférence puisse dégager un certain nombre d'orientations pour amener le Directeur général à engager des contacts avec la CEE.
Nous pensons qu'il est bon que tous les Etats Membres puissent être saisis de cette question, avant qu'elle ne puisse aller de l'avant. Si nous devons déjà donner un mandat et s'il y a des oppositions catégoriques, comme 11 semble s'en dessiner ici, je me demande s'il n'est pas plus utile de proposer cette question mais qu'entre temps certaines dispositions soient prises pour avoir le maximum d'éléments possible à mettre à la disposition de la Conférence, pour lui permettre de donner des orientations plus claires sur cette question.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your constructive proposal.
C. Srinivasa SASTRY (India): Before we make our intervention may I enquire whether you intend to extend the session after 7 o'clock, Mr Chairman, and if so, for how long?
CHAIRMAN: The delegate of India has asked a relevant question. As a matter of fact I expect advice any minute from the interpreters. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee is looking in my direction as well, but I have two other speakers on my list. I would like to conclude our discussion so that we can think about the matter until tomorrow morning and come back tomorrow to a speedy conclusion of our debate on this item. That is my intention.
C. Srinivasa SASTRY (India): As we see in the document before us the operative paragraphs are 3 and A in the letter dated 26 April from the Government of Spain addressed to the Director-General. The really operational sentences in paragraph 3 are the last two, which make it clear that we have not considering a request from the EEC for membership. What is being sought to be elicited from this letter is an exploratory exercise,on the outcome of which eventually the question of membership may arise.
As has been mentioned earlier by some delegates, this particular proposal has implications not only for FAO but for the United Nations system as a whole, considering that the EEC is an important regional organization in the world setting. In this context we would have liked to get a definitive direction from our Government before we opt for either alternative (a) or (b) of paragraph 5.
Having said that, may I venture to suggest that in our opinion the Director-General does not require a mandate from the Council to conduct any dialogue with the EEC on the lines suggested in paragraph 5(b).
We would therefore respectfully submit that without the Council committing itself to any of the two alternatives posed in paragraph 5, either (a) or (b), the matter could be left hanging so that the Director-General could conduct any dialogue which he deems fit. Then, at an appropriate stage, he brings this matter before the appropriate decision making bodies, depending on the decision taken by the EEC, whether to formally apply for membership, associate membership, and if so, with what commitments and responsibilities.
Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Nosotros respetamos mucho su competencia y desde luego estamos en sus manos, pero pensamos que la prolongación de este tema para mañana podría quebrantar los esfuerzos que venimos haciendo para avanzar en nuestros trabajos. Por ello, deseamos hacer una propuesta concreta y específica en dos puntos:
Primero. En el Informe constarán las opiniones en el texto del Informe y no al pie de página. Las opiniones de aquellos colegas que como Checoslovaquia, Japón, Australia y otros han expresado consideraciones de gran respetabilidad.
Segundo. El Consejo se pronuncia en favor de la alternativa 5b, pero modificada, precisada y revisada, sobre todo a la luz de las observaciones muy pertinentes del colega de Australia.
Si el Consejo estuviera de acuerdo a ese respecto, con base en estas dos consideraciones el asunto pasaría al Comité de Redacción. Tenemos aquí con nosotros en el sitio de Finlandia al Sr. Halinen, quien es el Presidente de ese Comité, Australia es miembro del Comité de Redacción, Francia dentro de tres días representante del Presidente del Consejo de la CEE,es miembro del Comité de Redacion y as podríamos después el viernes en el Proyecto de Informe tratar de llegar a un acuerdo satisfactorio.
Espero que esto nos permita terminar hoy este tema. Prolongarlo mañana nos haría que la noche, seguramente haga venir a nuestras mentes más ideas y más inquietudes, y quién sabe cuándo terminaríamos este tema.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much, delegate of Colombia. This possibility you mentioned always exists. I recognize it.
lstván DOBOCZKY (Hungary): Listening to the debate, I should like to modify my original proposal. Frankly, I do not see why we should not discuss this question, for example, at the next Council meeting. That is the reason why I would propose that 5(b) would be altered so that the Director-General explore with the EEC their full financial, legal and other implications, and refer this matter to the November Council.
Hannu HALINEN (Chairman. Drafting Committee): As Chairman of the Drafting Committee, I would like to point out that at the Drafting Committee we are trying to reflect the views from the Plenary, from the discussion, from the documentation, as well as we can. That would include, of course, the remarks made here, including the remark from Colombia, among others. But we would hesitate to try to create new views or positions in the Drafting Committee. I do not see that as our job.
CHAIRMAN: Distinguished delegates, we must come to a conclusion. The Drafting Committee has to start its work, which will certainly be quite difficult and lengthy, so to help the colleagues, I would try to come to a conclusion proposing that we might maybe as quickly as possible think about the proposal of the distinguished delegate of Colombia. That would mean that we draft a report from this discussion which takes full note of all the points of view brought forward in our discussion, and we try, maybe outside the Drafting Group-as far as that is concerned, I really agree with the Chairman of the Drafting Group; we should not ask for there to be extra work from the colleagues which we would have to perform anyhow in the Plenary of the Council-we should try to find a formula for proposal 5(b) which takes note of the main thrust of our discussion. Would that be acceptable?
Ilja HULINSKY (Czechoslovakia): I would go along with that suggestion although I would prefer the suggestion made by the Distinguished Delegate of India. It has the best outcome in my opinion. But let us say that I am giving the matter to those who will reflect on it that we modify 5(b), to say to invite the Director-General to explore not with the EEC, but with all the member states. I think it may be one way of thinking how to get out of it. This is my contribution to the discussions of the Drafting Group.
Gonzalo BULA HOTOS (Colombia): No sé si en esta ocasión falló la traducción del castellano que yo hablo, aunque algunos colegas me dicen que hablo muy bien mi propio idioma. Yo no estaba proponiendo nada nuevo ni ninguna carga adicional para el Comité de Redacción. Son hechos procedimentales acostumbrados. La primera parte de mi propuesta, reflejar en el Informe las opiniones de
Checoslovaquia, Japón y Australia, eso corresponde siempre a la Secretarla: prepara el texto y lo manda al Comité de Redacción. La segunda parte de mi propuesta está en las actas, está además en el propio Comité de Redacción el colega de Australia, de manera que no creo que esto represente nada difícil ni imposible para el Comité de Redacción, pero desde luego, si por ejemplo Australia y España deciden ponerse de acuerdo para facilitar la tarea del Comité de Redacción, bienvenida esa solución. Pero no estamos inventando nada nuevo, estamos tratando de facilitar la conclusión de un tema para que podamos todos quedar relativamente satisfechos.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you for your clarification. The last part of your proposal, that a few of us should come together and maybe help the Drafting Committee through with the help of the Secretariat, was exactly what I meant·
Roberto E. DALTON (Argentina): Ml delegación, que como algunas otras en este Consejo carece de instrucciones precisas, había pensado en un principio si emergía un rápido consenso, abstenerse de señalar esta circunstancia, por cuanto mi país tiene especialmente buenas relaciones con la Comunidad. Ante el hecho de que el debate, lamentablemente, no nos ha llevado a un rápido consenso, mi delegación pide que quede en actas que no tiene instrucciones en esta etapa.
CHAIRMAN: That will be taken care of, Delegate of Argentina.
Mohammad Saleem KHAN (Pakistan): My delegation also, of course, has no instructions on this. We are just trying to help out of this and keep the various viewpoints which have been expressed here. We have a suggestion to make, which is to alter paragraph (b) and say that the Council, after having considered the proposal, decided to request the Director-General to examine fully the financial, legal and other implications for the organization of membership in the Organization of a regional Organization such as the EEC, and submit his report to the 98th Session of the Council. So in this case, while we are not prejudging anything and the Director-General examines the full implications, and then by the 98th Council, by that time probably the EEC would have finally decided whether they are seeking membership or not. We are just talking about an examination rather than an exploration. I do not know whether that would help.
Paul R. BRYDEN (Australia): My Pakistani colleague beat me to the punch, actually, because that seemed so glaringly obvious when we started talking about it here. If you remove the reference to the EEC being involved in the exploration, then it is a thing that the Secretariat is doing on behalf of the membership, not involving the EEC. Then I think if we include those references to the Finance Committee, the CCLM and the Council so that the full membership receive progressive reports as to how things are going, if we also mention options for participation, commensurate status, to remove the concept that membership has already been granted, I think we might be getting somewhere that we could work on in the Drafting Committee.
CHAIRMAN: That seems to be a very constructive proposal. The meeting is called to order. I have a proposal to make. Considering the very constructive ideas and proposals of the delegates from Colombia, Pakistan and Australia, I would like to ask the Legal Counsel to summarize, not a draft for the report, but to summarize that part which would practically come to a revision of 5 (b) of document CL 95/19, and we would put that before the Council tomorrow morning first thing. Then everybody would have, as it is a complicated matter, the text in writing on the table. Maybe that would facilitate a decision how to proceed, and it would also certainly facilitate the work of the Drafting Group. May I repeat, that would mean that we instruct the Drafting Group to reflect our discussion fully, not with footnotes, which would have everything that has been said in the full text of the report. That is one thing.
The second point would be that we decide on a mandate for the Secretariat to carry on, and this mandate is formulated by the Legal Counsel as a proposal, and would be before us for our decision tomorrow morning. That is my proposal. Is that accepted?
Maeayuki KOMATSU (Japan): I have to apologize that I have again taken the floor. I have no intention to disturb this constructive proposal from you Mr Chairman, but rather than coming to express our delegation's opinion first thing tomorrow, I think that to express it now would be much more constructive myself. That is why I would like to make this comment because, to be honest, with respect to both proposals (a) and (b), our delegation does not know the significance or the exact meaning itself, particularly paragraph 5(b), because we do not know whether the EEC or other intergovernmental organizations may just come to this Organization or may be going to other UN organizations, and in that sense (although this is our first thought) whether this kind of legal analysis should be taken by the FAO or not. This is just an immediate thought, but the point is that we think that we need to ponder what is the meaning of any course of action, particularly the meaning of paragraph (b). Also again, I would like to repeat my comments which I made before on this important matter, how come we have to take action like now. That is my point, since this is a very important matter. So we need the time to respond even though it is just the course of the action. That is my comment.
CHAIRMAN: Action has to be taken in one or the other way because this item is on our agenda. We have to deliberate on that one way or the other. ' As far as paragraph 5(b) is concerned, I would ask you kindly to at least give the revised paragraph 5(b) a chance, like a majority in the Council seems to be inclined. I would not like to reopen the discussion; we really do not have the time to do that right now. I would prefer to stick to my proposal: reflect on the discussion in the report and to have a paragraph 5(b) tomorrow morning before us, and take the decision on the agenda item tomorrow morning one way or the other. Is that acceptable?
C. Srinivasa SASTRY (India): Before you take that view Mr Chairman, while apologizing for taking the floor for a second time, may I request the Legal Counsel to clarify one factual point. Under General Rule XXV.7 (b), a subject will come before the Council only if a letter reaches the Director-General not less than 30 days before the proposed date of any session. This session was starting on the 19 June, and the letter according to this document reached the Director-General on the 17th of May but was confirmed on the 2nd of June. Legally, which is the effective date of receipt: is it the 17th of May, or the 2nd of June?
LEGAL COUNSEL: I can confirm that the letter was received on the 17th of May. It was sent in the form of a telefax which was attached to a letter from the Permanent Representative of Spain. We requested a copy of the original letter from the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain and that was received on the 2nd of June. We considered that the first letter although in the form of a telefax was a valid request·
Ilja HDLINSKY (Czechoslovakia): Mr Chairman, I may go along with the second part of your suggestion that tomorrow morning we will have the text of that which we should decide on, but I have certain doubts about the reflection in the report of our debate. It will be disproportional. I understand that our main interest to have in the report would be the programme of the Organization, budget, etc., etc. If we have to reflect on everything that has been said here then I have some doubts how to do it. I think it will be disproportional to the main consent of us in the report. Therefore by going with your suggestion tomorrow morning-the morning is always brighter than the evening-I have my doubts about the second part, and to be sincere, I would not like in the end to be in the shoes of the Chairman of the Drafting Committee!
CHAIRMAN: A report normally-at least to my understanding-should always reflect proportionately what has been said. This seems to be-at least the outcome of our discussion-a confirmation for that very delicate point which arouses a lot of interest. So if we report faithfully on that interest, no report can be disproportional. That is at least my reading of the situation.
Hannu HALINEN (Chairman, Drafting committee): I am happy to confirm here that of course this is perfectly clear as a mandate to the Drafting Committee to reflect appropriately the discussion as a part of the whole report. This we would gladly do, so there is no problem with that.
CHAIRMAN: So I take it that we agree. I would like to close the session. We have not reached a final decision on item 20.3 of our agenda. This point is adjourned until tomorrow in the hope that we are wiser tomorrow as the honourable delegate from Czechoslovakia indicated. Thank you very much for your patience.
Meeting rose at 19.45 hours
La séance est levée à 19 h 45
Se levanta la sesión a las 19.45 horas