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2. Election of Three Vice-Chairmen, and Designation of the Chairman and Members of the Drafting Committee (continued)
2. Election de trois Vice-Présidents et désignation du Président (suite)
2. Elección de tres Vicepresidentes y nombramiento del Presidente y los miembros del Comité de Redacción (continuación)

LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais annoncer au Conseil qu'après consultation entre les différents groupes, il est proposé de nommer Madame Monica Deregibus, de l'Argentine, à la présidence du Comité de rédaction. Elle aurait donc la charge de présider le Comité de rédaction qui devra se réunir cet après-midi pour commencer ses travaux. Je vous propose de retenir cette candidature et je félicite Madame Deregibus. C'est une forme d'application d'intégration de la femme dans le développement car, à ma connaissance, c'est la première fois qu'une femme préside le Comité de rédaction.



6. Reports of the Fifty-eighth Session of the Programme Committee; the Sixty-sixth Session of the Finance Committee, and their Joint Session (Rome 13-29 September 1989) (CL 96-4), including:
6. Rapports de la cinquante-huitième session du Comité du Programme, de la soixante-sixième session du Comité financier et de leur session conjointe (Rome, 13-29 septembre 1989) (CL 96/4), notamment:
6. Informes del 58- periodo de sesiones del Comité del Programa; del 66- período de sesiones del Comité de Finanzas y de su periodo de sesiones conjunto (Roma, 13-29 de septiembre de 1989) (CL 96/4), en particular:

6.1 Financial Position of the Organization (paras. 3.32-3.49)
6.1 Situation financière de l'Organisation (par. 3.32-3.49)
6.1 Situación financiera de la Organización (pàrrs. 3.32-3.49)

6.2 Appointment of the External Auditor (paras. 3.80-3.87)
6.2 Nomination du Commissaire aux comptes (par. 3.80-3.87)
6.2 Nombramiento del Auditor Externo (párrs. 3.80-3.87)

6.4 Personnel Matters (paras. 3.88-3.102)
6.4 Questions de personnel (par. 3.88-3.102)
6.4 Cuestiones de personal (3.88-3.102)

6.5 Matters Relating to UNDP (paras 2.119-2.124 and 3.72-3.73)
6.5 Questions relatives au PNUD (par. 2.119-2.124 et 3.72-3.73)
6.5 Asuntos relativos al PNUD (párrs. 2.119-2.124 y 3.72-3.73)

6.6 Other Matters Arising Out of the Reports
6.6 Autres questions découlant des rapports
6.6 Otras cuestiones derivadas de los informes

LE PRESIDENT: Je vais donner la parole à M. Bukhari, Président du Comité financier, qui va nous faire un exposé sur l'ensemble du point 10.

Atif Y. BUKHARI (Chairman, Finance Committee) (original language Arabic): Thank you, Mr President. I have the honour of introducing the various items that fall within the competence of the Finance Committee which fall within document CL 96/4. My introduction will be slightly long, therefore I indulge your patience. These are firstly the report of the 66th Session of the Finance Committee held from 25 to 29 September 1989, and secondly the report of the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees also held in September 1989, on which my colleague, Professor Mazoyer, is also commenting.

The 66th Session was the third session of the Committee held in 1989; I already reported to the Council, at its 95th Session, on the first two meetings. The 66th Session had a very long agenda as you will have noted from our report and a number of important subjects were dealt with.

Under Budgetary Matters, I had in fact introduced part of that item yesterday. The Committee reviewed the Programme of Work and Budget for 1990-91. I said, and I talked yesterday, about the great increase in cost which amounted to $ 76 600 000. I said that the cost increases in fact included those questions which had not been included when we had discussed this point due to the lack of information. In fact, there are three items which led to this total cost increase of $ 76 600 000 to main items, the review of the conditions of service of Professional and higher categories; secondly, the forthcoming salary review of the General Service staff in Rome, and the anticipated lifting of the transitional measures of the post adjustment classification. I said that the $ 3 million had been absorbed and no allocation had been made for the cost for consultants, travel, and staff upgradings.

All these figures and facts, as is the case in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, are based on the exchange rate of US $ 1 = Italian Lire 1235, and Mr Shah had referred to this issue this morning. Since the FAO Conference would accept the budget rate for the next biennium, should the rate of the US dollar to the Italian lira be 1400, there would be a potential reduction of the budget level of some $ 22 million. This was frankly and clearly stated by Mr Shah this morning as well.

At this juncture I should give you my comments on the Report of the Joint Session of the Programme and Finance Committees which was also devoted to the Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91. Generally, the Committees were satisfied that the proposals were in conformity with the views and recommendations they had expressed when examining the summary proposals in February 1989. They recognized that the high level of expectations for FAO assistance from Member Nations, could not realistically be met within the level of resources as proposed, and the Committees expressed satisfaction at the quality of the dialogue and two members, in fact, had endorsed zero growth to members still attached to the principle of zero growth. Two members are still attached to the principle of zero growth, and hope was expressed that consensus should be reached in the Conference on the Programme of Work and Budget. We hope that such reservations will be withdrawn in the future.

With regard to the application of the lapse factor, which I referred to yesterday as well, the Committee discussed the rationale for its application, recognizing that, despite all efforts to ensure timely action, some delay in filling posts had occurred. As is extremely natural over many years, a practice of reducing the corresponding budgetary provisions for personnel services of Regular Programmes has been developed, expressed as a lapse factor, currently standing at 5.5 percent. This high lapse factor has a negative effect on the implementation of the Programme of Work and Budget. Different modalities under which this lapse factor could be applied were considered, but note was taken that no statistically proven practice had as yet been found.

The Director-General had proposed a change from 5.5 percent to 3 percent in order to restore the staff capacities of the Organization, but the Committee noted that an increase in the budget will amount to about $ 9.3 million. This is why the Committee did not come to a final and definite decision. Therefore, this matter is put before Council and Conference. I am quite sure that the Secretariat will further clarify and explain the contents of the Director-General's proposal for the benefit of the Council.

The Committee also had to consider the budgets of the European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease and of the Regional Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific for 1990-91, which it endorsed.

Finally, with regard to budgetary matters, the Committee approved a budgetary transfer of up to US $ 6 million from Chapter 2 to Chapter 5 in order to cover both the deficit from currency losses and the excess charges from the negative staff cost variance - that is, the increase of actual staff costs incurred in 1988-89 over standard costs for staff used in establishing the relevant budget. The Committee will, of course, receive a specific report on the exact amount of the transfer at its 67th Session in May 1990, when the 1988-89 accounts will be closed.

Under financial matters, the Committee noted the status of contributions at 25 September 1989. You will now be provided with the latest update of the situation.

At that time only 61.8 percent of the total 1989 assessment had been received, equivalent to US $ 148.9 million, and the total of contributions outstanding and in arrears amounted to US $ 194.9 million, of which US $ 143.5 million were owed by the major contributor. These amounts of contributions outstanding and in arrears were the highest in FAO history at this time of the year.

The Committee noted with regret that the Organization was not successful in getting from Member Nations advance information on the expected dates and amounts of payments of their contributions so as to facilitate the Director-General's financial management. Another serious preoccupation expressed by the Committee was the risk for Member Nations concerned about losing their voting rights at this forthcoming Conference.

The Committee considered the report on the accounts for the period January 1988 through August 1989. It noted that, though the cash flow situation had slightly improved, the situation could become critical before the end of the year if no significant additional contributions were received. The Director-General has also referred to this point previously. The Committee also noted that the Working Capital Fund and the Special Reserve Account had been partially replenished to levels of US $ 17.2 and US $ 16.5 respectively.

The Committee reviewed the proposal by the Director-General to change the practice of charging profit and losses on exchange and considered the related draft Conference Resolution which is to be found in paragraph 3.56 on page 35 of our report. The practice so far had been to charge losses and credit profits on exchange arising from the purchase and holding of non-US $ currencies to Chapter 5 of the Budget. As I mentioned earlier, we had been requested to approve a budgetary transfer from Chapter 2 to Chapter 5 partially for that reason. This practice therefore affects negatively the implementation of the Programme of Work and Budget whenever currency fluctuations result in excessive losses, as was the case over the period 1985-88. On the other hand, the Committee recognized that through Conference Resolution 13/81 the Director-General had been authorized to use funds from the Special reserve Fund to finance unbudgeted costs due to movements of currency exchange rates. It therefore found logical, and approved, the proposal put forward by the Director-General to rationalize the practice in this regard and have the referred profits and losses on exchange directly credited or debited to the Special Reserve Account as from the 1988-89 accounts, thus improving the protection of the Programme of Work and Budget from currency uncertainties. The draft Conference Resolution is therefore submitted for the consideration of the Council under paragraph 3.56 of our Report.

The Committee also examined the actuarial review of the Compensation Plan Reserve Fund at 31 December 1988 and noted that there was a surplus which allowed for a slight reduction in the rates of contribution applied to staff costs.

The Committee reviewed the 1988 results of the cost measurement system and in this regard noted that FAO received from UNDP a one-time adjustment of US $ 2 058 000 in respect of 1987 support costs reimbursements to compensate for extraordinary exchange losses arising from the US dollar depreciation. It also noted the information on the new UNDP so-called successor support cost arrangements, which you will discuss under item 10.5 of your Agenda.

With regard to another form of support cost reimbursement, the Committee reviewed and approved a draft Conference Resolution, included under paragraph 3.79, concerning reimbursement for the cost of indirect services and facilities made available to the FAO Commissary. This Resolution is also submitted for the Council approval and is to be forwarded to the Conference for adoption.

The Committee had the opportunity to consider the presentations of candidatures for the position of FAO External Auditor for the period 1990-91. It was very impressed by the high standards of the two candidates, the French Cour des Comptes and the United Kingdom National Audit Office, which is the current incumbent of the position and which, as such, the Organization has come to know well over the years. The Committee noted the difference in approach in the performance of the tasks, which partly accounted for the difference in fees, and recognized that both Organizations were able to perform audits of high professional quality. It finally considered that in order to avoid the impact of the transition from the current audit system to a new one at this time when FAO was suffering from a reduction in staff resources, and also to retain the advantages of "value for money" audit performed by the UK office, it would advise retention of the services of the current External Auditor for a new period of two years, and accordingly submitted a draft Conference Resolution for the consideration of the Council, which you will find under paragraph 3.87 of our Report.

Under Personnel Matters, the Committee was informed of the changes in salary scales and allowances for Professional and higher categories and for General Service staff at Headquarters. Moreover, the Committee reviewed the customary statistics of personnel services presented to it. The Committee was also apprised of recent developments in the activities of the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions and the International Civil Service Commission and Pension Boards which you will find described in paragraph 3.92 to paragraph 3.99 of our report.

The Committee endorsed the Director-General's proposal to adjust the allowance for the Chairman of the Appeals Committee.

Under Organizational Matters, the Committee was up-dated on the current developments regarding the Headquarters' accommodation and while expressing appreciation for the support from the Italian Government expressed the hope that the Host Government would find an early solution to the specific problem concerning Phase I of the Constructions, detailed in paragraph 3.105 of our Report.

The Committee reviewed the ultimate developments regarding the implementation of FINSYS/PERSYS and found that the project was proceeding on schedule.

Under Other Matters the Committee reviewed the Regular Programme and the Field programme 1988-89 which you will discuss under item 8 and 9 respectively.

With regard to the items dealing with the World Food Programme, the Committee as usual reported separately on this matter to the CFA through the Executive Director, to whom I have personally addressed a copy of that section of the Report produced as a Finance Committee document. The Council will be appraised of appropriate actions and comments on this section of the Report through the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes as has been normal procedure.

Finally, the Committee concluded its deliberations in agreeing upon the dates of its next session which will be 8 to 17 May 1990 in Rome.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Président du Comité financier pour l'excellente introduction qu'il vient de nous faire.

Je voudrais demander à M. Crowther de bien vouloir nous donner quelques éléments supplémentaires d'information.

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Nous sommes bien en train de discuter la situation financière, et non du budget.

LE PRESIDENT: C'est exact. Il s'agit bien de la situation financière.

D.K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): Council Members have before them an update of the financial situation under document CL 96/LIM/1. This shows the financial position of the Organization as at 23 October, and I have some additional information which I will provide orally to give a complete up-to-date account of contributions received thus far in order that Council Members will have the latest information available to the Organization.

First, to give Council members some idea of the difficulty that the Finance Committee has had in dealing with the financial situation of the Organization, let me first go back to the beginning of this biennium at which time you will recall that owing to the lack of receipt of contributions the Organization ended up for the first time in history with a deficit in the sense of having expenditure exceed income. In either case the Director-General had taken the decision that it was necessary to reduce programme expenditures well below the authorized budget level.

Nevertheless, with the lack of receipt of contributions he found it necessary to spend an amount in excess of the receipts received during the biennium. This caused the biennium to end with a deficit of US$ 46.7 million.

The Organization, at that time, had used up its safety net - its Working Capital Fund, its Special Reserve Account - and literally had a large list of bills approximating well over US$ 100 million at that point in time. That was a large deficit. The situation was barely enough to get by on. Thanks to those member countries who very promptly paid their contributions beginning in January 1988, the Organization found the wherewithal to continue its operations and programmes without borrowing money. It was a critical time because the Director-General was faced with very severe shortage of funds, and continuing programme expenditures - it is not possible to turn off programme expenditures over night. He took a number of actions which, over the year, reduced expenditure, but caused serious problems in cash flow, due to the lack of receipt of those contributions.

A number of decisions had to be taken by the Director-General, most of which have been reported to you but in understanding the financial situation of the Organization today, it is well to review them briefly.

First, in order to survive the 1986-87 biennium it was necessary for the Director-General to reduce expenditures by US$ 25 million. In 1988 it was necessary to again reduce expenditure in an amount just over US$ 20 million. In 1989 finding himself in a position where he had increased costs, that were not anticipated on the personnel side, to the amount of US$ 23 million, he could not make similar amounts of programme expenditure because of the unexpected costs. That really means that during 1987-1989 a total of US$ 68 million in programme expenditures had to be reduced. Where does this leave us at the end of this biennium? Carrying over the deficit of US$ 46.7 million from the prior biennium we will literally Increase that deficit by a small amount, about US$ 9 million, at the end of this biennium. Again, this is because of the lack of receipt of contributions and more specifically, arrears.

On top of the deficit with which we are faced, the amount of outstanding; bills continues to accumulate and while the Director-General has done a tightrope act by balancing between one and the other, and keeping the vendors happy we find ourselves in a position where, at the end of the biennium, the Organization literally would have calls upon it for an excess US$ 100 million. Now, there are a wide range of matters included in there but they are all legal obligations that the Organization will ultimately have to meet.

If we completely reduce the Working Capital Fund and Special Reserve Account which has had some build up during the biennium, in order to offset some part of the deficit - the Working Capital Fund at the moment is expected to have US$ 18 million at the end of the year and the Special Reserve Account approximately US$ 17 million at the end of the year - that US$ 35 million would offset some part of the accumulated deficit. We could end the biennium with a reduced deficit of US$ 20 million. Projecting from today, which is hard to do because we still do not know a number of figures which are absolutely imperative, particularly with respect to contributions, we would expect that at the end of the year we could have outstanding obligations, including the remaining deficit of US$ 117.5 million and have practically no money in the bank whatsoever.

Now by doing that it means all of our safety nets will be depleted. There would be no Working Capital Fund, there would be no money in the Special Reserve Account and. our cash would be very close to zero. After two years of some very heavy belt tightening and with a cash flow comparatively low we find ourselves in a position where, beginning in January, we will again have to call on Member Nations to pay their contributions as early as they possibly can to avoid borrowing.

The information reported to the Council in the document concerning the financial position of the Organization has been updated in the LIM document and have some additional information today. I will summarize that information so that it is not necessary for everyone to write it down. However, if anyone wants the information I can certainly provide it.

On current assessments at the beginning of the year of US$ 240.9 million and contributions in arrears at the beginning of the year of US$ 109.8 million the Organization was owed US$ 350.8 million. Up until late yesterday we had received on current assessments US$ 160.9 million, that is barely over two-thirds of this years assessed contributions. We have received in arrears through yesterday US$ 15 million. Therefore, in total we have received US$ 176 million. Now, what is left outstanding? Approximately US$ 80 million in current assessments remains outstanding today, US$ 94.7 almost US$ 95 million remain outstanding in arrears, which totals very close to US$ 175 million. On a US$ 240 million budget, US$ 175 million outstanding makes it extremely difficult to manage. Of course, the major contributor has a rate of payment on a scale

of contributions of 25 percent. We have received for current assessments 66.8 percent. Now, if you remove the 25 percent you will see that there is roughly 8 percent that is still remaining. Now, that is a better rate of collection this year than last year, for all those other than the United States, but it is still 8 percent.

If we look at the amount of arrears we find again that we will end the year with the largest amount of arrears owed in the history of the Organization. Ordinarily it is US$ 18 to 20 million at the end of a year and this year it is going to be US$ 95 million.

The amount of arrears in current contributions at the end of the year is the largest outstanding. It is probably the most pessimistic picture that we have seen on the receipt side in history. Nonetheless, a number of Member Governments have been extremely prudent and paid very early. I think it is important for the Organization to report to the Council that this year particularly, and to a lesser degree last year, there has been a change in the pattern of the receipt of contributions by a number of member countries, for various reasons.

Without even attempting to understand all the reasons, needless to say we received less money in the third quarter of the year than we have done in the normal pattern of receipt of contributions in the past. All the contributions are due and payable on 1st January of each year, or thirty days following receipt of notice of those, and the Director-General very prudently puts out the notice on 1st December so that contributions fall due on 1st January.

All those contributions are due, and a number of countries - specifically the Nordic countries -pay regularly in January or early February. But the pattern of a number of other countries who have paid in the first quarter in the past has changed. We were receiving payments in September and October, and some we will not receive until November, that had been received in the first quarter in prior years.

You can imagine how difficult it is to project a cash flow. A number of member countries have asked for detailed information on cash flow projections. Nothing would make us all happier than to be able to provide those projections, but without information on when the Member Governments are going to pay, and in what amount, it is almost impossible to project them, and extremely difficult for the Director-General to manage under those conditions.

The financial situation, as I have explained it, is grave. Unless we can find some technique for receiving the contributions, and receiving them on a reasonably timely basis, we have reached the point now where you cannot continue just to cut programmes further without severe damage to those programmes.

The cash flow situation has been able to rely heavily on the Working Capital Fund and on the Special Reserve Account. This year we shall have to draw down on the Special Reserve Account to back-up the Working Capital Fund. It has been mentioned that perhaps 5 percent is too much in the Special Reserve Account. We shall be significantly short after having drawn down the entire Special Reserve Account this year. Every measure has been taken to avoid either currency fluctuation or other expenditure, but having taken all those matters into account the situation is extremely grave, as you can see.

The Finance Committee considered a number of possible alternatives to encourage Member Nations to pay. As Council members will recall, at the last Conference Resolution 18/87 was passed, which was Measures to Deal with Problems of Delayed Payment of Assessed Contributions. As part of that Resolution the Conference requested the Director-General to report to this Council session on those measures that were adopted in order to return to Member Nations interest arising on contributions to the Organization during the previous biennium from surplus. I would be very pleased to be able to report that there was going to be a surplus and we had interest to distribute. Obviously there will not be. Our deficit will continue to grow at the end of this biennium, so there will be no cash distribution in the 1990/91 biennium. I am sure the Director-General would much prefer to report that he had received contributions, that there were very few arrears and therefore there could be a surplus, but that is not the case.

As the Chairman of the Finance Committee has reported, there are three matters that come before the attention of the Council in the form of Resolutions. It would be appropriate if the various members commenting would particularly comment on those, the first of which follows the Finance Committee Report paragraph 3.56, which has to do with the treatment of profit and loss on exchange accounts. This is an important accounting adjustment. The Finance Committee has already explained it. Secondly, there is a resolution that would be on-forwarded to the Conference, if the Council agrees, following paragraph 3.79. It has to do with staff commissary support cost reimbursements. Since our commissary was set up by Conference resolution in order

to amend it, it must also go to the Conference, and there is a resolution there for your consideration. Finally, for decision is the appointment of the External Auditor. The resolution for the appointment follows paragraph 3.87, but that does not go to the Conference. That is for decision by the Council.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie M. Crowther de son exposé sur la situation financière de l'Organisation, qui ne laisse pas de nous préoccuper, et je donne la parole au Directeur général.

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Je présente mes excuses au Conseil de prendre la parole après M. Crowther mais il s'agit d'une situation exceptionnelle, d'un triste record historique: 177 millions de dollars de contributions impayées, et je crois malheureusement que ce record sera battu l'année prochaine s'il n'y a pas une manifestation de bonne volonté de la part de tous.

Monsieur Crowther a dû utiliser quelques mots techniques. Je veux dire que, pour l'année 1989, il y a 80 millions de dollars qui n'ont pas été perçus et, pour les années antérieures à 1989, environ 95 millions. Le total est donc de 175 ou 176 millions de dollars impayés. M. Crowther a également dit qu'au début de l'année, notre fonds de roulement et notre fonds de réserve spéciale seront vides. Il a dit qu'il y aurait aussi des factures à payer pour un montant de plus de 100 millions de dollars, au début de l'année.

Je serais très déçu si, comme d'habitude, le Conseil restait silencieux et nous laissait seuls dans cette affaire, alors que nous n'y pouvons vraiment rien. Ce que nous avons fait, c'est plaisir à ceux qui ne veulent pas que nous utilisions les facilités bancaires accordées par la Conférence. Des mesures ont été prises pour encourager les Etats Membres â payer leurs contributions à temps. Les pays membres ont un mois pour verser la somme qu'ils doivent après en avoir été notifiés. Nous les notifions au mois de décembre; les sommes sont donc dues au mois de janvier suivant. Les mesures d'encouragement n'ont pas donné de résultats; elles consistaient à faire bénéficier les pays des intérêts tirés des surplus. Or, comme on le sait, il n'y a pas de surplus. Il faut donc envisager d'autres mesures pour décourager les Etats Membres à ne pas payer leurs contributions ou à en retarder le paiement. Je ne m'étends pas davantage, mais je pense que les mesures d'encouragement n'ont pas donné et ne peuvent pas donner de résultat et j'espère que le Conseil voudra bien se prononcer sur cette crise financière de 177 millions afin de nous permettre d'avancer. Sinon, nous nous enliserons et, lorsque nous nous retrouverons ici l'année prochaine, nous serons confrontés au même blocage; écouter et ne pas se prononcer.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Directeur général sur ce qu'il vient de dire sur la situation financière de l'Organisation qui est véritablement préoccupante.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Señor Presidente, después de la dolorosa y cronológica relación que sobre este tema viene haciendo el Director General con objetividad y realismo, dominando el impulso emotivo que naturalmente dimana de una situación como ésta, esperamos que en esta ocasión no sólo los representantes de países en desarrollo, sino todo los miembros del Consejo, expresaremos nuestra inconformidad con estos hechos graves, preocupantes, prolongados, y sin solución a la vista. Porque se trata de la vida misma de nuestra Organización que pertenece a todos nosotros y que hasta 1987 tuvo una acción dinámica y vigorosa gracias al apoyo de todos los Estados Miembros, gracias, particularmente - y lo reconocemos con honestidad - a las sustanciales contribuciones de los estados industrializados, que son vitales e indispensables. Estamos reconocidos a los demás países desarrollados que al pagar oportunamente sus contribuciones han evitado que la crisis adquiera más dramáticas proporciones.

Los Representantes de Colombia pensamos que ese mismo espíritu generoso y solidario, bien entendido, debe prevalecer en la discusión y conclusión de este tema. Si procediéramos con debilidad nos haremos cómplices de esta deplorable situación y alentaremos a quienes sean responsables de la crisis a persistir en su actitud condenable con consecuencias incalculables.

En cambio si, como esperamos, todos nos manifestamos en contra de la actitud determinante de la crisis, y en nuestro informe consignaremos con claridad y franqueza, la insatisfacción que esa conducta lamentable nos produce, podremos contribuir a que esa actitud se modifique.

Lo ha dicho el Presidente del Comité de Finanzas y consta también en el párrafo 3.AO "la cantidad de cuotas sin pagar es la más alta de la historia de la Organización", y en el párrafo 3.36 se reitera esa afirmación al decir que "sigue siendo la más alta jamás registrada".

Cómo es posible entonces, que los miembros de este Consejo, representantes de gobiernos soberanos, podamos permanecer en silencio sin que en nuestro informe, como lo proponemos expresemos la profunda preocupación que esa situación causa al Consejo, y pidamos a la Conferencia que destaque la gravedad de esos hechos intolerables y exija a todos los Estados Miembros el pago de sus contribuciones, sobre todos a aquellos Estados Miembros cuyo incumplimiento ha sido determinante que paguen sus contribuciones, que cumplan el compromiso legal y moral adquirido, que digan cuándo y cómo van a pagar como lo pide el Comité de Finanzas en el párrafo 3.47 de su Informe.

Estamos seguros de que el Consejo será unánime en este juicio. No podemos imaginar que ni siquiera el silencio podrá dar la sensación de una absurda solidaridad con los responsables.

Colombia ha pagado todas sus contribuciones a pesar de nuestra difícil situación que el mundo conoce. Aportes limitados, pero hechos con sacrificio y buena voluntad.

En los párrafos 3.47 a 3.49, el Comité de Finanzas analiza muy bien la situación. Todos los llamados anteriores han sido inútiles, no han producido ningún resultado. ¿Qué debemos hacer entonces?

Se pide al Consejo, párrafo 3.49, que se pronuncie sobre qué otras medidas debían tomarse para conseguir el pago más puntual de las cuotas, y el Director General también ha insistido al respecto. Carecemos de poder coercitivo. Por ello preguntamos al Consejero Jurídico. Queremos que el Consejero nos diga si en el caso de que un país, o algunos países, en cualquier momento se atrasen considerablemente en el pago de sus cuotas, ese caso, o esos casos ¿podrán ser llevados ante la Corte. Internacional de La Haya?, o ¿sólo nos quedará el recurso a la estigmatización, a la señalación moral?.¿ El piadoso ruego a Dios, o a la Divinidad de cada quien? ¿La plegaria compungida? ¿Reiterar nuestra fe en el color verde de la esperanza?

Los representantes de Colombia estamos dispuestos a hacer todo ello, y mucho más. Hemos pensado que será necesario atender concretamente el llamado del Director General y del Comité de Finanzas sobre nuevas ideas que vamos a exponer.

El párrafo 3.38 del Informe del Comité de Finanzas contiene un aspecto paradójico, aberrante, injusto, que es necesario rectificar. Se dice en el párrafo 3.38 que 15 países, naturalmente todos en desarrollo, que esos 15 países: 7 de Africa, 5 de América Latina y el Caribe, uno de Asia, uno de Europa y uno del Medio Oriente, van a incurrir en la posible pérdida, no han perdido el derecho al voto, posible pérdida del derecho al voto en el próximo 25% período de sesiones de la Conferencia. Esos quince países son citados por sus nombres, por sus nombres propios, en ese párrafo 3.38. A esos países porque son del Tercer Mundo, porque carecen de recursos para pagar, se les ha lapidado, se les ha estigmatizado y se les ha conminado como morosos ante la Comunidad Internacional. Este es otro capítulo de la jerarquía de comparaciones a que hemos venido haciendo referencia. Ojalá, Señor Presidente del Comité de Finanzas, que en ningún otro próximo informe de ese importante Comité figuren los nombres de los países porque deban sumas insignificantes o que se aplique la misma medida para todos los deudores morosos.

El Apéndice A del Informe del Comité de Finanzas nos indica cuáles son las cuotas que deben esos países del Tercer Mundo. Veámoslas: Antigua y Barbuda, 54 000 dólares; Comoras, 88 000 dólares; Burundi, 98 000 dólares; Suriname, 99 000 dólares; Santo Tomé y Príncipe, 99 000 dólares. Es fácil notar que ninguno de estos países llega ni siquiera a la suma de 100 000 dólares; 100 000 dólares, repetimos, que, según nuestros cálculos serían apenas 0,0000000142 por ciento de 142 millones de dólares, cifra que citamos al azar.

Esa injusticia flagrante que hace parte de la jerarquía de comparaciones a que venimos haciendo referencia se refleja igualmente en el párrafo 5 del artículo 22 del Reglamento General, según el cual, citamos "ningún Estado Miembro podrá ser elegido para formar parte del Consejo si adeuda a la Organización en concepto de cuotas atrasadas una cantidad igual o mayor a la que corresponda pagar por los dos años civiles anteriores"·

La situación dramática que estamos padeciendo, ante la cual parece que nos encontramos completamente inermes, indica claramente que esa disposición injusta hay que modificarla.

Los representantes del Gobierno de Colombia opinamos firme e irrevocablemente que ésta es una Organización democrática, en cuyo seno todos los Estados Miembros, grandes o pequeños, ricos o pobres, poderosos o menos, tienen los mismos derechos y las mismas obligaciones, sin ningún privilegio.

Es injusto o intolerable que se penalize a países del Tercer Mundo porque ellos, esos si, no pueden pagar por carencia de recursos y factores ajenos a su voluntad, cifras mínimas y que todos frente a esta situación sigamos felices y campantes como si nada estuviera sucediendo.

Estamos agradecidos al Director General y al Presidente del Comité de Finanzas porque nos han hecho pensar, nos han instado a sugerir soluciones y a devanar nuestras mentes.

Sera necesario modificar los Textos Fundamentales en cuanto al derecho al voto y a la elección al Consejo para evitar que en el futuro sólo los países del Tercer Mundo sean víctimas de esas disposiciones anticuadas.

Podríamos pensar, por ejemplo, en que el total de las cuotas atrasadas para poder votar en la Conferencia y ser elegidos al Consejo y a sus Comités, tenga un tope - digamos 50 millones de dólares - o establecer un porcentaje sobre el nivel presupuestario de, acaso, el 10 por ciento.

El párrafo 5.10 del artículo 5 del Reglamento Financiero dice que: "el Consejo podrá en cualquiera de sus períodos de sesiones, aconsejar al Director General sobre las medidas que sea conveniente adoptar para activar el pago de las cuotas. El Consejo podrá someter a la consideración de la Conferencia las recomendaciones que a este respecto estime conveniente".

Preguntamos al Consejero Jurídico: en virtud de esta disposición del Reglamento Financiero, ¿sería viable una propuesta a la Conferencia de este Consejo para modificar los Textos Fundamentales a la luz de nuestros razonamientos?

Naturalmente sabemos que será necesario respetar los términos de antelación para modificar los Textos Fundamentales, de manera que eso no sería posible para la Conferencia que se iniciará el próximo sábado; pero de todos modos estas inquietudes, elucubraciones, que nos han surgido para corresponder a las demandas del Director General y del Comité de Finanzas podrían ser tenidas en cuenta para el bienio entrante, de acuerdo con la evolución que pueda irse presentando en estas desafortunadas situaciones.

Los representantes de Colombia rendimos homenaje a la manera pragmática, ponderada y competente, como el Director General ha podido hacer frente a una situación semejante. Ya el Señor Crowther ha explicado muy bien los impactos que esta situación ha producido sobre el funcionamiento de la Organización, el aplazo de los pagos y también por qué el Director General no ha hecho uso hasta hora de la facultad de hacer préstamos. Sin embargo, queremos preguntar hasta cuándo será posible prolongar esa situación desdorosa que no corresponde a una Organización como la FAO que aun así, menomada, con cicatrices sangrantes sobresale con orgullo en el Sistema de las Naciones Unidas como una de las más eficientes y dinámicas.

El Director General ha dicho, y el Señor Crowther ha confirmado, que existen 100 millones de dólares en facturas atrasadas por pagar. ¿Podrá esa cifra hacer reaccionar a quienes puedan tener responsabilidad en este proceso que causa desprestigio al buen nombre de la FAO y que afecta gravemente su seriedad y solvencia?

Hace tres semanas, el Gerente de una sociedad que suministra papelería y utiles de escritorio a nuestra modesta misión, aquí en Roma, me expresó su extrañeza porque la FAO excepcionalmente, como nunca antes en los 39 años que lleva en Roma, estuviera considerablemente retardada en relación con algunos pagos pendientes. Me conmovió la conclusión de ese Gerente de una mediana empresa. "Esto es sólo un comentario marginal", me dijo. "Non è un lamento - expresó en italiano - porque yo sé que la FAO pagará como siempre, honrara sus compromisos como lo ha hecho durante 39 años. La FAO es una grande, seria y respetable organización", terminó diciendo.

Señor Presidente, señores Miembros del Consejo, hagamos nuestras esas palabras de una persona humilde. Tengamos fe en el porvenir de nuestra Organización. La FAO tiene que sobrevivir porque así lo demandan las aspiraciones, las necesidades y los derechos de todos los Estados Miembros, particularmente aquéllos del Tercer Mundo.

Raphael RABE (Madagascar): La délégation malgache félicite Son Excellence Monsieur Bukhari, Président du Comité financier, pour la présentation magistrale du point 10 de notre ordre du jour. Elle remercie aussi Monsieur le Directeur général et Monsieur Crowther pour le complément d'information très utile qu'ils nous ont fourni sur la situation financière de l'Organisation.

Par la même occasion nous tenons à manifester notre vive reconnaissance envers tous les membres du Comité financier pour leur abnégation et les efforts inlassables et soutenus dont ils ont fait preuve en traitant toutes ces questions durant leur mandat.

La 24ème session de la Conférence avait déjà été saisie des problèmes de trésorerie de la FAO, et tous les Etats sans exception avaient à ce moment-là pris la résolution de porter - sinon de chercher à porter - remède à la situation qui prévalait.

Or, voici que la 25ème session sera à nouveau saisie d'une situation nettement plus critique, nettement plus grave et plus préoccupante: plus de 117 millions de dollars de contributions non payées sur un budget de 492 millions de dollars, soit plus de 35% de ses ressources, de ses moyens indispensables de travail. Et plus de 138 millions de ce montant, nous a indiqué le Directeur général et Monsieur Crowther l'a confirmé, constituent les obligations non réglées du plus gros contributeur.

Dans son examen de la situation financière de l'Organisation le Comité financier s'est déclaré extrêmement préoccupé et ses membres ont conclu à l'unanimité que l'Organisation ne pouvait continuer à différer le règlement de ses dépenses dont le total en suspens dépasse actuellement 100 millions de dollars.

Il faut éviter que la crédibilité de l'Organisation ne soit entamée du fait de la carence de quelques-uns de ses Etats Membres. Pour faire plaisir à ces mêmes Etats, le Directeur général n'a pas emprunté... A-t-il reçu pour autant un témoignage de satisfaction? Tel ne semble malheureusement pas le cas.

Les conséquences les plus redoutables de cette situation d'austérité provoquée sont la suppression de programmes vitaux pour nos pays, pour nos populations. Des actions de haute priorité correspondant à 68 millions de dollars ont déjà été sacrifiées, nous a précisé hier le Directeur général: l'assistance technique, la formation, l'appui aux ressources humaines, la documentation, dont certains comme le Cérès ou Unasilva ont été supprimés. On a fait des coupes très inquiétantes sinon fatales qui causent à la FAO des plaies difficiles à guérir car l'Organisation a déja perdu quantité de ses meilleurs experts; et les experts de qualité, nous dit-on, commencent déjà à se désintéresser d'une Organisation rendue peu sûre par ceux-là mêmes qui l'ont créée.

Malgré ces graves difficultés économiques et financières, le Gouvernement malgache a fait face à ses obligations statutaires et a réglé la totalité de ses contributions démontrant ainsi son attachement à la FAO, la confiance qu'il veut lui manifester et le soutien permanent et indéfectible qu'il lui assure.

De nombreux autres Etats en proie à des difficultés semblables sont aussi en règle ou mettent tout en oeuvre pour le devenir.

Il nous semble à nous aussi peu équitable que les pays en voie de développement qui ont des retards en raison des problèmes qui les dépassent soient sanctionnés par la perte de leurs droits de vote. Nous aussi pensons qu'il faudrait revoir la question, l'examiner très sérieusement et, en cas de besoin, modifier les textes de base.

Serait-il utopique, Monsieur le Président, de souhaiter que ces immenses sacrifices consentis par nos pays contribuent à convaincre le grand contributeur de mettre fin à la période de sévère austérité financière, volontairement imposée par lui, et que des jours meilleurs s'annoncent pour le développement au cours de la prochaine décennie? Ce n'est pas une utopie car nous avons à plusieurs occasions enregistré les déclarations de satisfaction et de soutien que ce pays a adressées à la FAO. Il n'y a donc pas de raison qu'il ne concrétise ses déclarations par les faits. En tout cas le Conseil a le devoir de lancer un appel de détresse à la Conférence et invite cette dernière à prendre une résolution unanime de tous les Etats sans exception afin d'assainir sans délai la situation.

Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Hemos escuchado con mucha atención el completo informe presentado por el Embajador Bukhari, Presidente del Comité de Finanzas, en la tarde de hoy, que no hace más que reafirmar la situación por la que atraviesa la Organización, así como lo posteriormente expresado por el Sr. Crowther demostrado en cifras, y en clara alusión a momentos sin precedentes en los anales de la historia de nuestra Organización, se ha calificado de crítica la situación financiera de la FAO. Y ante esa realidad seremos muy breves y concretos en esta intervención, pues sobre este tema, como expresamos anteriormente, trataremos con más detalle en el análisis del examen.

Ante esta difícil situación que atraviesa la Organización, que está relacionada fundamentalemente con el pago de las contribuciones de los Estados Miembros, sobre esta situación, nuestra delegación cree necesario hacer esta muy breve reflexión. En mi país, Sr. Presidente, existe una expresión que dice que no se debe andar por las ramas sino ir al tronco del árbol, y eso lo haremos. De esos 177 millones que faltan en las arcas de la FAO de las que nos habló ayer y hoy en su lenguaje valiente y directo el Director General, de esos 177 millones, un sólo país debe el 80 por ciento de ese total.

Sr. Director, Sr. Presidente: Hemos oído repetidamente en esta sala referirse a ese país como principal contribuidor. Yo creo que ante esta realidad su verdadera calificación sería el principal deudor. Pensamos sería necesario rectificar este "lapsus linguae" en el presente.

Ms Teresa HOBGOOD (united States of America): Mr Chairman, we have listened with interest to Mr Bukhari's introduction and the status report on the financial situation of the Organization provided by the Director-General and Mr Crowther. At this point, in the debate, my delegation would like to provide members of this body with a brief report on the outlook for United States' payments in the near term. Although we do not have final congressional action passed by both the House and the Senate of the United States Congress and signed by President Bush, we would like to offer the following preliminary comments: for fiscal year 1990, which reflects our calendar year 1989 payment to FAO, the President sought from the US Congress essentially full payment of our assessed contribution and an initial payment amounting to ten percent toward arrearages to international organizations. Based on congressional action to date, it is unlikely that our full funding request will be appropriated and we do not expect appropriate funds toward payment to arrearages. Until the legislative process is completed, we cannot provide more definitive information.

Mr Chairman, others have said that the needs FAO addresses are unique and that zero real growth should not apply to FAO's budget. For this reason: the United States believe there are many compelling needs that must be met. I doubt there is a Member Nation present which does not rejoice at the recent successes of the UN's peace-keeping efforts, or which does not share the common concern for the growing numbers of refugees and displaced persons. The United States, within the constraints on our budget, is trying to assure appropriate resources are available for all these needs. The complex process of budget formulation is continuing and involves trade-offs and priority setting, not only for our multi-lateral contributions, but also for domestic programmes. Also, document number CL 96/4, and other members of this body, have similar difficulty in paying their assessments to multi-lateral organizations. In this environment, a policy of zero real growth with maximum absorption of cost increases is the only prudent course for the Organization. Indeed, it is no more than is expected from many of us in our domestic budgets.

Mr Chairman, the Director-General referred to zero real growth as stagnation and several members have indicated a similar misunderstanding of the concept. Zero real growth does not mean an end to programme innovation; does not mean a reduction in services offered; does not mean a denial of benefits to FAO staff, rather, it is a management challenge facing this Organization, like the other organizations of the UN system. To strictly examine its programme priorities and structure, eliminating obsolete, inefficient and low priority items exactly so that there are sufficient resources to fund innovative new programmes, to provide more services to members through increased efficiencies and to promote the morale of staff by making their efforts more effective and valuable.

Taking into account our explanation of zero real growth, we do not accept the earlier explanation of the Secretariat that the 1990/91 proposed budget contains 0.45 percent real growth, not 1 percent real growth, due to the absorption of cost increases for consultants, duty travel and staff upgradings. While this comment was made under the agenda item on the Programme of Work and Budget, we believe that it is equally relevant when discussing the financial situation of FAO.

Turning to the Report of the 66th Session of the Finance Committee, as a member of this Committee which adopted the Report, ray delegation does not wish to comment at this time on the various proposals contained in the Report, inasmuch as we should prefer to leave ample time for the discussion on the Review of Certain Aspects of FAO's Goals and Operations. However, we should like to be able to intervene again under this agenda item should the need arise.

Mauricio CUADRA (Nicaragua): Gracias al embajador Bukhari por la excelente presentación que nos ha hecho de este tema, ya de todos conocido y que resulta verdaderamente dramático. Asimismo deseamos dejar constancia de nuestro reconocimiento al Sr. Director General, por el manejo tan certero de una situación tan difícil, que sólo con una verdadera calidad, como la que él posee, ha podido llevar a cabo. Nos ha pedido el Sr. Director General que no lo dejemos solo, que el Consejo no lo deje solo. No sabemos cómo podríamos dejarlo solo, señor; sería como dejarnos solos a nosotros mismos. De manera que vamos a tratar de aportar algo con esperanza, como dijera nuestro colega el embajador Bula Hoyos, a la solución de esta problemática que nos atañe tan directamente a los que consideramos a la FAO como nuestra Organización.

Ya nuestra Delegación ha expresado su preocupación por el estado financiero de la Organización y el rechazo a que se pretenda recortar aun más, vía absorción de costos, señalando las graves consecuencias que la crisis financiera ya está teniendo para nuestra Organización. De modo de que, además de reiterar nuestra posición, quisiéramos hacer une reflexión adicional sobre este asunto tan lamentable. En el presente siglo hemos vivido acontecimientos verdaderamente impresionantes: desde grandes descubrimientos a destructivas guerras mundiales, a períodos posteriores de gran tensión, caracterizados sobre todo por un exagerado nivel de armamentismo nuclear y convencional, con el consiguiente gasto que esto representa.

El financiamiento de guerras destructivas y, en nuestro caso particular, aprobando una gran potencia sumas enormes de dinero para hacernos la guerra y destruir nuestra vida y nuestra economía, ha sido característica de los últimos tiempos. Enormes cifras de dinero se han aprobado con mucha facilidad sin atrasos de ningún tipo. Gastos exagerados en armas ha aprobado esta potencia en contra de nuestro país. Mientras el mundo se muere de hambre, aquí se regatean unos cuantos centavos para defender la vida. Absurdo, triste, decepcionante; no sabemos, en realidad, cómo llamarlo. Aquí nos da la sensación, de repente, de estar un grupo de países pobres y pequeños peleando por quitarles el pan de la boca a algunos de los países más grandes y poderosos de la tierra; o bien nos da la sensación de estar pidiendo una limosna. Y esto no es así, queremos dejarlo sentado.

Y, para dejarlo bien claro, tal vez sea necesario recordar que el estado de atraso y de miseria en que se encuentran la mayoría de los países del Tercer Mundo o en desarrollo se debe precisamente al grado de explotación que han sufrido y aún continúan sufriendo de parte de los países que hoy se niegan a cumplir con sus cuotas y, menos todavía, a hacer mayores aportes de nuevos fondos para el desarrollo. Es decir, abundando un poco en este detalle, desean continuar lucrándose de sus inversiones en nuestros países, inversiones que les proporcionan grandes ganancias, y no están dispuestos a hacer ni siquiera un mínimo aporte, al menos para reponer los recursos que extraen de nuestras economías. No es una limosna, pues: es una obligación lo que aquí estamos reclamando.

Pero si ni siquiera podemos lograr que se conciba como una obligación el aporte a instituciones como la FAO, estamos, pues, lejos de lograr un nuevo orden económico internacional que acabe con la injusta distribución de la riqueza a nivel mundial y promueva el desarrollo, sacando de la miseria al Tercer Mundo para el beneficio de todos; no sólo del Tercer Mundo, ya que un nuevo orden económico internacional que eleve el nivel de nuestros países propiciará un clima más adecuado en general para el desarrollo global de la humanidad.

Señalábamos que hemos vivido en este siglo y en los últimos años una gran carrera armamentista y de gastos enormes en armamentos, financiamiento de guerras cubiertas, descubiertas, de baja o alta intensidad, de todas las intensidades y colores. Nosotros en particular las hemos sufrido y las seguimos sufriendo. Pero, en fin, hablemos del futuro. Se vive hoy un clima de distensión mundial; se supone que se van a reducir los gastos en armamento y, en consecuencia, se iniciará un período de mejoramiento general de la economía mundial, sobre todo de las grandes potencias. Por tanto, habrá recursos para el desarrollo. ¿No sería lógico, entonces, proponer o pedir que se asignen más recursos para terminar con el hambre y promover el desarrollo? ¿No está acaso íntimamente vinculado el desarrollo y la satisfacción de las necesidades básicas de los pueblos con la estabilidad y la paz? Y, viceversa, ¿no es necesario acaso un clima de paz y respeto para promover el desarrollo y la estabilidad de los pueblos? Nuestra Delegación, al analizar estos aspectos de la situación financiera grave que atraviesa nuestra institución, a los países que se niegan sin motivo económico justificado a aportar sus obligaciones a esta institución, quiere ofrecerles elementos adicionales que los ayuden a reconsiderar su posición o que los alienten a reconsiderar su posición. No se puede seguir recortando financiamiento a la FAO, pues la labor que nuestra Organización desempeña llega a lo más sentido de nuestras necesidades, con la

estabilidad, la promoción del desarrollo, la lucha contra el hambre. No se puede ignorar la miseria, el atraso y el hambre de los pueblos, y luego lamentarse por las explosiones sociales de los mismos. No hay paz sin desarrollo, no hay paz sin igualdad, y aquí quisiéramos sumarnos al señalamiento que han hecho la Delegación de Colombia y otras, en el sentido de que todavía se continúa, no sólo en este Organismo utilizando el eufemismo de "el mayor contribuyente" u "otro país", mientras a los países pequeños se los menciona por su nombre. Vamos a continuar usándolos nosotros, mientras no se cambie, pero esta situación debe cambiar.

De manera que, aun cuando nosotros hemos dicho aquí que creemos que es una cuestión de obligación el hacer los aportes a la FAO y no una cuestión de caridad, si es necesario apelar a los buenos sentimientos de nuestros hermanos países desarrollados que no quieren pagar, hay que pedirles que de manera caritativa se saquen la mano del bolsillo y se la pongan en la conciencia o como les de la gana -mejor, tal vez, en el corazón- y aporten a la FAO.

Javier TANTALEAN (Perú): Antes de nada, quisiera agradecer al Presidente del Comité de Finanzas de la FAO por la excelente exposición que ha hecho sobre los problemas financieros de la Organización. Asimismo, al Asistente del Director General en materia financiera.

Señor Presidente, por su intermedio quisiéramos expresar una duda que tiene mi Delegación con respecto a este término famoso del "crecimiento cero".

Para mi Delegación, ha llegado un momento realmente, y lo digo con toda sinceridad, de confusión. ¿Qué es "crecimiento cero"? ¿Significa que es crecimiento cero con absorción de costos? ¿Significa que se le está pidiendo a la FAO que no crezca y que, cuando existan procesos inflacionarios igual a absorción de costos, deban ser asumidos por la propia FAO? ¿Quiere decir que estamos hablando de un decrecimiento en el largo plazo, que llevaría a la extinción de la Organización? Ya se ha mencionado que ejemplos de éstos existen, como es el caso de la OEA, que, poco a poco, se ha ido extinguiendo en su Programa de Cooperación Técnica y hoy no tiene casi ningún tipo de programa de cooperación técnica. ¿Estamos hablando, entonces, de un crecimiento en términos nominales cero -eso es lo que nosotros no logramos entender- o un crecimiento en términos reales?

De todas maneras, sea cual sea la explicación y la respuesta de la Delegación de los Estados Unidos, que es la que ha llevado el liderazgo de esta tesis -minoritaria, por cierto- en esta magna y democrática asamblea, queremos expresar que nosotros sí pensamos que este instrumento fundamental de lucha contra el hambre y la malnutrición tiene que tener un apoyo sostenido, y es un problema moral de los países grandes, pequeños y subdesarrollados.

Por otro lado, quisiera discrepar también con la Delegación de Estados Unidos cuando el día de ayer -ya que este asunto también se menciona en el informe del 58% período de sesiones del Comité del Programa y forma parte de la discusión de lo que tenemos que ver hoy en la tarde- se menciona que la FAO incurriría en duplicidad, si es que a solicitud de los gobiernos apoyaría a éstos en los programas de ajuste estructural.

Nosotros discrepamos de esta posición, porque justamente son los programas de ajuste estructural los que han perjudicado mayormente al sector campesino y al sector productor de alimentos, y en general han significado una merma en lo que son de las capacidades de producción del sector agricultura. No vaya a pasar, como en muchos de nuestros países, que el Ministro de Agricultura, o el Ministerio de Agricultura se entera de las medidas de ajuste estructural por los periódicos, al día siguiente que han sido dadas. Nosotros pensamos que la FAO tiene una labor importantísima que cumplir, desde los comienzos, que serán los programas de ajuste estructural, para que justamente estén con un balance compensatorio, de lo que nos hablaba algún organismo internacional: "el ajuste con rostro humano".

En tal sentido discrepamos, pues, porque además somos conocedores los que por experiencia propia nos ha tocado negociar este tipo de programas, que tienen su base en la crisis de la deuda externa fundamentalmente y, por qué no reconocerlo, en otros casos, al mal manejo, por nuestros propios gobiernos, de las políticas económicas.

Por otro lado, quisiéramos aunarnos a lo que plantea el Comité del Programa, cuando se refiere a la posibilidad de mayores apoyos a los países de América Latina y el Caribe. Esto es importante, en vista de que hay una crisis manifiesta en América Latina y el Caribe, por el menor crecimiento de la región -varios países han tenido tasas negativas de crecimiento económico en los últimos años; la misma FAO ha declarado en estado de emergencia agroalimentaria a algunos países de la América Latina y el Caribe- y, por otro lado, la crisis generada por el asunto de la deuda externa.

En relación al informe del Comité de Finanzas, pienso que estamos de acuerdo con la propuesta del Director General sobre la aplicación del coeficiente de descuento por vacantes para aplicar un descuento intermedio entre el actual punto 5.5 y el propuesto 3 por ciento.

Por otro lado, mi Delegación apoya todos los proyectos de resolución propuestos por el Comité de Finanzas y se auna a la exhortación y a la autoexhortación -porque es también para mi propio país- para pagar, porque no hay otra solución, los retrasos que se tienen con la Organización de la FAO. Esto es muy importante, como ha sido mencionado por otros oradores.

David COUTTS (Australia): This is an item on which I could speak at great length, having been involved in the deliberations of the Finance Committee which I found very interesting. I thought Ambassador Bukhari's introduction was very good and I certainly do not have any problems with it. I will restrain myself, however, as I was on the Finance Committee and our views are reflected in the report. I will restrain myself to one or two particular points that need to be made.

The major point is one that basically everybody had focused on, namely the financial situation of the Organization. Certainly, Australia has no difficulty in joining in the appeal for member countries to pay their assessed contributions and we have done that constantly. We pay our contributions and we do not expect any special credit for that. However, we consider that there is an obligation on all member countries to pay. Having said that we recognize that a number of member countries have all sorts of difficulties in meeting their obligations. We have to be as understanding as we can about that matter. However, we cannot ignore the matter because the situation has reached a point where there are almost insuperable problems for the Organization caused by these deficiencies in payment. I would like to underline the point that we certainly cannot agree to any attempt to discriminate between member countries in terms of the way we deal with this problem. As the United States delegate pointed out, there are reasons why they have been unable to pay their contributions. I think that this group needs to listen, in some cases a little more closely, to what the United States have been trying to tell us. As I understand it the United States administration has made very great efforts to obtain those funds but unfortunately, so far at least, there have been difficulties in extracting the funds from the system. Of course, they can speak for themselves as to what the difficulties are.

There have been the other countries which did not pay because of their economic problems and we are very sympathetic. There are many other countries who did not pay for all sorts of reasons, and I think some of them would be embarrassed if we started to look into those reasons. I do not think it would be profitable, sensible or acceptable to do so. When we start looking at what we ought to do about the situation we must look as far as we can on an equitable basis. As has been suggested by a couple of delegates losing voting rights, and sanctions, as I understand the Colombian proposal, seems to be a very strange way to continue to put pressure on countries to pay their contributions. I do not think it is a very profitable route to follow. It is a rather hollow stick with which to beat people. We have rules and they are flouted already. I think it would be very unfortunate if we were to get into the position where we tighten too much the sanctions we put on other countries. One could suggest all sorts of sanctions, for example a much tighter restriction on countries holding seats on the Council, and even committees, if they did not pay. However, I wonder if that is going to achieve very much.

Having said that I do not know where we will get to because we have made appeals constantly during the years. The Finance Committee discusses this matter at every meeting. We all agree on the need and we make the strongest statements and reports and they are all eloquently repeated by Ambassador Bukhari. It does not do any good - matters just get worse. I do not know the answer, but I think that all that can be done is for Council to repeat its appeal. I strongly urge the Council to make such an appeal a unanimous and all embracing one, and not one that focused in a discriminatory way on certain member countries. That does not mean that we cannot accept underlining the problem that is caused by the non-payment of the United States contribution. It is quite correct, that because of the role the United States plays in this Organization the non-payment is a particularly significant factor.

However, we have to be very careful how we word that in terms of how this relates to the budget, and what we are considering for 1990/91. As I am on the Finance Committee I have been fairly close to the problems that the Secretariat have. I hear what Mr Crowther says. We have discussed the matter a number of times. I have the greatest admiration for the Director-General and the Secretariat for the juggling tricks and the initiative that they have shown so far in carrying the Organization through these problems without having to resort to borrowing, with which we would have had difficulty, and with reasonably limited cuts to the programmes. However, it seems to me that in a sense the show is almost over. The juggling act has just about reached the limit of its ability to keep the show going on the basis of that sort of action. As Mr Crowther said, we have a huge problem with unpaid bills which I am sure makes the Secretariat extremely uncomfortable. As has been said, it does like to be known to be a reliable and proper payer. This is a real problem, and we have to face this real problem in commitments that will have to be carried out in the next biennium.

Having said all that, 1 do not have the answer although 1 feel very strongly that we have to keep the situation in mind when we look at the Programme of Work and Budget and the Review for 1990/91. It seems to me to be futile for the Council and the Conference to agree to budgets which show significant increases - if that is what happens - and look at matters such as lapse factors, which again dramatically affect the amount countries have to pay when we have this problem to grapple with.

In listening to the United States it seems to me that the chances of getting more than half of what the United States is due to pay in 1990 are not particularly good. The chances of getting any payment of arrears do not sound very good at all. This means that the situation is not going to improve in the next biennium, and we may also face a contribution situation over the biennium which falls US$ 50 million short, or even more, of what should be paid, on the basis of the United States situation alone. If the Council and Conference puts their heads in the sand and do not recognize the situation certainly not condone or support it, unless you criticize it as strongly as possible, but it certainly cannot be ignored - we cannot keep passing budgets which do not take account of the situation.

There have been suggestions of establishing priorities and such matters. I am not particularly in favour of that method, but I think it is up to the Council and Conference in such a situation to give some guidance to the Director-General as to what they expect him to do about the situation. Our guidance so far is to tell him not to borrow, but unfortunately I cannot do more than that. I would certainly hate to be in his position and have to make the decisions that he has had to make over the last two or three years. For him the thought of having to make such decisions again over the next biennium possibly at even higher levels must be very uncomfortable. This is an important matter, and I do not have the answers, but maybe something will occur to me in the next couple of weeks as we are discussing the matter.

Finally, I should like to emphasize that when we are looking at the cost increases and the size of the budget we have to be very careful about the figures. As I said in my previous intervention there is a time-honoured way in which cost increases and programme increases are calculated. It is a way that is open to, I cannot say criticism, but could be done in other ways. What goes into the cost increases, while it is done in a very careful and meticulous fashion, (and I agree with Professor Shah on that matter) there is always room when dealing with estimates as to what should and should not go in - whether US$ 76 million is correct or whether it should be US$ 73 million or 79. I do not think it is correct to move to a point where we start calling a programme increase 0.45 percent rather than 1 percent. It is a small point and it would be silly to distract ourselves in an argument about it. However, if we are going to do it the traditional way, it seems to me that it is a 1 percent increase. We can acknowledge the absorption of costs as well, but it is a 1 percent increase.

I hope I have made all the points I wanted to make. I will continue with the other details of the Finance Committee. However, as with the United States, if debate opens up on some of those points I reserve my right to come back.

Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Yo voy a tratar de ser muy breve y escueta. Realmente solamente tengo preguntas en mi mente con relación a todas estas posibilidades que presentan aquí las Delegaciones de Australia y de Estados Unidos. Sencillamente, porque nosotros somos un país en desarrollo sometidos a una deuda tremenda con déficit graves en nuestra situación económico-social que vemos el panorama de la FAO y del mundo con una óptica diferente de la que pueden verlo las grandes potencias y los grandes países que están superdesarrollados. Por esa razón yo no puedo decir aquí que no debe ser el uno por ciento ni el 0,5 por ciento, que no es posible que el crecimiento cero se interprete de esta manera o de la otra, porque son hechos que no tienen otra interpretación y que solamente las interpretaciones pueden ser interesantes.

Yo solamente quiero preguntar a los grandes países que se hacen estas reflexiones si es posible que la FAO siga viviendo sin aumentar su presupuesto, sin atender a los programas; si es posible que la FAO pueda seguir actuando haciendo caso omiso de un Programa de Cooperación Técnica que es la vida, la esperanza y la posibilidad de supervivencia de los países en desarrollo y de los países atrasados del Tercer Mundo, para quienes efectivamente nace la FAO y debe vivir la FAO. Cuando se creó la FAO no estaba pensando en los excedentes de las grandes cosechas de cereales que había de repartir para colocarlos en la FAO. No se estaba pensando en la gran bonanza de los países superindustrlalizados que tenían que ver con sus contribuciones y para distribuirlos de esta manera. Se estaba pensando en un mundo que salía de una catástrofe tremenda, que era la Segunda Guerra Mundial, en un mundo hambriento lleno de necesidades. Unas naciones que estaban saliendo, naciendo a la vida de naciones independientes, porque eran naciones que habían estado dominadas siglos por las potencias colonialistas y era ésta la oportunidad de la FAO, la de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, su esperanza en un

porvenir cierto que, afortunadamente, ha podido darle la FAO. Porque les ha podido ofrecer su apoyo, su ayuda a través del Programa de Cooperación Técnica, a través del Programa de Campo, para ir a estudiar su enfermedad económica en su propio terreno, para poder aprender lo que era su miseria, su atraso, su falta de educación, su total ignorancia para traerlos a una vida humana, ya que ellos no estaban viviendo en la vida humana, estaban viviendo una vida totalmente de espaldas a la realidad de la cultura, a la realidad del progreso. Para eso nació la FAO. Y había venido cumpliendo esa tarea; pero resulta que ahora la FAO se ha convertido en un instrumento de investigación para dotar de estadísticas y de protección del Codex Alimentario y de todos estas posibilidades de que los países ricos industrializados aprovechen para poder ellos contribuir a su mayor desarrollo.

Yo me pregunto, si eso hubiese sido la posibilidad de la FAO, si ella solamente hubiera tenido estadísticas y Codex Alimentario, ¿habría podido hacer frente a la situación de hambre que soportó Asia en la cual sólo la FAO pudo sacarla adelante? ¿Habría podido la FAO sólo a base de estadísticas y de investigaciones de laboratorio hacer frente a la tragedia de Africa? No, no fueron las estadísticas las que le salvaron, fue la realidad, fue la vida de los expertos de la FAO los que fueron, ayudados, naturalmente, por los que tenían el dinero, por los que tenían los cereales, las cosechas; pero la FAO fue quien tuvo la iniciativa de hacerlo. Eso es lo que estamos esperando ahora los países de América Latina y el Caribe, que solicitamos de la FAO, en la Conferencia de Barbados y a quienes prometió la FAO, porque lo aprobamos así en Recife, Brasil, el ano pasado, un estudio que va ya convertido en un plan de acción que esperamos que la FAO ponga en práctica. ¿Cómo no va a dar FAO satisfacción a este programa que están esperando los países de América Latina, atrasados todavía, y endeudados, y los del Caribe, si vamos a tener crecimiento cero y reajustes de los programas, y eliminación del Programa de Cooperación Técnica? ¿Qué nos van a dar? Estas son las preguntas que yo me hago. Yo no soy experta estadística ni mucho menos puedo competir con el Embajador Bukhari ni con el experto Sr. Shah en materia de finanzas. Yo los admiro por los informes que han presentado y admiro mucho más al Director General por la habilidad, la voluntad y el talento que ha tenido para administrar lo poco que tiene y que pueda seguir adelante. Es como uno de esos dueños de casa que sin trabajo y sin sueldo pueden sostener a una familia.

Eso ha venido siendo la FAO en los últimos años; pero eso no puede seguir siendo. La FAO debe ser una Organización que tenga sinceramente unos recursos adecuados para poder satisfacer las necesidades de los países miserables y de los países necesitados del mundo. Yo creo que es eso lo que esperan aquí los países representados del Tercer Mundo, porque los países del primer mundo son pocos, son muy poderosos, pero son pocos y los países del Tercer Mundo tienen, porque así se lo ha otorgado la Constitución de la FAO, el mismo derecho que les da su soberanía para solicitar de esta Organización la ayuda, la asistencia técnica, que es lo que le piden, y ahora se les niega porque el Programa de Cooperación Técnica ha tenido que ser reducido, porque ya no hay publicaciones, porque ya no hay asistencia y porque cada vez son menos los expertos que hay en la FAO, ya que dijo el Director General que ya hay doscientos veinte puestos vacantes y serán todavía más. Es decir, disminuye cada vez más el equipo de gente que tenía la FAO estudiando los problemas del Tercer Mundo.

¿Qué es lo que va a hacer la FAO con el plan de acción de Recife? Es lo que me pregunto como miembro de un país latinoamericano que está pendiente de este Programa. No podemos nosotros estar olvidándonos de lo que ese Programa dice con relación a la pobreza rural, con relación a sistemas alimentarios, con relación a la situación económico-social de aquellos países. No podemos nosotros estar elucubrando y analizando estadísticas del crecimiento cero, del uno, del cinco, del 45, del 0,2, porque eso no lo entienden los pueblos de nuestros países, y esos pueblos de nuestros países están esperando a los delegados de este Consejo y a los delegados de la próxima Conferencia a que les digan qué es lo que les llevan para ellos para satisfacer sus necesidades. No entienden de crecimiento cero, ni entienden de nada de eso. Entienden de cosas concretas, entienden de resultados de un programa que se les puede dar, de una asistencia que ellos esperan de FAO. Hablar en abstracto está bien para los embajadores que aquí les representan, pero no sé que van a hacer los embajadores del Tercer Mundo cuando regresen a sus países después de esta Conferencia y les digan que como Estados Unidos no paga sus cuotas atrasadas, resulta que nos vamos a quedar así en el aire. Además ellos son países que no pueden tampoco pagar sus cuotas porque no tienen con qué. Es una situación realmente grave, y yo no soy poetisa, la poesía es bonita para leerla, pero yo no he nacido para escribir poesía, me gusta la realidad.

Por estas razones yo pienso que no podemos gastar tiempo en analizar situaciones abstractas, que debemos pensar nosotros, cada uno de nuestros países cómo lo vamos a hacer, de qué manera podemos reclamar a nuestros Gobiernos que hagan un esuferzo para pagar las contribuciones de FAO. El Director General no puede sacar más dinero donde no hay y cada uno de nuestros países debe hacer esfuerzos y pagar el uno por ciento, el dos o el tres por ciento de su contribución. Puede ser que tenga un Congreso un poco más comprensivo que el de los Estados Unidos y que les ayude a pagar las cuotas atrasadas, que no serán tan grandes como la de Estados Unidos.

Le ruego, Sr. Presidente, que me excuse por mi extravagancia de hablar en este tono, pero no hay otro tono para estas soluciones tremendas como la que estamos confrontando. Hablar suave, decir frases muy hermosas no nos va a ayudar a afrontar la realidad. La realidad es dura, la realidad es verdaderamente difícil y no podemos dejar esto ni al Embajador Bukhari, ni al Comité de Programas, ni al Dr. Shah, ni tampoco al Director General para que lo resuelvan solos. Nosotros tenemos que ayudarles a buscar un camino con nuestra cooperación en nuestros propios países. Poco, lo que sea, pero que este ano próximo de 1990 cada uno de los miembros de la FAO, por más pequeño que sea, trate de que venga a la Organización alguna contribución agregada, sea del pasado o sea del presente, pero que no se pase este ano sin que podamos hacerlo, porque estaremos contribuyendo a acabar realmente, como dijo alguien antes, como el destino de la OEA. Sería triste que la FAO corra el mismo destino. Nosotros tenemos que salvarla y éste debe ser nuestro compromiso.

LB PRESIDENT: Je vais vous lire la liste des orateurs qui sont encore inscrits pour prendre la parole sur le point 10 de l'ordre du jour: Brésil, République de Corée, Kenya, Japon, Suisse, Egypte, Liban, Mexique, Libye, Chine, Malaisie, Canada, Royaume-Uni, Congo et Inde.

Avec votre permission, je vais clore la liste des orateurs. Il est 17 h 10 mais, compte tenu de l'importance de cette question, je vais demander une prolongation de séance pour terminer l'examen de ce point ce soir. Nous resterons donc le temps qu'il faudra. Mais il faut terminer notre travail sur ce point.

Joâo Augusto DE MEDICIS (Brazil): I should first like to ask the Secretariat to up-date Appendix A of document CL 96/LIM/1, because on 23rd October Brazil made payment. It was a small payment, a token payment of around US$ 604 000, but it is a token of our support for this Organization. I know that it would be impossible for the Secretariat to have this in time for the Council and Conference but I should like to announce this to the Council.

Having said that, I believe that my delegation owes the Council and the members of this Organization an explanation. In spite of the great efforts of our Government we have only been able to pay to FAO this year an amount of US$ 3 480 000, which means that we are still in arrears of around US$ 4 million. We are not proud of our record and we are sad, but we are not ashamed of it as we know that this Council and our fellow Member Nations are aware of the difficulties faced by my country due, among other factors, to the burden of external debt and in this particular case to the revised scale of contributions. I should feel much more at ease if I did not have to make this explanation, but I believe that it is my duty and that of my country to do so.

Having said that, I repeat the question put during the discussion of the previous item. How can we expect the Organization to implement its Programme with arrears in the order of US $175 million, three-quarters of which are owed by a single government? I do not have to repeat here, as we all know, that there is a great difference between the two cases. I do not need to indulge in the motivations behind them. My delegation was therefore very disappointed by the statement of the representative of the United States. We were expecting a more positive approach. Actually we expected a communication on the payment of the United States arrears. Regretfully, all we got was a lecture on the great advantages of zero growth. It is hard to believe in these great advantages, especially when the largest contributor is not intending to fulfil its obligations. Do we have any reason to expect it to change its approach? I hope so. It is getting more and more difficult to believe in that, and therefore the views expressed in this Council are perfectly understandable.

Jang Bae YOUN (Korea, Republic of): To begin with, my delegation would like to commend the Secretariat for the high quality of the document. We should also like to express our appreciation to Ambassador Bukhari, the Chairman of the Finance Committee, for his excellent introduction.

We should now like to give our brief views on Agenda Item 10.1.

In the first place, we regret to note that the outstanding contributions amount to the highest level ever in the history of FAO. We may recall that in almost every forum of FAO strong appeals

for early payment of assessed contributions have been made to Member Nations throughout the last two years. Nevertheless, the result has been completely opposite to our expectations. The total outstanding arrears have increased to US$ 194 million. Furthermore, there are 54 member countries, which account for over one-third of the entire membership of FAO.

I repeat, one-third of the entire membership has failed to pay outstanding arrears, as indicated in paragraph 3.43 on page 32 of the document CL 96/4. At this juncture we do not want to illustrate the negative outcome and effects of this disastrous situation in detail. However, we stress that such an extremely difficult situation should not continue in the coming years. In this context, noting the urgent need for hunger and poverty alleviation in every corner of the developing world, we should like to express our grave concern about the future of our Organization, and this mandate to be fulfilled by FAO itself. Therefore, we strongly urge that, not only Member Countries as a whole, but the FAO Secretariat should make utmost efforts in order to end this crisis in a harmonized and concerted manner. In addition, we also recognize that it is the right time to consider the necessary actions in order to break through the deadlock situation of our Organization. We hope that further discussions on this matter will be held in Commission II of the forthcoming Conference.

Turning now to the implementation of the TCP project in paragraph 3.45, we should like to underline the fact that US$ 40 969 000 - which takes almost 65 percent of the total appropriations - remained unimplemented at the end of August this year. If we consider the high demand for TCP from developing countries in recent years, it is regrettable that such a large part of the allocation is still left in the TCP account.

My delegation is also deeply concerned about the situation, and the situation also continues in the next biennium. However, we believe that a TCP project implementation cannot be made fully in the coming years. Therefore, to increase the level of budget allocations to the TCP may not be meaningful even though developing countries are supporting this increase in a single and united voice. We should be grateful if the Secretariat could kindly provide some explanation in this regard.

Stanley M. GUANTAI (Kenya): Mr Chairman, my delegation would like to thank the Director-General, the Chairman of the Finance Committee and Mr Crowther for their comprehensive brief on the financial situation in the Organization. The picture painted is very grim and very regrettable. The legal obligations of over US$ one million, and the record outstanding contribution is very disturbing and one that each and every member should view with concern. We call upon Member States to put their best foot forward in the name and interest of the deserving poor and hungry, and in the interest of global interdependence in efforts to improve the economic environment. We see FAO as a very important motor and catalyst in the fight against hunger and poverty in the world, and we strongly feel that it should be given the means and the resources to carry out its noble duty. We wish to underline that the strength of FAO is in its personnel for a continually excelling performance. The Organization must be able to attract and retain highly qualified personnel. It cannot do so without resources. Indeed, Sir, we note that the Organization has had to resort to freezing of posts and publications which have contributed to stagnating the thrust of the Organization's assistance to the Member States.

Kenya has maintained that all Members are obliged to meet their obligations. We wish to underline the difficulties that many of the developing countries face, which include severe economic constraints, declining exports earnings, increased debt servicing, and net outflow of resources due to high import costs, including commitments to the international organizations, constrain these countries.

Mr Chairman, their contributions, small as they are, do give the necessary resources to the Organization, but we wish to maintain that the efforts - since we are informed that quite a number of the small countries have actually made every effort to clear their commitments and also to maintain a non-arrears balance - that these efforts we maintain should be merited by our well-to-do partners whose contributions are large and make the difference to the Organization's kitty.

Mr Chairman, I wish to report to the Council that my Government has raised funds in order to honour its present obligations, which we are hoping to receive at any time now, and these will be passed on as soon as they arrive in Rome.

Coming to the report, my delegation wishes to underline our agreement with the Finance Committee in requesting the Secretariat to continue with the analysis and up-dating of the personnel statistics. We hope that efforts towards a regional balance will be made. We welcome and agree with the proposal of the Finance Committee in continuing the services of the present External Auditor, whose method of approach has become quite familiar to many of our member countries. We also note his efforts to undertake several reviews in a number of the Organization's activities, including projects, which were very revealing and of assistance to FAO in its internal adjustment and improvement efforts.

In recognition of the UNDP Programmes, my delegation appreciates the need for closer collaboration between FAO and UNDP. We also underline the important role played by FAO in the execution of projects under the UNDP Project Cycle. I reiterate my country's call in this regard for the UNDP and FAO to enhance programmes in manpower development and training of national personnel, to facilitate the governments of recipient developing countries in the interests of national aspiration and the need for harmonized overall international development in order to be able to execute projects whenever such national competence exists.

Kota HIRANUMA (Japan): Mr Chairman, thank you for giving my delegation the floor. My delegation also noted with concern that the rate of contribution paid by Member Nations is worse so far, as this contribution and the contribution in arrears, payment of which is the obligation of member countries, should be paid in a timely fashion. As has been strongly urged by the Secretariat to member countries, all of us are fully aware that payment of the contribution should be made in the appropriate manner. However, we shared the observation that the Member Nations face the grave difficulty of fulfilling this duty. As a matter of fact, my country has had difficulty in paying our contribution because of the drastic change in the currency translation, and so on. Nevertheless, my Government wishes to state clearly that we regard FAO as a very important UN organization, the objectives of which are fundamental for human beings. Therefore, we continued to overcome this difficulty, and we overcame it with full payment in September. Hence, we would like to share the appeal of the FAO Secretariat, that the Member Nations should fulfill their financial obligations quickly.

Roger PASQUIER (Suisse): La délégation suisse partage la position des délégués qui lancent un appel aux gouvernements qui ont des arriérés de contribution à verser. La FAO a besoin d'un flux prévisible de ressources et il n'est pas normal que le Directeur général doive dépenser son énergie pour tenter de résoudre ce problème. C'est aux pays membres d'exercer une certaine pression morale sur tous les gouvernements en défaut, en commençant par ceux qui seraient le plus à même d'honorer leurs obligations.

Ceci dit, nous remercions les délégations présentes à ce Conseil pour les efforts qu'elles entreprennent et qu'elles entreprendront dans leurs capitales à cet effet.

Adel EL SARKY (Egypt) (original language Arabic): Thank you very much, Chairman, in the name of God, compassionate and merciful. We have listened with great interest and care to the statements by His Excellency Bukhari, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and we are very grateful to him for this detailed information. We are also grateful to Mr Crowther for the additional information he supplied and we would like to thank him generally for all the efforts he has made, successful efforts he has made in managing this Organization, and would like to thank the Director-General for managing to cope with the situation without having to have recourse to borrowing powers. We had been facing a cashflow crisis ever since the 24th Session of the Conference, and the situation is getting worse since we are now, we have been told, US$ 175 million in arrears. So it is obvious that such delay in contribution is going to have a very negative impact on the credibility of the Organization, apart from the negative impact on the important technical programmes which are of such vital importance to the developing countries and which we had in the Programme of Work for this current biennium. We would like to appeal to all member countries to make an effort to pay all the outstanding contributions so that the Organization may be strengthened. After all, our Organization here is the leading organization in the field of food and nutrition and we must make it possible for it to carry out this work properly, and we do hope that a solution can be found promptly and speedily.

Amin ABDEL MALEK (Liban) (langue originale arabe): La délégation de mon pays partage les préoccupations de l'Organisation face à certains Etats Membres qui n'ont pas honoré leurs engagements financiers à temps. Il est vraiment regrettable de voir que les arriérés de contribution ont atteint un niveau aussi élevé avec quelque 177 millions de dollars.

Nous avons écouté avec intérêt les informations que nous a communiquées Madame la déléguée des USA et nous espérons que la Chambre des députés et le Congrès adopteront la proposition du Président des USA qui aboutira au paiement de la contribution pour l'année 89 et de ses arriérés à la FAO.

Dans le même esprit, nous lançons un appel aux Etats-Unis, qui n'ont pas encore versé leurs contributions, de le faire le plus rapidement possible. Par ailleurs, nous insistons sur la nécessité de ne pas lier l'introduction de changements considérés nécessaires par certains Etats Membres au paiement des contributions dues par ces mêmes Etats Membres.

Je voudrais encore une fois réitérer que le Liban a fait toutes les démarches nécessaires pour que soit effectué le versement de sa contribution pour l'année 1989. L'Organisation recevra cette contribution la semaine prochaine.

La Conférence générale a autorisé le Directeur général à recourir à l'emprunt auprès des banques mais il a évité de le faire. Il nous faut donc l'aider et aider l'Organisation pour lui permettre de faire face, début 1990, au paiement des factures dues et dont le montant a atteint selon nos informations la somme de 100 millions de dollars.

Sra. Margarita LIZARRAGA SAUCEDO (México): Seremos muy breves, dadas las limitaciones del tiempo. La ventaja de intervenir tardíamente nos permite asociarnos en todos sus puntos a la declaración de la distinguida Delegación del Brasil, por lo cual no abundaremos en sus detalles. Queremos, sin embargo, en respuesta al llamamiento del Director General, reiterar el apoyo indiscutible de mi Gobierno a la Organización y a su gestión. Esto lo construimos cada día, y, no obstante las limitaciones que el peso de la enorme deuda externa nos impone, hemos realizado los mayores esfuerzos, y hace algunos días hemos efectuado el ultimo de los pagos.

Nos asociamos también a las reflexiones que han hecho múltiples delegados en relación con que la importancia de la voluntad de los países más pobres y en estado de desarrollo en el entorno económico debe medirse en proporción a sus dificultades para cumplir con sus obligaciones, independientemente de su voluntad e interés. Es por ello que mi país se une en el llamamiento a los países que tienen cuotas pendientes a que cumplan con los pagos, particularmente al mayor contribuyente, ya que sin la participación de todos, la situación se puede volver inmanejable. No podemos dejar solo al Director General. Ya este Consejo le ha reiterado en varias ocasiones las facultades para pedir préstamos y, sin embargo, él, con una gran prudencia, ha evitado llegar a éste que es ya un hecho autorizado.

Finalmente, mi Delegación ratifica el nombramiento del Interventor de Cuentas y Auditor General del Reino Unido. Mi Gobierno apoya también la resolución relativa al tratamiento de ganancias y pérdidas en el cambio monetario, para que las mismas no tengan impacto en el Programa.

Bashir El Mabrouk SAID (Libya) (original language Arabic): Thank you, very much, Mr Chairman, I think that all I am going to do really is repeat what we have been saying for the last two years. In fact, this difficult situation of FAO is simply getting worse and worse. To be brief, I shall just make one or two points. First of all, we must make a distinction between poor countries, which do not have the money to pay their contributions for reasons which neither the Council nor other Member States find convincing. Secondly, the Council should refuse any cuts in the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, 1990-91. Thirdly, we must insist that if the Director-General is compelled to go out and borrow money to fill the gap, then the interest due for such borrowing should be paid by those who have not paid their outstanding contributions for reasons that the rest of us do not accept. These are the few points I wanted to make very briefly, Sir. Thank you, very much.

Huang YONGNING (China) (original language Chinese): Mr Chairman, we are very worried about the present financial situation of FAO. The arrears in contributions situation is getting worse and worse and this is a matter of great concern and if this state of affairs is not rapidly improved

the work of FAO will suffer very seriously indeed. We think, Sir, that the Council must look into the situation very carefully and should make specific proposals to solve the situation. We would appeal to all Member States of FAO, Member Nations of FAO to pay their dues in good time in accordance with the Constitution and general rules of the Organization. As in the past the Government of the Republic of China will pay its contribution due on a timely basis so as to give proper support for the work of the Organization. We have paid, in the past, and we shall go on paying in the future.

Karl W. WEYBRECHT (Canada): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I would just like to make a few brief remarks on certain points relating to the report of the Finance Committee. On the proposal, the two changes, the lapse factor, a rate from the current level of 5.5 percent to 3 percent, my delegation associates itself with those members of the Finance Committee that could not accept this proposal. We note that the current vacancy rate is much higher than the lapse factor currently used. As we mentioned in our statement yesterday, and on previous occasions, we would like, if anything, to see the level adjusted upward to reflect the actual pattern of employment in the Organization. On the proposed level of the budget for the next biennium, our views were expressed again yesterday in the course of our intervention on the Programme of Work and Budget. We support the interpretation given by the delegate of the United States that the figure of 0.45 percent mentioned in the context of the Programme of Work and Budget level does not represent the full amount of the proposed real growth. The figure, in our view, includes an element of cost absorption and therefore is an underestimation of the proposed real growth. We support the recommendation of the Finance Committee on the appointment of the External Auditor. We note the considerable attention that has been focused on the topic of the financial situation of the Organization. We support the appeal of the Finance Committee to those Countries with outstanding contributions and arrears, but like the delegate of Australia believe that there is a need on the part of the Council, for understanding, and that it would not be profitable to consider measures that would effectively count on the problem. We hope that Members of the Council in attempting to single out any particular donor would not question the dedication and record of generosity of that country in assisting the developing world. In this spirit, we see a need for full understanding and an appreciation of the situation faced by all countries. Thank you, Mr Chairman.

Bahar MUNIP (Malaysia): I shall be very brief indeed at this late juncture. Mr Chairman, much has been said about the serious financial situation of FAO. Indeed, a very great financial situation that is being faced by this Organization. Much has been said about the arrears of US$ 177 million. Mr Chairman, it is noted that some countries did not pay a certain contribution because they lack the economic capabilities to do so, while others had economic capabilities but had not paid for other reasons, best known to themselves. My country, Mr Chairman, in spite of our limited resources and in all humility, my delegation wish to inform you that we have managed to fulfil our commitment to this Organization at the earlier part of the year. My delegation, therefore, appeals to member countries, especially those who could afford it to pay, immediately if not all, but perhaps partially, for a start, in order to alleviate the existing financial crisis. Thank you, very much.

Raymond ALLEN (United Kingdom): I would just like to seek a point of clarification, if I may. Are we talking just to Paragraph 10.1 or the whole of Item 10? Just 10.1. I would like to thank Ambassador Bukhari and Mr Crowther for the very clear introductions to the documents before us. We have over time seen a gradual improvement in the documentation. The provision of information about the financial position and the cashflow are, as we have said in previous Council meetings, particularly useful. We do recognize the constraints faced by the Organization by the non-receipt of information they have requested from Member Nations as to the amount and timing of their contributions. We are therefore particularly disappointed that because of these constraints it has not been possible to see a continuation of the improvements. We are particularly concerned about the cashflow forecasts which proved so useful last time. We would therefore like to join the Secretariat in urging Member Nations to do all within their authority to provide this information to enable the Secretariat to produce a reliable cashflow forecast which will help all Member Nations to better assess the financial situation of the Organization.

I would like to reiterate, Mr Chairman, on the question of borrowing, that the position of the UK remains unchanged. We are opposed to external borrowing and believe that the Organization should live within its income. This, we think, highlights the need for the Organization further to rationalize its programmes and to establish clearly defined priorities to overcome the problems

of possible shortfalls and to ensure that some of the more valuable programmes are protected and not adversely affected by lack of funds. In this respect, I would like to comment on the remarks made in paragraph 13 of page 1. The line here seems to be that in order to accommodate changing priorities, additional budgetary provision is required. Further prioritization of existing programmes to release additional resources to meet the needs isn't seen as a possible option. We cannot help but see the level of arrears and the number of countries which are behind in their contributions. I remind the meeting that my Government's position is very straightforward: all Member States should meet their obligations and not fall into arrears.

I agree with the comments made by the Australian delegation earlier this afternoon with regard to the changing of the rules of the Organization. We do not think that this would be very constructive.

Joseph TCHICAYA (Congo): La Délégation de mon pays a suivi avec une extrême attention l'exposé de Monsier l'ambassadeur Bukhari, Président du Comité financier. Le complément d'informations fourni par M. Crowther et le Directeur général lui-même nous ont définitivement convaincus des difficultés auxquelles se trouve actuellement confrontée notre Organisation. Nous serons néanmoins bref et pour cela nous aimerions associer notre voix à celle de tous ceux qui ont exprimé leur vive préoccupation quant à la situation financière de l'Organisation. Dans ce cadre, nous partageons l'avis de ceux qui pensent que si la situation l'exige, le Directeur général emprunte, comme il y avait été autorisé, et dans ce cas seuls les pays devant des arriérés devront payer les intérêts.

Mon pays reste redevable à notre Organisation et seule la situation économique et financière difficile qu'il traverse explique notre position. En effet, le Congo, pays endetté en raison de l'ordre économique international injuste en vigueur, est soumis à la mise en oeuvre d'un programme d'ajustement structurel avec toutes les conséquences que cela entraîne.

Néanmoins, mon gouvernement, conscient de sa situation de Membre de la FAO, est en train de prendre des mesures pour régulariser sa. situation vis-à-vis de la situation en épongeant ses arriérés dans un avenir très proche.

Cela dit, je sais que les 65.000 dollars dont mon pays est redevable vis-à-vis de notre Organisation ne changeront pas la situation financière actuelle de l'Organisation.

Aussi voudrais-je m'associer à l'appel pathétique lancé par le Comité financier et le Directeur général pour que cette Organisation vitale, qui a su jusqu'à présent faire preuve d'un dynamisme réel, retrouve sa santé financière afin qu'elle continue à répondre aux demandes des pays membres, notamment ceux en développement.

Ce faisant, nous rejetons le principe de la croissance zéro, qui, malgré ce qui a été dit, est synonyme d'immobilisme.

Mne Josefa Guilhermlna COELHO DA CRUZ (Angola): Tout d'abord, ma délégation veut remercier le Comité financier pour la qualité du document qu'il nous a présenté.

Ma délégation est préoccupée de la situation du paiement des contributions. Comme l'ont déjà dit de nombreux orateurs, le paiement des contributions est le devoir de tous les pays membres. Mais comment l'exiger de pays sous-développés qui ont des difficultés dans leur majorité si les grands contributeurs eux-mêmes ne paient pas?

En ce qui concerne la contribution de mon pays, je dois annoncer que nous avons déjà procédé aux opérations bancaires relatives au versement de notre contribution. Enfin, nous voulons lancer un appel à tous les pays qui n'ont pas encore payé pour qu'ils s'efforcent de le faire.

DIRECTOR-GENERAL: I should like, first, to thank the many delegates who have expressed their great concern about the financial situation and have urged the member countries which have accumulated arrears - especially the largest - to pay their arrears.

The Council has the possibility under Financial Regulation 5.10 of giving advice to the Director-General on the measures to be taken to speed up the payment of arrears. The Council could also submit recommendations for necessary action by the Conference. I am quoting Financial Regulation 5.10, but I am not clear what advice the Council has given me so far.

Silence on the part of the Council might have given the impression that, in spite of total outstanding amounts of US$ 175 million, "Tout va très bien, Madame la Marquise"· However, I think silence on this occasion could be misinterpreted and could also encourage more countries also not to pay their contributions.

Before making further comments, I should say emphatically that the methodology decided by the Finance Committee to calculate the cost increases is to the full advantage of member countries. Experience has shown that we have always underbudgeted the cost increases and, if at any time the cost increases should prove to have been overbudgeted, then automatically the excess of money would have gone to the General Fund and constituted cash surpluses for eventual return to the member countries. As mentioned earlier, the Finance Committee is free to impose on the Secretariat any methodology for calculating the cost increases.

Mr Chairman, I have a very great concern. What is my concern? I had hoped that this discussion might help delegations to find a way within their administrations and their legislatures to appropriate and pay their contributions and arrears. But concern is that no regret has been expressed about the harm caused to the Organization and to the member countries by those responsible for large arrears. As regards the country which is responsible for perhaps 80 percent of the arrears, the only explanation given has been about the virtues of zero budget growth.

I do not see the relationship between the financial situation which we are discussing - the nonpayment for some time of the largest arrears - and the dogma of zero growth budgets.

Are those in arrears not paying because FAO is not applying zero budget growth? I do not think so.

I am convinced that zero growth condemns the expansion of FAO's activities, and shows no sensitivity to factors such as the annual increase in the world population. FAO is there to serve people. Every year we have 85 million more people.

Since 1983, for particular reasons, the budget has not been increasing, so while the population has increased we have not been applying zero growth, but even less. Shall we keep zero growth until the end of the century, while in ten years' time there will be one billion people more? Do we play with priorities, putting one here and another one there? Is this a challenge? Is this a virtue or a moral to be held up to the staff? I do not think so.

I have noted that the United States delegation is not in a position to indicate what amount could be paid in the future. The whole matter is in the hands of the United States Congress: we know that. I am much concerned that the future of the payment of the United States' arrears is bleak. No doubt we shall be discussing this matter in the ensuing years.

This is the situation. We shall face it. I am realistic, and I am simply speaking in a very factual and concrete manner. I am not attacking the United States administration nor its legislative body. We must understand the situation of the United States. The President of the United States of America has requested an appropriation for full funding, and even for payment of 10 percent of the arrears, but Congress has yet to conclude its deliberations on this question.

However, I was recently in the United States and met distinguished persons who very much regret the situation.

I should like to end with some very good news. I received yesterday US$ 1 million given by 300 000 anonymous small and poor farmers from Indonesia. They have each donated 5 to 10 kilos of paddy rice. They have sold this against rupees and the Government of Indonesia has allowed them foreign exchange, which amount to US$ 1 million. They sent it to FAO in my name yesterday to be used to fund small projects for small farmers in the poor countries. This million dollars is to be added to US$ 6 million also collected by anonymous farmers. Those farmers have on average half a hectare each. This is a tribute to FAO and to FAO's work and objectives, and that is the way I will end my statement.

Perhaps Mr Moore could now answer a question raised by a delegation.

LEGAL COUNSEL: I should like to respond to the two questions that were put to me by the delegate of Colombia earlier on in this meeting regarding arrears. The first point concerned the possibility of recourse to the International Court of Justice. It is true that under Article XVII of the Constitution of FAO there is a possibility of referring questions or disputes concerning the interpretation of the Constitution, if they are not settled by the Conference, to the International Court of Justice. However, I should make two points in this connection. First, there is a question as to whether there exists any question of disputes concerning the interpretation of the Constitution. In the present case, I am not aware that any of the countries in arrears have actually denied a legal obligation to pay their assessed contributions under Article XVIII of the Constitution, or to meet their full arrears. Therefore, I am not sure there is a question or dispute which could be submitted to the International Court of Justice. Secondly, in any case the most one could expect from the Court is merely a recognition or confirmation of the fact that a legal obligation to pay an assessed contribution does, in fact, exist which, as I say I do not think is contested. The actual sanctions for non-payment of contributions or being in arrears over a certain amount, are set out in the Constitution and in the General Rules of the Organization. You have heard them before today. They are Article III.4 of the Constitution, which provide for the loss of voting rights in the Conference, Rule XXII.5 of the General Rules of the Organization which relates to eligibility for election to the Council, Rule XXII.7 (GRO) which deals with the deemed resignation of members of the Council who are in arrears over a certain amount.

The second question raised by the delegation of Colombia relates to a possible amendment of the General Rules of the Organization, or the Constitution itself and the action the Council should take. The delegate has referred specifically to Financial Regulation 5.10 which says that "the Council, at any of its sessions may advise the Director-General as to any steps that ought to be taken in order to expedite the payment of contributions. The Council may submit to the Conference such recommendations in this regard as it may consider appropriate."

The delegate of Colombia was also correct in pointing out that in so far as these recommendations might entail amendments to the Basic Texts, there are certain requirements that would need to be fulfilled. In the case of the Constitution, notice has to be given of any proposal to amend the Constitution at least 120 days before the opening of the Conference session. In the case of the General Rules of the Organization, notice must be given at least 24 hours before the meeting at which the amendment is to be discussed, provided that a report on the proposal has been given by an appropriate committee.

Gerald MONROE (United States of America): In the light of the Director-General's remarks, I should like to respond to him through you, in the same spirit that has prevailed in our relationship during the past nine months. We have discussed these issues frequently. He has been candid as I hope I have been and I want this to continue.

I have listened very carefully to the interventions made during the last few hours. We take note of them. My delegation has been greatly impressed by the high regard in which this Council holds its Organization. The Director-General has asked why we have not paid. The answer is quite simple. We have not paid because Congress in its sovereign duties has not appropriated the money. We simply do not have it. Whether or not we as individuals regret that fact is immaterial. The Congress of the United States has not expressed regret at not having completed its budgetary process for this year. The number involved when we speak about the United Nations is a very large number for the United States. It is more than US$ 700 million.

As we have said on more than one occasion the numbers are large, the process is complex. The budgetary problems facing the United States have been for a number of years very serious problems. We are not capable of doing any more than seeking from the Congress that which we think is prudent. The administration has done its very best. The Congress is now assessing what the administration has done.

I will note that a document came to my attention earlier in the afternoon. It may have some bearing on what we are talking about now and what has been discussed this afternoon. At the Conference in 1987, as I am sure those of you who were there will recall, the United States did not agree with the budget. At that time our delegate made a very detailed explanation as to why he did not agree with the budget for the present biennium. I have over one and a half pages of verbatim text, and at that time he described at great length the problems confronting the US administration and Congress with respect to the budgetary burden it has had to bear. He paid particular attention to the UN account and specifically touched on his concerns, and the concerns

of the American delegation at the Conference in 1987, as to the size of the budget. I fear that the budget was over-ambitious in terms of our ability to pay our assessments. The administration this year did its very best, and we are still hopeful that we will be able to improve on what has happened in the immediate past. However, in all candor, I must make clear that we have told the Organization over the past several years both at Conference, Council and in the other side committees on which we are privileged to serve, that we do have budget difficulties. This is why we have looked at the budget in the way that we have.

To us, zero growth has never been designed to deny the members of this Organization, or any other multilateral organization, the benefits that the system can provide. Rather in our judgment to maximize, or optimize, the possibilities for both the United States and the system to deliver from the available resources the best possible service.

LE PRESIDENT: L'action que nous venons de traiter est extrêmement importante; en effet le Conseil, après avoir pris connaissance de la situation financière de l'Organisation, a manifesté sa vive préoccupation sur l'aspect critique de la trésorerie se traduisant par un montant d'arriérés le plus élevé dans l'histoire de l'Organisation; et ceci risque de mettre en péril l'efficacité de l'Organisation dans les années à venir.

Le Conseil, unanime, lance un appel à tous les Etats Membres. Vu l'importance de la question, peut-être le Conseil serait-il d'accord pour que le Comité de rédaction prépare pour vendredi un projet de résolution traduisant cet appel pressant aux Etats Membres. Une telle résolution, présentée à la Conférence, aurait un poids plus solennel que les appels précédents.

Nous comptons sur tous les délégués ici présents pour qu'ils se fassent les avocats de leurs administrations. Nous sommes persuadés qui'ils feront de leur mieux et nous laissons au Comité financier le soin de réfléchir sur les mesures concrètes susceptibles de hâter les contributions et les versements.

Il me semble que l'on peut résumer la situation sous cette forme; cette question est extrêmement importante et je ne doute pas qu'elle retiendra également l'attention de Messieurs les délégués lors de la Conférence.

Nous avons reçu une déclaration du délégué de l'Inde avec demande d'insertion au procès-verbal sur ce point. Avec votre approbation, cette déclaration sera insérée dans le procès-verbal de cet après-midi.

Nous allons maintenant passer à un autre point de l'ordre du jour, qui est un point pour décision: nomination du Commissaire aux comptes. Tous les autres points concernant les trois projets de résolution dont a parlé Monsieur Crowther et qui concernent le traitement des pertes et gains, du change, le compte du groupement d'achat, tout cela ainsi que le point 10.2 a été présenté par le Président du Comité financier.

Avez-vous des observations sur le point 10.2?

Jacques WARIN (France): Je m'excuse, Monsieur le Président, de prendre la parole à cette heure tardive et je n'en aurai que pour quelques minutes.

Je voudrais apporter quelques précisions complémentaires sur la candidature française au poste de commissaire aux comptes dont le Président du Comité financier, Monsieur Bukhari, nous a expliqué tout à l'heure, qu'il avait préféré la candidature britannique.

Loin de moi la pensée de contester le bien-fondé de la résolution du Comité financier qui est proposée à notre approbation et qui recommande pour la 20ème fois consécutive la nomination du vérificateur britannique pour contrôler les comptes de la FAO et du PAM. Je dis bien pour la vingtième ou la vingt et unième fois... je ne sais pas au juste car le mandat de commissaire est de deux ans et le Royaume-Uni l'exerce depuis 40 ou 42 ans avec compétence et efficacité.

Il est effectivement des postes à la FAO pour lesquels ne joue pas l'alternance. Ce n'est donc pas sur ce terrain que je me placerai mais sur celui de l'expertise et de l'expérience pour défendre les mérites de la candidature française.

- L'expertise d'abord. La candidature française est - le Président du Comité financier l'a dit tout à l'heure - celle de la Cour des Comptes, plus exactement d'une petite équipe de A ou 5 magistrats, de ceux qui, en France, constituent la plus haute juridiction financière. Elle remonte à Philippe le Long, qui fut un roi du moyen-âge qui a régné vers 1310, c'est-à-dire il y a près de 700 ans. Cette instance est chargée de vérifier la régularité et la conformité de toutes les opérations comptables des administrations, des établissements publics, des sociétés nationales et des collectivités locales.

Ces rapports font autorité et s'imposent en dernier ressort à l'administration.

- L'expérience ensuite. Je ne parle pas de celle qui remonte à Philippe le Long mais de celle que la Cour des Comptes a des Nations Unies. La Cour des Comptes a déjà été choisie à plusieurs reprises par le système des Nations Unies pour contrôler, à New York, les comptes du PNUD dans le passé; elle ne le ferait plus aujourd'hui. Elle a également contrôlé à Genève les comptes d'une petite institution spécialisée: l'Organisation mondiale de la météorologie.

Elle exerce ces fonctions avec rigueur et efficacité et n'a recueilli que des compliments sur ses méthodes et ses résultats. Je note d'ailleurs que la Cour des Comptes est relevée dans le Rapport du Comité financier.

Voilà pourquoi c'est plutôt à vous, Monsieur le Président du Comité financier, que je m'adresse. Si vous êtes, ce que je souhaite, encore dans deux ans Président du même organisme je voudrais vous demander de bien vouloir, à cette époque, examiner de nouveau la candidature française au poste de commissaire aux comptes.

Ma petite allocution n'avait pour but que de prendre date et de vous signaler l'intérêt que mon gouvernement, soucieux de la bonne marche du système des Nations Unies, éprouve de voir renforcer les liens existant entre la haute administration française et votre Organisation.

Bashir El Mabrouk SAID (Libya) (original language Arabic): I have listened with attention to the delegate of France. He referred to the fact that there should be rotation in the appointment of the External Auditor. I also appreciate what has been said by the Chairman of the Finance Committee on this score. However, I am in full agreement with what has been said by the delegate of France that other financial institutions should be taken into consideration and we should not only take the expertise in the auditing of the FAO as the only criterion. I believe that the Finance Committee will consider this issue in the future, and it should look to other institutions, even from developing countries.

Atif Y. BUKHARI (Chairman, Finance Committee) (original language Arabic): I should like to express my appreciation of the kind words expressed by the representative of France. In fact, if there had been an External Auditor who was submitted as a candidate by Saudi Arabia I would have shown the same kind of interest. However, when we considered this issue in the Finance Committee we considered the issue from numerous aspects. We considered the two parties and did not say in our report that one country was better or more efficient to undertake the post of External Auditor of the Organization. We said this quite clearly, and I have referred to this in my report. We did not say that the British candidate was more efficient than the French one. We said that both received the respect and appreciation of the Committee. However, due to the very difficult financial position of the Organization, and to avoid any change in continuity so far as the internal auditing was concerned, this might lead to an extra financial burden on the Organization and use funds that might be reserved for other purposes.

These are the reasons. We did not choose the British candidate due to him being more efficient. Both were welcomed by the Committee, and the Committee appreciated the work of both. However, for the reasons I gave earlier, the Finance Committee deemed it appropriate to choose the candidate of the British Government for 1991 and then to reconsider the issue afterwards. We hoped that the financial situation of the Organization would be better at that time and we could reconsider the issue.

LE PRESIDENT: Si Messieurs les délégués en sont d'accord je pense que nous pourrions considérer que la résolution qui figure dans le rapport du Comité financier au paragraphe 3.52 relative au traitement des gains et pertes de change (page 38 du texte français), la résolution 3.19 "Compte du groupement d'achats du personnel - remboursement des dépenses d'appui" (page 43 du texte français), et la résolution 3.87 "Nomination du Commissaire aux comptes" (page 45 du texte français), que ces résolutions sont approuvées par le Conseil en même temps que le Rapport.

Nous pourrions ainsi transmettre à la Conférence ce rapport avec ses trois projets de résolutions, assorti du projet de résolution du Comité de rédaction sur la situation financière.

Raymond ALLEN (United Kingdom): Mr Chairman, again I seek clarification. Are you closing the whole of item 10? We have something to say on relations with the UNDP.

Regarding the level of support costs from UNDP and Trust Fund programmes, while we do not dispute the comments made in paragraphs 2.124 on page 21 and 3.73 on page 38 of the document, that any new UNDP support costs arrangements would need to be fully discussed by FAO governing bodies, we think it should be noted that discussions on these arrangements are now due to be made by the UNDP Governing Council in the summer, and it is important for the programming of the money for the fifth cycle that there should be no further slippage.

The lateness of the expert reports on successor arrangements, now due out in early December, will mean that the opportunity of a discussion of the subject in the FAO Council and Conference before the decision taking has been lost. Member States will need to take account of their interests in FAO and the other agencies when they take their decision in the UNDP Governing Council next June in Geneva. The Secretariat will need to ensure that Member States are made aware of special FAO factors by other means, for example by contact with Permanent Representatives. Of course, the review of FAO's goals and operations, particularly the consideration of the field programme and the need for FAO to be able to pick and choose, will be at the front of the minds of Member States when the successor arrangements are discussed in Geneva.

We should also like to comment on the remarks made in paragraph 2.121 on page 21. We do not believe that there should be any automatic linkage between support costs agreed for the UNDP and those for Trust Fund projects. To the extent to which there is any link in the provisions in section 2.50 of the manual as described in document CL 92/8 of July 1987, this needs to be reviewed in the light of future Council decisions.

Rudolf DE POURTALÉS (Suisse): Je vous prie de m'excuser de prendre la parole à une heure si tardive mais avant que nous ne terminions la discussion sur le point 10 ma délégation aimerait poser certaines questions concernant la perte de change. En effet ces pertes se montent, pour 1988, à 3,5 millions de dollars E.-U., somme véritablement très importante alors que le Secrétariat nous a souvent parlé des opérations d'achat de lires à terme qui devraient permettre des gains plutôt que des pertes de change.

Nous aimerions avoir un état de la situation actuelle.

V.J. SHAH (Assistant Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): In reply to the question about the discussions on support cost arrangements, discussions are to be pursued not only in the UNDP Governing Council but also, as has been pointed out, to be drawn to the attention of the FAO governing bodies.

As the delegate of the United Kingdom has noted, the report of the expert group which is advising the Administrator of the UNDP is not yet available. They are still working on it. We have been assured that that report will be available for comment to the secretariats of the organizations concerned before being submitted to the Governing Council at the special meeting in February.

This matter was discussed by the Administrative Committee on Coordination at which the executive heads of all organizations were present, and the understandings reached were that in order to enable the governing bodies of the organizations concerned to consider the matter there would be a request by the Administrator that the UNDP Governing Council would not take a decision on the matter at its session either in February or in June 1990, and this is a matter which would then enable the governing bodies -in our case the FAO Council- to be informed of developments and to be consulted on at its session in November 1990.

Dean Κ. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): The question has to do with profit and loss on exchange, and on page 34 of the English text of the Finance Committee Report, document CL 96/4, there is a list of either the profit or loss on exchange that has occurred from 1982 through to 1988. The question was: what is the status now?

Ms Joan DUDIK-GAYOSO (United States of America): My delegation would like to support briefly the observations made by the United Kingdom a few moments ago regarding support costs, and we acknowledge the answer that we have had from the Secretariat. The Study that is underway is important to the future of UN System Field Activities. Decisions will be taken with the UNDP Governing Council. We hope that the new arrangements will build greater cooperation among the organs of the UN System. We also expect that these new arrangements will take account of issues such as the function of technical agencies and specialized agencies, including FAO, in providing increased policy analysis advice in developing countries, in providing increased advice to the UN Field Representatives, both the Resident Representatives of the UNDP and the Resident Coordinators representing the Secretary-General. We appreciate the cooperation that FAO and other agencies have lent in this process. We would just request that this cooperation continue. Obviously the decision could have impacts on the budgets of the organizations themselves, but at least, if not far more important, is the impact that we hope new arrangements will have on the effectiveness of UN System activities in the Field.

Gonzalo BULA HOTOS (Colombia): Los representantes de Colombia pensamos que, a estas alturas, no convendrá que en nuestro informe se refleje ninguna opinion de fondo acerca de los asuntos relacionados con el PNUD. Como lo dijo el señor Shah y aparece en el párrafo 21.24, los cuatro expertos del PNUD no han podido finalizar el documento amplio que están preparando; sólo se terminará en diciembre, la Conferencia no podrá estudiarlo.

El Comité de Finanzas, en el párrafo 3.73, ha puesto de relieve la necesidad de un debate a fondo de esas disposiciones por parte de los órganos rectores de la FAO. Creemos, entonces, que en este momento sólo corresponde al Consejo tomar nota de estas informaciones y pedir a los Comités del Programa y de Finanzas que se ocupen de este asunto en su reunión de primavera del año 1990, para que luego el Consejo de noviembre de 1990 trate sobre esta cuestión.

Srinivasa Chavaly SASTRY (India): It now becomes clear, Mr. Chairman, that the financial position of the FAO is, to put it somewhat mildly, causing greater concern than what we initially thought was the situation.

From doc. CL 96/LIM/1, It is seen that India has paid its assessed contribution in full.

We would suggest that those Member Nations who are still in arrears, but do not have any reservations in making the payments, keeping in view legislative procedures for voting these payments in their countries, may be requested to inform the FAO Secretariat of the likely schedule for the payments, including the probable dates of these payments. This would enable the FAO Secretariat to make more realistic cash flow projections and plan expenditure accordingly.

Keeping in view the principle of equality, it is clear that all Member Nations that are in arrears, would have to be treated equally. However, we must also accept that depending on the size of the Member Nation's assessed contribution, non-payment by different Member Nations would have relatively different types of impact on FAO's work and activities.

We would suggest that those Member Nations which make relatively larger assessed contributions, and particularly the largest contributor, to arrange to pay their dues more expeditiously than the Nations whose assessed contributions are relatively small, and also give their expected payment schedule.

We would also compliment the FAO Secretariat on their prudent financial management, despite the serious financial difficulty and for having managed the situation without borrowing.

However, Member Nations should realize that if this situation persists, there would be no escape from borrowing. We should make it clear to the Director-General that he should feel free, at his discretion, to use the authority vested in him by the Conference resolution to borrow moneys.

With due respect to the Finance Committee, we would request the Chairman and Members of the Finance Committee, as a committee of the Council, to go into the matter relating to overdues from Member Nations, in a somewhat greater depth and detail instead of throwing the ball back into the laps of the Council. We submit that the Finance Committee should, after getting the required factual data from the Secretariat, go into this matter thoroughly, list what all the possible options are, and come up with specific recommendations as to what course of action the Council should recommend to the Conference. This is particularly necessary when we realize that borrowing, which might become inevitable, would involve extra costs for the Organization.

We would compliment the Distinguished Delegate of the USA for her frank and unambiguous statement. She has made it clear that the US Administration envisages Congressional problems in getting the appropriations, particularly for the arrears to the UN system, voted.

In the interests of the FAO, we are sure that all the Member Nations would wish and pray to their respective Gods, that the efforts of the US Administration to get the funds voted by the US Congress would be more fruitful than what the Distinguished Delegate from the USA would hereself seem to be inclined to believe.

However, could one expect that whatever amounts are ultimately voted by the US Congress would be distributed by the US Administration evenly among the various Agencies in the UN system, without modulating the payments on a selective basis?

Mr. Chairman, we do not want to take the Council's time once again by speaking on the concepts of zero real growth in the Budget and maximum absorption of increasing costs, we made our position clear in our earlier intervention this morning.

However, it does not seem to be quite clear, as yet, whether the acceptance of the concept of zero real growth of the Budget would automatically result in the unblocking of the overdue payments. Should the cause and effect relationship become clear, the proposition would at least become more intelligible.

Leaving that point apart, Mr. Chairman, we would express our perception, based on the inputs received so far from the ongoing FAO Review exercise, that among the programmes being implemented by the FAO, the non-obsolete, the non-ineffective and the non-inefficient programmes are so many that the real problem has been how to fit all these into the available financial resources, which are limited.

Among the activities being carried out by the FAO, should there be any really obsolete, inefficient and ineffective programmes, we are sure that no Member Nation would plead, even if the FAO had at its disposal limitless resources, that such activities should continue to be implemented.

To obviate the necessity for the Indian Delegation to take the floor again on this agenda item, may I also add, Mr. Chairman, that the Indian Delegation supports the resolutions:

(i) under para. 3.56 on p. 35 of doc. CL 96/4 on the treatment of profit and loss on exchange;

(ii) under para. 3.79 on p. 39 on staff commissary support cost reimbursement; and

(iii) under para. 3.87 on p. 41 on the appointment of the External Auditor. 1/

The meeting rose at 18.30 hours.
La seance est levée a 18 h 30.
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.30 horas.

1/ Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.

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