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4. State of Food and Agriculture 1990 (continued)
4. Situation mondiale de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture en 1990 (suite)
4. El Estado Mundial de la Agricultura ν la Alimentación, 1990 (continuación)

4.1 Policy Changes affecting European Agriculture
4.1 Changements de politique générale affectant l'agriculture européenne
4·1 Cambios de las políticas que afectan a la agricultura europea

J. RASOOLOF (Iran, Islamic Republic of): It is my honour to present my compliments to all of you for electing me as the Vice-Chairman of the Council. I would also like to congratulate you, Mr Chairman, for your very active and useful participation in many sessions, conferences and activities of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations since you have been elected as Chairman of the Council. It is my pleasure to congratulate the election of all the Vice-Chairmen as well.

I would like to emphasise the important role of FAO for the progress of the goal of the Member Nations to increase their production as a leading world agricultural organization.

Regarding the document number CL 98/12, despite the various difficulties the Islamic Republic of Iran during the years 1985-89 had a growth rate of agricultural production of 3 percent and with respect to heavy infra-structural investments in these years and in the years to come, in our five year economic and social cultural plan in the agricultural sector has a target of 6 percent growth rate. For example, in 1989 we had an increase of 400 000 tonnes of irrigated wheat, 150 000 tonnes of white and red meat, 70 000 tonnes of eggs, 130 000 tonnes of all seed crop compared to the previous year.

In respect to environmental protection, we emphasise on the matter; as an example, we have accomplished more than 3 million hectares combating desertification and 2.9 million hectares is planned for our five year agricultural plan. I would like to ask the Secretariat by the cooperation of our permanent Representative to make the necessary correction on the table 1-4 and paragraph 181 of the report.

In respect to the agricultural situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Near East Region; water is the key for the agricultural development and production of the region. In the five year plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran we have planned to prepare at least 7 billion cubic metres water available for agriculture.

As the invitation of the Islamic Republic of Iran was accepted in the last Near East Regional Conference that the next conference to be held in 1992,

in the Islamic Republic of Iran, I would like to ask FAO to pay more attention to the problems of water as one of the most important issues in the Near East for discussion in the coming conference.

On behalf of the Islamic Republic of Iran I would like to extend the invitation to all Member Nations and the United Nations bodies and international organizations to participate in the next coming Near East Regional Conference.

Ms Luz G. DEL MUNDO (Philippines): Mr Chairman, we are pleased to have you in the chair and to congratulate the three Vice-Chairmen who have been elected to this session.

We find ourselves in the last decade of the 20th century faced with a paradoxical world; a world that is bright with the promise of peace; a world buoyant with the hope for an end to the arms race; for a forward movement on East-West cooperation which will leave funds freed for peaceful uses, such as increased assistance to food production and to the development of human resources in many areas of the world.

But the world is once again faced with a crisis which does not rule out a possible war in the Gulf, a crisis which has left nations such as the Philippines reeling from the adverse effects of oil price increases and an energy squeeze which has triggered inflation and a deterioration in foreign exchange rates.

Thousands of our workers have come home from the Gulf. We have been visited also by natural calamities, a devastating earthquake, and last week by a destructive typhoon.

Yesterday someone mentioned our space ship Earth. The pilot of a space ship sees several sunrises and sunsets in a single day. But why does the sun rise and still set over a world of sharp contrasts, over areas alight with abundance and prosperity and over areas made dim because its people live under the shadow of persistent hunger and malnutrition? There are, as Mr Craxi recently pointed out, at least 700 million people waging a daily battle against hunger, most of whom are not malnourished because of famine or war but because they lack any capital at all, a piece of land, equipment, basic education and occupation. They live in destitution and have neither the possibility nor the capacity to produce. They need substantial help to survive. Our government through its medium-term development plan for 1991-95 has committed itself to an agriculturally led and farmer focussed development path. It intends to implement a land reform package which will enable the 70 percent of our population who still live in the countryside to engage in labour-intensive small and medium-scale agricultural enterprises, particularly for food production.

A strong and vibrant agricultural sector is essential if our nation is to move forward on industrialization and development. In the next few years we hope to increase the productivity of small farmers and fisherfolk who have had very limited access to land, production inputs, credit and other resources. We are addressing the need to deliver a basic government service to the needy segments of the farming and fishing populace. We are focussing

on our country's comparative advantage and removing a biased incentive structure which favours the urban and industrial sectors at the expense of agriculture and the rural sector. We are gearing policies to discourage indiscriminate exploitation of our natural resources, marine and forestry, that have threatened the sustainability of our agricultural resource base which have worsened income inequities.

The Philippines commends the role of FAO as a global agent of technological transfer which continues to open up new possibilities to exchanges and reciprocal enrichment between developed and developing nations.

Small and medium-scale industries will find it more difficult to find sources of financing and credit and to keep pace with the development of new technologies as small mergers among giant transnationals are effected towards 1992.

It is hoped that FAO will continue to help bridge the gap that has become wider between the north and the south, that it can catalyze and strengthen the political will among members of diverse groups, such as the Group of 77 and the OECD, to come to a resolution on urgent issues which if resolved could lead to a higher level of social peace in the world, for a stalemate in such forms as the Uruguay Round can result in bloc to bloc confrontations and, as someone has observed, to international tensions still comparable to the social rewards of the 19th century.

At Bali, last October, the ASEAN foreign ministers stressed the high hope for a successful conclusion of the Uruguay Round to the benefit of the multilateral trading system. ASEAN hopes that further negotiations in GATT will lead to the liberalization of trade in tropical products, to the rollback of agricultural protectionism, to the integration of textiles and the clothing sectors in the general agreement, to the development of trade rules which are fair and equitable.

We live in our one and only Earth, in one planet that has been made small because of the speed of modern transport and communications. Our social institutions and international organizations should not be used as vehicles to perpetrate protection measures, to maintain the sharp divisions between rich and poor nations but to help all peoples to fashion a constructive harmonious environment obedient to human purpose.

It is hoped that in the next few days in the deliberations on FAO programmes related to food and agriculture, to forestry, fisheries and to environmental and sustainable development, we may strengthen the political will to work for peace as we discuss the common tasks of humanity, that of feeding the hungry, preserving our environment, treating with greater care the resources of the water, of the air, of oceans and forests upon which our common life depends.

Muhammad Saleem KHAN (Pakistan): Mr Chairman, we note your presence once again in the chair with great pleasure and with a feeling of confidence to seeing yet another ably conducted session with sound outcomes. We look forward to working closely with you during the session. We also note with

satisfaction that extremely competent representatives were elected yesterday to your bureau from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Egypt and Poland to support you in your work. Through you we would like to congratulate them on their election and this Council on its choice. On a personal note I would also like to thank members of the Council for assigning me the task of chairing the Drafting Committee. It is a very happy augury that in parallel with lessening cold war tensions the gap between global food production and requirements has closed up and after several years we would not be on that hairline margin between sufficiency and collapse. Yet the fragile grounds for increase, based on favourable weather conditions, unequal spread of production increases supported by heavy subsidies from some developed countries and a protracted inability to widen the food stock holdings base, no doubt dampens such feelings. Deteriorating economies functioning in a continuously adverse economic environment, further strained by recent unfortunate events in the Gulf with its fallout in terms of increased fuel costs and in some cases loss of remittances, addedly vitiates against the ability of a large number of least developed and middle-income countries to cover food gaps and improve food supplies for their population.

Prospects forecast for food and agriculture production for a large number of African and Latin American countries are not too heartening. Production levels even in Asia are expected to incur significant declines relative to recent trends. Of particular concern are the situations in Sudan and Ethiopia and several politically disturbed countries. Paradoxically food aid is expected to fall somewhat or at least remain static. Neither do economic prospects portend encouraging signs for improvement. Progress report under the Uruguay Round on Multilateral Trade Negotiations also does not instill much confidence.

The bleak scenario raises gloom and depicts an uncomfortable trend toward self-centerism. What could be more paradoxical than the inability of the international community to assist several developing countries in Africa to dispose of their welcome food surpluses after years of shortages. Yet we believe hope is never a lost cause. There certainly have been exceedingly positive signs and developments in multilateralism and international cooperation over the last eventful years. These trends need to be capitalized upon and directed towards greater economic cooperation and universal food security. We are sure, given the available opportunity and the pronounced will of all parties noted in this session, that this goal will be achievable.

A lot has been said on this subject before my delegation assumed the floor and our views are mostly represented in other statements made before us. We would therefore avoid impinging further on the time of this Council except for a few brief words on the specific situation in Pakistan.

The documents before us correctly note that for the second year running Pakistan has been fortunate to have a record production of cereals, particularly wheat. However, we still have not been able to keep up to requirements of a growing population and would be importing at least 0.73 million tons of wheat to build up our national reserves. It is well known that for over a decade we have been housing with the generous support of the international community the single largest refugee population in the

world. Unfortunately developments within Afghanistan so far have failed to generate an environment conducive for the return of the refugees as was expected at the time of signing the Geneva Accord in April 1988. While the refugees remain on our soil, waning international support has shifted an increasing burden on our own resources. The events in the Gulf, with its estimated 2 billion dollars additional burden on our balance of payments owing to increase in oil prices and lost revenues from overseas workers' remittances has no doubt had a further devastating effect on our already constrained resources. One of the first steps the newly elected Government in Pakistan had to take was to raise the fuel prices in the country by approximately 41 percent, with its concomitant negative effects on other sectors of the economy, not least the agriculture sector. Coupled with the restructuring measures in the economy being undertaken in cooperation with the IMF, to which the newly elected Government stands committed, the country is expected to pass through a difficult phase. Nevertheless the new Government has announced a bold egalitarian socio-economic development programme. This programme includes wide-ranging measures in the furtherance of agricultural development and the raising of rural incomes and standards of living, where 75 percent of the population of the country remains, directly or indirectly, dependent on agriculture as a means of livelihood.

Self-sufficiency in food population and universal accessibility to food supplies is an integral part of these policies. No doubt the success of these bold measures to a great degree would depend on the expected improvements in the international economic environment and the requisite economic and technical cooperation, and support of bilateral and multilateral donors. We look forward to such cooperation.

In the end, I would like to make a special note of recognition for the bold recommendations of the Government of the Netherlands and that of the Government of the United Kingdom, mentioned in the documents, regarding their proposal for debt relief for indebted developing countries.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le représentant du Pakistan de son intervention. Je crois que le Pakistan constitue l'exemple d'un pays qui a fait un effort considérable dans le domaine de l'autosuffisance alimentaire.

Oscar Sales PETINGA (Portugal): Monsieur le Président, c'est la première fois que la délégation portugaise prend la parole au Conseil sous votre présidence. Nous voulons en profiter pour vous féliciter de votre élection. Nous sommes convaincus que, sous votre présidence, le Conseil aura la possibilité d'obtenir de bons résultats sur les points qui nous sont présentés pour appréciation et discussion.

La délégation portugaise voudrait aussi féliciter le Secrétariat pour la qualité des documents CL 98/2 et CL 98/2-Sup.1, lesquels nous ont permis de faire une analyse soignée de la situation mondiale de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture cette année, dont la fin approche.

Par malheur, les grands traits généraux se maintiennent au niveau mondial. Il y a, d'une part, les pays développés qui sont prêts à satisfaire leurs besoins internes et s'efforcent d'éviter l'accumulation d'excédents dont la présence sur le marché international a engendré des difficultés sensibles et, d'autre part, la plupart des pays en développement qui continuent à ne pas savoir surpasser les difficultés relatives à l'approvisionnement en aliments. Cette situation préoccupe la communauté internationale et c'est pourquoi l'aide au développement doit s'intensifier dans la mesure du possible. Cette aide ne doit pas seulement se faire sous forme d'aliments mais surtout en permettant aux pays en développement de profiter de leurs propres ressources et d'assurer leur progrès économique de façon à réduire de plus en plus la profonde différence qui existe entre le bien-être du monde développé et celui du monde en développement.

L'accroissement rapide de la population qui s'est vérifié dans le monde en développement exige une plus grande production d'aliments non seulement pour résoudre les situations difficiles déjà existantes mais aussi pour assurer l'alimentation des nouveaux êtres humains. On ne doit pas oublier qu'au cours des 25 dernières années, l'accroissement de la population dans les pays en développement a été de plus de 70 pour cent et que, pendant la même période, la population a presque triplé dans quelques pays africains.

Mais l'accroissement de la production renferme soit l'augmentation de la surface cultivée avec les mêmes revenus, soit l'abattage de forêts dans la recherche de terrains vierges, soit encore l'augmentation des revenus unitaires. Quelques-unes des solutions à retenir pour réaliser l'objectif nécessaire renferment des difficultés d'exécution, lesquelles deviennent même des impossibilités. La faible mécanisation ne rend pas possible l'augmentation indistincte de la surface agricole; le ravage de la forêt intervient quelquefois sous une forme onéreuse dans la préservation des ressources et l'accroissement de la production unitaire exige un appui extérieur en pesticides, engrais, semences améliorées et autres formes d'augmentation de la production.

La préservation des aliments est aussi importante que leur production. L'élimination des pertes après récolte, qui atteignent presque 40 pour cent dans certains cas, pourrait compenser en partie les faibles revenus de la production agricole. Le problème de la préservation des ressources est d'une importance extraordinaire et nous y reviendrons en temps opportun.

Maintenant, je ne saurais manquer de mentionner les graves aspects liés au ravage de la forêt soit en Europe, soit dans les pays tropicaux. En Europe, les pluies acides de l'Europe centrale et les incendies du sud causent d'énormes dommages. Aux tropiques, le ravage des forêts sous diverses formes s'effectue à un rythme vraiment alarmant: il arrive qu'il y ait des incendies incontrôlés; la recherche de terrains plus riches pour l'agriculture traditionnelle pour répondre à l'accroissement de la population; la recherche de bois d'un grand intérêt commercial; l'activité de grandes entreprises qui, en peu d'années, abattent, brûlent, font de la culture annuelle, élèvent du bétail et, à la fin, laissent le terrain stérile.

La FAO, au moyen des projets de développement qu'elle étudie, prépare, met à exécution ou finance, doit continuer à faire en sorte que l'indispensable

accroissement de la production d'aliments soit compatible avec l'accumulation des ressources. L'attention que nous accordons à cette question est très importante pour l'avenir puisque, tel que le dit le proverbe, le sol n'est pas un bien reçu de nos parents mais une richesse cédée à nos fils.

Enfin, nous voudrions faire quelques commentaires sur le chapitre des pêches. Au paragraphe 66, nous devons préciser qu'il existe une différence très marquée entre le taux de croissance de la production mondiale de poisson des années 60 et celui des premières années de la décennie 1970. En effet, après une forte croissance pendant les 20 années qui ont suivi la deuxième guerre mondiale, le taux de croissance annuel a diminué très sensiblement pendant les 15 dernières années. Un deuxième point relatif au paragraphe 66: nous pensons que les captures au niveau mondial se rapprochent rapidement de la limite de production durable.

Au paragraphe 69, il n'est pas très clair que la production de poisson en Afrique n'est pas destinée à la consommation ou à l'industrialisation locale bien qu'elle représente une importante source de devises.

Au Tableau 1-10, il apparaît évident qu'il y a une augmentation de la consommation de poisson frais. Nous sommes en faveur d'augmenter la différence de consommation entre la population du littoral et celle de l'intérieur, en tenant compte de la difficulté de faire circuler le poisson frais à l'intérieur du continent.

Sisaye G. GIORGIS (Ethiopia): On behalf of the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture and the Government of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, I am pleased and honoured to extend a warm welcome to you and give you our assurances that we will work under the guidance of your leadership.

Our delegation would also like to thank the Secretariat for the detailed document on the state of food and agriculture and Mr Dutia for his excellent introduction to the topic.

At this stage of the exhaustive discussions it is difficult to embark on new areas which have not been touched on before. I would like, however, to discuss the State of Food and Agriculture in Ethiopia.

Over the past decade hunger and poverty have dramatically increased in Africa. Latest estimates indicate that between half and three-quarters of the population live in poverty and more than 100 million people suffer from chronic food insecurity.

It may seem paradoxical that among the world's rural people who grow food a vast majority are poor and hungry. According to estimates by the International Food Policy Research Institute the proportion of the undernourished who live in rural areas is in the order of 60% for Latin America, 70% for those in the Near East and 80-90% for those in Asia and Africa.

The rural sector, therefore, is increasingly being recognized as the key sector in African development plans and its rapid development and modernization has presently assumed a priority objective by both national governments and international organizations.

After having made a passing reference to the situation in Africa, let me now focus on the Ethiopian scene. As you are aware, agriculture is the dominant sector of the economy, accounting for around 48% of the GDP and 80% of the employment and 85% of the exports. It is predominantly peasant-operated on a subsistence level with crop production estimated to contribute around 60%, livestock 30% and forestry 7% of agricultural GDP.

Of the country's total land mass of 122 million ha, close to 65% or 79 million ha are estimated to be potentially arable, of which about 6 million ha on average are cropped annually. Some 2.25 million ha are also estimated to be potentially irrigable, of which 100 000 ha are presently irrigated.

Despite the country's potential, both total agricultural production and productivity are very low. Ethiopia cannot produce enough food, even in a good year when the rains are adequate, to meet the needs of its population, currently estimated at about 50 million and growing at 2.9% annually. Its annual deficit in grain production during drought-free years ranges from 0.5 to 1 million mt and when drought occurs the situation often assumes a crisis proportion requiring massive emergency assistance.

The current Belg crop in the main Belg-producing areas like the central, mid and eastern highlands and, to some extent, the rift valley is relatively better than the 1989 crop because of normal distribution of rainfall during the Belg period. The long rainy season following the Belg, which runs from June to September, is erratic in behaviour, causing precipitation in the eastern parts of the country and, to some extent, in the south which can result in a decrease in the total production of maize as compared to last year in these regions. In the northern part of Ethiopia the situation is not better than last year. In the main potential agriculture-producing regions like east and west Gojjam, west and east Shoa, Arsi, around Addis Ababa and western regions the crop situation is very promising. It is therefore in this context that we warmly applaud the report of the Director-General, the document in connection with the rising concern on the food supply situation and encourage the International Conference on nutrition progress.

It is not only the food crisis that is of major concern. What is of equally great concern is the continued and worsening environmental degradation. This is particularly in evidence in Highland Ethiopia resulting from this population growth, backward farming practices and scarcity of arable lands.

Unwise land-use practices that lead to environmental degradation are the primary cause of widespread hunger and famine in Ethiopia. The food emergencies of the recent past can be directly linked to the decline of the forest cover from 16% in the 1950s to less than 4% today.

The problem of environmental degradation has seriously been recognized for the first time since the drought and famine of 1973/74. Since then it has

become a priority concern and, as a result, a series of measures were undertaken to curb and halt the worsening ecological degradation process.

Several other additional conservation efforts were undertaken during the National Development Campaign period of 1979-1984. Activities such as planting of trees, rehabilitation, demarcation and inventory-making of natural forests were carried out on more than 1.6 million ha of lands during the period. Proposals embedded in the Tropical Forest Action Plan and the forthcoming International Conferences on the Environment and Forestry we consider will have a tremendous impact on traditional efforts and therefore we look forward to their successful implementation of conclusions.

Likewise, the land-use planning studies that were conducted since 1979 resulted in making an inventory of land resources in various disciplines, evaluations and classification of major land units on that basis and the charting of a master land-use plan of the country.

Even all these measures have proved inadequate effectively to address the ecological crisis. This has underlined the need for a special strategy which has culminated in the charting of the national programme for the conservation and development of natural resources of the country. The programme was prepared within the overall framework of the 10-year perspective plan. As the national programme is directly related to the issues of land use, policies related or associated therewith are also under preparation. They include: land-use policy, forestry policy and legislation, population policy, livestock policy and water conservation policy.

The implementation of the national programme is through decentralized efforts whereby urban and rural communities as well as other public sectors and individuals participate on a massive scale. The major activities and physical targets of the programme include:

1) Rehabilitating 2.1 million ha of degraded land through soil and water conservation measures, afforestation, natural regeneration, community-based tree planting;

2) Surveying, delineating and developing forest management plans for the remaining 2.4 million ha of natural forests;

3) Establishing eight national parks, three wildlife reserves for rare animal species and 89 breeding stations;

4) Strengthening the forestry information and extension system to further develop people's awareness;

5) Planting of 57 600 ha for fuelwood, construction materials and industrial use;

6) Developing 8.8 million ha of farm forest/agro-forestry for use by the rural communities;

7) Strengthening ongoing forestry, wildlife and soil conservation research as well as education and training; and

8) Developing appropriate legislation and regulations to support conservation and development efforts.

The Government, as part of its efforts to increase the level of overall investment and improve the severe balance-of-payments difficulties, has initiated a process of policy reform and structural change. The aim of the policy change is to attract and increase the role of both domestic and foreign potential investors in services, trade and production sectors through the provisions of various favourable treatments.

With respect to agriculture, the policy change has eliminated price control and grain quota delivery systems, thus permitting the determination of prices by the free play of market forces. In addition, the restrictions imposed on licensing of private traders have been greatly eased. It also allows individual farmers to employ hired labour on their farms and to transfer landownership titles to their heirs.

The causes of Ethiopia's high level of poverty are linked not only to low productivity and environmental degradation but also to logistical problems. While the country has still rich substantial agricultural potential, traditional scattered settlement patterns, extremely rugged terrain and vast distances between agricultural areas and urban centres have posed major obstacles to internal transportation, drought relief work, government administration and economic development in general. Ethiopia has one of the lowest densities of roads of any country in the world. In particular, the lack of rural access roads represent the largest physical development constraint. Nearly three-quarters of the country's farms are more than half-a-day's walk from main roads. For this reason access to drought-prone areas and the delivery of inputs and services have been severely constrained. It is in this context that we do agree that the successful completion of the Uruguay Round of Trade Negotiations increased resource flows through multilateral and bilateral channels. Solutions to the debt-burden problems will each have their share of contributions to these efforts by national policies.

Sustainable agriculture requires huge investment which African countries certainly lack. This means going beyond increased and improved foreign aid. It requires structural changes in the global economy to ease the debt burdens of African countries and to improve their terms of trade in order to release resources needed to develop sustainable agricultural practices. African countries will, only in this way, be able to afford policies and structural adjustments which can meet their development aspiration.

Likewise, in Ethiopia, it is not just lack of rain that has caused drought and famine but also lack of adequate external development assistance. It is hoped that the growing readiness of the government to consider and implement various policy reforms and programmes will lead to a greatly increased flow of vital development assistance.

We hope that FAO can play a positive role in furthering our efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture by providing technical assistance on all

aspects of the agricultural and rural development processes; by promoting an integrated approach to natural resources management; by integration production; environmental and logistic concerns into all of its programmes and projects, as well as by taking an active part in the mobilization of international resources toward these noble objectives.

FAO-assisted projects in Ethiopia with the Ministry of Agriculture as a counterpart government agency are many and diverse. The annual expenditure under TCP projects valued at US$700 000-800 000 are on-going. Similarly, US$6-7 million UNDP-funded projects, one million under trust fund and one million NGO projects exclusive of Ethiopian Government contributions are in operation.

The Government of Ethiopia, while expressing its sincere appreciation and gratitude to FAO for its past and current interventions, would like to assure the Organization that it will do everything possible in support of FAO on-going and future projects and programmes.

Daniel D.C. Don NANJIRA (Kenya): I hope you feel in excellent form this afternoon as I do. The Kenyan delegation would very much like to congratulate you on your election to this important post. We are particularly happy with the competent manner in which you are guiding the business of this session of the Council. If you stay the course, as I am sure you can, we will have every reason to look forward to a very successful session. We are happy to convey our greetings and those of the Kenyan people's government to you and, through you, to the members of your bureau, whom we also congratulate, and to all assembled here attending the 98th Session of this august body. We wish you and your bureau every success. We hope that this session will be crowned with concrete and practical conclusions, recommendations and decisions worthy of the greatness of this session.

We congratulate, welcome and recognize the presence of a united Germany and a united Yemen in our midst. As they say, unity is strength. The ex quatro duo status of Germany and Yemen should provide the international community with better political and economic benefits than hitherto. We all look forward to the enjoyment of the resulting benefits.

The Kenyan delegation listened with keen interest yesterday to the introductory statement of Dr Saouma, Director-General of FAO. We greatly appreciated his analysis of the issues before this Council for deliberation and resolution. We in this delegation stand ready to participate actively in the discussions on the issues. This we shall do in the course of this session. For the moment I wish only to touch on a few issues in passing.

First is the question of documentation for the session. We are grateful to the Secretariat for the competent documentation it has prepared for us. We need, therefore, to study the documentation very carefully and to give our views on the contents clearly and precisely in order to help the Secretariat accurately to implement the wishes, recommendations and decisions of Member Governments. I hope, therefore, that we can follow your

organization of work for this session and give our clear preferences as to what should be done to implement the conclusions of this session.

For us in this session there will be no need to ask for more studies and documents until after the implementation of the recommendations contained in the requested but already existing reports and papers before this session for discussion.

In going through these documents I have found very useful information which is more than adequate to use as a basis for our decisions. It is important, therefore, and I repeat, that we pronounce ourselves on these documents and give specific and clear directives to the Secretariat for their necessary follow-up action, particularly the reports submitted to this Council session by its various committees. Judging from the contents of these reports, they relate to such issues as forestry and tea; sisal; the environment and sustainable development; the role of women in development; contributions to FAO; FAO's relationships with other UN bodies and agencies; the priorities of FAO's regional conferences; world food security; international agricultural trade; debt problems of developing nations and others brought to the Council session in CL 91/1, the annotated agenda document.

This session of the Council can take historic decisions to mark the end of this century and prepare for the next century an international agenda of historic proportions. This will be particularly the case if we do full justice to the documents that are before us for resolution.

Secondly, the global state of food and agriculture. As this is my delegation's first intervention touching on the Agenda for this session I shall limit my statement to general observations, it being understood that we shall be making topical and substantive interventions in the course of the session. For the remainder of my current intervention, therefore, I shall address myself to some of the issues under Item II of our Agenda.

We have a situation in the world where demand shift in developing countries and the interaction of supply and demand shift in developing nations dominate global imbalances and the comparatively static effects of price changes. In any bad world economic situation, the worst victims, of course, are the countries of the developing world. It is in this world that hundreds of millions of human beings are still living in absolute poverty, millions of them living below the critical threshold of malnutrition and having an intensively painful experience. Acute food shortages still dominate many areas of the developing world. Millions of refugees are crying out for help for their daily subsistence. Population and other pressures in many developing countries outpace food production. The continuing exorbitant price of fertilizers and other forms of agricultural inputs, the devastating effects of bad weather, pests and drought, environmental degradation and other natural disasters negatively affect developing countries. Sluggish demand and depressed prices of commodities of the developing nations lead to stagnation and decline in the real value of export earnings of the developing countries. Every effort must be made not only to stop the continuous deterioration in terms of international trade, but also to ensure that no trading blocs are born out of the Uruguay Round. Every effort must be made to remove the protectionist tariff and

non-tariff measures that hamper the export of primary commodities and manufactured products from developing countries. Every effort must be made to implement the existing action programmes for the least developed countries, for African economic recovery and development, for the integration of women in development, for AQUILA-Aquaculture Network in Latin America and the Caribbean, and others. The developing countries themselves should increasingly develop trade relations amongst themselves and a decisive impetus to their mutual economic cooperation. Even the FAO Conference at its 25th Session in 1989 stressed the need to promote economic and technical cooperation among developing nations. We from the Third World who also work within food and agricultural organizations in the United Nations System should reactivate TCDC and ECDC contacts with the support of the developed nations and the relevant Secretariats of the United Nations System.

Thirdly, is the question of debt and debt servicing of the developing countries. For some time now the world has been addressing itself to this problem but without achieving tangible results. However, we wish to thank the United Nations Secretary-General who has been in the forefront in appealing to the world community to objectively address this matter with a clear conscience. The Kenyan delegation is happy with his initiative which has resulted in the appointment of the Honourable Bettino Craxi, the former Italian Prime Minister, as the Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Third World Debt. We are hopeful that the resultant negotiations will bear better fruit for the poor of the world.

Our special tribute goes to the Hon. Bettino Craxi whose report to the current session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York contains very useful information. We support his efforts and wish him continuing success. We also support other countries which have given objective proposals.

Fourthly, allow me now to talk about the Cairo Declaration of the World Food Council. As you know, Mr Chairman, recently meetings of the World Food Council have been held in Cairo and Bangkok. Our Ministers of Agriculture attended those meetings. My delegation fully supports the intentions of the Cairo Declaration, reiterated in the May 1990 World Food Council meeting in Bangkok. We hope that the fight against hunger and malnutrition systematically organized since the World Food Conference of 1974 can be accomplished, and soon, with the elimination of hunger from the face of the earth. The Cairo Declaration, like the Cyprus Initiative, should be fully implemented.

Fifth is the question of forestry. Forestry is an area of great concern to my Government. We feel that more resources should be available to this sector which does not only enhance environmental protection, but forms a major part of our natural heritage.

We share the views of those who view the destruction of tropical forests with concern, and appeal for more action-oriented measures to preserve them. However, we cannot ignore the fact that some of this destruction is as a result of poverty, with poor families clearing large areas of forests for agriculture, firewood and other needs. Therefore, we should not address this issue in isolation from the present debt burden and other economic

imbalances which have forced poorer populations to look for alternative resources in the forestry sector in order to survive. We are happy that all the countries in the tropics are aware of the dangers inherent in forest destruction and have taken measures aimed at conserving forests. The problems of deforestation are closely related to the problems of the environment, global warming and climatic change. The climate crisis could result in devastating consequences for humankind, hence the imperative need for all nations to join forces in tackling these problems. We commend the efforts made over the years to undertake serious research activities with regard to the prospect of global warning and the effects it will have on man's ultimate survival on earth. We are concerned about the imminent rise in global temperature in the next century and we express the hope that this matter will be competently addressed in future. There are large areas of Africa which, though constantly faced with drought, could hold more vegetative cover if extra capital investment were made available. On many occasions my delegation has stressed the need for carrying out research into tree species which are drought-resistant. In this respect we echo the views of the 15th FAO Regional Conference for Africa held in Port Louis, Mauritius, in March 1988.

We applaud the role of FAO in the sphere of afforestation and the efforts that the Department of Forestry is making to formulate a paper on climate change and forests. The Kenyan delegation is keenly interested in this matter and will continue to show its concern in the years ahead. As for the proposed International Convention on the Conservation and Development of Forests and other related issues, my delegation is pf the view that collaboration with other UN Agencies like UNEP, the World Meteorological Organization and the World Bank should be encouraged to play their commensurate roles in this field.

Turning now to the question of regional reviews-my sixth matter-I wish to reiterate our serious concern over the persistent economic problems facing developing countries including my own. The economic situation in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be critical. We regret the poor performance of the world economy in the 1980s. Africa is becoming poorer partly because of outflows of resources which, according to some estimates, amount to US$5.5 billion judging from the estimates of 1989. It is high time a comprehensive study was prepared on the reverse transfer of resources of developed from developing countries. It is high time this problem was addressed formally and seriously.

Permit me now to say something about Eastern Europe. Of course we welcome the recent social, economic and political changes that have manifested themselves in Eastern Europe, especially since 1989. The peaceful nature of these changes is an indication that the whole could at last be heading for a different and perhaps better future. However, the fact is that Eastern Europe has peculiar problems to solve and cannot therefore be compared with other regions. Eastern and Central Europe is a developed region which has now embarked upon a unique economic and political restructuring. Therefore, it would be incorrect to compare Eastern Europe with, for instance, Africa or Asia, or Latin America and the Caribbean. Any system of assistance to the Third World should not be compared or compete with that of Eastern Europe. Obviously we support changes in the region which will be healthy for the economies of the developing world. But, here we are talking about

two entirely different types of assistance. Aid and cooperation for development make sense only if applied to the relationship between the North and the South. Changes in Eastern Europe should be assisted to full fruition, but the exercise should be different from that for development assistance to developing countries.

Last but not least, I wish to touch on the question of the governance of the World Food Programme and the relationship between this Programme, FAO and the United Nations. There is no question in my mind that a genuine-and I underline the word "genuine"-dialogue has been lacking among delegations of the concerned Member States. My delegation will have an opportunity to address this question more closely at a later stage. At the moment we wish to stress that there are conditions which must be met if a lasting and mutually acceptable arrangement is to be found.

I see that I have several pages more, but in order to accede to your request, Mr Chairman, and in order to recognize the important role you are playing, I will stop here.

LE PRESIDENT: Je vous remercie beaucoup de bien vouloir sacrifier un certain nombre de pages. Votre exposé a été particulièrement exhaustif, vous avez abordé de nombreux problèmes et vous nous avez parlé notamment de décisions historiques. Vous avez raison, il est utile de prendre un certain nombre de décisions claires et pour ce faire il faudrait qu'un large consensus puisse se dégager des travaux du Conseil. Je suis d'ailleurs convaincu que tous les membres du Conseil vont oeuvrer pour dégager ce consensus dans un certain nombre de matières particulièrement délicates, difficiles et complexes mais qui vont régir, dans les années qui viennent, à la fois la vie de l'Organisation et les réponses que l'Organisation pourra donner aux besoins de tous ses membres et spécialement aux besoins des pays les plus pauvres et les plus démunis.

Vous avez abordé aussi le problème des relations avec le PAM qui fera l'objet du point 13-et nous aurons l'occasion d'en reparler, à savoir le problème de l'interdépendance de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation. L'un ne se conçoit pas sans l'autre et je pense que le débat qui aura lieu sera particulièrement intéressant. Nous sommes sur le point de clôturer la liste des orateurs membres du Conseil et il m'incombe l'agréable devoir de passer la parole au représentant du Brésil.

Marcelo Leonardo da Silva VASCONCELOS (Brazil): As this is the first time that I have taken the floor, Mr Chairman, I would like to express my appreciation at working under your guidance. Let me also congratulate the three Vice-Chairmen on their election. I would also like to thank the Secretariat for the preparation of the excellent documents on this item.

With regard to the international economic environment, the facts speak for themselves. For the large majority of developing countries, the eighties will not be missed. The increasing protectionism and the burden of external debt have taken a heavy toll in terms of reduced growth, environmental

degradation and the spread of malnutrition. In the heavily indebted countries, fiscal and monetary policies were hostages of debt repayment schemes that left no room for anything but short-term considerations. Strenuous efforts to adjust budgets and current accounts were undertaken and just as often wasted by the continuing deterioration of the external economic situation.

We are convinced that world food security cannot be achieved unless developing countries are given the opportunity of reaping the rewards of their efforts.

In order to be brief, Mr Chairman, I will concentrate on one specific issue of great concern to us, which is especially prominent these days. It is with regard to the liberalization of world agricultural trade which occupies the central stage in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations. We are extremely disappointed about the lack of willingness shown by some countries, particularly by the European Economic Community, to engage in meaningful negotiations for the extablishment of a freer and more equitable trading system. The EEC's proposal includes elements such as the concept of rebalancing, and this insistence on export subsidies which runs counter to the spirit and the letter of the Punta del Este Declaration. Both elements point to more protection, more market disruption and more difficulties for developing countries to strengthen their agricultural sector and to increase export earnings. Some agricultural exporters would, in fact, face incredible prospects of a net loss if such proposals prospered.

No amount of external assistance and food aid can compensate for opportunities lost for agricultural development in the developing countries because of the distorsions in world agricultural trade.

To improve the state of food and agriculture in 1991 and beyond, there is a need for immediate action. Let us not waste the Uruguay Round.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for your intervention, Mr Vasconcelos. Before I give the floor to the Observers, I would like once again to call on the United States of America to make a very short intervention. They have asked me if they may make this statement.

E. Wayne DENNEY (United States of America): As you know, the United States has already made a substantive statement on this agenda item. We apologize for asking to speak a second time.

In our view, the United Kingdom delegate made some very pertinent comments on how the Council might conduct its business more efficiently in the future. His remarks merit further consideration and could demonstrate responsiveness to the concerns of Member Countries. Unfortunately, we believe that your response to the United Kingdom, Mr Chairman, could have been more encouraging. Perhaps we could hear a Secretariat reaction to

some of the points raised by the United Kingdom which may be of use to all of us.

LE PRESIDENT: En fait, j'ai fait une déclaration hier sur les méthodes de travail et je vous ai rappelé l'existence d'un document qui a le mérite d'être, le mérite d'exister, même s'il existe depuis 1973 et qui n'a, bien sûr, pas toujours été bien suivi. Alors, si nous pouvions déjà suivre ce document, je crois que nous ferions déjà un sérieux progrès, de sérieux pas en avant, notamment en ce qui concerne la brièveté des interventions, en ce qui concerne le rôle des observateurs et la possibilité de déposer des interventions en se limitant à dégager la synthèse et l'essence des observations.

Il est clair que la modification d'un document qui touche à l'ensemble du travail du Conseil ne relève pas de la compétence directe du secrétariat, mais relève de la compétence du Conseil, et que dans la perspective d'un prochain Conseil, il serait intéressant que les membres du Conseil puissent éventuellement se pencher sur le document existant et proposer des améliorations précises et concrètes. Si nous commençons maintenant à demander le point de vue du secrétariat, on peut commencer une discussion sur les différents points qui sont repris dans le document CL 98/INF/4 qui est quand même un document de six pages qui aborde des points extrêmement divers, puisqu'ils vont jusqu'au rôle du Président à la synthèse des travaux après le débat sur les différents points.

Alors, je crois qu'on risque de s'égarer. Nous sommes maintenant en train d'examiner le point 4, la situation mondiale de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture. Essayons, je ne dirais pas d'épuiser ce point, parce qu'il est inépuisable, parce que les problèmes sont grands, comme les problèmes de l'agriculture dans le monde. Et en ce qui concerne les méthodes de travail du Conseil, il est clair qu'il n'y a que le Conseil qui, sur la base de propositions précises ultérieures, pourrait à sa prochaine réunion éventuellement examiner ce document et y apporter les améliorations qui recevraient et qui devraient recevoir au préalable un très large consensus. Je crois que les méthodes de travail du Conseil, on ne peut les modifier qu'avec un accord de tous les membres du Conseil, et que les différents groupes devraient être consultés et avoir l'occasion d'y réfléchir de manière très large et très ample avec le temps voulu pour pouvoir examiner les implications des propositions qui seraient faites sur la méthodologie de travail du Conseil et les conséquences que cela pourrait avoir sur les décisions que nous sommes appelés à prendre.

Maintenant, je donnerai, mais pour 30 secondes, la parole au Royaume-Uni qui est déjà intervenu et qui a demandé la parole, je suppose sur le même point.

J.R. GOLDSACK (United Kingdom): I raised the matter as I did because it was at your invitation, Mr Chairman, that I did so. You said we were at liberty to do so, and I thought that what I was suggesting might improve our working methods.

Earlier, I spoke about the need to publish the Council's timetable at an early stage. We sought to do this because, as with our national game of cricket, we like to know in advance the day on which the game will be played. We can then practise our shots and polish up our style. In addition, it is traditional in cricket to have a batting order which is like our speaking order. Players get used to a particular place in that order, which is normally not changed except by mutual consent between the player and the Captain.

I have had some difficulty in following the order today, and as our Captain I would request that, having asked us when we would like to bat, you should stick to the batting order.

LE PRESIDENT: Je vous remercie. L'ordre dans lequel les indications sont données doit être suffisamment flexible en fonction des possibilités des différents membres. Il est clair que si, pour une raison ou l'autre, un Vice-Ministre ou un membre d'une délégation préfère parler à telle ou telle heure parce qu'il est empêché de parler à telle autre heure, je crois qu'il serait de la part du Président de très mauvais goût de ne pas rencontrer ces demandes lorsqu'elles sont justifiées.

Alors je demanderais au représentant du Royaume-Uni de faire confiance-et je suis certain qu'il le fait-à votre Président pour essayer de régler ces différents problèmes pour le mieux en tenant compte quand même des souhaits légitimes d'un certain nombre de participants et de membres du Conseil.

Je vous remercie. Et nous allons maintenant passer la parole aux observateurs.

Yuli MINCHEV (Observer for Bulgaria): Let me first congratulate the three Vice-Chairmen elected yesterday and wish you, Mr Chairman, and the Bureau success.

My delegation has studied very carefully the document presented under Item 4 of the agenda, CL 98/2 plus Supplement 1, and especially CL 98/20-the latter tackling the policy changes affecting European agriculture.

During the deliberations which took place at the Seventeenth Regional Conference for Europe last May in Venice, most of the delegations referred to the rapidly changing political and economic situation in some countries of Eastern and Central Europe. It was stressed that policy reforms were introduced. My delegation considers that the documents presented by the Secretariat are very clear and concise. They represent a good base for our discussions.

Coming to document CL 98/20, I should state that it provides an Updated analysis of the situation on agriculture in Europe as a whole. We also commend the cooperation which is established between FAO and the ECE, and

the setting up of the internal task force as well as the report presented in Part IV of the same document.

A considerable part of this document is devoted to the reform of agricultural policies in the countries in Eastern Europe and the USSR. As you all know, these countries are undertaking radical reforms of their market-oriented economy. As regards my own country, Bulgaria is now entering a new stage of transition towards a market economy system and further democratic changes in Bulgarian society. The Government is undertaking urgent measures to cope with the present critical, economic situation of the country due to the combined effect of a number of unfavourable factors, among which are the acute problems connected with the balance of payments and monetary reserve situations; the impossibility of ensuring stable servicing of the foreign debt; the pressing need for financing the structural adjustments of the economy; the recent negative trends in the multinational corporations among the CMEA member states, including difficulties of ensuring the energy balance and the necessary convertible currency resources for the transition to the new system of payments between the CMEA countries which will come into effect from the beginning of 1991.

An additional negative factor contributing to the further aggravation of the country's economic situation is the Persian Gulf crisis and the sharp rises of the price of petrol on the world market.

The Bulgarian government has submitted information on the economic situation of the country on various occasions to the governments of states from the Group of Twenty-Four, the Commission of the European Communities and the major world organizations and institutions, such as the United Nations organization, IMF and the World Bank. On these occasions it has appealed for international support of the process of reform and urgent aid in coping with the negative developments in the economy, outlining the current needs for such assistance and their requests in specific areas, and I can say that there are some positive responses in that regard on the part of the European Economic Community, the FAO and some others. My country was included in the framework of the FAR project. Allow me briefly to comment on the recent visit of an FAO delegation to Bulgaria. The purpose of the visit was to discuss strengthening the cooperation in priority areas of the agricultural sector. At the same time negotiations have been finalized recently between the country and the Commission of the European Communities regarding the EC assistance to the restructuring of the agriculture and of the economy. There is the intention to utilize some of the funds received to finance the realization of certain priority projects to be carried out by FAO. Meanwhile, during the visit of the FAO delegation the priority areas in the agricultural sector were determined. We consider that the most urgent problems at this stage should be new organizational structure of agriculture in Bulgaria in accordance with the agrarian reform legality and the par market economy principles should include systems for farm land use, basic farms and organization of individual and collective, private farms and enterprise. Second, the development of the livestock sector; the organizational structure of meat production, forage supply and veterinary service. Third, the reform in agricultural research, restructuring of the research institutes and rendering scientific assistance to the producers.

This information has already been communicated to the Director-General of FAO.

My government expressed its gratitude to the Director-General for the timely visit of the delegation. We should like to ask him to organize as soon as possible the mission of experts to Bulgaria for the formulation of priority projects in the agricultural sector. We would like to suggest that a special programme be worked out and adopted and appropriate funds be allocated. This special programme should be for the countries from Eastern and Central Europe. Furthermore I should like to draw the attention of the international organizations and donor countries for assistance with funds for rational restructuring of Bulgarian agriculture.

Hugo TRIVELLI FRANZOLINI (Observador de Chile): Quisiera expresar, en primer término, la satisfacción del Gobierno de Chile por la Presidencia de usted, Señor Presidente, en este 98° Consejo de la FAO y también por la elección de los tres Vicepresidentes elegidos ayer.

Quiero también hacer un reconocimiento muy explícito a la Secretaría, por la preparación de los excelentes documentos que hemos tenido a la vista, que nos han enseñado mucho. Tanto de estos documentos como del accionar de la FAO, se desprende que esta institución tiende a convertirse en líder de la defensa del planeta y sus habitantes. Ahí están todos sus programas, sus estudios, sus análisis y su personal, desde el Director General hasta el último funcionario de la FAO-que podría ser el primero-, preocupados por el medio ambiente, particularmente por la conservación de los recursos naturales renovables-la fauna marítima y terrestre, entre ellos-, la flora-principalmente el bosque-y una posición que es extraordinariamente interesante y que yo espero que sea destacada en el curso de la realización del Consejo: es este principio, este planteamiento que hace la FAO del desarrollo sostenible en ecosistemas frágiles.

Yo he estado tratando de examinar un poco qué parte de este mundo, qué parte del planeta corresponde a ecosistemas frágiles, y yo diría que una gran proporción del planeta está en una situación de fragilidad. Pongo como ejemplo el caso de mi país, Chile. Somos 76 millones de hectáreas, con doce millones y medio de habitantes. La mitad de nuestro territorio es desierto prácticamente absoluto. Yo diría que no más de dos millones y medio de hectáreas corresponden a ecosistemas no frágiles; el resto, de más de treinta o treinta y cinco millones de hectáreas, corresponden a ecosistemas frágiles. Yo me pongo en el caso de muchos países que están bajo los climas tropicales o incluso que están en climas templados, pero que corresponden a tierras planas afectadas por el viento, donde también podrían ser clasificadas como ecosistemas frágiles. Es un tema que a nosotros debiera preocuparnos especialmente éste del desarrollo en ecosistemas frágiles.

Quiero hacer también, Señor Presidente, un reconocimiento al Director General de la FAO en esta tarea, porque él aparece como el líder de esta idea, de esta preocupación. Quiero también destacar no sólo lo brillante de su discurso de apertura de ayer, sino también su contenido, lleno de sustancia y de ideas para que nosotros podamos debatir estos temas.

A propósito del discurso y de lo que la FAO hace, todos los países, en general, estamos pidiéndole a la FAO mayor trabajo, más intervención, más programas, reforzar los que tiene ahora y nuevos programas. Pero la FAO se tropieza con que estas tareas que está afrontando y las que tiene que afrontar en el futuro se encuentran con el punto de estrangulamiento en la falta de finaneiamiento. Por eso aprovecho la oportunidad de instar a los paises que están atrasados en el cumplimiento de sus obligaciones para que se pongan al dia y asi pueda la FAO funcionar como es el mandato de los paises que la conforman. En este llamado, yo quiero también incluir no sólo a los paises desarrollados, a los países ricos, sino también a los paises en desarrollo, porque la verdad es que son los que reciben los mayores beneficios de la asistencia de la FAO.

Pasando al otro tema importante que se plantea en los documentos que estamos discutiendo, y que se refiere a la producción agrícola, quisiera decir un par de cosas muy simples, que a lo mejor todo el mundo sabe, pero que no hay que olvidar. Una de ellas es el destino de la producción agrícola; nosotros hemos leído los documentos, hemos oído aquí comentarios sobre la evolución de la producción agrícola global del mundo y de los distintos continentes y aun de los países. La producción agrícola, en términos generales, tiene dos destinos: consumo interno y exportación. Naturalmente que el trato, las estrategias para conseguir el progreso de uno y otro tipo de producción son distintos. En el caso de Chile, por ejemplo, nosotros somos un país que como antes decía, de doce y medio millones de habitantes, estamos prácticamente autoabastecidos, pero con una connotación en este autoabastecimiento, que nuestros promedios de consumo aparente por habitante son bastante ineficaces, son bajos. Naturalmente, nos encantaría poder tenerlos mejores. De los doce y medio millones de habitantes, alrededor de cinco millones están conceptuados como pobres, o sea, que no tienen los suficientes ingresos para tener una buena alimentación. El país se ha atrasado en estrategia y está en procura de resolver este problema. ¿Por qué? Porque en una medida importante depende también de la disposición y de la política interna. Desde el punto de vista de Chile, país exportador, puedo decir que en materia agrícola somos exportadores de fruta, de productos del bosque y productos del mar: de pesca y, en términos generales, nosotros exportamos unos 2 500 millones de dólares y hasta hace unos años atrás no teníamos grandes problemas, pero desde el año 1989 se nos han presentado problemas bastante graves con las exportaciones de fruta.

Creo-y esto es una reflexión dentro del tema-, que producir, si bien es cierto que no es un problema de fácil solución, en todo caso es siempre menos difícil producir que vender. Y esto en un país exportador como el nuestro de frutas, hortalizas, productos del bosque y productos del mar, se convierte en un verdadero punto de estrangulamiento al desarrollo del país.

También tenemos como elemento de reflexión que decir ¿quiénes son los acreedores de nuestros países? Somos deudores, tenemos acreedores. ¿Quiénes son los acreedores? Precisamente coinciden nuestros acreedores, en términos generales, con los países desarrollados, con los países ricos que, por otro lado, nos ponen problemas y obstáculos a nuestras exportaciones. Son ellos, nuestros importadores, los que por no tener una política de liberalización del comercio externo ponen trabas, no solamente a mi país, sino a los países exportadores en desarrollo. Nosotros nos preguntamos ¿cómo quieren

los países acreedores que nosotros podamos pagar nuestra deuda, podamos adelantar en el desarrollo si no podemos exportar lo que producimos a un precio razonable y de manera expedita a ellos que podrían ser nuestros consumidores?

En este sentido mi Delegación quisiera manifestar aquí que estamos muy de acuerdo con las exposiciones hechas por los delegados de la República Argentina y de Brasil, entre otros. Estamos de acuerdo, nos interpreta y las respaldamos plenamente. En relación con estas declaraciones de esos países, yo quiero manifestar aquí que no somos exportadores de trigo, de manera que no le vamos a hacer la competencia a Argentina; aun cuando somos excedentarios en ciertos momentos no somos tampoco exportadores de carne, pero si como somos un país que estamos libres de aftosa y de otras plagas de la ganadería, potencialmente podremos ser exportadores de carne siempre que pudiera haber fluidez en el mercado internacional.

Por eso apoyamos la idea de hacer un llamamiento a los países desarrollados en el sentido de, primero: suprimir los subsidios directos o indirectos a la agricultura y a las exportaciones de productos agrícolas. Segundo, eliminar las restricciones y barreras arancelarias y para-arancelarias a las importaciones de productos agrícolas.

Quiero aprovechar también esta oportunidad para informar aquí, para aquellos que no estuvieron en la Conferencia Regional de la FAO en Santiago de Chile en julio de este año, que toda la Conferencia Regional estuvo en una posición muy firme de pedir a los países desarrollados un cambio de actitud en términos generales para liberalizar el comercio internacional. Fue así como se tomó un acuerdo durante el curso de esa Conferencia Regional de representar la situación que se estaba produciendo al Grupo de los Siete grandes que se reunía en esa misma época, a mediados de julio en Houston, Texas. Para recuerdo de algunos de nosotros quiero decir que esa reunión estuvo conformada por USA, Reino Unido, Alemania, Francia, Japón, Canadá e Italia, por los gobernantes máximos de estos países. No tuvimos, que yo recuerde, una respuesta a la petición de los países latinoamericanos y del Caribe en esta Conferencia.

Por último, Señor Presidente, y me permito un par de minutos más, quiero referirme a las barreras administrativas que ponen algunos países para impedir la importación o el comercio internacional, y quiero citar aquí un caso concreto bastante dramático que sucedió a mi país en marzo de 1989. Ya dije antes que Chile es un país exportador de frutas y hortalizas. A mediados de marzo del 89 uno de nuestros principales clientes como país importador, por una orden, sin aviso previo, sin advertencia, determinó el embargo de toda la fruta chilena que estaba llegando a sus mercados. Nosotros exportamos, aproximadamente, unos 100 millones de cajas de fruta al año, y sencillamente, por muchos días se paralizó el comercio, el envío, la cosecha de la fruta chilena. ¿Cuál fue el motivo que se dio? Que se habían encontrado dos granos de uva envenenada con cianuro, dos granos de uva, repito, en miles de millones de granos de uvas que tienen los 100 millones de cajas de uva que se exportan al mundo. ¿Qué pasó, Señor Presidente? Que sencillamente salió esa orden en ese país y en ese mismo momento hubo que paralizar la faena de cosecha, de envío, de transporte y de todo, y no digo que se paralizó el país, pero sí una buena parte de las actividades de nuestro país en materia de cosecha, de transporte, y de los

trabajos con el perjuicio de los campesinos, que no son ricos, que son pobres, para los transportistas, para los productores y para los exportadores. Un daño tremendo.

Barrera no arancelaria, barrera de tipo administrativo, impuesta por un gobierno o por un funcionario de un gobierno sin advertencia previa y sin razón suficiente, porque ese mismo país que dio los grados de envenenamiento que tenía la uva, estos dos granos de uva, la proporción de cianuro que tenían estos granos, eran tan mínimos que no podían envenenar a una araña, ni siquiera a una mosca. Y con este argumento se prohibió la exportación de fruta chilena durante ocho o diez días, y esta situación se propagó a todos los países importadores de fruta de Chile, y durante ocho, diez días, un mes, estuvimos con un tremendo problema de colocar un producto que es esencialmente perecedero, si no se cosecha cuando está en sazón, ya que se pudre, y hay que tirarlo.

Chrysanthos LOIZIDES (Observer for Cyprus): The delegation of Cyprus is very pleased to see you chairing the 98th Session of the FAO Council and extends its congratulations to the elected Vice-Chairmen. Let me also express our thanks and appreciation to the Director-General for his comprehensive statement and to Mr Dutia for introducing the item under review and to the Secretariat for the informative documentation.

We agree with the view of other delegations, who rightly stated that the relevant report, document CL 98/2, is somehow stereotyped, almost identical to that of the previous year. Nevertheless, it reflects the real situation, the state of world food and agriculture, as recorded year by year. This review document constitutes the essential and very useful task of FAO, informing us all about the various parameters, the problems and other developments of the global agricultural sectors, in different regions of our planet.

The same review reveals, inter alia, that despite the recent slight improvement of the food situation in certain regions, in other regions however, namely, Latin America and Africa, the production of cereals has declined.

- That in many developing countries food production fell below the population growth;

- That the huge debt burden continues to be an obstacle for any development in most of the developing countries.

In brief, we can say that as we review the state of food and agriculture every year, or every two years, we do notice that the less-privileged fellow human beings do not get any better and that more and more people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

Let us hope that the recent developments in Europe, and especially the "Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe", taking place in Paris in these days, and which is expected to put an end to the cold war, will lead to increased allocation of resources for assistance and development

where it is most needed. In such a case we believe that the long experience and the mechanism of FAO could be very useful, and we wish to express our full support to all FAO efforts and activities towards this end.

Mr. Chairman, before I conclude I wish to inform you that I have some observations on document CL 98/2, concerning my country, Cyprus.

On para. 187. page 62. last two lines: it is mentioned that "one fifth of the population is rural". That is true but the people employed in agriculture, not necessarily full time, represent only around 12% of the total labour force.

Para 189. page 63: line, one before the last. Cyprus imports around 70% of cereal requirements, not of total food supplies as stated.

LE PRESIDENT: Je demanderai aux observateurs des organisations internationales de prendre très brièvement la parole en faisant une synthèse de leurs interventions et en remettant leurs documents, s'ils les ont préparés, au Secrétariat.

Je donne tout d'abord la parole à l'observateur de la Commission économique pour l'Europe de l'Organisation des Nations Unies.

T.J. PECK (UN Economic Commission for Europe): First of all, I have been asked by Mr Gerald Hinteregger, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, to bring to you, to Mr Saouma and the distinguished delegates to this session of the Council his warm greetings and best wishes for success in your deliberations.

So far as FAO's activities in Europe are concerned, it is worth recalling the long tradition of cooperation between the FAO and the ECE in the fields of agriculture and forestry, notably through the activities of the Joint FAO/ECE Agriculture and Timber Division in Geneva. This has ensured a very high degree of complementarity between the statutory bodies of FAO concerned with Europe, the Regional Conference for Europe, the European Commission on Agriculture and the European Forestry Commission, and their ECE counterparts, the Committee on Agricultural Problems and the Timber Committee. Furthermore, every effort is being made to avoid duplication of work. Here I may mention that a special ad hoc meeting of representatives of the FAO European Commission on Agriculture and the ECE Committee on Agricultural Problems was held in Berlin in September for the express purpose of drawing up proposals to strengthen coordination between the two bodies. These proposals will be considered by their respective sessions in 1991.

Over the past eighteen months, the political and economic situation in Europe has changed almost beyond recognition, particularly in the eastern and central part of the region. This has necessitated, amongst other things, a fundamental re-assessment of the programmes of work of international organizations, including FAO and ECE, that are active in the

region. In the case of ECE, which for more than forty years provided a unique bridge between east and west, general priority is being given to activities to assist the countries of central and eastern Europe in transition towards establishing a market-oriented economy and to integrate them with the global economy. The scale of the problems to be solved should not be underestimated; nor the time needed to achieve the necessary reforms and restructuring.

It has become evident that some of the most difficult problems lie in the field of agriculture. For this reason, the ECE warmly welcomes the first steps taken by FAO to assemble national profiles of the countries concerned which will be valuable for analyses of the differing situations in each of these countries. The profiles will also provide a basis for the planning and execution of activities to assist their transition. ECE was very pleased to respond positively to FAO's request for professional assistance in the preparation of the country profiles as well as of document CL 98/20, which is before the Council.

This, we feel, is a practical example of the type of cooperation between our two organizations that should be encouraged. It is to be hoped that there will be further opportunities of this kind and, in this connection, I would like to mention briefly how ECE is proposing to provide assistance to the countries in transition.

All the principal subsidiary bodies of ECE, including the Committee on Agricultural Problems and the Timber Committee, have been requested by the Commission to review their programmes with a view to incorporating activities of benefit to the countries in transition. More specifically, they have been invited to support the organization of workshops or other rather informal types of practical activity that can be achieved at low cost to the participating countries, such as the exchange of experts, study visits, training courses and so on. The intention is that these activities should be organized and hosted by interested countries and that the ECE Secretariat should play a catalytic role in bringing experts together and, where appropriate, providing a substantive professional input.

The Timber Committee, which held its annual session last month, has drawn up a list of topics of interest to the countries concerned and has moved on to the actual drafting of programmes for a number of workshops and other activities and to identifying countries that would be prepared to organize them. One such workshop will be concerned with the organization and management of forestry at the national, regional and local level under market economy conditions. Others are planned to deal with the commercial relationship between forestry enterprises and their forest industry customers and with forest labour force problems under market economy conditions.

For its part, the Committee on Agricultural Problems, whose next session will be in March 1991, is expected to draw up its own plans at that time in the field of food and agriculture. Already a number of topics are under consideration related to problems of marketing, standardization and food quality.

ECE will continue to seek the cooperation of FAO in these new and challenging activities. I should, therefore, like to take this opportunity to appeal to the Council to give its support to joint efforts by FAO and ECE to assist the countries in transition. In doing so, we should seek to work very closely with the regional organizations also active in similar endeavours, notably the OECD, the European Communities and EFTA.

ECE looks forward to continuing its close association with FAO and to working together in these new endeavours as well as in the traditional fields of cooperation.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le représentant de la Communauté économique pour l'Europe pour son exposé. Nous savons tous combien la collaboration entre la Commission économique pour l'Europe et la FAO est fructueuse. Cette collaboration, qui date de très nombreuses années, ne fait que se renforcer et elle est très importante pour l'avenir de ce continent.

G. VASTA (Observateur de l'Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques): Je vous remercie pour avoir bien voulu me donner la parole. Je suis heureux de vous voir à la présidence de cet honorable Conseil dont vous dirigez les travaux avec beaucoup de compétence. Je voudrais aussi féliciter les trois vice-présidents, M. Dutia et le Secrétariat pour l'excellente documentation qui a été préparée. Monsieur le Président, je serai bref. Ces documents examinent la situation d'une bonne partie des pays de l'OCDE en soulignant certains aspects positifs mais en prenant tout de même en considération d'autres éléments qui donnent presque un mauvais éclairage à la politique suivie par cette organisation intergouvernementale.

Je remercie le Secrétariat pour avoir bien voulu mettre en évidence certains travaux conduits par l'OCDE et plus particulièrement l'étude sur les politiques, marchés et échanges agricoles-Suivi et perspectives pour 1990. Ce troisième rapport annuel analyse les évolutions intervenues dans les pays de l'OCDE jusqu'au début de 1990 à la lumière des principes de réforme de leur politique agricole définis au niveau ministériel.

L'analyse révèle qu'en dépit de certains progrès notables, la réforme des politiques agricoles appelle des actions plus soutenues et de portée plus vaste, aussi bien à l'échelon national qu'à l'échelon international.

Monsieur le Président, au cours des années passées et à plusieurs reprises, j'ai entendu dire dans cette enceinte qu'il est parfois indispensable de se contenter de faire des petits pas, surtout quand il s'agit de problèmes de portée très vaste et difficiles à résoudre.

Les événements et les bouleversements de ces derniers temps montrent comment, d'un moment à l'autre, de véritables miracles peuvent se vérifier. Il faut croire à certains miracles sans jamais oublier, qu'au fond, nous sommes tous frères et compagnons de cordée.

Je me permets de souligner que le communiqué de presse publié à la fin de la réunion du conseil des ministres de l'OCDE des 30 et 31 mai 1990 est très clair et objectif et met en évidence là où cela est nécessaire un certain retard dû à l'ampleur des mesures à prendre au niveau des négociations commerciales.

Les ministres sont convenus qu'il est nécessaire que les résultats des négociations se traduisent par des programmes contraignants, par pays, programmes qui permettent une plus grande libéralisation des échanges.

Les ministres, à propos du développement rural, ont affirmé qu'une attention particulière doit être portée à l'imbrication des politiques sociales, économiques, agricoles et environnementales, aux niveaux micro-et macro-économique et à la contribution qu'une approche intégrée du développement rural peut apporter au processus de réforme de l'agriculture et, entre autres, à la solution des problèmes et zones isolés.

Je termine et prie le bon Dieu de bien vouloir nous assister et nous aider.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie très vivement l'honorable représentant de l'OCDE de son intervention. Nous arrivons au terme du point 4. Nous avions décidé dès le départ d'ouvrir la discussion sur les points 4 et 4.1. Je crois néanmoins que certaines interventions particulières pourraient être faites lors de la discussion du point 4.1.

Nous avons entendu de substantiels exposés du représentant de la Tchécoslovaquie, du représentant de la Pologne et du représentant de la Bulgarie qui nous ont fait part de l'expérience de leur pays.

Nous allons maintenant poser la question de savoir si, dans la discusión du point 4.1, certains représentants souhaitent intervenir. Pour l'instant, trois pays ont demandé la parole: l'Italie, les Pays-Bas et la Finlande. Je demande à ceux qui désirent intervenir de s'inscrire dès maintenant.

Gian Luigi VALENZA (Italie): Puisque c'est la première fois que je prends la parole dans l'enceinte de cette réunion, je voudrais joindre ma voix à celle d'autres orateurs qui m'ont précédé pour vous adresser mes félicitations les plus vives, ainsi qu'aux trois vice-présidents qui ont été élus ce matin. Je voudrais également rendre hommage au Secrétariat pour l'excellente série de documents qu'il nous a fournis à cette occasion.

D'autre part, en ma qualité de président de la Commission pour le semestre en cours, je vous saurais gré de bien vouloir donner la parole maintenant au représentant de la Commission qui devrait parler au nom de la Communauté européenne sur le point que nous traitons en ce moment et plus particulièrement sur le point 4.1 comme vous l'avez indiqué très justement: changement de politique générale affectant l'agriculture européenne.

Gian Paolo PAPA (Observateur de la Communauté économique européenne): En ce qui concerne la politique commune, on a assisté en 1990 à un renforcement des réformes substantielles déjà entamées depuis 1984-notamment la reconduction des quotas et des stabilisateurs, les réductions du soutien agricole, une politique stricte en matière de prix et d'intervention et l'adhésion au principe de discipline budgétaire. La poursuite de cette politique rend le secteur agricole communautaire et les exploitants agricoles plus sensibles aux signaux du marché et les encourage à répondre à la demande et aux créneaux réels du marché.

Plus que jamais dans le récent passé, l'agriculture communautaire a connu de nombreuses incertitudes en 1990. Elle a été affectée notamment par les événements survenus en Europe centrale et orientale, par le résultat de négociations menées dans le cadre de l'Uruguay Round, par l'unification allemande et par les mesures adoptées en vue de l'achèvement du marché intérieur.

Etant donné l'engagement de la communauté envers le monde rural et ses objectifs de stimulation du développement rural, nos politiques dans ce domaine ont été renforcées en 1990 par la législation sur l'utilisation des fonds structurels et la mise en oeuvre des programmes de développement régional. La communauté est parfaitement consciente de l'incidence négative que peut avoir la réforme de la politique agricole sur le monde rural. C'est pourquoi elle insiste sur le développement rural-tant sur la manière dont la PAC est réformée que sur l'instauration de mesures destinées à stimuler l'activité économique rurale.

Quiconque aborde le sujet de l'agriculture européenne se penche sur les changements politiques et économiques qui surviennent en Europe centrale et orientale. Il est utile que le Conseil de la FAO étudie ce problème, étant donné la rapidité des changements et leurs implications pour le secteur agricole, principalement au sein de ces pays, mais aussi au niveau international, en général.

Sur ce point, nous remercions très vivement la Tchécoslovaquie, la Pologne et la Bulgarie pour l'importante contribution offerte lors de cette session.

La Communauté et ses Etats Membres soutiennent entièrement ces changements politiques et économiques et pensent que le développement de l'industrie agro-alimentaire et d'autres agro-industries peut contribuer de manière significative à améliorer la situation économique.

La Communauté a soutenu ce point de vue au cours des derniers mois par le biais de nombreuses actions, notamment par une assistance technique, des accords de coopération, une ouverture plus large au marché communautaire pour certains produits de ces pays et par la coordination des actions par le G 24. En outre, la Communauté s'engagera prochainement dans une série de négociations destinées à établir des accords d'association entre la Communauté et certaines nouvelles démocraties de l'Europe centrale et orientale. Le développement du secteur agricole ne sera pas facile à réaliser et requérera une aide technique et financière externe considérable. Il faudra procéder à un ajustement structurel, ce qui sera difficile et délicat sur le plan politique, étant donné la part importante

de l'emploi dans le secteur agricole. Le problème sera d'autant plus accru si les secteurs non agricoles ne se développent pas à un rythme suffisant pour absorber la main-d'oeuvre excédentaire du secteur agricole.

Etant donné d'une part que l'activité agricole d'Europe centrale et orientale aujourd'hui axée sur une production déjà excédentaire sur le marché mondial rendra l'expansion plus difficile et moins rémunératrice, étant donné d'autre part que les débouchés sont limités et qu'ils deviendront moins lucratifs à mesure que la production augmentera, il faut être prudent en utilisant les maigres ressources financières et il faut trouver un équilibre entre l'objectif d'accroissement de la production agricole et celui du développement de l'agro-industrie et des activités annexes, peut-être plus attrayant en termes de recettes étrangères et d'emplois.

Enfin, Monsieur le Président, je voudrais saisir cette occasion pour apaiser les craintes que peuvent avoir les pays en voie de développement de voir la Communauté se détourner d'eux au profit des pays d'Europe centrale et orientale. La Communauté ne détourne pas son soutien, mais le renforce plutôt et double ses efforts en faveur des pays confrontés à des difficultés de développement. Témoin la contribution de la Communauté à Lomé IV qui a accordé, à raison d'environ 16 milliards de dollars, une augmentation importante en termes nominaux et réels qui est valable pour dix ans et améliore le régime commercial d'échange déjà libéral de Lomé III. En outre, la Communauté étudie à présent la possibilité d'augmenter à l'avenir l'aide au développement en faveur des régions méditerranéennes, d'Amérique latine et d'Asie. Ces quelques faits, auxquels s'ajoutent les autres actions de la Communauté en faveur des pays en voie de développement, témoignent bien de notre engagement envers les pays en voie de développement à travers le monde.

Paul Van RAPPARD (Netherlands): Yesterday the Council arrived at the conclusion that the state of food and agriculture in the world is changing rapidly. The developments of the last months seem to concur with this conclusion. But there is more changing rapidly and we cannot satisfy ourselves with adapting the figures in former statements. Fortunately, the Secretariat produced not only the traditional document "The State of Food and Agriculture" and its supplement, but worked also on the information of the Regional Conference for Europe and provides us with CL 98/20 "Policy changes affecting European Agriculture".

My delegation welcomes this document, not only for the simple reason that is has been made but because it is a document of high quality as well; particularly the information in Part IV, containing the developments in agricultural policy in Eastern Europe and the USSR, is very instructive to us.

Even a good report needs criticism, certainly if it is constructive. We think that the cooperation between FAO and ECE, as mentioned by the Observer of the ECE and which we fully endorse, was intensively discussed during the Regional Conference but does not get the attention it deserves in the document. The Secretariats worked well together, but regarding work

programmes there is not enough contact between the European Committee on Agriculture of FAO and the Commission on Agricultural problems of ECE.

Secondly, when we discuss European agriculture these days, the relationship between Eastern, Central and Western Europe should also be dealt with. These are some suggestions for the paper "Policy Changes Affecting European Agriculture" which will come next year. My delegation would like to hear about the role of FAO in Eastern Europe. This is the proper place and time to ask what is the policy of FAO with regard to Eastern Europe and how it works out financially. We all know about the alarming situation arising in some countries. My own country has made and will make available additional funds for projects in Eastern Europe. My country is studying possibilities to make use of those projects. There is a chance that this year the Netherlands will set up in one of the countries concerned an FAO project aimed at the improvement of animal feed production. In general, thè developments in Eastern Europe should not only be monitored but work programmes should be coordinated carefully. Having said that, I think document CL 98/20 deserves to be discussed in the ECA and the CAP, and I propose that this document should be submitted to them.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le délégué des Pays-Bas de son intervention. Il est clair que nous nous trouvons dans une période de transition, et il est parfois difficile d'obtenir les instruments statistiques précis, voulus, dans ces périodes de transition. Ces remarques sont constructives. Il en sera certainement pris note, et la FAO s'efforcera de faire face à cette tâche que vous lui souhaitez voir remplir.

Antti NIKROIA (Finland): My delegation would like to thank the Secretariat for document CL 98/20. I will limit my comments to Part IV-Developments and Issues in Agricultural Policy in Eastern Europe and the USSR. We must ask ourselves the question, what should be the role of FAO in the face of the tremendous political and economic changes taking place in certain Central and Eastern European countries? This dramatic process of transformation is also transforming agriculture in these countries. The FAO European Regional Conference last April discussed these changes to some extent, although the matter as such was not on the Conference Agenda. Since this April meeting, this process has gone forward in Eastern Europe. My delegation warmly welcomes the decision of the Director-General to establish an FAO internal task force (on which the UN Economic Commission for Europe is also represented) to monitor agricultural policy developments in the countries of Eastern Europe and the USSR, to build up a necessary information base, initiate analytical assessments, and such other policy developments.

My delegation strongly supports the view that FAO, in close cooperation with ECE-and in this I refer to the statement of the Representative of ECE-should play an active role in supporting the reforms underway in the food and agricultural sectors of the Eastern European Countries. FAO support should take place within the framework of the Organization's European activities, especially within the framework of the FAO European

Commission on Agriculture. We welcome the plans to establish a working party on agricultural economics and policy under this Commission. Of course, the most close cooperation should prevail between FAO and ECE. In this respect, we are satisfied that the proposals of the ad hoc working group will be considered in the coming ECE and FAO meetings in Europe next year.

It goes without saying that the proposals and wishes of the Eastern European countries concerning the role of FAO must be taken into account. In the last ECE Agricultural Committee meeting these countries emphasized such areas as a market-orientated agricultural and food policy, price and income, policy in agriculture, processing of agricultural products, marketing and environmental problems. I also refer to the statement made by the Observer of Bulgaria a while ago. FAO should produce studies and analytical information, and should offer fora for the exchange of experience within Europe. A higher profile for FAO means also that more resources should be available. Taking into account the fact that Europe's share in the present resources used by FAO is very limited and that in these countries under transition (outside the former German Democratic Republic and the USSR) live about 90 million people, a limited increase of resources should be possible.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie l'honorable délégué de la Finlande de son intervention très constructive. Il a bien souligné qu'un profil plus affirmé de la FAO nécessiterait plus de ressources. Nous pourrons peut-être tout à l'heure essayer de dégager certaines lignes résultant des interventions. Je le ferai avec beaucoup de modestie, parce que les interventions ont été nombreuses, substantielles, dans des domaines très divers et qu'il n'est évidemment pas facile de vouloir en dégager une synthèse. Je m'efforcerai de le faire très modestement. Mais je voudrais tout d'abord passer la parole à quelqu'un qui est beaucoup plus compétent que moi et qui répondra à une série de questions précises, Monsieur le Sous-Directeur général, M. Dutia.

B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): It is always a difficult job to answer all the points raised in such a rich and full debate lasting for one and a half days. Of course, it is not my intention to make a summary of all the points made; that is your task, Mr Chairman, and I will not attempt that. However, I will take this opportunity to reply to some of the questions raised and some of the observations made. Before doing so, and with your permission, Mr Chairman, I wish to express on behalf of my colleagues in the Secretariat our gratification at the generally appreciative reception of the documents prepared for consideration by the Council under these agenda items.

Certainly we have tried to reflect the previous observations and recommendations which the Council has made and which the Conference has made to improve the scope and the contents of these documents. Even during this debate, some recommendations have been made. We will keep these in mind in the future preparation of these documents.

Some members have expressed the view that the documents say more or less the same thing every year. Of course, there are changes, and these we certainly report. However, the feeling is that the same story is being told. I hope you will not put the blame on the Secretariat. The blame lies elsewhere because the facts ate stubborn and we cannot invent what does not exist. We have to report what has happened.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express out gratitude for the appreciation that the members have expressed at FAO's analytical, policy, advisory and operational roles in assisting the Member Countries in overcoming the problems that they are facing, of course, within the resources that are available to the Organization.

Some members did refer to the timeliness of the documents. We certainly have taken that into account, and again within the constraints of the available resources we will try to respond to this request in the future.

A number of points have been raised; a number of comments have been made. All these we will reflect to the maximum extent possible in the report, as usual. We have also taken careful note of the very useful information which the Members and Observers have provided on the national policies and the developments concerning the food and agriculture, the forestry and the fisheries sectors. We highly appreciate this, and it will help us in our future work.

Now let me turn to some specific questions and observations that have been made by the members during their interventions. The distinguished delegate of Japan asked a very specific question as to why in the box in document CL 98/2, under Forestry and Climate Change, no reference had been made to CFCs, the clorofluorocarbons. He was right to point out that possibly this is because this gas is not being generated by the forests or by agriculture. He is quite right. This is mainly a product of other areas of human activity, and as our intention was not to write a box on the climate change, but only on the connection between the forestry and climate change, we did not refer to CFCs.

The distinguished member from Czechoslovakia referred to the possibility of establishing a programme of restructuring agricultural production in Eastern European countries with the help of FAO and ECE. We certainly have taken a note of this proposal with interest, and we shall be very happy to pursue this further with the Czechoslovakian Government so as to lead to a fruitful conclusion.

The Greek Ambassador asked whether the fisheries resource exploitation is being done with a certain scientific basis or not. Here I would like to inform you that some regions, such as the North Atlantic, determine the total allowable catch bit the basis of scientific stock assessments, and this is allocated through the Fisheries Commission. This is not the situation, however, in most developing country regions, and the FAO is assisting the Regional Fisheries Commission to promote the sustainable development of their fishery resources by providing training and technical advice in fisheries management practices.

The distinguished member from Canada observed that the FAO's estimate of the food aid in cereals in 1991 is probably an underestimate. I would tend to agree with him because this is a very preliminary estimate that we have made and the recent changes in the world prices of grains, particularly wheat, would mean that with a given budget allocation in monetary terms it should be possible to provide more food aid. We do believe that we should have made the same statement regarding Canadian food aid as we have made in pararaph 33 of document CL 98/2, Supplement 1, when we discussed the United States' programme under PL 480. However, I would like to assure the Council that we will revise the estimates as the season progresses and we will be very happy to inform you at your next session of the actual outcome.

Lastly, the distinguished member from the Netherlands referred to the information about the cooperation betwen ECE and FAO, and he also raised a question as to what is the FAO's role and policy in assisting the Eastern European countries. As regards the cooperation, I would just like to mention and refer to the statement already made by the distinguished representative from the ECE in which he has already referred to some of the joint meetings and joint work that has been organized. I would, however, like to add that the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Director of the ECE have exchanged letters establishing broad parameters of cooperation between the two organizations. Within days this cooperation is already taking practical shape. For example, ECE has participated in the preparation of the document that is before you under this agenda item, 4.1, CL 98/20. The ECE is also participating in a task force which the Director-General has established on Eastern Europe, and that is another practical form in which this cooperation is being developed.

Let me now turn to the FAO and the Eastern European countries and assistance to these countries. Here, as I mentioned a while ago, the Director-General has established an internal task force which is charged not only with monitoring the developments in Eastern Europe but also using this information on policy developments to lay the broad framework within which FAO's assistance to the Eastern European countries could be formulated. Of course, as the last Conference of the European Region noted, FAO stands ready to assist European countries at their request in providing such assistance as needed, of course always within the resources that are available to the Organization. In this task force, we have various disciplines represented in-house as well. As I stated earlier, a member of the ECE is participating in this task force as a full member.

That, I believe, exhausts the questions that were put to the Secretariat, but if I have missed anything I will be happy to respond to it if required.

CHAIRMAN: Thank you very much for those answers to the several questions which have been raised.

Il m'incombe maintenant, Mesdames et Messieurs, de tenter de résumer la discussion pour en dégager les lignes principales. Il va de soi que c'est en ma qualité de Président indépendant du Conseil que je le ferai et que ce que je déclare n'engage que moi-même et ne doit être pris en compte par le Comité de rédaction qu'à titre purement indicatif.

Mais je crois qu'il est important de tenter de faire une synthèse d'exposés où les points de vue parfois contradictoires ont été développés, notamment en ce qui concerne le rôle et la fonction de. la FAO. Je crois qu'ïl n'y a pas d'opposition au sein de ce Conseil, mais il y a des différences d'appréciation en ce qui concerne les importances respectives des différents aspects de la fonction de l'Organisation.

Il est inutile que je vous répète que la FAO a trois rôles principaux. Le rôle de centre d'information et de documentation qui est un role incontestable et incontesté et qui est extrêmement utile, et l'on s'y est référé à l'occasion des normes du Codex alimentarius de tous les eléments qui permettent de fixer les règles du jeu, notamment dans le cadre des négociations commerciales multilatérales. Le rôle de forum qui est à la fois un forum politique, qu'on le veuille ou non. Je crois qu'il faut éviter la politisation de nos débats, mais qu'il faut avoir, des débats politiques sur les questions agricoles qui sont quand même un élément important dans la vie de chaque Etat parce qu'en définitive l'amélioration de l'agriculture, le sort des pauvres, donner à chacun de quoi satisfaire à ses besoins, c'est quand même, une des plus nobles tâches politiques de chacun de nos Etats Membres.

Au sein des différents comités techniques, nous avons un rôle à jouer. Ce rôle est incontesté. Il devrait bien sûr pouvoir être renforcé.

Le troisième aspect qui a été souligné par bon nombre de pays en développement est le rôle irremplaçable de la FAO sur le plan opérationnel. Jesuis convaincu que, sur le plan opérationnel, la FAO ne serait pas cequ'elle est si elle n'avait pas un capital d'expérience basé à la fois sur des échecs et sur des réussites, parce qu'il n'y a pas de réussite sans échec, sans demi-réussite ni sans demi-échec. Je crois qu'il est importánt: que les programmes de terrain puissent être poursuivis dans les meilleures conditions et que la FAO continue à jouer un rôle d'excellence dans le. domaine de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture. C'est sa fonction fondamentale.

J'ai relu les statuts de la FAO, qui remontent à 1945. Je crois que ce qui a été prévu à l'époque reste plus que jamais vrai: la FAO doit avoir un contact avec les réalités du terrain. Elle doit puiser son expérience dans le contact avec ces réalités, et cette expérience doit pouvoir servir aux autres.

On a parlé des relations Sud-Sud (Technical Cooperation between Developing Countries). C'est un élément important mais également un élément danslequel la FAO doit pouvoir jouer ses fonctions compte tenu de l'expérience des uns et des autres.

J'ai eu la grande chance de pouvoir participer à l'ensemble des conférences régionales: à Venise, à Tunis, à Marrakech, à Beijing et à Santiago du Chili. Je crois que les accents particuliers qui sont mis dans les différents groupes de pays, dans les différents continents, montrent que les problèmes agricoles ont un certain nombre de spécificités. Cela à été bien souligné et c'est d'ailleurs un élément d'encouragement que de voir qu'un certain nombre de pays d'Asie qui, il y a quelques années, souffraient de la faim et de graves difficultés dans le secteur agricole,

sont parvenus à surmonter leurs difficultés, et non seulement à les surmonter mais à devenir des pays exportateurs pouvant donner des leçons qui, un jour, serviront à d'autres.

On s'est penché sur la situation dramatique de l'Afrique. Je crois qu'il existe quand même un certain nombre d'éléments encourageants car certains pays sahéliens ayant connu de graves difficultés, s'ils n'ont pas réglé leurs problèmes agricoles, sont quand même parvenus à une productivité beaucoup plus élevée alors que dans un certain nombre de pays des problèmes d'excédents se posent en général. Je crois qu'en Amérique latine le problème se pose de façon différente et que l'étranglement de la dette-et cela a été souligné par la plupart des pays de l'Amérique latine-constitue presque un préalable au développement agricole.

Tout cela m'amène à faire part d'une réflexion fondamentale: c'est que-tous ceux qui se sont exprimés au sein du Conseil l'ont dit-le rôle de la FAO est un rôle irremplaçable en ce sens que c'est ici que doivent se débattre les grands problèmes de l'agriculture dans le monde, en pleine collaboration, bien sûr, avec les autres organisations internationales, que ce soit la CNUCED, le Fonds monétaire international, la Banque mondiale, le Fonds commun à Amsterdam, que ce soit dans le cadre des négociations de l'Uruguay Round, que ce soit dans toutes les enceintes ou éventuellement à l'occasion de conférences spécialisées telles que celle de Paris sur les pays les moins avancés. Nous devons assurer la présence de la FAO de façon à ce qu'elle continue à jouer le rôle central qu'elle doit jouer. Mais cela nécessite peut-être une vue un peu différente de celle que nous avons eue dans le passé. Il faut veiller à ce que les contributions soient régulièrement versées afin que la FAO puisse faire son travail. Je crois que les remarques que nous avons entendues sont quand même fonction d'un climat général qui n'a pas été particulièrement bon ces dernières années et que nous espérons beaucoup voir meilleur demain. Cela nécessite de la part de tous les pays la prise en charge de leurs responsabilités financières afin que l'Organisation fonctionne dans de bonnes conditions. Et là, je voudrais dire aussi que, dans ce monde qui évolue très rapidement, face à cette croissance démographique que la plupart des pays ont soulignée, je ne suis pas un tenant de la croissance zéro car la croissance du monde exigera un effort plus grand.

Beaucoup ont souligné l'immense espoir que nous avons dans le désarmement, dans les relations plus harmonieuses entre pays. Je crois que les immenses efforts qui ont été faits dans le cadre de ce que l'on a appelé l'équilibre de la terreur doivent pouvoir servir demain à l'édification d'un monde plus humain et plus juste. Construire un monde plus humain et plus juste, c'est aussi donner aux organisations internationales, où tous les pays peuvent faire entendre leur voix en parfaite égalité, les moyens financiers voulus pour assumer leur tâche. Quand on parle de croissance zéro, il s'agit pour moi de la compression des frais d'administration et non pas de limiter les moyens, compte tenu des besoins grandissants du monde, où qu'ils se situent.

On a beaucoup parlé de l'Uruguay Round et je sais que les problèmes sont complexes, vastes et nécessitent une grande franchise et un dialogue franc et loyal, avec la volonté d'arriver à une ouverture des marchés. Mais l'ouverture des marchés, ce n'est évidemment pas le libéralisme sauvage;

c'est également la protection des plus faibles et des plus démunis. Personne ne mettra en cause les tarifs préférentiels pour les pays en développement et le soutien des cours de certains produits agricoles de ces pays. En effet, je ne crois pas que le démantèlement de tout un système puisse contribuer au développement du monde, qui risquerait d'être exposé à la loi de la jungle, à la loi du plus fort.

Il faut que le plus faible soit protégé. Pour cela, il est indispensable de tenir compte des besoins fondamentaux de ceux-ci. Il existe différents systèmes de stabilisation du cours des produits agricoles et des accords sur ces produits. Je crois qu'une négociation globale est nécessaire et indispensable et que nous devons arriver à la libéralisation des marchés sur un pied de parfaite égalité, dans la dignité et en protégeant les plus faibles car la protection des plus faibles est aussi notre responsabilité. Il y a un certain nombre de pays qui, pour le moment, ne supporteraient pas une libéralisation des marchés sans un certain nombre de correctifs indispensables.

On a beaucoup parlé des problèmes d'intégration de l'agriculture dans un ensemble économique plus vaste, dans le cadre des relations monétaires, dans le cadre des relations économiques. A mon avis, c'est un aspect important. Tout le monde a souligné le rôle politique que pouvait jouer la FAO mais donner des conseils aux différents pays en matière de politique agricole nécessite l'insertion de cette politique agricole dans une politique économique globale et dans une vision globale du développement des pays. Les pays sont évidemment bien placés pour connaître leurs besoins mais je crois que l'agriculture est l'un des éléments d'une politique de développement globale et que la FAO doit se situer dans ce cadre en tenant compte des différents éléments.

On a parlé des spécificités d'un certain nombre des régions du monde: celles de l'Amérique latine, de l'Afrique et également-le débat a été intéressant sur ce plan-de l'Europe orientale. Je crois qu'il a été souligné de manière très claire que les efforts faits actuellement pour permettre une évolution aussi rapide que possible des pays d'Europe orientale ne peuvent en aucun cas se faire au détriment des pays en développement. Tous les pays l'ont dit, et je pense que nous sommes d'accord sur ce point. Le problème ne se pose d'ailleurs pas tellement en termes financiers parce que, si l'on en arrivait quand même à une reconversion et au respect d'un certain nombre d'engagements internationaux, la masse monétaire qui pourrait être affectée à un véritable développement serait largement suffisante. Nous devons éviter qu'il soit porté préjudice aux pays en développement et il faut tenir compte de tous les éléments.

Je me rends parfaitement compte du fait que certains documents peuvent être considérés comme insatisfaisants et quand on dit que certains documents relatifs à la situation de l'alimentation et de l'agriculture sont la répétition du passé, je crois que ce sont les chiffres qui sont révélateurs de certaines tendances et orientations et que c'est sur la base de l'interprétation de ces chiffres que l'on peut arriver progressivement à se faire une opinion.

Je n'ai pas la prétention d'être exhaustif. J'ai pris des notes sur chacun des exposés faits par les représentants. Nous pouvons souligner qu'un certain nombre de pays qui ont été confrontés à de grandes difficultés sont sur la voie du progrès et d'une certaine réussite. Je sais que les interpellations qui se posent à nous resteront des interpellations

lancinantes, délicates, difficiles. C'est pour cela que nous avons besoin de la collaboration de vous tous. C'est pour cela que le rôle du Conseil est si important.

Nous avons eu un débat général sur la situation de l'agriculture et je n'ai pas l'intention de faire un long discours. Nous allons maintenant aborder des points précis et concrets. Je pense que vous souhaitez tous que nous puissions dégager des lignes politiques directrices à propos de chacun de ces points, qui sont des points cruciaux et importants et qui ont parfois fait l'objet de débats passionnants et passionnés. Ces débats doivent pouvoir servir de base, au niveau du Conseil, à ceux que nous allons avoir afin de dégager pour l'avenir des lignes d'orientation claires. C'est pour cela que je me permets de lancer un appel à tous les membres du Conseil pour qu'ils collaborent afin que nous dégagions ces lignes directrices sur la base de notre ordre du jour qui est particulièrement intéressant et passionnant, et où tous les points d'actualité sont traités. Je suis convaincu que, grâce à votre aide, nous y arriverons. C'est uniquement votre responsabilité-notre responsabilité-d'y arriver au cours de la présente session.

Je voudrais maintenant faire une première annonce concernant nos travaux. Nous avons pris quelque retard. Il est presque certain que notre séance de demain sera quelque peu prolongée. Nous aborderons demain matin le premier point de l'ordre du jour: le rapport de la quinzième session du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire mondiale. Je demanderai au premier Vice-président de bien vouloir assumer la présidence.

Nous avons fait un excellent travail aujourd'hui. Je vais maintenant donner la parole à M. Tedesco, qui a certaines déclarations à faire.

LE SECRETAIRE GENERAL ADJOINT: On me prie d'annoncer qu'un livre de condoléances pour rendre hommage à la mémoire de S.E. Bashir El Mabrouk Said, représentant permanent de la Jamahiriya arabe libyenne et Président du Groupe des 77, sera ouvert à partir de demain matin dans le bureau qui est à la disposition des groupes régionaux, au deuxième étage du bâtiment A, à savoir le Bureau A-239.

D'autre part, le Président du Groupe des 77 voudrait rappeler aux représentants des groupes d'Asie, du Proche-Orient, d'Afrique, et d'Amérique latine et Caraïbes qu'ils sont invités à se réunir immédiatement, à 17 h 30, dans la salle de la Malaisie.

The meeting rose at 17.30 hours
La séance est levée à 17 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 17.30 horas

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