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11. International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and Other Matters Related to Biodiversity (continued)
11. Engagement international sur les ressources phytogénétiques et autres questions relatives à la diversité biologique (suite)
11. Compromiso Internacional sobre recursos fitogenéticos y otros asuntos relacionados con la biodiversidad (continuación)

Martti POUTANEN (Finland): I have the honour of making this statement on behalf of the four Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

When adhering to the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources the Nordic countries made a reservation concerning the issue of plant breeders' rights, and especially the access to special genetic stocks. After the adoption of the complementary resolutions by the Conference a year ago it was announced in a joint Nordic statement that the reservation can be withdrawn. As a response to a request by the FAO Secretariat this announcement has been, or is in the process of being formally confirmed by each Nordic country individually.

The Nordic countries, like others, are concerned about the loss of biological diversity, whether it takes place at the genetic, species, or ecosystem level. We are pleased, therefore, that FAO is further developing its capacity to tackle the issue, making its approach more systematic and expanding it to cover animal genetics as well.

FAO's contribution to the preparation of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development is important. The Nordic countries support the continuation of cooperation and coordination with relevant organizations, especially with UNEP and the Preparatory Committee of UNCED. The experience and understanding gained through the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources should be used as a concrete contribution of FAO to the negotiations concerning the proposed Convention on Biological Diversity. It is also important that FAO further develops its cooperation with the International Bureau on Plant Genetic Resources, and other members of the CGIAR System.

We note the suggestion in document CL 98/16 in its paragraph 21 of studying the advisability of widening the mandate of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources to become a Commission on Biological Diversity for Food and Agriculture. The decision on this matter, without prejudging the result of the proposed study, should be made on basis of overall developments in this sector.

Natigor SIAGIAN (Indonesia): My intervention will be very brief. My delegation appreciates very much the introductory remark of the Secretariat. We welcome the very informative progress report as contained in the document CL 98/16 and CL 98/16-Supplement 1. We welcome the recent Memorandum of Understanding on programme cooperation between FAO and IBPGR. We earnestly hope that this Memorandum of Understanding could pave a way for the strengthening of the works in the conservation and utilization of biodiversity in a global regional and national levels.

Indonesia has been paying much attention and undertaking in relation to the conservation and utilization of biodiversity, especially plant genetic resources. We fully agree that the plant genetic resources are for the use and benefit of mankind. However, from the national point of view, national interests are considered of equal importance as well. This national interest has been manifested in the form of the allocation of sufficient areas for conservation purposes.

In addition, and also to manage the conservation and utilization of biodiversity, especially plant genetic resources, the Government of Indonesia has carried out several necessary actions.

The Government has established a National Committee on Conservation of Genetic Resources in 1976 which members are representing main disciplines of science and experts in various groups of biodiversity. The activities are directed to stimulating public awareness; advising the ministers and the other government officials concerned on the conservation and utilization of biodiversity; coordinating all activities related to the conservation and utilization of biodiversity; and promoting cooperation among the international, regional and national agencies in relation to biodiversity.

Furthermore, the Government in 1989 had also established the National Working Group on Biodiversity which focussed its programme activities on the development of national strategy on management of biodiversity. Some of the activities which are currently being undertaken also include the following:

- enhancing the involvement and cooperation of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the implementation of the Government policy on the conservation and utilization of biodiversity;

- development of the quality of human resources, in the form of training and educational formal and non-formal forms, preschool year to university level;

- organizing scientific meetings among experts and the government officials;

- management of the conservation area, in situ: ex situ:

- promoting research and development, which are considered a very important undertaking in executing sustainable utilization of biodiversity.

We all realize that the tropical countries are rich in biodiversity. However, assistance and technical cooperation are needed to cope with the possible lack of expertise and technology for its proper management. In relation to this aspect, my delegation wish to express that efforts should be made on the area of developing network systems toward the improvement of the efficiency in the management of biodiversity and therefore reducing the unnecessary duplications; and to enable the monitoring of activities concerning the conservation and utilization of biodiversity. We appreciate the cooperation of the FAO to inform our Government regarding assistance and support to the National NGOs, if any. We welcome the efforts to promote better coordination among UN agencies involved in the management of biodiversity so as to avoid unnecessary difficulties in implementing activities at the national level.

We take note of the proposal of the Secretariat as contained on paragraph 28 of document CL 98/16.

LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais faire une remarque en demandant aux délégués, de façon à être compris par ceux qui suivent le débat dans une autre langue que la langue de l'orateur, de parler lentement et calmement, parce que pour les traducteurs, il est extrêmement difficile d'apporter avec toutes les nuances voulues tous les éléments du discours quand ils sont traduits, et quand le discours est prononcé trop rapidement. Alors, je demanderai votre collaboration sur ce point dans l'intérêt de tous.

Vishnu BHAGWAN (india): I compliment the Secretariat for the excellent document CL 98/16 and CL 98/16-Sup.1 giving a progress report on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and other matters relating to bio-diversity and also outlining a programme for the sustainable development of Animal Genetic Resources. I also note the fact that the FAO Secretariat has prepared this documentation to keep the Council informed on the rapid developments in this very important area inextricably linked with sustainable agricultural development.

The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources established as per Resolution of the FAO Conference aims to ensure that plant genetic resources especially species of present or future economic and social importance will be explored, collected, preserved, evaluated and made available without restriction for plant breeding and other scientific purposes. The Commission on Plant Genetic Resources which was established at the request of the 1983 FAO Conference provides an opportunity to the donors and users of the germplasm and the relevant organizations to discuss matters related to plant genetic resources and also monitor the principles contained in the International Undertaking. The International Fund for Plant Genetic Resources has also been established for ensuring the conservation of biodiversity for promoting the use of plant resources on a sustainable basis throughout the world. India constitutes one of the eight centres of origin and crop plant diversity. The land race diversity in old farming systems and backward tribal regions of the country is being threatened and is fast depleting. The importance of sustainable management

and utilisation of plant genetic resources for food and livelihood security for the growing human population can never be over emphasised. The current advances in the field of molecular biology and biotechnology would demand heavily on raw genetic resources, which are likely to open new vistas in meaningful genetic manipulation across conventional taxonomic boundaries.

To date 126 countries have either joined the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources (109) or have agreed to adhere to the International Undertaking (91) or taken both steps (67). India has taken both the steps in view of the significance it attaches to conservation and utilization of the biological diversity. A National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) has been established. NBPGR has well established PGR Network with its 10 regional/base centres located in distinct phyto-geographical regions and 30 cooperating ICAR Institutes, national centres and agricultural universities and has the national mandate to plan, initiate, conduct, guide and coordinate all activities concerning collection, introduction, plant quarantine inspection, characterisation/evaluation, conservation and unrestricted supply of the healthy germplasm required by breeders and other researchers. The Bureau has the primary responsibility of long-term storage of base collections of all crops. Long-term storage facilities have been created at the NBPGR and currently over 1.0 lakh accessions are stored. The National Gene Bank Building is planned to be constructed with a capacity to accommodate 0.6 million accessions. Medium-term storage facilities are being created at NBPGR Regional Stations and selected crop-based institutes which will be responsible for maintaining the active collections of specified crops. NBPGR has also established the first National Facility Plant Tissue Culture Repository to conserve the vegetatively propagated crop plant species and their wild species.

A national data base on plant genetic resources is being developed at the NBPGR for safe storage and quick retrieval of information. A national quarantine network is also envisaged to be set up for effective post-entry quarantine of introduced germplasm. Appropriate action on setting up of Crop Advisory Committees has been initiated. Seven biosphere reserves have been identified for establishment for the in situ conservation of biological diversity in natural habitats.

The major proposal concerns converting the present FAO Commission on Plant Genetic resources into the Commission on Bio-diversity for Food and Agriculture and also to assign priority to this initiative. Bio-diversity initiatives are now progressing in different ways under the auspices of UNEP, IUCN, WWF, IBPGR, Unesco and FAO. There is also need to discuss the issue of breeders' rights and farmers' rights more widely at the national and international level as brought out by the second Keystone Dialogue on PGR held at Madras in January-February 1990.

The FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources as it operates now is ideally suited to develop and implement programmes on conservation of PGR linked to their utilisation in crop improvement programmes. There is enormous scope to increase the activities and make them more effective. A distinct system has already been developed by the FAO through International Undertaking on PGR, Commission on Plant Genetic Resources and an International Fund on PGR. It is desirable that the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources continues to maintain its present distinct focus with high priority.

Conversion of FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Ressources into Commission on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture is likely to dilute this emphasis and that can be very detrimental to the ongoing efforts aiming at conservation and use of plant genetic resources. There is, however, an urgent need to evolve a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and UNEP like the one which has recently been developed between FAO and IBPGR with a view to removing duplications and achieving complementarity and complementation of activities.

The idea to make the proposed convention on biodiversity thoroughly compatible and complementary with the FAO International Undertaking on PGR is welcome and the latter should be effectively involved with the former as it is in a position to play a very useful role because of its infrastructure and also the vast experience in this area as related to food and agriculture, including agricultural crops, forestry, fisheries and other related species.

My delegation acknowledges the leading role of FAO in the field of biodiversity genetic resources especially in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as development of global systems on plant genetic resources. It is also of the view that active association of FAO with the preparation of this international instrument on biodiversity, proposed to be submitted for adoption to UNCED in 1992, would lead to a better balance between the conservation and development aspects in the utilization of bio-diversity for social and economic development. FAO's association with the proposed convention will also obviate the possibility of duplication in the area of conservation and sustainable development of biodiversity.

My delegation therefore supports the draft resolution moved by the delegate from Venezuela recommending FAO's association with the Convention on Biodiversity at the same level as that of UNEP.

My delegation however will suggest that the parenthesis in the last paragraph of the draft resolution referring to the new Commission on Biological Diversity should be deleted, for the reason detailed in my intervention to the effect that we do not deem such conversion advantageous to the efforts aiming at conservation and use of plant genetic resources.

India is one of the many countries to take animal genetic resources evaluation and conservation seriously and has established a National Bureau of Animal Genetics Resources which along with the Species Institutes and State Agricultural Universities will be taking up programmes for livestock genetic resource evaluation and conservation. It will include all species of livestock including rare species like yak and mithun. National Institute of Animal Genetics will develop and adopt technologies on molecular genetics for genetic differentiation among breeds identification of unique animals and genetic engineering to evolve genetic materials. We have also accepted in principle the establishment of Regional Animal Gene Bank Centre at National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal, by FAO under its Technical Cooperation Programme. India in principle agrees with the proposal of FAO on a programme for sustainable development on animal genetic resources on a global level. We also endorse the Trust Fund

approach to finance the programme, comprising a series of national and regional projects.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie très vivement le Représentant de l'Inde de son intervention substantielle, et je note qu'il appuie le projet présenté par le Venezuela, sous la réserve de la non-transformation de la Commission des ressources phytogénétiques en Commission sur la diversité biologique. La position a été clairement exprimée, et je voudrais demander à toutes les délégations de se prononcer clairement de façon à ce que nous connaissions l'opinion du Conseil à propos de ce document.

Noboru SAITO (Japan): My country has been participating in the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources with observer status mainly because our government has the concern that the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, which closely relates to the activities of the Commission, contains the context inconsistent with the protection of plan breeder's rights, and there was some duplication with the activities of IBPGR. Recently there was considerable progress on these fundamental problems at the Third Session of the Commission and finally in the last Conference agreed interpretation for the International Undertaking was adopted for the recognition of the breeders' rights which we appreciated.

Furthermore, coordination of activities was made between FAO and IBPGR, which avoids duplication between two agencies for the cooperation of two agencies. Under these circumstances Japan decided to become a member of the Commission and will take necessary procedures for it.

My country would further like to consider the possibility to join the International Undertaking, which includes issues carefully to be studied, such as the legal nature of the International Undertaking and international fund for plant genetic resources.

We have some serious concern for the legal nature of the International Undertaking I have just mentioned. From this standpoint we are not in the position at this stage that the International Undertaking should be transformed into a Convention. We feel that this matter should be carefully reviewed at this coming session of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. Animal genetic resources is another important area in this field. Although we appreciate FAO's activities in this field, it is still premature to consider a legal framework for animal genetic resources, because we have not yet discussed it substantially and do not reach any consensus for the process of consideration.

The Secretariat document suggests possible expansion of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources to become a commission on biodiversity. Although this may contribute to better cooperation with UNEP in this field, we must be very careful, because plant production and animal husbandry have a different background in the field of food and agriculture.

May I briefly touch on the draft resolution proposed by the delegate of Venezuela. The draft resolution contains such important items for future FAO activities in this field as the level of involvement of FAO in the formulation and negotiation of a legal instrument for the biodiversity, consideration of the socio-economic importance of biodiversity, and the inter-dependence of the biodiversity conservation and the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries and the activities of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources in the formulation and negotiation of a legal instrument for the biodiversity.

All these issues are so important that careful review is indispensable. From this standpoint this draft resolution should be examined at the next session of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, the COAG and Council.

Gerhard LIEBER (Germany): First I would like to thank Professor de Haen for his introduction to the agenda item under discussion. I wish him all the best in his work with FAO and hope I shall have many opportunities to listen to him on similar occasions.

As document CL 98/16 reached us very late, unfortunately an in-depth study of its contents was not possible at home. Therefore I shall limit myself to some comments on our position towards the Undertaking.

We consider the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources together with the agreed interpretation on the basis of Resolution 4/89 of particular importance. The same is true for the "rights of farmers" as defined in Resolution 5/89. Farmers should, we are convinced, in particular in developing countries, participate fully in the benefits derived from the use of plant genetic resources.

The adoption of Resolution 4/89, the agreed interpretation of the International Undertaking, has dispelled some of the former doubts that we had, as this was the case for other countries, such as the United States and Japan in particular. Therefore we feel now in a position to adhere to the Undertaking. However, our commitments from the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) remain unaffected. As regards commitments which may arise from the Undertaking's fund, we must state that we are for the time being not able to assume any further binding financial obligations beyond our contributions to FAO, the international agricultural research centres and the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources. We take note with satisfaction that the United States and Canada will in the future be members of the Commission on plant Genetic Resources.

We continue to consider it highly desirable to achieve the accession of the USA and possibly the USSR to the International Undertaking. The gene banks of these two countries hold indeed a major part of the world's genetic resources.

Unfortunately only here in Rome we received document CL 98/16-Sup.1 on animal genetic resources, which I myself find extremely interesting. I am convinced however that this paper merits really close attention. Under these circumstances I will refrain from making any comments on its

technical contents and limit myself to encouraging FAO to continue its work in this important field, including through the preparation of a detailed development programme financed through trust fund resources. Our own participation anyhow will be substantial, as the site of the future animal global genetic bank will be at Hannover in the Federal Republic of Germany. This information bank will be based at the University of Hannover and use the facilities of a similar European information systems.

Finally, as far as the resolution introduced by Venezuela is concerned, our position is very close to that which Japan developed a moment ago.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie très vivement le Représentant de l'Allemagne de son exposé. Je note son accord sur l'engagement sur les ressources phytogénétiques, sous réserve de l'aspect financier, et la prise de position en ce qui concerne les ressources génétiques animales.

Je remercie également le Représentant de l'Allemagne des précisions qu'il a bien voulu nous donner en ce qui concerne le projet de résolution.

Jean-Pierre POLY (France): Monsieur le Président, je limiterai à l'essentiel mon intervention sur le rapport clair et précis présenté par le Secrétariat et je saisis cette occasion pour souhaiter la bienvenue au Conseil au nouveau Directeur du Département de l'agriculture de notre Organisation.

En adhérant à l'Engagement international sur les ressources phytogénétiques, en 1984, la France avait exprimé certaines réserves portant principalement sur deux points: tout d'abord, la nécessité d'introduire dans l'Engagement une référence à la Convention de Paris sur la protection des obtentions végétales; ensuite, l'importance d'une articulation claire entre les activités de la FAO et celles de l'IBPGR.

L'adoption par la vingt-cinquième session de la Conférence des Résolutions 4/89 et 5/89 reconnaissant simultanément les droits des obtenteurs et ceux des agriculteurs apporte, après de longues discussions sur ce sujet difficile, une réponse satisfaisante aux préoccupations fort diverses que beaucoup de pays avaient exprimées sur ce sujet.

En ce qui concerne les relations entre la FAO et l'IBPGR, la France n'a cessé d'affirmer sa convinction de la nécessité de maintenir une étroite coopération entre les deux institutions concernées. C'est donc avec satisfaction que ma délégation accueille les lettres d'entente annoncées à ce propos.

Dans ces conditions, ma délégation a le plaisir d'informer le Conseil que la France accepte de lever les réserves qu'elle avait formulées en adhérant à l'Engagement international.

J'exprime aussi le voeu que le plus grand nombre possible de pays puissent adhérer à cet engagement ou lever leurs réserves afin de lui donner le niveau requis pour une coopération internationale efficace dans ce domaine.

En ce qui concerne maintenant les ressources génétiques animales, ma délégation a pris connaissance avec intérêt du document CL 98/16-Sup.1 présenté par le Secrétariat, bien qu'un peu trop tardivement pour qu'il ait été possible d'en effectuer l'examen détaillé qu'il mérite.

Je m'en tiendrai donc aux principes en rappelant tout d'abord la position de la France en faveur d'un renforcement des activités de la FAO dans le domaine de la protection des animaux domestiques dans la perspective du développement durable.

Je rappelerai également les réserves que ma délégation avait formulées lors de la vingt-cinquième session de la Conférence à l'égard d'une éventuelle intégration des ressources génétiques animales et des ressources phytogénétiques dans un système unique. S'il existe, en effet, dans ces deux domaines quelques objectifs généraux communs, il subsiste surtout de grandes différences dans les approches scientifiques et dans les techniques utilisées.

La proposition faite au Conseil d'approuver l'élaboration d'un programme spécifique pour le développement durable des ressources génétiques animales me semble prendre en compte ces préoccupations. Ma délégation est donc prête à en accepter le principe sous réserve toutefois d'un examen approfondi sur le plan technique qui relève certainement plus du Comité de l'agriculture que du Conseil lui-même.

Ma délégation se félicite tout d'abord de la coopération que la FAO apporte au PNUE dans la préparation d'un instrument juridique sur la diversité biologique.

Comme il est souligné au paragraphe 18, la FAO me semble bien dans son rôle lorsqu'elle s'efforce de mettre l'accent sur l'interdépendance de la conservation de la diversité biologique et du développement de l'agriculture, des forêts et des pêches.

De même, la France ne peut qu'approuver le souci d'éviter la création de nouveaux mécanismes institutionnels et financiers et de traiter les principales catégories de diversité biologique par le biais des arrangements existants, tandis que la convention-cadre en préparation énoncerait les principes généraux de la coopération dans ce domaine.

Dans cette perspective, ma délégation encourage le Secrétariat dans son effort de rationalisation et de coordination des activités de la FAO dans les différents secteurs de la diversité biologique qui la concernent. Le Programme d'action spécial envisagé devrait constituer la bonne réponse à cette préoccupation, à condition, naturellement, que soit pleinement assurée la nécessaire coordination avec les autres organisations internationales intéressées, notamment le PNUE.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Représentant de la France de son exposé. Je note avec satisfaction que les réserves françaises concernant l'Engagement international sur les ressources phytogénétiques sont levées. J'ai noté les réserves faites notamment dans le domaine de la protection des animaux domestiques et la nécessité de procéder à un examen plus approfondi dans les comités techniques appropriés. Il va de soi que la décision devra être prise au niveau du Conseil mais que l'examen relève de la compétence des comités techniques.

José ROBLES AGUILAR (México): El tema que nos ocupa es de gran importancia. Lamentamos, sin embargo, que los excelentes documentos que ha preparado la Secretaría llegaran con gran retraso, lo cual no permitió que se analizaran en nuestra capital de manera colegiada, como el tema lo requiere. Esperamos que este debate continúe a nivel del grupo de trabajo, que se reúne el próximo mes de diciembre para que, como se señala en el párrafo 14, puedan dirimirse elementos importantes. Mi país da una gran importancia al tema, y como lo ha venido manifestando en los foros de la FAO, del PNUMA y otras instituciones, considera de igual importancia y nivel los aspectos de conservación y desarrollo, por lo cual estimamos que debe haber una estrecha coordinación y complementariedad en las acciones que los principales organismos desarrollan en los trabajos actuales y futuros, particularmente con vistas a la preparación de la Conferencia Mundial de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo.

Como bien lo señala el documento, la FAO tiene un mandato que debe ejecutar en lo relativo a la conservación y utilización de la biodiversidad biológica de interés para la agricultura, la silvicultura y la pesca, por lo que nos parece atinada la recomendación de que se invite a la Comisión de Recursos Fitogenéticos-que es un órgano intergubernamental-a contribuir a la elaboración del convenio sobre biodiversidad y sus posibles protocolos relativos a la alimentación y a la agricultura.

Apoyamos también el establecimiento de un programa especial de acción de carácter amplio sobre la biodiversidad para la alimentación y la agricultura. Consideramos, asimismo, que el trabajo realizado a través del Compromiso puede ser una buena base para su elaboración. Nuestra delegación considera muy importante avanzar en los mecanismos para apoyar a los países en desarrollo, que es donde se ubican los centros más importantes de la diversidad biológica, así como apoyar los programas de conservación in situ a fin de frenar la erosión de los recursos y promover su conservación.

Conforme lo expresado por la Conferencia Regional de América Latina y el Caribe, el CARFIT, que opera en el seno del sistema económico latinoamericano, requiere un apoyo continuo de esta organización ya que éste alienta, en el ámbito regional, al tema.

Paul Van RAPPARD (Netherlands): A few delegations informed us about the late reception of the documents. May I congratulate them, they are in a better position than we are. We didn't receive them at all before our departure. I do regret this most seriously because it harms the work of our

Council. Regrettably so, because you will be well aware of the interests of my country in the field of genetic resources.

A few points however:

My delegation can express its satisfaction with the Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and IBPGR. We hope it will lead to a fruitful cooperation and a successful distribution of tasks between the organizations. Undoubtedly IBPGR will stay in Rome fully reorganized as an international organization and I hope Italy will take the necessary steps to assist in this matter.

Secondly, my country has been working actively in finding a solution for the problem of the farmers' rights. The current definition as adopted by the Conference finds our support.

No decision has been taken about an international fund for Plant Genetic Resources. We don't disagree about such a fund, but we have to realize a lot of activities take place in the field of Plant Genetic Resources and we think it is appropriate to wait for the UNCED in Brazil in 1992. We, from our side anyway, will refrain from a definite opinion about this matter before UNCED has thrown its light on this matter.

Currently a lot is going on in the field of biological diversity and we endorse the cooperation of FAO and UNEP to provide a legal instrument on biological diversity. We are not without concern, however, that all those organizations, which are active in this field, are working here together. In this respect I would like to draw your attention to the CGIAR-working party on crop biodiversity.

The COAG discussed last year the possibility of animal genetic resources. One of the proposals made was to bring plant and animal genetic resources together. We are convinced that these are equally important aspects of sustainable development. But we doubt whether it should be advisable bringing them together. This would need careful technical consideration.

The draft resolution of Venezuela gets the attention it deserves in my country. But as a first comment the following. Has a similar resolution been produced by the UNEP-Council which I think, if we talk about equality, would be appropriate?

Point 1.1 speaks about equal consideration. We think each situation has to be regarded on a case by case basis and therefore we should prefer the word "proper" instead of equal.

Point 1.3 deals with the communication within the national governments and should not be part of this resolution.

Particularly about point 3 we are not without doubts. Definitely this point needs further study.

Augusto OPORTA (Nicaragua): La delegación de Nicaragua felicita a la FAO por los múltiples esfuerzos que realiza en pro de la conservación y mejoramiento genético en todos los niveles. También apoyamos la Resolución 3/89 donde se subraya la necesidad de que la FAO refuerce la cooperación con otras organizaciones en todo el desarrollo sostenible, preferentemente en lo referente a la conservación y ordenamiento de la diversidad biológico genética, e incremente los esfuerzos por apoyar a los gobiernos al objeto de que formulen estrategias de conservación, principalmente en los países en desarrollo.

Somos conscientes de la existencia de escasa disponibilidad de recursos genéticos para las diferentes alternativas de producción, por lo que se hace más urgente su preservación y mejoramiento y, sobre todo, el que podamos compartirlos en las diferentes áreas geográficas donde puedan ser desarrollados esos escasos recursos genéticos.

Al mismo tiempo apoyamos la propuesta de la Secretaría sobre que la FAO debe tomar medidas complementarias en relación al ritmo de pérdida de la diversidad biológica y consideramos que la FAO debe priorizar la biodiversidad.

La delegación de Nicaragua considera, al igual que la FAO, que la conservación de la biodiversidad está indisolublemente vinculada al desarrollo agrícola duradero, pues si no existe incremento en la productividad, difícilmente podremos concentrarnos a trabajar exclusivamente en las áreas con mayor uso potencial productivo pues, de otra forma, la producción final no sería suficiente para las necesidades de la humanidad.

Conociendo la constante reducción de la biodiversidad, la delegación de Nicaragua ve con especial interés que la FAO conceda gran importancia a la utilización duradera de los recursos genéticos y la evolución ulterior de la biodiversidad, tanto natural como artificial para el mejoramiento y diversificación de los cultivos.

La delegación de Nicaragua apoya lo expresado en el párrafo 11 del documento CL 98/16, donde se recomienda a la FAO ampliar la difusión de información sobre recursos fitogenéticos. Con esto saldríamos beneficiados muchos de los países en vías de desarrollo principalmente.

La delegación de Nicaragua está de acuerdo con lo indicado en el párrafo 16, donde se dice que "la FAO está bien cualificada para asumir el papel central en la formulación y negociaciones de cualquier instrumento jurídico sobre recursos genéticos vegetales, animales, forestales y pesqueros". Al mismo tiempo, celebramos con entusiasmo las recomendaciones de la Comisión sobre que la FAO continúe prestando apoyo a sus Estados Miembros en el fortalecimiento de su capacidad para la conservación racional y utilización duradera de los recursos fitogenéticos en el marco de su propia labor de desarrollo agrícola. Pero también agradeceríamos que la FAO apoye a los países en la introducción o adopción de recursos fitogenéticos adaptables a su medio ambiente; por ejemplo: introducción de nuevos cultivos, identificación y adaptación al cultivo de otras especies útiles.

La delegación de Nicaragua está de acuerdo con la propuesta al Consejo de aprobar la preparación de un Programa detallado para el desarrollo de los recursos zoogenéticos por parte de la FAO y apoya la ratificación por el Consejo del sistema de fondos fiduciarios para financiar el Programa.

También la delegación de Nicaragua está de acuerdo con la observación hecha por Argentina en orden a apoyar el fortalecimiento de los recursos zoogenéticos para aprovechar los vigores híbridos, lo cual redundaría en incrementos de la producción, tanto de leche como de carne. Esta preocupación debe ser continua y sostenida, por el peligro en los países de no manejar los niveles adecuados de cruces entre las razas criollas y las razas importadas, a fin de ir generando la alternativa adecuada a las condiciones propias en cada país, tales como introducción de rusticidad, incremento en la producción para crear nuevas líneas de doble propósito-más leche, más carne-, o bien para mejorar la calidad de los animales de trabajo. En esta línea, creemos que la FAO podría tener más participación en la orientación de programas de mejoramiento genético en los diferentes países miembros.

Para terminar, la delegación de Nicaragua apoya la propuesta de Venezuela, en la cual se sugiere que haya una mayor cooperación entre la FAO y el PNUMA. De esta forma, la FAO podría potenciar más su experiencia, ya que no debiera dedicarse sólo al desarrollo, sino a trabajar en las dos líneas, de forma que el trabajo podría ser complementario con el que realiza el PNUMA.

Antonio MAGALHAES COELHO (Portugal): Monsieur le Président, la délégation portugaise félicite le Secrétariat pour les documents CL 98/16 et CL 98/16-Sup.1 qui nous ont donné un excellent résumé de la situation et nous aideront à prendre une décision en la matière.

Le Portugal reconnaît le grand intérêt de ces études et initiatives qui peuvent être accomplies afin de tirer profit des ressources génétiques existantes et de les rendre accessibles à tous les pays intéressés par leur utilisation.

Les organismes officiels portugais ont entrepris une action importante dans la collecte de matériel phytogénétique au Portugal tout en le mettant à la disposition de la communauté internationale.

La participation portugaise dans le domaine des ressources génétiques a été permanente et a toujours suivi les orientations de la FAO/IBPGR.

A ce propos, nous rappelons que les structures du "Noyau du Maïs", situées au nord du pays où cette culture connaît un développement important, ont été créées grâce à l'appui financier de la FAO.

La délégation portugaise a appuyé les Résolutions 4 et 5 présentées à la Conférence et actuellement elle étudie les implications techniques et économiques découlant de l'acceptation de l'engagement international sur les ressources phytogénétiques dont le texte nous a été envoyé précisément pour cette étude. Cependant, ce document daté du 28 septembre a été reçu à

la mi-octobre et c'est pourquoi il n'y a pas encore eu d'analyse ni de décision d'adhésion de la part du Portugal.

La délégation portugaise soutient les principes techniques du document à l'examen.

Nous souhaiterions faire observer que par le biais du rapport de la Conférence, et en vue du fonctionnement du système, nous pensons qu'il serait souhaitable d'avoir recours aux fonds internationaux ou, selon l'avis d'autres pays membres, de faire appel à des contributions volontaires.

Ce principe est développé à l'article 8 du document en référence.

Nous pensons que ce sujet doit être étudié ainsi que les implications apportées par le développement de ces actions.

Ce sujet est actuellement étudié par les autorités portugaises et il serait utile que le Secrétariat et les membres du Conseil nous donnent le plus grand nombre d'informations possible, de façon à prendre une décision plus fondée quant à la participation portugaise à ce compromis international.

Cette position ne diminue en rien l'intérêt que le Portugal continue de manifester pour tout ce qui est lié à la récolte, à la préservation et à la distribution des ressources génétiques, activités que nous essaierons d'intensifier parce que nous sommes conscients de l'importance de ces ressources pour le progrès de l'agriculture et les évolutions de la biotechnologie. Nous restons à disposition pour fournir du matériel génétique selon les règles internationalement admises et auxquelles nous sommes volontairement attachés.

Pour terminer, je dirai que mon pays a apporté sa contribution au moyen de ses ressources, surtout dans le domaine des "lupinus", et d'autres produits protéagineux, des céréales, notamment du blé, du seigle et de l'orge, du tripholium et du trèfle sous-terrain, ainsi que des graminés pour les pâturages.

Nous sommes en train de réaliser un vaste programme d'étude concernant le maïs portugais et comprenant les différents types régionaux, car la culture de cette céréale est très ancienne au Portugal. Déjà au milieu du XVIe siècle, elle était très répandue dans tout le pays et c'est ce qui explique la grande diversification des variétés, ce qui nous amène à penser qu'elles constituent un excellent matériel génétique qui pourra éventuellement être mis à la disposition de la communauté internationale.

Le document CL 98/16 fait le point de la situation sur les ressources génétiques et sur d'autres questions relatives à la diversité biologique, ainsi qu'à l'action que la FAO a menée en appliquant les résolutions de la Conférence, avec l'assistance du Groupe de travail de la Commission des Ressources génétiques, comme il est mentionné au paragraphe 12 du document CL 98/16.

La délégation portugaise souhaite que les ressources génétiques soient mises à la disposition de tous les membres de la communauté internationale,

notamment les agriculteurs, tout en accordant le respect dû aux intéressés légitimes dés pays qui possèdent ces ressources, les conservent et les maintiennent accessibles.

Nous pensons qu'il est possible d'établir une bonne harmonisation entre les deux situations bien qu'il en aille des intérêts de la communauté internationale. La délégation portugaise pense qu'il est moins important d'instaurer un système parfait d'utilisation des ressources génétiques que de procéder à la collecte "de ces ressources car, dans certaines régions, la pression que subit l'agriculture, la destruction de la forêt et les changements de l'environnement peuvent ne pas accorder un délai suffisant pour parvenir à sauver une grande quantité de matériel génétique, animal et végétal, qui est déjà en voie de disparition.

La délégation portugaise a pris note, avec beaucoup d'intérêt, des travaux du Groupe de conservation des écosystèmes sur la diversité biologique, comme il est mentionné au paragraphe 19, et elle pense que, de plus en plus, il serait souhaitable d'aménager des réserves naturelles, surtout dans les régions à écosystèmes fragiles.

Assefa YILALA (Ethiopia): My delegation would like to thank the Secretariat for the document on Sustainable Development on Animal Genetic Resources and the International Understanding on Plant Genetic Resources, and welcomes the information provided in the two documents, which we consider to be extremely valuable. My delegation would also like to thank Mr de Haen for his introduction made yesterday.

The document on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and matters related to biodiversity is, on the whole, in line with the understanding reached during the meetings of the Working Groups of the Third Session of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources and that of the 95th Council and 25th Conference. We are particularly pleased to see that a formal framework for the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and financial mechanism has now come to a stage of understanding and realization of the farmers' contribution in the developing countries towards maintaining the world's genetic resources. We hope that this will be fully implemented as soon as possible.

The progress made in the establishment of understanding in this regard we understand has been reached after extensive discussion in the various fora in which we were represented. Therefore, I do not want to get into these complex areas, which would take up a lot of time. However, we would like to indicate our support in principle of the follow-up information in paragraph 28 of CL 98/16. The question of examining possibilities for transforming the present International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources into an International Convention on Biodiversity, and the steps taken so far, are welcome.

The last sentence of paragraph 17 refers to a meeting of the Ecosystem Conservation Group in October 1990. We assume that the document was prepared before this meeting and so does not report the outcome of the meeting itself. Our delegation would be grateful for information on the

outcome of this meeting. While the advisability of widening the mandate of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources to become a Commission on Biodiversity of Food and Agriculture is logically acceptable, it is important to note that the elaboration and subsequent negotiation would require further details other than those which seem to have been presented, and also subsequent consideration by the Commission, the Council and the Conference.

The document on the sustainable development of animal genetic resources, CL 96/16-Sup.1 is another area which we feel is progressing slowly as far as concerns the progress made in the area of plant genetic resources. In this connection, my delegation is fully convinced that the examination of the institutional and policy aspect of FAO's future role in the integration of the institutional infrastructure in animal genetic resources is an important measure for bringing important progress in this sphere. Therefore, we feel that the conclusion on the programme of sustainable development for animal genetic resources is the most effective way of achieving the global activities which are recommended.

The objectives pointed out in paragraphs 14 and 15 are in line with those needs that I have just outlined-and also in line with future needs. The strengthening of the national and regional gene banks and the supports for training programmes worldwide, and so on, are important operational measures to which the international community will need to devote some of its attention and extra resources.

We would also like to thank the Organization for the support it provided in the establishment of the sub-regional bank for animal genetic resources, a genetic bank, which we consider to be an important step forward for our region. We hope that this consideration will get the required resources in order to progress to the stage of being a prominent institution, as may be desired.

The draft resolution introduced by the delegate of Venezuela contains the essential elements required for advancing the cause of conservation and the protection of biodiversity. My delegation will give its support in principle. However, we do have some difficulty with the last recommendation, particularly with the phrase dealing with the new commission on biological diversity of interest to food and agriculture. Even if we anticipate no difficulty in this concept, we are of the opinion that this new area, introduced before we have received clearance from our respective authorities, might require further consideration by the Commission and subsequently by the other intergovernmental bodies.

Adel EL SARKY (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): The Egyptian delegation has scrutinized the two documents on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources and Other Matters related to Biodiversity. That is document CL 98/16. We have also examined CL 98/16-Sup.1 on the Programme for the Sustainable Development of Animal Genetic Resources. Our delegation is satisfied with the contents of these two documents. We note FAO's decision to withdraw any reservations as regards the Undertaking. The authorities concerned in Egypt are considering the withdrawal of

reservations, and FAO will be informed accordingly. My country gives approval to paragraph 23 which invites a detailed Programme on Sustainable Development of Animal Genetic Resources on a worldwide level managed by FAO.

I wish to thank the Assistant Director-General responsible for having introduced this document so well.

George REEVES (Australia): My delegation appreciates the extensive work being carried out by FAO in the field of biodiversity and plant genetic resources, and the special efforts it is making to coordinate and strengthen its efforts with our agencies. We are also grateful for the comprehensive papers prepared for this item. Australia attaches great importance to the maintenance of biodiversity. It is indeed a key component of sustainable development. Our commitment to the issue of plant genetic resources is evidenced by the extensive network of centers operating throughout Australia. The operation of many of these comes under the control of our Provincial or State Governments, whilst others are under the control of the Federal Government through organizations such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization.As an active member of the Commission, we support the general thrust of the undertaking, and recognize the potential benefits to our network of centers. Nevertheless, Australia can only become a party to the Undertaking when it is in a clear position to ensure that it can completely fulfil its obligations under the Undertaking. At present, the issue is still under active consideration by Commonwealth and State Ministers. I hope that we can satisfactorily resolve the issue soon.

On specific points in document CL 98/16, we continue to have some difficulty with the concept of farmers' rights and believe that this requires further examination in the context of the Undertaking. The use of genetic resources in plant breeding has no real nexus with the material property rights of farmers. To generate such a nexus could impair the free exchange of germplasm and undermine the main purpose of the Undertaking. Naturally-occurring genetic resources are raw material for plant breeders and are not the result of any human innovation of effort. Therefore, they should not be ascribed any intellectual property value, and in particular not in relation to where they were collected.

Like the United States delegation, we also have some difficulty with the idea of pushing the Undertaking in the direction of a legally-binding protocol to a convention.

In the international arena, events are happening at a great pace on this issue and proposals are coming forward at a rapid rate. All these issues are complex and require deep and careful consideration. The guiding hand of experts will be of paramount importance, and we cannot let bureaucratic or legal considerations run ahead of the experts.

My delegation appreciates the thoughtful intervention of Venezuela yesterday, and the proposal put forward. That said, we have serious reservations on the draft resolution put forward by Venezuela. The

Australian Government is for the present time committed to the development of a Convention for the Conservation of Biological Diversity within the forum provided by UNEP. For this reason, we will be unable to support any recommendation which gave FAO a mandate for equal billing in pursuing a future convention.

We are also concerned with the implication that UNEP has a strong focus on conservation which needs to be balanced by the development focus of FAO. In our view, conservation and development are not viewed as being competing objectives as implied in the Venezuelan resolution.

Let me turn now to document CL 98/16-Sup.1 in which the Secretariat puts forward a Programme for the Establishment of a Global System of Sustainable Development of Animal Genetic Resources. The reaction of my delegation is, in general, favourable. The proposal offers the potential for greater conservation of biodiversity of animal genetic resources and appears to complement many of the aims being discussed in connection with negotiations on a Biodiversity Convention.

Australia also supports the proposal for funding the Programme. In particular, we support the concept of Regional Animal Gene Banks that will act to integrate, we think, the following four basic functions: first, surveys of characterization and evaluation of indigenous breeds and species as well as watch lists for endangered species; second, the preservation of animal breeds combined with their sustainable use; third, cryogenic preservation of germplasm to support preservation of animal species; and, lastly, participation of regional centres in the exchange of germplasm, continued involvement in selection and improvement of domestic livestock.

That being said, my delegation also stresses that care needs to be taken to ensure that this programme is complementary to the Biodiversity Convention and does not duplicate the Convention.

Finally, we note the unanimous and unequivocal conclusions of the Expert Panel on Animal Genetic Resources reached in September 1989, that the work by FAO on animal genetic resources observes separate treatment to that on plant genetic resources. We concur with those conclusions.

Sra. María Susana LANDAVERI (Perú): Queremos agradecer, Señor Presidente, la presentación de los documentos referidos a los recursos fitogenéticos y zoogenéticos. El Perú es un país rico en ambos recursos y por esa misma razón reconoce la importancia de la conservación de la diversidad biológica, especialmente para la seguridad alimentaria y el desarrollo sostenible agrícola, forestal y pesquero, como se expone en el proyecto de resolución presentado ayer por la distinguida delegada de Venezuela y que cuenta con nuestro apoyo, aunque comprendemos y compartimos con otras delegaciones, la opinión de que dada su importancia debe permitirse su estudio a fondo. En el Perú, donde se cuenta ya con el apoyo de la FAO en actividades relacionadas con la utilización y conservación de la biodiversidad, las autoridades competentes tienen permanentemente en consideración la conservación de especies originarias y únicas de nuestras diferentes regiones naturales. Por esto, apoyamos las medidas

complementarias propuestas en el párrafo 28 del documento CL 98/16, también en vista de la proximidad de la realización de la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo.

Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Muy brevemente, Señor Presidente, tanto para ayudar a su gran conducción en aras del tiempo en esta agenda tan apretada, y bajo la solicitud de no repetir criterios, concretamente la delegación cubana desea expresar su complacencia y pleno apoyo al proyecto en su totalidad presentado por la delegación venezolana.

DONG QINGSONG (China) (Original language Chinese): First of all, I would like to thank the Secretariat for two very informative documents because these documents have touched upon a very important issue. We know that the conservation of genetic resources will benefit the whole of mankind. That is why the Government of China attaches great importance to such issues. Therefore, we support FAO in continuing to make contributions to the preparation of the International Conference on the Environment and Development to be held in 1992. We hope that in carrying out these activities FAO will continue to cooperate with other international agencies, especially UNEP.

I hope their activities will complement each other. It should not be a relationship of competition.

We welcome the Memorandum of Understanding reached between FAO and the International Board of Plant Genetic Resources. Such an effort will avoid duplication as well. We also support the ideas expressed in paragraph 28 to establish a special programme of work so as to seek necessary funding to help Member Nations, especially developing countries, to conserve their genetic resources.

Finally, the Chinese delegation wishes to indicate that it supports the draft resolution submitted by the Permanent Representative of Venezuela yesterday.

Parviz KARBASSI (Iran, Islamic Republic of): The Islamic Republic of Iran is very much concerned about the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources. Our country is rich in plant genetic resources.

I would like to thank the Secretariat for the documents CL 98/16 and CL 98/16-Sup.1. We believe that genetic resources belong to all human beings and it is important to look at the farmer's rights in this matter. It is our feeling that the scientists, who are the producers of the new varieties, the new genetics, the new organisms which they will take from this globe, which they get from resources which are available for all human beings, they would like to have the rights, and also I am sure they are all willing to help human beings. So I believe it is possible to have a fund available for the breeders or the scientists' rights and after releasing

the new biological organisms it should be allowed to be used by all the nations in the globe.

We supported the idea that FAO should be the leading international organization to look to the legal matters for the conservation of genetic resources and conservation of plant, animal, forestry and fisheries, with cooperation from UNEP and other international agencies involved and we are satisfied with the document prepared by the FAO.

Angel BARBERO MARTIN (Observador de España): Gracias, Señor Presidente, por darnos esta oportunidad de que nos oiga en este interesante debate sobre este tema tan importante de la diversidad biogenètica.

Generalmente y con frecuencia se repite que no existe contradicción entre conservación y desarrollo; pero esto no significa una ley, esto es un axioma o mejor dicho es un objetivo que hay que cumplir y que debe ser demostrado cotidianamente en todos los proyectos, tanto de conservación como de desarrollo. Cuando ambos se conjugan, hablamos de desarrollo sostenible o sostenido, pero no sabemos muy bien si se está cumpliendo o no simplemente por colocar esta definición de desarrollo sostenible o sostenido, de tal manera que sólo el futuro podrá determinar si efectivamente una actuación del hombre en este sentido ha consistido en un desarrollo sostenible. Sin embargo, existe un aspecto en el que creo que ambas partes, y todas las personas y organismos implicados en conservación y desarrollo, están de acuerdo en que pertenece a ambos campos: este es el de la diversidad biológica.

El fomento, la preservación de la diversidad biológica coincide en los dos campos sin discusión: es desarrollo, es conservación. Por ello entendemos que es urgente y necesaria la creación de un instrumento jurídico sobre este aspecto y que incluya además campos como el que ya tenemos en marcha como son los recursos fitogenéticos y también los recursos zoogenéticos. España ha impulsado desde el principio todo el sistema que actualmente está desarrollando la FAO para la preservación de los recursos fitogenéticos y está interesadísima también en el aspecto de los zoogenéticos, de tal manera que para los años sucesivos está preparando una serie de importantes acontecimientos de índole internacional para, enfocados en este aspecto de los recursos zoogenéticos, el fomento, el estudio de los cruces de los híbridos de las razas autóctonas en su propio país, como en otras regiones de la tierra y, en su momento concretará, anunciará y abrirá a la participación de todos aquellos países interesados en estos acontecimientos.

Dentro de la elaboración de este instrumento jurídico nos parece que sería importante también tener en cuenta todas aquellas estructuras que están funcionando ya, que cuentan con expertos que están coordinados, e integrados en grupo, con foros apropiados de discusión. Ignorarlos sería incurrir nuevamente en duplicaciones costosas y poco operativas. Por ello, Señor Presidente, vemos con satisfacción el que la FAO y, sobre todo la Comisión de Recursos Fitogenéticos, colabore conjuntamente con el PNUMA en esta tarea, tal como se establece en la resolución que se ha presentado al Consejo. Repito que nos parece muy importante y muy interesante.

Respecto a ampliar o no dentro de la Comisión actual de Recursos Fitogenéticos su ámbito a los zoogenéticos, entendemos que es un asunto también digno de consideración. En principio España ve con interés esta ampliación y probablemente apoyaría en su momento el que esta Comisión ampliara su ámbito a los recursos zoogenéticos; sin embargo, entendemos que es un tema que requiere un cuidadoso estudio en sus implicaciones, tanto técnicas como económicas para llegar en su momento a una decisión final.

LE PRESIDENT: Je regarde la salle et je ne vois plus d'orateurs inscrits.

Je voudrais dire que ce débat a été particulièrement intéressant. Beaucoup de délégations ont soulevé la tardive distribution de certains documents, et nous en tirerons les conclusions.

Et je voudrais tout d'abord demander à M. de Haen, Sous-Directeur général, de bien vouloir répondre aux questions qui ont été posées. Ensuite, je me permettrai de vous faire une proposition opérationnelle, parce que je crois que nous avons fait de sérieux pas en avant, que beaucoup de pays ont annoncé leur participation à la Commission des ressources phytogénétiques, et je crois que c'est un élément important. Je crois également que l'ensemble du débat nous a permis de dégager une ligne de conduite, et que je voudrais tenter de la rendre opérationnelle pour l'avenir.

H. DE HAEN (Assistant Director-General, Agriculture Department): We appreciate your very valuable comments, in spite of the delayed arrival of the documents, which I regret again but I note with interest that inter-European mail is less efficient than trans-ocean mail because most of the latest arrivals were within Europe.

We appreciate with great joy that your support for the efforts we have made was quite unanimous and that most of you have emphasized that our attempt jointly to promote conservation and utilization of genetic resources to the benefit of current and future socio-economic development was given to us. As the delegate of Argentina said very rightly, we have before us a very complicated and important matter; biodiversity and its maintenance and utilization is not only important but also costly and public and private and national and multinational efforts are needed, which explains that the questions to be resolved are in fact taking time and are also leading to controversial positions. To me it is no surprise that there are a number of different views and concepts with a view to the strategies to be chosen; economic interests and ecological conditions vary too much between countries, between ecosystems, and we also have to be aware that we suffer from uncertainties and we have to be ready to learn and to adjust our strategies as we proceed in our work.

Let me try to give you some first reactions to the questions you raised and I will do that under a number of headings. The first question was raised by the delegate of the United Kingdom who asked for more information about the contents of the Special Action Programme on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture. Let me just mention the purpose of this Special Action

Programme which is to strengthen national and regional programmes for the conservation and utilization of genetic resources, and I emphasize also both in situ and ex situ. Such a programme will include plant, animals, fishery and forestry and cover a wide number of activities which I am not going to list in detail here, but let me just mention the documentation of breeds and cultivars and their respective properties in qualitative terms, watch lists of endangered species and breeds, assistance in breeding and biotechnologies and this was also supported by many of the speakers development of under-utilized promising species and breeds.

You find more substance on this, especially with respect to the animal programme, in document CL 98/16-Sup.1, so I need not go into details here. But I would like to mention the report by two consultants which is available in draft form at the moment and which had as its mandate to look at all kinds of envisageable and recommendable special action programmes on the aspect of sustainability and environment. This report also recommends a special action programme on biodiversity for food and agriculture. You may also find more substance in this as the report becomes available.

The second topic, mentioned by many of you, refers to the widening of the mandate of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. The United States, Canada, India and many others have commented and raised questions on this. Several views have been expressed, some in favour and some against including the animal genetic resources in this Commission's mandate. Let me just say we agree that it is difficult to cover two technically very different subjects by one body, but we also recognize commonalities between plant and animal genetic resource programmes with respect to appropriate legal and institutional procedures and funding mechanisms. So on the technical side there are distinct differences, on the institutional side there are also commonalities. This may explain why the panel of technical experts on animal genetic resources recommends to work with two commissions, whereas the intergovernmental working group, the working group of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, recommends a joint commission. This diversion of views is the reason why we have asked for your guidance on which of the two or any other organizational structure we should adopt. As the Secretariat we are open to any institutional arrangement, but we just need guidance which one we should adopt.

The third item, legal instrument and its relationship with the convention on biodiversity, let me say how much we welcome the United States, soon Japan and also Canada as new members of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. We share the hope expressed by the delegate of the United States that other countries will soon follow and we appreciate that such announcements have been made. We are also thankful for the withdrawal of reservations which a number of delegates have announced here, the Nordic countries, France, Germany and Eypt, and we hope that the future cooperation in both the Commission and the work under the International Undertaking will be beneficial for all those participating. Concerning the Undertaking, several of you have stated that more work needs to be done before the International Undertaking could become a protocol to a proposed convention on biodiversity. I can just say that we agree with the need for further improvements. I can also say that so far neither the convention nor the protocols are finalized. Preparatory work is underway and it is the countries represented on the governing bodies which will have to discuss

and negotiate appropriate modifications of the existing legal instruments in case they are to be transformed into protocols. We take notice in this context of India's proposal to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and UNEP.

Further comment seems necessary relating to the draft resolution proposed by the delegate of Venezuela. Referring to this draft resolution we simply want to state that if we were requested to have a more active and responsible role in the formulation and negotiation of the proposed convention on biodiversity this would have financial implications for the Organization. We have not yet had an opportunity to assess the costs in detail. Costs would occur for meetings, preparation of consultancy reports and other things. We are in principle prepared to respond positively to such a request because we think we have the technical capability to perform the role of a major lead agency but, as I said, we would need extra-budgetary funds and we have to consider this in much more detail, especially so far as the cost implications are concerned but also so far as the delicate interagency cooperation issue is concerned.

Finally, the delegate of Ethiopia asked about the outcome of the meeting of the ecosystems coordination group which met in October this year. Let me say briefly that this meeting discussed two drafts with elements for the proposed legal instrument on biodiversity, one from IUCN and the other from FAO. It makes recommendations to UNEP on the context and possible form of such legal instrument. If you request further details, then I am sure the report of that meeting could be made available to you.

So far that is my attempt to respond to some of your questions. Let me thank you again. Your comments will be contemplated in much more detail after the Council meeting but we appreciate the support you have in general given for our programmes.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie très vivement le Sous-Directeur général, M. de Haen, de toutes les réponses qu'il vient de fournir aux nombreuses questions qui lui ont été posées. Il s'agit incontestablement d'un domaine vaste et complexe. Le débat nous a permis de clarifier un certain nombre de positions et nous pouvons noter avec satisfaction le désir de toutes les délégations de progresser de façon raisonnable et ordonnée, en procédant à toutes les études nécessaires et à un examen approfondi des conséquences économiques et financières des nouveaux pas en avant que nous sommes sur le point de faire.

En ce qui concerne les activités de la Commission des ressources phytogénétiques, nous pouvons enregistrer avec satisfaction la levée d'un certain nombre de réserves et là volonté d'un certain nombre de pays qui n'étaient pas membres de la Commission de faire partie de cette Commission. C'est là un élément essentiel qui nous permet de dégager du document CL 98/16 un consensus sur les mesures de suivi proposées. Celles-ci se trouvent au paragraphe 28 du document dans lequel on demande l'accélération des travaux entrepris. Je crois que nous sommes tous d'accord sur l'importance de ces travaux et sur la nécessité non seulement de les poursuivre mais de les activer.

Le deuxième point traité au paragraphe 28 est la poursuite des activités de coopération et de coordination avec les organisations internationales. Je n'ai entendu aucune voix divergente à ce sujet mais, au contraire, l'expression du désir de toutes les délégations d'obtenir le maximum de coopération avec les institutions spécialisées à Rome: l'IBPGR et l'Organisme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement (PNUE), notamment. Nous pouvons considérer que les mesures de suivi proposées dans le document CL 98/16 sont conformes aux voeux du Conseil.

En ce qui concerne le deuxième point, qui est relatif au développement des ressources génétiques animales, j'ai suivi avec attention les différents exposés qui ont été faits. De nombreuses délégations ont souligné que le document concernant ces questions était arrivé avec un certain retard et qu'elles n'avaient pas eu l'occasion de l'étudier de façon suffisamment approfondie. Il me semble donc quelque peu prématuré de proposer au Conseil d'approuver, tel que cela figure au paragraphe 23 du document CL 98/16-Sup.1, l'élaboration d'un programme détaillé pour le développement durable des ressources génétiques animales à l'échelon mondial géré par la FAO.

Les avis sont également assez divergents en ce qui concerne le lieu et le cadre dans lesquels on devrait procéder à l'examen plus approfondi de cette importante question de la conservation des ressources génétiques animales. Après y avoir réfléchi, je pense que le cadre le plus approprié serait incontestablement non pas la Commission des ressources phytogénétiques, parce que cela entraînerait un élargissement de ses activités sur lesquelles un consensus ne peut pas être retenu, mais le Comité pour l'agriculture (COAG). Le COAG est en effet le cadre le plus approprié pour poursuivre l'examen de cette question, qui a déjà fait l'objet d'une première discussion technique au sein du Conseil. Mais il est clair que, le document ayant été distribué tardivement, les membres du Conseil n'ont pas encore eu l'occasion de l'étudier avec le soin voulu. Il existe à l'heure actuelle un certain nombre de contacts avec les organisations de la famille des Nations Unies et je crois que tout le monde souhaite-dans quelle proportion, c'est à examiner-une parfaite coordination et d'excellentes relations entre la FAO et l'Organisme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement (PNUE) à Nairobi. Je crois qu'il serait souhaitable que le Conseil émette le voeu que la FAO soit reconnue comme interlocuteur, dans le cadre des activités du PNUE, dans une mesure à déterminer. Il faut faire la preuve d'un maximum de souplesse dans ce domaine; il ne me semble pas utile de fixer des proportions mais, ce qui importe, c'est que le dialogue se noue et que la coopération existe.

Nous avons été saisis d'un projet de résolution qui a recueilli l'agrément de nombreuses délégations mais les réserves d'un certain nombre d'autres délégations sur certains points, par exemple ce qui figure entre parenthèses au dernier paragraphe: "ou, le cas échéant, la nouvelle Commission sur la diversité biologique dans le domaine de l'agriculture et de l'alimentation". Je crois que le problème n'est pas encore mûr en ce qui concerne la création d'une nouvelle commission. Tout cela mérite donc un examen ultérieur approfondi. On pourrait donc retenir la proposition de poursuivre l'examen de tout ce qui concerne le domaine végétal dans le cadre de la Commission des ressources phytogénétiques et de confier au COAG

le soin d'examiner plus avant les problèmes structurels, organisationnels et techniques.

En ce qui concerne le projet de résolution, qui contient de nombreux éléments intéressants, je propose qu'il figure dans le rapport en mentionnant qu'il reçoit l'appui de nombreuses délégations et en indiquant qu'il peut constituer un élément de travail extrêmement important pour l'avenir. L'esprit de ce projet de résolution a fait l'objet d'un large consensus mais il est nécessaire d'en poursuivre l'examen pour en étudier les implications à la fois techniques et financières, car cet aspect ne peut pas être perdu de vue.

Si vous avez d'autres suggestions à faire, je vous demande de les faire maintenant. Je crois que le document de notre honorable collègue Madame l'Ambassadeur du Venezuela doit être considéré comme un document de travail pour l'avenir qui sera repris dans le rapport.

J'ai sur l'ensemble des propositions que je viens de faire deux orateurs inscrits. Je vous demanderais de communiquer vos réactions parce que je voudrais quand même qu'après cet échange extrêmement franc, courtois, ouvert, nous puissions tracer des lignes directrices au Secrétariat et continuer à progresser comme nous l'avons fait, de façon très significative, au cours de ce débat.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Como usted lo ha dicho, señor Presidente, el proyecto de resolución de Venezuela mereció amplio apoyo de los miembros del Consejo en sus orientaciones generales, en su marco, que consideramos útil, y proponemos que, como se ha hecho en el pasado, ese texto pase al Comité de Redacción, para que allá los miembros del Comité de Redacción, a la luz del resultado de los debates, que usted ha llevado muy adecuadamente, trate de presentar una versión final que, desde luego, será sometida para última instancia a la plenaria del Consejo. Por lo demás, coincidimos con usted en la importancia que tiene ese documento y en sus proyecciones futuras.

George REEVES (Australia): May I comment briefly on your summing up and on what is meant by "broad consensus"? My delegation, as you know, and as I mentioned in my intervention, did not have only drafting reservations but also reservations of substantial substance. In that sense in the record of this meeting we would have some difficulties with the word "broad" consensus.

I believe that we as one country anyway are not in that consensus.

LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais préciser que le large consensus porte sur la méthodologie que nous entendons suivre quant à la méthode des travaux. Je n'ai pas dit qu'il y avait un large consensus sur le fonds des propositions et notamment sur la création d'une Commission spéciale regroupant à la fois

l'élément végétal et l'élément animal dans le cadre d'une commission sur la bio-diversité, j'ai simplement dit que j'avais noté un large consensus sur une approche et une méthodologie de travail, ce qui me parait tout de même légèrement différent.

Jose TUBINO (Canada): We support your interpretation that, due to technical and financial implications which are implied in this resolution, this document be considered as a working document for the future.

Noboru SAITO (JAPAN): After the discussion here I am not in a position to agree that the resolution on genetic resources be adopted here in Council.

LE PRESIDENT: Je ne sais pas si je me suis bien exprimé et je m'en excuse. Je suggérerais que le projet de résolution soit transformé en document de travail et qu'il soit repris dans le rapport. Vous savez que j'ai la plus grande estime pour mon collègue et ami l'Ambassadeur de Colombie mais je ne crois pas qu'il soit sain et bon de déplacer les décisions du Conseil au niveau du Comité de rédaction. La tâche du Comité de rédaction est de rédiger ce qui a été dit au sein du Conseil. Or, je le répète, déplacer le centre de décisions du Conseil au Comité de rédaction ne me paraît pas nécessairement la meilleure formule parce que le Comité de rédaction se transformerait fatalement en mini-conseil et ce n'est pas souhaitable.

J'ai proposé-et nous pourrons noter des désaccords à cette proposition, bien sûr-que le document soit pris en considération et qu'il figure dans le rapport mais qu'il ne fasse par l'objet d'un vote parce que cela me paraît totalement prématuré-la plupart des délégations ayant demandé à pouvoir étudier le document dans leur capitale, et ce souhait me paraît parfaitement légitime-mais que le document figure comme un élément de travail pour l'avenir dans le cadre du rapport et dans le cadre de discussions qui auront lieu ultérieurement selon les modalités que je me suis efforcé de préciser de façon à pouvoir tirer des conclusions opérationnelles de nos débats.

E. Wayne DENNEY (United States of America): You may recall that when the United States made its intervention it was prior to Venezuela having introduced the resolution to Council. In our statement we did refer to the mechanism under way within the UNEP ad hoc working group of experts on biological diversity and indicated our preference to have that mechanism remain as the lead proponent of any convention which may or may not be ultimately developed and that we in turn felt FAO had strong technical expertise to deliver to that mechanism.

I thought, after the resolution was introduced, I heard a number of countries indicate that they thought it need not be further considered here. I would have some difficulty with including that resolution, even as a working document. I do not see that that serves any purpose.

The reference to it having a lot of consensus is not something that we could be associated with. Having looked at it since we spoke, we have many, many difficulties. We would prefer just to carry it back home, get a response from our capitals and then make our response at some appropriate time when it is discussed, perhaps by the Commission or in another forum.

LE PRESIDENT: La suggestion de l’honorable représentant des Etats-Unis nous parait une excellente suggestion mais que le document soit repris in extenso dans le rapport ou que dans le rapport on se réfère à un document qui a été officiellement distribué, en l'occurrence le document CL 98/LIM/4, ne change pas grand chose. Ce qui est important c'est de se référer dans le rapport à ce document en disant que ce document sera examiné par un certain nombre de spécialistes dans les capitales qui n'en ont pas eu connaissance, dans les semaines et les mois qui viennent.

J'ai également entendu l'opinion du représentant des Etats-Unis d'Amérique sur le Groupe de travail qui existe au sein du PNUE mais là je crois que nous pouvons dégager un certain consensus de notre Conseil sur la reconnaissance de la FAO comme interlocuteur dans ce Groupe de travail. Je crois que la collaboration entre le PNUE et la FAO est souhaitée par tous et également par l'honorable représentant des Etats-Unis. Il n'y a pas d'objection à ce que la FAO soit reconnue comme interlocuteur et qu'elle participe aux travaux menés dans le cadre du PNUE.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Señor Presidente, como usted lo dijo, la función del Comité de Redacción es la de redactar el informe, pero, obviamente, basado en los debates y en las conclusiones a que se llegue en el seno de este Consejo. Esa era nuestra intención cuando hicimos esa propuesta, que, repetimos, se ha aplicado en muchas ocasiones anteriores.

Es evidente que ahora, a raíz de las últimas intervenciones, parece que el Consejo no quiere que este proyecto de resolución se incluya en su informe en extenso. En ese caso, el Comité de Redacción deberá limitarse a transcribir en el proyecto de informe las partes fundamentales, a la luz del apoyo que haya tenido en el seno del Consejo.

EL PRESIDENTE: Muchísimas gracias por su intervención. Pienso que usted tiene totalmente razón, en el sentido de que todo el espíritu y todo el cuadro de esa resolución debe ser reflejado en el trabajo del Comité de Redacción, porque se ha discutido bastante ese documento, que es un elemento importante de nuestra discusión.

Quisiera dar la palabra a la distinguida Embajadora de Venezuela.

Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Nos sorprende que de una vez se tome una decisión categórica, casi pudiéramos decir de negación de la aceptación de este documento, porque el señor Presidente había expresado

que, después de la distribución de las copias correspondientes en los diferentes idiomas, sería cuando se sometería a discusión la propuesta de resolución.

Nosotros no hemos discutido; yo no he escuchado aquí a nadie que haya discutido, sino que tengo una lista de casi veinte países apoyando la resolución, con algunas reservas, pero esas reservas debieron discutirse, y ninguna de las intervenciones que fueron hechas aquí presentó objeciones categóricas, sino apoyo que esas intervenciones presentaron a la resolución. Yo pienso, de acuerdo con lo que los abogados llamarían la hermenéutica de una resolución presentada en organismos como éste, que no sería ésa la manera de concluir. Habíamos terminado, como quien dice, la síntesis del trabajo; el señor representante de la Secretaría había hecho una reorganización y síntesis de todo lo discutido; el señor Presidente estaba dando sus últimos tonos y no había habido intervenciones que comenzaran a hacer un análisis negativo de la resolución.

Por consiguiente, a mí me parece que realmente es un procedimiento poco claro, por decirlo suavemente, y que esto debería ser llevado al Comité de Redacción, como lo ha dicho el Embajador de Colombia, para decir escuetamente lo que pasó. Es una resolución qué ha tenido apoyo de numerosas delegaciones, con algunas observaciones que pueden estudiarse después, como dijo no recuerdo cuál de las Organizaciones, que dijo que podían someterse a un estudio posterior. Pero de ninguna manera podemos decir que ha sido negada la aceptación de la resolución.

Yo no voy a pedir que sigamos discutiendo, pero pienso que deberíamos poner en claro de una manera-no quiero usar la palabra porque me parece que está muy manida-, de una manera transparente lo que realmente ha ocurrido, y no tener un criterio un poco oscuro.

EL PRESIDENTE: Nunca quise decir que la resolución fue rechazada o no fue aceptada. Creo que ha sido un elemento muy importante dentro del marco de la discusión. He notado el apoyo de muchas delegaciones a propósito de ese proyecto, pero también he notado que varias delegaciones han dicho que no han tenido el tiempo suficiente para estudiar la documentación y para ponerse en contacto con los especialistas de las capitales. Creo que, en ese sentido, ellos tienen razón, porque es un sector bastante amplio, en el que se necesitaría más estudio sobre todos sus aspectos técnicos y también sobre las consecuencias desde el punto de vista financiero.

Creo que por eso he podido notar un apoyo bastante fuerte, bastante importante, con las reservas y con unos desacuerdos de algunas delegaciones, y que se había propuesto que se mande ese proyecto al Comité de Redacción, que puede decidir que la resolución figure en extenso en el informe, o que se inspire en su espíritu, para tratar de resumir todo lo que se ha dicho en el marco de nuestra discusión: que ahora no podemos ir más allá, que gracias a ese documento tan importante hemos progresado bastante en el marco de la Comisión fitogenética, en el marco de la discusión ulterior de la diversidad biológica, del segundo documento, que fue distribuido con retraso, el suplemento 1, para el programa detallado para el desarrollo duradero de los recursos genéticos animales, que se

discutirá en el próximo COAG, y también con un consenso general del Consejo a propósito de la presencia activa de la FAO dentro del marco de las actividades del PNUE de Nairobi. Todos estaban de acuerdo para que se encuentre un equilibrio entre las actividades del PNUE de Nairobi, sin que podamos encontrar la duplicación de los esfuerzos en ese marco. Creo que el Comité de Redacción tiene, como ha dicho el señor Embajador de Colombia, una tarea importante, porque hay bastantes ideas en todo lo que se ha dicho durante esa discusión. Vamos a ver si el Comité de Redacción puede reflejar todo lo que se ha dicho.

Creo que en este momento podríamos tratar de concluir. Por supuesto, si la señora Embajadora de Venezuela insiste para que se discuta la resolución como resolución, está bien; pero no podríamos conseguir un consenso, porque esa resolución se distribuyó un poco tarde, siendo una materia bastante amplia. No obstante, hemos escuchado todas las delegaciones y hemos hecho bastantes progresos gracias a usted.

Sra. Mercedes FERMIN GOMEZ (Venezuela): Estamos de acuerdo con su posición en este momento. Nosotros no insistimos en que se discuta a fondo la resolución ahora. Eso es precisamente lo que habíamos dicho. La resolución fue acogida y apoyada por un numeroso grupo de delegaciones, todas las cuales insistieron en que habría que estudiarla, por las razones que fueran: porque no estaban preparados, porque era muy imprevisto, porque no había la posibilidad de tener a mano toda la documentación que ellos quisieran. Por consiguiente, aceptamos que la resolución no puede discutirse a fondo en este momento, pero que se acoja y no se declare rechazada. Ese es mi punto de vista. La resolución no puede ser declarada como rechazada, sino como admitida y apoyada por un numeroso grupo de delegaciones; que quede para una instancia posterior, que a lo mejor no es ni siquiera el propio Comité de Redacción de este Consejo, sino, como alguien dijo allí, que sea remitida posteriormente a la Comisión para estudiarla en una futura oportunidad. Ese sería el camino lógico, dentro de una posibilidad correcta, de administrar la situación en este momento.

LE PRESIDENT: Je poserai quand même la question de savoir quelle nuance juridique existe entre les termes "résolution" et "décision". M. Moore a peut-être un avis à donner à ce sujet. A première vue, je crois qu'il n'y a qu'une nuance et que l'on peut discuter à l'infini pour savoir quel est le terme le plus fort.

LEGAL COUNSEL: I thought it might be desirable to give a word of explanation about resolutions in the Council and how they might be handled. This may perhaps help you in your discussions at the moment.

If the draft resolution is to go ahead as a resolution-and I am not sure whether this is accepted by everyone-then I think a possible procedure will be to establish a contact group to discuss the resolution and to reach some kind of an agreement on it, then to suspend discussion on this item


and take up the discussion once the contact group has reported, because this is a matter of substance rather than drafting. This is one possibility.

If, on the other hand, it is the intention of the Council that the substance of the matter should be reflected in the report, reflecting all the debate, of course, then this is perhaps a matter which should be referred to the Drafting Committee. Then it will be incorporated in the substance of the report as a normal reflection of the discussion of the Committee.

The third possibility which has been mentioned is for the Council to decide to refer the whole content of this matter to a further meeting of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, or COAG.

I hope this may help you in your discussions.

LE PRESIDENT: Je crois que l'honorable Représentant de la République du Venezuela a fait une proposition extrêmement constructive, extrêmement conciliante, une proposition qui est de nature à faire avancer nos travaux; et je crois que ce que vient de dire le Conseiller juridique, M. Moore, va dans le sens de ce qui avait été dit. Je crois que les propositions 2 et 3 ne sont d'ailleurs absolument pas inconciliables. Je crois que nous devons étudier ce document, qui est un excellent document de travail, plus avant, et que le Comité de rédaction doit en tenir compte.

Maintenant, je demanderai très brièvement aux Pays-Bas et à la Finlande d'intervenir, et puis nous concluerons.

Paul Van RAPPARD (Netherlands): Basically I agree with what the Legal Counsel has said. I only think it is not a matter of putting the resolution as such, even as a draft, to the Drafting Committee. Rather, we should constitute a contact group or perhaps refer the whole draft resolution to the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, or perhaps to COAG as well.

Antti NIKKOLA (Finland): Like many other delegations, my delegation has not had time to study the draft resolution. We will contact our experts in the capital and then return to the matter when the Resolution will be discussed together with the report. However, I can say now that we do have some considerable difficulty with the substance of the resolution.

LE PRESIDENT: Puis-je faire remarquer à l'honorable Représentant des Pays-Bas que l'hypothèse qu'il envisage n'est pas une hypothèse qui a été retenue par Madame l'Ambassadeur du Venezuela, qui elle-même a proposé, dans un esprit très constructif, de présenter le document comme un document de travail pour la suite de nos travaux ultérieurement. Et je crois que les

pistes et la méthodologie de travail ont été clairement définies, et qu'il sera possible au Comité de rédaction, excellement présidé par notre ami A. Khan du Pakistan de faire une synthèse de nos débats, et que cette synthèse permettra la poursuite des travaux dans les meilleures conditions, et sans aucune confusion possible.

S'il n'y a pas d'autres remarques, nous allons clôturer ce point et passer immédiatement, car nous disposons encore d'un peu de temps, au point suivant, en remerciant le Sous-Directeur général, M. de Haen, de son intervention si judicieuse et compétente. Merci.

14. Recent Developments in the UN System of Interest to FAO
14. Faits nouveaux survenus dans le système des Nations Unies qui intéressent la FAO
14. Novedades recientes de interés para la FAO registradas en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas

LE PRESIDENT: Puis-je retenir votre bienveillante attention, parce que le point suivant est un point important et je salue la présence de la Représentante du Directeur général.

Nous avons dit ce matin que le projet de résolution français serait discuté dans ce cadre. Je remercie Mme. Killingsworth, Directeur du Bureau des affaires interinstitutions de sa présence. Elle a, dans le domaine des relations avec la famille des Nations Unies, une très vaste compétence. Je lui demanderai de faire une brève introduction au document de synthèse CL 98/12 (je répète: il n'y a qu'un seul document, CL 98/12, qui nous est soumis), de façon à ce que nous puissions avoir une discussion synthétique. De sorte que vous soyez clairement avertis, nous lèverons la séance à 12 h 30 et nous la reprendrons à 14 h 30 avec ce point qui ne sera certainement pas terminé d'ici 12 h 30.

Je passe immédiatement la parole, en la remerciant de sa présence, à Mme. Killingsworth.

Ms Kay KILLINGSWORTH (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): Mr Chairman, it is a pleasure to introduce document CL 98/12 entitled "Recent developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO". The document informs the Council on developments concerning certain subjects which are of standing interest to the FAO such as the World Food Council, relations with international financing institutions, and decolonization.

It also updates information previously given on various subjects, and I would cite in particular inter-agency cooperation in the elimination of the consequences of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development, drug-abuse control, natural disaster reduction and the Second United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries.

The document is selective. We have not covered the whole gamut of activities and, in particular, I would point out that there are a number of matters which have already been, or will be, covered by this Council under other items on its agenda. Here I would cite operational activities for development, environment and development, biodiversity, the International Conference on Nutrition, the International Development Strategy and the 18th Special Session of the General Assembly. One subject which is covered in the document, that is, the Uruguay Round, has already been extensively discussed by the Council under Item 4.

Therefore, the main purpose of my introduction-and I will be as brief as I can-is to bring the Council up-to-date on some developments since this document was submitted for processing. I would like to concentrate on the recent Joint Meetings of the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) and the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), which were held in New York on 25 and 26 October 1990. These joint meetings take place every year. The agenda for this year's meetings contained two subjects: the Improvement of Coordination in the United Nations System; and the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. ACC representatives at the Joint Meeting included the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Heads of a number of other United Nations organizations. Most Member Nations of the CPC were represented at ambassador level.

The selection of the theme of coordination for these meetings reflects the continuing importance attached to this subject, which was also discussed by the CPC itself earlier this year, and also by ECOSOC.

The CPC had stressed the importance of the role of the ACC which unites the Heads of all UN Agencies and Programmes, in coordinating the response of the System to global problems. In that connection it had asked that the format of the Annual Report which the ACC submits to the General Assembly be revised. In particular it had requested that the document provide comprehensive and comparable information on the programmes and resources of organizations in the United Nations system. In the view of Member States, this would facilitate harmonization of positions taken by governments in various governing bodies and would also contribute to the enhancement of coordination within the system.

A prototype of this revised report had been developed by two committees, in which FAO took a very active role. The prototype was discussed by the Joint Meetings and considered a good basis on which to proceed to prepare the full report for 1990.

During the debate, the Director-General and other Executive Heads underlined that the effectiveness of coordination must be judged in relation to the specific problems addressed; for this reason, FAO and other agencies had fostered coordination efforts at the sectoral level through both formal and informal mechanisms. They also felt that the pursuit of coordination should be meaningful in terms of cost effectiveness, avoidance of overlap and duplication, and the enhancement of efficiency.

After a full day of intensive discussion at an unusually high level, the Joint Meeting adopted conclusions and recommendations which will be now submitted to the CPC, the Economic and Social Council and the General

Assembly. In this document, the Joint Meeting "reaffirmed the importance of coordination as an instrument to enhance complementarity, to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts and to promote efficient utilization of human and financial resources of the organizations of the United Nations system. While appreciating that coordination must be cost effective, it was recognized that coordination involves cost and therefore efforts must concentrate on areas with maximum benefits for Member States".

The Joint Meeting recognized that Member States and secretariats had shared responsibilities in this respect and that the existing intergovernmental and inter-secretariat bodies charged with coordination were adequate. However, efforts must be made to enhance their effectiveness.

On the other subject before the meeting, natural disaster reduction, the Joint Meeting agreed that the collective capacity of the United Nations to provide early warning and/or identification of emerging trends or hazardous phenomena which could lead to natural disasters should be enhanced. Critical intersektoral linkage should also be identified. The Meeting agreed that a reliable data base on natural disasters could be an important tool for decision-making. It also emphasized the need to intensify efforts to implement the goals and objectives of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction.

FAO will continue to play an active role in the field of coordination through the ACC machinery and other formal and informal channels, and will continue to participate and cooperate fully, as usual, in the work of the General Assembly, ECOSOC and their subsidiary bodies. We have brought this information to you because it is the latest information on a subject which is of interest to the Council. We shall continue in the future to keep Governing Bodies informed of developments in this regard.

Finally, I would like to inform the Council briefly about the outcome of the 1990 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities which was held in New York on 1 and 2 November 1990.

For UNDP, pledges made by 71 countries, together with estimated contributions to UNDP core resources, are expected to amount to approximately US $1.12 billion for 1991. This represents an increase of about 7 percent over 1990. Contributions to UNDP-administered funds, äs well as co-financing contributions, are estimated to be $180 million. The total resources at UNDP's disposal in 1991 are expected, on present estimates, to amount to about $1.3 billion.

Amongst those who were not in a position to announce their pledges were Canada, Denmark, Germany, Japan, Norway, UK and the USA.

For UNICEF, 63 countries pledged $172 million towards general resources. Estimates of additional pledges amount to $260 million. The resulting estimated total of about $440 million represents a nominal increase of about 10 percent over last year. Supplementary funding (about $250 million) and income from other resources ($150 million) amount to an expected total of approximately $400 million. Total UNICEF resources in 1991 are thus estimated at some $840 million.

For UNFPA, based on pledges of $87 million received from 60 countries, as well as on estimates of other contributions, the 1991 resources are expected to be some 10 percent higher than in 1990.

Mr Chairman, I will not take any more of the Council's time at the moment but will be ready to provide clarifications and replies to questions from Council members.

Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Nuestra distinguida amiga Kate Killingsworth ha sido siempre una excelente funcionaria de la FAO. El merecido ascenso de la Srta. Killingsworth, no sólo asegura una dirección eficaz a la Oficina Inter-agencias, sino que es un reconocimiento a las capacidades y a la inteligencia de una mujer sobresaliente. Este documento CL 98/12 es bueno, contiene algunas mejoras en relación con los anteriores. En los párrafos 2 y 4 se indica muy bien la orientación del contenido de este documento, contenido acertadamente limitado a aquellos temas que no están comprendidos en otros puntos de la agenda de esta reunión del Consejo.

El párrafo 3 habla del "carácter sucinto del documento" que ha hecho una presentación de 6 minutos y medio, y en el párrafo 4 encontramos la sentencia lapidaria de que, cito: "No se pide ninguna intervención específica del Consejo sobre parte alguna del presente documento".

Esto suena como a una cordial intención de desalentar a intervenir a los miembros del Consejo. Sin embargo, como el tema es para debate y el documento contiene algunos aspectos interesantes, no nos dejaremos desalentar del todo y haremos breves comentarios porque además creemos que Kay se sentiría defraudada si en su primera presentación ante el Consejo como nueva directora nadie dijera nada sobre este documento.

Sobre la Ronda Uruguay-el documento tiene fecha de octubre, como Kay lo ha dicho muy bien en el tema 4-, el Dr. Dutia dio amplias explicaciones. Si no hay nada nuevo, nos limitaremos a decir que pensamos que la FAO ha seguido las recomendaciones de los órganos rectores en cuanto a la asistencia a los países en desarrollo para su mejor participación en la Ronda Uruguay. Esto se explica bien en los párrafos 16 y siguientes. Pero los representantes de Colombia pensamos que la función de la FAO en estas actividades no termina con el final de la Ronda Uruguay. Opinamos que cualquiera que sea el resultado de la Ronda Uruguay, la FAO deberá continuar esa asistencia a los países en desarrollo, facilitándoles informaciones, asesoramiento técnico, estadísticas, documentos, etc. Decimos esto porque aunque fueren mínimos los resultados logrados-y aún no hemos perdido todo el optimismo-, muchos de los países en desarrollo, sobre todo los menos adelantados, carecen de propias estructuras nacionales para utilizar las ventajas que se les concedan, y la asistencia de la FAO podría contribuir a que los países en desarrollo logren hacer el más amplio y mejor uso de las facilidades que obtengan de la Ronda Uruguay.

Nos complace que el tan largamente esperado fondo común para los productos básicos al fin haya comenzado a funcionar como organización internacional independiente, con sede en Amsterdam, ciudad a la cual estamos vinculados por gratos e intensos recuerdos.

Esperamos que la FAO, sobre todo en relación con la segunda cuenta, podrá contribuir a que se logre el objetivo fundamental de estabilizar y aumentar los ingresos que los países en desarrollo obtienen de la exportación de productos básicos.

Preguntamos si la FAO ha adoptado ya medidas para ajustarse a los procedimientos que deben seguirse, a fin de que los principales Grupos Intergubernamentales de nuestra Organización puedan ser designados Organismos Internacionales de Productos Básicos.

En cuanto a las relaciones con instituciones internacionales de financiación, los representantes de Colombia deseamos, una vez más, destacar la importante y valiosa tarea que viene cumpliendo el Centro de Inversiones de la FAO, Centro que presta eficientes servicios a Colombia.

En nuestro informe deberemos lamentar que persista la tendencia negativa a disminuir las asignaciones multilaterales para là agricultura.

El párrafo 28 señala que las asignaciones multilaterales en 1989 seguirán descendiendo, con cifras relativas a los años 86, 87 y 88. Pero lo más inquietante es que las asignaciones para la agricultura en condiciones de favor han disminuido, en 1989, en un 8 por ciento respecto a 1988.

El párrafo 33 contiene algo relativamente tranquilizador al asegurar el presidente del Banco Mundial que el incremento de los préstamos a Europa oriental en los próximos 3 años "no se hará a expensas de otros países en desarrollo".

Los representantes de Colombia pensamos que este Consejo debe reiterar su pleno apoyo a la cooperación FAO/FIDA, por la naturaleza coincidente de las dos organizaciones, y podríamos destacar el hecho de que, según dice el párrafo 36, en 1989, de los 21 proyectos iniciados por el FIDA, diez, casi el 50 por ciento, recibieron asistencia del Centro de Inversiones de la FAO.

Nos preocupa la afirmación del párrafo 46, cuya primera frase dice que "la cooperación con el Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID)-nuestro BID-ha ido disminuyendo durante los últimos años". Esto a pesar de que el BID ha aumentado en 1988 a 1989, del 21 al 24 por ciento los préstamos dedicados a la agricultura.

Entendemos que el BID es el único Banco Regional importante con el cual la FAO no tiene ahora acuerdo de cooperación, después de que ese acuerdo terminó hace ya varios años.

Ojalá que la frase final del párrafo 46 se haga realidad; o sea, que se logre un nuevo acuerdo de cooperación entre la FAO y el BID.

Quisiéramos saber cómo han avanzado los contactos entre la FAO y el BID para lograr ese nuevo acuerdo de cooperación, que ojalá se realice antes de terminar 1990.

Señor Presidente, esta mañana, cuando el distinguido colega y amigo el Embajador Warin de Francia hizo referencia al documento LIM/3, tratamos de

intervenir, pero nos sometimos, obedientes como siempre, a su sabio dictamen de tratar esta cuestión en este tema 14. Brevemente queremos decir que los representantes de Colombia estamos agradecidos al Embajador Warin de Francia, quien, con esta actitud, confirma la función esencial de puente afortunado que Francia, respetable país industrializado, viene desempeñando en relación con la comprensión y el entendimiento de las aspiraciones de los derechos y de las necesidades del Tercer Mundo. Apoyamos el espíritu y la orientación muy acertada de la propuesta de Francia, y estamos entre aquellos colegas que, gracias a la amistad personal que nos une al Embajador Warin, hicimos algunas sugerencias que él amablemente ha acogido. En el Comité de Redacción estaremos Francia y Colombia, y seguro que presentaremos al pleno del Consejo un texto que sea satisfactorio para todos.

R.G. PETTITT (united Kingdom): I would thank Ms Killingsworth for paper CL 98/12, as usual and like its predecessors, clearly written and in an objective way.

I also would like to congratulate somebody, I am not sure if it is Ms Killingsworth or the Bureau, for their good sense in dividing this item from item 16, so we can devote the discussion of this largely information paper to identifying possibilities of overlap between the work of other agencies and FAO and areas of potential common action. We may then concentrate the more action oriented discussion to our looking at operation activities this afternoon. Of course, the paper before us can remind us of areas where some response is needed in our own programme in the course of the year and one such example has been identified by France with that delegation's proposal for the follow-up to the conference of the least developed.

Another point which I had expected to have arisen from Ms Killingsworth's update is follow-up in FAO to the World Summit for Children and the Declaration and Plan of Action approved by it. Perhaps this was not mentioned, apart from the timing I mean, because it is not absolutely strictly speaking a United Nations meeting but the declaration and plan contain proposals for action by international organizations.

I will defer to the delegations from the six original sponsor governments, and I look particularly in the direction of Canada, on the way in which this Council should handle examination of our obligations or contribution but my own submission is that it is not practicable to take action on the Declaration at this Council and we decide to take this subject perhaps as a sub-item on operation activities at our summer meeting. Any reports which the Organization charged with monitoring the follow-up, and I think this is UNICEF, for its April 1991 Board, will have to be provided by the Secretariat in its own right, or with the help of the Programme Committee. I suppose that some preliminary comment has already been made in response to the letter sent to all the agencies by the Prime Minister of Canada on this subject. At least, I suppose he wrote to FAO as well as the others.

Like my colleague from Colombia I will avoid the temptation to repeat my government's position on all the subjects listed in the paper. I will make six points arising from the paper in the order they appear in that.

One, Common Fund for Commodities, that is in paragraphs 19-26. I will submit in writing some observations on this, but the gist is that it is premature for FAO to be initiating project requests, given the costs of project preparation, until the Fund's preparations are more advanced and its policies and priorities are finalized.

Two, World Food Council and related subjects, paragraphs 49-69. We agree closer collaboration between FAO and the World Food Council is desirable but it is important that WFC avoids duplication of FAO and other UN activities. We also consider that our Council here should welcome the call for the UN Secretary-General to draw up an international draft agreement on the safe passage of food aid.

Three, Disaster-Related Activities, paragraphs 77-90. We recognize the complementary interest of FAO and of our famine warning systems and UNDRO's mandate in disaster preparedness and relief. We welcome the practical cooperation, especially in Africa. However, we are disappointed at the slow start to the UN activities under the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction and we request FAO to play its full part in making up for lost time and in building disaster preparedness aspects into its programmes and where appropriate into individual projects.

Four, Drug-Abuse Control, in paragraphs 91-103, This paper is all good stuff here but FAO will need to take account of the changes now in prospect in the structure of the UN drug control agencies which we in the United Kingdom support; paragraph 103 is now out of date.

Five, Least-Developed Countries, paragraphs 106-116. We support the French suggestion that the Council asks the Director-General to bear in mind in connection with all FAO activities the overall results of the 2nd United Nations Conference on the Least-Developed Countries and to report to the next Conference on his suggestions for measures to associate FAO with the implementation of the plan of action and helping countries which ask for help to define their strategies but generally speaking and despite or in accordance in a sense, with what was said by Mr Moore this morning, we prefer that the Council does not pass resolutions itself because we have not, as was shown by the discussion earlier today, developed the necessary mechanism for processing any but the simplest of them, and we suggest the last paragraph as amended by Ambassador Warin this morning be incorporated into the report of the Council as a specific decision of the Council and the scene setting paragraphs which come earlier be reflected in the body of the report. If, and I emphasize if, we are to make a regular habit of dealing with members' proposals in the form of a resolution for adoption by the Council, rather than for preparation for the Conference, we should think of setting up a different system of handling these and of considering their financial implications in perhaps an open ended drafting group or perhaps in a contact group under the Chairmanship of a Vice-President. All this is part of the possible measures to improve the working of the Council which you, Sir, have invited us to think about.

Finally, the sixth point, the ILO Convention on Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work, paragraphs 134-136. The export notification requirements in the ILO Chemicals Convention and the UNEP/FAO Programme on Prior Informed Consent are examples where failure to harmonize will lead to duplication, wasted efforts and possible confusion.

SECRETARY GENERAL: I would like to inform the Council that by the deadline of 12.00 hours today I have received nominations for six candidates for election to five seats on the World Food Programme Committee and Food Aid Policies and Programmes. The countries in question are Brazil, Burundi, China, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania. Voting to fill those seats will take place on Monday afternoon, according to the timetable which the Council adopted at the start of this session.

The meeting rose at 12.30 hours
La séance est levée à 12 h 30
Se levanta la sesión a las 12.30 horas

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