A.K.M. Fazley RABBI (Observer for Bangladesh): Mr Chairman, in deference to your directive I shall be brief. My delegation has been maintaining a principle stand on the whole issue of the governance of the WFP and its relationship with the FAO and the United Nations. We are a major beneficiary of WFP, and hence it is in our own interest that we would like to see a more efficient Programme with more effective delivery. This objective can be achieved without breaking the organizational linkage with the parent bodies and also without doing away with the technical collaborative linkage between the three organizations, particularly between FAO and the WFP. This has also been reiterated by the Executive Director in his introductory statement,
Mr Chairman, our views on the major issues were made known in the two sessions of the SCG. We do not want to pronounce our views again here as we, like the majority of the Members of the Council, believe that the CFA is the appropriate and competent authority to consider the issues at this stage.
However, we express satisfaction over the fact that members of the Council have shown keen and positive interest in the matter and have given due importance to the early resolution of the problem. Many of them expressed opinions and views which are aimed at making WFP more effective and efficient, which is also the objective of my delegation.
Anwar Mohamed KHALED (Observer for Temen) (Original language Arabic):
Mr Chairman, thank you for allowing me to speak on this item. I assure you, Sir, that I shall be very brief in my statement.
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude for the document submitted by the Director-General of the Organization in which he underlined and outlined the framework of our discussion. I would like to thank Mr West for his statement, and express my gratitude for the short statement made by Mr Ingram in which he outlined his own opinions very clearly. We approve and support the statement by the Chairman of the Group of 77. However, I would like to make a few points clear. These deal mainly with general views on the subject matter.
My first comment is that Yemen, as a developing country, has a long experience of cooperation with the World Food Programme and assistance received from the Programme. WFP assistance plays a major role in our development effort in various fields and sectors. Developing countries are, therefore, concerned and attach a great deal of importance to the fact that WFP should enjoy the appropriate amount of mandated authority as well as flexibility which would enable it to plan and administer the delivery of food aid in the right time and at the right place. Considering the enlarged mandate of the Programme this must be taken due account of and be implemented within the framework of the agreement concerning WFP, that is in cooperation with FAO and the UN.
As to the nature of relationships between FAO and WFP, the subject has been examined for quite a long time and we are very optimistic as we consider that the discussions have helped to bridge the gap between the various positions and stands. A continued dialogue within the Governing Bodies of the Organization and the Programme should enable us further to bridge this gap. This will be further bolstered by an increased membership of the CFA so that it would have a wider and more appropriate representation of the various groups. This should enable and must enable the Group of 77, and hence the beneficiary countries, to have their say and influence the decisions taken within the CFA.
Finally, we believe that through cooperation and positive willpower, and through the adoption of a positive stance, the forthcoming meetings-especially that of the CFA next week, as well as the other main meetings of the Governing Bodies of the Organization-as well as consultation between the various member countries, should help us to reach a positive solution to the problem.
LE PRESIDENT: Je tiens à signaler que l'honorable représentant de l'Ouganda nous a transmis sa déclaration par écrit et demande qu'elle figure dans le Verbatim "in extenso". Cela va de soi, il en sera ainsi.
Mansoor SIMBWA-BUNNYA (Observer for Uganda): Thank you Mr Chairman, I promise to be very brief. Like many delegations who have spoken before me, I will refrain from going into detailed substance pertaining to the governance issues of WPF/FAO as these are going to be fully discussed next week. We hope that these discussions will take place in a calm atmosphere and that all member countries will be allowed to participate on an equal footing. Haste in resolving these issues has been condemned. Nevertheless, in our view, we feel that undue delay may also cause more complications. We will therefore have to strike a balance between the two views since this issue has been on an agenda for quite a long time. It has also cost us considerable time and money.
Having said this, allow me briefly to outline my delegation's views in general terms.
1. My delegation would like to see the continued joint responsibility by UN and FAO of WFP.
2. There is a need to strengthen the role of CFA including the enlargement of CFA.
3. We support greater authority to WFP commensurate with its increased responsibilities.
4. Regarding emergency operations, we would like to see a speedier and cost effective method set up.1
James INGRAM (Executive Director, WFP): The distinguished representative of the Philippines, in connection with the issue of emergency approvals, referred to the delay in the provision of food to the victims of the earthquake in northern Luzon.
The facts, as we understand them, are not precisely the same as those understood by the Philippine Delegation. Indeed, this is a good example, in many ways, of how often the system can work. What happened was that within three weeks of the earthquake having taken place, our office in Manila had been able to purchase within the Philippines two of the three commodities required to succour the victims-21.2 metric tons of Nutripak which is a full energy, nutritionally comprehensive biscuit produced in the Philippines and purchased there. We also purchased 50 metric tons of coconut oil from the Philippines. Our records show that these commodities were delivered to the beneficiaries early in August.
The third component was 960 metric tonnes of rice. In relation to the rice, we borrowed the rice from the Philippines Government. We did not have the rice but we wanted the beneficiaries to get it quickly. We did not pay for it, we borrowed it and again our records show that the 960 tonnes of borrowed rice were also delivered at the beginning of August to the beneficiaries. Having borrowed the rice, of course, we have to replace it and that perhaps is where the delay is. Of course, we have either to purchase that rice from somewhere else or we have to use it from the pledge of a donor. The 960 tonnes of borrowed rice is at this moment, in fact, on board a ship destined for the Philippines but the point I am making is that the beneficiaries received the rice, the nutripak biscuit and the coconut oil within about three weeks of the earthquake taking place. Clearly if we have to borrow from government stocks we cannot replace food immediately but in many cases we are able to purchase as we did in that case and we are also able very frequently to borrow from our development stocks. Indeed, we were able to give, for example, tremendous immediate help to the Government of Jordan when it was inundated with hundreds of thousands of refugees from Kuwait. We were able to provide very substantial assistance immediately from our stocks which at that point were quite substantial in Jordan.
1 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
Where the problems arise in relation, for example, to a sudden earthquake like the Philippines, we did not respond quite as quickly as I would like to do, as I say within about three weeks the victims were being helped, but the way I see these operations, we would like to be able to delegate very substantial authority to our representatives in the field so that they would be in a position, without bureaucratic red tape, to respond immediately and substantially to the victims of sudden disasters, and that is one of the reasons why I have made the proposals that I have for changes in relation to the emergency procedures; precisely to enable substantial delegation in order to speed up the operation.
On the same subject of emergencies the Representative of Thailand asked whether the strained relationship between the two Organizations was causing slow delivery of emergency food aid. I have to say that the strained relations do in fact have an impact on WFP's work. They have an impact in the sense that until relations were strained there was a cooperative approach to the consideration of requests. Now, however, in order to ensure that we will not receive masses of nit-picking questions we have to be absolutely meticulous about every minor detail, down to the last comma, the last "t" crossed, before I can send forward a submission. It is also evident that the FAO services spend a great deal of time going over our submissions, coming back with queries of one sort or another. I could produce, with reference perhaps to the Representative of Argentina, a white paper if he felt like it, on all the constraints and burdens that have been placed on this Programme in relation to the provision of emergency aid but I do not believe that the washing of linen in public of such a matter would assist at all. So my answer is yes, it has, but we have managed to cope but with great burdens being placed on us at times.
The Representative of Argentina quoted the legal opinion which I received from the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1982 shortly after I took up this office. She drew the conclusion that because of the legal opinion, I am not going to quote the particular passage but it referred to the independent authority conferred on the Executive Director, subject to various provisions and she suggested that I must not in fact have been suffering any constraints. Well it is precisely because the extent of that independent authority is contested, not only in relation to the Executive Director but also in relation to the CFA itself, whose authority as governing body is contested also, precisely because the authority of the Executive Director and of the CFA, as laid down in the existing texts, is contested that governments find themselves in the position of having to draw the line between what are the functions and powers of the CFA, of the Executive Director, of the Director-General, the Secretary-General and bodies such as this. It is because they are not in fact particularly clear in some respects, or at least they are open to differences of interpretation, that many of these problems have arisen.
Equally again if one examines the records of successive CFAs for many years, except during the year 1987, you will find that problems of the relationship of one sort or another have been before the CFA, the FAO Finance Committee or the Council. One of the perhaps disadvantages of the Secretariat is that while we have a long memory, delegates tend to come and go, but I would suggest close scrutiny of the records would show that in
truth these problems are very real and problems which governments have regarded with the utmost seriousness over the years.
The final point I would like to make is, we have heard this morning some very appropriate references to the desirability of avoiding undue haste and, of course, I would certainly agree one should avoid undue haste. On the other hand, as I have said, the issues have been known for years. They are in fact few, as anyone who listened attentively to the debate this morning would realize. They are issues on which on the last result you, governments' delegations only can decide, only you can decide and the issues are in fact fairly straightforward and so do not involve that many different topics.
I have to say that the costs of drawing out this exercise are very, very, high indeed. We have already had to budget more than $1 million additional expenditure for two sessions of the Sub-Committee on Governance and this special week next week of the CFA. Already we will have to seek probably a supplementary budget to cover that, it is already over $1 million. I need hardly mention to you the time spent by delegations, by the Secretariats in successive meetings in dealing with this issue so I would join those who, while they do agree that undue haste should be avoided in the decisionmaking, have also pointed out that this matter is ripe for decision.
Edward M. WEST (Special Adviser to the Director-General): The other day I went to the dentist with a problem, which I thought was a simple filling. The dentist said that it was a serious matter and he had to do a little operation. I did not agree with him but he insisted and then he said to me "do you mind if I use gas?" I said "I do not mind if you use gas or electricity as long as you have enough light to see what you are doing" and that is the situation we are in today, there are a lot of dentists around trying to take out FAO's teeth, insofar as there are any, without any anaesthetic and that is what we are trying to do, shed some light on the situation and I think the discussion has succeeded in that up to a point, although all the time I have avoided getting into substance, I have avoided getting into detail, I have avoided making accusations or using pejorative words such as misinformation and I have avoided accusing anybody of incompetence, especially as in this case it is the FAO and the United Nations which are jointly responsible for the appointment of the Executive Director as well as for the running of the Programme in the ultimate sense, along with, of course, the superior authority of Member Governments in the FAO Council and ECOSOC. I shall try to avoid anything controversial or pejorative in the few words that I will make in reply.
First of all I would like to clear up the misunderstanding on the part of the delegate of the Netherlands and I will refer to the text of my statement which I will read "in the CFA Committee there has been considerable support in the discussions so far for some, if not all, of these principles". I did not say that there was total support for all FAO's proposals. I deliberately did not say that and I think that on the other hand the discussion in the CFA Committee, or for that matter in the Council today, have shown that the statement is correct. I do not think I heard anybody demand a principle of joint responsibility. I do not think I heard
anybody deny the principle for the need for continued reliance on FAO's technical services. I do not think I have heard anybody who has actually disagreed with the idea that it is not only the present situation but the future of food aid that Member Governments should be considering and I would again remind you that the Director-General's proposals, and I am talking about his proposals, not his principles, do include some positive proposals, which unfortunately have received attention only from a few of the delegates in the discussion so far.
Now, on joint responsibility, it was suggested that I should be aware of the view expressed by the Representative of the Secretary-General on this matter. Well, of course, I am aware of it; the Representative Peter Hansen is an old friend of mine, we sit together in the CFA Sub-Committee and I was sitting next to him when he made the statement. That does not mean that because he made that statement FAO has to agree with it, that he is necessarily right and we are wrong; it is the view of the United Nations but the FAO is entitled to a different view. In the end you will decide which one is correct but the issue of joint responsibility is not solved simply by supporting the principle. In our view the principle has to have flesh on the bones and it is fortunate that in this case I represent those who think there should be considerable flesh on the bone, because here there is a living example of that, but on the other side it is perhaps fitting that at the other extreme we have someone who is commendably slim and I do envy him his figure and I wish he would tell me his secret.
We do not think that in this case we want to be as thin as that. We think there must be flesh on the bone and the debate is essentially going on about how much flesh and what kind of flesh. We are not satisfied at the moment that some of the proposals put forward in the CFA sub-committee-and I am not referring only to the Executive Director's proposals-go far enough. They tend to assume that if you say it is a joint programme and you provide for joint appointments that is enough. In our view that is not enough, because the Council and ECOSOC must retain the right to express views, particularly on issues in the future, unless of course you make the WFP a new specialized agency or a new Programme in the System, completely autonomous under a new governing body which does not report to the FAO Council at all. We do not agree with that. We have not heard anybody, except one or two delegates, say that; so fortunately it does not arise. In that case let us, I hope, reach an agreement on joint responsibility which has a meaning, which has a substance, not too much, but not nothing except the name.
On technical reliance on FAO, here again it is a question of how it should be dealt with, not whether is should be dealt with but how it is going to be dealt with. It has been said that it is not under threat in any way, but, as I have made clear in the Committee and will try and do very briefly here, it is under threat. At the moment you have detailed provisions in a number of general regulations providing for consultation with FAO so as to ensure that all its technical competence is put at the service of the WFP-
put at the service of the WFP, not imposed on the WFP. The proposal has been put forward that all those detailed provisions should be eliminated in favour of one general provision plus some sort of declaration by the CFA that that would be sufficient, that would be all right. Again we are not satisfied, we are not happy about that proposition because if you really
believe in dependence on FAO's technical services why cut out the detailed provisions, which do not impose but only require that FAO services be used at the discretion of the Executive Director to the maximum. We would like to see something stronger than that, but it is not stronger, and I come to a very significant point in this connection.
We might even be convinced by the bland assurances that cutting out six regulations referring to reliance on FAO in favour of one general one should be enough, if it were not for the fact that in the last few months I think that the use of FAO's technical services has gone down by up to a third or more. If that is what the WFP is choosing to do now, can we have any confidence that that trend will not continue in the future and become worse, simply because six regulations eliminate the name of FAO in favour of one general bland assurance that it is going to be the same? I do not think so. I think you need the assurance here again that this principle has substance to it and a guarantee in protection. It is not as if FAO needs requests from the WFP to justify extensions of staff, no, it is in the protection of the countries themselves. Some very important suggestions have been made here by one of two delegates today, I remember Argentina and Trinidad and Tobago, about how this should be strengthened and improved in the interests of countries themselves, both donors and recipients. Those two countries I have mentioned referred to the future of food aid which is another of the Director-General's principles, but I will not spend time on that.
I come to the question of emergency, and I am glad that the Executive Director mentioned the case of the Philippines. We in FAO have not quarrelled with what he said on the case of the Philippines. We think that the WFP acted quickly and satisfactorily to this emergency. But you were not told the full story. FAO received the request and the proposals of the Executive Director on 26 July and the Director-General gave his agreement on 2 August, a period of five working days from receipt of the recommendation of the WFP, and that is not an exceptional occurrence, that is the standard, that is the average. Yet the complaint was made-the Executive Director said it was an unjustified complaint, but it could be justified, it has happened elsewhere-the complaint was made that the food aid still had not arrived. We could quote cases, but we are not going to, of the food aid not arriving for much longer periods, for even over a year. That is not because of the procedures as they now exist. That is for other reasons that we do not need to go into now here or elsewhere at the present time.
The fact is, however, that the present procedure for emergency food aid does not impose any noticeable significant delay on the delivery of emergency food aid to the countries in need. It is a matter of 5 or 6 days in comparison with a year or a period of weeks or months. So who is misinforming whom? Let us be clear on this. The present system provides for shared responsibility already. But details of how that works could be looked at. But the principle of shared responsibility is a protection for everybody, donor and recipient, and it would be dangerous to contemplate ending that system from the point of view of Member Governments. That is our very firm strong view. If you want to have what is called a White Paper on bad cases I would welcome it. But God forbid that you should then expect us to produce a Blue Paper giving the other cases. If you have the story
you should have the full story. So it is up to you. I am surprised that this argument was put here today, because it is an argument of substance that I did not want to go into but I have been obliged to go into.
In conclusion, Mr Chairman, I would like to thank you for a very important and constructive discussion. I am sorry that certain countries felt that they could not or should not participate at this stage in the discussion. I understand why. We find it odd that it can be discussed elsewhere but not here, and I think somebody said that. But at least we had a big debate to which I listened with great attention, and I think it is going to help in trying to find a solution first in the CFA and then eventually in the governing bodies. I thought there was a great deal of support for things that we should all agree with and there was identification of the outstanding issues. We do not disagree that there are most crucial outstanding issues and, as the Director-General has said all along and in his paper, it is up to Member Governments and he wants to assist them to arrive at a satisfactory but lasting solution, one which will last beyond the present personalities here and on your side. We will therefore continue to participate in the CFA and again in the Council in due course in the same spirit.
LE PRESIDENT: Une question précise m'a été posée par le Représentant du Brésil. En ma qualité de Président indépendant du Conseil, je suis dépourvu de toute nationalité. Aussi, je ne crois pas que cette question s'adressait directement au président et qu'il m'incombe d'y répondre. Or il y a deux prises de positions: ou je demanderai à l'Etat qui assume actuellement la présidence de la Commission des Communautés européennes de fournir les éléments de réponse, ou, si vous le préférez-et cela dépend de l'Etat qui a posé la question-nous pourrons discuter de ce point lors de la discussion du point 22.2 de l'ordre du jour: "Formules d'accession à la qualité de membre de la FAO envisagées pour des organisations d'intégration économique régionale". Il s'agit manifestement d'un sujet qui entre dans ce cadre. Vous avez donc les deux possibilités.
Je ne sais pas si le Représentant de l'Italie désire prendre la parole?
Alberto de CATERINA (Italie): Monsieur le Président, bien entendu, je suis volontiers à la disposition du Brésil. Si j'ai bien compris l'esprit de la question posée ce matin, je crois comprendre que c'est un esprit positif. En suivant votre suggestion, j'essaierai d'être le plus bref possible, parce que je suis convaincu que les paroles les plus brèves sont les plus claires.
Les compétences de la Communauté se divisent en trois catégories.
Première catégorie: la tradition exprime traditionnellement la position de la Communauté dans les domaines qui relèvent de la compétence communautaire, c'est-à-dire dans les domaines où des compétences ont été transférées à la Communauté par ses Etats Membres. C'est la première catégorie.
Deuxième catégorie: dans les domaines qui relèvent de la compétence mixte, c'est-à-dire où les compétences sont encore partagées entre la Communauté et ses Etats Membres, la Commission exprime la position de la Communauté, et les Etats Membres, en ce qui les concerne, complètent-le cas échéant-la position du Représentant de la Communauté.
Troisième et dernière catégorie: pour les domaines qui n'ont pas fait l'objet du transfert de compétences, les Etats Membres expriment leur position nationale.
C'est tout, au moins pour le moment.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vous remercie très vivement de cette précision. Il va de soi que le fait d'obtenir du Représentant assumant la présidence de la Commission des Communautés ces précisions n'excluent absolument pas que, dans le cadre de la discussion ultérieure, nous ayons l'occasion de revenir sur ce point.
Je vous demanderai peut-être que l'on discute de ce point lors de l'examen du point 22. Je vois une demande d'intervention de la République d'Argentine. Je ne voudrais pas réouvrir le débat sur ce point. L'honorable délégué du Brésil a eu la gentillesse et la sagesse de laisser à votre Président le soin de trouver la meilleure voie. Eh bien, nous avons deux voies, et les deux voies sont utilisées, mais je vous donne toutefois la parole.
Sra. Mònica DEREGIBUS (Argentina): Me alegro que la Delegación de Brasil haya hecho la pregunta que hizo esta mañana, y ello por las siguientes razones: habiamos notado en el curso de otro tema del programa que la Comunidad habla hablado y que después hablan hablado los Estados Miembros. Nos había parecido, Señor Presidente, que era un procedimiento que no parecía ajustarse al tradicional en el cual hablan los miembros y después habla la Comunidad en carácter de observador o, en caso contrario, habla sólo la Comunidad en nombre de sus Miembros. Más asombrados todavía estuvimos hoy al ver que la Comunidad hablaba en nombre de sus Miembros en una cuestión que nosotros creemos que no es de la competencia de la Comunidad, de acuerdo con lo que se nos ha dicho hasta el momento de que las cuestiones sobre el gobierno de las organizaciones internacionales serian de facultad exclusiva de los Miembros y no de la Comunidad. Por eso, nos asombró muchísimo escuchar a la Comunidad hablar hoy sobre la cuestión del gobierno del PMA y las relaciones del PMA con la FAO.
Todo esto lleva a mi pregunta: yo quisiera, por favor y por su intermedio, Señor Presidente, preguntar al Representante de la Comunidad o al Representante de Italia si tiene competencia delegada de los Miembros para hablar sobre el sistema de gobierno del PMA y las relaciones del PMA con la FAO.
LE PRESIDENT: Je voudrais peut-être fournir un élément de réponse, parce que c'est un domaine que j'ai eu l'occasion, à titre personnel, de suivre. La Communauté est un des plus importants-sinon le plus important-donneurs d'aide alimentaire; et les donneurs d'aide alimentaire, à titre propre, n'ont pas, en tant que représentants des Etats Membres, une addition des douze aides communautaires des Etats Membres, mais ont une aide communautaire propre, qui est supérieure à l'aide communautaire de chacun des membres. Alors je crois qu'à ce titre, la Communauté, qui est un important donneur, et qui entretient les meilleures relations avec le PAM, a quand même son mot à dire, et elle l'a dit dans le cadre du point qui nous occupe.
Sur le problème juridique, je vous demanderai de ne pas insister pour le moment, parce que nous pourrions ouvrir un large débat, mais nous aurons l'occasion d'en débattre vraisemblablement demain, à l'occasion dé l'examen du point 22.2.
Ce sont les précisions que je voulais vous donner en ce qui concerne la qualité des donneurs de la Communauté en tant que telle en dehors de ses Etats Membres.
Si vous le permettez, je voudrais quand même essayer maintenant non pas de tirer des conclusions, ni de dégager une synthèse, tout d'abord parce que nous sommes à la veille du nouveau CPA qui devra traiter du problème, et il n'appartient certainement pas au Président du Conseil d'influer de n'importe quelle manière les délibérations de la semaine prochaine.
J'ai écouté avec beaucoup d'attention et beaucoup d'intérêt toutes les réflexions qui ont été faites par les pays; il y a eu un certain nombre d'interventions particulièrement substantielles et intéressantes. Et je suis convaincu que le présent débat n'a pas été un débat inutile. Il a permis de dégager un certain nombre de lignes de conduite, et peut-être d'envisager dans les meilleures conditions le déroulement des travaux et des négociations qui devront avoir lieu demain.
Toute le monde a souligné le rôle et l'importance des liens qui existent entre la FAO et le Programme alimentaire mondial. On a souligné qu'il s'agissait d'un programme conjoint. On a parlé de l'élargissement du CPA avec une meilleure représentation géographique à déterminer, on a souligné l'utilité de la poursuite du dialogue dans une perspective (là, je crois pouvoir exprimer l'ensemble des avis du Conseil) de souplesse, de véritable transparence, d'efficacité, en évitant les duplications et les doubles emplois, et en veillant à assurer une bonne coordonation.
Il y a eu une très large demande, et je l'ai notée, du désir de tous les pays de participer à la poursuite des travaux sur un pied de parfaite égalité. Et je crois que cette participation de tous est un élément important.
Nous avons écouté avec beaucoup d'attention l'excellente intervention du Directeur exécutif du PAM, ainsi que du Représentant spécial du Directeur général de la FAO. Je crois que la poursuite des travaux, et la participation du Représentant spécial du Directeur général ne peuvent être qu'un élément positif dont tous nous nous félicitons.
Je ne voudrais, dès lors, pas tirer des conclusions et préjuger de vos travaux, mais exprimer le souhait que ces travaux se poursuivent dans un esprit d'ouverture, de compréhension, de dialogue, avec la volonté d'aboutir dans l'intérêt des objectifs fixés.
Maintenant, si vous le permettez, nous allons passer au point 13.2, Incidences du projet d'accord relatif au Siège du PAM sur les relations entre le PAM, la FAO et l'ONU. Certains ont déjà évoqué la question. Je crois qu'il est utile de demander au Conseiller juridique, M. Moore, de nous faire le point de la situation. Je vous demanderai d'être concis et brefs, si vous avez des avis et considérations à émettre, sans réouvrir un large débat, puisque nous avons quand même fait un tour d'horizon complet dans le cadre du point 13.1. Nous avons deux documents qui nous sont soumis: le document CL 98/5, par. 25-28 et le document CL 98/22. Je demanderai au Conseiller juridique, M. Moore, qui se trouve à notre droite, de prendre immédiatement la parole.
LEGAL COUNSEL: The document before you, as you have mentioned, Mr Chairman, is document CL 98/22, The Impact of the Draft WFP Headquarters Agreement on the Relationship between WFP, FAO and the UN.
The document, and indeed this whole agenda sub-item, arose out of the deliberations of the 54th Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters. At that meeting the Committee agreed that, to the extent that the draft agreement would substantially change the existing relationship between WFP, FAO and the UN, the desirability of effecting such a change would have to be passed upon by the governing bodies concerned. The present document is submitted to the Council in accordance with that advice.
The document sets out the background to the drafting and negotiation of the WFP Headquarters Agreement, assesses the impact of the Agreement on the relationship and offers some comments regarding those changes. These impacts are described and assessed under the headings of the location of the Secretariat, the status and powers of the WFP Secretariat and the legal status of WFP itself.
The paper points out that a number of these issues are currently under discussion in other fora; namely, the CFA and its Sub-Committee on the Governance of the World Food Programme. It also points out that to some extent some of the extreme urgency in the formal conclusion of the Draft Headquarters Agreement has been mitigated by the conclusion of an exchange of letters with the Italian Government that will provide, at least on an
interim basis, a proper legal basis for the reimbursement by the Italian Government of the costs of rental of FAO and WFP rented headquarters while such rented premises are still required.
The document has appended to it a copy of the Draft Headquarters Agreement as discussed with the Italian Government. In this connection I should point out that a further series of negotiations with the Italian Government took place in September 1990 on the security provisions that gave rise to concern initially and that, for the most part, due to the positive and generous response of the Italian Government, these matters have now been settled in a positive manner. I would like particularly to thank the Italian Government for this. I should add, however, that, as the Italian Government has been formally notified, there are still some questions regarding the interpretation of certain provisions of the FAO Headquarters Agreement. These are questions of great importance since they concern the immunity of the Organization from legal process and the non-applicability of Italian labour legislation to the employment relationship between the Organization and its staff.
These are questions of moment as they have a profound effect on the proper functioning of the Organization. Negotiations are proceeding with the Italian Government on an agreed interpretation of these provisions as they are provisions that find their place also in the WFP Draft Headquarters Agreement.
The Director-General has formally notified the CCIM and the Italian Government that he would not be in a position to sign the new WFP Headquarters Agreement in any case until such time as a satisfactory agreement has been concluded regarding the way these provisions should be interpretated.
The paper concludes by asking the Council to take note of the comments of the CCLM regarding the impacts of the Agreement on the relationship between WFP, FAO and the United Nations. It also seeks the advice of the Council as to whether, given the fact that the discussions on the relationship issues in the CFA and other fora are still not concluded and given the possibility of different approaches arising out of these discussions, it would be better that the approach taken towards these issues in the draft should be coordinated with the outcome of those discussions. In practical terms this would mean waiting for the outcome of the discussions in these fora before formally concluding the Agreement. To do otherwise might be to prejudice and prejudge the outcome of those discussions.
James INGRAM (Executive Director, WFP): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving me the opportunity to address the Council on a matter which is of great importance to WFP, at least as important as the previous topic, because it affects the current situation. Continuance of the status quo adversely affects the work of the Organization and I would suggest that this must be of concern to all governments.
No organization can work at optimal efficiency unless its staff are properly housed. For years now WFP has been constrained to operate in
premises that were not designed for it and are much too small. Overcrowding is much worse than in 1987 when the Council authorized the Director-General to conclude a headquarters agreement as quickly as possible and without reference to the Council for approval. At that time the Council rightly recognized that the Italian Government was in a position to provide adequate, permanent accommodation for WFP only after such an agreement had been concluded. That remains the case today. It is indeed urgent to provide the Programme with sufficient space. I might say that since 1987 when you took that decision the total number of staff of WFP at the Rome Headquarters has increased by 25 percent but we have not received an additional square metre of space. Every day the administration of the Programme is beset by complaints from staff. You may indeed get a strike, you never know, about this over-crowding. It is a matter of enormous practical importance.
It is also important that the Council see this matter in full perspective. As already noted, the Council first dealt with the question some three years ago. Early in that year, 1987, the Italian Government, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of FAO recognized that there was a clear and urgent need for WFP to be provided with adequate permanent accommodation. They decided that they should conclude an agreement. They decided-that is, the Director-General, the Secretary-General and the Italian Government decided-that they should conclude an agreement with respect to the WFP Headquarters, and that negotiations should be led by FAO on the basis of a text provided by FAO. Following a recommendation by the FAO Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters on the basis of a submission by the FAO Director-General, the Council authorized him on 5 November 1987 to conclude a WFP Headquarters Agreement without referring the text to the Council for approval. Negotiations between the Government of Italy, the United Nations and FAO proceeded smoothly virtually to the point of finality, but were abruptly suspended over two years ago. They were resumed last September after the CFA and other inter-governmental bodies had issued repeated appeals registering their grave concern at the delay. I am pleased today to report that thanks to the Italian Government's cooperation and full understanding, negotiations were successfully completed in September 1990.
I note, however, from CL 98/22 that the Director-General no longer takes issue with any of the latest provisions contained in the draft agreement, including that of security which had previously been a stated cause for concern. I note also that he specifically states in paragraph 8 that the Agreement "contains few provisions that break new ground or would create any unfortunate precedent for other international organizations in Rome". I give you that quotation because the Council will recall that in 1987 it agreed that the Director-General need not refer an agreed text for its approval providing it did not contain substantive departures from the provisions of the FAO and IFAD Headquarters Agreements. So that was disposed of. But the Director-General now appears to be concerned with something altogether different, namely, the impact of this Agreement on the WFP/FAO relationship. If that is his concern, one has to ask why it was not a concern when the WFP Headquarters Agreement was drafted by the FAO Legal Counsel in 1987 in accordance with the instructions of this Council.
The text now before the Council is in almost every respect the text which the FAO Secretariat drafted and proposed to the Italian Government in 1987. The reasons which led the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General to initiate action for a conclusion of a Headquarters Agreement under WFP's existing basic texts and regulations necessarily remain as valid now as they were then. The fact that developments have taken place within the CFA and other interested bodies since 1987 to promote improved governance arrangements for the WFP cannot logically bring into question the original decision of the Secretary-General and the Director-General to conclude an agreement. I would add that if the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General considered that a Headquarters Agreement was appropriate under the then prevailing governance arrangements, which they did, how could such an agreement become less appropriate if, as result of the current review of WFP governance, the programme is strengthened? In other words, the issue of whether and how to strengthen the governance of WFP can, in the light of the history of this issue, have no connection with the signature of the proposed agreement. This is an important point because it gives the answer to the conclusion reached in the FAO paper in paragraph 24 which is to warn against divergent approaches in the CFA and what are called issues in the draft Headquarters Agreement. There can logically be no divergence from the text of the Headquarters Agreement drawn up entirely in accord with the WFP basic texts drawn up by definition, because it is drawn up by FAO. Strengthening the governance of WFP cannot make the Agreement less appropriate in terms of these texts. It is simply not logically possible.
The FAO paper erects a series of straw men in paragraphs 17 and 19 to try to demonstrate that the Agreement transfers powers inappropriately to the Executive Director. For example-and I am only going to give one example, but I could give you plenty-in relation to purchases, in paragraph 17 (iii) it is claimed that these are handled by FAO. They are not. For years WFP has done most of its purchasing under delegation. Last year WFP entered into contracts for US$ 335 million worth of goods and services. The only thing FAO is buying for us is the office furniture and stationery at Headquarters. What the Agreement simply does in relation to contracting is to formalize for the purposes of Italian law an existing delegation.
FAO document CL 98/22 states in paragraph 7 that an exchange of letters took place on 16 October 1990 between FAO and the Italian Government which provides a proper legal basis for the reimbursement of rent by the Government. The implication is that the Headquarters Agreement is not now really necessary. I have to say that WFP has not yet received from the FAO the text of the exchange. We have not seen it. It was concluded a month ago, but it has not been sent to us, but I greatly welcome the Italians' step.
We do know, though, that during recent WFP headquarters negotiations in September when the Italians had let us know that they were going to come to this Agreement, the Italian side stated that the exchange of letters was only a temporary measure to be terminated as soon as possible and in any event, no later than the move of FAO from Building F to the enlarged premises now being constructed here at Terme di Caracalla. WFP cannot be accommodated in this new space and if by that time WFP does not itself have
new premises, it will be paying substantial sums once more for inadequate and unsatisfactory accommodation.
The Council should also know that the Italian authorities have informed us that after signature of the Agreement the Italian Government will require a considerable period of time to complete ratification procedures and to find or construct new premises for WFP. Therefore, until the Headquarters Agreement is signed, the ratification process cannot begin.
As delegates know, WFP is a joint United Nations/FAO entity. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has been a full partner in negotiations on the Headquarters Agreement. The United Nations does not regard the draft text as affecting the susbtance of WFP's relationship with the parent organizations. The report of the United Nations Legal Counsel to the United Nations Advisory Committee on Administration and Budgetary Questions-ACABQ-states the position of the United Nations. This was a report of just a few weeks ago.
Referring to the last round of negotiations on the WFF Headquarters Agreement held in September, the Legal Counsel reports as follows and I quote: "An agreement was reached on all the outstanding issues. The report of the representative of the United Nations stated his readiness to initial the agreement. The representative of FAO, however, was unable to initial the agreement without referring the draft agreement first to the competent organs of FAO. For their part the Italian authorities expressed a clear desire to proceed as rapidly as possible with the process of ratification of the agreement." The question of the Headquarters Agreement for WFP therefore now rests entirely in the hands of FAO. The other two parties to the agreement, the United Nations and the host country Italy, have indicated their satisfaction with the agreement and a desire to proceed with the necessary formalities of signature and ratification or confirmation. The WFP, although not a formal party to the agreement, has likewise expressed its satisfaction with the agreement. Action on the part of the FAO organs concerned before the end of 1990-before the end of 1990-is now urgently required so that this aspect of the relationship between the United Nations, FAO and WFP can be definitely completed.
In the light of that report, Mr Chairman, the ACABQ has expressed the hope that "extraneous issues should not constitute a basis for further delay enabling this Headquarters Agreement to be put into effect."
I come back to what I said at the beginning. This Programme cannot secure a permanent solution to its accommodation problem without Italy ratifying the Headquarters Agreement. I say quite deliberately in the name of justice-and I repeat in the name of justice I therefore appeal to the Council to join the United Nations and the Italian Government in calling for immediate signature of the Headquarters Agreement by all parties concerned so that ratification procedures may be commenced and the search for a new WPF headquarters actively pursued.
Alberto de CATERINA (Italie): Monsieur le Président, nous avons lu avec grand intérêt et quelque surprise le document CL 98/22, préparé par la FAO
sur le thème: Incidences du projet d'Accord de Siège du PAM sur les relations entre le PAM, la FAO et l'ONU. Nous pensons que ledit document nécessite quelques commentaires avec des références spécifiques au projet d'accord de siège qui concerne tout particulièrement le Gouvernement italien. Il faut rappeler ici que dès 1988, l'Italie était prête à signer cet accord, négocié conjointement avec la FAO et les Nations Unies. A la dernière minute, des objections à cette signature ont été soulevées par la FAO qui a estimé que certaines clauses du projet pouvaient avoir des implications négatives sur l'Accord de Siège déjà en vigueur entre l'Italie et la FAO.
Après de nombreux contacts et un échange de correspondance entre les parties, l'Italie en juin 1989, a officiellement suggéré par écrit de reprendre les négociations en vue d'aboutir à une finalisation de l'accord. Aucune réponse n'a été donnée à ses avances. En juin 1990, le CPA recommanda à nouveau aux organisations intéressées de reprendre au plus tôt les négociations avec le Gouvernement italien. Deux dates furent proposées pour le mois de juillet 1990 par le côté italien, mais elles ne furent acceptées ni par les Nations Unies, ni par la FAO ni par le PAM. Une autre date fut alors recherchée et proposée par le gouvernement italien pour le mois de septembre. A cette date, finalement acceptée, les négociations reprirent enfin et furent conclues positivement. Le Gouvernement italien ne ménagea pas ses efforts et ses concessions pour définir un texte acceptable par tous. Nous avons maintenant le texte qui a déjà été accepté par l'Italie et par les Nations Unies. Le Directeur général de la FAO le soumet aujourd'hui à l'examen de ce Conseil.
Il me semble par ailleurs utile de fournir à cette occasion quelques précisions sur l'échange de lettres cité dans le document CL 98/22. Dans un esprit constructif, le Gouvernement italien a procédé, le 16 octobre dernier, à un échange de lettres avec la FAO, qui constitue un addendum à l'accord de Washington du 31 octobre 1950 pour la définition du siège de la FAO.
Pendant 17 ans, comme tout le monde le sait, l'Italie a accordé à la FAO des contributions spéciales pour le paiement de la location des immeubles sur la via Cristoforo Colombo. A la suite de nouvelles règles financières qui rendaient impossible la poursuite de ce genre de contribution spéciale, il s'est avéré nécessaire de procéder à un échange de lettres entre les deux parties, qui puisse permettre ledit paiement, d'une manière tout à fait provisoire dans l'attente soit de la fin des travaux à Caracalla, soit de la signature du nouvel Accord de Siège avec le PAM.
Ms Gunilla KURTEN (Finland): On this Agenda item, I have the privilege to speak on behalf of the Nordic countries. The Nordic countries have studied with great concern document CL 98/22 entitled "The Impact of the Draft WFP Headquarters Agreement on the Relationship between WFP, FAO and the UN". If the arguments related to the Headquarters Agreement are reopened for discussion, this will certainly lead to further lengthy delays. In the Nordic view, this should not be allowed to happen.
We should like to draw the attention of the Council to the fact that the Council itself in 1987 had already mandated the Director-General to negotiate and conclude on behalf of FAO a separate Headquarters Agreement for the World Food Programme on the recommendation of the CCLM, dispensing with the need for prior referral of the text to the Council because of the urgency of the matter.
The Council then also shared the CCLM's hope that necessary arrangements would be completed at an early date. Already in this connection it was noted that the Agreement would be modeled on the FAO Headquarters Agreement and the IFAD Headquarters Agreement, and no indication was given that this would cause any problems.
It is the opinion of the Nordic countries that there is no need for Member Governments to address these matters again since no new and valid arguments against the early conclusion of a separate World Food Programme Headquarters Agreement have been presented. The basic situation has not changed since 1987, and the Agreement is now even more urgently needed to facilitate the work of the World Food Programme.
We trust that the Council will be consistent and renew its mandate to the Director-General to conclude the Agreement without delay and without further discussions in intergovernmental bodies because such discussions only cause undue delays. Member Governments have, on numerous occasions, addressed this matter in the CFA and have urged FAO to conclude an agreement for the World Food Programme Headquarters. The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the ACABQ have expressed the very same view. In fact, also in its report, in the ACABQ Report contained in document CFA 30/INF/3 to the General Assembly this year, the ACABQ states that this matter should be resolved expeditiously "and that no extraneous issues should constitute the basis for further delay in enabling this Headquarters Agreement to be put into effect". The Nordic countries share this view.
Dong QINGSONG (China) (Original language Chinese): My intervention will be very brief, Mr Chairman. I would like to thank FAO's Legal Counsel and the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, Mr Ingram, for their presentation of this subject. The Chinese delegation has carefully read document CL 98/22. We are happy to note that negotiations on the WFP Headquarters Agreement were resumed in September this year, and that progress has been achieved on many outstanding issues. This goes to show that a positive and important step has been taken in the direction of the final conclusion of the Agreement. In this connection we would like to express our appreciation.
The complexity of the issue and the Agreement is determined by the nature of WFP in that it is an agency jointly managed by the UN and the FAO. We have taken note also that many legal and technical issues remain to be solved during the negotiations. We hope that in negotiations the Government of Italy, the United Nations, FAO and WFP will remain in close cooperation and continued discussions with a view to reaching a consensus so as to achieve, as early as possible, success in the negotiations.
Mme. Carole THEAUVETTE (Canada): La délégation canadienne a pris connaissance avec grand intérêt du document CL 98/22 et se réjouit notamment de l'entente intervenue, le 16 octobre dernier, entre le Gouvernement italien et la FAO. Nous désirons profiter de cette occasion pour remercier tout particulièrement la délégation italienne des efforts qu'elle a consentis pour favoriser cet heureux événement.
Néanmoins, cette entente suscite quelques questions. Ainsi, est-ce que la FAO et la délégation italienne pourraient nous préciser la nature exacte de cette entente, la date d'entrée en vigueur et sa durée? Cet accord pourra-t-il avoir un effet rétroactif et inclure, par exemple, les coûts à encourir pour le loyer du PAM estimé à 2,1 millions de dollars pour le biennium 1990/91 et à 1,2 million de dollars pour 1989?
S'agissant maintenant du projet d'Accord de Siège séparé du PAM qui nous est proposé en annexe, la délégation canadienne désire, là encore, remercier tous ceux qui ont travaillé à mener à terme les négociations de cet Accord de Siège, qu'ils soient de la FAO, des Nations Unies, du PAM ou du Gouvernement italien.
On se souviendra qu'il aura fallu plus de trois ans d'attente et de multiples interventions rappelant l'urgence de conclure ces négociations pour pouvoir enfin prendre connaissance du texte de l'Accord de Siège séparé pour le PAM. Qu'il nous suffise de mentionner la plus récente de ces interventions, qui est celle du CCQAB qui, dans son dernier rapport, exprime l'espoir que cette question soit résolue sans recourir à la Conférence de la FAO et-je cite-"qu'aucune autre question ne viendra encore retarder l'entrée en vigueur de cet Accord de Siège",
Dans ce contexte, la question de savoir s'il serait opportun d'attendre le résultat des travaux du CPA sur la question de gouvernance du PAM avant de donner le feu vert pour la signature de cet Accord de Siège du PAM ne nous apparaît pas pertinente car, à notre avis, il n'y a pas de lien entre cet Accord de Siège et les travaux du CPA sur la question de gouvernance du PAM, laquelle relève d'une décision récente sans rapport avec la décision prise en 1987 par le Conseil de la FAO. On se rappellera qu'à cette date, le Conseil a autorisé le Directeur général de la FAO à négocier et signer un Accord de Siège séparé pour le PAM, sans lui soumettre cet accord au préalable, le Secrétaire général des Nations Unies ayant déjà autorité pour signer cet accord. Le Conseil se montrait alors soucieux de voir le processus de négociation mené de façon expéditive. Par ailleurs, le dernier CPA a demandé à l'unanimité que l'Accord de Siège séparé pour le PAM soit ratifié le plus rapidement possible. Nous croyons que les délais considérables que cette nouvelle condition engendrerait seraient injustifiés et inacceptables, en particulier pour les employés du PAM qui doivent bénéficier de l'espace de travail nécessaire à leur bon rendement.
Le Gouvernement italien apparaît, quant à lui, désireux d'accéder à leur attente et à celle des pays membres du CPA. Il nous semblerait aussi que, du côté des Nations Unies, on soit prêt à procéder immédiatement, si l'on en juge par le contenu du paragraphe 14 du rapport du CCQAB.
De plus, les arguments avancés sur les incidences de cet accord sur les textes de base du PAM ne nous paraissent pas substantielles. Le fait que
l'on en fasse état maintenant nous laisse d'ailleurs assez perplexes. Ces négociations durent depuis trois ans et nous avons toujours présumé que le texte soumis aux autorités italiennes avait l'aval des autorités compétentes de la FAO et des Nations Unies. Nous ne souhaitons pas débattre longuement ici du bien-fondé des arguments portant sur le statut juridique du PAM. Nous dirons simplement que le PAM jouit d'une capacité juridique déléguée par la FAO et les Nations Unies et que les pouvoirs additionnels dont jouirait le PAM, advenant à la signature de cet accord, sont d'après nous conformes à l'esprit des textes de base du PAM.
A l'instar des nordiques qui nous ont précédés, nous invitons donc les membres du Conseil de la FAO à demander au Directeur général de procéder immédiatement à la signature de cet Accord de Siège.
Kiichi NARITA (Japan): With regard to the issues relating to the WFP Headquarters Agreement my delegation would like to make some comments briefly. We have been informed that a further round of negotiations took place between the Italian Government on the one hand and the UN, WFP and FAO on the other in September 1990 at the urging of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Inter-Governmental bodies concerned. At this meeting an agreement was reached on all outstanding issues. This was to the expressed satisfaction of UN, WFP and Italy but only the FAO representative advised that this agreement was ad referendum.
However, document CL 98/22 which is before us does not recommend ratification but argues instead that the text contains a number of provisions that would have such an impact on the WFP/FAO relationship that the conclusion of the Agreement should await the outcome of the general review of the relationship issues between WFP and FAO. Since that process will involve the United Nations General Assembly and the FAO Conference, which does not meet for another year, entry into force of the Agreement is being unnecessarily delayed, or, in the worst scenario, postponed indefinitely. Considering that the United Nations Secretary-General and the FAO Director-General agreed over three years ago that an agreement should be concluded, that negotiations proceeded on an FAO prepared draft and also that there are no outstanding issues dispute, this proposal to the Council by the FAO casts doubt on its good faith throughout the negotiations. As we are fully aware, early signature of the Headquarters Agreement is of great importance to WFP for various reasons. The Japanese delegation has difficulty in accepting the FAO's further attempt to deny justice to WFP on an issue which directly affects the working conditions of staff and WFP finances. My delegation is of the view that the Director-General of FAO should make every effort to conclude the WFP Headquarters Agreement.
In conclusion my delegation would also like to call the attention of FAO Secretariat towards the ACABQ Report which says that this matter can be resolved without reference to the FAO Conference and that extraneous issues should not constitute a basis for further delay in enabling this Headquarters Agreement to be put into force.
Ms Jane E. BECKER (United States of America): We are all in this room I think aware that an early conclusion of a Headquarters Agreement for WFP is really necessary under Italian law to ensure specially that WFP receive adequate rent free facilities for its operations in Rome. It would seem to my delegation that speedy conclusion of this Agreement is clearly in the interest of all Council members. Unfortunately, the document provided implies that the exchange of letters with the Italian Government ensures payment indefinitely for the cost of WFP Headquarters. It is our understanding that what now exists is an interim arrangement only which must be legalized through an actual signing of a Headquarters Agreement. This is what is required to ensure continued funding by the Government of Italy, to whom my Government is grateful for its generosity thus far. Finalizing the Headquarters Agreement now will remove the risk of a future drain of financial resources from WFP towards rent payments rather than to support activities of direct benefit to developing countries. A Headquarters Agreement will also allow the search for new quarters for WFP, to relieve serious overcrowding, to begin in earnest.
The negotiations of the Headquarters Agreement, the text of which, as is has been pointed out, the original was drafted several years ago by FAO and not WFP, are completed but for what appears to be sudden last minute fears on the part of FAO that this Agreement somehow has implications for the legal relationship between the WFP and the FAO or UN. It must be kept in mind that the purpose of this, and indeed any Headquarters Agreement, and I am speaking with some experience here, is merely to define the relationship between the Organization and the host country; nothing more and nothing less. As we stated in the CCLM, it is the firm view of my Government that it is neither logically nor legally clear that the Headquarters Agreement would modify in any way WFP's internal relationship with the FAO or the UN. In addition, as has also been pointed out, the Council earlier gave authority to the FAO to negotiate a Headquarters Agreement without a further review by the Council. Therefore discussion here seems unnecessary and wasteful of time.
In addressing the Headquarters Agreement issue the Council must not allow itself to focus on extraneous aspects of the WFP/FAO relationship, whose legal connection with the Headquarters Agreement is dubious, at best. As others have pointed out, it has been mentioned in some detail by the recent ACABQ Report. It is the view of my Government that it is far past the time when this Agreement should have been concluded. The Council owes it to the needy people of the world to remove a longstanding impediment to the fully effective administration of the World Food Programme.
Yousef Ali Mahmoud HAMDI (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): I have listened most carefully to the introduction of this item by the Executive Director of WFP and the Legal Counsel. We have also heard the statement made by the representative of the Italian Government; Italy, the host country, and the generous host country in this case. Considering that this subject has been examined by numerous committees, in addition to the CCLM which concluded that negotiations must be pursued with a view to achieving at the nearest date possible an agreement which will provide the stability required by Headquarters or by the Secretariat for pursuing its activities.
We therefore urge all parties concerned to pursue their efforts in the negotiations in order to reach the conclusion of a Headquarters Agreement for WFP.
Gerhard LIEBER (Germany): I just wanted to say that my delegation associates itself with the statements made by Canada, Japan, USA and others and urges FAO to move forward towards a speedy conclusion of the WFP Headquarters Agreement.
Vishnu BHAGWAN (India): We have seen this document and the presentation on behalf of the Secretariat, and the information provided by the Italian Government. The issue regarding the conclusion of the Headquarters Agreement has been under consideration for a long time and it seems to us now that it has been thrashed out properly to the satisfaction of practically everyone. In our view the issue regarding the relationship between FAO and WFP should be separated from the conclusion of the Headquarters Agreement and this should be signed quickly.
L. Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): I have a relatively long statement here which I am quite happy to pass in for inclusion in the record rather that read it out.
As Germany has just done, I would say that I concur completely with the statements made by Canada, Japan and others that have sought a speedy conclusion to this Agreement. However, the FAO Legal Counsel has raised some additional points which seem to be sticking points with the Director-General in the signing of this document and which have not been raised by any of the other speakers to date: these concern the interpretation of certain security provisions in the FAO Headquarters Agreement which apparently are also in the draft WFP Headquarters Agreement. It is a little difficult for us to understand as the FAO Headquarters Agreement has been in force for some forty years and we would like a further explanation of just exactly what it is that is causing the problem with these security provisions.
R. ALLEN (United kingdom): I will confine my remarks simply to associating my delegation with the comments made by Finland, Canada, Japan and the USA. We hope that an agreement can be signed soon.
Sra. Mònica DEREGIBUS (Argentina): Permítame señor Presidente, en primer lugar, expresar el agradecimiento de la Delegación Argentina por la información que nos ha sido brindada tanto por el Sr. Moore, como por el Director Ejecutivo del PMA y por el Gobierno de Italia.
Mi Delegación, señor Presidente, puede suscribir en todas sus partes la declaración efectuada por el distinguido Representante de China. Al respecto, sin embargo, quisiéramos hacer una consideración. Nosotros estimamos que un acuerdo de sede no debería de ninguna manera prejuzgar la naturaleza jurídica, el estatuto jurídico del PMA, como no debería hacerlo con relación a ninguna otra institución nacional o internacional. De manera que de no existir otro tipo de modificaciones a las normas generales, no debería afectar a su carácter actual de órgano dependiente de Naciones Unidas y de FAO. Lo que nosotros no tenemos muy claro es si la concreción de un Acuerdo de Sede, con el texto que nos ha sido entregado, hace necesario o no la modificación de estas normas generales.
En segundo lugar, señor Presidente, quisiéramos hacer una pregunta ya que no entendemos bien el sentido de la última frase del último párrafo 22, que dice: "Es de señalar que no hay disposiciones análogas en otros acuerdos sobre la Sede concertados para organizaciones dependientes del sistema de las Naciones Unidas". Esto nos llama la atención puesto que, se ha dicho aquí que el mandato del Consejo fue que el Acuerdo de Sede se hiciera en base al acuerdo de la Sede de la FAO y del FIDA. Sin embargo aquí se nos dice que se ha incluido una disposición que no estaría en ninguno de éstos, aparentemente.
Quisiéramos, señor Presidente, que se nos explicara esto y quisiéramos también, coincidiendo con lo dicho por la Delegación de China, dar nuestro augurio para que las cuestiones que quedan por resolver y que derivan de la interpretación del Acuerdo de Sede de la FAO puedan ser solucionadas a la brevedad.
Thomas YANGA (Cameroun): Monsieur le Président, permettez-moi de remercier le Directeur général pour la soumission à notre Conseil du document CL 98/22, qui nous donne l'occasion de réitérer notre position sur cette importante question de l'Accord de Siège du PAM.
La délégation du Cameroun se félicite de l'état d'avancement des négociations sur l'accord de Siège du PAM. Nous tenons à cet effet à présenter nos vives félicitations aux Autorités italiennes, à celles de la FAO et des Nations Unies, pour leurs efforts inlassables déployés à cet effet. Notre voeu, Monsieur le Président, est que cet accord puisse être signé sans délai, sans attendre quoi que ce soit. Il va sans dire que les questions encore en suspens, (questions qui sont d'ailleurs mineures), qui ont été relevées par Monsieur Moore dans son intervention, doivent pouvoir trouver une solution équitable et acceptable le plus vite possible. Ceci est d'autant plus faisable que le Représentant du Gouvernement italien nous a déclaré la disponibilité entière et totale de son Gouvernement à cet effet.
Conformément à la logique, et à la consistance de notre position sur l'examen des relations entre la FAO et le PAM, le Cameroun estime que le Directeur doit disposer de l'autorité nécessaire et suffisante pour traiter avec les autorités du pays hôte de toutes les questions touchant les intérêts du PAM. Monsieur le Président, permettez qu'à travers vous, je puisse poser deux questions. La première, c'est que les négociations de
l'Accord de siège durent depuis plus de trois ans maintenant; et à l'origine, bien que le malaise entre les deux institutions (la FAO et le PAM) couvait, le CPA n'avait pas encore décidé de procéder à un examen sur la manière dont le PAM est administré. Alors ma question rejoint celle qui a été posée par le Directeur exécutif du PAM dans son introduction, à savoir: pourquoi établir aujourd'hui un lien entre cet accord et les délibérations à venir du CPA? ou alors, qu'aurait fait la FAO si le CPA n'avait pas entrepris l'examen des rapports entre le PAM et la FAO?
Sans vouloir entrer dans le détail, ma deuxième question, Monsieur le Président, est celle de savoir laquelle des parties en présence, notamment le Gouvernement italien, la FAO, l'ONU, ou le PAM, a introduit dans le projet que nous avons sous les yeux les clauses qui aujourd'hui posent le problème?
Monsieur le Président, en attendant les réponses à mes questions, je relève que dans le projet d'accord soumis en annexe du document CL 98/22, dans le préambule, il est fait référence au fait que, dans le paragraphe 2, le PAM est actuellement installé au Siège de la FAO à Rome. L'on est en droit de se demander si, raisonnablement, cette référence expresse n'est pas suffisante pour lever tout équivoque quant à la localisation du Siège du PAM. Je vous remercie.
Gonzalo BULA HOYOS (Colombia): Los Representantes de Colombia pensamos que este Consejo debe reconocer y agradecer al Director General de la FAO la prudencia, el celo y el cuidado con que ha analizado debidamente todos los aspectos de este asunto que es importante y delicado.
Igualmente, pensamos que este Consejo debe pedir a nuestro colega, el representante de Italia, que transmita al Gobierno italiano nuestro reconocimiento y nuestra gratitud por la buena voluntad y el espíritu constructivo de las autoridades italianas que han contribuido muy válidamente a la elaboración de este proyecto de acuerdo.
Pensamos también que el Consejo debe decir en su informe que consideramos que toda dilación o retardo en la firma de este acuerdo afecta las condiciones de trabajo del personal del PMA y, por lo tapto, menoscaba el funcionamiento de ese importante organismo.
Al constatar que se trata de un texto que ha sido aceptado por las Naciones Unidas y por el Gobierno italiano, y a la luz de las consideraciones anteriores, el Consejo pide al Director General que proceda a firmar ese proyecto de acuerdo.
Señor Presidente, el título del documento principal para este tema empieza por la palabra "consecuencias". Nosotros creemos que las consecuencias de la actitud positiva que seguramente asumirá el Director General de la FAO, serán favorables en relación con el titulo del tema anterior porque así se contribuirá a mejorar las relaciones entre la FAO y el PMA.
Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): La Delegación cubana ha oído con sumo interés la presentación del Sr. Ingram, Director Ejecutivo del PMA, así como los esfuerzos del Gobierno de Italia sobre este particular, esfuerzos que son muy encomiables.
Con anterioridad hemos leído con especial interés los documentos puestos a nuestra disposición. El tema, naturalmente, no es nuevo; es un asunto conocido por todos los miembros del Consejo por más de tres años, y año tras año son traídos a estos debates. Su repercusión se ha reflejado en las intervenciones de las distinguidas representaciones y se ha reflejado que es negativo e incide lógicamente en las condiciones de trabajo de los funcionarios y trabajadores en general del PMA.
Nuestra Delegación aboga por acelerar los esfuerzos para dejar resuelto este asunto tanto en el aspecto jurídico como posteriormente el físico.
Esto, señor Presidente, está por encima de cualquier tipo de relaciones tensas para contribuir en un asunto de virtual necesidad de trabajo, y es necesario para que el PMA pueda realizar su ayuda alimentaria para los países menos favorecidos.
C.B. HOÜTMAN (Netherlands): 1 would like to associate myself with what the United Kingdom delegate said when he was associating himself with Finland, Canada, Japan and the USA, which in my opinion boiled down to thanking all the secretariats, and especially Italy, for what has been done so far. Translated that means I would say let us not talk again any more but sign.
Waleed A. ELKHEREIJI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of) (Original language Arabic):
At the outset allow me to express my thanks to the secretariat of the Organization for the excellent documents. I would like to thank them for the efforts undertaken in reaching thus far in the Headquarters Agreement matter. We also thank the Italian authorities and Government for the efforts they have undertaken. We consider that this Headquarters Agreement should be signed so that the staff of the Programme may enjoy appropriate office space which would enable them to work in an atmosphere of freedom and comfort.
A.K.M. Fazley RABBI (Observer for Bangladesh): We carefully listened to the introductory statement of the Executive Director of WFP and the Legal Counsel of FAO. The statement of the delegate of Italy which corroborated the facts stated by the Executive Director made it clear that FAO has to make the move now to sign the Headquarters Agreement. My delegation has urged upon all concerned in all the relevant fora for expeditious negotiations and conclusions of the Headquarters Agreement for WFP. The need for a separate Headquarters Agreement was felt by the UN Secretary-General and the Director-General of FAO three years ago and this Council authorized the Director-General to go ahead in November 1987. We all know the adverse effect on the staff in the absence of proper and adequate space
and physical facilities, and undue long delay in providing such facilities brings in an additional negative effect on staff morale. Early conclusion of the Headquarters Agreement is in the interests of all parties, the Programme and its staff, and the Italian Government, because of legal requirements, and all the Member Nations. Like most of the Member Nations, we also consider that the signing of the Agreement does not and should not have any linkage with the ongoing process of improving the Governance of WFP and its relationship with the UN and FAO.
We would like to associate ourselves with the appeal of the Executive Director and urge all concerned to conclude the agreement without further loss of time.
Muhammad Saleem KHAN (Pakistan): Mr Chairman, I apologize for our late request for the floor. This was owing to other unavoidable commitments.
I will be brief. I do not want to take up too much time of the Council.
The delegation of Pakistan would like to recall its earlier statements in the 28th and 29th CFA that a congenial working atmosphere is essential for the effective and efficient performance of any organization's staff. In this spirit the delegation of Pakistan welcomes the reported progress on the Headquarters Agreement and would like to commend the Italian Government on its usual generous and supportive attitude towards the cause of multilateralism in general and the UN system based in Rome in particular.
Without going into the details of the document before us and giving our views, the delegation of Pakistan would like to call for an early conclusion of the Headquarters Agreement.
L. Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): Mr Chairman, the Australian Delegation believes that while ever WFP is required to have its base outside of FAO headquarters, while ever its accommodation remains inadequate, and while ever there is a liability for rent, there is urgency in the need to finalise a Headquarters Agreement for it.
We note from Document CL 98/22 that since 16 October 1990, there has been an exchange of letters between FAO and the Italian Government which constitutes a supplementary agreement under the FAO Headquarters Agreement, that provides a proper legal basis for reimbursement of rent paid for the WFP Headquarters. On the face of it, this would appear to provide an interim solution, at least, to the rent problem. However, as copies of this document have not been made available, we are unable to assess it for this purpose and would therefore request that the Secretariat explain its terms and conditions.
Document CL 98/22 relates some of the long history of this matter which has been characterized by prolonged, unexplained delays. Various important bodies have called for prompt action on the issue, some of them repeatedly. Organizations calling for speedy finalization of the agreement include the
ACABQ, FAO Finance Committee and CFA, not to mention this Council and many CFA member governments-which are also members of this Council. The most recent of the institutions to comment was the ACABQ in its report on the World Food Programme's audited accounts, emanating from the Advisory Committee's October 1990 Session, which found as follows:
"The Committee understands that agreement was reached on all of the outstanding issues. However the Committee was informed that while the UN and Host Government had indicated their desire to proceed with the necessary formalities of signature and ratification or confirmation, the Director-General of FAO has stated that to the extent that the Headquarters Agreement affects the basic relationships between WFP and FAO, it would have to be considered by the FAO governing bodies, including the FAO Conference which does not meet until autumn 1991. The Advisory Committee expresses the hope that a more expeditious way can be found to resolve this matter and that no extraneous issues should constitute a basis for further delay in enabling this Headquarters Agreement to be put into effect."
Document CL 98/22 puts the Director-General's proposition to the Council "… so that the Council may decide on whether the draft provisions… are desirable per se and, if so, whether the substance of such changes should be effected through the conclusion of a Headquarters Agreement…". Further to this proposition is a second one that states that since the whole question of the relationship between WFP and FAO is currently being considered by the WFP Sub-committee on Governance, a decision to proceed with the Headquarters Agreement should be postponed until the relationship issue has been settled.
Mr Chairman, the Australian delegation understands that:
- the original draft of the agreement was prepared by FAO
- the draft was considered by this Council (92nd Session, 1987) and the CCLM on previous occasions
- the draft has been cleared by the UN Office of Legal Affairs
-here the draft concerns the relationship with FAO, it does so either by recognising existing practice or in areas which are within the ambit of the heads of the organisations concerned. In each of these areas, the Director-General already had the authority to proceed to agreement with the host government before negotiations were entered into.
Therefore we do not understand this sudden concern with the implications of the provisions in the draft agreement.
On the basis, of the points outlined above, the Australian Delegation calls on members of the Council to request the Director-General to proceed to finalization/signature of the draft Headquarters Agreement without a requirement to submit the matter to the Conference and without waiting for the outcome of the present CFA review of the relationship.
We also do not understand the remarks now made by FAO Legal Counsel to the effect that an interpretation by the Italian Government of certain security provisions in the FAO Headquarters Agreement will be necessary before the
WFP Agreement can be signed. These provisions have been in place for 40 years and some further explanation is needed as to why they can cause delays at this stage.2
LE PRESIDENT: Je crois que tous les membres du Conseil qui sont intervenus ont insisté pour que cette signature intervienne le plus rapidement possible, étant entendu qu'elle n'aurait aucune incidence sur les relations FAO/PAM. Toutefois, un certain nombre de questions précises ont été posées, qui s'adressent plus particulièrement à notre Conseiller juridique à qui je passe la parole.
LEGAL COUNSEL: We have noted the views expressed in the Council today. I would now like to answer the specific questions that were addressed to me and to make some general comments on those questions.
First of all, with regard to the security provisions, a question was raised by the Government of Italy and also by other countries. The negotiations we had in September this year were directed specifically towards the security provisions that had caused problems over the course of the last two years. As you have been informed, those negotiations were extremely fruitful. I think as a result of those we have an agreement which is now very much more acceptable and beneficial and very much safer for the whole of the UN system than we had before. For this I must say that we very much thank the Italian Government for its cooperation.
I should also make it clear that at the time of those negotiations, when we were discussing the security provisions, I did indicate very clearly that the matter of the Headquarters Agreement was being referred to the Council session this November because of the question of the impact on the relationship between WFP, FAO and the UN. This was one of the reasons why I was unable to sign or initial that Agreement. Also, I had to refer the matter to FAO and to the Director-General.
I would say that this matter was made quite clear during the course of the negotiations.
That brings me to the second point, the impact of the Agreement on the relationship. This is a matter where the CCLM itself had in fact made the point that the Draft Agreement did have an impact on the relationship. This is the reason why the matter has been brought before the Council today.
It has been said that since the Agreement follows very much the lines of the IFAD and the FAO agreements, why should it have an impact? I just wanted to meet the point that the reason is that IFAD and FAO are in fact independent organizations. It is perhaps this point which, by following those examples, has such an impact on the relationship.
2 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
Another point was raised concerning the exchange of letters by the delegation of Canada; that is, the exchange of letters which took place on 16 October, World Food Day, this year with the Italian Government. A request was made to indicate the content of that exchange of letters and how the matter was accomplished. Again, I should express my very great thanks to the Government for its generosity in helping to conclude this exchange of letters.
Perhaps I could read to you the paragraph in the exchange of letters which sets out the scheme for the future. Before doing that I should point out that in the exchange of letters it is stated that the Italian Government has, in its generosity, agreed to undertake and finance a project to build additional accommodation at the Terme di Caracalla site. The restructuring of the complex will help to solve the problem of adequate accommodation for the future. However, in the meantime, the Organization is still renting additional office space on the private market in order to meet its interim requirements for headquarters accommodation. It may be placed in a similar situation at some time in the future. That is the part that refers in a certain sense to the interim nature of the Agreement.
However, the operative part says: "In the light of the considerations set out above, I now have the honour to propose that such land and buildings as may from time to time be rented by the Organization, and as may be described in lists drawn up with the concurrence of the Italian Government, shall be deemed to form part of Annex A to the Headquarters Agreement"-that is FAO Headquarters Agreement-"and shall thus be included within the definition of Headquarters Seat for the purposes of Article 1, Section 1 of the Headquarters Agreement. It is understood that the Government will meet the entire rental cost of such rented headquarters premises and that such payment of rent should be deemed to satisfy fully the Government's obligations under Article 2, Sections 3 and 4 of the Headquarters Agreement."
The import of this exchange of letters is that from time to time the Italian Government and FAO may get together and agree upon those rented premises that are required and for those premises then, which are included in a list drawn up by the Italian Government and FAO, the Italian Government has undertaken to meet the entire rental costs as a way of meeting the obligations of its Government to provide adequate headquarters premises. Again I would like publicly to thank the Italian Government for this Agreement.
I should indicate that there are no particular provisions in this exchange of letters indicating the time at which it will come into effect.
Another point was made by the delegate of Australia regarding the interpretation of the exchange of letters that we are also concluding with the Italian Government and to what points this exchange of letters relates. I should say that in the FAO Agreement and in the proposed WFP Agreement there is a number of provisions. One relates to the power to institute legal proceedings, which have been interpreted at times by the Italian courts to indicate that this is a limitation on the immunity of the Organization and provisions relating to the immunity from any form of legal process of the Organization and provisions relating to immunity from
preventive arrest. All these provisions in the FAO Headquarters Agreement have caused difficulties in the last few years. In fact we have a case against FAO in the highest Italian court at the moment. Some of the arguments are based on these provisions in the Headquarters Agreement and an interpretation of them, an interpretation also that was made in a previous case before the constitutional court. It is for this reason, since these provisions are repeated in the WFP Headquarters Agreement, that we feel it essential to have a clear understanding and agreed interpretation of these provisions to protect the Organization in the courts. That is the answer to the question of the delegate from Australia.
There was a further query from the delegate of Argentina regarding paragraph 22 of the paper. That has to do with a legal personality. She raised the point that we had mentioned in the paper that similar provisions do not exist in other headquarters agreements concluded in respect of dependent agencies in the United Nations system and had queried that. I should say that provisions of this kind do appear in headquarters agreements concluded in respect of independent agencies in the United Nations system. They do not appear in respect of dependent agencies in the United Nations system. That was the point which was being made. In respect of UNEP, for example, you will not find these provisions in the UNEP agreement, nor with UNIDO, I believe, when UNIDO was a dependent agency,
I think that covers most of the questions. If I have missed any out they can be brought to my attention.
James INGRAM (Executive Director, WFP): I would simply like to thank those Members of the Council who have spoken very clearly on the importance of a signature without delay to this Agreement. I do thank those who have spoken most warmly and sincerely.
Once again I would like to thank the Government of Italy for their forebearance over more than three years. As they say, one should not look a gift horse in the mouth but if any gift horse has been looked in the mouth this particular headquarters for WFP has.
I was fairly optimistic, as a matter of fact, as the discussion proceeded until I heard Mr Moore's response a moment ago.
You know, the issue before you is the possible complications of the governance, a discussion or outcome and the Headquarters Agreement but Mr Moore has raised today just now again an issue which is entirely, utterly and totally new. It was not referred to in this document. It is an issue about which we know much.
It is the issue he has just spoken about, the issue of Italian labour legislation and issues relating to extradition. My understanding is-and I have it in writing in fact-that these issues were discussed with the United Nations by FAO. My information is dated 12 March and it was agreed that they would be set aside. Of course, they should be set aside. Clearly it would be entirely feasible for the Director-General to sign, and if he is worried about these particular items/issues embedded in the FAO
agreement, embedded in the IFAD agreement, embedded as I understand it in the new agreement signed not too long ago by ILO, by Italy at the Turin Centre-embedded in all these agreements, all he need do is what people do, sign without prejudice to the issue of the resolution of labour law and so on, because it is already in the agreement. You sign without prejudice. As has been the history of this issue throughout, as soon as one issue seems to be resolved another one pops up, and another one has popped up today.
Ms Carole THEAUVETTE (Canada): Given the lateness of the hour, would Legal Counsel agree to tabling the exchange of letters for the benefit of Council members who may have other questions to ask? It would be more convenient for us to peruse the document rather than have him read out lengthy extracts from the letters. Would that be agreeable to you?
LEGAL COUNSEL: May I consult with the Italian Government? I would not like to do that without their agreement.
Gian Luigi VALENZA (Italie): Du côté italien, nous n'avons rien contre. Pour nous, rien n'est secret. Nous sommes dans la "Glasnost" la plus complète.
LE PRESIDENT: Je vois que vous êtes un adepte de la transparence. Il sera donc donné satisfaction à la demande du Canada, étant entendu bien sûr que ce document, qui n'existe actuellement qu'en anglais, devra être traduit, d'où la nécessité d'un certain délai avant de l'obtenir.
Notre débat a été fort intéressant. Tout le monde a insisté sur le fait qu'il n'y avait pas d'incidence sur la nature des relations FAO/PAM et un large consensus s'est dégagé au sein de ce Conseil.
Il est certain que les mois écoulés ont permis la mise au point d'un certain nombre de choses notamment dans le cadre de cet échange de lettres pour apporter des précisions utiles.
Je voudrais maintenant passer une dernière fois la parole à M. Moore puis nous passerons au point suivant de l'ordre du jour.
LEGAL COUNSEL: I would just like to explain two points. On the part of FAO, we are happy to make available the exchange of letters now that we have the permission of the other party to the exchange.
Secondly, just to respond briefly to a point made by the Executive Director regarding the interpretation agreements. In fact yes, we had agreed with
the United Nations that these points would not be dealt with and reflected in the WFP Headquarters Agreement. We had agreed with them that they would be reflected in a separate exchange of letters, and that is precisely what we are doing at present. We drew the attention of the CCLM to this in its last session in May this year. This point was particularly noted by the Executive Director.
Dean K. CROWTHER (Assistant Director-General, Administration and Finance Department): Just one brief note on an item that was mentioned by a number of delegates, having to do with rent and reimbursement of rent. It was mentioned even by the delegate of Italy that very kindly the Italian Government has made a special contribution for FAO that in part was related to rent. Some cases always related to rent. Questions have been raised not only in discussion at Council, but in the CFA and in the Finance Committee as to precisely how that grant has been accredited. I want only to report at the moment that the External Auditor is reviewing the matter and will issue a report. It will be made known to the next Finance Committee and to whoever has required it at that point. The Organization has taken due and complete note of all the comments on this subject and we will certainly take that into account.
L. Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): If it can be concluded that the Members of the Council are advising FAO that there is insufficient substance in the relationship aspect of this headquarters agreement and that therefore there is no impediment to FAO signing on that basis, are there any other impediments remaining preventing the signing of this agreement? We would like a clear statement, if it is possible, to the effect that there are or there are not other impediments preventing the signing of this agreement.
LEGAL COUNSEL: I have already made known to you the question regarding the interpretation agreement. That is a matter on which we can consult further. I will consult with the Director-General on this.
L. Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): I am afraid that we have heard the answer regarding the interpretation. It appears that there is nothing in that issue which is preventing signing of the agreement. Therefore, we were asking if there were any other impediments affecting the signing of the agreement. We would then also like to know when we can expect to see signature of this agreement.
LEGAL COUNSEL: Not that I am aware. The matter is under consideration by the Director-General at the moment. As far as I am aware there are no other provisions that may cause great difficulty.
LE PRESIDENT: Je crois que tout cela est suffisamment clair pour permettre au Comité de rédaction de travailler dans les meilleures conditions.
LE PRESIDENT: Nous allons entreprendre l'examen du sous-point 13.3, Quinzième rapport annuel du Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire du PAM. Ce rapport figure dans le document CL 98/9. Je donne immédiatement la parole au Directeur exécutif du PAM.
James INGRAM (Executive Director, WFP): I will proceed to introduce the document which is the report for 1989 of the CFA to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, the FAO Council and the World Food Council. You have before you this Annual Report of the CFA, which is its fifteenth. It is submitted to you in accordance with paragraph 10 of WFP's General Regulations. Please note that in the light of last year's discussion in the Council, a summary of the major decisions of the CFA during that year is included.
First, a few highlights from the report. The year 1989 was a challenging one for WFP. In 1989 resources available for our development activities were reduced. While annual turnover-the sum of the resources managed by the programme-remained high at nearly $1.1 billion, the rapid increase in world cereal prices resulted in a decline in the amount of food available to WFP for development projects. To cope with this shortfall, we had to reduce 1989 and 1990 allocations for ongoing development projects by more than one-quarter. However, steps were taken to ensure that the poorest food deficit countries, the most successful projects and those assisting the neediest beneficiaries, were protected from the brunt of the reductions we were forced to make.
Recent falls in the price of many food commodities have now increased the resources available to WFP for its development work. Delivery of development food aid in 1990 will be at least 10 percent higher than the 1989 level. We expect 1991 to show a 25 percent or more increase in deliveries. At the same time we foresee a 50 percent increase in commitments of food aid for development projects in 1991.
As WFP's development commitments increase next year, so will our need for supporting technical services-especially from FAO, but also from ILO, WHO, Unesco, DTCD, UNEP and Habitat. During 1989 WFP spent nearly $3 million on such services from FAO. Now that we are again in a position to expand development commitments, our expenditure on FAO services should grow.
I am pleased to say that generally speaking we had no complaints about their quality, and I would like to express our appreciation to the Organization in this regard.
I am going to interrupt my prepared remarks. This morning when I introduced the governance issue, I mentioned some current misinformation. I did not mention any source of that misinformation and I did not have any particular source in mind, but the Representative of the Director-General, Mr West, seemed to take it as alluding to FAO. Well, I would only say, of course if the cap fits wear it. My point is that he went on to accuse WFP of misrepresentation in relation to the issue of the provision of technical services. He said that the technical services sought by WFP had fallen by I think he said 40 percent.
I want to say that the reason for that fall was due to this reduction in our ability to plan new projects. The fewer the projects that you have that are new, obviously the less demand there is for outside technical advice. It is true that there was a reduction in the demand for FAO services, but the proportion that FAO had of the services remained at 60 percent, i.e. its customary level. We obtained from the Specialized Agencies outside services of one or two percent, so there was in fact no reduction in terms of any discrimination against FAO or any intention on our part to reduce our use of FAO's services. You may be assured, as I said this morning, that, with the resolution of the Governance issue, our use of FAO's services for technical work will continue as it always has. It never has been in question, and it is entirely inappropriate to misrepresent this issue as it was this afternoon.
I will now go on with my prepared text. Mr Chairman, one important part of WFP's activities reached a new level in 1989. For the fourth consecutive year WFP spent a record amount on food purchases-more than $157 million to purchase 680 000 tons of food for distribution in developing countries. That is 16 percent more than in 1988, the previous record year.
I am pleased to say that more than two-thirds of these purchases, amounting to $107 million, were bought in developing countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Since 1985, WFP has spent nearly $500 million on food purchases in developing countries, in the process making a significant contribution to South-South trade.
Let me now say a few words about current activities and some of our policy concerns. The first issue I would like to say a word about is Increased Requirements for Food Aid. As you know, WFP provides a high share of its resources to the least developed countries-in fact, nearly half, last year-and has taken special measures to enable them to take greater advantage of WFP assistance, including stepped-up training for government counterpart personnel. This is as it should be for, as I pointed out in my statement to the Second United Nations Conference on Least-Developed Countries, held in Paris in September, the least developed countries are unfortunately likely to need food aid from WFP and other donors for many years to come. The real question is not whether there ought to be food aid but rather how this major resource can best be put to use to help LDCs with their development.
Moreover, looking to the future, the importance of food aid for a good many poor, food-deficit countries is likely to increase rather than diminish.
A recent authoritative study summarized the needs this way: first of all, doubling food aid over current levels of roughly ten million tons a year would be necessary to meet projected market demand throughout the 1990s; secondly, meeting projected nutritional needs could require a quadrupling or more of current annual levels of food aid by the end of the decade.
The Director-General of FAO himself summed up the situation well a few years back. In his statement to CFA 19 in May 1985, he stressed that: "… achievement of a fully satisfactory level of food security, especially by the low-income food-deficit countries, is likely to take decades. In the meantime, food aid-integrated with (other) national and international resources-can play an important role in reducing insecurity." In my view, those sentiments expressed then by the Director-General are even more true today. The reason is that the situation is particularly acute with regard to Africa. Unfortunately, every projection-including those of, for example, FAO, of the International Food Policy Research Institute, and of the World Bank-all point to the need for food imports to the region to at least double during the 1990s. Food imports into Africa will need at least to double.
There continues to be great confusion about the place of food aid in Africa and, in particular, how quickly increases in agricultural production and economic development generally can make food aid obsolete in the region. Whilst this continues to be WFP's objective, and has been for many years, and not only in Africa but globally, most signs unfortunately point the other way. Recent International Food Policy Research Institute studies have shown that consumption and imports of wheat and rice have varied little from year to year, regardless of how good or bad production of traditional coarse grains was in many African countries. All the evidence suggests that African consumption of imported cereals will continue to rise well beyond the capacity of countries to pay for them commercially. Without higher levels of food aid through the 1990s, hunger in Africa will grow. To do its bit in reducing dependence on imported cereals, WFP as an operational organization has sought as a practical matter to promote projects which reduce dependence on imported food, and also to deal with the problem by expanding both its local purchases and its exchanges of imported commodities for local foods to use on our projects.
Mr Chairman, this is a particularly appropriate time to mention food aid issues as the GATT Negotiators prepare to meet in Brussels next week to try to come to an agreement on the Uruguay Round of Trade talks, particularly on agricultural policies and agricultural trade. A successful Uruguay Round will, over the course of time, move agricultural exporting countries away from subsidies, protection and unfair trade practices, and towards a more open and market-oriented production and trading regime.
Several major proposals before the GATT Negotiators recognized explicitly the role that food aid can play in helping food importing developing countries during the period of adjustment to a more open trading regime-a period, I dare say, which in many cases is likely to be lengthy. One result is likely to be higher international prices for major grains than would
have prevailed in the absence of any rationalization of production and trade. This will occur at a time when both consumption and imports of these grains by developing countries, especially in Africa, continue to rise and foreign exchange remains scarce. Food aid can help bridge the gap provided it is furnished in ways that support rather than impede increased domestic food production and measures to achieve equitable and sustainable economic adjustment and growth. At least one major group of agricultural exporting countries has proposed that in order to prevent food aid for this purpose from being used as a hidden export subsidy it should be made available multilaterally and on a grant basis.
WFP, as the multilateral channel for food aid, and under the guidance of the CFA-the body having overview responsibilities for global food aid policies-will play a key role in making food aid a more effective and valued development resource over the course of this decade than it is already. You may indeed be assured of this, Mr Chairman.
I would now like to say a few words about some of our current most pressing problems which are in the area of food emergencies. WFP's central role in food emergencies continues to grow-and I stress "central role". Every year, because of the increased numbers affected by armed conflict, WFP has become ever more involved. WFP has developed a unique role in the transport and logistics sector. Acceptance of the principle of "corridors of tranquility" in Sudan's Lifeline Operation has led to a number of other initiatives where the Programme's capacity to organize emergency food delivery to areas across battle lines, and to virtually inaccessible locations, has developed to a fine art. For example, in Ethiopia WFP's transport operations by road and by air have become an indispensable part of the emergency and refugee assistance programme. The 1990 air bridge from the port of Assab to Asmara has now exceeded one thousand flights with almost 20 thousand tons of food delivered to the population affected by drought and cut off by civil strife. At the same time, WFP has been engaged in intensive negotiations for the reopening of the port of Massawa, which could lead to a major food delivery operation to the northern parts of the country which have been again very seriously affected by drought this year. I should say that those negotiations are close to finality, and I hope to be able to announce their success in the very near future.
A further major breakthrough has been achieved for Angola, where discussions with the parties in conflict have led to an agreement for emergency food deliveries to all parts of the country where there are people who suffer from malnutrition and serious food shortages. WFP has put in place a logistics team, and the first convoys across the lines of conflict have already taken place deep into the heart of Angola. Other convoys are being made ready to deliver food from Namibia to the south of the country.
In Asia, our involvement in relation to Afghanistan has not diminished. Planning for a peaceful settlement in Cambodia has been stepped up, as have our ongoing feeding operations inside that country for people displaced internally by continuing armed conflict.
In short, and in conclusion, in respect of our development work, in sustaining refugees and displaced people, in the provision of emergency
feeding to victims of natural and manmade disasters, WFP is increasingly being called upon to do more. I am satisfied that the Programme is meeting these challenges in the best possible manner. I feel bound to say, however, Mr Chairman, that donors must realize that they have an obligation to ensure that the level of resources provided is commensurate with the demands made on the Programme. In this, let me paraphrase what I said the last time I addressed this Council: WFP is dependent on the generosity of donors; I appeal to them to increase their contributions to WFP, both in food and in cash, so that our assistance for both development and emergency needs can be sustained. We are engaged in noble work, but we need even greater support if we are to continue and to strengthen it.
Gian Paolo PAPA (EEC): I would like on behalf of the European Community to take a few of the points made in the Annual Report of the CFA covering 1989. During the year 1989 the resources managed by the Programme reached the second highest level on record. However, with the rise in prices for many products, and in particular cereals and milk, the quantities delivered declined and the Programme had difficulty in maintaining its commitments for development projects. While the European Community is pleased to have been able to maintain its level of commitment for most products, despite the rise in prices, we do recognize the need for the Programme to set priorities for its development projects.
We are concerned at the extent to which the rate of implementation of existing projects has been slowed and feel that cuts in projects must be related to development priorities rather than being applied at the same rate to all projects. We feel that the reduction in commodities at the World Food Programme's disposal has to lead to a reduction in projects approvals and the clear set up of priorities for action.
We welcome the efforts of the Programme to give priority to sub-Saharan Africa although we note that in 1989 the share of project approvals for the region fell. We feel that the Programme as a provider for food aid is an appropriate agency to intervene only when there are food input requirements and it should examine carefully the requirements of the recipients and the most appropriate ways in which these can be met.
We are pleased to note a number of points in relation to project preparation. We agree that project design is extremely important and the technical inputs of United Nations agencies, particularly FAO, are critical. We feel that food aid allocations require increased financial and technical inputs to form viable development projects so identification of these needs jointly with other agencies and with donors is necessary in order to obtain the cash needed to finance project support costs. It is at the design stage also that the environmental risks of projects must be examined and efforts made to be sensitive to environmental concerns.
During 1989 the decision was taken to establish a separate category of contributions for protracted refugee operations. We welcome the efforts that are being made in refugee operations to support development and enhance the self-reliance of refugees and to support the surrounding host populations. We note the serious problems that the World Food Programme
faced in assuring food supplies to refugee feeding operations during 1989 but we hope when we receive the report for 1990 the World Food Programme will be able to note an improvement in the situation.
Gonzalo BUIA HOYOS (Colombia): Nuestro amigo el Señor Ingram hizo una excelente presentación de este tema. Hemos dedicado todo un día con intensidad y cuidado a estudiar temas relacionados con el Programa Mundial de Alimentos y, afortunadamente, al final de la jornada nos parece haber notado ciertos signos de serenidad y cordialidad, algunas expresiones que van en la buena dirección de la cooperación y del entendimiento que todos auspiciamos. Por esas consideraciones, Señor Presidente, vamos a hacer una propuesta que, a lo mejor, y de antemano nos excusamos, ya que puede causar algunos inconvenientes a aquellos colegas que se hayan inscrito y que quieran intervenir sobre este punto. Nosotros en vez de leer las cuatro páginas que teníamos escritas, y que hemos entregado a los intérpretes, proponemos con espíritu de consenso, y en aras de la brevedad, que usted, Señor Presidente, tanto propugna, que el Consejo agradezca al Señor Ingram su presentación, tome nota con apreciación de este importante informe anual, que confirma una vez más como gracias al apoyo permanente de todos los donantes, el PMA se ha venido consolidando como un verdadero y valioso instrumento al servicio del desarrollo que debe ser el objetivo principal de la asistencia del programa nacional.
Naturalmente, lo que yo he dicho no es texto obligatorio ni camisa de fuerza para el Comité de Redacción, sino una guía que pueda ayudarnos a todos a concluir este día en torno al PMA con una nota positiva de cordialidad y de entendimiento.
EL PRESIDENTE: Me parece una proposición muy valiosa. Por el momento tengo dos inscripciones más, de Madagascar y de Cuba. Pienso que su proposición es muy buena y quisiera pedir a todos que sean lo más breves posible.
Raphael RABE (Madagascar): En fait, Madagascar étant membre du CPA, la délégation malgache a participé à l'élaboration du quinzième rapport annuel du Comité et l'approuve donc sans réserve. Cela nous permet également d'être très bref. En fait, Monsieur le Président, nous nous contenterons de relever quelques points saillants.
D'abord, nous avons le plaisir de féliciter le Directeur exécutif pour les hautes performances atteintes. Ces performances ont été citées par Monsieur le Directeur exécutif, et nous ne voulons pas les répéter. Nous relevons aussi que l'aide alimentaire continue de répondre d'une manière satisfaisante aux priorités nationales et mondiales. Nous voudrions relever, entre autres, la contribution de l'aide alimentaire à la résolution des problèmes actuels et à venir de dégradation de l'environnement. Le rapport signale que le PAM s'est employé, déjà depuis un quart de siècle, dans ces activités et dans la résolution de ces problèmes.
Nous relevons également la valorisation des ressources humaines. Nous avons eu l'occasion de participer à l'adoption de projets d'alimentation de groupes vulnérables, et d'aide à l'enseignement et à la formation. Et nous avons toujours appuyé d'une manière très intense de tels projets.
Nous mentionnons également la création d'emplois par la mise en oeuvre de projets à fort coefficient de main-d'oeuvre. A plusieurs occasions aussi, nous avons eu la possibilité d'apprécier le rôle des projets dans la création d'emplois.
Monsieur le Président, nous ne pouvons pas ne pas souligner le soutien très important du Programme alimentaire mondial dans des projets de ce Programme, dans la création et la restauration d'infrastructures de transport, de communications, et de stockage, et d'infrastructures hydroagricoles-également, le soutien du Programme assuré aux gouvernements de nos pays qui procèdent à des mesures d'ajustement économique.
Bien entendu, nous apprécions les aides d'urgence et les opérations prolongées en faveur des réfugiés et des personnes déplacées, et enfin, l'encouragement de la production alimentaire nationale par l'intensification des achats locaux de produits agricoles (achetés sur place donc), et par opérations triangulaires.
Monsieur le Président, nous encourageons le Programme à persister dans cette voie, et à s'efforcer sans cesse d'améliorer les performances. Cependant, sans un soutien soutenu et croissant des Etats Membres, il ne pourrait y parvenir.
Ainsi, le volume des aides alimentaires ne devrait pas être influencé par les prix mondiaux des denrées et enregistrer des baisses importantes comme en 1988-1989. A plusieurs occasions, nous avons lancé un appel auprès des donateurs, pour qu'ils trouvent une formule afin de parer à ces phénomènes négatifs.
Nous soulignons aussi qu'il est nécessaire que le paiement en espèces du tiers des contributions soit effectif pour tous les donateurs. Un problème actuel concerne également les aides accordées aux pays de l'Europe de l'Est. Nous ne voyons aucune difficulté à ce que ces aides soient faites, au contraire, mais qu'elles soient faites en supplément, c'est-à-dire en dotations supplémentaires.
Les propositions formulées au paragraphe 34 du document pour le renforcement des capacités des pays africains, pour une meilleure intégration de l'aide au programme de développement, sont les bienvenues.
Enfin, Monsieur le Président, je voudrais terminer en souhaitant que toutes les institutions du système des Nations Unies, qui collaborent étroitement avec le Programme alimentaire mondial, s'emploient à rendre cette collaboration de plus en plus utile et fructueuse, surtout pour ceux pour lesquels le Programme a été créé.
LE PRESIDENT: Je me permets d'insister pour que la suggestion de l'Ambassadeur de Colombie puisse être suivie, que vous soyez le plus bref possible. Je crois que nous examinons un rapport qui a été débattu déjà au sein du CPA et il serait utile que, si débat plus ample il devait y avoir, il ait lieu dans l'organe compétent, c'est-à-dire le CPA.
Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Coincidimos con el planteamiento de nuestro colega embajador Bula Hoyos, así como con lo que Ud., Sr. Presidente, acaba de expresar; pero, en nombre de nuestra Delegación, opinamos necesario hacer unas muy breves consideraciones.
Somos y seremos partidarios del sistema multilateral en la esfera internacional como método eficaz, democrático y justo, oportunidad que tenemos los países para, con los mismos derechos, debatir todos los aspectos en este complejo e imprevisible mundo en el que se nos presentan tanto en sus posiciones Norte-Sur, Sur-Sur, de Oriente a Occidente; en fin, en todas sus posiciones a lo ancho y redondo de nuestro planeta.
Defenderemos estas organizaciones dentro del sistema de Naciones Unidas y nos enfrentaremos a aquéllos que traten de socavar su prestigio y autoridad. Decimos todo esto para dejar constancia de todo lo que representa para nuestros países, en importancia, tanto la FAO como el PMA, en su noble esfuerzo por mitigar su lucha contra el hambre y el desarrollo de los pueblos menos favorecidos. Lo hemos expresado a la FAO, así como también al PMA, en su imprescindible y necesaria ayuda. Es por eso que nos duele, en nuestra condición de país en vías de desarrollo, oír que estas relaciones actuales FAO/PMA frenan la ayuda alimentaria y abogamos para su solución dentro del marco aprobado en estos días. Pero bien, hoy en este tema 13.5 tenemos delante el Informe Anual del Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria y ante esa realidad, Señor Presidente, la delegación de Cuba desea intervenir en este tema con vista a dar su total apoyo al 15s informe anual del Comité. En el marco del 29a período de sesiones del CPA realizamos algunas reflexiones sobre este informe que, por razones de tiempo, no vamos a repetir. Sólo quisiéramos recalcar algunos conceptos que, a nuestro juicio, son vitales y que reflejan la importancia que el Programa Mundial de Alimentos ha adquirido a la luz de la ayuda alimentaria que está siendo canalizada hacia los países más pobres, y, dentro de ello, a las poblaciones más desfavorecidas del mundo. De ahí la encomiable contribución del PMA a la lucha contra el hambre en el mundo, significativo hecho que caracteriza más de 26 años de ininterrumpida labor.
La delegación cubana desea expresar su apoyo a los proyectos de desarrollo asistidos por el PMA en el entendido de que los mismos deben incrementarse, ya que son éstos los que inciden y promueven el fomento de las producciones agrícolas, mejoran las tierras, las infraestructuras rurales, los asentamientos rurales, el establecimiento de reservas alimentarias, así como lo relativo a los recursos humanos de enseñanza y capacitación.
Apoyamos la ayuda alimentaria de urgencia a través del PMA y nos preocupa que las catástrofes causadas por el hambre absorbieran más de los dos tercios del total de los recursos de urgencia en los últimos años; o sea, en 1989 un 78 por ciento del valor total de la ayuda de urgencia requerida
fue debido a las catástrofes causadas por el hombre tanto para situaciones prolongadas como para situaciones nuevas.
Sólo nos resta hacer un llamado a los donantes del PMA para que continúen dotando a este importante plan con sus contribuciones habituales, hecho que redundará en mejores condiciones para los países del Tercer Mundo.
Adel EL SARKY (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): In the name of Allah the Merciful, the Compassionate: After having reviewed paragraphs 1-18 of document CL 98/9 my delegation is pleased to note the degree of ability of WFP to combat hunger, to increase its resources and to increase the distribution of assistance to poorer countries. We also welcome the fact the Programme has used assistance to improve infrastructure and to improve project delivery. The Egyptian delegation wishes therefore to congratulate the Executive Director of WFP for this special effort.
My delegation wishes to express its most sincere thanks to the World Food Programme for having given special attention to food deficit countries and having allocated four-fifths of its resources to development activities and for increasing the share of LDCs in food assistance during 1990 as compared with previous years.
The Egyptian delegation is truly and genuinely pleased to note that the Programme gives increased attention to the African continent and that it allocates 25 percent of its resources to agricultural development and rural development projects in the Near East region in addition to the special importance given to environmental matters.
We wish to reaffirm that the optimal use of assistance in its various forms is hinged essentially on the preparation and implementation of projects. We therefore wish to express our full satisfaction for the efforts of the WFP secretariat in preparing, designing and implementing programmes and projects.
Finally, we welcome the Programme's policy aimed at increasing purchases of food products from developing countries. We hope that the target figures for the forthcoming period will be achieved.
We wish to commend the WFP secretariat, who are working under very difficult circumstances, and dangerous ones in certain cases. We also wish to thank Mr Ingram for his report.
Rachadi ISKANDAR (Indonesia): With reference to agenda item 13.3 of the 15th annual report of the WFP Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, my delegation would like to express appreciation to the Executive Director of WFP for having explained the WFP comprehensive report, which covers a large range of important subjects and which gives a full account of the activities performed by WFP during the period under review.
It shows that WFP, since its establishment, has achieved great progress in handling food aid, evidenced by its annual turnover in 1989, a record of nearly $1.1 billion with the total cost of staff only 4.4 percent of the turnover. We welcome and congratulate the Administrator for his successful efforts. My delegation expresses the sincere hope that the target of food aid at the value of $1.4 billion for the biennium 1989-90 and of $1.5 billion for the biennium 1990-91 will be reached, and that two-thirds of its resources be in the form of commodities and services and the remaining one-third in the form of cash. This is a long-standing problem which calls for an adequate planning of pledges to the Programme. Experience in the past has indicated that the availability of cash facilitates the procurement of commodities from local markets in recipient countries or from other developing countries, and has helped developing countries to deal with their marketing problem. It has also paved the way for a more efficient south-south cooperation in the future.
Furthermore, we wish to convey our hope that whatever the situation that may be confronting us, a speedy delivery of the food aid should always be assured by all parties concerned.
While my delegation appreciates the explanation given by the Executive Director of WFP regarding the WFP emergency assistance, in this connection we would like to support the statement expressed by the delegate of the Philippines this morning about the need to speed up the assistance in the form of food aid that has been allocated by the WFP and intended for the victims of natural disaster which occurred in that country. Therefore once again, together with other ASEAN countries, we wish to call the attention of WFP and the Council to prompt action in this matter.
LE PRESIDENT: Nous allons clôturer cette présente séance à 18 heures parce que le Comité de rédaction qui se réunira aura besoin des interprètes. Je demanderai donc aux intervenants d'être très brefs.
Sra. Mònica DEREGIBUS (Argentina): Mi delegación agradece la presentación del 15a informe anual del Comité de Políticas y Programas de Ayuda Alimentaria, hecha por el Director Ejecutivo del Programa. Al respecto, permítame decir que mi país aprecia lo realizado por el programa en el año 1989, y muy especialmente los incrementos en las compras de alimentos en los países en desarrollo.
Quisiéramos hacer una reflexión a propósito de este informe. Este informe cubre las actividades del PMA en 1989 y pone en nuestro conocimiento las decisiones del CPA adoptadas también en 1989, un año y medio atrás, en el caso de las decisiones adoptadas en el mes de mayo.
Nosotros dijimos esta mañana que estimábamos que el Consejo de la FAO, y posiblemente también el ECOSOC, no habían podido a nuestro juicio cumplir rigurosamente con su responsabilidad al analizar los informe del CPA en el pasado debido a que estos informes no eran completos ni oportunos. Este informe, Señor Presidente, es la prueba más palpable de lo que nosotros
decíamos esta mañana. Como usted puede ver. la decisión sobre las operaciones de urgencia prolongadas para refugiados y personas desplazadas fue tomada por el CPA entre el 29 de mayo y el 3 de junio de 1989, o sea, exactamente un año y medio atrás. Es absolutamente imposible que el Consejo pueda comentar, pueda analizar en su momento esta decisión del CPA si ésta va a ser transmitida al Consejo con un año y medio de demora. También es imposible que el Consejo se hubiera podido expresar acerca de la posibilidad o no de contratar una persona eminente para estudiar las relaciones entre la FAO y el PMA, porque también es en este momento-cuando la circunstancia está totalmente superada-cuando a nosotros se nos informa de la decisión.
Por consiguiente, creo que es importante que este Consejo reflexione acerca de la manera en que piensa seguir cumpliendo con su responsabilidad en el futuro, y al mismo tiempo haga un examen crítico de la manera en que lo ha hecho hasta el presente. Creemos que hay que hallar un modo para que los informe del CPA al Consejo sean más oportunos y completos, y al respecto nos permitimos sugerir dos posibilidades: la primera seria que, eventualmente, en lugar de tomarse el período enero-diciembre para hacer el informe, se tomara el período junio-mayo, con lo cual nos estaríamos acercando seis meses a las decisiones tomadas. La segunda sería que con el informe del año 1989 vinieran acompañados los informes de los períodos de sesiones del CPA del año 1990, porque de esa manera tendríamos un panorama completo de lo que se ha decidido hasta el momento.
Kiala Kia MATEVA (Angola): Monsieur le Président, je dois commencer mon intervention en félicitant le Directeur exécutif du PAM pour le document qu'il nous a présenté et que nous approuvons. Je remercie également le Secrétariat pour le travail ardu qu'il a dû réaliser.
Tous les Etats Membres sont au courant de la situation que traverse mon pays en général et au centre Sud-Est en particulier, où la population des neuf provinces souffre de la faim, de la sécheresse et de la malnutrition. Grâce aux efforts conjoints (gouvernement/système des Nations Unies/ONG), le Secrétaire général de l'ONU a lancé un appel à la Communauté internationale au premier semestre de l'année en cours. Les Nations Unies ont présenté au gouvernement de mon pays, qui l'a approuvé, leur programme spécial d'aide alimentaire. Monsieur Ingram a cité l'opération qui a amené l'aide alimentaire au centre du pays. Je profite de cette occasion pour confirmer cette aide car je suis membre de l'équipe gouvernementale qui a discuté les documents du programme avec le groupe des Nations Unies dirigé par le Secrétaire général adjoint, Monsieur Abdula Farah, qui a pour tâche d'accompagner la mise en application du programme.
Ce programme a débuté récemment, le 2 octobre, grâce à l'aide alimentaire mise à la disposition par le PAM.
Nous profitons de l'opportunité qui nous est donnée pour rendre un vibrant hommage au PAM et à son Directeur exécutif en tant que chef de file qui n'ont ménagé aucun effort pour donner vie audit programme.
Pour terminer, je dirai que je fais miennes les déclarations de mes collègues de Madagascar et de Cuba.
Dong QINGSONG (China) (Original language Chinese): Allow me to begin by thanking the Secretariat of the WFP for the document before us, CL 98/9, which they have prepared for us. I would also like to thank Mr Ingram, the Executive Director of WFP, for his introduction.
We have seen that during 1989 WFP has continued to use food aid to promote agriculture and agricultural and rural development. Geographically, it has been used in Sub-Saharan Africa where the food situation is particularly critical. We think that this is certainly an excellent choice.
During this year, WFP has continued to be faced with resource problems but it has nonetheless not stopped the Programme making very encouraging success.
In 1989, the volume of commodities transported was lower than the figures for 1989 but it is still at the average level of the three preceding years.
In 1989, 43 development projects were approved by WFP, 22 long-term programmes for refugees and 46 for emergency aid. Thirty-four million people have therefore benefited from these programmes. Such success goes hand-in-hand with the remarkable work that has been done by WFP. We would therefore like to congratulate them on this.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank WFP for the help they have given to our country in the past and express my country's will to strengthen its cooperation with WFP.
We have also noted that new progress has been made by the WFP with regard to the creation of new categories of programmes and new areas of activities such as triangular transactions in developing countries which have been promoted further.
We feel that all these measures contribute to strengthening the developing countries' efforts to develop their agricultural and food production through their own means as well as developing further south-south trade. We therefore hope that WFP will be able to strengthen its work in these areas.
Vishnu BHAGWAN (India): I would like to thank the Secretariat for its very good report on WFP activities and the excellent presentation by the Executive Director.
In deference to your wishes, Mr Chairman, I would like this written submission to form part of the verbatim report. I would also like to submit that our delegation feels that there is a need to study the role of food aid in development, along with other agencies such as FAO and WFP. We support such studies. We feel these studies will allay the fears of many countries that food aid can be misused as a political weapon.
Ms Carole THEAUVETTE (Canada): As a Member of CFA, having already expressed our views in that forum, we are pleased to associate ourselves with the views of Colombia and note with appreciation the WFP's annual report.
Ms Jane E. BECKER (United States of America): Very briefly, my delegation wishes to commend the World Food Programme for its many successful emergency feeding operations in connection with the UN system, often under very difficult and dangerous circumstances. We also wish to congratulate the Executive Director and the World Food Programme on the quality and comprehensive nature of the report presented here today.
We are aware of the many joint operations of WFP and UNHCR in refugee relief. We have followed with interest WFP's involvement in food security activities with FAO and the World Bank. There are many other agency linkages with other institutions. My delegation believes this impressive record on inter-agency collaboration is outstanding.
As we stated in June in the CFA, we are extremely anxious to receive the study of IEFR, the International Emergency Food Reserve, which is under consideration by WFP and FAO.
Finally, the US and others, also in June, raised concerns about a new FAO study on food aid. Any study carried out by FAO on food aid should be prepared in collaboration with the World Food Programme and should benefit from review by the CFA. For optimal results, we further believe that the study should include inputs from representatives of donor countries and draw on the wealth and knowledge of such bodies as the International Food Policy Research Institute.
We would be interested in more specific information, which we will ask for separately, and the proposed content and purpose of the study which we expect would build on other such studies now in progress and certainly not duplicate them.
A.K.M. Fazley RABBI (Observer for Bangladesh): I will be very brief. As you know, Bangladesh is not a Member of CFA and as such we need not make any substantive comments on the annual report, which is a story of success and achievement.
We have taken the floor only to show our support for the Organization and our confidence in its management.
As a major beneficiary of WFP, we are happy with the achievements of the Programme. In fact, WFP's better performance means greater benefit to food aid recipients in developing countries. In this regard we deeply appreciate the introductory statement of the Executive Director in which we have a global perspective of food aid and its increased need in the future.
It is unnecessary to reiterate the importance of the effectiveness of the Programme in respect of the delivery of food aid both for development and emergencies.
We also take this opportunity to extend our thanks to the donor communities for providing the resources WFP needs to help needy people. We would like to join the Executive Director in urging the donors to increase their contributions both in cash and in kind.
Vishnu BHAGWAN (India): I would like to congratulate the Executive Director of WFP for an excellent report, which deals with the present problems and future plans. We are especially happy at the attention paid to the role of women in agricultural and rural development.
There is commendable progress in optimal utilization of WFP aid for development of vulnerable and weaker sections and backward areas. A new thrust has been given to environmental programmes, emergency operations and undertaking trilateral commodity purchase transactions. It is hoped that WFP aid, which is not attached with any conditionality/structural adjustment will go a long way in development of developing and least-developed countries, targetted groups and improving the balance of payments of recipient countries.
Our delegation is concerned to note that the WFP aid during 1989 declined to $ 668 million from $ 1 033 million in 1988. The WFP shipments were of the order of 2.24 million tons during 1985 as compared to 3.12 million tons during 1988. Due to restraint of resources, WFP had to reduce aid of high-value commodities like edible oils and smp. It is heartening to note that commitment of food aid stands at a higher level in the year 1991 to meet the requirement of the needy.
We also appreciate WFP's close cooperation with multilateral and bilateral agencies in this field. The WFP aid for supporting drug abuse control is a desirable direction to control the evil.
Regarding the use of NGOs, our delegation is of the view that the aid-receiving country should be left to consider about associating NGOs for WFP aid. Our experience in India has been that NGOs could be an effective vehicle for utilizing WFP aid for pilot projects under development.
We also appreciate efforts to provide commodities through local exchanges/purchases and trilateral exchanges as they enable the programme to provide to the beneficiaries commodities acceptable to them.
Our delegation also feels there is a need to study the role of food aid in development along with other agencies such a FAO and WFP and supports such studies.3
James INGRAM (Executive Director, WFP): I will not do more than thank the delegations which have spoken for their very nice remarks in many cases. It is always gratifying that the work of staff who do face danger, as some
3 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
have said, is recognized. I will convey to the staff your appreciation for their work.
I would like to assure the delegation of Madagascar that WFP shares fully with them the view that food aid to eastern Europe should not be at the expense of food aid for the developing countries. The Programme itself is not involved in the provision of food aid in eastern Europe except on a fee-for-service basis we have bought food in Hungary for one donor for delivery to another eastern European country.
I would not like anyone to feel that the Programme does not take very seriously indeed the exhortations made today by the distinguished representatives of Indonesia and the Philippines.
We do our best always to ensure that food arrives on time. We believe our performance continues to improve. I think it is worthwhile my simply saying that we do not own any food, if I can put it that way. We have some money to buy food and we have some donor promises and drawing-down the promises is a pretty complicated process. It can, in fact, sometimes lead to unnecessary delays. I would like to say that we are totally committed as an institution to improving performance on every aspect of our work.
I do not believe the IEFR study will be before CFA 31 in May or June of next year. We will certainly be working with FAO on that.
As regards the FAO study, we are also certainly interested in collaboration with FAO on that. We were recently in communication with them.
I think that is probably all I have to say at this late hour.
B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Policy Department): I will be brief, taking into account the late hour. First of all, I am glad to note the positive comments made by the Executive Director expressing his appreciation for the technical services provided by FAO. I am also encouraged that WFP plans to continue to rely on FAO technical services. On the part of FAO, I would like to assure members of Council and the Executive Director through you, Mr. Chairman, that FAO will be ready to provide its technical services to the WFP in the interest of Member Governments, both donors and recipients.
One small clarification is needed on my part. Mr West, as the Representative of the Director-General, in his reply to the discussion on Item 13.1 referred to the decline in the demand for the services of FAO. The Executive Director confirmed that the decline has occurred and therefore, what Mr West said was not misinformation. We understand the background to the decline in demand for FAO services, namely, the degree of overall project formulation. In this connection, we are encouraged to note that the WFP is now optimistic about a pick-up in its activities which will have a positive impact on the demand for FAO's services.
Concerning the IEFR study, we look forward to being consulted on the preparation of this study.
As regards the food aid study we have consulted with WFP. As the Executive Director said, there has been a good exchange of comments between FAO and
WFP on this. We found the comments made by WFP very useful and we are taking them into account. We have sent the outline of this study to other organizations such as the World Food Council and the World Bank for comment. We shall use all the available information and analyses made by donors as well as any other studies, including the World Bank and the WFP study on food aid in Sub-Saharan Africa. We appreciate being consulted in the final stages of this study, which we are drawing upon. We will be pleased to submit the findings of the FAO study to the CFA at a future session, and to provide any such additional information that the delegate of the United States of America, or any other delegate, wishes to have on this study.
LE PRESIDENT: Nous arrivons au terme du débat sur le sous-point 13.3: Examen du quinzième rapport annuel du Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire. Ce débat a été intéressant. Il y a eu de nombreuses interventions qui, même si elles furent courtes, ont été substantielles et dans lesquelles ont été posées un certain nombre de questions.
Je crois qu'il est important que le CPA poursuive l'examen des différentes questions qui ont été soulevées. Il faut également qu'il participe à la stratégie d'aide alimentaire pour la décennie qui vient. C'est l'une des tâches prioritaires pour le Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire.
L'aide alimentaire a beaucoup évolué, elle est appelée à évoluer encore et, dans les années qui viennent, on devrait pouvoir définir une approche en tenant compte des premières considérations qui ont été émises.
C'est une tâche particulièrement passionnante pour le CPA. Je vous remercie tous de votre participation à cette discussion et je déclare clos le débat sur ce point.
Je voudrais annoncer aux membres du Conseil que la quinzième séance plénière se tiendra demain à 9 h 30 et qu'à cette séance nous entreprendrons l'examen du rapport de la dixième session du Comité des forêts. Nous entendrons un exposé de M. Murray et nous établirons immédiatement la liste des inscriptions.
Le Comité de rédaction va se réunir dans quelques minutes, dans la salle du Mexique, sous la présidence de M. Khan, du Pakistan.
The meeting rose at 18.00 hours
La séance est levée à 18 h 00
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.00 horas