V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): As you have said, Mr Chairman, this is another document which has involved a lot of reflection and I hope will stimulate reflection in the Council and later in the Conference. The Director-General himself attaches so much importance to it that, as you will recall, he referred to it fairly extensively in his own introductory statement to the Council last Monday. That, of course, will constitute the basic introduction to the Medium-term Plan. For my part now, let me be businesslike in just drawing a few points to the Council's attention.
The last Conference requested the Director-General to submit this Medium-term Plan 1994-99 to the next Conference, through the Programme and Finance Committee and the Council, taking into account the views of the regional conferences and the technical committees of the Council. This has been done. At each of the regional conferences held during last year, the regional conferences were invited to give their views on the Medium-term Plan from the perspective of their regions. In Chapter 4 of the Plan you will see that we have taken account of those views in giving the proposals on the regional issues and priorities. As regards the technical committees of the Council, that is to say the committees on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, each of these committees received a document on medium-term perspectives, on the same lines of thinking as we were following in the preparation of this Medium-term Plan. The views of these committees have already been considered by you, so I will not elaborate further. In essence, Ithink the Council may be
reassured to know that the views of the technical committees are in concordance with the Medium-term Plan before you.
You, Mr Chairman, have already drawn attention to the important views of the Programme Committee. I have nothing to add. There is only one final issue which is addressed both in the Medium-term Plan and in the reports of the Programme and Finance Committees, and that is the issue of how resource projections should be covered, if they should be covered at all. The Director-General is very much at ease on this subject, as you know, and as he has said in his own introduction. In the previous Medium-term Plan, without wishing in any way to be divisive on this matter, he presented two possible ways of looking at resource projections for the future. He indicated in one table what he considered would be the implications if the Conference accepted a programme increase and showed the resource distribution possible under that scenario over the six-year period. He presented another option which was to say, all right, if people are uncomfortable in facing dollar figures and they want to see in terms of percentages how resources could be distributed with no growth, that also can be envisaged. However, this time, as he has clearly said, in view of the lack of Conference agreement on this issue, he is not putting forward resource projections. What he has done, however, and what he considers very important for our Governing Bodies to note, is that if we are not going to look at future projections, at least let us bear in mind the importance of the assurance of resources for programmes which are approved by the Conference. The Director-General, therefore, shows in Chapter 5, and in particular in the table under paragraph 469 on the very last page of the text, the resource experience over the last three biennia.
We look forward very much to the reflections and the views of the Council on this subject which will be addressed not only to the Conference but which the Director-General himself is very keenly interested to receive.
Charles STOLL (Canada): The Canadian delegation values very much the considerable analysis and vision contained in the document, and is in general agreement with the priorities expressed for the Organization. We agree with the presentation and appreciate the linkage with the Summary Programme of Work and Budget which is to be addressed later.
Within the last few years, political relationships amongst the nations of the world have changed significantly, but the demands placed upon the United Nations and on its specialized agencies have grown like never before. The FAO shares this burden, and the Medium-term Plan states clearly the major challenges to be faced. The world economy is still affected by recession in OECD countries, traditional difficulties in Eastern Europe, and low commodity prices for developing countries. However, there are prospects for improved economic growth through enhanced trading relationships and the spin-off benefits for agricultural economies.
The FAO has a crucial role to play in this regard. That role involves supporting agriculture, fishery and forest product trade through policy advice, food and trade standards, and disseminating global trade information on the one hand, and on the other hand building national capabilities and agriculture for developing countries.
Regarding agriculture, the Canadian delegation would like to reinforce some major FAO priorities such as the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the International Plant Protection Commission, the work undertaken to preserve global animal genetic diversity, and the trade statistical packages.
Support for increasing national capacities in all aspects of development is also crucial. With respect to the move upstream in FAO's evolving Field Programme, FAO leadership will be critical in three critical areas. First, the timely identification of trends and emerging issues will become more important and FAO is in a pivotal position to lead the way. Second, FAO must encourage nations to accept and act upon the reality of a shared and finite planet and work together to build our common future. Third, FAO must lead in developing methodologies and approaches to marshall scarce resources and develop effective solutions. FAO's ability to provide this leadership will test both its governance and its delivery structures.
As FAO reduces emphasis on downstream activities, it will be important to retain a focus on beneficiaries and their well-being throughout project design, implementation and evaluation. In the last aspect, FAO could provide technical backstopping to national governments and other organizations. This would have a significant multiplier potential by encouraging many donors to support projects in difficult areas of agricultural and rural development.
Concerning the broad prioritizing of the role of women in the development process which is articulated at various points in this report and which we fully support, we would offer the importance of leading by example. In the FAO as an organization we have a major responsibility, in the opinion of the Canadian delegation, to give full substance to this goal by developing and implementing a pro-active policy designed to integrate, to a much greater extent than currently is the case, the talents of the under-represented 50 percent of humanity into its own operations.
With respect to public information activities, FAO must increase its effort to sell the agricultural and rural development message, specifically that agricultural and rural development are critical in dealing with rural poverty and malnutrition which continue at unacceptable levels in many parts of the world, critical in meeting the future needs of a global population that is still expanding rapidly, and crucial in protecting and rehabilitating a shrinking natural resource base.
Policy makers in both developed and developing countries must not be allowed to ignore these realities.
The statistical and textual information area will continue to be a key role for FAO. While PC-AGROSTAT has been a good start, we look forward to the full implementation of WAICENT as soon as possible. Integration of the agricultural policy information systems into WAICENT would be a welcome addition. Forestry and fisheries databases will also need to be augmented.
Environment and sustainable development are priorities, as clearly set out in Chapter Two. We hope that the Commission on Sustainable Development will give even more precision to the work of the specialized agencies such as FAO in these vital tasks.
The food security priority should be pursued by the FAO on a cross-sectoral and cooperative basis with other international bodies such as WHO, WFP and CGIAR. Bilateral support is equally important.
UNCED recognized that forests are of prime importance to the planetary ecological balance and the survival and sustainable development of human populations. Our delegation is particularly pleased to see the recognition of the multiple roles of forests, reflecting a wide variety of forest values in addition to economic development, as a central feature of FAO's approach to programming in forestry. This is fully consistent with the UNCED Forest Principles and Agenda 21, Chapter 11, which emphasize the importance of perceiving forests as integrated ecosystems.
Canada is in general agreement with the programme priorities for forestry outlined in the document. As our delegation stated at COFO, particular priority should be given to i) policy advice; ii) national capacity-building; iii) formulating approaches to the conservation and utilization of biodiversity; and iv) the formulation of criteria and indicators for sustainable development. Nevertheless, as COFO and this Council have clearly indicated, if FAO is to aspire to maintain leadership in global forestry issues, it must devote much greater focus and emphasis to forests than has hitherto been the case.
In confirming our broad support for the programme priorities described in the Report, we would underscore the important normative task represented by work on the proposed Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing with which the FAO will be proceeding during the period covered by the Report. We share the view that a well-conceived code is an important element in the development of sustainable fisheries on a global basis, and we will give our full cooperation to this enterprise. The Medium-term Plan covers the period 1994 to 1999. As we are all aware, 1995 is a special year in the life of this Organization.
As delegates from member countries know, Canada, together with other countries, in 1945, was able to play a special role in setting the course for this, the largest UN specialized agency. The Founding Conference took place in my country, in Quebec City on October 16, 1945.
In October 1992, the Government of Canada had the privilege, together with the Government of Quebec, to be host to the FAO. A special World Food Day event was held in Quebec City in the Chateau Frontenac, where the FAO was established in 1945. We value this special bond with the Organization and were particularly pleased that the Director-General was able to preside over the World Food Day event.
As was proposed at the last Council by the Canadian delegation, I can now confirm that the Governments of Canada and the Province of Quebec have agreed to sponsor substantive activities to take place in Quebec City in October 1995 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of FAO. Serious consideration is being given to the following events which are being planned by Canada and Quebec in full consultation with FAO.
First (1) a three-day Symposium/Conference set for October 11, 12 and 13 on the suggested theme of "A planet to feed: the challenges" or en français, "Une planète à nourrir: les défis."
Secondly (2) a special World Food Day ceremony on October 16, 1995 which could be organized on an exceptional basis in Quebec City rather than FAO Headquarters in Rome or UN Headquarters in New York. On this occasion, we are hopeful that the Council and Conference would agree that a declaration be adopted which might recall past accomplishments and reflect on the future challenges facing the FAO. Such a Quebec Declaration would of course have to attract a consensus of all FAO Members, perhaps through review at the FAO Regional Conferences in 1994 and the Councils in 1994 and 1995.
It is our privilege, as a founding country of the FAO, to make these proposals and to invite the participation of all FAO members. More details of these events will be announced at the 1993 FAO Conference.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie tout simplement le Représentant du Canada de son intervention et je profite de cette occasion pour remercier le Gouvernement du Canada qui m'avait invité à la Journée mondiale de l'alimentation l'année dernière. Le Directeur général et moi-même avons reçu un accueil très chaleureux de la part des autorités du Canada et du Québec.
Jacques LAUREAU (France): Nous avons beaucoup apprécié le document C 93/23 qui, comme le rappelle le Directeur général dans son introduction, n'a pas pour objectif de présenter un cadre budgétaire mais d'élargir l'horizon des réflexions. C'est un très bon document qui resserre l'ordre des priorités en fonction des nouvelles orientations définies au plan multilatéral sur plusieurs thèmes: le développement durable, la nutrition et la sécurité alimentaire, les nouvelles approches du développement rural intégré et la participation des communautés de base au lieu d'interventions étatiques coûteuses et inefficaces. C'est également un document qui traduit assez fidèlement les conclusions des dernières Conférences régionales de 1992.
Le "Forum européen" qui regroupe, comme vous le savez, l'ensemble des pays européens de l'OAA s'est depuis penché sur les rapports qu'entretiennent les pays d'Europe "en transition" avec l'Organisation et sur leurs attentes: un sujet qu'évoque le document C 93/23 aux paragraphes 398 et suivants. Je souhaiterais vous lire un texte qui a été préparé dans ce cadre et qui y a bénéficié d'un large soutien. Ce texte est à la disposition des membres du Conseil qui le désirent.
"Les pays en transition se trouvent actuellement à différentes étapes du développement de leurs efforts en vue de transformer leurs économies planifiées et centralisées en économies orientées par les lois du marché. Le Forum européen reconnaît que, sans une issue positive à ce processus qui vient juste de démarrer dans le domaine agricole, c'est tout le changement dans les pays en transition qui pourrait échouer; c ' est. pourquoi les activités de l'OAA doivent jouer un rôle plus important vis-à-vis de l'agriculture et du développement rural de ces pays. Par conséquent, et conformément aux conclusions de la Conférence régionale sur l'Europe, tenue à Prague
(24-28 avril 1992), l’OΑΑ est priée, dans le cadre de son mandat et en coopération avec d'autres agences, telles que la Commission économique pour l'Europe, de relever le niveau de ses activités dans les pays en voie de transition, en priorité dans des domaines où elle jouit d'avantages comparatifs. Ceux-ci comprennent, entre autres:
a) le conseil à l'élaboration de programmes et de projets de développement en vue de mener des politiques agricoles tournées vers l'économie de marché;
b) le conseil à l'établissement des conditions et des institutions propres à favoriser l'expansion du secteur privé agricole;
c) la préparation de projets à financer par le PNUD, la Banque mondiale, la Banque européenne pour la reconstruction et le développement (BERD), les fonds individualisés des donateurs, etc.;
d) la définition de programmes et/ou de formations dans des domaines bien définis où les pays concernés n'ont pas assez de savoir-faire (tels que le contrôle de qualité alimentaire, le contrôle sanitaire, la classification des produits de l'agriculture, de la forêt et de la pêche) de manière, en particulier, à les mettre à même de répondre aux exigences requises pour leur permettre d'exporter dans la zone de l'OCDE;
e) le conseil et la formation pour le développement d'activités productrices de revenus alternatifs pour les fermiers et les femmes rurales (tourisme "à la ferme", petite transformation des produits agricoles);
f) l'assistance pour une production et une transformation des produits agricoles respectant l'environnement;
g) dans le secteur forestier, les activités de l’ΌΑΑ devraient se concentrer sur la législation, la constitution de services de gestion des forêts, la privatisation, l'exploitation ainsi que la protection, la conservation et le développement durable.
Pour atteindre ces objectifs, il est proposé:
a) qu'il soit procédé à un bilan global de l'assistance offerte et mise en oeuvre par les différentes agences ou par des donateurs, au bénéfice des pays en transition dans le domaine de l'agriculture. La concentration des fonds et activités assignés aux pays en transition dans le système des Nations Unies devrait être davantage poursuivie; dans ce contexte, les fonctions actuelles et les ressources du Bureau régional Europe devraient être réexaminées ;
b) de conduire, au sein de l'OAA, des discussions régulières pour échanger les vues et les expériences acquises dans le processus de transition."
Je voudrais maintenant m'exprimer du point de vue proprement français.
Les moyens nécessaires à cette coopération ne doivent pas être mobilisés au détriment de la coopération avec les pays en développement et notamment les
PMA. Le principe d'additionnalité de l'aide aux pays en transition a toujours été défendu par la France et par bien d'autres pays.
Un autre principe doit nous guider: le principe d'universalité de l'action de l'OAA. La communauté internationale ne peut ignorer les apports des pays en transition au système agricole international, à la réflexion sur les questions agricoles et alimentaires, ni leur possibilité d'actions de coopération avec le Sud ni, bien sûr, la part qu'ils prennent à la production de biens alimentaires. Que signifieraient par exemple les codes que nous sommes en train de mettre au point en matière de pêches, de ressources phytogénétiques, etc. si 25 pour cent des terres émergées échappaient à cette convivialité internationale? J'attire votre attention sur ce point. C'est vrai en matière de pêche, en matière d'agriculture, en matière de forêts.
Enfin, la sécurité alimentaire mondiale ne peut qu'être confortée par la revitalisation du secteur productif agricole ce ces pays car tout ce qui va en Europe durant les situations de crise est distrait d'autant du Sud.
Les hypothèses budgétaires à venir devront donc, selon nous, tenir compte de cet élargissement géographique - même s'il ne s'agit pas forcément de budgets immédiats, et notamment donc, sur un plan français - aux pays contributeurs et prendre cette demande en considération.
Je voudrais en arriver maintenant, Monsieur le Président, à la proposition canadienne. Bien entendu nous donnerons notre réponse définitive à la Conférence mais, a priori. nous accueillons avec sympathie l'initiative qui vient d'être prise par le Gouvernement canadien, d'autant plus que cette réunion se tiendrait sur une terre francophone.
Geoff MILLER (Australia): As some of you may have heard, in my personal capacity I have an interest in a certain position in this House. However, I am here this afternoon as a delegate to the Council of this Body, and as a delegate leading the Australian delegation representing the countries of the South-West Pacific. Therefore, to anyone who may have expected that I could give an address focusing other than on the core business of this Council, I can only say to them that they do not really know me very well. I will leave political issues to other fora and other publications, and focus my attention on some specific points in relation to the documents before us.
First of all, I should like to congratulate the Director-General on his opening address to this Conference which was very germane to the issues embodied in the Medium-term Plan, and also for his foreword to this document and indeed for his comments within the document itself.
I had the privilege to read an address by Dr Khan to ESCAP recently and with his usual very clever crafting of language, he spoke about the very deep currents which operate in the world food economy and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, and how important it was for us to identify those very deep currents and indeed to prepare ourselves to cope with the consequences of certain confluences of those currents. I must say that the Director-General, having served as the Chief Executive of this Organization, as a leader of this
Organization, for 18 years is still looking to the future as he comes to the end of that very long period. I think the future is in very good hands, when we see a man having served for so long going out and focusing our minds on the challenges that lie ahead of us. It is in that context that I see this document. The document does identify very well for us some of the deep currents that have a bearing on the future of FAO. There are deep currents in the developing countries in the food and political system, operating in many parts of the world, and deep currents in the administration of this Organization and of the United Nations System as a whole.
I will not go any further into those points, other than to say that, in broad terms, I find myself in substantial agreement with the points that have been made about the challenges facing FAO.
As we look at the Medium-term Plan itself, this is one of the outcomes of a process of review of the goals and operations of the Organization. I see this document becoming an increasingly important part of the planning and implementation cycle of the work of FAO as time goes on. I cannot comment in any detail on 100 pages of text, but I will comment on some particular aspects of it.
Australia supports the context within which FAO plans to undertake its activities in the area of poverty alleviation, nutrition and food security. In particular the focus on the alleviation of poverty is important. At the same time, of course, we note that poverty alleviation requires action on a large number of fronts, all the way from the international financial system down to household level in the poorest countries.
The thrust of the medium-term approach at paragraphs 146 to 152 is very much supported by Australia. We very much believe in the importance of the traditional food producing system within the developing countries, something which I have referred to elsewhere as transforming the indigenous farming systems. We do very much support that focus in the Medium-term Plan.
We note the medium-term approach in paragraph 147 refers to the global nutritional status monitoring system. I would simply observe that close collaboration between FAO and the WHO is of obvious importance in discharging that responsibility.
On fisheries, Australia supports the improved management of fishery resources and the development of an international code of conduct on responsible fishing. Apart from our own interests in this, we are very conscious of the importance fisheries play in the economies of our Pacific and Asian neighbours, and of coastal and island nations throughout the world.
On forestry, Australia is a member of the Programme Committee, which, when it considered the Medium-term Plan, underlined the significance of an improved focus of appropriate resource allocations to forestry activities, if FAO is effectively to discharge its important mandate in that sector. That Committee also recognized the central importance of FAO's support of the tropical forestry action plan, which Australia endorses.
In relation to other international bodies, cooperation with other international bodies, the cooperation is emphasized at some length. We do believe in strong strategic alliances with other international organizations, and we also endorse the emphasis in the Medium-term Plan on cooperation with non-governmental agencies and private sector bodies. We are, in fact, engaged in a pluralistic effort to lift the status of hunger and nutrition throughout the world.
Using national capacities as an issue that has received some considerable attention, not only in this House, but in many other organizations, including in one of those organizations with which we have historically had the closest of strategic alliances, namely the UNDP, it is an inevitable step for us and for other international agencies and national agencies involved in agricultural development activity that we do indeed build the capacity of our member countries to manage and carry out the agricultural portion of their own national development programmes. Some very clear and important lessons have come out of the evaluation of our own activities in that area, as well as from the evaluation of the activities of organizations such as the UNDP, the World Bank and indeed many national agencies in this area.
Australia supports the overall objective of the rural development section of the plan with particular objectives listed in paragraph 243. We wish to see women play a full and equitable part in the process.
We also welcome the statement that alternative options for targeting socioeconomic programmes to the rural poor will be investigated as a matter of priority, and I hope those investigations can be completed quickly and followed by action.
We would like to see the innovative use of the informal sector as a potential means of making credit and market development schemes available. We fully support the statement that the main focus during the medium-term period will remain on the developing countries, although attention will also be given to the needs of Eastern Europe. Let me say here that I listened carefully to the statement read by the delegate of France on behalf of the East European countries. For my part, I must endorse the statement that the problems of Eastern Europe have an important global dimension in terms of world food security. If that part of the world is not able to manage its transition to a stable and progressive agricultural development system then it will impart serious shocks to the world food system, and those serious shocks to the world food system will be felt by the poorest and the hungriest in the developing world.
So we must agree with the principle of universality. We also agree with the principle of additionality in relation to activity in that part of the world. For my part I believe we in this Organization should focus on three things in Eastern Europe. We should focus on helping them to develop sound policies, to develop institutions, and to improve their capacities. Those three things require a high-quality effort on the part of FAO rather than an enormous quantitative effort and so I see FAO being able to address those issues without a diversion of funds away from the poorest nations.
On the issue of environment and sustainable development we support the priority given by FAO to promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development, and the implementation of the UNCED Agenda 21 and the Forest Principles. A lot of attention is given in this Report to the question of management. I have read that part of the Report as well as the rest in great detail. In fact, I am unable to keep up with the comprehensive adjustments to this document and you will find this copy of the Report has my comments all the way through it, and my thumb marks. I have had some difficulty in translating them to the relevant structure in the new one. But that said, I find the attention to management issues very welcome, and I agree in broad terms.
Particularly, I note in paragraph 74 reference being made to the budgetary climate in the United Nations system as a whole and the need for delegation of authority, streamlining of authority, and simplification of procedures. We do have a very, very big challenge ahead of us in these important areas, but this is not the place to go into that in great detail.
On the question of resources, we note the comments of the Director-General on resources and particularly the conflicting positions of members on resource projects. The Director-General has wisely chosen not to inform us of this position, but to focus on the practical question of the relationship between the approved budget and the actual resources that have been forthcoming for the Organization. Such convergence is very important for the effective management of FAO.
In the area of research and technology development, we support the work of FAO. The particular objectives mentioned in paragraph 227 are very familiar to us in Australia and are very similar to the philosophy of the Australian Centre for Agricultural Research which has been something of a model, at least in my eyes, for the direction in which increased cooperation and genuine collaboration with the developing countries can be undertaken in agricultural research.
We also note the reference in the opening section of the Medium-term Plan under the Prospects up until the end of the century to the expansion of the CGIAR system and the institutions that need to be supported within that system and their new focus (or improving focus) on strengthening the research proceedings and training in the developing countries themselves. On the regional issues and priorities in the chapter on these matters, we support the statement that FAO will continue to respond to the urgent demands of its African Member Nations. It is impossible to underestimate the importance of the challenge that this Organization faces in Africa. I will not elaborate further in this forum.
In our own region, the Asia Pacific Region, we support the focus for the work from the Medium-term Plan which lists 12 areas including the prevention of food losses, the expansion of disease-free zones, improving opportunities for raising incomes and the standards of the rural poor and women, implementation of the ICN Action Plan and the improvement of national capacities in fish stocks and management. We note from paragraph 388 that the less developed countries and small island countries in the region will be assisted in the preparation of mobilization of funds and monitoring of evaluation projects.
This is something we welcome and believe it is most important for all small island nations as well as those of the Pacific region.
We support the Plan's proposals for coastal areas and small islands generally, mentioned in paragraphs 112 and 113.
Finally, I would like personally to express my appreciation and that of my delegation to the delegate of Canada for the very interesting and attractive proposals that his delegation have put forward for marking the important 50th anniversary of FAO. They will be given very careful and very serious consideration. I might add I will be talking about it and I would personally be delighted to see the 50th anniversary of FAO celebrated in the French language.
I congratulate the Secretariat on the quality of this document and also on the quality of the suite of documents we have received on the Evaluation Plan as well as the Programme of Work and Budget. In the future, we can further refine that documentation, further refine the management and planning systems, but at the moment it seems to me we are moving progressively forward into a situation of having an excellent rolling strategic approach to the way in which we undertake our work.
Christodoulos CHRISTODOULOU (Cyprus): My delegation is impressed, both with the structure and the content of document C 93/23, regarding the Medium-term Plan for the period 1994-99. We express our thanks and appreciation to the Secretariat for this.
The sound proposals and the information included therein are convincing and very comprehensive indeed. They adequately cover a wide range of activities, well adjusted to new demands, including follow-up action for the UNCED and the ICN conferences.
In his introductory note, the Director-General very wisely brings forward to our attention the current realities and global issues facing humanity in the years ahead from the viewpoint of population increases, environmental pressures, nutrition and development constraints.
It is obvious that the big challenges involved require adequate resources and determined action by the international community and that FAO, as the lead international and universal institution for food and agricultural issues, is called upon to positively respond to these challenges.
Despite the current crisis occurring in many parts of the world, a new climate of dialogue, understanding and international cooperation is evolving, even though it is difficult to foresee the duration or even the outcome of this evolutionary process. However, the need and the desire for balanced development under conditions of peace and cooperation have become apparently greater than ever before, especially on issues of global concern, such as poverty'alleviation, nutrition, environmental degradation and fair trade.
These issues are adequately addressed in the document under review, namely in Chapters Two, Three and Four where the relevant FAO activities are referred
to and described. As mentioned in paragraph 18 "FAO's established roles in providing policy assistance and advice in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, as well as building national capacities, remain a cornerstone of its actions". Speaking on behalf of a country which in the past has experienced the great benefits of this assistance, we highly appreciate the fact that the component of policy advice or policy assistance is included in almost every FAO future programme.
In general, we are in agreement with the major cross-sectoral priorities in Chapter Two, as well as the overall and specific objectives and main priorities as presented in Chapter Three.
However, we believe that top priority should be given to components concerned with policy advice and assistance, the strengthening of national capabilities and the agricultural training and extension services. From our point of view these components, through proper programmes, do have a multiplier effect in sustainable development.
Finally, I wish to register my delegation's full support to the proposed priority areas for FAO's Programme of Work for Food and Agriculture as described in the document for the Medium-term Plan 1994-99. We also fully support the views expressed by the delegate of France on behalf of the EC countries regarding FAO assistance to those countries in transition. However, as we have reiterated on many previous occasions, the implementation of the multidisciplinary activities involved is, certainly, subjected to substantial improvements of the financial situation of this Organization. For this reason we believe that a bigger effort should be made to improve the financial standing of FAO. This is a duty imposed on all countries members of this Organization, big or small alike, that cannot be ignored or rejected.
D. TROTMAN (United Kingdom): The United Kingdom delegation contributed to the debate on Medium-term Perspectives at COAG, COFI and COFO and our comments will therefore be very brief.
We welcome in particular: the concern for the environmental and sustainable rural development; the emphasis on policy analysis and formulation; the integration of social and institutional aspects into the programmes, including the role of women, and the recognition of the role of the private sector in the development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
With regard to paragraph 45 while FAO's technical cooperation services will undoubtedly remain "diversified" care is required that diversification does not lead to "scatterfire" and loss of impact. FAO should concentrate on critical constraints not already being addressed by other donors.
We fully endorse paragraph 58 in that an "increasing amount of FAO's services will be directed towards strengthening countries' capacity to undertake national execution effectively...". In many developing countries this means overcoming the constraints of grossly inadequate finance for Government services by looking together with the Government concerned, and probably the IMF and World Bank, at what can be done to improve revenue collection and thereby, taking account of competing priorities in other sectors, enhancing
the allocations to Ministries and public sector institutions in the areas covered by FAO's projects. There may well be a need to look for alternatives for example, levies, direct payment for services and private sector services.
With regard to Information Processing and Communication, page 17, FAO has comparative advantage in its data collection and this area needs further emphasis particularly in countries where the paucity and quality of data limits good policy analysis. FAO has a role to play in assisting these governments to improve their data collection services.
Turning to Cross-Sectoral Priorities, Chapter 2, greater integration of environmental considerations into programmes is required with a recognition of the trade-offs between poverty alleviation and sustainable management of resources; there are uncomfortable trade-offs that must be confronted in reality, for example, the need to meet short-term consumption needs at the expense of the environment. There are major policy conflicts which arise in aiming to reduce poverty when the majority of the rural poor in developing countries live in ecologically vulnerable areas.
The United Kingdom delegation urges FAO to continue to play a full role in follow-up activities to UNCED but in collaboration, not in competition, with other UN agencies and international bodies. The emphasis given to People in Development is fully supported. It is now widely accepted that rural groups, including women's groups, must play a more participatory role in the process of development. There is a need to widen the scope of responsibility for extension, input supply, credit and marketing services by encouraging the organization of voluntary, autonomous and democratically controlled groups to serve their members' needs.
FAO is uniquely placed to disseminate to member countries the lessons learned from the application of participatory rural appraisal and skillgap analysis.
The United Kingdom delegation fully endorses the proposal to incorporate poverty alleviation into FAO's agricultural and rural development activities, paragraph 146.
FAO has a unique role to play in assisting member countries to formulate comprehensive food security programmes.
The Programme Priorities (Chapter 3) for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry are a summation of the programmes agreed by COAG, COFI and COFO earlier in the year.
The United Kingdom delegation will list some of the Programme areas that it considers to be of major importance during the debate on Item 18 - Summary of Work and Budget on Monday.
May I end by saying we applaud the generosity of the Government of Canada in offering to host an event to mark the 50th Anniversary of FAO.
ZHENG BO (China) (Original language Chinese): The delegation of China wishes to thank the Secretariat for preparing the document C 93/23 in which an
analysis is given of the world outlook for the medium-term in the areas of fisheries, forestry and agriculture and the challenge FAO is faced with and also provide strategic orientation, working priorities and the main medium-term aims of FAO. Thus it becomes an excellent basis for the Council to review in-depth this Agenda Item and to provide guidance for FAO activities. Needless to say we commend this document.
I would like to make a few comments on this item. Firstly, we believe that the eradication of poverty and the control of hunger and malnutrition call for urgent and difficult tasks to which the international community and international organizations must respond. A way of solving these problems once and for all is to protect the environment and assure sustainable agricultural development. Therefore the Medium-term Plan of the Organization should centre and focus on these two tasks which is in compliance with not only the challenge which we must meet but also in line with our activities to follow-up the indications of ICN and UNCED. We hope that FAO can carry out concrete activities in these areas. We are also convinced that it would be able to play a more important role in this area.
Secondly, the capacity of a country to eradicate hunger and poverty, to develop agricultural production and food production is dependent on the growth of its capacity to count on its own resources and therefore one of the priorities of the Medium-term Plan consists in giving assistance to developing countries to strengthen their own means and resources so as to achieve self-sufficiency.
In a situation where the continued growth of the population exercises growing pressure on food and agricultural production it is extremely important to control population growth. Likewise it is very important to fully develop human resources to ensure the participation of the population to development, to increase agricultural and food production, as well as to guarantee food security in this area. The margin for manoeuvre for FAO in this area is tremendous. We hope that FAO will stress the development of human and agricultural resources, making the role of women prevail.
Finally, the delegation of China gives its support in principle to all the priorities and the main medium-term objectives laid down by the Secretariat.
Rolf AKESSON (Sweden): You may recall that the four Nordic countries, on whose behalf I'm now speaking, were among those Members which actively supported the introduction of a rolling Medium-term Plan as an important instrument to ensure a better priority setting in the work of the Organization and to facilitate fruitful dialogue among member countries. It is through such discussion that countries have the best possibility of providing guidance for FAO's activities over the coming years.
We have noted with satisfaction that the document was a realistic approach in the fact that in the immediate future, only very limited additional resources can be expected to be forthcoming to the UN system and as a consequence also to FAO. The pressures on public finance in most member countries are not likely to disappear in the coming years. We therefore welcome the cautious approach taken in the Medium-term Plan.
The Nordic countries can generally endorse the content of FAO's activities as set out in Chapter 1. We have noted with interest that in Chapter 2, containing the cross-sectorial priorities, in relation to the last Medium-term Plan, two new sectors have been included relating to recent key events: the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio, and the International Conference on Nutrition jointly convened by WHO and FAO in Rome, in 1992. We fully endorse the inclusion of these two new and important priority areas.
We recognize the priority given to environment and sustainable development. However, we would have preferred a more clear indication of FAO's follow-up to Agenda 21 from the Rio Conference. In fact it is our concerted view that the Plan should focus even more on the role of FAO to be played together with other organizations rather than underlining the role of FAO as a lead agency. We would, of course, accept and support that in many areas FAO should be the lead agency, but that does not prevent or replace an active cooperation with other partners in specific areas.
In light of the development towards a common UN strategy and a change in the UN system's presence at country level, we would like to point to the need for a careful review of FAO's representation at country level. We would like to see such review carried out for the next revision of the Medium-term Plan.
In giving our general endorsement to the Medium-term Plan the Nordic countries would like to come back with more detailed comments to the wealth of technical information contained in the Plan at the next Conference.
Finally, allow me two brief comments on matters raised in previous interventions. Firstly we appreciate the Canadian initiative for events in Quebec to mark the 50th Anniversary of FAO 1995. It is an interesting proposal that deserves favourable and serious consideration due to the importance of that event.
Secondly, we share the concerns expressed by France about East and Central Europe and we agree that FAO should make more significant contributions to the efforts made by these countries to improve their sector.
Mrs Maria GALVÖLGYI (Hungary): In my intervention on Agenda Item 17 I wish mainly deal with the issues of countries in transition. For this reason allow me Mr Chairman to speak also on behalf of the Visegrad Group that is Czech, Polish and Slovak Republics as well as of Estonia and Lithuania.
The Medium-term Plan maps out FAO strategy, priorities and main activities for the years 1994-99. While fully subscribing to the global goals of the organization and giving them tangible support we feel bound to emphasize the need for greater FAO involvement in solving serious economic problems besetting at present virtually all countries in transition.
It is now that the catalytic role of FAO assistance with all its spill-over effects would be the greatest. It is just to the end of 1990s that our subregion has to cope with the unprecedented task of major restructuring and systemic change in agriculture and other fields of FAO mandate.
The question may, however, raise, is FAO's response adequate? The answer cannot be unequivocally positive.
It is encouraging that the 18th FAO Regional Conference unanimously acknowledged that assistance to Central and Eastern European countries should be given high priority in FAO's regional action programmes. It is equally welcome that this apparently new approach was echoed by the Director-General in his speech during the previous Council session. It is fair to say that the activities and projects initiated by FAO countries in transition are by and large useful.
Despite all this a careful scrutiny of programme formulation and decisionmaking in the key FAO bodies indicates that we are faced just with business as usual.
That is why I fully associate myself with the statement made by the Head of the French delegation, Ambassador Laureau, in particular with what he has said about FAO's enhanced role in the countries in transition.
The paper presented by the French delegation and prepared in the framework of the European Forum is not and should not be regarded as a brand-new set of ideas or as an all-encompassing blueprint of action. It is rather an additional point of reference, a reminder that a sizable and still increasing group of FAO members from the subregion in question places high expectations on FAO, probably at the most critical phase of their transformation. Knowing that the contents of the paper enjoy a large support of the European Forum, I should like to thank those countries of the Council who have already addressed or will address the issue.
I should like to reiterate our position. Crucial problems of development, especially rural development, and others dealt with by FAO stand highly on the policy agenda of countries I have the honour to speak on behalf of. I wish to emphasize that more should be done to avoid the false dichotomy and alleged competition for the scarce resources. Conversely, we believe that in an increasingly interdependent world sound structural adjustment cannot be and should not be compartmentalized. FAO multilateral machinery should be more frequently used to identify and resolve common problems regardless of where they arise. We are also positive that FAO could take more practical steps to enable our countries to assist more the developing world.
Given the increasing tasks of FAO, we believe that not only the Medium-term Plan but also the budget should be approved as planned. After these remarks of a general nature, allow me to be more specific. FAO's enhanced assistance to countries in transition will first of all have to focus on introducing, spreading and putting into practice measures, methods and know-how, striving for a swift and less painful transition towards a market economy. Related projects, programmes and other development-oriented schemes are welcome. In addition to the activities already outlined in the report of the sub-group of the European forum, special attention may be given to the following: (1) know-how extension and advice to newly emerging private farmers and their associations; (2) training of farmers, training of trainers and experts in some important fields; (3) assistance to countries concerned in self-adjustment to European standards in the fields of quality control, veterinary
and phytosanitary regulations and so on; (4) assistance to environment-friendly methods of production and services including forestry plantations, forests and water management; and (5) greater access to markets in major industrialized countries.
I should like to emphasize that FAO's greater help in introducing new projects, investments and assisting these countries in achieving these goals is expected. In order to maintain the project's first orientation and to channel other resources to both the Regional Office and other bodies, greater cooperation and more determined efforts are needed. Some remarks seem to be justified on the existing FAO structures dealing with the problems of our countries. Our delegation reiterates that FAO may consider also new institutional arrangements apparently necessary to bridge the gap between promise and performance.
I wish to continue on my delegation's behalf. There is a point we feel important to mention even if it does not strictly belong to the present Agenda Item.
Countries in transformation are badly in need of well organized and frequent exchanges of information. This information should not only be advice and suggestions coming to already well-established market-economies on the systems, methods and other means they have been utilizing in their agriculture and related industries, but also a mutually beneficial flow of information on the tools and economic measures that various contries have made use of in transforming their economy from centrally planning to market economy. We would like to learn not only from successes but also from failures.
In compliance with the above the Hungarian Government invited the agricultural ministers of 18 countries in transition from Central and Eastern Europe to a conference on agricultural policy development and harmonization to be held in Gödöll, Hungary, to discuss the most salient matters in transformation of agricultural structure, gradual switch to market economy and other agro-policy points.
In organizing the above said Conference and preparing the Agenda of it we took the concept of Central and Eastern Europe somewhat broadmindedly into consideration. The invitees are including some countries that the orthodox books on political geography are refusing to classify as European ones like Tadzikistan, Uzbekistan, etc. Thus both FAO member and non-member countries are expected to attend this conference, and we are grateful for the Regional Office's help in this matter on one hand, and are looking with great expectance to the outcome of it, on the other.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie très vivement Madame la Représentante de la Hongrie qui a parlé au nom de son pays. Cela va me permettre de faire une petite remarque. Vous aurez peut-être noté qu'à côté de la République de Chypre se trouvait auparavant un pays qui a disparu, la Tchécoslovaquie, qui avait été élu membre du Conseil. La Tchécoslovaquie ne constituant plus un pays, ne peut donc plus siéger au sein de notre Conseil qui au lieu de disposer de 49 membres plus un, soit 50, dispose maintenant de 48 membres plus un, soit 49. Les deuxcomposantes de laTchécoslovaquie, la République tchèqueet la
Slovaquie, ont demandé - et la Conférence aura à se pencher sur cette demande - à devenir membres de la FAO. Donc, dès le mois de novembre, l'admission de ces deux pays pourra être adoptée par la Conférence qui aura à se prononcer également sur ce siège actuellement inoccupé.
Eberhard SCHMAUZ (Germany): In the introduction to the document before us the Director-General paints a clear picture referring to the experience of the past, stating the present situation and highlighting the future challenges which could be characteristic of the development for the years to come, especially in the agricultural and food sector.
Document C 93/23 itself gives a comprehensive survey of the tasks and the demands in the medium-term until the turn of the millennium. In this connection we want to express our great appreciation to the work performed by the Secretariat. Further, we would like to thank Mr Shah for his introduction and overview of the document.
My delegation can support all in all the document; therefore, we want to restrict ourselves to some specific and a few general observations.
Paragraph 17 is dealing with the GATT Round. We hope that this Round will be concluded soon. After having reached agreement in the EC farm price negotiations, the preconditions are favourable as far as the agricultural sector is concerned.
An early conclusion could also contribute to counteract adverse effects, as outlined in paragraphs 11 and 12, in highly indebted countries as well as in countries in transition to market economy.
We share the view that the years until the turn of the millennium will be of decisive importance for mankind. Apart from the general economic and political conditions, the following factors will above all influence the development in one or another direction. These are: an adequate agricultural, fishery and forestry production for all regions and population groups; sustainable environment - and resource-preserving agricultural and rural area development and population growth development.
Against this background, and taking into account the results of the UNCED and the International Conference on Nutrition, the following medium-term activities are, in our view, of special importance under the aspect of intersectoral priorities and with regard to FAO's programme priorities: (1) Increased collection and processing of data on agricultural production, on the food situation and on agricultural trade. Such data are also needed under ecological aspects on the situation of natural resources like water, soil, forests, plant and animal genetic diversity; (2) Expanding and increasing the efficiency of the agricultural production, supported by economic and ecological extension, especially for small-scale and subsistence farms with full participation of women in decision-making processes in the field of agriculture and home economics; (3) Providing increased education and training as well as creating and securing jobs in agriculture and in the rural area to avoid rural migration; (4) Assisting poor countries in particular in establishing site-adequate research and indeveloping and applyingnew
technologies; (5) Increasing efforts to reduce pre- and post-harvest losses, as mentioned by our delegation this morning, as well as to making better use of by-products; (6) Maintaining FAO's competence in the field of forestry and fishery; (7) Improving cooperation and coordination with other organizations within and outside the UN system as well as with national institutions, the private sector and non-governmental organizations. This cooperation is of special importance, for example between FAO and EEC in the envisaged assistance to countries in transition. With regard to this, the German delegation supports fully the content of the findings of the Sub-Group of the European Forum to which the distinguished Ambassador of France referred in his statement.
To conclude, my delegation welcomes the events which are being planned by Canada and Quebec to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of FAO and gives full support to them.
Morad Ali ARDESHIRI (Iran, Islamic Republic of): In the name of God, I would like to start my statement by expressing my very real appreciation of Mr Shah, the Deputy Director-General, for his excellent introduction to the subject before us.
I wish to raise some points concerning the Natural Resources and Livestock programmes. In this regard I would ask all distinguished delegates and the Secretariat to pay attention to this matter.
According to various studies, some 46 billion hectares, which accounts for more than 30 percent of the world's total land area, are natural rangelands, and nearly all of these lands are at risk from desertification. More specifically, 73 percent of the total natural rangelands of the world are desertified to a different extent, from a moderate to a very severe rate. In addition to these statistics, natural rangelands is one of the main components of natural resources, which is the basis for the socio-economic activity of human society. Therefore, natural rangelands should be taken into account in terms of various aspects of socio-economic and environmental issues, such as soil and water conservation, genetic resources, watershed management - especially upland watershed - and also wildlife, as well as forage and feed resources for livestock.
So, taking all the above-mentioned considerations into account, it is clear that special attention should be given to the conservation and sustainable utilization of the natural rangelands of the world. In this context, we believe that this important component is ignored, at least in the Medium-term Plan of FAO and in the documents before us.
For instance, in paragraph 27 of document CL 103/3 it is not mentioned under the Natural Resources Programme. In paragraph 99 of the same document, on the livestock programme, it is pointed out as a sub-programme entitled "Grassland, Forage and Feed Resources" which cannot include all types of natural rangelands in the world.
For example, in many countries brushland, and some types of forest are considered natural grazing land.
In view of the above-mentioned issues and also in respect of the UNCED output and action under Agenda 21, we believe that increased attention should be given to natural rangeland management. In this regard, my delegation wishes to propose that the subject of natural rangeland management should be considered as a sub-programme of the Natural Resources Programme of the Agricultural Major Programme. In our view it would be more accurate if the sub-paragraphs "Grassland, Forage and Feed Resources" in paragraph 99 of CL 103/3 be changed into "Pasture" - instead of "Grassland"; it should be "Pasture"-"Pasture, Forage and Feed Resources".
Due to the various constraining factors, including those of finances and time, if it is not possible to review the Medium-term Plan before us now, I strongly believe that the Conference should take some action for the future.
Akira NIWA (Japan): We recognize that it is essential for FAO to set up the Medium-term Plan, because activities in the field of food and agriculture need long-term to be accomplished, and have been increasingly of a global and intersectoral nature. We also believe that it is indispensable that FAO makes its activities effective and its priority areas clear through the discussions of FAO's Governing and Advisory Bodies. Therefore, we welcome the document C 93/23 before us and generally appreciate that FAO gives priority to necessary areas, especially the follow-up of UNCED and ICN, in order to use the restricted resources effectively.
However, we would like to express our regret regarding a few parts of the fisheries area of this document, as follows:
The document C 93/23 states in paragraph 22 that "No major change is expected in the near future". This statement shows that FAO's recognition or future trend is very optimistic.
As you know, the UNCED meeting last year confirmed the principle of sustainable use of marine living resources. However, negative movements against the sustainable development of marine living resources have been increasing and one of such movements is apparently found in CITES, i.e. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, as we already cautioned in the former sessions.
If we meet the worst result at its contracting parties' meeting in 1994, FAO's continued efforts to ensure sustainable use of marine living resources are nullified and FAO's objectives of stable food supply to mankind, especially to the developing countries, would be severely undermined. As a result, FAO's Medium-term Plan also would need to be revised substantially.
Secondly, in the same paragraph, there is a description of FAO's basic understanding that "fish production from most marine resources has reached or exceeded the level of maximum sustainable yield". However, it should be noted that the sustainable use of healthy stock has or is being prohibited because of protecting by-catch species such as marine mammals. These include flying squid in the north Pacific and yellowfin tuna in the eastern tropical Pacific.
Therefore we would like to emphasize that FAO should clear its future plan on how to ensure sustainable use of marine living resources and stable food supply to developing countries against this excessive environmental protectionism.
Finally, we would like to recall that the 20th COFI meting noted "the need for more work on the interaction between marine mammals and fisheries" as a matter for priority in FAO's future work (document CL 103/7, paragraph 96).
Therefore, Japan urges the Council to note the importance of this work.
Yung Taek LIM (Korea, Republic of): My delegation would like to express thanks for giving us the floor about the Medium-term Plan 1994-99.
On balance, my delegation fully endorses the Medium-term Plan covering the period 1994-99, submitted by the Secretariat. We wish to present our compliments to the Secretariat for the efforts made to yield a good plan.
Among other things, my delegation supports the opinion in paragraph 227, document C 93/23, that the research on agriculture should not be reduced due to an inadequate budget allocation of each Member State and policies to ensure Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development need to be implemented by every member country.
Turning to the regulation of fishing on the high seas, my delegation would like to stress that every measure to ensure sustainable resource use should be based on the data collected in a scientific way and, given the current situation, be implemented in a step-by-step manner.
My delegation would like to conclude our intervention by expressing our will to cooperate in strengthening the work of TCDC and ECDC.
In Asia, Africa and Latin America, as you are well aware, there are still so many people who are suffering from poverty, malnutrition and underdevelopment. We should do something right now to get them out of their sufferings.
In this context the Republic of Korea has been actively participating in cooperation programmes among developing countries to share its development experience with other developing countries.
Before I conclude my intervention, on behalf of my delegation I would like to express our appreciation and full support for the suggestion by the delegation of Canada concerning FAO's 50th Anniversary.
E. Wayne DENNEY (United States of America): The Secretariat is to be commended for preparing a document that should prove valuable in guiding the Organization through the 1990s. The document under review contains a wealth of information on the global and agricultural economic environment, events in the UN system, and FAO's evolving role. We are not surprised to see the improvements made in this document; after all, it is only, the second iteration
of the Plan. In our view, the 1994-99 MTP is more succinct - indeed, it is only half as long, more strategic in nature, and relates better to the 1994-95 Summary Programme of Work and Budget. Keeping this document streamlined not only makes it easier to digest, but provides a clearer sense of direction in each programme area.
The Director-General's introductory remarks point out that the capacity of the UN system has demonstrated its usefulness in a broad range of areas in recent years. We agree that global challenges facing the UN system will increase, but resources will remain tight. As the Director-General notes, we expect more and more from FAO, but we are unable to increase resources commensurately. This implies that FAO will have to look for ways to achieve greater efficiencies and increasingly collaborate with other international institutions in delivering programmes.
We note that Australia and others have made some perceptive remarks on this issue.
We appreciate the dilemma FAO faces when environmental concerns are at odds with economic concerns, as noted in paragraph 16. Further analysis by FAO will be necessary in order better to understand the long-term implications of short-term decisions regarding the environment. All countries need to know about short- and long-term trade-offs associated with varying environmental policies. This is but one example of the type of issue FAO will be dealing with in the medium-term as it reorients priorities to focus more on UNCED Agenda 21 issues and follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition. We are pleased to see the marked shift in country capacity-building during this Medium-term Plan.
Much of what is contained in the Medium-term Plan has been addressed in other fora, such as COFO, COFI, COAG and especially in the Programme Committee. The general satisfaction expressed by each of those bodies should make our task easier. We will offer a few brief comments on the first three chapters, and we want to know what developing country members have to say about regional priorities. It is important to remember that all members, not just the developing countries, rely on FAO data and analysis. This is an extremely important issue for countries in transition to market economies.
In this regard, the useful comments made by France merit further examination. We encourage stronger links among all FAO members to help each of us benefit from individual efforts to improve policies and increase productivity.
We support FAO's increased collaboration with GATT on a number of trade-related issues which are identified in paragraph 33. FAO's joint divisions with UN Regional Commissions is a good way of collaborating efficiently with other UN bodies, as noted in paragraph 40. Has FAO given thought to renewing such an arrangement with ESCAP in the Asia Pacific region?
Paragraph 63 refers to the importance of coordinating field activities. This paragraph is a bit confusing because it acknowledges the important role of the UN Resident Coordinator, but goes on to say that this has not been an effective coordinating mechanism. Some clarification would be helpful. We agree that close collaboration between FAO Headquarters, country and regional
offices is essential, as well as collaboration between FAO at each level and other UN agencies. We believe a more coordinated effort is needed.
The cross-sectoral priorities identified in Chapter 2 have our support. Discussion of the International Cooperative Programme Framework for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development on pages 21 to 26 identified a number of activities FAO will have to undertake to assist developing countries in building national capacities. FAO's unique availability to provide integrated global data and information on sustainability suggest that this area must be systematically and rapidly developed. This is the most vital investment FAO can make in positioning itself for its lead role in the UN system's follow-up to UNCED.
Cross-sectoral strategies also demand closer cooperation with other UN agencies, both through inter-agency mechanisms and, most importantly, at field level. FAO should continue its efforts to develop and strengthen such collaboration.
Similarly, the multidisciplinary approach envisaged in the policy advice arena is very forward-looking.
The programme priorities reflected in Chapter 3 seem to be well thought out and consistent with those proposed in the 1994-95 Summary Programme of Work and Budget. Increased work on integrated pest management, trade-related activities and a range of sustainability issues are appropriate. Targeted concentration on plant genetic resources through convening the International Technical Conference in 1995, will demonstrate FAO's comparative advantage in this area.
We presume that the formal procedure referred to in paragraph 199 is the Expert Committee to Harmonize Plant Quarantine Procedures? We would appreciate clarification from the Secretariat. We would also like to know more about the planned development of the legal instrument on animal genetic resources referred to in paragraph 221.
The sections on fisheries and forestry point out the important future challenges for FAO in those areas. Again, we see that Agenda 21 issues will significantly influence FAO's up-coming work in these areas. In the forestry area, for example, FAO may be overly ambitious in trying to deal with too many Agenda 21 issues, particularly given the reduced resources projected for the Forestry Department. Other international organizations, regional organizations, national governments, and the private sector will all be involved in some of these forestry activities.
We are also disturbed by the systematic decreases in support to Regional Forestry Commissions and field activities at a time when Member Nations have called for a country-driven participatory approach to resource management. Thus, we support the Programme Committee's recommendation that an appropriate level of resources be allocated to forestry activities. Appropriate, in our view, means a higher percentage.
Finally, we are pleased to hear of plans under way to commemorate FAO's 50th Anniversary in Canada in 1995. Other delegates have made similar
comments. It thus seems appropriate for the Council report to acknowledge this event and encourage participation by all members.
Vishnu BHAGWAN (India): My delegation welcomes this excellent document which provides the perspective and priorities for the future direction of FAO. My delegation is also very appreciative of the Director-General's imaginative and thought-provoking introduction, and would like to record our congratulations to him. We also commend the arrangement of the chapters in this Medium-term Plan.
At the outset I would like to say that my government supports the priorities in the major technical programme areas as indicated in Chapter 3, the regional perspective plan activities in Chapter 4 and the cross - sectoral priorities in Chapter 2.
We also endorse the Report of the Programme Committee which took into consideration the reports of the technical committees when making its Report.
I should also like to emphasise the fact that this Medium-term Plan, although adopting a realistic approach with regard to the resources, would be more useful if, as recommended by the Programme Committee, it were to indicate the resources only in an indicative way for carrying out the priorities and programmes in the medium-term. Of course, I agree that there is a limitation on resources, but if we have some indication of it, this Medium-term Plan will become more meaningful.
I wish to restrict myself to a few comments. On environment and sustainable development, I would like to know about the developments with regard to Global Environment Facility. How far has FAO been able to help the developing countries to make use of the funds under this facility? Also, what is the total availability under this facility, and how has the decision-making process in it evolved?
I would also like to know the implications of the new Commission on Sustainable Development for FAO and how we are planning to coordinate our work with the Commission.
The other cross - sectoral priority which I underline in particular is the Technical Cooperation Programme among the developing countries. We know that the resources are becoming more and more scarce. Several speakers have mentioned that. The donor community, the multilateral financing and technical agencies are reappraising their technical cooperation role. The question of sustainability of project results and their impact is also being raised. As the preceding speaker from the United States mentioned, we have to look at cost effectiveness and efficiency in Programme implementation. It is clear that innovative, imaginative and cost-effective ways have to be found to integrate external technical input with the national planning environment, in conformity with the local social and cultural values of the populations. The countries and the people have to have a sense of ownership of the programmes and projects.
My delegation encourages the approach to national capacity building in this context. Paragraphs 157 to 171 are of particular importance. The medium-term approach of FAO on TCDC, in my view, responds to the wishes, aspirations and needs of the developing countries and I fully endorse them.
I would also like to commend FAO for its lead role among the organizations of the United Nations system in promoting this Programme. FAO's activities in this field during the last couple of years have clearly shown what an organization can do in sensitizing countries on TCDC possibilities and potential, in creating what I would call TCDC consciousness.
The primary responsibility for expanding this Programme rests with the developing countries themselves but the possibilities in this field are tremendous. It has to be recognized that we must get geared to face up to the challenge as soon as possible.
In this connection, I now refer to the ECOSOC Resolution 1992/41 adopted in July 1992 which called for first consideration to be given to the modality of TCDC in technical cooperation activities. This will no doubt call for concrete action on the part of developing countries in refocusing their policies and planning, but at the same time it requires the strengthened and reinforced capacity of an organization like ours, both in terms of its manpower and resources, to respond to the needs of the developing countries in exploiting their full potential in making use of their indigenous resources and capacities for their individual and collective self-reliance.
The countries need information and advice; their personnel need training in TCDC policies and procedures, project formulation and implementation of TCDC activities.I am sure our Organization will rise to the occasion.
Hubert DE SCHRYVER (Belgium): My delegation has studied with interest the Medium-term Plan 1994-99 which we consider a useful document, especially because it presents the activities of FAO as planned for the final years of this century in a clear framework.
Of course, we are conscious of the fact that the Medium-term Plan 1994-99 is only a projection of the activities of FAO for the near future, as seen by the Organization in 1993, just like a road map is only a projection. Nevertheless, road maps and medium-term plans are very useful documents, helping us to determine wherever it is that we wish to go.
We fully share the view of the Director-General who mentions in his introduction that nowadays we are confronted with "an inward-looking turn in national and human attitudes". This new wave of micronationalism is not going to make the work of FAO easier. However, there are other developments which are favourable to the activities of the Organization. I will mention just two: 1) national execution; and 2) the need for an interdisciplinary approach and cross-sectoral projects. How do these two trends affect the Medium-term Plan?
First of all, increased national execution of projects will usually mean an increased delegation to the field, which implies that FAO's operations in the field will work more independently. Therefore, projects might be more quickly implemented and eventually executed in a cheaper way.
Although the Medium-term Plan recognizes the need for national execution, delegation to the field and collaboration with NGOs and other UN institutions, it does not become really clear how these intentions will be realized.
The same more or less applies to the need for a cross-sectoral approach which is equally recognized in the Medium-term Plan. Again, how will this be realized when the FAO Secretariat is organized along sectoral lines?
My delegation has the impression that the new philosophy of the Organization has not yet been fully reflected in the structure of the programme. For example, the new International Cooperative Programme Framework for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development is one of the results of UNCED within FAO. This new programme framework now exists on top of the traditional structure of the Organization.Is this really logical?
We believe that the integration of this new cross-sectoral approach could be arranged in a more efficient way which would result in more impact on the Organization.
Laissez-moi passer en français pour dire que la Belgique accueillera très favorablement la proposition faite par le Canada de retourner au berceau de la FAO pour y fêter en 1995 son cinquantième anniversaire. Je voudrais conclure pour appuyer la déclaration lue par la France au nom du Forum européen concernant les pays en transition d'Europe centrale et orientale.
Waleed A. ELKHEREIJI (Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of)(Original language Arabic):
Having had the pleasure of scrutinizing the Medium-term Plan for 1994-99 on behalf of my country, I should like to express to the Director-General, Dr Edouard Saouma, and the staff of FAO, our deep appreciation of the efforts they have put in in preparing this fine document, which is characterised by clarity and sound presentation.
My attention has been particularly drawn to the introduction of the Director-General when he stated that there are two paramount goals. We should collectively work towards the achievement of these two goals, namely, the need for us to feed adequately an additional three thousand million mouths by the year 2025. The second goal would be the need to meet the demands for agricultural, forestry and fisheries products for a projected global population of over eight thousand billion people for the same period. I do share the Director-General's optimism and his full confidence in the role of the Organization and its capacity to carry out these lofty goals. Here I wish to emphasize that my country will spare no effort in supporting the Organization in order to achieve these goals.
The Medium-term Plan document and the discussion reviewed in a clear way the economic and political consequences of the end of the Cold War. It also reviewed the international agenda for the coming period since this new era
would open up new opportunities for further international cooperation. In this context, the document referred to the restructuring of the role of the United Nations in the economic and social fields alike. There is also a deep realization that the governments themselves will not be able to face the numerous developmental problems at national levels. This in itself corroborates the need for and importance of international and regional cooperation. I do support and agree with these developments and the new prospects for international cooperation.
In order not to get bogged down by disappointments, I believe we should bear in mind the following: first, we should stress that progress and development are the products of the peoples themselves and the response towards mobilizing their capabilities and their potential is a responsibility on the shoulders of the governments. Therefore, we should not give the impression that this responsibility should be shouldered by other parties. The role of assistance and support of international and regional organizations cannot but be additional efforts and additional assistance.
Secondly, in order to secure the best possible use of the resources available, the international organizations' efficient coordination should be secured. The workload should be distributed in order to do away with any possible duplication of work, if this duplication is apparent or hidden. I was very happy when I realized that this document referred to coordination not only at the level of this Organization, but at the level of the different regional offices of this Organization. We do hope that further coordination will be promoted so that international organizations will achieve the best possible use of the available resources.
Thirdly, the documents of the Organization, and more particularly the Medium-term Plan, referred to the importance of policy advice. Bearing in mind the fact that a growing number of countries are adopting structural adjustment measures in the economic and social fields, the role of this Organization takes on a new and added importance. However, the role of this Organization should be promoted, and coordination should be strengthened with other bodies responsible for rendering policy advice - this with a view to preventing any duplication of work and any disruption in the efforts of countries down the road of building their own institutional bodies.
Julio LUCINI CASALES (España): Hay que agradecer ante todo, señor Presidente, el esfuerzo realizado en la preparación y las revisiones también ocurridas en relación con el documento que estamos analizando: Plan a plazo medio 1994-99, que sigue una sistemática presentación de fácil comprensión a la vez de presentar los problemas con profundidad y sencillez.
El primer comentario que quedemos hacer, señor Presidente, está relacionado con las reflexiones que se hacen en el documento en su punto 8, del Capitulo 1, asi como en otros posteriores sobre la investigación agricola. Es cierto que preocupa la disminución del apoyo que la citada investigación agricola recibe desde el sector público, pero no es menos cierto que hay que llevar la idea a los responsables de la investigación agraria de que las orientaciones actuales y futuras deben estar acordes con la realidad presente. Las lineas de investigación que tendían a la máxima productividad, deben ser
reorientadas y aplicarse a los retos actuales de productividad frente a sostenibilidad; productividad frente a conservación del medio ambiente.
Estos temas son los que requieren esfuerzos desde todas las direcciones, tanto desde el sector público, como desde el sector privado, pues son las necesidades actuales.
El punto 16 del mismo capitulo, presenta claramente estos problemas, llegando incluso a hacer referencia al "proteccionismo ecológico". Es aquí donde creemos que tanto FAO como otras muchas organizaciones deben reclamar a la investigación agricola y ayudarla en la reorientación apuntada.
Pasando a un tema diferente, señor Presidente, nos referiremos al apartado: Evolución del Programa de campo, también del Capitulo 1 en los párrafos que dedica al uso de las capacidades nacionales. Esta utilización de las capacidades nacionales para desarrollar programas de campo debe llevar juntamente una potenciación de las Oficinas Regionales y nacionales en aras de una coordinación, evaluación, ejecución y apoyo lo más cercano posible. Este extremo lo subrayó la delegación española con motivo del pasado Comité de Agricultura al hablar del presupuesto, indicando que era de orden prioritario el reforzamiento de tales unidades; idea que ahora repite nuevamente con oportunidad del Consejo.
En relación con el apartado 81 y siguientes del documento, relativos a la información y comunicaciones, queremos hacer referencia, señor Presidente, al esfuerzo que solicitamos para la mejora de los servicios de información en marcha. AGROSTAT, por ejemplo, cuenta, al menos en nuestro caso con una utilización elevada, dada su eficacia y facilidad de manejo.
No se oculta que pueden añadírsele mejoras, cosa que esperamos que ocurra, pero manifestamos nuestra aceptación por el trabajo realizado hasta ahora. En la misma línea de pensamiento debemos solicitar que se lance definitivamente, cuanto antes, WAICENT, en el que tenemos una alta esperanza.
Pasando al Capítulo 2 sólo queremos hacer una reflexión. La condición de voluntariedad de seguimiento que tienen las recomendaciones de la CNUMAD, hace imprescindible realizar una labor de conocimiento de las acciones individualizadas. Esta función, que ya tiene su estructura prevista y centralizada en Nueva. York, convendría que se contrastase permanentemente y de forma conjunta con los resultados de los programas de FAO en este tema. Para un conocimiento amplio de los miembros de FAO, convendría que tal seguimiento de acciones se convirtiese en información concreta para los países miembros, confeccionada por la propia FAO y distribuida entre los países miembros.
Por último, señor Presidente, permítame que vuelva atrás y haga una referencia al punto 17, del Capítulo 1, relativo a la espera del resultado de la Ronda Uruguay. En este punto el plan pasa por encima, con toda lógica por no haberse finalizado aún las conversaciones, pero sin fijar tampoco la necesidad de estudiar urgentemente, los resultados de dicha Ronda, una vez concluida, especialmente aquellos que indudablemente pueden convertirse en negativos, como por ejemplo, posible reducción de excedentes alimentarios en ciertos
países desarrollados, dificultades comerciales parciales para algunos países en desarrollo, etc.
Nedilson R. JORGE (Brazil): First of all, allow me to commend the FAO Secretariat for the excellent document presented to the Council. Document C 93/23 is very comprehensive and extensive. The format of the document is appropriate and the information contained in it has fulfilled our expectations.
Brazil wishes to congratulate the Director-General for his comments made in the introduction of the document. They are interesting and precise and, together with Chapter I, depict a very clear evaluation of the present context of FAO's actions and give us a realistic perspective for the future.
In Chapter I, the Brazilian delegation would highlight the importance of paragraphs 54 to 58 on page 11. FAO should continue to strengthen and make use of each country's own capacities to manage and carry out technical projects and to undertake national execution effectively. In the area of personnel, we support the emphasis on staff management training as well as all plans for improving performance appraisal.
Concerning Chapter II, the Brazilian Government supports the five major cross-sectorial priorities addressed and the proposed actions over the medium-term. The coverage of these priorities are well made, although, in regard to environment and sustainable development, we would like to have, in the future, a more in-depth coverage of forestry issues.
In general, Brazil supports the main priorities and programme focus contained in Chapter III and, in particular, those related to technology transfer to developing countries and to cooperation with national agricultural research systems. However, we would like to have seen a more clearly established priority towards Major Programme 2.3 - Forestry, both in terms of planned activities and resources allocations.
The Brazilian delegation found the comments made on Chapter IV about the Latin America and the Caribbean region appropriate and perceptive of the reality. We support the proposed actions suggested, with special emphasis for conservation and sustainable exploitation of forest resources, as well as for technical advice on food quality control and street food systems.
Finally, with regard to Chapter V, Brazil believes that it would be very helpful to have a projection of resources priorities. This could be done for instance either in terms of percentage of total budget or of planned net increases/decreases. Although purely indicative, resources projection are essential to fully understand the Medium-term Plan and its priorities. We expect to see them in the next biennium.
Winston RUDDER (Trinidad and Tobago) : There is a saying that when you do not know where you are going any road can lead you there. Document C 93/23 is a document of vision, direction and strategy for action. It is also excellently presented, easily readable and it responds to the challenges from confronting
agriculture, forestry and fisheries globally, regionally, and nationally, as indicated in the Director-General's introduction.
My delegation, representing the 13 Member States of CARICOM agrees with the document which posits strategic framework for guiding FAO's work over the medium-term to the term of the third millennium, and for lending coherence to project activities in the short-term.
We view the analysis of the policy context relevant and accurate and we are in particular agreement with the observations at paragraph 49 which speaks to trends for future FAO work on the direct policy advice and technical advice to governments and ministers of agriculture. These are particularly insightful.
The strategies for devolution or decentralization of responsibilities and actions for divestment market orientation, improved management systems and inter- and infra-organizational collaboration and cooperation their comment in that they portend an organization in the process of self-renewal and continually striving for relevance, effectiveness and efficiency. We are pleased to note this. We unreservedly endorse the thematic priorities in Chapter 2 and are particularly pleased to note the intended emphasis to be given to coastal zones and small islands, referenced in paragraphs 112-113 and here we would underscore the need for enhancing policy analysis capacity and the planning framework for the reasons highlighted at paragraph 122. The focus on people in development is entirely consistent with the heightened concern with matters related to governance and development and indicates quite clearly that understanding the sociology and anthropology of every cultural forestry and fisheries will be increasingly demanded. The direction provided for programme priorities, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, is clear and extremely helpful as a basis for facilitation priority setting and the perspectives for regional action are also welcome.
This is the second cut at the medium-term or strategic plan coming after our discussion this morning with the Programme Evaluation Report and in our view offers a sound basis for conveyance amongst Member States as we work towards a consensus on the Budget 1994-95.
For completeness, we would commend for the Organization's consideration the comments made that some indicative indications of resource requirements would be helpful.
Franco F.G. GINOCCHIO (Italie): Le document C 93/23 au paragraphe 398, souligne le rôle que la FAO peut jouer au profit des pays de l'Europe en transition qui ont entrepris des politiques de réforme de leurs systèmes politiques et économiques y compris dans les secteurs agricole, halieutique et forestier.
A cet égard, la délégation italienne appuie la déclaration du Représentant de la France concernant le Forum européen car il est nécessaire de renforcer le rôle de la FAO à l'égard des pays de l'Europe en transition afin de les aider dans le processus de transformation de leur économie planifiée et centralisée en économie orientée par les lois du marché.
Natigor SIAGIAN (Indonesia): The Indonesian delegation wishes to express its appreciation to the Director-General for the substantive and comprehensive document of this Medium-term Plan 1994-99. Indonesia always supports the efforts of FAO to foster international cooperation and the promotion of national actions for the conservation and sustainable use of plant and animal genetic resources. Indonesia notes that there is a complement of policy advice assistance in almost every FAO programme. In this regard, Indonesia supports the move to make trade and environment mutually reinforcing in collaboration with GATT and UNCED, including technical assistance to developing countries in those areas. We go along with the Secretariat's view that demand for assistance and direct policy advice from member countries is growing rapidly. This is true for implementation of UNCED and ICN outcomes. Developing countries are demanding policy advice assistance for the implementation of sustainable agriculture and rural development and the nutrition programme.
With regard to People in Development, my delegation underlined the view that the failure in achieving significant social and economic progress in many countries is largely linked to inappropriate national and international policies including the nature of central government intervention in directing and controlling the development process at the village level. One of the important issues is poverty alleviation, nutrition and food security This is one of the fundamental directives of the ICN, and therefore we welcome the FAO's deep involvement in this very important development programme. As to the medium-term approach in these areas, we urge FAO to provide adequate support to assist member countries in tackling the roots of the problem of rural poverty and its relation to environmental degradation.
We also support the continuation of FAO's efforts in food security programmes. Indonesia and the ICN countries look forward to the FAO follow-up action on the ICN food security project. Indonesia welcomes the FAO intention to consolidate its work with TCDC and ECDC. As one of the members of the non-aligned movement of developing countries, we urge FAO to assist the South-South cooperation undertaking. We also support the intention of FAO to use more training facilities in the developing countries for training programmes under TCDC. On the programme priorities, we have brief comments. In agriculture, we hope that the IPM and its strategic programme activities will continue to have adequate support so that in the next five years we could see the successful achievement of IPM, not only in rice commodities but also in other secondary crops.
In fisheries, my delegation urges FAO to strengthen its activities to follow-up the outcome of UNCED Agenda 21 as well as the results of the important international Conference on Responsible Fishing. In this regard, the provision of advice to member countries in formulating related national policy, plans and programmes should be strengthened.
In forestry, we welcome the FAO initiative for necessary follow-up of UNCED and the Forest Principles. The major programme should set its target to all types of forests to assist the world in tackling the root of the problem which not only occurs in the tropical forest countries but also not less importantly in the countries of the boreal and temperate zones. We welcome the possible strengthening of the cooperative programmes between FAO and the Centre for International Forestry Research.
On the regional issues and priorities, we follow with attention the Secretariat's points regarding the regional setting, including the one in the Asia and the Pacific Region. We welcome the bold strategy of FAO in various agricultural sub-sectors intended to be implemented in the Asia and the Pacific Region. However, in paragraph 382, we wish to have some more clarification from the Secretariat. Indonesia is always concerned with the decrease of natural resources in the world which is resulting in the growing imbalance in natural resource supply and demand. Indonesia has always given great attention to improving the efficiency in the whole of agriculture, fisheries and forestry production for assessing marketing consumption so as to maximize the output and outcomes but minimizing the negative impacts as well as the degradation of our environment in the use of natural resources. We note the problems of deforestation in these regions. However, a careful look should be made. This is not to give our interpretation and signals to the readers of this document in relation to the forest and environmental matters of our region. We support FAO's intention to enhance its regional assistance activities. We hope that the involvement of FAO in regard to the new development in countries with economic transition will be considered in line with the relevant Conference decisions as to the priority being given to the developing countries in implementing their national agriculture development plans.
We follow with great attention the proposed plan of celebrating the 50th Anniversary of FAO. We welcome the initiative of Canada in this regard.
In conclusion, once again we express our deep appreciation to the Director-General for these Medium-term Plan preparations.
Chadli LAROUSSI (Tunisie): Monsieur le Président, comme vous le savez nous avions débattu longuement du Plan à moyen terme de notre Organisation pour la période 1994-99 dans le Comité des programmes et nous tenons à féliciter le Secrétariat pour ce document clair, bien établi et agréable à lire.
Je voudrais toutefois, si vous le permettez, Monsieur le Président, attirer l'attention du Conseil sur certaines orientations que nous jugeons stratégiques pour permettre à notre Organisation de jouer son rôle dans un monde de plus en plus difficile où s'entremêlent action humanitaire et esprit mercantile, zones d'abondance et zones de pénurie, prospérité et famine, grandes ententes régionales d'un côté et foyers de tension, de discorde et de dislocation de l'autre.
A ce propos, je tiens à saluer la franchise avec laquelle le Directeur général a introduit ce Plan à moyen terme en présentant sa vision du monde et les défis auxquels la FAO aura à faire face dans ce monde à la fois complexe et changeant où, devant la croissance des besoins, la limitation des ressources réduit, de manière drastique, la marge de manoeuvre de notre Organisation.
Nous estimons, néanmoins, que le Plan qui nous est présenté, esquisse un certain nombre de solutions qui, à terme, seront salutaires.
Je voudrais d'abord évoquer le plan organisationnel. Il est important que dans un monde où les systèmes centralisés ont montré leurs limites, la FAO
puisse décentraliser et déconcentrer ses structures. Une présence et une action plus renforcées sur le terrain, avec un appui croissant des programmes de terrain, seront les garants du nouveau dynamisme que nous attendons de la FAO dans les années à venir pour appliquer justement ce Plan à moyen terme.
Ce nouveau dynamisme devrait être la conséquence logique des nouvelles priorités dégagées par la communauté internationale et dont la responsabilité incombe à la FAO pour jeter les bases d'un développement durable, pour préserver les ressources naturelles et l'environnement, pour favoriser enfin le commerce international des produits agricoles en oeuvrant à la réduction des entraves techniques ou écoprotectionnistes et à la réduction de la dégradation des termes de l'échange des produits agricoles.
Parmi les priorités, il en est une qui est très importante, celle relative à la conservation des ressources naturelles. Je voudrais insister sur l'intérêt particulier à réserver aux programmes forestiers. Comme beaucoup de délégués qui m'ont précédé, je soulignerai la nécessité de prendre en compte la forêt évidemment la plus menacée, la forêt tropicale, mais également les autres forêts, y compris les forêts méditerranéennes, conformément aux recommandations du Comité des programmes telles que mentionnées au paragraphe 2.54 du document CL 103/17.
Bien entendu, ces.programmes doivent prendre en considération les problèmes de lutte contre la désertification et d'amélioration des parcours et des pâturages naturels. Et dans ce cadre, j'appuie l'appel lancé par les honorables Délégués qui m'ont précédé pour appeler à la mise en place d'un sous-programme ou d'une action spécifique à l'amélioration des parcours et des pâturages naturels afin de préserver l'équilibre de ces écosystèmes particulièrement fragiles.
Je souhaiterais également attirer l'attention sur une autre ressource vitale qui, de notre point de vue, n'a pas eu la place qu'elle mérite dans ce Plan à moyen terme, et pourtant c'est celle qui va poser de notre point de vue les plus grands problèmes et le plus grand défi à l'humanité dans les années à venir, je parle de la ressource eau et je suggère que la FAO puisse pallier cette insuffisance qui a soulevé d'ailleurs l'inquiétude du Comité des programmes comme cela a été mentionné clairement dans le paragraphe 2.42 du document CL 103/17 qui a rappelé "les considérables besoins d'assistance des Etats Membres dans le domaine de l'eau, en un moment où l'insuffisance des disponibilités hydriques est en train de devenir, en de nombreux points du globe, le principal frein à la production agricole".
J'ajouterai que les problèmes, quand ils ne sont pas quantitatifs, sont souvent qualitatifs et que ni pays tempérés ni pays arides ne sont à l'abri de la problématique de l'eau à court ou à moyen terme.
Un autre type de ressources enfin qui sont menacées par l'érosion et dont il est urgent de préserver la diversité, ce sont les ressources génétiques, qu'elles soient d'ailleurs végétales ou animales et notre Conseil a le devoir, du point de vue de ma délégation, d'appuyer la recommandation du Comité des programmes à ce sujet, telle que formulée au paragraphe 2.43 du document CL 103/17 et j 'insiste sur cet aspect au moment où nous voyons disparaître des
milliers d'espèces, notamment végétales, tous les ans, et vous savez qu'à terme, c'est l'espèce humaine qui est menacée.
Monsieur le Président, vous vous rappelez sans doute l'appel que nous avons lancé hier pour dépasser le tête-à-tête pays développés/pays sous-développés ou en voie de développement, afin d'imaginer de nouveaux mécanismes de coopération comme la coopération triangulaire, tripôle, qui associe deux pays en voie de développement à un pays développé, ou la coopération bilatérale ou bipôle entre deux pays en voie de développement, l'un à un niveau intermédiaire et l'autre à faible niveau.
C'est pourquoi j'ai été particulièrement ravi d'entendre cet après-midi l'honorable délégué de l'Inde, Monsieur Bhagwan, puis l'honorable délégué de l'Indonésie insister l'un et l'autre sur le rôle qui incombe à la FAO pour renforcer la coopération entre pays en voie de développement et je tiens à appuyer leur proposition de renforcer le Programme de coopération technique entre pays en développement (CTPD) et aussi la coopération économique entre pays en voie de développement (CEPD).
J'ajouterai si vous le permettez, Monsieur le Président, une proposition qui va dans le même sens que mon appel d'hier, à savoir que la FAO lance peut-être une étude pour examiner tous les autres mécanismes de coopération qui seraient susceptibles d'être mis en oeuvre dans le cadre de cette différenciation au niveau du degré de développement entre Etats, mais aussi dans le cadre du partage des rôles entre le secteur public et le secteur privé et entre le bilatéral et le multilatéral, donc des projets peut-être de partenariat mettant ensemble des secteurs privés des pays avancés et des pays moins avancés, des projets ou des programmes de co-développement associant des Etats mais aussi des ensembles régionaux et, l'un n'excluant pas l'autre, des organisations internationales.
En conclusion, Monsieur le Président, je tiens à saluer le Canada, terre natale de notre Organisation, pour sa proposition afin de donner au cinquantième anniversaire de notre Organisation un éclat à la mesure des éminents services qu'a rendus la FAO à l'humanité et en particulier aux plus démunis, jour après jour, depuis bientôt un demi-siècle.
Raphaël RABE (Madagascar): Monsieur le Président, la délégation de Madagascar félicite M. Shah pour la présentation très claire de ce point important de l'ordre du jour et rend hommage au Secrétariat pour la production d'un document de grande qualité. Nous sommes convaincus de l'exactitude qui caractérise le choix des priorités qui nous sont proposées dans ce document, aussi nous les appuyons sans difficulté, à l'instar des délégations qui se sont exprimées avant nous. Nous aussi, nous souhaitons vivement que la mise en oeuvre dudit plan ne soit pas entravée par l'insuffisance des ressources qui seront requises.
Monsieur le Président, permettez-moi de dire quelques mots sur le chapitre A.4 traitant des questions et priorités régionales, notamment la section qui concerne l'Afrique. L'analyse des défis que connaît la région nous semble correcte et les grands axes d'action donc appropriés. Nous aimerions cependant insister sur les éléments ci-après.
Développement des cultures sèches: étant donné que la désertification est toujours menaçante, au Comité de l'agriculture, au Comité de la sécurité alimentaire, nous avons insisté sur l'aide que la FAO peut donner à nos pays pour l'utilisation de variétés de racines et de tubercules mises au point qui sont connues et qui permettraient des performances meilleures à l'avenir.
Bien entendu j'aimerais insister aussi sur le développement des capacités nationales en matière de planification de gestion, mais aussi de recherche et il me semble utile d'insister sur le fait qu'il faut trouver une solution au problème soulevé à l'alinéa e) du paragraphe 358 du document. Nous pensons que le caractère trop coûteux des progrès technologiques ne devrait pas constituer un obstacle insurmontable. L'Afrique devrait pouvoir bénéficier des nouvelles technologies et il faut justement l'aider pour qu'elle puisse les utiliser. J'aimerais donc que cet alinéa e) trouve sa réponse dans les actions et qu'au contraire on essaie de résoudre avec nous le problème du caractère trop coûteux des progrès technologiques.
Les problèmes soulevés à l'alinéa g) du même paragraphe sont aussi très sérieux et méritent toute l'attention requise. Il ne faudrait pas que le soulagement de la pauvreté reste un objectif assez théorique, mais il faudrait justement que la résolution de ses problèmes devienne la pratique.
Monsieur le Président, nous sommes intervenus aussi longuement sur ce problème de lutte contre la pauvreté et nous avons insisté, comme beaucoup de délégations, sur le fait que, de toute façon, vaincre la pauvreté est très difficile. Seule une coopération entre toutes les institutions et, bien entendu, une participation active, volontaire et entière du pays pourrait arriver, sinon à vaincre, du moins à soulager la pauvreté.
Enfin, nous appuyons ce qui est proposé au paragraphe 366 concernant les statistiques; il est tellement important de pouvoir disposer de données statistiques fiables et nous sommes vraiment en faveur de l'aide, de l'assistance que la FAO peut donner à nos pays pour la mise en place de services performants de statistiques agricoles.
Nous aussi, nous avons écouté attentivement la déclaration de l'honorable délégué de la France et nous avons enregistré avec satisfaction que des ressources supplémentaires seront mobilisées pour aider les pays de l'Europe en transition. Ce sera donc en sus des aides prévues pour venir en aide aux pays en développement et en cela, j'aimerais appuyer chaleureusement la déclaration de l'honorable délégué de l'Indonésie se rapportant à ce sujet.
Enfin, nous aussi, nous saluons le Canada pour sa proposition très intéressante concernant la célébration du cinquantième anniversaire de la FAO.
Ricardo VELAZQUEZ HUERTA (México): Espero, señor Presidente, hacer la intervención más breve de todas. Dos puntos nada más, el primero; es para agradecer a la Secretaria, al Sr. Shah, por el documento que nos parece técnica y politicamente adecuado, equilibrado y válido; y la segunda observación y última, se refiere al punto 2.39. A nosotros nos hubiera gustado si es que dentro de las prioridades no existe prioridad, que figuraran en
primer término el alivio a la pobreza, la nutrición y la seguridad alimentaria.
V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme Budget and Evaluation): First of all I would like to express on behalf of the Director-General our gratitude to the Council for, if I may call it, the tribute it has paid the Director-General. I permit myself to say that because this is one of the debates which has shown so clearly the satisfaction that the Council feels for, and the appreciation the Council expresses to, the Director-General for his vision, his judgement, his assessment of what faces FAO in the next six years.
The document is presented by him to the Conference. It is not only a question of form, because I think in every intervention distinguished delegates have recognized that this Medium-term Plan bears the stamp of our Director-General. Mr Hjort and I will be very pleased to convey to him your satisfaction and the sense of unity.
It was not only the last Conference which requested this Plan, but it was the Conference in 1989, when it decided that the process of medium-term planning should be resumed, that the Conference recognized something else which we have seen today. And that is that one of the key purposes of the Medium-term Plan is not only to enable the Director-General to put forward his assessment, but to enable Member Nations to have a dialogue between themselves. I am very confident that the dialogue that we have heard today will be pursued in the Conference itself. I trust that that will be a source of satisfaction to the Council itself, as it is to the Director-General.
Many of the remarks which were made were in the nature of this dialogue between Member Nations. We have followed them attentively, but I think it would be presumptuous of me to treat them as questions, because very often they were not questions; they were policy positions on the priorities or issues which Member Nations themselves attach importance to, and the way in which they wish to express them. Therefore, for my part, I will make a very sharp distinction between those aspects on which the debate requested the Secretariat to provide a clarification or a reply, but not confuse that with the very important debate between Member Nations themselves.
One of the first points which came out so clearly in the debate at a very early stage, with the intervention of the distinguished Ambassador of France, followed by many others (and so eloquently by the distinguished Representative of Hungary) was the issue of assistance to Eastern Europe. The Director-General, as you know, from his interventions, from his statement, from his documents has recognized this, but I think the debate is moving forward in terms of Member Nations wishing the Organization's intervention not only to be augmented in terms of the resources devoted to Eastern Europe, but to have special impact. These interventions of FAO should be responsive to the needs of the countries concerned, and should also be conceived and delivered in such a way that the full comparative advantages of FAO are evident.
The message is clear. It was only today that we heard the statement which the distinguished Ambassador of France delivered on behalf of a number of
countries of Europe on what he called the "European Forum". This statement will indeed be studied by us in order to determine and shape our action in the coming years. I am certain that this debate will also be refocused in the discussion that you will wish to have under the Summary Programme of Work and Budget on Monday, and later on the full Programme of Work and Budget itself.
The next item which was mentioned most frequently was the cross-sectoral priority on environment and sustainable development. A number of questions were asked on which I should provide some information. One series of questions was about FAO's follow-up to UNCED. Here I think it is important to recognize that it is not merely a question of FAO or the FAO Secretariat pretending to take a lead role. It is a question of recognizing that in the follow-up to UNCED, which is discussed firstly, at the inter-secretariat level, and then at the intergovernmental level, there are certain responsibilities which have either been given to FAO or are being considered for FAO.
At the inter-secretarial level, immediately after the Earth Summit, it was the Secretary-General Mr Boutros-Ghali, who requested the Director-General to lead the inter-secretariat effort. That was done under the auspices of the Administrative Committee on Coordination.
The inter-agency cooperation is working well under the leadership of Under-Secretary General, Mr Desai. FAO is represented by the Assistant Director-General, Mr Mahler, Special Advisor on Environment and Sustainable Development. This work will be reported to the Conference in a special document which responds to Conference Resolution 2/91.
There is then the question of the Commission on Sustainable Development which, as you know, and as Mr Hjort referred to yesterday, is meeting at this very time in New York.
Under the Commission on Sustainable Development, there is recognition of FAO having been designated as task manager for the Agenda 21 cluster on land, including land use planning, forests, integrated mountain development and sustainable agriculture and rural development. This is a recognition of FAO's mandate and our comparative advantage.
I will not talk much more about the implications of the current session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, because this will be covered under one of the future Agenda Items which you will consider on developments under the UN system. It is Item 11.
A question was raised by the Distinguished Representative of India about the Global Environment Facility. The implementing agencies of the GEF are, of course, the UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank, and the specialized agencies are not participants in the sense that they are not members of the facility and they do not have voting rights.
However, FAO has been very active. My colleagues have prepared about thirty proposals for the Global Environment Facility, of which only two have so far been approved for execution. One is the bio-diversity of Eastern Africa and another a bio-diversity project in Sri Lanka.
Our collaboration with the staff of the Global Environment Facility is good. A Seminar is being conducted here on 28 and 29 June, and draft guidelines for improved cooperation will be discussed at that meeting.
The next set of issues which were raised concerned the evolving nature of field programmes. Without dwelling too much on the matter, because the subject will come up again, one item under which I will want to draw to your attention rather pointedly will be under the Item on the Trust Fund Support Cost arrangements.
However, let me deal with those aspects which were raised today, and that is the evolution of the Field Programme as regards national execution. Without starting a fresh debate on the matter, let me say that, as we see it, and as we have tried to portray it in this document, the basic premise is that all projects are government projects. This has always been the case, although secretariats have not always recognized it strongly enough. I say this with some conviction because the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance which started in 1949 had at its head Mr David Owena, who was one of my first bosses. He used to say that the task of every technical assistance expert - the basic task and the task he should never forget - is to run himself out of that job.
It is strange that sometimes it takes decades for certain ideas to be immersed, to be swallowed, to be acted upon, but let us also bear in mind that, although projects are government projects and their right, their responsibility and their choice, the assistance which individual governments may request from funding agencies, or from technical agencies such as FAO, varies enormously. To do justice to this issue, we have to recognize that the pace of development is unique from country to country, from sector to sector, from case to case. What is important, and what I find the Director-General attaches importance to, is that FAO should be sensitive to these changes, should be capable of responding in a diversity of ways without being autocratic or without presuming on what governments themselves wish. It is in this sense that we in the Secretariat work for national execution to respond to the individual tunes that individual governments call.
There were a number of questions about Resident Coordinators. The delegate of the United States of America asked if there was a problem. The Medium-term Plan does not raise any problem as such. Resident Coordinators are a fact. There are established relationships between Resident Coordinators and Representatives of FAO at country level, but we are very aware that the whole issue of coordination at national level, as you know full well better than I, is being considered by governments themselves in the General Assembly and its fora. The issue as we see it is not in terms of Resident Coordinator viz. agency representatives, but Resident Coordinators and the responsibility they should wield for the system as a whole, particularly in order to avoid some problems which have arisen from the fact that in some situations responsibilities of a very high order are given not to the Resident Coordinator but to a Special Representative of the Secretary-General, while there may be a Resident Coordinator in the country at the same time, and emergency and humanitarian assistance is then made the responsibility of yet another official. We refer to clarification of the responsibility of the Resident Coordinators, and not any problem of any other organization.
A question was asked about whether the Director-General envisaged resuming a joint division with the Economic and Social Division of Asia and the Pacific. The answer is, no, he does not envisage it at this stage. The collaboration with ESCAP is working reasonably well through our Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific. I have had occasion to discuss this with our Regional Representative, Mr Khan, because we work together on this. I am equally well acquainted with Mr Ahmed, the Executive Secretary, with whom also we have the best of relations. It is not a matter that the Director-General sees any need to review at this stage.
Two specific questions were asked. One was by the delegate of the United States in regard to paragraph 221 about animal genetic resources. Legal instruments for animal genetic resources are under preparation in the following areas - equitable access to breeds and strains of potential merit; second, intellectual property rights on products of animal biotechnology and thirdly, on monitoring of legislation, including legislation in the area of plant genetic resources.
Another specific question was raised regarding paragraph 199 dealing with procedures for plant quarantine. I may not have fully understood the question, because the formal procedure to develop the international standards for plant quarantine is in fact the procedure which the Council has just endorsed, and is covered under Item 6 in the COAG report. I hope that clarifies the matter.
The final question I would deal with is that raised by the delegate of Belgium about cross-sectoral priorities, cross-sectoral work in the organizational structure that we have. I hope not only the document but all our work and discussions show that the Secretariat deals with programmes and issues in an integrated manner, that is to say, by seeing the connections and relevance of the work in one sector and the demands of all the others. There is a great deal of collaborative work within the Secretariat which you will see a lot about in the Programme Implementation Report, but for now I will only answer the basic question.
No organizational structure is ideal; no structure is comparable from one organization to another, whether you take intergovernmental organizations or research institutions. This matter was dealt with in FAO Review by the Group of Experts under Professor Faaland. Their assessment, which the Programme and Finance Committees and then the Conference accepted, was that the structure for sectoral departments which FAO has and the type of development cooperation activities is a solid and good structure which permits and enhances cross-sectoral work as and when it is required. As you know, the Director-General has not been one for organizational change and trial and error. In using the structure that is very good he is able to rely very much on the competence of people and the quality of management in order to achieve what you expect to be achieved.
I have kept out of some areas where I know Mr Hjort, with his broader responsibility, wishes to provide some further responses. For my part, I thank you very much for the debate that you have had on the Medium-term Plan.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: The main matter I wish to address is the statement by the delegation of Canada with respect to the 50th Anniversary of FAO. I want to express on behalf of the Organization appreciation for their invitation. As was stated, I wish to confirm that we have been in consultation with Canada on the matter. I would like to encourage Council to give particularly careful consideration to that part of the statement where the suggestion was made that perhaps the Council and Conference would wish to have a Declaration. I point that out because if a Declaration is to be prepared it may need, as was suggested, to go through the Regional Conferences to get broad-based support. We in the Secretariat would need to be guided by Council and Conference so that this matter could be taken up at the Regional Conferences. Therefore, the Secretariat would appreciate having the guidance of Council in respect of that particular matter.
I do not want to take much more time. Therefore, I would say only that we are having a little difficulty this year with the terminology of "countries in transition". First of all, is there any country that is not in transition? It helps a little bit when people say "countries in transition to a market economy", I think that was the terminology used by some. We need to be reminded that there are many countries which are in that state of transition, and probably a good number more outside Europe than there happens to be in Eastern Europe. In one of the previous reports when this matter came up we covered it by simply saying "countries in transition". I know the discussion today was more specific than that and was tied to Eastern Europe but the point of all I have said is simply that we try to respond to Member Country requests from any which are in a state of transition. Where we can be helpful we try to be.
There is just one point on coordinating mechanisms. I believe the delegate of Belgium mentioned this point and I wanted to put on record that one of the first tasks the Director-General asked me to take on when I assumed the duties of my post was to see if I could not streamline and clear up coordinating mechanisms of the Organization. We have worked hard on that during the last year. You will see in some of the other documents that we have come to grips with the question of special action programmes and tried to streamline them. But there are many other coordinating mechanisms. The point Mr Shah made was that it does not make any difference how you structure; you will still find matters which cut across the structure. That has been my experience at least, and I have found it best to structure in a manner to get done what you decided to do, which takes considerably more resources than if structured by the process of deciding what it is you are going to do. That does not take anywhere near as many resources or as much structure, but one will always have to have a coordinating mechanism.
LE PRESIDENT: Vous permettez peut-être à votre Président qui est à la fin de sa "période de transition", de prendre la parole pendant un temps très bref; tout d'abord pour remercier le Canada de l'annonce officielle qui vient d'être faite concernant l'organisation du 50ème anniversaire, en 1995, de la création de la FAO. Déjà l'année dernière, lors de la visite que le Directeur général et nous-mêmes avons eu l'occasion de faire, cet engagement avait été pris. Il vient d'être concrétisé de manière solennelle. Je pense qu'après un demi-siècle d'activité, il est temps d'assurer des vues nouvelles et probablement
une relance de notre organisation avec plus de moyens, compte tenu de l'expérience extrêmement enrichissante d'un demi-siècle.
Faire la synthèse de ce qui vient d'être dit me parait inutile, pour la simple raison que tous les sujets importants ont été abordés, concernant la nécessité - et un certain nombre de pays en ont parlé - d'arriver à une programmation des ressources, la nécessité de mieux établir des priorités, ce qui implique, de la part des membres d'une organisation intergouvernementale, composée de nombreux Etats Membres, la définition de ce qui ne serait pas prioritaire parce que pour réorganiser les priorités il faut, et je l'ai souvent dit, avoir le courage d'indiquer ce qui n'est plus prioritaire ou ce qui l'est moins.
Pour parler de coordination des efforts, il faut savoir comment mieux coordonner. La famille des Nations Unies est une famille complexe où l'on a toujours tendance à créer des excroissances. On parle de nécessité de mieux coordonner, mais ne serait-il pas préférable dans tous les projets de réforme, de restructuration, de définir clairement les responsabilités de chacun?
Je crois que le rôle des grandes agences doit être mieux défini, mieux précisé et que les responsabilités qui leur incombent doivent pouvoir être assumées pleinement dans de bonnes conditions et avec des moyens financiers leur permettant de faire face à leurs tâches. Créer des commissions, des groupes divers, ce qui nécessite fatalement beaucoup de moyens, n'est pas nécessairement la meilleure méthode pour atteindre ces objectifs.
Vous me permettrez de faire une réflexion, à titre personnel sur un sujet particulièrement important dont on a déjà beaucoup parlé et qui est le problème de l'exécution nationale.
Nous vivons dans un monde qui évolue très rapidement où les connaissances risquent d'être monopolisées par un petit nombre. Personnellement, je crois que l'exécution nationale est indispensable mais avec une réserve, c'est que le transfert des découvertes du cerveau humain, des découvertes des technologies nécessaires au développement de la planète puisse se faire dans de bonnes conditions. En effet, si l'on parle d'exécution nationale pour maintenir des états de dépendance ou des niveaux différents dans l'évolution des développements, ce n'est pas créer un équilibre, que nous devons néanmoins atteindre. Créer un équilibre et créer un réel développement dans une interdépendance de la planète requiert une série de transferts des découvertes du cerveau humain qui risquent, compte tenu de la concentration des moyens financiers, d'être réservées à quelques-uns. Je souhaiterais donc que cette question des transferts de technologies puisse être davantage étudiées. Je ne veux pas d'une exécution nationale qui soit un maintien de liens de dépendances.
En ce qui concerne les relations intersectorielles - M. Hjort l'a très bien expliqué - un organisme technique comme la FAO, qui veut rester un centre d'excellence, doit disposer de services techniques sectoriels de très grande qualité et parler de relations intersectorielles serait un leurre si les secteurs, que ce soit dans le domaine de l'agriculture, dans le domaine des forêts ou dans le domaine de la pêche, ne sont pas des secteurs d'excellence et des secteurs forts. Il faut nécessairement, dans une interrelation entre
les programmes de terrain et les programmes ordinaires, que les divisions sectorielles de la FAO soient suffisamment étoffées, suffisamment qualifiées pour pouvoir répondre à une série de questions et d'interpellations. Par conséquent, si l'on parle de priorités intersectorielles, elles ne sont souhaitables que dans là mesure où les secteurs sont réellement capables d'assumer leur tâche.
Voilà les quelques réflexions très modestes que je me suis permis de faire.
J'ai été personnellement très frappé par l'introduction du Directeur général sur le Plan à moyen terme, je vous dirai que je l'ai lue plus d'une fois et que cette introduction donne une vision très claire des problèmes qui se posent et des perspectives à venir.
Je l'ai dit ce matin, à l'occasion de l'examen de la première facette de la trilogie, la seconde facette qui trace les perspectives d'avenir est encore plus importante; elle est plus importante parce que les défis que nous allons devoir relever avant l'an 2000 sont des défis tellement lourds, tellement importants et les moyens dont nous disposons pour les relever sont tellement dérisoires, que la lecture répétée de cette introduction suscite quand même une certaine appréhension.
Je crois donc que je ne peux que faire appel au sens des responsabilités de tous les Etats Membres de notre Organisation pour que nous tentions de relever tous ces défis.
Nous allons terminer notre séance plénière de ce jour et nous arrivons au terme de la première semaine de nos travaux. Nous avons respecté exactement l'ordre du jour qui était prévu puisque nous terminons le point 17.
Nous reprendrons nos travaux lundi matin en examinant le Programme de travail et budget 1994-95. C'est la troisième facette de la trilogie, facette particulièrement importante. Je pense que le climat dans lequel notre première semaine s'est déroulée nous laisse bien augurer de la semaine qui vient.
The meeting rose at 18.00 hours.
La séance est levée à 18 heures.
Se levanta la sesión a las 18.00 horas.