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19. Support Cost Arrangements for FAO Trust Fund Programmes
19. Arrangements concernant les dépenses d'appui des programmes de la FAO financés par des fonds fiduciaires
19. Disposiciones sobre los gastos de apoyo para los programas de Fondos Fiduciarios de la FAO

V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): The item before you today is, of course, well known to the Council since it has been developed over a number of years. We have, however, now reached the stage where the matter has been reflected upon, has been debated, has been the subject of consultations and now comes the point where the Director-General submits, as you had requested, his specific proposal.

The nature of this item, the kind of issues which are before you, may suggest that I just introduce the document and then attentively listen to the debates and then with the help of my colleagues respond to the debate. However, I would like to submit that there are some · questions which I would like to anticipate because these questions have been raised by you. They have been raised in the Programme and Finance Committees so why should I close my eyes to them? I had better address these questions so that you can reflect on the views of the Secretariat already in giving your considered recommendations.

The question of support cost reimbursement has been under debate for over five years. It was in 1987 that we took the matter to the Finance Committee and then brought it to the attention of the Council. It was at the last Conference that the Director-General submitted a special document on the subject which analyzed the nature of the problem and it was the Conference which concluded that a study should be made of the matter and that the analysis should be submitted to you, the Council, through the Programme and Finance Committees. We did that in the autumn of last year and the Council considered the document CL 102/18 which it debated at great length, when Member Nations, whether they are Trust Fund donors or whether they are not Trust Fund donors, or whether they are recipients of assistance under Trust Fund projects or not, they all expressed their views.

The proposals which had been submitted to you last year also had the advantage, I am convinced, that they were based on the external advice that we received from independent consultants. So that aspect was also important. The analysis was not merely that of the Secretariat but it was assisted by a recognized independent consultant, the same consultant that had been used by UNDP and the other agencies affected by the UNDP successor arrangements. The Director-General, and you will see from all this how cautious he has been, step by step, did not wish to rush headlong into proposals which would not be in the interests of the Organization. He first raised the problem, he then submitted a study based on external advice, he sought the views of the Programme and Finance Committees, and yours, before coming to his proposals. So just to recall that in November of last year the Council welcomed the proposals as a basis upon which agreement might be developed and invited the Director-General to submit his proposals at your present Session through the Programme and Finance Committees. That is what is before you.

Let me recall some of the basic principles which have been established by you and the Conference, our Governing Bodies. I think the most basic principle is that of the importance of the Field Programme as a complement to the Regular Programme. This has come over and over gain from you. It has been one of the major conclusions of the FAO Review. To use the words of the Conference in concluding the FAO Review, the FAO's Field Programmes are the essential vehicle for the maintenance of the relevance of the FAO Regular Programme. The essential vehicle. There should be no doubt about that. Secondly, the recognition of the FAO Review when considering the quality of the Field Programme was to say that one of the reasons for a lack of good technical support is that insufficient resources are provided by UNDP and Trust Fund donors. This was the conclusion of the Review, and it is a conclusion which is shared by you and shared with you every year when we report the results of the cost measurement studies to the autumn Session of the Finance Committee and then to the Council.

The next point: UNDP and Trust Fund donors; they are the two pillars, if I may say, of our Field Programme. The UNDP involves FAO in arrangements in the multilateral setting. The resources decided upon by UNDP for projects assigned to FAO for implementation and the terms under which those projects are assigned are governed by principles which are set by Member Nations in the UNDP Governing Council and are accepted in our Governing Bodies. These arrangements have the distinct feature of a multilateral cost-sharing. Whether it was the 13 percent of reimbursements that was in effect from UNDP until

1992 or whether it is the successor arrangements under the UNDP, all Member Nations have recognized that the implementation of the UNDP Programme has certain costs. These costs have been reviewed in the UNDP successor arrangements. The average costs are 31.9 percent, whereas the reimbursement used to be 13 percent and is now even less because of the limit of 10 percent of reimbursement for administrative and operational support, and arrangements which are special for programme and project support. So as far as the UNDP arrangements are concerned, I think we recognize all this. We recognize that they have been entered into, and we recognize most of all that there is the principle and the fact of inadequate reimbursement which has to be covered by the regular budget. Member Nations have accepted this, and we include it in the Regular Programme of Work and Budget.

In the case of the Trust Funds, however, there is a difference of views among Member Nations, not about the cost; the cost is a fact. You can ask for any study you want. We provide to you the report of our cost measurement system. This very moment we are undertaking another study in order to give better information to the Finance Committee in September. So the costs are a matter of fact. But where the difference in positions of Member Nations comes in, is over where the reimbursement does not cover the total cost. Should the difference be borne under the regular budget? or should it require a higher reimbursement from the Trust Fund donors? That really is the basic issue.

Now we can talk about, well, we would like the costs to be lower. We would all like the costs to be lower. And FAO is committed to it, and later on I will give you examples of how we are trying to reduce these costs. But accept the facts as they are. There are presently certain costs. There is presently a level of reimbursement which is manifestly inadequate, so what do we do? Just in case anyone is frightened of these figures, let me point out that the costs of project execution in FAO are lower than those of the other major specialized agencies whose costs were also considered in the UNDP survey. There are certain items for which FAO's costs are higher than the average; for example, procurement. But we immediately seized on that in order to do something about it, and those costs are now being reduced. FAO's costs are considerably below the costs of comparable organizations outside the UN system. You can rest assured that if I ask a consulting firm, "When you develop a proposal for a client, what profit margin do you include?" I cannot get information like that. I have such information from the time I worked for a management consultant myself, and out of respect and loyalty for my former employers in the private sector, I would not disclose that information in a public gathering. But you may rest assured that we did ask this question of our independent consultant, and this independent consultant who is very active in one of our Member Countries - in the USA, to be specific - gave us a comparison of rates. So let us glance briefly at these rates.

I said that for FAO, based on the UNDP study, the cost of implementation was 31.9 percent. According to the information given to us by the consultant, the cost charged to clients by private research institutions in the USA is 59.26 percent; by public university research institutions, 47.49 percent; by the US Federal Department of Agriculture, 33.3 percent; for regional sectoral organizations and non-governmental organizations, 28.5 percent; and for the US Department of Agriculture itself at the state level, when it performs services for the federal level, 17.6 percent. So it is fairly evident that the

rates of FAO should not cause us to be frightened, should not cause us undue concern, while always accepting the point that we must always try to be more efficient, we must always try to be more effective, we must always try to cut down costs.

I will not repeat the contents of the document as regards the specific proposals. The specific proposals we have tried to make as clearly as possible. Now let me deal with the main aspects of this. The first aspect is that the technical backstopping, the technical support which should be provided to Trust Fund projects is a matter which is looked at firstly on its own. This is very important not just for reimbursement. We are basically all concerned, no matter where we sit, no matter where we come from. We are all concerned with improving the quality of the Trust Fund Programme. And improving the quality of the Trust Fund Programme has a key. And this key is technical backstopping in the whole range, from the formulation of the project to the implementation, the monitoring and the evaluation of the project. The document proposes arrangements for the direct charging of technical support services for Trust Fund projects.

Let us now look at the other side, which is the administrative and operational support. Now here, basing ourselves on all the cost studies which have been undertaken, the proposals distinguish between the kinds of services, whether it is the recruitment of an expert, whether it is the procurement of equipment, whether it is the placement of a fellow, whether it is the organization of a training course. And I draw your attention to the table in Appendix A of the document. This table gives in a fairly clear form the different methods for the rate and the proposed rates. There are several aspects which I would urge you to recognize. First of all, these rates are not based on abstract principles. They are based on the identification of the costs but with the recognition that not the full cost should be attempted to be recovered. So there is a phasing of the recovery in the proposed rate. Secondly - this is very important - we are not asking the Council; we are not asking the Conference to decide on each individual rate. What is important is the methodology. We have given the methodology, and we give the rates which result from this methodology. But the rates are a function of the actual cost in each biennium and the level of delivery in each biennium. All this is explained in the document, but I wanted to make it clearer that Member Nations do not need to worry about individual figures of the proposed rates.

The third aspect is a question which has often been put to me: Why are you going through all these complications? We do not want anything complex. Why do we not have something simple? I would like to make your life as simple as possible, and we will. The reason why we give these details is that you have asked for transparency, you have asked for full disclosure, and this is what we are doing. This does not mean that every detail has to be negotiated, understood, accepted by each Trust Fund donor for each project. No. If the proposals are accepted and approved by the Conference, this methodology would enable us to satisfy each Member Nation and each Trust Fund donor about the charges which are proposed to be levied. It will enable us to formulate the project budget in the form which the Trust Fund donors and the Member Nation receiving the assistance desire.

Let me give you an example. Certain Trust Fund donors are allergic to a statement that there is a support cost of "X" percent. We do not need to state it in that way. You know what the charges are. The charges can be incorporated into each item of the budget. You have an expert cost - all right. Together with the expert cost you include the servicing cost - the cost of recruitment, the cost of servicing. You have a certain amount for equipment; you include in that amount the procurement charge.

So I want to be very clear: complexity is what you have asked for, through transparency, and we are not afraid of it. But do not use this argument against us then by saying, "Ah, but now you are making it too complicated!" It is not, and we can serve Member Nations in the way they wish.

The proposal then basically boils down to - again, let me try to give the bottom line.

On the one hand, those Member Nations who seek technical cooperation assistance from Trust Funds, who attach importance to this assistance, rightly have a concern that if there are higher charges for support cost reimbursement and if the total value of technical assistance does not increase, then the project assistance from which they benefit will be reduced.

Let's face it: if the total value of assistance does not increase and you charge a higher amount for servicing, the project delivery is of course affected and is lower. I ask you: Is this a reason not to face facts and not to do anything? I am convinced it is not, for the following reasons:

If we don't do anything we are all affected by the constraints which affect the quality of projects. Who will suffer? It will be the recipient countries themselves which will suffer from a lower quality of projects, and it will be the Trust Fund donors who will then become dissatisfied because their assistance is not being efficiently channelled. Is this in our common interest?

Another argument which we have had to face is of course the reluctance of individual Trust Fund donors. They naturally do not welcome being asked to pay a higher cost.

This is why the debate is among all Member Nations. This is why the Director-General has always said on this issue that: it is not a matter between FAO, the Secretariat, and individual Trust Fund donors coming to a deal: it is a matter which affects all Member Nations, and that is why the decision rests with you and, finally, the Conference.

If Trust Fund donors are not prepared to accept a higher rate, I would also ask the Council to reflect on the fact that Trust Fund donors channel funds through FAO for a number of reasons. They do it out of generosity, as a matter of development assistance policy. They also do it because they have confidence in the way in which the Organization implements the Trust Fund Programmes. They do it also, perhaps, because they feel that FAO does it better than anyone else would.

Certainly, Trust Fund donors do not limit their assistance to the programme channelled through FAO. They deal with other institutions in their own countries. They deal with direct assistance themselves. They deal with nongovernmental organizations. All these factors are constantly changing. Talk to any Trust Fund donor, and I am sure we will hear that while they channel a certain amount of their assistance through FAO, they also deal with nongovernmental organizations - and who knows? - in the future they might want to do more. They might in the future want to channel more through institutions in their own country.

So, while we have to face these concerns, let us not be blinded by them. The amount of the Trust Funds programmed through FAO is a sensitive matter. It is a matter which responds to many concerns in many fora at the national level in both developed and developing countries.

The situation will always evolve. We cannot recommend that, because this is a matter which is in evolution and because it will always evolve, we must not raise the problem of support costs. We have to raise it, and that is why the matter is before you.

I am sorry to have taken more time than usual in the presentation of this item, but I hope that these few remarks will assist you in your debate - and of course my colleagues and I will endeavour to assist further with any clarification that you may wish to have.

LE PRESIDENT: Avant de relever la liste des orateurs qui désirent intervenir sur le point 19, je tiens à rappeler que la CEE, dans sa déclaration de compétence nous a signalé que le point 19 de notre ordre du jour était de la compétence des Etas Membres. Le vote étant réservé aux Etats Membres, nous espérons bien entendu que cette matière deviendra de la compétence de la CEE dans un proche avenir compte tenu des programmes et des accords qui sont déjà intervenus à propos des programmes de coopération technique entre la CEE et la FAO. Nous souhaitons tous que ces programmes se développent de façon substantielle dans un très, proche avenir.

Bo WILÉN (Sweden): Sweden gives its support to the Secretariat's proposal as formulated in document CL 103/6 concerning a new system for support costs reimbursement for FAO Trust Funds. My delegation is pleased to note that the present proposal takes account of the major concerns raised by last year's autumn session of the Council, without changing the original bearing, ideas and principles of it. We now have before us a system which is built up in accordance with the following principles:

The costs of support services will, to a reasonable degree, be borne by the Trust Funds themselves. This means that the subsidies from the Regular Budget will be minimized. The remaining Regular Programme support to the Field Programme will only concern indirect central support services. In the view of my delegation this is a fair approach, keeping in mind that the Regular Programme benefits greatly from the activities carried out within the framework of the Field Programme.

Furthermore, the present proposal is in line with the spirit of the UNDP support costs arrangements. Moreover, it is built up in such a way that it will promote cost efficiency, transparency and accountability. It will hopefully also result in more accurate budgeting of the Trust Fund Programmes.

It is the belief of my delegation that the proposed system will contribute, not only to the revitalization of the Field Programme, but also to its development in order to meet the demands and challenges of tomorrow. The introduction of separate facilities for technical support, administration, and operational support are welcome, as well as the in-built components to enhance the quality of the provided services.

It is important to keep in mind that the proposal before us also forms part of a total system within the United Nations system. Changes in one part may motivate changes in another part of the system. However, at present the different parts of the total system seem to be well harmonized.

My delegation notes that FAO has been at the forefront of development of new support costs arrangements, for multi-Trust Fund arrangements and programmes. It is our hope that the experiences of this Organization will be of help to Member Nations and to their respective secretariats to develop adequate support cost arrangements for other specialized agencies.

From a technical point of view, the present proposal may appear complicated, especially if compared with today's reimbursement at the basic rate of 13 percent. However, the many advantages of the new proposal make it worthwhile to introduce the latter. It is, however, important to keep an eye on the system at different control stations, in order to rectify eventual unwanted consequences and to further streamline the model.

That said, my delegation reiterates its support for the present proposal concerning support cost reimbursement for FAO Trust Funds.

Jacques LAUREAU (France): M. Shah, je voudrais vous féliciter en vous disant que votre vision de Ministre des Finances de l'OAA nous convient et que le document CL 103/6 sur le remboursement des dépenses d'appui est très intéressant car il permet au Conseil de mieux cerner les types de dépenses encourues par la FAO pour la mise en oeuvre de son Programme de terrain, et de mesurer les conséquences pour le budget ordinaire de la sorte de subvention indirecte qu'il donne aux opérations financées par des fonds fiduciaires. Le mécanisme de remboursement proposé est le résultat d'une étude dont nous avons particulièrement apprécié la démarche analytique, levant le voile sur les frais de gestion du Programme de terrain et fournissant une méthode d'examen exhaustif applicable à tout moment.

La France, qui a toujours milité pour que l'OAA reste dans la vocation de son mandat et ne devienne pas une "agence de développement à la carte", comme je l'ai dit dans de précédentes interventions, ne peut que se réjouir de l'effort de transparence proposé. Mais, "le mieux est souvent l'ennemi du bien", et il faut veiller à ce que les solutions proposées restent opérationnelles et cohérentes:

- d'un côté nous devons être vigilants à ce que cache un système il est vrai simpliste, comme le prélèvement forfaitaire basé sur un pourcentage qui, au cas par cas, est nécessairement faux;

- d'un autre côté, des formules trop complexes de remboursement risquent bien d'être inapplicables voire même, de déboucher sur des contestations, de poser des difficultés supplémentaires aux donateurs et à l'Organisation en matière de programmation des ressources, ou de conduire à des distorsions par rapport à la logique technique des projets de terrain souhaitables. Certains donateurs ne seront-ils pas tentés de modifier la nature de leurs interventions dans les fonds fiduciaires vers celles qui sont proportionnellement les moins coûteuses à mettre en oeuvre, au détriment de la qualité du Programme de terrain de l'OAA dans son ensemble? Qu'adviendra-t-il des petits projets qui ne pourront bénéficier d'économies d'échelles, alors que bien souvent ce sont ceux-là mêmes qui maximisent l'efficacité de chaque dollar investi, à l'instar des opérations mises en oeuvre par le PCT?

Ne risque-t-on pas une spirale à la baisse, en réalité, de l'intervention des fonds fiduciaires? En outre, l'étude nous montre le coût élevé des prestations fournies par l'OAA pour l'exécution de projets de fonds fiduciaires. N'y-a-t-il pas une certaine forme de surenchère administrative interne à l'Organisation, à laquelle il faudrait essayer d'apporter également des correctifs?

Sur un autre plan, mais tout aussi pratique, la mise en oeuvre du nouveau système de recouvrement des coûts, tel que proposé, lancerait un véritable défi aux services financiers de l'Organisation, sans évolution parallèle du système FINSYS. Monsieur le Président, cette inquiétude n'est pas infondée lorsque l'on connaît les difficultés du système.

En dernier lieu, Monsieur le Président, le document CL 103/6 reconnaît que la plupart des institutions du système des Nations Unies imputent les dépenses d'appui selon un taux forfaitaire. Ne devons-nous pas nous inquiéter de ce qui conduit à la multiplicité des approches et des mécanismes de remboursement qui seront demain appliqués dans les différentes institutions onusiennes, sous couvert des spécificités de chacune. Ne doit-on-pas chercher à uniformiser et à simplifier plutôt que de vouloir individualiser et ajouter à la complexité par une démarche privilégiant les logiques individuelles de chaque institution au détriment de la cohérence d'ensemble, à l'époque où nous essayons au contraire d'uniformiser le Système. Que se passerait-il par exemple dans les coopérations interinstitutionnelles? Nous avons parlé de projets dans le cadre de la Conférence sur la nutrition, de projets dans le cadre du suivi de la CNUED. Que se passera-t-il si plusieurs institutions interviennent sur des schémas différents en ce qui concerne les fonds fiduciaires? Il y a là vraiment une question très importante qu'il faut résoudre.

Il nous semble que, dans cette affaire, il faille avant tout être lucide et réaliste. La lucidité, c'est de garder à l'esprit la ventilation des coûts en utilisant le schéma analytique proposé par l'étude et de suivre son évolution régulièrement; mais, d'un point de vue opérationnel, le réalisme suggère d'examiner le niveau de la redevance forfaitaire qui serait acceptable, et de voir, en fonction de ce niveau, ce que serait le montant

de la "subvention" - car il s'agit bien d'une subvention - faite par le Programme ordinaire à la partie du Programme de terrain financée sur fonds fiduciaire. C'est bien ce "taux de subvention" qui permettrait à un pays comme le mien de déterminer si l'OAA reste bien dans la vocation définie par les Textes fondamentaux, c'est-à-dire, d'être un organisme de réflexion appliquant par des expériences sur le terrain le résultat de ces réflexions mais n'étant pas une agence de développement.

Fotis G. POULIDES (Cyprus): Having carefully studied document CL 103/6 on Trust Funds Support Costs Reimbursement, and having carefully listened to the introduction of Mr Shah, we wish to make the following observations:

Trust Funds are vital for the successful operation of FAO, but the problem of their delivery cost is threatening their continuation.

Many efforts have been exerted to solve problems and to save the resources of the Regular Programme which are used at increasingly higher rates to provide support costs for Trust Fund Projects. These resources of the Regular Programme are essential and needed to cover other pressing needs.

We appreciate that the main objective of the new proposals of the Director-General is to improve the efficiency, to reduce the cost and to improve the service delivery of Trust Fund Projects, taking into consideration previous comments of the Council and the Conference, but also taking into consideration the recommendations and suggestions of the external consultant.

We consider the proposals of the Director-General to be balanced and to be facing the root of the problem, providing thus a reasonable solution to the problem.

With these considerations, my delegation supports the proposals of the Director-General as submitted to us. We hope that the Council will agree to submit the proposals to the forthcoming Session of the Conference for acceptance and for their eventual approval which we believe will lead to an improvement in the operation of our Organization.

Paolo MASSA (Italy): The Italian delegation wishes to express its appreciation for the efforts made by the Secretariat to get the most efficient solutions to the problems of Support Costs Reimbursement.

I should also like to thank Mr Shah for his usual brilliant and very exhaustive exposé. With the contribution of over 120 billion lire in the last three years to Trust Fund projects, Italy ranks amongst the largest donors. We are, therefore, particularly interested in the solutions that will be adopted because of the financial and operational impact they will have.

As highlighted in document CL 103/6, the present forms of Support Cost Reimbursement are not adequate and do not reflect real costs. We share the opinion that the need for a revision of the present system is, therefore, understandable and justified. We accept the fact that this would imply a certain increase of support cost charges.

Incidentally, I should like to remind you that since 1988 Italy has been funding a Project aimed at identifying and trying to meet additional financial requirements for Italian FAO programmes which would otherwise be covered by the Regular Programme budget.

However, we think that willingness on the part of donor countries to face increased costs should be accompanied by every effort by the Organization to reduce them whenever possible. Since the financial implication of the new system would be relevant in terms of charges for both operational and administrative services, we would like to encourage FAO to continue and intensify its efforts to increase efficiency and to streamline administrative procedures. For example, an area which surely needs further improvement is the procedure for recruitment of personnel, which, in our opinion should be shortened and made less expensive.

In general terms we think that the system proposed by FAO is no longer based on a flat rate of 13 percent, but rather on a precise quantification of costs and services provided, technical and administrative, is a realistic approach and reflects concerns and more transparency, although it might make the task of donor countries, in terms of financial monitoring and follow-up, somewhat more complex. In this respect, as Mr Shah said, a certain flexibility in the way of presenting costs would be advisable.

In conclusion, we think the proposal deserves to be considered, with interest, although it probably needs to be further examined and refined.

In this framework, the possible effects on other UN agencies should also be taken into consideration. For our part, we welcome the intention of the FAO Secretariat to engage in additional analyses as has been done for procurement in administrative and operational services in order to obtain the most favourable cost efficiency ratio.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Représentant de l'Italie de son intervention et des suggestions positives et concrètes qu'il vient de faire.

Takafumi KOJIMA (Japan) : I should like to thank Mr Shah for his lucid introduction.

Japan recognizes the importance of FAO field projects and considers the contribution to Trust Fund Programmes as an important part of its official development assistance in the agricultural field. Our contribution in this respect has been increased steadily in recent years and has reached US$4.6 million in 1992. This is because my Government appreciates FAO's expertise and international credibility in the worldwide information network and organization. Japan hopes that a good partnership will be maintained in future, especially with the recent growing awareness of global issues such as environmental problems which made our Government put more emphasis on FAO.

I should like to make some comments on the topic which is of great interest based on my previous observations.

First of all, we believe that implementation of the FAO Field Programme is a realization of FAO headquarters policy and plan in the field. Therefore, the results of those project should be integrated into the activities of Headquarters in order to deepen its experience and policy through feedback procedures. In this respect, it can be understood that providing a part of the cost from the Regular Budget of FAO is proper and essential.

Secondly, the new system of support cost arrangements proposed in the document is too complicated for us to formulate its budget proposal to financial authorities. I am very anxious that new arrangements might harm our cooperation with FAO.

Thirdly, mutual understanding between donors and FAO on support cost arrangements for each new project should be guaranteed at the stage of designing the project.

To solve the problems mentioned above, my Government considers that support cost management should be elaborated into more simple style.

We would like to propose a working group consisting of major trust fund donors.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Représentant du Japon. Le Japon est un pays qui a fait un effort très important ces dernières années dans le domaine des fonds fiduciaires.

Iain MACGILLIVRAY (Canada) : My delegation is pleased to provide concise comments on the proposal to implement new reimbursement arrangements on Trust Fund projects. These views will confirm those expressed by Canada on previous occasions, more recently at the Programme and Finance Committees held in May. We also wish to make reference to sections of document CL 103/6 which is before Council.

Canada has consistently supported the principle of full cost recovery from extra-budgetary trust fund field project activities. Whilst reaffirming this principle, we can nonetheless signal our general agreement with these proposals and recognize the importance of these new arrangements to accrue maximum cost recovery of Regular Programme expenditures.

These new measures are a step in the right direction, a trend whereby improved reimbursement mechanisms will reduce the use of regular funds as a subsidy to cover field project costs.

Of equal importance, we believe they could make a useful contribution to the management of funds, improved project quality, transparency of costs and allow for more appropriate burden sharing. Through these arrangements more comprehensive service rates - to secure more nearly actual costs - will be borne by the funding source. We support these measures. However, in anticipation of further assurances from the Secretariat, we trust the proposed new arrangements, given the considerable increase in complexity, can in reality be implemented without significant organizational changes and

subsequent delays. We highlight the comments of the Secretariat in document CL 103/6 that implementation will not require major costs or changes in accounting or project management activities.

In closing, and at the risk of contradiction with the principles stated above but in the light of the expected additional cost recovery implied by these arrangements, it is for consideration whether special consideration might be given to: (1) unilateral trust fund projects whereby developing countries finance their own technical assistance projects. In this regard, thought might be given to the development of criteria to grant priority favour to the least developed countries; and (2) the Associate Professional Officer Scheme in the light of the valuable contribution they provide to this Organization and its members, and the fact that this scheme actually brings in more resources to the Organization than it takes out.

These comments respond to important issues for Canada at this time.

J.C. MACHIN (United Kingdom): If I may say so, I thought it was useful for Mr Shah to spend a little more time in giving us a comprehensive introduction to this paper and its proposals. He set out the issues very carefully and convincingly indeed.

We discussed this issue at the last Council, and I remember then expressing concern over the increased subsidy from the Regular Programme and the widening of the support cost funding gap, again an issue which Mr Shah referred to. Let me say straight away that we consider the proposals before us are a pragmatic and well-considered compromise between those who consider the full costs of trust funds should be made by the donor and those who consider some subsidy from the Regular Programme is called for, again an issue of divergence to which Mr Shah referred.

We also consider that the four key principles I set out last November can be accommodated by adopting these recommendations. May I just refer to them briefly. First, bilateral trust fund donors should consider carefully which agency is best placed to undertake a particular project. Here, I would add that this includes cost competitiveness and I am pleased to note the issue is well addressed in the paper.

Secondly, donors should ensure that any projects to be undertaken by FAO should clearly be within those areas of comparative advantage where it has a role to play and where it can make an impact.

Thirdly, for its part FAO should reject those proposals which do not fall into the agreed high priority areas. Lastly, once trust funds have been agreed the donor should ensure the project is largely funded by the bilateral donor. We have already said in previous meetings we accept the concept of some degree of cross subsidy from the Regular Programme budget. Till now we have considered that this has been too high. However, the paper before us does not really provide completely accurate costings in terms of the support which field operations apply to normative functions and we consider it is impossible to do so. Therefore, we feel the paper provides a reasonable division of costs and consider that although perhaps it has not gone as far as some may have

liked, it does form a basis for a suitable and welcome compromise. On that basis, I am happy to support these proposals.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie le Représentant du Royaume-Uni. Je crois qu'il a parfaitement raison de souligner, comme il vient de le faire, l'apport des Programmes de terrain aux Programmes ordinaires.

Kiho YOON (Korea, Republic of): Before going to substantive matters, on behalf of my delegation I would like to express appreciation to Mr Shah for his informative and deliberate introduction on this item.

First of all, my delegation supports the Director-General's opinion that the contribution of the Regular Programme to the Trust Fund-financed Field Programme should be limited in order to enable FAO to concentrate on the programmes and priorities set by the Conference. The quality of the Field Programme financed by the Trust Fund should be strengthened by ensuring the resources required, for staffing.

However, my delegation cannot help expressing its concern over the uncertainty of the costs reimbursement for Trust Fund projects, which could be a bottleneck, hindering further extension of Trust Fund Programmes.

In this context, my delegation would like to suggest to expand the support cost reimbursement gradually, in order not to undermine the effectiveness of the Trust Fund projects.

Harald HILDEBRAND (Germany): My delegation views the proposals submitted by the Secretariat in document CL 103/6 as a very serious and well-substantiated attempt to fulfil the objectives of a new way to support cost reimbursement. Following the recommendations of last November's Council Session, the Finance and Programme Committees, and in particular the Secretariat, have further worked on this complex matter, to the full understanding of which by all of us Mr Shah's introduction has again much contributed.

My delegation in principle welcomes the approach to reconcile the legitimate interests of the three sides normally involved in Trust Fund Programmes. FAO wants its technical as well as administrative and operational support services to be adequately reimbursed so as to keep the burden on the Regular Programme as low as possible, which is also in the interests of Member Countries. Trust Fund donors wish to limit the share of funds to be reimbursed by them from the total project amount so as to provide maximum benefit or project delivery to the respective recipient governments. The Trust Fund recipient expects high quality services by FAO and the best possible result from the execution of the project. The precise definition of the various services and the detailed differentiation of the cost incurred as well as the combination of percentage and lump rates, as the table shows in Appendix A, might help attain these objectives.

My delegation understands there is some reason for services funded from the RegularProgrammetosupplement TrustFund projects becauseof the

complementarity and interaction of FAO field activities fed from regular and extra budgetary sources. The explanation in paragraph 39 of the document is quite convincing. However, an approximate percentage of the indirect central support service costs related to the volume of support services on the whole - see paragraph 41 - can dissipate still existing concerns as to the magnitude of subsidy from the Regular budget.

As regards the implementation of the new arrangement, in finalizing this arrangement the Secretariat are trying to make it as user-convenient as possible. In general, it should be in methodological agreement with the UNDP Support Costs Successor Arrangement; this would facilitate its handling by those who are going to apply it. The major aims in our view should be as already reaffirmed by other delegations - cost efficiency, transparency and accountability.

Finally, it would be interesting to know from the Secretariat how the future arrangement would compare in terms of competitiveness with other entities, particularly private companies. Will the new arrangement really make administrative support by FAO less cumbersome and, by freeing professional staff from routine operations, less cost-intensive?

Ms Teresa D. HOBGOOD (United States): My delegation is also grateful to Mr Shah for his comprehensive introduction to this item.

We have studied with great interest document CL 103/6 which contains new proposals for support costs reimbursement from Trust Funds. As Council is aware, my Government has long-standing concerns about the impact of Trust Funded activities on the Regular Programme and the subsidization that occurs from the Regular Programme. We also agree with the principle of re-designing Trust Fund financing arrangements to improve the quality of Trust Fund operations and provide for greater cost-efficiency. Any methodology that reflects the need for additional cost recovery income from Trust Fund donors is clearly a step forward. Yet, the proposals before us stop short of requiring full recovery of fixed indirect costs such as those related to administrative services.

As a result, we continue to have some reservations on this approach as shortfalls in support cost income from Trust Fund donors will continue to materialize to the detriment of the Regular Programme. We would welcome a review of the further information the FAO Secretariat plans to provide for the Finance Committee and the Conference on this issue before wholeheartedly supporting this recommendation. My delegation believes it would be extremely helpful if FAO could provide some additional easily understood financial data to members on the full magnitude of the problem and how full cost recovery rather than partial recovery would favourably impact on the FAO Regular Programme.

In this respect we also support the request of France for similar data. In this respect we also have three questions we would like to pose. Firstly, we note that Field Programme support amounted to US$30 million in the 1992-93 Programme of Work and Budget, prior to the exchange rate adjustment made at the November 1991 Conference. We would like to know how much of the

US$30 million in budgeted costs constitutes anticipated shortfall between total support costs and income solely for trust funds.

Secondly, it would be helpful to know the extent to which the shortfall would be reduced if the new arrangements for trust funds were in effect for the current biennium.

Finally, if the new arrangements were to become effective as of January 1, 1994, it would be helpful if FAO could provide information on the extent to which additional trust fund income will reduce the 1994-95 budget proposals since the Regular Programme subsidy would be reduced with the implementation of the new arrangements.

Tang ZHENPING (China) (Original language Chinese): First of all I would like to thank the Secretariat for having prepared document CL 103/6 and Deputy Director-General Mr Shah for his introduction which will certainly facilitate our deliberations on this Agenda Item.

The Chinese delegation noted that in proposing the methodology for obtaining reimbursement of the support costs of FAO's Trust Fund projects the Director-General has already taken into consideration the inter-relations between FAO's Field Programme and the Regular Programme, the need for the Regular Programme to subsidize the Field Programmes and the difference between the costs incurred in providing technical support and that of administrative and operational support services. The Director-General proposes that in calculating support cost charges different rates should be used according to the types of services provided. We appreciate the Director-General's effort in these regards. However, we hope FAO Secretariat will seek further opinion from Member Countries and, before submitting the proposed Trust Fund support cost methodology to the FAO Conference for approval, conduct further studies on the types of Trust Fund support cost charges and on the calculation of rates so as to ensure a rational distribution of support costs among the donor countries, recipient countries and FAO. This will in the end help FAO to upgrade the quality of its services and to increase the total amount resources of Trust Funds for technical support services.

Roland PARFONRY (Belgique): La question du remboursement des dépenses d'appui est suivie de près par les autorités belges. D'une part, la Belgique a mis sur pied un Programme de coopération substantiel financé par des fonds fiduciaires et, d'autre part, ce dossier est d'une importance cruciale pour l'évolution future du Programme de travail qu'elle considère un peu comme la sève de l'Organisation.

Cette délégation comprend bien le problème auquel le Secrétariat doit faire face: la sous-estimation des charges d'assistance technique obère le budget ordinaire. Toutefois, nous ne pensons pas que le nouvel arrangement proposé constitue une véritable solution au problème, et ce pour les raisons suivantes :

1. Le système proposé est terriblement complexe, beaucoup plus complexe que le système en vigueur actuellement. Dans un souci de rationalisation,

les Etats Membres avaient exprimé le souhait que la méthode de calcul utilisé soit alignée sur celle du PNUD. Finalement, la ressemblance avec les arrangements en vigueur au PNUD est toute marginale.

La justification de ces différences - la spécificité de la FAO par rapport au PNUD - ne nous a pas convaincu. La délégation belge souhaite que, conformément au souhait des Etats Membres, on recherche une solution commune dans ses grandes lignes aux arrangements en vigueur dans les organismes des Nations Unies.

2. Nous trouvons que le document ne fait pas toute la lumière sur le nouvel arrangement préconisé et reste muet quant à ses effets sur le Programme de terrain.

Nous manquons de précision sur les paramètres d'établissement pour chaque type de service technique. Le document lui-même reconnaît aux par. 47 et 48 que de sérieuses adaptations seront requises avant de pouvoir appliquer la réforme envisagée. Ceci laisse planer un doute sur la possibilité d'appliquer la réforme à la date du 1er janvier 94.

En outre, les lacunes dont le document fait état renforcent notre conviction que la réforme envisagée n'est pas opportune. Elle obligerait le secrétariat de la FAO à revoir non seulement ses méthodes de formulation de projet mais aussi, la gestion et le suivi comptable des projets.

La diversification généralisée des taux risque aussi d'entraîner des effets négatifs en alourdissant sensiblement la tâche du personnel au siège. Bien sûr, l'appui technique du personnel au siège sera incorporé, sous forme de mois de prestation, dans le budget des projets (par. 10 à 16).

Mais on peut se demander finalement quel sera le bénéfice réel pour l'Organisation d'une augmentation des taux de remboursement des dépenses d'appui si la mise en oeuvre du système implique la mobilisation de plus de moyens administratifs.

3. On peut se demander si l'arrangement proposé ne vient pas en contradiction avec certaine tendance à la hausse des taux de remboursement des dépenses d'appui pour les organismes des Nations Unies.

Le FNUAP, par exemple, a en avril de cette année maintenu le taux de 7,5 pour cent pour l'ensemble des coûts relevant du soutien technique, administratif et opérationnel aux projets.

Comment expliquer que les services opérationnels ou administratifs de la FAO coûtent plus cher ou que l'estimation qui en est faite soit en moyenne plus onéreuse? La Belgique est particulièrement curieuse de voir les résultats des études annoncées au par. 37.

4. En ce qui concerne les projets belges, les taux pratiqués actuellement s'échelonnent entre 9 et 20 pour cent (en moyenne 14 pour cent) en y incluant le facteur spécial d'augmentation annuel.

La Belgique redoute qu'en appliquant le nouvel arrangement, les taux s'établissent à un niveau beaucoup plus élevé que les 13 pour cent pratiqués jusqu'à présent, en général par la FAO.

La réponse des autorités belges à un tel développement n'est pas encore connue. En tout état de cause, nous pouvons affirmer que ces charges supplémentaires devront être financées dans les limites des moyens budgétaires disponibles entraînant nécessairement une diminution des activités entreprises au titre des fonds fiduciaires. Les effets de ces mesures sur les petits projets et sur les projets utilisant largement la consultation méritent, à notre avis, une analyse approfondie.

Nous craignons également qu'un mécanisme de concentration des ressources s'instaure, selon une logique comptable, administrative, déconnectée des priorités des Etats Membres et du développement durable.

La Belgique conçoit ses relations avec la FAO selon un double principe:

- respect des obligations internationales dans le cadre du budget ordinaire ;

- mise en oeuvre des orientations politiques par le biais des ressources volontaires.

Le Programme de terrain, négocié par la Belgique avec la FAO et les pays bénéficiaires, concrétise ce deuxième principe.

Nous souhaitons que la FAO garde un champ d'activités opérationnelles mais nous craignons, si le nouvel arrangement entre en vigueur, qu'à long terme les bailleurs de fonds fiduciaires se détournent de la FAO.

Pour toutes ces raisons, la Belgique ne souscrit pas aux conclusions du document CL 103/6 par. 52 et souhaiterait que la proposition du Secrétariat soit amendée.

Michel MOMBOULI (Congo) : Dans sa déclaration faite hier dans le cadre du point relatif au sommaire du Programme de travail et budget, la délégation congolaise a signalé que le Congo ne bénéficie pratiquement pas des fonds fiduciaires en raison des préférences électives des donateurs, mais a aussi émis l'espoir de pouvoir en profiter au cours des années.

Par ailleurs, bien que le Congo ne soit pas pour le moment directement concerné par les fonds fiduciaires, plusieurs de ces pays amis le sont et c'est dans l'espoir d'en profiter à l'avenir que, pour le compte de ceux qui en bénéficient actuellement, nous acceptons de participer aux débats.

Pour entrer dans le vif du sujet rappelons que, comme dans tous les autres projets, ceux financés par les fonds fiduciaires impliquent dans leur mise en oeuvre une base tripartite à savoir: pays donateurs, donateurs, agences d'exécution et en l'occurrence ici la FAO.

C'est en raison de ce cadre tripartie qu'ayant suivi les propositions du Secrétaire par la voie de M. Shah nous avons attendu d'écouter les principaux donateurs avant de nous exprimer pour le compte de pays bénéficiaires.

Tout comme les autres parties intéressées, à savoir les donateurs et les agences d'exécution, les pays bénéficiaires tiennent:

- à la qualité des projets financés par les fonds fiduciaires;

- à ce que les fonds alloués aux opérations directes et productives des projets ne soient pas lourdement grevés par les dépenses d'appui.

Pour ces deux raisons nous sommes d'accord pour que tous les efforts soient faits par l'agence d'exécution, la FAO en l'occurrence, pour réduire les coûts d'opérations.

Dans l'ensemble nous avons l'impression que, à quelques exceptions près, la plupart des pays donateurs appuient la nouvelle formulation du système de remboursement. Même si cette nouvelle formulation a été rendue compliquée pour des raisons de transparence reconnues et acceptées par tous, nous émettons le souhait de voir les donateurs ne pas céder à la facilité pour ne retenir à l'avenir que les projets de moindre importance et qualité sous prétexte de ne retenir que ceux qui sont d'un coût inférieur. Aussi souhaitons-nous que les préoccupations exprimées dans ce sens par la délégation française soient prises en considération afin que le nouveau système ne finisse pas par réduire le volume et la qualité des projets.

Pour terminer, j'ai dit que nous avions l'impression que la plupart des donateurs étaient favorables, mais nous devons aussi reconnaître qu'un petit nombre a émis des réserves et nous ne pouvons que souhaiter une recherche de solutions afin que finalement tout le monde finisse par accepter, pour le bien des pays bénéficiaires mais aussi pour leur propre bien, que les projets actuels se poursuivent et que de nouveaux projets soient également engagés sur une base acceptée d'un commun accord.

Nedilson R. JORGE (Brazil): The Brazilian delegation has carefully reviewed document CL 103/6, which proposes a new Trust Fund Support Costs Arrangement, and would like to make a few comments on this matter.

It is a fact that UNDP is having some difficulties to finance its technical cooperation activities in accordance with the tripartite principle on which is based the whole UN system - Specialized Agency, Recipient Cooperation Institution and UNDP. As a result, there is a substantial increase in TCP based on Trust Funds.

Brazil has a considerable technological capacity internationally recognized, particularly in the field of tropical agriculture. Still, in certain areas, Brazil feels the necessity of having access and transfer of some technologies. This has been made by Technical Cooperation Projects. As such, there has been a substantial increase in Trust Fund Projects, not only in terms of the number of projects but mainly in terms of the total amount of the cooperation. The great majority of these projects receive financial support either from loans

made by the Brazilian Government or from resources of the Brazilian institution interested in the cooperation.

As a consequence, and similar to the document examined by the Council, a clear distinction and separation between technical support activities is being applied by the Brazilian Government to Technical Cooperation Projects with the United Nations.

In this connection, as recommended by the United Nations General Assembly, the Brazilian Government has been strengthening since 1990 its national capacity of local administrative and financial management of Technical Cooperation Projects, throughout the so-called "National Execution", which is the current guiding policy of our Projects Administration Unit.

In this way, the Brazilian Government and the respective national institution verify, together with the appropriate International Organization, which parts of future projects can be locally managed and executed and which parts should be externally executed, on a comparative advantage basis.

The benefits of this procedure are mainly the following:

1. Stimulate greater responsibility of national institutions with regard to project management;

2. Save resources from projects by avoiding the application of the administrative tax, presently at 13 percent in the UN system, on the total amount of the Project. The administrative tax is then applied only to those areas of the project which are not going to be nationally executed.

In January 1992, with the beginning of the application of new mechanisms to determine the support costs of Specialized Agencies within activities financed by UNDP (successor arrangements), the idea of paying an overhead for each distinct component of the project was strengthened. These overheads are different according to each specific component of the project.

The mentioned system could not be imposed unilaterally to other specialized agencies when referring to projects negotiated directly between the Brazilian Government and such agencies without the UNDP participation. In regard to FAO, after the recommendation made by last Conference, the application of this system is now going to be possible. Therefore, when analyzing the document presented to the Council, Brazil believes that mechanisms similar to those adopted by UNDP should be also adopted within FAO.

The Brazilian delegation, therefore, urges the FAO Secretariat to consider with utmost attention the special case of those countries which receive technical cooperation, but are capable to use national execution on them; Brazil is one of these countries. In our opinion, this important aspect -National Execution - must be considered and taken into full account when discussing the proposed Trust Fund Support Costs Arrangements in this Council and in the next FAO Conference, and should be incorporated to any final arrangements approved.

Raphaël RABE (Madagascar): Ma délégation tient à féliciter le Secrétariat pour la production de ce document très utile.

Lorsque j'étais membre du Comité financier dans les années 1987-89 j'ai suivi de très près cette question dont j'avais pressenti l'importance capitale pour tous les protagonistes des fonds fiduciaires, donateurs, bénéficiaires et bien entendu les organisations coopérantes. Nous avons toujours cherché les voies et moyens pour qu'aucunes d'elles ne soient lésées, que chacune rentre dans ses comptes. Les fonds fiduciaires prennent de plus en plus d'importance, nous l'avons constaté ces derniers jours. De nombreuses actions de programme sont proposées pour être financées par les fonds fiduciaires, ne pouvant être supportées par le Programme ordinaire. Aussi convient-il de veiller à ce que ces fonds fiduciaires soient utiles, fonctionnels et donnent satisfaction aux principaux donateurs. C'est la raison pour laquelle j'ai écouté très attentivement toutes les interventions au cours desquelles j'ai perçu quelques préoccupations de la part de donateurs dynamiques en matière de fonds fiduciaires. Il est normal que des nouveaux arrangements ne puissent pas recueillir l'approbation unanime et il est nécessaire de revoir certaines parties de cette proposition. C'est pourquoi ma délégation propose que l'on mette à l'épreuve ces nouveaux arrangements avec bien entendu la possibilité de les revoir après un certain délai. Je proposerai donc que l'on précise d'une façon très claire la nécessité d'évaluer ces nouveaux arrangements et la possibilité de pouvoir les amender.

Jacques LAUREAU (France): je m'excuse d'intervenir une seconde fois. Je dois dire que j'ai été fort heureux d'entendre nos collègues du Congo et de Madagascar s'exprimer un petit peu au nom des récipiendaires car nous ne les avons pas beaucoup entendus ce matin au cours du Conseil et je pense que leur intervention était particulièrement utile. Je voudrais réagir à une déclaration que j'ai entendue, car nous savons que le Programme ordinaire aujourd'hui a des difficultés de financement ainsi que nous l'a montré le point 18 hier, puisque nous devons concilier une stagnation des ressources avec une augmentation des missions de l'OAA. J'ai eu l'occasion de souligner, hier, les problèmes que cela posait en défendant la base budgétaire la plus élevée. Je voudrais signaler d'ailleurs que cette situation fait que nous nous reposons de plus en plus sur les fonds fiduciaires et sur des ressources extra-budgétaires pour réaliser un certain nombre d'opérations qui normalement incomberaient à l'organisation, mais qu'elle ne peut malheureusement effectuer. Je pense par exemple à l'évaluation des ressources forestières, je pense à la préparation de la Conférence sur les ressources phytogénétiques et je pense à ce qui se passera demain sur les ressources zoogénétiques. Il me semble qu'il y a une contradiction à se montrer à la fois négatifs à l'égard des ressources extra-budgétaires et de soutien, peut-être indirect, que le Programme ordinaire lui apporte, et en même temps à nier toute augmentation budgétaire. Il ne faut pas non plus nier la complémentarité indispensable entre les Programmes de terrain et le Programme ordinaire de la FAO.

Je souhaiterais qu'il y ait un petit peu de cohérence dans l'approche général du Conseil.

LE PRESIDENT: Nous devons veiller à la cohérence, bien sûr. Vous avez cité quelques exemples, on pourrait en citer beaucoup d'autres et on les citera probablement.

Je voudrais demander, avant de passer la parole aux observateurs, si d'autres membres du Conseil désirent intervenir sur ce point 19.

Sra. Hilda GABARDINI (Argentina): Disculpe, señor Presidente, por no permitirle cerrar este punto. Un comentario muy general de mi delegación respecto de los fondos fiduciarios. Ayer, en su intervención, la delegación argentina alentó las expectativas de regularización de la situación económica de esta Organización. No obstante, creemos que la reducción de los recursos extrapresupuestarios, particularmente los del PNUD, deberían orientar a la Organización a ampliar sus esfuerzos para la gestión de mayores recursos del Fondo Fiduciario.

Por otra parte, señor Presidente, quisiera hacer nuestra la declaración formulada por el delegado de Brasil en lo que él dio en llamar ejecución nacional de los planes, y la solicitud que él formuló a la FAO de considerar con gran atención el caso especial de aquellos países, como son Brasil y el nuestro, que reciben cooperación técnica pero que son países capaces de una ejecución nacional.

LE PRESIDENT: Avant de clôturer la liste des orateurs, je demande s'il y a encore des membres du Conseil qui souhaitent intervenir? Maintenant je donne la parole aux observateurs notamment à la Norvège.

Ms Birgit SCHJERVEN (Observer for Norway): Thank you for giving me the floor. I have the pleasure to make this statement on behalf of the observers Denmark and Norway. We attach high interest to the ongoing discussion on a new support cost reimbursement scheme for Trust Funds and we have been listening carefully to all views expressed by Council members. Norway and Denmark are supporters of and donors to FAO's Trust Fund activities, but we are not in a position to support the proposal as put forward by the Secretariat. While our delegations can see some positive elements in the proposed scheme, let me here point to some of our main difficulties in relation to the suggestion.

The proposed scheme is based on cost studies in the Organization as a basis for the division of costs between the Regular Programme and Trust Funds. Thus, the system takes it for granted that the Organization is operating efficiently at the time of the cost study. The costs will be distributed among the two types of budgets whether they are reasonable or not. We should like to see more incentives for efficient operation of the Trust Funds worked into the proposals.

The calculations presented in the document show that the support cost reimbursement will increase from 13 percent today to an average of above 16 percent under the proposed new regime. This implies that it will be more expensive to finance development aid activities through FAO. Compared to other channels for development assistance, FAO will be less competitive. This

might put substantial parts of the Field Programme in jeopardy, as donors will prefer to channel funds through organizations where more of the allocated resources reaches the intended beneficiaries.

One of the objectives of the proposed system is to reduce substantially the subsidies from the Regular Budget to the Field Programme. In our view, FAO's programmes need to be regarded in a holistic manner, where the Regular Programme and the Field Programme should be mutually supporting each other. The cost studies might be well able to identify the time allocated and the costs related to support the Field Programme, but there are a number of ways in which the Field Programme is subsidizing the Regular Programme which is not presented by the cost studies. We are far from convinced that this is properly offset by the limited subsidy in the proposed scheme.

In conclusion, I repeat that we are not in a position to support the present proposal concerning support cost reimbursement for FAO Trust Funds. Should the proposal be approved, we will have to carefully consider the situation and our future role as a Trust Fund donor to FAO.

F.C. PRILLEVITZ (Observer for The Netherlands): Thank you for your warm welcome which you expressed this morning. I really missed you last week, you can imagine, also the other members of the Council, but it was worthwhile to be in Helsinki at the Conference on European Forests. I think that the Minister responsible for Forestry in Helsinki prepared a very good answer as a follow-up to UNCED which will facilitate our discussions here in Rome, especially with our colleague from Malaysia.

I have strict instructions to bring the following matters to the Council's attention. The Netherlands is a major donor to FAO Trust Funds. In 1992 we contributed US$52 million on a voluntary basis.

The Netherlands has of course studied with great interest the proposals contained in CL 103/6, and has very much appreciated the way in which the Secretariat has elaborated these proposals. We are also grateful for the clarification which we have received from the Secretariat on our enquiries.

The Netherlands also acknowledges the merits of this proposal, especially as an internal management tool for FAO. They aim at greater transparency, increased quality of project management, and greater accountability of the Organization, which we all favour. On the other hand, we have several concerns.

As we said during the last Council meeting, the newly proposed arrangements are rather complex. Their acceptance would therefore probably render donor appraisal and monitoring of projects more labour-intensive and time consuming. In addition, discussions could arise over the interpretation of the new arrangements. Furthermore, during the execution of a project, adaptations to the project set up may be required which could further complicate matters.

Also, The Netherlands has always advocated harmonization of procedure within the United Nations family. The present proposal stands on its own. As far as we know, consultations with other UN agencies have not yet taken place. We

would appreciate efforts to develop one single arrangement, applicable to all specialized agencies within the United Nations system.

In summary, while we greatly appreciate FAO's efforts to develop new management tools, The Netherlands continues to have certain reservations concerning the introduction of the proposed new arrangements.

Mrs Birgitta STENIUS-MLADENOV (Observer for Finland): Taking into account the fact that the question at hand is a highly technical one, which at the same time has far-reaching implications for the Organization and in fact goes to the very core of it, my delegation feels it important to express its view on the matter, even though we are for the time being participating in the Council as observers.

My delegation wishes to give its support to the Secretariat's proposal and the implementation of the Support Costs Reimbursement System along the lines formulated in CL 103/6. On earlier occasions my delegation has emphasized the importance of increased transparency and cost efficiency in the development of the new system. The proposal meets these concerns.

Without commenting on the proposal in more detail, my delegation wishes to associate itself with the views expressed earlier by the delegation of Sweden.

LE PRESIDENT: Je crois que nous avons clos la liste des orateurs sur ce point de notre ordre du jour.

V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): As always, the Secretariat is grateful to the Council for its considered views, judgement and advice. It has been a very thoughtful reaction, which I can assure that the Secretariat will want to digest as a result of this debate. I have paid attention to every single statement, with all its nuances, because there have been many nuances in what has been said; but I think the proceedings of this morning do show that, of those who spoke, the majority extended their support for the proposals which have been submitted. I am grateful for this support, recognizing that it is not an easy matter for each Member Nation to take a position on an issue where its own interests, its own relationship with other Member Nations and the common responsibility in terms of resources for your Organization all have to be considered.

For the same reason, I have the same respect for those Member Nations and those observers who stated that they cannot support the proposals. They were smaller in number, but this is not a "numbers game". In terms of my respect for their position, I can assure them of the same quality and degree of respect. I am sorry, of course, that they cannot presently see their way to supporting the proposal. There was, however, also a small group of other Member Nations who felt that they would be prepared to see a constructive outcome of the matter, and I permit myself the hope - I trust it is not a vain hope - that those who presently cannot support the proposal may find their way, may reconsider the matter, may also find that the eventual proposals

which the Director-General will submit to Conference will take such good and careful account of various concerns that at the end they too may be able to extend their support and join in a common agreement.

Let me now deal with the specific questions which were raised. I shall break them down into three categories.

There were firstly a number of questions about complexity - real, imagined, how it would be dealt with. Secondly, about whether these proposals would set FAO apart, in isolation from other organizations of the UN system, and how Member Nations could achieve greater concordance in what is done in all organizations in the UN system. Thirdly, there were specific questions raised by individual members.

On the issue of complexity, I am grateful for the thoughtful reaction which has been given. I think that all members who address this issue do recognize that transparency of costs, which is desired by all - at least in principle -is in everyone's interests, but the transparency itself has a cost. It has a cost in terms of ability, not only of the Secretariat but of each Member Nation, to deal with that transparency. What we have done is to provide the facts, as I said at the beginning. By basing our proposals on the principle that each project involves a number of different services - services of a different type and at a different cost - we are giving the basis for the Trust Fund donors and for the Member Nations who benefit from the Trust Fund Programme to determine what service they want and what it costs.

This leads me to the question of the distinguished Ambassador of France.

Monsieur l'Ambassadeur Laureau a posé à mon sens une question très valable: la méthodologie proposée ne conduirait-elle pas les bailleurs de fonds à formuler des projets pour leur financement et qui se concentreraient sur les services qui coûtent le moins cher.

J'apprécie le sens de la question, Monsieur le Président, je dirais en toute honnêteté qu'en fait, puisque les différents services varieront, les services varieront selon la contribution que doit apporter l'organisation. C'est dans notre intérêt commun de déterminer dans chaque cas si c'est vraiment l'intérêt du projet, si c'est vraiment l'intérêt du pays récipiendaire de cette assistance.

En effet, il y a des cas où je reconnais moi-même que les propositions que nous avons formulées méritent une étude ultérieure. A titre d'exemple, prenons le cas des coûts de services relatifs aux consultants. Nous avons indiqué à l'annexe A que pour un consultant, il y aurait une charge de 12 700 dollars E.-U. pour le recrutement, puis une charge de 800 dollars E.-U. par mois de service. Si des bailleurs de fonds nous demandent sur un projet déterminé non pas des experts pour une longue mission mais de nombreux consultants de très haut niveau, il faut reconnaître que s'il y a six ou huit consultants de très haut niveau sur une période de deux semaines ou deux mois, le coût sera très élevé proportionnellement aux salaires et remboursements accordés aux consultants. Il se peut que, dans certains cas, ce soit justifié, mais dans d'autres non; c'est une question de rationalisation des projets.

Cependant, cela nous a également amenés à penser que nous aurions tort d'imposer ce régime de coûts dans le cas où un même consultant travaillerait sur un même projet à trois périodes différentes et j'avoue que, dans cette hypothèse, mes collègues et moi avons considéré que, dans les propositions finales, il nous faudrait revoir cet aspect afin que la charge de recrutement ne soit pas appliquée chaque fois, ce ne serait pas juste, pas équitable.

In relation to the transparency, the complexity and the level of cost, several distinguished delegates referred to the issue of cost control and the need for cost control. I think the Secretariat acknowledges this and has to face it. I said at the beginning that I would give you one example, an example of the procurement services and procurement costs. We found - and this is shown in the document before you - that the procurement cost as the average of the specialized agencies considered in the UNDP arrangement was higher in FAO than in the other agencies. Therefore, we used the assistance of the external consultant, who knew the other organizations, to tell us why this was so. We found that, in fact, FAO was devoting more attention, more care, to procurement of technical equipment on projects, was channelling the requests coming from projects to various technical units, to the operation units, to the procurement unit.

This was all for a good reason: it was in order to be careful with public funds and the use of public funds, but doing it with an excess zeal, doing too much. Was it really necessary for procurement requests to be submitted to the same degree, the same intensity of examination control? Other agencies are certainly not doing it. If we want to reduce the cost, whilst retaining the level of control which you would consider necessary, it was still possible to reduce the procedure, to shorten it, to lighten it. The result is that eight posts were either abolished or reassigned to other functions in other units, which means that the cost of procurement comes down.

Basically, let me say that in presenting a proposal like this I feel very much - and I know the Director-General does - that we are engaging in a compact with you. It is not a case of saying that these are our proposals, take it or leave it. No. The issue is too serious, as you know, and as you have stressed. We are proposing solutions to problems, a number of problems which are interrelated. The solutions are not extreme. They do not satisfy those Member Nations which look for total cost recovery, and they would not satisfy those Member Nations which look for total and maximum support from the Regular Programme. However, as most have recognized in this debate, we are all trying to come to a reasonable and balanced solution.

In the light of the comments which have been made and which we will report to the Director-General, we will consider what directives he wants to give us to refine, to shape these proposals further, to see where we can make them simpler, to see where we can deal with the particular concerns which some of you have emphasized - for instance, that on unilateral Trust Funds there should be a lower scale of reimbursement, particularly for those countries which are the least developed, where they put forward funds for projects on their own territory. Another example is that for the Associate Professional Officers we re-examine the proposal to see whether it should not be lower.

However, having said all that, and even if the Conference approves the eventual proposal, as I hope it does, the story does not end there. We have to continue to work together. We have to continue to work together to ensure that the Trust Fund Programme remains important, remains relevant. Indeed, I hope it will increase. If it is a more substantive programme with a better quality of projects, it would increase to the greater satisfaction of all Member Nations.

Let me now deal with the specific questions. The distinguished Ambassador of France started with questions about the impact of the new arrangements for the Financial Services. There are two aspects to which I should like to respond. Firstly, the new arrangements would require more careful project formulation, budgetary formulation and, in terms of the delivery and the services charged against the delivery, more care on the financial side. Let me deal with all three aspects.

Project formulation: yes, it is true, but I think it is to our common benefit that Trust Fund projects at the stage of formulation would be more carefully examined in determining what the project inputs are desired to be, what the project objectives would be, whether the inputs respond to those objectives, what the timing of those inputs should be - all this is the substance of quality project formulation.

Secondly, budgetary formulation and monitoring: this is where my own little office comes into its own. Our intentions there are to use computerization to the maximum extent possible, but on systems which can be developed and maintained at an operational level. We are not proposing to embark on a major redesign of FINSYS or to envisage a major module which would need to be added. We propose to do it at the stage of computerization which is available to us. I do not see any problem there. For example, I can tell you that if a project budget has to be calculated along the lines of the proposal, my colleagues are already working on a modular system so that any officer who is developing a project budget would input "Expert 18 man/months", and the software would show on his screen what the cost would be, because the cost, data would have been fed in.

The third aspect is that of accounts and delivery controls to ensure that the charges are correct and made only when the services have been provided. Here also, in consultation with our colleagues, Mr Mehboob and his colleagues, we have agreed that there should be no attempt to modify FINSYS at this stage. We will work with the Project Management Information System which we already have and we are developing. I should like to try to reassure anybody with concerns on that score.

The next question was about uniformity amongst organizations with regards to charges. This question was initiated by the Distinguished Ambassador of France but was referred to also by a number of other members. The basic methodology - that is to say looking at costs, seeing where they occur, seeing what they consist of and then deciding on a scale of répartition, distribution of these costs - is a methodology which is well accepted in the UNDP arrangements and which is well understood by other organizations. We are more advanced in the development of these proposals than other organizations. For example, as many members are aware, WHO considered a proposal last year for the increase of

support costs on Trust Funds from 13 percent to 17 percent and that was rejected. However, the Executive Board of the World Health Organization is considering a report on the long-term objectives and tasks of WHO, which has been blessed by the recent World Health Assembly, and has asked the Director-General of WHO to resubmit proposals to the Governing Bodies, aiming at a recovery of up to the full cost. In the case of WHO, that would be 35 percent.

In our inter-secretariat discussions in CCAQ, my colleagues and I share all the work we are doing with other organizations. I distinctly have the impression that the other organizations see its validity and support it. But can we tell them to follow this course for the sake of unity? Quite frankly, I think the issue of coordination of arrangements is something which is best pursued by you, the Member Nations. Secretariats can certainly help each other, can collaborate. We can satisfy concerns that other secretariat colleagues may have. However, it is up to Member Nations to say, "Here is a system which we are prepared to support in this Organization and we want you, the other organization, to model yourselves with any flexibilities that you choose, but to follow the broad line of that system."

Then there were questions from the delegate of Germany about how would these arrangements enable FAO to be competitive, and to compete with the private sector. I started by saying that FAO rates, we believe, are perfectly competitive and considerably lower than those in the private sector. But I would say this is not a question of boasting or asking you to believe in a credo. I think the delegate of Germany is correct. Will the future rates be competitive as long as they are based on FAO cost-effectiveness? Again, this is where I return to the point of a compact between us, that if the rates are not competitive we will see the results and will have to face them - that FAO is not considered by some to be the most cost-effective. But we are confident we can compete with the best anywhere.

Another question was raised about whether the new arrangements would make the administrative problems more simple. Yes, that really is the intent, and the example of procurement that I gave was one instance. This is a matter of whether we are talking about procurement or personnel recruitment, we will have to face up to our present problems and see how they can be better and more cost-effective.

There were a number of questions from the delegate of Belgium, who referred to a case of five percent, or a case of seven percent being charged instead of thirteen percent. We have heard of such cases. I can confirm that. It usually means that the cost is charged directly to the project inputs. This is perfectly possible. As I said earlier, if you want us to do it with the new arrangements - no problem. I can show you a project budget with no support costs as an extreme.

A question was also asked by the delegate of Belgium about UNDP and further changes in its arrangements. My colleagues inform me that UNDP is also considering amending its system to lump sum charges for certain items because of their obvious advantages.

The delegate of the United States of America asked three questions. Firstly, she referred to the provision of US$30 million in the Programme of Work and

Budget of this biennium, the provision for Field Programme support, and she asked what the share was as regards Trust Funds - it is US$12.7 million. Her second question was about how much would the new arrangements reduce the shortfall, the gap. This needs a certain amount of caution on my part, and let me say why. To start with, because the cost measurement study results which were submitted to the Finance Committee last September are being reviewed through a new study which has been undertaken, the results of which will be reported to the Finance Committee in September, I would prefer to be definitive about figures at that time. Since this study is being undertaken and since we are in the middle of the biennium, let me try and give you an example based on actual figures for 1990-91, for I think the point is better made by relying on specific figures rather than inventing them.

The delivery for Trust Funds in the last biennium was US$386 million. The total support costs, the costs according to the study which was undertaken, were US$123 million. The deficit - and this covers technical support, Field Programme support as well as administrative and operational support - was US$64 million. Under the new arrangements, this deficit would come down from US$64 million to US$36 million, so we are not trying to go all out or trying to grab everything. This is the result of the balanced proposal as you see it before you.

The third question was about what would be the result of reducing the budget. I know the reduction of the budget proposals for the next biennium is an important objective for some, but I have to say clearly that this would have no result in reducing the budget proposals - none at all; because this would defeat the whole proposal when there is already a gap which is not met. I am glad that point is made.

This brings me, then, to a final reflection, which is that I am very grateful to Council. I am glad that the proposal before you and your consideration of it has enabled Council to see really how substantive and timely it is, and how it is a matter to which we cannot close our eyes because the problem will not go away. Nor is it a matter on which we can procrastinate. We have spent five years studying it, five years of studying documents, having debates and answering questions. We will be very pleased, in the light of the reception that the Council has given to the proposals today, to report to the Director-General so that he can take into account your views and submit his final proposals to the Conference with the view, we sincerely hope, of meeting not only the concerns but the interests of all Member Nations.

LE PRESIDENT: Nous arrivons au terme de notre débat particulièrement fructueux, intéressant et passionnant. Le Dr Rabe de Madagascar rappelait que le sujet était déjà en discussion il y a de nombreuses années lorsqu'il était membre du Comité du Programme. Je crois qu'à l'instar de la vie des êtres humains un pareil sujet restera toujours un sujet d'actualité et qu'il n'y a pas de formules définitives qui puissent intervenir. Toutes les formules doivent tendre à une amélioration progressive et le principal souci qui a guidé le Secrétariat de la FAO est d'obtenir davantage de clarté et de transparence. Je crois que ce sont là des notions importantes qui ont reçu un large accord de tous, et que tout le monde souhaite qu'on en arrive à voir plus clair, étant entendu que l'on ne verra jamais complètement clair car il

y a toujours, à côté d'éléments quantitatifs, des aspects qualitatifs. Il semble qu'il soit difficile de juger de la valeur d'un consultant D-l ou D-2 ou P-5 par rapport à un jeune P-2 ou P-3 récemment formé ayant des visions nouvelles, de nouvelles techniques, car l'un a l'expérience et l'autre de nouvelles techniques. Dans ce cas, quelle peut être l'appréciation quantitative d'éléments qualitatifs? C'est dans ce domaine qu'il va être particulièrement compliqué de pouvoir élaborer des règles fixes.

Comme le Directeur général adjoint l'a souligné, je crois que nous devons faire preuve, dans notre approche, de souplesse et d'adaptation en tenant compte du système tripartite et de la situation spécifique d'un certain nombre de pays. Comme l'ont souligné les Représentants du Brésil et de l'Argentine, la situation des pays peut être différente, la situation du monde est en évolution et nous devons en tenir compte.

Se rapprocher des systèmes mis en place ailleurs est évidemment souhaitable, mais la situation du Programme des Nations Unies pour le développement, qui est un programme financier et non pas un programme opérationnel, est évidemment différente de la situation de notre Organisation qui est par essence elle aussi une organisation opérationnelle de développement.

Je crois que le Représentant du Royaume-Uni avait raison de souligner le croisement qui intervient dans un terme que je n'aime pas beaucoup qui est celui de subvention, alors qu'il s'agit du terme de contribution. En réalité, je crois qu'il n'y a pas de Programme ordinaire sans Programme de terrain valable. Comme cela a été souligné par la totalité des membres du Conseil, il y a une interrelation étroite entre le Programme ordinaire et le Programme de terrain. Je l'ai dit souvent, le Programme de terrain c'est lavie de l'Organisation et comment peut-on imaginer dans les domaines techniques de l'agriculture, dela pêcheet delaforêt quelesspécialistesdu Siège puissent garder des avantages comparatifs s'ils n'ont aucune expérience de terrain, s'ils n'ont aucune relation avec le terrain? On arrivera rapidement à un type d'académie scientifique où l'on pourra lire et étudier les dernières publications intervenues à propos de tel ou tel sujet, mais je ne conçois pas - et je prendrai un seul exemple - qu'un spécialiste en trypanosomiase animale n'ait pas le contact avec les réalités du terrain, là où le problème se pose. Cela était vrai pour le criquet pèlerin, c'est vrai pour la lucilie bouchère, c'est vrai dans tous les domaines. Si l'on veut maintenir ce centre d'excellence, il faut évidemment continuer d'assurer des interrelations entre lesexpériencesde terrain etlesprogrammesduSiège. Commecelaétait souligné, la subvention qui est en réalité une contribution croisée permet au Programme ordinaire d'avoir toute sa valeur. Et si l'on veut que, demain,.les avantages comparatifs continuent à exister, il est clair que les Programmes de terrain doivent être suffisamment importants et sélectifs.A cet égard, je crois que la responsabilité des pays récipiendaires est grande.Cela est dit d'une manière très claire dans l'Acte constitutif et je crois utile de rappeler son Préambule.Dans l'Article I, on souligne que l'Organisation a pour fonction - et c'est une de ses fonctions essentielles - de fournir aux gouvernements l'assistance technique qu'ils demandent, de prendre toutes les dispositions voulues pour atteindre les buts de l'Organisation tels qu'ils sont defines dans le Préambule. Ce Préambule définit très clairement la responsabilité de la FAO, grande agence opérationnelle de la famille des Nations Unies.

Je crois qu'il est impossible de tirer des conclusions définitives, mais le document qui nous est soumis a pour grand mérite d'apporter une plus grande clarification dans le système et la simplicité que nous recherchons tous n'est pas antinomique. Mais, étant conscients également de nos responsabilités dans l’interrelation du Programme ordinaire et du Programme de terrain - parce que là je crois que c'est ma responsabilité de dire qu'il n'y a plus de Programme ordinaire, s'il n'y a plus de Programme de terrain - je sais que, dans le passé, compte tenu des difficultés financières qui sont intervenues et du retard de paiement de certaines contributions, ce sont des fonds fiduciaires qui ont dû être utilisés pour assumer des tâches qui auraient dû être prises en charge par le Programme ordinaire, que ce soit pour l’agrométéorologie, la télédétection, un certain nombre de pays ont dû intervenir et sont intervenus pour permettre à l'Organisation de conserver ses avantages comparatifs dans des domaines essentiels. En tenant compte de l'ensemble des avis qui ont été exprimés par les membres du Conseil et les observateurs, je crois que nous pouvons dégager la volonté de retenir des formules qui ne soient pas trop complexes, mais qui soient souples et opérationnelles, et qui puissent, en fonction des besoins et des circonstances, s'adapter aux réalités d'un monde en évolution, avec le souci de maintenir la transparence qui est une préoccupation qu'ont exprimée la plupart des membres de ce Conseil. Je crois qu'il ne faut pas s'en tenir à des chiffres précis et que le but du document est de donner un certain nombre de pistes sans être un corset contraignant fixant d'ores et déjà des barèmes, des chiffres et des montants que ce soit pour les consultants, les cadres associés ou pour un certain nombre de fournitures de services en matière d'achat d'équipement.

Je crois que la vie est à l'instar des projets extrêmement complexe et doit pouvoir s'adapter aux circonstances. La vie nécessite une grande faculté d'adaptation et je suis convaincu que la FAO qui a su faire face hier à tous ces défis, dans des circonstances difficiles, pourra vraisemblablement demain, grâce aux résultats de notre discussion d'hier, dégager un large consensus sur le financement du Programme de travail et budget, ce qui nous permettra dans ce domaine important d'assumer nos responsabilités.

Je tiens à remercier très vivement M. Shah de sa patience, de son exposé très complet et des réponses fouillées qu'il a tenté de donner aux nombreuses questions qui ont été posées. Il est clair qu'il reste des questions en suspens et qu'à côté des zones de lumière il existe encore à l'heure actuelle des zones d'ombre, mais je sais également que le Secrétariat de la FAO est à la disposition de tous les membres du Conseil et de tous les membres de l'Organisation pour répondre aux questions qui pourraient être posées et qui nous permettront progressivement de tendre vers la philosophie qui se dégage de ce document et qui permettra une meilleure adaptation aux réalités du monde de demain.

On a beaucoup parlé de l'exécution nationale, de l'évolution des programmes des Nations Unies. Je crois que toutes ces matières sont fluctuantes et que les transferts de technologies nécessitent une approche nouvelle ainsi que beaucoup de générosité parce que c'est un des problèmes angoissants du monde de demain - je songe plus particulièrement à ce qu'à dit le Représentant de la Tunisie en ce qui concerne le problème de l'eau qui sera très angoissant dans le monde de demain.Tout cela doit permettre à la FAO de garder ses

avantages comparatifs pour répondre à toutes les questions qui seront posées et pour éviter de devenir un séminaire de discussions informelles sur une base de papier, mais de rester un centre d'excellence sur la base d'une réelle expérience de terrain.

Nous allons passer au point 20 de notre ordre du jour qui contient le rapport de la soixante-dixième et de la soixante-dix-septième sessions du Comité du Programme qui a abordé un certain nombre de sujets divers. Je remercie tous les membres qui ont bien voulu participer à la discussion du point 19. Nous allons passer à la discussion du point 20 en l'absence du Président du Comité du Programme qui n'a pas pu se libérer pour présenter le sujet.

Je passerai la parole à M.Shah.

20. Reports of the 66th and 67th Sessions of the Programme Committee
20. Rapports des soixante-sixième et soixante-septième sessions du Comité du Programme
20. Informes de los 66° y 67° períodos de sesiones del Comité del Programa

V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): Dr Bommer, the Chairman of the Programme Committee asked me to convey his respect and greetings to the Council, at the same time hoping you will excuse him for his inability to be present with you today.

The two reports of the Programme Committee before you need not call for too many remarks on my side on his behalf. The document CL 103/4 deals with the outline of the Programme of Work and Budget which was considered by the Programme Committee jointly with the Finance Committee. You yourself have considered yesterday the sequel to the Outline, the Summary of Programme of Work and Budget so on that matter there is nothing more that I need say or that need be added.

At that same session in February the Programme and Finance Committees also considered the subjects of staff post adjustment problems resulting from the Italian lira devaluation but this is a matter which you will be considering this afternoon. So there again there is nothing that I need to draw to your attention.

Document CL 103/17 deals, as regards the report of the Programme Committee, with a number of items that you have already dealt with, that is to say the Programme Evaluation Report, the Medium-term Plan and the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.There is nothing more therefore to be said.

At that May session the Programme Committee also examined a number of reports of the Joint-Inspection Unit. The Council had decided many years ago, Mr Chairman, as you recall, that the Programme and Finance Committees would examine these reports of Joint-Inspection Unit and then the comments of the two committees would come before you. They are in fact in the report under paragraphs 2.111 to 2.117. On all of the reports which the Committee examined it gives its views, it gives endorsement of the Director-General's comments, and in the case of three reports also its endorsement of the comments of the

Administrative Committee on Coordination. I believe that is all I have to indicate.

LE PRESIDENT: Nous avons donc deux documents, le document CL 103/4 qui contient le rapport d'une réunion conjointe qui s'était penchée, début février, sur la première esquisse du Programme de travail et budget et qui contient également les conséquences de la dévaluation de la lire italienne dont nous aurons l'occasion de parler cet après-midi et qui fait l'objet d'un document spécial, CL 103/LIM/5. Nous avons ensuite le rapport de la soixante-septième session du Comité du Programme qui se trouve dans le document CL 103/17.

Je voudrais demander si des membres du Conseil désirent intervenir sur ce rapport. Peut-être que certains membres du Comité du Programme souhaitent apporter certaines précisions pour répondre à quelques interrogations. Je crois qu'il y a un point spécial à notre ordre du jour sur la réactivation des comités. J'ai d'ailleurs eu l'honneur - et peut-être le bonheur - de suivre les travaux de ces différents comités qui m'ont convaincu de la qualité et de la compétence des intervenants. En particulier, les travaux du Comité du Programme sont importants et très suivis par tous les membres de ce Comité.

Par ailleurs, je crois que mon expérience me permet de dire aussi qu'il est-nécessaire, au sein de ces comités d'avoir beaucoup de franchise, notamment en ce qui concerne les informations même si parfois certains heurts risquent de se produire de ce fait.

Il est important, en effet, que ces informations soient fournies de façon à permettre à tous les membres des comités de disposer des éclairages nécessaires à leurs discussions.

Je vois que M. Laroussi, Représentant de la Tunisie, demande la parole.

Chadli LAROUSSI (Tunisie): En fait, Monsieur le Président, je réponds à votre appel aux membres du Comité du Programme pour éclairer le Conseil sur les délibérations qui sont reprises dans ces documents. Je n'apporterai donc pas d'éléments nouveaux aux membres du Conseil. Je voudrais simplement mettre en évidence un point que je considère essentiel et qui a retenu l'attention de la majorité des membres de la majorité du Programme. Il s'agit du point qui est repris dans le document CL 103/4 au paragraphe 1.19 et qui concerne le Programme de coopération technique, où nous aurions relevé malheureusement que le budget proposé pour ce Programme de coopération technique ne représentait même pas 11 pour cent du budget total alors que la Résolution 9/89 de la Conférence avait demandé explicitement que le PCT puisse bénéficier d'un budget de 17 pour cent. Dans le cadre du Comité du Programme nous avons évidemment regretté cet état de choses et insisté pour que ce pourcentage-là soit reconsidéré. Compte tenu de ce que vous avez dit hier, Monsieur le Président, à savoir que lorsque l'on demande des augmentations, il ne s'agit pas simplement de lancer des voeux pieux, il faut indiquer les secteurs où l'on peut diminuer - il me paraît difficile de dire où l'on devra diminuer -notre position a été de voir dans l'avenir des possibilités de croissance du budget total. Je rejoins donc votre point de vue selon lequel ce budget stagne

et ne répond pas en fait aux voeux d'une grande majorité des Etats Membres de notre Organisation. Je vous remercie.

LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie l'honorable Représentant de la Tunisie.

Y a-t-il des observateurs qui désirent intervenir?... Je n'en vois pas.

Nous pouvons considérer le rapport du Comité du Programme comme entériné par notre Conseil. Le Comité du Programme est un comité subsidiaire du Conseil, consacré essentiellement à l'examen du point 18 que nous avons vu très longuement durant la journée d'hier.

Je me permettrai maintenant de vous faire une proposition concernant nos travaux.

Je suggérerai d'examiner tout d'abord, à 14 h 30 précises, le point 21 qui est le rapport des soixante-quinzième et soixante-seizième sessions du Comité financier. Nous verrons l'exécution du budget 1992, les barèmes de contributions et d'autres questions découlant du rapport de la soixante-septième session du Comité financier, dont le document CL 103/LIM/5 qui traite des conséquences de la dévaluation de la lire italienne. Nous verrons immédiatement après le point 22 concernant la situation financière de l'Organisation, la situation des contributions au budget ainsi que la situation de trésorerie.

Ce sont des matières importantes.

Etes-vous d'accord sur cette modification de notre ordre du jour?

Je ne vois pas de remarque;il en sera ainsi.

Je vous remercie de votre célérité. Nous allons terminer les points 19 et 20 de notre ordre du jour. Je vous remercie tous de vos interventions, la discussion de ce matin a été passionnante et a permis de tracer des pistes pour l'avenir, ce qui était extrêmement important.

The meeting rose at 12.15 hours.
La séance est levée à 12 h 15.
Se levante la sesión a las 12.15 horas.

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