EL PRESIDENTE: Si me permiten, podemos pasar ahora al tema 8, es decir; el Calendario de los periodos de sesiones de los órganos rectores de la FAO y de otras reuniones importantes para 1994-95. Ante si, tienen ustedes el documento correspondiente Cl 105/5 para su aprobación.
Deseo, sin embargo, antes de hacerlo subrayar que se trata de un calendario provisional, y que deben ustedes considerar que si bien son indicativas estas fechas, el nuevo Director General en consulta con el Presidente Independiente del Consejo las ratificará en su programa que aprobaremos en esta ocasión, pero que desde luego podría estar sujeto a algunas modificaciones. Espero que ustedes lo tengan consciente.
Jacques LAUREAU (France): Je constate avec satisfaction, en ce qui concerne le mois de mai, que l'on a trouvé pour le Conseil une date qui donnera suffisamment de temps au Directeur général pour travailler à ces nouvelles propositions.
D'autre part, je voudrais demander qu'une correction soit apportée en ce qui concerne la colonne 1995, puisque nous avons décidé, hier, que nous nous efforcerions de réduire la durée de la Conférence à deux semaines.
EL PRESIDENTE: ¿Hay alguna observación o aclaración distinta de las dos que se han planteado?
Ms Turid KONOSVIK (Norway): Since this is the first time I have spoken, I profit from the occasion to congratulate you, Mr Chairman, on your election and to join former speakers in the good words which have been expressed to you.
I wish to raise a small question on the calendar which basically seeems acceptable to us. The only concern we have is with the proposed date for the Committee on Forestry which is supposed to take place from 3-7 April, 1995. We believe - and this point of view is shared with the other Nordic countries - that it would be preferable to advance that meeting as much as possible. We do that because of the role we foresee for the FAO and the follow-up of UNCED, and because the Commission on Sustainable Development will have at its session later in 1995 important forestry issues to discuss. For the FAO to play properly the role it has been assigned on forestry, we think it is important that the preparations for that CSD Session are properly done, and for that reason we would prefer to have COFO moved to February. I well understand that this may pose some practical problems for the Secretariat and strain their already heavy workload, but I hope they will be in a position to accommodate that. I think that is in the best interests of all the forestry issues as such for the membership and for the Organization.
Frank D. BUCHHOLZ (United States of America): I would like to support what Norway has said. I believe that some redistribution of these committee meetings is very important, particularly in advancing the COFO meeting and perhaps also advancing the COFI meeting. I well remember last March and April as we marched through meeting after meeting, and I can imagine how strenuous this was for delegations who had fewer members on their delegations than the United States. It was a terrible burden for us as well, and given the possibility of perhaps giving a little bit more time between these meetings and advancing some of these very important meetings to an earlier date, I would certainly support the Norwegian delegation's proposal.
Carlos ARANDA MARTIN (España): Muy brevemente mostrar nuestro acuerdo con que el COFO se pueda cambiar. Ahora con relación al COFI, entendemos que la fecha en la que está prevista es adecuada y que crearía algún problema su cambio, por el hecho de que como muchos miembros saben hemos aprobado el que se creee un grupo de trabajo que se reuniría en el mes de febrero y que por tanto, sería bueno que se mantenga el mes de marzo, es decir, posteriormente la celebración de este Comité de Pesquerías.
Robert ANDRIGO (Canada): For the substantive reasons set out by Norway, and the practical arguments explained by the United States, I too would support the movement of the COFO meeting to February 1995.
Jürgen OBSTREICH (Germany): My delegation has no major problem with the agenda. I would just like us to reflect the discussions we had yesterday concerning the Conference in 1995. In this respect, I support what my French colleague has just said.
Shri Vishnu BHAGWAN (India): I have no difficulty with this proposed calendar, but, if I reflect correctly, at the time of the last meeting a longer period was suggested for the Thirty-seventh CFA Session. Here only five days have been scheduled, and because at this Session it is proposed to discuss some policy matters, I suggest that that be corrected.
Ms TING WEN LIAN (Malaysia): My delegation can agree with the bringing forward of the COFO meeting to February 1995 because that would give the FAO more time to prepare the outcome of the discussions for presentation to the discussion of forests in the CSD in June 1995.
I went through page 2 of this document several times. I do not see any meetings scheduled for the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. I was wondering whether it disappears from the life of the FAO for two years. When does it come back to life again?
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias por este comentario, efectivamente como lo habíamos notado en la Comisión I de la Conferencia, se hizo hincapié en que se tuviera una reunión de la Comisión de Recursos Fitogenéticos, desde luego que esto ha pasado a la consideración del Director General y seguramente será el nuevo Director General el que decida, en consulta con el Presidente Independiente del Consejo, sobre el momento apropiado para celebrar tal reunión, pero hemos tomado nota de su preocupación.
Iván MARULANDA GOMEZ (Colombia): Yo quería anotar lo mismo que ha declarado el señor Delegado de la India. En el CPA se espera un periodo de sesiones en mayo más amplio. Solamente agregarla que podríamos delegar a la Dirección Ejecutiva del Programa la definición de este tema con las autoridades del CPA; pero sí que se tenga la necesidad de hacer una discusión amplia en el seno del CPA puesto, que hay un documento muy importante que está demandando tiempo para ello.
Carlos ARANDA MARTIN (España): Unicamente quisiera hacer una pequeña rectificación, ai usted me lo permite, señor Presidente, mantener las afirmaciones con relación al COFO, pero retiro lo dicho en cuanto al COFI. Pido perdón pero es que acababa de llegar de escrutar e hice una intervención un poco precipitada.
EL PRESIDENTE: Tengo en mi vista a Irán, al Reino Unido y a Cuba. Les suplico a ustedes, en la medida de lo posible, que si van a referirse a algunas de las cuestiones que han sido ya propuestas por los Delegados, que lo hagan brevemente, y si es posible se abstengan, a menos que tengan un nuevo tema que plantear.
Me gustaría que pudieramos terminar en esta mañana.
Parvis KARBASI (Iran, Islamic Republic of): In the name of God. First of all, Mr Chairman, I would like to congratulate you on your election to the Chair.
With reference to the shortening of the period of Conference, I was pleased to hear this and hope we can have a special committee to arrange this Conference.
I support the issue raised by the delegate of Malaysia. I would also like to bring to the attention of Council that the Commission on Fertilizers has been lost. This is a very important issue and we ask the Secretariat to look at it and bring it to our attention again for further discussion. We should have a commission in relation to plants and fertilizers. Perhaps we could have a new commission, because this is a very important issue.
J.C. MACHIN (United Kingdom): In supporting the proposal by the delegate of Norway to bring forward the Technical Committees, I simply wanted to bring to the attention of Council a new point; that is, in our view it is important to advance those meetings because the outcome of those technical meetings in themselves inform the Programme which itself informs the preparation of the Summary Budget. It seems to us the sooner one can start off that process the more helpful it will be in producing a round and more comprehensive Budget.
Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Muy concreto, señor Presidente, de acuerdo con su solicitud.
Apoyamos a la India por las razones expuestas por Colombia sobre la fecha del CPA.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: First on the point of the longer CFA and the potential scheduling problem, you will note that the regional meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean is tentatively scheduled at the same time as the Sub-Committee on Projects. That may create some difficulties for certain delegations, particularly those from the Latin America and Caribbean Region - the point being that these matters of the schedule, as has been pointed out, are matters that the in-coming Director-General will have to discuss with the Executive Secretary in collaboration with the Chairpersons of the Committee and the Council. Please keep in mind that the list is provisional. When this provisional programme was set up we did not know there would be an additional session of the Council. That is the new element here so we need to retain some flexibility for working around this and accommodating the wishes of the CFA.
As far as the question of moving COFO earlier is concerned, as has most recently been pointed out, it is an extremely compact schedule - is very tight. But perhaps it is tighter for the Secretariat than for anyone else. We have been given very, very firm guidance that the Technical Committees should consider the proposals for the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium before those proposals go to the Programme and Finance Committees and then to the Council in 1995, as was the case this year.
The reason for this shift in part - you will recall we were given explicit instructions not to have COAG so late because we could not get the information, their conclusions, in front of the Council.
The reason for the scheduling is precisely so we can try to live with your wishes. You will recall that in this Conference there has been considerable interest in seeing to it that the proposals on forestry matters in particular are given very careful consideration. To have COFO in February means the Committee would not be able to consider proposals for the 1996/97 period, so I suggest that moving this back to February is probably not a good idea in terms of the guidance we have received from Conference, from earlier Council meetings, and so forth.
Recognizing the fact that the Report on Forestry to the CSD will have to take place in 1995, I have talked with the FI Assistant Director-General a.i. this morning. I could suggest, if you believe it to be sufficiently helpful, it would be possible to shift COFI and COFO. It would be possible to exchange those two. That would give COFO two more weeks or so. But I really have difficulty in seeing how the new Director-General could confirm a February session for COFO, given all the guidance we have received, or allow time in between the technical committee meetings. There just is not time.
You will notice that the Programme and Finance Committees are from the 2nd till the 11th May 1995 according to this schedule, and that COFO - or if you wish us to shift it around, COFI - would finish on 7 April. There are not many days in between to package up that material and get it ready for the Programme and Finance Committees.
You will notice that the Council is on 12 to 23 June 1995. As has been pointed out it is a fairly compact schedule, but to summarize, a specific suggestion would be to shift COFO and COFI so that COFO would take place from 20 to 24 March, and COFI from 3 to 7 April.
With respect to the comments made about the next meeting of the Conference, I remind members of Council that in adopting the Report late yesterday afternoon, Conference moved the dates and at present the Report says "during November 1995". Perhaps one just wants to leave it that way on this point.
Finally, on the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, this whole business of having the Council review the calendar of FAO Governing Bodies and other main sessions started off as covering the bodies which report to Council. The Commission on Plant Genetic Resources does not report to the Council. It normally has not been included in this document. Of course we are in your hands, but normally the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, fertilizer bodies and so on, these sorts of things normally are not reported in this document that comes before Council.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias por sus aclaraciones que espero sean satisfactorias para los distinguidos miembros del Consejo.
J.C. MACHIN (United Kingdom): I do not want unnecessarily to prolong this debate, and I am very grateful to Mr Hjort for his explanation. I would just like to take up one point relating to his explanation of the perceived difficulties of bringing forward the Technical Committees.
I understand rescheduling problems, of course, but I was not quite sure about his explanation on the difficulties of moving one of the meetings forward to February. I think it is probably generally agreed in Council, for the reasons I explained earlier, that the sooner one advances these technical meetings the sooner one begins the whole preparation of the Summary Budget. I may have missed something and if I have I apologize, but it would be helpful if you could just go through that question of February again, please.
V.J. SHAH (Deputy Director-General, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): In specific reply to the comment of the delegate of the United Kingdom, let me just explain that since it is the outline Programme of Work and Budget which the Director-General will submit to the joint meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees, provisionally scheduled for the end of January, the reactions of these two committees should be taken into account - and we have always taken that as your wish - before the proposals are developed in summary form for the Summary Programme of Work and Budget or for submission to the Technical Committees. It is for this reason that even this schedule is extremely tight.
I well understand the wish expressed by the United Kingdom, but from a practical point of view we have to await the results, the reactions, of the Programme and Finance Committees, then develop the proposals further into a summary form at the same time for submission to the Technical Committees. I hope this helps in understanding that there is no lack of will or commitment on the part of the Secretariat, but there is a practical problem in responding to your other wishes.
Robert ANDRIGO (Canada): Thank you for the elucidations on the part of Mr Shah and Mr Hjort. I wonder if, when we look at the question of the Committee on Forestry, we might not look at it in terms of the substance to be dealt with by this Committee.
One of the important elements for moving it forward was that we need to prepare for CSD to take place in June. The other important element is to provide input to the Programme of Work and Budget. Consequently, and given that in the discussion we have had on this item in Commission I, certain proposals were made which were coated and contained in that Report, might it be feasible to perhaps break up the work of COFO into two component parts with possibly an earlier portion relating specifically to the work necessary for input to the CSD taking place in February. That of itself could also provide information and make it available for a preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget.
We can then perhaps have a foreshortened version of COFO in April to consider the normal work of the Organization. It seems to me that forestry is an extremely important item on the Agenda of this Organization. The new Director-General has it within his mandate to reconsider some of the arrangements and some of the programmes that we have within the PWB for 1994-95, and it is quite conceivable that, in the context of his review, and given the importance both to the Organization and in terms of the broader UN system which attaches to forestry, he might be prepared to make this type of arrangement. It is something for consideration.
Ms Turid KONGSVIK (Norway): I thank the Deputy Directors for their expressions of goodwill and for their explanations of the problems. I fully appreciate those problems. It has been underlined that this is a provisional agenda. I would appeal to the Secretariat, with their goodwill, to do their utmost to organize for this COFO meeting at the earliest possible stage. Certainly having it on 20 March would be a small improvement. It would be even better if it were earlier than that. The Canadian proposal is a very creative one. I do not know what practical problems it might mean in terms of travel and expenses for delegates and perhaps also for the Secretariat, but in terms of substance it is certainly a good proposal.
Winston RUDDER (Trinidad and Tobago): It is not my wish to prolong the debate. It is very clear that there is a sense in which a readjustment of the time scheduling for the relevant meetings is important and should be considered within the framework of the limitations provided by time and space. One of the things I would hope we would not seek to do is to present any more difficulties for attendance by small developing countries at these open Committee meetings. I understand the sense of what Canada is trying to suggest but, if we split them, it will pose some serious difficulties for countries like mine.
EL PRESIDENTE: Yo creo, Señores delegados, que hemos discutido ya las preocupaciones de todos ustedes con amplitud; la Secretarla ha tomado nota de ello. Como ustedes saben, y lo vuelvo a reiterar, este es un Programa Provisional que está sujeto a ciertos ajustes. Desde luego que se van a respetar las declaraciones que se han hecho aquí, y los argumentos emitidos. Estoy seguro que el nuevo Director General de la Organización, en la consulta con su equipo, e igualmente con los Presidentes de los Comités, y con el Presidente Independiente del Consejo, tendrá la oportunidad para ajuatar sus comentarios y sus peticiones para que este calendario lo refleje.
Me ha pedido la palabra el distinguido delegado de los Estados Unidos. ¿O le parece a usted, Señor delegado, que podemos aprobar este programa provisional en tanto que no es definitivo?
Frank D. BUCHHOLZ (United States of America): As you say, this is a provisional calendar. I would hope that in due course the Secretariat would take a look at evening out this schedule a little, using the time that is available in February, perhaps pushing ahead by two weeks the Joint Programme and Finance Committee meeting, which would then give more time for these very important Committees to meet.
EL PRESIDENTE: El tema número 8 de nuestra Agenda queda aprobado en los términos en los que hemos discutido aquí. Vuelvo a reiterar que la Secretaria ha tomado nota. Se harán los ajustes correspondientes y estoy seguro de que el nuevo Director General respetará y responderá a sus preocupaciones.