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16. Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97 (continued)
16. Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1996-97 (suite)
16. Resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para 1996-97 (continuación)

EL PRESIDENTE: Buenas tardes distinguidos delegados. Se abre la décima sesión plenaria de nuestro Consejo. Tenemos una lista abundante de oradores y entenderán ustedes que es mi intención terminar con los debates de este tema del día de hoy.

Las diversas posiciones creo que han sido ya identificadas con claridad. Yo creo que los oradores de esta tarde podrían, quizá, ayudarnos a acelerar el paso y referirse, en la medida de lo posible, a los oradores que les han precedido, recortando así su declaración. Esta es una simple sugerencia de la Presidencia.

Bien, distinguidos delegados, me voy a permitir ofrecer inmediatamente la palabra a la delegación dé la India.

G. BALAKRISHNAN (India): Mr Chairman, the Delegation of India has taken note of the reports of the Programme Committee and the Finance Committee. It would indeed have been most appropriate if on the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the FAO there had been a substantial surge in the volume and scope of the activities of the FAO, particularly in the field. However, we do appreciate the constraints imposed by the financial situation of the Organization and feel that, in the circumstances, we should now accept the proposal of the Director-General and the recommendations of the Programme and Finance Committees and settle for a zero real growth budget for the 1996-97 biennium.

In this context, we would once again like to stress that the situation be tackled by enhancing the availability of resources on the one hand and reducing the administrative expenditure on the other. We would like to point out that we have been very regular in our payment to the FAO. The current year's budget has since been passed by our Parliament and we will shortly be paying our contribution for 1995. We would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all the Member Nations, particularly the developed ones, to send in their contributions, including the arrears, immediately to enable FAO to perform its tasks efficiently and without any uncertainty. After all, the functioning of FAO is our joint responsibility and the best gift we can give to FAO on its Fiftieth Anniversary is to strengthen it financially, thereby ensuring that its activities and programmes are carried out on schedule.

At the same time, we have appreciatively noted the sincere efforts made by the Director-General to reduce administrative expenditure so that more funds are made available for field programmes and for fresh initiatives like EMPRES and the Special Programme for Food Security for LIFDCs, particularly in Africa. We fully support the initiatives and the actions taken by the Director-General for restructuring and decentralizing the administration and for the recruitment of national Professional Officers and retired personnel. In particular, we commend his stress on the TCDC programme as a low-cost delivery system for technical expertise. We recall with pleasure that India was the first signatory to the TCDC agreement and we stand fully committed to providing technical assistance to other developing countries, particularly the LIFDCs in Africa, based on our long and successful experience in attaining macro level self-sufficiency in food and achieving substantial diversification of agriculture.

Before concluding, we would once again express the hope that the financial situation of FAO would immediately register adequate improvement to enable it to play its rightful role in promoting global food security and that, within the budgetary provisions, the field programmes would at least retain their present physical content and magnitude with the requisite financial support, even if they do not grow in the short term.

John Bruce SHARPE (Australia): Mr Chairman, I would like to add my thanks to Dr Bommer and Mr Wade for their introductions which were very useful.

My delegation welcomes the statement in the Director-General's introduction to this summary that he will remain attentive to all the opinions expressed by members. This summary certainly moves in this direction and we hope and are confident that the more detailed Programme of Work and Budget to be considered by our committees and the Conference will also reflect that commitment.

I turn now to the financial content of the Report. In the current economic climate the all important issue here is what will be the level of the assessed Member Nations' contributions towards this year's budget. What is being proposed is an increase of over US$72 million or 11.7 percent. Many member countries both developing and developed - and I include my own among these - will have difficulty in meeting their assessed percentage of this increase. This comes at a time of increasing and competing international demands on limited national resources.

This reaction which FAO is receiving obviously does not come as a surprise. Pressures on national public budgets are recognized at paragraph 22 and reference is made to the current restrictions imposed on public expenditure in many countries at paragraph 24.

Pragmatism must be shown in the determination of the level of the Budget. It must be set at a realistic level, one which is achievable and enables all members to meet their financial obligations to the Organization. If it is not, then the problem of arrears is exacerbated. A situation develops where some members increasingly have to carry others and make a disproportionate contribution to the Programme of Work. This is an inequitable situation which cannot be expected to continue. If it does it will be to the detriment of the Organization as a whole.

I would like to also put on record that Australia and New Zealand - one of the countries in the region we represent at this Council - would not be willing to pick up the shortfall in contributions of any other FAO member countries resulting from too high a Budget being set.

On the impact of restructuring and new policy orientations, we congratulate the Director-General on this streamlining structure and more cost-effective modalities mentioned at paragraph 60 and the savings arising therefrom which are to be ploughed back into the operations of the Organization to meet the demands of existing and new priorities.

We are in general agreement with the approach listed at paragraph 66 under Adjustments to Staffing Structures, particularly: the search for leaner management structures; the redeployment to sub-regional offices; the support to the enhanced partnerships policy with institutions, NGOs and the private sector and the coordination of Policy Advisory Groups.

On priorities, as always, Australia is pleased to see prioritization in FAO's Programme of Work and Budget. This is the only way to make the best use of the limited resources available. I would like to make some brief comments on the priorities listed following paragraph 89.

In the area of Food Production and Food Security, paragraph 90, we particularly endorse the continuation of priority being given to improve water use and support to the expansion of irrigation, food quality controls, and integrated pest management. In the case of the latter, FAO's work has been very successful and must be considered a keyplank in our goal to improve global sustainable agricultural production and food security. Australia is pleased to be associated with this programme, particularly through the inter-country IPM relating to rice in South and Southeast Asia (which is now in its third phase) and has been a financial supporter of the project since its inception.

Under the EMPRES transboundary animal disease programme, we note the reference to possible expansion to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease. We remind FAO of the view of the last Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific that the programme should also cover foot-and-mouth disease particularly in that region.

The enhancement of policy advice, paragraph 93, is supported and we are pleased that the apparent reduction in resources to encouraging investment reflects cost efficiencies and not a reduction in capacity.

FAO is familiar with the high priority Australia gives to FAO's work in the facilitation of trade in agricultural products and we include in this sub-paragraph, Commodity Policies and Trade. Trade facilitizations are an important means of both adding to global food security and improving the economies of developing countries. We were therefore pleased to see it given main priority status in paragraph 19 of document 95/4 for the recent COAG meeting and that it is included in the priorities in this summary. We strongly endorse the activities mentioned at paragraph 98, 193 and 203 of the summary which includes Codex and the Plant Protection Convention.

I would like to make a couple of comments, Mr Chairman, on Programme 2.5, Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts. This is a particularly interesting programme containing what we see as some of FAO's important sub-programmes such as Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-Income Food-Deficit countries, Research and Women in Development.

We support FAO's work under Programme 2.5.5, Coordination and Promotion of Sustainable Development. This particular sub-programme is the focal point for promoting the implementation of UNCED agreements, including Agenda 21 programmes relevant to agriculture, forestry and fisheries and to ensuring that environmental, energy and sustainability considerations are incorporated throughout the programmes of the Organization. And, while on this sub-programme, I would like to register the support we give to the attention to be directed to small islands.

Mr Chairman, in this climate of financial constraints, my delegation is reluctant to point to areas of the summary where intended allocations to specific programmes should be reconsidered. I do make an exception, Mr Chairman, in the case of the Fisheries Programme and I do so on behalf of the countries of South West Pacific region.

I refer again to the importance of the Fisheries Industry to the economy of many of the small island Member Nations of our region. This was recognized by delegations to the recent ministerial level of COFI. We add our voice clearly to the urging by COFI that funds from the TCP be utilized for Small Islands Developing States Programme of Assistance and that this includes the small island nations of the South West Pacific.

On the subject of the Fisheries Data and Statistics under Sub-programme, we repeat the request we have made for a number of years now that there be a separation in the FAO statistics as regards Asia and the Pacific. This would be of benefit to both the regions involved. It is hoped the establishment of a sub-regional office in the Pacific will facilitate this.

We give full support to the promotion of the well-being of small-scale fisheries communities on the Programme 2.3.3, Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization.

M. Akhtar ALI (Bangladesh): Thank you, Mr Chairman. Allow me to express my delegation's appreciation to the Director-General and his colleagues in the Secretariat for preparing a generally balanced and realistic Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the 1996-97 biennium. The Director-General has been constrained to prepare it within the framework of no real growth in budget level. At a time when priority needs of the development Member Nations for FAO assistance are more than ever before, the proposed budget will regrettably fall short of meeting those needs. However, we recognize the difficulties and the very limited flexibility that the Director-General has in making adequate provision in priority areas of need due to resource constraints.

Mr Chairman, we are happy to note that the Summary Programme of Work and Budget reflects the major policy orientations endorsed by the Council at its 106th Session. It also explains the full budgetary impact of the process of restructuring initiated last year and the savings generated by the streamlined structures including leaner management arrangements, reduction in overall cost of publications, reductions of General Service staff at the Headquarters as a result of improvements in office automation, and use of lower cost modalities to contract outside experts. We have also noted with satisfaction the total net reduction in

established posts and congratulate the Director-General for making it possible to expand the decentralized technical capacity of the Organization, in particular without any net increase of resources.

The Summary Programme of Work, Mr Chairman, and the Budget takes into account the programme priorities indicated by Member Nations in response to the Director-General's questionnaire in addition to those endorsed by the Council. Some priority activities, particularly the Special Programme for Food Production in Support of Food Security of LIFDCs, the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Plant Pests and Diseases, aquaculture development, policy advisory services to Member Nations, and Technical Assistance Programme deserve additional support in terms of both regular and extra-budgetary resources. We note with regret that the level of the TCP appropriation has been kept unchanged, although the Conference Resolution 9/89 called for TCP allocation to reach progressively 17 percent of the total budget. Although the Director-General assures us that some increase in project activities under TCP will be possible through lower cost of procuring technical expertise under the new cooperation agreements, we would request him to further explore the possibility of increasing allocation for TCP by. shifting resources from lower priority areas to the extent possible.

Mr Chairman, the estimate of cost increases has been revised downward to US$31.8 million from US$59 million as originally envisaged. Although it is a significant reduction, it still represents an increase of 9.4 percent over the 1992-93 biennium as well as an increase of 11.7 percent in assessments. Since the budget would be basically funded by assessments on Member Nations, more stringent measures need to be taken by the management to minimize cost increases wherever possible. While we recognize the Director-General's commendable efforts to this effect, we hope that it will be possible to identify some more areas where expenditure could be curtailed by adopting further economic measures. The Summary Programme of Work and the Budget includes a provision of US$900 000 to meet the foreseen cost of holding the World Food Summit in 1996. We feel that efforts should be made to absorb the costs to be incurred in 1996, in holding the Summit, fully from the extra-budgetary resources. If it proves too difficult, it should be ensured that no additional amount over and above the figure of US$900 000 is spent from the regular budget on account of holding the Summit. Mobilization of required extra-budgetary resources for the purpose should be vigorously pursued. We would appreciate if the Secretariat could enlighten us on the progress made so far in this regard.

Mr Chairman, we would like to stress the importance of ensuring a secure resource base for FAO in order that the resource shortfalls do not adversely affect full implementation of the approved programmes. We hope the coming months will see more payment of current contributions and arrears by the Member Nations and further reduction in FAO's accumulated deficit. The Organization needs this support to function as a centre of excellence in its mandated areas.

In conclusion, with these comments, Mr Chairman, we endorse the summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1996-97 biennium and look forward to the opportunity of reviewing the full Programme of Work and Budget later this year.

K. SHIMIZU (Japan): Thank you, Mr Chairman. My delegation also joins previous speakers who have commended the efforts of the Secretariat and Members of the Finance and Programme Committees to enable us to have exchanged views on this important issue of much interest to all member countries.

In particular, my delegation highly appreciates the efforts of the Secretariat to prioritize the work programmes. The exercise is a very important step in order to effectively and efficiently respond to the growing activities based on the extensive need of the member countries. This exercise should be further encouraged on a continuous basis.

I wish to make some specific comments and questions on the part of the high-priority areas and the lower priority areas among others contained in the document CL 108/3. On page 38, the first and second subparagraph of paragraph 90, they say "the funding for the special programme for food production in support of food security in LIFDCs and EMPRES are dependent on extra-budgetary support." My delegation should be enlightened by more detailed phrases on the estimate of these required resources and the way to secure the resources to implement those programmes.

Secondly, in the same paragraph, its third sub-paragraph, Japan supports especially the expansion of irrigation work of the three areas mentioned in the paragraph. In case of the integrated pests management, a balanced approach is required, giving appropriate consideration to the effective use of pesticides.

Further, referring to page 39, first sub-paragraph of the paragraph 92, "genetic-related activities are an important area for FAO." To my understanding, important activities on plant genetic resources are going on now. Its related meeting, as such, should be well planned and be effectively arranged. Some fund from the regular budget should be allocated for those activities in light of the importance of the issue.

Animal genetic activities are also important and should be promoted on a step-by-step basis, bearing in mind the importance to avoid an impact on plant-related activities.

Fourth, on the same page, the fourth.sub-paragraph of paragraph 96, my delegation also supports the priority given to the updating work of the AT-2010. This paper is a very important input in projecting the future trend of the world food and agricultural situation and planning our future plans. Some updating activities are mentioned in paragraph 226. In so doing, the help of experts of member countries should be tapped to enhance the quality of the paper. Chiefly, my delegation also feels the contribution to the intergovernmental panel on forests be given priority in considering the PWB.

Now, go to the page 42, to the lower priority areas. The third sub-paragraph of the paragraph 106 - this is related to the work on feed and resources and feeding systems. My delegation wishes to keep certain activities related to this work as the feed resources are closely associated to the food security of human beings because they can be substitution for cereal food. In particular, this work should be considered in the context of the increased demand to come for livestock in developing countries.

Seventh, the seventh sub-paragraph of paragraph 106 in the same page, Japan also wishes the Secretariat to continue the analytical and the conceptual work on food security at a certain level in the framework of CCP activities in light of the importance of the food security.

Eighth, on page 42, paragraph 108, about items not covered in the report, it said that, quote, "the Director-General is asking the Council to consider a supplementary appropriation resolution to allow expenditure on the programmes to be covered subject to receipts of additional income," unquote.

I wish to seek from you, Mr Chairman, for clarification of the Secretariat, what is meant by the "additional income" referred to in the quote. It's a bit difficult for my delegation to support the resolution if it defies the real zero growth budget principle.

Mr Chairman, Japan supports any efforts to promote efficiency and effectiveness of this Organization, which is its standing instructions. It is recalled that Japan stressed the importance of the scrap and build principles in considering any reform of structure at the last Conference. This means when you build a new unit, you must abolish or scrap existing units. This principle should be standing always. In this context the current reform process is still to be promoted further.

In particular, it wishes to know the restructuring picture of the AF Department and GI Department, which, I believe, is to be restructured in the current reform process. The two departments should be integrated into one based on the above-said principles, and ADG posts should be reduced by one at least and the number of ADGs be kept at the same level at least before the reform.

Mr Chairman, field offices also will be another area to be addressed in the reform process or in broader perspectives if necessary. Having said, Mr Chairman, my delegation listened to the statement by USA yesterday, and today we are surprised. It's a regrettable development which may have a great impact on the PWB now before us in light of the USA's dominant financial position in this Organization. It may have serious implications on all the activities of this Organization as well as on the interests of every member country. That development may compel us to cut current and future activities and services substantially. In light of the importance and urgency of the development, it may be necessary for the Secretariat to consider necessary actions as a matter of reality before the Conference to come.

However, Mr Chairman, it should be underlined that Japan has attached importance to this Organization since its entry. Japan has completed the payment of its 1995 year's contribution as of 18 May, 95, which is a token of the said support. Its support of FAO remains unchanged, and it is prepared to act together with the interested Members for the more efficient and effective organization with a view to realizing the objectives of this Organization. In short, I report back this development to Tokyo for its careful consideration. I thank you Mr Chairman.

Aguinaldo LISBOA RAMOS (Cap-Vert): Monsieur le Président, en souscrivant à la déclaration faite au nom du Groupe africain, la délégation du Cap-Vert voudrait, elle aussi, faire quelques considérations à propos du point 16 de l'ordre du jour.

Selon les décisions de la Conférence, le Conseil a approuvé une série de réformes organisationnelles et de programmes prioritaires dont la mise en oeuvre aura naturellement des retombées sur le Programme de travail et budget. Ces réformes feront de la FAO une organisation plus moderne et efficace et lui permettront de mieux s'acquitter de son mandat et de répondre aux sollicitations de ses Etats Membres, en particulier les pays en développement et les pays à faible revenu et à déficit alimentaire, comme en ont témoigné les débats à l'occasion de l'analyse des points de l'ordre du jour relatifs au rapport du Comité de la sécurité alimentaire et à la préparation du Sommet mondial de l'alimentation.

Le sommaire du Programme de travail et budget 1996-97 prend en considération, d'un côté, les réformes conduisant à une plus grande rationalisation des structures de l'Organisation, y compris la décentralisation, la hiérarchisation, les priorités traditionnelles et les nouvelles priorités, et, de l'autre, les difficultés financières plus ou moins graves et de nature diverse auxquelles se heurtent un nombre important des Etats Membres. Ainsi, il nous est proposé un budget à croissance réelle zéro qui suscite un règlement financier n'intégrant pas le recouvrement d'arriérés. Cette approche évitera aussi que le prochain exercice biennal ne commence pas avec un déficit évident et permettra la réalisation du Programme sans les sursauts vécus pendant l'exercice en cours en conséquence du non paiement des contributions des dernières années.

Le Comité du Programme et le Comité financier ont déjà pu constater le souci du Directeur général en ce qui concerne la transparence et la rigueur de la gestion. Des économies significatives ont été réalisées, ce qui facilite la mise en oeuvre de programmes prioritaires. La rationalisation et les accords de coopération avec les Etats Membres ont permis l'augmentation d'activités et de programmes sans entraîner des changements de crédits.

Le rôle irremplaçable que la FAO joue comme centre d'excellence dans le domaine de l'agriculture et dans le cadre de la coopération internationale est tellement important que personne, aujourd'hui, ne peut douter de l'utilité de l'Organisation ni même concevoir le monde sans elle. Il serait fastidieux de rappeler la priorité et l'importance pour les pays en développement, et plus particulièrement pour les pays africains, des programmes comme le Programme spécial de la production à l'appui de la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier, l'EMPRESS, le PCT, la CTPD, ceux relatifs à l'aménagement des sols, à la diversification des cultures, à la conservation des produits, à la participation populaire - et j'en passe.

On ne discute pas seulement aujourd'hui du sommaire du Programme de travail et budget pour 1996-97; on discute de l'avenir de notre Organisation, du sort des 8 milliards de personnes qui peupleront la planète dans les trente années à venir.

Tout en espérant que le Secrétariat examinera toutes les possibilités de réduire au minimum les accroissements de coûts, ma délégation se permet de lancer un appel à tous les membres du Conseil pour qu'ils approuvent par consensus la proposition du sommaire de façon à ce que la Conférence puisse également adopter par consensus le Programme de travail et budget. Nous ne souhaitons pas que la cent huitième session du Conseil reste dans l'histoire de la FAO comme celle qui, pour la première fois, a approuvé un budget à croissance négative, surtout en un moment où nous avons approuvé les propositions du Directeur général et lui avons fait part de notre appui. Le moment est donc venu de concrétiser cet appui.

CONGMENG LIU (China) (Original language Chinese): Mr Chairman, we would first of all like to thank the Secretariat for preparing the documents for this agenda item. The Chinese delegation would like to express its views on these important agenda items. First, the Programme of Work and Budget for 1996-97 proposed by the Director-General is, in general, in line with FAO's mandate and its ongoing restructuring efforts.

Therefore, it is acceptable to use it as the basis for further examination and discussion until the Conference at the end of this year.

The Chinese delegation fully supports the Director-General's decision to follow the approach of real zero growth in formulating the Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium. This is based on the fact that the Organization is now faced with serious challenges on the one hand, and the fact that all member countries still place high hopes on FAO on the other. This approach has also taken into account the difficulties of the poorest member countries and the wide-ranging pressure on national public budgets experienced by many countries. Therefore, the Director-General's proposal is fairly comprehensive, taking into consideration various factors.

Secondly, in setting the priorities of the Programme of Work and Budget, the Director-General has highlighted continuous reinforced support for member countries in their effort to boost food production on a sustainable basis and to achieve long-term food security. Therefore, we are in favour of the Director-General's decision to take food production and food security programmes as priorities of work for the next biennium. As is known to all, hunger, poverty and malnutrition remain common phenomena in the world, and the fact that many developing member countries, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America are still suffering severe food shortages. Thus the global food security is threatened. In this connection the Chinese delegation fully supports the Director-General's decision to take food production and food security as top priorities for the next biennium at a time when FAO's resources are limited. Meanwhile we would like to appeal to all other international agencies and those member countries which are capable of helping FAO financially to give their support to the Director-General's programme priorities. On the special programme for food security, China supports this programme and hopes that it will be smoothly implemented so as to play a significant role in global food security. We believe that all countries should try to solve the problems of poverty and malnutrition facing mankind, on the basis of mutual help and mutual development.

Thirdly, we support the budget increase in the Development Services Programme to Member Nations. This will be conducive to strengthening FAO's cooperation with its Member Nations and with its partners. However, we feel that the budget for the TCP programme has not been adequately increased.

Fourthly, the breakdown in the indicative budget for 1996-97 is made according to the principle of zero growth. However, we would like to suggest that the parts of cost increase should also be included in the breakdown so as to facilitate comparison between different programmes.

Fifthly, we have some small questions concerning the staff costs and non-staff costs in various programmes. Is there any change in these costs as compared with the previous biennium? How does it relate to the tables in paragraph 46, that is, what are the staff costs in personnel services?

In conclusion, the Chinese delegation, is supportive of the Director-General's measures for structural reform, decentralization, and making savings to enable the Organization to operate with the highest efficiency. To this end, the Director-General has taken initiatives in actively promoting TCDC, recruiting local experts and experienced national administrative officers, as well as pensioners from the UN system, strengthening FAO's country representations, recruiting national professionals and reducing unnecessary general publications which have helped to increase resources and improve cost effectiveness. At the same time, we appeal to those member countries which have not paid their assessed contributions to honour their financial obligations as soon as possible so as to enable the Organization to accomplish its historical mission on a firm financial basis.

Mansour Mabrouk SEGHAYER (Libya) (Original language Arabic): Mr Chairman, as a response to your request, I will try to be brief from now on. At the outset, I should like to thank the Secretariat for the well-prepared documents concerning this agenda item. In order to avoid repetition, my delegation wishes to support the statement made this morning by the representative of Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group and its 53 Member Nations.

Mr.Chairman, my delegation shares the views calling for an improvement in the capabilities of the Organization in order to shoulder its responsibilities towards the developing countries. We also seize this opportunity to renew our trust in the Organization, its management and personnel, and we also endorse the activities of the Organization hoping that it will be given a good chance to face future challenges in order to be able to implement its decisions whereby appropriate solutions would be sought in order to meet the needs of the food and agriculture sectors, in order to supply food for all humanity, and so that peace can prosper.

My delegation would like to make an appeal to all countries to pay their assessed contributions in the very near future so that the Organization can shoulder its responsibilities. My country will be paying its contributions in the very near future. The non-payment of contributions and non-support for the approved or proposed budget reflect a call to undermine multilateral international cooperation, and it is at the same time a trend towards bilateralism in international relations.

Mr Chairman, my delegation wishes to submit two observations. The first is that the Organization should conclude the restructuring process as soon as possible, because this has lasted longer than expected and is overdue.

Secondly, we think that the Technical Cooperation Programme proved its efficiency and it helped the Organization assist Member Nations in facing natural catastrophes and emergencies and we do consider it important to increase the budgetary allotment of TCP and this is in compliance with the Conference Resolution 9/89.

Finally, Mr Chairman, my delegation endorses the Director-General's proposal relating to the budget level for the 1996-97 biennium which, in fact, was supported by the Programme and Finance Committees and we do hope, Mr Chairman, that such a proposal will be accepted by consensus.

Raphaël RABE (Madagascar): Monsieur le Président, je tiens à féliciter le Président du Comité du Programme, Monsieur Bommer, ainsi que Monsieur Wade pour la présentation très claire du sujet et les informations complémentaires et très utiles qu'ils nous ont fournies.

Ma délégation fait sienne la déclaration de la déléguée du Burkina Faso, au nom du Groupe africain.

Les documents CL 108/3 et 4 sont, pour notre délégation, des outils très précieux pour argumenter notre position en faveur de la proposition du Directeur général. Notre souhait est, bien entendu, de la voir partagée par l'ensemble des délégations ici présentes. Nous sommes, en tout cas, confiants car les comités spécialisés en la matière, au sein desquels sont d'ailleurs représentées toutes les régions, ont en quelque sorte fait leurs les concepts fondamentaux mis en exergue par le Directeur général dans sa présentation du projet, concepts qui, à notre humble avis, sont incontournables ou tout au moins difficiles à mettre en cause eu égard à leur pertinence et à l'absolue nécessité d'en tenir compte sous peine de mettre en péril un partenariat viable et durable entre Etats Membres.

Qu'il soit permis à ma délégation de les relever et de formuler quelques commentaires. D'abord, il se confirme que la session spéciale de janvier est une étape utile dans la préparation du sommaire car déjà, à ce stade, le Directeur général peut entrevoir si ses propositions, notamment en ce qui concerne le niveau du budget, pourraient rencontrer l'assentiment des Etats ou, au contraire, enregistrer leur refus et hypothéquer la réalisation du consensus aux étapes ultérieures. C'est ainsi que le principe de la croissance réelle zéro du budget, incompréhensible si l'on considère les besoins d'assistance croissants - pour ne pas dire considérables - de plusieurs Etats Membres, apparaît cependant inévitable lorsqu'on veut éviter une surcharge des contributions pour les Etats Membres. Si, malgré cela, les contributions se voient quand même augmentées de 11,7 pour cent, c'est malheureusement la conséquence d'une décision erronée de la Conférence, à sa dernière session; c'est aussi la conséquence déplorable, d'ailleurs, d'une promesse non tenue.

La mise en oeuvre des nouvelles orientations approuvées par le Conseil à sa cent sixième session constitue également une décision irrévocable. Le Directeur général doit aller de l'avant dans la restructuration et la mise en place des principales structures décentralisées. On doit d'ailleurs se réjouir avec les comités des économies qui seront réalisées et qui vont être utilisées pour financer ces nouvelles orientations. Parlant d'économies, ma délégation tient à féliciter le Directeur général d'avoir ramené les augmentations de coûts de

59 millions de dollars à 31 millions de dollars alors que de telles augmentations étaient de 76 millions de dollars dans le budget 1994-95 et de 82 millions de dollars dans le budget précédent, c'est-à-dire le budget 1992-93. Au vu de ces chiffres, on serait tenté de se demander quel sacrifice le Directeur général consentira pour soulager les Etats et, en revanche, quels programmes prioritaires demandés par ces mêmes Etats devra-t-il supprimer ou tout au moins mettre en veilleuse pour insuffisance de ressources.

C'est peut-être pour cela que le PCT continue de stagner, pour ne pas dire baisser, et de s'éloigner de plus en plus de l'objectif de 17 pour cent du budget prescrit par la Conférence dans sa Résolution 9/89.

A ce sujet, nous ne pouvons pas nous empêcher de nous poser la question de savoir si les résolutions de la Conférence ont force exécutoire.

Nous relevons, au paragraphe 100 du document CL 108/3, que les nouveaux accords de coopération avec les Etats Membres devraient permettre de dégager une économie de 4,8 millions de dollars que l'on pourrait utiliser pour le PCT. Espérons qu'il en soit effectivement ainsi.

Si la diminution sensible des prévisions pour augmentation des prix est appréciée par tous, en revanche, le déclin du Programme de terrain est déploré par tous ceux qui sont convaincus que ledit Programme est primordial et vital, aussi bien pour les pays bénéficiaires que pour le Secrétariat, dans la mesure où le Programme ordinaire n'aurait aucune base réelle sans le Programme de terrain. Les synergies existent, a déclaré ce matin le Représentant de la France en parlant du Programme ordinaire et du Programme de terrain. Le Comité du programme et le Comité financier ont estimé à juste titre que les deux types d'activités se renforcent mutuellement et l'on ne pourrait concevoir l'un sans l'autre. Il faudrait donc absolument trouver une solution durable et urgente à cette situation fort préoccupante.

En premier lieu, ma délégation souhaite que le PNUD, grand contributeur bien connu au fonds fiduciaire, puisse continuer à jouer ce rôle et mettre fin au déclin de sa participation qui, de 60 pour cent dans le passé, était réduite à 40 pour cent et diminuerait encore, semble-t-il, à 30 pour cent.

Dans le même ordre d'idée, c'est-à-dire la recherche de solutions aux problèmes du programme de terrain, nous apprécions grandement l'initiative heureuse du Directeur général de prospecter d'autres sources complémentaires et de s'associer à d'autres partenaires potentiels dont les apports seront pour le moins substantiels.

L'ouverture d'un bureau de liaison de l'Organisation à Bruxelles est une excellente initiative dans le mesure où l'on connaît la volonté manifeste de l'Union européenne de soutenir résolument tous les programmes pertinents de l'Organisation tendant à résoudre les problèmes de sécurité alimentaire dans les Etats Membres en développement.

L'ouverture d'un bureau au Japon est également reconnue par ma délégation comme une excellente décision.

Bien entendu, nous ne pouvons que nous féliciter de la reprise du programme de coopération FAO/Banque mondiale et de l'intensification de la coopération FAO/FIDA et avec les autres banques et institutions financières intéressées par le développement agricole et la sécurité alimentaire. Bien entendu, tout en félicitant et en remerciant les Etats qui ont contribué généreusement au fonds fiduciaire jusqu'à présent, nous leur lançons un appel pour qu'ils continuent à contribuer au moins au même niveau que précédemment, car il faudra garantir le succès des programmes nouveaux requérant de tels fonds ainsi que les différentes rencontres mondiales que tous nous avons appuyées avec ferveur.

Nous espérons également que, malgré la limitation des ressources, le Programme spécial de sécurité alimentaire et l'EMPRES ne connaîtront pas de problèmes et pourront être promus avec le succès que nous sommes en droit d'attendre.

Je voudrais à présent faire quelques commentaires très brefs sur les programmes et sous-programmes.

D'abord, nous sommes un peu inquiets du fait que le niveau du budget ne permettrait pas la résolution du problème FYNSIS et PERSYS, alors que ce sont des outils indispensables pour la rationalisation des procédures et pour l'efficacité de la mise en application effective de la décentralisation. Les contributions volontaires attendues pourront-elles résoudre le problème ? Nous l'espérons vivement en tout cas.

Nous regrettons la réduction des activités de renforcement des capacités nationales d'analyse des sols, alors que ces activités doivent être un préalable à tout programme de développement agricole.

Compte tenu de l'importance que notre gouvernement accorde à l'élevage (vous vous souviendrez qu'à la cent sixième session du Conseil nous avons même proposé de l'ériger en grand programme) nous partageons l'appréciation du Comité du programme au paragraphe 255 indiquant que les crédits alloués aux ressources génétiques animales sont insuffisantes pour démarrer le centre mondial mis en place.

Au programme "cultures" nous apprécions l'accent mis sur les racines et tubercules et la promotion de la recherche sur le manioc en souhaitant toutefois que l'on commence à communiquer aux Etats intéressés les résultats obtenus afin que ces résultats puissent être utilisés par les petits agriculteurs pour leur sécurité alimentaire et l'amélioration de leur revenu.

Au programme nutrition nous faisons nôtre la recommandation du Comité prescrivant la recherche urgente de solutions pour remédier au problème de faible participation des pays en développement aux sessions du Comité du Codex Alimentarius.

Ma délégation se joint au Comité pour féliciter toute l'équipe du Centre d'Investissement pour le haut niveau des prestations qu'elle assure aux Etats Membres dans le cadre de préparation des projets d'investissement et de coopération avec de nombreuses institutions financières du système des Nations Unies.

Avant de conclure je voudrais partager la préoccupation légitime de plusieurs délégations, notamment les pays de l'Union européenne, le Japon, la Tunisie, le Cameroun, pour ne citer que ceux-là, devant la déclaration très précise de la délégation des Etats Unis, quant à la réduction drastique de leur contribution statutaire dans les organisations internationales du système des Nations Unies, dont la FAO, alors que nous nous préparons à célébrer le 50ème anniversaire de la fondation de la FAO et que les Etats-Unis sont parmi les Etats fondateurs de cette Organisation.

Nous sommes sûrs que la délégation ici présente a écouté, enregistré les appels lancés par les Etats, et peut-être que le voeu formulé par son Excellence l'Ambassadeur du Cameroun, de voir un changement d'attitude de la part de ce grand pays d'ici la Conférence, sera exaucé.

Dato' Ahmad Zabri IBRAHIM (Malaysia): Thank you for giving me the floor. Please allow me to express our gratitude to FAO for preparing a comprehensive Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97. May I thank the Chairman of the Programme Committee and the Officer-in-Charge of the Programme Budget and Evaluation for the clarity of the presentation of the Programme of Work and Budget.

Firstly, my delegation wishes to express the opinion that we understand the dilemma of the Director-General that he is facing while preparing the budget in wanting to go forward with the new programmes and the restructuring and rationalizing in line with the decision of the Council at the FAO Conference. The Director-General has faced continued constraint of zero or no-grow budget for reasons we fully understand. In spite of this difficulty, which I shall call a challenge, the Director-General's untiring efforts in focusing on the subject of food production in support of food security in the Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries should be commended. Since the global concern at the moment is that of food security especially in critical areas it is only appropriate that the FAO budget and activities be given high priority towards this programme. On the pressing issues of desert locusts and rinderpest control and other scourges, my delegation appreciates the undergoing activities of these programmes. These programmes therefore must be carried through to their desired success.

As regards the cooperation agreement between FAO and member countries on the use of experts for technical cooperation between developing countries, or TCDC, Malaysia has officially approved our participation. Malaysia would be happy to provide expertise in its field of competence. My delegation expresses the

conviction that the TCDC programme must be given a very high priority and this must be reflected in the FAO budgetary allocation. While the restructuring, decentralizing and improvement of communication infrastructures are proceeding, all be it rather cautiously due to the lack of funds, and possibly lack of consensus, my delegation endorses the Director-General's decision to proceed with the programmes of implementation. In this regard, we agree that to maximize the outcome in view of resource constraints, due consideration must be given to the recording of priorities. My delegation believes that as the funding position continues to improve, I am confident that the Director-General will be able to put all the other programmes in their correct prospectives. My delegation also strongly urges FAO to set clear targets and output for programmes and to try to increase its efficiency and cost effectiveness. In this regard, future reports on budgetary performance must include performance indicators and productivity increases by FAO.

On the subject referred to in this Summary Programme of Work and Budget on page 72, Major Programme 2.3 on Fisheries, especially Fisheries Resources and Agriculture, or the sub-programme on Inland Resources and Agriculture, Malaysia is emphasizing the developing of aquaculture to increase fish production. In this respect, we are taking an integrated approach to sustainable aquaculture development through integrated area management. We are very concerned about outbreaks of disease, and in this respect FAO could accelerate the implementation of technical assistance and technology transfer of aquaculture management policies and practices to member countries.

On Programme 2.3.3, page 73, Fisheries Exploitation and Utilization, and sub-programme Fish Utilization and Marketing, in the area of post-harvest handling and fish quality assurance Malaysia is aware of the emphasis on the technique of Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP) that is currently being promoted for global use. We urge FAO to provide programmes that will enable member countries to employ this technique in the implementation of their fish quality assurance programmes.

Finally, Mr Chairman, given a strong will and commitment, constraints and adversity can be transformed into challenges and opportunities, and a lean and healthy FAO can achieve its vision and mission. My delegation therefore supports the FAO Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97.

José ROBLES AGUILAR (México): Este año, Señor Presidente, nuestra Organización cumple medio siglo de existencia. A lo largo de este período la FAÖ ha realizado un invaluable papel en el campo del desarrollo de la agricultura y la seguridad alimentaria de todos los Estados Miembros, en especial, de aquellos que por su situación requieren de una mayor asistencia. La FAO enfrenta hoy una etapa de redefiniciones caracterizada por un proceso de reestructuración y ajuste que demandaba no sólo las nuevas realidades internacionales, sino también las propias estructuras internas de la Organización.

Hoy, Señor Presidente, discutimos un documento que transciende el bienio que cubre. En el fondo, nos pronunciaremos por una visión y una estrategia para esta Organización. En una época en la que los organismos multilaterales enfrentan graves dificultades financieras, reviste capital importancia el Proyecto del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto 1996-97. Mi delegación desea hacer algunas precisiones, tanto generales como particulares respecto al documento.

Mi país, Señor. Presidente, apoya un presupuesto para la Organización con base en el principio de crecimiento real cero en el que se contemple la absorción de gastos no discrecionales. En tal sentido encuentra si no justificable si comprensible, la metodología propuesta por el Director General en cuanto a los criterios para elaborar el presupuesto. Entendemos que éste se tiene que sustentar sobre bases sólidas que permitan un aceptable grado de previsibilidad en cuanto al flujo de las fuentes de financiamiento.

Apoyamos este planteamiento, Señor Presidente, porque creemos que la Organización debe seguir brindando apoyo a los países en desarrollo, particularmente a través de programas de asistencia de cooperación técnica. Consideramos que este tipo de programas debe revestir una de las principales prioridades para la Organización, ya que a través de éstos los países reciben de modo tangible y práctico los beneficios de asistencia de un organismo multilateral de la naturaleza de esta Organización.

En este contexto el problema de los atrasos juega, indiscutiblemente, un papel vital. Consideramos que cada país debe responder en la dimensión de sus capacidades, pero principalmente de sus responsabilidades, con los compromisos financieros asumidos con la Organización. Si bien, en muchos casos, las dificultades económicas

de algunos Estados Miembros impiden el pago oportuno de sus adeudos, en otros pueden mediar elementos de otra naturaleza.

En este contexto la responsabilidad del mayor contribuyente tiene una doble importancia, pues de no materializarse el pago de sus cuotas se podría señalar a otros países el camino del incumplimiento de sus propias obligaciones. Creemos que el pago de los adeudos es la mejor garantía de una óptima funcionalidad de la Organización y presupuesto de sustentación de un nuevo orden internacional.

La FAO sólo podrá homar su alto cometido con el compromiso y el apoyo pleno de todos sus Estados Miembros. El cumplimiento cabal del proceso de reforma está también condicionado en buena medida al apoyo que sus Estados Miembros le brinden, tanto en el plano político como económico.

En tal sentido mi delegación estima que debemos otorgar al Director General nuestra confianza para que someta a la próxima Conferencia de la Organización un proyecto revisado de presupuesto que, apegándose al principio de crecimiento cero, incida lo menos posible en las contribuciones de los Estados Miembros.

En relación a la estructura de la plantilla de puestos profesionales que plantea la propuesta del programa de labores, consideramos que ésta debería concentrarse en los niveles operativos congruentes con las estructuras de organizaciones de cometido similar a la FAO. Al respecto deseamos aclarar a la delegación francesa que la proporción de los rangos en el ejército mexicano son similares a los de todo ejército: pocos generales y mucha tropa.

Con relación al Capítulo 7 del Programa, queremos resaltar la importancia que mi país otorga al programa principal de agricultura, ya que consideramos que a través de éste se instrumentan proyectos que inciden en la disminución de la pobreza y apoya la seguridad alimentaria y de nutrición de los Estados Miembros. Por otro lado, deseamos manifestar nuestro respaldo para que se refuercen los programas de la Organización en la región latinoamericana y para que se analice la viabilidad financiera para que se establezca una oficina subregional en Centroamérica.

Señor Presidente, mi país ha sido siempre un firme defensor del multilateralismo como vía privilegiada de la cooperación y del consenso entre naciones. Consideramos que la mejor manera de honrar este compromiso en el 50° Aniversario de su fundación del máximo órgano agrícola alimentario, es el de otorgarle nuestro apoyo. Muchas gracias Señor Presidente.

Filibus ΒATURE (Nigeria): The Nigerian delegation would like to support the statement made by

Her Excellency the Ambassador of Burkina Faso on behalf of the African group. Mr Chairman, my statement

will be brief and general in nature as our concerns have already been voiced by Burkina Faso.

The Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97 is the first Programme of Work and Budget to be submitted by the Director-General since he was elected to office by the 1993 Conference. This Council will recall that the Director-General requested that this august Council approved proposals put forward by him for important changes aimed at preserving and invigorating the unique mission for which this important United Nations agency was established 50 years ago. In doing so, the Conference approved the holding of a special 106th Session of the Council in June 1994 to consider the proposals the Director-General wanted to put forward. These proposals included, among others, a determined FAO response and adequate capacity to provide the necessary technical assistance and support for needy countries to alleviate the problems caused by expanding world population, pervasive rural poverty and malnutrition, environmental threats to the agricultural base, and imbalances in the world food and agriculture system. The Director-General specifically outlined FAO's increased responsibilities for the establishment of activities for the control of transboundary plant pests and animal diseases, and the provision of policy advice to Member Governments to assist in the establishment of a food security framework, especially in the low-income, food deficit countries. The Director-General also emphasized the global information and early warning system to monitor global supply and demand for all basic foods. This would provide analysis of the current food/nutrition situation and timely advice on impending food emergencies to governments and the international donor communities. Emphasis was also placed on sustainable agricultural, forestry and fishery development and also biotechnology. To achieve this objective, he found it necessary to embark on a restructuring exercise within the Organization. This was approved by Council in its 106th Session in 1994. The Director-General has kept the Council

informed of his actions through progress reports and informal regular meetings with the regional groups based in Rome. The success of these changes will depend on human, financial and logistical resources, with support from the membership of the Organization and the international community.

Document CL 108/3, Summary Programme of Work and Budget 1996-97, was prepared and submitted to the Programme and Finance Committees for consideration with the aid of the relevant basic texts of the Organization. These two Committees are composed of representatives from all the FAO regions. Members have exhaustively studied the Summary Programme of Work and Budget and submitted their recommendations in document CL 108/14, which has been placed before this Council for endorsement.

Mr Chairman, the Nigerian Delegation wholeheartedly supports the Director-General's proposed Summary Programme of Work and Budget as endorsed by the Finance and Programme Committees. The proposed budget, in our opinion, calls for a full agenda of action to confront the challenges facing the world food and agriculture situation. We therefore call upon all Member Nations, especially the largest contributors, to endeavour to pay their assessed contributions and arrears so as to strengthen the Organization's capability to serve its Member Nations, to make FAO's programmes more responsive to the challenges of the future and to enhance efficiency.

Inge NORDANG (Norway): When the FAO Conference in November 1993 approved the present Programme of Work and Budget, the Nordic countries could only with great reluctance join in the approval. The Nordic countries delivered an explanation of vote where the following, inter alia, was said: "We also wish to place on record that we are against establishing a deliberate gap between the Programme of Work and Budget and the assessed contributions on member countries. Such gap will have to be closed at a later stage, and we regret that the new Director-General will be faced with the difficulty of bridging this gap when he in two years' time is presenting his first Programme of Work and Budget to the 1995 Conference".

With this background, my delegation is not in a position to support the Programme of Work and Budget since its takes an unfinanced budget as its point of departure. Since the Budget approved in 1993 was under-funded by US$38 million, the basis for calculations of cost increases will need to be based on the funded part of the Budget only. It should be borne in mind that changes in the lira/dollar ratio prior to the approval of the Programme of Work and Budget for the current biennium had great implications on the level of assessments on the member countries. My delegation is pleased that the present Summary Programme of Work and Budget is based on sound budget practices without any allowance for parts of the budget to be covered by payments of arrears.

The preparation of Programme of Work and Budget should take the agreed priority activities as its point of departure. We can agree to the Director-General's proposal to base the Budget on a zero real growth in the Programme of Work and Budget. Cost increases need to be kept to a minimum and should, to the best extent possible, be absorbed in the Budget. This would allow for a lower increase in the assessed contribution, the 11.7 percent, which we consider to be too high.

I turn now to the priorities in the Programme of Work. Norway and the other Nordic countries gave their full support to the Director-General's proposal to reshape the Organization and to tighten the priority setting at the extraordinary Council meeting one year ago. A stricter priority setting implies giving lower priority to certain fields. We are ready to support a further move along the lines drawn up by the Council last year. Food security in low-income low-deficit countries and the fight against transboundary pests and diseases have been established as top priority areas for the Organization. Some other areas were also pointed out as important priorities, especially those related to normative aspects and UNCED follow-up within the general framework of FAO as a centre of excellence for agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the United Nations system. We are ready to accept a reduced priority to sectors not covered by those general priorities. The present Programme of Work is not easily comparable with the previous ones but our general feeling is that the proposal could have gone further along the lines approved by the last Council session.

We would, however, have liked to see a medium-term plan based on the Council's full approval of the new orientations as a basis for the Programme of Work and Budget discussions. Such a long-term vision could also have provided the basis for the Quebec Declaration and served as a guideline for the Plan of Action to be adopted during the World Food Summit. We realize that, due to the restructuring exercise, time did not allow

for preparing the Medium-term Plan for this Council session but we are looking forward to a discussion on the longer-term priorities at the next Council session and at the Conference itself. We are especially keen to see how the reinvigorating of the Organization is expected to reduce administrative costs in the coming years.

Mr Chairman, it is a regrettable fact that this Organization for several years has been facing a difficult financial situation. With the present budgetary atmosphere in member countries there does not seem to be any easy solution. For several consecutive periods the Organization has approved a budget that some member countries have not felt obliged to abide by. A situation where the Organization has an approved Programme of Work but is unable to implement parts of it is not a healthy one. It is therefore of great importance to return to a situation where the Budget is approved with full consensus and where all member countries take their responsibility and pay their contribution in full and on time.

I listened to the very grave statement presented by the delegate of the United States this morning. The implications of the statement might, unfortunately, have serious effects on the entire Organization. If the worst scenario comes about, we are all facing a dramatic situation and it would be most regrettable if large actors were not ready to stand by agreed obligations. It cannot be expected that anyone else is willing or able to take over the responsibility. The imperative to reach a consensus on the Budget will call for a spirit of compromise from all parts. The Secretariat will have a lot of work to do to craft a basis for a broad consensus.

This statement has been prepared in consultation with the other Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

Juraj SOLCANY (Slovakia): Mr Chairman, I would like to express the opinion of my delegation on this extremely important and decisive document concerning the further development of FAO and its relationship with Member Nations.

I would like to express deep gratitude to the authors and all supporters for the preparation of this serious and conceptual document. My delegation appreciates very much the way the Programme and Finance Committees, with great responsibility, negotiated and modified the submitted document on behalf of Member Nations.

Generally my delegation regards the Programme of Work and Budget for the forthcoming biennium as a progressive one which tries to respond to the needs of Member Nations within the FAO's mandate. It is clear that the programme's intentions have been prepared on the basis of typical conditions for the expected Budget perspective. In spite of this, within a traditional programme structure, the proposals have appeared to reflect the present developmental trends in food and agriculture.

In the light of the future FAO activities it should be remembered that the major challenge for countries in transition will be to continue the programme of structural reforms while minimizing the social costs of transition and the number of people excluded from its benefits. From the point of view of FAO it should be noted that the present food sectors in the sub-region are facing two key difficulties: high real interest rate associated with a high level of indebtedness and a static or deteriorating domestic market reflecting declining income.

Agricultural economies in transition represent the most critical sector but with faster developmental trends. For this reason perceived problems must be solved very urgently. We believe that appropriate space will be created for our countries within Chapter II. Technical and economic problems for the solution of the above mentioned issues are needed. It should be recalled that problems of depressed rural areas along with a high level of unemployment are of major concern to the Ministry of Agriculture as well as the research community in Slovakia.

Agriculture is the main source of employment in the rural areas. Rural development is of such importance that we are expecting, through the TCP, it will become one of the highest priorities in the sub-region.

A fundamental goal for Slovak foreign policy is to join the European Union. We are convinced that FAO can play a most important role in this process. The fact that seven other countries from our sub-region have expressed their interest should lead, within the Organization, to the development of intensive consultative cooperation elaborated upon in the document before us.

From our point of view Major Programme 2.1 is particularly important on the Agricultural Production and Supporting Systems, Programmes and Projects Supporting Food, Coordinated Development of a Food and Agricultural Policy, including exchange of experiences at international level of experts in agricultural policy analyses. The programme supporting the implementation of the conclusions of the GATT Uruguay Round are also important for the Slovak Republic and for the other Central and Eastern European countries.

We are placing increasing importance on Sub-programme 2.12.5, the Development of Grassland Management, especially from the point of view of maintaining the environment and also from the influence on agricultural production.

In order to support the development of the Slovak Republic, my delegation would welcome the possibility of continuing in the FAO investment programmes and projects cooperation leading to the support of agricultural, food and forestry modernization. The implementation of new agreements, particularly TCCT, is for the common programme projects and revitalization cooperation among the experts of the Central and Eastern European countries.

The proposed budget and prepared financial measures are very delicate and sensitive issues. It should be remembered that it is not only FAO who is facing such problems. Our colleagues in the other international organizations are facing the same problems. This is a very complicated issue for all United Nations bodies. We must be aware of our responsibility towards further developments. In particular, in this Organization we have to try to seek the solution which will meet Member Nations' interests and respect FAO's hopes as well.

Mme Régine DE CLERCQ (Belgique): Cette délégation souhaiterait bien sûr compléter la déclaration de la Communauté européenne et de ses Etats Membres, qui a été faite ce matin. Je me limiterai à ce qui est essentiel pour nous parce que le débat est long et il y a beaucoup d'orateurs. Je voudrais d'abord dire que j'ai découté avec beaucoup d'intérêt l'intervention du délégué du Brésil, mon voisin, ce qui n'est sans doute pas un hasard, puisque je souscris totalement à ce qu'il a dit sur le rôle que la FAO devrait jouer et également au sujet des obligations des Etats Membres vis-à-vis de l'Organisation. Nous avons aussi écouté le délégué de la Norvège et je souscris totalement à ce qu'il a dit au sujet des arriérés. En effet, les 38 millions de dollars inclus, à tort peut-être, dans le budget du biennium précédent, sont dus à l'ensemble des membres, comme d'ailleurs la totalité des arriérés.

Nous demander de financer ces arriérés est une question d'équité; et je dirai que c'est aussi une question de viabilité du procédé dans l'hypothèse où, chaque année, les difficultés de financement feront surgir de nouveaux arriérés. Hier, on nous a déjà annoncé qu'il y avait un shortfall à attendre de 10 à 20 pour cent de l'un des contributeurs les plus importants - pour ne pas dire le plus important - de l'Organisation, ce qui entretient et accentue la contradiction entre ce que l'on demande à l'Organisation et les moyens que l'on met à sa disposition.

La Belgique défend une politique de stabilité des ressources, non pas seulement pour la FAO mais pour toutes les organisations des Nations Unies. Stabilité des ressources, en période d'austérité financière, implique que l'on s'en tienne à l'essentiel; cela veut aussi dire que l'on consolide la position de l'Organisation dans les missions où son action est la plus performante. A notre avis, il existe une masse critique au-dessous de laquelle il ne faut pas tomber si l'on veut mener à bon terme les réformes actuelles et préserver à l'Organisation un impact effectif. A défaut, l'output de l'Organisation, la raison d'être qui justifie son existence au regard de son mandat, risque de se contracter, comme c'est d'ailleurs le cas depuis un certain nombre d'années, au détriment de tous ses Membres.

Les difficultés de paiement qu'un Etat Membre important nous a signalées ce matin, et même déjà hier, traduisent des doutes qui ont pu surgir au niveau politique quant à la pertinence de l'action du système des Nations Unies en faveur du développement ou qui témoignent d'un repli sur des problèmes strictement nationaux, à part les raisons avouées ce matin. On ne voit pas sur quelle base juridique d'éventuelles décisions

unilatérales de réduction des contributions peuvent être justifiées. Accepter une telle action unilatérale constituerait un précédent très grave qui aurait des conséquences pour la capacité de négociation et de décision en matière budgétaire de tout le système des Nations Unies à l'avenir. Il y aurait, à notre sens, une grande irresponsabilité si, pour des raisons que nous espérons temporaires, le système des Nations Unies et la FAO en particulier se voyaient déstabilisés par un manque de ressources juste au moment où les défis dépassent de loin la capacité d'action nationale et exigent une coopération multilatérale sans faille.

Toutefois, nous croyons aussi que l'Organisation elle-même doit reconnaître les signaux qui lui sont donnés de l'extérieur. Dans ce contexte, nous ne pensons pas que la base de l'exercice biennal 1994-95 soit la meilleure proposition que l'on puisse faire aux Etats Membres. Nous serions tentés de suggérer que le coût effectif du Programme réalisé au cours de l'exercice biennal passé serait peut-être la meilleure base ou la meilleure référence pour le budget à venir, en tenant compte, bien sûr, des activités non réalisées ou différées par manque de moyens.

Comme d'autres avant nous, nous défendons le respect de la croissance réelle nulle avec absorption maximale des coûts non discrétionnaires; et j'ai noté avec grande attention ce qu'a dit, ce matin, la déléguée du Burkina Faso à ce sujet. Mais, même dans cette hypothèse d'une absorption maximale des coûts non discrétionnaires, il faudra réaliser des économies. Personne ne peut prétendre de réaliser en entier un programme de travail et budget qui lui correspond si des dispositions appropriées ne couvrent pas la hausse prévisible des coûts. Dès lors, nous insistons pour que, préalablement au débat sur la sélection des activités prioritaires, on accorde la priorité à la recherche de gains en efficacité, à la rationalisation des procédures de décision - Monsieur le Président, vous en conviendrez, nos réunions sont trop longues et trop nombreuses - et à la révision des méthodes de gestion.

Certaines économies ont déjà été suggérées par des délégations ce matin et au cours de la journée. Je voudrais me distancer de certaines de ces suggestions, entre autres de celle selon laquelle la FAO ne devrait s'engager dans des activités d'assistance technique qu'à condition que son avantage comparatif soit prouvé par rapport à des actions bilatérales. Cette assertion présente un problème à ma délégation à cause de la vocation multilatérale de la FAO que nous considérons comme importante en tant que facteur correcteur vis-à-vis des actions bilatérales parce que, en effet, s'il y a des pays qui, pour des raisons historiques, stratégiques ou autres, bénéficient d'un appui ou d'une assistance technique bilatérale, nombreux sont les pays qui ne bénéficieraient d'aucune assistance s'il n'y avait pas l'assistance multilatérale.

On a aussi parlé des coûts de gestion des projets financés par des fonds fiduciaires et on nous dit qu'il y a un subside direct du Programme ordinaire à ces projets. Sincèrement, nous pensons qu'il est difficile de quantifier avec grande précision ce qui est coût et bénéfice dans cet exercice. Comment peut-on évaluer, par exemple, l'expérience de terrain que ces programmes permettent d'acquérir à l'Organisation, à ses membres et à son personnel? C'est un élément dont on ne tient pas compte dans un calcul comptable des coûts, mais qui est important; il constitue le cordon ombilical entre ce qui est l'expertise théorique et ce qui est l'expertise technique.

Pour le reste, nous pouvons parfaitement souscrire à plusieurs des suggestions qui ont été faites au sujet des économies et nous encourageons le Secrétariat à poursuivre le travail très difficile qui a été entamé mais qu'il devra nécessairement continuer.

Gaylord Themba HLATSHWAYO (Zimbabwe): Thank you, Mr Chairman, I shall be very brief since most of the issues we wanted to bring up here have already been exhausted.

Mr Chairman, my delegation takes the floor today to express its full support for the statement made earlier by the distinguished representative of Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group, and beyond that for the programme in budget proposals as presented by the Director-General.

Mr Chairman, our Director-General took office at a difficult time for our Organization. Even without the various budgetary problems he inherited and the restructuring and decentralization exercise we have wielded upon him, his task in preserving and enhancing the unique mission of the FAO into today's industrial environment would have been a tough one, but those additional individual tasks which we have entrusted to him have made his assignment an even more difficult one.

Consistent with the recommendation of the Programme and the Budget Committees, a non-growth budget has been proposed. Given the levels of malnutrition which continue to afflict so many parts of our planet, given the prospect of an additional three billion mouths to feed within a generation from now, we understand the Director-General when, in his introduction to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1996/97, he says that the zero-growth decision was not an easy one to reach.

My delegation supports the proposal for a real zero-growth budget, taking into account the views expressed by the Finance and Programme Committees during its preparation. This will naturally imply an increase in assessments of 11.7 percent on Member Nations for the 1996-97 biennium, leading to a further deterioration in the already difficult arrears situation especially for the developing countries but, understandably, a situation we will all agree is unavoidable.

Mr Chairman, this is the proposal that has been made; and clearly, if we want our Organization to be able to function effectively and to be able to continue to address well established subsequent priorities, then under this accounting a zero-growth budget is the absolute minimum we must aim for. And yet there appears to be some unhappiness with this very reasonable and pragmatic approach. Of course, we fully understand and share the concerns expressed about outstanding arrears and the negative impact - this is upon our overall position. But cycle field accounting in terms of the budget and/or resource sanctions are unhelpful and will probably in the end only serve to further weaken our Organization, and this at a time when all our efforts should be aimed at strengthening it in view of revitalizing it.

My delegation, whilst sympathizing with the some of the views expressed by some Member Nations on the proposal to reduce the budget level, nevertheless urges them to reconsider this approach as it would definitely have severe adverse effects on the on-going and future agricultural programmes, particularly in the African region.

The restructuring exercise is already underway. The Director-General is actively and personally addressing the question of arrears and has broken new ground in the quest for new sources of funding. Preparations for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations and for the World Food Summit with all the prospects that both events hold for increasing interest in support of the FAO, are also underway. It is against this active and optimistic background and on the basis of a solid belief in the leadership of our Organization and in his vision for the future for the FAO that we again express our full support for the programme and budget as brought before us by the Director-General. Thank you.

Sra. Ileana Maritza LOPEZ TURCIOS (Honduras): Como ya han expresado otras delegaciones, agradecemos la información suministrada por la Secretaría, así como las explicaciones al tema que nos ocupa.

Nuestros países en desarrollo, como se sabe, hacen verdaderos esfuerzos para cumplir con puntualidad las obligaciones financieras para con la Organización. No está de más señalar que los programas de ajuste macroeconómico por una parte, y el pago de nuestra deuda externa, por otra, restringen los programas de desarrollo económico y social. Sin embargo, comprendemos la necesidad de seguir esforzándonos a fin de lograr que la Organización siga creciendo y fortaleciéndose, principalmente en los países en desarrollo.

En consideración a lo anterior, hemos venido apoyando a la FAO en su concepto de universalidad, a su actual Director y a las medidas encaminadas a su reestructuración y actualización.

Deseo ser lo más breve posible, en vista de que este tema ya ha sido expuesto con suficiente claridad y en forma extensiva por los representantes que me han precedido en el uso de la palabra, específicamente las delegaciones de América Latina y el Caribe. Así, me limitaré a reiterar el interés de la subregión del istmo centroamericano expuesto en la Cumbre de El Salvador, relacionada con la creación de una Oficina Subregional de la FAO para nuestra área geográfica.

En lo que respecta a lo manifestado con relación a la posibilidad de vincular aun más las actividades con el Instituto Interamericano de Cooperación para la Agricultura, IICA, y nuestra Organización, aun cuando estamos a favor de toda iniciativa que busque una mayor intensificación a favor de la agricultura y la investigación agrícola para un desarrollo sostenible, consideramos que se trata de organizaciones con

mandatos diferentes, y que una de ellas no cubre en su totalidad las actividades de la otra, por lo que somos de la opinión de que es necesario que cada una de ellas, aun cooperando entre sí, mantenga su propia identidad.

En resumen, Sr. Presidente, deseamos que nuestra Organización, la FAO, tenga cada vez una mayor presencia, avivada con la antorcha en los ideales que le dieron nacimiento hace 50 años.

Nahi SHIBANI (Syria) (Original language Arabic): Mr Chairman, having carefully studied the documents relating to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, my delegation would like to pay tribute to the important efforts made by both the Programme and Finance Committees and also the efforts made by the Secretariat. We believe that the workload was heavy and that the work itself was complicated. Therefore, we support the distribution of the different programmes within the budget.

Mr Chairman, may I submit very briefly some observations concerning this issue. As for the budget, we support what has been stated by the representative of Egypt when he referred to this issue on behalf of the Group of 77. We should like to say that the budget, as contained in the documents before us submitted by the Finance and Programme Committees, is indeed the very minimum for the activities which should be implemented by FAO in order to put a halt to the deterioration in the nutritional levels throughout the world. We think that the restructuring operation would entail further savings. We think that further resources should be mobilized in order to implement these important activities. We think that Member Nations represented in this Organization should share in shouldering this burden. This is in full compliance with the obligations of the various Member Nations towards FAO.

As for the programmes per se, we endorse the priority setting contained in these documents. The Council in the 106th Session endorsed these priorities. We should like to state here that this prioritization is accurate for all countries in the world.

However, priorities might differ from one region to another. We might even see that a given programme has the highest priority in one single region and that the same programme does not have this same priority in another region. We hope that the Organization will take account of the priorities of the various regions when setting priorities in the future.

While appreciating the value of the nutrition programmes, the EMPRES programme and the Early Warning System, and while recalling the importance of all other programmes to which FAO has attached importance, namely the programmes relating to semi-arid countries, we believe that the reafforestation efforts are very important, especially in those countries where deforestation took place in such a way that agriculture was affected and was further exacerbated by low rainfall. We believe that efforts should be made to promote reafforestation in these countries, which would have a positive impact on the agriculture sector in the future.

Furthermore, we think that Plant Genetic Resources are very important in arid and semi-arid regions. Some plant and animal genetic resources are threatened and we believe that the Organization should attach importance to this aspect, bearing in mind the vital importance of animal and plant genetic resources. We in Syria collect plant and animal genetic resources, despite our limited resources. We believe that such an activity should be undertaken in a collective manner with the help of the relevant organizations and primarily with FAO.

Furthermore, we attach great importance to the Technical Cooperation Programme. We refer to paragraph 100 of document CL 108/3 and the paragraphs relating to the assistance to be given to countries in order to promote their procurement. This has an input to the implementation of the various projects. We believe that this would promote further achievements within the allocated resources. We believe that this would also have a bearing on the global cost of the programmes.

Finally, my country wishes every success to FAO. This Organization has a noble and lofty mandate, and we appreciate the efforts of the management of the Organization with the assistance of the Director-General, since he has spared no effort in order to promote the activities of this Organization.

Finally, Mr Chairman, we endorse the proposed budget for the biennium 1996-97 and we hope that the Organization will not celebrate its 50th Anniversary with a fear that it would not be capable of shouldering its responsibilities.

Ms Susan MILLS (Canada): We have listened with great interest to the various statements made today and I would like to begin my intervention by offering some comments which place our position in context. Canada's point of departure as we embark on these programming exercises is based on our unremitting commitment to the multilateral system, of which FAO is an integral and important part, and on the observations of all the international obligations inherent in such a commitment. The FAO, like all national and multilateral entities, is in the highly competitive market for funds from a very limited public purse. This is true in all areas of the globe. Its competitors are not only the multiplicity of development, emergency, humanitarian and aid institutions but the increasing and most urgent calls for enhanced domestic programmes. Success in this contest for finite resources demands effective and efficient targeting and management of resources and activities and a clear demonstration of utilities, value added and sustainable results.

Current fiscal realities and the never-ending proliferation of new national and global issues and needs are joined to existing, and unresolved problems to dictate invariably hard choices at both national and international levels. For several years many governments have not increased their spending even in line with cost increases beyond their control and in response to chronic and problematic fiscal imbalances which threaten economic growth and viability. Real cumulative programme cuts have become the order of the day for most governments and, most notably from our point of view, that of Canada.

An illustration of this is the budget passed by my Government in March this year which encompassed a comprehensive attack on budget deficit reduction calling for cutbacks in real terms over the next three years of 15 percent for the Department of Foreign Affairs, 20 percent for the Department of Agriculture and 21 percent in the international assistance envelope. This trend is not expected to be reversed in the foreseeable future. In this year's budget, assessed contributions to multilateral agencies have been sheltered, with the allocation provided remaining unchanged in absolute terms relative to the level of previous years. We must engage a Programme of Work and Budget exercise which realistically addresses the capacity of the membership to pay within a sober appreciation of the limits as defined by the fiscal environment that I have just been describing. We believe this to be the only feasible approach if we are to achieve a consensus on the programme directions that our Organization is to embark upon in the coming biennium. In Canada's view, this makes it impossible for us to agree to the increase over the previous biennium which is proposed in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.

Similarly, we cannot agree to engage in a budgetary exercise that inflates nominal budget levels to compensate for the anticipated delinquencies of others. Thus, we need to rethink the proposed budget before us in order to arrive at a level that reflects actual capacity to pay and avoids any inducement to further arrears by virtue of its departure from this principle. In our judgement - and our preference is due to budgetary exigencies - we would situate this level at that represented by the current level of assessed contributions. We believe that this objective can be achieved without sacrifice to the essential programmes that the membership expects our Organization to deliver in the operationalization of its critically important mandate.

As has been stated by others, we too believe that there are significant efficiency gains to be realized within our Organization such as to preclude programme reduction. This is not to suggest that shifts in programme priorities, including the termination of programmes and activities that have fulfilled their mandates or have proved to be ineffective, should not take place. Indeed this must be a major objective of any exercise aimed at achieving a budget that is publicly defensible on the basis of a demonstrably effective performance in finding solutions to the global problems that we have asked the FAO to address.

Among the areas where significant potential savings would appear to reside we would single out the following. Deliberation of resources pursuant to the significant decline in Field Programme implementation, a factor recognized by the recent Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees. Efficiencies in the way FAO does what it does, not only in terms of updating of skilled profiles and applied technologies but perhaps, and most importantly, in terms of the streamlining of administrative and managerial structures, procedures and practices focused on value-added within each level and empowerment borne of devolution of decision-making. All of this within a clearly defined set of results oriented accountabilities.

We would note that the Programme Evaluation Report currently before us provides an object lesson in this regard in Chapter 4. Staffing levels which since the 1980-81 biennium have been characterized by a chronic vacancy rate among Professional staff averaging more than 17 percent and by a ratio of General Service to Professional staff that seems to be unbalanced; recruitment procedures and practices which in recent years have required months in order to yield staffing decisions; travel and general administration costs; and, finally, as mentioned by others, publications and meetings. This list is obviously not comprehensive and on this general point we would endorse the comments of several other delegations and we also suggest seeking external management advice.

In concluding, I would also stress our view that as we join this programme on budget exercise we must remain very mindful of the reality that the normative work of our Organization constitutes the irreducible core of FAO's raise on debt and that it is the guarantor of the Organization's continued viability and relevance because it addresses the interest of all the membership. This core requires current nurturing, renewal and strengthening because it guarantees the qualitative nature of the technical work that earns for the FAO the justifiable label of "centre of excellence"; thus, the FAO must protect its normative vocation if it is to play effectively its mandated role in world agriculture, forestry and fisheries.

It follows that vigilance and careful management will be required to ensure that we avoid risk to this core as we consider programme responses to the budgetary limitations which are presently facing our Organization. For our part we would not support any indiscriminate, across-the-board restraint proposals which would compromise the effectiveness of high priority programmes and inevitably penalize the smallest, such as forestry and fisheries, that have but a minimum margin of manoeuvre relative to other far larger programmes. In effect, we would insist on a rational and vigorous priority-setting exercise that would lay bear objectives expected results and measurable indicators of output as guidelines against which to render informed judgements and to protect our highest priorities.

As well, we would recall that continuing a very substantial subsidy from the Regular Programme to the Field Programme to the extent that this subsidy acts to deny to the Regular Programme the resources necessary to the effect of an efficient discharge of its core activities. It is imperative that we act to correct such an obvious distortion. Accordingly, we also would endorse the UK proposal for review of this issue which echoes a similar recommendation by the Programme Committee. Mr Chairman, we also have a number of comments respecting programme priorities that address the proposals contained in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget.

In the first place, there are some key details missing from this document that are essential to our analysis and approval. A table giving a comparison between the allocations under the current biennium and those proposed for the next biennium is essential. The reorganization of FAO notwithstanding these figures are necessary and could be made available to facilitate understanding. As indicated in the report to COAG, the availability of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget (SPWB) to the Technical Committees is essential to our deliberations and I would expect that this practice will be reinstated at the next meeting in 1997. As the programme and sub-programme information from the SPWB was missing from our Technical Committee meetings, this is the first substantive discussion of many of the programmes.

On the question of Budget Allocations to Forestry, Canada is still disappointed about the lack of growth in this programme. It would appear that the budget for forestry has declined from US$32 million in the outline budget to US$30.8 in the SPWB. I would like to address the programmes in agriculture, including new programmes 2.5, 3.1 and 3.2.

Major programme 2.2 is the highest priority in the agricultural field encompassing nutrition, food and agricultural information, agriculture development and policy.

On nutrition, we are looking forward to receiving the report of the follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition at the 28th FAO Conference. The Canadian Plan of Action is at the consultation phase with industry, provincial governments and non-government organizations and should be signed by the Ministers of Health and Agriculture in the next few months.

The work of the Codex Alimentarius Commission is of high priority and the new work towards harmonizing food standards in connection with the World Trade Organization is of great importance as is the programme stressing food safety and quality. Work in progress on the International Plant Protection Convention should harmonize import standards which will be useful for all countries. FAO and the World Health Organization should continue efforts to streamline Codex procedures to enable the development of science-based standards within a time-frame which ensures relevance to the International Trading Community.

Secondly, the approach being proposed in seeking to improve the nutritional status at the household and community levels through an empowerment approach is very sound. Consideration should also be given to putting special emphasis on women to strengthen their roles as mothers, homemakers and income earners to further the nurturing of children.

Food and agriculture information is of key importance to the trade and environmental work that is performed by FAO and we strongly support its inclusion. We are pleased with the new information being made available on Internet on the World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) and Canada has benefitted from a user consultation. We request that FAO move even faster towards the electronic production and disseminations of information in order to provide more timely output and save money. Electronic transmission of the documents for these meetings could also be accomplished faster and cheaper.

An item that seems to have been dropped from the statistical development area is the sources and destinations database on agricultural trade. This database is very useful for examining trade patterns for both analysts and exporters alike. If FAO is not able to undertake the work itself, will it facilitate the work perhaps with experts from other countries?

In the Commodity Situation and Outlook Section (, we support FAO's programmes to provide good quality commodity market data and analysis. In particular, we value the medium-term commodity forecasts which are of use to importers and exporters. The Global Information and Early Warning Systems are a key to warning of impending food shortages and famines and we support its continuation. The commodities whose stocks are being counted should be expanded from grains to include pulses and animals.

In the section on Agriculture and Economic Development Analysis Section (, we support the production of the State of Food and Agriculture and endorse its new directions towards a more analytical, policy-oriented and future-looking document. The list of other projects outlined is ambitious and should be selected on the basis of their usefulness to potential recipients and viability within the resource limits outlined in the document.

In the section 2.2.4 on Food and Agricultural Policy, we support the updating of agriculture towards 2010, medium-term commodity forecasts, the studies on protectionism, preparing for the next round of negotiations on agriculture. We support examining links to environmental issues but should also recognize the excellent work already undertaken by the Organization for economic cooperation and development.

We support the work in section on World Food Security Analysis but would like to know the focus. Although the food security concept is broad and deserves wide treatment, there does not seem to be any central focus in the Organization as aspects of the work appear in programmes,,, 2.5.6, 3.1 and 3.2.

Depending on which aspect you address, the viewpoints expressed differ markedly. Has the methodology for making a national food security strategy been finalized and what are the results of the work undertaken so far? In short, the value of the work seems to be undermined by a lack of a central focus within the Organization.

The work on conservation and management of plant genetic resources is also of highest priority. The work of the Commission itself, the revision of the undertaking and preparations for the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources are all key tasks and milestones towards international cooperation for the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for environmental and food security purposes.

Similarly, the Domestic Animal Genetic Diversity Programme (programme the key to the global system for the preservation and sustainable use of these resources in line with recommendations of Agenda 21. We support the observations on the programme contained in the Committee on Agriculture Report which will reorient the programme to make less use of external resources and more use of internal resources.

In the area of animal genetics, Canada continues to support the development and validation of a global databank that can be used as a basis for decisions on the world watch list. Canada concurs that the global databank will need continual updating as changes occur and we will collaborate in this project by making available documented data on Canadian animal genetic resources. Information on conserved resources, both in situ and cryopreserved, is essential and an objective means, through expert consultation, of ensuring genetic diversity of domestic species.

With regard to the emphasis of FAO on the utilization of livestock, our position is that the mandate of the programme should emphasize conservation rather than a breeding programme for the optimization of production. Our view is that the appropriate role of FAO is in the area of maintaining livestock genetic diversity through a validated global databank and assessment of endangerment of specific populations. Techniques such as embryo transfer should be used in programmes of conservation of endangered populations rather than in maximizing animal production through introduction of popular breeds. Conservation of genetic resources is a clear and pressing need while breeding programmes to optimize production can lead to a major drain of limited resources from conservation efforts and may result in a negative influence on genetic diversity. Obviously, the purpose of conservation is to ensure that genetic resources are available to enable all countries to attain their development goals.

Canada supports the use of biotechnology to measure the genetic distance between animal populations which will assist the consultative board in arriving at decisions on endangered populations. Progress is being made in genome mapping and should be encouraged.

In major programme 2.5, we welcome a separate identity for the Sustainable Development Programme as befits this new priority within the FAO. In programme 2.5.5, Coordination and Promotion of Sustainable Development, we support the work done in support of the Commission of Sustainable Development. Canada is pleased with the seriousness with which FAO takes integrating sustainable development concerns into its work programme. It is unclear however what proportion of this programme has been allocated to forestry.

In follow-up to UNCED, there are a broad range of issues, complex interdependencies, a large number of factors and limited resources. It is important that all organizations, including the FAO, continue to look for priority areas where they have the greatest value-added. Canada supports the FAO's programme to develop methods and tools for environmental assessment and sustainability analysis, including indicators of sustainability. Canada will continue to work cooperatively with other countries and international agencies to develop agri-environmental indicators.

The work of the Technical Departments are also reflected in Chapter 3 - Development Services to Member Nations. Whereas this policy work in programmes 3.1.1 and 3.1.2 are among the most important tasks that FAO can do for Members, the work itself seems relatively unfocused. We are in definite need of output indicators in this area in terms of the number of consultancies, the expected output, etc. Whereas the policy work could be instrumental in building capacity, it could also be a substitute for the effort of the recipient country itself. In the Latin American region, we would hope that there will be an equitable division of labour with IICA. Could we have an indication of what will be the priority areas for working together?

In the forestry area, Canada continues to be disappointed with the budget allocation which does not reflect the importance of forestry in the FAO mandate and forestry's global importance. The FAO needs to put in place a prioritized focused work plan with specific timeframes, resources and outputs. Canadian priorities for the FAO as set out by Minister McLellan at the FAO Forest Ministers Meeting in March 1995, included the importance Canada attaches to the development of and consensus on a global framework for criteria and indicators for sustainable forestry management, the important role for the FAO in assisting in the implementation of national forest action plants, the need to continue working to improve upon global information on the state of forests and community forestry.

The highest priority for the FAO Forestry Programme over the next two years should be providing support to the recently-established UNCSD Intergovernmental Panel on Forests.

Pedro Alfonso MEDRANO ROJAS (Chile): Quisiéramos iniciar nuestros comentarios, señor Presidente, señalando que estamos de acuerdo en que la primera preocupación de este Consejo es garantizar que la FAO y su nueva estructura pueda funcionar con la máxima eficiencia y hacerse cargo de las prioridades básicas que se han acordado. Las necesidades y desafíos que plantea el actual estado de la agricultura y la alimentación a nivel mundial, así lo exigen.

En este contexto, Sr. Presidente, es preocupante el estancamiento de la asistencia oficial para el desarrollo y la disminución en cifras reales de los recursos extrapresupuestarios canalizados a través de la FAO y los efectos que tienen para la Organización.

Estamos igualmente preocupados por el contexto financiero en que se apoya la formulación del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, particularmente las cuotas atrasadas y el déficit acumulado y por las tendencias que se observan en relación a los mismos, que se traducen en un aumento constante de los saldos pendientes que al 31 de diciembre de 1994 ascendían a 152 millones de dólares.

Nuestra delegación, Sr. Presidente, estima que el contexto financiero descrito en el resumen del PLP debería ser materia de amplia discusión entre los Estados Miembros en un espíritu de buscar en definitiva, una solución a este problema que se arrastra en forma estructural y que a la larga puedan ser ilusionarías las medidas y el proceso de reestructuración y las prioridades que este Consejo ha aprobado.

De la misma forma se pueden plantear serias dudas respecto de la viabilidad del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el bienio 1995-96, a la luz de las intervenciones que hemos escuchado en la mañana de hoy.

Este Programa de Labores y Presupuesto se basa en un crecimiento real cero con respecto al Programa de Labores y Presupuesto aprobado para 1994-95, lo cual significa un aumento de las cuotas asignadas del 11,7 por ciento con respecto a este bienio.

Respecto de este último punto pensamos, que si bien se puede explicar y justificar por la medida de no incluir los pagos de las cuotas atrasadas en la estimación presupuestaria y por los aumentos que derivan de los factores de bienalización e inflación, así como la incidencia del coeficiente medio de descuentos por vacantes, que en esta oportunidad se estima en un 3,15 por ciento y las repercusiones del tipo de cambio, pensamos, repito, que al igual que lo señalado por la distinguida Delegación del Brasil es una materia que puede ser considerada con más atención de manera de reducir el peso, que en última instancia, esto podría representar para los Estados Miembros.

Sin embargo, señor Presidente, creemos que el tratamiento del problema presupuestario y del Programa, debe partir de premisas comunes para todos. Al respecto quisiéramos señalar, en primer lugar, que creemos que el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, es en primera instancia responsabilidad primaria de los Estados Miembros, no quiero decir que sea ajeno a esto la Secretaría, pero lo cierto es que han sido los Estados Miembros de la FAO, en su Consejo y Conferencia General, los que han aprobado el principio de crecimiento real cero, el Programa de reestructuración, la descentralización, el carácter normativo y operativo de la FAO, las prioridades programáticas, etc. Ha sido el Consejo último de la FAO el que aprobó las propuestas del Director General para reestructurar la FAO y respaldó los programas especiales dentro del marco presupuestario existente y le señaló a la Secretaría criterios y recomendaciones para ejecutarlos. En tal sentido creo que corresponde ahora reconocer que el Director General ha procedido de acuerdo con el mandato recibido, y que el presupuesto y el programa que nos somete a nuestra consideración, responde a estas directrices.

Quiero recordar que en su oportunidad nuestro grupo latinoamericano estudió con atención estas propuestas, y formuló comentarios específicos sobre las mismas, reflejando un amplio consenso de respaldo a las propuestas del Director General acompañadas de sugerencias concretas.

La segunda consideración que queremos formular, señor Presidente, se refiere al marco conceptual y a la base de acuerdo político existente respecto del Programa y del futuro de la FAO como organismo privilegiado de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación. Desde el punto de vista conceptual nos permitimos reafirmar, una vez más, nuestro compromiso con los objetivos de la FAO, su papel importantísimo en el alivio del hambre y la pobreza y en el valioso apoyo que presta a los países, tanto a través de sus actividades normativas, como operativas.

El resumen del Programa, recoge, a nuestro entender, de manera adecuada estos propósitos. Naturalmente admite perfecciones y tendríamos algunas propuestas específicas al respecto. Así, por ejemplo, y en términos generales, nos interesa un mayor fortalecimiento de los Programas de Montes, de Pesca, de Asistencia técnica en materia de políticas, así como la asistencia técnica orientada a los aspectos ambientales, a la producción, al mejoramiento de la calidad y al comercio internacional. Igualmente nos interesa que el Programa de Cooperación Técnica mantenga su nivel promedio de los últimos bienios, haciendo un mayor uso de los mecanismos de cooperación entre países en desarrollo y de los recursos nacionales. En este aspecto quisiéramos un mayor apoyo a los proyectos PSP en el campo de pesca, comercio y montes.

Igualmente nos interesa que se mantengan las publicaciones en español, y que se utilicen los métodos modernos de comunicación y de transmisión para poner a disposición de los países en forma oportuna y a bajo costo, la red de información y de datos que mantiene la FAO.

En cuanto a la descentralización, nos permitimos sugerir un estudio detallado respecto a las posibilidades de establecer una oficina subregional para la subregión del Istmo Centroamericano. Es el área que concentra la atención de los principales donantes y donde el sector agropecuario-pesquero tiene una alta significación en las respectivas economías y en donde existe un alto potencial para la asistencia técnica de la FAO. Respaldamos, por ello, la propuesta que han hecho las diferentes representaciones de América Latina sobre el particular.

Más allá de estas propuestas específicas, señor Presidente, quisiéramos reiterar nuestro concepto en el sentido de que no creemos que se deba cambiar la naturaleza de la función de la FAO por consideraciones de tipo presupuestario. Reafirmamos que el acuerdo básico existente sobre el rol "naturaleza" en prioridades de la FAO, debe servir para la estructuración del presupuesto y no a la inversa. Desde el punto de vista político nos permitimos reafirmar nuestro compromiso con el multilateralismo que representa la FAO. Con ello estamos afianzando la responsabilidad de la comunidad internacional en los graves problemas que amenazan la sobrevivencia de la humanidad como efecto del hambre, la malnutrición y la degradación de nuestros recursos.

Pensamos que la inversión en desarrollo es una forma de preservar la paz. El mundo ha sido testigo reciente de graves amenazas a la paz como consecuencia de las crisis políticas y sociales que afectan a millones de personas en diversos países y cuyas causas directas se encuentran en la pobreza, particularmente la pobreza rural. Como nunca antes en la historia, asistimos a una migración masiva, no del sector rural a las capitales de nuestros propios países, si no hacia los países que tienen mayor bienestar, con todos los costos y riesgos que ello implica incluso para la estabilidad de los países más desarrollados. Por ello creemos que es impostergable, incluso más rentable, invertir en el desarrollo de los países fortaleciendo sus economías rurales y agrícolas y preservando sus recursos naturales, que gastar después miles de millones de dólares en operaciones de emergencia, en misiones de paz de altísimos costos que a lo que.más pueden aspirar es a crear las condiciones para estabilizar un país, pero no el desarrollo mismo.

De ahí la justificación para que la FAO trabaje lo más cerca posible de los países, prestando asesoría en materia de formulación de políticas, asistencia técnica, movilizando recursos, transfiriendo tecnología, apoyando los programas de readecuación de agriculturas en estos países a las exigencias del nuevo orden comercial general por los acuerdos de la Ronda Uruguay, así como a la conservación de los recursos naturales de la diversidad biológica y de los recursos fitogenéticos; creemos, repito señor Presidente, que es en esta forma que la FAO puede y debe contribuir a resolver las necesidades de los países.

En tal sentido señor Presidente, consideramos inseparables las actividades normativas y operacionales; por ello mi país ha apoyado la descentralización de las actividades de la FAO, fortaleciendo la sede de la Oficina Regional de la FAO en Santiago. Para estos efectos el Gobierno de Chile ha acordado la construcción de una nueva sede para la Oficina Regional y ha estimado en el presupuesto fiscal de este año una partida cercana a los cinco millones de dólares para la construcción de un nuevo edificio. A ello debe sumarse un suplemento

especial al Fondo en Fideicomiso de este año que hace que este aporte sea, para el presente año, para el mantenimiento de la sede, del orden de un millón de dólares. Estando, en este concepto particular, al día en el pago de nuestras obligaciones.

En resumen señor Presidente, nuestro país desea reafirmar su compromiso con las principales funciones de la FAO, sus prioridades y la política de descentralización que el señor Director General lleva a cabo.

En tercer lugar, señor Presidente, debemos examinar, con el máximo cuidado posible, los problemas financieros de la Organización y, una vez que logremos un consenso sobre la forma de resolver el problema de las cuotas atrasadas y los déficit, repito, una vez que hayamos logrado esto, avocarnos a establecer los criterios para el nuevo Programa de Labores y Presupuesto.

En cuanto a las cuotas atrasadas, debemos nosotros mismos encontrar una solución. Cada uno de nosotros tiene sus propios problemas, pero creo importante que se sepa cuál es nuestra decisión al respecto. Por nuestra parte declaramos que el Gobierno de Chile honrará su compromiso de pagar todas sus cuotas atrasadas en el plazo más breve posible; en los próximos días comenzaremos a hacerlo, porque creemos que es fundamental que con motivo del 50° Aniversario de la FAO podamos reflejar en los hechos nuestro compromiso con esta Organización. Nos permitimos sugerir al respecto que antes de la próxima Conferencia se pueda disponer de una amplia información sobre este punto en lo que respecta a las soluciones que se hayan podido encontrar respecto del problema de las cuotas y pagos atrasados.

En cuanto al presupuesto y programa propuesto queremos precisar muy brevemente nuestra posición. En primer lugar respaldamos el principio de crecimiento real cero porque creemos que es una base mínima aceptable. Dos, sobre el aumento de las contribuciones que ello implica pedimos un máximo esfuerzo para absorber los mayores costos a través de mayor eficiencia y racionalidad en los gastos. Creemos que hay un amplio espacio para ello, en todo caso todo el mundo debe respetar el principio básico de la equidad conyuntiva. Tres, no sería aceptable que los países en desarrollo cubrieran los déficit que podamos generar los países desarrollados. El presupuesto, finalmente, en nuestra opinión, debe ser realista y aprobado por consenso y en esto coincidimos con lo señalado por la representación de los Estados Unidos, pero al mismo tiempo señalamos que este presupuesto debe responder a las prioridades que han fijado los propios países.

Señor Presidente, estos son nuestros criterios y manifestamos nuestra mejor disposición para apoyar las soluciones que cautelen los intereses de cada uno de nuestros países y los de la FAO. Pensamos que el momento es extraordinariamente delicado y require de nosotros la máxima responsabilidad, realismo y voluntad de compromiso para asegurar el futuro de la FAO.

Saleh Sadiq OSMAN (Tanzania): Mr Chairman, the Tanzanian delegation would like to fully associate itself with the statement made by the delegation of Burkina Faso on behalf of the African group. The Ambassador has expressed quite a number of our points of view. Our delegation also fully supports the view expressed by the Cameroon delegation, particularly its appeal to the United States to review its decision to reduce the level of its contributions to FAO.

We would now like to make a few comments on FAO activities and the Programme of Work and Budget for the 1996-97 biennium. Tanzania endorses the broadened concept of food security, comprising the three elements of availability of adequate food supplies, stability of food supplies and physical and economic access to food. My delegation feels that these should continue to be seen as basic elements of food security. We join the Programme and Finance Committees in emphasizing the importance of an adequate level of Regular Programme resources to ensure continuity of the core activities for the control of transboundary plant pests and animal diseases, including prevention, information exchange and early warning, and to serve as a catalyst for other funds, in particular in emergencies and campaigns. The Tanzanian delegation fully supports the Special Programme on the Emergency System (EMPRES).

With regard to the sub-programme on Conservation and Management of Plant and Animal Genetic Resources, we recognize the unique role FAO is playing in this area and stress the need to ensure continued cooperation and complementarity with other organizations concerned with genetic resources.

The Tanzanian delegation has also noted with concern the decline in the Organization's field activities, particularly under the UNDP funding. We appreciate, however, the efforts the Director-General is making to ensure funding for priority field activities and meeting the needs of member countries according to the policies and priorities of the Organization.

Regarding the special programme on food production in support of food security in LIFDCs, the Tanzanian delegation wishes to join others in supporting the criteria used to select countries for priority attention as given in paragraph 2.6.2 of document CL 108/14.

Mr Chairman, the Tanzanian delegation has noted with concern the difficult financial situation facing the Organization and would like to fully endorse the overall approach of zero growth in the budget and to reaffirm the principle of excluding the payment of arrears in the determination of assessments of Member Nations. We commend the Director-General's efforts to make economies while seeking to preserve the substantive output of the Organization.

In regard to the forum for discussion of nutrition matters, my delegation supports the proposal to transfer the standing item on nutrition in the COAG agenda to a standing item in the agenda of the CFS for the reasons given in paragraph 4 of document CL 108/9-SUP.1. It is my delegation's view that nutrition fits better into the agenda of the CFS, which also meets more often than COAG.

Finally, Mr Chairman, my delegation endorses the recommendation of the Programme and Financial Committees requesting that the Council allows the Director-General to proceed with the preparation of the full Programme of Work and Budget, building on the summary, and taking into consideration the views and concerns expressed.

Noah M. NKAMBULE (Swaziland): Mr Chairman, first of all, I wish to thank you, Mr Wade, and the Chairman of the Programme Committee, Mr Bommer,- for the excellent introduction to this very important and crucial topic of our discussion concerning the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. In particular, I wish to thank Mr Wade for providing us with additional information on the extra cost implications of the proposed World Food Summit and the suggested ways of how best to finance these. My delegation wishes to state its unwavering support for the statement made by the distinguished delegate of Burkina Faso on behalf of the African group of countries. However, I wish to submit one or two additional comments with respect to the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for the 1996-97 biennium.

FAO's mandate is focused on the most basic problems facing the majority of mankind, namely, hunger, malnutrition, poverty and natural resource degradation. My delegation therefore believes that the new FAO administration should be given a chance to tackle these problems vigorously. Furthermore, Mr Chairman, my delegation believes that FAO cannot continue patting itself on the back as a centre of excellence when millions of people in Africa and elsewhere are drifting back to the cycle of hunger, malnutrition and poverty. In other words, the final test of FAO's effectiveness will be in the reduction or elimination of these basic problems. To achieve these ends FAO will require resources, irrespective of any arguments that may be advanced for a reduced budget. It is in that spirit that my delegation strongly advocates consensus, and possibly even unanimity, in adopting the report of the joint meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees.

We further wish to urge the Council to encourage the Director-General and his staff to proceed to the next stage of finalization of the full Programme of Work and Budget based on the principle of zero growth already agreed.

In this regard, Mr Chairman we applaud the Director-General for incorporating cost-saving measures in the development of the entire budget for the 1996-97 biennium. The zero growth budget presented for consideration by the Council is already a trimmed budget, reflecting stringent controls in a number of areas of expenditure. While we recognize the difficulties encountered by some member countries in meeting their financial obligations to FAO because of constraints in their domestic budgets, extreme caution should be employed in any move to further streamline this budget in response to the limited financial resources now at our disposal. Any reduction in the FAO Programme of Work, particularly at field level, would undoubtedly dilute the Organization's impact and further jeopardize the lives of millions of beneficiaries who are the targets of these programmes.

Mr Chairman, my delegation attaches special importance to the technical and economic programmes embraced in Major Programme 2.1: Agriculture Production and Support Systems; Major Programme 2.1: Food and Agriculture Policy and Development; Major Programme 2.3: Fisheries; Major Programme 2.4: Forestry; and Major Programme 2.5: Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts. Other activities which we believe are of cardinal importance in the FAO agenda include Major Programme 3.3: Field Operations and 4.1: Technical Cooperation Programme. Should there be any contemplation or decision to revise this Programme of Work and Budget, my delegation submits that the present budgetary levels for these activities should be maintained or revised upwards. Otherwise, we endorse the Programme of Work and Budget for the 1996-97 biennium as submitted.

Fernando RAS (Argentina): Gracias, señor Presidente. Seré sumamente breve. La Delegación Argentina desea agradecer a la Secretaría la labor realizada en la confección de los Informes sobre el Presupuesto 1996-1997, tarea que se llevó a cabo en circunstancias difíciles para la Organización. Se desea, sin embargo, señalar que, a nuestro juicio, los resultados del ejercicio son insuficientes, y sólo pueden considerarse un valioso primer intento de poner a la FAO a tono con los tiempos que corren. Los logros alcanzados por el Gobierno de mi país en el mantenimiento de un estricto control de sus errogaciones y equilibrio de las cuentas públicas, son de amplia difusión. En este contexto, la República Argentina se propone cumplir con las obligaciones internacionales contraídas, pero también entiende que la Organización debe realizar todos los esfuerzos posibles tendentes a aumentar la efectividad de su operatoria, en un marco que no conlleve un aumento de las cuotas de los Estados Miembros en ejercicios futuros.

Se entiende que ese esfuerzo debe realizarse no sólo en lo referido a los ajustes administrativos que ayudan a una mejor productividad de los recursos financieros disponibles -no hay duda de que todos compartimos esta aspiración-, sino que, fundamentalmente debemos continuar la tarea ya iniciada de priorización de funciones. La revisión y adecuación de las labores que desarrolla la Organización, su rol normativo, la complementariedad con otros órganos internacionales y sus funciones de asesoramiento para el desarrollo de políticas y de asistencia técnica son tareas que deben continuar profundizándose en los diferentes comités y grupos intergubernamentales.

Señor Presidente, los objetivos que fueron encomendados a la FAO hace 50 años, siguen necesitando urgente atención; no será fácil, pero nuestra responsabilidad es encontrar la mejor forma de atenderlos con los recursos efectivamente disponibles en la Organización.

Juan NUIRY SANCHEZ (Cuba): Muchas gracias, señor Presidente. La estrategia de la alimentación y la agricultura, no puede suponer una separación de sus acciones; todo lo contrario, es por esto que conduce al establecimiento y fortalecimiento de la Cooperación. La dimensión entre regiones no puede prever una acción separada, pues, entre otras consideraciones, habitamos un mismo mundo, en el que las medidas que se adoptan apuntan cada vez más directamente a la supervivencia misma del hombre. Jamás en la historia de la humanidad se había producido una agresión tan generalizada y destructiva contra el equilibrio de todos los sistemas del planeta. Tan solo por hacer referencia a uno, la agricultura y el medio ambiente ha pasado de la periferia al centro mismo del debate técnico y a la toma de decisiones; pero esas tomas de decisiones no deberían ser bilaterales sino multilaterales. Hemos reiterado que no es posible desconocer la importancia que tiene, para la mejora de las condiciones de vida de los países en desarrollo, la elevación del nivel científico-técnico, y las iniciativas viables que combinen e introduzcan nuevos conceptos en la esfera de la capacitación, divulgación, información, intercambio, labores en el campo, etcétera. Llevar esta acción a la práctica es a su vez una necesidad indispensable para las metas nacionales de desarrollo. Hemos repetido que de todo esto se desprende que el papel de la FAO ha sido, es y debe continuar siendo, el ejercicio de ese liderazgo.

En intervenciones anteriores nos hemos referido a la necesidad e importancia de la FAO como organismo multilateral, en el entendido de que todo lo que contribuya a mantener el subdesarrollo, el hambre y la pobreza, contribuye igualmente a que se mantenga una violación flagrante de los principios más acuciantes de necesidad universal, y contribuye a profundizar las diferencias a costa de un orden económico mundial injusto y desigual.

También recordamos, señor Presidente, lo señalado en estas sesiones sobre la llamada fatiga de ayuda. Próximamente se cumplirán 50 años de la utilización de la bomba atómica en Asia; prácticamente 50 años después se ha lanzado en esta sala otra, al inicio de este tema en la sesión de la mañana. Ojalá que los efectos negativos y las secuelas dejadas por aquel holocausto no resulten iguales, pues al enfrentar esto con realismo político, pocas posibilidades se ofrecen, por lo inesperado.

Por el momento, señor Presidente, nos pronunciamos por el cumplimiento de los compromisos contraídos. Manifestamos nuestro apoyo a la FAO, a su universalidad, como citó Honduras, a su justa, humana y virtual función, a su obligado y coyuntural enfoque económico, aspectos que entiende nuestra Delegación ya han sido señalados, pero no podríamos dejar de reiterar nuestro firme apoyo a su actual Dirección y al conjunto de medidas elaboradas por el Dr. Diouf en su loable gestión y en la alta profesionalidad de sus funcionarios. Queremos destacar también la particular significación que le asignamos a la Cumbre Mundial, magno evento a realizar el próximo año.

Por lo demás, ayer manifestamos claramente nuestra posición y hoy sólo queremos ratificarla. Para ahorrar palabras y con el propósito de brevedad, Sr. Presidente, sólo nos resta sumarnos, en este sentido, a lo expresado ayer por el distinguido Embajador de Colombia, y a la significativa exposición de hoy del Representante de Burkina Faso, en nombre de la región africana.

Vernon DOUGLAS (Trinidad and Tobago): Trinidad and Tobago is represented on the Programme Committee and our initial views on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1996/97 are already incorporated in the Report of the 72nd Session of the Programme Committee in Document CL 108/14. Our remarks at this time will therefore be brief. As usual, Mr Chairman, in including these remarks we are also speaking on behalf of the thirteen member states of CARICOM.

Trinidad and Tobago endorses the priorities identified in Document CL 108/3. The more detailed information provided under Major Programmes suggest a comprehensive and carefully conceptualized programme that should address the important needs of members, especially in developing countries.

While I do not intend to go into the details of the Programme of Work, I would just like to highlight the people-focused programmes which are included in Major Programmes 2.5, Contributions to Sustainable Development and Special Programme Thrusts. In particular, I must mention the following sub-programmes: Education, Extension and Training, Women in Agriculture and Rural Development, Peoples' Participation, Land Tenure and Settlement and Rural Development.

These are all programme areas of considerable interest to my country as we attempt to give greater recognition to the importance of development of human resources and people's institutions in the agricultural development process.

Mr Chairman, the question of budget is a very difficult one to deal with. We have noted that in order to deal with budget limitations some areas of work have already been designated as low priority. This is in addition to various measures to improve cost-effectiveness in delivery of services.

In this period of restraint in public sector spending in most countries any proposals to increase contributions to FAO will very likely meet with some resistance. At the same time, the consequences of any reduction in the services provided by FAO must also be considered. Many of these services are vital to the agricultural development and food security of the developing countries.

In the countries of CARICOM where agriculture is still a major contributor to GDP and a major source of employment and, where significant pockets of malnutrition and poverty still exist, any reduction in the services of FAO is cause for concern.

Mr Chairman, my delegation feels that the zero real growth framework within which the Summary Programme of Work and Budget has been prepared already represents a high degree of compromise. As the debate leading to the determination of the Programme of Work and Budget continues, it is essential that polarization be eschewed and a consensus approach be actively fostered. This will provide the Director-General with the best chance of implementing a package of proposals which addresses the needs of

our country. However, such consensus should be based on active support of the Director-General's position since it is in our self-interest that the Director-General continues to pursue a path aimed at mobilizing increased development funds for agriculture, fisheries and hunger and poverty alleviation.

The zero real growth budget is the very least we can afford to accept at this time. In so far as the regulations of the Organization are concerned, this must be funded by assessed contributions. Accordingly we endorse the Director-General's proposals. This endorsement is also given on behalf of the CARICOM countries.

Wilberforce A. SAKIRA (Uganda): Thank you very much, Mr Chairman. Uganda would like to associate itself fully with the views expressed by the delegation of Burkina Faso on behalf of the members of the Council and observers from Africa on this Agenda item.

However, we would like to offer a few observations, Mr Chairman, to supplement what has already been stated.

Mr Chairman, Uganda endorses the zero real growth budget and the principle of excluding payment of arrears in determination of assessments of Member Nations as proposed by the Director-General. Our delegation appreciates the initiatives taken by the Director-General in restructuring the Organization as endorsed by the Council at its 106th Session.

Mr Chairman, Uganda strongly supports the programmes or activities focusing on food production and food security. Consequently the Special Programme for Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-income Food-deficit Countries and the Emergency Prevention System, EMPRES, for transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases as well as IPM, Integrated Pest Management, Improved Water use and support to the expansion of irrigation, aquaculture development, and the World Food Summit have our strong support.

Mr Chairman, our delegation regards the Technical Cooperation Programme, TCP, as the life-blood of developing countries. It is regrettable, however, that resources for TCP have not been increased, contrary to Resolution 9/89 which stipulated that resources for TCP would account for 17 percent of the total effective budget.

We also support the following programmes, Mr Chairman, among those accorded high priority: the first one is a follow-up to UNCED and Sustainable Development; and the second is a Collection, Analysis, Interpretation, and Dissemination of information.

We would like to state that the following programmes are very important to our delegation, and it is a pity that they do not fall either in the high or lower priority areas. Under forestry, we have wood support programme;, Planting and Genetic Resources; Forestry Conservation, wildlife and contribution to food security;, Community Forestry Development. And under fisheries are the following, Mr Chairman:, that is Fish Production;, that is Utilization and Marketing. And, Mr Chairman, we feel that, in general, FAO should give more attention to issues regarding research and. technology development and livestock production, but as of now we feel that there is very little work, especially in livestock sector.

Mr Chairman, we hope that USA will revise its decision regarding reduction of financial resources to FAO as this will have far-reaching implications and repercussions on the activities of the Organization and the entire United Nations system in the years to come. Finally, with those remarks we endorse the proposed Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1996-97.

Mohammad Saeed NOURI-NAEEMI (Iran, Islamic Republic of): Thank you, Mr Chairman for giving me the floor. At the outset I would like to support the statement presented by the distinguished delegate of Egypt on behalf of the G 77.

Mr Chairman, being the last speaker gives me the opportunity to be brief and selective. Distinguished delegates who have spoken before me extensively and deeply covered all aspects of the issue under

consideration. I only touch upon a few general items. As regards the 1996/97 budget, it should be emphasized that we were talking about simultaneous resource allocating and financing of our Organization, our Organization's programme.

As far as resource allocation is concerned, we are facing an objective function subject to a series of constraints including financial limitations. The optimal solution will consist of simultaneous maximization of the objectives and minimization of the costs. Considering each item separately will not lead us to an optimum solution and might introduce serious distortions. In other words, if we are serious in our objective of providing opportunities for attaining a minimum food security for the 800 million existing hungry population of the world and an additional 300 million in the near future, we have to meet certain financial obligations below which this objective is not attainable.

Of course, achieving the highest cost-efficiency raised by so many delegations is a very legimate argument and not only should receive most attention by the Secretariat but it should be documented and demonstrated to all Member States. Beyond this any cost reduction might be a distortion to the minimum, to the optimum solution, and therefore, unadvisable. In light of this fact, my delegation fully supports the proposed programme for biennium 1996/97 and considers it a minimum in achieving long-run food security objectives supported so many times almost by all the Member States in different FAO meetings. Identification of low-level priority areas by the Director-General is an excellent initiative and is highly commended by my delegation.

Mr Chairman, to be brief, as I promised, I summarize the recommendations of my delegation as follows:

First, we fully support the principle of zero real growth for the budget and consider any further budget cut as a setback to the FAO's responsibilty to help developing member countries to achieve a minimum level of food security, the most important human right.

Second, in preparing the budget the Secretariat should not count on the arrears as a financial source because the Organization's past experiences show that this endangers the whole programme.

Third, further savings on publication emphasized by several distinguished delegates should not be extended too far. The majority of the publications are excellent sources of transfer of knowledge and know-how to developing countries of the world.

Fourth, reduction of subsidies to some particular programmes is a potential area for savings, given that those do not endanger the very existence of these activities.

Fifth, promoting FAO to a centre of excellence is not a luxury; it is an essential prerequisite for proper implementation of future field works and should receive due attention.

Sixth, the TCDC programme is an effective and cheap way of cooperative development and should receive high priority in the programme of the Organization.

Finally, Mr Chairman, there is a Persian proverb which says "Friendship would be best shown in the face of hardship. In prosperity everybody is a friend." Mr Chairman, my country has tried very hard to prove its friendship to FAO in spite of foreign exchange difficulties and devaluation of domestic money arising from structural adjustment programmes during the past year - that's May 1994 to May 1995. Our contribution to the Organization has exceeded $6 million, and we are decided to continue our efforts in the same direction in the future. Once again, Mr Chairman, thank you.

EL PRESIDENTE: Con esto concluimos la lista de oradores del Consejo. Tengo, además, una lista de observadores, pero antes de pasar a ellos pregunto si alguna otra Delegación desea hacer uso de la palabra. Como veo que no, se la otorgo al observador de Argelia.

Nasreddine RIMOUCHE (Observateur de l'Algérie): Je commence mon intervention avec l'appui de la déclaration du Burkina Faso qui l'a prononcée lau nom du groupe africain.

La délégation algérienne, qui participe au conseil en qualité d'observateur, s'identifie à la déclaration de M. Jacques Diouf prononcée à l'occasion de l'ouverture des travaux de cette session, qui a su avec conviction présenter d'une part la réalité de l'Organisation avec en toile de fond une crise financière et d'autre part les réalisations effectuées dans le cadre des changements et de la restructuration.

A l'heure de l'évaluation préliminaire de la mise en oeuvre de ces réformes, une année après leur adoption, il est réconfortant de constater que les différentes recommandations de restructuration portant tant sur le programme que sur la gestion administrative, ont connu un début d'application prometteur.

Ma délégation est reconnaissante au Directeur général pour la préparation du Sommaire du Programme de travail de budget pour l'exercice 1996-97. Elle tient aussi à exprimer son appréciation aux Présidents du Comité du Programme et du Comité Financier pour leur précieux apport à l'examen du sommaire lors de leurs réunions respectives et de leur session conjointe.

Dans son intervention du 5 juin 1995, le Directeur général a mis à juste titre l'accent sur la situation financière actuelle de l'Organisation. Nous partageons ses préoccupations devant les contraintes qu'elle fait gravement peser sur la gestion du Programme en cours et le financement des activités du prochain Programme de travail de l'Organisation.

Nous craignons que la persistance des incertitudes financières ne remette en cause la mise en oeuvre ordonnée et équilibrée des mesures retenues pour améliorer l'efficience des activités de notre Organisation.

Nous regrettons la persistance de cette crise et nous estimons que la présente session se doit de focaliser son attention et de porter ses efforts sur la recherche de solutions durables pour mettre fin au problème de l'incertitude financière.

Nous pensons que l'une des premières mesures à cet égard consiste dans le respect par les Etats Membres de leurs obligations financières. Les Etats Membres doivent également déployer des efforts supplémentaires pour s'acquitter le plus rapidement possible de leurs arriérés. Dans cet esprit, nous nous félicitons de l'attitude positive prise récemment par certains Etats Membres de remplir leurs engagements financiers à l'égard du budget de l'Organisation, ce qui a permis d'améliorer la trésorerie de l'Organisation.

Ma délégation est pleinement consciente de la vulnérabilité de l'Organisation du fait de l'importance de la contribution d'un Etat Membre, et considère, au vu de la persistance de la crise financière, qu'il est nécessaire d'entamer une réflexion sur les moyens susceptibles de mettre l'Organisation à l'abri des pressions financières et sauvegarder son fonctionnement.

Au moment où l'Organisation est davantage sollicitée par les Etats Membres, et notamment les pays en développement, où la situation alimentaire de l'Afrique est plus critique que jamais, un projet de budget pour le biennium 1996-97 nous est soumis avec une croissance réelle nulle. Cet état de chose suscite des doutes quant à la capacité de l'Organisation de s'acquitter convenablement des activités et programmes décidés par ses organes délibérants, alors qu'on enregistre un accroissement des coûts.

Nous estimons que dans la mesure où le projet de budget est établi dans une situation de crise, donc de transition de par sa nature, il ne peut être considéré comme constituant une tradition pour l'élaboration du Programme de travail et budget que le Directeur général aura à proposer pour le biennium 1998-1999.

Ma délégation appuie la recommandation du Comité Financier et du Comité du Programme relative au niveau général du budget en prenant en considération l'indication du Secrétariat de l'Organisation lors de la session conjointe des deux Comités tenue en janvier, qu'il aura à proposer dans le courant de l'année des estimations révisées des coûts.

A titre préliminaire, et sous réserve d'un examen plus avant, nous sommes heureux de relever que le Sommaire du Programme de travail et budget fait justice de certaines préoccupations exprimées par les Comités Financier et du Programme.

Nous avons noté avec satisfaction la primauté accordée au Programme spécial: production alimentaire à l'appui de la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier.

Tout en tenant compte avec satisfaction de la priorité accordée par le Directeur général au Programme de Coopération Technique, ma délégation se pose la question de savoir de quelle façon cette priorité est reflétée dans le Sommaire. Elle remarque avec regret que le Programme n'a pas bénéficié d'une augmentation telle que celle recommandée par la Conférence en 1989.

Ma délégation note avec satisfaction les déclarations du Directeur général visant à étendre les champs d'action initiaux à d'autres zones géographiques du système de prévention et de réponse rapide contre les ravageurs et les maladies transfrontières des animaux et des plantes. Il convient de rappeler que la lutte préventive mérite une attention particulière et que des ressources doivent être consacrées à la poursuite des actions de lutte intégrée contre le criquet pèlerin.

Nous ne devons pas permettre que les activités ordonnées et coordonnées actuellement en cours soient compromises. Force est cependant de reconnaître que nous n'avons pas retrouvé dans le Sommaire la concentration souhaitée sur la lutte préventive contre le criquet pèlerin et les mesures à suivre pour assurer une poursuite de cette lutte. Le Sommaire aurait certainement gagné en substance s'il s'était inspiré des exigences des situations actuelles qui prévalent dans les régions de l'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Nord-Ouest. Depuis 1993 les exigences du financement, une avancée plus audacieuse de la prise en charge de ce problème crucial aurait dû trouver avantageusement des expressions plus résolues. Par ailleurs, la réaffirmation du rôle central de la FAO dans l'articulation des activités de lutte est la bienvenue. A cet effet, il serait nécessaire qu'un fonds de réserve soit créé afin de permettre d'assurer le financement des activités de lutte dans les situations d'urgence, pour reprendre la proposition du Groupe des 77 et de la Tunisie.

Enfin, le Sommaire a mis en relief les nombreux domaines de priorité et les domaines d'un rang de priorité moindre. Les propositions qui ont été formulées ont leur pertinence, mais elles auraient gagné à être revues en fonction des propositions faites par notre délégation dans le cadre du Comité du Programme, à savoir l'importance du Programme 2.1.3 pour l'élevage, du Programme 2.2.1 pour la nutrition et du Programme 2.5.1 développant le transfert de technologies.

Nous insistons sur le rôle à jouer par la FAO dans le cadre des analyses et des études à mener pour les répercussions des accords de l'Uruguay sur les pays en développement et les pays importateurs nets de produits de base, ainsi que l'assistance à fournir à ces pays sous un aspect technique et financier.

A l'évidence, le Sommaire constitue une contribution importante à l'élaboration du Programme de travail et budget qui aura pour effet de donner une impulsion significative à l'action de notre Organisation en tant que cadre où s'harmonisent les efforts des Etats Membres vers les fins communes les plus nobles. Ce Sommaire a le mérite d'indiquer le chemin et il appartient maintenant à toutes les bonnes volontés de s'y engager.

Mohamed Said Mohamed ALI HARBY (Observer for Sudan): First and foremost, I wish to express my support for the genuine points raised by the Chairman of the G 77 and for the strong statement presented by Burkina Faso on behalf of the African Group. However, I have a brief and specific message on behalf of my delegation.

My delegation considers the Special Programme on Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries to be a vital element in our struggle to increase food production and to achieve food security. The way in which this Programme has been conceived and is being implemented convinces us of its potential success. This can only be achieved if the Programme is pursued with full vigour and in a timely manner, and it can be done only if the Programme is supported by adequate resources.

Mr Chairman, if there is one concern of paramount importance to the low-income food-deficit countries, it is the achievement of food security. Therefore, it deserves maximum priority in FAO's programmes. This fact was well recognized by the Member Nations of the Organization when the FAO Council at its 106th Session in May 1994 approved by consensus the Director-General's proposal to launch the Special Programme, with the resource shifts necessary for this purpose.

Therefore, Mr Chairman, we hope that the final version of the Programme of Work and Budget will include adequate financial provisions for the Special Programme.

Jacob Bernard POSTERS (Observer for the Netherlands): Mr Chairman, I shall be brief as usual. The announcement of the largest contributor that a new era is beginning raises the question what sort of era we have to look forward to. My delegation is of the opinion that the Member States of this important Organization are equal. However, to paraphrase George Orwell in his novel Animal Farm, "some are more equal than others". To apply this to FAO, one might translate Orwell in the sense that certain Member States have a heavy responsibility to this Organization. In our opinion, no single Member State can unilaterally take the decision not to honour its obligation with regard to the payment of its annual contribution. In our opinion, this is unacceptable in principle.

Mr Chairman, my country continues to support the principle of a budget based on zero real growth, like many of us. Further, we welcome the approach of the Director-General to return to sound financial management by excluding arrears that seem irrecoverable within the budget period.

In studying the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, my delegation was struck by two points. Firstly, the fact that no figures can be provided for the past biennium, thereby not allowing us to make a comparison between past and future; secondly, the appearance of lower priorities. I will briefly comment on each of these points.

During the COAG and the meetings of the other technical committees, my delegation expressed its concern about the lack of figures for the various programmes and priorities. Mr Wade in his introduction gave a clear explanation for why these figures cannot be provided now. Nevertheless, we hope to see such figures in two years' time. My second point concerns the introduction of lower priorities. My delegation appreciates this development in principle and considers it a courageous one. The remark in chapter 1.8 concerning "sharpening the perception of the FAO as a centre of excellence in its mandated areas through high-quality outputs" is fully endorsed by my delegation. UNCED and its follow-up activities will also have to play a central role in the activities of this Organization. The main priority areas, food security and production, follow-up to UNCED and sustainable development, policy advice, data collection and analysis, technical assistance to international trade and field activities, are very well in line with the Netherlands' position with regard to FAO.

For my country, however, it is difficult to accept the ranking of rural development as a low priority. During the last conferences my country pointed repeatedly to the importance of this Programme. Further, it is difficult to believe that Women in Development and People's Participation came out of the questionnaire as low priorities. I would appreciate some clarification on this point.

Finally, my delegation would like to put on record its disagreement with the remarks made by some delegations concerning support costs for Trust Fund activities. These remarks are, in our view, based on a misinterpretation of the cost measurement study. This study does not take into account the extent to which the Regular Programme benefits from the Field Programme funded through Trust Funds. They are considerable and we are not at all convinced that there is a subsidy from the Regular Programme to the Field Programme. Actually, we would not be surprised if we could quantify these benefits; it would be the other way round. The Netherlands, being the major donor to the Trust Fund activities, is for that reason not prepared to increase the percentage that it pays for support costs. We made this clear during the 1993 Conference and this remains our position. However, we strongly support the approach that the Director-General has proposed that savings are to be made in the support costs themselves.

Moussa Bocar LY (Observateur du Sénégal): Le Ministre sénégalais de l'agriculture lui-même a donné l'appui de mon pays au programme travail et budget à croissance réelle zéro bien qu'à contrecoeur en raison des réductions que cela entraîne nécessairement sur des programmes pourtant importants de cette Organisation. Je crois que la représentante de la Belgique et le représentant de la Norvège ont mis le doigt sur les questions essentielles en ce qui concerne la situation financière. Car en effet celle-ci appelle une responsabilité partagée du Secrétariat et des Etats Membres. Du Secrétariat, il nous semble qu'en réalité depuis notre cent sixième session du Conseil, il a montré la voie. En effet, la Conférence lui a demandé de

faire des propositions de restructuration à partir du budget déjà voté. Il a été en mesure de nous présenter des propositions que nous avons adoptées et qui permettent une rationalisation, une décentralisation et une réduction des dépenses administratives que nous devons saluer. De même, en recherchant la règle financière saine le Secrétariat a mis le doigt sur le fait qu'on ne devrait pas utiliser les arriérés pour financer le budget et pourtant c'est ce qui a été fait les années passées par nos propres Etats Membres ici représentés. Il nous semble que l'on doive rechercher d'un autre côté quelle est la responsabilité des Etats Membres. Les Etats Membres se trouvent aujourd'hui devant la nécessité de prendre un budget à croissance réelle zéro et pourtant handicapé par des arriérés de contributions et également mis en difficulté par certaines déclarations sur des possibilités de réduction de contributions importantes.

Il nous faut donc nous arrêter un moment pour nous interroger sur notre propre responsabilité car en réalité le succès ou l'échec de la FAO serait le succès ou l'échec à la fois des Etats Membres et du Secrétariat qui l'anime sous nos directives.

Cela me permet d'en venir à l'analyse qu'a faite le représentant du Chili, et que je partage, selon laquelle nous gagnerions à avoir une FAO efficace avec des ressources suffisantes pour lui permettre de réaliser les objectifs pour lesquels nous l'avons créée. Pourquoi cela? Parce que les opérations d'urgence et de maintien de la paix montrent qu'elle draine des ressources considérables d'importants Etats Membres. Or, la FAO, en menant la lutte contre la malnutrition et la faim dans le monde, permet de faire une opération de prévention. Par conséquent en finançant la FAO nous serions bénéficiaires car nous ferions par là même des économies. Il serait bon de privilégier la prévention avant de pouvoir englober des ressources importantes dans des opérations de sauvegarde. Il nous semble donc que cette analyse mérite de retenir l'attention de votre Conseil.

L'Afrique, en ce qui la concerne, bien que durement frappée par la crise économique internationale, malgré ses efforts énormes, a décidé, comme l'a dit la représentante Son Excellence l'Ambassadeur du Burkina Faso, de faire des efforts pour honorer ses engagements. Nous voudrions lancer un appel à tous ceux qui sont ici présents pour qu'ils honorent également leurs engagements et pour que notre Organisation puisse réaliser les objectifs pour lesquels nous l'avons créée car si nous devons repenser nous-mêmes les objectifs fondamentaux que nous devons assigner à la FAO ce serait me semble-t-il un chemin complexe et dangereux qui nous serait tracé mais je crois que votre Conseil a les ressources nécessaires pour pouvoir assurer un sursaut vers le consensus nécessaire que l'on doit rechercher et qui pourrait d'ailleurs être poursuivi d'ici la Conférence et impliquer l'ensemble des Etats que nous sommes.

Souhaib Deen BANGOURA (Observateur de la Guinée): Ma délégation remercie le Secrétariat pour son document exhaustif. Notre porte-parole du groupe africain a exprimé ce matin ce que nous pensions et nous estimons que l'essentiel a été dit. Le document qui nous est soumis est un pôle d'attraction de toutes les activités de notre Organisation. Le programme budget proposé par le Directeur général, notamment les priorités dans le programme sur la sécurité alimentaire, à savoir le programme spécial sur la production à l'appui de la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier, cette priorité a déjà reçu le soutien du Conseil. A cet effet il faudrait y affecter davantage de ressources, l'objectif visé étant de permettre aux pays d'atteindre l'autosuffisance alimentaire en développant leur production locale tant en qualité qu'en stabilité, réduisant ainsi leur indépendance à l'importation des produits alimentaires et vis-à-vis de l'aide alimentaire, contribuant également à l'emploi et à l'augmentation des ressources.

Ma délégation appuie sans ambages le programme et le budget proposés par le Directeur général. Ma délégation renforce la position du Directeur général et se rallie à la proposition du groupe africain.

Il est regrettable que la délégation des Etats-Unis soit descendue du train à mi-chemin, mais nous osons espérer qu'en dépit des apparences elle parviendra à réviser sa position.

EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias distinguido Observador de Guinea. Me corresponde ahora pedirle al señor Director General de la FAO que ofrezca sus reacciones al debate.

Tiene usted la palabra señor Director General.

LE DIRECTEUR GENERAL: Monsieur le Président, honorables délégués, je voudrais d'abord remercier le Président d'avoir bien voulu me donner la parole.

J'ai tenu à assister personnellement depuis ce matin à ce débat pour pouvoir vous écouter et surtout pouvoir vous entendre. Cette discussion est fondamentale car elle va déterminer l'avenir de cette Organisation.

Vous m'avez fait le très grand honneur de m'élever par votre vote à la fonction de Directeur général de la FAO. Ce faisant, vous m'avez chargé d'une responsabilité, et cette responsabilité j'entends l'assumer. J'entends l'assumer d'abord en respectant le principe fondamental d'universalisme qui est le fondement de notre institution. J'entends l'assumer en veillant à ce que les objectifs de cette institution, tels que fixés par ses pères fondateurs, puissent se réaliser. Cela suppose d'abord que je tienne compte de l'avis de toutes les parties. Il y a des pays qui ont une préférence particulière pour les actions normatives et je le comprends. Cela correspond à leur stade de développement et à leur intérêt national. Il y a des pays pour lesquels ce qui est important c'est ce que nous faisons concrètement dans leur pays pour le développement, de l'agriculture et des capacités à produire les aliments qui sont nécessaires à leurs besoins. Le Directeur général ne peut donner la priorité à une action au détriment de l'autre.

Je voudrais dire aussi que ce principe d'universalisme m'impose d'essayer de rechercher le consensus. Mais en dernière analyse le consensus est de votre responsabilité puisque c'est vous, les Etats, qui allez prendre les décisions. Mon rôle est de faciliter et d'encourager ce consensus. A cet égard je voudrais remercier les délégations qui ont pris la peine de venir discuter avec moi leur position, parfois même discuter avec moi de leur projet de déclaration, parce que ces délégations ont bien compris que je suis là pour l'ensemble des Etats et que je suis là pour leur donner objectivement mon avis et mon sentiment.

Je voudrais dire aussi que vous m'avez demandé, lors de ma prise de fonctions, de vous indiquer les voies que nous devions emprunter pour realiser les objectifs que cette Organisation s'est assignés. Vous m'avez demandé de procéder à la restructuration de cette Organisation. Vous m'avez demandé de réaménager les ressources de cette Organisation. Je l'ai fait et vous avez eu la bonté d'accepter à l'unanimité ces propositions. Je ne peux pas, six mois après, remettre en cause tout ce qui a été décidé à l'unanimité. Une institution doit être cohérente elle ne peut pas prendre des décisions, et trois jours après aller à droite, et quelques jours après aller à gauche, revenir en arrière, ce n'est pas dans ces conditions que nous allons bâtir quelque chose de cohérent. En essayant de mettre en oeuvre vos directives nous veillerons à le faire avec le plus grand professionnalisme possible, cela ne veut pas dire que nous ne ferons pas des erreurs, nous ne sommes que des êtres humains et nous sommes prêts à reconnaître nos erreurs, nous sommes prêts à écouter des avis et des conseils et surtout nous sommes prêts à travailler avec vous pour éviter les erreurs. Si donc sur un programme ou une activité il y a des possibilités d'amélioration nous vous demandons, s'il vous plaît, de n'être pas seulement des observateurs mais des acteurs du succès de ces programmes. Compte tenu de mon devoir de loyauté à vos égards, je ne peux pas ne pas vous dire que la situation de cette institution n'est pas aisée. Quand j'ai pris mes fonctions le premier janvier 1994, j'ai dû, comme cela est naturel, attendre quelques mois pour que les comptes soient finalisés et à l'issue de cette finalisation des comptes je me suis rendu compte que j'avais, au départ, un déficit de 42,2 millions de dollars. En étudiant plus avant la structure financière de l'Organisation, j'ai réalisé que l'on avait établi un budget dont le financement devait être assuré pour 38 millions de dollars par le paiement d'arriérés qui aujourd'hui ne se sont pas matérialisés et, si les informations que nous avons sont justes, il y a très peu de chances pour que cela se matérialise avant la fin de l'exercice budgétaire. Je me suis donc trouvé chargé de mettre en oeuvre un programme avec 80,2 millions de dollars de déficit.

Je voudrais, là aussi, parler très franchement à certains de nos amis qui sont intervenus et qui disent qu'ils ne comprennent pas pourquoi il y eu des retards dans les recrutements et qu'il faut revoir le système. Il n'y a aucun système à revoir. Il y a eu des retards parce que je n'avais pas de quoi payer le personnel; ce n'est pas une question de système. Si j'avais exécuté à cent pour cent le budget en accélérant les procédures de recrutement, nous aurions terminé cet exercice budgétaire avec 80 millions de dollars de déficit. J'ai pensé qu'il était de ma responsabilité de ne pas m'en tenir strictement à l'autorisation qui m'était donnée de dépenser, y compris en utilisant des emprunts. J'ai estimé que je devais faire cet effort afin d'absorber les coûts et de diminuer les dépenses.

J'ai fait la même chose pour pouvoir dégager des ressources afin de lancer les deux programmes prioritaires relatifs à la sécurité alimentaire et à la lutte préventive contre les ravageurs et contre les maladies des plantes et des animaux. Je suis prêt - parce que c'est mon devoir - à continuer d'étudier les moyens par lesquels on pourrait faire des économies. Mais il y a aussi, il faut le dire, de fausses économies. Quand on me dit: "Dans tel pays, il faut faire un regroupement avec les Nations Unies", c'est une excellente idée mais quand, dans ce pays, les locaux nous sont déjà fournis gratuitement et que, si je me joins aux Nations Unies, j'aurai une contribution à payer pour les loyers, dois-je le faire?

On me dit que l'on pourrait faire appel à des consultants. Mais les consultants coûtent cher et je ne suis pas convaincu qu'un consultant quelconque puisse nous fournir le remède miracle pour diminuer les dépenses dans nos budgets. Cela est de notre responsabilité, au niveau des Etats Membres et à celui du Secrétariat de l'Organisation. Il est de notre responsabilité de dire ce qu'il faut diminuer au profit de ce qu'il faudra augmenter.

Nous avons respecté le processus normal de consultation pour arriver à un budget de consensus. Nous avons commencé avec un document préliminaire qui prévoyait 16 pour cent d'augmentation des contributions à l'intérieur d'un budget à croissance zéro réelle. Après avoir entendu vos opinions, ce budget a été diminué et celui que nous avons présenté au Comité du Programme et au Comité financier ne prévoyait plus que 11,7 pour cent d'augmentation des contributions. Nous avons pris l'engagement, à cette réunion, de continuer à faire les efforts nécessaires pour que, lorsque nous arriverons à la présentation du projet de budget détaillé, nous fassions encore davantage d'économies parce que, en discutant avec vous et écoutant vos suggestions, nous nous rendons compte qu'il y a des domaines où l'on peut encore faire des efforts; et, je le répète, nous allons le faire et essayer de vous présenter un projet de budget encore plus réduit.

Mais l'on ne peut pas non plus ignorer le fait que le budget de la FAO, au cours de ces dernières années, est celui qui a entraîné l'augmentation des contributions des Etats la plus basse dans tout le système des Nations Unies. Je voudrais rappeler ces chiffres: l'augmentation du taux de contribution de 1990-91 à 1994-95 a été de 41,60 pour cent pour l'Organisation internationale du travail, 32,23 pour cent pour l'OMS, 23,60 pour cent pour l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique, 22,87 pour cent pour l'Unesco, 19,50 pour cent pour les Nations Unies, 17,55 pour cent pour l'ONUDI, et seulement 11,49 pour cent pour la FAO.

Voilà comment on a mis des moyens à la disposition de l'Organisation qui a la responsabilité d'aider à régler les problèmes de l'alimentation dans le monde et de s'occuper de ce qui constitue la base de l'existence humaine, à savoir les ressources végétales, animales, halieutiques, forestières, tout ce qui fait notre écologie et tout ce qui fait l'environnement dans lequel nous vivons. On ne peut pas ignorer tout cela, on ne peut pas regarder vers l'avenir sans savoir le chemin qu'on a parcouru; et si nous comprenons bien qu'il y a une nouvelle conjoncture internationale et qu'il faut nous adapter à cette réalité, il faut aussi que nous réalisions que nous avons un objectif, une foi, une conviction et que, pour obtenir des résultats, les moyens nécessaires doivent nous être fournis.

Encore une fois, je voudrais exprimer ma gratitude aux Etats Membres qui ont positivement répondu à mon appel lorsque, il y a deux mois, j'ai indiqué que nous étions dans une situation difficile. En deux mois, 62 millions de dollars de contributions ont été payés par les Etats Membres et, au cours de cet exercice budgétaire, 36 millions d'arriérés ont été payés. Il y a donc des raisons d'espérer et je ne voudrais pas que quelques événements, à droite et à gauche, puissent d'une manière ou d'une autre empêcher de voir l'engagement des Etats Membres, leur volonté de servir cette institution et leur adhésion à l'esprit d'universalisme et au multilatéralisme. Soixante-deux millions de dollars payés en deux mois, c'est la preuve que nos Etats Membres croient en cette institution. C'est pour cela que, moi, j'ai la foi. Nous traversons effectivement une période difficile mais, comme je sais pouvoir compter sur vous, je n'ai pas d'inquiétude pour l'avenir. En ce qui nous concerne, nous ferons notre travail mais, là aussi, donnez-en nous le temps! Vous avez approuvé des modifications de structure et des mécanismes qui vont permettre de mettre en place des systèmes plus efficaces qui vont entraîner des économies. Cette décision a été prise il y a à peine un an; il faut l'appliquer. Je ne peux pas, dès maintenant, faire état d'économies alors que les mécanismes ne sont pas encore en place.

L'accord de coopération technique entre pays en développement, par exemple, va nous permettre d'être plus efficaces; mais il a fallu d'abord créer cet accord, le faire discuter, approuver et signer. Il faut identifier les experts dans les pays, les faire évaluer, les mettre dans des banques de données, identifier les projets. Un

agronome serait heureux de dire: "Il ne faut pas mettre la charrue avant les boeufs." Là encore, lorsque nous prenons des initiatives, il faut qu'elles s'accompagnent des ressources nécessaires. S'il vous plaît, facilitez-nous la tâche!

Nous envisageons d'ouvrir une représentation auprès du Japon. Le Japon est quand-même aujourd'hui le plus grand pays du point de vue de l'aide mondiale, si l'on exclut l'aide militaire; et nous ne sommes pas présents, dans l'un de nos pays les plus importants qui offre, en plus, des perspectives pour l'avenir, afin d'établir des contacts directs pour obtenir plus de ressources et être plus efficaces.

Nous ne pouvons pas avoir la Communauté européenne comme Membre et ne pas y être présents alors que nous savons qu'il y a là les fonds qui vont aller vers les pays d'Afrique, d'Asie et d'Amérique latine. Et là, je voudrais remercier la représentante de la Belgique parce que nous n'avons pas décidé d'appliquer cette idée sans tenir compte des coûts, nous avons sollicité les autorités belges qui ont eu la gentillesse de mettre des bureaux gratuitement à notre disposition; et les experts que nous allons envoyer là-bas ne sont pas des experts supplémentaires, ce sont des experts que nous allons redéployer.

Au-delà des apparences, il faut remarquer "la substantifique moelle", comme l'a dit un grand homme français. Et au-delà des apparences, il faut regarder le fond des choses. Nous essayons - et je dis bien "nous" parce que c'est un travail d'équipe, je ne fais qu'animer une équipe. Au sein de cette Organisation, nous avons une équipe de personnes qui croient en ce qu'elles font, qui veulent servir cette institution, qui veulent changer les choses, parce que nous n'oublierons jamais que nous sommes là pour veiller à ce qu'il n'y ait plus 800 millions de personnes qui n'ont pas accès à la nourriture, qu'il n'y ait plus 192 millions d'enfants au-dessous de cinq ans qui ont un déficit en protéines et en calories. C'est là notre raison d'être; c'est cela notre raison de vous servir. Et j'ose espérer que vous allez continuer à nous aider à le faire.

EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, Señor Director General, por sus palabras sinceras que nos han permitido tener una visión global de los datos que enfrentó usted al tomar posesión de su alto cargo, datos tanto de carácter financiero como de tipo estructural, y por esta perspectiva global de los debates del día de hoy, que depositan la responsabilidad del futuro de esta Organización de su mandato, de la seguridad alimentaria y la salvación de millones, en los Estados Miembros y sus obligaciones hacia esta Institución.

Si me permite usted, Señor Director General, le voy a pedir al Dr. Wade que haga uso de la palabra para responder a cuestiones más específicas. Tiene usted la palabra, Dr. Wade.

T. WADE (Officer-in-Charge, Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation): I would like to answer a few technical questions and make a few clarifications, if I may. There seems to be a misunderstanding about the increase of 11.7 percent in the minds of one or two delegates. As this is something you report back to your capitals on, I think it is worth clarifying. The 11.7 percent is the total increase on assessed contributions from US$620.8 million last time to US$693.2 million this time. In that there is an increase of US$31.8 million for cost increases, that is, 4.6 percent on the biennium. The total amount, US$31.8 million, expressed as a percentage of the assessments last time, US$620.8 million, is 4.6 percent. If you did that on the basis of an annualized percentage, it would be closer to three percent - three percent per annum. So if you are arguing figures back in your capitals, please do not quote the 11.7 percent as cost-increases; it is not.

The balance, as you know, is made up largely by the sum of US$ 38 million of arrears funding plus a small adjustment on miscellaneous income.

The distinguished delegate of France raised the question of grade structure, which was also raised in the Finance Committee, and compared the two figures of director posts, D-level posts, 204, to professional posts, 953, and drew certain conclusions about generals and foot soldiers. I am very grateful to the Mexican Delegation for filling in the missing information there.

From our point of view, I would like to clarify the point that the director level figure is not a number that expresses people holding managerial positions. In the United Nations system the D-l post is used extensively for senior technical staff and so, for example, if you take the Investment Centre Division it has some 20 D-l

staff members because their job is leading missions to countries and dealing with ministers of agriculture on multi-million dollar projects and not because they are in managerial positions of Division Director or Service Chief.

Similarly, included in that figure, it is worth noting that most of the FAORs hold their grade primarily because of their representational function and not because they are managing 10 or 15 other staff. In fact, if you adjust for those two factors - and you can argue about what you should adjust for - then at least those two should be adjusted for and the ratio is around seven to eight professional D-level posts which, in the normal managerial span of six persons reporting to you is not unreasonable.

I would express gratitude to the United Kingdom and to other members for suggesting ways in which we can save costs. I would like to comment that we do not sit here waiting for those suggestions, mind you. We are doing a great deal of work in this area and all of the areas that the UK mentioned, in fact, we are working on. That does not make them any less valid but I would like to make one point and that is it takes time. You cannot, for example, streamline the procedures of an organization overnight. If you do, you risk losing control. What you have to do is to study the detail and work out what is the correct way of doing things and then implement it in a controlled and sensible manner. What is being suggested, if I understand it correctly, is a US$100 million cut in the budget, say about 15 percent. That means about 500 posts being taken out of this Organization, all in a period of something like six or seven months. I do not accept the argument that that can be done simply through improving efficiency and so on in that period of time. You do not make those sort of changes in that time frame.

Turning very briefly to the question of support costs, I think most of the arguments were put. I would like to emphasize what the Director-General's response was to the last Conference. You will recall at the last Conference the previous Director-General made a proposal whereby we did increase the rate of reimbursement of support cost expenditure, that is, we asked the Trust Fund donors to pay more. That was rejected and I think rejected fairly firmly and the current Director-General was asked to go back and consult with Member Nations and determine an appropriate response. He did that. He recognized there was not consensus on this issue and he decided the only solution was to reduce costs and, in fact, there is a programme of reducing administrative and operations costs in this Organization.

There is a trial decentralization of an operating unit out to a regional office, which will substantially reduce the cost of operations, particularly because of the need for support staff in that function and, therefore, I do not think you should assume we are doing nothing. I do not think you should assume the so-called subsidy -and I have some doubts about that word - will continue to exist at past levels.

In the Programme Implementation Report you will see that at its absolute levels it has fallen very substantially. In fact, we do agree with some remarks of Member Nations that this cannot be expressed as a subsidy. It is a cost of the Organization providing services in one of its basic functions so it is legitimate to be a charge against the Organization's Regular Programme.

In the case of TCP there was one clarification I wish to make. TCP has not been reduced. What we were trying to make clear in the document was that, because of the implementation of the new arrangements for retirees, for TCDC, for TCCT and use of academics and research institutions, we have identified costs savings of round about US$4.8 million in providing the same number of person-months of services to TCP projects. In other words, the appropriation of US$82.3 million could be reduced by US$4.8 million to 77.5 million and we would still deliver the same services as we did before but we have not reduced it. We have left it at US$82.3 million which means that the purchasing power of the US$82.3 million has risen by over 6 percent and as a result I would like to emphasize there has not been a reduction. In fact, there has been an effective increase.

The distinguished delegate of France mentioned recruitment lead times and the Director-General responded to that. The only comment I would make is that if we are successful in reducing recruitment lead times, the cost of the budget goes up because the methodology for the lapse factor accepts that we would reduce the percentage reduction we make there. I hope we are successful in doing that.

On the supplementary appropriation, several questions were asked and I think the question really is where do we expect resources to come from? Quite frankly, I cannot tell you but there are two potential sources. One is that if arrears payments happened to be made in excess of the requirements needed to make a proportional reduction in the deficit, then you would be in a position of having provided funds to us which we are not authorized to spend. In other words, if we get a good flow of arrears in, however unlikely some of you may feel this to be, we have no capacity to spend those arrears unless you give us some authorization.

The second point is that it is not unknown in the history of this Organization for some Member Governments to be extraordinarily generous in providing special contributions to the Organization to assist it in certain circumstances. Again, we need some authority to spend that money; hence the concept of the supplementary appropriation.

The distinguished delegate of China asked some questions with regard to staff costs and I would be more than happy to explain them outside the meeting. In general, however, the ratio of staff costs and non-staff costs have effectively declined. If I can put that in another way, there are more dollars per professional staff member to implement the programme than there was before we did the Summary Programme of Work and Budget. The total staff costs you find in paragraph 46 represent the costs of all staff funded from the Regular Programme. If you have done what one inventive delegate did on the Programme Committee, which is add up all the staff costs in the book and compare them with paragraph 46, they do not agree. The reason is we treat the costs of publications as a non-staff cost. As publications involve a Division of this Organization, GIP, which does have staff, you can see that there is a staff cost hidden in the non-staff column. If you need a fuller explanation than that outside the meeting then I would be more than happy to give it to you. In fact, it does reconcile.

With regard to Plant Genetic Resources, I should comment on that because one gets the feeling people think that the whole plant genetic resource process and the Conference are being funded from entirely extra-budgetary resources. This is not true. There are Regular Programme allocations for this. There are extra-budgetary allocations to it and the Conference is being planned on the basis of the resources available.

The distinguished delegate of Cameroon sought clarification on the status of the low-priority items. I would emphasize the fact that the opening paragraph states they are indicative only. The purpose of putting them in there was to obtain your opinion as Member Nations as to whether these were low-priority areas for you. Obviously some you have confirmed and others you have not. The consequence could, of course, be a reduction or a complete elimination of the provision and that depends very much on the outcome of this entire process.

Finally, in response to the observer from the Netherlands, I would say that, yes, in the 1998/99 budget we do return to the format where you see base, change and the proposed budget level. In other words, the problem we are facing now is a one-off problem. In fact, in the full Programme of Work and Budget you will also see something like that down to sub-programme level. Why? Because our presentation method will be to take the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for each sub-programme and show you the change from that level. As the Summary Programme of Work and Budget pretty well represents the base for restructuring, it is a legitimate and useful way of showing you what will happen between now and the final Programme of Work and Budget.

Ms Melinda L. KIMBLE (United States of America): Given the number of comments addressed by other delegations to my delegation I would like to offer the following brief comments: the United States welcomes and supports the Director-General's evident commitment to sound fiscal management of FAO. We also recognize his innovative effort to redress the challenges of hunger, agricultural development, fisheries and forestry. We also find encouraging his interest in seeking a consensus solution in the interests of many other delegations in a consensus budgetary process.

That said, I would like to stress again our situation remains fluid and uncertain. I cannot respond to the pleas for a change in decision because no decision has been made. The United States is in a legislative process. Many of us have similar legislative processes which are frustrating, time-consuming and difficult but the fact remains that all resources available to FAO are likely to be scarce and the United States' resources are very likely to be less than our most recent appropriations provided.

Given that, if we proceed without any effort to reduce the budget beyond the various zero real growth formula suggested by other delegations before we adopt it, we believe the Organization will be facing a similar situation, perhaps an even more serious one, in the next biennium than today.

FAO's responsibilities have to be met with resources available to the Organization. If we avoid that fact, if we resist building in more flexibility in the programme and operations, my delegation believes we will fail to achieve all the promise of the new leadership and his creative reorganization.

EL PRESIDENTE: El Consejo ha tomado nota, Sra. delegada de los Estados Unidos, de la situación en que se encuentra el debate presupuestario de su país y las implicaciones que ello podría tener para esta Organización.

Distinguidos delegados, si no hay ningún otro comentario me voy a permitir resumir este difícil debate que hemos sostenido.

En primer lugar, advertir que el Consejo agradeció al Presidente de la reunión conjunta del Comité del Programa y de Finanzas, así como a la Secretaría de la FAO, por la presentación del resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto 1996-97.

El Consejo tomó nota con reconocimiento de la labor del Director General en la preparación de los documentos de apoyo a este resumen, así como de la labor de los presidentes y miembros del Comité de Finanzas y del Programa por sus comentarios y recomendaciones al Consejo en relación al resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto, que tanto apoyaron el debate sostenido.

El Consejo también tomó nota con reconocimiento de las reflexiones sinceras y aclaratorias del Director General en torno al debate y los retos financieros y estructurales que ha enfrentado, y que sigue enfrentando esta Organización, y del hecho de que la responsabilidad de su futuro está en manos de los Estados Miembros.

El Consejo destacó el mandato y la necesidad de que la FAO mantenga su liderazgo, tanto como centro de excelencia en cuestiones agrícolas y alimentarias, como en la promoción de sus programas de campo y de cooperación técnica buscando un balance adecuado entre los aspectos normativos y operativos. Todo ello en el contexto de las reformas y el proceso de descentralización introducido por el Director General y que ha recibido un apoyo pleno de parte de los Organos Rectores de la Organización. Esto permitirá potenciar las ventajas competitivas de la Organización.

Los Miembros del Consejo se pronunciaron en torno a un conjunto de programas y actividades que a su juicio debían recibir preferencia y prioridad. Ello incluía las recomendaciones formuladas por los Comités Técnicos de Agricultura, de Pesca, de Montes, así como por el Comité de Problemas de Productos Básicos y de Seguridad Alimentaria y también el proceso preparatorio y celebración de la Cumbre Mundial de la Alimentación. Como esos pronunciamientos se encuentran en los verbatim, y son de carácter múltiple, no los reflejaré en mi informe, ya que ustedes podrán encontrarlos, repito, en los verbatim.

Sin embargo se tomó nota de que la única manera de hacer frente a las prioridades señaladas por las delegaciones, que son múltiples y de distinto carácter, era con la posibilidad de contar con recursos financieros suficientes para hacerles frente.

Bien, distinguidos delegados, esto me lleva inmediatamente al tema crucial de nuestro debate que es la recomendación que nuestro Consejo haría a la próxima Conferencia de la FAO en torno al nivel presupuestario. Teniendo en cuenta el contexto actual y las auténticas preocupaciones extraordinarias que se han expresado aquí, este problema significa uno de los asuntos más difíciles a tratar en un resumen que el Presidente Independiente del Consejo haya hecho. Este asunto, ustedes lo saben, es decisivo, no sólo para el corto plazo, sino que podría tener implicaciones también de largo plazo.

Contribuye a hacer aún más difícil esta situación el hecho de que el incremento previsto de las cuotas incorporado en las propuestas del resumen del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto que se presentan a este Consejo, se debe especialmente a dos causas totalmente diferentes.

Como se propone, un presupuesto de crecimiento cero con respecto al nivel de 663.1 millones de dólares de Estados Unidos, aprobado para el presente bienio, no hay ningún incremento neto del programa y el aumento del nivel del presupuesto habría dependido en circunstancias normales solamente a los aumentos previstos de los costos, dando lugar así a un presupuesto efectivo de trabajo de 704.2 millones de dólares de Estados Unidos; es decir un incremento limitado del 4.6 por ciento.

El impacto en las cuotas depende también de la estimación de los ingresos varios, y hay una pequeña diferencia aquí con la estimación hecha la última vez, pero prescindiré, en aras de la claridad, hacer referencia a ella.

La otra causa principal del aumento de las cuotas es, según lo propuesto por el Director General, el evitar la fórmula muy arriesgada de contar con algunos pagos de atrasos para contribuir a la financiación del presupuesto a fin de limitar las cuotas asignadas a los Estados Miembros. Se ha hecho esto dos veces para los programas de Labores y Presupuesto del bienio pasado y del presente. Nos hemos dado cuenta, lamentablemente, de los resultados indeseables, en términos de los déficits acumulados. Creo que hay, por tanto, un acuerdo total de que no debe recurrirse de nuevo a ello. No obstante, incluso si se entiende bien la diferencia entre las dos causas, sigue habiendo preocupación por el aumento de las cuotas, según se indica en el documento.

Los puntos de vista sobre las posibles soluciones para limitar dichas cuotas representan una gama bastante amplia. Se han expresado distintas opiniones con muchos matices, y los matices pueden ser, tal vez, tan importantes, como la esencia de las posiciones manifestadas por ustedes.

No obstante, distribuiría los deseos de los Miembros del Consejo -me atrevo a hacerlo en tres grupos fundamentales-. En el primer grupo es evidente que hay expectativas de una reducción drástica del nivel general, tanto del presupuesto como de las cuotas para 1996-97, con respecto a las propuestas en el resumen.

Estos pocos Estados Miembros señalan las presiones internas de sus países en relación con los presupuestos públicos, previsiones de las que, a su juicio, las organizaciones internacionales no deberían quedar inmunes. Se ha mencionado, incluso, algunas cifras que yo calificaría de extremas, que se han fijado como objetivo, aunque el mayor contribuyente aclaró al respecto que aún no hay una decisión definitiva de su Gobierno en ese sentido.

No tengo la intención, ni es mi función, la de interpretar las intervenciones; sin embargo, aún para las delegaciones que mantienen estas expectativas, creo que es indudable que la aplicación literal de las mismas implicaría rigurosos recortes en los programas establecidos de la Organización.

Otro grupo de países pidió que se hiciera todo lo posible para absorber algunos de los aumentos de las cuotas derivados de aumentos previstos en los costos y de los efectos del déficit de 38 millones de dólares en la financiación. También estos propugnan recortes en los programas, si bien, es evidente que en medida mucho menor a los del primer grupo. Reconocen que se necesitan sacrificios en aras de un realismo financiero y que sería preciso recortar programas y servicios menos prioritarios y lograr ahorros en la gestión y en reformas estructurales. Todo ello para permitir reducir costos al mínimo; pero, al mismo tiempo, reafirman también la importancia que atribuyen a la misión de la F AO e instan a que se mantenga en la mayor medida posible. Consideran políticamente inaceptable que el mayor contribuyente o, para el efecto, ningún Estado Miembro, fije de manera unilateral el presupuesto de la Organización, pero indican que mantener el principio de crecimiento real cero para el Programa de Labores y Presupuesto del próximo bienio, no es sostenible. Indicaron la necesidad de generar un nivel presupuestario que permita un gran consenso.

El tercer grupo, la gran mayoría, subraya que las propuestas implican ya sacrificios mediante el enfoque deliberado del crecimiento real cero en una época en que la Organización se halla en una fase delicada de transición hacia nuevos dispositivos estructurales para vigorizar su acción y se le presentan demandas acuciantes.

Consideran que el crecimiento real cero es un principio que no pueden descartar. Están dispuestos a buscar un cierto compromiso invitando a que se hagan esfuerzos para reducir las cuotas quizas mediante una ulterior reducción de aumentos de costos o, mediante ulteriores economías. No obstante indicaron que en retrospectiva el aumento anual del presupuesto estaba aún por debajo del crecimiento de la inflación en cualquier país. Sin

embargo, este grupo se haya claramente preocupado por los graves daños que se infligirían a los programas de la Organización y a la asistencia que prestan a los Estados Miembros en caso de que se vieran obligados a introducir drásticas reducciones en el nivel presupuestario.

Bien, distinguidos delegados, son éstas las posiciones básicas según las veo yo. También en este caso hubo muchos matices que me es imposible reflejar en un resumen. En conclusión, podría proponer lo siguiente. Indudablemente el Consejo desea facilitar el proceso de examen del documento completo del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto en la próxima Conferencia. También es su deseo mantener la labor útil que realiza esta Organización al servicio de sus Estados Miembros. Por otra parte, no veo como nuestro Consejo puede conciliar estas posiciones en una única formulación o recomendación indicando cifras claras. Por ello, mi sugerencia es que nuestro informe refleje, en primer lugar, las posiciones tal como han sido expresadas; yo recomendaría en estos tres grupos.

El Consejo invitaría después a que continúe el diálogo entre los Estados Miembros y, entre ellos y la Secretaría. Esta ha tomado, por supuesto, debida nota de las intervenciones de todos ustedes y sus puntos de vista respecto a las prioridades y a aquéllas que no lo tienen.

A continuación el Consejo invitaría al Director General a que preparase el documento completo del Programa de Labores y Presupuesto para el 1996-97, basándose en las recomendaciones de los Comités de Programas y de Finanzas y teniendo en cuenta las opiniones expresadas por el Consejo con vistas a llegar a un consenso en la aprobación del presupuesto por la Conferencia.

Finalmente, me queda decir que el Consejo insistió en su exhorto a que todos los países miembros, independientemente de su tamaño, abonen sus cuotas puntualmente a la Organización, tanto en lo que resta de este bienio como en el bienio que viene, sea cual sea el nivel presupuestario que la Conferencia decida adoptar. En ese sentido, distinguidos delegados, permítanme concluir con una reflexión final: la cuestión del apoyo a la tarea de FAO y su mandato y, a los cambios positivos que introduce el Director General, es incuestionable. Consecuentemente, será el reflejo de una voluntad política que es o que sea congruente, con lo que se declara.

Ustedes como Estados Miembros de FAO, reconocen, y lo han recordado aquí, sus obligaciones jurídicas incuestionables hacia esta Organización. Por tanto, y conforme a sus propias reglas y métodos de decisión, sea cual sea la decisión final de la Conferencia, ésta se convertirá, automáticamente, en una obligación para todos los Estados Miembros sin excepción.

Este Consejo espera que todos los Estados Miembros de FAO honren sus compromisos establecidos desde un principio y que estén a la altura de los dramáticos retos de una seguridad alimentaria mundial que sea sostenible y, del llamado de cientos de millones de seres humanos cuya sobrevivencia está en entredicho.

Es más efectivo, y con eso termino, en términos de costo, actuar por la vía del fomento a un desarrollo sostenible, la asistencia técnica a la inversión productiva, que hacerlo por la vía del recurso a la fuerza para aplastar las manifestaciones de la desesperanza.

Muchas gracias, con esto concluyo mi resumen. Desde luego, está en sus manos decidir en que forma desean expresarlo en su informe.

Hay una Delegación que me ha pedido hacer uso de la palabra que es Burkina Faso.

Christophe KIEMTORE (Burkina Faso): Je vous remercie du résumé que vous venez de faire. Je relève que avez préféré présenter les sentiments des délégations en trois groupes. Pour notre délégation, comme nous l'avons déjà dit dans notre déclaration, ce Conseil devrait parvenir à faire des recommandations claires adressées au Directeur général en l'invitant à poursuivre le travail qu'il a entrepris. Cela étant, nous aurions préféré que le résumé soit beaucoup plus positif parce qu'en réalité nous n'avons pas vu cette position structurelle au niveau des délégations qui ont pris la parole. Il existe toujours, bien entendu, des nuances d'interprétation, mais d'une manière générale il est possible de déceler les terrains d'entente et d'accord entre les membres du Conseil. Je voudrais personnellement me référer à trois éléments. Ce qui ne pose aucun problème d'interprétation c'est le fait que tout le monde s'est mis d'accord sur la question des arriérés, par

conséquent il n'y a pas de coupe à faire et le Conseil peut avoir une position unanime sur les avis échangés sur la question des arriérés.

Deuxièmement je pense qu'il y a eu également une identité de vues en ce qui concerne la base budgétaire à établir à l'exception bien entendu d'un petit nombre de délégations qui ont exprimé les difficultés qu'ils pourront avoir. Nous sommes tous d'accord sur le fait d'inviter le Directeur général à absorber le maximum des accroissements des coûts. Si l'on parvenait à concentrer les orientations sur un certain nombre de points et d'accords cela permettrait de résoudre les questions sur lesquelles nous serons invités à nous prononcer d'ici une prochaine session.

Je tiens à vous demander de bien vouloir faire un résumé plus constructif et plus dynamique qui aille dans le sens d'un rassemblement des efforts tel qu'il s'est exprimé au cours de cette session, et de donner des instructions claires au Secrétariat pour le travail qu'il doit entreprendre à l'avenir.

EL PRESIDENTE: Distinguido Delegado de Burkina Faso, a mi me hubiera encantado producir un resumen mucho más optimista y consensual, sin embargo, al escuchar los debates de ustedes no puedo hacer otra cosa, sino reflejar las distintas posiciones. Desde luego yo expresé el exhorto del Consejo a que todos los Estados Miembros paguen sus contribuciones puntualmente así como sus atrasos, pero, en relación al nivel presupuestario no tuve alternativas, sino reflejar lo que a mi juicio fueron tres posiciones distintas; las califiqué, desde luego, conforme a grupos e indiqué en la última que se trataba de una gran mayoría. Pero está en sus manos, distinguidos delegados, producir el informe que ustedes estimen conveniente y quizás ofrecer aquí un mandato concreto al Director General o, una recomendación específica a la Conferencia, en este sentido.

También me ha pedido hacer uso de la palabra para un comentario ulterior, la distinguida Delegación de los Estados Unidos. Estados Unidos tiene la palabra.

Ms Melinda L. KIMBLE (United States of America): Mr Chairman, I hope to be very brief. First of all, I think that your summary is an excellent course on which to proceed. I would, however, suggest that we do not pre-judge the outcome given the fact that a number of delegations (and I cite as an example the spokesperson for the European Union) mentioned that they had some concern about placing the zero growth level at US$673 million because they do not believe that the arrears should be added in, which I think means that there is some discussion on the basis of what constitutes zero growth rate. I believe that it is important not to pre-judge our dialogue. The Director-General has said that he wants to continue his open consultative process. I think that that is a very important element. Certainly my delegation and almost every delegation to whom I have spoken today, of which there are many on the floor, has said that they wish to continue the dialogue, and I think that this is the key thing we must do to come to a consensus conclusion.

EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias distinguida Delegación de Estados Unidos. Al referirme yo al nivel de 673.1, lo hacía en cuanto a la recomendación que hizo la reunión conjunta del Comité de Finanzas y de Programas, transmitida a este Consejo. La forma en que ustedes decidan ulteriormente aplicar el principio de crecimiento cero, es algo que les concierne; yo simplemente reflejo los hechos. También indiqué la posición del grupo de países y, proponía el descontar de dicho nivel 38 millones de dólares referidos a pagos de atrasos.

Distinguidos delegados, si ustedes no tienen ningún otro comentario, me voy a permitir hacer tres anuncios. El primero respecto de la Orden del Día, para el día lunes. El día lunes, les propongo que comencemos con el tratamiento del Tema 14 que es el examen del avance en la implantación de las medidas tomadas por el 106° período de sesiones del Consejo en virtud de las propuestas del señor Director General. El Tema 9, que se refiere al 11° Congreso Forestal Mundial, para 1997. El Tema 19, que es el informe del 64° período de sesiones de asuntos constitucionales y jurídicos y, luego por la tarde, el Tema 13: la preparación para el 28° período de sesiones de la Conferencia de la FAO y, por último, en la tarde, el Tema 11 - yo creo que tendremos tiempo para él -, que es sobre el Programa Mundial de Alimentos.

El tercer anuncio que deseo hacerles es en relación al Comité de Redacción que se reunirá, inmediatamente, al término de nuestros trabajos en la Sala México.

El tercer anuncio que tengo es en relación al Grupo Oficioso de trabajo que examinará la propuesta de declaración de Quebec. Este Grupo se reunirá mañana, a las 9.30 horas en la Sala Malasia.

Bien, distinguidos delegados, veo que la distinguida Delegación de Egipto tiene un último comentario. Le doy la palabra al distinguido Delegado de Egipto.

Adel M. ABOUL-NAGA (Egypt): I do not intend to prolong matters, but my proposal is to postpone item 13 until Tuesday. We did not come to any agreement with regard to the Conference Officers, so I do not know what we are going to discuss.

EL PRESIDENTE: Distinguido Delegado de Egipto yo pienso sostener una reunión informal antes de tomar ese punto el día lunes. Quizás, si no llegamos a un acuerdo respecto de uno de los aspectos del Tema 13, podríamos, no obstante, tratar los otros y dejar inconcluso aquél al que no lleguemos a ninguna conclusión, para el día martes; pero, permítanme ustedes, por lo menos intentarlo.

Distinguidos delegados, Señor Director General, muchas gracias y les auguro un buen fin de semana.

The meeting rose at 19.25 hours.
La séance est levée à 19 h 25.
Se levanta la sesión a las 19.25 horas.

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