DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Mr Chairman, as you noted, the document before you, CL 108/21, the Director-General's Progress Report on Implementation of Decisions Taken by the Council at its 106th Session, is for information. The document covers all aspects of the decisions taken, including the Special Programmes, Headquarters Restructuring, Decentralization, Communications Infrastructures and new Cooperation Agreements.
As far as a more elaborate introduction to this item is concerned, I would call to your attention the Director-General's Statement which is CL 108/INF/5. Page 3 and most of page 4 of the English text refer to the implementation of decisions taken by the Council at its 106th Session last June. In view of that and in view of the fact that this is for information, I see no need to elaborate on what is before you, but simply to say that we stand ready to respond to any questions that you may have on any of the items covered in the document concerning restructuring.
EL PRESIDENTE: Gracias señor Hjort por la introducción al tema.
Consulto a los delegados sobre su interés de hacer uso de la palabra respecto de este tema para información.
John Bruce SHARPE (Australia): Mr Chairman, I would like to thank Mr Hjort for his introduction. We are very pleased to receive this report. We think that it is very appropriate and useful to members to have the Director-General provide these reports on a regular basis.
There are only a couple of points that I would like to make. I am not going to address all the matters contained in the report. My delegation reiterates the support that it has given to the two Special Programmes concerning food production in support of food security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries and the EMPRES scheme. As a member of the Programme Committee, we were pleased to see that FAO's ongoing food security work and the sub-programme 18.104.22.168 will continue. It was explained that that sub-programme addressed the broad concept of food security which, as stated at paragraph 2.17 of the Committee's April report, is essential for the success of the Special Programme at country level.
We note with interest the progress which has been made under the Special Programme on Food Security, particularly in relation to the exploratory missions to the thirteen countries listed. A couple of days ago, with others, we had the benefit of an update from the Director-General on the Special Programme and the exploratory missions. Australia has bilateral development assistance arrangements with a number of these countries which are not incompatible with the aims of FAO's Special Programme.
As mentioned in correspondence with the Director-General, while funding additional to that already allocated under Australia's development assistance programme is not available, there may be some scope for identifying areas of possible cooperation. We mention, in particular, Papua New Guinea where we have commenced a programme involving small-holder agriculture at the provincial and national levels which should contribute to food security. This programme's goals are to improve the productivity, stability and environmental sustainability of village agriculture through the provision of systematic, high-quality information.
In the case of EMPRES, we are pleased to see at paragraph 24 a recognition of the necessity to initiate work under that system on some other major epizootic diseases including foot-and-mouth disease.
Suharyo HUSEN (Indonesia): Mr Chairman, with regard to Agenda 14, on behalf of the Indonesian delegation I would like to express our appreciation of the Director-General's efforts in implementing all decisions of the Council at its 106th Session. We would also like to thank the Secretariat for providing us with the comprehensive document before us.
Mr Chairman, allow me now to make some observations on document CL 108/21 as follows. First, in the case of Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries, the Indonesian delegation fully supports the initiative of the Director-General in establishing an external oversight panel. Hopefully the result of this panel will strengthen support of food security in low-income food-deficit countries.
Secondly, regarding EMPRES, the Indonesian delegation welcomes and endorses the efforts made by the Director-General in establishing the EMPRES Steering Committee in January 1995 in order to guide the programme and review progress achieved. We very much appreciate the Steering Committee's decision to initiate three pilot project activities under the Regular Programme dealing with key aspects of Early Warning, early reaction and research, which will be implemented for three years' duration, having started in May 1995. In this connection, my delegation would also like to express its appreciation for the successful approaches made by the Director-General of FAO to some potential donors which have interest in a comprehensive EMPRES Programme.
Thirdly, with regard to Headquarters Restructuring, my delegation supports the decision made by the Director-General to appoint senior staff of the Organization, thus ensuring that our Organization works to full capacity in order to provide more services to the Member Nations.
Fourthly, in relation to Decentralization (Field Offices), the Indonesian delegation welcomes the initiative of the Director-General in relation to continued consultation with member nations of the five sub-regions in order to foster agreements with and among them on the possible location of the new offices, depending in particular on the offers made to provide facilities. The Indonesian delegation gives full support to the Director-General to finalize the consultation with the host government concerned.
Fifthly, dealing with the regional offices and country offices, my delegation would also like to support the efforts being made by the Director-General of FAO in strengthening the staffing pattern and the establishment of technical groups in order to provide more assistance to the member nations in the region, as well as the establishment of National Professional Offices at country office level. In this context, the Indonesian delegation requests FAO to finalize as soon as possible the gradual replacement of internationally recruited programme officers hitherto represented in FAO by the NPOs.
Sixthly, with regard to Communications Infrastructures, my delegation agrees in principle with the Director-General's proposal to develop the Communications Infrastructures project through new approaches by FAO in order to reduce the cost needed by greater emphasis on local procurement of equipment and technical assistance, as well as by reducing the scope of services to be provided during the initial period of operation.
Finally, Mr Chairman, regarding the new Cooperation Agreements as stated in paragraphs 48-56 of the document CL 108/21, since the beginning the Indonesian delegation gives full support to this initiative and the Indonesian Minister of Agriculture has signed the TCDC Agreement with the Director-General of FAO. For the implementation of this TCDC Agreement, the Indonesian Government has submitted to FAO a list of its national experts, totalling about 75 persons, to be selected and used by other member countries in the region or in other regions. At the present time, the Indonesian Government also is considering to use the national experts from other member countries in the region or from other regions.
Franco GINOCCHIO (Italy): Thank you Mr Chairman. We would like first of all to thank the Director-General of FAO for having submitted to this Council document CL 108/21 concerning the second Progress Report on the Implementation of the Decisions taken by the Council at its 106th Session.
Referring to paragraphs 3-13 of this document, we would like to make some comments about the Special Programme for food production in support of food security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries. As stated during previous interventions at the 106th and 107th Sessions of the Council, a sustainable increase in food production and productivity is an essential medium-term activity leading to food security, thus, recognizing the relevance of the Special Programme for increased food production. Today, we only want to recall some of our comments, although we are aware that the Secretariat is analysing the reactions received so far from member countries and that issues raised are being addressed.
For the purpose of having an integrated and meaningful approach to food security, we believe that the moment is still appropriate to provide an analysis of the status of the various food security-related programmes implemented by FAO, such as Early Warning, Post-Harvest Food Losses, Seed Multiplication, etc. This would allow to better relate the Special Programme to the past work of the Organization. An analysis of past efforts at the international level would also provide a useful background for the Special Programme.
In order to seek efficient and balanced approaches to food security, two dimensions of the problem must be considered: the national level and the household level. In fact, an improved food availability at the country level does not imply an increased food security for the household. As we all know, vulnerable individuals or groups may not have access to increased production even in net food exporter developing countries.
We have taken note that in designing programmes for increased food production, due attention will be paid to such issues as the food population nexus, the macroeconomic conditions, international trade, equity considerations, land tenure, etc. We will therefore consider in this light the country project proposals the moment they are made available.
The focus of the Special Programme on the high potential areas can be supported. However, in order to reduce the incidence of rapid rural-urban migration, associated with food security situations, it is necessary to pay equal attention to low potential areas, where a large number of food insecure households are located. In other words, we would like to be convinced that concentrating on high potential areas will decrease the pressure on marginal lands instead of increasing the migratory flows from these areas to urban settlements.
Another important aspect to be considered is the choice of the methodology for the implementation of the programmes. Farming Systems analysis and truly participatory methods should be the main tools to carry out the projects. We notice that FAO stresses the importance of a "down-top" approach to stimulate local agricultural communities in participating in the rural development efforts. However, we would like to caution against too rapid sequences of events. In other words, the danger is that, because of need for rapid results, inadequate attention is given to the participatory approach, therefore moving too fast into new activities aimed at "explaining" new or adaptive technologies. This would mean going back to past "top-down" experiences. Real participation is a long process involving cultural change in farmer's behaviour. On this subject a more knowledgeable judgement on our part can be made the moment concrete country proposals are available.
Italy is considering the possibility that some projects under the FAO/Italy Government Cooperative Programme be reoriented to provide support to selected activities, such as participatory rural appraisals, foreseen in the Pilot Programmes.
As a conclusion, we believe that FAO should make it clear that the Organization is not proposing to address the problem of food security alone but, rather, that in accordance with its mandate it is trying to play a catalytic role. For this reason, at least the following conditions must be fulfilled:
- as mentioned earlier FAO should provide an analysis of past experiences in food security. Valuable technical expertise has been accumulated in the Organization throughout its life;
- although concentrating its limited resources on food production, the Organization must show that its analysis keeps in due account all the dimensions of the food security problems. This would be in line with the strengthened "normative" role;
- effective coordination with bilateral and multilateral agencies should be sought. In this connection, the possibility could be explored to launch a pilot project under the Special Programme also involving IFAD and WFP. The cooperation between the three agencies related to food and agriculture is a subject to which the Government of Italy traditionally attaches great importance.
Furthermore, referring to paragraph 29 of document CL 108/21, the Italian delegation would like to make a brief comment on another particular issue which is of concern to the Government of Italy as a contributor to the Trust Fund programme, namely, the timely implementation of Field Projects.
We have noted that delays in the recruitment of staff affect not only the Regular Programme but also the Field Projects. We are aware of the difficulties deriving from the current transition phase, and we agree with the Director-General who has clarified, after the debate on the Summary Programme of Work and Budget for 1996-97, that these delays are caused by the lack of resources and by the time required for identifying experts and projects. However, we have noticed delays in the recruitment of project staff due to a procedure as yet not sufficiently streamlined. Decisions to appoint experts still need lengthy procedures and we would like to see a more decentralized approach with FAO. Technical and operational divisions should be given more responsibility and, obviously, accountability for technical decisions on the recruitment of personnel.
Ms Melinda L. KIMBLE (United States of America): The United States has carefully reviewed the Director-General's statement and the additional documentation on progress to date on decisions of the 106th Council. The Director-General has unquestionably moved ahead on implementation and much as been achieved. We applaud the energy and determination that has gone into this effort. That said, given the budgetary constraints that are likely to impact on future FAO programmes, the Organization will have to weigh carefully the costs involved in the scale of the decentralization now under way.
With the prospect of five new Sub-regional Offices, increased staffing in existing Regional Offices and a potential expansion of the National Professional Officers Programme in country offices, it is not easy to see where overall savings will result and where significant downsizing will occur. We supported decentralization because we believed it would streamline operations and provide savings, but the current direction of the plan appears to expand FAO field operations without much consolidation or reduction in overall staff. Moreover, we understand that Regional Offices cannot employ locally hired professionals and wonders if this raises costs unnecessarily.
In our view, the new decentralized regional and sub-regional structures will be most cost-effective if the number of single country offices is reduced, eliminating the potential for overlap and duplication. Other agencies have found multifunctional teaming is best serviced by these approaches and country-specific issues can be handled with the cooperation of the UNDP resident representative.
We believe some consolidation should accompany this decentralization plan. We would also welcome estimates of the short-term costs involved in putting the new structure in place as well as estimates of the recurring costs once the structures are operational.
The United States has long advocated rationalization of FAO's field structure. Given resource constraints, however, it is important that we proceed carefully making maximum use of the new mix of resources and staff we are putting in place. It is also important in implementing the National Professional Officers Programme that we have clear criteria for these staff. Here again, staff imposes a potential recurrent cost on the Organization. FAO should evaluate the existing recruitment procedures in this programme to ensure the quality and objectivity of the Organization's staff are maintained.
Ms M. McCOWAN (United Kingdom): We are very grateful to the Director-General for his Report. It is very helpful to have a statement letting us know where we stand on various initiatives. We are also grateful for meeting last week where my delegation was involved in discussions on the Special Programmes on food security and therefore I shall confine my remarks in this statement to just three areas. One is decentralization and the use of National Programme Officers, the second is Headquarters restructuring and the third is EMPRES.
My delegation gave full support and continues to give full support of the Director-General in his efforts to decentralize and restructure FAO. However, this Report does still show a very strong centralist approach. We are fully aware that these things do not change overnight and it takes time but you must have the right structure in place to get the right results.
Turning to National Programme Officers some delegations at the 106th and 107th Council sessions raised concern over the recruitment procedures for National Programme Officers and I do not blush to raise this concern yet again. We do feel that there is a too heavily centralist approach to recruitment and we would like to get some commitment from the Secretariat that they will simplify recruitment procedures and move more rapidly towards localizing recruitment procedures for NPOs. Whilst on that same subject, we note from paragraph 42 and 43 that National Programme Officers are being employed in addition to International Programme Officers. Now whilst we are aware that the use of National Programme Officers was not primarily aimed at cost savings but at reaching greater efficiency and more appropriateness we, nonetheless, would expect some efficiency savings to accrue from this exercise.
It would be helpful for us to have some figures on how many Programme Officers are actually being redeployed and replaced by National Programme Officers and, secondly, whether they are all to be redeployed. In consequence of that question, we want to know what, if any, savings will accrue to this exercise.
On Headquarters restructuring, we are surprised to learn that the Working Levels Establishments Committee and the Policy Levels Establishments Committee have had 24 meetings to review functional statements on all organizational units. Again, this seems to us a heavily bureaucratic approach to this kind of exercise. Nowadays we all work in systems where the setting of personnel and departmental objectives are drafted by the departments concerned in line with the overall institutional objectives of the Organization. There seems to be a serious lack of delegated authority within FAO. Whilst on that subject, it would be interesting to know exactly what authority will be delegated to the Management Support Units as set out in paragraph 27. Indeed, it would be interesting to know why such units are needed and what functions they will actually be carrying out. Nowadays in any organization line management carries its own responsibilities for personnel management, budgetary oversight, training and welfare functions. We would like to know why it is necessary to have management support units taking on these functions, if indeed that is what they are going to do, in FAO.
Finally, turning to EMPRES, we would welcome further details on the new initiatives described in paragraph 17 that have been initiated before completion of the studies on the economic significance of Desert Locust described in paragraph 15. Finally on EMPRES, we note the progress reported on rinderpest and we stress the need for effective coordination with others to be continued and further developed. We would caution against the inclusion of other areas of work in this programme as described in paragraph 24 without similar cooperative arrangements being fully put in place.
Mirza Tasadduq HUSSAIN BEG (Bangladesh): The Director-General has presented another progress report on the implementation of the Council decisions taken at the 106th Session. We are pleased to note that substantial progress has been made since the 107th Session in the complex exercise embracing the programmes, structures and policies of the Organization. We note with satisfaction the work of the exploratory missions to date as well as the actions initiated so far in the formulation of country activities under the Special Programme on Food Production in support of food security in LIFDCs. We are also happy to be informed that the first of the pilot projects has already started in Kenya and that similar projects will be implemented this year in the remaining 13 participating countries in the first group. In this connection, we would like to reiterate the critical importance of full participation of farmers in the project activities in order to ensure the success of the Programme.
Some complete steps have been taken by the Director-General in revising the organizational structure, including appointments to senior positions and administrative arrangements to streamline and improve management practices. We welcome his efforts in this direction and urge him to accelerate the whole process to the extent possible within the limitations of a stringent budget. A fully functional, revised structure, with the necessary redeployment of staff within the new structure, will significantly contribute to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Organization. Decentralization of technical human resources from Headquarters to the field would have a significant positive effect on sustainable agricultural development. We are therefore pleased to note further progress in strengthening Regional Offices and the selection of new Sub-Regional Offices. We are particularly happy to note the actions initiated by the Director-General to strengthen FAO's country offices, including the establishment of the National Professional Officer category. At the 106th Council Session we strongly supported the Director-General's policy of increased use of national expertise and appreciate the concrete steps that have been taken in this regard. Increased use of national expertise would not only strengthen national capacities but would be cost-effective as well. The appointment of national correspondents in countries with no resident FAO representative is a good step, which should further the process of national capacity building.
In regard to the development of the communications infrastructure project to support the decentralization process in the regional, sub-regional and country offices we commend the Director-General for keeping the cost within the original budget of US$3 million. Further avenues to reduce costs may be explored wherever feasible, with particular emphasis on the local procurement of equipment and services. We are also pleased to note that a good number of cooperation agreements, particularly under TCDC have been signed between FAO and Member Nations. We hope that the process will be further intensified in the coming months.
Adel M. ABOUL-NAGA (Egypt) (Original language Arabic): We welcome the Director-General's report to keep us informed of the latest developments in the implementation of the programme we all approved in the 106th Session of the Council. Allow me to focus here on a number of programmes which my country accord a high importance. First, food production in support of food security in low-income food-deficit countries, which is the first programme I would like to point to. We commend the Secretariat for the efforts it has made to accelerate the implementation of this programme within the limited resources available in the regular budget. We welcome FAO's cooperation with the international financial institutions with a view to engaging them in the financing of the programme. However, we call upon donor countries to contribute effectively to the financing of the implementation of this programme, which acquires a very high importance for the less developed countries looking to secure their food security.
As to EMPRES, we suffer from the damage caused by these pests, in particular, the Desert Locust in Africa and the Near East, as well as rinderpest, and we are happy to see the concrete steps which have been taken to implement the programme. We express the hope that finance will be made available to expand this programme to include other plant and animal pests which are extremely dangerous.
We have taken note with satisfaction of the progress made to restructure the organization and in particular in the implementation of the decentralization process by the redeployment of whole teams of experts from Headquarters to the field so that they will be closer to where they are needed. We also commend the use of national and local experts as executing agencies of FAO's programmes in their countries, a step which leads to large economies in the administration and management of the Organization. We were happy to learn from the Director-General and the officials of the Secretariat that the competence of the local experts nominated for such posts is very high as compared with the international programme officers carrying out the functions nowadays, which was completely unexpected. Of course, this is quite normal because they are much better informed of the problems of their countries than other international experts and thus more qualified to. implement them.
Alan AMEY (Canada): Le Canada note avec intérêt les progrès réalisés dans la mise en oeuvre des décisions prises à la cent-sixième session du Conseil de la FAO.
En juin 1994, nous nous disions optimistes face aux progrès en cours dans les domaines où nous demandions depuis longtemps des changements, notamment aux chapitres de la transparence, de la restructuration des nouveaux programmes et du resserrement des liens avec les autres organisations des Nations Unies. Je demeure essentiellement optimiste face à ces changements.
We were pleased to give support for the Special Action Programme for Food Security and recognize the work that has been done by FAO to produce initial surveys in a number of target countries.
We also recognize that the main objective of this Special Action Programme is to help food-deficit countries to increase rapidly their food production and productivity, which is ultimately the responsibility of each government. However, these are initial steps and to move forward from the pilot phase in the longer term, as the Director-General has explained, external assistance will be required from multilateral and bilateral development aid institutions. This relates closely to the Director-General's emphasis on enhanced partnerships and constitutes a significant challenge for FAO in working interactively to help LIFDCs to realize this pilot and subsequent phases of the Special Action Programme. We would like to associate ourselves with the views expressed by the distinguished delegate of Italy on the Special Action Programme.
Nous sommes heureux de constater que la restructuration de l'Organisation a beaucoup progressé et que le nouveau personnel est entré en fonction.
Quant aux propositions sur les divisions conjointes avec la CENEI, nous souscrivons à l'approche prise au Comité de l'agriculture.
Pour ce qui est des moyens de communication, nous appuyons pleinement les mesures qui nous ont permis des échanges beaucoup plus intensifs avec notre personnel à Ottawa.
Nous appuyons également les nouvelles ententes de coopération qui devraient se traduire par la plus grande latitude dans l'utilisation du personnel.
Le Canada a été le premier à signer un protocole d'entente sur les universités et les institutions de recherche, et nous favorisons le recours accru à de telles ententes.
Nous aimerions voir s'accélérer le rythme de changement à l'avenir; nous souhaitons des structures moins hiérarchiques et une rationalisation des procédures administratives. Des mécanismes plus efficaces d'établissement des priorités et d'exécution permettront à la FAO de réaliser des gains de productivité, de s'adapter et de répondre aux besoins futurs.
Etant donné que le Gouvernement canadien, à l'instar de la FAO elle-même, cherche à se redéfinir, nous nous joignons à vous dans cette mission.
Enfin, les changements approuvés à la cent-sixième session du Conseil ne devraient pas être perçus comme la fin l'un processus mais plutôt comme un début de processus continu de réflexion, de perfectionnement et de renouveau.
Frederick D. KIRUMIRA (Uganda): Mr Chairman, thank you for giving us the opportunity to express our views on this very important Agenda item.
At the outset, Uganda would like to thank the Director-General for the concise and clear progress report he has presented to the Council. Our intervention is going to be relatively short and we shall limit our discussion on two issues, namely the Special Programmes and the new Cooperation Agreements which were sent out to Member Nations recently.
Since their inception, our delegation has strongly supported the Special Programmes, namely on food production in support of food security in low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs) and the Emergency Prevention Systems (EMPRES) for transboundary animal and plant pests and diseases. We are pleased with the progress so far made. We would like to underscore the importance of the participatory approaches used in this Programme involving farmers, research scientists, extension workers, NGOs and others. We wish to
advise that local knowledge and use of traditional food crops should always be given attention. Paragraph 10 of document CL 108/21 indicates that a second group of countries is being considered for participation in the Programme. Uganda would welcome being considered for participation in the second phase.
Mr Chairman, we are happy to note that subject to availability of resources the scope of EMPRES could be widened to include other transboundry pests like the African Armyworm. Needless to say, this pest causes much destruction to most of the cereals, particularly finger-millets, maize and sorghum grown in Eastern and Southern Africa and therefore needs control. Without taking the risk of making the list of pests very long, we hope there will come a time when the destructive bird of cereals in Sudan, Northern Uganda and Kenya known as the Sudan Dioc (Quelea quelea ethiopica), will be addressed by EMPRES.
With regard to animal diseases, we are pleased with the efforts FAO has taken in marshalling resources and coordinating activities related to the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme. As you have noted in paragraph 22, Mr Chairman, bovine pleuro-pneumonia is the most serious disease in Central Eastern Africa where my country is located. We hope emergency support will continue to be given by FAO to assist farmers in that sub-region.
Uganda supports the proposal by the Director-General to initiate surveillance, early warning systems and emergency preparedness activities for some other major epizootic diseases listed in paragraph 24. Before concluding our remarks on the Special Programmes, we would like to appeal to the donor community to make available adequate resources to the programmes since much of the resources are extra-budgetary.
Mr Chairman, we attach much importance to the Programme Cooperation among Developing Countries (PCDC). The Uganda government has signed the agreement on the use of experts for TCDC and it has forwarded to FAO particulars of experts who will be involved in the programme. We look forward to effective participation.
In addition to what I have said I have brought a country statement from the Honourable Minister of State and acting Minister for Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries which I would request be inserted in the Verbatim Records on Agenda Item 5.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, distinguido Delegado de Uganda, por el anuncio de que incluirá usted un mensaje del Señor Ministro en el contexto del Tema 5. La Secretaría ha tomado nota y una vez que recibamos el texto se incluirá en el verbatim.
Mrs Elena SUETT-ASKERSTAM (Estonia): I should briefly like to address two points in document CL 108/21. First of all, I wish to say that my government is pleased with the progress being made for the establishment of the sub-regional office in the Central and Eastern European Region. We look forward to important results from the establishment of this office in terms of sub-regional networking and exchange of information in those technical and research areas which are particularly relevant to the CIT countries at this particular point in time.
Secondly, I should like to refer to the agreement for the use of experts for technical cooperation among countries in transition, the TCCT Programme, which my country has adhered to. I regret to say, Mr Chairman, that in spite of efforts on our part Estonia has seen no results in response on the part of the Organization. It is my country's hope that this situation will be resolved in the near future.
Mrs Mária KADLECEKOVA (Slovakia): On behalf of the Slovak Republic let me deliver to you an official stand-point on the Progress Report on the Implementation of Decisions taken by the Council at its 106th Session.
Firstly, it should be noted that the document is prepared comprehensively, with high visibility, with regard to the implementation of the conceptual and operational activities. In the ties to the two special programmes, it is reasonable to state that during one year there was a tremendous amount of work achieved by FAO Headquarters in the field. The decision to involve countries in the implementation process by identifying their
commitments, activities and responsibilities is rational. Through this approach, Mr Chairman, higher responsibility for the implementation of FAO's Special Programmes can be attained. In this connection let me record that numerous Central and Eastern European countries have well qualified experts and progressively equipped institutions orientated to the similar activities which are required for such items as Food Production in support of Food Security as well as for EMPRES.
In the field of water management, crop production and veterinary science in the sub-region many well known research and educational institutions operate. Production of water equipment and small farm mechanization is at an advanced level and we can offer competitive conditions. The Central and Eastern European countries are convinced that FAO's Steering Committee and other bodies established for both Special Programmes will create possibilities of real involvement in the greater interests of the Organization.
It should be appreciated that in spite of the typical difficulties for all organizations on restructuring, for all transitional stages, FAO's professional staff have a high responsibility and the reasonable optimism meets the interests of my government. It tries to provide us with relevant services and activities. We wish to express our thanks to the Director-General for his efforts in the very complicated issues and challenges in the food and agricultural field. We are convinced that his personal efforts are at a high level.
Mr Chairman, I ask this honourable forum for understanding on a particular issue. Paragraphs 29 and 30 deal with recruitment of staff. They provide us with rational reasons for the incomplete professional state within the Organization. Recruitment, particularly for professional staff as well as for consultants, represents for countries from our sub-region a more than painful feature of participation in the Organization. How many times on this ground and in the many other fora was it reiterated that human resources from Central and Eastern European countries have attained a high level?
At the same time, one year ago, with the launching of the FAO restructuring, the Director-General addressed a more than promising letter to under-represented governments concerning the recruitment of staff. Many vacancy announcements for posts were attached to the letter at that time. With high responsibility, the Ministries of Agriculture and Foreign Affairs completed a list of experts and forwarded them to the Director-General. We believe the Director-General had the best of intentions. From sixteen countries there are six under-represented and eight countries unrepresented. A great deal of work was undertaken by Permanent Representatives on the intervention of the government but without fruitful results.
It is more than frustrating to be a witness of this situation that, in spite of the advanced human resources in the field of food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, employment of people from the sub-region within the Organization is practically impossible. In the positive cases there has been offered for our experts the post level of P-2. From our government's point of view it is desirable that there be the involvement of experts and consultants in the short-term operational programme.
Under conditions where FAO supports the development of the food and agriculture sector, Mr Chairman, this is very modest due to FAO's budget which is confronted with many obstacles. There is acknowledgement by the Central and Eastern European countries that recruitment of their high level professional staff can represent for governments a reasonable incentive to actually participate in the Organization. The aforesaid is made without intention to criticize but to share with the FAO Council a most sensitive crucial problem.
Mr Chairman, the Government of the Slovak Republic is involved in the TCCT agreement and we intend to sign the agreement on National Retired Experts as well. Concerning Use of Experts for Technical Cooperation among the countries in transition, we associate ourselves with Estonia's intervention. However, we are eager and looking forward to other agreements with the Organization concerning academic and research institutions.
Salah HAMDI (Tunisie): Le document que nous sommes en train d'examiner relate les progrès réalisés depuis la 106ème session du Conseil qui a pris des décisions portant sur les programmes spéciaux et sur la restructuration de l'Organisation. La mise en oeuvre de ces décisions en est encore à ses débuts mais les progrès réalisés méritent notre soutien et notre appui. Nous considérons que malgré les difficultés du départ, l'Organisation est sur la bonne voie pour la mise en oeuvre de ces décisions.
Evidemment, nous pouvons demander des informations supplémentaires, nous pouvons demander des explications sur le processus de mise en oeuvre, mais je crois que l'essentiel est que nous renouvelions notre appui général au programme que nous avons arrêté nous-mêmes au sein du Conseil lors de sa 106ème session.
Dans ce cadre, ma délégation aimerait apporter sa contribution quant au soutien aux efforts entrepris par l'Organisation dans le cadre de la mise en oeuvre de ces décisions, particulièrement au niveau de deux programmes spéciaux.
Je voudrais mettre l'accent sur certains aspects concernant le programme EMPRES en particulier pour souligner l'importance accordée aux programmes de lutte contre les maladies animales, nous sommes d'accord pour une extension éventuelle à d'autres maladies qui ne sont pas couvertes par la version initiale, mais aussi pour la lutte contre les ravageurs. Là également, outre la couverture du plus grand nombre possible de ravageurs, je mettrais l'accent sur la question du criquet pèlerin, question combien importante et qui préoccupe de nombreuses régions du monde, en particulier la région de l'Afrique de l'Ouest et la sous-région du Nord Ouest de l'Afrique. En effet, au cours de ces derniers mois les mouvements se multiplient dans cette sous-région et la question devient plus que préoccupante. Le Conseil sait peut-être que dans la région du Nord Ouest africain nous avons constitué une force maghrébine d'intervention avec l'assistance et l'appui de la FAO et des pays donateurs. Nous voudrions attirer l'attention sur l'importance de la lutte dans cette région, en particulier de la lutte préventive qui prépare la lutte curative.
Toujours dans ce cadre, je voudrais insister sur la collaboration avec les institutions financières pour le financement de ce programme important, et je voudrais remercier les donateurs pour les efforts qu'ils ont déployés jusqu'à maintenant en les exhortant à poursuivre leur soutien à ce programme combien important pour la conservation des récoltes, et par conséquent pour la préservation de la production agricole dans les pays concernés.
Le deuxième volet de mon intervention concerne la réforme structurelle et la décentralisation. Je voudrais là aussi exprimer l'appui total de mon Gouvernement à toutes les actions qui ont été engagées jusqu'ici par le Directeur général en matière de réforme structurelle, en insistant sur la nécessité de veiller au renforcement des activités de terrain, en améliorant l'encadrement des bureaux régionaux et en les renforçant par de nouveaux experts recrutés essentiellement au niveau national. Nous apportons évidemment notre soutien à la création des bureaux sous-régionaux, dans le cadre du renforcement de la décentralisation des activités de l'Organisation et du renforcement des activités de terrain.
Je voudrais signaler également les accords CTPD et les accords d'utilisation des experts à la retraite promus par le Directeur général. Nous attendons la mise en oeuvre de ces accords et nous sommes persuadés qu'ils contribueront à l'amélioration des activités de terrain, dans la mesure où nous, pays en développement, disposons d'un nombre suffisant d'experts qualifiés permettant d'assurer leur mission dans le cadre des activités qui leur sont confiées par l'Organisation.
Ricardo LEON-VALDES (Chile): En primer término, Señor Presidente, mi delegación quisiera reconocer los esfuerzos desplegados para revitalizar la Organización, para adecuarla a los dasafíos en el contexto inmediato y al más largo plazo. Al mismo tiempo aprovechamos la oportunidad para ratificar nuestro compromiso de contribuir en este importante y complejo proceso.
En este contexto nuestra Delegación manifiesta su apoyo al Programa de Seguridad Alimentaria que ayudará a muchos países deficitarios de alimentos a aumentar su eficacia en la producción con su consecuente impacto en la población en largo plazo. Del mismo modo reconoce los esfuerzos de descentralización que se han manifestado en el fortalecimiento de las oficinas regionales, cuyo objetivo es el de servir como medio principal de cooperación regional entre los Estados Miembros, teniendo en cuenta la necesidad de cooperar con otras organizaciones.
En este sentido resulta de interés por su dinámica y características propias el instituir oficinas subregionales que permitan descentralizar aún más las actividades operativas de la Organización. A este respecto resulta de interés señalar que la actividad operativa que por lógica tiene características propias, debería estar cada vez más dirigida y supervisada por unidades descentralizadas localizadas en las regiones, subregiones y Estados
Miembros en que resulte imprescindible utilizar al máximo las capacidades locales con núcleos especialistas de las propias regiones. Otro aspecto que cabe en este llamado a la reflexión y análisis es el que se refiere a la asistencia técnica que otorga la FAO respecto a proyectos.
Estimamos también que las instancias funcionales del trabajo de la FAO, normativa y operativa, deben conservar su justa dimensión teniendo en cuenta su dinámica y sus lógicas interrelaciones. En este aspecto reafirmamos como recomendable que la Organización enriquezca su enfoque de asistencia a través de proyectos por uno de carácter programático que sea coherente con los requerimientos de los países en las materias más prioritarias, es decir, agropecuaria, forestal y pesquera.
Saleh Sadiq OSMAN (Tanzania): Thank you, Mr Chairman, for giving my delegation the floor. We thank the Secretariat for preparing this comprehensive document under discussion. Although the document is for information, we find it necessary to take the floor to thank FAO for its assistance to Tanzania to combat animal diseases.
At the beginning of this year, Tanzania experienced an outbreak of bovine pleural pneumonia, CBPP, in Central and Southern Tanzania. The disease is believed to have come into the country through movement of cattle into the country by refugees. Tanzania took necessary steps to inform FAO and requested assistance to combat this serious disease, which has already killed more than 1 500 cattle in these areas and was threatening many more all over the country. As explained in paragraph 22 of the document, FAO gave a rapid response and assistance - in terms of expertise, vaccines, and materials - within two weeks and sent it to areas concerned. The situation was analysed by EMPRES staff and consultants, and support is being provided through TCP.
As the disease still threatens livestock not only in Tanzania but also in neighbouring countries of Zambia, Malawi, Kenya and Uganda, we wish to join FAO in alerting the international donor community for assistance and support. Once again, Mr Chairman, we express appreciation, Tanzania, to FAO Director-General for his rapid response, and we fully support his efforts.
LI ZHENGDONG (China) (Original language Chinese): Thank you, Mr Chairman, I will try to be brief. We highly commend the Director-General and the Secretariat for the report provided to us. The Chinese Government gives full support to the special programme put forward by the Director-General, which is geared for food production in support of food security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries.
The main purpose for this programme is to help the low-income and food-deficit countries to promote their food production and promote their food security and enhance the status of malnutrition, and also efforts will be made to increase food supply and food distribution. This is an important issue facing the international community. Without solving this problem, food security, social stability, and world economic development will be seriously affected. Therefore, we have to see the special programme is being implemented. We hope the international community and the Member Nations with ability, and also the potential donors, will give full support to this special programme.
In addition, with regard to the restructuring of FAO, the Chinese Government commends the Director-General's efforts in streamlining the Organization, making savings, and raising efficiency. We also fully understand the difficulties faced by FAO in finance and also the problems encountered in restructuring. In the short term the financial situation will not be changed completely. Therefore, we believe FAO can only follow the Director-General's proposal, which is to make FAO a leaner Organization and make great efforts to reform the Organization and reduce cost and publications. This is an important approach for FAO to overcome the present difficulties and to face the challenges.
With regard to decentralization, we also commend the approach which is to enhance the field offices and sub-regional offices. We believe some authorities can be considered to be moved to the regional offices or to country representations. In doing so it is conducive to the implementation of the approval of projects and the making of savings and also better utilization of local experts. The procurement of equipment can also be shifted to the country concerned or to the country representation.
As for the recruitment of National Professional Officers who work in the FAO representation, we also support the Director-General's decision. We hope FAO will speed up this process. At the same time the proposals put forward by the government and the representation should also be respected because the representatives in these countries and the governments have a good understanding of the operational activities and also the competence of the personnel. We hope FAO will take a full consideration of this.
Finally, with regard to TCDC, the Chinese Government has signed an agreement with FAO. We have also provided a long list of experts; we are willing to provide more experts to give service and also, in areas where competent, we would like to provide training and the technologies to other developing countries. Thank you, Mr Chairman.
Atul SINHA (India): Mr Chairman, we have noted the information contained in document CL 108/21. We are very much encouraged by the responses of the Director-General and the Organization to the decisions taken in the last session of the Council. We support, as we have done in the past, the initiatives taken in this regard, particularly in respect of the Special Programme for Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries and EMPRES which have a lot of relevance for the developing countries.
Without going into very great detail, I would like to pinpoint my observations in respect of the two major issues with which we are all concerned, particularly since they relate to the cutting of costs. These relate to decentralization and particularly the TCDC Programme and the Programme of National Professional Officers.
In respect of TCDC, you are aware that India was the first country to sign this document. Therefore, we have a very great interest in seeing this initiative succeed in the shortest possible time. We feel that the initiatives which have been taken so far are steps in the right direction. A lot of work has been done. Most of the countries which could provide technical expertise have given their names after due scrutiny and these have been received in FAO. I understand they are already in the computer and that technical comments are already being sought.
I feel that since no actual expert has still been deputed to any of the countries under the TCDC agreement, there are some problems somewhere. I also have some fear that the number of projects which should by now have come up from various countries are still not coming up, and that is perhaps why the list of these experts has not been utilized. This is having a deleterious effect on those countries which have provided a large number of names and yet are not able to provide the outlets for those experts.
I would therefore like to suggest that a brief one-day meeting of the Permanent Representatives of FAO could be convened by the Secretariat at which we could discuss the nuts and bolts of the whole story, where we are exactly, whether any experts have actually been posted in the field and, if not, what the real bottlenecks are and in what way the Permanent Representatives here in Rome can help the Organization by contacting our own governments and perhaps asking them about certain things which the FAO wants to get done.
The implementation document which is before us, is, of course, too brief a document to list all those matters, but I feel that a one-day Conference or a Workshop or a Working Group could be a very good outlet for discussing these nuts and bolts problems with the Secretariat. I think that this would help to get very many projects off the ground. Unless some experts really start to work in the field, this project would perhaps suffer some loss of face. I therefore feel that this is one initiative which could be considered by the Secretariat.
We also feel that, in line with the Director-General's initiative about decentralization, it might be a good idea to give powers to the FAO Representatives in various countries to tap on the approved list of officers and experts and then utilize them straight away for the projects. If we centralize things too much, I am afraid that problems are going to occur, so we would like to see a lot more power to the Field Representatives of FAO to get this programme off the ground.
The last point that I want to make is in respect of the National Professional Officers. Here too the situation is the same. Names have been provided by various countries after detailed scrutiny, but I do not know how many of these have been appointed or how many have started functioning. It seems that here there are also some teething troubles. I personally would like to see a lot more emphasis placed on this because these are all
steps which go to reduce costs and therefore should have the utmost priority. Once again we would be very happy to discuss the nuts and bolts part of this and the actual problems in the field in the sort of one-day conference that I was suggesting. I would be very happy on behalf of India to participate in that, as I am sure would a lot of other Permanent Representatives.
Frederick D. KIRUMIRA (Uganda): Mr Chairman, we are sorry to have to take the floor once again. This is because we eould like to announce that our Government attaches great importance to the Organization, and in that respect I have the honour to present to the Organization a contribution of US$28 000.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias distinguido Delegado de Uganda. ¿Hay alguna otra Delegación que desea hacer uso de la palabra? En ese caso, le pregunto a los observadores si desean hacer algún comentario.
D.P.D. VAN RAPPARD (Observer for the Netherlands): Mr Chairman, my broken microphone is a clear sign to be brief and I will not ignore this message! I have only two points to make.
First, in relation to decentralization, the Netherlands support decentralization, provided they improve cost efficiency and quality of activities. This decentralization should be accompanied by good local coordination of activities between FAO, other UN organizations and donor countries under the guidance of the countries concerned. In our view, this should all go together with the delegation of responsibilities, including financial ones. Unfortunately, the document is lacking information regarding this matter.
My second point concerns the new Sustainable Development Department. This Department should "work on issues related to social, economic, technical and environmental aspects related to sustainable development and integrate these issues into a global perspective as a contribution to the operation of sustainable development". My delegation would like to know how FAO will integrate these aspects into the mainstream of its activities.
Robert SAGNA (Observateur du Sénégal): Je souhaite réitérer l'appui que le Ministre de l'agriculture a déjà donné aux efforts déployés dans le domaine de la décentralisation et de la rationalisation qui permettent de dégager ainsi des économies et de rendre notre Organisation commune plus efficace. Nous appuyons également très fortement les deux programmes spéciaux, tout d'abord le programme de production vivrière à l'appui de la sécurité alimentaire dans les pays à faible revenu et à déficit vivrier. Je crois que votre Conseil l'avait déjà adopté en tant que priorité lors de sa cent sixième session et je crois que le problème ne se pose plus sur ce plan-là sinon au niveau de l'application elle-même.
J'aimerais poser une question sur ce point au Secrétariat car au niveau de la cent sixième session le Directeur général avait, dans le cadre du budget adopté déjà par la Conférence de 1993, fait des propositions et permis de lancer ce programme spécial. Il se trouve maintenant qu'il y a une première réunion des donateurs et j'aimerais savoir quel lien le Secrétariat établit entre les deux; le fait que le Directeur général ait dû, dans le cadre des économies qui ont été faites, lancer ce projet et le fait que maintenant, pour assurer la poursuite de ce programme, on puisse dépendre de contributions extrabudgétaires notamment de cette première réunion de pays donateurs dont mon pays aimerait bien savoir quels ont été les premiers résultats.
Le deuxième programme, l'EMPRES, nous l'avons en son temps appuyé et nous renouvelons notre appui. Nous souhaitons souligner, comme le rapport le fait déjà, le fait que le programme puisse s'étendre le plus tôt possible à la région de l'Afrique de l'Ouest compte tenu du fait que ces dernières années nous avons assisté à une recrudescence de criquets pèlerins dans cette zone, ce qui est très dramatique. Nous souhaiterions que l'espace soit réduit pour cette région afin que le programme puisse l'atteindre très tôt.
Nous voudrions enfin dire que nous sommes partie prenante aux accords de CTPD que nous avons signés également. Nous sommes également partie prenante à l'accord relatif à l'utilisation de retraités et nous nous associons également, à cet égard, aux remarques très pertinentes faites par l'Ambassade de l'Inde. Il serait bon que le Secrétariat, dans le cadre de la transparence, puisse informer les représentants permanents de l'issue de ces projets qui sont importants et pour lesquels le Conseil a donné son appui à plusieurs reprises. Il serait bon également que nous puissions être tenus au courant du déroulement de façon à ne pas être déphasés.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias distinguido Observador del Senegal.
Con esto concluye mi lista de oradores. Le voy a pedir al señor Hjort que responda a las cuestiones planteadas.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL: Let me begin with an expression of appreciation of all the support that has been reconfirmed, and even specific offers of assistance and financial support as well.
With regard to New Cooperation Agreements, it may be appropriate to briefly review the process for TCDC Experts in view of the comments that have been received. There is first the process of reaching agreement on the Agreement between the two parties. That has been accomplished for in excess of 59 countries now.
The second step is a communication to the government requesting them to submit a list of experts who are willing to participate in the programme. At latest count - and I am sure I am outdated because additional ones come in every day - we had in excess of 1 600. Upon receipt, they are submitted to the Technical Unit concerned, to evaluate the candidates, the nominees, in accordance with established criteria used for the Organization in general. Those who are deemed to be appropriate and fully qualified for the assignments are in turn placed in a roster, a data bank if you like, which is accessible to all Units in and throughout the Organization.
In specific answer to a question, to my knowledge the first one has not been employed under the Agreement. Special emphasis is placed on the utilization of TCDC Experts for the Special Programme on food production; this opportunity is identified in every plan of operations that is being negotiated under that Programme. In line with the suggestion that was made by India, FAORs have been alerted to, in particular, emphasize and seek opportunities for the utilization of TCDC Experts. There were questions here about the costs. You will note in paragraph 76 of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget that we anticipate that these Programmes, TCCT and TCDC and so forth, will generate savings. If you will, let me explain that: potential savings of US$3.6 million for the Regular Programme and US$4.8 million for the TCP. These are savings in the sense that they lower costs. As you know, in the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, we have not proposed that the TCP allocation be reduced by that US$4.8 million, instead we propose that we should be able to provide a higher quality and larger number of experts under the Programmes.
With respect to the specific question or suggestion of a one-day meeting, we, of course, are open to any suggestions of the Council. I would note for all the members of the Council that the office that is coordinating the activities of these agreements is the Office of Cooperation and Development headed by Mr Omar and I am sure he would be quite pleased to offer additional information that anybody may wish to have on the status of this Programme.
Concerning communications infrastructure, I do not believe there was any question. There was a comment in support, and we appreciate that. On decentralization, first, with respect to the country offices, the International Programme Officers, of which in the 1994-95 Programme of Work and Budget I believe there were around 65 or 67 such posts, are all to be abolished in the forthcoming Programme of Work and Budget. The officers concerned are being redeployed wherever possible. These posts are being substituted by National Professional Officer posts in accord with the guidance and directives of the 106th Session of the Council. In this regard, there was also a question about the cost savings. As communicated again in paragraph 76 of the Summary Programme of Work and Budget, the net savings are expected to be US$6.2 million associated with this transformation from International Programme Officers to National Professional Officers. I would add that in the submissions that we have received, it is evident that we are attracting very well-qualified professional officers. In general, their level of formal training and experience tends to exceed that of those whom they will be replacing.
Concerning the current status, I believe there are still 56 International Programme Officers, all but I believe 18 - and there are still some of those latter that are still in process - all but 18 have been redeployed in the sense that they have found a post and have accepted. This, of course, requires the acceptance of the individual concerned.
As far as. NPOs, very few so far have been accepted. The only one that is completely certain is an International Programme Officer that has elected to become a National Professional Officer in his own country and that transfer will take place now in a matter of days. The FAORs have been instructed to complete submissions for NPOs and to forward them by 30 June 1995. In response to the questions about the recruitment procedures, you will note that the Council approved an amendment to our rules and regulations that bring National Professional Officers into the same set of procedures as any other professional officer. That means that submissions are received and screened. In this particular case there is a panel that is formed at the country level and they rank the top five or six that have responded to the advertisements and communications; that submission is forwarded to Headquarters and considered by the Professional Staff Selection Committee. The recommendation of the Professional Staff Selection Committee is submitted to the Director-General for selection. This is precisely the same procedure that is followed with respect to any other professional officer. We are required by our rules and regulations to do so.
I might add that the review of the entire staffing pattern of country offices was completed some time ago and we submitted the proposals to the FAORs and they in turn, in some cases, have requested some modifications, but the General Service staffing pattern that goes along with the Professional pattern has been reviewed and agreed in essentially all cases. The final decisions will be taken in connection with the preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget. The Sub-regional Offices are being subjected to the same sort of review as are the Regional Offices.
Turning now to Headquarters restructuring there was the comment about the functional statements. Here, again, perhaps it is necessary to briefly review the process. First of all recognizing that in the restructuring of Headquarters and the field, the functions of essentially every unit are changed and so it required a whole revision of the Manual. The Manual covers the functional statements of each organizational entity making up the Organization; they had to be reviewed and revised. We seized the opportunity also to bring the functional statements into conformance across departments and organizational entities. It has been admittedly a time-consuming process and we wish it could have been completed earlier. It is essentially complete, but there are one or two that still need to be reviewed. The submission for the establishment process which was referenced always comes from the unit concerned, whichever unit is putting forward the proposal. Then it is reviewed by the Establishments machinery and of course again the final approval rests with the Director-General.
A question was raised about the necessity of MSUs. We have decided to establish Management Support Units for each of the major departments at Headquarters and may establish at Regional Offices depending upon the magnitude of the workload and so forth. The reason for doing so is basically two-fold. Some of our departments or divisions already were serviced by so-called Management Support Units. In fact, they were basically Administrative Support Units and were providing personnel and financial services. This was deemed to be based upon experience more efficient than the alternative pattern which was to have a smaller administrative unit for each of the divisions of the Organization. The second reason for the establishment of Management Support Units was to turn them, in fact, into Management Support Units instead of Administrative Support Units so that you bring into the unit those who have the task of helping the Assistant Director-General and the Division Directors to programme the resources and monitor the implementation of an approved Programme of Work and Budget. These functions also were being performed in a more decentralized way and not as efficient as it seemed could be the case in a combined unit.
There was a question, or several references, to delegations of authority. I might say that in addition to the review of functional statements, which of course have to address delegations of authority, there has also been a review of the policies and procedures of the Organization and, of that long list, the Director-General has already cleared for implementation 86 specific changes in policies and procedures. Those are being implemented. I might add in this connection that, while things sometimes seem bureaucratic, it is absolutely essential to ensure that there is appropriate control over the resources that are made available to the Organization.
With respect to EMPRES, I noted a comment that I heard before about seeking to add additional diseases as soon as possible, including foot and mouth disease. I would simply note that, as the document notes, the framework for the consideration of EMPRES sub-programmes is three-fold: an early warning aspect, an early reaction aspect and research. I would hasten to add that research does not mean that the Organization is intending to get into the basic research underlying these activities but, rather, it is to understand what research is under way and to form a network among the various research institutions and try to facilitate that process
by bringing to them the gaps which are identified through our on-going activities. I noted the comment about expansion of the locust programme to West Africa and South West Asia, and that, of course, is referenced in the document itself and we will do so as soon as possible.
Turning now to the Special Programme on Food Production, I would up-date the report. As I am sure many of you know, the first stage of this programme is going forward in 15 countries. The objective is to have pilot projects in each of those countries for this season. There are nine of those countries where their planting season is May-June and in all nine of those we are moving forward with the pilot projects, and we hope to be able to do so in the others when they come to their planting season. In this regard, I very much appreciate the offer from Australia with respect to Papua New Guinea because that is one where we have had some delays, and it does need priority attention to bring it back on schedule.
I wish to remind you that this is a Special Programme for Food Production in Support of Food Security in Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries. All aspects of that title are of relevance. As you well know, the enlarged concept of food security includes production, stability and access. This Programme does not address all three of those aspects; it addresses only the production aspect. It seeks to facilitate a rapid increase in productivity and production. To do so, its focus is on high-priority areas in order to maximize the pay-off from the Programme.
In this connection, I might note that the so-called International Policy Council on Agriculture, Food and Trade meeting recently at Winrock International in the United States stated - and I quote - "The IPC believes that in the future environmentally sustainable production can best be met by increasing yields on the best land. If yields are not increased full demand can only be met by pressing fragile lands into production, leading to erosion and soil degregation. " I simply make the point there that if you are designing a programme in support of the production aspects of food security, it has a different target group and it will have a different composition than if you are designing a programme for stability. Of course, if you are designing a programme aimed directly at access, you have a very different target group and the design of that programme will be quite different from one for production. This does not mean that we are not involved in all aspects of food security. In these countries, low-income food-deficit countries, an increase in production is also going to have a positive impact on access. It is not going to be enough and there will have to be complementary efforts -and there are complementary efforts - within the Organization and by other partners working together with our member countries on those related aspects. I might add that in the Medium-term Plan that will be before you at Conference we address the work of the Organization in support of food security, which I hope will make it easier for you to clarify the distinctions between the different components and the work that is under way. However, I would remind you that the Director-General reported to you earlier that the provision for the Special Programme was initially US$3 million, and a large part of the Regular Programme and the Field Programme of the Organization is involved in matters on the food security side, much of it working in low-potential areas and with low-resource producers, and the magnitude of that in terms of total budget is far in excess of that which is provided specifically for the Special Programme.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, señor Hjort, por esas abundantes aclaraciones que me facilitan mucho la tarea, porque tengo poco que adicionar a lo que usted ya ha dicho. Simplemente expresar que este tema sobre el Informe del Director General, respecto a la aplicación de las decisiones adoptadas en este 116 período de sesiones del Consejo, recibieron una unánime reconfirmación y apoyo por parte del Consejo, que tomó nota de que ese tema era para información, y confirmó que, a su juicio, estas propuestas debían seguir adelante, que merecían toda la prioridad, tanto en lo relativo a la producción agrícola y alimentaria en países de bajos ingresos con déficit de alimentos, el programa EMPRES, así como a la descentralización, la reestructuración de la Sede, la infraestructura en materia de comunicaciones, los nuevos acuerdos de cooperación en los que se indicó que se debería asegurar un enfoque integrado en la seguridad alimentaria en sus diversas fases, no solamente en la de carácter productivo sino también en la fase distributiva, de carácter sanitario, nutricional, etc. Asimismo se hicieron recomendaciones específicas, en particular respecto a fortalecer y acelerar el esquema de personal, de formación de grupos técnicos en países en desarrollo, a la contratación de expertos nacionales y al perfeccionamiento de los mecanismos de contratación de personal profesional nacional; todo esto en aras de apoyar la cooperación técnica entre países en desarrollo.
Finalmente, se puso énfasis en cuanto a que la descentralización no sólo debía fortalecerse en el ámbito administrativo sino también en el proceso de delegación de autoridad, simplificación de procedimientos administrativos, y para, en fin, superar un enfoque centralista al respecto. Desde luego se aclaró que éste era un proceso en marcha, adaptativo, que todavía no había terminado y que, obviamente, los distinguidos miembros de la FAO recibirían informaciones ulteriores sobre los grados de avance y las dificultades encontradas, haciéndose los ajustes pertinentes para que este proceso lleve al fortalecimiento del mandato de la FAO.
No quiero abundar en un detalle mayor respecto de los comentarios que aquí se vertieron. Creo que el señor Hjort lo ha hecho ya con lujo de detalles y quiero aprovechar el tiempo que tenemos todavía disponible esta mañana para pasar de inmediato al Tema 9 de nuestra agenda: Undécimo Congreso Forestal Mundial, 1997, que es para debate y/o decisión.
Le voy a pedir al señor Harcharik que nos informe sobre la situación en que se encuentran las varias ofertas para hospedar este Congreso.
David HARCHARIK (Assistant Director-General, Forestry Department): Delegates, I think you know that this Agenda Item is presented in Secretariat documents CL 108/19 and CL 108/LIM/2. The World Forestry Congresses are held every six years. They constitute the most important opportunity for the forestry profession and for all individuals and institutions active in forestry to share knowledge and experiences and to express their vision on the conservation and development of the world's forests. Since its inception, FAO has had a significant role to play in the preparation of these World Forestry Congresses. This Council has the responsibility of designating the host countries for these congresses. FAO then joins forces with the selected country in preparing and organizing the congresses. The Tenth World Forestry Congress was held in Paris in September 1991 and the Eleventh one is to be held in 1997. Among the countries which indicated their interest in hosting the congress in reply to the circular letter of the Director-General, only Portugal and Turkey have maintained their offer. A very brief description of the forestry sector of these two countries is given in document CL 108/LIM/2. Chairman and delegates, since the documentation for the Council was issued, the Director-General has received a letter from the Bolivian Government expressing possible interest in hosting the Congress subject to the availability of financial assistance from FAO. We have provided information to the Bolivian delegation explaining the logistical and financial responsibilities of the host government and we understand that they are re-evaluation their position now.
Chairman, we hope very much that this Session of the Council can reach a consensus on the designation of the host country in order that enough lead time is available to the country to organize this very important Congress in the most efficient manner.
EL PRESIDENTE: Agradezco a los países que muy generosamente han ofrecido sus instalaciones, sus recursos, su capacidad de organización para hospedar este Congreso. A todos los evaluamos con igual interés y respeto y, desde luego, debemos llegar a alguna conclusión con el propósito de poder iniciar los trabajos preparatorios necesarios del Undécimo Congreso Forestal Mundial.
Los países que se habían ofrecido, y se han retirado por varias razones, han facilitado, quizá, este proceso. Sin embargo, y ustedes han tomado nota, de que existen hasta ahora tres candidatos para hospedar este Congreso. Uno de ellos todavía no puede formalizar su ofrecimiento en virtud de los arreglos financieros que se requerirán.
Distinguidos delegados, tras consultas yo he observado que debemos apresurar esta materia más que aplazarla. Por eso me voy a permitir, primero poner estas cuestiones a su consideración con el propósito de que se debata el punto y, posteriormente, si es posible, llegar a una decisión por consenso. A mi me gustaría, en lo personal, evitar una votación al respecto que creo no ayudaría a nadie. Esto lo podremos decidir finalmente al término de un debate, quizá breve, que tendríamos esta mañana.
Jacques LAUREAU (France): Je serai très bref. Vous ne serez pas surpris d'entendre que la solidarité de l'Union européenne s'impose sur ce point de l'ordre du jour, et par conséquent que les 15 Etats Membres soutiennent la candidature du Portugal. Bien entendu, j'espère que nous parviendrons à un consensus d'ici la fin de la réunion.
EL PRESIDENTE: Yo le ofrecí en primer lugar la palabra al Delegado de Francia ya que su país hospedó el último Congreso Forestal Mundial.
Ergin DÖNMEZ (Turkey): Mr Chairman, as you well know Turkey has already applied to host the
11th World Forestry Congress which will be held in 1997. This commitment was first made during the 10th
World Forestry Congress and all related meetings of FAO.
I would like to take this opportunity to brief you about Turkey and Turkish Forestry. Turkey is located in Europe as well as in Asia. It is a bridge between Europe and Asia not only by land but also by culture. Turkey is a member of the Near East Regional Committee as well as Europe.
Turkey has 77 million hectares of land, of which 20.2 million hectares is forest land. Turkey is divided into seven regions by different ecologic as well as climatic conditions. First, this makes the country rich in biodiversity with 9 000 plant species of which 3 000 are endemic.
In Turkey, the Ministry of Forestry was established in 1969 but abrogated in 1982 and re-established in 1992. The Ministry of Forestry has four General Directorates, mainly Forestry, Reforestation and Erosion Control, Nature Park Hunting and Wild Life, and Forest and Forest Village Relations.
In the field, the Ministry of Forestry is working along with six Ministerial Regional Directorates, 27 Forest Conservation Directorates, 243 Forest Enterprise Directorates, 1 269 Forest Districts and Reforestation and Erosion Control, as well as National Park Directorates. This Ministry employs more than 4 000 engineers, 28 000 civil servants and 300 000 temporary labourers. The 1995 annual budget of the Ministry is US$600 million. The Ministry carried out an average of 100 000 hectares of reforestation and afforestation annually within the last decade. The Ministry is also active in the development of forest villages through extra funds channelled through the Treasury.
The Ministry of Forestry has in the last two years organized more than five international conferences, seminars and symposiums. Some of them are International Pinus Brutia Symposium, European Forestry Commission Meeting, the Ministerial Conference follow-up Meeting, International Poplar Executive Committee Meeting, etc.
Turkey possesses all the facilities and services to host the 11th World Forestry Congress in 1997. We would like to propose Antalya, an ancient city, rich with forestry, with an excellent environment, near the Mediterranean Sea in Asia Minor. In and around Antalya there are more than 24 five star hotels with more than 5 000 bedrooms and 10 000 beds. Each hotel also has meeting rooms, conference halls and dining-rooms for the convention session.
Antalya has national parks, nature reservation areas, recreational facilities and highly productive forests. Therefore, it is possible to organize field trips, excursions and touristic visits for the participants as well as those accompanying them.
Antalya has an international airport with flights from countries directly to or via Istanbul with excellent transport facilities.
I would like to inform all member countries that a sufficient amount of funds for the preparatory arrangements for the Conference has already been allocated by the Turkish Government.
We distributed the necessary documents in envelopes on the first day of the Council meeting for all the member countries' information.
We would wish to host the 11th World Forestry Congress in order to serve you as well as to show you our culture and tradition with Turkish hospitability in Turkey. The Turkish delegation would like to have the decision made today in this Council meeting.
José Manuel MENDONCA LIMA (Observateur du Portugal): La délégation portuguaise profite de cette opportunité pour faire connaître directement aux membres du Conseil la décision du Portugal de présenter sa candidature pour recevoir à Lisbonne le llème Congrès forestier mondial en 1997.
Cette candidature a été présentée en réponse à la lettre d'invitation envoyée par le Directeur général, sous forme d'une lettre signée personnellement par le Ministre des Affaires étrangères du Gouvernement du Portugal. Copie de cette lettre a été distribuée en annexe au document CL 108/LIM/2.
La spécificité de la forêt méditerranéenne, l'importance que notre pays attache à la protection des forêts en Europe, et bien entendu la valeur de la filière forestière pour le Portugal constituent le fondement de cette candidature. Il faut tenir compte du fait qu'un congrés forestier mondial doit être centré autour d'un thème central présentant un intérêt pour tous les pays du monde.
Le thème reste à décider en coopération avec les organisations internationales, notamment la FAO, qui traditionnellement coopèrent avec l'Etat Membre hôte du Congrès, d'une manière très étroite. Mais le onzième Congrès forestier mondial pourra sans doute constituer une opportunité pour attirer l'attention du monde sur les problèmes très spécifiques de la forêt méditerranéenne. En effet, le bilan de la situation mondiale des forêts couvre notamment d'un côté les forêts tempérées des pays développés et d'un autre côté les forêts tropicales des pays en développement de l'Afrique, de l'Amérique latine et de l'Asie.
L'attention de l'opinion publique est de plus en plus dirigée vers les problèmes de la destruction de la forêt dans les régions tropicales, en oubliant que par contre c'est en Afrique du Nord que l'on observe les taux les plus élevés de déforestation. Nous sommes convaincus qu'en reconnaissant la spécificité de la forêt méditerranéenne on pourrait aussi contribuer à mobiliser les efforts pour renforcer la coopération visant à la conservation et au développement durable des forêts de cette importante région dans le monde.
Depuis ces dernières années, le Portugal a assumé un protagonisme international considérable en matière forestière. En tant que suivi de la CNUED, la Conférence d'Helsinki de 1993, où le Portugal a joué un rôle important, se poursuivra lors de la troisième Conférence pour la protection des forêts en Europe qui se tiendra à Lisbonne en 1998, et qui est organisée par notre pays en coopération avec la Finlande et l'Autriche.
En ce qui concerne nos activités internes dans le domaine forestier, l'organisation d'un congrès mondial de cette dimension sera l'objet essentiel de nos préoccupations et permettra de mobiliser toute notre filière forestière. Or cette filière est la principale activité basée sur les ressources naturelles renouvelables du Portugal. L'importance économique, sociale, écologique, environnementale de la forêt et des activités associées est donc indiscutable pour notre pays. A titre indicatif, je peux vous donner quelques chiffres qui complètent le texte du document CL 108/LIM/2. Les forêts couvrent actuellement plus d'un tiers de la surface totale du pays mais il sera possible de mettre en valeur les potentialités qui existent en vue d'augmenter de façon significative cette surface. Les activités humaines associées aux forêts occupent près de 100 000 personnes, ce qui représente environ neuf pour cent de l'emploi total du secteur industriel. La valeur des produits des industries forestières représente près de 12 pour cent de la valeur des produits industriels et l'exportation des produits forestiers représente aussi 12 pour cent de l'exploitation totale du pays. Le Portugal est un pays de l'Union européenne dont le bilan commercial des produits forestiers est positif. Il est donc profondément convaincu de pouvoir rendre un service à la communauté forestière mondiale et pense être en mesure d'organiser le Congrès au Portugal en 1997.
Freddy ABASTOFLOR CORDOVAR (Obvervador de Bolivia): Gracias señor Presidente, deseo referirme breve y concretamente al por qué del ofrecimiento realizado por el Gobierno de mi país para esperar el 11° Congreso Forestal Mundial que se llevaría a cabo en 1997. Bolivia tiene una extensión de 1.098.000 km2, de los cuales tres cuartas partes son tropicales, en los que está incluida la extensa amazonia boliviana. Asimismo mi país se encuentra a la vanguardia en cuanto a la conservación forestal y así puede certificar la pausa ecológica histórica de la amazonia boliviana impuesta por el Gobierno de mi país en 1992.
Por otra parte en 1996 se llevará a cabo en Bolivia, la Cumbre de Jefes de Estado de las Américas, cuyo tema central será el de desarrollo sostenible y medio ambiente. Es en este sentido, que el Gobierno de Bolivia manifestó su interés en hospedar el 11° Congreso Forestal Mundial a llevarse a cabo en 1997. Pero en vista de que las otras dos postulaciones están bastante adelantadas, y a fin de colaborar en la búsqueda de un consenso en torno a la decisión sobre este punto, la Delegación de Bolivia retira su postulación. Gracias.
EL PRESEDENTE: Muchas gracias distinguido Observador de Bolivia. El Consejo ha tomado nota de su muy amable, gentil y generoso ofrecimiento y, también, las razones por las cuales lo retira. Muchas gracias.
Nahi SHIBANI (Syria) (Original language Arabic): Thank you, Sir. Allow me, on behalf of the Near East group shared by my country in this session, to express our heartfelt thanks to all those efforts deployed with a view to convening the Eleventh World Forestry Congress. We thank in particular the Secretariat of the Organization as well as Turkey and Portugal for their offering to host the Congress in their countries with a view to disseminating the successful conclusions hoped of that Congress in all the regions of the world.
We believe, Mr President, that it is better for the Congress to be convened in different regions by rotation. Since the last Congress to date took place in France, we believe it more appropriate for the forthcoming Congress to be held in a different region. Therefore, Turkey is the more appropriate venue for the Congress. This is all the more relevant since the statement we have just heard by the Turkish Representative a few moments ago shows the interest given by the country to forestry and forestry management within the biodiversified regions in Turkey, which is worth noting.
Mrs Elena SUETT-ASKERSTAM (Estonia): Thank you, Mr Chairman. I have only a brief comment on the part of my Government on the subject of the choice of site and the points of attention of the next World Forestry Congress. Forestry is already of prime importance in my country since about 50 percent of our territory is under forest. We also have a situation of overproduction in the food sector, which means that over time the area under cultivation will decrease with resulting unemployment but also a corresponding increase in the forested area. This, we realize, is an anomaly in respect of many countries in the world.
I believe that I can also safely say that a common problem of the countries of our sub-region's forests is ecological damage from the pollution which is the result of uncontrolled industrialization as a leftover from the Soviet era. We are, therefore, anxious to see FAO stress the importance of the science of forestation to ecology and to forestry questions in general, and we should naturally like to see the Eleventh World Forestry Congress take into account the above as well as the particular problems of our sub-regional conditions and problems in the forestry field.
Since there is not the possibility to hold the next Forestry Congress in a country with forest conditions similar to ours, either of the two countries who have generously offered to host the Congress are acceptable to us.
Adel M. ABOUL-NAGA (Egypt) (Original language Arabic). In the name of God the Merciful and Compassionate.
I would like to endorse what has been said by the Syrian delegate, on behalf of the Near East Group, supporting holding the Eleventh World Forestry Congress in Turkey with a view to enabling another region, a different region, to host the Congress. However, we would be remiss if we did not thank Portugal, among other countries which have offered to host it.
Srta. María Cristina FERRARI (Argentina): Gracias señor Presidènte. Independientemente de la situación del sector forestal existente en cada uno de los dos países, el ofrecimiento hecho para albergar un Congreso Forestal Mundial implica, por sí mismo, la importancia y el interés que los países le asignan al tema. Felicitamos y agradecemos a los Gobiernos de Portugal y Turquía, también a Bolivia, por el ofrecimiento hecho a la FAO para albergar este evento en un sector al que la República Argentina le asigna gran importancia.
Agradecemos asimismo la información suministrada en el Documento CL 108/LIM/2, sobre las peculiaridades características del sector forestal en Portugal y Turquía, lo que nos ha permitido observar la similitud existente entre la forma de abordar este tema forestal en Turquía y Argentina. La República Argentina comparte con Turquía similitudes respecto a las variedades climáticas de sus regiones, que van desde las zonas cálidas a zonas frías y de gran altitud. Nos complace también ver la importancia que este país le concede a los bosques como fuentes generadoras de energía y la relevancia asignada a los productos forestales no madereros, que como este Consejo conoce, la República Argentina ha destacado su importancia, tanto en sus intervenciones en el COFO como en las sesiones de este Consejo.
No obstante lo expresado, la Delegación Argentina desearía que la definición con relación al país sede para albergar el 11° Congreso Mundial Forestal, pudiera ser el resultado de una decisión acordada entre los dos países que han hecho su ofrecimiento, Portugal y Turquía. Sin embargo, deseamos resaltar que en la decisión final se pudieran valorar los esfuerzos desplegados por Turquía para desarrollar a nivel nacional este importante sector. Desearíamos, señor Presidente, que cualquiera que sea la decisión de este Consejo respecto al país sede, que el Congreso Forestal Mundial incluyera en su tratamiento, de forma especial, el tema relativo a los productos forestales no madereros y la importancia del bosque como fuente generadora de energía y de servicios.
Agradecemos especialmente a los países que han hecho este ofrecimiento, por la ayuda logística y financiera que están dispuestos a afrontar para sufragar los gastos de este importantísimo Congreso.
Hiroaki KISHI (Japan): Thank you, Mr Chairman. On behalf of Asia Group, I would like to join the Near East Group to support for Turkey to host the World Forestry Congress.
Nedelson RICARDO JORGE (Brazil): Thank you, Mr Chairman. Regarding, specifically, the question of the site of the Eleventh World Forestry Congress, my delegation would like to lend its support to the Government of Portugal, which has kindly offered to host the Congress. We would also like to thank all governments which have made or shown interest in making similar offers. We look forward to reaching a consensus solution about that.
Our support to Portugal as the site of the Congress, however, does not imply our support to the World Forestry Congress in its present form. In fact, the Brazilian Government would like to have an opportunity to perceive a detailed review of the timing, the objectives, and functions of the Congress as well as the participation in it. For instance, Appendix B of Document CL108/19 states that the Congress should bring together knowledge and experience with a view to giving guidance on matters pertaining to the formulation and implementation of forest policy. It also states that the Congress should express views which may assist international organizations in planning their future work. We wonder whether the Congress will not prejudge some decisions and, therefore, negatively interfere with the debates on the Multilateral Panel on Forests recently created by the third CSD.
The participation in the Congress, as another example, is also somewhat odd and needs careful consideration. The Congress is equally open, with the same voting rights to representatives of governments as well as to, and I quote, "individuals connected with forestry, forest conservation, and the utilization of forest products," which has a very broad meaning and, depending on the interpretation given, may allow almost anybody to qualify.
In short, Mr Chairman, we feel that there is an urgent need for such a detailed review in order to adapt the World Forest Congress to the new institutional realities at the multilateral level in dealing with questions relating to forests, in particular in light of the Multilateral Panel on Forests recently established by the third CSD. We look forward for an appropriate opportunity to perceive such a detailed review.
Francis J. VACCA (United States of America): Thank you, Mr Chairman. The United States is pleased to see two good offers to host the Eleventh World Forestry Congress due to be held in 1997. In view of the fact that the last World Forestry Congress was held in Western Europe, it might be an advantage to consider a country closer to the Near East region of the world, a region that has not hosted a World Forestry Congress.
Christophe KIEMTORE (Burkina Faso): Ma délégation a examiné avec intérêt les candidatures qui ont été soumises pour recevoir le onzième Congrès forestier mondial. En réaffirmant son soutien à ce Congrès forestier, ma délégation pense que le choix du pays hôte devra se faire dans un esprit de consensus. C'est la seule façon de mobiliser un plus grand nombre de participants; c'est la seule façon aussi de garantir des résultats.
C'est pourquoi ma délégation est disposée à se joindre à tout consensus qui pourrait se dégager. Et nous saisisons cette occasion pour remercier les Gouvernements de la Turquie et du Portugal de leur disponibilité.
TRIYONO (Indonesia): Mr Chairman, allow me briefly on behalf of the Indonesian delegation to say that we would like to support the proposal from our friends from Spain and the United States of America concerning the hosting of the XIth World Forestry Congress.
Saleh HAMDI (Tunisie): Monsieur le Président, je voudrais exprimer l'appui de ma délégation à l'appel que vous avez bien voulu lancer au début de la séance pour régler cette question par consensus.
Ma délégation remercie les pays qui ont bien voulu offrir d'accueillir le onzième Congrès mondial sur les forêts. Nous sommes évidemment sensibles aux arguments avancés par les délégations de ces pays à l'appui de leur candidature et nous considérons que les deux pays sont bien aptes à accueillir ce Congrès.
Je serais peut-être tenté de lancer un appel aux deux délégations concernées pour essayer de trouver un terrain d'entente au moyen de consultations.
Toutefois, compte tenu de la pratique de rotation géographique qui préside à l'organisation de ce genre de rencontres internationales et après le retrait du candidat africain, il me semble que la candidature turque peut être valablement retenue.
Mansour Mabrouk SEGHAYER (Libya) (Original language Arabic): Mr Chairman, my delegation wishes to support the candidacy of Turkey to host the XIth World Forestry Congress.
Saleh Sadiq OSMAN (Tanzania): Mr Chairman, my delegation appreciates the efforts of the Portuguese and Turkish Governments to host the XIth World Forestry Congress. We think that it is fair to rotate our activities within the regions since the 1991 Conference was conducted in France. Therefore, it would be fair that this coming Conference should be hosted in Turkey. My delegation fully supports and endorses the proposal that Turkey should host the 1997 Conference.
Riccardo MORANDINI (Observateur de l'Union internationale des Instituts de Recherches forestières): L'Union internationale des Instituts de Recherches forestières porte un grand intérêt au Congrès forestier mondial qu'elle estime être le forum idéal pour la transmission et l'application des résultats de la recherche forestière aux responsables des politiques forestières ainsi que l'application des techniques forestières.
Nous voudrions,.en conséquence, rappeler qu'à l'occasion du huitième Congrès forestier mondial à Djakarta, une coopération étroite entre les comités d'organisation et l'IUFRO a permis d'assurer de façon très efficace cet échange de vues et notamment, pour chaque grande section du Congrès, un porte-parole de l'IUFRO a fait le point des progrès réalisés dans les secteurs spécifiques.
Je voudrais donner l'assurance que l'IUFRO est prête à offrir toute sa coopération pour le développement le plus efficace possible du prochain Congrès forestier mondial.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, señor Observador. No veo ningún otro delegado u observador que desee hacer uso de la palabra. Ustedes, por tanto, podrán concluir conmigo en que, en primer lugar, el Consejo ha agradecido a aquellos países que han propuesto hospedar el Congreso Forestal Mundial, en particular los últimos dos países de la lista de cinco, es decir, Turquía y Portugal, por ofrecer las condiciones, los preparativos, la disposición para realizar el Congreso. Ustedes también seguramente coincidirán conmigo en que no existe un consenso en esta sala respecto de quién debe hospedar el Congreso; no obstante, se expresó el agradecimiento profundo y el reconocimiento de que ambos países reunían las características necesarias para ello. Es para mí particularmente difícil tratar de identificar si hubo una mayoría o no hubo una mayoría respecto a uno u otro país. Sugiero, distinguidos delegados, para evitar una votación, que pospongamos la decisión final hasta mañana y, tras consultas entre los países, se observe la orientación general de los apoyos y podamos, en consecuencia, resolver este asunto tan delicado por la vía consensual. Si ustedes están de acuerdo conmigo, se celebrarán ulteriores consultas a la luz del debate que hemos tenido y mañana decidiremos.
Me ha pedido la distinguida Delegación de Turquía hacer uso de la palabra; se la otorgo.
Ergin DÖNMEZ (Turkey): Mr Chairman, according to the countries who took the floor, I am satisfied that Turkey has more support than Portugal. Therefore, we would like to have the decision today.
EL PRESIDENTE: Bien, distinguidos delegados, esto me llevaría de inmediato a una votación. Les pregunto a ustedes si tienen alguna objeción.
José Manuel MENDONCA LIMA (Observateur du Portugal): Monsieur le Président, je crois qu'il faudra éviter - et vous l'avez dit - un vote. Vous pourriez peut-être faire vous-même une proposition en vous basant sur ce qui vous semble souhaité par la majorité des membres du Conseil. Vous pourriez tirer vous-même cette conclusion.
EL PRESIDENTE: Bien, distinguidos delegados, si ustedes me lo permiten, debo advertir que del debate que he escuchado y también tras haber hecho otras consultas de carácter informal, que desde luego no tienen necesariamente un reflejo formal en los debates, mi sentimiento como Presidente Independiente del Consejo, y sin que esto prejuzgue la opinión definitiva de los Miembros, es que Turquía tiene un apoyo mayor para hospedar el Congreso Forestal Mundial. Desde luego no está en mí tomar una decisión final y es arriesgado lo que he dicho, por eso no me atrevo a imponerlo como conclusión a este Consejo, pero mi percepción, distinguido Observador de Portugal, es que Turquía contaría con un apoyo mayoritario.
Michael TABONG KIMA (Cameroon): Mr Chairman, do not let anyone distract you from your own judgement. You have already stated that you are going to postpone this until tomorrow for further consultation. I suggest that you stick with this decision because tomorrow we may have a different situation.
EL PRESIDENTE: Distinguidos delegados, la única manera de resolver este asunto es preguntándoles a los dos distinguidos anfitriones potenciales si existe en alguno de ellos la intención de retirarse y en ese caso que así lo haga; de otra manera, les propongo que mañana, tras nuevas consultas, decidamos, y, en todo caso, votemos.
Turquía ha manifestado el sentir de que cuenta con un apoyo mayoritario; mi sentimiento, repito, muy personal, sin imponérselo, es que así sería en el caso de una votación, pero, obviamente, esto está abierto a la prueba definitiva. Distinguidos delegados, no veo que haya ninguna otra opinión al respecto. Creo que este tema, que es delicado porque nadie quiere ofender a ninguno de los dos países anfitriones que amablemente se han ofrecido, sería mejor que lo dejáramos para el día de mañana evitando una votación.
Manuel José DIAS SOARES COSTA (Observateur du Portugal): Je vous remercie, Monsieur le Président, de m'accorder encore une fois la parole. J'ai déjà dit qu'à notre avis, vous avez déjà les informations suffisantes et qu'en ce qui nous concerne, nous serons satisfaits de votre conclusion. Mais, évidemment, ce n'est pas à nous de vous dire quelle est la conclusion que nous tirons du débat. Vous êtes libre de le faire et le Portugal acceptera votre suggestion.
EL PRESIDENTE: De Presidente Independiente del Consejo me he convertido en gran elector. Mi conclusión es que una mayoría apoya a Turquía, distinguido Observador de Portugal; ésa sería mi conclusión. Si usted acepta esa conclusión, evitaríamos una votación y le ofreceríamos a Turquía nuestra decisión de que hospedara el XI Congreso Forestal Mundial.
Manuel José DIAS SOARES COSTA (Observateur du Portugal): La délégation portugaise tient à remercier tous les membres du Conseil et vous-même, Monsieur le Président, de la manière sage - je souligne sage - dont vous avez tiré une conclusion correcte de notre débat sur le Congrès forestier mondial.
La candidature portugaise était une candidature ouverte. Notre intention fondamentale était de répondre positivement à l'invitation du Directeur général à un moment où notre Organisation a la responsabilité d'être le maître d'oeuvre dans le domaine forestier mais aussi de démontrer l'intérêt de mon pays pour les problèmes de la filière forestière.
Nous sommes en tout cas sensibles au principe de la rotation. La Turquie, étant également un pays de la Méditerranée, jouera elle aussi le rôle important qui consiste à attirer l'attention du monde sur le problème de la forêt méditerranéenne. Nous félicitons nos amis turcs et nous souhaitons à la délégation turque un grand succès dans l'organisation du Congrès forestier mondial. De plus, nous donnons l'assurance à nos amis turcs de pouvoir compter avec la collaboration totale et dévouée de mon pays et des institutions forestières portugaises.
EL PRESIDENTE: Honor a quien honor merece, distinguido Delegado de Portugal. Su posición es de gran altura y de enorme generosidad y este Consejo se lo agradece en todo lo que vale. Muchas gracias, distinguido Observador por Portugal.
Bien, distinguidos delegados, con esto se concluye el tema 9 de nuestro programa; la decisión de nuestro Consejo es que el XI Congreso Forestal Mundial se realice en Turquía. El Consejo reitera su enorme reconocimiento a los países que se habían ofrecido, y en particular a Portugal por la altura con la que cedió su ofrecimiento en virtud del debate sostenido. Muchas gracias distinguidos delegados.
Me gustaría tratar el tema 19 muy brevemente; quedan 15 minutos para la 1 y quizá podemos terminarlo con esa brevedad. Me voy a permitir, por tanto, pedirle al Presidente del Comité de Asuntos Institucionales y Jurídicos, el Embajador Pulides, que nos presente este tema.
CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL MATTERS (continued)
QUESTIONS CONSTITUTIONNELLES ET JURIDIQUES (suite) ASUNTOS CONSTITUCIONALES Y JURIDICIOS (continuación)
Fotis G. POULIDES (Chairman, Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters): Thank you Mr Chairman, Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. The Council has before you today the Report of the 64th Session of the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters which you will have in document CL 108/5. Three matters were discussed by the CCLM and I suggest that, as is the usual practice, the Council consider each one individually.
On the first matter, however, I have just been informed, that further consultations are taking place on this matter. This matter for your information is the participation of EC and EC Member States representing our overseas territories outside the juridical scope of FAO. In FAO meetings, and in environmental agreements under FAO assistance, I believe it would therefore be appropriate if consideration of this item could be postponed until the next Session of the Council in October in order to allow sufficient time for consultations to be carried out successfully.
We move therefore to Item 19.2, amendments to the Agreement of the establishment of the Commission for controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East, paragraph 8. The second item which the CCLM has submitted to the Council for consideration concerns proposed amendments to the Agreement of the Establishment of the Commission for controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East. This Agreement was approved by the 44th Session of Council in July 1955 and entered into force on 21 February 1967. The objectives of this Agreement are to prevent losses to agriculture in certain countries of the Near East caused by the Desert Locust by promoting national and international research and action with respect to the control of the Desert Locust.
Paragraph 9, the Agreement underwent some minor amendments in 1976. Further amendments have now been suggested by the Commission after consideration at the 20th Session in December 1994. These amendments are set forth in paragraph 18 of the Report.
Paragraph 10. The CCLM was informed that the amendments set forth in paragraph 18 which would provide that the Commission pay expenses incurred by member delegates attending its Session would not be in conformity with paragraph 32 or the appendix or part R of the FAO Basic Texts which provides that the basic texts and work established under Article XIV of the Constitution should specify that the expenses of members attending Sessions of such bodies as government representatives should be borne by their respective governments. However, a majority of delegates who had adopted these amendments at the last Session of the Commission for controlling the Desert Locust in the Near East have, nevertheless, favoured the amendment for the reasons given in paragraph 19 of the CCLM Report.
The CCLM concluded that with the exception of the amendments suggested to paragraph 18, the proposals were accepted from a legal point of view and recommended their approval by the Council. Thus, the Council is being asked today to approve the amendments with the exception set forth in paragraph 18 of the Report. This ends this item.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, señor Poulides, por la introducción de este tema. Les recuerdo que hay una propuesta, la de pasar al tema relativo a la participación de la CE y de sus Estados Miembros para una próxima reunión del Consejo. Si no hay ninguna objeción a ello, así se decide.
Respecto de los otros dos puntos que ha tocado el Presidente del Comité les pregunto a ustedes si tienen alguna observación que hacer.
Fotis G. POULIDES (Chairman, Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters): Item 19.3. Amendments to the Statutes and Rules of the Procedure of the Coordinating Working Party on Atlantic Fishery Statistics (CWP). At its 10th Session in 1959 the Conference authorized the Director-General to establish Article VI of the Constitution a continuing Working Party on Atlantic Fishery Statistics in the North Atlantic area for which the FAO Fisheries Division would act as Secretariat. The title of the Working Party was subsequently changed by the Council in 1968 to become the Coordinating Working Party on Atlantic Fishery Statistics. The details are given in paragraphs 23 and 24 of the Report.
Paragraph 13. In July 1994, an ad hoc Inter-Agency Consultation on Atlantic Fishery Statistic made a number of proposals to modify the composition and terms of reference of the coordinating Working Party. In September of the same year, the North Atlantic Fishery Organization endorsed the proposals and made suggestions for additional amendments. Several other international bodies have also given their support to these proposals. Details are given in paragraphs 26-30 of the Report.
Finally, the Coordinating Working Party, itself endorsed the revised statutes in March of this year. The CCLM examined the revised text or the statutes and concluded that they were in conformity with the Basic Texts of the Organization. The revised statues are now presented to you for approval.
EL PRESIDENTE: Muchas gracias, Embajador Poulides, si no hay ninguna observación respecto a este punto, podríamos concluir diciendo que el Consejo manifiesta su conformidad con las enmiendas a los estatutos y al reglamento del Grupo de Trabajo.
Jacques LAUREAU (France): Cela n'a rien à voir avec le contenu des textes. D'ailleurs il ne s'agissait pas de l'ensemble de l'Article 18 qui était à revoir, mais de la partie h) de l'article 18.
Je voudrais simplement, au nom de mes collègues du Comité des questions constitutionnelles et juridiques, et au nom je l'espère du Conseil, remercier Mr. Stein pour le travail remarquable qu'il a accompli au sein de notre Comité. J'espère qu'il aura une retraite sympathique, et comme il est question d'utiliser les retraités je pense qu'il sera un des retraités actifs de notre Organisation. Tous les membres du CQCJ lui présentent leurs meilleurs voeux.
EL PRESIDENTE: Yo también deseo unirme a esa felicitación y buenos deseos, ya que le considero un amigo mío.
The meeting rose at 13.00 hours.
La séance est levée 13 heures.
Se levanta la sesión a las 13.00 horas.