CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the meeting is called to order. As you can gather, our Chairman has asked me - in view of other talks going on - to take his seat this afternoon. Our business will be, as was announced earlier by the Secretariat, to deal with item 17 of the Agenda, that is Relations and Consultations with International Organizations. Then, if time permits, the Commission will continue, after a break, with item 16, United Nations/FAO World Food Programme.
I have been asked to inform you that at half past three the Plenary will meet to adopt the Report of the General Committee. That is for your information. My understanding is that business can nevertheless continue in our Commission.
Therefore, to revert to our business, Relations and Consultations with International Organizations, there are two sub-items. The suggestion is that we deal with them one by one. The first will be, Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO (including the International Conference on Nutrition), and the documents for this item are C 89/9, C 89/27 and C 89/LIM/21. The item on Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governemtal Organizations will be taken separately, so we shall have introduction, discussion and conclusions on the first sub-item before we move on to the second.
I would like now to ask Mr Lühe, the Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs, to introduce first more generally the sub-item; and then, following that, the Assistant Director-General Mr Dutia, will introduce the item on the International Conference on Nutrition.
E.E. LUHE (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): I am pleased to introduce the item "Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO".
The Council of FAO, at its Ninety-fifth Session in June of this year, considered this subject on the basis of document CL 95/17. The present document in front of you provides an update on a number of matters covered at the time. In addition, the document provides a brief review of developments in some areas which were not reflected in the previous document. You may have noticed that a few items of particular importance from an inter-agency point of view have not been reported in the documents before you. They relate to the preparation of an International Development Strategy for the Fourth United Nations Development Decade, the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Women in Development, and the FAO/UNIDO relationship Agreement. These items are covered in separate documents and have been discussed under separate agenda items. This has been done because, in view of the direct importance of these subjects to FAD, we thought they should be dealt with and treated separately.
As well as the subjects covered in the documents I mentioned, there are also other numerous areas which are not dealt with in this document - items and matters where cooperation has been pursued on a regular basis by FAO with its sister organizations of the United Nations system on a technical and day-to-day basis.
Since reporting to the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council in June 1989, FAO has kept up with its effort to maintain and strengthen cooperation with other organizations of the United Nations system through both formal and informal channels on matters of mutual interest. As in the past, our guiding principle has been enhancing the efficiency of the system and optimizing the use of resources.
The Director-General of FAO has since then participated in two sessions of the Administrative Committee on Coordination, the ACC. There was a special session in July 1989 in Geneva which dealt exclusively with personnel matters and, more specifically, with the comprehensive review of conditions of service of professional staff; the other ACC meeting this year was the second regular session of ACC in October in New York.
In addition, FAO participated actively in the Joint CPC/ACC Meetings, held for the first time in New York in October 1989. The CPC is, as you know, the United Nations Committee on Programme and Coordination and may be compared to FAO's Programme Committee. Subjects selected for this year's joint meeting were coordination aspects of Drug Abuse Control and preparation of the new International Development Strategy. I should mention that CPC members attached very high priority to the fight against drugs and that the UN General Assembly last week decided to have a special session of the General Assembly on the international control of drugs, to take place at the end of February 1990 in New York. Needless to say, FAO continues to be active in all relevant subsidiary bodies at ACC and has the responsibility at this time to chair at least two of them - the ACC Task Force on Rural Development and the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions (CCAQ) dealing with personnel matters. FAO has also been elected to chair in the coming year another subsidiary body of ACC - the Consultative Committee on Administrative Questions dealing with finance and budgetary matters.
In the document before you, you will find a report on the Seventeenth Session of the ACC Task Force on Rural Development held in Vienna from 31 May to 2 June 1989 under the chairmanship of FAO. At this session, the UN Fund for Drug Abuse Control joined in the work of the Task Force for the first time. This was a significant development. Another significant step was the Task Force decision to continue with the exchange of advance information between agencies on their rural development programmes, so as to facilitate joint planning and cooperation. The Task Force also considered the role it could play in the preparation of the Third Progress Report on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development on the follow-up to the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development. This report is to be submitted to the FAO Conference in 1991 and to ECOSOC in 1992.
The section on Operational Activities for Development is also an update of the information provided to the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council in June this year in document CL 95/17. This section reports on the Thirty-sixth session of the UNDP Governing Council held in New York in June 1989 and the outcome of ECOSOC's consideration of the item on operational activities for development. The document on the triennial policy review of operational activities for development, prepared by the United Nations Di:rector-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation, is now being discussed by the General Assembly in New York. Till yesterday, debate on this item was continuing at the Second Committee of the General Assembly. As you know, today is a holiday in New York.
Let me take this opportunity to inform you briefly on the outcome of the 1989 United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities held in New York on 30 and 31 October 1989. Pledges by 74 countries and estimated contributions to the UNDP core resources amounted to approximately US$ 1.0 billion for 1990. This represents an increase of almost five percent over 1989 in real terms (notwithstanding the adverse effect of the increase in the value of the US Dollar). It appears that the total resources at UNDP's disposal for 1990, including UNDP-administered funds and co-financing contributions, will amount to US$ 1.3 billion. For UNICEF's 1990 general resources, 70 governments pledged US$ 184.0 million. Additional estimated contributions amount to about US$ 178.0 million. The resulting estimated total of US$ 362 million exceeds UNICEF's 1989 income by US$ 34.0 million, representing an increase of about ten percent. For UNFPA, total estimated pledges represent a five percent increase over last year's figure of US$ 114.5 million.
The section on the Common Fund for Commodities updates the information provided to the Council at its Ninety-fifth Session in document CL 95/17. It reports on the outcome of the first annual meeting of the Governing Council of the Commun Fund held in July 1989. The Governing Council of the Common Fund has, inter alia, elected Mr Budi Hartantyo of Indonesia as the Fund's first Managing Director and selected Amsterdam as Headquarters for the Fund. Subsequently, Mr Hartantyo visited Rome for a preliminary exchange of views and met with the Director-General. He assumed office on 15 September 1989.
At the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council in June this year, the Executive Director of the World Food Council made an oral report on the fifteenth ministerial session of the World Food Council. We have included a fairly detailed report in the document before you on this session of WFC which was held in Cairo from 22 to 25 May 1989. At this session, the Council of Ministers, inter alia, accepted steps articulated in the Programme of Cooperative Action proposed by its President as a framework for individual and collective actions to combat hunger. FAO supports the thrust and emphasis of the action identified in the WFC Programme of Cooperative Action and is also in agreement with the specific types of action recommended in the Programme. I wish to add that in a resolution on food and agriculture, the Economic and Social Council, at its second regular session in July 1989, inter alia, welcomed the Programme of Cooperative Action annexed to the Cairo Declaration as a framework for concrete action against hunger and poverty by governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations.
The section in the document before you on Relations with International Financing Institutions is an update on the report on this subject submitted to the Council in document CL 94/12 at its Ninety-fourth Session in November 1988. This section deals with the World Bank, IFAD, regional development banks and UN Capital Development Fund. I may add that negotiations on the Ninth Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank's concessional loan window, is still continuing and is expected to be concluded by December 1989. I would also like to add, with reference to paragraph 68 of the document before you, that the final figure of IFAD's Third Replenishment stands at US$ 566.3 million (as against US$ 523 million in June 1989). The Replenishment is not expected to become effective until the end of June 1990 and it is to cover the period ending June 1992.
The section on Decolonization and Related Matters provides a review of the resolutions of the General Assembly adopted at its forty-third session and the relevant activities of FAD.
At the Ninety-fifth Session of the Council in June 1989, I had reported briefly, in my introductory statement, on the fifteenth session of the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme held in Nairobi from 15 to 26 May 1989. You will find a full report on this session in the document before you. Several of the issues raised there are of particular interest to FAD.
You will see that paragraphs 48 through 52 of the document refer to initiatives taken by UNEP and other United Nations bodies and organizations with regard to chemicals, including agrochemicals. Mention is being made of the Convention on "Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work", being prepared by ILO. A more detailed treatment and comparison of these instruments withFAO's Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides is before the Conference in document C 89/LIM/23.
There are other ILO activities and Governing Body decisions in this regard which may overlap or duplicate FAO activities regarding agrochemicals:
ILO is preparing a Guide to Safety and Health in the Use of Agrochemicals. We have been informed that the Guide is "intended to elaborate on the FAO Code of Conduct to promote safety in the use of agrochemicals at work". It will outline safe methods of distribution, use, storage and disposal of agrochemicals all of which are covered in the International Code of Conduct and the technical guidelines developed by FAD. FAO has drawn to the attention of ILO, at various levels, the need to avoid duplication and ensure uniformity in recommendations regarding the use and distribution of agrochemicals.
At the recent session of the ILO Governing Body, which met from 13 to 17 November 1989, FAO drew attention to possible duplication of efforts in various fields, requesting that careful consideration be given to:
(i) existing international instruments,
(ii) the technical competence, experience and on-going programmes of FAO, WHO and UNEP in such matters,
(iii) the need to avoid duplication of work already accomplished in the field of safe use of agrochemicals.
Notwithstanding, the ILO Governing Body has requested the Director-General of ILO, inter alia, to develop proposals regarding the harmonization of criteria, classification and labelling of chemicals used at work when preparing the programme and budget proposals for 1992-93 and to promote cooperation with other international organizations.
The Governing Body of ILO also instructed the Director-General of ILO to undertake, in collaboration with FAO and WHO, research into and classification of health and safety hazards in the plantation sector specific to occupations, crops, and technologies, "giving specific attention to the possible importation and use in some countries of chemical substances banned elsewhere...". The Governing Body was informed of the Prior Informed Consent procedures developed by UNEP and FAO.
Furthermore, the ILO Governing Body decided to place on the agenda of the Seventy-eighth session of the International Labour Conference an item for general discussion entitled "Applications of modern agricultural technology" which will address high-yielding varieties of seeds, chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. As is known, FAO has carried out extensive activities on the positive and negative impact of these technologies on improved production, which have direct implications for employment and productivity. FAO expressed to the ILO Governing Body its desire to cooperate closely on this item in order to avoid duplication and ensure complementarity of efforts.
I am flagging here the possibility of duplication and overlap as a coordination issue and in order that member countries may harmonize their positions in Governing Bodies of the United Nations system organizations, thereby ensuring that (i) duplication and the consequent waste of human and financial resources are avoided and (ii) technically competent organizations in the United Nations system are responsible for the technical appropriateness of guidance provided to recipient countries.
A few words about coordination aspects of biological diversity and its consideration at the proposed 1992 Conference on environment and development: in discussions of ECOSOC and at the current session of the General Assembly, many countries have expressed support for the idea of a Convention on Biological Diversity which would be submitted to the Environment Conference in 1992. Paragraph 53 of our document refers to a UNEP Governing Council decision in this regard. FAO member countries may wish to recommend that FAO play a key role, in cooperation with UNEP, in the formulation of such a convention. This seems to be only logical in view of FAO's past and ongoing work on plant, animal, forestry and fishery genetic resources, particularly the work undertaken within the framework of its International Undertaking and Commission on Plant Genetic Resources. Moreover, it may be important to consider closely how the FAO global system of plant genetic resources can be reinforced to cover existing gaps, if any, rather than superimposing new structures at added expense for the implementation of a Convention on Biological Diversity.
Finally, your attention is drawn to paragraph 39 of document C 89/9 which refers to UNEP Governing Council decision 15/1 entitled "Strengthening the role and effectiveness of the United Nations Environment Programme". In operative paragraph II.5 of this decision, the Governing Council decided, on an experimental basis, to mandate the Bureau of its fifteenth session to meet with the bureaux of the counterpart organs of the specialized agencies and other organs of the United Nations to develop more positive and collaborative relationships. We are seeking the guidance of this Conference on this matter.
After consultation with several other specialized agencies, the Secretariat would like to suggest, that the Bureau of the fifteenth session of the Governing Council, its Chairman or one of its members could meet with the Independent Chairman of the FAO Council or with the Chairman of the FAO Programme Committee. However, the guidance of the Conference on this matter would be much appreciated.
As you may have noted, this item also includes the subject of the International Conference on Nutrition. You have before you a separate document C 89/27 on the subject. Mr Chairman, you may wish to invite Mr Dutia, head of the Economic and Social Policy Department, to introduce this document to the Conference.
Before I conclude, let me say that I would be happy to answer any questions or provide any information or clarification which the members of the Commission may wish to have on the item under consideration.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Mr Lühe, for your introduction and I call on the Assistant Director-General, Mr Dutia, to introduce the issue of the proposed International Conference.
B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department) : The
proposal for holding an International Conference on Nutrition, which had emerged from the Sub-Committee on Nutrition of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC/SCN) at its 15th Session in New York in February this year, was presented to the 95th Session of the FAO Council in June 1989. At that Session, the Council, in general, welcomed the proposal and considered that FAO, in view of its mandate and expertise, should take the lead in convening it in the biennium 1992-93, in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other interested agencies of the UN system.
The Council also noted with satisfaction that a detailed document presenting all aspects of the proposal would be submitted to the 25th Session of the Conference so as to enable it to take a decision on the proposal. This document (C 89/27) entitled "International Conference on Nutrition" is now before you.
Mr Chairman, as noted in the document, after the 95th Session of the Council, the Director-General of FAO mett with the Director-General of the World Health Organization to discuss collaboration between FAO and WHO in convening the Conference on Nutrition. As a result, both the Organizations propose to jointly sponsor the Nutrition Conference. The document C 89/27, which has been prepared in close consultation with WHO, reflects the agreed views of both the Organizations cm several key issues on the holding of the proposed Nutrition Conference.
Since the preparation of the document before you, the Director-General of FAO and the Director-General of WHO made a joint FAI/WHO presentation to the regular session of the ACC in New York in October. In this presentation, they put forward certain proposals on the broad objectives and modalities for convening the International Conference on Nutrition, and invited other interested UN agencies to collaborate in this endeavour. The proposals in the joint FAO/WHO presentation to the ACC were on the same lines as those in document C 89/27. The ACC after considering the subject adopted a statement in which it welcomed the joint initiative of FAO and WHO to convene the Nutrition Conference. The ACC considered that such a Conference would be an important step towards increasing public awareness and obtaining national and international commitments to implement appropriate strategies and actions. The ACC has also invited concerned agencies and organizations, as well as non-governmental organizations, to work in close cooperation with FAO and WHO in this respect, using the mechanism of the Sub-Comattee on Nutrition whenever appropriate.
Mr Chairman, the proposals contained in Document C 89/27 thus reflect not only the joint views of both FAO and WHO but they have the backing of other interested agencies of the United Nations system.
Mr Chairman, the Council at its 96th Session considered the document C 89/27. It recognized that nutrition problems were widespread in all parts of the world and in some areas they were even worsening. It emphasized the urgent need for greater attention to nutrition problems at the policy level and on action to alleviate them. Although some members expressed reservations, most members welcomed the FAO/WHO initiative to convene the International Conference on Nutrition in 1992 or 1993 and gave their full support to it. They expressed the hope that the FAO Conference would support the proposal.
Let me now briefly highlight the salient aspects of the proposals contained in document C 89/27.
Mr Chairman, the rationale for holding an International Conference on Nutrition is explained in paragraphs 4 to 9 of the document. According to FAO projections to the year 2000, one of the major issues facing the world would be the persistence of under-nutrition, mainly in the developing countries. In developed countries, also, nutrition problems persist mainly because of excess eating and inappropriate eating patterns. The convening of an international conference will be a very important step forward in initiating vigorous and sustained efforts that are needed to bring about a major improvement in the world nutrition situation, especially as the ingredients to do so are already known from the scientific and technological side.
The proposed objectives for the Nutrition Conference are stated in paragraph 10 of the document and the distinguished delegates may wish to comment on them. Proposals on certain aspects of the organization of the Nutrition Conference are put forward in paragraphs 11 to 14. These envisage the Nutrition Conference to be an intergovernmental meeting open to all Member Governments of FAO and WHO as well as to international intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations having established relations with FAO and WHO. It is further proposed that the Nutrition Conference may be attended also by observers from Member Governments and by non-Member Governments.
Mr Chairman, although nutrition problems have been discussed at expert level meetings or at regional meetings in the past, the proposed International Conference on Nutrition would be the first inter-governmental meeting on nutrition at the global level with the aim of devising strategies, policies and action programmes to tackle the main nutrition problems and to mobilize necessary political will and resources for this task.
As regards the venue and timing of the Conference, it is proposed that it be held in Rome during the biennium 1992-93. It may be recalled, Mr Chairman, that at the Council Session in June the Government of Italy generously offered to host the Conference in Rome in view of its long-standing interest in food and nutrition matters. To have the Conference in Rome would also have several logistic and operational advantages as, in addition to FAO, the World Food Council, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme are located in Rome. Moreover, Rone has several other facilities to offer: FAO has one of the most extensive specialized libraries on food and nutrition in the world and its Food Policy and Nutrition Division is the largest single unit in the UN devoted to nutrition-related matters. Both these assets would be of great help in preparing for and holding the Conference.
With regard to the date, a minimum of two years is considered necessary to prepare for such an international conference. The earliest possible date would therefore be 1992. But in mid-1992, the UN Conference on Environment and Development is already scheduled. It is therefore felt that to have the Conference in the first half of 1993 would be the most suitable time. Distinguished delegates are invited to give their views on these proposals and particularly on the venue and the timing of the proposed Nutrition Conference.
It is also proposed that, while the Nutrition Conference will be jointly sponsored by FAO and WHO, all interested UN organizations and specialized agencies, members of the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition as well as major international financial organizations and bilateral aid agencies will be invited to actively participate in the preparations for the Conference. To this end, it is proposed to add a special agenda item to the provisional agenda of the 16th Session of the ACC/SCN which will take place in Paris, at Unesco Heaquarters, in February 1990.
In addition, it is also proposed that an Advisory Committee of Experts should be created with a view to advising on the general orientation of and on technical preparations for the Conference. Existing international NGOs, research institutes and academics would also be requested to contribute to preparing for the Conference in their areas of specific expertise.
Mr Chairman, it is also proposed that the FAO Regional Conferences scheduled to be held in 1990 would discuss nutrition issues that are particularly important in each region, with a view to developing practical inputs for action at regional and country levels.
The financial implications for the proposed nutrition conference are briefly discussed in paragraphs 20 and 21 of the document. WHO and FAO as co-sponsoring agencies would share the costs on an equal basis. Arrangements would be made with other participating agencies to associate them in financially supporting the conference. Such costs would include the setting-up of the Conference Secretariat, contractual services, travel and meeting costs. The resources required will be included in the budget proposals for the biennium 1992-93. It is envisaged that extra-budgetary resources will become available through contributions of interested donor countries.
In closing I would like to invite the attention of the delegates to what the Director-General said regarding the International Conference on Nutrition in his opening statement to this Conference: "unlike other major economic and social questions, this burning, universal problem has never been the subject of a real international conference. This was why the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition proposed the holding of such a conference". As I mentioned earlier the proposal to convene an International Conference on Nutrition has also been unanimously supported by the UN bodies at the recent meeting of the ACC. In the light of this, we hope and trust that the Conference will give its full support to the convening of the International Conference on Nutrition under the joint sponsorship of FAO and WHO and along the lines proposed in C 89/27.
CHAIRMAN: You have now heard the two introductions to this sub-Item of the agenda and the floor is open for interventions on both aspects of the sub-item, so we call for them.
Antoine SAINTRAINT (Belgique): Sur tous les problèmes qui ont été soulevés dans le cadre des faits nouveaux intervenus dans la famille des Nations Unies, le document est très clair, très complet. Il est évident que nous n'avons pu que bénéficier de sa lecture. Si je prends la parole, c'est pour dire notre appréciation concernant l'organisation de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition. Nous avons eu en juin, en tant qu'observateurs, l'occasion d'intervenir sur ce point. On en a parlé également dans le Conseil qui a immédiatement précédé cette Conférence.
Il est clair que les problèmes d'agriculture et d'alimentation sont étroitement liés avec les problèmes de nutrition. Je n'ai ni la compétence voulue, ni les qualités pour parler des problèmes de malnutrition, de dénutrition, de surnutrition, mais vous savez qu'à l'heure actuelle beaucoup de peuples, non seulement des pays en voie de développement mais dans un certain nombres de pays dits développés, souffrent d'une alimentation déséquilibrée, que des sommes considérables sont consacrées chaque année pour des cures d'amaigrissement (fitness). J'ai toujours été frappé qu'avec des moyens réduits mais avec une volonté politique, il était possible de réduire considérablement certains grands handicaps de l'humanité. L'avitaminose, les régimes non équilibrés ont comme conséquence que chaque année dans le monde un certain nombre de bébés, d'hommes et de femmes deviennent aveugles.
Nous sommes convaincus qu'une étude plus approfondie, avec une préparation à la fois technique et des prises de position qui nécessairement sont des prises de position politiques, pourrait peut-être éviter ce qui peut être évité et ce qui est dans le monde d'aujourd'hui un véritable scandale.
J'ai toujours été frappé, en circulant dans de grandes surfaces, de grands magasins de pays riches, de voir que des rayons entiers étaient occupés par de la nourriture pour animaux dits domestiques. Il existe actuellement tout un commerce qui représente des montants très considérables pour la nourriture des animaux.
Les problèmes de nutrition, d'alimentation dans le monde sont des problêmes qui se posent de façon lancinante pour certains pays. Ils pourraient être réglés avec une volonté politique, et je suis convaincu que la Conférence sur la nutrition pourra apporter une réponse à un certain nombre de questions qui se posent. La FAO a une responsabilité dans ce domaine. Elle a à jouer un rôle de chef de file, parce que ce domaine entre dans ses prérogatives, ses responsabilités.
Je voudrais lancer un appel pour que nous soyons unanimes dans ce domaine si important, pour que la FAO réussisse dans une tâche difficile, parce qu'il n'est pas facile d'organiser une conférence avec des résultats opérationnels, mais "whether is a will, there is a way".
Patrick DEMONGEOT (United States of America): We regret that the important subject of operational activity for development is not being taken up as a separate agenda item but in any case we would like to comment on it at some length.
In our statement on the Review of Certain Aspects of FAO's Goals and Objectives, we pointed out that reform was an absolute necessity, not only for FAO but for the United Nations Development system as a whole. This has been recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 42/196 of 1987 which has set in motion a reform process within the United Nations system. This process has reached a critical point with the on-going triennal review of operational activities and the completion of the review of agency support costs and related issues by an independent expert group. In 42/196 the General Assembly calls on the governing bodies of the United Nations organizations to review and comment on the Janssen Report which identified a number of deficiencies in the functioning of the United Nations system. Unfortunately the governing bodies of the specialized agencies, including FAO, devoted little time to this review and demonstrated little knowledge and understanding of the issues involved, largely because they had not been sensitized to these issues by the agencies' Secretariats. This is why we strongly endorse the recommendation of the Director-General for development and international, economic cooperation in his Report to the 44th United Nations General Assembly that sub-committees specifically entrusted with the review of operational activities be established within the bodies of the individual organizations. We are truly impressed by the depth and breadth of that Report which outlines in a comprehensive and clear fashion the substantial reforms needed to make the United Nations developpent system more cohesive, more effective and more responsive to the needs of the developing countries. Given the decentralized nature of the United Nations system, the sectorial focus of most of the United Nations specialized agencies and the need to assist the developing countries build up their programme management capacity, we agree wholeheartedly that the United Nations systems' operational activities for development should be closely integrated at the country level within an inter-disciplinary and multi-sectoral framework and under the overall leadership of the United Nations Resident Coordinator.
We believe that effective capacity building requires that external assistance be programmed and implemented as an integral part of nationally managed development programmes, with appropriate analytical, technical, administrative and management support from the United Nations system, including FAO and other sectoral agencies. This in turn requires the decentralization of technical assistance management and monitoring from
Headquarters of both UNDP and the sectoral agencies to the country level and the redeployment of staff and resources from project execution functions to country analysis, policy and programme level technical advice and country level management assistance. Since much of the policy and technical advice is needed on the multi-sectoral integrated basis, it also would be necessary for the United Nations system professional staff to operate as a team at the country level under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator. Such an integrated approach to operational activities, as well as the increased emphasis on national management of programmes and projects assisted by the United Nations system cannot be achieved without major changes in the way UNDP and the specialized agencies operate and collaborate.
As we indicated in our statement on the Review, the expert group on the agency costs were given broad terms of reference which called for an in-depth review of the collaborated relationship and the division of labour between the UNDP and the sectoral agencies within the tripartite system of cooperation between UNDP, sectoral agencies and the host government. As a firm supporter of that tripartite system, we regret the fact that over the years the role of sectoral agencies, including the FAD, within that system have been eroded, largely as a result of the sectoral agencies excessive concentration on project execution which in turn has been encouraged by the current system of support costs reimbursement based on the delivery of project inputs.
I would like to mention in passing that a consensus of 1970 had called for new support costs arrangements, covering not only project implementation but advisory services involving programming project formulation and policy development. The failure to put in place new support costs arrangements is at least partly to blame for the sectoral agencies' excessive concentration on project execution as against meeting their broader responsibilites for sectoral analysis, policy advice, country programming and project design. The narrowing of the sectoral agencies' role has meant that they were effectively eliminated as full partners in the tripartite system when the project execution function was assumed by the UNDP's office of project services and later on by recipient national governments. We want to restore the tripartite system to the true partnership envisaged by the consensus of 1970, which stipulated that the specialized agencies should make their advice available on all projects in their respective areas of expertise, and not only on those projects which they have been requested to execute. Therefore we strongly support the establishment of a new system of agency support cost reimbursement which enables the full participation of the sectoral agencies, including the FAO, in the assessment of national technical assistance needs, the programming of operational activities and the formulation, implementation and evaluation of UNDP-assisted but nationally managed development programmes and projects.
It is essential, however, that FAO and the other sectoral agencies embrace those changes in the tripartite relationship between UNDP central agencies and national governments rather than cling to outmoded models of technical cooperation. It is our firm hope that they will not try to maintain the current system of agency support costs reimbursement which was already strongly criticized in the 1969 capacity study which provided the basis for the consensus of 1970. We do not agree, however, that the current support costs arrangements be extended by one year, as suggested by the administrative coordination committee in their recent decision.
We do not believe that proposals for changes in the current system need to be reviewed by the governing bodies of all the organizations which execute UNDP-assisted projects. It is sufficient that Member Governments have the opportunity to express their views at the UNDP Governing Council and later at the summer session of ECOSOC and at the General Assembly.
As for the specialized agencies themselves, they should participate in the discussion of successor arrangements through the consultative committee on substantive questions of operational activity, and particularly from the CCSQ Task Force on agency support costs. No one agency should have the right to obstruct the establishment of a restructured system of agency support costs reimbursement.
I will now take up the subject of the International Conference on Nutrition. The United States attaches great importance to the subject of malnutrition and in looking for ways to bring about lasting improvements in the world nutrition situation. We have demonstrated this concern in various ways, both bilaterally and multilaterally, in words and deeds. In terms of action which addressed the underlying problems, we believe the types of interventions which could inprove the world nutrition situation are known and are primarily regional in nature. As the document notes, the ingredients for bringing about a major lasting iirprovement in the world nutrition situation are at hand -adequate scientific knowledge, inexpensive and effective technology and accumulated practical experience. What is now most needed is well-focused intervention linked to well-conceived country development strategies. Our preference is for a nutrition approach which reaches households at risk to malnutrition, targeting them for intervention, intervention linked to country and regional development strategies, offering potential solutions to nutritional problems that are indigenous to local conditions. At this time in our view the staff, energy and resources required in programming an international conference might be more wisely spent on other nutrition-related endeavours. However, in the event the Conference is held we would favour a regional approach to the review of nutritional problems.
Robin Garth PETTTTT (United Kingdom) : I thank the Secretariat for the paper C 89/9, and Dr Lühe for his introduction and his updating.
This of course was a subject which we had planned to take at the Council, but decided to defer it to the Conference so as to give more time to the Review. Our concurrence with this decision implies no lack of interest in the reporting of FAO's relationship with other members of the UN system and in the exchange of ideas and cooperative actions which are necessary for the system to play its full role, particularly in the field of development.
I think the excellent paper is one for information only and trust that there are no requests for decision lurking in it which could lead to decision-taking by inattention. As it happens, my own attention was distracted for a moment in Dr Lühe's intervention and when I returned I thought I heard Dr Lühe asking for guidance in the paper. If there are points on which guidance is required, it would be helpful to have them spelled out and if possible to have them on paper.
I will restrict my remarks to subjects not covered under substantive items and will be highly selective and deal only with the section on Operational Activities for Development covered in paragraphs 5 to 10.
The paper refers in paragraph 6 to FAO's involvement in the work carried out on the policy review dealing with the future role of UNDP. FAI's involvement in this was, as my delegation has said in another place, a positive one. We agree with Dr Lühe's paper that the proper concern was that the existing accumulated experience of the UN system should continue to be fully available to recipient countries through operational activities. The view of the British Government is that the main purpose of UNDP, as the central funding organization of the UN system for technical cooperation, is to make available the resources within the UN system, including FAO, for development. It is not for miscellaneous grants to developing countries. This source of funding is unlikely ever to be big enough for this. We read the long and carefully negotiated decision of the Governing Council, which we supported, to mean just this.
The same paragraph in Dr Lühe's paper refers to the major global project for a joint UNDP/FAO programme for the development of environmentally acceptable alternatives for locust control. Delegations who negotiated this in New York were grateful for the guidance given us by FAO in this complicated and important matter, and it would be conforting to hear now that the arrangements eventually agreed were satisfactory to both Organizations.
My delegation dealt with the successor arrangements referred to in paragraph 7 under item 23.3 in Commission III earlier today, so I will not deal with that.
On the Triennial Review of Operational Activities, mentioned in the next paragraphs, of course the report cannot be up to date on this, as the major activity affecting Member Nations is occurring simultaneously in New York, and I was grateful for Dr Lühe's further news on this, which was echoed by my colleague on my right.
As the paper hints, the consideration of the Triennial Review of Operational Activities by ECOSOC was a disappointing non-event. Our Director-General said it would be at the summer Council, and I have to confess that his forecast was right and the British Government's optimistic one was wrong. However, the activity in preparation for the General Assembly's consideration has more than redressed the position. Two exceedingly important papers have come out, referred to by my colleague from the United States of America, which justify the attention of FAO membership and management. One is the report on the series of country reviews which goes under the formidable title "Report on the Integrated Country Review on the Functioning of the Operational Activities for the Development of the United Nations System", A/44/324/Add.2.
The other contains the recommendations of the Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation (Mr Blanca) which takes account of the Janssen report which we have discussed here in this forum, the recommendation of the integrated reviews and the work of the ACC which Dr Lühe has mentioned in his paper. These dealt, especially with the role of the Resident Coordinator, the harmonization of procedures, procurement, contract funding and the programme of the assistance of the UN family. By this latter, I refer to the role of the UNDP country programmes as a frame of reference for other assistance from the UN family, or the idea now being developed of a "country statement", based on the country's own development plan, but outlining the nature of the UN assistance required and which will help to form programmes of the UNDP and the other funding agencies, including our own TCP.
It is not appropriate in the time available to mention all the key recommendations of the Director-General, Mr Blanca's paper, or the wisdom in the report on the integrated study. I will select only a few and not mention those already mentioned by my colleagues, but this is to emphasize the important parallels with the work in New York and our own Review of Certain Aspects of our Goals and Operations, and to make the point that they should be taken account of in the implementation of our reviews in the years ahead. Not all these ideas were received in time to enrich our own work, but they should, in the light of the views expressed on them by the membership of the General Assembly, be taken into account.
Amongst sections which I would randomly point to are those in paragraph 25 of the executive summary of the integrated country reviews dealing with the adoption of country programmes.
If I may, I will make just one or two short quotations. This is a quotation from the paper on the country reviews:
"The only valid and viable 'country programme' is the national development plan (or other formulation of strategy) of the country itself. The UN system should move forthwith to adjust all allocation and programming cycles to those of each developing country, and programme the system assistance on a coordinated basis integrally within the country's national plan. For external purposes this could become "Country XX's Co-operation Programme with the UN system. "
Another important point is in paragraph 28 on delegations to the field and the importance of this. A further one is in paragraph 42, which summarizes important other sections dealing with access to the UN system, a subject of importance for developing nations in all states of development. The view of the author is that the capacities of the UN system to act as a switchboard of such access, these activities are inadequately supported by Headquarters for these functions.
There are important chapters which FAO should take into account on the harmonization of procedures.
My delegation has also mentioned the Director-General's opinion that the governing bodies of the individual organizations in general seem unsatisfactory when dealing with operational activities and that a sub-committee should be specifically entrusted with the review of operational activities.
A particularly cogent section in the integrated studies report, which we have touched upon elsewhere in this debate, is concerned with the need for technical assistance. The point is that it is not that needs are changing but that they are now understood better.
I will now indulge myself in my last quotation, again from the report of the country reviews. It says:
"It is clear from the 1989 and earlier reviews and from many other sources of assessment that the services which agencies and other elements of the UN system make available to developing countries need readjusting. Since pluridisciplinary, "above and before project" advice from the grant UN system is sought along the whole spectrum of countries - those with weak all the way to those with strong analytical and planning capacities - the problem is not one of "changing needs". These needs have been there all along; it has only taken time (and costly experience) more fully to identify them. "
I mention these quotes to encourage FAO to keep fully abreast of international thinking so that we may draw appropriately from the experience of the members of the system. Simple cooperation, important though it is, is not enough. There is need for a creative intellectual involvement.
Turning to the paper on the proposed International Nutritional Conference, I thank Mr Dutia for the paper C 89/27 and for his patient explanations both at Council and today and outside this meeting. Today and at the Council Mr Dutia argued that this Conference was to be the first intergovernmental, that is to say non-expert, meeting. A large and probably the larger part of the proposed meeting must, in effect, be technical, that is to say expert. I read this from paragraph 11 on page 4 of the English text of the paper under Organization of the Conference.
The governmental component is only a part of the meeting. The issue to be addressed by the meeting, and therefore any conclusions reached or proposals made at whatever level, remain the same, that is that although nutritional interventions are often successful in narrow technical terms they have not been shown to be effective, sustainable or widely reproducible at acceptable cost.
A meeting of the Sub-Committee on Nutrition, just before this proposal was made, at which the British Government was represented, failed to find any convincing case that there were examples of effective, affordable interventions to be advanced.
One of the objectives of the proposed Conference is for the establishment of a nutrition surveillance system. I take this from the top of page 4. The first proposal for this was at the World Food Conference in 1973. It has been repeatedly raised but has never, for reasons of cost and technical difficulty, been implemented. UNICEF is currently attempting to develop a surveillance system, and we may well be getting into an area of duplication here. Therefore, my delegation, after consulting our authorities at home, remains unconvinced of the usefulness of such a Conference. Particularly, it is not of the opinion that raising these matters from expert to governmental or political level is necessarily appropriate in this case. Indeed, this proposition seems to involve a misleading simplification of the matter.
Bertrand MATHIEU (France): Ma délégation souhaiterait brièvement commenter la présentation du document C 89/9, qui donne une vue intéressante des principaux faits intervenus dans le système des Nations Unies.
En premier lieu, ma délégation, pour sa part, ne peut que se féliciter de l'engagement total de la FAO et de ses efforts constants et renouvelés dans le domaine de la lutte contre le criquet pèlerin et de l'accord récemment conclu entre la France et l'Organisation.
Notre délégation souligne particulièrement l'intérêt que nous portons aux questions évoquées lors de la quinzième session du Programme des Nations Unies pour l'environnement, qui s'est tenue à Nairobi en 1989. A cet égard, de nombreuses décisions intéressent la FAO, qu'il s'agisse de la lutte contre le déboisement ou contre la désertification. Le Gouvernement français a déjà souligné l'intérêt qu'il portait à cette question. En témoignent, par exemple, l'initiative du Président de la République en faveur d'un observatoire du Sahara et du Sahel travaillant en étroite collaboration avec le Bureau des Nations Unies pour la région soudano-sahélienne et le projet de lutte contre les inondations au Bangladesh auquel la France apporte un soutien actif.
En second lieu, je souhaiterais dire quelques mots de notre prochaine Conférence sur la nutrition qui se tiendra, en principe, entre 1992 et 1993.
Compte tenu du mandat et des compétences techniques de la FAO, la nutrition constitue un domaine essentiel de l'Organisation. La France se félicite de l'initiative de la FAO et des contacts déjà pris avec l'OMS, et elle appuie pleinement l'idée même de cette conférence et des diverses positions envisagées. Une telle conférence devrait permettre de donner un élan nouveau à la prise en compte des problèmes nutritionnels et mobiliser la communauté internationale. Notre pays souhaite notamment être associé, sur le plan scientifique et technique, à la préparation de cette conférence.
Enfin, pour terminer, permettez-moi de vous rappeler le rôle déterminant de notre pays dans la préparation de la deuxième Conférence des Nations Unies sur les pays les moins avancés (PMA), qui se tiendra à Paris du 3 au 14 septembre 1990, à la suite de l'offre faite par le Président de la République en juillet 1987 lors de la septième CNUCED. A cet égard, la France estime que la communauté internationale doit consentir un effort particulier en faveur des pays les moins avancés. Nous comptons beaucoup sur le fait que la Conférence débouche sur une série de mesures concrètes et établisse un engagement mutuel entre la communauté internationale et les pays les moins avancés, engagement qui devrait permettre un décollage économique de ces derniers. Or le poids du secteur prirmaire reste bien souvent essentiel dans l'économie de certains pays. C'est pourquoi les mesures qui sont arrêtées dans le domaine agricole et agro-alimentaire revêtent une grande importance. A cet égard, la FAO se doit d'apporter un concours précieux à la préparation de la deuxième Conférence des Nations Unies pour les pays les moins avancés en suggérant des formules originales de soutien et de promotion du secteur agricole et en privilégiant dans ses interventions les pays les plus déshérités.
Francisco MORA (Costa Rica): En primer lugar queremos felicitar a la Secretaría por la elaboración de los documentos en estudio y, en especial, reconocer la magnífica presentación del Doctor Dutia y del Doctor Lühe.
Señor Presidente, en general, sobre los diferentes temas que han sido presentados, queremos referirnos al documento C 89/9. Específicamente nos interesa referirnos a los párrafos 11 al 14 que tratan el tema del fondo com para productos básicos. Al respecto, Costa Rica saluda con entusiasmo las acciones realizadas en dirección a poner en funcionamiento este fondo. Costa Rica tiene la esperanza de que con este fondo llegue a constituirse un valioso instrumento de ayuda que los países en desarrollo pueden utilizar para ejecutar programas que garanticen el financiamiento de las existencias de productos básicos, así como lo prevé la primera cuenta de este fondo.
También los países en desarrollo podrían llevar a cabo actividades de investigación, desarrollo y mejora de la productividad y comercialización haciendo uso de la segunda cuenta. También manifestamos, una vez más, nuestro apoyo a la decisión de que varios grupos intergubernamentales que funcionan en el marco de la FAO sean reconocidos ante este fondo para representar los productos básicos. Así ha sido acordado por las diferentes reuniones realizadas en los últimos años por los grupos del banano, arroz, etc.
Señor Presidente, queremos referimos también a la Resolución 15/34 del Consejo de Administración del PNUMA. Está comprendida en los párrafos 53, 54 y 55 del documento en estudio. Esta resolución pide al Director Ejecutivo de esa Agencia de Naciones Unidas que convoque, en cooperación con varias organizaciones - FAO incluida -, a reuniones adicionales del grupo especial de trabajo de expertos en diversidad biológica. También se quiere convocar a un grupo de juristas y técnicos para negociar un instrumento jurídico internacional sobre esta materia.
En mérito a esta resolución, Costa Rica quiere subrayar la preocupación expresada por el Consejo de la FAO en su 95o período de sesiones, por la atomización de iniciativas que se están dando en este campo y por las eventuales sobreposiciones y duplicaciones de actividades.
También estimamos, Señor Presidente, que el PNUMA y la FAO son los órganos de mayor rango internacional para tratar este asunto. Lo anterior, en virtud de la especialidad y representatividad de ambas organizaciones. Reconocemos también que la FAD, gracias a que se ocupa de este tema desde 1945 por mandato de su Constitución, ha logrado desde hace una década poner en funcionamiento un sistema global para los recursos fitogenéticos. Este sistema global puesto en práctica por la FAD, tiene, en primer lugar, un marco legal, que es el Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos. También tiene un foro internacional para la discusión de estos temas, que es la Comisión de Recursos Fitogenéticos, que funciona aquí en la FAD.
En tercer lugar, existe también un mecanismo financiero, que es el Fondo Internacional de Recursos Fitogenéticos. Este sistema global, puesto en funcionamiento por la FAD, ha llegado a abarcar 122 países. Hoy la FAO estudia mecanismos similares para los recursos genéticos o la diversidad biológica animal.
Lamentamos que esta resolución, la 15/34 del Consejo de Administración del PNUMA haya ignorado todo esto y quiera comenzar de cero. También consideramos incorrecto dar a la FAO la misma importancia o el mismo rango que a otros organismos no gubernamentales como lo prescribe esta resolución.
Costa Rica rechaza también la idea de separar los temas de conservación de recursos genéticos o diversidad biológica en general y aquéllos del desarrollo agrícola y forestal. Las campañas para la conservación de los recursos genéticos o recursos naturales, hoy tan de moda, deben tomoar en cuenta la necesidad de desarrollo agrícola y forestal de los países en desarrollo. No puede haber conservación a costa de hambre en los países en desarrollo. Por esta razón creemos que la FAD, que se ocupa del desarrollo agrícola, debe jugar un rol líder en la conservación de los recursos genéticos en general.
Con respecto al párrafo 43 referente a la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas para el Medio Ambiente y el Desarrollo, que se deberá celebrar en junio de 1992, y en la cual la FAO debe participar activamente, solicitamos que esta Conferencia recomiende a la FAD, en primer lugar, mantener su papel líder en el campo de los recursos fitogenéticos y de la consevación. En segundo lugar, que conjuntamente con el PNUMA formule un instrumento legal sobre diversidad biológica, como lo solicita la Resolución 15/34, que hemos citado antes. En último caso, y en tercer lugar, solicitamos que la FAO estudie la posibilidad de transformar el vigente Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogeinéticos en una convención internacional sobre recursos fitogenéticos.
Por último, no podemos dejar pasar esta oportunidad sin mencionar lo cementado por un distinguido delegado anteriormente. Se ha dicho que el Examen de la FAO no ha tenido ningún resultado positivo y que ha sido inútil la revisión que se ha hecho, A este respecto, nosotros queremos ratificar lo que anteriormente hemos dicho acerca de que no podemos considerar inútil dos años de trabajo, varios millones de dólares gastados en sacrificio de los programas ordinarios de la FAO y que al final los expertos y los Comités de Finanzas y del Prograna llegaron al convencimiento de que la FAO goza de buena salud y de que la crisis existente es una crisis financiera, especialmente vivida por la falta de pago de las contribuciones a que tienen obligación los Miembros de esta Organización.
CHAIRMAN: I thank the delegate of Costa Rica. Before calling on the first speaker, I have been asked to announce that the Plenary has now agreed that it will consider tomorrow at 10.30 hours the Report of this Commission II on item 13 of the Agenda, together with the Draft Resolution on Budgetary Appropriations. That is for your information. I call on the delegate of Portugal.
Antonio MBGALHAES COELHO (Portugal): La délégation portugaise félicite le Secrétariat pour l'excellent document qu'il a préparé (C 89/27) au sujet de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition.
Ce document fait le résumé de quelques points de vue importants sur ce domaine, qui inquiètent le monde: soit les problèmes de la famine quantitative dérivée de la privation totale de genres alimentaires, soit la famine qualitative, qui affecte la résistance aux maladies, la capacité de travail et même la joie de vivre, soit encore les problèmes de ceux qui sont superalimentés et qui souffrent des maladies dues aux excès alimentaires.
Cette Conférence internationale destinée à la participation des organismes liés à l'alimentation et à la nutrition est d'une très grande actualité et d'une très grande importance et devra étudier, discuter, orienter et donner une solution tendant à diminuer les problèmes qui affligent encore l'humnité, d'une façon ou d'une autre.
Selon les éléments disponibles on peut dire que plus de la moitié de la population mondiale est affectée par la famine ou par des erreurs de nutrition et cela nous donne la notion de l'importance du problème.
Au moment où l'on sait qu'un grand nombre de maladies proviennent d'erreurs alimentaires, où, en Europe, se développe une campagne contre le cancer, où l'industrialisation des produits agricoles sur une large échelle est à l'origine de très grands changements alimentaires dans de larges zones du globle, au moment où il y a une diminution des quantités de fibres et une augmentation en teneurs en graisses, en sucre, en sel et en viande, l'organisation de cette réunion est importante et peut représenter le point de départ décisif pour que les nations et les organisations internationales, y compris celles de financement, coordonnent leurs efforts vers un objectif commun.
L'usage des additifs, souvent très discuté, a besoin d'être étudié en profondeur; il en est de même pour les transformations chimiques, biologiques et celles de la valeur nutritionnelle dérivées de l'industrialisation et des divers procédés de conservation des pirduits.
Nous sommes entièrement d'accord avec la philosophie présentée au paragraphe 8 du document, concernant les objectifs proposés pour la Conférence.
En ce qui concerne les objectifs décrits au paragraphe 19 du document, nous voudrions que soient énoncées des règles tendant à une alimentation rationnelle faisant valoir les aliments traditionnels de chaque région écologique.
Au paragraphe 14 on prévoit des réunions distinctes, les unes pour discuter les déclarations des ministres et des chefs de délégations, lesquelles auront un caractère fondamentalement politique, et d'autres réunions de caractère technique partagées entre deux commissions. Ma délégation sollicite du Secrétariat l'étude attentive de l'organisation de ces réunions techniques, de façon à permettre un dialogue profitable parmi les spécialistes des diverses formations. Il serait certainement contre-indiqué, d'un côté de réunir les nutritionnistes et de l'autre les techniciens responsables de la production alimentaire. Ma délégation est convaincue que le futur secrétariat en tiendra compte.
Le paragraphe 16 prévoit la création d'un comité consultatif d'experts techniciens de la conférence. Mon pays offre sa collaboration au champ de la nutrition, notamment en ce qui concerne les pays tropicaux; tel est le cas de l'Institut de la médecine tropicale.
La délégation portugaise approuve chaleureusement la proposition contenue dans le document C 89/27 et souhaite que ses remarques soient interprétées dans le sens d'une contribution pour une meilleure définition des objectifs.
D.P.D. VAN RAPPARD (Netherlands): Document C 89/27 proposes an international Conference on Nutrition, to take place in 1993 in Rome, organized by FAO in cooperation with WHO. The document elucidates the importance of such a Conference and the goals it serves. The Netherlands delegation is not without doubts about such a Conference. We fear that such a Conference does not suitably target the arguments which were the basis for the initiatives. Paragrafai 5, in particular, gives very good background on the essential and acute problems connected with nutrition, as regards food security, structural adjustment, public expenditure and health, social dimensions of adjustments and nutritional surveillance.
To find these relationships is not just a challenge for the nutritional world but it is a matter of survival: in particular, if the connection between structural adjustments, food security and nutrition is not made, a great opportunity is lost. The donor and developing countries should coordinate activities as much as possible and as a result of that such a Conference would be good for the exchange of information which could lead to decent strategies.
An international nutrition Conference should be part of any regional Conference, The problems mentioned in paragraph six could be dealt with at such a Conference. Other regional Conferences could address themselves to the above-mentioned issues in preparation for an international nutrition Conference. My delegation believes that the goals of the Conference are not realistic with regard to these problems, and the adoption of its goals in a more operational way seems to be necessary, taking the macro-economic relevance into account. In conclusion, my delegation cannot support this Conference but would like a consensus on this issue.
Mrs Carole THEAUVETTE (Canada): Ma délégation souhaite limiter son intervention sur la proposition concernant la tenue d'une Conférence internationale sur la nutrition. Comme nous l'avons déjà indiqué au quatre-vingt-seizième Conseil, le Canada reconnaît pleinement l'importance du secteur de la nutrition en matière de développement. Nos politiques, en ce domaine, soulignent l'importance de la nutrition puisqu'elle touche plus particulièrement la participation des femmes dans le développement.
D'une maniére générale, le Canada est favorable à la tenue de consultations internationales et multilatérales sur cette question; toutefois, ma délégation considère que la proposition de la tenue d'une telle Conférence, un an après la Conférence sur l'environnement et le développement, nécessiterait quelques années de préparation intensive de la part des Etats Membres.
Nous avons également des inquiétudes concernant les effets possibles que ces travaux entraîneraient sur les ressources de la FAO.
Ainsi donc, pour ces raisons de chevauchement et de disponibilités de ressources en ce moment, le Canada n'est pas en mesure d'appuyer la tenue d'une Conférence de l'envergure telle que présentée dans le document soumis à la Commission.
Hartmut STALB (Germany, Federal Republic of) (original language German): The
Federal Government has seen with some satisfaction in document C 89/9 that on the basis of Resolution 42/196 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, the FAO is coordinating its field activities in the UN system. The Resolution mentioned above, among other things, is a reaction to the Janssen Report, where the lack of coordination in regard to field activities in the UN system was mentioned.
In order to achieve the maximum impact on developing countries with the present limited resources, we call on FAO to fully recognize the coordinating role of the resident coordinators in the individual developing countries. In this context the Federal Government would ask the Secretariat to give a report as to why FAO has yet not signed the standard basic executive agency agreement of UNDP.
In the light of the many people who are suffering from malnutrition in this world, the Federal Government is not in principle against the idea of holding an International Nutrition Conference, but given the not always very satisfactory results of other international conferences, we would therefore ask that the aims of the Conference should be clearly defined and measurable. Secondly, that a lead agency should be nominated, which would coordinate and implement clearly-described measures. Thirdly, that this lead agency should give periodical reports about the measures implemented and the progress made in achieving objectives. Fourthly, that the measures which are decided upon must have some realistic link to the resources expected.
Francisco ZAMARRIEGO CRESPO (España): El objetivo de nuestra intervención es referirnos especialmente al tema C 89/9, Novedades más recientes en el sistema de las Naciones Unidas de interés para la FAO, y en especial lo que se indica en los párrafos 53, 54 y 55. Cuando pedimos la palabra todavía no había hecho su intervención el señor delegado de Costa Rica, pero se ha referido a estos mismos puntos y apoyamos lo que ha dicho este delegado en su intervención sobre el tema.
Queremos abundar y precisar en lo concerniente a la recomendación de que se transforme el Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos en uma convención internacional, y lo basamos fundamentalmente en la celebración de la tercera reunión, el 21 de noviembre de 1989 del Comité de Resoluciones. El quinto informe, documento C 89/LIM/37 dice lo siguiente: "... el Comité de Resoluciones examinó el proyecto de resolución sobre "Una interpretación concertada del compromiso internacional", presentado por la delegación de España para ser examinado en el tema 9 del programa. El texto del proyecto de resolución se incluye en el Anexo A.
En relación con el apartado (a) del segundo párrafo del preámbulo de resolución, la Secretaría aclaró al Comité que el Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos no se consideraba como un instrumento jurídico vinculante. En consecuencia el Comité recomienda que se suprima la palabra "legal" de este párrafo de manera que el apartado (a) diría así: "El Compromiso Internacional sobre Recursos Fitogenéticos constituye un marco destinado a asegurar la conservación, utilización y disponibilidad de los recursos fitogenéticos".
Es por este motivo por el cual creemos que la Conferencia debe apoyar y recomendar que se hagan los estudios pertinentes para la transformación del compromiso internacional en una convención, para que pueda tener efectos legales y jurídicos oportunos en la vinculación con el resto de las actividades que se van a desarrollar al respecto.
En lo que se refiere a la Conferencia Internacional sobre Nutrición, nuestra delegación, en las reuniones del Consejo, ya expresó su apoyo a dicha Conferencia, lo cual ratificamos en este momento tanto en las fechas como en el lugar que se han anunciado.
Waliur RAHMAN (Bangladesh) : First of all I thank Mr Lühe and Mr Dutia for presenting document C 89/9 and C 89/27 on Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO and on the International Conference on Nutrition, respectively. As usual, both presentations have been characterized by lucidity and clarity. We appreciate the decision of the Secretariat for making the documents less bulky and repetitious and I am sure, at the end of the day, that we are going to take the right decisions which will be in our common interests.
We note that no specific action by the Conference has been requested but we would like to make some comments on some of the issues which are of special interest to my delegation and I believe to a number of Member States present in the Conference. First of all, we refer to the chapter dealing with the environment. On ecological and environmental issues we in Bangladesh have good reasons to be concerned with these matters. Our Minister for Agriculture in his general statement highlighted the relative problems and mentioned our concern about the possible greenhouse effect. In this context we appreciate the initiatives of UNEP and ECOSOC and other international bodies as described therein.
We believe that FAI, apart from continuing her own programmes, will intensify cooperation and collaboration with all other concerned agencies and organizations. We welcome any support the holding of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development will give us.
I would like to call attention in this connection to the concerns expressed by President Hussain Muhammad Ershad following the devastating floods in Bangladesh last year, particularly at the Nan-Aligned summit meeting in Belgrade and the Commonwealth summit meeting in Kuala Lumpur.
We have noted the developments concerning the Coraron Fund for Commodities. We note with satisfaction that many of the intergovernmental groups and communities have requested the Director-General to approach the Common Fund for designating these groups as the eligible international community bodies, ICBs, in order to get financing from Second Account of the Common Fund. We hope the Secretariat will do this work very promptly and effectively. I emphasize the word "effectively".
Bangladesh attaches much importance to the creation of non-farm employment as a means of enhancing overall rural development. FAI and UNIDO can play a very significant role in the promotion of the food and agricultural industries in order to create non-farm employment opportunities. We mentioned this in our intervention on the Review of Regular Programmes for 1988-89.
Coming to the other item on the International Conference on Nutrition as contained in document C 89/27 we Would like, first of all, to again thank the Secretariat for this important item. We thank them for getting this important item on to the Conference agenda. Malnutrition is a persistent social and development problem affecting human welfare throughout the developing world. We in Bangladesh have been making all out efforts to solve the problem through various means but this problem, as with many other developing countries, is growing bigger and bigger and needs urgent attention and assistance from the world community.
Already enough is known as to how to prevent and control malnutrition. The current need is to mobilize the strong political support and develop strategies to provide enough resources to initiate and sustain activities for controlling malnutrition. Bangladesh is pleased to note that the proposed Conference is intended to provide this and, therefore, strongly supports the initiative by FAO and WHO. The control of malnutrition is a multisectoral and multidisciplinary issue. It requires an integrated programme to meet the challenge. We are pleased to note that FAO and WHO have joined hands to convene this Conference.
The other agencies in the United Nations system - particularly UNICEF, which are involved in addition - we hope it will be possible for all UN organizations to pool their resources in the form of a joint nutrition division and look at it in an appropriate place to develop unified nutrition programmes.
Fragmentation of resources is not an efficient way of utilization of expertise and resources in this regard. We believe this will be an important step in the right direction.
Marcos NIETO LARA (Cuba): Señor Presidente, permítame saludar al Sr. Lühe y al Dr. Dutia por la presentación que nos hicieron de este tema. Señor Presidente, en muchas oportunidades hemos tratado aquí los problemas del hambre y los problemas de la desnutrición. Pero el problema de la malnutrición en su conjunto es tanto para aquéllos que no tienen un pedazo de pan, como para aquéllos que tienen o consumen alimentos en exceso y realmente lo hacen de una forma inapropiada. Algunos países, entre ellos países en desarrollo, están acusando determinados problemas con el sistema dietético, ya sea por hábito o por disponibilidad de alimentos adecuados para una adecuada alimentación. Por consiguiente, este tema de la nutrición como aspecto realmente físico, como aspecto de carácter político, como aspecto de carácter técnico, es hora ya de que se someta a un análisis detallado y cuidadoso y para ello nada mejor que una convocatoria de una conferencia bajo el patrocinio de la FAO y de la Organización Mundial de la Salud.
Yo diría que muchos hoy en día, se preocupan por hacer dieta y esto forma parte también de los hábitos nutricionales, pero esto realmente se produce en la mayor parte de los casos en aquellos países que han labrado, que han alcanzado un alto nivel de desarrollo o un cierto nivel de desarrollo. Debemos, entiende la delegación cubana, examinar más en detalle estos problemas para que la disponibilidad de alimentos que tiene el mundo en el día de hoy sea lo más eficazmente utilizada. Por lo tanto apoyamos, repito, la celebración de esta conferencia y el papel activo de la FAO como líder en materia de agricultura y alimentación y, por qué no, también de la nutrición, conjuntamente con la coordinación con la Organización Mundial de la Salud.
Señor Presidente, otro tena de relaciones que nos está ocupando en la tarde de hoy es la Conferencia de las Naciones Unidas sobre el Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente. Pensamos que como se señala en uno de los párrafos del documento que estamos examinando, documento C 89/9, la FAO debe tener un papel mucho más activo en la celebración de esta Conferencia y un reconocimiento mucho más universal en cuanto a su participación en las actividades de desarrollo y medio ambiente. De manera particular, queremos referirnos al hecho de que los recursos fitogenéticos constituyen un elemento importante, tanto dentro de la conservación como en los aspectos relativos al desarrollo de la agricultura, la ganadería, la pesca y la actividad forestal.
Si la FAO ha sido la Organización pionera en este trabajo, ya desde hace varias décadas viene tomando iniciativa en este sentido, consideramos nosotros que todo lo que hace a los recursos fito y zoogenéticos debe continuar siendo liderado por la FAO en cuanto a la actividad técnica de conservación de los recursos y promoción del desarrollo.
Se ha argumentado que el compromiso que hace cuatro años discutimos aquí como una iniciativa válida y muy acertada de la FAO deba devenir en una convención para que sean salvados todos aquellos aspectos legales que den adecuada cobertura al cumplimiento del principio del Compromiso Internacional de que los recursos fitogenéticos y, agregamos, los recursos zoogenéticos, sean patrimonio de toda la humanidad y para bienestar de toda la humanidad.
Mrs Anna-Liisa KORHONEN (Finland) : Over the past two years my delegation has studied the documentation of Recent Developments in the UN System of Interest to FAO with particular interest. Finland has also offered some ideas on how to inprove its content, thus making it more useful to the membership of the Organization. This year's document C 89/9 is a clear improvement on the earlier ones and therefore I should like to thank the Secretariat for it.
At this particular time a lot of new developments in the field of operational activities for development is taking place. However, the document before us can only cover events that have already taken place. At the same time my delegation appreciates the fact that some broader issues, like the New International Development Strategy, have been discussed separately in other documents and perhaps for this reason, and taking the time factor in the preparation of this document into account, it is somewhat limited in its scope. However, it contains interesting information.
My delegation noted the section on the ACC Task Force on Rural Development with special interest; especially paragraphs 28 to 34 are of relevance to all of us. Finland welcomes the decision of the Task Force to improve the advance exchange of information among the agencies in this field. Likewise efforts by the Task Force to inprove methodologies of monitoring and evaluating training activities is a development which Finland supports warmly. The gender-specific reporting has also been under study by the Task Force. My delegation also welcomes the efforts by the agencies to elaborate similar medium-term plans concerning WID issues.
As to the section on the environment, Finland has noted with surprise in paragraph 43 that FAO could play a major technical role in the preparation for the 1992 United Nations Conference for Environment and Development provided that financial and human resources permitted. This statement is somewhat in contradiction with the intentions reported in paragraph 47 which deals with the Joint FAO-UNEP meeting. I would welcome some clarifications from the Secretariat on this point.
The section in the Report dealing with FAO's relations with the international financing institutions is of relevance to this Conference as a whole. It is good to note that there is a concise description of the objectives of the work that the international financing institutions are currently applying. My delegation would have expected that the overall documentation of the Organization could have taken an equally factual approach when the relationship with these institutions and these policies are described, as is the case in the document now before us. As an example I should like to mention paragraph 74. It states that "Prospects for future cooperation between FAO and the Regional Developemnt Banks are uneven... In the Asian region, there is a relative decline in the importance of agriculture in many economies. Many countries no longer need or wish to use substantial amounts of international expertise for agricultural project preparation..." Thesekinds of statement are of great value when FAO's technical assistance programmes are planned in general and with the international financial institutions in particular. I would have wished to see statements like this incorporated also in the document of FAO's Field Programmes •
The document C 89/9 does not require any action by the Conference. In the Report of this agenda item, Finland would, however, like to see a paragraph which would state that recent developments in the United Nations system have a direct bearing also on the activities of the FAO and thus the official documentation should reflect more fully these trends and how they influence the future work of the Organization.
Now I am turning to the question of the Conference on Nutrition. The FAO Council noted at its last session in June the proposal made by the Sub-Committee on Nutrition of the Administrative Committee on Coordination that an International Conference on Nutrition be convened in order to mobilize efforts and resources to combat malnutrition. The Council also noted that a detailed document would be presented to the Conference in November 1989. It is now before us, the document C 89/27. My delegation has studied the document with considerable interest. Finland welcomes the initiative to focus attention on nutrition and the multi-faceted cluster of issues closely related to it. Nutrition is a daily concern of every individual and more broadly a concern of national authorities and international organizations dealing with food supply and health questions.
The document underlines two basic and, in our opinion, very important starting points in this exercise, and indeed, an in-depth discussion on nutrition. Firstly, the initiative was taken by an inter-sectoral group. This emphasises the necessity to approach the whole issue as a joint effort of several agencies within the United Nations system.
Secondly, we note with satisfaction that the preparations have brought together the two sides of the coin; the production and supply of food on the one hand and the consumption and health aspects on the other. Consequently a close cooperation and coordination between FAO and WHO is a key to success in preparing and organizing the proposed Conference. As we all knew, the nutritional aspects and their repercussions on the health and well-being of individuals, and sometimes even whole population groups, are sometimes overlooked especially on the supply side. In this context the international communityarticular role to play, especially with regard to the assistance efforts in the agricultural and fisheries sector in disaster relief and in food aid in general.
The task facing the organizers of the Conference is in no way an easy one. As indicated in the document, every country and indeed every individual is faced with nutritional issues, often even problems. They range from health problems caused by serious malnutrition to those caused by over-eating.
As the document rightly points out, accumulated practical experience, adequate scientific knowledge and appropriate technology are at hand to bring about lasting improvements in the world nutritional situation. The document is calling for the political will to address the fundamental global nutritional concerns. It may well be the case that the problems are known but their causes, consequences and inter-linkages are not yet recognized. Therefore, there may not yet be enough common ground for joint practical conclusions and for making policy level recommendations at the governmental level unless the proposed Conference is very carefully prepared. In this preparatory process, inter-agency meetings, regional consultations, as well as contact with expert bodies and non-governmental organizations should play an important role. If the preparatory process succeeds in bringing together all whose expertise and experience are of relevance, the Conference could then serve a useful purpose by merging these views in the :recommendations, on policy issues and providing thus a common starting point for the future. In the course of the process the objectives of the inter-governmental process itself should be further elaborated and agreed upon.
The document before us states the objectives proposed by the ACC Sub-Committee. Although the list contains issues of major importance it seems to my delegation that it fails to identify the main thrust of such a major undertaking as an inter-governmental event is bound to be. The first objective mentioned in paragraph 10, namely that of identifying the problems of malnutrition, should be dealt with during the preparatory phrase and brought to the Conference as a part of its background documentation. The second proposal concerning the adoption of a strategy and proposal for action also requires further thought. What could possibly be reached is an approval by the governments of principles concerning proper nutrition and a balanced diet. These principles must be translated into nutrition strategies, taking into account the circumstances, local production, cultural background, etc., in different parts of the world instead of a uniform strategy for all.
Similarly we do not see the mobilization of additional financial resources as an objective for such a conference at the outset, since we believe that such can be done in this field out of existing resources if adequate information is available and taken into account.
The last objective mentioned in paragraph 10, namely data collection, is, of course, a pre-requisite for monitoring the nutritional status of populations. The proposed annual system with a global coverage seems to us so complex that it is difficult to implement. Nutrition should be an integral part in the regular monitoring of the overall status of vulnerable groups. These data on other groups could be collected in connection with the basic population statistics every five years for instance. I am referring to these objectives of the proposed Conference only to draw attention of our Conference to some of the questions that they give rise to. These issues need to be carefully scrutinized before the members of this Organization make a decision on the proposal of the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition.
Therefore my delegation urges that the co-sponsors, FAD/WHO continue close cooperation in these preparations. They should take a closer look at the objectives in order to make them clear. We also suggest that they approach other UN organs, most notably the World Food Programme and UNICEF, at an early stage and invite them to give substantive inputs to the preparations. A consideration of this item in the FAO and WHO regional conferences and consultations is a good way to proceed, because it helps governmental authorities and organizations on nutrition to specify their ideas on the proposed conference.
It may also be worth our considering whether the existing ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition could serve as a nucleus of the advisory committee on experts and invite other experts, researchers, etc., to participate in their meetings for this particular purpose.
First, however, the co-sponsors should consult on the kind of policy issues that can be presented to an intergovernmental conference and frame the preparation on that basis. The governing bodies of FAO and WHO should be kept informed and given the opportunity to discuss the preparation in their meetings. The planned timetable, namely to convene a possible conference in 1993, would allow this procedure to be followed.
Leslie Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): I would like to direct my remarks to document C 89/27, the International Conference on Nutrition. The proposal for FAO and WHO to co-sponsor an International Conference on Nutrition is supported in principle. There is increasing evidence that diet-related conditions are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in both developing and developed countries. Apart from the health consequences of malnutrition, the availability of an adequate and nutritious food supply is essential to promote well-being and achieve an acceptable quality of life for all peoples. Because of the lead roles that both FAO and WHO have taken in national and international programmes, they are the most appropriate UN agencies to sponsor such a conference.
In respect of the rationale for the Conference, we believe that it is important that the International Nutrition Conference address the problems of both undernutrition and overnutrition. In Australia's region there are a number of Pacific island countries where non-communicable diseases, linked to sedentary lifestyle and to overconsumption of fats, refined sugars and food energy, compared to traditional diets, are major causes of ill health. These diseases, including coronary heart disease, hypertension, and non-insulin dependent diabetes are major causes of morbidity and mortality in Australia. It is of concern to the Australian Government that there is a much higher incidence of these chronic diseases in poorer, less-educated population groups in Australia.
The Australian Government is implementing a social justice policy through its various programmes, including the community services and health portfolio, to address health inequalities and inequity in access to health care and information including nutrition services. The need to focus on special efforts to reverse the situation of malnutrition, particularly affecting the poorest population groups is supported. This issue should be addressed in both programmes in developed as well as developing countries.
In respect of objectives of the Conference, while Australia would encourage efforts to reassess the global nutrition situation, it is important that an international conference be carefully planned and conducted. Preparation for such a meeting should provide for proper briefing and preparatory activities and attendance by appropriate delegates. The emphasis of the conference should be on practical outcomes, as well as addressing political issues.
We are concerned about two major issues in respect of the objectives, the need to raise the profile of nutrition in the consciousness of Governments in the preparation of development plans so that nutrition can be considered integrally across several portfolios, and the mobilization of financial resources on problems of nutrition. Therefore we suggest an additional objective, which could be as follows, or in other words: To increase awareness of the need for government to give consideration to nutrition issues in the development of national policies and programmes, particularly in the food and agriculture sectors.
In respect of the organization of the conference, we support the Secretariat for location and timing, we support the principles of cooperation with other agencies, and we support the establishment of an advisory committee of experts.
On regional discussions, the nutrition topic to be included in the Regional Conference of Asia and the Pacific in April 1990, action programmes to overcome specific nutritional deficiencies. This is an important issue to be discussed in the region, as there is a prevalence of such diseases as xenophthalmia, goitre and cretinism in many countries in Asia and the Pacific.
E. Patrick ALLEYNE (Trinidad and Tobago): We wish only to make a brief intervention on document C 89/27, International Conference on Nutrition. This delegation welcomes the initiative related to the proposed Conference on Nutrition. First, we wish to endorse the point of view indicated by the Secretariat, which emphasizes the mobilization of resources on an international scale, including political will. It cannot be argued that there is any basis whatsover for considering that nutrition per se ought to be given any less attention than food production. In fact, effective nutrition strategies and practices and the impact on human health and quality of life will ultimately determine the level of success or failure of the overall food production effort, and that is even when we have been able to record adequate achievement in terms of food distribution, including the matter of access of food regardless of the nature of the obstacles involved.
We consider some of the observations by the United Kingdom delegate very interesting, for example the natter of nutrition intervention efforts. Arising out of this, my delegation wishes to recommend that FAO and WHO give particular attention to intervention strategies as preparations are made for the Conference. But with regard to this particular topic, it is not really a matter for mere speeches. If intervention strategies have not worked as well as we had hoped, then let us take a hard look. We assume, and there is experience to suggest, that there must be some elements of success. Can we analyse them thoroughly in the search for data, techniques, community responses, cultural factors, expert characteristics, etc., which may have let to even the limited success that we may be able to identify.
It may be necessary perhaps to have one or more special mini-conferences, perhaps workshop-type sessions, or whatever we nay call them, and perhaps what I would refer to as the nitty-gritty of intervention strategies, and here we wish to emphasize action on the ground. In this context we would recommend that any workshop activity and also the Conference have present some selected participants, and if we may borrow that famous phrase, at what we call the people's level, rural leaders of example, community women leaders, and I want to emphasize para-professional workers.
I recall yesterday in Commission I the delegate of Venezuela speaking on the matter of integration of women in development, and I think I heard him speak about many situations in which the decision-makers are busy designing programmes for urban and sub-urban women. I regret to say that some, and I want to emphasize some, only some, of the designers of these programmes for the disadvantaged are themselves very limited consumers of local food and their knowledge and experience with the real problems can at times be peripheral. Beside this we need to ensure that all groups - urban, sub-urban, rural, and perhaps even what we call interlocation migration types - are taken care of in the designing of various programmes.
The particular point of view that I wish to emphasize here is the careful focusing of activity, resources, and techniques, on this problem of nutrition. My delegation is of the view that a properly organized and managed conference can yield results which will be considerably useful. As we said before, we are concerned that the Conference should not take place before 1992 and we can only urge that FAD, in collaboration with WHO, do all that is possible in the interim - that is, between now and 1992 - to facilitate the Conference having the best possible combination of information and resource personnel such as would lead to programmes and projects which would have a meaningful impact in all situations in all countries where the problem exists. In this regard, we need to remind ourselves that the Ten-Year Post WCAARD Review does not clearly indicate that we are gaining ground.
Marcelo L.A.S. VASCONCELOS (Brazil): I will concentrate my efforts on document C 89/27 concerning the proposal of an International Conference on Nutrition to be convened in order to mobilize effort and resources to combat malnutrition. Malnutrition is one of the world's most serious problems and the Brazilian Government is deeply concerned with the situation in our own country. We would like therefore to express our full support for this proposal, with regard to what has been said before by some speakers, that the Conference should be very carefully planned and we think therefore that FAO and the other UN agencies involved in this question should pay special attention to the technical preparation of the Conference in order to guarantee its success.
Adel Helmy EL SARKI (Egypt) (original language Arabic): In the name of God the compassionate and the merciful, my delegation would like to thank Mr Dutia and Mr Lühe for their excellent introductions to both the documents which we are presently discussing.
My delegation is particularly concerned about the environmental issue, and a specific Environmental Department has been set up within our Ministry. We have also begun to approve certain legislation and regulations relating to the environment. In addition, we actively participate in all conferences related to the subject.
Here I would like to refer to the Cairo Declaration as regards the conservation and preservation of the environment. We had the honour of organizing the Fifteenth Session of the World Food Council in Cairo, at which Mr Yousef Waley was elected the chairman for that session. He is our Minister of Agriculture. My country participated in the foundation of the World Food Council. We had at that conference the participation of many well-known Egyptians dealing with the subject. In January 1990 we shall be organizing a symposium dealing specifically with those issues.
Nutrition, the quality of nutrition and developments related to nutrition, are all of great importance. All Egyptian authorities are trying to study these issues carefully. We would like particularly to support the idea of an international conference on this subject. We think that the participation of FAO and the WHO would be a very useful support and a way of assuring its success. We certainly can, we hope, count on the fact that the FAO will be directly involved in all the preparatory work of the Conference.
Ibrahim KABA (Guinée): La délégation guinéenne se félicite de l'appui efficace fourni par le Centre d'investissement, ainsi que des activités de financement de la Banque Mondiale, du FIDA et des banques régionales qui accordent une priorité soutenue au développement agricole dans les pays les moins avancés. Aussi, notre délégation encourage le renforcement des rapports de coopération entre les organisations du système des Nations Unies.
Concernant la tenue d'une Conférence internationale sur la nutrition, sous l'égide conjointe de la FAO et de l'OMS, notre délégation soutient fermement cette initiative; notre soutien se justifie par le fait que les problèmes de la malnutrition méritent de faire l'objet d'une consultation au niveau mondial, afin que des mesures, des plans d'action et des projets puissent être dressés à l'intention des Etats Membres, tel que cela était fait dans le cadre de la pêche, de la réforme agraire et de la forêt.
De telles conférences renforcent la prise de conscience et motivent la volonté politique des responsables chargés de la mise en place des dispositions devant contribuer à l'amélioration de la situation alimentaire.
Dans ce cas précis, le problème crucial de la malnutrition et de la sous-alimentation dans nos pays pourrait être mieux explicité et faire l'objet de recherches de solutions appropriées, souvent existantes mais mal connues. Une telle conférence mérite une préparation minutieuse et c'est la raison pour laquelle nous apprécions les mesures envisagées au niveau des Conférences régionales.
Ainsi donc, notre délégation appuie la tenue de cette conférence en 1993 et souhaite que cela soit un véritable succès.
Assefa YILALA (Ethiopia): Like previous speakers, I will limit my observation to the document on the International Conference on Nutrition. In a statement that was delivered by the Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture, he expressed his full support for the convening of the International Conference on Nutrition because of the additional momentum that it will create for this major problem of food and nutrition.
We also understand from the document that this topic is going to be discussed at length in the regional conferences which will be held during the coming year. We hope that this will give us a chance to discuss it at length.
At this point, I just want to indicate and reiterate my support for the convening of this International Conference on Nutrition, and also express my support for the venue that was proposed by Mr Dutia.
CHAIRMAN: We have now exhausted the list of delegates who wish to speak, except that the delegate of Belgium has asked to make another intervention. Before giving the floor to the Observer from the WHO, I would plead with the delegate of Belgium to be as brief as possible.
Antoine SAINTRAINT (Belgique): C'est la première fois que j'interviens de nouveau dans un débat, et j'espère que ce sera la dernière. Mais ce matin nous avons eu l'occasion en Commission III de discuter des interventions dans le cadre des projets du PNUD, ce qu'on appelle les dépenses d'appui du PNUD (Support Cost). Je ne voudrais pas que les travaux de la Commission II et ceux de la Commission III aboutissent à révéler certaines divergences de points de vues à l'occasion de la discussion du document C 89/9.
On a réinvoqué et rediscuté le niveau des dépenses d'appui du PNUD et des fonds fiduciaires. C'est une question importante. Vous savez qu'il existe une décision du Comité administratif de coordination - il s'agit de la décision 1989/29 - où, de manière très claire, il est dit que le rapport d'experts devra être examiné par les instances responsables du PNUD, en collaboration avec les organismes responsables des agences d'exécution.
Nous avons dit ce matin, et ce que nous avons dit a été appuyé par un nombre important de pays, qu'il était extrêmement important que la FAO se penche sur le rapport d'experts sur lequel elle a son mot à dire et que la Conférence de l'année prochaine l'examine dans le détail. Il s'agit d'un problème important. Nous tenons à ce qu'il soit examiné convenablement.
Petr ZIZKA (Czechoslovakia): I wish only to comment on the matter of the International Conference on Nutrition. The Czechoslovakian delegation finds that the initiative for organizing the International Conference on Food and Nutrition is a very useful one. It can assist in efforts to solve serious and fundamental problems of concern to all states. The exchange of opinion and the establishment of international programmes can produce positive results at reasonable financial expense.
The solution of nutritional problems necessitates the learning of the present state and the trend of changes in this area. Moreover, it would lead to an evaluation of the steps that have already been taken by FAO and other organizations until now, and will propose further accurate measures. In addition to the necessity for economic assistance on the part of the industrially advanced countries, it would be important to prepare or correct the present long-term programmes of starvation control in developing countries. Analysis of the situation in particular regions would be useful in advancing the recommendations of the Conference.
Food in the industrially advanced part of the world is luxurious and risky from a public health point of view. Statistics on health conditions show an increase in cardiovascular diseases and an increasing incidence of cancer diseases, etc. In this connection, it is necessary to stress that the state of health of the population is a multi-component factor, and as such it must be evaluated. The increased sickness rate which I have already mentioned is at the same time related to other factors such as the state of the environment and the life style.
As for the problems of the nutriment of the population, we reccommed the establishment of international research programmes focused on the real causes of the present situation. Attention should be focused on the problems in the area of preservation of health-recommended nutrient rates, mutual interlinks between the nutrients, mutual replaceability correlation with physical and mental load, the influence of the environment, etc., as well as in the area of the food industry. Here we recommend concentrating attention on the principal questions of foodstuffs chemistry, the influence of technologies on these changes, on the reactions leading to the improvement of nutritive value of foods and, on the other hand, observing the generation of substances which could have serious negative impacts on generation of endogenous contaminants. Extraordinary attention should be paid to food additives, both in their production and in their use, including their possible reaction to foodstuffs in the course of technological processing and storage.
The Czechoslovakian delegation strongly supports the proposal that an International Conference on Nutrition be convened in order to mobilize efforts and resources to combat malnutrition. The Czechoslovakian delegation at the Ninety-fifth Session of FAO Council, expressed the view that FAD, by virtue of its Mandate, and thanks to its technical and administrative resources, should play a leading role - in cooperation with WHO - in the organizing and running of the Conference in the biennium 1992-93. As a matter of fact, Czechoslovakia has offered to FAO the assistance of our experts to take part in FAO preparatory work for the proposed Conference. Czechoslovakia is preparing, in close cooperation with experts from Austria, an international seminar for January, next year, on the problems of rational and balanced nutrition of the population. We would welcome FAO's active participation in that seminar.
Christos A. IACOVOU (Grèce): On doit admettre que la convocation d'une conférence internationale sur la nutrition est une initiative positive, d'autant plus qu'elle est proposée à un moment approprié.
La nutrition est un des défis mondiaux des années à venir. Il est à retenir que la malnutrition ne touche pas uniquement les pays en voie de développement mais aussi les pays développés où on trouve également d'autres problèmes: la suralimentation ou l'alimentation impropre. C'est ainsi que le problème de la nutrition dans son aspect général concerne la société internationale car il englobe un volet social, économique, scientifique et politique. Dans ce contexte, une concertation mondiale autour du problème de la nutrition nous paraît particulièrement importante.
Patrick DEMONGEOT (United States of America): With respect to the decision of the ACC, I want to clarify the fact that the ACC did not decide that the current arrangements should be deferred or extended for another year. Perhaps here I could read from the text of document C 89/LIM/13, which says that there was a recent ACC decision "to bring the issue of the timetable to the attention of the UNDP Governing Council with a view to allowing governing bodies of the Executing Agencies to deal with any possible budgetary and organizational implications of the proposals advanced by the UNDP experts group on this subject".
So the ACC has no jurisdiction in this matter: it can only suggest. The only grounds for postponing the application of the new ACC arrangements is if there is a need for more time to implement them. However, time should not be used as one way of discussing them forever. A decision should be reached by the end of next year.
Robin Garth PETTTTT (United Kingdom) : In view of the intervention made by the delegate of Belgium regarding support costs I would ask, in order to ensure balance in any reporting from this Commission on this subject, that the remarks made by my delegation in Commission III on Agenda Item 23.3 should be noted as if they were a contribution to our discussion here. Thank you.
Saadi Djamil BENBOUZID (OMS): Ma présence ici témoigne de 1 'importance que l'Organisation mondiale de la santé attache aux travaux de votre Conférence et à vos réflexions sur la préparation de la Conférence internationale sur la nutrition. Je ne reviendrai pas sur le document C 89/27. M. Dutia en a fait une présentation claire et parfaitement documentée. Il s'agit d'un document conjoint. Il est inutile que j'insiste.
Je voudrais clarifier pour les Etats Membres un point qui a été maintes fois soulevé et dire que pour nous, comme pour la FAO j'imagine, il ne s'agit pas d'organiser une conférence internationale pour le seul plaisir de réunir à Rome le plus grand nombre d'experts qui se retrouveraient une fois de plus dans un monde familier où la réflexion et la recherche scientifique, si elles sont essentielles, ne sont pas suffisantes pour la prise de décision et l'action.
Comme il est dit dans le paragraphe 9 du document C 89/27, les ingrédients existent pour élaborer des solutions. Le temps nous paraît venu de mettre encore une fois les décideurs en position d'assumer certaines responsabilités que justement les scientifiques ne peuvent assumer à leur place, ceci pour des raisons évidentes.
C'est pourquoi nous pensons que s'il existe de nombreux forums où s'expriment les spécialistes de la nutrition, quel que soit leur secteur d'origine, il faut justement utiliser les résultats de ces travaux pour bâtir et renforcer les politiques nutritionnelles dont tous nos pays ont besoin.
Notre Organisation, de même que la FAO dans le domaine de l'alimentation, maintient à jour l'information fournie par les Etats Membres sur la morbidité et la mortalité. Elle analyse les tendances sur la mortalité des facteurs causaux, sur lesquels le système de santé, à lui tout seul, n'est pas en mesure d'exercer des effets positifs. Je citerai le cas des maladies non transmissibles, dont les facteurs causaux liés au régime alimentaire sont multiples. Si nous prenons l'exemple du cancer, une des trois causes majeures de décès chez les adultes à la fois dans les pays industrialisés et dans les pays en développement, on s'aperçoit que pour les plus communs d'entre eux, la détection précoce et le traitement ont peu d'effet. En fait, il apparaît que les changements dans les modes de vie sont les éléments-clés pour le contrôle de ces cancers dans le futur, et dans les changements de mode de vie interviennent des régimes plus équilibrés ou mieux équilibrés et l'usage du tabac qui doit être éliminé. Une conférence internationale sur la nutrition où tous les secteurs, et principalement nos deux secteurs, pourraient joindre leurs efforts pour obtenir des gouvernements des engagements politiques, nous apparaît nécessaire. Il ne suffit pas en effet que l'on s'inquiète de la montée du cancer du poumon, il faut, et c'est un choix difficile, prendre des décisions qui peuvent entraîner, en terme de production et de ressources nationales, un retentissement peut-être négatif comme dans le cas de la culture du tabac.
Autre exemple, celui du cancer colo-rectal où le régime alimentaire paraît jouer un rôle majeur. Pour que le contrôle de cette forme de cancer soit réalisable, des politiques nutritionnelles nationales adaptées sont nécessaires et elle auraient des effets sur la consommation des graisses et des fibres.
Nous pensons qu'une conférence sur la nutrition pourrait avoir des effets durables sur l'état nutritionnel en considérant toutes les étapes de la chaîne alimentaire. Notre Organisation ne ménagera pas ses efforts pour assurer, avec la FAD, le succès d'une telle réunion dont l'objectif est de garantir la santé pour tous et un bon état nutritionnel dans les années 2000.
B.P. DUTIA (Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department) : No
specific questions have been asked requiring replies from the Secretariat concerning the International Nutrition Conference proposal. However, from the general tenor of the interventions made by distinguished delegates we feel there is general support for the holding of this Conference. Some delegations have some doubts, for different reasons - for example, one has indicated that he can join the consensus and others would like the focus to be on the regional side. We have taken note of that. We have also taken note of the useful suggestions made concerning the objectives of the conference, although there is a consensus that it should be focused more on actions and policies than on only technical-level discussions.
The delegate of the United Kingdom observed that the arrangements made for improving nutrition for specific sectors of the population have not worked well. This of course poses the question: why? I think the delegate of Trinidad and Tobago also referred to that. It is something on which the international community needs to focus attention. We believe that such an international conference as is proposed would be a very good opportunity not only for the experts in the field but also for the policy-makers to give attention to this question and see how the effectiveness of policies and programmes could be improved.
We have taken careful note of a number of suggestions that have been made particularly in connection with the need for careful preparation and for close collaboration between different agencies. In preparing for the proposed conference, we will do our best to respond to these very useful suggestions.
E.E. LUHE (Director, Office far Inter-Agency Affairs): I should first like to thank, on behalf of the Secretariat through you, Mr Chairman, the large number of delegates and observers who have made very useful comments, criticisms, suggestions on this item. I think we feel much encouraged by what was said about the format of the document, particularly by the delegates of the United Kingdom, Finland, Bangladesh and others, who were satisfied with it. We shall keep trying to make it even more succinct, more useful, more relevant and more analytical.
I remember in particular the very helpful remarks which were made last time by the delegate of the United Kingdom and Argentina. The United Kingdom spoke about the various purposes of the document, referring to the original purpose - the rather old-fashioned purpose as he said - keeping people aware of what is happening in the system. I think Mr Pettitt agrees with me that the mere fact that something has become old or even old-fashioned does not mean that we should throw it out of the window. We should keep that purpose of the document, which is and continues to be, an important one. Of course, the other functions we mentioned, we also keep in mind when trying to make this document better and more readable.
No particular decisions on the document were requested. The delegate of the United Kingdom rightly remembered our request for guidance and he wanted to know what guidance should be given. Let me repeat that I was referring to the decision of the Governing Council of UNEP - decision 15/1, which is entitled "Strengthening the Role and Effectiveness of the United Nations Environmental Programme". In this decision in operative paragraph 2, the Governing Council of UNEP decided, on an experimental basis, to mandate the Bureau of its Fifteenth Session to meet with the bureaux of the counterpart organs of the specialized agencies and other organs of the United Nations.
On this we in the Secretariat felt the Bureau of the FAO Conference is not perhaps the appropriate interlocutor for UNEP to speak on environmental matters. Our ideas were that it Would be better and more fruitful if the UNEP Bureau, its chairman or a member, would talk to our Chairman of the Programme Committee or the Independent Chairman of the FAO Council. This was an idea we thought more fruitful and would be better, and on this item we had requested guidance from you. The fact that there were few comments on this particular item encouraged me that we should perhaps go ahead on this basis.
Since I am on details, the United Kingdom asked about a paragraph in our document, which I think was paragraph 6, dealing with the UNDP and FAO Programme for Fighting Locusts and his specific question was, "Is everybody happy now with this solution?" So far as FAO is concerned, we find this acceptable and we are now working closely together in the implementation of the proposals. We were, however, surprised that OPS is used as the executing agency and not so much the exertise and expertise of FAO.
Comments were made and questions asked about the Triennial Review. This is obviously a natter of great interest to FAO. The Organization, as you know, has a very large and diverse Field Programme with over 2 500 projects which are currently underway in about 140 countries. FAO was involved in the preparation of the study, although we Would have appreciated perhaps closer involvement of the specialized agencies in this review.
I would agree that when the Review was submitted to ECOSOC during the summer in Geneva it was, I would not say, a non-event but it certainly was not a great success; the reason being, first of all, as Mr A. Blanca, Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation (DIEC), United Nations, frankly conceded that the paper was a voluminous but incomplete study. It was incomplete because there were no concrete and specific recommendations at all in this study and this was very much criticized at ECOSOC. The other reason was the late availability of the document. It came in very late. It is 75 or 76 pages in length and delegates at ECOSOC just were not in a position to discuss the matter substantially. There was at the end a resolution transferring the matter to this year's General Assembly.
FAO, by the way, intervened at ECOSOC on various issues, to which I may come back a bit later. It was said that when it came to the General Assembly Mr Blanca had retrieved very much. In fact, there was a very good discussion at the General Assembly which went on, by the way, until yesterday evening. Today is a holiday in the USA, and I do not think anything has happened. I think it was a good discussion in New York. There were 80 delegates who intervened and there was a really substantive debate particularly on the almost 200 recommendations, which are contained in a 50- or 60-page paper. It is perhaps premature to say now what the final decisions of the General Assembly were but it seems they will adopt a resolution which will deal with various clusters of problems, i.e. those which can be dealt with immediately and those which need further discussion in the agency and other proposals that require study and decision at the country level with individual governments.
I do not think I should go into all the details, but I should like to tell you, particularly the distinguished delegate of the United States, that we are following events there very closely and that we were involved in the preparation of the study, but not so much in the formulation of the recommendations. Let me put it this way, the realism of some of them would have benefited from closer consultations with the specialized agencies. Talking about operational activities, I think it was the distinguished delegate of the Federal Republic of Germany who nade two requests, namely that we recognize the role of the Resident Coordinator. I do not think we have any problem with that. We do recognize the role of the Resident Coordinator and I think we expressed this very clearly in some of our interventions at the ECOSOC meeting when we intervened on this particular item. The second question of Germany was why have we not signed the basic agreement with UNDP? I would like to say here that in the past there were quite a number of developments. I remember, for example, that the role of the UNDP Resident Representative was originally conceived quite differently. It was said, e.g., he was the central authority in the country for development activities which is now no longer the case. We are talking today about government or national execution, institution building, etc. However, it is quite clear that we do not work in a vacuum, having for the time being no basic agreement. There are other agreements which exist and which are the basis for cooperation with countries and agencies, and above all, I would like to say that we at FAD, and I believe, all other specialized agencies who have not signed the agreement, are fully willing to do this. There are now contacts between agencies and UNDP on the whole question of the signature of the basic agreement with UNDP.
I would like to reply briefly to the question raised by the distinguished delegate of Finland. She felt there was a discrepancy or inconsistency in the paragraph in our document, a certain contradiction about the major role that FAO could play concerning environment. The fact is that at the time the document was written, and at the present time this is still the case, there is no budget line in the 1990-91 budget for the Programme of Work and Budget. FAO is, however, doing its best to contribute within available resources.
I think these were the main questions that were asked. We have noted very gratefully all the contents that were made on investment and on the financing agencies, the meeting of the World Food Council, etc. We have noted all of them and in particular the comments made by Costa Rica, Spain and others on the leading role role FAO was to be given on the question of plant genetic resources.
CHAIRMAN: That ends special item 17, point 1, but I am reminded there is another sub-item, point 2, Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governmental Organizations. I understand that you will give us an introduction but I would suggest that it be made very short indeed.
E.E. LÜHE (Director, Office for Inter-Agency Affairs): I shall be very brief. The document you have in front of you on the item "Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governmental Organizations" is document C 89/17. This document gives you the most important developments over the last biennium concerning FAO's cooperation with these organizations. The document, as you see, does not go into every detail but it reports on the most significant events. You can see from the document that we are trying to improve and strengthen our cooperation with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations.
We are invited to many meetings by these organizations. I think there were 1 800 meetings, but obviously we cannot attend all of them. Yet, we try our best in spite of the very serious financial constraints.
There is another information document dealing with the informal meeting we had, discussing with the inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations various matters. I would bring to your particular attention the excellent collaboration Which exists with the regional development banks and the large number of regional and sub-regional organizations with whom we have contacts.
Let me stress in conclusion that the purpose of the document is to show that FAO is fully aware of the importance of its cooperation with intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations - both international and national organizations - and I hope the documentation before you, together with my very brief introduction, reflects this message and facilitates your discussion, if any, on this item.
CHAIRMAN: I would like to draw your attention to the introduction of the document referred to, where it said that the scope of the paper is purely informative and no points requiring action have been put before the Conference in this connection. So I would suggest that unless there are delegates wanting to make an intervention here, that we should proceed.
I have been told that in view of the late stage of the Conference, it is the intention, as I already mentioned in the beginning, to move on to Item 16 but before I do that I would first call on the delegate of Thailand who wants to make an announcement.
D.P.D. VAN RAPPARD (Netherlands): I have one short remark.
My delegation fully endorses the importance of close cooperation between FAO and the intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations.
Also during this Conference this has been stressed in the discussions on different items. This regards particularly such issues as plant genetic resources, the international code of conduct and the related prior consent, and the programme on women in development.
Finally, I mention the relation to people's participation which is in this regard an imtportant one. 1/
CHAIRMAN: Perhaps the delegate of Belgium could adhere to the same thing?
Antoine SAINTRAINT (Belgique): En trente secondes, parce que je ne veux pas retarder les travaux de la Commission, je voudrais dire tout l'intérêt que nous avons eu à étudier les documents. Je crois qu'il s'agit d'un aspect extrêmement important de la participation populaire et je veux dire à la FAO de continuer sur cette voie.
Vanrob ISARANKURA (Thailand) : I just wish to inform the Commission that my delegation and other delegations from 22 countries have submitted a resolution to be considered under Item 15 of the agenda, concerning the increasing allocation for the Technical Cooperation Programme. I hope tomorrow that the resolution will be distributed.
CHAIRMAN: Then the intention is, as I said, to move on to Item 16 of the agenda, United Nations/FAO World Food Progranme, but in order to allow for the WFP Secretariat to move up, I suspend the meeting for five minutes. Then we will resume.
The meeting was suspended from 18.00 to 18.10 hours
La séance est suspendue de 18 heures à 18 h 10
Se suspende la sesión de las 18.00 a las 18.10 horas
CHAIRMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, let us resume our meeting on Item 16 on our agenda, as I said before, United Nations/FAO World Food Programme. You have the document in reference C 89/LIM/30 and I would like to call on the Executive Director of the Programme to lead us into this subject.
J.C. INGRAM (Executive Director, World Food Programme): Your Commission is to consider under this agenda item the pledging target for development resources for the Programme for the 1991-92 biennium. The CFA has recommended 1.5 billion US dollars. You have a resolution before you to this effect: document C 89/LIM/5. I should add that the proposed target has been endorsed by the FAO Council, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the United Nations General Assembly.
It is vital that this target is fully reached if we are to continue to maintain the level of WFP's development assistance. Clearly, there has been no reduction in the need for development food aid: on the contrary, the challenge of hunger in the developing world remains formidable. Food aid has become even more important for poor, food-deficit countries now faced with larger food import bills following price rises in certain basic commodities.
As you know, WFP is now a very large development and humantarian organization - in fact assistance from WFP to developing countries accounts for one-quarter of the total grant aid disbursed by the United Nations system.
The volume of resources enables us to have a measurable impact on the livelihood of millions of the world's poorest people. Last year the Programme was either the largest or second largest food aid donor to some 68 countries. That is by no means negligible support since food aid, especially in many of the least developed countries, constitutes up to one-fifth of the total development assistance they receive.
As the economic belt tightens on many developing countries, the poor suffer and become more food insecure. Assuring village households of sufficient food is, in fact, an essential element in all development.
A structural adjustment process that doesn't take this into consideration is likely to fail. Development food aid through WFP is not just providing something to eat; it's opening the door to real and equitable economic growth. For the government it's a way to save on scarce foreign exchange, for the community it's a way to develop productive assets and for the individual it's a better and healthier life.
For most developing countries, agriculture is the foundation of economic growth. Fortunately, most countries now recognize this and are trying to reverse declining per caput food production. It has become increasingly evident that this is neither a simple nor a short process. It is said that food security is achieved through increased food production, increased food access and increased stability of food supplies. We at WFP have been looking lately at the food security strategies that have been formulated and are cooperating closely with FAO in this area. In fact, we are finding that much of what the Programme is already doing fits well into these strategies. For us food security is not mere theory but a real challenge to help provide the poor and disenfranchised with the means to become more productive, especially through our food-for-work projects.
Mr Chairman, we've heard a lot these past days about the environment. I share that concern. Reversing environmental degradation and safeguarding the environment for coming generations is certainly an urgent task for all of us. I'm glad to say the World Food Programme is a leader in this field. At present WFP has 157 environmental projects worth 1.5 billion dollars on its books.
The demands upon the Programme have increased as realization has grown of hew effectively WFP uses food aid to promote food security. In 1988, we reached an all-time high, shipping some 3.2 million tonnes of food commodities. However, I regret to say that WFP will not reach that figure in 1989.
Over the eighteen months leading up to September the cost of the WFP food basket had increased by almost 20 percent, primarily because of increases in world cereal prices. Because most pledges to WFP are made in terms of value, increasing food prices are resulting in lower quantities of commodities available to the Programme.
This decline is, of course, not unique to WFP. Overall forecasts by the International Wheat Council now indicate that wheat food aid - which accounts for three-quarters of the total - could drop to as low as six million tonnes in 1989/90 from ten million tonnes only two years ago.
While the flow of multilateral food resources through WFP has shown a marked decrease, the provision of bilateral food aid through WFP shows no sign of decline. Maintenance of this trend would clearly be disturbing. At a time when global food aid is falling - but needed more than ever by food-deficit countries - it is essential that multilateral food aid be maintained. The problems of hunger and malnutrition are global and need to be addressed globally. Resources must go to where they are needed most, rather than being determined by narrow considerations of national interest.
Approving the 1991-92 pledging target is important but we still have thirteen months to go in the present biennium. These will certainly be trying months for the Programme. The impact of declining resources will be severely felt in 1990 for our development projects. We have gone through a major exercise to cushion the impact. However, no country will be unaffected though we have given the highest priority to the least developed countries and to sub-Saharan Africa generally.
In many food-for-work projects the rate of work is expected to be slowed down. WFP-supplemented wages will also be reduced, thereby reducing the level of income transfer to the neediest. In the case of human resource development projects the impact may be even more severe. In some instances, governments may face the impossible choice of deciding which schools or regions must be removed from school feeding or mother-child health programmes.
Food-assisted development projects should not just be accelerated or reined in depending on the availability of resources. As for all development projects stop-go methods disrupt the planning and budgeting mechanisms of the governments concerned. Food aid is like any other form of development assistance: to be truly effective, it has to be assured and it is time that this is recognized. But cutting WFP development food aid has worse effects. The poor have less work, they'll be hungrier and even less will be done to improve the environment and create a base for sustainable agriculture.
Mr Chairman, the picture would not be complete if I didn't also refer to our work in disaster relief.
As I speak the brutal reality of internal hostilities is again afflicting El Salvador. Countless innocent civilians have been caught in the crossfire these past days and hospitals are filling up way beyond their capacity. Others have fled the urban battleground to seek refuge in schools, churches and sporting arenas. The World Food Programme is doing what it can to relieve suffering. Last week we started distributing food to the displaced and wounded. We had estimated then that 10 000 people were in need of assistance but with increased fighting five times more people now require food aid. Having an adequately replenished IEFR remains as important as ever for meeting sudden disasters.
This, of course, is only the latest "life and death" situation where our assistance is needed. In northern Ethiopia people are confronted with yet another failed harvest. Two months ago, WFP warned donors of the impending disaster and itself took steps to start shipping emergency food and speeding up deliveries of food for development. In fact, the day the Ethiopian Government launched its appeal, the Programme had taken all steps necessary to commit more emergency food. However, the worstt crop failures appear to be in areas of armed conflict and many afflicted people may not be reachable unless the combatants are willing to facilitate access. Fortunately, that was the case this year in southern Sudan. There WFP played a pivotal role in making Operation Lifeline Sudan, the United Nations initiative to supply more than 100 000 tonnes of food to needy people, a success. In the short time available there was a tremendous mobilization of resources, people, vehicles and aircraft.
WFP is getting itself into a position to make a similar effort in Ethiopia. Our Transport Operation in Ethiopia stands ready to play a crucial role in distributing food to these victims of war and drought. Incidentally, that Operation recently logged its millionth tonne of food within Ethiopia.
The World Food Programme has been able to assist all people wherever there is a really serious need. Millions of people around the world - the Afghan refugees in Pakistan, the Mozambican refugees in Malawi, the Kampucheans on the Thai border, the displaced in Central America and many others - all rely on our food aid.
However, I am concerned that as for development more and more donors want to decide who should benefit from disaster relief. Even here politics may be skewing the international effort. We are in danger of doing too much in some situations but not enough in equally needy ones.
Is this a sign of the times? Can people in painful distress over many years no longer count on international solidarity? I sincerely hope not. The world wide growth of refugee and displaced person populations shows no sign of abating. WFP has not been able to close down any of its feeding operations for refugees this year. At the same time UNHCR faces a resource crisis. We must have your continued strong support.
Mr Chairman, WFP is an action-oriented organization and has no plans to slacken off. Whether it is to help the refugee, the drought victim, the landless farmer, the nursing mother or the eager student, WFP feels its responsibility. With your continued support we can make life a little better for all of them. I appeal to the donors: Please, just because commodity prices are higher and stocks have fallen, do not reduce the volume of your food aid through this Programme.
Raphaël RABE (Madagascar): La délégation malgache félicite le Secrétariat pour la qualité des documents soumis à cet examen. Nous sommes reconnaissants au Directeur exécutif du PAM, M. Ingram pour la présentation très claire du sujet. Il n'est plus nécessaire d'épiloguer longuement sur la grande utilité du Programme alimentaire mondial pour nos pays et nos populations les plus démunies et les plus déshéritées. Lors de la célébration du 25ème anniversaire du Programme, tous les Etats Membres ont eu la possibilité de constater et d'apprécier les performances toujours croissantes du Programme.
En cette période où l'on parle beaucoup de développement durable, de protection de l'environnement, on peut dire, sans exagération, que le PAM a toujours mené des actions allant dans ce sens. En effet, la protection et la restauration des sols, le reboisement, l'établissement de digues ou de dispositifs antiérosifs sont des activités courantes pour lesquelles il a obtenu des résultats très encourageants.
Il faut donc donner au PAM les moyens et les ressources nécessaires. C'est pourquoi nous appuyons chaleureusement le projet de résolution sur l'objectif de contribution au PAM pour la période 1991-92 qui figure au document C 89/LIM/5.
Cependant, nous voudrions attirer l'attention de cette auguste assemblée sur un phénomène négatif signalé à plusieurs reprises au sein du CPA, au sein de la Commission I et maintenant développé par M. Ingram.
Il s'agit de la baisse inportante de l'aide en céréales surtout, baisse due, semble-t-il, à l'augmentation des prix de cette denrée sur le marché mondial. A plusieurs occasions de nombreuses délégations ont déjà lancé un appel auprès des donateurs pour que ces derniers adoptent des dispositions appropriées pour que le volume de l'aide alimentaire ne connaisse pas de diminution quelles que soient les variations des prix concernés, soit sur les marchés nationaux ou internationaux.
Nous souhaitons vivement que notre Commission et la Conférence fassent leurs ces appels.
Enfin, ayant écouté attentivement l'exposé du Directeur exécutif, nous pensons utile de rappeler que les Etats Membres de la FAO et du PAM bien entendu ont toujours insisté pour que la politique n'intervienne pas dans l'aide alimentaire.
CHAIRMAN: Before the next speaker is called upon, I am informed that our Chairman is back and I will cede my place here to him.
Joseph Tchicaya, Chairman of Commission II, took the Chair
Joseph Tchicaya, Président de la Commission II, assume la présidence
Ocupa la presidencia Joseph Tchicaya, Presidente de la Comisión II
LE PRESIDENT: Nous allons poursuivre l'audition de ceux qui sont inscrits.
A.K.M. Fazley RABBI (Bangladesh) : It is good to see you again among us.
We went to stress that with appropriate national policies food aid from WFP can be effectively used to improve living standards and promote social welfare in the rural areas of developing countries. This is a sentence I have quoted from the report of the experts on FAO's Objectives, Role and Strategies. Viewed in the context of the mandate and the role, the activities and achievements of WFP, the content of this sentence is of particular relevance to Bangladesh. WFP at present is the largest single donor to the Government for coordinating food aid from multilateral and bilateral sources. Targeted food assisted programmes from WFP not only aid the food deficit of countries, but also contribute to rural works and maintenance programmes, and generate rural emplyment. Our Minister for Agriculture in his general statement in the Plenary highlighted and appreciated the role of WFP and food aid in Bangladesh.
Mr Chairman, I have nade this brief introduction because it has a direct bearing on the agenda item under discussion. Here I would like to thank and congratulate the Executive Director for his very lucid and clear presentation of the agenda item under discussion. The pledging target of the WFP is of great significance not only to us but also to all food aid receiving developing countries. A sound resource base of the Organization is of vital importance to all concerned. It is a matter of great satisfaction that the efficient and effective management of the Programme earns commendation from all quarters - the donors and the recipient countries. This must have contributed towards the success and achievements of the Organization.
The proposed pledging target for 1991-92, an amount of US$ 1.5 million, was unanimously endorsed by the governing body of the Organization. The Executive Director was prudent and practical when he proposed a modest increase in the pledging target which was absolutely necessary to maintain the level of the Organization's development assistance. In view of the growing demand for food aid, the proposed target may be considered as a realistic compromise between the need and the availability.
The proposal has been endorsed by the Secretary General of the United Nations, and also the Director-General of the FAO. It was also unanimously supported by the FAO Council in its Ninety fifth Session in June this year. We consider it now as a natter of procedure only. We reiterate our full support for the proposed pledging target and hope that the Conference will readily and unanimously adopt the resolution, the draft of which has been proposed in document C 89/LIM/5.
Before concluding, we would like to urge upon the donor countries to make every effort to achieve the target in full, with at least one third of it in cash as indicated in the substantive paragraph of resolutions 1 and 2.
Jean-Luc GRAEVE (France): En tant que représentant de l'Etat assurant la présidence des douze Etats de la Communauté, je vous saurais gré si vous donniez la parole au représentant de la Commission européenne.
Gerard KIELY (EEC): I would like to thank the distinguished delegates of the Commission for allowing me to speak on behalf of the European Economic Community. In 1989, the European Economic Community continued to make a substantial contribution to the World Food Programme. Together with our usual contributions of food aid the Community also decided on the provision of complementary measures such as financial contributions for a storage programme and the early warning system. Furthermore, the Community called on the services of the World Food Programme both for the transport and the monitoring of these bilateral aids.
The Community has maintained its global effort on food both in terms of its support to the WFP and its bilateral actions, despite the very difficult market for agricultural products. This has necessitated an increase in ordinary resources and those of the IEFR of over 100 million ECU in 1989, without taking account of contributions in favour of refugees.
With regard to aid to refugees, the Community welcomes the fact that during the last Policies and Programme Committee meeting new procedures were agreed for the granting of food aid to refugees. These procedures include the continuation of assistance to refugees according to a global approach, and not only from a food aid aspect. The Community is of the view that this approach will allow better forward planning with regard to food aid, and will also allow the needs of refugees to be better taken account of. At the same time, the new procedure will allow the resources of the IEFR to be disengaged and to be used for real situations of emergency, and not for indefinitely fulfilling the needs of refugees. I would also like to inform you that the Community, both in 1988 and in 1989, provided ad hoc contributions to the World Food Programme for assistance to Afghan and Somalian refugees.
For the forthcoming biennium, the Community is of the view that, given the difficulties being encountered by donors at present, it is preferable to maintain the global objective at its present level. The Community is, however, always willing to take account of the real needs of the World Food Programme and, as in the past, provide assistance to the Programme, provided of course that other donors do likewise.
HUANG YONGNING (China) (original language Chinese): First of all, I would like to express my thanks to Mr Ingram for his introduction. As we all know, since its inception the WFP has expanded tremendously. It currently handles one quarter of the total world food aid. In the past several years, WFP has made further contributions through promoting food security, local purchase, triangular transactions and monetization, and also through coordinating global emergency relief activities.
In view of its achievements, the Chinese Government highly appreciates the efforts made by WFP under the guidance of its Executive Director, Mr Ingram, to assist developing countries and, in particular, the low-income and food-deficit developing countries, to expand their food and agricultural production. Experience shews that food aid is an important tool in combating hunger and malnutrition.
In the last ten years, the Programme has provided important food aid to China. Most of the assistance China receives is provided for by WFP under food-for-work projects. They are used for the development of agriculture in the rural infrastructure, for assistance in our agriculture, forestry, animal husbandry and fisheries, and in the improvement of the rural drinking water supply, roads and infrastructure construction. They have proved their effectiveness and have served as examples in China. Food-for-work increased production and also employment opportunities and incomes for farmers. In addition, it reduced poverty in the project areas and improved the ecological environment so that remarkable socio-economic benefits have been attained.
It is our view that, in the circumstances, hunger and malnutrition are aggravating when there is a food surplus in sane countries. The total volume of food aid in recent years has been going down. It will drop to its lowest level in six years this year. This situation has already aroused concern and misgivings in the international community. It also implies that the work of WFP ought to be strengthened and that food aid should be augmented.
Therefore, the Chinese delegation supports the pledging target of US$ 1.5 million for the biennim 1991-92 proposed by the Programme. This target is both necessary and realistic. Despite the fact that China is currently in the process of economic adjustment and has reduced its financial budget, the Government is among the first to support the work of WFP. It is our hope that the Draft Resolution on the Pledging Target for 1991-92 will be adopted unanimously by this Conference.
Noumansana BAGOURO (Mali): Permettez-moi d'exprimer tous mes remerciements à M. le Directeur exécutif du PAM pour l'exposé qu'il vient de faire. Je voudrais saisir cette occasion pour féliciter l'action du PAM en tant qu'action de terrain de sauvetage. En troisième lieu bien entendu, c'est pour moi un devoir de remercier les donateurs, les bailleurs de fonds du PAM pour l'effort qu'ils ont consenti.
Je le dis parce que je suis d'un pays sahélien. Ma profession me fait vivre dans le milieu paysan. Le PAM, en tant qu'action, est très bien connu, parce que s'il n'y avait pas eu le PAM, beaucoup de projets n'auraient pu aboutir. Pendant les longues périodes de sécheresse, nous avons bénéficié d'une action soutenue et efficace du PAM, pour sauver la population nomade qui était en détresse, les paysans qui des années de suite n'ont pas récolté alors qu'ils avaient investi leurs efforts et leurs derniers moyens économiques, les pêcheurs, les éleveurs qui avaient perdu tous leurs moyens de subsistance. C'est grâce à l'action du PAM que nous avons pu ensemble sauver ces populations, envisager de les sédentariser, de les réinsérer dans un circuit de production. Aujourd'hui, en collaboration avec le PAM, les paysans réalisent des systèmes d'irrigation, créent des unités de reboisement et créent même leurs propies projets à leur dimension.
Je voudrais dire que la faim, la malnutrition constituent la dernière forme de la pauvreté. Lorsqu'un homme dans sa pauvreté atteint le stade de survie, la seule chose efficace est de lui donner à manger, et seul le PAM le fait. Pour cette raison, étant donné son expérience sur le terrain, nous appuyons la résolution et nous lançons un appel à la communauté internationale pour renforcer le PAM.
Cependant, il existe sur le terrain des situations multiformes. Si l'on considère le cas de mon pays, après deux ans de pluviométrie plus clémente, des zones du nord restent encore très déshéritées et des zones du sud produisent et connaissent des problèmes de commercialisation. Dans le souci d'améliorer et de renforcer l'action du PAM, nous pensons qu'il est souhaitable que le PAM puisse commercialiser les surplus d'ime zone pour les porter dans des zones déshéritées.
Voilà ce que j'avais à dire en réitérant notre soutien au projet de résolution et à toute action qui coitribuera au renforcement du PAM sur le terrain.
Marcos NIETO LARA (Cuba): Señor Presidente, deseamos en primer lugar saludar al señor Ingram por la presentación tan diáfana y clara que nos ha hecho del tema. La delegación cubana desea destacar, en primer lugar, la función de la ayuda alimentaria. Esta función de ayuda al desarrollo constituye una de las gestiones más loables que nosotros hayamos podido apreciar en el marco del sistam de las Naciones Unidas en los últimos tiempos. Creemos que la ayuda alimentaria, en un momento de crisis económica que padecen los países subdesarrollados por efectos de la deuda y otros factores ya expuestos aquí en esta reunión, debe continuar prestando su función decisiva sobre todo para las poblaciones más pobres.
Queremos decir también que la ayuda alimentaria, a través del Programa Mundial de Alimentos, ha servido como un motor impulsor para movilizar recursos nacionales y recursos externos al exterior de los países. Decimos recursos nacionales cuando se abren posibilidades de empleo, posibilidades de trabajo y se sustenta en esto el desarrollo o lo que se ha llamado reiteradamente aquí el "desarrollo sostenible".
De otra parte, la contribución de ayuda alimentaria para el desarrollo ha sido elemento de atracción de otras contribuciones y de otras fuentes de financiamiento y de ayuda. Señor Presidente, no podemos dejar de reconocer la función que presta la ayuda alimentaria y el Programa Mundial de Alimentos en casos de desastre o de emergencia. Nuestro país ha tenido oportunidad de apreciar esta ayuda oportuna y eficaz en uno y en otro caso. Cuando hemos tenido un desastre por efectos de ciclones, por ejemplo, ha sido inmediata la reacción del Programa Mundial de Alimentos. En estos mementos muchos de los aquí presentes conocen que Cuba ejecuta un importante proyecto de desarrollo lechero que ha representado un notable incremento de la producción de leche y de la capacidad de empleo de los campesinos de la zona. Y esto sólo ha sido posible precisamente por la ayuda oportuna y - repito - muy eficaz del PMA. En este sentido, queremos agradecer al Programa su gestión y brindarle nuestro reconocimiento.
Señor Presidente, después de haber ponderado estas virtudes y posibilidades, rae veo obligado a resaltar la necesidad de que la actividad del PMA sea debidamente reforzada. Para ello, una acción inmediata es el reconocer la necesidad que existe de que todos aprobemos esta resolución que está sometida a la consideración de esta Asamblea.
Queremos instar a los donantes en el sentido de tratar por todos los medios de alcanzar estos niveles de compremiso. Nuestro país hace contribuciones al PMA aunque de forma modesta, y podemos afirmar aquí que estos niveles de compromiso con el PMA serán debidamente garantizados en su oportunidad y en la manera que el Programa lo requiera.
Una vez más expresamos nuestro apoyo a la gestión del PMA, un apoyo decisivo, y le deseamos que siga por ese camino de progreso, avanzando en bienestar de las sociedades y de los grupos poblacionales más pobres y más necesitados de nuestros países en desarrollo.
Jilali HASSOUN (Maroc): La délégation marocaine présente d'abord toutes ses félicitations à Monsieur le Directeur exécutif du PAM pour son exposé complet et précis sur la situation du PAM et ses orientations à venir.
La délégation marocaine tient à indiquer le rôle important du Programme alimentaire mondial dans la lutte contre la pauvreté. L'expérience très positive que le Maroc a de ses interventions montre qu'il peut jouer un rôle important dans les projets de développement.
La délégation marocaine soutient le projet de résolution fixant le montant des contributions soumis à la Conférence. Elle est par ailleurs d'avis que le PAM, dans ses interventions, doit pour chaque cas s'assurer que l'introduction des denrées alimentaires n'aura pas d'effets pervers sur les prix des productions nationales.
Enfin, la délégation marocaine se félicite de la proposition du Directeur général de la FAO de constituer un mécanisme intersecrétariat pour les quatre organismes du système des Nations Unies siégeant à Rome. Cette procédure permettrait, entre autres, au PAM de mieux faire bénéficier les autres organismes de ses compétences et de ses expériences spécifiques.
E. Patrick ALLEYNE (Trinidad and Tobago): Like other speakers, I wish to thank Mr Ingram for his presentation. I note that unlike what is happening to his foodstocks - and I have not heard him for quite a few years - the smooth and statesmanlike quality of his presentation does not diminish in any way.
Of course, we also endorse the comments rade which indicate the significance of the Programme. This delegation is extremely sorry that more delegates are not present this evening, because undoubtedly Mr Ingram has said certain things which are extremely relevant and must guide us to the decisions we take during this Conference.
I note in particular that his statement indicates that the problems really relate to the thrust for multilateral action. He also made the observation that there ray be a tendency for delivery to be determined by narrow interests rather than by real need.
I also took note of his comments that politics can in fact "skew", although I cannot remember his exact words. However, in essence, the comments related to the delivery of needed assistance. Undoubtedly those observations must be kept in mind, because I am sure that we in this Conference want to take decisions which would not facilitate that undesirable trend mentioned by Mr Ingram.
Carlos DI MOTTOLA BALESTRA (Costa Rica): Ante todo me alegra la lúcida y extremadamente interesante presentación del señor Ingram. Nos ha dado una inforración sintética, pero al mismo tiempo bastante detallada, dándonos una idea muy clara de lo que ya conocíamos en cuanto a la eficiencia del PMA. Mi país tiene una experiencia directa sobre esta eficiencia porque ha tenido ocasión de aprovecharse de la ayuda del PMA en sus tres formas: en la de ayuda al desarrollo, en la forra de ayuda en oportunidades de emergencia -como la que hemos tenido con motivo de la erupción del volcán - y en otras clases de emergencia, y especialmente en su carácter apolítico de ayuda a los refugiados.
Quiero aprovechar esta oportunidad para expresar mi agradecimiento no sólo al PMA sino especialmente a los contribuyentes. Sin la aportación de los que están contribuyendo al PMA, toda la actividad del PMA no sería posible. Creo que deberíamos expresar nuestro caluroso agradecimiento a los contribuyentes. Eso no impide que hagamos un caluroso llanado para que hagan lo posible para aumentar su contribución.
El objetivo de promesas de contribución para este proyecto de Resolución está fijado en 1 500 millones de dólares, y nosotros apoyamos calurosamente la adopción por unanimidad del proyecto de Resolución.
Hideki ITO (Japan) : My delegation would like first to express its appreciation to Mr Ingram for his very good introduction and also to the World Food Programme for its important and substantial activities of recent years.
Japan, as a member of CFA and the World Food Programme and also the World Food Council, have had good opportunities to discuss the minimum target for voluntary contributions to the Programme for the period 1991-92. When we recognized the increasing requests for food aid for development projects and emergency food needs for refugees and disasters and even the price increase of food aid commodities, the increasing costs for project implementation, the increase of a pledging target of US$ 1.5 billion seems reasonable.
Japan supports this draft resolution. However, we have to pay attention to the level of achievement of the targets. To increase the target level is not so difficult but to achieve its target must be difficult as we can see in examples of previous years. Japan, as one of the major contributing countries, will make every effort to increase its voluntary contributions to the World Food Programme despite its tight Government budget in order to contribute to the full attainment of the target.
Mohammed Suleiman KARBOUG (Syria) (original language Arabic): My country would also like to express its appreciation for the World Food Programme. It is one of the international institutions that have proved its efficiency and effectiveness and have helped developing countries all over the world, especially Syria. We would also like to thank Mr Ingram for his clear and concise introduction of the document.
We are sorry the Programme is witnessing a decrease in the budget and that it will be reflected in the aid to developing countries. Therefore, my country stresses that the budget should be increased so that it can meet its duties and committments to developing countries. We also endorse the draft resolution regarding the Pledging Target for the World Food Programme.
We would also like to express our appreciation for the tripartite effort of the Programme as well as its efforts to all developing countries. Finally, we would like to express our support of the draft resolution and our thanks to the donor countries hoping that they will increase their contributions in the future.
V. K. SIBAL (India): I apologize for not being present when this item was introduced as I was engaged elsewhere with you, Mr Chairman, but I am sure that it must have been introduced with the customary clarity and conscientiousness by Mr Ingram. The Twenty-fourth Conference had decided, in its paragraph 4 of Resolution 8/87, that subject to the review of the World Food Programme, decided by Resolution 9/65, the next Pledging Conference of the WFP should be held in early 1990 to which governments and appropriate donor organizations will be invited to pledge contributions for 1991-92 to reach a target which may be recommended in the General Assembly of the Conference. The review in question has been done by the Twenty-seventh CFA and by the Ninety-fifth FAO Council.
We fully support the approval of the 1990-91 target of world contributions of US$ 1 500 million, of which not less than one-third should be in cash and aggregate services. We also join in the hope that substantial additional resources will became available from other sources both in view of the level of sound projects requiring assistance for which the resources foreseen may not be sufficient and the capacity of the Programme to handle even a high level of operations. We hope the target will be attained.
We support the modest increase in the pledging level proposed as a signal to flag the increasing need to be met and in the interests of maintenance of the level of assistance. The gap between the cash component of the target and the actual receipts is a matter of some concern as it limits the capacity of the Programme for effective action. We would hope that past strengths will see a reversal and the donors will give cash and services at the level required by the WPF. We fully support Resolution 1/95.
Daniel DANG MEKOULA (Cameroun) : La délégation du Cameroun a suivi avec un grand intérêt la présentation du sujet faite par Monsieur Ingram. Nous avons noté avec intérêt également que le Comité des politiques et programmes d'aide alimentaire et le Connseil de la FAO avaient approuvé la proposition du Directeur exécutif visant à porter à 1,5 milliard de dollars E.-U. l'objectif des contributions pour la période 1991-92.
Devant la baisse régulière du niveau de l'aide publique au développement et aussi du fait que la part de cette aide qui est réservée à l'agriculture des pays pauvres est de plus en plus réduite, nous pensons que l'attention que nous devons accorder aux interventions du Programme alimentaire mondial comme ressource de développement se justifie parfaitement.
Au Cameroun, outre la situation d'urgence, comme par exemple la catastrophe du lac Nyos ou les inondations dans les provinces du nord et de l'extrême nord, l'assistance du Programme alimentaire mondial est orientée vers l'appui à l'exécution des projets et programmes de développement identifiés dans le plan national de développement dans les secteurs spécifiques de développement rural, la valorisation des ressources humaines dans les secteurs de la santé publique et de l'éducation nationale.
C'est dire, Monsieur le Président, que pour nous l'assistance du Programme alimentaire mondial est considérée comme une ressource de financement spécifique de notre programme de développement.
La diversification des formes de cette assistance qui, outre la fourniture des denrées alimentaires proprement dites, s'étend actuellement sur l'octroi des produits non alimentaires, les transactions triangulaires et autres, donne au PAM une nouvelle dimension dans le cadre de l'appui au projet de développement éconamique et social, et surtout, visant l'accroissement de la production alimentaire en vue d'asseoir, dans les pays bénéficiaires, les bases d'une sécurité alimentaire.
C'est donc en raison de cette lourde mission d'appui au secteur de développement agricole et alimentaire des pays pauvres et à déficit vivrier que la délégation du Cameroun appuie le projet de résolution tendant à porter l'objectif des contributions aux ressources du PAM au titre de la période 1991-1992 à 1,5 milliard de dollars E.-U. et souhaite que tous les Etats Membres fassent ce qui est en leur pouvoir afin que cet objectif soit atteint.
Issam Eldin MOHAMED EL SAYED (Sudan) (original language Arabic): 1 should like to begin by expressing my thanks to Mr Ingram, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, for his very clear and concise introduction describing the present and future activities of the WFP. We are all fully aware of the importance of the Programme in providing food aid and development aid in the most needy countries among developing countries. We are most appreciative in Sudan of the assistance provided by the Programme because it is continuing to provide this assistance under the guidance of Mr Ingram. This has enabled us to alleviate the effects of the disasters that we have suffered. This has helped us revive our hopes and we are grateful for the support given through the various Programme activities for refugees when there are natural catastrophes, disaster and so on and aid for development.
We believe this document before us deserves our full support. We support the figure US$ 1.5 billion.
Mohammad Saleen KHAN (Pakistan) : One can speak at great length of the recognition of the role of WFP in the field of food aid and few could recognize it better than my own country, which has enjoyed a very beneficial and prolonged relationship in this regard with WFP, and more particularly in the case of the humanitarian assistance to the 3.27 million Afghan refugees based in Pakistan.
Realizing the lateness of the hour and that Pakistan has had the opportunity of speaking on this item in the CFA of the World Food Programme and in the Council of the FAD, both of which bodies we are governing members, we would confine ourselves to merely reiterating our full support for the Pledging Target and the draft resolution thereon before us.
We should like to join in the many appeals to donors to lend maximum possible support to WFP by ensuring not only attainment of the target but also making efforts to provide WFP with additional resources.
In the end we would like to express our sincere appreciation to WFP and the donors behind it for the generous support given over the years to Pakistan.
Pinit KORSIEPORN (Thailand) : I would like to extend my thanks to the Executive Director for the introduction. On behalf of my Government, the Thai delegation would like to express our appreciation of the food aid given to the Kampuchean refugees on the border of Thailand. My Government hopes that this activity will continue as long as there are refugees still in my country. We also appreciate the work that has been carried out in other regions by the World Food Programme. I can reaffirm that Thailand will continue to contribute to the World Food Programme in spite of the fact that Thailand is not a major donor.
Lastly, Thailand fully supports the resolution target for the World Food Programme figures for the 1991-92 and also requests the member nations to endorse it.
Assefa YILALA (Ethiopia): The Ethiopian delegation would also like to thank Mr Ingram for the detailed and comprehensive introduction that was just made on the document that was placed before us for our consideration.
This item that we have before us was considered during the preceding CFA sessions and the Finance Committee in September. We have supported it then and this view has not changed since then and we will continue to support it.
The development programme being supported by the Programme, like the one we have before us, has been very supportive of the development efforts of respective countries, particularly mine.
In reference to the project that is being implemented in Ethiopia, its contribution is not to be viewed only in terms of the physical target in conservation efforts but also in the awareness and sensitivity that it has created for a sustainable development and continuity: its long-term impact on control and conservation of natural resources which will contribute to a long-term food self-sufficiency.
The need for the Programme is increasing and it will continue to increase. With the resource requirement being higher the pledging target set for the next biennium has not increased in as much as was the desired need. Because of the environment thus prevailing we hope that the target will pose no difficulty and would like to appeal that donors will do their utmost to fulfil it, including the cash request for a smooth operation while indicating its due regard for the generous contributions of the past.
In relation to the Ethiopian emergency food needs in northern Ethiopia, I have attempted to indicate it in my intervention during the consideration of the item on the State of Food and Agriculture in Commission I. We request that this could be included in the verbatim report of this particular consideration, the Report of this item, so as to avoid going into that detail here again.
With regard to the concern that was expressed by the Executive Director in connection with the difficulty of distribution of food, I will communicate this concern to my Government. As an initial response, I would like to indicate that in the past my Government has mobilized all resources so as to meet all those who are in need. Even so, we have not been completely free of difficulties of all natures that we have gone through. These difficulties have also never come to a point of stopping our effort in reaching those who are in need of food and this effort, as is being seen today, will continue.
The Government in its effort and continued attempt, as there is an effort of settling the problem that was just raised by the Executive Director, through democratic discussions with the parties concerned, we hope that this latest move will bear fruitful results as quickly as possible. Even so, this goodwill of settling the problem through democratic discussions in the northern part of the country is the wish of my Government. It is important to note that such efforts will require a similar response from the other parties concerned, and who are the reasons for such obstructions. We hope that all those who are involved will consider the natter along the line that is being demonstrated by my country.
Finally, but not least, I would like to thank the Executive Director of the Programme for the immediate response they have made in relation to the present drought, the drought-caused food situation in northern Ethiopia and also we hope that the present food situation could be averted with the usual help of the international world community. While indicating my regard and tribute to those member countries who have already responded to this, I would like to point out that the pledges are still about 60 per cent short or less than the actual requirement. We therefore would like to join with Mr Ingram in the appeal that was made and have no doubt that this could be fulfilled as soon as the requirement itself is demanding.
Ethiopia is also hosting refugees in the south-western and southern parts of the country whose numbers is in the region of close to one million. We have witnessed the efforts of the Programme in helping these people vrtio are in need in that difficult situation and, in spite of the present economic difficulty of Ethiopia, Ethiopia has cooperated with WFP and UNHCR in this noble endeavour and we will continue to do so. We also feel that this is an important area to which donors' attention will need to continue focusing.
Stanley Mukindia GURNTAI (Kenya): Let me first thank the Executive Director for the very clear presentation. In our statement to the Plenary, the Minister for Agriculture emphasized the good performance of the World Food Programme. We would like to urge that this purpose be maintained and enhanced even further.
Kenya has benefited from WFP activities that have included commodity purchases from our country. We hope that this approach, to acquire commidities from developing countries, will be continued and in the case of Kenya we would like to inform you that we presently have surpluses of coarse grains that could be acquired to support those in need in our sub-region.
We wish to concur with the appeal to donors to ensure commodities by volume are maintained. We have had an ample opportunity to debate and make our views known about the imtportant role played by food aid in the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition and on the potential for developmental activities using food aid resources. The need for food assistance particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, continues to increase. Similarly requirements are also evident in other regions. This is why we agree that the pledging target proposed is prudent and justifiable. We have maintained that the diversification in the use of food aid through monitorization and also through other activities that promote agricultural production, should be given attention.
We also appeal for the cash component of the pledges to ensure the overhead costs in handling, shipping, transportation and operations, especially in the least developed countries, can be covered.
We took note of the appeal by Mr Ingram to donors that food aid should be provided on the basis of need. I take this opportunity to convey the appreciation of my Government on the Programme's assistance and cooperation. We join others in support of the resolution and hope that it will receive unanimous support.
David JOSLYN (United States of America) : The United States of America is a member of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, the FAO Council and the FAO Finance Committee. Therefore, we have had ample opportunity to comment on the activities of the World Food Programme that the Executive Director, Mr Ingram, has so accurately and succinctly described for us today.
I would like to join the many delegates who have spoken and reiterate my country's appreciation for the work carried out by the World Food Programme and all of its staff, and I would especially like to acknowledge the dedication of the World Food Programme field staff, working in very difficult, often life-endangering conditions throughout the world.
The World Food Programme, like many other agencies, is being asked to do more with a very tight resource situation, and as the Executive Director has stated, in such a situation it is imperative that resources be channelled to the highest priority, populations and projects, :recognizing that greater selectivity and efficiency of operations will result in a larger positive impact for the Programme. We have been informed in various meetings of the processes WFP is using to make the difficult decisions as to where, when and how much food aid is provided. We firmly support the criteria being used by WFP to rake these decisions, since the highest priority for regular development programme resources appears to be lew-income, food-deficit countries generally, and sub-Saharan Africa specifically.
Finally, I would like to reiterate my delegation's support for the pledged target for 1991-92 of US$ 1.5 billion and consequently support Resolution 1/95. In so doing, however, I repeat what we said at CFA 27 in the Ninety-fifth FAO Council. We believe the increased pledging target may be difficult to reach unless other than traditional major donors increase their pledging levels and new donors rake significant contributions. However, it is certainly a worthy target. I would like to assure the Executive Director and food aid recipients that the United States will continue to contribute to reaching the target.
H. RWEHUMBIZA (Tanzania): The message brought down by Mr Ingram, the Executive Director of WFP, is clear. The needs which he has described are as real as they are pitiable.
As for the Emergency Food Aid, we join him in appealing for contributions to enable WFP to continue their noble tasks. Certainly, political considerations should not in any way influence the decision to help people in distress. We salute the efforts which the WFP has been putting in mobilizing food as a resource which could be used to realize dormant potential into goods and services useful to mankind. My country has been a beneficiary to WFP Food Aid as a resource in our efforts to rehabilitate our dairy, sisal and rural development. We wish to attest to the usefulness of this aid. Unfortunately for our country, we cannot at this stage join the donors' group. We hope soon that we shall not have to require the WFP food aid and be able to contribute to assist others should the situation demand. We therefore endorse the resolution to increase the contribution for WFP and request that this be adopted by consensus.
Joao LUSEVIKUENO (Angola): Ma délégation profite de cette occasion pour féliciter Monsieur Ingram, Directeur exécutif du PAM, pour son exposé combien brillant, précis et clair qu'il vient de nous faire sur la situation alimentaire mondiale.
De ce fait, na délégation se joint aux orateurs qui l'ont précédée pour féliciter le PAM pour le rôle qu'il ne cesse de jouer dans la solution des problèmes alimentaires dans nos pays, et en profite une fois de plus pour appuyer le projet de résolution qui vient de nous être soumis. Elle lance un vibrant appel aux pays donateurs afin qu'une attention particulière soit accordée aux activités du PAM répondant massivement à la Conférence des contributions qui sera convoquée en 1990.
Malgré nos difficultés, mon pays, qui a toujours été bénéficiaire de l'assistance du PAM, en particulier dans le sud du pays, sera prêt, comme dans le passé, à donner sa modeste contribution.
John GLISTRUP (Denmark): May I join the previous speakers in thanking the Executive Director, Mr Ingram, for his introduction to this subject. In view of thé late hour I will be very brief. I can refer to my Minister's statement in the Plenary last week, a section of which was referring to the World Food Programme. Denmark is also a member of the CFA and we participated in the debates concerning the establishment of the pledging targets for the World Food Programme. Therefore I can reconfirm our support and endorse the draft resolution on WFP's pledging targets for voluntary contributions for the period 1991-92. In doing so we would hope that new and potential donors will join the Programme in order that the pledging target can be achieved.
Finally, we would also appeal to donors that one-third of the contributions would be nade in cash in order to give the maximum flexibility to the Programme.
Leslie Ross BROWNHALL (Australia): Australia recognizes the conditions around the world that necessitate the provision of increasing quantities of food directly and quickly to relieve distress. It also believes that food commodities used wisely and innovatively constitute an effective means of transferring resources and promoting substainable development. We have a certain comparative advantage in food production and it is therefore logical that food comprises a substantial proportion of our overseas development assistance.
Australia supports the role, functions and programmes of WFP and believes the Organization to be an effective deliverer of assistance for development and relief purposes. Australia sees value in the multilateral means of delivering food aid and believes that the WFP has built up a very significant body of experience and expertise in developing food programmes. I join with the delegate of the United States in complimenting WFP field staff for their dedication, particularly in the face of very difficult conditions. The level of expertise built up in the WFP is widely recognized and utilized by donors not only in the administration of the donations but also in the delivery of bilateral food aid. Approximately half of our food aid contributions are channelled through the WFP.
We note the reality of the pressure on resources as outlined by the Executive Director and are concerned that there should be widespread support for the pledging target. Again we join the delegate of the United States in pointing out that in the face of declining or scarce resources it is necessary to set priorities very clearly and firmly, and again with the United States we commend the priority setting procedures adopted by the WFP.
Australia supports draft resolution 1/95 and will endeavour to maintain the level of its contributions.
Antoine SAINIRAINT (Belgique): Je serai extrêmement bref vu l'heure tardive. Je voudrais, tout comme notre collègue du Danemark, souligner que la Belgique est un membre très actif du CPA, qu'elle l'a été dans le passé, qu'elle le sera encore dans l'avenir. Nous défendons bien sûr la répartition: un tiers en espèces, deux tiers en nature et pour le reste je ne puis que me ranger à ce qu'a dit excellemment notre collègue et ami du Costa Rica.
Ms Carole THEAUVETTE (Canada): At the outset our delegation joins with previous speakers to thank Mr Ingram for his thoughtful introductory remarks. In view of the late hour I will make our intervention as concise as possible.
Canada has already supported the approval of the WFP proposed pledged target of $1.5 million for the biennium 1991/92 at the last CFA Session as well as the 95th FAO Council. As the second largest donor to the WFP Programme we consider it important that the target be set in a realistic and adjustable level. In determining the level of our contribution to the WFP the approved target is one element that is taken into consideration. Another is the available amount of our total aid budget. Last spring the Government of Canada made very difficult budgetary decisions which affected government expenditures, including Canada's official development assistance programme. Since Canada's food aid programme is an integral part of our programme our multilateral and food aid programmes had to be reduced. Subsequently, we informed the Executive Director and the WFP that Canada would maintain its global level of contributions to the WFP regular resources for the current pledging period but that we would not be in a position to make additional assistance to the IEFR and the new projected levels. Canada is nonetheless prepared to consider a proposal frome WFP as to ho they would like to allocate next year's contributions for the various programmes.
As the Executive Director stated earlier, we are aware that over the last year WFP's operations have been severely affected by higher commodity prices and the reduced level of contribution. This situation calls for increased coordination and cooperation between donors and beneficiary countries to maximize our common effort to achieve food security and poverty alleviation.
In conclusion, my delegation wishes to reiterate our country's strong commitment to the WFP and supports the proposed resolution.
Hermann REDL (Austria) (original language German) : First I must apologize for the fact that because of other obligations it was not possible for me to hear Mr Ingram's introduction.
I would say that the Austrian Minister of Agriculture in the Plenary meeting of the Conference referred to the cooperation between Austria and the WFP and stressed in particular that Austria also in future would constructively help and assist in the activities of the WFP.
Austria therefore supports the resolution which has been put forward and hopes that the cooperation will continue in an harmonious way in the future as in the past.
LE PRESIDENT: La liste des intervenants est close. Les délégations suivantes désirent insérer leur déclaration dans ce procès-verbal: Egypte, El Salvador, Guinée-Bissau. Ensuite, je vais pouvoir demander à Monsieur Ingram, Directeur exécutif du PAM, de faire le commentaire qu'il souhaite faire.
Adel Helmy EL SARKI (Egypt) : The Egyptian delegation would like to thank the Secretariat for the excellent introduction of this document which dealt with WFP proposed pledging target 1991-92. The Egyptian delegation feels happy with the efforts of Mr Ingram in respect to maintaining the level of its development assistance despite the current resource situation. According to our deep conviction we support the new pledging target and call all donor countries to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of this target.
Mr Chairman, the relations between Egypt and WFP have roots since 1963. The aids have great impact on the development process specially in land reclamation sector. Egypt participates effectively in the meeting of CFA. We are looking for a better cooperation in the future. 2/
Sra. María Eulalia JIMENEZ (El Salvador): Le delegación de El Salvador desea dar su apoyo al proyecto de Resolución sobre los objetivos de promesas de contribución al Programa Mundial de Alimentos, PMA, para el bienio 1991-92, contenido en el documento C 89/LIM/5.
Nuestra delegación aprovecha esta oportunidad para agradecer al Programa Mundial de Alimentos, en nombre del pueblo y del Gobierno de El Salvador, por la valiosa ayuda que nos ha venido proporcionando a lo largo de los años.
En caso de terremoto, sequía, inundación, la ayuda del PMA ha llegado siempre en manera eficiente y oportuna.
El PMA está también presente apoyándonos en la búsqueda del desarrollo de nuestro país, a través de proyectos de construcción de viviendas, caminos vecinales e infraestructura en general, y fundamentalmente en la lucha contra la malnutrición a nivel de los grupos más vulnerables de nuestra población, como son los niños y las madres, lactantes y embarazadas.
Por todo ello, nuestra delegación no puede menos que dar su pleno apoyo a la labor que realiza el Programa Mundial de Alimentos, así como al proyecto de Resolución que se somete, instando a todos los países a realizar esfuerzos por alcanzar la cifra establecida para el próximo bienio. 3/
Jorge Alberto DE OLIVEIRA (Guinée-Bissau) : La délégation de la Guinée-Bissau veut, comme elle l'a déjà fait dans la plénière, attirer l'attention sur l'importance que les projets du Programme alimentaire mondial ont dans les actions de développement dans notre pays, notamment dans le domaine de la production, formation et construction des infrastructures sociales dans le milieu rural.
Dans le demaine de l'agriculture, le dernier projet a permis de mettre en place des centres de multiplication de semences pour tout le pays, la récupération de presque 10 000 ha de rizières de mangroves et de plus de 2 000 ha de reboisement forestier.
Dans le domaines des infrastructures du milieu rural, on a fait:
- plus de 400 points d'eau entre puits et forrages
- plus de 500 km de pistes aménagées
- 100 pharmacies de village construites
- 150 magasins de village construits
- plus de 50 écoles bâties.
Dans le demaine de la formation ont été formés plus de 200 vulgarisateurs et environ 2 000 paysans dans divers demaines.
Cette irtpoirtance est encore plus marquée après l'engagement de notre gouvernement dans un Programme d'ajustement structurel.
Les projets du PAM jouent un rôle de stabilisateur aux effets nocifs dudit Programme d'ajustement structurel.
Monsieur le Président, pour ce fait notre délégation fait siennes les préoccupations du Directeur Exécutif du PAM en ce qui concerne les objectifs de contributions pour 1991-92 et exhorte les donateurs à faire un effort pour annoncer et renforcer leurs contributions à cet objectif.
Nous voudrions aussi appuyer le projet de résolution concernant les objectifs de contribution du PAM pour la période de 1991-92. 4/
James C. INGRAM (WFP): I would like to make a very brief comment simply to thank the delegations who spoke; to thank very much those developing countries who expressed quite clearly the particular ways in which WFP helps them; to thank them for thanking the donors, because that is important and I was pleased to hear that, I was also pleased to hear from several developing countries of their contributions to the Programme. These are very important, not only in their own right but they signify to the major donors the mutuality of the whole operation.
Mr Chairman, as many have said, the hour is late. I will simply say once again how appreciative we in the Secretariat are for the strong support we always receive. We will certainly pass on to our field staff the very nice sentiments expressed about the difficult and, at times, quite dangerous work. Thank you.
LE PRESIDENT: Je remercie Monsieur Ingram. Je ne souhaite pas, moi non plus, allonger les débats irais je voudrais néanmoins tirer des conclusions.
Je pense que l'examen du point 16, qui a vu la participation de 26 délégués, malgré l'heure tardive, a suscité beaucoup d'intérêt au sein de notre Commission Celle-ci a appuyé l'aide alimentaire en tant que source de financement importante en cette période de crise et comme catalyseur d'autres sources de financement. Ce sont là des points sur lesquels un accent particulier a été mis au cours de ce débat.
Le Directeur exécutif et le reste du Secrétariat ont été félicités pour les efforts qu'ils font pour contribuer à souligner la souffrance humaine ainsi que pour le dévouement.
Enfin, la Commission a appuyé le projet de résolution relatif à l'objectif de contribution au PAM pour la période 1991-92 et recommandeson approbation à la Conférence à l'unanimité.
La Commission trouve cet objectif de 1,5 milliard de dollars comme raisonnable, et un appel a été lancé aux donateurs actuels et potentiels pour qu'ils s'efforcent d'atteindre cet objectif. Chaque donateur a été également invité à mettre à la disposition du PAM un tiers de la contribution en espèces pour donner au Programme plus de souplesse et lui permettre de faire face à ses multiples activités.
Le point 16 est donc achevé.
The meeting rose at 20.00 hours
La séance est levée à 20 heures
Se levanta la sesión a las 20.00 horas
1 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
2 Statement inserted in the verbatim records on request.
3 Texto incluido en las actas a petición expresa.
4 Texte reçu avec demande d'insertion au procès-verbal.