C 99/INF/1


Conference

Thirtieth Session

Rome, 12-23 November 1999

REPORT OF INFORMAL MEETING OF OBSERVERS FROM INTERNATIONAL NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (INGOs)

Table of Contents



I. INTRODUCTION

1. The Informal Meeting of observers from International Non-Governmental Organisations (INGOs) attending the 30th Session of the FAO Conference was convened on Saturday, November 13, 1999. A List of Participants is attached (Annex 1). Following the usual practice, this Report has been prepared by the appointed drafting group and is submitted for the attention of the Conference.

2. The Ad Hoc Group of INGO representatives to FAO residing in Rome (AHG/INGOs) in consultation with the FAO prepared the meeting and selected the following item for the agenda "The FAO Strategic Framework 2000 - 2015 Version 4", Item 15 of the Conference Agenda (documents C 99/12 and C99/12 Supp. 1). The objective of the meeting was the formulation of INGO recommendations, views and concerns to be reported to the Conference.

3. The Meeting was opened by the designated Chairperson, Ms. Cristina Liamzon, Permanent Representative of the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC). A drafting group composed of the following was constituted: the Chairperson of the Meeting Ms. Cristina Liamzon, ANGOC, the Coordinator of the Ad Hoc Group, Ms. Francesca Ronchi Proja, International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE), Ms. Joanna Koch, Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW) and Ms. Bettina Corke, International Alliance of Women (IAW).

4. The Meeting observed a Minute of Silence in respect of the WFP plane crash in Kosovo and decided to send a message of condolence to the Executive Director of the WFP.

5. The Chairperson welcomed the participants, particularly those coming from outside Rome. She described the meeting process and emphasized that the meeting also provides guidance for the programme of work of INGOs. Ms. Liamzon noted that as this is the last meeting for the millennium, and with the approach of the new one, the meeting is an opportune occasion to look at innovative and concrete ideas on how NGOs can actively become involved in the implementation of the Strategic Framework. The document mentions explicitly the strengthening of FAO partnerships with NGOs/CSOs in the implementation process. She ended her remarks by enjoining the participants to take part actively in the meeting with a view to a lively and forward-looking sharing of ideas.

6. Ms. Francesca Ronchi Proja, as Coordinator of the AHG/INGOs reported on the activities since 1997, following up on the recommendations of the last informal meeting of the INGOs whose agenda covered: a) review of FAO/NGO Cooperation; b) WFS Follow-up; c) water resources.
These activities included:

7. Mr. Doug Daniels, Chief, FAO Unit for Cooperation with the Private Sector and NGOs, TCDN, welcomed the participants. He emphasised the importance of this Conference Session and referred to the Margarita Lizárraga medal awarded to an NGO from Sri Lanka for their work on the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. He informed the meeting that the FAO policy paper on cooperation with NGOs/CSOs is in the final stages of preparation and will be distributed in December. If funding can be identified, FAO is planning to organise Regional NGO Consultations in conjunction with the FAO Regional Conferences, with the possibility of a broader meeting at the end of the regional processes. Each regional office has a designated officer responsible for the preparations of these NGO Consultations.

8. Ms. Kay Killingsworth, FAO Special Advisor to the Director-General on the World Food Summit Follow-up, outlined the context of the Strategic Framework document She encouraged the meeting to focus attention on the strategy section related to partnership and to provide constructive suggestions on how to strengthen such partnership, and on how to work together in order to better utilize available resources. She advised that the best contribution from this meeting was to concentrate not on textual changes but on major issues to bring to the attention of the Conference and on practical recommendations for the follow up. She emphasised that the main purpose of the Strategic Framework is to provide a basis for further action to translate the vision into action by Members and by the FAO Secretariat. Implementation of the Strategic Framework will start with the preparation of the Six-year Medium Term Plan in the year 2000.

9. The Coordinator of AHG/INGOs introduced the background paper prepared by the Group as a basis for discussion. The paper covered: i) priority areas from the point of view of NGOs; ii) the roles of FAO as seen by the NGOs; iii) the roles of NGOs and the mechanisms for strengthening the cooperation with FAO as for example FAO/NGOs advisory committees.

II. ISSUES OF PARTICULAR CONCERN

10. In the discussion, the meeting identified the following issues of particular concern and for further action in the implementation of the strategy:

      1. The increasing world population and increasing urbanisation, with the related consequences on food production;
      2. The urgency of eliminating poverty, a major cause of malnutrition, and the increasing gap between rich and poor, primarily as a result of a lack of access to and control of productive resources, particularly land and genetic resources;
      3. The need to combat illiteracy, particularly among women, and of providing education and training in the fields of nutrition, food and agriculture, as well as in social and family life;
      4. The consequences of civil conflict are a major determinant of hunger and therefore the need to actively promote peace and social justice is a pre-requisite to the planning and execution of development efforts;
      5. The deteriorating effects of climatic changes upon water, food and agricultural resources;
      6. The need to provide more and better support and equal opportunities to women, because of their role in food production, provision, preparation, conservation and distribution, as well as in many other aspects of family and community life;
      7. The risk deriving from food contamination and genetic manipulation and the need to ensure food safety for all;
      8. The losses of food and water due to wasteful utilisation, both in wealthy and less rich communities;
      9. The need to ensure people's participation in the planning and execution of development efforts.

III. MECHANISMS FOR STRENGTHENING FAO/NGO/CSO PARTNERSHIPS

11. NGOs have had a long experience of fruitful cooperation with FAO which should not be underestimated but rather strengthened as stated in paragraph 161 of the Strategic Framework. Participants emphasised the need to strengthen such partnership at local, national, regional and international levels. It was considered important to encourage dialogue as expressed under items b. and f. of paragraph 118 of the Strategic Framework. This should be intended as a dialogue on a continuing basis leading to concrete action at all levels.

12. The following table indicates the recommendations put forward by the meeting.

LOCAL/NATIONAL

REGIONAL

INTERNATIONAL

Contacts with FAO Country Representatives for exchange of information and collaboration.

National NGO membership of INGOs to continue to work at the local and national levels, which might include pilot projects for enhancing NGO/FAO partnerships, and involvement in various national FAO committees.

FAO/NGO consultations parallel with FAO Regional Conferences in the Year 2000 as well as in subsequent Regional Conferences.

Contacts with FAO Regional Representatives and FAO liaison offices for exchange of information.

Establishment of a central NGO focal group to facilitate the implementation of a multi-disciplinary strategy for partnership.

Formation of NGO committees, similar to forestry, fisheries, and plant genetics, on other subjects of technical or inter-disciplinary nature, e.g. education and training, rural families, nutrition.

Briefing sessions with government representatives.

Participation in the implementation of the Strategy Framework through the FAO Medium Term Plan

ˇ Discussions with FAO divisions either by individual NGOs or through NGO networks e.g. AHG/INGOs

ˇ Comments during the Council Session.

The Chairperson summarised the discussion and closed the meeting thanking the FAO representatives and all the participants for their contributions.


APPENDIX A

LIST OF PARTICIPANTS

Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC)

Ms. Cristina LIAMZON

Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW)

Ms Carmela Basili Mastropasqua
Ms. Joanna Kock

Caritas Internationalis (CI)

Ms. Patricia Wohlrab
Mr. Ermond Hartmans

Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK) Finland

Mr. Jouko Nieminen

European Association for Agricultural Economists (EAAE)

Ms. Ornella M. Vittoria Arimondo

International Alliance of Women (IAW)

Ms. Bettina Corke

International Association of Agricultural Economists (IAAE)

Ms. Margaret Loseby

International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC)

Dr. Enrica Quattrucci

International Catholic Rural Association (ICRA)

Mr. Diego Filippin

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)

Mrs. Maria Elisa Venezian Scarascia

International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)

Ms. Gianna Perra
Mr. Lino Visani

International Council of Women (ICW)

Mrs. Lydie Rossini van Hissenhoven
Mrs. Yvonne Melchiorri

International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP)

Mrs. Paola Ortensi

International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW)

Ms. Annarosa Colangelo

International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE)

Mrs. Francesca Ronchi Proja

International Federation of Women in Legal Careers (FIFCJ)

Ms. Teresa Assensio Brugiatelli
Ms. Antonietta Cescut

Rotary International (RI)

Mr. Aldo Ferretti
Mr. Marco C. Randone

The Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Drylands (ACSAD)

Dr. Nabil Ibrahim Hassan

Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

Mrs. Bruna Magnani Lomazzi
Ms. Patrizia Stepett

World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS)

Ms. Margie Clay

World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

Mme Anna Laura Casadei

World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations (WUCWO)

Mrs. Carla Romersi

FAO Participants:

Ms. Kay Killingsworth, SAD
Mr. Doug Daniels, TCDN
Mr. David E. Elliott, FODA
Ms. Maria Colagrossi, TCDN
Ms. Nora MacKeon, TCDN
Ms. Isabelle Sperl, TCDN