TWENTY-SIXTH FAO REGIONAL
Merida, Mexico, 10-14 April 2000
PROVISIONAL ANNOTATED AGENDA
10 to 12 April 2000
This issue is oriented to promote joint discussions on the new forms of protection which affect the development of agricultural trade in Latin America and the Caribbean, not only regarding foreign markets but also those within the Region. The document analyses the progress made regarding the reduction of tariffs which have been obtained internationally especially in the Latin American and Caribbean Region and highlights the growing importance of non-tariff instruments as international agricultural trade regulators. The different modalities which these regulators have adopted are pointed out together with an analysis of their treatment within the framework of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements. Based on the identification of the main technical obstacles and non-tariff barriers which, at present, affect exports in the Region in foreign and domestic markets, a revision is made of the options oriented to promote the solution to the main technical obstacles or non tariff barriers, depending on the type of issue in question. This point of the Agenda covers the main aspect of negotiations with regard to agricultural trade which is being carried out within the WTO (World Trade Organization), at the multilateral level, and within the FTTA (Free Trade Area of the Americas), at the regional level.
The document analyses the importance of water for food production, taking its sources and diverse uses into account. Likewise, mention is made of how the distribution of the water resources in the Region is made and of the effect of irrigation which is a fundamental element to achieve increases in yields, sustainability of production and generation of employment, thus serving as a shock absorber of negative climatic effects.
Information is provided on: strategies and tendencies to take advantage of water resources within the legal property framework and resource market; watershed management; the role of participating in planning and investment; the roles of the public and private sectors; experience in the Region in participatory operations; prevailing irrigation methods; water quality; reduction of the environmental impact; and the use of water in rain-fed rural production, in continental fisheries and in aquaculture
This issue will enable country representatives in the Region to foresee priorities for FAO in the medium term to ensure that prompt attention is given to the prevention and mitigation of adverse natural phenomena The document is directed towards the promotion of continuous efforts and contains reflections on the role of technology, policies and institutions as basic factors for the prevention and mitigation of natural disasters. The activities and the role of FAO are analyzed, with emphasis on participation, in order to point out various feasible alternatives for countries to prepare themselves in an individual, subregional and regional way to elaborate prevention and mitigation plans.
This issue examines the demands (direct and indirect) on agricultural sector institutions (such as the Ministries of Agriculture), highlighting the asymmetry between these demands and the capacity and resources (post-adjustment) to meet the demands. The document underscores the need to move beyond the traditional approach of rural development, to meet the needs, take advantage of opportunities, and work within the constraints that are associated with the new and changing trends in global agrifood systems, in the macroeconomic context and the national agricultural sectors themselves. The document recommends elements with a new approach and discusses the implications of this approach in terms of needed institutional reforms.
In order to facilitate this follow-up activity, a background document has been prepared which deals with the multiple aspects of food vulnerability and food insecurity.
This document may be complemented with national reports on the application of the World Food Summit Plan of Action to be submitted to the next session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
The issue points out the causes in the drop of regional agricultural production regarding its physical and socio-economic efficiency; it contains a description of the main challenges for the generation and transfer of technology, an analysis of the role and responsibility of installed capacity in the adoption of viable, realistic and sustainable technologies together with agricultural education. Regarding this point of the Agenda, the Technical Committee will discuss possible alternatives to enable the countries of the Region, with FAO assistance, to strengthen their capacity at the local level, jointly with the CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) system , to face the definition of projects and concrete programmes.
In view of the request of the delegations during the 25th Regional Conference, those who wish to, will be able to have multilateral, regional or subregional meetings in order to analyze current issues of mutual interest.
12 to 14 April 2000
The objective of this item is to review FAO's work in the Region, discuss orientations regarding current activities, analyze priority issues for agricultural and rural development and discuss eventual outputs for FAO activities in Latin America and the Caribbean. An analysis will be made of the tendencies and the main challenges faced by the agriculture sector in our Region with regard to changes in the structure of the sector, in the use of resources and in the structures of agricultural trade. The main policies affecting the sector will be analyzed, considering policy instruments and sector policies, highlighting the successful ones. The most important issues in the Region will be discussed, amongst which are the multilateral agriculture reforms (the new Round), the necessary agricultural re-conversion stemming from globalization, employment options for the rural population, the new technologies for agricultural competitiveness in Latin America and the Caribbean, analyzing the effect these issues have on rural development and agriculture base food development, their evolution over the past years and future perspectives. In each case, reference will be made on how these issues affect the FAO program. In addition, an explanation will be made of the main steps taken to carry out the recommendations of the 25th FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Under this item, an analysis is made of the reports of the Commission for Fisheries of Latin America (COPESCAL), the Western Central Atlantic Fishery Commission (WECAFC), the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LAFC), and the Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean. The 29th FAO Conference (Rome, November 1997) urged the regional bodies created under Article VI of the FAO Constitution to search for extra-budgetary resources and recommended a series of steps to facilitate work and increase the efficiency of these bodies. In order to facilitate the review of this item, documents LARC/2000/INF/9a, LARC/2000/INF/9b, LARC/2000/INF/10 and LARC/2000/INF/11 provide a summary on background information, main achievements and recommendations of the last sessions of the above-mentioned Regional Commissions. The Conference is invited to examine the measures suggested as well as others which can be proposed by the Member Countries to strengthen the role of the regional FAO bodies of interest to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Based on information provided to delegations and information stemming from the presentations delivered during the Plenary Session, the countries should indulge in discussions regarding main issues, presenting their experiences and making recommendations to FAO and the Governments on steps to be taken regarding tendencies and analyzed challenges.
The Memorandum of Responsibilities will be provided to those Member Countries that express the wish to host the Conference.
In view of the request formulated by the delegations during the 25th Regional Conference, those who so wish, can arrange multilateral, regional or subregional meetings in order to analyze current issues of mutual interest.