Twenty-sixth Session

Rome, 18-21 September 2000





Report of the Senior Officers Meeting

27.     The Senior Officers Meeting Report (NERC/00/SOM/REP Appendix E) was presented by the Rapporteur for consideration and adoption by the Conference. In particular, the following Agenda Items of the Senior Officers Meeting were considered:

-   Agenda Item 4: World Food Summit Follow-up (NERC/00/3)


28.     Following a thorough examination and discussion, the Conference adopted the Report of the Senior Officers Meeting.


FAO-NGO's/CSO's Consultation for the Near East

33.     In line with the WFS Plan of Action, calling for "actively encourage a greater role for civil society organizations in addressing food security", FAO convened a Regional Consultation for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in parallel to the Regional Conference. This Consultation was held on 21-22 March 2000, and reviewed similar topics to those of the Conference and FAO's policy and strategy for cooperation with NGOs/CSOs.

34.     The Report of this Consultation (Appendix F) was presented by the Consultation's Rapporteur for consideration and adoption by the Conference. Following a thorough examination and discussion, the Conference adopted the Report.





Follow-up of the World Food Summit

8.     The Meeting commended FAO's diligent efforts in building on the success of the World Food Summit (WFS) of November 1996, which culminated in the adoption of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the WFS Plan of Action. The WFS aimed at furthering the promotion of global commitment for the elimination of hunger and malnutrition and for achieving sustainable food security for all people.

9.     The Meeting reviewed Document NERC/00/3, "Report on the World Food Summit Follow-up", and recognized FAO's continued efforts in spearheading follow-up actions and its endeavors to support the implementation of the Summit's seven commitments. The Meeting noted with satisfaction that the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) had established its workplan for future monitoring, so as to conduct two complete cycles of review of implementation of the Summit Plan of Action prior to the mid-term review, scheduled for 2006, to evaluate the work progress towards reaching the target of halving the number of undernourished people by 2015.

10.     Meeting commended FAO for its continued active support to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) in implementing Objective 7.4 of the Plan of Action on the right to adequate food. A symposium was co-organized by the Administrative Coordination Committee (ACC)/Sub-Committee on Nutrition in April 1999 focusing on "The substance and politics of a human rights approach to food and nutrition policies and programmes". In May 1999, the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights adopted a General Comment on the Right to Adequate Food.

11.     Meeting noted with appreciation that FAO's Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) has been launched in eight Low-Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) in the Region, five of which were already operational by January 2000 (Egypt, Djibouti, Mauritania, Sudan and Syria). In all countries of the Region, the SPFS has been initiated by the national authorities to support the development of water utilization as a spearhead for increasing food production and distribution. FAO's continued positive response to all government requests to take part in the SPFS was also greatly appreciated. The Meeting recognized in particular the increased technical collaboration between several countries of the Region made possible by FAO's South-South Cooperation (SSC) initiative. Launched by the Director General in 1996 within the framework of the SPFS, the main objective of the SSC initiative is to allow recipient countries to benefit from the expertise accumulated by more advanced developing countries.

12.     The Meeting welcomed the initiative taken by FAO to play a catalytic role in elaboration and definition of a Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) in collaboration with concerned UN organizations, competent national institutions and non-governmental organizations. This Information System helps Member Countries, as well as the global community and FAO, to monitor the progress being made in meeting the targets set out by the WFS for reducing world hunger. The Meeting also welcomed with appreciation FAO's technical assistance to countries in the Region wishing to improve their food security information systems and to establish national FIVIMS units.

13.     The Meeting commended the FAO Regional Office for the very successful TeleFood campaign, conducted in collaboration with leading satellite television operators in the Region, particularly the Celebrity Auction in support of TeleFood held in Cairo on 19 October 1999. Funds raised by the TeleFood campaign were to be used to finance small-scale projects aimed at improving the productivity and living standards of poor farmers. In the Near East, TeleFood funded projects were being implemented in Djibouti, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyztan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Yemen

14.     The Meeting recalled with satisfaction the valuable input provided by FAO in the preparation of the "Draft Strategies for National Agricultural Development - Horizon 2010" and welcomed FAO's recent initiative to hold one-day WFS follow-up workshops in all the countries for which a draft strategy has been prepared. These National Workshops would aim to update and amend the national strategies to ensure that the policies and programmes for sustainable food security at national and household level would remain consistent with the changing socio-economic and food security situation in each member country. These National Workshops, organized by respective governments, would be attended by all relevant Government officials, parliamentary commissions, actors of civil society, private sector, non-governmental organizations and other development partners.

15.     The Meeting also welcomed with appreciation FAO's efforts to develop Regional Strategies for Agricultural Development and Food Security (RSADFS) for Regional Economic Groupings of developing countries. RSADFS had been prepared for the following Regional/Sub-regional economic groupings of relevance to Member Countries of the Near East: Arab Maghreb Union (AMU); Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC); Council of Arab Economic Unity (CAEU); Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA); Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO); Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD); Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

16.     The Meeting noted FAO's increased efforts in assisting countries of the Region in building development capacities and training national staff in food security and economic reform policies. Appreciation was particularly expressed for FAO's initiative and technical support in launching the "Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies" (NENARNAP) to facilitate the exchange of information among Member Countries.

17.     The Meeting called upon Member States to:

18. The Meeting requested FAO to:



I.      Introduction


The documents that the FAO Secretariat put before the participants for discussion were:

     Other documents made available as background information to participants were the report on the WFS follow-up and the CFS document on broadened participation of civil society in the work of CFS.


III. FAO Policy and Strategy for Cooperation with Non-Governmental and Civil Society Organizations in the Near East

     Participants at the Consultation expressed their satisfaction with the transparent approach followed by FAO in formulating its policies and strategies for cooperation with NGOs/CSOs. Participants also considered the document as a good basis for the development of enhanced coordination between FAO and grassroot organizations on the one hand and multilateral cooperation involving governments, funding institutions, FAO and NGOs/CSOs on the other, towards reaching the goals embedded in the seven commitments of the WFS Plan of Action.

     Participants recommended actions to complement the priorities and needs of the Near East Region, as follows:

  1. to further promote consultative processes among NGOs/CSOs, governments and FAO with a view to enhancing partnership;

  2. to encourage and facilitate intra-NGO/CSO coordination and the pooling of resources at the national level;

  3. to apply comparative advantage principles among NGOs/CSOs in order to optimize the use of available human and financial resources;

  4. to promote a two-way communication through the establishment of information-sharing networks, electronic and otherwise, to facilitate the transfer of technology, benefiting from gained experiences and analyses, including from international organizations such as FAO, regional and international NGOs;

  5. to increase FAO-NGOs/CSOs coordination for the identification and implementation by NGOs/CSOs of projects, including TeleFood, in accordance with their respective area of competence;

  6. to consider as equal partners in development NGOs/CSOs, governments, international organizations, donors, etc., and to deal with them as such in the planning and the implementation of policies and strategies;

  7. to formulate policies conducive to the enhancement of NGOs/CSOs capacity-building in the various aspects of development , including gender-oriented needs.