FAO5.GIF (11543 bytes)

NERC/00/REP    
March 2000    

 

 

REPORT OF THE

TWENTY-FIFTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE
FOR THE NEAR EAST

 

 

Beirut, Lebanon, 20 - 24 March 2000

 

 

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO Regional Office for the Near East

Cairo 2000


 

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner. Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction, should be addressed to the FAO Regional Office for the Near East, P.O. Box 2223, Cairo, Egypt.
 

FAO/RNE 2000


 

Date and place of FAO Regional Conferences for the Near East

 

First - Cairo, Egypt, 2-14 February 1948
Second - Bloudane, Syria, 28 August - 6 September 1951
Third - Cairo, Egypt, 1-9 September 1953
Fourth - Damascus, Syria*, 10-20 December 1958
Fifth - Teheran, Iran, 21 September - 1 October 1960
Sixth - Tel Amara, Lebanon, 30 July - 8 August 1962
Seventh - Cairo, Egypt**, 19-31 October 1964
Eighth - Khartoum, Sudan, 24 January - 2 February 1967
Ninth - Baghdad, Iraq, 21 September - 1 October 1968
Tenth - Islamabad, Pakistan, 12-22 September 1970
Eleventh - Kuwait, Kuwait, 9-19 September 1972
Twelfth - Amman, Jordan, 31 August - 9 September 1974
Thirteenth - Tunis, Tunisia, 4-11 October 1976
Fourteenth - Damascus, Syria, 9-16 September 1978
Fifteenth - Rome, Italy, 21-25 April 1981
Sixteenth - Nicosia, Cyprus, 25-29 October 1982
Seventeenth - Aden, People's Democratic Republic of Yemen, 11-15 March 1984
Eighteenth - Istanbul, Turkey, 17-21 March 1986
Nineteenth - Muscat, Oman, 13-17 March 1988
Twentieth - Tunis, Tunisia, 12-16 March 1990
Twenty-first - Teheran, Islamic Republic of Iran, 17-21 May 1992
Twenty-second - Amman, Jordan, 3-6 July 1994
Twenty-third - Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco, 26-29 March 1996
Twenty-fourth - Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, 21-25 March 1998
Twenty-fifth - Beirut, Lebanon, 20-24 March 2000
     

* Known as the United Arab Republic from 01/03/1958 to 28/09/1961.

** Known as the United Arab Republic until 02/09/1971.

 


Table of Contents


 

     SUMMARY OF MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS
     I. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS

- Organization of the Conference
- Inaugural Ceremony
- Election of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Appointment of the Rapporteur
- Adoption of the Agenda

     II. STATEMENTS

- Statement by the Director-General
- Country Statements and General Debate

     III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

- Report of the Senior Officers Meeting
- Report on FAO Activities in the Region During 1998-99
- Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture
- FAO-NGOs/CSOs Consultation for the Near East
- Proposed List of Topics to be Considered at the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East

     IV. CONCLUDING ITEMS

- Date and Place of the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
- Adoption of the Conference Report
- Closure of the Conference

 

     APPENDICES

A. Revised Agenda
B. List of Participants
C. List of Documents
D. Statement by the Director-General
E. Report of the Senior Officers Meeting
F. Report of the FAO-NGOs/CSOs Consultation for the Near East

 


 

 

SUMMARY OF MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS

The recommendations made by the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East were as follows:

1. Country Statements and General Debate on the State of Food and Agriculture in the Near East

1.1 For the attention of Member States

  • The Conference recommended that an "Animal Health Commission for the Near East" be established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.

  • In light of the important contribution provided by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in promoting sustainable agricultural development in the Region, the Conference emphasized the need for continued international and regional support to this Center, in collaboration with national research institutions.

  • The Conference further agreed to exclude the presentations of country statements, and instead they could be circulated to delegates, in order to allow more time for other crucial technical topics to be reviewed and discussed.

The Conference called upon Member States to:

  • continue the policy and institutional reforms at the macroeconomic and sector levels to ensure the creation of an enabling environment conducive to increasing agricultural production, productivity and competitiveness, to enhance the sustainable utilization of natural resources, as well as promoting equitable income distribution, particularly to marginalized and disadvantaged social groups; and

  • focus targeting of agricultural development projects on special niches of the rural poor, with the participation of beneficiaries in all phases of project design and implementation, taking into consideration gender equity and safeguards against the leakage of benefits to rich farmers.

1.2 For the attention of FAO

The Conference requested FAO to:

  • continue to provide policy advice, guidance and training to Member Countries to assist in their preparations for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture, and in assessing the implications of joining the WTO on the countries' agricultural sectors;

  • increase its support to the Palestinian agricultural sector given the suffering and difficult circumstances faced by Palestinian farmers as a result of the occupation, as well as taking the necessary measures to include Palestine in all activities and programmes provided by FAO to Member States; and

  • further strengthen its country offices in the Near East to better support the Organization's regional and country field programmes.

2. Report of the Senior Officers Meeting

The Conference adopted the report of the Senior Officers Meeting with the following recommendations:

2.1 Follow-up to the World Food Summit

2.1.1 For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  • adopt internal reporting arrangements appropriate to their national government structures to monitor progress of the WFS Plan of Action internally, and prepare the periodic reports in preparation for the next Session of the CFS to be held in September 2000;

  • approach donor agencies, with the assistance of FAO, to seek additional funding in support of implementing national SPFS activities;

  • organize a workshop on "WFS follow-up at the national level", in collaboration with FAO, and seek the active participation of all relevant government officials, parliamentary commissions, actors of civil society, private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other development partners; and

  • support setting up of national FIVIMS and urge all interested parties to provide resources to enable the conduct of these initial assessments, with coordinated donor support;

2.1.2 For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

  • enhance the exchange of expertise and information related to the SPFS among Member Countries;

  • continue assisting Member States in approaching donors and international organizations for supporting their national efforts towards implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action;

  • continue to respond positively to government requests to take part in the SPFS and to enhance technical collaboration between countries of the Region through the South-South Cooperation (SSC) initiative;

  • continue its support to the setting up of FIVIMS at the national and international levels, in collaboration with concerned UN organizations, competent national institutions and non-governmental organizations; and

  • continue lending support to raising funds through the various activities of the TeleFood programme.

2.2 Towards a Strategic Framework for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Near East Region

2.2.1 For the attention of Member States

    The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  • take into consideration the 10 elements for a strategic framework, suggested in Document NERC/00/4, in designing national sustainable agricultural development strategies, based on the specific circumstances and priorities for each Member country, with a view to provide enabling environment for increasing the role of the private sector;

  • continue their efforts to review and formulate long-term sustainable agricultural and rural development strategies and policies and to elaborate detailed plans of action for the implementation of these strategies;

  • enhance the country food supply capacity by reducing small farmers' risk in rainfed areas, and re-orienting landuse in irrigated lands;

  • strengthen regional/sub-regional cooperation in all aspects related to agriculture, particularly intra-regional trade and investment, as well as in promoting the competitiveness of major crops such as date palm and others;

  • participate in, and encourage regional/sub-regional group actions to confront environmental threats, such as desertification, pollution, transboundary plant and animal diseases and other similar threats that cut across national borders;

  • confirm their commitment to the establishment of the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP), through active participation in its meetings and activities; and

  • support regional centers and networks, which cooperate with FAO, through active participation in their meetings and activities;

2.2.2 For the attention of FAO

The Meeting called upon FAO to:

  • continue its support to Member Countries in their efforts to review and formulate long-term sustainable agricultural and rural development strategies, policies and national plans of action;

  • assist, within its available resources, Member Countries in conducting studies for establishing regional/sub-regional market information systems to stimulate intra-regional trade, as well as the feasibility of alternative mechanisms for joint procurement, marketing and collective bargaining with foreign trade blocks, in conformity with WTO rules;

  • continue its support to applied agricultural research and extension to assist Member countries in priority areas, such as the development of varieties tolerant to drought, salt and heat stress; date palm production and post-harvest technology; combating desertification; utilization of non-traditional water resources; and rationalization of water use;

  • provide, within its available resources, Member Countries with technical assistance and training in biotechnology and genetic engineering and enhance the exchange of information and experiences in these fields among countries of the Region;

  • assist in organizing an expert meeting, in collaboration with relevant UN agencies and other regional and international institutions, on agro-industries and food safety, in the context of changing consumption patterns in the Region and requirements of export markets;

  • continue its support to enhance the capacity building of policy analysts and planners at country and regional levels, particularly through its continued support to establish the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP); and

  • continue assisting Member Countries in evaluating various options to enhance intra-regional trade in view of promoting regional and national food security.

2.3 Progress Report on Reactivating the FAO Near East Cooperative Programme (NECP)

2.3.1 For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  • encourage the bilateral cooperation between FAO and the relevant countries based on National Trust Fund arrangements already used by several countries in the Region; and

  • seek, jointly with FAO, financial support from regional and international funding institutions to implement some regional/sub-regional Trust Fund programmes proposed by the concerned countries.

2.3.2 For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

  • share with countries of the Region the experience accumulated from some of the successful national and regional Trust Fund Projects to benefit from the lessons learned when formulating possible future Trust Fund programmes in the Region; and

  • respond positively, within its available resources, to requests from Member States concerning national and regional projects with a view to foster cooperation and address issues of regional dimension.

2.4 Animal Health Commission for the Near East

2.4.1 For the attention of Member States

  • The Meeting recommended that an "Animal Health Commission for the Near East", proposed in Document NERC/00/5, be established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  • endorse the Agreement for the Establishment of a Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near East, following its approval by the FAO Council.

    2.4.2 For the attention of FAO

    The Meeting requested FAO to:

  • follow up on the necessary steps suggested in the timetable outlined in the above-mentioned Document to ensure timely implementation of the activities for the proposed Commission; and

  • provide the Secretariat for the newly established Commission during the interim period at the Regional Office for the Near East.

2.5 Consultation on the Promotion of Intra-Regional Trade for Improvement of Food Security in the Near East

The Meeting listened to a presentation on "Intra-Regional Agricultural Trade in the Near East" and commended FAO for the valuable information included in the document, and for the timely presentation of this important topic during a special session in parallel to the Regional Conference. The Meeting requested FAO to include this highly significant topic on the agenda of future Near East regional fora.

3. Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture

The Conference took note of the Document NERC/00/INF/6, "Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture", and commended FAO for assisting Member Countries that are not yet members in assessing the implications of joining the WTO on their agricultural sectors, as well as for providing policy advice, guidance and training to countries that are already members of the WTO to assist in their preparations for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture.

4. FAO-NGOs/CSOs Consultation for the Near East

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 the NGOs/CSOs. The Report of this Consultation 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 of the Regional FAO-NGOs/CSOs Consultation for the Near East.

5. Proposed List of Topics to be Considered at the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East

The Conference requested the Near East Group of Representatives to FAO to prepare a list of topics to be considered at the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East and requested that FAO takes this list into consideration in developing the Provisional Agenda of the next Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.

6. Date and Place of the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East

The Conference welcomed the two invitations, extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and by the Government of Tunisia, to host the 26th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. The Director-General of FAO would take these kind invitations into consideration when deciding on the date and place of the next Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.

 

 

I. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS

Organization of the Conference

1. The Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East was held in Beirut, Lebanon, from 20 to 24 March 2000, at the kind invitation of the Government of Lebanon. The Conference was attended by 80 participants from 21 countries, and 45 observers. The list of participants is given as Appendix B to this report.

Inaugural Ceremony

2. The inaugural ceremony was attended by ministers, high-ranking state officials, heads and representatives of diplomatic and UN missions in Lebanon, as well as correspondents from the news media.

3. Dr. Jacques Diouf, the FAO Director-General, expressed his thanks and deep appreciation to His Excellency the President of Lebanon for accepting to hold the Conference under his patronage, and to the Government and the people of Lebanon for hosting the FAO Regional Conference in Beirut and for their warm hospitality. He praised the country's rich history, great and ancient civilization and long-standing agricultural traditions, and pointed out that Lebanon has been making, under difficult conditions, significant strides in all spheres of economic activity, particularly in the areas of agricultural development and rehabilitation.

4. The Conference was inaugurated by His Excellency Dr. Salim Al-Hoss, Prime Minister of Lebanon, on behalf of His Excellency President Emile Lahoud. In his opening address, the Prime Minister welcomed all participants on behalf of his Government and expressed that it was an honor for his country to be hosting the FAO Regional Conference for the Near East.

5. The Prime Minister commended FAO's role and its relentless efforts in providing technical assistance and advice to Lebanon and to other countries of the Region, as well as strengthening regional and international cooperation in view of attaining sustainable agricultural development and food security.

6. The Prime Minister expressed his wishes that the Conference would address key issues of concern to the Region, such as support to the efforts of Member Sates in formulating their agricultural and rural development strategies, policies and plans of action, in addition to assisting these countries in their preparations to face the challenges of the multinational trade negotiations on agriculture. He concluded by expressing his hope that FAO would continue its efforts to enhance its technical cooperation with countries of the Region, particularly in sustainable natural resource management and human resource development.

Election of the Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Appointment of the Rapporteur

7. His Excellency Suleiman Franjieh, Minister of Agriculture, Housing and Cooperatives of Lebanon, was unanimously elected Chairman of the Conference.

8. The Conference resolved that all other Heads of Delegations would be Vice-Chairmen and appointed Mr. Mohamed Khalifah (Egypt) as the Conference Rapporteur.

Adoption of the Agenda

9. The Revised Agenda (NERC/00/1.rev1 Appendix A) and Timetable (NERC/00/INF/2.rev1), were adopted by the Conference.

II. STATEMENTS

Statement by the Director-General

10. Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, presented his statement (Appendix D) in which he gave an overview of the state of food and agriculture in the world and in the Near East. He briefed the Conference about follow-up actions taken by FAO in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action, including the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS), and TeleFood.

11. The Director-General also briefed the Conference about FAO's recent Umbrella Programme for Training on Uruguay Round and Future Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture. He also advised the Conference about the on-going efforts to elaborate Regional Strategies for Agricultural Development and Food Security, in collaboration with the relevant regional and sub-regional institutions.

Country Statements and General Debate

12. In their presentations, delegates commended the Director-General's keen interest in the advancement of world agriculture and combating hunger and malnutrition. They also noted with appreciation FAO's diligent efforts in spearheading follow-up actions to support the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. Several countries reported on their follow-up actions and plans, including the formation of national committees for food security, identification of pilot areas and the selection of priority projects.

13. The Conference 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. The Conference noted with satisfaction that funds raised by the TeleFood campaign were being used to finance small-scale projects aimed at improving the productivity and living standards of poor farmers in several countries of the Region.

14. The Conference noted with satisfaction the progress made by many countries in the Region in implementing the Partnership Programmes (TCDC and other programmes) as well as the South-South Cooperation Programme, and called for further promotion of such programmes as effective tools for technical assistance and exchange of experience and information.

15. The Conference re-iterated its appeal to regional and international funding agencies to support the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action in the Region, in particular the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), in line with the standard framework agreements already signed by FAO with the Islamic Development Bank, the World Bank and other Asian and African funding institutions.

16. The Conference also re-iterated its general appeal not to use food or food aid for political or economic pressure, in line with the basic right of all humans to food.

17. The Conference noted that most countries of the Region were currently pursuing, with varying degrees of intensity, economic policy and institutional reform programmes, including macroeconomic reforms, agricultural market and trade liberalization, as well as privatization and deregulation policies. The Conference emphasized the need for continued reforms in order to ensure that agriculture in Member States of the Region would become more productive and competitive within the context of the evolving global economic environment. This is especially important in light of the expected rapid liberalization of international agricultural trade as a result of the Uruguay Round agreements, particularly the Agreement on Agriculture.

18. The Conference also emphasized that ongoing reform programmes ought to address food security issues, which are of serious concern to many countries of the Region. In addition to national food security, improved access to food by disadvantaged segments of the society, and the need to attain balanced economic growth through reducing income disparities, should form an integral part of economic reform programmes. The Conference stressed the need to establish systematic monitoring systems to assess the impact of policy and institutional reforms, with special attention to vulnerable groups and to the performance of agricultural and rural institutions.

19. The Conference deliberated the major outstanding issues in food and agriculture facing the Near East Region. It stressed that scarcity of water constituted the most formidable challenge to agriculture for the majority of countries in the Region. The present over-use and degradation of water resources and growing competition from non-agriculture water users were expected to influence the cost and availability of water for food production. The Conference also stressed that expansion in rainfed agriculture in many countries of the Region was constrained by low productivity and instability, due to limited and highly variable rainfall levels, and by ecological fragility due to high risks of soil erosion and desertification.

20. The Conference recognized numerous serious challenges to achieving sustainable agricultural development in the Region. These included the relative weakness of an enabling social and macroeconomic policy environment, high population growth, inadequate agricultural marketing systems, high post-harvest losses, increased use of marginal lands by nomads and poor people, and weak quality control systems in a number of countries.

21. In formulating sustainable agricultural development strategies, the Conference emphasized the need to follow a comprehensive and holistic approach for designing a strategic framework including the appropriate "agricultural development mix" combining research, extension, appropriate pricing policies as well as adequate investment.

22. The Conference pointed out the need for increased regional cooperation and integration to achieve higher agricultural production levels, better food security, sustainable utilization of natural resources, and improved livelihoods for rural and marginal communities. It emphasized in particular the need for regional/sub-regional group actions to confront environmental threats, such as desertification, pollution, transboundary plant and animal diseases and other similar threats that cut across national borders.

23. The Conference recommended that an "Animal Health Commission for the Near East" be established under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution.

24. In light of the important contribution provided by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) in promoting sustainable agricultural development in the Region, the Conference emphasized the need for continued international and regional support to this Center, in collaboration with national research institutions.

25. The Conference called upon Member States to:

26. The Conference requested FAO to:

III. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

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:

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

Report on FAO Activities in the Near East Region During 1998-1999

29. Mr. Atif Bukhari, Assistant Director-General/Regional Representative for the Near East, reviewed FAO activities in the Region during 1998-99 biennium. He started by briefing the Conference on actions taken in response to the recommendations of the 24th Session of the FAO Near East Regional Conference. Mr. Bukhari went on to review the main highlights of the ongoing programme of work and to outline future orientation of the Regional Programme to face priority issues in the Region.

30. The Conference noted with satisfaction the wide range and comprehensiveness of FAO activities in the Region during the 1998-1999 biennium. The Conference endorsed the future orientation of the Regional Programme and expressed its hope that this Programme would succeed in assisting Member Countries to face priority food and agriculture issues in the Region.

Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture

31. The Conference took note of the Document NERC/00/INF/6 "Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture", and recognized that most countries of the Region have neither the capacity nor the resources to face the challenges or take advantage of the opportunities flowing from the Uruguay Round Agreements while also preparing themselves for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations. The Conference commended FAO for assisting Member Countries of the Region that are not yet members in the WTO in assessing the implications of joining the WTO on their agricultural sectors, as well as for providing policy advice, guidance and training to countries that are already members of the WTO to assist them in their preparations for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture.

32. The Conference welcomed FAO's recent launching of the "Umbrella Programme for Training on Uruguay Round and Future Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture", and noted with satisfaction the holding of two sub-regional training workshops in the Near East Region: the first was held in Cairo in September 1999, whereas the second would be held in Muscat in June 2000.

FAO-NGOs/CSOs 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.

Proposed List of Topics to be Considered at the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East

35. The Conference requested the Near East Group of Representatives to FAO to prepare a list of topics to be considered at the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East and requested that FAO takes this list into consideration in developing the Provisional Agenda of the coming Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.

IV. CONCLUDING ITEMS

Date and Place of the Twenty-sixth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East

36. The Conference welcomed the two invitations, extended by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and by the Government of Tunisia, to host the 26th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East. The Director-General of FAO would take these kind invitations into consideration when deciding on the date and place of the coming Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.

Adoption of the Conference Report

37. The Conference adopted the report after introducing some amendments.

Closure of the Conference

38. On behalf of Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director-General of FAO, Mr. Atif Bukhari, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for the Near East, expressed his deep gratitude to His Excellency President Emile Lahoud, to the Government and to the people of Lebanon for hosting the Conference and for the excellent facilities and arrangements which had contributed to the success of the Conference.

39. The Heads of Delegations expressed their thanks and appreciation to the Government and people of Lebanon and commended the Conference Secretariat for the good preparation and smooth running of the Conference. They proposed sending a cable of thanks to His Excellency Emile Lahoud, the President of Lebanon for the generous hospitality afforded to all participants of the Conference.

40. In his closing statement, His Excellency Suleiman Franjieh, Minister of Agriculture, Housing and Cooperatives of Lebanon and Chairman of the Conference, reiterated his deep gratitude to the Director-General of FAO, to the Regional Representative and to the Conference Secretariat for their efforts in making the Conference a success. He thanked the Ministers and their accompanying senior officers, as well as other Heads of Delegations for their valuable contributions and views related to the Region's main concerns during the Conference deliberations.

41. The Chairman declared the Conference closed at 11:15 hours, on Friday, 24 March 2000.

 


APPENDIX A

Revised Agenda

(A) SENIOR OFFICERS MEETING
20-22 March 2000

A. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS

1. Opening of the Senior Officers Meeting
2. Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairmen and Appointment of the Rapporteur
3. Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable

B. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

4. Follow-up of the World Food Summit (WFS)
5. Towards a Strategic Framework for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Near East Region
6. Progress Report on Reactivating the FAO Near East Cooperative Programme (NECP)
7. Animal Health Forum for the Near East
8. Consultation on the Promotion of Intra-Regional Trade for Improvement of Food Security in the Near East.

C. OTHER MATTERS

9. Household Nutrition Security and Education
10. Representation of the Region on the CGIAR
11. Short Communication on World Agriculture Information Center (WAICENT)

D. CONCLUDING ITEMS

12. Adoption of the Report of the Senior Officers Meeting
13. Closure of the Senior Officers Meeting

(B) MINISTERIAL MEETING
23-24 March 2000

A. INTRODUCTORY ITEMS

1. Inaugural Ceremony
2. Election of Chairman, Vice-Chairmen and Appointment of the Rapporteur
3. Adoption of the Agenda and Timetable

B. STATEMENTS

4. Statement by the FAO Director-General
5. Country Statements and General Debate on the Food and Agriculture Situation in the Region

C. ITEMS FOR DISCUSSION

6. Report of the Senior Officers Meeting
7. Report on FAO Activities in the Region 1998/99 and Action Taken on the Main Recommendations of the Twenty-fourth Regional Conference

D. OTHER MATTERS

8. Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture
9. Brief Statement on AARINENA Association
10. Proposed List of Topics to be Considered at the 26th Regional Conference

E. CONCLUDING ITEMS

11. Date and place of the 26th Regional Conference for the Near East
12. Adoption of the Report of the Regional Conference (including the Senior Officers Meeting Report)
13. Closure of the Conference

 


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