Review of the regular programme 1986-87
195. The Conference noted that Part I (Performance Report) of the Review provided relevant information on the achievements of the five Major Programmes, including, where appropriate, their field components. In the review of this Part, general support was voiced for several Sub-programmes and activities, especially livestock development including feed resources, land and water development, nutrition, policy analysis at global, regional and national level, prevention of food losses, promotion of biotechnology, plant genetic resources and plant protection, early warning systems, development of roots and tubers, greater focus on small farmers and women, fisheries development and management, the Tropical Forestry Action Plan, ecosystems and environment, collection and dissemination of agricultural and food information, WCARRD, investment work, ECDC and TCDC, FINSYS (Budget and Financial Management System) and PERSYS (Personnel Management System), TCP and decentralization.
196. The Conference welcomed the integrated approach followed in the Review, by which Regular Programme activities were examined in conjunction with their related field components. It recalled the complementary nature of the Regular and Field Programmes. A number of Member Nations expressed concern about the level of Regular Programme resources used in support of the Field Programme. The Conference noted with concern the inadequate level of extra-budgetary resources in support of several programmes especially some of the Action Programmes approved by the World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development, forestry and animal health.
197. The Conference expressed concern at the damaging effects of the liquidity crisis on the implementation of Regular Programme activities, especially on training courses, meetings and publications.
198. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the in-depth assessment of the four Sub-programmes in Part II of the Review. These in-depth assessments highlighted both the significant achievements of the Sub-programmes over the past three biennia as well as the outstanding problems which confront them.
199. The Conference stressed that activities related to animal health were of high priority for the majority of Member Nations to combat animal disease emergencies. While the volume of extra-budgetary funds assisting this area of work was satisfactory, additional external resources were needed for the implementation of a number of disease control programmes planned in various parts of the world as well as for strengthening national veterinary services, especially in Africa. A number of Member Nations expressed satisfaction with the methodology prepared on nutrition policy at country level, which had been accepted by several aid agencies.
200. The Conference expressed appreciation for the implementation of the fisheries programmes On fish utilization and marketing, several Member Nations urged the strengthening of FAO's activities in domestic fish marketing, especially for small fishermen, increasing participation of developing countries in the international trade of fish products and in improving fish handling and processing.
201. The Conference recognized the important role of community forestry in promoting approaches aimed at strengthening people's participation in forestry activities. FAO's work in this area played a catalytic role in harmonizing forest policies and strategies with the needs of the rural people and in integrating agro-forestry activities in rural development programmes and projects.
202. The Conference noted with appreciation the evaluative content of Part III of the Review. It welcomed the chapter on FAO's extension activities, which had analyzed FAO's experience over the recent past. The findings of the chapter indicated opportunities for the further improvement of FAO's extension activities, particularly the need for greater in-house consultation on extension approaches. The Conference encouraged FAO to undertake a comprehensive and definitive study of extension approaches based on its own experience as well as that of other agencies and institutions.
203. The Conference agreed on the need for stronger inter-action between research and extension for technology transfer and the adoption of extension approaches aimed at strengthening the role of women in agricultural and rural development. It supported the view that extension should not only rely on the results derived from research and international experience, but also on solutions developed by farmers themselves; that a targeted approach with focus on small farmers, the landless and women was essential; and that extension methodologies and messages should be adapted to specific ecological, economic, social, political, cultural and administrative situations. Moreover, the Conference agreed that FAO should make greater and better use of staff and equipment from developing countries for extension activities.
204. The Conference noted that category three meetings were cost-effective and served felt needs. Their specific purposes were: to synthesize lessons from accumulated implementation experience; to gain consensus in difficult technical and policy areas; to offer advice on specific aspects of FAO's own programmes and to lay the basis for future cooperation in, for example, regional networks. The majority of these meetings had catalysed additional activities, including responses to emergency situations. In few cases, where meetings were isolated endeavours, devoted to awareness building, or lacked clear goals, their effects had proved to be of limited value.
External evaluations of three special action programmes
205. The Conference expressed satisfaction with the external evaluations of the three Special Action Programmes, i.e. Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development, the Seed Improvement and Development Programme (SIDP) and the Food Security Assistance Scheme, which had been commissioned by the Director-General in order to have an objective and independent assessment of their achievements and to explore ways of improving their performance. It commended the Director-General for initiating these independent evaluations through external consultants of international repute. It also appreciated that the evaluation reports were accompanied by the comments of the Director-General, including his proposals for follow-up action based on the recommendations of the consultants.
206. The Conference felt that external evaluations were a valuable management tool in improving performance in areas of major priority. The majority of Member Nations encouraged the Director-General to continue with external evaluations as appropriate and necessary, bearing in mind the size of the Programme and the cost implications of the evaluation. It would also be desirable, in all cases, to strengthen the internal evaluation units of the Organization, so that they can continue carrying out their tasks effectively.
207. The Conference considered that the evaluation of the Action Programme for the Control of African Animal Trypanosomiasis and Related Development provided a frank and balanced assessment of Programme's achievements after over ten years of operation. Considering the magnitude and complexity of tsetse and trypanosomiasis control, it welcomed the results obtained so far, especially in manpower training and support to problem-oriented research. However, the Conference stressed the need for further training and urged substantial external assistance for the ELAT (Ecole de lutte anti-tsÚtsÚ) in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. A few Member Nations also requested the Secretariat to initiate a programme for the control of trypanosomiasis affecting some countries of Asia and Latin America.
208. The Conference encouraged Member Nations and FAO to pursue more vigorously the integrated planning approach to tsetse and trypanosomiasis control, including land use and area development, as opposed to mere tsetse eradication. The FAO was urged to coordinate its interventions more closely with bilateral donors and international and national research institutions in all areas of work related to tsetse and trypanosomiasis control. Attention was also drawn for additional support in the selection, multiplication and preservation of trypano-tolerant animals. Some Member Nations urged FAO to he vigilant as to the impact of certain control measures on the environment.
209. The Conference supported the recommendations of the consultants and noted that nearly all of them had been accepted by the Director-General. As the success of the Programme depended on setting regional and national priorities, the Conference invited Member Nations to implement the recommendations of the evaluation report.
210. The Conference considered the evaluation of the Seed Improvement and Development Programme as objective and thoughtful, and noted that SIDP was generally successful in its achievements. The Programme had assisted a large number of countries in developing their national seed programmes preparing and implementing seed development projects, and in training staff in all aspects of the seed industry. The Programme had promoted international cooperation in the seed sector, monitored the global status of seed development, and assisted in the provision and exchange of seed and planting material. Some Member Nations cautioned that in promoting improved seeds, care should be taken to avoid further dependence on external inputs and technology and the adoption of agro-industrial development measures that might increase such dependence to an undesirable extent. Other Member Nations would have wished the report to have gone further and taken into account all aspects of seed production and development.
211. In order to benefit small producers, the Conference underlined the need for developing suitable varieties of subsistence crops, particularly of roots, tubers, plantains, pulses and grain legumes, in addition to domestic cereals such as sorghums and millets, and improved seed marketing and promotion mechanisms. It also welcomed the recommendation of the consultants for strengthening agro-business management of the seed industry.
212. The Conference noted with satisfaction the results which had emerged from the evaluation of SIDP, i.e.:
(a) the need for greater emphasis on crop research/varietal improvement, especially for subsistence crops, improved seed production and processing, and the strengthening of seed extension and marketing:
(b) the establishment of an appropriate national structure to ensure effective coordination in the planning and implementation of national seed development strategies and programmes including seed importation:
(c) legislation to control seed quality and to provide a framework for the operation of a governmental and/or private seed industry;
(d) flexible mechanisms for seed quality control to ensure that good seed was delivered to the farmer and designating this function to an independent entity;
(e) greater business orientation for the seed industry within the framework of a coherent national seed development programme; and
(f) incentive prices for seed growers.
213. The Conference noted that the Director-General had accepted most of the recommendations of the evaluation team, notably the focus on programme-oriented approach and selectivity in the choice of projects. On the question of increased resources for the Programme, the Director-General, given the present financial situation, intended to respond through the redistribution of resources from other units; to the extent possible from increased funding against project support costs; and the mobilization of additional extra-budgetary resources.
214. The Conference stressed the need for greater coordination of concerned units within FAO for the effective planning and implementation of SIDP. It welcomed the creation of an internal review and programming panel for this purpose and insisted on the need for an approach based on the real situations in the field. The Conference encouraged the donor community to commit additional resources on a long-term basis for SIDP, in line with the consultants' recommendations.
215. The Conference considered that the evaluation report on the Food Security Assistance Scheme was clear, balanced and candid. The report had highlighted both the strong and weak points of the FSAS and the recommendations presented were of major importance to recipient countries, the donor community and FAO.
216. The Conference reconfirmed its strong support for the wider concept of food security (production, stability and access to food). It noted that up to now, the FSAS had concentrated mainly on promoting and supporting national efforts to strengthen stability in the flow of food supplies; production and access had not received adequate attention. The two limiting factors had been the slow process of policy reforms in recipient countries and uncertainty of external finance. While FSAS did not have the means to intervene in the areas of production and access, its policy advisory role to recipient countries and donors should be expanded to address more systematically and effectively these two important elements of food security.
217. The Conference was aware that the implementation of the wider concept of food security was a complex task. Apart from firm and long-term commitments by recipient countries and the donor community, its practical application was conditioned on the clarity of purpose, realistic strategy for action and an effective operational modality on the part of FAO and member countries. Within FAO, success depended on the integration of various programmes with relevance to the wider concept of food security and effective coordination among concerned units. Another major factor for success was the need for closer cooperation between FAO and other bilateral and multilateral institutions engaged in food security.
218. The Conference emphasized that interventions in support of the wider concept of food security should focus on medium and long-term objectives. However, short-term actions should be harmonized with medium and long-term programmes at the country level. For FAO, this would require a more effective integration of its activities with national food security programmes by concentrating its efforts in the areas where FAO had a comparative advantage (training, early warning system, post-harvest losses, etc.).
219. The Conference gave support to the recommendations of the evaluation team and welcomed the Director-General's response to them. It recognized that the step-by-step action proposed by the Director-General was appropriate for the present, in view of constraints on resources and other factors beyond the control of FAO. This gradual approach would enable the Organization to strengthen its policy advisory support for food security and to develop a more effective modus operandi for project identification, preparation and implementation.
220. The Conference noted that the Programme of Work and Budget 1988-89 had made provision for streamlining the activities of FSAS within a new structure in the Commodities and Trade Division (ESC). Many Member Nations considered the proposed structure as adequate and appropriate for the time being. Others expressed reservations about the adequacy of the proposed structure, including the size of staffing. These Member Nations called on FAO to prepare new terms of reference for FSAS, in line with the wider concept of food security, to propose an organizational structure which could match the requirements of the new terms of reference and to work out a monitoring consortium for FSAS. They requested the Secretariat to submit this package of proposals to the next session of the Committee on World Food Security for its consideration. It was also suggested that the Secretariat consider the viability of creating regional food security funds. The Conference was assured by the Secretariat that Member Nations' suggestions would be considered by the Director-General when submitting the report of the consultants to the next session of the Committee on World Food Security.
221. The Conference emphasized the need for taking policy decisions in recipient countries in support of the wider concept of food security. These decisions were essential for attracting external resources for food security programmes and projects. Another important factor was the promotion of ECDC/TCDC activities covering food security, especially in promoting trade in foodstuffs, training of personnel and the exchange of experience. The Conference encouraged the donor community to provide more resources, on a long-term basis, to FSAS to enable it to implement the broader mandate of food security.
D. Impact of financial problems on regular programme activities in 1986-87
222. The Conference took note of the document dealing with the impact of financial problems on the implementation of the approved Programme of Work and Budget for 1986-87. It concurred with the concern expressed by the Council, as well as the Programme and Finance Committees, at the curtailment of FAO activities which had been made necessary by unprecedented income shortfalls.
223. The great majority of Member Nations concurred with the approach to programme adjustments adopted by the Director-General, in consultation with FAO Governing Bodies. These Member Nations commended his efforts to avoid, as far as possible, across-the-board cuts and to safeguard technical and economic activities of broad interest to FAO membership. They fully supported the attention given to preserving FAO's action in the field.
224. A few Member Nations, however, considered that the approach to programme adjustments should have been based on a more systematic ranking of priorities.
225. The Conference expressed deep concern at the negative longer-term implications of the economy measures enacted in 1986-87. It stressed, in particular, the damaging effect on FAO's technical staff, and the attendant difficulties in maintaining the required level of efficiency under many priority programmes
226. Bearing in mind the likely continuation of liquidity problems into 198889, the Conference considered the experience gained by the Organization during the 1986-87 biennium in coping with similar problems. It reiterated that the timely payment of contributions remained the prime basis for the orderly implementation of FAO's approved programmes It renewed its appeal for the prompt and full payment of such contributions from all Member Nations.
227. A large number of Member Nations underlined that the same degree of flexibility and pragmatism would be required in dealing with income shortfalls as in 1986-87. They therefore considered that the Director-General should continue to closely monitor developments in relation to FAO's financial situation, and formulate any needed action in consultation with FAO's Governing Bodies and in the light of actual facts.
228. In this connection, a few Member Nations felt that it was for the Conference to provide guidance to the Secretariat on the measures and approach to be pursued in the next biennium. It was also suggested that possibilities of increasing FAO's income-earning activities, for instance, through increased sales of priced publications be further explored.
229. The Conference took note that the full effects of the programme adjustments made in 1986-87 would be reported in the next Review of the Regular Programme.
E. Review of field programmes 1986-87
230. The Conference commended the layout and contents of the Review which provided a balanced and clear picture of FAO's technical assistance activities. Some Member Nations stated that they would have preferred it to be more analytical, in particular by drawing conclusions and lessons from the assessments of the impact of the programmes carried out. While the small increase in overall activities which had occurred in the biennium was welcomed, the Conference noted with satisfaction the more significant expansion foreseen for 1988-89. In this connection, the forecast upward trend in FAO/UNDP projects was noted, mainly as a result of UNDP's substantially improved resources position.
231. The Conference gave its full support to FAO's active cooperation with UNDP during the biennium. It called for this to be pursued and further strengthened. In expressing its concern about the decline in the FAO share of UNDP-funded programmes which had occurred since the 1970s, the Conference welcomed the prominence given to food and agricultural development in the Country Programmes approved for the Fourth UNDP Programming Cycle (1987-91). All Member Nations pointed out that sovereign governments decide which agencies should implement UNDP projects according to which is appropriate.
232. A majority of Member Nations noted with satisfaction the gradual increase which had occurred in Trust Fund programmes. Concerning recent Trust Funded projects to control crop damage by locusts and grasshoppers in Africa, the Conference underlined the importance of strategic support to regional organizations aimed at preventing such outbreaks at the source, in cooperation with the World Bank and UNDP. Some Member Nations indicated that the trends observed in the distribution by programme were in the right direction due to an increasing number of multi-disciplinary projects being conceived and to the proportion of the programme allocated to Africa.
233. The majority of Member Nations reiterated their strong support for the activities of TCP. Though modest in relation to the level of UNDP and Trust Fund programmes, TCP supported small-scale catalytic projects which allowed the formulation and implementation of major projects and which often generated larger longer-term technical and investment assistance and promoted TCDC. Some Member Nations called for a more thorough assessment of TCP projects.
234. Continued satisfaction was expressed with the activities of FAO's Investment Centre, which had helped mobilize over US$ 3 000 million in total agricultural investments in 1986 alone. The Conference commended the Centre's extensive cooperation with the World Bank, including for sectoral and policy review activities. The importance of project preparation activities with other institutions such as IFAD and the regional development banks was also emphasized.
235. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the focus of FAO's field programmes in tackling the difficult problems of foodcrop production in Africa. At the same time, it recognized the need to help governments overcome serious agricultural problems in other regions. Regret was expressed at the low share of field projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Member Nations of the Latin America and Caribbean region asked for an increase of field activities in the countries of that region. However, the Conference took note of the positive effect of TCP and regional projects to promote extensive TCDC networks in that region. It was further expressed that greater attention by FAO to agriculture and fisheries in the Southwest Pacific would be welcomed.
236. The Conference noted with appreciation the progress made in the assessment of field project performance providing an objective account of the difficulties faced in the programming, formulation and implementation of the Organization's field programmes. The increasingly important part that FAO Representatives were playing in the monitoring and assessment of field activities was recognized, as was their growing role in the formulation and appraisal of project proposals.
237. With regard to evaluation, the Conference expressed its appreciation of the numerous independent evaluations of field projects organized by FAO's Evaluation Service, including evaluations on a programme and sectoral basis in association with UNDP and Trust Fund donors. The Conference welcomed the strengthening of FAO's Evaluation Service in recent biennia, and called for further efforts in this same direction in future. Several Member Nations stressed the importance of increasingly focusing evaluation studies on the impact of completed projects. Other Member Nations warned about the cost of such studies, while still others stressed the importance of external evaluations.
238. In noting the increased difficulties which countries were facing in the provision of local and recurrent costs, and continuing funding for completed projects, the Conference emphasized the need for project designs to include forecasts of post-project recurrent costs and for projects to promote self-sustained development, in accordance with national priorities. This issue was also referred to, in particular, in relation to the environmental effects of projects.
239. Concerning the management of field programmes the Conference commended FAO on the continuing measures undertaken through the auspices of the Field Programme Committee to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Inter alia, the development of an integrated computerized system for field project monitoring and management was noted with satisfaction. However, a few Member Nations emphasized the need to undertake a more global review of the management of field programmes, as part of a wider package of reforms which they were proposing. A few Member Nations also highlighted continuing problems in several areas, for example project backstopping, quality of experts and their ability to transfer skills. A few others expressed the view that an intergovernmental Field Programme Committee would help ensure that Regular Programme priorities were reflected in the field and would increase Member Nations' participation in the Field Programme.
240. The Conference found Chapter Three, covering planning assistance, to be both important and timely. It was recognized that such assistance spanned a wide range of activities, from policy and planning advice through programming and project preparation support, to sectoral and sub-sectoral review work. For this kind of assistance, the particularly close linkage between Regular and Field Programmes was underlined. Particularly in view of the economic and financial crisis facing many developing countries, the Conference emphasized the need to expand this type of assistance. Policy advice and other support to governments undertaking structural adjustment programmes were stressed as a major task for FAO, in particular in the light of the relation between Regular and Field programmes.
241. The Conference stressed the importance of FAO's assistance in planning, designing and implementing agricultural policies including its partnership in UNDP-sponsored Round Tables and World Bank-sponsored Consultative Groups. In commending the contribution which FAO had already made to such mechanisms, the Conference called for the strengthening of such work in future.
242. In relation to coordination, the Conference noted the increasing integration of technical with capital assistance and the need to support governments in the overall coordination of aid; in this connection the role of the UN system at country level was noted, including the function of UN Resident Coordinator. It underscored the importance of close collaboration between FAO, UNDP, other UN and bilateral agencies, including for practical coordination support to governments at sectoral and sub-sectoral levels. Some Member Nations expressed the view that field level coordination of UN system activities needed substantial improvement.
243. Noting that training accounted for only 11 percent of field programme resources, while experts accounted for 55 percent, the Conference expressed its strong support for FAO's efforts to build up the human resources and institutional capacities of recipient countries to become self-reliant in agricultural development matters and to diagnose agriculture and food policies implemented. In particular, it noted the extensive training activities which took place through field projects, which had led to the training of over 500 000 men and women in the last decade.
244. The Conference welcomed the shifts which had taken place in the modalities of delivery of field programmes. Besides "new dimensions" approaches utilizing developing country personnel and other inputs in project implementation, the Conference emphasized the importance of the use of national project directors, national experts, and FAO's assistance to government execution. It called for continued efforts in this area, referring in particular to the increased use of developing country equipment and national institutions.
245. The Conference reiterated the priority which it assigned to the pursuit of TCDC and EC DC approaches in FAO's field programmes It noted that, while such approaches were already widespread in a number of regions, there remained considerable scope for expansion, particularly in Africa.
246. In noting that an increasing number of operational projects were aimed specifically at promoting the role of women in development, the Conference underlined the importance of strong support to these projects, as well as of greater attention to an integrated approach strengthening the participation and role of women in all FAO development projects.
247. The role of FAO in promoting NGO activities was also stressed in order to facilitate greater peoples' participation in the formulation and implementation of field projects.
F. Implementation of the strategy and programmes of action approved by the 1984 FAO world conference on fisheries management and development
The programmes of action
Other follow-up actions to the 1984 world fisheries conference
248. The Conference reviewed the first report on progress achieved in implementing the Strategy and Programmes of Action approved by the 1984 FAO World Conference on Fisheries Management and Development which had been prepared in response to Resolution No. 3 adopted by that Conference. It noted that reports on these subjects had already been examined by the Committee on Fisheries (COFI) at its Seventeenth Session in May 1987 and by the Council at its Ninety-first Session in June 1987.
249. The Conference welcomed the report on the implementation of the Strategy for Fisheries Management and Development which had been prepared on the basis of national reports submitted by governments, information received from international and regional organizations and special studies undertaken by the Organization. The Conference noted that significant and quantifiable changes in world fisheries could not be expected to occur in the short time which had elapsed since the 1984 Conference. It also recognized that some countries, because of varying conditions and capacities, faced greater difficulties than others in implementing various aspects of the Strategy.
250. The Conference observed that there was clear evidence that principles contained in the Strategy were providing valuable guidance to both governments and international organizations as they sought to improve the contribution of the fisheries sector to the attainment of national economic, social nutritional, commercial and food security goals.
251. The Conference expressed its particular satisfaction that many governments had found the text of the Strategy to provide a useful justification when seeking higher priorities for the fisheries sector and welcomed the steps being taken by many governments to strengthen their fisheries institutions and to review and reformulate their plans for fisheries development and management in the light of the Strategy's recommendations.
252. The Conference underlined the high priority placed by many responding countries upon the need for training and acquisition of appropriate technology. Despite considerable progress achieved in tackling these important issues, the enhancement of self-reliance in fisheries development and management and improved access to physical and capital resources remained major preoccupations of most developing countries.
253. The attempts being made by many countries to design and implement schemes for the better management and utilization of fish resources were welcomed by the Conference. In this connection, Member Nations' attention was drawn to the continued need for assistance in establishing cost-effective systems to monitor and control fishing operations so as to ensure compliance with management regulations. Emphasis was also placed upon the importance of further efforts to improve national capabilities to collect and analyse the biological and socio-economic data required for the planning of fisheries development and management.
254. Noting the vital rote played by artisanal fisheries in many regions, the Conference approved the steps being taken, in pursuance of the relevant recommendations of the Strategy, to protect and promote small-scale fisheries and to improve the standard of living of artisanal fishing and fish farming communities. It especially welcomed the actions taken to recognize more fully the roles of women and young people in fisheries, to promote cooperatives and fisheries associations and, above all, to integrate small-scale fisheries in wider programmes for rural development. In this latter connection, the Conference placed particular emphasis upon the importance of the present and potential contributions of aquaculture and inland fisheries to increased food supplies and employment.
255. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the initiatives taken by the Organization in direct response to recommendations of the World Fisheries Conference with regard to trade in fish and fishery products, in particular the establishment of the COFI Sub-Committee on Fish Trade. At the same time, it drew attention to the need to avoid duplication with the work of other organizations concerned with international trade in fish and fishery products.
256. The Conference emphasized the need for continued efforts to increase the flow of financial resources to fisheries and recognized the important roles of both public and private investment in the sector. It acknowledged the impetus being given to world fisheries by increasingly widespread international and regional collaboration in many aspects of fisheries research, development and management. In this connection, the Conference underlined the need for the continued strengthening of FAO's network of regional fishery bodies and associated regional programmes. In that context' the African Regional Aquaculture Centre and the Eastern Central Atlantic were mentioned. It also welcomed the close cooperation which had been developed between FAO and other United Nations organizations, especially the recent joint initiatives with UNIDO and with other international and regional organizations concerned with fisheries.
257. The Conference endorsed the recommendations made by the Committee on Fisheries and the Council that further assessments of the progress being achieved in implementing the Strategy should be prepared by the Organization, in collaboration with governments and international organizations, at four-yearly intervals. It also agreed that consideration should be given to the combining of such future evaluations of the usefulness and pertinence of the Strategy with complementary reviews of the overall state and prospects of world fisheries.
The programmes of action
258. The Conference expressed its general satisfaction with the progress in executing the five Programmes of Action approved by the World Fisheries Conference. It noted that the financial support provided by donors for Programme activities implemented by FAO had in 1987 attained the annual indicative target of US$ 15 million and that significant support through aid-in-kind and cash contributions from donors and participating countries had been received in respect to certain activities. The Conference paid tribute to the financial support being provided to the Programmes by an increasing number of donor countries. It especially welcomed the high level of support accorded to Programme of Action No. III, as it agreed that aquaculture development was assuming increasing importance in view of the heavy pressure being exerted on marine resources.
259. Concern was, however, expressed at the imbalances in the support made available regionally and with regard to specific Programmes. Particular reference was made to the insufficiency of the financial support provided for Programme of Action V (The Promotion of the Role of Fisheries in Alleviating Undernutrition) and to the relative lack of support for the activities of various Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Whilst recognizing that the levels and type of support being provided reflected the priorities and policies of donor institutions, the Conference called upon FAO to intensify its consultations with donor countries and agencies to rectify these imbalances. In this connection, the representative of the UNDP drew attention to the need for governments themselves to accord high priority to the fishery sector when preparing programmes for UNDP funding.
260. The Conference noted that, in addition to support for activities being implemented by FAO within the Programmes of Action, additional funds of at least US$ 8 million were being devoted annually by bilateral donors in respect of activities related to the objectives of the various Programmes of Action. In this regard, the Conference welcomed the steps recently taken by FAO and other agencies to improve coordination and avoid duplication of efforts, thus making the most effective use of the financial resources available.
261. A number of Member Nations advised that their governments were prepared to offer concrete support to various Programme activities by providing cash contributions, technical advice, training courses and host-country facilities for meetings or proposed regional fisheries centres. The Conference noted these offers with appreciation.
262. The Conference agreed that the Programmes of Action constituted a sound framework for FAO and other technical assistance and financial agencies to aid and advise countries as they seek to improve their own capabilities for the sustained development and rational management and utilization of the world fish resources. Noting that the initial period of five years envisaged at the World Fisheries Conference for the implementation of these Programmes would conclude in 1989, the Conference endorsed the recommendations of the Committee on Fisheries and the Council that proposals regarding future priorities of and possible refinements to the Programmes should be considered by the FAO regional fishery bodies at their forthcoming sessions.
Other follow-up actions to the 1984 world fisheries conference
263. A few Member Nations referred to the importance of further progress toward agreement upon technical specifications for a standard system of marking and identifying fishing vessels.
264. Observing that the proposed Programme of Work of the FAO Fisheries Department in 1988-89 had taken fully into account the recommendations of the World Fisheries Conference and the aspirations and needs of member countries with regard to the further promotion and development of this important sector, the Conference appreciated the small but welcomed increase in the financial resources to be allocated to the Organization's programme in fisheries in the new biennium and emphasized the importance it attached to the contribution being made by the Organization to the development of this sector and the wellbeing of those engaged in it.
265. Recalling the untimely death during the Twenty-third Session of the FAO Conference of Mr Jean Carroz, Secretary-General of the World Fisheries Conference and Assistant Director-General (Fisheries) of the Organization, the Conference warmly welcomed the initiative taken by the Director-General to produce and publish a book entitled "The Law and the Sea" as a tribute to the remarkable contribution of Mr Carroz to world fisheries. The Conference agreed that the volume, containing essays by distinguished jurists and other outstanding students of international fisheries law and policy, would be both a unique source of reference to the extraordinary changes experienced in world fisheries in recent decades and a fitting memorial to the life and work of Jean Carroz.