G. Follow-up to tropical forestry action plan and international conference on trees and forests SILVA 1986
266. The Conference acknowledged with concern the gravity of tropical deforestation and its negative consequences in terms of environmental deterioration, loss of opportunities for sustainable development, and increased rural poverty. It noted the conclusions of the recent reports of UNEP (Environmental Perspectives to the year 2000 and Beyond) and of the World Commission on Environment and Development (Our Common Future) as they pertained to the conservation of tropical forests.
267. The Conference expressed full support to the Tropical Forestry Action Plan (TFAP) and to the coordinating role of FAO in its implementation. It underlined that the TFAP had so far proven to be an effective means for heightening political awareness as regards the strengthening of tropical forestry development as well as being a useful framework for strengthening and harmonizing international action in this context. The Plan was also a powerful incentive for stimulating policy review as well as for the identification of strategic lines of action at the national level.
268. The Conference, in view of the increased complexity and expanding volume of TFAP activities, recommended that FAO closely monitor progress and keep Member Nations informed of advances and problems encountered in its implementation. It suggested that the Secretariat inform the FAO Governing Bodies and develop a framework for evaluating TFAP's implementation.
269. The Conference, noting the adverse effects of the serious economic difficulties of developing countries on environment as well as the need to reverse present trends in tropical deforestation, urged that more budgetary and extra-budgetary resources be mobilized in support of TFAP, in order to give adequate priority to the coordinating and implementing tasks being undertaken by FAO.
270. The Conference stressed that the initiative for adoption of the TFAP approach in a given country lies with its government, which will decide on the appropriate course of action. It noted that the success of TFAP actions critically depends on the upgrading of the level of priority attached to forestry in national plans and policies, on strengthening the linkages with other sectors of the economy and stimulating the participation of rural people and Non-Governmental Organizations in forestry actions. It also stressed that in these exercises special attention should he given to institution-building, and particularly to measures for the improvement of the human resource base through training, extension and research.
271. The Conference emphasized the need to promote the dissemination of information and the better understanding of the TFAP at troth the national and regional levels. It recommended that, at the national level, TFAP exercises be used to disseminate general information on forestry issues among the public and to promote dialogue among the institutions concerned. The Conference recommended that at regional level FAO organize meetings for political leaders where the TFAP would he explained and discussed.
272. The Conference, considering the role of FAO in harmonizing international action in support of the TFAP, recommended that further efforts should be made to stimulate closer complementarily between bilateral and multilateral actions. It also stressed the importance of appropriate cooperation between FAO and other international organizations such as the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). The Conference attached importance to the Bellagio meeting held in July 1987 insofar as this initiative would result in strengthening the role of FAO in implementing the TFAP and its follow-up.
273. The Conference expressed its appreciation for the initiative taken by France in convening, in 1986, the International Conference on Trees and Forests, SILVA, aiming at raising awareness at the highest political level and at mobilizing resources. It emphasized the complementarily of this initiative with the TFAP and suggested that similar initiatives he taken in other regions.
274. The Conference commended the actions taken, so far, by Member Nations as a follow-up to the resolutions adopted by the SILVA Conference. It also commended the Secretariat for its role in helping to organize the SILVA Conference and it noted the implementation by FAO of its resolutions.
H. United nations/FAO world food programme (WFP)
World food programme: Proposed pledging target for 1989-90
275. The Conference was informed by the Deputy Executive Director of some of the important activities of WFP, to put the proposed target in perspective. It noted in particular that WFP now handled about a quarter of the world's Food aid and had emerged as the largest provider of aid, among all UN agencies, that directly reaches the world's poor.
276. The Conference also noted that in the wake of the African crisis, where the Programme met its toughest challenge, the scope of WFP's operations continued to expand. It was informed that in 1986 WFP shipments reached an all-time high of 2.25 million tons of Food drawn from WFP's own resources, the International Emergency Food Reserve and trilateral donors.
277. The Conference noted that WFP food purchases reached a new record of 567 000 tons in 1986, of which approximately 75 percent was procured from developing countries, most of which through triangular transactions, thus promoting considerably South-South cooperation. With respect to development projects, 84 percent of the 1.8 million tons of food WFP committed in 1986 went to low-income, food deficit nations. 'she share of the least developed countries (LDCs) was 56 percent, and that of Africa roughly 38 percent in 1986. The Conference also noted that last year, as in the past, 81 percent of the total commitments of US$ 629 million for development were for projects in the agriculture and rural development sector, with the remaining 19 percent relating to human resources.
278. Finally, the Conference noted that the recommended pledging target of US$ I 400 million for the 1989-90 biennium, although set at the same level as for the current biennium, was believed to be realistic under present circumstances. The Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes considered it prudent to set a target that was attainable, and felt confident that the target could be reached. However, several Member Nat ions expressed the hope that in response to the efficiency of the Programme, donors would reel encouraged to increase their contributions, considering the growing number of people afflicted by hunger.
279. The Conference commended the efficient and effective management of the World Food Programme It noted that the unanimous support for the Programme was a clear demonstration of the confidence of the donor as well as of the recipient countries, in its capability and performance.
280. The Conference expressed satisfaction for the considerable improvements in the response time to emergency requests, and encouraged WFP to continue its cooperation with other UN agencies in the field of disaster relies. In this connection mention was made of the recently concluded agreement between WFP and UNHCR (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) for the provision of food aid to refugees through WFP alone in certain countries. The Conference also took note of the present critical food situation in Ethiopia, and urged all donors to step up their emergency assistance to meet the food needs of Ethiopia, to avert a repetition of the catastrophe of the past.
281. The Conference noted that the implementation of the recommendations of the recently carried out management review would strengthen the Programme's internal management. The long-term goals of this exercise, which gave a more field-oriented organizational structure to the Programme, were to develop and implement projects more effectively, sharpen the Programme's logistics ability and improve its emergency preparedness
282. The Conference commended the progress achieved in the relationship of cooperation between WFP and FAO, and encouraged the two organizations to maintain and strengthen this effective partnership.
283. The Conference acknowledged that the proposed target was realistic and achievable. It noted the statement of the Deputy Executive Director in reply to a question that: on three previous occasions the pledging target of WFP was not only achieved, hut surpassed, and felt that given the goodwill and support of the International Community, the proposed target could be fully achieved, and even surpassed
284. The Conference unanimously endorsed the pledging target of US$ 1 400 million for the regular resources of WFP for the 1989-90 biennium and appealed to traditional as well as potential donors to meet this target. It also urged donors to provide in the aggregate at least one third of the total contributions in cash pledges in accordance with WFP's general regulations, to give the Programme more flexibility. Several Member Nations expressed the need for additional cash resources in order to increase triangular transactions and to help meet the costs of developing country transportation.
285. The Conference unanimously adopted the following Resolution
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1989-90
Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging Conference,
Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 10/77 of 30 November 1977 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging Conference should be convened at the latest early in 1988, at which time governments and appropriate donor organizations should be invited to pledge contributions for 1989 and 1990, with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Twenty-third Session and by the FAO Council at its Ninety-first Session,
Having considered Resolution 1/91 of the FAO Council as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,
Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs:
1. Establishes for the two years 1989 and 1990 a target for voluntary contributions of US$ 1 400 million, of which not less than one third should be in cash and/or services in aggregate, and expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial additional contributions from other sources in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level;
2. Urges the State Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and appropriate donor organizations to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;
3. Requests the Secretary General, in cooperation with the Director-General of FAO, to convene a pledging Conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters early in 1988;
4. Decides that, subject to the review provided for in Resolution 4/65, the following pledging Conference at which governments and appropriate donor organizations should be invited to pledge contributions for 1991 and 1992 with a view to reaching such a target as may he then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, should be convened at the latest early in 1990.
(Adopted 26 November 1987)
I. Relations and consultations with international organizations
Preparation and follow-up of the special session of the United Nations general assembly on Africa
Other recent developments in the UN system of interest to FAO
Relations with intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations
Preparation and follow-up of the special session of the United Nations general assembly on Africa
286. The Conference considered that the documents fully reflected the diversity of FAO's involvement in the preparation to, and follow-up of, the Thirteenth Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Critical Economic Situation in Africa and in particular its participation in the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development (UN/PAAERD). The Programme of Action recognized the central place of agriculture in African recovery and development.
287. The Conference noted that the current economic situation in Africa called for recognition of four needs: an acknowledgement of the efforts of African countries for economic management and implementation of UN/PAAERD, measures to counteract the unexpected deterioration of the world economy, a higher level of resource allocations, and further innovative actions to alleviate the debt burden, especially for the poorest countries.
288. The Conference noted with appreciation the series of important initiatives taken by FAO with respect to the critical situation in Africa, and encouraged the Organization to pursue such efforts, including the publication of situation reports through its Global Information and Early Warning System for Food and Agriculture, its crop assessments and other missions, its locust and grasshopper control campaigns, and the commissioning of the study "African Agriculture: the Next 25 Years". It emphasized the need to focus attention on rehabilitation and longer-term development activities.
289. The Conference noted the institutional mechanisms that had been put in place in the organizations of the United Nations system to follow up UN/PAAERD and commended the active role played by FAD in these mechanisms. In the same context the Conference noted the initiatives taken by the Director-General to coordinate the response of FAO to the United Nations Programme of Action and to ensure the Organization's full commitment to it. It took note with appreciation of the document entitled "FAOs focus on Africa in relation to the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development 1986-1990", which reflected a thorough review of the Organization's activities aimed at matching the priorities of UN/PAAERD.
290. The Conference noted that the Forty-second Session or the United Nations General Assembly had before it a progress report on the implementation of UN/PAAERD prepared by the Secretary-General, to which FAO, had contributed extensively and that, in this context, the FAO Council would he kept informed of future Follow-up to the Special Session.
Other recent developments in the UN system of interest to FAO
291. The Conference considered that the documents reflected the wide range of FAD involvement in the activities of the organizations of the united Nations system. This diversity was in line with the wide mandate of the Organization and the direct links between food and agriculture and other subject areas. However, some Member Nations expressed concern that the documentation was neither sufficiently analytical nor problem-oriented but was merely descriptive of recent developments in the United Nations system.
292. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the extent of FAO cooperation in an inter-agency context had continued to increase. In particular, FAO's close relationship with UNIDO and WHO was noted with appreciation. It expressed appreciation for FAO's positive responses to intergovernmental bodies and its inputs to the inter-secretariat machinery of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). The Conference took note of the lead agency role carried out by FAO in the ACC Task Force on Rural Development, as well as the support provided by the organization to the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition, as described in the documents.
293. In relation to FAO's role within the UN system, many Member Nations urged the Secretariat to increase its efforts to improve the Organization's participation in overall system-wide coordination. The Conference emphasized the importance of the coordination of operational activities for development in the United Nations System and of the efforts undertaken to ensure the closest possible harmonization of effort, in particular with UNDP in the context of the Fourth Programming Cycle, As discussed in the Review of FAO Field Programmes 1986-1987, the Conference gave its full support to FAO's active cooperation with UNDP during the biennium. It looked forward to increased cooperation in the Fourth Programming Cycle.
294. The Conference also noted that the FAO Council, at its Ninety-first Session, had reviewed, at the request of ECOSOC, as contained in its resolution 19X6/74, several specific issues regarding operational activities, including the role of resident coordinators, the use of the UNDP country programme as a framework for operational activities, the collocation of field offices and the harmonization of operational procedures. The views of the Council had been transmitted to ECOSOC at its second regular session of 1987 and thence to the United Nations General Assembly at its Forty-second Session. The Conference endorsed these views, reiterating in particular the importance it attached to the rote of the Resident Coordinator at the country level. A few Member Nations felt that acceptance of the leading role of the Resident Coordinator would contribute to effective UN agency coordination. It underlined the need for regular meetings of all participants in operational activities within countries. It also noted the need for greater FAO participation in the Round Table and Consultative Group processes, in view of the central importance of agriculture in the development process.
295. The Conference noted that the General Assembly at its Forty-second Session also had before it for consideration a report submitted by the Secretary-General presenting the results of a series of case studies on the functioning of the operational activities for development for the United Nations System at the country level. It was noted that FAO generally supported the conclusions of these case studies as presented in the annex to the report of the Director-General for Development and International Economic Cooperation to the General Assembly at its Forty-second Session.
296. The Conference was informed of the continuing collaboration with UNIDO in areas of mutual interest. In particular it noted with satisfaction that a formal relationship agreement between the two organizations would be concluded in 1988/89. It also noted the joint consultations organized by the two Organizations.
297. The Conference noted with satisfaction that a report of the Director-General had been presented to ECOSOC at its second regular session of 1987 on the campaign for grasshopper and locust control in Africa and that ECOSOC had confirmed the central coordination role of FAO in this area among the organizations of the United Nations System.
298. The Conference noted with appreciation the close relationship with WHO in the field of nutrition, which covered not only the Codex Alimentarius but envisaged the creation of a Joint Consultative Group on Food Policy and Nutrition. Cooperation continued with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) and ILO (International Labour Organization) in training, with WMO (World Meteorological Organization) in agro-meteorology and with IAEA for the applications of atomic energy in agriculture.
299. The Conference noted the participation of FAO in the Seventh Session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. Among the elements in the Final Act of the Conference of direct interest to FAO was the Integrated Programme of Commodities and the work towards the establishment of the Common Fund for Commodities.
300. The Conference also noted with satisfaction the participation of FAO as an observer of the working groups on agriculture and tropical products in the context of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations of GATT, and stressed the importance of continued cooperation with international financial institutions.
301. The Conference welcomed the Beijing Declaration on the eradication of hunger, adopted at the Thirteenth Ministerial Session of the World Food Council (WFC) and noted that the President of WFC had convened a meeting of the organizations of the United Nations System with responsibility in the food and agriculture sector, with a view to achieving a greater convergence and congruence of action by the United Nations system against hunger and malnutrition.
302. The Conference noted the participation of FAO in the Vienna Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking which had taken place in June 1987 and that FAO would take part in follow-up work under the Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Outline adopted by the Conference.
303. The Conference welcomed the special section contained in the report regarding big-technology, which reviewed work in progress in the organizations of the United Nations System.
304. The Conference noted the work being carried out pursuant to General Assembly Resolution 41/213 with regard to the administrative and financial functioning of the United Nations.
305. With respect to the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, the Conference noted that the United Nations General Assembly would take action on the Report at its Forty-second Session and was expected to call on the governing bodies of the organizations of the United Nations System to review their policies, programmes, budgets and activities regarding sustainable development. A principal thesis of the Report was that sustainable economic development, in the long term, had to be reconciled with resource conservation and environmental protection. The organizations of the United Nations System, including FAO, would be undertaking an examination of the recommendations of the Commission in the context of the work programme of ACC. It was noted that the recommendations in the report were particularly relevant to the work of FAO.
306. The Conference unanimously adopted the following Resolution:
FAO ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (WCED)
Mindful of the compelling challenges of world hunger, particularly the increase in the number of undernourished people despite the remarkable progress of agriculture in many regions during recent years,
Conscious that improved food security depends on environmental protection and prudent management of renewable resources,
Noting that the World Commission on Environment and Development has addressed these issues and made recommendations for common action,
1. Welcomes the report of the World Commission on Environment and Development "Our Common Future", in particular, its conclusions and recommendations as they relate to the mandate of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;
2. Agrees with the Commission regarding the importance that must be given to retaining the essential ecological integrity of production systems while meeting the challenge of increasing food production;
3. Agrees that attention should be given to the renewal of natural resources in applying the concept of sustainable development to the effort to ensure food security;
4. Concurs that balanced physical planning in rural areas is of major importance for both agriculture and the environment as well as for the living conditions of rural populations;
5. Concurs that integrated forest management to preserve forest resources is also the basis of sustainable agriculture;
6. Requests the Director-General to report to the Ninety-fourth session of the FAO Council on those aspects of FAO's policies, programmes, budget and activities aimed at contributing to sustainable development. (Adopted 26 November 1987)
Relations with intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations
307. The Conference took note with satisfaction of the developments that had taken place since its Twenty-third Session in relations between FAO and intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, including international trade unions.
308. The Conference noted FAO's cooperation with intergovernmental organizations and expressed the need for this cooperation to be strengthened, especially with those inter-governmental organizations which were active in sectors falling under FAO's mandate. This cooperation was considered of growing importance for regional and sub-regional intergovernmental organizations, particularly in the Africa region.
309. The Conference also noted with interest the report of the Informal Meeting of Representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations attending the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference. The meeting had as its central theme "The contribution of NGOs to the identification and implementation of rural development programmes in collaboration with FAO and Member Governments" and considered ways and means which would allow these organizations to participate more actively in FAO's work in the field of rural development.
310. The Conference expressed support for FAO's determination to cooperate more closely with non-governmental organizations. Emphasis was laid on the need to develop new flexible and dynamic mechanisms for cooperation, including in project design and implementation, with both international non-governmental organizations and their national affiliates, particularly farmers' organizations. It was also stressed that FAO should promote the participation of national NGOs such as farmers' organizations and rural workers' organizations in the design and implementation of policies and programmes at country level.
311. The Conference considered a draft resolution "Support to the Action Committee on Latin American Cooperation and Consultation on Plant Genetic Resources (CARFIT)", presented by Latin American countries. The Action Committee, established within the framework of the Latin American Economic System (SELA), was part of the Latin American programme on plant genetic resources. It was noted that cooperation with this new organization would not involve additional expeditures for FAO and should facilitate cooperation and coordination among countries in this area of activity.
312. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
SUPPORT TO THE ACTION COMMITTEE ON LATIN AMERICAN COOPERATION AND CONSULTATION ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Mindful of Resolution 8/83 "International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources",
Having further noted Resolution 9/83 "Establishment of a Commission on Plant Genetic Resources",
(a) The worldwide occurrence of enormous losses of germplasm threatens the survival of cultivars beneficial to humankind,
(b) there has been established within the ambit of the Latin American Economic System the Action Committee on Latin American Cooperation and Consultation on Plant Genetic Resources, whose principles, purposes and objectives are identified with those consecrated in the "International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources",
(c) the Director-General of FAO and the Permanent Secretary of SELA have had an exchange of letters to establish collaboration between the two Organizations,
(d) it is necessary to "establish or strengthen the capabilities of developing countries, where appropriate, on a national or sub-regional basis, with respect to plant genetic resources activities, including the study, plant survey and identification, plant breeding and seed multiplication and distribution, with the aim of enabling all countries to make full use of plant genetic resources for the benefit of their agricultural development", as well as "intensifying international activities in preservation, evaluation, documentation and exchange of plant genetic resources, plant breeding, and germplasm maintenance (plant genetic resources):
1. Expresses its satisfaction with the establishment and implementation of the Action Committee on Latin American Coopertion and Consultation on Plant Genetic Resources;
2. Decides to lend its full support to the accomplishment of the objectives and activities of CARFIT;
3. Asks the Director-General to identify and promote the application of a set of measures designed to backstop the activities of CARFIT;
4. Requests the Secretariat of the FAO Commission on Plant Genetic Resources to set up contats with the ad interim Secretariat of CARFIT so as to agree and plan specific support measures and possible joint action.