Development support programmes
231. The Conference emphasized the importance of activities in support of FAO developmental action carried out under Major Programme: Field Programme Planning and Liaison. It expressed in this connection its renewed concern at the decline in UNDP funds which had only been partially compensated by an expansion of funds available under Trust Funds. This situation made all the more necessary the multiple functions of the Field Programme Development Division particularly with a view to mobilizing additional funds for FAO's technical assistance.
232. The Conference also stressed the high priority it assigned to the further permeation of TCDC and ECDC approaches into FAO Regular Programme and field activities.
233. The Conference reiterated its appreciation of the important contribution of FAO's Investment Centre. While noting with some concern the uncertain resource prospects still facing IDA, IFAD and other sources of concessional funds, it welcomed the Centre's expanding cooperation with a wide range of development finance organizations. These included sub-regional funding institutions, major Arab funds, and national development banks under the FAO/Bankers Programme. The proposed strengthening of the Investment Support Programme (ISP) was thus fully endorsed.
234. The Conference stressed in this connection the impressive performance of FAO's investment support activities in mustering large transfers of resources to developing countries and in facilitating related transfers of technology. It underlined the progress achieved so far in stimulating investment follow-up to UNDP technical assistance projects and in providing training opportunities in investment preparation to national staff from developing countries.
235. The Conference appreciated the support given by the FFHC/AD (Freedom from Hunger Campaign - Action for Development) programme to NGOs from both developed and developing countries involved in rural development activities in the Third World. It recognized the valuable contribution of small-scale development projects based on peoples' participation and aimed at promoting the progress of disadvantaged rural groups.
236. The Conference noted that the FAO Representatives scheme was to be maintained at the level of 74 Representations authorized at its Twenty-first Session. While the scheme had thus reached a mature stage, many members underlined that it was necessary to retain some flexibility to meet future requests for FAO Representations.
237. The Conference emphasized the crucial role which FAO Representatives played in ensuring close integration of FAO's Regular Programme activities with the felt priorities and requirements of their country of assignment. It also stressed the essential contribution of FAO Representatives to the programming, monitoring, support to and assessment of field activities at national level. This role was particularly important in the face of a growing diversification of funding sources and means of action in the implementation of FAO's technical assistance activities.
238. A majority of members stressed that the Regional Offices played an essential role in responding to requests for assistance for a wide range of regional and sub-regional integration schemes and economic groupings. They mentioned many successful regional cooperation initiatives under the aegis of Regional Offices in agricultural and rural development fields. Regional Offices participated in the programming and support of priority technical assistance activities at the regional and sub-regional level and made a special contribution to promoting TCDC. A few members, however, considered that there was a need to review the role, functions and resources assigned to FAO's Regional Offices in order to ensure that they could meet the particular needs of each region.
239. The Conference emphasized that complementarily should continue to be ensured, and duplication avoided, between the Regional Offices and FAO Representatives, and expressed its continued support to the activities of the Regional Offices. It underlined that these activities had in fact taken on added importance from the impact of the establishment of the Country Offices.
Technical cooperation programme
240. The Conference recalled the unique contribution of the TCP in meeting emergency and unforeseen short-term technical assistance needs. It stressed that TCP had become an established and highly valued component of FAO's action in the field, filling a critical gap in responding to developing countries' requirements which could not be covered by other sources of support. In addition, it stimulated and catalyzed the provision of investment and technical assistance for development from other sources.
241. While appreciating fully this role and value of TCP, some members felt the need for additional information on its implementation. They considered it would be desirable to have a further independent review of the programme. However, the majority of members considered that such a review would be unnecessary and wasteful since TCP, like any other FAO programme, was subject to the wide range of financial, administrative and audit controls and evaluation applied to all Regular Programme and field activities. It was stressed that detailed information on TCP was available in several forms, including reports of discussions in FAO technical committees and most recently through a comprehensive folder on TCP activities which had been made available to the Conference. Moreover, it was emphasized that beneficiary countries were the best judges of the results achieved, and they had expressed their full satisfaction with the contribution of the TCP in meeting their development objectives and assisting them in overcoming the many hurdles encountered in their quest for social and economic progress.
242. The Conference appreciated that the TCP was explicitly designed not to compete with other technical assistance programmes, particularly the UNDP. It was emphasized in this connection that TCP had in fact made recently an essential contribution in bridging the gap between successive generations of field projects, the continuation of which was threatened by the UNDP resource crisis.
243. The Conference supported the role and the record of the Technical Cooperation Programme and considered the corresponding allocation as commensurate with the extent of felt requirements of Member Nations.
Support and common services
244. The Conference appreciated the substantial economies proposed under these Chapters. It was however felt that the process could not and should not be carried too far lest the substantive work of the Organization be hampered by lack of essential support.
245. The Conference approved the Programme of Work and Budget and adopted the following Resolution:
BUDGETARY APPROPRIATIONS 1984-85
Having considered the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget and the conclusions of its Commissions,
Approves the Programme of Work proposed by the Director-General for 1984-85,
Resolves that for the financial period 1984-85:
1. Appropriations are voted for the following purposes:
|Chapter I - General Policy and Direction||32 222 000|
|Chapter II - Technical and Economic Programmes||188 576 000|
|Chapter III - Development Support Programmes||71 641 000|
|Chapter IV - Technical Cooperation Programme||57 470 000|
|Chapter V - Support Services||54 736 000|
|Chapter VI - Common Services||15 895 000|
|Chapter VII - Contingencies||600 000|
|Total effective working budget||421 140 000|
|Chapter VIII - Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund||51 000 000|
|Total Appropriations (Gross)||472 140 000|
2. The appropriations (gross) voted in paragraph 1, shall be financed by assessments on Member Nations, after deduction of Miscellaneous Income in the amount of $26 560 000 thus resulting in assessments against Member Nations of $445 580 000.
3. In establishing the actual amounts of contributions to be paid by individual Member Nations, the assessment of each Member Nation shall be reduced by any amount standing to its credit in the Tax Equalization Fund provided that the credit of a Member Nation that levies taxes on the salaries, emoluments and indemnities received from FAO by staff members shall be reduced by the estimated amounts of such taxes to be reimbursed to the staff member by FAO.
4. The contributions due from Member Nations in 1984 and 1985 shall be paid in accordance with the scale adopted by the Conference at its Twenty-second Session, which contributions, after the deduction of amounts standing to the credit of Member Nations in the Tax Equalization fund, result in net amounts payable totalling $395 880 000 as set out in Appendix E to this Report.
(Adopted 16 November 1983)
B. Review of the regular programme 1982-83
246. The Conference appreciated the additional improvements made in the Review of the Regular Programme 1982-83 which were in accord with its own wishes and suggestions. The document in view of its objective and critical approach was useful to Member Nations in assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of FAO's programmes and was an essential element in the larger system of monitoring and evaluation in FAO. Its present structure, being comprehensive, result-oriented and well-balanced, should be retained in future reviews.
247. The Conference appreciated that the performance review (Part I) had been shortened without loss of substantive content and the time-coverage of data on selected activities common to many sub-programmes (training, meetings, publications, technical back-stopping of field projects and direct assistance to Member Nations) had been extended to facilitate comparison between two biennia.
248. The Conference noted with appreciation the expansion of the in-depth reviews and special topics cutting across programmes. It welcomed the increase in the number of in-depth reviews and special topics covered, their extended time coverage for assessment purposes and the strengthening of the sections on outputs, impact and issues and outlook. By integrating the assessment of field projects with those of the Regular Programme activities, the in-depth reviews provided the Governing Bodies with wide-ranging information and analysis on the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of FAO's programmes and their constituents (sub-programmes and below).
249. The Conference welcomed the leading role which the Regional Offices were taking to cover specific activities. These demonstrated the effectiveness of strategies adopted by FAO in tackling regional problems of high priority as well as the catalytic role the Regular Programme played in attracting extra-budgetary resources. Some members emphasized that subsequent reviews should continue to give particular attention to the contribution of the Regional Offices to programme implementation. The Conference stressed the need for more coverage of the FAO support for TCDC activities.
250. A number of suggestions were made for further improvement of the Review, including that the section on Issues and Outlook give more attention to the problems faced by FAO in the implementation of programmes and sub-programmes; that the next Review relate achievements more closely with the priorities and goals indicated in the Programme of Work and Budget 1984-85; and that cooperative efforts between FAO and other UN agencies in the implementation of selected activities be included.
C. Review of field programmes 1982-83
251. The Conference expressed its appreciation for the content of the Review which was concise, informative and analytical. It underlined the importance of field programmes which were at the core of FAO's activities in promoting agricultural and rural development in the developing countries.
252. The Conference emphasized its deep concern with the negative developments in the real volume of FAO's overall field programmes during the biennium. It noted that these were mainly the result of a regrettable decrease in those activities which were funded by UNDP. Strongly deploring the current shortfall in UNDP resources and the relative decline in multilateral assistance generally, the Conference stressed the necessity for all governments in a position to do so to make every effort to reverse these trends in view of the deteriorating food situations of many developing countries, particularly in Africa. In this same connection, the Conference expressed its concern at the fall which had occurred in the share of UNDP's Indicative Planning Figure resources devoted to agriculture, and in particular to projects executed by FAO.
253. The Conference welcomed the increase in the volume of field operations supported by Trust Funds, but noted that this had only partly compensated for the decrease in UNDP supported programmes. It stressed that Trust Fund activities had become an established and valuable component of field programmes and that these activities were in line with the priorities and policies of FAO, in particular as reflected in the Special Action Programmes. It was also suggested that FAO had a special catalytic role to play in the development of projects and programmes for bilateral funding.
254. The Conference commended FAO initiatives to execute a larger share of technical assistance components funded from official development bank loans and credits. It called for these efforts to be pursued vigorously. In this connection, it emphasized the advantages as highlighted by present circumstances of diversified funding sources for field programmes. It also emphasized the important role played by the Investment Centre in providing investment support to a wide range of development financing institutions and in connection with the follow-up of the UNDP-funded activities.
255. The Conference recognized the value and flexible role of TCP projects which, while comprising only a modest portion of total field expenditures, provided urgently needed technical and emergency assistance. It noted that, in this biennium, TCP had helped to contain some of the harmful effects resulting from cutbacks in UNDP-supported activities by filling crucial gaps in technical assistance.
256. The Conference appreciated the Organization's frank and open examination and analysis of the difficulties encountered in project execution. The valuable role of FAO Representatives in project monitoring and assessment was recognized, both in relation to UNDP and Trust Fund projects, and also in connection with TCP projects.
257. The Conference underlined the extensive scope of FAO's well-established evaluation activities which provided for in-depth assessments of field projects in close cooperation with UNDP or Trust Fund donors, as well as with recipient governments. It noted that the assessment activities of the FAO Representatives were complementary to this process. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the continuing measures being taken by FAO to further improve field projects and to ensure that the results of evaluation led to improvements in the actual formulation and in the performance of projects. In this regard, the need for in-built flexibility, both at the project formulation and implementation stage, was emphasized.
258. The Conference considered the review of food security assistance analytical and highly relevant. It noted the wide span of FAO's technical assistance which contributed to improving food security in recipient countries. It underlined in particular the role of the Special Action Programmes, including those for seeds and fertilizer development, food loss prevention, and the Food Security Assistance Scheme. It stressed the need to ensure close linkages between the various actions involved and with subsequent investment preparation and follow-up. In this connection, the Conference expressed its full support for the revised and broadened concept of World Food Security which the Director-General had submitted earlier this year to the Committee on World Food Security. The proposal for the establishment of a Food Security Action Programme received broad support.
259. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the description of the trends characterizing the content and implementation of FAO's field projects. It noted the gradual shift in emphasis which had occurred from assistance for resource surveys and appraisal towards assistance for the planning and management of resources. The Conference reiterated the priority it assigned to activities in support of small farmers and follow-up to WCARRD, including women's development. It also noted the importance of forestry development which was of crucial importance to many developing countries.
260. The Conference strongly endorsed the progressive change in FAO's field programme orientation from technical assistance towards technical cooperation as reflected in such specific areas as utilization of national staff and institutions for project identification, implementation and management. The Conference also expressed its appreciation of the catalytic role of field programmes in the promotion of TCDC. It called for continued and strengthened efforts in this key direction which was fundamental to building up self-reliance in the developing countries.
D. United nations/FAO world food programme
Twentieth anniversary of the UN/FAO world food programme
261. The Conference noted with appreciation the impressive growth in the activities of the World Food Programme from its modest beginning 20 years ago to its present record of performance. The Programme had emerged as an effective instrument for utilization of food aid for social and economic development and humanitarian assistance, and was now, after the World Bank group, the biggest development assistance agency in the UN System.
262. The Conference expressed appreciation for the technical services and support provided by FAO to WFP-assisted projects and for the promptness and efficiency with regard to assistance during emergency operations.
263. Drawing particular attention to the complementarily of the functions of FAO and WFP, the Conference emphasized that their close working relationship was essential and necessary for the success of the Programme. Therefore, it reaffirmed the importance of preserving and improving this relationship in order that the resources of both organizations could be utilized to the best advantage.
264. The Conference welcomed the priorities of the Programme, especially the emphasis on assistance to low-income food-deficit countries and to those in sub-Saharan Africa. It appreciated the timely efforts of the Director-General of FAO to bring the gravity of the situation in Africa to the attention of the world community. The Conference welcomed the decision of the Executive Director of WFP to establish an operational task force within WFP to coordinate the delivery of food aid to these countries.
265. The Conference stressed the importance of self-reliance and the attainment of self-sufficiency in food in recipient countries and the need for the Programme to bear in mind the special relevance of the broadened and revised concept of world food security as adopted by the Committee on World Food Security and endorsed by the FAO Council, the Economic and Social Council, the World Food Council and the Conference itself.
266. The Conference, while recognizing the role of human resource development through improved nutrition and supplementary feeding programmes, stressed that a significant proportion of the resources of the Programme should be increasingly devoted to projects for agricultural and rural development and for the development of social and economic infrastructure in view of their importance in hastening the progress of low-income food-deficit countries, especially the least developed countries, towards greater self-reliance. In doing so, it was necessary to employ food aid as an integral component of development projects funded by various sources and to integrate its use and the Programme's activities into national development plans and ensure their complementarily with bilateral aid and with aid provided by the United Nations System, including FAO. A view was expressed on the importance of identifying the strategic and conceptual framework of WFP projects in order to ensure their contribution to national development objectives.
267. The Conference emphasized the need to ensure that food aid was not used as an instrument of political pressure.
268. The Conference considered the target for WFP pledges for the period 1985-86 in the light of the rapidly growing requirements of food aid both for development and for emergencies, as reflected in the consensus reached in the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes at its Fifteenth Session that the estimate of 20 million tons of cereals a year provided a useful indicator of requirements for cereals food aid by 1985.
269. The Conference recognized the importance of the proportion of cash and services to the Programme, as provided in the General Regulations. The Conference urged contributors to strive to attain the prescribed level in the proportion of the cash and services component of the Programme as it helped in imparting flexibility to the operations of the Programme and enabled it to have increased recourse to triangular transactions, as well as to local purchase of commodities, suited to the food habits of recipient countries, and to meet essential transport costs. To the extent possible contributors were also urged to make multi-year pledges and channel an increasing part of their food aid through WFP.
270. As regards the International Emergency Food Reserve, the Conference commended the fact that its target had been reached in 1983. It noted that nearly 80 percent of its resources were being used for refugee relief. In this connection, the attention of the Conference was drawn to the recommendation made by the Seventh Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-aligned Countries for raising the IEFR to a level of two million tons. The view was expressed that the resolution on target of pledges for future biennia should also contain a reference to IEFR, as it would also be covered by the Joint Pledging Conference.
271. The Conference unanimously endorsed the pledging target of US$ 1 350 million for 1985-86. While many would have preferred a target of US$ 1 500 million in keeping with manifest and urgent needs for emergency relief and for development programmes, the best possible balance was struck, reflecting the possibilities of contributors in the light of the generally unfavourable world economic situation and the fact that this amount would ensure some real growth in the Programme's resources.
272. The Conference stressed the particular importance of expanding the resource base of the Programme by enlisting the widest possible participation of both developed and developing countries and of both traditional and new contributors, and strongly appealed to them to fulfil the regular WFP and IEFR targets for the current period and to reach and, if possible, surpass the target of US$ 1 350 million for 1985-86 and the annual target for the IEFR for those years at the time of the Pledging Conference to be held in early 1984.
273. The Conference unanimously adopted the following Resolution:
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1985-1986
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 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1984, at which time governments and appropriate donor organizations should be invited to pledge contributions for 1985 and 1986, 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 Fifteenth Session and by the FAO Council at its Eighty-third Session,
Having considered Resolution 1/83 of the 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,
2. Urges States 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 1984;
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 1987 and 1988 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, should be convened at the latest early in 1986.
(Adopted 23 November 1983)
Twentieth anniversary of the UN/FAO world food programme
274. The Conference celebrated the Twentieth Anniversary of the UN/FAO World Food Programme. After the Director-General's address, the following speakers took the floor to pay tribute to the World Food Programme:
Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations
H. Don Paarlberg
Former Assistant Secretary of Agriculture of the United States of America (and Professor Emeritus, Purdue University, United States of America)
Minister and Permanent Representative of the Sudan to FAO
Ambassador of Belgium to FAO