E. Plant genetic resources (follow-up of conference resolution 6/81)
275. The Conference commended the Director-General for the comprehensive report contained in document C 83/25, which he had prepared as requested in Resolution 6/81 adopted by the Twenty-first Session of the Conference. It fully supported the basic principles contained therein, according to which plant genetic resources should be considered as a common heritage of mankind and be available without restrictions for plant breeding, scientific and development purposes to all countries and institutions concerned.
276. The Conference noted that the report incorporated many suggestions of the Working Party of 13 Member Nations which the Director-General had convened during June and July 1983 as requested by the Committee on Agriculture at its Seventh Session in March 1983. It recognized that the proposals contained in the Director-General's report had been formulated with a view to achieving a consensus and the widest possible participation of Member Nations.
277. The Conference undertook a careful review of the Director-General's proposal for an International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources presented in the form of a Conference Resolution with a detailed annex. The Conference recognized that at the heart of the International Undertaking was an internationally coordinated network of national, regional and international centres which had assumed or would in the future assume responsibility for holding base collections of plant genetic resources. Furthermore, governments and institutions which agreed to participate in the Undertaking, could notify the Director-General that they wished the base collection or collections for which they were responsible to form part of the international network under the auspices or the jurisdiction of FAO.
278. The Conference noted that the Director-General's proposals also envisaged the establishment, within the framework of FAO, of an intergovernmental committee or other body open to all interested States. The main functions of such a body could be:
(b) the discussion of questions of particular concern to governments, and the formulation of related recommendations to be made, through FAO, to the CGIAR and the IBPGR;
(c) the adoption by governments of the priorities and standards developed under the auspices of the IBPGR; and
(d) the coordination of the support that Stases may, individually or collectively, be able to provide to overcome problems encountered, especially those related to the conservation network and to conservation and plant breeding activities in developing countries.
279. The Conference recalled the effective role played by FAO over the last two decades in promoting the activities of collecting, preserving, documenting and exchanging plant genetic resources, and its active contribution to the development of activities related to plant genetic resources within the CGIAR system, particularly the IBPGR. It recognized that the IBPGR had developed a considerable range of activities in the field of genetic resources, and commended these efforts and their achievements.
280. Some members considered that the present scientific and technical activities of plant genetic resources conservation and exchange as promoted by the IBPGR in collaboration with FAO were satisfactory, and that possible improvements should be sought within the existing system.
281. The majority of members however considered that present activities were not sufficient and that they should be complemented in order to develop a global system on plant genetic resources. Such a system should enable Governments to collaborate fully in all aspects of plant genetic resources activities and to monitor new developments in this important field, and should include an international network of base collections in gene banks, under the auspices or the jurisdiction of FAO. Several members welcomed the offers made by some countries to make available to the international network their plant genetic resources banks.
282. The Conference stressed the need for expanded assistance to developing countries in the strengthening of national plant survey and identification and plant breeding capabilities with regard to training, facilities and equipment, and the improvement of national infrastructures for the establishment and maintenance of plant genetic resources centres, in order to enable them to ensure a more effective participation in plant genetic resources activities.
283. The Conference noted with concern the absence in general of a firm long-term commitment for the financing of essential plant genetic resources activities. It was therefore recommended that the Director-General seek the views of donor governments and financing agencies with respect to strengthening existing funding mechanisms through the allocation of funds specifically for in situ and ex situ conservation activities at national and international levels.
284. The Conference stressed the importance of evaluation and documentation of plant genetic resources and agreed that a central focus for plant genetic resources information would be desirable in order to provide all users with the most recent plant genetic resources data necessary for the improvement of their most important crops. It consequently recommended that the Director-General initiate the adoption of measures aimed at establishing an International Information System on Plant Genetic Resources, under the coordination of FAO, including an analysis of its financial implications.
285. On this basis, the Conference adopted the following Resolution:
INTERNATIONAL UNDERTAKING ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Recalling its Resolution 6/81 on plant genetic resources,
(a) plant genetic resources are a heritage of mankind to be preserved, and to be freely available for use, for the benefit of present and future generations;
(b) full advantage can be derived from plant genetic resources through an effective programme of plant breeding, and that, while most such resources in the form of wild plants and old land races are to be found in developing countries, training and facilities for plant survey and identification and plant breeding are insufficient or even not available in many of those countries;
(c) plant genetic resources are indispensable for the genetic improvement of cultivated plants, but have been insufficiently explored and are in danger of erosion and loss;
(a) the international community should adopt a concrete set of principles designed to promote the exploration, preservation, documentation, availability and full use of relevant plant genetic resources essential to agricultural development;
(b) it is the responsibility of governments to undertake such activities as are needed to ensure the exploration, collection, conservation, maintenance, evaluation, documentation and exchange of plant genetic resources in the interest of all mankind; to provide financial and technological support to institutions engaged in such activities; and to ensure the equitable and unrestricted distribution of the benefits of plant breeding;
(c) progress in plant breeding is essential to the present and future development of agriculture; and the establishment or strengthening of plant breeding and seed production capabilities, at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, is a prerequisite to making efficient use of international cooperation in the exploration, collection, conservation, maintenance, evaluation, documentation and exchange of plant genetic resources;
1. Adopts the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources attached hereto;
2. Requests the Director-General to transmit this Resolution and the attached International Undertaking to Member Nations of FAO, to non-Member Nations which are members of the United Nations, any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency, and to autonomous international institutions having responsibilities with respect to plant genetic resources, and to invite them to inform him whether or not they are interested in the Undertaking and to what extent they are in a position to give effect to the principles contained in the Undertaking;
3. Urges Governments and the aforesaid institutions to give effect to the principles of the Undertaking and to support and participate in the international arrangements outlined therein;
4. Endorses the Director-General's proposal for the establishment as soon as possible, within the framework of FAO, of an intergovernmental committee or other body on plant genetic resources open to all States interested in the Undertaking.
(Adopted 23 November 1983)
Annex to Resolution 8/83
INTERNATIONAL UNDERTAKING ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Article 1 - Objective
1. The objective of this Undertaking is to ensure that plant genetic resources of economic and/or social interest, particularly for agriculture, will be explored, preserved, evaluated and made available for plant breeding and scientific purposes. This Undertaking is based on the universally accepted principle that plant genetic resources are a heritage of mankind and consequently should be available without restriction.
Article 2 - Definitions and Scope
2.1 In this Undertaking:
(a) "plant genetic resources" means the reproductive or vegetative propagating material of the following categories of plants:
(i) cultivated varieties (cultivars) in current
use and newly developed varieties;
(ii) obsolete cultivars;
(iii) primitive cultivars (land races);
(iv) wild and weed species, near relatives of cultivated varieties;
(v) special genetic stocks (including elite and current breeders' lines and mutants);
2.2 This Undertaking relates to the plant genetic resources described in pare. 2.1(a), of all species of economic and/or social interest, particularly for agriculture at present or in the future, and has particular reference to food crops.
Article 3 - Exploration of Plant Genetic Resources
3.1 Governments adhering to this Undertaking will organize or arrange for missions of exploration, conducted in accordance with recognized scientific standards, to identify potentially valuable plant genetic resources that are in danger of becoming extinct in the country concerned, as well as other plant genetic resources in the country which may be useful for development but whose existence or essential characteristics are at present unknown, in particular:
(a) known land races or cultivars in danger of becoming extinct due to their abandonment in favour of the cultivation of new cultivars;
(b) the wild relatives of cultivated plants in areas identified as centres of genetic diversity or natural distribution;
(c) species which are not actually cultivated but may be used for the benefit of mankind as a source of food or raw materials (such as fibres, chemical compounds, medicine or timber).
3.2 Special efforts will be made, in the context of Article 3.1, where the danger of extinction of plant species is certain, or is likely, having regard to circumstances such as the clearance of vegetation from tropical rain forests and semi-arid lands with a view to the expansion of cultivated areas.
Article 4 - Preservation, Evaluation and Documentation of Plant Genetic Resources
4.1 Appropriate legislative end other measures will be maintained and, where necessary, developed and adopted to protect and preserve the plant genetic resources of plants growing in areas of their natural habitat in the major centres of genetic diversity.
4.2 Measures will be taken, if necessary through international cooperation, to ensure the scientific collection and safeguarding of material in areas where important plant genetic resources are in danger of becoming extinct on account of agricultural or other development.
4.3 Appropriate measures will also be taken with respect to plant genetic resources held, outside their natural habitats, in gene banks or living collections of plants. Governments and institutions adhering to this Undertaking will, in particular, ensure that the said resources are conserved and maintained in such a way as to preserve their valuable characteristics for use in scientific research and plant breeding, and are also evaluated and fully documented.
Article 5 - Availability of Plant Genetic Resources
5. It will be the policy of adhering Governments and institutions having plant genetic resources under their control to allow access to samples of such resources, and to permit their export, where the resources have been requested for the purposes of scientific research, plant breeding or genetic resource conservation. The samples will be made available free of charge, on the basis of mutual exchange or on mutually agreed terms.
II. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Article 6 - General
6. International cooperation will, in particular, be directed to:
(a) establishing or strengthening the capabilities of developing countries, where appropriate on a national or sub-regional basis, with respect to plant genetic resources activities, including 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;
(b) intensifying international activities in preservation, evaluation, documentation, exchange of plant genetic resources, plant breeding, germ plasm maintenance, and seed multiplication. This would include activities carried out by FAO and other concerned agencies in the UN System; it would also include activities of other institutions, including those supported by the CGIAR. The aim would be to progressively cover all plant species that are important for agriculture and other sectors of the economy, in the present and for the future;
(c) supporting the arrangements outlined in Article 7, including the participation in such arrangements of governments and institutions, where appropriate and feasible;
(d) considering measures, such as the strengthening or establishment of funding mechanisms, to finance activities relating to plant genetic resources.
Article 7 - International Arrangements
7.1 The present international arrangements, being carried out under the auspices of FAO and other organizations in the United Nations System, by national and regional institutions and institutions supported by the CGIAR, in particular the IBPGR, for the exploration, collection, conservation, maintenance, evaluation, documentation, exchange and use of plant genetic resources will be further developed and, where necessary, complemented in order to develop a global system so as to ensure that:
(a) there develops an internationally coordinated network of national, regional and international centres, including an international network of base collections in gene banks, under the auspices or the jurisdiction of FAO, that have assumed the responsibility to hold, for the benefit of the international community and on the principle of unrestricted exchange, base or active collections of the plant genetic resources of particular plant species;
(b) the number of such centres will be progressively increased so as to achieve as complete a coverage as necessary, in terms of species and geographical distribution, account also being taken of the need for duplication, of the resources to be safeguarded and preserved;
(c) the activities of the centres that are related to the exploration, collection, conservation, maintenance, rejuvenation, evaluation and exchange of plant genetic resources will be carried out with due account being taken of scientific standards;
(d) sufficient support in funds and facilities will be provided, at the national and international levels, to enable the centres to carry out their tasks;
(e) a global information system, under the coordination of FAO, relating to plant genetic resources maintained in the aforementioned collections, and linked to systems established at the national, sub-regional and regional levels, will be developed on the basis of relevant arrangements that already exist;
(f) early warning will be given to FAO, or to any institution designated by FAO, of any hazards that threaten the efficient maintenance and operation of a centre, with a view to prompt international action to safeguard the material maintained by the centre;
(g) the IBPGR pursues and develops its present activities, within its terms of reference, in liaison with FAO;
(i) the general expansion and improvement of
related professional and institutional capability
within developing countries, including training
within appropriate institutions in both developed
and developing countries, is adequately funded;
(ii) the overall activity within the Undertaking ultimately ensures a significant improvement in the capacity of developing countries for the production and distribution of improved crop varieties, as required to support major increases in agricultural production, especially in developing countries.
7.2 Within the context of the global system any Governments or institutions that agree to participate in the Undertaking, may, furthermore, notify the Director-General of FAO that they wish the base collection or collections for which they are responsible to be recognized as part of the international network of base collections in gene banks, under the auspices or the jurisdiction of FAO. The centre concerned will, whenever requested by FAO, make material in the base collection available to participants in the Undertaking, for purposes of scientific research, plant breeding or genetic resource conservation, free of charge, on the basis of mutual exchange or on mutually agreed terms.
Article 8 - Financial Security
8.1 Adhering Governments, and financing agencies, will, individually and collectively, consider adopting measures that would place activities relevant to the objective of this Undertaking on a firmer financial basis, with special consideration for the need of developing countries to strengthen their capabilities in genetic resource activities, plant breeding and seed multiplication.
8.2 Adhering Governments, and financing agencies, will, in particular, explore the possibility of establishing mechanisms which would guarantee the availability of funds that could be immediately mobilized to meet situations of the kind referred to in Article 7.1(f).
8.3 Adhering Governments and institutions, and financing agencies, will give special consideration to requests from FAO for extra-budgetary funds, equipment or services needed to meet situations of the kind referred to in Article 7.1(f).
8.4 The funding of the establishment and operation of the international network, insofar as it imposes additional costs on FAO, in the main will be funded from extra-budgetary resources.
Article 9 - Monitoring of Activities and Related Action by FAO
9.1 FAO will keep under continuous review the international situation concerning the exploration, collection, conservation, documentation, exchange and use of plant genetic resources.
9.2 FAO will, in particular, establish an intergovernmental body to monitor the operation of the arrangements referred to in Article 7, and to take or recommend measures that are necessary or desirable in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the global system and the efficiency of its operations in line with the Undertaking.
9.3 In the performance of its responsibilities outlined in Part II of this Undertaking, FAO will act in consultation with those Governments that have indicated to FAO their intention to support the arrangements referred to in Article 7.
III. OTHER PROVISIONS
Article 10 - Phytosanitary Measures
10. This Undertaking is without prejudice to any measures taken by Governments - in line with the provisions of the International Plant Protection Convention, adopted in Rome on 6 December 1951 - to regulate the entry of plant genetic resources with the aim of preventing the introduction or spread of plant pests.
Article 11 - Information on the Implementation of this Undertaking
11. At the time of adhering, Governments and institutions will advise the Director-General of FAO of the extent to which they are in a position to give effect to the principles contained in the Undertaking. At yearly intervals, they will provide the Director-General of FAO with information on the measures that they have taken or propose to take to achieve the objective of this Undertaking.
286. It was further recommended to establish, within the framework of FAO, an intergovernmental committee or other body open to all governments interested in the Undertaking, which would, in particular, monitor the operation of the international arrangements proposed in the Undertaking.
287. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:
ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMISSION ON PLANT GENETIC RESOURCES
Having adopted Resolution 8/83 "International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources" which includes the text of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (hereinafter referred to as "the Undertaking") as an Annex to that Resolution, and
Having noted that Article 9.2 of "the Undertaking" states that FAO will establish an intergovernmental body to monitor the operation of the arrangements referred to in Article 7 of "the Undertaking" and take or recommend measures that are necessary or desirable to ensure the comprehensiveness of the global system and the efficiency of its operations in line with "the Undertaking",
Requests the Council to establish at its next session a Commission on Plant Genetic Resources in accordance with Article VI, paragraph 1, of the Constitution, open to all Member Nations and Associate Members, which would meet at the same time as the regular sessions of the Committee on Agriculture. The Terms of Reference of the Commission shall be as follows:
(a) to monitor the operation of the arrangements referred to in Article 7 of "the Undertaking",
(b) to recommend measures that are necessary or desirable in order to ensure the comprehensiveness of the global system and the efficiency of its operation in line with "the Undertaking", and in particular,
(c) to review all matters relating to the policy, programmes and activities of FAO in the field of plant genetic resources, and to give advice to the Committee on Agriculture or, where appropriate, to the Committee on Forestry.
(Adopted 23 November 1983)
F. Relations and consultations with international organizations
Recent developments in the United Nations system of interest to FAO
Relations with intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations
Recent developments in the United Nations system of interest to FAO
288. The Conference recognized the multiplicity and wide range of FAO's cooperation with the organizations and bodies of the United Nations System. It commended the Organization on the positive role it played and urged for the continuation of such role.
289. The Conference expressed concern at the decline in multilateral aid to agriculture. It welcomed ECOSOC Resolution 1983/77 urging the international community to keep food and agriculture as its highest priority and emphasizing the need for adequate external resources, especially through multilateral channels.
290. Some members cited increases in their country's contributions to overall development assistance despite the present recession.
291. The Conference expressed concern at the delay in the launching of the global negotiations on international economic cooperation for development and, referring to the relevant declaration of the Seventh Summit of the Non-Aligned Nations held at New Delhi in March 1983, expressed the hope that the negotiations would start early. In this connection, the Conference reaffirmed the important role that FAG should play in providing support to the negotiations in matters related to food and agriculture.
292. The Conference expressed concern at the unsatisfactory progress in the replenishment of IFAD resources, as a result of which a large number of vital projects for the benefit of small farmers, particularly in the least developed countries, was delayed. The Conference urged that commitments made under the first replenishment should be fulfilled within the stipulated period, and appealed that the second replenishment be approached with positive political will, with a view to its being concluded by June 1984 at the latest.
293. The Conference regretted the delay in the entry into force of the agreement establishing the Common Fund and urged all states both developed and developing, that had not yet done so, to sign and ratify the agreement at the earliest.
294. The Conference supported FAO's work in the field of commodities and trade which complemented the activities of UNCTAD and other organizations. It stressed the importance of the FAO Committee on Commodity Problems and its intergovernmental commodity groups and particularly the informal arrangements for several commodities reached under the auspices of those groups.
295. The Conference agreed that FAO had an important role to play in implementing the results of UNCTAD VI. It particularly referred to FAO's role in formulating and implementing projects suitable for financing through the Second Account of the Common Fund.
296. With regard to the strengthening of the capacity of the United Nations System to respond to emergencies, the Conference noted that present arrangements were working satisfactorily and that the role of each participating organization was now better defined. It expressed appreciation of FAO's active role in assisting the affected countries. It particularly commended the performance of OSRO (Office for Special Relief Operations) and underlined the usefulness of the FAO/WFP assessment missions, which were often conducted on a tripartite basis with donor countries and other UN agencies.
297. The Conference commended the Director-General's initiative of mobilizing international emergency assistance to African countries suffering from prolonged adverse weather conditions and acute food shortages.
298. The Conference expressed satisfaction with FAO's response to the relevant General Assembly resolutions calling for increased cooperation with regional intergovernmental organizations.
299. The Conference endorsed the joint statement by the Director-General of FAO and the Executive Secretary of ESCAP (Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) defining the respective roles of the two organizations. It noted that ESCAP, taking full cognizance of the global mandate entrusted to FAO as the specialized agency for food and agriculture in the United Nations System, would concentrate on those economic and social, rather than technical, aspects of selected issues in the field of food and agriculture which would complement FAO's activities. The Conference expressed the hope that, with such arrangements, duplication of work would be avoided.
300. The Conference fully supported the Organization's activities in the areas of economic and technical cooperation among developing countries and took note with satisfaction of FAO's intention to hold a second technical consultation on ECDC in 1985. The hope was also expressed that FAO would actively participate in the meetings on ECDC to be held in Bucharest (Romania) and in Cartagena (Colombia) in 1984.
301. With reference to the section of ECOSOC Resolution 1983/78 on cross-organizational reviews calling upon the Secretary-General to include in future reports specific conclusions and recommendations "based on an analytical assessment of the activities and programmes of the United Nations System in the selected sectors", the Conference expressed the view that reliable and authoritative assessments should and practically could only be made by the organizations concerned and their governing bodies.
302. The Conference expressed serious concern at the decline of UNDP resources and urged those donors which channel only a minor part of their assistance through UNDP to increase their contributions substantially as well as asking new donors to come forward.
303. Satisfaction was expressed concerning FAO's participation in the UNDP Inter-Agency Task Force. The need was emphasized for cooperation at the country level in the implementation of operational activities. The Conference welcomed, in this connection, the Joint Letter signed by the Director-General and the UNDP Administrator and sent to all UNDP Representatives and FAO Representatives underlining the importance of close collaboration between them in promoting activities in the agriculture and food production sector.
304. It was also suggested that future reports under this item include relations with international financial institutions which played an important role in agricultural and rural development.
- Review and Appraisal of the International Development Strategy (IDS) for the Third United Nations Development Decade
305. The Conference recalled that the text of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade had been reviewed by the Council at its Seventy-eighth and Seventy-ninth Sessions and its own Twenty-first Session in November 1981. Both the Council and Conference had fully supported the emphasis placed on food and agricultural development in the Strategy and its related objectives and goals.
306. The Conference also recalled that on the same occasion it had discussed the process of Review and Appraisal to be carried out in 1984 and particularly how FAO might best contribute to this process. It had especially emphasized that since the IDS was a guide for action, it would be appropriate for the Organization to give its views to the United Nations in accordance with paragraph 175 of the IDS, on the reasons for successes and failures in reaching the objectives of the Strategy.
307. The Conference expressed its appreciation for the initiative of the Director-General in preparing a report on the "Application of the International Development Strategy for the Third United Nations Development Decade in the Formulation and Implementation of the Programmes of Work and Medium-Term Plans of the Food and Agriculture Organization", in response to the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 37/202, with a view to its being submitted, together with the views of the Conference, to the Committee of Universal Membership for the Review and Appraisal of the IDS established by the General Assembly.
308. The Conference considered the document as timely, concise, well-balanced and sufficiently comprehensive. It agreed that it would help the Committee on Review and Appraisal to give adequate attention to the food and agriculture component of the strategy, in the light of the most recent developments and of FAO action in this regard. It was recognized that general agreement with the contents of the document did not imply change in the position of Member Nations as expressed at the time of the adoption of the IDS in the General Assembly.
309. The Conference agreed that it would also be appropriate for the Director-General to convey to the Committee on Review and Appraisal, the views and conclusions it had expressed when discussing other important items at its present session, with regard to the World Food and Agricultural Situation, Progress in Implementation of the Plan of Action to Strengthen World Food Security, International Agricultural Adjustment and Progress on WCARRD Programme of Action.
310. The Conference stressed that action towards the achievement of the goals of the Strategy was now more than ever essential. In fact, the start of the present decade had been characterized by worldwide economic stagnation and gross domestic product in most developing countries rising at rates well below the overall target of a 7 percent annual' increase for the decade as a whole. This lag would need to be made up in the intervening years until the close of the decade. Attainment of the target of a 4 percent annual growth in food and agricultural production would continue to require not only a major effort on the part of developing countries themselves, to mobilize domestic resources and put them to use effectively, but also a sustained commitment on the part of the international community, particularly from developed countries, to establish the type of international environment supportive of those efforts. While developing countries accepted that the main responsibility for achieving rapid economic growth and increased self-reliance fell primarily on them, they needed the cooperation and support of all countries in meeting this responsibility.
311. The Conference reiterated its agreement with the thrust of the policy measures recommended in the Strategy and stressed the validity of FAO programmes and objectives to achieve the goals of the Strategy. In this connection, it reaffirmed the essential contribution of FAO both to the shaping of policies in its domain of competence and to assisting Member Nations through technical cooperation.
312. While reviewing the programme activities which FAO was implementing in response to the IDS and which were highlighted in the document, the Conference stressed more particularly that support to small farmers in their efforts to boost production remained an essential objective through inter alia improved supply of the necessary inputs and the implementation of sound pricing and incentives policies. In this connection, the contribution of agro-processing industries to income-generation in rural areas was also underlined.
313. The Conference commended the emphasis given in the report to the special requirements of the African continent which was more than justified by the alarming trends in domestic food production.
314. The Conference reiterated that the special requirements of small island developing states deserved attention.
315. The Conference agreed therefore that the Director-General convey to the United Nations General Assembly Committee of Universal Membership for the Review and Appraisal of the IDS its continued conviction of the crucial importance of the success of the IDS in alleviating poverty and suffering in the developing world and the urgent necessity to further implement the policy measures contained therein.
316. The Conference recommended that the emphasis given by the IDS to the key role of food and agricultural production in improving the quality of life and economic prospects in rural areas be reiterated in the process of Review and Appraisal.
317. The Conference also emphasized that growth in production would, however, need to be achieved in a broader perspective of social progress with the sharing of benefits by all segments of the population. Due account had to be taken of other broad policy issues such as integrated rural development and world food security, as consistently pursued by FAO, particularly through the implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action and the revised and broadened concept of food security.
318. The Conference was confident that the document to be transmitted to the Committee on Review and Appraisal would enlighten its discussions and that it would make a useful contribution to its work.
Relations with intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations
319. The Conference took note with satisfaction of the recent developments that had taken place since its Twenty-first Session in relations between FAO and intergovernmental organizations and international non-governmental organizations, including international trade unions.
320. The Conference noted FAO's cooperation with intergovernmental organizations and expressed the need for this cooperation to be strengthened, especially with those intergovernmental organizations which were active in rural development and other 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. It was suggested that efforts should be made to establish formal relations with additional intergovernmental organizations in this region.
321. The Conference also noted with interest the report of the informal meeting of representatives of International Non-Governmental Organizations attending the Twenty-second Session of the Conference. The meeting had as its central theme "Food and People" and considered ways and means which would allow people and their organizations to participate more actively and directly in rural development, planning and execution of projects and the like.
322. 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 with both international non-governmental organizations and their national affiliates. The Conference expressed appreciation of nongovernmental organizations' involvement in WCARRD follow-up and in the organization of the celebration of World Food Day, especially at the national and local levels.