D. Medium-term objectives
328. The Conference welcomed the document as a comprehensive but concise and lucid presentation of the Organization's strategies, objectives and priorities over the medium term. The sections on long-term implications, the presentation of the regional perspectives and the relative ranking of priorities were considered useful.
329. The Conference generally agreed with the objectives and with the activities proposed by FAO over the medium term.
330. In general, the indicative rankings of relative priority were supported. A certain number of suggestions were made for adjustment in various rankings. Among these, the points dealt with in the following paragraphs were the main ones.
331. The importance of increasing food production in developing countries especially for the benefit of the least advantaged groups, including the rural poor and malnourished, and the need to continue the Special Action Programmes including Prevention of Food Losses, Seeds, Trypanosomiasis, Fertilizers, Food Security, Desert Locust and EEZ, were strongly emphasized.
332. Under "Natural Resources", it was suggested that yields should be increased through more intensive cultivation, including development of new irrigation schemes, as well as rehabilitation of existing ones, improved utilization of fertilizers and organic materials, and a variety of assistance to small farmers, including provision of appropriate technology. New areas should also be cultivated wherever appropriate. Assessment of land-use potential through agro-ecological zones, the use of remote sensing, environmental protection, soil conservation, avoidance of resources degradation were also felt to deserve priority.
333. The Conference welcomed the emphasis on seed improvement and development activities. Strong support was given to the continuation of work on genetic resources. Some members stressed the need for an international agreement, under which the maintenance and exchange of plant and animal genetic resources would be ensured.
334. The Conference felt that high priority should be given to main cereal crops, especially rice production, but pulses and other basic food crops and oilseeds should not be neglected.
335. The Conference noted the emphasis on the control of desertification and particularly welcomed continuing FAO activities in the Sahel supporting the considerable assistance provided bilaterally. It also welcomed continuing collaboration with UNEP.
336. Under "Livestock", the Conference approved the emphasis given to the control of trypanosomiasis and African Swine Fever, but considered that tick-borne diseases, foot-and-mouth disease and other animal diseases should not be neglected. Continued emphasis was placed on the Meat and Milk Schemes and attention to small animals, especially poultry.
337. "Research Support" should strengthen the capability of developing countries to take advantage of science and technology. Emphasis was also placed upon FAO's collaboration with the Consultative Croup on International Agricultural Research, on the strengthening of linkages between research and extension and on the institutionalization of such linkages.
338. The Conference generally felt that in the future high priority should be given to the production of energy by agriculture and to energy savings in agriculture. In this connexion, attention was drawn to ongoing work, inter alia in the European region, in this field.
339. The Conference strongly supported the objectives and priorities under "Rural Development", noting the proposals for follow-up to the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD) at the country, regional and inter-agency level. It was pleased to note FAO's continuing role as lead agency of the ACC Task Force on Rural Development.
340. It was emphasized that FAO's assistance in agrarian reform and rural development should be appropriate to the circumstances of individual developing countries.
341. Continuing priority for education, extension, training, credit, marketing and rural employment was emphasized. In these fields, support for the development role of women was also stressed.
342. Regarding "Nutrition", the Conference emphasized that nutritional considerations should be integrated into all activities aimed at agricultural and rural development, especially in the low-income, food-deficit countries. The importance of practically orientated nutrition education and training activities was underlined.
343. Continuing support was expressed for FAO's assistance in development planning, as for example, the Africa Food Plan. The Conference was pleased to note the continuing cooperation with the OAU in follow-up activities.
344. The Conference felt that "food and agricultural information, statistics and policy analysis" should continue to receive adequate priority, since these activities were vital to successful action in such areas as World Food Security, International Agricultural Adjustment and progress toward a New International Economic Order.
345. Strong support was given to the Global Information and Early Warning System, which was of considerable practical value in monitoring the food situation and outlook.
346. It was felt that fuller advantage should be taken of agro-meteorology and remote sensing technology.
347. With respect to "Fisheries", the Conference agreed that the EEZ programme was particularly important to the developing coastal countries and that the Organization should pursue it with vigour. However the development of aquaculture and inland fisheries were also considered important, especially as they were of particular benefit to small-scale and poor fishermen.
348. The Conference supported the new focus of objectives, under "Forestry", especially for the benefit of small-scale industries and the rural poor.
349. It was felt that progressively greater integration of forestry and agricultural activities would particularly benefit the least developed countries.
350. The Conference supported the increased emphasis on solving fuelwood problems, which were of importance to the rural poor. It also stressed the importance of activities on conservation and protection of arid areas.
351. As regards "Development Support", the Conference emphasized that provision of the financial assistance required over the medium and longer term in developing countries would require special efforts by both developed and developing countries.
352. The Conference was of the opinion that FAO should provide maximum assistance to stimulate and catalyse increased investment in agricultural and rural development. This assistance should include policy advice as well as pre-investment and investment activities.
353. It was strongly emphasized that the various development financing institutions, including the World Bank, IFAD, and the regional development banks, should continue to place increased priority on food and agriculture and should use FAO's capacity to maximum extent.
354. The Conference felt that since Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (TCDC) was an important part of the Organization's decentralization policy, the document should have given more prominence to it.
355. The Conference welcomed the decision of the Council at its Seventy-sixth
Session to request the Programme and Finance Committees to review the format of this and
other major Conference documents in order to eliminate duplication of material. The
Conference also supported the proposal made by these two Committees to submit a
report on the question to the
Council session in November, 1980.
356. Subject to this, it was generally felt that although there would not be much significant change in medium-term objectives from biennium to biennium, the document was a satisfactory and useful complement to the Programme of Work and Budget and longer-term studies.
E. Technical and economic cooperation among developing countries
Technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC)
Economic cooperation among developing countries (ECDC):
Technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC)
357. The Conference supported the measures taken by the Director-General, and which had been endorsed by the Seventy-fifth Session of the Council, to intensify efforts to promote TCDC following the requests made in Resolution 9/77 of the Nineteenth Session of the Conference and in response to the Buenos Aires Plan of Action adopted by the UN General Assembly. It commended the actions taken so far and invited a more vigorous and speedy implementation of the Plan of Action by FAO in cooperation with UNDP and other international organizations and by its member countries.
358. The Conference welcomed the establishment of a focal point in the Organization to help identify and disseminate new ideas and approaches, to assess and promote the use of developing countries' inputs in the execution of FAO's programmes and to monitor progress towards TCDC in food and agriculture. The role of the regional and country offices was recognized in identifying areas for cooperation, maintaining links with and making use of national, sub-regional and regional institutions in developing countries in promoting and supporting TCDC, based on mutuality of interest.
359. The importance of institution building and the establishment of networks or linkages among national institutions was emphasized with a view to responding adequately to challenges for TCDC. They would be instrumental in organizing cooperative research, training, exchanges of experience and transfer of appropriate technology. FAO had a vital role to play in stimulating direct involvement of these institutions and had focussed its activities more strongly on the assistance to member countries in developing and strengthening their own capabilities.
360. The Conference noted that while significant progress had already been made, the utilization of developing countries' capacities in FAO programmes had to be further enhanced. In responding to concerns expressed on the reluctance on the part of some governments to accept candidates and inputs from developing countries, FAO was making constant and sincere efforts to overcome the attitudinal barriers but the concerned governments should give more support to such policies. Steps had been taken to publicize more widely its call for tenders for sub-contracts and procurement and efforts had been made to assist member countries in overcoming constraints resulting from the existence of established commercial structures including transnational corporations.
361. The Conference recognized FAO's pioneering role in promoting TCDC in food and agriculture, its catalytic, supportive and dynamic role in developing new concepts and approaches and in assisting countries to identify their needs and capacities. It was, however, felt that the Secretariat should actively identify and assess areas for cooperation, organize consultations on specific subjects of common interest, formulate TCDC country and intercountry as well as global projects, and approach donors for financial support.
362. The Conference welcomed specific examples of bilateral sub-regional or regional TCDC being implemented by developing countries and their readiness to cooperate in various fields in the food and agricultural sector as well as indications of priority areas for concrete TCDC undertakings.
363. The Conference also welcomed FAO's efforts to gather further information on specific ideas and proposals as well as developing countries' needs and capacities and on action taken to disseminate this information for follow-up purposes. The Conference urged member countries to assume a more active role in disseminating experiences, knowledge and appropriate technology, needs and capacities, either through FAO information systems or through existing national and regional information channels.
364. The Conference noted the close link and complementarity between technical and economic cooperation, in particular at country level in the field of food and agriculture where they are mutually supporting. The Conference felt that TCDC should be complementary to and not a replacement of traditional technical cooperation between developed and developing countries.
Economic cooperation among developing countries (ECDC):
Report of the Technical Consultation (Rome, June-July 1979)
365. The Conference endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the Technical Consultation on Economic Cooperation among Developing Countries in Food and Agriculture convened by the Director-General. It supported the orientation towards concrete action that the consultation had provided, relating to the implementation of the objectives, plans and programmes for economic cooperation among developing countries in food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry.
366. The Conference reiterated the importance of collective self-reliance of developing countries in the strategy for the establishment of a New International Economic Order and recalled, inter alia, UNCTAD Resolution 127 (V) as well as the various UN General Assembly resolutions urging support to the initiatives of the developing countries in formulating and implementing action plans and programmes for economic cooperation. It supported the view of the technical consultation that the objective of ECDC in Food and Agriculture should be to achieve the food self-sufficiency of developing countries and agreed with its recommendations on the minimum feasible programme of action for increasing production, processing and trade; development of resources, technology and training; controlling pests and diseases; improving food security; and increasing investment and financing. In this connexion, it endorsed the operational implications and institutional arrangements for their implementation.
367. The Conference urged developing countries to exercise the political will so necessary to seize the opportunities for economic cooperation in different fields of food and agriculture, It stressed that such cooperation should be based on the mutuality and complementarity of interests among developing countries, backed by a spirit of solidarity, and should recognize the principle of partnership based on equality among cooperating countries irrespective of their size or resources. The Conference reiterated that since economic cooperation among developing countries was chiefly a matter of concern to developing countries, the primary responsibility lay with them for identifying, formulating and implementing inter-country programmes and projects at subregional, regional and interregional levels. In this connexion the Conference supported the recommendations of the technical consultation on ways in which the developing countries could play this role.
368. The Conference welcomed the decision of the Group of 77 to set up a Coordinating Committee of 16 members to deal with different aspects of ECDC in Food and Agriculture, as recommended by the technical consultation. It urged groups of developing countries to hold consultations with a view to formulating concrete action programmes and projects for economic cooperation and to promote mutual help and assistance for their implementation.
369. The Conference urged intergovernmental organizations of developing countries for economic integration and functional cooperation to intensify their activities in various fields of food and agriculture.
370. The Conference urged the developed countries to provide appropriate support and financial assistance, as and when requested by the developing countries, for the implementation of programmes of economic cooperation among developing countries in food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry. These countries should also consider joining in tripartite cooperative arrangements to strengthen bilateral efforts of developing countries for mutual cooperation.
371. The Conference appreciated FAO's active support and assistance over the years to the efforts of developing countries, and their regional and subregional intergovernmental organizations for integration and functional cooperation in food and agriculture. It emphasized the importance of the catalytic role that FAO played in promoting such cooperation and urged the Director-General to continue the support and assistance to ECDC programmes.
F. Action arising out of the world conference on agrarian reform and rural development (WCARRD)
372. The Director-General, in introducing the item, recalled that the World
Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development had resulted in a firm Declaration of
Principles and a Programme of Action, and stressed that what was now needed was prompt and
purposeful implementation of these recommendations. Action had already been initiated by
FAO at the international level so that the conclusions of the World Conference would be
carried through the relevant international fora. The UN General Assembly had adopted the
Declaration of Principles and the Programme of Action and steps had been taken to include
the recommendations in the International
Development Strategy for the Third Development Decade.
373. In regard to FAO's programmes, reviews were being undertaken of the regular and field programmes with a view to possible reorientation in support of countries' activities for implementation of the Programme of Action. At the regional level, inter-country and inter agency meetings were being held to formulate specific action proposals at both regional and country levels. The inter-country meeting held for Asia and the Pacific and the inter-agency meeting in Latin America had shown very promising results. The FAO Regional Conferences in 1980 would also review and discuss follow-up action.
374. While affirming the primary responsibility of countries for the implementation of the Programme of Action, the WCARRD resolution recognized the role of the UN system in assisting governments in its implementation. The Director-General outlined the action FAO was taking through the ACC Task Force and other initiatives to promote the active collaboration of other UN Agencies and announced the decision of the ACC to continue the UN Task Force oil Rural Development with FAO as the lead agency.
375. Given the political will of governments and the commitment of the UN system to assist in the implementation of the Programme of Action, the major constraint was the inadequacy of funds. In seeking voluntary contributions, the Director-General stressed that the initial target of US$ 20 million over the next five years for voluntary contributions was the minimum that could be reasonably expected to activate and implement the Programme of Action. Illustrative proposals were contained in document C 79/28.
376. The Conference welcomed the introductory statement of the Director-General, which helped to place document C 79/28 in its proper perspective.
377. The Conference generally endorsed the follow-up action proposed in C 79/28 and stressed that people's participation was the cornerstone of integrated rural development and that every effort should be made to ensure that the institutional structure permits the rural poor to participate in shaping and implementing plans for their own development. As such, representative people's organizations, including youth organizations, should be able to play a definitive role in rural development programmes.
378. In stressing people's participation, the Conference emphasized the role of women in development. It was felt that without their participation rural development would not succeed. Rural women's organizations should therefore be called upon to participate in the WCARRD Programme of Action. In this connexion attention was drawn to the activities carried out inter alia in the European region with regard to the role of women in agricultural production and rural development.
379. The Conference emphasized the role of the small farmer and the landless in rural development and stated that all programmes should be so geared to ensure that they had a proper role to play in both planning and implementation. The need for appropriate technology to facilitate such participation was also stressed, both in terms of increased production and productivity and avenues of gainful employment.
380. Most members emphatically stressed the necessity for inter-agency cooperation. Every effort should be made to ensure that other agencies which contributed towards rural development also actively participated in the implementation of WCARRD in their respective areas of competence, FAO, as lead agency, should take steps to ensure collaboration and coordination both through the ACC Task Force on Rural Development and by other initiatives. The Conference welcomed the steps which had already been taken by FAO to intensify and expand such collaborative efforts. It also emphasized the fact that, alongside national efforts, the success of the follow-up action to WCARRD would largely depend on how effectively the different agencies and organizations of the UN system could collaborate in assisting countries in rural development programmes.
381. The Conference recognized that the follow-up action to WCARRD rested primarily with national governments. The Declaration of Principles and the Programme of Action, as adopted, showed the way in which national action could be taken in support of agrarian reform and rural development. Several members from developing countries spoke of action taken at national level in support of the WCARRD recommendations, and the need was expressed for the development of indicators and a system of monitoring and evaluation which would ensure the proper follow-up to these recommendations. In this connexion, some members urged that although indicators and monitoring and evaluation systems may be developed with the assistance of UN agencies, it would be desirable that such evaluation be carried out by the governments themselves. In this regard, specific mention was made by many members of the concrete recommendations that were made by the inter-Country Consultation held in Bangkok from 31 October to 3 November 1979.
382. Support was expressed for the use of regional integrated rural development centres which FAO had helped or was helping to establish in the regions, as well as other appropriate institutions in the implementation of the WCARRD Programme of Action.
383. The Conference noted that the projects given in Appendix B of C 79/28 were illustrative and not exhaustive. These projects would be added to and modified by discussions with the interested developing countries requesting such assistance. It was agreed that all programmes and projects should be designed or revised in order to give concrete expression to the principles of the WCARRD, in particular in order to take into account people's participation, the role of women, youth, small farmers, and the landless, etc. It would also be necessary to take into consideration specific characteristics of individual governments including the level of development. In addition to such areas as people's participation, rural women, etc., the development of national rural development strategies, agrarian structures, income-raising activities of the rural poor, national centres for integrated rural development, and training, were also stressed.
384. The target of additional voluntary funds to finance these programmes was fully supported except by one member which reserved its position on operative paragraph 9 of the proposed draft resolution. Many countries felt that US$ 20 million was insufficient.
385. The draft resolution presented in Appendix A of C 79/28 was adopted by the Conference, with the incorporation of some amendments, as follows:
FOLLOW-UP OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE ON AGRARIAN REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Recalling its Resolution 13/77 deciding that the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development should be held in Rome in July 1979 and requesting the Director-General to make the necessary preparations, including the FAO Regional Conferences in 1978 and sessions of the Preparatory Committee,
Recognizing the significant contributions made by the above-mentioned, as well as by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Task Force on Rural Development and the FAO Council, to the successful and economical preparation of the World Conference,
Expressing satisfaction that attendance at the World Conference was as recommended at a high level, and that the World Conference successfully concluded its sessions within the scheduled time with the adoption of an agreed report,
Having considered the Report of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development held in Rome from 12-20 July 1979,
Noting that the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development adopted by acclamation a Declaration of Principles, a Programme of Action, and a Resolution on the follow-up of the World Conference,
Being aware that Chapter XII of the Programme of Action and the Resolution call upon FAO to accept considerable responsibilities for follow-up of the World Conference,
Further noting that the Resolution on the Follow-up of the World Conference calls upon the "food and Agriculture Organization at the Twentieth Session of its Conference to authorize the Director-General to take all appropriate measures necessary to assist member countries in the implementation of the Programme of Action and to implement the sections thereof referring to the responsibilities of FAO,
1. Welcomes the prompt action taken by the Director-General to inform other organizations and institutions of the outcome of the World Conference, to call an early meeting of the ACC Task Force, to hold consultations with various Member Governments, to take other measures, and to submit proposals to the Twentieth Session of the Conference for practical follow-up action;
2. Endorses the Declaration of Principles and Programme of Action as adopted by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development;
3. Stresses that primary responsibility for implementing the Programme of Action rests with Member Governments at the national level, but that a substantial and global follow-up programme requires special efforts by the international community, including organizations of the UN system, in particular FAO, and financial institutions and other agencies;
4. Confirms the responsibilities placed upon FAO, in Chapter XII of the Programme of Action and in the Resolution on Follow-Up, in its own fields of competence and as leading Agency of the ACC Task Force on Rural Development;
5. Commends the approach towards implementation of these responsibilities, including those involving inter-agency cooperation, outlined by the Director-General in his proposals to the Conference;
6. Authorizes the Director-General accordingly to mobilize the staff and resources of the Organization, within the funds available, to assist member countries at their request, and to promote through its leadership of the ACC Task Force on Rural Development the necessary action for implementation of these aspects of the Programme of Action entrusted to organizations of the UN system;
7. Invites the organizations of the UN system to work fully together with FAO in the elaboration and implementation of activities called for by the Programme of Action, in particular through the ACC Task Force on Rural Development;
8. Supports the hopes expressed in the resolution of the World Conference that the governing bodies of the UN and other Specialized Agencies will consider favourably the possibility of providing the necessary resources for action within their own fields of competence and for collaboration with FAO; and that the governing bodies of financing institutions in the UN System, including the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the United Nations Development Programme, as well as regional development banks and bilateral and other sources of funds for technical cooperation, will increase their support for agrarian reform and rural development in cooperation with FAO and other technical organizations of the UN system to this end;
9. Calls further upon all sources of voluntary funds to provide to or through FAO extra-budgetary resources of up to $20 million over the next five years in order to create the necessary catalytic effect in obtaining and sustaining the necessary flow of resources for follow-up action to assist member countries, including activities foreseen in Chapter XII of the Programme of Action;
10. Calls upon all states concerned and FAO to take effective measures which will assist in the establishment and strengthening of self-reliant and representative rural organizations, including rural women's and youth organizations, so that such organizations can effectively and democratically participate in the implementation of the Programme of Action;
11. Authorizes the Director-General to continue his efforts to mobilize the necessary action and sources of finance for this and, as necessary and appropriate, to place further proposals before the Governing Bodies of FAO;
12. Requests the Director-General to submit a report on progress achieved to the Council in November 1980 and to the Twenty-first Session of the Conference.
(Adopted 28 November 1979)