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Relations with Other UN Bodies

254. The Conference took note of the report submitted by the Director-General concerning developments of interest to the Organization which had taken place in other UN fore as well as, on a selective basis, the relations of FAO with other sectors of the UN system (document C 77/25).

255. In the course of the debate, attention was drawn to the multidisciplinary nature of the work being carried out by the UN system in order to assist governments in establishing long-term development goals and objectives as part of the preparations for a new international development strategy. In this connexion, the Conference stressed the need for an active participation of FAO in the preparatory work for the new strategy in view of the evident importance that the food and agricultural sector would have among the development priorities for the 1980's and beyond.

256. Some concern was expressed at the slow pace of implementation of the inter-agency exercise on rural development initiated by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). The Conference welcomed the choice of FAO as lead agency of the ACC Task Force from the beginning of 1978, and requested the Director-General to circulate to the FAO Council the report on the activities of the Task Force which would be submitted by ACC to ECOSOC in 1978. The Conference noted that the poverty-oriented approach to rural development advocated by the ACC had already been adopted in respect of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and other FAO activities in this field.

257. Attention was drawn to the need for effective follow-up to the Mar del Plata Action Plan adopted by the UN Water Conference (March 1977). FAO had a major role to play in respect of some of its recommendations, particularly those related to agricultural water use including the assessment, development, management and conservation of water resources for agriculture. Attention was also drawn to the important role which FAO should play in the follow-up of the United Nations Conference on Desertification.

258. The Conference welcomed the continuous strengthening of FAO's relations with other agencies and organizations of the United Nations system, as reported in the document submitted by the Director-General, and indicated that inter-agency collaboration should be fostered in order to achieve maximum complementarily of action within the system. Particular satisfaction was expressed concerning the recent initiatives taken by FAO and UNIDO to strengthen their working relationship. The Conference requested the Director-General to submit to the FAO Council a separate report on the activities undertaken by the Organization jointly or in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

259. With regard to collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) the Conference adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 12/77

Cooperation with the world meteorological organization

The Conference,


(i) that Resolutions IV, VI, VII and XVI of the World Food Conference, which was firmly convinced of the vital role of weather in food production and preservation, called for cooperation between FAO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in meeting the challenge of producing more and better food,

(ii) that Resolution 3348 (XXIX) of the General Assembly requests the Secretary General and the executive heads of the subsidiary organs of the General Assembly and of the Specialized Agencies to take expeditious action in line with the resolutions adopted at the World Food Conference,

(iii) that the United Nations Conference on Desertification called for the collaboration of agencies, including FAO and WMO, in the fight against desertification,

(iv) that Conference Document C 77/25 indicated that steps have already been taken to effect collaboration between FAO and WMO in weather-related aspects of agriculture,

Recognizing the vital role of weather in all aspects of agricultural planning and production and that experience has shown the necessity to utilize all available information on climate and weather in the planning and operational stages of agricultural activities.

Commending the Director-General for the action he has taken to bring about close cooperation between FAO and WMO in the fields of agriculture and meteorology;

(1) Urges Member Nations to take appropriate steps to ensure that full use is made, at national level, of all available climatological and meteorological information and services in agricultural planning and operations: to this end Members are urged to develop close liaison between agricultural institutions and national meteorological services, especially in developing countries, with a view to the establishment of comprehensive national agro-meteorological services,

(2) Requests the Director-General

(a) to ensure that the meteorological aspects of FAO projects be given due consideration, in consultation with WMO, with a view to ensuring that in the case of those FAO projects in which weather is seen to be an important factor, a meteorological component be included in the planning and implementation stages of the projects;

(b) to seek the collaboration and advice of WMO in matters related to the meteorological input to agricultural projects;

(c) to continue and, where necessary, reinforce the close relations with WMO in matters of mutual interest in the field of agriculture;

(d) to continue, within the limits of budgetary provisions, the practice of jointly convening and financing FAO/WMO Conferences on Agriculture and Meteorology and to invite WMO co-sponsorship of FAO meetings in which there is a meteorological component.

(Adopted 30 November 1977)

Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governmental Organizations including International Trade Unions

260. The Conference took note of a report on some of the more significant developments that had taken place since its Eighteenth Session in relations between FAO and intergovernmental organizations (other than the UN and its Specialized Agencies), and international non-governmental organizations, including international trade unions.

261. It also noted the report on an informal meeting of representatives of international non-governmental organizations attending the Nineteenth Session of the Conference.

G. Review of Arrangements for the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development

262. The Conference noted a statement by the Special Representative of the Director-General for the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development, concerning the Secretariat arrangements that have been made for the preparations of the World Conference.

263. They welcomed the manner and spirit in which the Director-General was approaching this matter in the light of the conclusions of a meeting of the High Level Advisory Committee of Experts established by a decision of the FAO Council and a number of events and situations which had occurred within and outside the United Nations system.

264. The Conference recalled that the World Conference, which was initially conceived as having a narrower scope, had acquired a broader and more profound dimension corresponding to the important place it should occupy in the struggle to build a New International Economic Order. The backwardness of the rural areas in the developing countries, the physical deterioration of the land, air and water, and the deterioration of the human environment and the stagnating conditions of life of the rural population in more than two-thirds of the world's countries constituted the major bottleneck to tangible development. There was need for an in-depth analysis of the basic problem; the causes, extent and possible further deterioration of rural conditions, which would lead to effective action to correct the situation. However, each country would have to introduce policies and strategies which correspond to the real situation of the country and its own cultural values within the framework of national policy of appropriate economic and social development in all sectors. All this must be implemented by concerted cooperative action on the part of the world community to stimulate integrated development and the reform necessary to achieve it.

265. Through an analysis of the way in which rural areas had developed in various countries and an interchange of world experience, the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development was expected to supplement a series of specialized conferences, with social components, which had been sponsored by the United Nations system during the past five years, and to fill the gap existing in the efforts so far made to resolve the major social problems afflicting the world. It would also prepare the ground to ensure that the flow of investments to rural areas is directed towards solving the most serious and urgent problems of the rural areas, in particular, improving the quality of life. It was further expected to mobilize all] the intellectual and labour forces which were concerned with these problems in order to help governments in finding just solutions to these vital problems in economic and social development and thus enable FAO to fulfil its principal role as written into the basic principles of its Constitution, namely bettering the conditions of the rural population.

266. The Conference fully supported the new scope and dimensions of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development and the high-level commitments implicit in the Secretariat arrangements made for the Conference preparations including a full-time Secretariat under the charge of a Coordinator, and an Inter-Departmental Committee under the chairmanship of the Assistant Director-General, Economic and Social Department, for mobilizing all substantive FAO inputs for the World Conference.

267. The Conference considered, that due to the complexity and interdependence of the issues to be discussed, careful preparations were essential and that mere theoretical discussions should be avoided. The Conference considered that the Country Review Papers called for from Member Governments were basic to the preparation of documentation for the Conference and the Regional Conferences which should be limited in size and specific to the key issues for discussion. One of these key issues should be the question of what institutional changes are needed for rural development to get the people involved and to go forward in ways that enable the countries to meet the food and other basic needs of the poor majority of their people.

268. The Conference urged Member Governments to make an effective contribution through the Country Review Papers, along the lines of the Outline proposed by the Secretariat, and noted with satisfaction that FAO was ready to assist member countries in need technically and materially in the preparation of these papers. It also noted that it was possible to extend the time-limit for the preparation of such papers until the end of March, 1978.

269. The Conference emphasized the importance of the regional and sub-regional aspects, since many of the problems vary according to ecological and other conditions prevailing in every region, sub-region and sometimes areas. It expected that these issues would be discussed in the FAO Regional Conferences to be held in 1978 and would be taken into account in the World Conference documentation.

270. The Conference suggested that overall rural development should receive more emphasis in the Conference discussions, particularly the social aspects, so that the rural population, particularly the women and the underprivileged groups, were involved in development.

271. The Conference noted the interest and active participation of the United Nations and the cooperating Agencies and hoped that their inputs and contributions to studies and substantive issues and to the documentation would be forthcoming.

272. The Conference also noted that a number of special studies relevant to World Conference documentation had been initiated by FAO. It considered that the wealth of information already available in countries and institutions should be used. The regional consultations on integrated rural development have also produced valuable documentation for the World Conference.

273. The Conference considered that the discussions in the World Conference should result in well-defined and action-oriented programmes which would enhance investment in the rural areas, increase production and raise the economic and social standards of the rural poor.

274. The Conference stressed that the basic documentation for the World Conference should be limited to essentials and should be sent well in advance to Member Governments and other participants.

275. The Conference was of the view that the new dimensions of the World Conference called for high-level representation from participating countries. It recognized the importance of the participation of the IGOs and NGOs in the World Conference and the desirability of including representative bodies, for example farmers', rural workers' and related organizations and representatives of local government agencies in national delegations.

276. Most of the delegations supported the increase in budgetary resources to allow for proper Conference preparation. Several delegations were ready to provide technical and other kinds of assistance to the Secretariat and to countries to help them in the preparation for the Conference.

277. The Conference recognized the fact that an alternative date for the World Conference was not possible in view of other world conferences that were being held in 1979.

278. Taking into account the specific administrative proposals presented to it, the Conference adopted the following resolution::

Resolution 13/77

World conference on agrarian reform and rural development

The Conference,

Noting with satisfaction the Secretariat arrangements made and the appointment by the Director-General of a Special Representative, Mr. Santa Cruz, for the organization, promotion and management of the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development,

Bearing in mind that the experience of the last few decades has shown that the purposes of development cannot be attained only by Governments or solely by increasing national incomes, and that structural changes constitute essential prerequisites for development,

Aware also that the overall progress achieved has had no real effect on eliminating the destitution of the rural masses, and that they continue to suffer from unemployment, underemployment, hunger and malnutrition, because of the inadequate social and economic structures prevailing in most countries,

Conscious of the necessity to identify the basic requirements of the rural masses and to seek measures which will enable them to participate effectively in the development process and will give them equal rights to education, health and work,

Recognizing the need for the Conference to focus mainly on key issues, in particular the question of what institutional changes are needed for rural development to get the people involved and to go forward in ways that enable the countries to meet the food and other basic needs of the poor majority of their people,

Recalling in this connexion the support given by the FAO Conference at its Eighteenth Session to implementation of ILO Convention No. 141 and ILO Recommendation No. 149 concerning organizations of rural workers and their role in economic and social development,

Bearing in mind that the FAO Regional Conferences to be held in 1978 include in their agenda an item on the World Conference, in order to permit analysis of the progress made in this matter at regional level,

Decides that the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development will be held in Rome for eight working days, beginning at 12 July 1979,

Approves the proposal of the Director-General to invite all States that are members of FAO or of the United Nations, of its Specialized Agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency to participate in the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development,

Invites the United Nations, all Specialized Agencies concerned and the International Atomic Energy Agency to cooperate actively in the preparations for the World Conference and requests the Interagency Task Force on Joint Planning in Rural Development to provide support to and take advantage of the World Conference,

Asks Member Nations to forward Country Review Papers to the Secretariat of the Conference by April 1978, so that the Secretariat may use them as background papers in preparing for the Regional Conferences,

Requests the Director-General, as part of these preparations, to convene a meeting of a Preparatory Committee, with the participation of all States invited to participate in the World Conference, for March 1979 at the latest, in order to analyse, among other things, the results of the Regional Conferences to be held in 1978 and the provisional agenda for the World Conference,

Further recommends Governments participating in the World Conference to be represented at the highest possible level and to consider the inclusion in their national delegations of representative bodies, for example farmers', rural workers' and related organizations.

(Adopted 30 November 1977)

279. The Conference also adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 14/77

World conference on agrarian reform and rural development - integration of women in rural development

The Conference,

Recalling Resolutions 3520 (XXX), 3522 (XXX), 3523 (XXX), and 3524 (XXX) of the United Nations General Assembly, which summarize and reiterate the objectives of the International Women's Year Conference, and in which the Specialized Agencies are requested to take concrete steps to achieve these objectives, aiming at the full integration of women in the overall development effort,

Convinced that, in line with the recommendation of the FAO Council in its Seventy-First Session, due importance should be given to the role of women in the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development which will be held in 1979,

Recognizing the important role played by women in the rural areas of developing countries in food production and related activities,

Convinced that in order to be effective, integrated action within a global approach to rural development requires active participation by women on an equal footing,

Requests the Director-General to include in the major themes for discussion by the Conference the growing role of women in all aspects of rural development including policies and means required to ensure their full participation on an equitable basis in policy making, planning and implementation of agrarian reform and rural development.

Requests that the Director-General, within the framework of the preparations for the Conference, take steps to have a systematic analysis made of the situation of rural women and of the role they play in rural activities, with particular emphasis on food production, and submit the results of this analysis, including measures for achieving the full incorporation of women in social and economic development processes in their respective countries, to the Conference for review and consideration.

Adopted 30 November 1977

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