D. Freedom from hunger campaign and world food congress
World seed campaign
Freedom from hunger and the universal declaration of human rights
96. The Conference expressed its appreciation for the achievements of the Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC) as reported in document c 63/14, and noted with interest the two resolutions adopted by the First FFHC Conference held at FAO Headquarters, 13-16 November 1963 in Appendixes I and II of document c 63/14 - Sup. 1. It was recognized unanimously that the Campaign had to date achieved its objectives of drawing world attention to the global problems of hunger and malnutrition vis-à-vis population growth.
97. The Conference generally endorsed the view expressed by the Director-General in his introductory statement that the World Food Congress had been of major importance in the movement to free the world from hunger, not only as a demonstration of international solidarity on a people-to-people basis, but particularly through its unanimous adoption of the Declaration "to give whole-hearted support to the Freedom from Hunger Campaign until its final goal is achieved." It also expressed its appreciation for the initiative taken by the Director-General in organizing a number of special events and manifestations which had brought the message of the Campaign to the forefront of public attention, such as the Special Assembly and the World Freedom from Hunger Week in March 1963, synchronized with the World FFHC Stamp Plan.
98. The Conference noted the intervention of the Director-General at the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly which had resulted in the adoption of a resolution to include man's right to freedom from hunger in the Draft Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
99. The Conference was also informed of a resolution submitted by the Government of the United Kingdom to the United Nations General Assembly and adopted by the Second Committee of the latter proposing for the second half of the United Nations Development Decade a world campaign against hunger, disease and ignorance. It was explained that one of the main objects of this resolution was to enable the Secretary-General of the United Nations to consider, in consultation with the heads of the specialized agencies, how the resources of the United nations family might best be mobilized to stimulate and channel the efforts and goodwill of private individuals and organizations in such activity. The Conference noted that FFHC was FAO's major contribution to the Decade. Some delegates thought that however strongly interrelated problems of hunger, disease and ignorance might be, to cover them all at the same time might weaken the impact which the Campaign in its current more limited form had already made on the public at large. If the Campaign was broadened in this way, it would create undue competition and confusion among the voluntary agencies and citizens' organizations participating in FFHC, and would finally result in lack of focus in the public appeal and possibly in general failure. Other delegates felt that a widening of the scope of the Campaign as proposed in the United Nations resolution could result in a maintenance and possibly in an intensification of activities. Most delegates, however, urged the Director-General to keep the original theme of the Campaign with increased agricultural production as the target, and education and health as related goals for achieving sustained economic growth and social progress.
100. The Conference took note of the Director-General's suggestions firstly, to extend the participation in FAO regional conferences, in an observer or advisory capacity, to representatives of people's organizations and outstanding experts; secondly, to review the composition of the FAO Council with a view to obtaining active participation from representatives of producers' organizations; and, finally, to set up a high-level advisory panel of 30 to 35 persons of international repute and appointed in an individual capacity, to advise the Director-General on the many cultural, social, educational, scientific and economic problems likely to arise as the Campaign grew in strength.
101. The Conference welcomed the idea of including nongovernmental and FFHC national committee representation at FAO regional conferences but felt that this was a matter to be settled by each region according to its needs. The delegate of Chile announced that his Government would be pleased to provide the necessary facilities for the possible execution of such plans at the Latin-American Regional Conference to be held in Chile in 1964. It was felt that, in considering such an extension of participation, the difference in status of nongovernmental organizations had to be properly observed and that, if the extension was approved, the representatives had to be selected by the nongovernmental organizations concerned independently.
102. Several delegations favored the suggestion to set up a high-level advisory panel for the Campaign. Others felt there was no need for one since the Director-General was authorized to consult experts and specialists in all fields whenever he felt it necessary and desirable. Some delegations pointed out that their governments had already included representatives of producers' organizations in their delegations to FAO Council and Conference sessions, and others had no objection to the idea as long as satisfactory procedures could be formed. The Conference requested the Director-General to submit these proposals in more detail to the Forty-Third Session of the FAO Council for further consideration.
103. The Conference considered that the application of modern science and technology could not solve the problems of hunger and malnutrition throughout the world, unless the people, individually, nationally and as a world community, become completely involved in the undertaking. It was felt that this aspect of people's involvement, which had already gained considerable prominence since the inception of the Campaign, had to be further developed as the main objective for future action. Some delegations stressed that it was precisely this element that would suffer first if the Campaign was not to be continued.
104. With regard to the current activities of the Campaign, the Conference recognized that, in order to arouse the interest of the rural population, particularly in the developing countries with a high percentage of illiteracy, a shift in the information field from printed matter to more visual and audiovisual aids was highly desirable. It was also felt that information activities had to be geared in both the developed and the developing countries to the influential circles of political leaders, industrialists and bankers holding resources and funds which had been so far untapped.
105. With regard to FFHC projects, the Conference agreed that a higher priority should be given to projects of an experimental or demonstrative nature. It was felt that pilot projects, e.g. the World Fertilizer Program, were of immense value for demonstrating the impact of the application of modern science and technology on agricultural production in its broadest sense. The Conference agreed that such projects should be selected in cooperation with national FFHC committees of donor countries so that they fit in with the national development plans of the recipient countries. Efforts should be made to fit FFHC action projects more to priority development needs and less to charity, thus increasing the spirit of co-operation between governmental action and public voluntary initiative. In this connection it was suggested that specialists should be appointed on a regional basis to study the social conditions under which new foodstuffs or new agricultural methods and techniques could be introduced and accepted in the developing countries.
106. The Conference recommended that FAO should continue its current role in the development, technical evaluation and screening of FFHC action projects in such a way that sufficient flexibility would be preserved for nongovernmental organizations that wish to carry out specific projects on request of donor and recipient groups. It was suggested that the current gap in financing valuable FFHC projects through FAO should be filled by voluntary contributions from governments. It was also recognized that the Director-General's efforts to raise funds from voluntary sources in order to meet the total central administrative costs of the Campaign incurred by FAO and not covered by the regular budget, had not been fully successful. It was therefore proposed that, while the existing system would have to be continued in 1964-65 along the lines mentioned by the Director-General, in future any sum required to meet central administrative costs should be met out of the regular budget of the Organization.
107. The Conference unanimously agreed that the Campaign should continue to be followed by way of rededication to the purposes of the Organization and as a solemn underwriting of the Declaration of the World Food Congress. Several delegations pointed out that FFHC was not an end in itself but only an instrument for future action by FAO as part of its Regular Program of Work and that the organization itself needed to develop a long-term plan for combatting hunger and improving world agricultural production and trade.
108. The main task of FAO in this connection would be the co-ordination of the Campaign efforts of governments and nongovernmental organizations to accelerate agricultural and economic development and social progress in the developing countries, to be supplemented by activities such as the supplying of up-to-date information and statistical data on the requirements, resources and facilities of the various countries, the establishment of pilot and demonstration projects, the preparation of long-term plans for the organic development of economies on a regional and national basis, the whole program to be carried out in close co-operation with interested members of the United Nations family.
109. Some delegations proposed that an analytical appraisal of the achievements of the Campaign should be prepared and circulated to all Campaign partners, on which the new and long-term plans for the continuation of the Campaign, either in its existing form or as part of FAO's regular work, could be based. It was felt that such a review could also help national committees in donor countries in raising funds necessary for FFHC action projects.
110. The delegations of many developing countries pointed out that the Campaign had just started to gain momentum in their countries as a result of the activities of recently established national committees and held that the Campaign had to be continued in its present form beyond 1965 in order to stimulate further public efforts and to win the active participation of the people at large. In their opinion termination of the Campaign would betray the hopes that had just been aroused and would scatter the resources just mobilized in support of it. These delegations also felt that it would be too late to take decision at the 1965 Conference Session as to whether or not the Campaign should be continued beyond 1965.
111. Several delegations of developed countries emphasized that their governments had arranged for fundraising programs to be concluded in 1965 as envisaged by the Tenth Session of the Conference. In view of the competition with similar concurrent actions for other desirable objectives it might be difficult to keep alive the interest of the public in the Campaign. Several delegations thought, moreover, that it would be premature for the Conference to decide at this Session that the Campaign should or should not continue beyond 1965 without a clearer indication of the form in which it might be continued in the light of experience gained in the remaining two years of the Campaign. Some others felt they were not in a position to support the continuation of the Campaign as such after 1965 and suggested that a more flexible approach should be followed whereby the future scope of the Campaign and the activities of national FFHC committees would be adapted to the prevailing conditions in the different countries.
112. The Conference considered the recommendation of the World Food Congress requesting the Director-General to hold world food congresses periodically to review the world food situation in relation to population and over-all agricultural development, and to consider a plan for action. It was felt on the one hand that a true perspective of the hunger program could be obtained only if the public leaders from all walks of life would meet periodically to analyze and review the up-to-date situation. On the other hand, it was recognized that it would be too costly to hold such congresses too frequently. It was generally felt that such a congress should be held every four or five years.
113. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 4/63
Freedom from Hunger Campaign (FFHC)
Taking note of the McDougall Memorial Lecture delivered by His Excellency Julius Nyerere, President of the Republic of Tanganyika,
Bearing in mind the Preamble of the FAO Constitution and the Declaration adopted by the World Food Congress to eliminate hunger and want from the face of the earth as the primary task of this generation,
Recognizing that the aim of freeing the world from hunger can only be achieved in a framework of world development dedicated to the fullest use of human and natural resources, and
Convinced of the basic importance of that part of the World Food Congress Declaration which refers to the strengthening of international co-operation for a reversal of adverse trading tendencies in the developing countries and for an increase if, the volume and effectiveness of financial, material and technical aid,
Agrees that the Freedom from Hunger Campaign activities under the sponsorship of FAO should be continued beyond 1965;
Requests the Director-General, in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Tenth Session of the Conference, to present to the Thirteenth Session of the Conference results achieved by the Campaign in order to make it possible at that time to decide on the future orientation to be given the Campaign both generally and within the framework of FAO; and
Requests the Director-General to present to the Thirteenth Session of the Conference and to the next World Food Congress a perspective of the situation and a world plan for agricultural production, trade and development, and to highlight national and international action necessary' to achieve the goals of the Campaign in order to accelerate the development of the developing countries.
World seed campaign
114. The Conference learned with satisfaction of the work done by the Plant Production and Protection Division in seed production, certification and distribution. It also noted with approval that full advantage had been taken by FAO of the interest awakened by the World Seed Campaign in highlighting the value of good seed as a basic presequisite of agricultural production. There was agreement that an effective seed industry is the backbone of plant production in every country.
115. The Conference recognized the valuable assistance provided by FAO to many member countries in technical aspects relating to efficient production of high quality seed. It also recognized that in order to obtain satisfactory results, such fields as plant exploration and introduction, plant breeding, supervised propagation, seed testing, certification and distribution had all to be given due consideration. The importance of adequate seed legislation in this connection was pointed out.
116. Several delegates stressed the importance of seed distribution and marketing in order to obtain maximum benefits from the efforts made in previous stages of seed production, as the ultimate objective is to provide the farmer with certified seed of suitable varieties when he needs it. FUJI consideration was also given to the necessity for measures to avoid the introduction and/or spread of new plant disease and pests when introducing foreign-bred varieties, or germ plasm from abroad.
117. The Conference appreciated the increasing help from the seed exchange service of FAO as a link between national collection centers and countries or individuals, as well as the close collaboration with national and international agencies such as the International Seed-Testing Association, the International Crop Improvement Association, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, etc. There was also appreciation of the fact that additional assistance in this field is now to be provided by the Freedom from Hunger Campaign in promoting the ideals of the World Seed Campaign.
Freedom from hunger and the universal declaration of human rights
118. The Conference also adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION No. 5/63
Freedom from hunger and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Noting that the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights falls on 10 December 1963 and is being celebrated throughout the world to mark this epoch-making event in the history of the United Nations and to keep the need for the recognition of these rights continuously before the minds of men, and
Endorsing the objectives of the Declaration which aim at promoting universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,
Associates the Food and Agriculture Organization with the celebration of this Anniversary;
Draws particular attention to the Preamble which refers to freedom from want as one of those basic freedoms proclaimed as the highest aspirations of the common people;
Agrees with the World Food Congress that the " persistence of hunger and malnutrition is unacceptable morally and socially, is incompatible with the dignity of human beings and the equality of opportunity to which they are entitled, and is a threat to social and international peace; "
Places on record its conviction that a peaceful and democratic world cannot be ensured so long as hunger and malnutrition remain the scourge of millions;
Invites therefore an the governments Members of the United Nations and the specialized agencies to pursue and intensify their efforts individually and through collective action to free the peoples of the world from hunger; and
Requests the Director-General to forward this Resolution to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and to give it the fullest possible publicity.