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a) Disposal of agricultural surpluses

48. The Conference took note of the actions by the Committee on Commodity Problems in regard to the disposal of agricultural surpluses. The Conference reaffirmed the view expressed by it two years ago, and underlined by the CCP in the light of subsequent development, that measures to dispose of surpluses already in existence could not solve the surplus problem unless parallel measures, discussed elsewhere in this Report, were taken to avoid new surpluses. Consultations and action therefore had to be concerned with the following two main sets of problems which should continue to command the serious attention of governments:

(i) Disposal of existing surpluses; and

(ii) Prevention of surpluses, which implied the selective expansion of production and increased consumption, more efficient distribution, and higher nutritional levels, the co-ordinated development of agriculture. and the lessening of obstacles to trade.

49. As to problems of disposal of existing surpluses, the Conference took note in particular of the actions taken by the CCP, at the request of the Seventh Conference Session, on the following three main aspects:

The formulation of principles to be observed in the disposal of agricultural surpluses;

The development of suitable methods of disposal; and

The strengthening of intergovernmental machinery for consultations on these matters.

50. Guiding Lines and Principles of Surplus Disposal. The Conference expressed its satisfaction at the progress made in the formulation and acceptance of principles of international behavior on matters of surplus disposal. It noted that the Principles and Guiding Lines of Surplus Disposal drawn Up by the CCP and endorsed by the Council had been formally accepted by 37 FAO Member Nations and that no FAO Member Nation had notified the Director-General of its dissent or of any reservations.

51. The Conference endorsed the views expressed by the CCP and Council that the application of such principles in any field of international action was a process of gradual evolution which required constant further effort, but that the value of the principles could best be assured, for some time to come, by practical observance of the present Principles and Guiding Lines. At the same time, the Conference also endorsed the view that the very general character of the principles and the danger of divergent interpretations further underlined the importance of intergovernmental consultations on measures of surplus disposal.

52. The Conference therefore resolved as follows:

Resolution No. 7/55

Principles and Guiding Lines of Surplus Disposal

The Conference

Reaffirming its belief in the value of intergovernmental consultation and cooperation on surplus disposal, in line with an internationally agreed code of principles;

Having noted that the Guiding Lines and Principles of Surplus Disposal, reproduced in Appendices A and B of the Twenty-fifth Session of the CCP, have already been approved by the CCP and Council and formally accepted by 37 FAO Member Nations;

Commends the Guiding Lines and Principles of Surplus Disposal to the serious attention of all FAO Member Nations and urges their observance;

Stresses the need for full intergovernmental consultations at an early stage of, and wherever practicable in advance of, the conclusion of transactions and programs of surplus disposal, in accordance with the Principles and Guiding Lines.

Commends the action taken by the CCP in establishing the Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal and the useful functions performed by the Sub-Committee;

Endorses the directives which were given to the aforesaid Sub-Committee by the CCP and which asked that Sub-Committee, in the consideration of practical problems of surplus disposal, to interpret its terms of reference in a flexible way, at the same time observing the principles of surplus disposal endorsed by Member Nations;

Urges all interested FAO Member Nations, both exporting and importing, to contribute further to the effectiveness of the aforesaid Sub-Committee as a forum for consultations, by ensuring a full and timely flow of relevant information;

Requests the CCP to instruct the Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal to consider ways in which a report to Member Governments could be prepared, in co-operation with the Director-General, on (i) the extent to which the approved principles have been observed and (ii) the effects, if any, on the markets of other member countries, of disposals of surplus products on special terms either by price arrangements or other means; and to report its findings and conclusions to the CCP.

b) Methods of surplus disposal

53. The use of surpluses for raising nutritional levels of vulnerable and underprivileged groups, and for meeting, famine conditions. Surpluses used to raise the nutritional level of pregnant women, under-fed infants, inmates of institutions' and for school lunches, and for relieving famine conditions due to crop failures or other disasters, increased consumption with little or no effect upon domestic or international markets. Such disposals constituted one of the most desirable ways of disposing of surplus products, as was recognized in the FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal. The Conference endorsed the continuation of FAO studies to assist such disposals, as for example the studies of dry skim mill; disposal in Egypt and in Spain, and the giving of aid to countries requesting such studies, within the resources available.

54. The use of surpluses for aiding economic development. In accordance with a Council resolution, the Director-General had made a pilot study in India of ways in which surpluses might be used to aid economic development (Commodity Policy Studies No. 6: Uses of Agricultural Surpluses to Finance Economic Development in Under-Developed Countries). The survey showed that this could be done without harm to other producers, domestic or foreign, when there were unemployed or under employed workers in the country concerned who could be put to work on additional development projects and when the surpluses were fed into domestic markets at approximately the same rate as consumption of the products was increased by the additional buying power thus created. Since not all the increased income would be used for buying surplus products, additional financing would be required to cover the rest of the additional demands. Under Indian conditions it was estimated that about half of the total costs could be covered by the sale of surpluses.

55. Discussion in the Conference emphasized that if surpluses were to be used for such financing of additional development, as wide a "market-basket " of commodities as possible should be employed, to offset as much as possible the increased demands. Further, since most development projects took several years to organize and to carry through, surpluses for development purposes should be committed on a firm agreement covering several years in succession. Preference was also expressed by potential recipient countries for commitments based on general expansion in over-all national development plans or programs rather than on individual specified development projects. Several countries holding surpluses displayed interest in this type of disposal, and one stated that its existing legislation already included provisions and authorities which would make possible such disposal. Some countries pointed out that the use of surpluses for development would be restricted if the landed prices were above those on domestic markets.

56. Some other exporting countries, however, expressed concern as to whether the calculations of the potential increase in consumption under such operations were sufficiently precise to ensure that no burden would be placed on either domestic or international markets as a result of such arrangements, and stressed the need for great care in planning them and carrying them through. In particular, careful study would have to be made of the food habits and preferences of the population who would be given work on the additional development projects, and the probable income elasticity of demand for various products.

57. It was also emphasized that in considering expansions in existing development programs, consideration should be given to expanding the whole range of economic development, including transportation, education, public facilities for urban development, secondary industries, etc., so that the resulting expanded development would build up increased buying power as agricultural output expanded. Also, due attention should be paid to the economical and effective use of the resources of each country, and to the principles of relative advantage, so that each country would expand the output of those products which it was in a position to produce to best advantage, and depend on an increase of mutually advantageous international trade to satisfy the expanding demands for products which the country did not have the resources to produce economically and efficiently.

58. The Conference also took note of the opinions expressed by the CCP and the Council, in line with the FAO Principles for Surplus Disposal, that the use of surpluses in aid of economic development, with proper safeguards to prevent disturbance of markets or the normal pattern of trade, was a very promising method of disposal. There was general agreement that the use of surpluses along the lines indicated in the Indian Pilot Study would be desirable and advantageous, and would both facilitate the disposal of agricultural surpluses and simultaneously increase the resources available to underdeveloped countries for their economic development programs with very little danger of detrimental effects to farmers in either under-developed or other countries provided such use were based on careful preliminary analysis and on careful planning of current operations as outlined in the Report. It was also agreed that such operations, by increasing the purchasing power of under-developed countries, would help to expand the demand for farm products and the volume of international trade, thereby benefiting troth advanced and under-developed countries.

59. Resolution No. 8/55

Use of Surpluses In Aid of Development

The Conferences

Calls to the attention of Member Governments, interested either as potential suppliers or as potential recipients, the possibility of using surpluses of farm products, in conjunction with other additional resources, to assist the financing of development additional to that which would otherwise be undertaken;

Recommends that member countries

(i) when framing programs for such uses of surpluses, or conducting negotiations for their use, bear in mind the importance of observing the FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal and the conditions set out in the report on the Indian Pilot Study and of extending and developing international trade; and

(ii) keep the Director-General and the Washington Sub-Committee informed of any developments in this connection;

Suggests that interested governments explore the possibilities of triangular or other multilateral arrangements whereby some exporting countries will be enabled to take part more effectively in the disposal of surpluses than they otherwise would be able to do;

Requests the Director-General

(i) on the request of under-developed countries desiring technical help in formulating specific programs for the use of surpluses to finance their additional development, to supply such assistance to them, insofar as is possible within the resources available either from regular staff or through the Technical Assistance Program; and

(ii) in co-operation with the countries concerned, to follow the development of such programs, and to appraise, by undertaking field studies if necessary, the extent to which they operate along the lines contemplated in the Pilot Study;

Draws the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the International Bank and Member Governments, to the question of how and to what extent supplementary finance could be provided for assisting in the use of agricultural surpluses through programs such as those outlined above.

60. The use of surpluses for establishing reserve stocks. The CCP and the Council had noted that one approach might be to set Up national food reserves in under developed countries from surplus stocks in other regions. These reserves would not be drawn upon unless inflationary pressures resulting from intensified economic development, or of course serious crop failures or other emergencies, led to a marked rise in food prices. An extension of this idea would also be to use such national reserves as a means of reducing price fluctuations. In view of its possible connection with economic development, however, it was noted that the establishment of national reserve stocks of durable farm products would not only aid in meeting emergency needs due to crop failures, but might also assist in preventing inflation due to development programs increasing consumer demands more rapidly than had been anticipated, and thus serve to promote economic development. It was also suggested that Member Governments, in developing programs for national reserve stocks, should give due consideration to utilizing agricultural surpluses for this purpose, with due regard to the difficulties and safeguards outlined in paragraphs 54-58 above.

c) Commodity trends and policies

61. Stress was laid on the importance of ascertaining trends in the production, consumption and trade of agricultural commodities and commodity groups. The Conference was of the opinion that the exploration of such trends on a commodity-by-commodity basis would be a necessary complement of, and would blend in well with, the study of these questions on more general functional lines, as indicated in paragraph 38 above. Similarly, it was concluded that a general comparative analysis of national agricultural policies and types of price-support systems in different countries should go side by side with similar studies for specific commodities and commodity groups, such as the introductory study undertaken in 1955 on the international effects of national policies for grains, and a similar study now in progress for livestock products to be considered by the CCP in 1956.

62. International effects of national policies. The Conference tool; note with interest of the work done by the Committee on Commodity Problems and the Director-General on the international effects of national policies in food and agricultural matters in pursuance of the request made at the Seventh Session. It requested that this work should be continued and kept up to date, and that close co-operation should also continue to be maintained with other intergovernmental organizations working in similar fields. The Conference felt that in particular the CCP should consider the desirability of establishing a group to study the international grain situation, including coarse grains. The importance of undertaking adequate preparatory work prior to the setting up of such a group was stressed.

Resolution No. 9/55

International Effects of National Policies

The Conference

Having taken note of the study presented by the Director-General on the international effects of national grain policies and of the intention of the CCP to pursue its work in this field;

Believing that a useful purpose would be served by inter-governmental consultations, under FAO auspices, in the understanding of national policies, in facilitating the adjustment of these policies to each other, and in considering action in the marketing of exportable grain surpluses which would avoid disturbing effects on the international grain markets;

Requests the CCP to continue its consideration of this matter, and also to consider the desirability of establishing, a special group to review the international grain situation, including` coarse grains.

63. Rice The Conference stressed the importance of rice in the world economy and in the lives of many millions of producers and consumers of this commodity. It was felt, therefore, that work and consultations on the economic aspects of rice should be given high priority. The Conference commended the action taken by the CCP and by the Director-General on these matters, including the CCP decision to establish a Consultative Sub-committee on the Economic Aspects of Rice.

64. Milk. The Conference noted with approval the progress made by the 'Washington Sub-committee in developing proposals under which exporting, countries stood prepared to assist less developed countries in developing programs for better milk supplies and processing facilities for selected cities, and in utilizing surplus dairy products to assist in starting such developments. It was informed that requests for such assistance had already been received from India for the Calcutta market, and from Pakistan for the Karachi and Dacca markets and that a joint mission on this subject was already at work in Calcutta.

65. Olive oil. The Conference noted with satisfaction the conclusion of a draft agreement on olive oil and commended the work done by the CCP and the Director-General in the preparation of the United Nations Conference on Olive Oil leading to this result. While the initiative for this draft agreement came from the producing countries, it had been prepared under United Nations procedures and full recognition had been given to the interests of the countries which imported olive oil and without whose participation the agreement could not come into effect. The Conference therefore requested these importing countries to consider lending their support to the agreement.

66. Grapes, raisins and wine. The. Conference took note of the review and recommendations made by the CCP on the international wine situation and the current marketing problems for grapes, especially wine grapes and raisins for which demand has tended to lag behind production. In view of the great importance of vine fruits in the agricultural economy of a number of countries, especially in the Mediterranean region, the Conference drew the attention of governments to the need for a speedy implementation of a policy of selective expansion along the lines advocated by the International Wine Office which would place the emphasis on the production of high-quality products and limit cultivation to the most suitable areas and to those varieties for which demand was likely to be maintained or to expand. It recommended that governments should consider the adoption of policies that would facilitate international trade in grapes and grape products.

67. Selective expansion in wine and olive regions. In view of the difficulties of implementing a policy of selective expansion in relatively densely populated areas, especially in the Mediterranean region where agriculture was considerably dependent on the production of grapes and olives, the Conference requested the Director-General, in co-operation with the International Wine Office and the proposed Olive Oil Council, if established, and with governments in the Mediterranean region, to investigate (i) the possibilities of a greater diversification of agriculture by the introduction of other labor intensive crops, and (ii) the long-term possibilities of adjustment by offering to the rural population other gainful employment.

68. Hard fibers. The Conference was informed that a comprehensive study of hard fibers had been started by the Director-General at the request of the Philippine Republic, and that the CCP was being currently kept informed, at its request, of the progress made in this study. In response to a Philippine request for the establishment of a CCP Sub-Committee to consider questions of international trade in hard fibers, with special reference to possible measures for counteracting excessive fluctuations, the Conference asked the CCP to examine the desirability of establishing a group that could be convened to consider documentation prepared by the Director-General on these matters:

Resolution No. 10/55

Establishment of CCP Group on Hard Fibers

The Conference

Having taken note of the request of the Philippines which is substantially interested in the production of and trade in hard fibers for the establishment of a CCP group to consider questions of international trade in hard fibers, with special reference to possible measures for counteracting excessive fluctuations in prices and quantities traded;

Bearing in mind the procedures followed by FAO on these matters, and also in particular, the views expressed by ICCICA and endorsed by the Conference on the useful functions that can be performed by commodity study groups on which all interested governments can be represented;

Requests the CCP to establish at an early date, as may be desirable, a group on hard fibers, and to take the necessary preparatory steps, in conjunction with the Director-General, for the organization of the work of that group.

69. Coconut and coconut products. The Conference further resolved as follows:

Resolution No. 11/55

Establishment of CCP Group on Coconut and Coconut Products

The Conference

Having taken note of the request of the Philippines which is substantially interested in the production and consumption of and trade in coconut and coconut products for the establishment of a CCP group to consider questions of international trade in those commodities, with special reference to possible measures for counteracting excessive fluctuations in prices and quantities traded;

Bearing in mind the procedures followed by FAO on these matters, and in particular also the views expressed by ICCICA and endorsed by the Conference on the useful functions that can be performed by commodity study groups on which all interested governments can be represented;

Requests the CCP to establish at an early date, as may be desirable, a group on coconut and coconut products, and to take the necessary preparatory steps, in conjunction with the Director-General, for the organization of the work of that group.

d) Inter-Governmental commodity machinery and consultations

70. In considering recent developments concerning inter-governmental machinery and consultations on commodity problems, the Conference stressed the following points to which attention had also been drawn by the CCP and the Council: first, that every effort should be made to avoid duplication in intergovernmental machinery and secretarial facilities; and second, that in taking the necessary steps for ensuring against such duplication, care should be taken to avoid any arrangements which would reduce FAO's effectiveness in carrying out its established functions and services.

71. The Conference pointed out the importance of more continuity in the representation on ICCICA of the FAO nominated member.

e) Activities and membership of the CCP

72. In considering the future activities and membership of the CC P. the Conference, pending, reconsideration of the matter at the next Conference Session in the light of the report of the ad hoc Committee, resolved as follows:

Resolution No. 12/55

CCP Membership

The Conference

Having reviewed the reports of the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth Sessions of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CAP) including an account of the Committee's activities since the Seventh Session of the Conference;

Being aware of the keen interest shown by many Member Nations who would wish to participate actively in the Committee's work;

Commends the excellent work done by the Committee during the period under review;

Decides that the Committee's membership be increased from twenty to twenty-four members.

C. Activities of the organization

Survey and appraisal of world agricultural, fishery and forestry resources in relation to needs
The peaceful uses of atomic energy in agriculture and food production
Joint activities in association with other international bodies
Fellowships for research

More milk and better child nutrition
Regional programs and organizations
Expanded technical assistance program

Agriculture and forest land uses in watershed management


Survey and appraisal of world agricultural, fishery and forestry resources in relation to needs

73. The Conference recognized the great value of a world survey of agricultural, fishery and forestry resources in relation to needs, but at the same time it underlined the practical difficulties which would be involved in an undertaking of such magnitude and complexity. It was therefore in favor of proceeding with the Director-General's proposals in this regard on a limited experimental basis and subject to review at the next Session of the Conference.

74. Without minimizing the difficulties, it was pointed out that the proposal was of fundamental importance from a number of points of view:

(i) Looking ahead, FAO's responsibility in following closely the relationship between the unprecedented population increase and the best use of the world's renewable resources in meeting consumption needs was recognized. Only if governments, individually and collectively, begin to plan now in a systematic way in order to have a better appraisal of the existing resources will it be possible to meet the challenge in the most economic way and without impairing the integrity and permanency of these resources;

(ii) In regard to the more immediate problem of raising productivity in agriculture in many countries, thus contributing through lower costs of production towards the solution of the dual problems of expanding consumption and raising farm incomes, the most effective utilization of resources again depends upon greater knowledge of them;

(iii) The survey would be of the utmost assistance to Member Governments, particularly in the under-developed regions, in their efforts to work out and implement their national agricultural programs for the development and better utilization of their resources;

(iv) Within the Organization, there must be some effort to appraise the most useful lines of future action, parallel with direct action by Member Governments. The proposed work would, for instance, furnish a more accurate basis for a better appraisal of the technical assistance projects in many fields;

(v) A central point for stimulation and coordination is necessary if full value is to be obtained from the vast amount of work at present being carried out by Member Governments, institutions and scientific non-governmental organizations, in the field of the survey and appraisal of renewable natural resources. It is necessary to encourage the adoption of standard systems of classification and nomenclature in such fields as, for instance, classification of soils and grasslands. This would not only greatly facilitate the comparability of the results of surveys but would lay a better basis for comparable statistics in many fields in which they are at present lacking or deficient.

75. It was recognized that the project is only partly a new activity, since FAO has already made considerable progress in assembling and analyzing information on basic resources. For instance, concerted efforts have been under way for some time to establish an inventory of fisheries and forestry resources. In agriculture, while these activities have not been listed under that title, a vast amount of material has been accumulated through various activities carried out under the Technical Assistance Program, such as assistance in soil surveys, in irrigation and reclamation projects, work on grazing resources and in the field of agrarian reform. These valuable data are at present to a considerable extent a by-product, but with a very little additional expenditure to provide a central depository and to point up the information towards practical objectives they could make a valuable contribution to FAO's activities in many fields.

76. The Conference stressed the magnitude, the complexity and the long-term nature of the undertaking. The basic responsibility for carrying out resources surveys is one for governments to undertake, and FAO's role, although a vital one, must be of a limited character in relation to the over-all scope and magnitude of the task. FAO's task might be described as essentially that of stimulator and co-ordinator. It would have the responsibility of initial planning, of giving guidance and leadership, especially to assist in ensuring that work undertaken fits into an overall pattern and that the results of surveys in different countries are as comparable as possible. It would need to play a part in coordinating the results gathered by the respective governments. It may be called upon to give technical assistance to governments in their work in this field. It is hoped that the mere fact of FAO's interest and leadership will serve as a catalytic agent.

77. Attention was drawn to the danger that a project such as this could lose itself in a series of maps, atlases and other scholarly presentations, which would have considerable general cultural interest without in fact being of much use in immediate practical operations at either the country or the FAO level. The importance of directing the work towards practical objectives was stressed, as was also the Director-General's suggestion to undertake the work in a series of geographical installments. The need to confine the work at any one time to a very few limited regions was emphasized. For the time being the work should be initiated in only a very few limited areas where it would be on an experimental basis as a pilot project. At the same time it was pointed out that resources are dynamic, changing both with technological progress and changing needs. Therefore any assessment of physical and biological potentialities at any one time would naturally be subject to modification, and some concern was expressed that results might tend to get out of date before the work could be completed.

78. The Conference expressed its appreciation that this would be an undertaking in which all divisions would play their part, and particularly stressed the importance of the participation of the Nutrition Division so that adequate attention may be given to the assessment of consumption needs. The necessity for close integration between the survey and appraisal of resources, the interpretation of the results of the 1950 census of agriculture and the preparations for the 1960 census was pointed out. It was also suggested that it would be of considerable value, so far as the work in Europe was concerned, if the Director-General's proposals could be examined in more detail by the European Committee of Agriculture.

79. Several countries indicated the importance of governments giving their full co-operation in this undertaking, and in some cases offered to do whatever was possible to place personnel and facilities of institutions at the disposal of this project in the event that the work was initiated in their country. The importance was indicated of making the maximum use of the facilities provided by private institutions and foundations and a number of scientific organizations, and of close collaboration with related undertakings of other organizations or institutions, such as the World Land Use Survey and the World Agricultural Atlas.

80. In authorizing the Director-General to proceed with his proposal on an experimental pilot basis, subject to review at the next Session, the Conference indicated that the expenditure should be in line with the Director-General's modified proposals in order to conform to a budget of $6,600,000 for 1956 and $6,800,000 for 1957. This would mean some intentional deferment in recruitment in addition to the inevitable delays pointed out by the Committee on Financial Control and some reduction in travel costs during 1956. In 1957, it would mean maintaining total expenditure at the same level as that originally programmed for 1956.

The peaceful uses of atomic energy in agriculture and food production

81. The Conference noted with appreciation the measures now being taken by the United Nations to promote international cooperation in developing and expanding the uses of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. These measures included:

(i) The holding of an international scientific conference on the " Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy" at Geneva in August 1955, at which the Organization presented a paper on " The Uses of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture";

(ii) Plans for holding a similar scientific conference in two or three years time, in preparation for which the Specialized Agencies were to be invited to participate and consult with the Secretary-General of the United Nations on the co-ordination of efforts;

(iii) An International Atomic Energy Agency, which would almost certainly be established in the near future;

(iv) A study of the effects of atomic radiation on man and his environment, in which the Specialized Agencies were also to be invited to participate;

(v) An Atomic Energy Sub-Committee of the Administrative Committee for Coordination, in order to co-ordinate the activities of the Specialized Agencies with those of the United Nations in this general field.

82. The Conference recognized that atomic energy has many promising applications in the fields of agriculture, forestry, fisheries and nutrition which can contribute to higher levels of nutrition and improved standards of living of peoples throughout the world, and welcomed the opportunity presented to the Organization generally to co-operate, within its terms of reference, in the attainment of the objectives of this collective endeavor of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies.

83. The Conference considered that FAO has a particular responsibility for assisting in the diffusion of information on the applications of atomic energy in agriculture and related fields, especially by acting as a channel in informing and advising member countries of progress in research and the application of such research to practical development, and requested that adequate attention be also given, in cooperation with other agencies, to the negative aspects that fall within its field of competence.

84. With a view to enabling the Organization to assume its responsibilities within the international program and perform those functions necessary to ensure maximum benefits from the applications of atomic energy to agricultural production, food conservation and processing, forestry, fisheries and human nutrition in member countries, the Conference authorized the establishment of a post for a professional officer and related services subject to whatever deferment in recruitment may be necessary and some reduction in travel costs.

Joint activities in association with other international bodies

a) Fundamental education in association with UNESCO
b) Land reform in association with the United Nations and the specialized agencies and other international bodies.
c) Survey missions with the International Bank
d) Co-ordination on commodity problems
e) Activities in the social field
f) The rational utilization of the living resources of the Sea
g) Animal disease reporting in association with OIE

a) Fundamental education in association with UNESCO

85. Since 1951, FAO, the United Nations and some of the other Specialized Agencies have been co-operating with UNESCO in fundamental education training centers organized by that agency. Agricultural extension, home economics and co-operatives specialists have been provided under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program for projects in Mexico, Ceylon, Iraq, Egypt, Haiti, Liberia and Thailand. The projects in Mexico and Egypt are regional in nature, serving the Latin-American and Arab countries respectively.

86. An inter-agency group established by the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination, at a meeting in Geneva in June 1955 concluded that after several years of experience with regional fundamental education centers an appraisal should be made of the extent to which they are achieving their objectives, and of their effectiveness in meeting the needs of the countries concerned. This appraisal was under way at the time of the Eighth Session of the Conference.

87. The Conference approved the participation of FAO in the appraisal of the work of the regional fundamental education centers. It was expected that the report of the appraisal groups would provide valuable guidance to the agencies in determining the kind and extent of desirable future participation in these projects. Such guidance would be of particular importance to FAO in view of the limited availability of funds for regional projects.

b) Land reform in association with the United Nations and the specialized agencies and other international bodies.

88. The Conference noted with satisfaction that the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies have continued to co-ordinate their efforts during the past two years by holding inter-agency meetings, convened at FAO Headquarters, in which progress was reviewed and plans for the future discussed. The Conference noted also that an inter-agency working group at FAO Headquarters is charged with analyzing the replies received from countries to questionnaires on progress in land reform and the impact of land reform measures, which were jointly drafted. It commended this co-operation of international agencies which was also reflected in the assistance FAO received from many organizations in the conduct of the three Land Problems Development Centers, in Brazil (1953), Thailand (1954) and Iraq (1955). The Conference tools note of the co-operation with ILO and other agencies in the preparation of a study on land settlement by migrants; with ILO in the drafting of a questionnaire on indigenous populations and of the report on " Indigenous Populations in Independent Countries"; of FAO's contributions, at the request of UNESCO. of a section on land tenure problems connected with the development of arid areas for UNESCO's " Guide-book on Arid Areas." It also noted the co-operation which FAO gave to OEEC in its seminar on the " Development of More Simplified and Cheaper Methods for the Consolidation of Scattered Holdings."

c) Survey missions with the International Bank

89. The Conference was informed of the offer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to continue to pay the salaries and expenses of members nominated by FAO on Joint FAO-Bank Missions. In accepting this offer, which enables the Organization to effect an appreciable saving, the Conference desires to record its appreciation of the action of the International Bank.

d) Co-ordination on commodity problems

90. With a view to ensuring efficient coordination of the Organization's work with the increased activities of other agencies concerned with agricultural economic and commodity matters, the Conference approved the Director-General's proposals for the appointment of one additional economist and one secretary in the Economics Division.

e) Activities in the social field

91. The Conference approved the proposal to provide a consultant as a member of a mission organized by the United Nations and other organizations in the social field which will survey community development programs and projects in Africa in 1956.

f) The rational utilization of the living resources of the Sea

92. The Conference noted with interest that the wise utilization of the living resources of the sea and particularly the conservation of such resources was subject to consideration by intergovernmental and international bodies. It recalled that in Article I of its Constitution, the Organization had been charged, inter alia, with promoting and, where appropriate, recommending national and international action with respect to the conservation of natural resources. It considered that in the discharge of this function as regards the living resources of the sea the Organization might collaborate with existing bodies. It noted with satisfaction that the Director-General had been able to provide assistance to the United Nations in the preparation and conduct of the International Technical Conference on the Conservation of the Living Resources of the Sea held in Rome in April 1955. The Conference was of the opinion, however, that while the Organization will continue the more general program of developing the scientific basis of wise utilization of living aquatic resources, the promotion and development of the scientific criteria, which could be used to guide such arbitrage commissions and other organs as might be established in accordance with the Draft Provisional Articles concerning the High Seas, as proposed by the International Law Commission in respect of judgments relating to conservation measures, should not be initiated by the Organization until the need for further guidance in these matters was more apparent.

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