g) Animal disease reporting in association with OIE
93. The Conference drew attention to the urgent need for improving existing systems for the exchange of information on the occurrence and spread of animal diseases. This was felt to be very important for the continued improvement in the control of animal diseases and with a view to facilitating trade in livestock for both breeding and human nutritional needs with a minimum of danger to animal health. In this connection, the Conference stressed the importance of implementing the contractual agreement between FAO and OIE for the reporting and dissemination of information on diseases.
Fellowships for research
94. The role of the Organization in the training of nationals of member countries to carry on their own technical programs more effectively has been stressed in several past sessions of the Conference. Training activities conducted to date have necessarily been financed for the most part from Expanded Technical Assistance funds and have included training provided by experts assigned to countries, regional training centers and fellowships for study outside the country of residence. Training provided under the Expanded Technical Assistance Program is necessarily limited to under-developed countries; fellowships can be granted only in connection with projects where experts are assigned or development projects are under way, and the training thus provided must be of a very practical nature designed to achieve the earliest possible results.
95. In addition to training for operational programs of. agricultural extension, administration and in technical development fields, a need is recognized for an advanced fellowship program with emphasis upon research. The role of FAO in fostering research has been emphasized repeatedly in this and preceding sessions of the Conference and its responsibility in this field is laid down in its Constitution.
96. The Conference recognized that the need for advanced training and added incentives for research is in no way limited to the economically under-developed countries. Some countries, even though economically advanced, find it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of scientific development and to secure for their nationals specialized training in the leading institutions of higher learning and research.
97. By means of fellowships administered under the Regular Program FAO can assist in developing qualified leaders for co-operative research projects now being considered by countries in one or more regions. Training of the higher order can be combined with work on problems of special interest to FAO.
98. The Conference noted that the " farming out " of projects to existing institutions, as recommended by previous sessions of the Conference, had presented certain difficulties since scientists are engaged on their own projects and are often unable to accept specific responsibility for additional projects in which FAO is particularly interested, without such assistance as can be provided by a fellowship scheme.
99. The Conference therefore strongly supported the Director-General's modified proposal for initiating a fellowship program under the Regular Program on a reduced scale, providing for a limited number of fellowships in 1956 with some expansion in 1957 and with some savings in overhead costs.
More milk and better child nutrition
100. From its creation FAO has been interested in the development of the dairy industry and the improvement of child nutrition, and has in fact done a great deal of work in these fields. Nutritional studies have demonstrated the widespread prevalence of protein malnutrition, especially among young children, and the importance of milk in combating it; they have also indicated the possibilities of developing the production and use of other suitable protein rich foods, or combinations of foods, which can replace milk in the diet of children in countries in which milk supplies are at present inadequate and economic production of milk is not assured. Other activities in the nutritional field have included the promotion of better child nutrition through supplementary feeding programs and education in nutrition. On the agricultural side, work has been concerned with the improvement of milk production - a very wide field involving all aspects of livestock husbandry (including breeding, feeding and disease control)-and with improvements in processing and handling of milk under unfavorable climatic and primitive hygienic conditions. In the economic field, the main stress has been on the economic aspects of the dairy industry and projects which provide new outlets for dried skim milk as well as of the expansion of international trade in milk products. With the recent increase in surpluses of dairy products in some countries, increasing emphasis is being given to the possibilities of using the surpluses as a means of stimulating consumption and production in underdeveloped areas.
101. These many-sided activities involve collecting, analysing and studying data, arranging consultations and advising governments on policy and developments generally as well as applying this experience and technical competence to particular projects, often in association with other bodies. This has required increasingly close coordination, not only between the different Divisions of the Organization, under both the Regular and the Technical Assistance Programs, but also between FAO, WHO and, in particular, UNICEF, whose entire program is devoted to the improvement of child welfare, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the International Dairy Federation and the International Federation of Agricultural Producers.
102. The Conference gave its wholehearted support to the type of work which has been carried out in this broad field. It noted with satisfaction indications of a growing tendency to stress the qualitative aspects of nutrition. It welcomed the fact that the work represented an integrated approach to the problems of child nutrition on the part of the Nutrition, Agriculture and Economics Divisions of FAO, and also on the part of FAO and other international agencies.
103. The Conference examined the financial implications of the proposed expansion of work, much of which relates to joint activities with UNICEF, FAO being responsible for the technical assistance needed and UNICEF for the provision of supplies and equipment. It noted that in 1953, and again in 1954, UNICEF had made certain allocations to FAO which enabled FAO to carry out its share of joint milk conservation projects. However, the UNICEF Executive Board had constantly expressed a strong desire to establish a clear division, both of functional and financial responsibility, between itself and FAO and WHO. At its session in March 1954, it had reaffirmed the principle that functional supervision normally accompanies financial responsibility and considered this essential if overlapping and duplicating are to be avoided. It had therefore decided that the payment of international project personnel must remain the responsibility of the relevant agency, while recognizing that difficulties might arise as the result of differences in budgetary cycles. At its session in September 1955 the UNICEF Executive Board agreed that certain costs of international project personnel might need to be assumed by UNICEF, if they had not been foreseen at the time of the preparation of the co-operating agency's budget and could not therefore be taken over until the next budget came into effect. It was recognized however, that only exceptional circumstances could justify such action.
104. The Conference welcomed the steps that UNICEF had taken to inform countries receiving its assistance of the importance of including requests for the technical assistance required in support of a given project in its Technical Assistance Program.
105. FAO has made maximum use of ETAP funds to support UNICEF projects, and work in this broad field of milk and child nutrition in general, and will continue to do so. There are, however, certain difficulties in financing full FAO participation in such projects from the Technical Assistance Program. The Conference urged that all possible efforts be made to overcome these difficulties.
106. In the light of these considerations, the Director-General had considered it necessary to request additional funds under the regular budget. In accordance with the Recommendation of the Commission-of-the Whole that the level of the budget should be reduced to $ 6.6 million in 1956 and $ 6.8 million in 1957, the Director-General had suggested that certain savings should be effected under this particular item. The Conference, while regretting these reductions, approved-the modified proposals which would mean the abolition of two of the field posts originally proposed, the deferment of recruitment on Headquarters and field posts and a reduction in travel costs.
Regional programs and organizations
a) Regional conferences
b) Field organization
a) Regional conferences
107. The Conference concurred in the Director-General's proposals regarding the regional conferences to be held in Latin America, Asia and the Far East, and the Near East during the period between the Eighth and Ninth Sessions of the Conference. It noted with approval that in future these will be held in off-Conference years, thus affording an opportunity to Member Governments to discuss the broad lines on which FAO's work in the regions might most usefully develop during the next ensuing budgetary period before the program of work and budget for that period had been prepared in detail.
108. The Conference pointed out that if Member Governments are to make adequate arrangements for these regional conferences, and are to be represented at the top policy making level, it will be most important for them to be informed of the conferences well in advance. It expressed the hope that representation on the part of the Director General will equally be on a policy-making level and that all major interests within the Organization will be represented.
109. Attention was drawn to the need for the Organization to bear in mind the programs of other international and regional organizations when organizing the regional conferences and to ensure adequate coordination co-ordination with them. The Conference noted that these regional conferences while covering a wide range of topics of interest to countries in the region would in no way form part of the governing structure of the Organization.
b) Field organization
110. The Conference considered the Director-General's proposals for strengthening the field organization of FAO (regional representatives, chiefs of mission, technical officers outposted from Headquarters, and Technical Assistance experts) with the object of rendering a better service to member countries and obtaining closer collaboration with those countries in the framing and implementation of the Program of Work. The Conference endorsed the Director-General's proposal to appoint deputy regional representatives in Asia and the Far East, the Near East, and two in Latin America, and to provide an increase of 514,000 in each of the years 1956 and 1957 for travel costs to enable increased contacts to be maintained with member countries in the various regions. This would involve the appointment of an additional officer of P-5 grade in the Far East Regional Office, an additional P-5 officer in the Near East Regional Office, and the conversion of two P-4 posts in Latin America to the rank of P5. Three secretaries (G-5) would also be required to assist the deputy regional representatives, and these posts were approved by the Conference.
111. The Conference also endorsed the Director-General's proposal to utilize the Technical Assistance chiefs of mission in a wider sphere so that they could be of assistance to the countries in which they were stationed in matters relating to the Regular Program as well as the Technical Assistance Program. This would be in keeping with the Director-General's policy of achieving, closer integration between the Regular Program and the Technical Assistance Program in the field as well as at Headquarters. The " country representatives, " as the chiefs of mission will in future be designated, would still continue to devote the major part of their time to the negotiation and implementation of the Technical Assistance Program in the country concerned, but would maintain close liaison with the regional representative on FAO's regular works.
112. In regard to the position in Latin America, the Conference felt that it should be guided by the views of the Latin-American countries, and in response to those views adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 13/55
Latin American Regional Services
Recognizing the importance of reorganizing the Latin-American regional services with a view to increasing their effectiveness to the countries of that region;
Endorses the Director-General's recommendations for the centralization of these services but maintaining the three regional offices already in existence;
Recommends to the Director-General that prior to the determination of the site of the centralized office he should consult with governments in the region as to whether the site should be established in one of their countries, or in Rome, and if the former, in which country;
Proposes that he should consult with the governments of the region in regard to other details of his proposed reorganization scheme;
Requests the Director-General, within two months of the conclusion of the Eighth Session of the Conference, to request and to try to obtain suggestions from the governments concerned regarding the location of the Central Latin-American Regional Office;
Recommends that whilst the above mentioned proposals are being investigated the present position in regard to regional services in Latin America be maintained, subject to the provision of the two posts and additional services.
113. The Conference endorsed the proposal of the Director-General to establish closer liaison with the United Nations Head-quarters in New York by the appointment of a senior officer to serve in that capacity and adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 14/55
Liaison with United Nations Headquarters
Recognizing the need of the Director General to maintain more effective liaison with the United Nations Headquarters;
Emphasizing the need for economy and the efficient utilization and co-ordination of activities as between FAO representatives stationed in North America; and
Noting the Resolution on the North American Regional Office approved by the Special Session of the Conference in November 1950;
Determines that to accomplish the above objective the Director-General may fully utilize the staff of the North American Regional Office in the maintenance of FAO liaison with the United Nations Organization and considers that in the establishment of such an arrangement the Director-General should be free to station an officer of a high grade at United Nations Headquarters and to prescribe operating instructions and procedures which would enable him to maintain direct communication with that officer and to achieve effective working relationships with the North American Regional Office.
114. The Conference also drew attention to the importance of securing closer integration between the information services at present maintained at the United Nations Headquarters and at Washington respectively, while recognizing the special information facilities available at the United Nations Headquarters. The Conference also expressed the hope that every effort would be made to effect the proposed changes in the North American Regional Office, taking into account, in particular, the appointment of the Liaison Officer in New York, without any material increase in the total FAO expenditure in all regions and that in due course substantial economies would be achieved in connection with the North American Regional Services.
Expanded technical assistance program
115. In its examination of FAO's Technical Assistance activities, the Conference welcomed the statement of the Director General that in future programming and operations increased emphasis would be laid on the closer integration of activities financed from the regular budget and the Technical Assistance fund respectively. Such integration would involve co-operation of member countries, in the preparation of their Technical Assistance programs in accordance with the new country programming procedure. So far as the Secretariat of FAO was concerned, the Programming and Budget Unit, which the Director-General had announced he proposed to establish in association with his own office, would ensure greater integration at Headquarters. This would be supplemented by internal reorganization within the Technical Divisions so as to ensure that officers dealing with different aspects of the work were responsible for regular and Technical Assistance activities where these covered related matters. It was explained that at the present time officers charged against the regular budget spent very considerable portions of their time in planning and supervising the operation of the Technical Assistance Program. The steady growth of the Technical Assistance Program imposed increased responsibilities on regular staff officers, a situation which could not be relieved by the appointment at Headquarters of additional officers charged against the Technical Assistance Program as all agencies were required to keep their Headquarters Technical Assistance costs as low as possible in order that the maximum share of the Technical Assistance resources should be available for expenditure on field projects.
116. The Conference considered how the legislative bodies of FAO, its Conference and Council, could exercise increased responsibility in regard to the over-all development of FAO's Technical Assistance activities, having regard to the fact that the resources available were contributed to a common fund held by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and disbursed in accordance with general decisions taken by the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations. It was pointed out that the Economic and Social Council had requested that the governing bodies of the participating organizations should undertake or continue to undertake a technical scrutiny of the programs negotiated between the participating organizations and recipient governments in the same way, insofar as possible, as they examined their regular program. Such technical review of past activities undertaken by FAO was a responsibility carried by the various technical committees of the Conference in reviewing the whole of FAO's technical work. The Conference had the use of the report " Activities of FAO Under The Expanded Technical Assistance Program, 1954-1955 " so far as the current Session was concerned.
117. In was, however, felt that the Conference and Council should be in a position to review and make recommendations regarding the overall development and execution of the Technical Assistance Program, even though the ultimate direction lay in the hands of the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Assembly. The Conference suggested that this matter should be further considered by the Director-General and possibly by the Coordinating Committee so that suggestions could be considered by the FAO Council at an early Session.
118. A further point to which attention was drawn was the desirability of placing before the Conference and Council more detailed indications of FAO's forward Technical Assistance programs and projects. So far the material submitted to the Conference and Council related in the main to past activities. It was explained that the procedure of country programming now adopted for preparing future developments of the Technical Assistance Program made it difficult to submit in advance the future country programs and projects to be undertaken. These resulted from a series of negotiations taking place within the recipient countries during the summer of the year preceding their implementation. They were then reviewed by the Executive Heads of the different Specialized Agencies, submitted to the Technical Assistance Board in September or October of each year, and finally placed before the Technical Assistance Committee of the Economic and Social Council for approval at the end of the year preceding the period of their implementation. Until the Technical Assistance Board had reviewed the programs submitted by recipient countries through the different Agencies and, finally, approval of the Technical Assistance Committee had been obtained, it was not possible to say with any degree of certainty exactly what over-all program or list of projects would be undertaken by FAO in the coming year. The Director-General promised, however, that during the year in which the country programs were being drawn up he would prepare from time to time, for submission to the Council and Conference, progress reports indicating the line on which preparations for the next year's program were developing and indicating on broad lines the prospective division of resources as between countries, as between fields of FAO's activities, and as between various types of service (experts, fellowships, training and equipment).
119. The Conference welcomed this suggestion. It recognized however, that if the Director-General's report were to be reasonably comprehensive at the time when the Conference and Council sessions are held, requesting countries should complete their forward programs as early as possible in the year. In the course of the discussion emphasis was laid on the importance of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, nutrition and the economic field, marketing and statistics, etc., in programs of economic development, and it was hoped that in preparing future Technical Assistance programs countries would take special steps to see that adequate attention was given to these subjects.
120. The Conference noted that the adoption of the new system of country programming had resulted in FAO's share of the recommended program for 1956 beings raised to 28.5 percent of the total available, as compared with 27.7 percent for 1955. This, it was hoped represented a growing appreciation of the importance of the activities covered by FAO's responsibilities, a tendency which would probably develop further as continuing projects in other fields came to an end. No rapid change in the percentage distribution of the program between the different participating organizations was expected. The Conference noted with satisfaction that simplifications were to be introduced into the system of country programming for 1957, but felt that no fundamental alteration should be made in it, at least until further experience had been obtained of its working over a number of years.
121. The Conference welcomed the proposal to study the further development of the program over the next five years in the light of experience acquired during the first five years of its existence and noted that FAO, together with the other participating organizations, would be submitting suggestions and proposals to the Technical Assistance Board as a basis for preparation of a report to the Administrative Committee on Co-ordination and to the Economic and Social Council. The Conference requested that FAO's proposals and any composite documents which ultimately emerge should be available to the FAO Council in due course.
122. The Conference noted with satisfaction the steady increase in FAO's Technical Assistance Program to a figure of $8,060,000 proposed for 1956. It was gratified also to learn of the steady increase in the number of experts supplied, amounting to a figure of between 450 and 500 at the end of 1955 and the progress made in the award of fellowships to an expected figure of 300 in 1955. It recognized the difficulty of utilizing certain contributions to the Technical Assistance fund, seeing that these were provided in the national currencies of the countries and were frequently convertible only to a limited extent or not convertible at all.
123. Emphasis was laid on the necessity for providing experts for relatively long periods, but the Conference recognized the difficulty of awarding long term contracts so long as resources were available only on an annual basis. It was gratified to learn, however, that certain countries had already expressed their willingness to enter into long term commitments regarding their contributions to the Fund.
124. In regard to the award of fellowships, emphasis was placed upon the importance of exercising great care in the placing of fellows, and ensuring that they were able to take full advantage, in the light of their previous training, language and other qualifications, of the facilities provided in the country to which they were sent. It endorsed the policy of FAO to relate fellowships to specific projects for which Technical Assistance had been requested and the requirement that the government of the country from which the fellow was sent met half his travel costs. This enabled more fellowships to be provided with the resources available, and also emphasized the co-operative nature of the Technical Assistance Program.
125. The Conference re-emphasized the importance that is attached to regional projects and noted with gratification the decision of the Technical Assistance Board that 12 percent of the amount available for field projects in 1957 could be devoted to regional activities as compared with a figure of 10 percent for 1956. The Conference questioned the wisdom of any fixed limitation for this type of work and felt that the matter should be kept under close review as regional projects could serve the interests of a group of countries and were a much more economical method of providing Technical Assistance than separate projects for different countries.
126. The Conference therefore adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 15/55
Use of ETAP Funds for Regional Projects
Considers that in some instances Member Governments can derive greater benefit from the ETAP program through regional rather than purely national projects;
Requests the Director-General to continue to press the Technical Assistance Board to raise the proportion of ETAP funds permitted to be used for regional projects;
Calls the attention of Member Governments to these views with the hope that they will be considered in instructing their delegates to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and to its Technical Assistance Committee.
127. No formal resolution had been adopted by the Conference since its Fifth Session held in 1949 authorizing the participation of FAO in accordance with the resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations General Assembly. It was therefore found desirable to adopt a further resolution authorizing the Organization to continue its participation in the Program in accordance with later resolutions adopted by the Economic and Social Council and the United Nations Assembly since 1949, and at the same time to put on record the more important proposals made in the course of the deliberations.
128. The Conference therefore adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 16/55
Co-operation of FAO In ETAP
Reaffirming its belief that the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance to underdeveloped countries provided a sound means of improving the economic conditions of such countries, thereby furthering the improvement of general world conditions and enhancing the Organization's entire program;
Recognizing that the Organization is participating in and shall continue to participate in the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance for Economic Development as set forth in the following Resolutions of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly:
(i) ECOSOC Resolution 222 (IX) confirmed by General Assembly Resolution 304 (IV)
(ii) ECOSOC Resolution 433 (XIV) confirmed by General Assembly Resolution 621 ( VlI)
(iii) ECOSOC Resolution 492 (XVI) confirmed by General Assembly Resolution 722 ( VIII)
(iv) ECOSOC Resolution 521 (XVII) confirmed by General Assembly Resolution 831 (IX)
(v) ECOSOC Resolution 542 (XVIII) confirmed by General Assembly Resolution 831 (IX)
Believing that the Expanded Technical Assistance and the Regular Programs of FAO are in reality a single program basically indistinguishable except for budgetary and accounting purposes;
Recognizing that to obtain maximum effectiveness of this work FAO must be in a position to perform its regular function in the development and administration of the total program;
Commending therefore the Director-General for his recognition of the need for integration of the Regular and Expanded Technical Assistance Programs in all fields of FAO's responsibility;
Agrees that the objectives and purposes of the Program in the years ahead should continue, as they have in the past, to assist participating governments to develop their own national institutions and services relating to their agricultural, fisheries and forestry resources development;
Determines that the planning, development and execution of the Expanded Technical Assistance Program should, insofar as possible, be handled by FAO together with the Regular Program in such a way that the total Program may be operated as an integrated whole. To this end the Council and Conference should each year review in accordance with the request contained in ECOSOC Resolution 542 (XVlll) Paragraph 11, sub-paragraph (vii) (d) a summarized report on the current program, and, insofar as possible, that projected for the year ahead, together with an estimate of the results being obtained and a statement of the principles being applied by the Director-General in developing and operating the Program or in consulting with Member Governments and the appropriate inter-agency and intergovernmental bodies.
a) Work in the field of agriculture in 1954 and 1955
b) Program of work for 1956 and 1957
c) Land and water utilization and conservation
d) Plant production and protection
e) Animal production and protection
f) Agricultural institutions arid services
g) Rural welfare
h) Future program trends
a) Work in the field of agriculture in 1954 and 1955
129. The Conference noted the sustained progress made in the field of agriculture as, for example, the expansion that had occurred in the work of the International Rice Commission which had created ad hoc Working Parties on the Mechanization of Rice Production, on Soil, Water and Plant Relationships, and on the Processing and Storage of Rice; and the progress achieved in the regional projects in the Near East on wheat and barley breeding and on range and pasture management. In Europe the work of the European Committee on Agriculture had also been strengthened through the establishment of a number of subcommittees in specific fields, such as (i) land and water utilization, (ii) co-ordination of research, and (iii) extension. In Latin America and Australia, meetings on livestock production, held in 1955, recommended the setting up of working parties to study the many complex problems of livestock production.
130. The Conference also noted a shift in emphasis in a number of projects of which the initial stage had been concluded. For instance, the co-operative uniform trials of North American maize hybrids, carried out under the supervision of the Organization in Europe, had been concluded and a new phase of this project had been initiated dealing with maize hybrids developed in European countries.
131. Among the major projects concluded were the Soil Erosion Survey in Latin America, the project on International River Basin Mapping, and the establishment of Seed Certification Standards for Hybrid Maize.
132. On the other hand, some new projects were undertaken during the last two years. The Conference was gratified to learn that, upon the recommendation of its Seventh Session, the Organization had been able to start work in the field of horticulture, covering both fruits and vegetables, temperate and tropical zones. This field is of great importance in many regions, not only in relation to human nutritional needs, but also in order to arrive at intensified and diversified farming systems. New regional activities which had been developed include the creation of a European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease and the pending establishment of a Plant Protection Convention for South East Asia.
133. The Conference expressed its satisfaction at the continued efforts made by the Organization during the past two years to arrive at a still better co-ordination of work between the various international governmental and non-governmental organizations. In this connection, it heard with interest statements made by the Observers for ILO and CCTA on the close co-operation between their organizations and FAO.
134. Considering that technical assistance had been, and would continue to be, of vital importance to many member countries, the Conference appreciated the inter-relations between the Regular and Technical Assistance Programs and approved of the integration thus far achieved in the field of agriculture. It reemphasized the importance of ETAP fellowships as an indispensable corollary to the advisory assistance rendered by experts to recipient countries.
b) Program of work for 1956 and 1957
135. In considering the Program of Work for 1956 and 1957 the Conference agreed that, in the present state of food and agriculture in the world, and having regard to the interests of both producers and consumers, one of the main directions towards which governments and consequently FAO must work' was the increase of productivity and efficiency of production on the farm. It was noted with approval that continued attention would be paid, through the Regional Conferences in Latin America, the Far East and Near East and through the European Committee on Agriculture, to the relationships between programs in the various technical fields and to the way in which these fitted into the general agricultural, economic and social policy. It should be recognized that the multitude of farmers in any one country represents a very large number of small units of production in contrast to industry. As a result, the farmers cannot individually finance the necessary research, the responsibility for which rests largely with governments, nor can results of research be applied as speedily in agriculture as in industry. The question, therefore, is how to achieve the best balance between natural resources, climate, labor, capital and management, so as to arrive at a higher level of efficiency in agriculture. In this light, the Conference studied the program of work in the field of agriculture and agreed that it provided a well-balanced approach to the responsibilities of the Organization. The Conference recognized that the active participation of governments in the projects of the Organization is a "conditio sine qua non" for their success. Accordingly, it also attached great importance to the execution of projects on a regional basis, so that adjacent countries facing similar problems might benefits mutually not only from the Organization's assistance, but also from their individual studies and accomplishments.