Forest policy and conservation
157. The Conference expressed general satisfaction with the work accomplished over the past two years by the Regional Forestry Commissions established for Europe, Latin America, and Asia and the Pacific. It endorsed in principle the reports of these bodies.
158. It noted that the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission desired to establish a Sub-Commission on Teak, a proposal supported by the-FAO Regional Meeting on Food and Agricultural Programs and Outlook in Asia and Far East, held at Bangalore, India, in 1953. It requested the Director-General to proceed, in consultation with the Chairman of the Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, with the establishment of such a body.
159. The Conference stressed again, as at its Sixth Session, the desirability of participation by the Governments of Canada and the United States of America in the activities of the European Forestry Commission.
160. The Conference attached importance to the studies proposed by the Director General in regard to forest land ownership, particularly fragmented ownership of woodlands, as affecting forest policy and management; to forest and grazing-land influences on soil and water conservation; and to forest grazing as a form of land utilization. It noted that these topics were a part of the general work of the Organization in regard to agrarian structures.
161. The Director-General was urged to support investigations into desert rehabilitation through forestry measures and into the influence of grazing in arid areas, both as a destructive and potential improving force.
162. The Conference noted with approval that, in accordance with the hope expressed by its Sixth Session, the Director-General was giving greater emphasis to problems of the use and management of forest range and other watershed lands, and also that the subject of forest grazing would receive due attention in the program of the Fourth World Forestry Congress.
163. It was informed of the setting up of a Technical Panel on Forest Range Management, and that arrangements were contemplated by the Director-General for convening a meeting of selected experts from this Panel in early 1954 and suggested that, after such an initial meeting, it might be advisable to form regional groups to consider local aspects of problems connected with forest range management and forest grazing.
Research and technology
164. The Conference emphasized the need for stimulating research in general as a fundamental basis for sound forest policies. It also particularly urged continuation and extension of the facilities afforded by the Organization for the international exchange of forest seeds and planting material, noting with satisfaction the issuing in 1953 of a first edition of an international Seed Directory.
165. Importance was attached to the work proposed by the Director-General in regard to afforestation and reforestation, and the Conference stressed especially the needs of arid zones. Research in silviculture and management, especially in tropical forest types, should be lent full support, and on the utilization side the pulping and other industrial use of tropical and temperate hardwoods and of small-sized timber of any species should be given prominence in research activities in interested member countries. Another line of investigation which deserved support was logging and extraction techniques and the training of forest workers, on which improved forest productivity largely depended.
166. In stimulating research the Director General should encourage the establishment of new research institutions where these were obviously needed. A special effort should be made to coordinate the work of existing institutions, particularly in reference to work in the field of wood technology and utilization. The conference commended the Director-General on the issuing of the study entitled Research in Forestry and Forest Products, which marked a step towards the proper international coordination of research.
167. The Conference concurred in the recommendation of the Third FAO Regional Meeting on Food and Agricultural Programs and Outlook in the Near East, held at Cairo, Egypt, September 1953, that a school for the training of forest rangers and a forest research center be established in Syria, for the benefit of the whole Near East region. It stressed the importance of decentralizing research work in this region to the maximum extent, by establishing experimental sub-stations and carrying out local studies wherever special conditions called for such action.
168. The Conference was pleased to learn that studies were now in hand on the protection of plantations, the handling of seed and on eucalypts for afforestation. They would be followed by further studies on logging equipment and on the selection of species for afforestation programs. It urged the early publication of these studies. It noted that the catalogues of forestry equipment issued by the Organization were amongst the best-selling; publications of FAO.
169. The Conference expressed the hope that the Director-General would aim at even closer collaboration with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations.
170. Work in forest economics had now been organized along four major lines of activity periodic publication of statistics and commodity reports; co-operation with regional Economic Commissions of the United Nations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, including the organization of joint conferences and committees; special studies such as the European timber trends study and the world pulp survey; and finally, cooperation in general in FAO projects relating to the production, distribution, and consumption of forest products, in order to ensure the proper consideration of economic problems concerning these commodities. The Conference, expressing satisfaction with this approach, reviewed the specific projects which were contemplated under each of these four headings for the ensuing two years. It commended the Director-General on the completion of the European timber trends study and the progress made with the world pulp Survey (see Chapter II, pages 55-58).
171. The Conference considered that forest inventories were a subject that should be given special attention, both in the regular program and in technical assistance, because forest policy as well as many other actions and studies depended to a large degree on the availability of reliable information about forest resources and growth.
172. The Conference held the conviction that the technical assistance work in forestry was of outstanding importance. It approved of the general priorities that were used by the Organization in making a selection from the many requests received for assistance in forestry and in the implementation of the 1953 program and preparing the 1954 program. First consideration should be given to technical assistance in such basic matters as inventories, legislation, policy, research, and education. Industrial development projects should be undertaken whenever warranted by local conditions.
173. It recognized that progress in forest production and utilization was often impeded in many countries through lack of trained personnel. A partial remedy for this situation lay in the fellowship program, which on the whole had given good results. A liberalization of the conditions under which fellowships in forestry subjects were granted appeared desirable, though care was required in the selection of candidates and there should be some assurance that a candidate was subsequently employed in the line of work for which he had received training.
Fourth World Forestry Congress
174. The Conference recorded its gratitude to the Government of India for having
undertaken the responsibility of organizing the Fourth World Forestry Congress to be held
in December 1954. It noted with satisfaction that preparations for this gathering were
well in hand and that invitations would shortly be distributed by the Government of India;
also that, in accordance with the desire expressed by its Sixth Session, a prominent place
would be accorded to tropical forestry in the deliberations. Field trips in India would
precede the opening of the Congress, and the Conference was pleased to hear that the
Government of Pakistan would, after the Congress, arrange field trips both to East and
175. Although this Congress was essentially a non-governmental meeting, it would be held under the sponsorship of FAO. The Conference therefore invited Member Governments to give every support to the Government of India in securing full participation by national and nongovernmental services, institutes and agencies, and also facilitate the attendance of individuals. The Conference considered that this Fourth World Forestry Congress should be made the occasion for arousing in member countries greater public interest in forestry, and for bringing to as large a portion as possible of the peoples of all countries a widened consciousness of the value of forest resources and the need, in general, for the conservation of all natural resources.
Near East Forestry Commission
176. The Conference took note of the report of the Near East Forestry Conference held at Amman, Jordan, in December 1952. It expressed satisfaction with the manner in which the Organization's activities in this region were being intensified, in keeping with directives issued by its earlier Sessions. It concurred in the recommendation of the Amman Conference, which had been endorsed by the Third FAO Regional Meeting on Food and Agricultural Programs and Outlook in the Near East, that a Near East Forestry Commission should be established within the framework of the Organization. The Conference confirmed the belief expressed in the report of its Fifth Session, Washington, 1949, that the work of such Commissions should be adjusted to the needs of each region. Accordingly, it did not wish to lay down formal terms of reference for the new Commission.
Resolution No. 24
Near East Forestry Commission
Noting the desire of Member Governments in the Near East, as expressed in the Report of the Near East Forestry Conference held at Amman, Jordan, 1952, that a Near East Forestry Commission should be established, with a secretariat provided by the Organization's Near East Regional Off ice;
Decides to establish such a Commission with functions similar to those of existing regional Forestry Commissions, under Article VI of the Constitution of the Organization;
Requests the Director-General to arrange, in consultation with Member Governments concerned, a first session of this body.
Joint Sub-Commission on Mediterranean Forestry Problems
177. The Conference discussed the present status of the Sub Commission on Mediterranean Problems which had been set up by the European Forestry Commission in 1947. This body was responsible for formulating a broad forest policy for countries of the Mediterranean area, especially in regard to soil conservation, reforestation. and the long-term production of timber. In view of the importance that Member Governments had attached to the work of this body, the Conference felt that it would now be opportune to extend both the responsibility and membership of this Sub-Commission, so that the impact of its work might be more widespread The new body should be able to draw upon the experience gained in other parts of the world with similar conditions.
Resolution No. 25
Joint Sub-Commission on Mediterranean Forestry Problems
Considering the ad vantages to be gained from a concerted attack upon the forestry problems of countries having a Mediterranean-type climate;
Decides to transform the Sub-Commission on Mediterranean Problems of the European Forestry Commission into a Joint Sub-Commission on Mediterranean Forestry Problems, under Article VI of the Constitution of the Organization. Membership of this body would be open to all Member Governments of the Mediterranean basin proper, and active participation by other Member Governments on appropriate technical matters should be invited.
Notes that provision for holding a meeting of such a body in 1954 has been made in the Director-General's Program of Work.
Oxford system of decimal classification for forestry
178. The Conference was apprised of the fact that the joint FAO/IUFRO Committee on Bibliography had, after five years of intensive effort, been able in September 1953 to submit a definitive English text of the Oxford System of Decimal Classification for Forestry to the Congress of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations held in Rome. This new system, which had been elaborated originally by the Commonwealth Forestry Bureau at Oxford, England, to supersede the earlier " Flurry System " had been unanimously approved by the IUFRO Congress. In connection with this subject, the Conference joined the IUFRO Congress in urging Member Governments to establish national centers for forestry bibliography to cooperate with centers undertaking documentation at the international level. Moreover, each country or language group should establish a permanent committee on forest terminology, charged with the task of defining the meaning and use of its forestry terms and of developing its terminology on precise lines.
Resolution No. 26
Oxford System of Decimal Classification for Forestry
Notes with satisfaction the completion by the joint FAO/IUFRO Committee on Bibliography of a definitive English text of the Oxford System of Decimal Classification for Forestry, shortly to be published;
Notes, also, that translations into official languages both of FAO and IUFRO are in hand;
Commends this system of classification for adoption by forestry libraries, institutes and documentation centers in member countries;
Requests the joint FAO/IUFRO Committee on Bibliography to review from time to time the classification as now established and to formulate recommendations for the application and development of the Oxford System, as may appear desirable; also to continue its negotiations to have the new system incorporated into the Universal Decimal Classification.
179. The Conference broadly indicated the lines of activity which could profitably receive the greatest emphasis over the next two years, under a blending of both the Regular and Expanded Technical Assistance Programs. It noted that the work which the Director-General proposed to undertake in the field of forestry represented a continuation of activities already started; no new projects were contemplated by the Director-General and the Conference did not itself recommend the initiation of any additional projects. This did not mean that there were not many recognized problems still remaining to he attacked hut work on these would have to be deferred for lack of funds. In fact the Conference noted that the early and simultaneous completion of many of the projects listed in the Program of Work and mentioned in the course of discussions was likely to exceed the capacity of the Organization's staff. The Director-General would obviously give particular priority to projects of the greatest practical significance. Any impairment of the present activities of the Organization in the field of forestry was to be deprecated.
Nutrition problems of vulnerable groups
Nutrition appraisals and targets
Technical co-operation with other organizations
Program of work for 1954 and 1955
180. The program of FAO in nutrition and allied fields was considered under a number of heads of which the most important were the nutrition problems of vulnerable groups, food technology, home economics, and nutrition appraisals and targets. Attention was also given to dietary requirements, food composition and to co-operation with other organizations, and the importance of education in nutrition is emphasized in many sections of this report. The various parts of the program are closely interlocked. With regard to the future development of the program, the Conference wished to emphasize that projects in these fields can contribute to the better utilization and distribution of food supplies and social and economic development in general.
Nutrition problems of vulnerable groups
181. Mothers and Young Children The importance of safeguarding the nutrition of vulnerable groups, particularly mothers and children, has been emphasized by the FAO Conference from Hot Springs onwards. At this Session, the Conference desired, nevertheless, to draw attention to one aspect of this problem which has only recently been recognized, namely, the role which deficiency of protein, both quantitative and qualitative, plays in producing malnutrition in young children during and after the period of weaning. There is now abundant evidence that protein malnutrition is widespread in populations in which the young child does not obtain enough food rich in protein of good quality after supplies of maternal milk diminish or cease. The Conference commended the part played by FAO in association with WHO, through joint surveys and the contributions of expert groups and regional conferences, in defining this problem and demonstrating its worldwide importance. The problem should be regarded as a broad problem of human ecology relating to the adjustment of the child from its early diet of maternal milk to the ordinary diet of the family, often deficient in protein. It presents economic and social as well as nutritional aspects.
182. The improvement of the diet of the mother is of the utmost importance, both for her own health and because her state of nutrition has a profound influence on that of the child from the earliest stages of life. An adequate diet will also tend to prolong lactation and hence to increase the amount of protein and other important nutrients available to the child during the later period of infancy.
183. Measures to prevent protein malnutrition will necessarily differ from country to country and must be based on local conditions and resources. An increase in the supply and consumption of milk is a most valuable method of prevention (milk in this context including skim milk and fermented milk products of various kinds). The greater consumption of fish should be encouraged where this is feasible. Effective use should also be made of local foods of vegetable origin which in suitable forms and combinations can meet the protein needs of mothers and young children. There are many ways of supplementing starchy foods by foods rich in protein of good quality. Certain green leafy vegetables, as well as certain nuts and oil seeds after appropriate processing, are valuable supplementary sources of proteins. In general, foods which are good sources of protein provide other nutrients beside protein, and hence their consumption leads to an all-round improvement in the diet and better health through the whole period of life.
184. The education of mothers in better methods of both maternal and child feeding is also essential, and use should be made of all suitable means for this purpose. Among these are medical and public health services and maternal and child welfare centers, and workers of many kinds in contact with the people, including home economists, social workers. agricultural extension workers and school teachers, can contribute to the task of education. The direct supplementary feeding of pregnant and nursing women and of young children is also a most important nutritional measure.
185. The measures for preventing malnutrition in mothers and children are outlined in another section of the Conference Report.
186. Children of School Age. Increasing attention has been given by FAO through both the Regular Program and ETAP to the development of satisfactory school feeding programs as a means of improving the diet of children of school age. Much of this work has been done in association with UNICEF. The Conference urged that FAO should continue its efforts to assist governments to initiate and develop technically sound programs; in many instances these could be sponsored jointly by FAO and UNICEF since the latter is putting increasing emphasis on long-range programs for children. It drew attention to the recent FAO publication School Feeding: Its Contribution to Child Nutrition, which shows that there are numerous methods of organizing effective school feeding programs in accordance with local needs and resources.
187. Food Supplies and the Vulnerable Groups. There is clear evidence that certain vulnerable groups, namely mothers, infants, pre-school children and children of school age, can benefit from the greater consumption of nutritious foods. Other groups in the population, especially old people, may also be in need of a better diet. This situation exists not only in countries and regions in which serious and widespread malnutrition prevails, but also to a lesser extent in countries in which national food supplies, assessed on a per caput basis, are abundant and the level of economic development is relatively high. In the latter there may be difficulty in disposing of certain food commodities, while at the same time there are groups living on a diet which is nutritionally inadequate. The Conference urged the Director-General to draw the attention of governments to the fact that well organized supplementary feeding programs for the vulnerable groups are among the means both of safeguarding the health of the population and furthering the effective utilization and consumption of foods of high nutritive value.
188. The Report of the FAO Committee on Calorie Requirements, published in 1950, has been used by FAO in its appraisals of national food supplies and for the world food situation, and has also been widely used in FAO member countries. Valuable comments on the Report have been made by governments, national nutrition organizations, and individual nutrition workers. The Conference considered that the findings of this Report should be reviewed in the light of advancing knowledge, and noted with satisfaction that an expert committee to undertake this task will be convened in 1955.
189. Protein requirements will be discussed at a meeting of experts to be held in 1954, This will be an exploratory meeting which will consider the latest scientific findings which have a bearing on the problem.
190. Reports dealing with the problem of dietary requirements in its various aspects should be regarded as provisional since the conclusions reached may need revision in the light of experience in individual countries and are also likely to need alteration as science advances. In preparing such reports, their provisional nature should be clearly indicated. Since knowledge of dietary requirements is basic to the whole program of FAO, this subject should continue to be given careful attention by the Organization.
191. The appropriate application of food technology can reduce losses of food in storage, make foods more palatable and digestible, help to conserve and even raise their nutritive value, and ensure that food supplies are better utilized. The work of FAO in this field has been concerned largely with food preservation and processing in the underdeveloped countries. The Conference commended the emphasis which has been laid in these circumstances on the application to local foods of simple and inexpensive processing methods rather than on the more elaborate methods which are followed in highly industrialized countries. It is essential that processed food products should be within the purchasing power of the mass of the population.
192. The processing and household preparation of important staple foods, such as rice and maize, and the effect of these on nutritive value, have been studied by FAO. Attention has also been given to pulse and coconut preparations, and to the possibility of utilizing preparations of leaf proteins as human food. Possible future developments, e.g. the use of algae as human food, are carefully followed even when they have not reached the point of being of practical importance in human nutrition. Background studies in the field of food technology should be continued by the staff in order to provide a sound basis for the growing program of work in different parts of the world.
193. In connection with the nutrition of vulnerable groups, the Conference wished to focus attention on the processing of cheap protein-rich foods suitable for child feeding. It was gratified to learn of the close collaboration between FAO, UNICEF and WHO in work in this field, which can substantially contribute to the improvement of child nutrition, and urged that this collaboration should be fully maintained in the future. Of special interest are the joint FAD/UNICEF projects concerned with the production of so-called soyamilk in Indonesia and the proposed joint project to encourage the production and consumption of fish flour. Close attention should be given to the acceptability of any processed foods which are introduced, and preliminary trials are always essential; supplementary feeding pro grams often provide a means of organizing such trials and initiating the introduction of unfamiliar foods. The general aim should be to encourage the use of foods which effectively supplement the staple diet.
194. The Conference noted with satisfaction the proposal to establish a food technology information exchange which will be specially concerned with the collection and dissemination of information on inexpensive ways of processing protein-rich foods and food combinations for use in child feeding. It noted that the number of requests for Technical Assistance in this field is steadily increasing; the subjects include the following: organization of research on food preservation and processing; milling and baking; preservation of fruits and vegetables; the packaging of foods; the manufacture of foods for infant and child feeding.
195. Considerable developments have occurred in the FAO home economics program during the last two years under the Regular as well as the Technical Assistance Programs. Activities have been undertaken which contribute to social and economic development through improved conditions in the home, better family nutrition, and the more effective use of the resources available to the family. These lines of work should be continued and intensified.
196. Primary importance has been attached to assisting governments in initiating and developing more adequate home economics training programs in colleges and institutions; these are often an essential prerequisite to the successful development of education and extension work in this field. Regional technical meetings and training courses, concerned with home economics education and ex tension in selected areas, have been arranged, and similar meetings figure in the program for the next two years. Meetings and training courses covering extension both in home economics and agriculture have been planned. The Conference commended these various activities. It also suggested that home economics education and extension work undertaken by FAO should, wherever possible, be associated with programs for developing and improving national food production and distribution both in regular FAO and Technical Assistance projects.
197. A Home Economics Information Exchange has been established, in accordance with a proposal of the Sixth Session of the Conference. Lists of teaching materials have been prepared for circulation, which will be supplemented by additional materials as these are received. The Conference noted that the development of home economics in certain areas is handicapped by inadequate and often unsuitable teaching materials and considers that greater use should be made of the experience of the home economics experts working in the field under the Technical Assistance Program, in preparing basic materials for underdeveloped areas.
Nutrition appraisals and targets
198. FAO has the responsibility of making periodic appraisals of the food and nutritional situation in different countries and encouraging and helping Member Governments to develop. satisfactory food policies based on nutritional considerations. The data presented in national Food Balance Sheets, which are essential to such assessments, should be supplemented when possible by direct surveys of the food consumption and the state of nutrition of different sections of the population within the countries concerned. During recent years increasing attention has been given to consumption surveys in some countries in which few surveys had previously been made, e.g., in Latin America. FAO should continue to encourage and help countries to undertake such surveys through the Regular and the Technical Assistance Programs.
199. General appraisal of the world food situation is also among the important duties of the Organization. In addition, special appraisals such as the Second World Food Survey, published in 1952, focus attention on the food supplies in relations to nutritional requirements. In the same publication provisional food supply targets for the year 1960 are given, the attainment of which would lead to significant improvement in nutritional levels throughout the world.
200. Work in this field is of great importance, since it forms the essential link between nutrition, economics and agriculture in the planning of food production and distribution. It must be a continuing activity of FAO, special attention being given to the relation of food supply targets to the potential development of the resources of individual countries. Periodic regional meetings on food and agriculture development will provide special opportunities for consulting with governments on food policy in relation to nutritional requirements.
201. Accurate knowledge of food composition is needed for appraising, in terms of nutritional value, the data obtained by the food balance sheet method and through consumption surveys. The Conference noted that new Food Composition Tables for International Use ,including figures for 5 vitamins and 2 minerals, as well as for calories, proteins and fats, will shortly be issued. After the publication of these tables work on food composition will be reduced in volume, being confined to revision of the existing tables and to the collection and analysis of any new data which may become available.
202. In the course of the discussion on food composition, attention was given to the nutritive value of dates, a food widely consumed in several countries in the Near East. Dates make a substantial contribution to the diet in this region, thus illustrating the importance of locally produced foods to individual countries, and the need for giving close attention to such foods in production and nutrition programs, a principle which underlies the work of FAO in the nutritional field.
Technical co-operation with other organizations
203. In the field of nutrition and home economics FAO collaborates with WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO and other UN agencies. The resolution of ECOSOC on Concerted Practical Action in the Social Field includes many phases of work in nutrition and home economics. There have been and will be many FAD/WHO joint activities and projects. The Joint FAD/WHO Expert Committee on Nutrition, a session of which will take place in 1954, has the responsibility for co-ordinating this aspect of the work of the two organizations. Other organizations with which working relations are maintained include the OEEC, the Caribbean Commission, the Institute of Nutrition for Central America and Panama (INCAP), the International Children's Center, the South Pacific Commission, and the Commission for Technical Co-operation in Africa South of the Sahara (CCTA). Such co-operation with other organizations, both international and nongovernmental, strengthens the program of FAO in nutrition and allied fields and should be maintained and extended in the future.
Program of work for 1954 and 1955
204. The Conference considered that particularly as regards Technical Assistance projects, emphasis should be put on the important fields of maternal and child feeding, food technology, education in nutrition and home economics, particularly in those areas where there are parallel projects for improved food production and food utilization.
G. Information and education
205. The Conference examined the manner in which the Library Service, the Legislative Service, the Documents Service and the Information Service are carried on together with the proposed programs of work of these Services for 1954 and 1955.
206. In discussing the past and the future program of the Library Service, the Conference noted with approval that work had been completed on the merging into the David Lubin Memorial Library of three separate collections, that of the International Institute of Agriculture, the Organization's Washington collections and the Geneva Forestry Library. The Conference, considering the desirability of making the services of the Library available not only to the FAO technical staff but to a greater extent more widely useful to Member Governments, their institutions and workers in FAO's fields, believed that the Director-General should continue to explore actively the means through which this could be achieved. The Conference considered that the work of the Library Service may well advance along such lines in the future, through advisory services in establishing or improving specialized agricultural libraries and the exchange of documentary material among appropriate libraries.
207. The Conference further considered that insofar as resources permit, headquarters library facilities should be drawn upon by Regional Offices to increase their ability to assist the work being carried on in the regions.
208. The Conference regarded the Legislative Service to be of considerable assistance to many governments. Recalling the obligations accepted by Member Governments, particularly under Article XI of the Constitution, the Conference requested that Member Governments increase the value of the Service by supplying it promptly and regularly with their official gazettes of legislative enactments, and further invited Member Governments to consider the desirability of appointing liaison officers (possibly within the framework of established National FAO Committees) to work closely with the Legislative Service. Appreciation was expressed by many governments for the quarterly bulletin, Food and Agricultural Legislation, and the Conference commended exploration of measures by which governments would be provided, on a limited experimental scale and at no additional cost, with the monthly lists already prepared for internal use of material suggested for inclusion in the quarterly bulletin. This would allow governments before the next Session of the Conference to evaluate the benefit of such additional service and to consider the financial implications of continuing it on an expanded scale.
209. The Conference expressed its appreciation of the value of publications issued by FAO, and desired, with due regard to costs of production, that quality and timeliness be maintained, and if possible improved.
210. In reviewing the work of the documents-issuing services (Documents Service in Informational and Educational Services, and associated units in the Administrative Services Division), the Conference noted that the total expenditure on these functions forms a considerable part of the Organization's aggregate budget, and hoped that the Director-General would continue vigorous efforts to keep such expenditure to the minimum consistent with accomplishment of the program of work.
211. The Conference noted that publications working papers and other communications are indispensable to carrying on the technical programs of work, and to informing the Member Governments of the plans and programs under way. The total of such documentation as required by the technical Divisions, the Director-General's Office, and such bodies as the Conference, the Council and others, becomes the workload of translation, editing, printing, duplicating and dispatching, performed by the issuing services. If the number and length of such documentation cannot be reduced by the originating divisions, the cost of accomplishing its issuance can in fact only be reduced to the extent permitted by the most efficient operation of the issuing services.
212. The Conference therefore requested the Director-General to maintain a careful scrutiny of the need for documentation, and likewise of the efficiency of the processes involved in its issuance. In view of the important role of publications the Conference also expressed its hope that in future years the Director-General would be able to present detailed statements regarding the publications program of the Organization.
213. In connection with efforts to keep costs at a minimum, the Conference felt that exploration might be further extended into the possibilities of issuance of some material by commercial publishers, publication by technical and professional journals, and in some cases, e.g. reports of some regional meetings, publication by host governments, as well as other possibilities which may be found. Close study should be given to the possibility of savings by bulk purchase of paper. It was recognized, however, that for the major part of its output, the Organization must continue to be its own publisher. Moreover, the actual printing costs which might be so saved in part are the smaller part of the aggregate expenditure for documentation. The larger expenditure rises from the necessity for translation and other processes of preparing the material for issuance which must normally be performed within the Organization.
214. The proposals of ways to expand sale of FAO publications which may be opened by creation of a Publications Revolving Fund, approved by the Conference, were heard with approval.
215. The Conference heard with sympathy the deep interest expressed by representatives of Arabic-speaking countries in finding means by which at least selected FAO publications of special value to these countries might be available in the Arabic language so as to serve a wider audience. These expressions reinforced the recommendation passed by the recent Near East Regional Meeting at Cairo. The Conference agreed that the Director-General should be requested actively to explore the possibility of obtaining co-operation through other interested international organizations in accomplishing this objective.