VI. Constitutional, administrative, and financial questions
Amendments to financial regulations
B. Report of commission III on the site of the permanent headquarters of FAO
- Approves the audited accounts of the Second Financial Year which closed with a surplus of receipts over expenditures of $145,400.50. [See Appendix a]
- Approves the recommendation of the Committee on Financial Control and of the Fourth Session of the Council concerning the Organization's entrance into the United Nations Pension Scheme and accordingly authorizes the Director-General to negotiate and enter into an agreement with the Secretary-General of the United Nations for FAO's entrance into the United Nations Pension Scheme subject to the following provisions:
(a) that the cost of the plan be reduced to a total joint contribution of approximately 18 percent, the contribution of the employee being continued at the rate of 71/2 percent, which he accepted as his contribution to the Provident Fund when joining FAO, and the contribution of the Organization being increased from 71/2 percent to approximately 101/2 percent;
(b) that retroactive membership of present: FAO staff members be permitted from the date of their entrance on duty or from such date as may be determined in negotiations with the United Nations;
(c) that membership in the Pension Scheme be mandatory for eligible FAO staff members, those ineligible for membership being allowed to remain or become members of the present FAO Staff Provident Fund at its existing contribution rates;
(d) that individual rights in the Staff Provident Fund of staff members eligible for the Pension Scheme be liquidated at the time the Organization's scheme comes into effect;
(e) that the Director-General in his negotiations with the Secretary-General of the United Nations assure himself that the plan of participation agreed upon will be actuarially sound even if complete integration with the United Nations scheme is found impracticable and the plan is, therefore, applied only to FAO staff.
1948 Printing Program
- Takes note of the memorandum presented to it by the Director-General on the 1948 printing program, and
- Authorizes the Director-General to complete the reduced 1948 printing program as far as possible in 1949 and to pay such expenditures from printing funds now provided in the 1948 budget, on the understanding that such expenditures must be committed not later than 28 February and liquidated not later than 30 April 1949.
The Conference, in thus giving its authorization, asks that steps be taken to avoid a similar request being made to the Fifth Session of the Conference.
Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities
(1) that by a resolution adopted on 21 November 1947, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved a Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies which is submitted to the Specialized agencies for acceptance and to every member of the United Nations and every other State member of one or more of the specialized agencies for accession;
(2) that the said Convention consists of "standard" clauses applicable to all specialized agencies and of separate draft annexes relating to each of the agencies; and that the said Convention becomes applicable to each specialized agency when the final text of the annex relating to that agency has been adopted by it and transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations together with advice of the acceptance of the standard clauses as modified by such annex and an undertaking to give effect to Sections 8,18, 22, 23, 24, 31, 32, 42, and 45, thereof; and
(3) that the said Convention in no way limits or prejudices the privileges and immunities which have been or may be hereafter accorded by any State to any specialized agency by reason of the location in the territory of that State of its headquarters or regional offices; and
- Accepts the standard clauses of the said Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies as modified by Annex II relating to FAO, which Annex as approved by the Conference is set forth hereunder:
In their application to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (hereinafter called "the Organization") the standard clauses shall operate subject to the following provisions:
1. Article V and Section 25, paragraphs 1 and 2 (I) of Article VII shall extend to the Chairman of the Council of the Organization, except that any waiver of the immunity of the Chairman under Section 16 shall be by the Council of the Organization.
2. (i) Experts (other than officials coming within the scope of Article VI) serving on committees of, or performing missions for, the Organization shall be accorded the following privileges and immunities so far as is necessary for the effective exercise of their functions, including the time spent on journeys in connection with service on such committees or missions:
(a) immunity from personal arrest or seizure of their personal baggage;
(b) in respect of words spoken or written or acts done by them in the performance of their official functions, immunity of legal process of every kind, such immunity to continue notwithstanding that the persons concerned are no longer serving on committees of, or employed on missions for, the Organization;
(c) the same facilities in respect of currency and exchange restrictions and in respect of their personal baggage as are accorded to officials of foreign Governments on temporary official missions;
(d) inviolability of their papers and documents relating to the work on which they are engaged for the Organization.
(ii) In connection with (d) of - 2(i) above, the principle contained in the last sentence of Section 12 of the standard clauses shall be applicable.
(iii) Privileges and immunities are granted to the experts of the Organization in the interests of the Organization and not for the personal benefit of the individuals themselves. The Organization shall have the right and the duty to waive the immunity of any experts in any case where in its opinion the immunity would impede the course of justice, and it can be waived without prejudice to the interests of the Organization.
3. The privileges, immunities, exemptions and facilities referred to in Section 21 of the standard clauses shall also be accorded to the Deputy Director-General of the Organization.
- Authorizes the Director-General to transmit the above Annex to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and to inform him that FAO accepts the standard clauses as modified by the above Annex and undertakes to give effect to the provisions indicated in Section 37 of the standard clauses in accordance with the terms thereof;
- Invites the member governments of FAO to accede to the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies and to undertake to apply the privileges thereof to FAO; and
- Authorizes the Director-General to communicate the text of the Convention on the privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies, including Annex II thereof relating to FAO, to those members of FAO which are not members of the United Nations, and to invite them to accede thereto in accordance with the terms of Section 42 of the Convention.
- Brings to the attention of member governments the following resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 21 November 1947:
"Whereas it has been recognized as necessary that the Specialized Agencies enjoy, at the earliest possible date, the privileges and immunities essential for an efficient exercise of their respective functions;
"Whereas a considerable delay will necessarily ensue before the Convention becomes operative in the case of the various Agencies;
"The General Assembly Recommends that the States Members of the United Nations pending their formal accession to the general Convention concerning the Privileges and Immunities of Specialized Agencies, including the Annexes relating to each Agency, should immediately accord us far as possible to or in connection with the Specialized Agencies, the benefit of the privileges and immunities provided in the said General Convention and its Annexes, it being under stood that the Specialized Agencies may take any necessary parallel action in regard to those of their Members which are not Members of the United Nations."
(1) that the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations on 25 February 1948 adopted a resolution requesting the Secretary-General to conclude with any specialized agency which might so desire, a supplementary agreement to extend to the officials of that agency the provisions of Article VII of the Convention on Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, and pending the entry into force oft such an agreement to make arrangements for the use of the :United Nations laissez passer by officials of the specialized agency concerned, on a provisional basis, for I use only in those countries which had not previously undertaken to recognize the validity of laissez-passer so issued;
"XVI. The officials of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations shall have the right to use the laissez-passer of the United Nations in accordance with special arrangements to be negotiated between the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of the, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations"
and that this clause should cuter into force as: soon as it might be ratified by both the General Assembly of the United Nations and the Conference of FAO; and
- Hereby ratifies the said supplementary agreement and instructs the Director-General 80 to advise the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Information and Publications Policies and Channels of Communication with Member Governments
The Conference, having reviewed the memorandum on Information and Publications Policies and Channels of Communication with Member Governments, submitted to it by the Director-General, considers this a useful exposition of the problems in this field, and is impressed that the establishment of improved channels of communication between member nations and FAO requires action both by member governments and by the Organization, so that the exploration of useful measures and procedures may be carried on together.
In connection wish this study of the activities of the Organization, the Conference has dealt with the points raised in the Director-General's memorandum relating more specifically to publications and other informational activities.
- Recognizes that an active and well-organized National FAO Committee or other instrumentality is essential if a member government is to realize the benefits and discharge the obligations of FAO membership, and therefore
- Recommends that member governments consider with great care what measures they can best take to maximize the effectiveness of their National FAO Committees or other instrumentalities, and in this connection commends to their attention the criteria of successful operation of such national instrumentalities arising from experience so far, which are set forth on pages 3 and 4 of the Memorandum on In formation and Publications Policies and Channels of Communication with Member Governments.
Site of Fifth Session of the Conference
- Having received an invitation from the Government of Cuba to hold the Fifth Session of the Conference in Havana, Cuba, and
- Having been advised that the cost of holding a session of the Conference in Havana and Washington would be approximately the same in either case,
- Accepts the kind invitation of the Government of Cuba, and
- Requests the Director-General to make the necessary arrangements in consultation with the Cuban Government with regard to the facilities and services which that Government can provide.
- Having considered the Draft Agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, and the Draft Agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization;
- Noting that these respective Draft Agreements have already been adopted by the World Health Assembly and the Executive Board of UNESCO, and these Agreements will therefore come into force upon their approval by the Conference of FAO; and
- Having regard to the provision of Article XVI of the Agreement between the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization by which the Organization has agreed to inform the Economic and Social Council of the nature and scope of any formal agreement between the Organization and any other specialized agency before any such agreement is con. eluded;
- Resolves that the Draft Agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization, and the Draft Agreement between the Food and Agriculture Organization and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization are acceptable to the Conference; and
- Authorizes the Director-General to denote the approval of the Conference by signing the Draft Agreements and thereby bring them into force as soon as the Economic and Social Council has been informed of the terms of the Agreements.
World Federation of United Nations Associations
- Approves the recommendation of the Second Session of the Council that the World Federation of United Nations Associations be granted Category I status.
International Wine Office
- Having heard a statement by the representative of the International Wine Office indicating the desire of that Office to enter into formal agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
- Requests the Director-General to take into consideration the statement made on behalf of the International Wine Office.
Relations with UNESCO
The Conference has noted items (b) and (c) of the document Relations with International Organizations, with respect to the proposal by the United Nations. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization to publish pamphlets in 1949 on "Food and Population", and the approval of the Fourth Session of the Council of the action taken by the Director-General in calling the attention of UNESCO to the need for coordinated action on the part of the two Organizations with respect to pamphlets dealing with food and population which it is UNESCO's intention to sponsor.
Relations with International Organizations
The Conference takes note of the Report of the Fourth Session of the Council dealing with relations with international organizations.
The Conference has carefully considered the constitutional provision for an Administrative Tribunal (Constitution - Article XV (3)) and the action of the Fourth Session of the Council of FAO in transmitting the Director-General's recommendations on this matter. It has noted the effect of Staff Regulation 39, which is one of the revised staff regulations approved-by the Fourth Session of the Council and which establishes an Internal Appeals Committee to advise the Director-General; and it has also noted the deferment of a United Nations Administrative Tribunal, which would serve as a central appeals body to service the United Nations and its specialized agencies, which action for the tune being precludes FAO from having recourse to such an external body.
Divergent views have been expressed as to the powers and functions of an Administrative Tribunal if one were established. Some delegates feel it should act only in an advisory capacity to the Director-General, whilst a number have expressed the view that the intention of Article XV (3) of the Constitution is to confer on such a Tribunal the power of determining disputes. Moreover, learning that certain staff members, to whom notice of separation was given prior to approval of the revised staff regulations by the Fourth Session of the Council, have asked that their cases should be heard by the Administrative Tribunal provided; for in the Constitution, the Conference is concerned that due consideration should be given to these requests.
Having regard to the complexities of the situation, to the desirability of attempting to synthesize the various viewpoints expressed while retaining to the Director-General authority in internal administrative matters in keeping with his responsibility as Chief Executive of the Organization; and to the experience which may later prove a useful guide, and which may result from the operation of the Internal Appeals Committee, as provided for in Regulation 39 of the Revised General Staff Regulations;
- Having taken note of the Director-General's request to it to approve the setting up of an Administrative Tribunal in conformity with Article XV, paragraph 3, of the Constitution, and of the third paragraph of Section 8 of the Report of the Fourth Session of the Council relating to staff regulations;
- Considers it desirable that the Director-General's request should be implemented as soon as practicable as a means of safeguarding the legal status of the staff as contemplated in Article XV; and accordingly
- Requests the Council to arrange for the preparation, with the assistance of competent international legal advice, for consideration by the next Conference, of a Draft Statute to establish an Administrative Tribunal, due regard being paid to the Statute of the International Labour Office Tribunal and to the Draft Statute of the proposed United Nations Administrative Tribunal. The Conference also
- Requests the Council to amend Regulation 89 of the Revised General Staff Regulations so as: to broaden the competence of the Appeals Committee, by giving it authority to include consideration of grievances of a staff member on the entire subject of terms and conditions of service, and to specify that the Director-General shall provide such legal counsel for the Committee as the Committee may deem necessary. The Conference further
- Requests the Director-General to make arrangements for consideration under the terms of Regulation 39 of the aforementioned General Staff Regulations, of the cases of staff members to whom notice of separation was given prior to the approval by the Fourth Session of the Council of these Regulations. The Conference also
- Requests the Council to report to the next session of the Conference on experience under the Staff Appeals Committee procedure.
Scale of Contributions and Currency Problems
The Conference is of the opinion that since the First Session of the Conference in 1945, when the present scale of contributions was fixed, certain changes have occurred, particularly with regard to the relative prosperity of member countries, which now make necessary a revision of the scale of contributions.
Before ally revision is made, however, the Conference considers that all factors which bear on the position should be considered, and in particular:
(a) national income, public debt and its relation to national income;
(b) population and per caput income;
(c) relative need for FAO's services as indicated by production and standards of production, dietary and nutritional standards, and levels of food consumption;
(d) imports and exports of agricultural products;
(e) upper and lower limits of contributions;
(f) scale of contributions of other international organizations, particularly the United Nations, or any revisions thereof.
The Conference during its present session has been unable to undertake such a revision, notwithstanding the valuable information contained in the documents, and the conclusions of the research work placed before it. It considers this a problem on which a considerable amount of further work is still required and therefore,
- Requests the Council at its next session to establish a special committee, the function of which would be to propose a new scale of contributions for consideration of the Council and the next session of the Conference.
This special committee could be composed of representatives of five States, members of the Organization, who should be selected for their qualifications in economic affairs generally and not merely in financial matters alone. These representatives should tee able to devote the necessary time to the preparation of the new scale of contributions until the task has been completed. The Conference is further of the opinion that the applications made by some delegations for reductions in the contributions of their respective countries should also be referred to this special committee, together with the memorandum submitted by another delegation containing certain proposals for the calculation of a scale of contributions. It is the view of the Conference that if proposals similar to those made in this particular memorandum were furnished by other member countries, this would be of assistance to the special committee in considering the revision of the scale of contributions.
With regard to currency problems, the Conference believes that this matter is closely related to the question of the permanent headquarters of the Organization and cannot be solved at the present time. The Conference is therefore of the opinion that this question should also be referred to the above mentioned special committee.
Budget for 1949
- Approves the Budget Estimates for 1949 has shown in Appendix B], and draws attention to its recommendation concerning the Organization's program of work for 1949;
- Approves the proposal for financing the International Rice Commission, as contained in the Report of the Committee on Financial Control (Fourth Session) in the amount of $24,600, of which $10,000 should be borne in the Budget, Chapter VII (Regional Representative for Asia and the Far East), and the remaining $14,600 in the Budget, Chapter VI (Agriculture Division), should such a Commission be set up.
A. Amendments to financial regulations
Membership of Committee on Financial Control
- Approves the recommendations of the Fourth Session of the Council that members of the Committee on Financial Control shall be eligible for reappointment provided that at least one new member shall be elected each year when the Committee is established
Transfers of Funds between Budget Chapters
- Approves amendment of Financial Regulation IV (3) to read as follows: "Transfers from one chapter of the budget to another may be authorized by the Council on the recommendation of the Director-General. Should emergencies arise, transfers between chapters may be authorized by the Committee on Financial Control on the recommendation of the Director-General provided that the reasons for such transfers are promptly reported in detail to the Council."
In approving this amendment the Conference records its understanding that emergencies such as those envisaged in the second sentence of the amended Regulation will need to be of an urgent nature and should not have the effect of changing the basic structure of the Budget.
- Approves amendment of Financial Regulation XIII (2) to read: "Funds, including the Working Capital Fund, not immediately required for use, shall be placed on deposit at interest at the designated depositories, or invested in securities with the advice and approval of the Committee on Financial Control."
Expenditure of Funds
- Approves amendment of Financial Regulation XIV (5) to read as follows: "Commitments in respect of a financial year that remain unliquidated at 31 December may be liquidated from the funds, and charged against the accounts, of that financial year, provided payment is actually made not later than 30 April of the following year. Payments made later than 30 April of the following year shall be paid from the funds, and charged against the accounts, of the financial year in which such payments are actually made. Any such payments charged to the budget of a future year shall be set out in a special chapter and pro vision made therefor by transfer within the current budget as provided by Regulation IV (3)
Receipt of Funds and Examination of Audited Accounts
Arising from the amendment of Financial Regulation XIV (5) the Conference is of opinion that amendment of two further regulations is required. Therefore,
- Directs that Regulation X and XVIII (l) shall read as follows:
"Regulation X - Receipt of Funds
"All receipts of money by the Organization (other than funds received for special purposes) shall be credited to the general revenue of the Organization and included in the accounts of the financial year in which they are received."
"Regulation XVIII (1) - Examination of Audited Accounts
"As soon as his report is available, but in any case not later than 30 June after the close of the financial year, the auditor will communicate results in the annual audit directly to the Chairman of the Council. "
B. Report of commission III on the site of the permanent headquarters of FAO
The Third Session of the Conference referred the question of the permanent site of FAO to the Council for further examination with reference to all possible sites and a recommendation including, if necessary, an amendment of Rule XXXII to be made to the present session of the Conference. The Council appointed a special committee to examine the question. This committee presented its report and other relevant documentation to the Fourth Session of the Council. The report and documentation have been circulated to the Conference, together with a letter to the Director-General from the Minister of Austria in Washington, received after the Conference opened. The Council commended the report and documentation to the Conference, adding that, in its opinion, Copenhagen, Rome, and Washington could most readily be made available for the purposes of the Organization.
Commission III discussed the site question at great length. Despite some differences of opinion, agreement was unanimous that the wellbeing and long-term effectiveness of FAO should be the first considerations in any choice of site.
No recommendation concerning the amendment of Rule XXXII was made by the Council. An early motion of the United Kingdom delegate to recommend to the Conference that this rule be amended was narrowly defeated, the majority of delegates feeling that, since the object of the rule was to specify the site of headquarters, it would be fruitless to amend it before the site was determined.
In the debate on the choice of the site there was strong support for each of the cities recommended by the Council, and also some sentiment in favor of New York and Geneva. Though many arguments were advanced in favor of both Europe and America for the location of headquarters, the issue resolved itself into a comparison of the convenience of the eastern seaboard of the United States of America and the economy of European capitals. Protagonists of an American site pointed out that in New York or Washington it would be possible to develop the closest relations with the United Nations, the Economic and Social Council, the International Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, besides having access to the science and resources of American libraries, institutions, and technicians. Those in favor of Europe quoted the greatly reduced operational costs of a European headquarters, especially important in view of FAO's financial position, and emphasized that if the Organization were to move to Europe member nations could pay a large pro portion of their contributions in soft currency. They stressed that, in addition to being close to other international organizations functioning in Europe with which FAO also needs a close relationship, Copenhagen and Rome possess well-established agricultural backgrounds which will suitably serve the long-term effectiveness of the Organization.
A new factor was introduced into the debate by the arrival of the following letter from the Secretary-General of the United Nations:
18 November 1948
"DEAR MR. DODD:
"I understand that one of the subjects which will be discussed at your Conference which has just opened is that of the site of the future headquarters of the FAO, and I am taking the liberty of writing this letter to you in case you would wish to take into consideration in your discussion the possibility of locating the FAO headquarters on the United Nations Site in New York.
"It was not possible to include among the buildings which are being erected on this site a special building for the specialized agencies, on the one hand for reasons of economy and on the other because of the early stage in the organization of most of the agencies, which were not yet ready to give detailed plans of their headquarters space requirements. The situation now, however, has become considerably clearer and it might be possible for us in the near future to consider plans for financing the proposed building for specialized agencies at the north-east end of the Site. We are also hopeful that it would be possible soon to work out with certain other specialized agencies their space requirements in such a building.
"Pending the provision of permanent space for such specialized agencies, there will be a certain amount of temporary space available in the secretariat building which we hope will be ready by the autumn of 1950.
"I wish to assure you that in accordance with" the terms of our Agreement with your Organization, we should be happy to provide you with appropriate assistance in the establishment of your permanent headquarters at the permanent seat of the United Nations. We for our part would certainly welcome a decision of the FAO to establish its headquarters with us and consider that our being together would present very substantial advantages in the development of the work of United Nations as a whole in the economic field.
Although a definite offer of a site with financing arrangements in the Washington area was received from the University of Maryland, the United States Government itself was unable to make to the Conference a firm offer of a site or building without Congressional approval. This fact, combined with the letter from the United Nations, inclined many delegates to the view that a decision should be postponed until further information could be obtained.
Two motions were finally placed before the Commission. One, moved by the Delegate of China, recommended to the Conference that headquarters be situated on the East Coast of the United States, provided that suitable conditions could be arranged. The other, moved by the Delegate of Canada, recommended postponement of the decision pending further exploration and negotiation. The Commission agreed by 22 votes to 14 to vote first on the, Canadian motion. this was amended on the suggestion of the Delegate from the Netherlands and finally put to the Commission in the following form:
Commission III recommends that decision on the permanent site for the Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations be postponed, and that the present session of the Conference instruct the Council to proceed forthwith to complete the exploration of possible sites and to negotiate further with the authorities concerned with respect to the terms and conditions upon which sites considered suitable could be obtained, and to report to the Conference, preferably to a special session to be called by the Director-General, as soon as the report of the Council can be made.
The Commission recommended this resolution for the approval of the Conference by a vote of 22 in favor, 17 against, 4 abstentions, and 9 absent.
REFERENCE LIST FOR COMMISSION III
Report of the Committee on Financial Control (Third Session) (C48/4)
Report of the Committee on Financial Control (Fourth Session) (C48/14)
Report of the Fourth Session of the Council
Constitution, Rules, and Regulations
Memorandum of the Director-General or the l948 Printing Program (C48/III/3)
Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies (C48/16)
Information and Publications Policies and Channels of Communication with Member Governments (C48/17)
Revision of General Staff Regulations (CL4/7)
Relations with International Organizations (C48/16)
Report on Possible Sites for Permanent Headquarters of FAO (C48/13)
Note on Appointment of the Chairman of the Council of FAO (C48/12)
Note on Election of Six Members of the Council of FAO (C48/11)
Admission of New Members (C48/7)
Admission of Observers to the Conference (C48/6)
Budget Estimates for the Fourth Financial Year 1949 (C48/3)
Audited Accounts for the Second Financial Year Ending 31 December 1947 (C48/5)
Communication from the Holy See (C48/18)
Note by the Director-General on Site of Fifth Session of the Conference (C48/III/4)