Item 1 of agenda - Agriculture
At this time of universal shortages of food, greater production, proper preservation and better utilization of the nutritive value of foods is of concern not only to less developed or war devastated countries but to many others where chaotic postwar conditions necessitate increased agricultural output. It gives particular significance to the work of the Agriculture Division in helping countries to make the most of technological advances and knowledge.
The Commission expresses satisfaction with the work the division has already been able to initiate despite the short period at its disposal. It gives its approval to the working plans contained in the Director-General's Second Annual Report, with regard to which it makes the following suggestions:
1. Irrigation Plans and Mechanization of Agriculture
Water is one of the major problems in agriculture; too much or too little limits production. In most regions of the world and especially in the less developed countries, adequate water supplies combined with hydroelectric developments and mechanization of agricultural operations constitute the best way to make fuller use of hitherto unexploited natural resources. Progress in this field offers a particularly promising possibility of overcoming temporary and permanent food shortages in different parts of the world and is in line with the desires of many member countries.
The Commission therefore recommends
b. that in these studies special attention be paid to the needs of the countries that are less developed industrially.
The use of fertilizer constitutes one of the most effective and quickest means for maintaining and increasing agricultural production. The Commission suggests therefore that FAO continue and expand the work aimed at stimulating fertilizer production. It also suggests that in the monograph on organic and chemical fertilizers now nearing completion attention be given to the use of organic fertilizer derived from sewage both in its natural state and from a compost base and its possible effects on human health.
[See Resolutions and the Report of Commission I]
3. Losses in Stored Food Products due to Infestation
The recommendations of the special meeting on this subject which met from 5 to 12 August 1947 in London are endorsed.
4. Plant Health
Losses suffered each year from plant pests can be considerably reduced through the use of disease-resisting strains and a variety of other precautions.
The Commission therefore recommends that in the field of plant health FAO should propose the formulation of an international agreement aimed at the co-ordination of existing legislation relating to regulatory and quarantine measures. It also urges FAO to take steps to encourage the development of co-operation among governments in the fight against plant parasites.
5. Insecticides, Fungicides, and Weed Killers
It would be useful, especially to several under developed countries, if FAO could collect information and issue pamphlets indicating the crops and specifying the pests and diseases for which the new insecticides, fungicides, and weed killers in different forms should be used.
The Commission further recommends that methods of analysis of insecticides and fungicides be studied with the object of arriving at an international standardization of such methods, expressing values in uniform terms for all countries and, if possible, in such a way as to be of the greatest practical service to users of these products and to ensure truth in labeling. (This work might be carried out in co-operation with such agencies as the International Bureau of Analytical Chemistry and with the International Commission of Agricultural Industries.)
6. Grass and Fodder
The proper use of grasslands constitutes one of the most effective means for increasing the output of animal proteins. The improvement of the productivity of range and pasture grass lands is thus particularly desirable from the nutritional standpoint.
The Commission suggests that a monograph be prepared dealing with the ensilage of grass and other fodder crops with special emphasis on the types of equipment required. It further suggests that FAO collect and distribute facts concerning techniques and varieties of plants capable of providing the maximum amount of fodder with minimum requirements for water. (Such work might be carried out in co-operation with the International Grass Land Committee for Europe.)
7. Further Suggestions
The Commission expresses particular interest in the following projects of the Agriculture Division:
b. International co-operation in the training of veterinary personnel.
The program of the Nutrition Division is generally based on the recommendations made by the Standing Advisory Committee on Nutrition and by the FAO annual Conference in 1946. Reference is made in the Second Annual Report of the Director-General to the activities of the division in the current year and future projects. The Commission approves of the work already done by the division and its plans for future work, and is strongly of the opinion that nutrition should continue to occupy a basic position in the program of FAO. Special attention was given by the Commission to the following subjects:
1. Energy-yielding Components of Food and Computation of Calorie Values
In February 1947 an expert committee met in Washington and prepared a report entitled Energy yielding Components of Food and Computation of Calorie Values. This Report proposes procedures which, if generally adopted, will promote uniformity in computing the calorie value of foods. The achievement of such uniformity is urgently needed.
The Commission recommends
b. that member governments, through National FAO Committees and National Organizations and Committees, ask nutrition experts in their countries to examine these procedures without delay and consider the practicability of employing them in evaluating food consumption data for international purposes; and
c. that FAO carry out further work in the field of food composition, along the lines indicated in the Report of the expert committee, particularly points (1), (2), and (3) of the Introduction to the Report. The technical aspects of the various problems, and the order of priority in which they may be studied, should be considered by the Standing Advisory Committee on Nutrition.
The Commission emphasizes the value of school feeding, including school milk distribution as a means of improving nutrition of a most important group of the population. A preliminary report by the Nutrition Division shows that while in some countries school-feeding programs have been developed on a large scale, in others little progress has as yet been made. Even in countries in which food supplies are short, school feeding should be pushed forward by giving it high priority among measures for safeguarding and improving nutrition. Member countries can assist FAO by supplying detailed information about their school-feeding programs. Such information will be the basis of an international report, the purpose of which will be to stimulate further developments in this field.
The Commission learns with interest and appreciation that the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund plans to provide supplementary meals of high nutritive value to some 31/2 million children in war-devastated countries. These will supply at least 240 extra calories per child per day. The program of ICEF is not confined to children of school age. The Commission endorses the resolution adopted by Commission III, in which the creation of ICEF is welcomed and all members of FAO are urged to support its activities.
3. Regional Work
Problems of nutrition differ in various parts of the world and it is necessary to attack them on a regional basis.
Far East. The Commission endorses the proposal to convene a Nutrition Conference in the Far East, with special emphasis on rice, following the recommendations of the Rice Study Group which met in India in May 1947.
Latin American Nutrition Conference. Malnutrition and food deficiency diseases are prevalent in various parts of Central and Latin America and the development of practical programs for the improvement of nutrition in these regions is greatly to be desired.
The Commission recommends that a Nutrition Conference be convened in Latin America in the course of 1948. The objectives of the conference should include the promotion of cooperation between FAO and nutrition workers in Latin America and the consideration of suitable programs for the study and attack of the serious problems of nutrition which exist in this part of the world.
Regional Nutrition Committees. Regional nutrition problems should be considered by groups of experts with special knowledge of and experience with the area in question. These groups can help to develop the nutrition program of FAO within the framework of the organization and will enhance the usefulness of regional offices. They should be specially concerned with plans for practical action.
The Commission therefore recommends that FAO bring together in each region an appropriate body for the study of nutritional problems within the region. Any such body should work in close relation to the regional office of FAO and also with other regional bodies concerned with food and agriculture. The constitution and functions of the regional nutrition body should be decided after discussion with the member nations included in the various regions, due consideration being given to National FAO Committees which are already in existence.
4. Co-operation with other International Organizations
It is of particular importance that FAO should work closely in the field of nutrition with the International Children's Emergency Fund and with the World Health Organization when established and, in the meanwhile, with its Interim Commission. The Commission is glad to note that steps have already been taken to promote such collaboration.
5. Collection of Information about Nutrition
FAO should be as fully informed as possible about the nutritional situation in member countries, practical measures to improve nutrition, and the progress of nutrition research. National nutrition organizations or committees can be a useful source of such information.
The Commission refers the following recommendation adopted by the First Meeting of Experts on the Nutrition Problems in Europe (Rome, 30 June - 2 July 1947) to the Standing Advisory Committee on Nutrition for further examination:
The Commission refers the following proposals, put forward by the Belgian Delegation, to the Standing Advisory Committee on Nutrition for consideration:
"(2) It is recommended to FAO that the bringing up to date of the methods of evaluating the state of nutrition of populations should be restudied on an international basis.
"(3) It is recommended that FAO make a study of the methods of distribution of fresh whole milk which are concerned with preserving its quality and nutritive value, particular attention being given in making this study to the experience gained in countries where such methods have proved to be most efficient."
The Commission expresses approval of the work initiated by the division and notes with satisfaction the place assigned to fisheries statistics and economic studies in the initial work of the division. It considers such studies fundamental to the work in other branches of fisheries in order to secure the proper orientation of production and distribution.
The Commission learns with appreciation that tangible and practical assistance is being rendered to certain member governments in the form of expert advice on specific projects.
The degree of development of national statistics of fisheries varies widely from country to country; there is also need for greater uniformity in methods of reporting, as well as in the use of conversion factors. The Commission therefore supports plans of the division to cooperate with governments to achieve these ends.
1. Salted Fish Studies
A start has been made on the salted fish commodity studies. The Commission suggests that this work should be extended to other fisheries commodities in need of similar attention.
2. Southeast Asia
The Commission notes with approval that immediate attention is being directed towards work that will make possible the fuller utilization of the resources of the sea in the area of Southeast Asia.
A Conference of European Fisheries Experts was held in Rome on 23 June 1947 to advise on the work planned for that part of the world. The Commission expresses its approval of this approach of working through special regional study groups, including nutrition experts.
4. Regional Councils for the Study of the Sea
The full utilization of the resources of the sea must rest upon scientific inquiry. Regional councils will furnish a means of furthering this end by international co-operation. Such cooperation, where appropriate, should extend to existing active bodies with the same aims, such as the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
Accordingly the Commission recommends that FAO should take action to initiate the formation of regional councils for the scientific exploration of the sea in parts of the world not now actively served by similar bodies, giving primary consideration to the following areas:
5. International Code of Quality Standards
International trade in fisheries products and the protection of consumers' interests would be made easier if it were possible to adopt internationally certain standards of quality, packaging, weights, and descriptions. The Commission recognizes that this subject is one of great complexity and of concern to each member government.
The Commission therefore recommends
b. that FAO bring together the information yielded by such an examination, without neglecting the nutrition factors involved, and refer it to ad hoc committees of government representatives so that the foundations may be laid for the eventual establishment of an international code defining such standards.
The Commission examined the work accomplished by the division since the Copenhagen Conference and expresses its satisfaction with the results achieved. It also approves the program proposed for the coming year and attaches special importance to the following points and considerations:
1. Policy for Europe, including the Mediterranean Area and Co-operation with ECE
The Commission expresses its satisfaction with the recommendations unanimously adopted by the International Timber Conference at Marianske Lazne and approves them, subject to the amendments specified below. It urges all governments concerned to implement these recommendations.
The Commission recommends
b. that the Director-General make suitable arrangements to ensure that the work of FAO in the field of European forestry and forest products is carried out in close cooperation with ECE and other United Nations bodies and specialized agencies.
With regard to the long period required for the development of forest resources and for the fulfillment of rational domestic forest policies, the Commission recommends that the European countries concerned should meet together from time to time within the framework of FAO to exchange information and views about their problems in the field of medium- and long-term forestry.
3. Policy for Latin America
Additional lumber supplies are urgently needed for the reconstruction of war-devastated countries, and the development of Latin American forest resources and industries could also make a major contribution to the economy of Latin American countries. The Commission therefore requests the Director-General to call a Latin American Forestry and Forest Products Conference and to determine its date and location as soon as possible, and calls on all governments of that region to take an active part in the conference and to co-operate in the adoption of programs which will produce the desired results in a minimum of time.
4. Policy for Asia
Deforestation of large areas in southern and eastern Asia and the inadequacy of local wood supplies to cover even the minimum requirements of local populations create an urgent need for concerted action directed towards reafforestation of denuded areas, the development of virgin forests, and the establishment of forest industries. The Commission therefore requests the Director General to organize a Forestry and Forest Products Conference for southern and eastern Asia, if possible before the end of 1948, and to instruct the Division of Forestry and Forest Products to make the necessary arrangements for that conference.
5. World Forestry Congress
Impressed by the great importance of world forestry problems, the Commission recalls the recommendation made at Copenhagen that FAO should sponsor a Third World Forestry Congress and expresses the hope that the Government of Finland, which was to have been the host government for this Congress had it been held as planned in 1940, will be able to act as host government for the Congress now expected to take place in 1949. It requests the Director General to make all necessary arrangements for the Congress either with the Government of Finland, or with some other government, should Finland be unable to accept the proposal. It is desirable that preparations for the organization of the Congress be begun before the end of 1947.
6. Reafforestation of Mediterranean Area and Near East
A regional program for reafforestation is urgently needed in this region. Conscious of the long period which must elapse before such a program can produce practical results, the Commission recommends that forestry experts under the auspices of FAO visit all countries in the Mediterranean area and the Near East (Middle East) which may express interest in such a program, commencing in Greece, and requests the Director-General to submit to the next session of FAO's annual Conference, together with the findings of these experts, recommendations for effective action in those regions.
The Commission expresses the hope that it will soon be possible to publish the bimonthly review, Unasylva, on a monthly basis. It approves the proposal to publish statistics as an annex to this review and considers desirable the publication of extracts from the technical publications of all countries. Suitable arrangements to permit this procedure should be made with technical organizations concerned.
8. Inventories and Statistics
The Commission notes the division's program for the preparation of an inventory of forest resources and for the publication of annual and quarterly statistics on production, consumption, and trade in forest products, the latter to be more limited in scope and in number of countries supplying this information.
The Commission recommends that all governments supply the statistical information concerning forestry and forest products which may be requested as speedily as possible in order to enable FAO to publish such statistics at the appointed date.
9. National Subcommittees
Recalling that the Second Session of the Conference held in Copenhagen in 1946 recommended that all countries should establish special subcommittees on forestry and forest products as part of their National FAO Committees, and noting that certain countries had not yet constituted such subcommittees, the Commission invites the countries concerned to establish subcommittees as soon as possible.
10. Work of Standing Advisory Committee
The Commission approved the organization of technical subcommittees of the Standing Advisory Committee on Forestry and Forest Products.
Forestry being closely linked with agricultural questions and with the conservation and wise use of the soil, the Commission expresses the view that a forestry expert should be included in all general agricultural missions which may be sent to various countries.
Item 5 of agenda - Economics, marketing, and statistics
The general considerations upon which previous Conferences defined the field of action and the tasks in Economics, Marketing, and Statistics have not been modified in any way. The analysis of the economic factors which act on production and on distribution must be developed to the maximum with a view to informing governments in good time of any changes which have occurred, so as to furnish a sound basis for concerted action. The responsibilities of the Economics, Marketing, and Statistics Division are therefore considerable.
The Commission is fully convinced that the general objectives assigned to the division cannot be attained except with the active and close cooperation of member governments. It is a matter for governments to organize their technical services so as to collect all necessary information, particularly indispensable statistics. It is important that governments should furnish information to FAO regularly and promptly so that the facts underlying the developments of the current economic situation in respect to food and agriculture may be clearly set forth. It is hoped also that the action looking toward the co-ordination of national efforts will be facilitated by the establishment in each country of production targets for short, medium, and long terms.
1. Program of the Division's Work
The Commission notes that the Director General's Second Annual Report contains the account of the work which is at present being undertaken by the Economics, Marketing, and Statistics Division of the Organization, and of the new tasks which it expects to undertake during the coming year. It expresses its sincere appreciation of the work being done by the division.
It received with great interest a report by the Director of the division concerning the various other projects which the division has been asked to undertake. Taking into account the limited time available for the consideration of the division's work, and being anxious to avoid taking a position which might not be realistic in view of the funds which may be available, the Commission has not considered it possible to establish an order of priority among the numerous studies which have been proposed and feels that it would be helpful to obtain the opinions of individual governments.
The Commission therefore recommends
b. that member governments v. hen they receive such communications should reply to the Director-General as rapidly as possible; and
c. that the Director-General, when he receives these replies, should consider them in consultation, if time permits, with the most appropriate authority in the Organization and decide which of these new tasks, if any, the division is in a position to undertake within the limits of available funds.
The Commission recommends
b. that FAO proceed at once to develop and secure agreement on standard procedures in the statistics of food and agriculture, for example, through such action as the preparation and distribution of outlines of methods for constructing food balance sheets and for preparing indexes of production and prices;
c. that FAO take steps to assist governments to develop and improve their statistical services by co-operating with them in making available the assistance of staff members on request and by assisting governments to secure the services of qualified experts as needed;
d. that FAO and member governments at the subsequent Conference report on steps taken and the progress achieved toward improvement of statistics on food and agriculture.
The Commission recommends
b. that governments also send to FAO advance copies of publications related to food and agriculture as they become available for distribution;
c. that FAO develop and communicate to governments a timetable of the information needed at various periods during the year, and periodically send to governments detailed questionnaires calling for such information;
d. that the inquiries made by FAO be transmitted to governments as far in advance of the reporting date as feasible and that insofar as possible they be distributed throughout the year with a view to facilitating the task of government services;
e. that FAO give careful study to ways of expediting the transmission of information from governments without asking governments to assume unreasonable expenditures; it would seem particularly desirable to examine the possibilities of setting up a code system (similar to that established by UN) for current and regularly forthcoming statistical information;
f. that FAO insofar as possible disseminate the information received by it and the results of its studies, particularly concerning changes in production, trade, and prices.
The Commission recommends
b. that the targets be in line with the nutritional requirements, national and international market outlook, and the conservation and efficient use of land and other agricultural resources of each country as envisaged in Resolution XV of the Hot Springs Conference;
c. that the targets include not only the objectives of production, acreage, and livestock numbers, but also the desired improvement in preservation of the nutritive value of foods, and that they indicate the means required for reaching them;
d. that, as rapidly as budget and personnel permit, FAO collaborate with member governments in the development of such targets and work out with them the most effective and consistent methods for formulating and reporting them.
1. Consultation of Specialists
An adequate census of agriculture is the foundation for much of the current statistical work concerning agriculture in any country. Cooperation between national governments and FAO in the development of census programs therefore promises to yield results of far-reaching significance. The Commission is pleased to note the progress that has been made since the last Conference in respect to the preparatory work for the 1950 World Census of agriculture and recommends
b. that FAO proceed at the earliest possible date to examine the proposed program with experts familiar with the problems of conducting censuses in underdeveloped areas.
The proposal to establish short-term intensive training schools for work in relation to the census of agriculture is approved by the Commission, provided the plans can be developed within the framework of the proposed programs for the regional offices and within the framework of the budget for the coming year. In this connection, the Commission points out that the statisticians who are to be appointed as members of the staffs of regional offices should be prepared to assist materially in the development of the census program, especially in countries which do not have well-developed statistical services.
2. Training Programs for Census Statisticians
The Commission recommends
b. that information concerning available facilities for such training be communicated to governments as soon as possible.
3. Participation in 1950 World Census
In the light of these statements, the Commission recommends that FAO again call the 1950 World Census of agriculture to the attention of member and nonmember governments which have not yet responded, urging them to take the necessary preliminary measures for their participation.
a. Farm Forests and Forest Industries. Small forested areas lying within the boundaries of farms are of peculiar importance to the agricultural economy. The Commission therefore approves that questions relating to the areas of such farm forests and to their production of wood be included in the "minimum list" of subjects to be covered by the World Census. Inclusion in the "more adequate list of items" of questions relating to production of other forest products in farm forests, and to employment obtained by farmers in forests outside their farms, is also approved.
It is proposed that governments should be invited to conduct, concurrently with the World Census of Agriculture, a census of their manufacturing plants whose chief raw material is wood. The object of this census would be to establish the numbers and productive capacities of mills manufacturing each major class of forest products (sawn lumber, veneer, plywood, etc.), the length of their operating seasons, and the numbers of workers employed.
b. Fisheries. A world census of fisheries in 1950 does not appear feasible. There has been relatively little experience with national censuses of fisheries. Moreover the degree of development of national fisheries statistics varies widely from country to country. Nevertheless, the Commission believes that FAO should make available its facilities to assist in developing programs for fisheries censuses wherever they can be undertaken.
In some countries agricultural workers also engage in commercial fisheries to an appreciable extent. It is suggested that in such countries the Census of Agriculture also provide for information concerning such activities by agricultural workers.
Item 7 of agenda - Rural welfare
The Commission has reviewed the program of work relating to Rural Welfare in the light of the resolutions of the Quebec and Copenhagen Conferences and of the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Rural Welfare.
One of the chief objectives of member nations of FAO is, in the words of the Preamble to the Constitution, "bettering the conditions of rural populations." All divisions of FAO and several other United Nations agencies must contribute to this end. In relation to other agencies FAO must ensure that in such matters as health, education, housing and sanitation, social security and working conditions, rural interests are not overlooked. Inside FAO itself the Rural Welfare Division will be concerned primarily with social questions, including adjustment of traditional ways of life to the impact of modern technology. This will involve close co-operation with other divisions particularly in regard to such questions as land tenure, mechanization, rural co-operation, and extension work, which have their social as well as their technical and economic implications. On these matters too there must be co-ordination with the work of other agencies of the United Nations.
The Report of the Ad Hoc Committee has been useful to the Commission in clarifying the modes of operation and the program of work which should be undertaken. The Committee rightly emphasizes that preference should be given to projects which will be of immediate value to member governments and are likely to yield significant results in the near future. The Commission notes with approval that the Ad Hoc Committee has put in the forefront rural cooperation; land tenure, including land settlement and colonization on co-operative lines; the development of rural industries; and improvement in agricultural tools and household equipment. The Commission welcomes the proposal to publish handbooks on extension techniques for different cultural areas, including one for the Moslem world, and endorses the suggested study of the series of steps taken by Denmark in the technical, social, and educational fields during the last 150 years as an example of striking progress in rural welfare. On the important matter of rural housing the Commission notes that FAO is already collaborating with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and that similar co-operation will be established with international bodies concerned with the improvement of rural roads.
Establishment of Rural Welfare Division
The Commission hopes that member governments will respond to the suggestion in the Report that they should indicate the particular problems of rural welfare in which they are specially interested, and that they will supply information to FAO about recent developments of rural welfare in their own countries which might be of interest to other members.
The Commission approves the initial steps taken to carry out the recommendation of the Second Session of the Conference that a Rural Welfare Division should be established, and considers the projects proposed to be of the type that should be undertaken.
Report to the conference by commission III (constitutional, administrative,
and financial questions)
Item 1 of agenda - Organization of the commission
Item 2 of agenda - Diplomatic privileges and immunities
Item 3 of agenda - Relations with other organizations
Item 4 of agenda - Regional offices
Item 5 of agenda - Finance
Item 6 of agenda - Site of the permanent headquarters of FAO
Item 7 of agenda - Report of preparatory commission (chapter VII) and amendments to the constitution and rules of procedure
Item 1 of agenda - Organization of the commission
COMMISSION III held 19 meetings from 27 August to 9 September 1947. S. Y. Krishnaswamy (India) was elected Chairman and A. Wauters (Belgium) and G. S. H. Barton (Canada) were elected Vice-Chairmen.
The following agenda was submitted and agreed to by the Commission:
2. Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities
3. Relations with Other Organizations
a. United Nations
b. Other Specialized Agencies
c. Nongovernmental Organizations
a. Report of Committee on Financial Control
b. Draft Budget for 1948
7. Chapter VII of the Report of the Preparatory Commission on World Food Proposals; amendments to the Constitution and to the Rules of Procedure.
Item 2 of agenda - Diplomatic privileges and immunities
The Commission had before it a draft Convention prepared by the United Nations Secretariat to implement the Resolution on the Co-ordination of the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations and the Specialized Agencies adopted by the General Assembly on 13 February 1946.
The delegate of the United Kingdom briefly outlined the history of the Convention and informed the Commission that it was proposed to convene a special conference to consider the provisions. He proposed that the Director General be instructed to send a representative to that conference with a view to ensuring that the particular requirements of FAO were met. This proposal was supported by the delegate of the United States, whose government intended to make its views known at the General Assembly.
The delegate of Italy drew attention to certain formal difficulties of his country, which is not a member of the United Nations, but stated that the Italian Government is prepared to apply the legal status that had been accorded to the International Institute of Agriculture to the temporary European office of FAO as soon as this is definitely settled in Rome, which, he hoped, would soon be the case. Until then, the Italian Government will be happy to follow current practice and treat all officers or representatives of FAO as distinguished guests of Italy. The Swiss delegate also gave an assurance that privileges similar to those given to other international organizations would be granted to FAO in the largest possible measure.
The Commission recommended that the Director-General accept any invitation
sent by the United Nations to attend a conference of specialized agencies
and of their member nations to consider privileges and immunities for such
agencies, and that the FAO representative be instructed to seek to ensure
that the particular requirements of FAO will be met whatever form the eventual
convention may take. [See Resolutions]