THE Second Session of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations was held in Copenhagen, Denmark, 2-13 September, 1946.
During the session five nations were admitted to the Conference, bringing the total membership of the Organization to forty-seven.
The Agenda for the Second Session, as recommended by the General Committee and approved by the Conference, consisted of nineteen points:
1. Report of Executive Committee
2. Report of Director-General on the Year's Work
3. World Food Survey and Proposals for a World Food Board
4. Report of the Special Meeting on Urgent Food Problems with special reference to measures recommended for meeting the food situation in 1946-47
5. Present World Food Situation
6. Periodic Reports of Member Governments
7. Draft Agreement with the United Nations
8. Cooperation between FAO and International Organizations
9. Assumption of Functions and Property of the International Institute of Agriculture
10. Assumption of Functions of the Comité International du Bois
11. Accounts of Interim Commission, 1 October-30 November 1945
12. Budget of FAO for the First Financial Year
13. Accounts of FAO for the First Financial Year
14. Status of Contributions
15. Proposed Budget of FAO for the Second Financial Year
16. Amendment of Constitution and Rules of Procedure
17. Appointment of New Members of Executive Committee
18. FAO Mission for Greece
19. Resolution of the UNRRA Council Meeting of 16 August 1946
This broad agenda was first reviewed in a number of general statements made before the whole Conference by the Director-General, the Chairman of the Executive Committee, and the representatives of the following countries and organizations:
Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Cuba, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, India, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland, Union of South Africa, United Kingdom, and United States of America; IEFC and UNRRA.
Then the Conference broke into three commissions: Commission A (Technical Questions), Commission B (Organization and Administration), and Commission C (World Food Policy). Commission A established six committees to consider matters falling under the following subjects: Agriculture, Nutrition, Forestry, Fisheries, Economics and Statistics, and FAO Missions. Commission B divided its work between two committees, Constitution and Organization, and Finance. Commission C also broke up into two committees: World Food Board and 1946-47 Food Situation.
The various committees of Commission A reviewed the technical work of FAO during the past year and laid down lines of general policy for the Organization's program during the year to come. As the session at Copenhagen was the first since the creation of FAO last October at Quebec, this phase of the work of the Conference was of special significance. Even greater interest, however, centered on long-term and short-term world food policy (Items 3, 4, and 5 of the Agenda). This was dealt with by Commission C which had before it a report by Sir John Boyd Orr, Director-General of FAO, embodying proposals for a world food board. Commission C suggested that the objective of the proposals be approved and that a Preparatory Commission be established to draw up concrete recommendations achieving the two major objectives namely, providing diets on a health standard for the peoples of all countries and stabilizing agricultural prices at levels fair to producers and consumers alike. This was made the subject of a formal resolution of the Conference.
Committee II of Commission C was aided in its approach to the 1946-47 food situation by the Secretary-General of the International Emergency Food Council, Dr. D. A. Fitzgerald, who, in a statement to the Conference outlined the activities and plans of the Council.
Items 6-16 were dealt with by the two committees of Commission B. On the latter's reports the Conference adopted resolutions and approved recommendations dealing with organizational, administrative, and financial matters, including amendments to the Constitution, Rules of Procedure, and the Financial Regulations.
Two questions of procedure arose out of Commission B's discussions and were referred to the General Committee. They were (1) whether the Committee on Constitution and Procedure should discuss the composition of national delegations, and (2) whether there should be a discussion of the permanent site of FAO. The reply was in the negative, as neither of these items had been placed on the agenda. Nevertheless, since the question of the permanent site of FAO arose out of a discussion of Item 7 on the agenda; namely, the Draft Agreement with the United Nations, the General Committee recommended that delegations might express the views of their governments so far as they were known on this matter, but that no conclusion should be reached on the final location of FAO headquarters. It further suggested that the Director-General might be asked to study the matter in consultation with the Executive Committee and to report to the next session of the Conference.
Item 17, concerning the appointment of new members to the Executive Committee, was examined by the General Committee. On the latter's recommendation the Conference approved seven nominations. The Executive Committee as constituted for the ensuing year is listed on page iii.
Item 18 was dealt with by Commission A, which had set up Committee VI (FAO Missions) to deal with the preliminary report of the FAO Mission for Greece.
Item 19 was discussed by all commissions of the Conference with a view to finding a solution to some of the problems that will arise when UNRRA activities are terminated. In this connection the Conference had the privilege of hearing an address by the Director-General of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration, Mr. F. H. LaGuardia, who presented the UNRRA Council resolution recommending that the Conference of FAO consider the special problems of the liberated countries with a view to providing the maximum technical assistance in the expeditious establishment of their agricultural production.
The following Report is composed of the various resolutions, recommendations, and reports of the commissions whose activities have just been summarily outlined. They appear in their final form, i.e., as adopted or approved by the Conference in plenary meeting.
The speeches and statements made during the plenary and commission meetings of the Conference will shortly be issued in extenso in a separate publication, Proceedings of the Second Session of the Conference.
Secretary-General of the Conference
23 December 1946