V. Major trends and policies in food and agriculture
A. Statements by Heads of Delegations in the
B. World Food and Agriculture Situation and Outlook
C. Activities Related to Environment and Sustainable Development
D. Plan of Action for the Integration of Women into Agricultural and Rural Development: Progress Report
A. Statements by Heads of Delegations in the General Discussion
46. The General Discussion was opened by the Director-General. The text of his statement is given in Appendix D. Following this, 120 persons participated in the discussion: the Independent Chairman of the Council; Heads of Delegations, of which 64 were Ministers or Vice-Ministers; the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to FAO; and observers from three international non-governmental organizations which had consultative status with FAO. The written statements of three Member Nations were inserted in the records.
B. World Food and Agriculture Situation and Outlook
State of Food and Agriculture
The Desert Locust Situation in West and Northwest Africa
World Food Security and Nutritional Status
Agriculture: Towards 2010
State of Food and Agriculture
47. The Conference reviewed the food and agricultural situation at the world, regional and country levels on the basis of the Director-General's statement, the document on the State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA), and its supplement. It generally concurred with the information and analysis presented in the documents and expressed appreciation for the improvements in the content and exposition of the SOFA.
48. The Conference noted that global economic recovery continued at a relatively slow pace, with world economic growth projected to improve modestly through 1994, when the decline in production of goods and services in many of the Central and Eastern European countries in transition could be reversed or less pronounced. Both the developed and developing countries were projected to grow at approximately their 1992 levels in 1993 and 1994, with the projected growth of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries recently revised downward. Growth rates in developing countries, as a whole, were projected to be significantly higher than those of the industrial countries. Slow growth in the global economy continued to constrain growth in the consumption of food and other crop, livestock, forest and fishery products.
49. The Conference expressed concern over the reduction in world agricultural production in 1993, following slow growth in 1992, as well as the unevenness of progress among countries and regions. Of particular concern was the deterioration of the food security situation in sub-Saharan Africa, and in large parts of Central and Eastern Europe. It expressed concern over the political uncertainty, war and civil strife that had disrupted the agricultural sector in many countries. Among the many causes of unsatisfactory performance of agriculture were the reduction in demand for agricultural products consequent to the structural adjustment and the transition process towards market economies; the decline in agricultural product prices; continuation of significant export subsidies by some developed countries, which depressed export prices; continuation of limited market access; and the necessity for highly indebted developing countries to maintain a gap between export earnings and import expenditures with its consequent downward pressure on prices.
50. The Conference noted with concern the continued growth of external debt of developing countries and the brake that debt service continued to put on development. While net debt-related transfers remained negative, they improved significantly in 1992. Many delegates called for further debt relief and restructuring and for not using food as a tool for political pressure.
51. The Conference took note of the reports made by several delegates of developments in their national policies which also partly aimed at reform measures. Also, many delegates stressed that having suffered the short-term costs of structural adjustment and market liberalizing reforms, they were now beginning to see the benefits in terms of increased competitiveness, reduced inflation, improving fiscal and trade balances and improved prospects for development. Protection, subsidization, limits to market access, and in some cases, differential treatment of their exports, particularly by developed countries, were seen as retarding and limiting the potential gains from these reforms.
52. The Conference, once again noting the potential gains to developing and developed countries of improvements in conditions of international trade, called for an expedient, successful and balanced conclusion to the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations without excluding agriculture. It noted the difficulties that could confront net food-importing developing countries in this context, and drew attention to the need to ensure adequate food aid for them. It also noted that distortions in international markets could continue, given the gradual reduction envisaged towards further market liberalization. Members would therefore have to continue to take these distortions into account in formulating national food and agricultural policies.
53. The Conference noted the interventions of delegates from a number of Latin American banana-exporting countries referring to the new banana import regime which was introduced by the European Economic Community (EEC) on 1 July 1993. They stressed that this regime had led to a reduction of the dynamic growth of exports from Latin America, and had increased the price to consumers as a consequence of reduced imports. In their view, the results would be disinvestment in the Latin American banana-producing countries, unemployment in the banana sector and the total dependency of banana exports on the European traders to the detriment of their national enterprises. They also considered that the new EEC regime was a serious violation of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) provisions since it afforded different treatment to African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries compared to other banana-exporting countries, and indicated that a GATT panel was in progress. In reply, the EEC representative confirmed that under the new banana regime imports into the EEC had decreased compared to imports in 1992, but noted that since then there had been a remarkable increase in prices and that this increase would benefit, to a large extent, exporting countries. He also pointed out that negotiations under GATT Article XXVIII had begun and that banana-exporting countries could fully exercise their GATT rights in that context. As regarded the differentiated treatment in favour of ACP countries, he stressed that it was essential to help maintain imports from these countries which would not survive without such a differentiated treatment.
54. The delegate of Iraq informed the Conference of the critical food and nutrition situation in his country, citing a recent FAD/WFP mission report. He emphasized the grave food emergency facing his country. He stated that, as a result, Iraq had had to accept food and humanitarian aid and that the severe food insecurity situation could only be resolved once commercial trade with other countries was resumed. He recommended that all possible efforts be made to eradicate hunger and malnutrition in his country and throughout the world.
55. The Conference welcomed the inclusion of the section on biotechnology in the document and recognized the promise of advances in biotechnology in increasing food supplies and food security while reducing input use, reducing environmental pollution, contributing to sustainability and conquering disease. However, concern was expressed about the potential difficulties developing countries might have in gaining access to these new technologies and in absorbing and utilizing them for agricultural development. Biotechnologically-manufactured substitutes could also jeopardize agricultural exports particularly those from developing countries. Most delegates urged FAO to take a lead role in assisting developing countries to upgrade their knowledge of, to gain access to and take advantage of these new technologies.
56. The Conference, recognizing the importance of forest resources for protection of the environment and sustainable development, emphasized the urgency of extending the sustainable management of forests. It was also noted that commercial forest activities managed according to environmentally-sound practices should not be penalized by measures taken by importing countries which discouraged or disadvantaged trade in wood products, as these could remove the incentives to conserve forests.
57. The Conference noted that, although total world fisheries production had stabilized during the preceding year, marine fish production had declined for the third consecutive year. It echoed the increasing international concern for the sustainable use of the world's fishery resources within the context of environmental and habitat protection. While emphasizing the important contribution of the fisheries sector to human nutrition, as well as social and economic progress, the Conference underlined the need for better fisheries management, both on the high seas and in areas within national jurisdiction, development of aquaculture and reduction of post-harvest losses. In this connection, the Conference welcomed the proposed International Conference on Sustainable Contribution of Fisheries to Food Security to be organized by the Government of Japan in collaboration with FAO during 1994-95, and which had received the endorsement in principle of the Hundred and Fourth Session of the FAO Council.
58. The Conference emphasized the increasing role that FAO should play in providing policy advice and assistance to Members in the areas that fall within its mandate.
The Desert Locust Situation in West and Northwest Africa
59. The Conference noted with concern the current desert locust situation which had evolved during 1993. Major control operations had occurred in the Red Sea Coast area, the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa and subsequently in Pakistan and India. While the situation in India and Pakistan was subsiding, major control operations were under way in Mauritania and Senegal and populations had been observed in the south of Morocco and in southwest Algeria. To date crop damage had been negligible but the ecological conditions in West and Northwest Africa remained favourable for further locust development, and therefore the threat persisted.
60. The Conference recalled the last locust outbreak in 1987-89 for which over US$200 million had been committed, and expressed its satisfaction with the prompt assistance provided by both FAO and donors to face the present upsurge. It commended FAO on the re-establishment of the Emergency Centre for Locust Operations (ECLO) to guarantee a rapid and effective response to this emergency.
61. The Conference expressed its hope that financial resources would not be a limiting factor for the control of the upsurge. Furthermore, long-term sustained efforts to prevent upsurges were required. It requested that donors and affected countries act rapidly to combat the upsurge and to establish long-term preventive control programmes in the main areas affected by the desert locust. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Control and monitoring of the desert locust situation
Seriously concerned about the dangerous desert locust build-up in the main regions of its invasion area: Southwest Asia, Near East, around the Red Sea, West and Northwest Africa,
Aware of the disastrous short- and medium-term consequences of desert locust invasions on the agricultural economy of the infested countries and on the agricultural populations concerned,
Considering the need to mobilize human, financial and material resources to deal with this scourge,
Aware of the scale of resources needed to combat it,
Grateful for the appreciable and diligent assistance provided by the international community and FAO for the mobilization of these resources,
Mindful of the plan of action formulated by the meeting of the Ministers of Agriculture of the Maghreb and Sahel convened in Algiers on 27 September 1993:
1. Calls upon the Director-General of FAO to convene meetings of donor institutions and countries and the countries affected: first, in order to mobilize the human, material and financial resources needed to conduct control operations during the present winter and spring campaigns, and the coming summer campaigns in the infested areas; second, in order to inform interested countries about the follow-up to the locust control campaigns;
2. Calls for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the above-mentioned action plan, with particular regard to the emergency measures made necessary by the prevailing locust situation in Mauritania and Senegal;
3. Calls upon the Director-General of FAO to draw up preventive control projects in the different regions of the desert locust infestation area, the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia and the Near East, and to implement the project already drawn up for West, Central and Northwest Africa;
4. Recommends the development and reinforcement of national and regional locust control units by means of training projects covering all levels and types of research and reinforcement of the weather-forecasting network, particularly in those areas not covered.
(Adopted 22 November 1993)
62. The Conference thanked the donor countries and institutions that had contributed generously and promptly to the current locust campaign. It also thanked FAO and other institutions concerned for their prompt assistance to locust control.
World Food Security and Nutritional Status
63. The Conference considered the world food security situation and follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN) on the basis of the "Food Security and Nutrition Status Report. The Conference considered that the report provided useful information on the food supply situation. It asked for further efforts to strengthen the monitoring of factors determining access to food at global and national levels. It was suggested that future reports should be more analytical and less descriptive. Specific suggestions were made regarding the improvement of reports on the food security and nutrition situation and also the major report on implementation of the ICN World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition to be presented to the Twenty-eighth Session of the FAO Conference in 1995.
64. The Conference noted with deep concern that, despite a decline in the number of chronically undernourished people during the previous twenty years, progress had been uneven. In Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Near East the number of people chronically undernourished had actually increased.
65. The Conference recognized that lack of purchasing power of low income population groups was a crucial factor limiting economic access to food. Many delegates stressed that economic access to food was also constrained by external factors related to the performance of the global economy. Particular concern was expressed over the adverse terms of trade for exporters of many agricultural commodities, fluctuations in exchange rates, delivery of food aid commodities during harvest periods and subsidized food imports. The Conference noted that, while availability and stability of food supplies were necessary conditions for food security, they were not sufficient. Full food security could be achieved only when every person had access to a sufficient and nutritionally-balanced diet. Furthermore, the quality and safety of the food supply had to be assured, as well as the capacity of households and individuals to utilize available food effectively.
66. The Conference noted that, in general, domestic policy changes involving the development of more liberal trading systems were likely to improve the physical availability of food within the countries adopting such policies. However, particular concern was expressed that in the short term the policies of economic liberalization could lead to reduced consumption of food and to an interruption of supplies. It was generally agreed that domestic liberalization had mostly positive benefits. It was noted that such domestic measures could lead to widening income gaps, resulting in deterioration of nutritional status which would require monitoring and corrective action including food aid to deal with temporary food access problems. However, food aid provided in response to immediate needs should not create difficulties for longer-term development.
67. The Conference noted past efforts by FAO to improve the food security and nutrition situation at global, national, regional and household levels. It recognized that food security and nutritional well-being were policy objectives for many countries which needed to be incorporated into plans for the development of the agricultural and rural sectors. The ICN follow-up activities were regarded as an important vehicle for FAO to further strengthen its assistance for nutrition enhancement and food security programmes at the country level. The Conference stressed the FAO role in support of improved food security and nutrition through global policy advice, promotion of efficient marketing systems, food and nutrition information and nutrition education.
68. The Conference noted the information given on FAO's plans for follow-up to the ICN. While acknowledging the fact that the main responsibility for ICN follow-up activities lay with governments, the Conference supported FAO's action in its assistance to countries in areas which could result in depending on priorities in each country, programmes to promote balanced diets based on local crops; improvement of food marketing and storage systems; targeting vulnerable and at-risk groups; improving food quality and food control; reducing micronutrient deficiencies; increasing household food security; improving food and nutrition monitoring; and raising consumer awareness for better nutrition and nutrition education. The critical role of women in the process of improving nutrition was also stressed.
69. The Conference supported FAO work with member countries in preparation and implementation of comprehensive and multidisciplinary plans for food security and nutritional improvement. It stressed that support provided by FAO for national planning exercises should include economic and social analysis, as well as identification and analysis of the characteristics of vulnerable groups. In this regard, the establishment of information and monitoring systems was stressed, especially for assessing the nutritional impact of development projects on the poor. Coordination between agencies, NGOs (non-governmental organizations), and government authorities, both for the formulation and implementation of national plans of action, was emphasized. It was thought that planning assistance should contain strong capacity-building and training components and should create a sustainable process for follow-up in the countries themselves.
70. A number of delegates provided information on the actions being taken by their countries and progress made in preparing their Plans of Action as follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition in 1992. Many developing countries pointed out that diversification of food production and efforts to generate income, improve the quality and safety of food, alleviate micronutrient deficiencies, particularly in poor areas and for poorer populations, and promote healthy lifestyles featured prominently in their national plans of action. Some industrialized countries reported that they were placing greater emphasis on diet-related chronic diseases with attention focusing on the quality and safety of foods, nutrition education and specific micronutrient deficiencies. The process by which countries were drafting their plans of action was also referred to, and the involvement of private industry, consumer groups, NGOs, government agencies and the communities themselves in this process was described.
71. The Conference welcomed the information provided on FAO's plans to establish two new Special Action Programmes (SAPs) which would incorporate activities to strengthen the Organization's capacity to assist member countries to develop, implement and monitor food security and nutrition plans and programmer. Appreciation was expressed for the past support which had been provided through FAO's Food Security Assistance Scheme for the formulation of comprehensive food security programmes at national and regional levels. The view was expressed that this effort should be continued and strengthened, with special emphasis on preparing more succinct reports of the programming results, including recommendations for priority actions, as well as on placing the recommendations at national level within the context of regional integration strategies. The Conference also welcomed the assistance being provided to countries in preparing national plans of action for nutrition. It pointed out that FAO's policy and programming assistance for food security and nutrition to be provided as follow-up to ICN would be integrated with policy and programming assistance for sustainable agriculture and rural development in line with United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Agenda 21 recommendations. Improvement in productivity and diversification of food crop production were considered essential to achieving ICN objectives, but measures taken in this regard would need to be implemented so as to preserve the natural resource base. The Conference emphasized the importance of using an approach which would foster partnership and dialogue amongst all concerned actors within the country as well as the international community at large.
72. The Conference welcomed the efforts made by FAO to internalize the objectives and goals of the ICN by giving priority to the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition in its own Programme of Work and Budget. It called upon all departments and divisions in FAO to ensure that their programmes of activities fully reflected the ICN. It noted that this would encourage greater programme coherence in FAO activities and promote inter divisional collaboration in implementing the SAPs.
73. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the collaboration between FAO and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the ICN process and emphasized the continuing need for a broader participation of other multilateral, bilateral, donor agencies, and non-governmental organizations in the formulation and implementation of ICN follow-up activities. The Conference also stressed the important role of the Administrative Committee on Coordination/Sub-Committee on Nutrition (ACC/SCN) in facilitating coordination between agencies. Certain delegates also called for increased cooperation among developing countries to strengthen food security.
74. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Follow-up of international conference on nutrition
Having considered the follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition as stated in the Food Security and Nutrition Status Report.
Commending Member States, organizations of the UN system and other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations concerned for their participation in the preparatory process and in the International Conference itself, and for their pledge to follow it up,
Commending the Director-General for his effective collaboration with other organizations of the UN system, especially WHO, in organizing the International Conference and for according high priority to the follow-up by allocating resources, in particular for those countries most in need,
Being aware that the implementation of the Plan of Action for Nutrition as adopted by the International Conference will require many resources:
1. Endorses in their entirety the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition adopted by the International Conference on Nutrition;
2. Urges Member Nations:
(a) to eliminate as soon as possible famine and famine-related deaths, starvation and nutritional deficiency diseases in communities affected by natural and man-made disasters;
(b) by the year 2000, to reduce substantially the prevalence of starvation and widespread chronic hunger, undernutrition, foodborne diseases and social and other impediments to optimal breast-feeding;
(c) to develop, or strengthen as appropriate, plans of action setting out national nutritional goals and the means by which they are to be achieved in keeping with the objectives, major policy guidelines and nine action-oriented strategies that were elaborated in the Plan of Action adopted by the International Conference on Nutrition, which also endorsed the nutritional goals of the Fourth United Nations Development Decade and of the World Summit for Children;
(d) to ensure the implementation of plans of action which:
(i) incorporate nutrition objectives into national development policies and programmes;
(ii) strengthen measures in various sectors to improve nutrition through governmental mechanisms at all levels and in collaboration with non-governmental organizations and the private sector;
(iii) are sustainable in the long run and contribute to protection of the environment;
(iv) enlist the cooperation of all groups concerned;
(a) to fulfil as soon as possible their commitment to the achievement of the objectives and strategies set out in the World Declaration and Plan of Action including, to the extent that their mandates and resources allow, technical cooperation and financial support to recipient countries;
(b) to reinforce and foster concerted action at all levels for the establishment and implementation of national plans of action in nutrition with a view to attaining health and nutritional well-being for all;
(a) to support Member Nations in establishing and implementing national plans of action for nutritional improvement;
(b) to reinforce FAO's capacity for food and nutrition action in all relevant programmes;
(c) to give priority to least-developed, low-income, and drought-affected countries, and to provide support to Member Nations in establishing national programmes, especially those concerned with nutritional well-being of vulnerable populations, including women and children, refugees and displaced persons;
(d) to stimulate exchange of ideas and of plans at the regional level;
(e) to further enhance nutrition and household food security awareness within FAO while developing projects and programmes;
(f) to report on progress in implementation by Member Nations of the World Declaration and Plan of Action for Nutrition to the Conference in 1995 as stated in the Plan of Action.
(Adopted 22 November 1993)
Agriculture: Towards 2010
75. The Conference reviewed the FAO global study "Agriculture: Towards 2010" . It noted that two earlier editions of the Study with a time horizon to 2000 had been discussed at the Twentieth Session of the Conference in 1979 and the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference in 1987.
76. The Conference welcomed the emphasis of the Study on food security and nutrition and the sustainability of agricultural and rural development. It noted that these two themes were at the heart of FAO's activities and also the focus of the two major international conferences held in 1992, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) and the FAO/WHO International Conference on Nutrition (ICN). The Conference considered that the Study also provided useful insights into the evolving balance between population growth and food, agriculture, natural resources and the environment which would constitute a valuable base document for the International Conference on Population and Development to be held in 1994. It noted that not all regions of the world had received equally comprehensive attention and asked for improvements in this respect to make the Study a truly global one.
77. The Conference noted that the findings of the Study represented what the Secretariat deemed to be the most likely outcome, not the results of a strategy to solve all problems by the year 2010. While recognizing that the future was always uncertain, the Conference commended the Study for its analytical content, which provided valuable insights into the prospective evolution of world food and agriculture. A number of delegations considered the results in part still as too optimistic, and some delegations proposed to study alternative scenarios. The Conference noted that the projections were not mere extrapolations of past trends, but the results of detailed technical analysis. It was also informed that an explanation of the methodology was available in the 1987 edition of the Study, and would be included in the revised version of the present Study before its publication.
78. The Conference considered that the findings of the Study would be useful for the international community and individual countries in their efforts to confront existing and newly-emerging problems. It further considered that FAO was uniquely placed to carry out such multidisciplinary evaluations of world food and agriculture prospects and that updated and revised versions should be issued, in consultation with members, every few years. It recommended that the Study should be published and given wide distribution. The Conference was informed that negotiations were under way with external publishers for co-publication of the Study after appropriate revision. Some delegations suggested publication of a summary version.
79. The Conference, in expressing its appreciation for the Study, agreed with the overall assessment that the prospects were for continued, albeit slow, progress in world food and agriculture, but that there could be important exceptions. In particular, the Conference expressed its deep concern that, if the findings of the Study materialized, little progress would be made towards reducing the high incidence of chronic undernutrition and that many countries and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole would make only slight and totally inadequate progress; that the trend towards more intensive use of agricultural resources would continue with implied enhanced pressures on the environment; that increased demands would continue to be placed on the forest, for both production of forest products and for land for agricultural expansion; that the fisheries sector faced increasing constraints likely to lead to declining fish production per caput; and that the main agricultural export commodities of the developing countries would continue to face limited growth opportunities.
80. The Conference noted that, notwithstanding the above-mentioned negative aspects, the findings indicated that progress on a broad front would continue to be made. It noted in particular the prospects that agricultural growth at both the world level and that of the developing countries as a whole would continue to outpace the growth of population; that the majority of the population of the developing countries would continue to improve their per caput food availabilities and nutrition; that there was enhanced awareness of the need for policies to put agricultural and rural development onto a more sustainable path; that more countries were better equipped than in the past, in terms of technologies and policy options, to take action in this direction; and that policy reforms, underway or contemplated, pointed towards conditions for international agricultural trade which were more market-oriented and less trade-distorting.
81. The Conference stressed that the world's major problems in food, nutrition and sustainability required immediate action at national and international levels in order to attack the root causes of persistent food insecurity, notably the inadequate overall development and, particularly, agricultural and rural development. In this regard, all possibilities for improvement laid out in the Study would have to be put to work in order to attain and, if possible, improve the results projected in the Study for the year 2010. The Conference also noted the need for continuous vigilance and preparedness to intervene in order to cope with the consequences of recurring food crises. The Conference urged FAO to continue to provide assistance to the developing countries to assist them in making progress towards sustainable agricultural and rural development.
82. The Conference agreed that in the many developing countries with high dependence on agriculture, the priority on improving agricultural performance should be the quintessence of strategies for poverty-reducing overall development, improved nutritional status and food security. It noted that the Study emphasized the development of local agriculture not out of dogmatic preference for self-sufficiency, but because of its potential impact in alleviating rural poverty and promoting overall development.
83. The Conference stressed the need for both national and international action to respond to the challenge of reducing poverty, improving nutrition and food security as well as making progress towards sustainable agricultural and rural development. At the international level, the emphasis should be on increasing external assistance to agriculture and on its more efficient utilization, as well as on fairer and more remunerative agricultural trade. The Conference underlined that food aid would continue to play an important role in meeting the growing food import needs of the low-income food-deficit countries. The Conference considered that FAO should estimate, as far as possible, the implications of the projections for food aid requirements in the future. The Conference was informed that such work would be undertaken.
84. The Conference recognized that the main responsibility for better policies remained firmly grounded in national policy action. It noted that the Study devoted several chapters to the issues that policy-makers would continue to face in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. These issues ranged from the urgent need to recognize the importance for agricultural development of maintaining a sound overall macro-economic environment, to that of combining measures for increasing production. Further issues dealt with the need of spreading the benefits of development more equitably, investing in the development of human resources and placing more emphasis on gender issues and the role of women in development, not only in training programmes in the whole range of development activities.
85. The Conference welcomed the fact that the Study devoted three chapters to the policy challenges represented by the pressures on agricultural resources and the environment that existed now and were expected to accompany the process of increasing agricultural production in the future. It considered that the review of the options offered by technology provided a valuable guide and it agreed with the emphasis placed on the economic, social and institutional changes needed for putting agricultural and rural development onto a more sustainable path. It encouraged increased use of environmentally-friendly technology.
86. The Conference commended the considerable analysis undertaken in the Study of the agricultural potential of the land resources of the developing countries by agro-ecological zones. It considered that activities in this area should continue and be better integrated with more in-depth work on all aspects of forestry, as well as with improved data and analysis of water resources.
87. In reviewing the prospects for forestry, the Conference supported the practical implementation of the forest principles adopted by UNCED and the collaborative initiative represented by the Tropical Forests Action Programme (TFAP). The Conference supported the extension of these initiatives in the development of the Mediterranean Forests Action Programme. It welcomed the initiative of the European countries in convening in Helsinki the second Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe and the initiative of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) for convening the Seminar of Experts on Sustainable Development of Boreal and Temperate Forests, and the programmes and recommendations that they adopted towards sustainable development of forest in the temperate regions.
88. In reviewing the problems emanating from the increasing pressures on the world fisheries resources, the Conference underlined the urgent need for rational management of fish stocks as well as prevention of environmental degradation so as to guarantee the sustainability of fisheries resources for future generations. The Conference therefore endorsed the preparation by FAO of an International Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and stressed that its implementation as well as the results of the UN Conference on Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks would bring the marine living resources under improved management regimes and also ensure brighter prospects for the fisheries sector by the year 2010.
89. The Conference considered that the forthcoming Fiftieth Anniversary of FAO offered an opportunity to reflect upon the Organization's activities over the past 50 years.