196. The Conference endorsed the overall emphasis placed on requirements for follow-up to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the International Conference on Nutrition. It observed that the call on FAO to assist Member Nations in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Plan of Action on Nutrition had had widespread impact throughout Chapter 2, Technical and Economic Programmes of the Programme of Work and Budget. Some delegates felt, however, that more evidence should have been given of the effective redeployment of resources to meet UNCED requirements. The Conference expressed support for further strengthening of action mobilizing economic and technical cooperation among developing countries.
197. The Conference expressed satisfaction that it had proven possible to redress, in part, reductions in resource allocations affecting many technical programmes, which had been presented in earlier proposals. It noted that Major Programme 2.3, Forestry, had benefited from a net, but limited, increase in resources. It expressed concern that Major Programme 2.2, Fisheries, and Major Programme 2.1, Agriculture were still undergoing net reductions in overall resources, however minimal.
198. In recognizing that these changes in the pattern of resource allocation had been possible, in particular through an adjustment in the budgetary provision of the Investment Centre, the Conference stressed the importance of FAO's investment activities. It welcomed the assurance that the reallocation of funds to technical divisions would make it possible to maintain the current level of assistance to Member Nations in investment project preparation and appraisal, and to enhance its quality, in cooperation with partner financial institutions.
199. The Conference reiterated its strong support for FAO's work on plant and animal genetic resources and assistance to Member Nations in such areas as integrated pest management, strengthening of agricultural research systems, soils and water conservation, combating desertification, management of arid and semi-arid grazing resources, and building of adequate national capacities. It looked forward to successful preparations for and holding of the Fourth International Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources. In this connection, the Conference urged further strengthening of the Secretariat of the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources, and also urged the Director-General to secure sufficient budgetary and extra-budgetary resources to carry out a comprehensive revision of the International Undertaking and the full and timely implementation of the process and programme for the international Technical Conference on Plant Genetic Resources. The suggestion was also made that the establishment of a Committee on Livestock be studied.
200. Among other substantive activities, the Conference stressed the pursuit of FAO's lead role in the assembly and dissemination of statistics and information, as well as the importance of trade-related activities, such as the Codex Alimentarius and the International Plant Protection Convention.
The Conference underscored the need to strengthen further the policy advisory role of FAO across the broad spectrum of its technical programmes funded under both the Regular Budget and by extra-budgetary resources, including field projects.
201. With regard to fisheries, the Conference welcomed the proposal from the Chairman of the Committee on Fisheries to develop on a fast track preparation of the general principles for the Code of Conduct on Responsible Fishing, as had been done for the preparation of the agreement to promote compliance with international conservation and management measures by vessels fishing on the high seas. While endorsing this proposal, the Conference stressed that this work must be complementary with and supportive of other related initiatives within the UN system, and conducted in close coordination with them. It recognized the resource implications of this action and encouraged the mobilization of extra-budgetary resources or the redeployment of resources within the approved level of Major Programme 2.2, Fisheries. The Conference also noted with interest the proposal of the Government of Japan to hold an international conference on the sustainable contribution of fisheries to food security, and the broad support for it.
202. As regarded forestry, the Conference urged prompt attention to the repeated appeals of Member Nations for further strengthening of FAO forestry activities, and increased priority to and resources for Major Programme 2.3, Forestry under the Regular Budget. While welcoming the present net increase as a first step in the right direction, the Conference requested that actions to this effect be fulfilled to the maximum extent possible in future biennia, in the light of the critical pressures placed in all regions on the forestry sector which called for sustained assistance to Member Nations and strong contributions from FAO to international conservation efforts, particularly through national and regional programmes, including the Tropical Forests Action Programme (TFAP). The contribution of FAO to the preparations for the review by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in 1995 of the follow-up to the UNCED decisions on forests was also emphasized.
Technical Cooperation Programme
203. The Conference welcomed the allocation of an additional US$1 million to the Technical Cooperation Programme in order to mitigate in part the net decrease shown in earlier proposals. The Conference underlined again the value attached by Member Nations to the Technical Cooperation Programme, stressing its catalytic action in support of development efforts in all regions and its response to emergencies.
204. While observing with interest that the share of the TCP in the total budget level would increase from 11.7 percent in the present biennium to 12.4 percent, as a consequence of the strengthening of the US dollar against the Italian Lira, the Conference recalled the target of 17 percent regarding the TCP embodied in its Resolution 9/89. The Conference, in general, expressed the need to increase the level of TCP resources in future biennia. Some delegates expressed the view that a portion of TCP activities could be programmed, and reiterated their wish to have more timely information, both financial and operational.
205. The Conference addressed the key financial parameters relating to the proposed Programme of Work and Budget.
206. The Conference noted that the provision for cost increases had been prepared with the established methodology, had been reviewed in detail by the Finance Committee, and had been accepted by it. It welcomed that the estimates had been reduced from US$85 million to US$76 million at the 1992-93 budget rate Some delegates considered that the provision was still high, stressed the importance they attached to containment of cost increases to the maximum extent possible, and mentioned areas where it was considered that cost increase provisions could have been reduced.
207. The Conference recognized that the proposals had been based on the lapse factor of 3 percent, as approved at its Twenty-fifth Session in 1989. The majority of delegates endorsed this rate, stressing the need for FAO to be able to operate at full capacity in the next biennium. They therefore objected to any change in the lapse factor which would result in a lower budget level and to any link to vacancy rates. Some delegates, however, emphasized their reservations on the use of the present rate, which they considered unrealistically low in relation to actual vacancy rates. The Conference recommended that the Finance Committee request the External Auditor to study this issue in the coming biennium and to report on his findings. It also noted the study planned by the loins Inspection Unit on lapse factor practices throughout the UN system.
208. The Conference observed that the impact of the currency factor and the proposed use of part of expected arrears payments in 1994-95 to finance budgetary appropriations were leading to a significant reduction in both the total budget level and in the amount of assessments on Member Nations. Some delegates were concerned about the proposed use of expected arrears payments and/or about the resulting longer-term implications, as they would affect future Programmes of Work and Budget, stressing that the current positive circumstances could be reversed and lead to much higher assessments in future biennia. Some delegates considered that the implementation of the approved Programme of Work and Budget should not be predicated on the availability of arrears payments, which were uncertain. The Conference confirmed the obligations of Member Nations to pay their assessed contributions fully and on time. It also recalled the need for adherence to the regulations governing the treatment of arrears.
209. The Conference agreed that the Director-General's proposals had assisted Member Nations in their efforts to reach unanimity on the Programme of Work and Budget. It considered that these proposals offered a solution for meeting the expectations of Member Nations in the light of the demands placed on FAO and the impact of external factors, and for reducing the burden on them in terms of assessments.
210. The Conference underscored both the symbolic significance and the practical importance of an assured and firm basis on which FAO would be able to operate in the next biennium and beyond. In this connection, the Conference bore in mind the assumption of duties by the new Director-General and the celebration of the Organization's Fiftieth Anniversary in 1995.
211. Taking the above views into account, the Conference adopted the following resolution:
Budgetary appropriations 1994-95
Having considered the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget and the conclusions of its Commissions:
1. Approves the Programme of Work proposed by the Director-General for 1994-95;
2. Resolves that for the financial period 1994-95:
(a) Appropriations are voted for the following purposes:
|Chapter 1 - General Policy and Direction||53 002 000|
|Chapter 2 - Technical and Economic Programmes||319 005 000|
|Chapter 3 - Development Support Programme||101 084 000|
|Chapter 4 - Technical Cooperation Programme||84 210 000|
|Chapter 5 - Support Services||68 585 000|
|Chapter 6 - Common Services||46 628 000|
|Chapter 7 - Contingencies||600 000|
|Total effective working budget||673 114 000|
|Chapter 8 - Transfer to Tax Equalization Fund||107 740 000|
|Total Appropriations (Gross)||780 854 000|
(b) The appropriations (gross) voted in paragraph (a) above, shall be financed by assessments on Member Nations, after deduction of Miscellaneous Income in the amount of US$14 314 000, and use of payments of arrears of US$38 000 000, thus resulting in assessments against Member Nations of US$728 540 000.
(c) In establishing the actual amounts of contributions to be paid by individual Member Nations, the assessment of each Member Nation shall be reduced by any amount standing to its credit in the Tax Equalization Fund provided that the credit of a Member Nation that levies taxes on the salaries, emoluments and indemnities received from FAO by staff members shall be reduced by the estimated amounts of such taxes to be reimbursed to the staff member by FAO.
(d) The contributions due from Member Nations in 1994 and 1995 shall be paid in accordance with the scale adopted by the Conference at its Twenty-seventh Session, which contributions, after the deduction of amounts standing to the credit of Member Nations in the Tax Equalization Fund, result in net amounts payable totalling US$622 865 000 as set out in Appendix G to this Report.
212. The Conference also adopted the following Resolution:
Programme of work and budgetary appropriations 1994-95
Having adopted the Director-General's Programme of Work and Budget for 1994-95,
Convinced of the propriety of giving the in-coming Director-General the opportunity and flexibility to review the Programme of Work and related sectorial budgetary appropriations and, in consultation with Member Nations, to work out his own proposals, within the proposed overall level of US$673 114 000, on the structures and policies of the Organization, taking into account the views of Conference on various aspects of the mission of FAO:
1. The Director-General to undertake with all necessary speed a review of the programmes, structures and policies of the Organization, in the light of the Conference deliberations;
2. The Director-General, in accordance with Rule XXV-1 GRO and in consultation with the Independent Chairman and the Members of the Council, to convene an additional Session of the Council, to be held at a suitable date by May 1994;
3. The Council to decide, at that Session, on all necessary changes which require Council approval, on the basis of the proposals which may be formulated by the Director-General and within the limits of the above-mentioned ceiling of US$673 114 000.
E. Procedure for Global Harmonization of Plant Quarantine
213. The Conference recognized the concerns expressed in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade on the use of phytosanitary measures as unjustified barriers to trade. It noted that the contracting parties of the GATT agreed that phytosanitary measures be transparent and that the situation be improved through the establishment, recognition and application of common phytosanitary measures to be developed by the Secretariat of the International Plant Protection Convention. For this purpose, the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference (11-29 November 1989) had authorized the establishment of the Secretariat of the IPPC.
214. The Conference reviewed the "Principles of Plant Quarantine as Related to Trade",, which had been developed by the Secretariat in close cooperation with the Regional Plant Protection Organizations (RPPOs). It noted that the Principles were meant to be the first harmonized guidelines for international plant quarantine. The Conference endorsed the Principles with the understanding that the term "quarantine pest" was to include strains and biotypes of a pest species.
215. The Conference considered the recommendations of COAG to establish a Committee of Experts on Phytosanitary Measures (CEPM). With regard to the composition of the Committee, some delegates proposed to increase the number of experts, while others preferred to limit the membership. It was recognized that it might be necessary to adjust the membership suggested in the Secretariat proposal in order to allow other organizations such as the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO), once they are legally established, to nominate experts. As an interim measure, the Conference agreed to authorize the Director-General to establish the Committee under Article VI.2 of the Constitution along the lines proposed in Appendix 2 to document C 93/25-Rev.1, it being understood that the Director-General might, as appropriate, slightly adjust the figures given in this proposal.
216. The Conference also discussed a detailed proposal embodying the procedure which could be followed for the setting of harmonized international standards and guidelines. In endorsing this proposal, it decided, however, that the fifth step of the procedure should read as follows: "The IPPC Secretariat will request comments by members through RPPOs, where those exist and if they so wish, to allow for technical inputs, consolidated comments and consensus building at the regional level". The Conference noted the central role assigned to the CEPM and also emphasized that standards and guidelines should be developed in close cooperation with RPPOs and endorsed by the FAO Governing Bodies. It requested to be regularly informed about progress in the implementation of the development of standards and guidelines.
F. United Nations/FAO/World Food Programme Pledging Target 1995-96
217. The Conference noted that WFP's regular pledging target for the biennium 1995-96 had been recommended by governments in the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA) and endorsed by the FAO Council for approval of the Conference. Separately, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) had endorsed the target for the approval of the UN General Assembly. It was pointed out that the target of US$1 500 million set the minimum level for a collective commitment. The target had been retained at the level of the two preceding biennia from a purely pragmatic consideration. In an environment of economic recession, budgetary constraints and cost-cutting, especially but not exclusively in major donor countries, the CFA had considered it prudent to concentrate more on the realization of the target already accepted than on raising the level without reasonable expectation of reaching it as, since 1989-90, there had been a slow-down in pledges in relation to the target. However, it was recognized that the need for food aid in the foreseeable future would far outweigh the projected availability.
218. The Conference recognized that countries looked to WFP, the largest single source in the UN system of grant assistance, for assistance to face the challenges of food security and development. WFP accounted for about half of total grant expenditure for operational activities in Africa; was the largest provider of grant assistance for environmental activities in developing countries; and the largest purchaser of food and services from them.
219. The Conference paid tribute to WFP's 30 years of activities, and expressed its satisfaction with the Programme's efforts on behalf of all developing countries since its inception.
220. Several delegates, while expressing satisfaction with the record level of WFP activities in 1992, expressed concern that the balance of WFP resources had swung increasingly toward emergency operations and that the share of resources available to development projects was shrinking over time. The Conference noted that the shift in resource allocation from development projects to emergency operations was not due to WFP. While it was WFP's duty to provide a rapid and efficient response to emergency situations at the request of the international community, the Conference noted that the Programme was also doing everything in its power to remedy the situation. In order to do so, WFP was giving very thorough consideration to the possibility of initiating more disaster relief projects.
221. The Conference urged that the donor community make every possible effort to release additional food resources in the rehabilitation or development project context, and ensure the adequacy of pledges in cash and/or services at the level of one-third of contributions. The Conference appreciated the increased contributions to the WFP's resources provided by a number of developing countries and encouraged countries who were past recipients of WFP assistance also to consider pledging contributions.
222. In conclusion, the Conference unanimously approved the target contribution of US$1 500 million proposed by the Executive Director of WFP for the 1995-96 biennium.
223. The Conference unanimously adopted the following Resolution.
Target for WFP pledges for the period 1995-96
Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4165 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference,
Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and by the FAO Council at its One Hundred and Third Session,
Having considered Resolution 1/103 of the FAO Council as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,
Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs:
1. Establishes for the two years 1995 and 1996 a target for voluntary contributions of US$1 500 million, of which not less than one-third should be in cash and/or services;
2. Urges Member States of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and appropriate donor organizations to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;
3. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Director-General of FAO, to convene a pledging conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters in 1994.
(Adopted 24 November 1993)
Relations with Other Organizations
Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO
Recent Developments in FAO's Cooperation with Intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations
Recent Developments in the United Nations System of Interest to FAO
224. The Conference noted with interest the concise information provided in the documents and supplemented orally by the Secretariat. Although the information was of necessity selective in its coverage of developments in the United Nations system, the Conference recognized that it was indicative of the broad spectrum of activities of the system in which FAO played its substantive and cooperative role. In this connection it welcomed FAO's extensive participation, often in a leadership capacity, in relevant inter-agency and system-wide activities, and particularly its continuing active involvement in the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) and its subsidiary machinery. The Conference highly recommended that FAO continue reinforcing its meaningful cooperation, particularly with regard to funding issues, with the various institutions and bodies of the United Nations system.
225. The Conference underlined the importance of poverty alleviation which had emerged as a system-wide priority in various fore, including the General Assembly. In the light of the linkages of poverty alleviation efforts with food security, trade, rural development and sustainable development in particular, the Conference recognized FAO's competence and ability to make a unique contribution in this field. FAO's support to the newly-established United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation was welcomed and continuation of work by the ACC Sub-Committee on Rural Development, under the chairmanship of FAO, was encouraged.
226. The information provided on FAO's active participation in the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna, June 1993) and on the preparation for the various international conferences was noted with interest. The Conference underscored that, in view of their importance to the Member Nations and the Organization itself, FAO should contribute to and participate in the forthcoming conferences especially the following: International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, September 1994), World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995), and the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, September 1995).
227. The Conference also stressed that FAO had a unique contribution to make to the Agenda for Development which the Secretary-General had been asked by the General Assembly to prepare. It considered that FAO could also play a lead role in the preparation of the Secretary-General's report relating to food and agriculture, to be submitted to the Forty-ninth Session of the General Assembly. It was informed that a study on the need for and feasibility of a commodity diversification fund for Africa, prepared by FAO at the request of the United Nations, had been submitted by the Secretary-General for the consideration of the General Assembly at its Forty-eighth Session.
228. The Conference welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between FAO and the United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP), which should assist in further strengthening the activities of the Organization in the area of drug abuse control. FAO was encouraged to continue its work on sustainable agriculture and rural development strategies as part of a comprehensive approach to the problem of drugs, within the System-Wide Action Plan on Drug Abuse Control.
229. The Conference noted with satisfaction the essential role played by FAO in the coordinated efforts of the UN system in the area of humanitarian and emergency assistance and the continuum from relief to rehabilitation and development. It was apprised of the outcome of the ECOSOC discussion on this subject and it welcomed the continuing collaboration of FAO with all parts of the system, in particular the Organization's close cooperation with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs and its participation in all relevant inter-agency missions and mechanisms including the Inter-Agency Steering Committee. The Conference highlighted FAO's role in the assessment of needs for food as well as for agricultural relief and rehabilitation, especially in areas affected by war or civil strife. It also noted the importance of its Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) together with the crop and food supply assessment missions carried out jointly by FAO and WFP.
230. The Conference stressed again the importance of enhanced effectiveness in the UN System's response to emergencies. It nonetheless warned against a process of coordination conducted at the expense of rapid action at the country level or use of scarce resources to meet real and pressing needs. Coordination should focus on establishing a clear division of labour at field level, especially in emergency situations. The considerable increase in meetings and reports on coordination of humanitarian assistance, to which FAO was called upon to contribute, was also noted. The high costs of humanitarian assistance and peace-keeping were highlighted, and stress was placed on the importance of sustained funding for human resource, institution and infrastructure development, which could help prevent emergencies and disasters. In this connection, it was noted that work on the continuum from relief to rehabilitation and development had an important place in FAO's activities.
Recent Developments in FAO's Cooperation with Intergovernmental and Non-Governmental Organizations
231. The Conference noted with interest the information presented in the documents and in the Secretariat's oral introduction, which provided an overview of cooperation with intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the regional level, and gave some examples of traditional and new forms of cooperation with NGOs. It appreciated the effort made to render the documents analytical and forward looking, and noted that they were of necessity selective in their presentation of the broad range of FAO's cooperation with organizations outside the UN system.
232. It was noted that new and strengthened forms of cooperation between UN organizations and other bodies, both IGOs and NGOs, were constancy evolving. FAO's experience in technical cooperation networks and cooperation with NGOs was felt to constitute a solid basis for addressing the clear need for further collaborative action.
233. The Conference recalled that FAO's cooperation with NGOs had begun when B.R. Sen founded the Freedom from Hunger Campaign. Cooperation with NGOs was valued because these Organizations were amongst those able to reach the poorest and most disadvantaged and to act as pioneers in undertaking innovative action. NGOs should be treated as development agents in their own right, not as alternative deliverers of aid programmes. The Conference called for greater efforts by FAO to promote liaison between governments and NGOs, and with donors. The agricultural development of a country was likened to a mosaic in which all had a place to fill, and FAO could help to fit the pieces together.
234. The Conference considered that FAO's cooperation with NGOs should extend throughout the range of the Organization's technical activities. Particular mention was made of the utility of dialogue with NGOs on the various aspects of SARD - from food security to biological diversity, soil fertility and integrated pest management - which should not be viewed as isolated technical matters but as components of an alternative, more sustainable approach to agriculture. The importance of consultation with farmers' organizations was stressed, and of exploring flexible, action-oriented forms of collaboration such as those suggested in paragraph 17 of the report of the informal meeting of International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) observers attending the Twenty-seventh Session of the FAO Conference. It was recognized that, although some FAO/NGO cooperation activities could be funded from the Regular Programme, extra-budgetary resources would be required.
235. The Conference laid particular stress on the importance of promoting FAO's cooperation with IGOs and NGOs at regional and country level. It was suggested that a survey of existing cooperation at these levels would constitute a useful tool for Member Nations. In Africa, NGOs were cooperation at these levels would constitute a useful tool for Member Nations. In Africa, NGOs were felt to have a particularly strategic role in enhancing the process of democratization, as well as in supporting the food security strategies of rural households. In Asia, appreciation was expressed for the emphasis given to promoting participation by beneficiaries in project preparation, which was felt to enhance sustainability. The Conference took note with interest of the consultation held in Bangkok in September 1993 entitled "NGOs and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development in Asia: Challenges for Policy and Practice" which had promoted shared understanding of SARD-related issues, exchange of experience and identification of concrete areas for collaboration among NGOs, governments and multilateral organizations.
236. Appreciation was expressed for the FAO's cooperation in the area of agriculture and forestry with the Economic Commission for Europe (United Nations) (ECE/UN) and the OECD and for collaboration between FAO and the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), in dealing with the aftermath of Chernobyl and on food safety initiatives. Several delegates stressed the importance of promoting the growth of NGOs in Central and Eastern Europe. Support was indicated for the dynamic strengthening of FAO's cooperation with IGOs and NGOs in the Near East Region through such means as the establishment of specialized networks and technical cooperation programmes.
237. A number of delegates indicated that the Inter-American Board of Agriculture had recommended to the incoming Director-General that the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) conduct a study to determine what steps must be taken to move forward in coordinating activities with FAO, and, if possible, to integrate their action in the region. The Conference called for a strengthening of coordination and cooperation with IICA, and asked FAO to participate in this study. The Conference asked that this matter be discussed by the forthcoming Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean. It requested the Director-General to report on this subject at the Council session in November 1994, indicating the concrete proposals relating to the implementation of the recommendations of this study.
238. Mention was also made of the fact that the Association of Small Island States was a fledgling organization to whose development FAO should attach importance, as well as to its relationship with FAO.
239. The Conference took note with interest of the examples of cooperation
with NGOs presented in Part II of C 93/20. The International Conference
on Nutrition was cited as a model in that NGOs had been treated as full
participants in the preparatory process. The Global Information and Early
Warning Service (GIEWS) was commended for its flexible approach to NGO
participation, minimizing administrative complications and costs. Support
was expressed for the kinds of NGO cooperation developed under the Freedom
from Hunger Campaign, such as collaboration with the efforts of NGOs in
Africa to mitigate the effects of structural adjustment on peasant agriculture
and to build a continuum from relief through rehabilitation to sustainable
development, and cooperation with the Latin American Consortium for Agro-ecology
in applying the concept of SARD concretely at the level of small farmers.
The Conference felt that this kind of action-oriented cooperation at country
and regional levels should be promoted and extended and noted that regional
FAO/NGO cooperation programmes now being finalized were intended to respond
to this concern.