D. Conclusions of the review of certain aspects of FAO's goals and operations
FAO's objectives, role, priorities and strategies
FAO's field operations
Technical cooperation programme
Relations with other Institutions
FAO management review
198. The Conference agreed that the report of the Programme and Finance Committees on the Review of FAO's Objectives, Role, Priorities and Strategies and FAO's Field Operations had faithfully fulfilled the provisions of Resolution 6/87 as adopted by the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference. It expressed its appreciation to members of the Committees for producing a frank, lucid, in-depth and well-structured report and welcomed the comments of the Council on the document.
199. The Conference considered the Review as a milestone in the history of FAO. It was a broad and complex exercise which had been conducted objectively and harmoniously. Its conclusions and recommendations were valid, practical and useful to the future work of FAO. The Conference noted that the valuable reports of the independent Experts, agreed unanimously by them, had proved very useful to the Committees and that the Committees had also produced a unanimous report although its contents showed divergences of views on certain points. The Conference thanked the Director-General for the support and assistance given to the Experts and the Committees during the Review process.
200. The Conference expressed appreciation for the comments of the Director-General, in accordance with paragraph 4 of Resolution 6/87, on the conclusions and recommendations reached by the Committees. It was pleased to note that the Director-General was in agreement with most of the recommendations. On some issues, the Director-General had submitted four additional recommendations for consideration by the Conference, namely expanded cooperation with GATT, staff training, creation of a forum for increased consultation among the Rome-based food organizations and the possible elimination of the Summary PWB if the step of the new budget Outline, introduced on an experimental basis, were to be maintained.
201. The Conference noted that while the Council had given its general endorsement to the findings and recommendations of the Committees' report, it had highlighted some issues on which Member Nations of the Council had not reached a common ground. The Conference, accordingly, gave particular attention to those recommendations on which Member Nations had expressed different views at the Council.
202. The Conference recognized that the Review was not an end in itself; that the search for increasing the Organization's efficiency and effectiveness was a continuing concern of Member Nations and FAO's management; but that the Review as a distinct exercise in response to Resolution 6/87 had been concluded. The Conference considered that Member Nations and the Secretariat should now direct their efforts to implement the recommendations of the Review, as decided upon by the Conference.
203. The Conference agreed that for a successful conclusion to a complex exercise of this nature there was a desire on the part of all Member Nations for a consensus, as evidence of their support for the Organization and in order to provide guidance to the Director-General in the task of implementing the decisions of the Conference.
204. The Conference was pleased to endorse the certificate of good health given to FAO in the reports of the Committees and the Experts. The Organization was found to be sound, solid, innovative and dynamic, though there was room for improvement in some aspects of FAO's work. Moreover, the aim and objectives pursued by FAO over the past four decades had remained valid and consonant with the Preamble to FAO's Constitution and relevant to Article 1. The Conference agreed that there was no need for any amendment of FAO's Constitution.
FAO's objectives, role, priorities and strategies
205. The Conference endorsed the seven development objectives pursued by FAO and recognized that these objectives, apart from guiding FAO's broad range of activities under the Regular and Field Programmes, were pertinent to the development needs of all Member Nations.
206. The Conference fully endorsed the three major roles of FAO, namely (i) centre for collection and analysis of global information on food, agriculture and nutrition, (ii) international forum and source of policy advice, and (iii) promoter and provider of technical assistance. These roles were vital to the needs of Member Nations and essential to FAO's mandate. The three roles were valid, complementary and, in the view of the great majority of Member Nations, equally important, and their application to programmes and activities deserved high priority in the overall work of the Organization.
207. The Conference agreed that, in its information role, FAO was irreplaceable. As to being the forum for policy formulation and action, whereas FAO did retain leadership, such as for WCARRD and TFAP, it should collaborate more closely with other UN agencies and institutions in relation to activities such as environment and policy work. FAO's role in technical assistance was of crucial importance to the majority of Member Nations and was the logical outcome of its two other major roles. It also served as the direct link with multilateral and bilateral funding agencies.
208. While Member Nations held different perceptions of the relative importance of each role, the Conference recognized that they were mutually reinforcing, and the general consensus was that the divergences were not of such significance as merit causing friction among Member Nations. The Conference agreed with the Director-General's view that there was no ready-made solution for achieving an ideal balance among the three major roles and that the share of resources which could be devoted to each role was influenced by the changing pattern of development requirements of different regions and countries.
209. The Conference welcomed the establishment of the World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT). It agreed that the policy advisory role of FAO, especially at the country level, was extremely important and was likely to expand in the coming years and that FAO should further strengthen its capacities for policy analysis, in keeping with the demand for such assistance. It recognized that policy advice to member countries was a sensitive and delicate undertaking and would lead to more productive results only if initiated at the request of the recipient governments. In this connection, the Conference endorsed the Committees' guidelines for FAO's involvement in policy-oriented studies. It also favoured FAO's enhanced participation in the World Bank Consultative Group meetings and UNDP Roundtable processes. As to the modality of country policy work, a few Member Nations emphasized the need for a further geographic focus within the structure of FAO. The Conference did however endorse the opinion of the Programme and Finance Committees to leave the question to the discretion of the Director-General.
210. The Conference agreed that FAO's comparative advantage was greatest in sector and sub-sector reviews related to agriculture, forestry and fisheries and recommended that FAO be recognized as the lead agency and coordinator for these activities. It also welcomed the developments in cooperative arrangements between FAO, IMF, the World Bank and UNDP in structural adjustment work. The Conference requested member countries to seek FAO's early involvement in structural adjustment work, and for FAO to make its views known when it sees scope for improvements in policies which bear on structural adjustment programmes.
211. The Conference, like the Director-General, was also in agreement with the Committees' recommendations on: FAO's increased involvement in research and the transfer of technology in cooperation with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), biotechnology for the benefit of developing countries, sustainable development and the protection of the environment, international agricultural trade in conjunction with the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations under the auspices of GATT, TCDC, ECDC, Codex Alimentarius and plant protection, enhancing the role of women and young farmers in agricultural and rural development and the continuation of support to the New International Economic Order (NIEO).
212. The Conference agreed that the current procedure for the
preparation of the PWB was satisfactory. However, a range of
views were expressed on the budget Outline. It was agreed to
continue the procedure for one more biennium. The Conference
considered that should the procedure be continued thereafter, it
would be justified to study the possibility of eliminating the
Summary PWB and to bring forward the submission of the full PWB.
213. The majority of Member Nations endorsed the reports' conclusion that FAO's current practice of priority-setting was satisfactory, as it allowed for the necessary consultation, in good time, with Member Nations through regional fora and meetings of the technical committees and Governing Bodies. Some Member Nations however thought that there was scope for further improvements in the priority-setting process. The guidelines on priority-setting proposed in the Committees' report, and agreed to by the Director-General, were endorsed by the Conference.
214. The Conference agreed that a clear-cut ranking of priorities was a difficult task. The majority of Member Nations considered that given the diversity of needs among member countries, any attempt to rank priorities would be arbitrary and would lead to controversy among membership. Some Member Nations, however, did not share this view. They expressed the opinion that, apart from resources being scarce, the ranking of priorities, though a difficult undertaking, was an essential feature of a programming exercise. They, therefore, encouraged the Secretariat to try and pursue an approach to priority ranking, as a measure for improving the impact of the programme.
215. The Conference endorsed the re-introduction of the Medium-Term Plan covering three biennia. A large majority of Member Nations maintained the view that the Medium-Term Plan would be of benefit to the Organization provided Member Nations gave a firm commitment to budget forecasts for the three biennia. Some Member Nations, however, were convinced that even without budgetary commitments, the Medium-Term Plan would assist FAO in directing programme resources toward high priority activities. Several other Member Nations expressed the view that, in the light of the new provisional procedure regarding the Outline for the approval of the biennial budget, indicative budgets for three biennia would suffice, but it was generally recognized that extra-budgetary forecasts beyond one biennium would be speculative.
216. The Conference noted the efficacy and impact of FAO's Special Action Programmes and their ability to attract a considerable amount of extra-budgetary resources. It, therefore, endorsed the recommendation of the report to establish a small number of new Special Action Programmes of high priority to Member Nations. In this connection, the Conference noted the proposal of the Director-General to proceed with a possible new Special Action Programme on sustainable development.
217. The Conference welcomed the Director-General's recommendation for staff training to enable them to keep pace with new technology and approaches to development in different sectors covered by FAO. A few Member Nations were not fully convinced of the justification for this proposal, particularly in the present context of resource constraints, or considered that it should be pursued on a more modest scale.
FAO's field operations
218. The Conference recognized the catalytic importance of FAO's field operations to Member Nations, recipients and donors alike. In partnership with member countries, the Field Programme had given concrete expression to FAO's aims and objectives and made its presence and impact felt in developing member countries.
219. The Conference endorsed the conclusion of the report that the Regular and Field Programmes were intertwined both in structure and functions. Through its technical support, the Regular Programme was making its technical and analytical work available to field projects and in turn was receiving data and feedback from the field to strengthen the technical contents of its own activities and to update its information bases.
220. The Conference was informed that in recent years a number of other technical and funding agencies had entered the traditional areas of technical assistance originally handled by FAO and this development had created problems for the Organization. The majority of Member Nations expressed deep concern about this development as it was harming the lead role of FAO. Some Member Nations, however, expressed the view that the main factor determining FAO's share in multilateral technical assistance was the Organization's competitiveness and the quality of work produced.
221. The Conference concurred that FAO was making available to governments its worldwide experience in its field projects and that FAO's performance compared favourably with that of other agencies. However, the limited availability of resources had imposed severe restrictions on the Field Programme and it was important that FAO's capacity to plan and implement projects be restored.
222. The Conference recognized that the complexity of field operations had increased significantly in recent years. With new modalities for project execution, there had been a marked change in FAO's technical cooperation activities at the country level. A large number of FAO-executed projects were providing highly specialized short-term services to large size national projects and programmes. While the Organization had tried its best to cope with these new modalities, the burden on FAO in terms of staff workload and financial cost had been heavy, particularly in the light of constraints on the Regular budget and the declining level of support costs in real terms. In this connection, the Conference noted with regret that the recent financial difficulties had affected the level of Regular Programme support to field projects.
223. The Conference endorsed the view that it was essential to maintain consistency between the character of the Field Programme and FAO's main objectives and priorities. It agreed that where appropriate and feasible, FAO's involvement in field projects should inter alia be based on the criterion of comparative advantage.
224. The Conference stressed the need for a programme approach as far as possible in order to provide a coherent focus to field operations and to avoid a multiplicity of projects with limited impact. While projects should be related as much as possible to FAO's high priority areas, as defined by the FAO Governing Bodies, the Conference recognized the need for flexibility to enable the Organization to respond effectively to governments' specific requests on their own merits.
225. The Conference gave special attention to the balance between the scope and size of the Field Programme and the Regular Programme resources available for administrative and technical backstopping. Some Member Nations endorsed the view of the independent Experts that the number of field projects, especially small projects, had increased sharply in recent years and was affecting the quality of their results. They encouraged FAO to be more selective in accepting field projects. The majority of Member Nations, while recognizing that projects should be consistent with the priorities agreed to by FAO's Governing Bodies, considered however that FAO should also be ready to respond adequately to a large diversity of country requirements as determined by their own policies and priorities.
226. The Conference endorsed, without any order of ranking, the recommendations of the report including inter alia:
(b) reinforcing FAO's staff responsible for field operations and backstopping;
(c) strengthening FAO's representation in member countries and greater decentralization of authority to FAO Representatives for field operations;
(d) securing more Trust Funds, especially in support of the Special Action Programmes, and streamlining their procedures while maintaining their multilateral character;
(e) considering the creation of a special facility for project formulation and identification;
(f) the development of a computerized management information system for field operations;
(g) strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of field projects;
(h) enhancing the role of governments in project execution, including increased use of national staff and facilities;
(i) the training of national staff in project formulation, monitoring and evaluation;
(j) increasing cooperation with NGOs.
227. While differing views were expressed on the recommendation concerning the possible establishment of a Field Inspection Unit, the Conference urged the Director-General to strengthen the process of Field Programme evaluation through the work of the Evaluation Service.
228. The Conference expressed appreciation for the contributions of the Investment Centre in attracting capital for agricultural and rural development in the developing countries, especially LDCs and urged further support for its activities.
229. A number of Member Nations gave support to the Regional Offices and stated that the focus of their work should be on supporting regional groupings. They stressed that both Regional and Country Offices had a valid and effective role. Most Member Nations while recognizing the need to strengthen FAO representations were of the view that this should not be done at the expense of weakening the developmental role of the regional set-up. Some Member Nations agreed with the experts, who, while recognizing that the Regional Offices were a necessary part of FAO's structure, had expressed themselves in favour of strengthening the country offices rather than the Regional Offices. They noted that the Committees had generally supported the experts' view, though they too had recognized the importance of the Regional Offices to a majority of Member Nations. A few Member Nations called for a review of the respective roles of the Headquarters, the regional and the country offices. Most Member Nations were, however, of the view that such a review was not called for under Resolution 6/87.
Technical cooperation programme
230. The Conference agreed that the TCP, as a vital element in FAO's field operations, be maintained in its present form. Most Member Nations stressed that funds allocated to TCP were inadequate to meet requests and that the Programme's share in the Regular budget should be progressively increased. A few Member Nations considered that such an increase was not warranted and that there should be no prejudgment on future budget levels. They felt that the matter should not be pressed in view of the Resolution adopted on the Review of Certain Aspects of FAO's Goals and Operations. They believed that with better planning by governments, activities now taken up by the TCP could be financed by other means, thereby relieving the pressure of demands on TCP. They also felt that reporting on the TCP should be strengthened. Some Member Nations also supported the increasing use of the TCP for project identification and formulation. The Conference considered that additional funds could be made available to TCP on a voluntary basis and requested the Director-General to contact potential donor countries and other sources for this purpose.
231. The Conference nevertheless adopted the following Resolution:
INCREASE IN ALLOCATION FOR TECHNICAL COOPERATION PROGRAMME IN FORTHCOMING BIENNIA
Recalling the basic mandate given to FAO in Article 1-3 of its Constitution "to furnish such technical assistance as governments may request", Noting with satisfaction that the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) has enabled FAO to respond promptly to the urgent needs of developing countries for technical assistance, policy advice, training, mobilization of investment resources and emergency cases,
Noting with regret that the resources available to TCP have fallen from 14.1 percent of the total budget in 1986-87 to 12.8 percent in 1988-89 and to 11.8 percent in 1990-91,
Considering that in the future significant additional technical assistance will be required due to the greater difficulties of developing countries to meet food production targets to feed ever increasing populations, lacking technology and capital, unable to keep pace with modernization process,
Acknowledging with gratitude the special contribution of the Government of Italy for TCP in the amount of US$ 30 million for the biennium 1988-89:
2. Urges all Member Governments to assure adequate financial provision for this programme including through voluntary contributions;
3. Invites the Director-General to make every effort in order to restore the resources available to TCP to the former level of 14 percent of the total Regular Programme budget and, if possible, to raise it to 17 percent.
(Adopted 28 November 1989)
Relations with other Institutions
232. The Conference noted that FAO's interaction with the UN specialized agencies and funding institutions was extensive and on the whole satisfactory. It noted the satisfactory relationships between FAO and ILO, WHO, IFAD, IAEA, GATT and UNCTAD. Its inter-action with the World Bank was good, but there were additional areas for expanding mutual cooperation. Improved coordination was called for to deal with overlapping of work with six UN agencies (UNEP, UNICEF, UNDP, UNIDO, WFC and WFP). The report had made some recommendations on how overlaps with these institutions could be avoided and cooperation enhanced. These recommendations were endorsed by the Conference. The Conference agreed on the need for FAO's full association with the UNDP-sponsored national technical cooperation assessment programmes.
233. The Conference welcomed the Director-General's initiative in submitting a recommendation for the creation of an inter-secretariat consultative mechanism among the Rome-based UN food organizations, to strengthen coordination.
234. The Conference noted that the report of the Committees had included 32 recommendations and 4 additional recommendations were submitted by the Director-General. In the judgement of the Director-General, out of the 36 recommendations, only 19 called for additional resources. In this connection, the Director-General had outlined priority expenditures under three categories amounting to a tentative figure of US$ 26.75 million:
Category 2: four recommendations for a total of US$ 6.05 million from the Regular Programme;
Category 3: five recommendations for a total of US$ 8.39 million from extra-budgetary resources.
The majority of Member Nations were in agreement with the priority listing of recommendations as proposed by the Director-General. Some Member Nations did not endorse this priority listing, including the categories in which some of the priorities had been placed.
235. While the Conference agreed that the implementation of the recommendations could be carried out progressively, differing views were expressed on the level of additional resources required and methods of financing. A few Member Nations considered that there should be no assumed link between reform and funding and stressed that the cost of implementing the recommendations should be met through the reordering of priorities in the PWB 1990-91 and in subsequent biennia and through savings. Some other Member Nations were of the opinion that adjustments in the PWB would be insufficient to absorb all the costs and, therefore, some additional resources from the assessed budget and/or extra-budgetary sources would be necessary.
236. The majority of Member Nations, however, rejected the idea of any linkage between the Review and the PWB. In their opinion FAO was in severe financial difficulties and they were not in favour of adjustments which would damage the approved programme.
237. Many Member Nations suggested that part of the costs, at least during the 1990-91 biennium, could be met through voluntary contributions. The Conference urged Member Nations to make such voluntary contributions known to the Director-General as early as possible.
238. As most of the recommendations required resource commitment on a continuing basis, the majority of the Member Nations considered it would have been justified to provide additional resources under the Regular Programme for the 1990-91 and 1992-93 biennia.
239. Taking account however of consultations undertaken on the initiative of the Chairman of Commission II, the Conference adopted the following Resolution:
REVIEW OF CERTAIN ASPECTS OF FAO's GOALS AND OPERATIONS
Recalling the decision of the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference in Resolution 6/87 to request the Programme and Finance Committees to carry out, with the assistance of experts, and present to the present Session a review of the role, priorities, objectives and strategies of the organization,
Appreciating the initiative of the Director-General at the same time to commission a review of certain administrative and financial questions through management consultants and to submit their conclusions and his views to the Programme and Finance Committees,
Expressing gratitude to the two Groups of Experts which assisted the Programme and Finance Committees for the quality of their work and of the reports submitted to the Programme and Finance Committees,
Expressing satisfaction with the efforts of the Programme and Finance Committees in successfully conducting the Review and with their report as submitted to the Conference in which a consensus was reached on almost all the issues,
Expressing satisfaction also with the comprehensive and positive views of the Director-General, and noting his categorization of the potential expenditures involved in implementation of additional programmes and activities recommended in the Review into three categories, and his conclusions on the reports of the Management Consultants,
Supporting the conclusion of the experts that the Organization remains a solid and dynamic institution" and their views on the continuing validity, relevance and importance of the objectives, strategies, roles and activities of the organization in dealing with the problems of food and agriculture in the world as a whole and in individual member countries,
Considering that FAO is the Organization within the UN system charged with providing assistance in the area of food and agricultural development and requires progressive strengthening in line with the increasing level of requests from Member Nations while further increasing its effectiveness and efficiency and the impact of its programmes,
Noting in this connection the need on the part of all organizations of the UN system to coordinate their efforts, so as to avoid unnecessary duplication and overlap in the activities within their mandates and to make the best use of the resources available to them, Welcoming recent international developments towards the fulfilment of universal membership,
Taking into account the views of Member Nations as expressed during the debate on this agenda item at the current session of the Conference,
Further taking into account the decisions of the Conference on the Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91:
2. Reiterates the validity and complementarity of the three major roles of FAO - assembling and disseminating information; serving as an international forum and source of policy advice; and providing technical assistance to Member Nations - and the need to obtain and maintain a reasonable balance between them, and in the programmes and activities falling respectively thereunder, in the light of the requirements of Member Nations and available resources;
3. Recognizes also in this connection that in accordance with its mandates, an integral part of the goals and priorities of the Organization must be the increased awareness and concern of Member Nations to promote and strengthen efforts for sustainable development, protection of the environment and the proper management of natural resources in the interests of future generations, the removal of trade barriers and protectionism affecting world trade in food and agricultural products, other impediments to the agricultural development on a sustainable basis of the developing countries, and the full involvement of women in the development process;
4. Recognizes further in this connection the particular importance of strengthening FAO's assistance on request to Member Nations and to institutions in the formulation of country policy advice and studies, including where requested, structural adjustment programmes; strengthening technical cooperation, including TCDC and the TCP, and the links and consistency between the Regular and Field Programmes, in accordance with national plans and projects, country programmes or Statements; and building up national institutional capacities, including transfer of technology and the results of research;
5. Considers that so as to be better able to meet the expectations and requests of Member Nations for its advice and assistance, there is need to strengthen and support the Organization's objectives, roles and activities, as well as its effectiveness and impact;
6. Decides to introduce a rolling six-year medium-term plan covering three biennia which would deal with the setting of priority areas across the spectrum of the Organization's programmes and activities and would serve as a basis for priority-setting in subsequent biennial Programmes of Work and Budget. It should take into account the Close links between the Regular and Field Programmes and if possible include a provisional indication of resources by programme; and requests the Director-General to prepare for the Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference the first version Of such a plan, taking into account the views of Member Nations in particular those expressed in Regional Conferences, Council Committees, technical statutory bodies and in approved Action Plans;
7. Agrees to continue the programme budget process implemented on an experimental basis for the preparation of the Programme of Work and Budget 1990-91 for at least another biennium;
8. Requests the Director-General to examine ways and means Of strengthening the effectiveness of FAO field representations in the light of the resources available and of the views Of the Groups of Experts and the conclusions thereon of the Programme and Finance Committees and of the Conference;
9. Acknowledges that in the present situation the resources available under the Regular Programme and from extra-budgetary funds are likely to be insufficient to meet all the demands on the Regular and Field Programmes of the organization and that this situation imposes a considerable constraint on the capacity of the organization to respond to the extent desirable, thereby requiring the Organization to apply where appropriate and to the extent feasible the criteria inter alia of comparative advantage and greater selectivity in its activities;
10. Appeals to all Member Nations to pay their full assessed contributions to the Regular Programme promptly in order to re-establish the financial capacity of the Organization and calls for particular efforts to implement on a phased basis the recommendations emanating-from the review, without impairing the execution of the other priorities and activities in the Programme of Work and Budget approved by the Conference;
11. Further appeals to all financing agencies and institutions which are in a posit-on to do so favourably to consider the provision of extra-budgetary funds to cover the cost of implementing selected, appropriate activities;
12. Approves the conclusions and recommendations contained in the report of the Programme and Finance Committees on the Review, and taking into account the additional recommendations of the Director-General in his Views and Comments;
13. Recognizes the need for adequate resources, including the provision of extra-budgetary funds, to implement the measures proposed in this Resolution without impairing the execution of other priorities and programmes in successive Programmes of Work and Budget adopted by the Conference, and requests the Director-General to implement the recommendations emanating from the Review as approved by the Conference on a phased basis to the extent that resources foreseen above are available;
14. Further requests the Director-General to report on implementation to the Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference through the Council and the Programme and Finance Committees in accordance with established practice.
(Adopted 28 November 1989)
240. The Conference recalled that although the Review had been completed, the dialogue which had been established among Member Nations during its session had been constructive, and it expressed the hope that this would continue in order to better support the objectives of the organization.
FAO management review
241. The Conference noted with appreciation the results of the Management Review Commissioned on the initiative of the Director-General and approved by the Programme and Finance Committees. It noted the agreement reached in the Council that matters arising from it would be pursued in the Finance-Committee on the basis of the Conference discussion of the Management Review.
E. United Nations/FAO World Food Programme (WFP)
WFP proposed pledging target 1991-92
242. In introducing the item, the Executive Director drew attention to the need for pledges and contributions to fully reach the target if the present level of activities were to be maintained. The fact that WFP had come to be relied upon as a major source of development and humanitarian assistance meant that the level of resources accorded it had a measurable impact on the world's poorest people. He particularly pointed out the vital role of the Programme in increasing food security and the magnitude of its involvement in environmental activities in developing countries. The Executive Director also referred to WFP's continuing involvement in humanitarian relief to alleviate Suffering caused by civil strife and natural calamities.
243. The Executive Director noted, however, that increasing food commodity prices had resulted in declining resources and the Programme was now forced to reduce the level of its assistance. He stressed that food-assisted development projects could not be subjected to variations in resource availability. He was particularly concerned about the reduction in multilateral contributions while bilateral donations through WFP had remained stable. He noted that even emergency relief had been subjected to reductions. Finally, he appealed to donors not to reduce their volume of multilateral food aid through the Programme only because commodity prices had risen and stocks had fallen.
244. The Conference commended the efficient management of the Programme. WFP's staff were congratulated for their efforts to alleviate human suffering and particular tribute was paid to its field staff for their dedicated service often under very difficult and dangerous circumstances.
245. The Conference underlined the importance of WFP as a major source of assistance to developing countries. Referring to the practical benefits derived from WFP-assisted activities, it stressed the vital contribution of food aid to economic and social development directly, and also as a catalyst for attracting other assistance. The Programme's widespread support for projects with environmental aspects - such as watershed management, soil conservation and reforestation - was particularly welcomed.
246. The Conference further noted with appreciation the extensive involvement of WFP in emergency relief both for natural calamities and man-made disasters.
247. The Conference noted with regret that commodity price increases had led to a reduction in commodity availabilities which in turn would result in a scaling down of the Programmer's activities at a time when many developing countries faced a precarious economic situation. It appealed to donors to adopt measures whereby the phenomenon could be avoided.
248. The Conference noted with satisfaction the high volume of the Programme's food purchases in developing countries, both for use in local WFP-assisted projects and to assist other developing countries.
249. The Conference considered that the pledging target of US$ 1 500 million for WFP's regular resources for the biennium 1991-92 was realistic and endorsed it unanimously. It appealed to traditional as well as potential donors to make every effort to fulfil the target. It particularly stressed the importance of providing one-third of the total contribution in the form of cash pledges in order to give the Programme necessary operational flexibility.
250. The Conference unanimously adopted the following Resolution:
TARGET FOR WFP PLEDGES FOR THE PERIOD 1991-92
Recalling the provisions of its Resolution 9/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference,
Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 8/87 of 26 November 1987 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1990, at which time governments and appropriate donor organizations should be invited to pledge contributions for 1991 and 1992, with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the UN General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations,
Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Twenty-seventh Session and by the FAO Council at its Ninety-fifth Session,
Having considered Resolution 1/95 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 next two years 1991 and 1992 a target for voluntary contributions of US$1 500 million, of which not less than one-third should be in cash and/or services in aggregate, and - expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial additional contributions from other sources in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level.
2. Urges State Members 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 early in 1990.
(Adopted 28 November 1989)