Rome, 23 - 28 November 1998
SUMMARIES OF THE MAIN RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE 1998 REGIONAL CONFERENCES
This document contains summaries of the main recommendations of the 1998 Regional Conferences for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Near East.
Table of Contents
TWENTIETH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR AFRICA
TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE NEAR EAST
TWENTY-FOURTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
TWENTY-FIRST FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR EUROPE
TWENTY-FIFTH FAO REGIONAL CONFERENCE FOR LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16-20 February 1998
1. Emphasized that food security, especially household access to food, was crucial to African countries, as it was the key to political stability without which economic and social development would be unattainable (para. 21a).
2. Noted that the private sector was currently playing an important role in the social and economic development of many African countries, and stressed the need to associate it with various activities in follow-up to the World Food Summit (para. 21c).
3. Observed that climatic changes including the "El Nino" phenomenon were having adverse effects on the food production potential of several countries, and recommended regional and sub-regional cooperation as well as the support of the international community in devising appropriate solutions (para. 21 d).
4. Noted the varied conditions that led to internal upheavals and conflicts in some countries with their negative effects on food production, and recommended that neighbouring countries and the international community cooperate with the affected countries in finding appropriate solutions (para. 21 h).
5. Agreed that strategies which involved increased womens participation in policy and decision making contributed to increased food security and recommended that necessary programmes and policies be implemented by countries to favour in particular womens access to technology, appropriate extension services and credit (para. 21g).
6. Noted the complex multi-sectoral character of food security and urged FAO to support regional economic groupings in the development of joint food security policies and strategies (para. 21i).
7. Appreciated the value of participation by countries in the TCDC programme as an instrument of South-South Cooperation and urged that this be further expanded (para. 21m).
The Conference :
8. Appreciated the results of the Pilot Phase of the Special Programme for Food Security and called for coverage of the whole continent (para. 22b).
9. Supported the priority given to sustainable management of natural resources, and urged that more attention be given to watershed development and management as the basis for conservation and rehabilitation of lands as well as for sustainable irrigation schemes in Africa (para. 22f).
10. Stressed the need for strengthening the capacities of the Regional and Sub-Regional Offices in the area of livestock production and animal health care including shelter for poultry and swine as well as animal feed production (para. 22d).
11. Supported the priority given to sustainable management of natural resources, and urged that more attention be given to watershed development and management as the basis for the conservation and rehabilitation of lands as well as for sustainable irrigation schemes in Africa (para. 22f).
12. Approved the future orientation of the Regional Programmes which involve a Strategic Framework for the post-World Food Summit era and the absolute priority which food security represents for the region and endorsed the policy objective of increased food production and food security through:
i) expansion of irrigated agriculture as planned in the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS);
ii) conservation and rehabilitation of lands;
iii) increased empowerment of rural women in food production;
iv) capacity building for non-governmental organizations and farmers associations for food security and sustainable agriculture;
v) integrated management of terrestrial, marine and freshwater resources;
vi) strengthening of national and regional institutions capacity and regional cooperation in the control of plant and animal pests and diseases (para.22i).
13. Noted with satisfaction the beginning of trilateral cooperation among African countries and FAO, through the Director-Generals "South-South Cooperation" initiative and FAOs different partnership programmes, especially TCDC, and recommended that such cooperation be further strengthened (para.22j).
14. Emphasized the need to use the expertise available in the Regional and Sub-Regional Offices of FAO to find solutions to problems associated with livestock (para.12h).
15. Further recommended that the existing cooperation between FAO and various regional and sub-regional groupings and commissions be further strengthened (para.12m).
16. Underlined the importance of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) in realising the objective of food security and recommended that the Director-General of FAO intensify his laudable efforts to mobilize funds for financing projects within this framework (para. 12c).
17. Further recommended that the existing cooperation between FAO and various regional and sub-regional groupings and commissions be further strengthened (para.12m).
18. Recommended the preparation by the Regional Office of a synthesis of African national reports to facilitate the work of the Africa Group at the meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in 1999 (para.12n).
19. Commended FAO for the FIVIMS which is a major effort for quantifying food security needs and recommended that FAO intensify its efforts in this direction (para.12o).
20. Took cognizance of the need for Member States to develop and harmonize their national forestry and agricultural policies as specified in Agenda 21 of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (para.13i).
21. Noted that countries outside the Africa Region had experience in watershed development and management which could be of direct benefit to countries of the region and recommended the development of capacities in this area through FAOs TCDC Programme, focusing on marginal zones and poorest farmers (para.13j).
22. Endorsed the conclusions and recommendations highlighted in paragraph 62 of the document which is attached as Annex A for presentation to the Plenary Session of the 20th FAO Regional Conference for Africa, for consideration and possible adoption (para. 13n).
The Conference :
23. Recommended that the document define the role of the private and public sectors in the agricultural development process (para.13e).
24. Recommended further analysis related to issues of privatization and land tenure (para.13f).
25. Recommended that for the period 1999-2002 the regional representative to the CGIAR be selected by Association for strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) and from its sub-region, in view of the fact that in 1994, the regional representative was selected from the Southern African centre for Cooperation in Agricultural Research (SACCAR) sub-region for the period 1994-98 and that in 1996, the regional representative was selected from Conference of Directors of Agricultural Research in Western and Central Africa (CORAF) sub-region for the period 1997-2000 (para.15d).
26. Recommended that participants constitute themselves into promoters of CAAP, and in this regard, urged member countries to designate CAAP focal points in their respective ministries (para.16e).
The Conference :
27. Recommended that the Director-General continue to monitor progress on CAAP, and report to the 21st Regional Conference on cooperation on CAAP development received from Member States since the 20th Session and corresponding achievements (para.16f).
28. Further recommended that the Director-General continue to support the OAU/AEC Secretariat, to the extent possible, in moving the CAAP process forward (para.16g).
29. Recommended that FAO collaborate with the African Timber Organization in planning a Workshop for the Central African Region, similar to those which were scheduled for the Southern and Eastern African Sub-Regions in collaboration with IPGRI, ICRAF, SADC and IGAD (para. 17c).
30. Was reminded of the usual practice in the selection of the venue for its next Session and in this regard consultations were continuing for the selection of a host country from the Central African Region. The decision would be communicated to FAO in due course. However, the Cameroon delegation informed the Conference that its country would be willing to host the 21st Regional Conference if that was the outcome of the consultations (para. 27).
31. The delegation of Egypt offered to host the Twenty-First FAO Regional Conference for Africa in case a host could not be found from the Central African Region (para. 28).
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, 21-25 March 1998
The Conference called upon Member States to:
32. Promote the development of appropriate agro-industries for increasing the value added of agricultural crops and consequently raise farmers income, generate employment opportunities, reduce crop waste and losses, and encourage export of agricultural products (para. 23).
33. Encourage intra-regional trade which had hitherto remained at a very low level (para. 23); and
34. join and/or ratify the Agreement on the Establishment of the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO), so that this organization would be operational as soon as possible (para. 23).
The Conference requested FAO to:
35. Assist in the formulation of a regional strategy for agricultural development to promote regional cooperation and to identify specific regional projects for achieving sustainable food security (para. 24); and
36. Increase technical assistance to the Central Asian member states of the Near East Region and consider establishing a sub-regional office to serve these countries in particular and the neighbouring countries of the Near East Region in general (para. 24).
The Conference adopted the report of the Senior Officers Meeting with the following recommendations:
The Meeting called upon Member States of the Region to:
37. Collaborate in the exchange of experiences regarding implementation of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES) programmes (para. 25).
38. Actively participate in the "Regional Network on Rural Development and Food Security" and support FAO efforts to establish a Regional Network for Agricultural Policy Analysis and Planning (para. 25); and
39. Strengthen cooperation among countries of the Region and with regional and sub-regional organizations in the implementation of the World Food Summit (WFS) Plan of Action, and to report thereon, for the meeting of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) to be held in 1999 (para. 25).
The Meeting requested FAO to:
40. Further strengthen its Regional and Sub-Regional Offices in the Near East to better support the Organizations regional and field programmes (para. 26).
41. Assist Member states in approaching donors and international organizations for support in their national efforts to implement the WFS Plan of Action (para. 26).
42. Report on the progress achieved in cooperation with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the "Right to Food" issue as contained in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in line with Objective 7.4 of the Plan of Action; and to call upon countries not to use food for political reasons (para. 26); and
43. Assist in conducting an inventory of national traditional water conservation and harvesting practices with a view to improving and promoting such practices as low-cost water-saving technologies (para. 26).
44. Policy Reform and Sustainable Food Security in the Near East Region - Constraints and Options (para. 26).
The Meeting called upon Member States to promote sustainable food security in line with the WFS commitments, and in particular, urged them to:
45. Review their development strategies and policies to create an enabling social and macro-economic environment for achieving household food security (para. 25).
46. Develop the legislation required for the effective establishment of property rights and protection of investments by farmers and the business community (para. 25).
47. Improve water management systems and legislation (para. 25).
48. Maintain adequate and well targeted social security, strengthen the human resource base, with particular emphasis on the poor, and devote special attention to the problems of marginal lands (para. 25).
49. Provide appropriate marketing services and infrastructure, food control system, and support research and extension services (para. 25).
50. Participate effectively in the establishment of a Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (para. 25); and
51. Join promptly the collaborative efforts led by FAO and other regional organizations for the eradication of the Old World Screw-worm that has recently broken out in Iraq (para. 25).
The Meeting called upon FAO to:
52. Continue supporting countries endeavours in reviewing and formulating their national agricultural and rural development strategies, policies and plans of action and in preparation for multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture (para. 26).
53. Promote technical cooperation among countries in the areas of sustainable food security including research and extension, water policy reforms, agricultural marketing and rural finance, reduction of pre- during- and post-harvest losses, harmonization of food control legislation and procedures, and adopting an optimal cropping mix and rotations (para. 26).
54. Support the establishment of a Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (para. 26).
55. Assist in the establishment and/or strengthening of Food Security/Food Information Systems, in particular the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS), at both the national and regional levels (para. 26).
56. Continue providing technical assistance, particularly through the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) (para. 26).
57. Continue leading the national and international collaborative efforts for the control of the Old World Screw-worm in Iraq and in other neighbouring countries, and to benefit from the successful Libyan experience in this regard (para. 26).
58. Consider preparing a document on economic and social policies in the Region for discussion at the next Regional Conference, under the related standing item, in addition to other topics to be selected in consultation with the countries of the Region. Agenda items for the next Regional Conference might include: "Water Policy Reform in the Near East", and "Policies for Intra-regional Cooperation" (para. 26); and
59. Assist in organizing a regional expert meeting on the optimal utilization of water resources and irrigation, in collaboration with ICARDA which expressed its readiness to co-sponsor the meeting, to be held in the Islamic Republic of Iran upon the kind invitation of the Iranian delegation (para. 26).
Reactivation of the FAO Near East Cooperative Programme
The Meeting considered Document NERC/98/INF/6, "Progress Report on the Reactivation of the FAO Near East Cooperative Programme (NECP)". Delegates commended the successes achieved by the NECP during its first phase and noted the alternatives and proposals formulated by the FAO/RNE in this respect. There was general agreement on the proposed alternative of partnership, whereby all countries contribute to this Programme. However, due to the present financial circumstances faced by most countries of the Region, and as no consensus could be reached on the NECP reactivation, the Meeting recommended referring this topic to the High-level Committee to continue exploring the NECP reactivation, taking into consideration the possibility of approaching national and regional funding institutions to be directly involved in this endeavour, and to report its findings to the next Ministerial Meeting in two years. It also agreed that the FAO Regional Office for the Near East would provide secretarial services for the High-Level Committee.
Desert Locust: Emergency Prevention System
(EMPRES) for Transboundary Animal and
Plant Pest and Diseases
The Conference called upon EMPRES Member States to:
60. Intensify cooperation with EMPRES in the areas of early detection and intervention, training and research (para. 31).
61. Provide regular and complete reports on their activities, capabilities and requirements (para. 31); and
62. Share costs and efforts in implementing the programme so as to ensure the sustainability of preventive control after the termination of EMPRES (para. 31).
The Conference urged FAO to:
63. Implement in the Western Region a programme similar to the Desert Locust Component of EMPRES (para. 28).
64. Formalize linkages between the two main bodies active in desert locust control in the Central Region (the Commission for Controlling Desert Locust and EMPRES) in order to achieve complementarity and cost-effectiveness of human and financial resources (para. 30).
Progress Report on the Implementation of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Near East Plant Protection Organization (NEPPO)
The Conference recommended that all countries of Region, which were not yet Parties to the Agreement and particularly those which were Parties to PPC, ratify it or accede to it as soon as possible since three more ratifications were needed for the Agreement to be operational.
Representation of the Region on the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)
The Conference appointed a four member selection committee to review CVs of candidates received from Cyprus, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco and the Sudan, in order to select one regional representation for the period 1998-2002, replacing the Representative from the Arab Republic of Egypt. The Conference approved the committee's selection of Mr. Osman Ageeb (Sudan).
Date and Place of the Twenty-Fifth FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
The Conference welcomed the invitation extended by the Government of Lebanon to host the next 25th FAO Regional Conference for the Near East and requested that the Director-General of FAO to take this kind invitation into consideration when deciding on the date and place of the coming Conference, in consultation with Member Governments of the Region.
Yangon, Myanmar, 20-24 April 1998
65. Recommended that the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries be used widely as a guideline in formulating and implementing fisheries management systems (para. 28).
66. Requested that workshops and seminars on the implications and subsequent implementation of the Code be organized at the sub-regional and regional levels (para. 28).
67. Recommended that the Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC) seek to harmonize national fishery policies with a view toward attaining the sustainability of fishery resources, including transboundary and straddling and highly migratory fish stocks (para. 30).
68. Recommended that the APFIC work to accelerate the transfer of technology and capacity building in the fisheries sector (para. 30).
69. Recommended that the APFIC strive to translate research results into effective management options for the region (para. 30).
70. Recommended that governments throughout the region give increased attention to fisheries management and endeavor to strengthen decision-making and management capacity; the improvement of fishery information and statistical data was viewed as a critical contribution in support of these goals (para. 27).
71. Recommended that member governments actively support and participate in the work of the APFIC (para. 30).
72. Urged all countries to take appropriate measures to control the clearing of mangrove forests, water pollution and siltation which have negative impacts on marine fisheries (para. 32).
73. Recommended that FAO work to enhance the capacity of member countries to conduct reliable surveys of fish stocks and to collect accurate data on harvests to facilitate sustainable management of resources (para. 27).
74. Requested FAO to assume a leadership role among the large number of regional and sub-regional bodies dealing with fisheries resources in Asia and the Pacific to enhance cooperation and coordination and to avoid duplication (para. 31).
75. Urged FAO to give due attention to the needs of land-locked and small-island countries in developing appropriate fish production strategies and optimizing fish yields (para. 33).
76. Requested FAO to work closely with concerned countries to analyze the problem of post-harvest food losses and make recommendations on how such losses could be reduced (para. 40).
77. Recommended several key areas for concerted national, regional and international actions in pursuance of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, including: (i) mobilizing resources to assist Low-Income Food-Deficit Countries (LIFDCs) in initiating and sustaining their national plans of action; (ii) enhancing the role of women in implementing the seven commitments for achieving food security; (iii) assisting transition economies with liberalization and privatization of food markets and other macro-economic measures; (iv) improving preparedness for the new world trading order, especially for the LIFDCs and small Pacific island countries; (v) strengthening national early warning systems and starting the work on Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping Systems (FIVIMS); (vi) sharing information and experiences in translating the World Food Summit Plan of Action into national plans of action among Pacific island countries; and (vii) strengthening the work on biotechnology for the benefit of small farmers (para. 43).
78. Recommended the full use of TCDC/ECDC and other mechanisms for regional cooperation (para. 45).
79. Called for countries to be resolute in sustaining resource allocations for agriculture and food security (para. 38).
80. Urged donor countries to provide support for FIVIMS (para. 41).
81. Requested FAO to assist countries in preparing project documents necessary for full participation in the Special Programme on Food Security (SPFS) (para. 39).
82. Requested FAO support in strengthening preparedness to deal with the El Niņo phenomenon and other natural disasters (para. 41).
83. Urged FAO to assist in strengthening national and regional early warning systems within the framework of the Global Information and Early Warning System (para. 41).
84. Requested FAO, in cooperation with other international organizations, to help minimize the adverse impacts of forest fires and to assist member countries in developing effective strategies, policies and technologies for preventing, combating and managing forest fires (para. 42).
85. Called upon FAO to reinforce and extend its work in implementing the Special Programme on Food Security, supporting the preparation of agricultural strategies for LIFDCs, promoting South-South cooperation, launching FIVIMS, organizing Telefood, supporting sustainable forest management, and assisting in marketing and trade development (para. 44).
86. Requested FAO to focus on following food security and production aspects: fertilizer and nutrient management, water management and irrigation, integrated pest management, development of sustainable aquaculture, post-harvest technologies, food quality and safety, emergency management of pests and diseases, and development of early warning systems (para. 48).
87. Requested that FAO give priority attention to agricultural support systems, particularly gender analysis and the roles of women, agricultural cooperatives, research and extension, and low-interest farm credit (para. 49).
88. Requested FAO to give priority support to member countries in sustaining and enhancing the resource base, particularly in avoiding soil loss and degradation, reforesting degraded lands, developing agroforestry, managing forests sustainably, and protecting forests against damaging wildfires (para. 50).
89. Urged FAO to provide full support to member countries in implementing the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific and the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (para. 50).
90. Requested FAO to focus on necessary adjustment of policies in relation to trade liberalization and the potential impacts of the new world trade order on food-importing countries (para. 51).
91. Urged FAO to enhance its collaboration with bilateral aid agencies and other multilateral organizations and NGOs to improve efficiency and avoid duplication (para. 52).
92. Urged FAO to make maximum use of TCDC/ECDC arrangements and to expedite South-South cooperation (para. 52).
93. Recommended that the practice of reporting separately on activities in Pacific island countries should be retained in the future (para. 53).
94. Supported FAOs ongoing efforts to decentralize resources and authorities to the Regional and Sub-regional offices and urged continued progress in strengthening the capacity and efficiency of these offices (para. 54).
95. Recommended that representatives of the region on the CGIAR should have a close association with the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI) and other regional research organizations (para. 56).
96. Endorsed the detailed proposals developed by FAO in consultation with the CGIAR Oversight Committee related to the criteria for suitable candidates to serve as regional representatives, mechanisms for enhancing the interaction of representatives with their constituencies and with other members and donors of the CGIAR, and procedures for improving the preparedness and participation of representatives in CGIAR meetings (para. 57).
97. Agreed that in selecting regional representatives, a balance should be struck, with one representative coming from an Asian country and one coming from a Pacific country (para. 58).
98. Selected Mr. Samisoni Ulitu, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji, and Dr. S.B.D.G. Jayawardene, Director of the Horticulture Research and Development Institute of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Sri Lanka, as the regions representatives in the CGIAR (para. 59).
99. Noted that the statement made by the Government of Japan that it was considering possibilities for hosting the twenty-fifth session of the FAO Regional Conference would be conveyed to the Director-General, who would decide on the date and place of the Conference in consultation with member governments of the region (para. 61).
Tallin, Estonia, 25-29 May 1998
The Conference stressed:
100. The necessity to continue reform of the Common Agricultual Policy.
101. The need to meet consumers expectations on food quality and food safety.
102. The pre-accession strategies enabling applicant countries to adopt the acquis communautaire.
103. The challenges facing the agricultural sector in preparation for the next round of WTO negotiations.
104. The importance of economically, ecologically and socially sustainable agriculture which takes into account preservation of the countryside, maintaining viable rural areas and arresting job losses and migration from rural areas for both men and women.
105. The need for sound management of the Regions forestry and fishery resources and ecologically fragile areas.
106. The willingness of Member Nations to share their experiences in overcoming often difficult transition periods.
107. The importance of cooperation at all levels, local, regional, national and international (para. 13).
108. Emphasized the importance of involving NGOs as active partners in the Summit follow-up.
109. Took note that few national reports had been submitted by the deadline set which clearly indicated that national governments faced difficulties in this exercise and remedial action was called for.
110. Took note that some population groups in economies in transition faced food insecurity due to an unbalanced diet, lacking vital elements and, low incomes, with a major responsibility to be assumed by national health education and information programmes (para. 19).
111. Noted the value of the EMPRES programme, when well focused.
112. Recalled the importance it attached to a full analysis of contraints and opportunities before SPFS projects were designed.
The Conference highlighted:
113. The need to assure food quality and safety, including comprehensive and harmonised food regulations based on Codex Alimentarius and World Trade Organization Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), adequate inspection, sampling and analysis programmes, and efficient and effective food industry control mechanisms at all levels.
114. The need for access to good quality and safe food, including traditional and newer food products, as well as informative labelling, including where appropriate the origin and method of production.
115. The problems that regulations may pose to small and developing countries and the need for a balance to be struck so that adequate measures are taken which do not create further impediments to trade and discriminate against food exporters where control systems are less well developed (para. 20).
The Conference was in general agreement on:
116. The importance of science-based standards, guidelines and recommendations, including those under FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius in attaining harmonised regulations to promote trade of good quality and safe foods.
117. The necessity for active and open dialogues and cooperation between consumers, consumer organizations, government authorities and food producers, processors and marketers which would help to meet consumer demands and nutritional and food safety needs (para. 21).
The Conference noted:
118. The need for FAO and other technical assistance programmes for developing countries and countries in transition to help improve consumer protection and assure improved food quality and safety.
119. The development of a new Joint FAO/IAEA Training and Laboratory Centre in Seibersdorf (Austria), to produce new methods of analysis, standard testing materials, and carry out and coordinate food quality and safety training (para. 22).
The Conference recommended:
120. That FAO continue to use a transparent process to select independent scientific experts to participate in FAO and FAO/WHO expert consultations making recommendations on various aspects of food quality and safety, including chemical and microbiological problems in foods (para. 23).
121. Was in general agreement on the importance of adequate soil information systems in the prevention of soil degradation and in assisting in the process of crop forecasting (para. 25).
122. Invited the European Commission to examine the possibility of financing the extension of the European Soil Information System (EUSIS) to incorporate information from countries which are entitled to attend the Regional Conference for Europe, subject to its cost-effectiveness and other parallel activities to avoid duplication of effort (paras. 26 and 27).
123. Noted that the issue of scale would need to be addressed but that all participating countries would be invited to take part in the technical consultation process (para. 28).
124. Recalled the recommendation of the 20th FAO Regional Conference that future reports provide quantitative data regarding resources allocated to the Region, and decided to pursue the matter through consultations between the European Regional Group (ERG) and the Secretariat on ways and means to get the requested information (paras. 32 and 36).
125. Welcomed the new format of the document which made a distinction between the main normative and operational activities, followed the structure of the Programme of Work and Budget under major programmes and included a part concerning future programming.
126. Requested that activities undertaken by the Joint FAO/IAEA Division in Vienna under sub-programme 18.104.22.168 be reported in the future.
127. Underlined the need for FAO to tailor its assistance according to the progress achieved in the transition process by the Central and Eastern European (CEE) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.
128. Stressed that there was a need for synergy and coordination in the assistance provided to CEE and CIS countries by FAO and by multi- and bilateral donors, in particular with EC programmes and the UN system (IFAD and WFP in particular).
129. Underlined the need for FAO to provide support to the countries seeking accession to the EU as well as membership in the World Trade Organization assisting them to meet the required criteria (para. 29).
130. Stressed that FAO endeavour focusing attention to the fields of normative advice and technical assistance to Member Nations continuing the transition process; participating in setting up or improving of land cadastre systems and the functioning of farm land markets; continue assistance in support of management of fragile ecosystems, mountain development and in particular sustainable management of forest resources; support in the conservation and management of animal and plant genetic resources; and in the development of nutrition programmes and food control and food health issues (para. 30).
131. Stressed that future programme orientations take into consideration the evolving situation in the Region and that priority areas be accompanied by an indication of the Organizations comparative advantage (para. 31).
132. Elected Mr. Ervin Balázs, Director of the Agricultural Biotechnology Centre in Godollo (Hungary), to represent the Region with the CGIAR for the period 1999-2002 (para. 37).
133. Suggested that user friendliness and demand-driven data presentation were essential (para. 38).
134. Noted that no proposals had yet been submitted on the date and place of the 22ndFAO Regional Conference for Europe (para. 41).
135. Requested the Director-General to place this topic on the agenda of the forthcoming Council Session (para 42).
Nassau, Bahamas, 16-20 June 1998
136. Underlined the need to further the agricultural trade liberalization process; to eliminate subsidies to exports; accelerate the reduction of production subsidies distorsioning trade; to examine export funding mechanisms; to avoid discrimination in the conditions of market access of agricultural commodities; to reject the use of non-scientifically based sanitary and phytozoosanitary measures as barriers to trade; to prevent the use of food as a political weapon of pressure; and to ensure that the special and different treatment given to the least developed countries, in particular, the net food-importing developing countries, be effectively put into practice (para. 47).
137. Noted the importance for agricultural trade of the next round of negotiations under the World Trade Organization and the urgent need for the round to begin before the end of 1999 (para. 49).
138. Recommended that the Governments identify areas of common interest so that they could align their positions at regional and subregional level on the issues to be discussed at the next round (para. 62).
139. Urged the Governments to reinforce mechanisms for the agricultural sector, both public and private, to participate in the preparation and monitoring of the forthcoming round of negotiations (para. 63).
140. Agreed that special consideration should be given to small-island states because of their fragility and vulnerability to climatic and economic factors (para. 48).
141. Agreed in general with the guidelines included in the document LARC/98/2 [ LARC/98/2: "Multilateral Discussions on the Reforms of the Agriculture Trade"] and emphasized the need for strict adherence to the envisaged time-frame for the deepening of the agricultural reforms referred to in Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture (para. 60).
142. Requested that FAO, within its mandate, help the countries to set up a platform for exchanging ideas during the process of preparation for the next round of negotiations para. 64).
143. Asked FAO to establish a regional programme of technical assistance, that would include the training of negotiators, for preparation and monitoring of the next round of negotiations, with the promotion of horizontal co-operation and coordination with other specialized agencies operating in the Region (para. 65).
144. Recommended that FAO, within its mandate, organize technical meetings to support the countries to define their negotiating positions, before the next meeting of the Council of the World Trade Organization (para. 66).
145. Requested that FAO continue to provide technical assistance on awareness and application of Codex Alimentarius standards (para. 67).
146. Pointed to the need to advance in the processes of reform of agricultural institutions and modernization of the public structures; to pursue the processes of decentralization as vehicles for greater participation; to accelerate the processes of land titling, adapting them to the different forms of land-ownership and strengthening legal security of tenure (para. 44).
147. Emphasized that rural development involved activities different than the strictly agricultural ones; that off-farm rural employment had acquired growing importance income and that the options for improving the living conditions of the rural population should consider the territorial context as the appropriate framework for the design and application of rural development policies (para. 45).
148. Urged the Governments to include rural development as a priority item on their policy agenda (para. 70).
149. Noted the improvements in the return to growth and the relative macroeconomic stability. Noted the persistence or accentuation of the sharp inequalities in income distribution and the limited progress - in some cases regress - in overcoming rural poverty. It pointed to the need for measures to neutralize the impact of globalization on small producers (para. 46).
150. Endorsed the document LARC/98/3 [ LARC/98/3: "Rural Development Strategy as the Focus towards the Reduction of the Extreme Poverty in the Region"] and drew particular attention to the proposed priorities areas which should orient the work of FAO in the Region: food security, dynamic insertion in foreign trade, sustainable management of natural resources, and agricultural institutional reform (para. 68).
151. Requested that FAO examine the following topics in greater depth: the importance of non-tariff barriers; safeguarding the positive aspects of pre-reform models; the development of human resources regarding training and organization; the role of agriculture in areas of urban influence; the importance of border agricultural corridors; funding for sustainable rural development; the distinction between rural and agricultural development; international migratory flows and their impact on peace and international relations; strengthening government regulatory capacity in basic services; the impact of natural disasters on the instability of food supply; and the evaluation of the effects of the globalization process (para. 69).
152. Recommended that FAO conduct an interagency examination of the impact of migration on the rural economy (para. 71).
153. Recognized that the political commitment made by the Governments at the World Food Summit should be expressed through the practical implementation of the Plan of Action to attain the set goals. It recommended the Governments to set up an evaluation mechanism, along the lines being developed by the Committee on World Food Security, and supported by the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) (para. 43).
154. Took note of the progress made by the countries in follow-up to the World Food Summit and emphasized the importance of such progress for achieving food security and social and economic development (para. 74).
155. Requested that the Governments identify reliable indicators for each commitment of the Plan of Action, particularly those related to access to food (para. 76).
156. Recommended that the Governments step up bilateral co-operation between the countries of the Region so as to take advantage of existing capacity and thereby achieve the goals of the Plan of Action. Donor support would have to be sought to render this initiative viable (para. 77).
157. Called attention to the serious impact of the El Niņo phenomenon on food security in many countries of the Region (para. 50).
158. Highlighted its importance as a forum to follow-up the commitments made at the World Food Summit, examine progress towards the regional goals and report on the matter to the Committee on World Food security (para. 56).
159. Endorsed the decision adopted by the Committee on World Food Security that the FAO Regional Conferences should take place prior to the sessions of the Committee on World Food Security so as to examine actions pursued at national and regional level (para. 75).
160. Requested that FAO reinforce the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) in a joint operation with the countries and to continue providing technical support to mitigate the damage caused by El Niņo (para. 50).
161. Examined the relevant document [ LARC/98/5: "Representation of the Region in the CGIAR"] and unanimously elected Dr. Compton Laurence Paul, Executive Secretary of PROCICARIBE, as regional representative in the CGIAR for the period 1999-2002 (para. 78).
162. Highlighted the importance of applying the Code in the Region to achieve the conservation of resources and the sustainability of fisheries, food security and social and economic development (para. 79).
163. Called upon the Governments to introduce the Code in their legislations and make the necessary institutional and policy changes needed to put it into practice in accordance with national and subregional requirements (para. 80).
164. Recognized the importance of the Fishery Commission for the Western Central Atlantic (WECAFC) for regional co-operation in the management and conservation of fishery resources and as an instrument for application of the Code in the Region (para. 82).
165. Asked FAO to continue providing technical co-operation and support in identifying funding for implementation of the Code at country level (para. 81).
166. Reaffirmed the importance of establishing a Subregional Office for Central America and renewed its request that FAO look into such a possibility (para. 57).
167. Noted the offer of the Delegation of Mexico to host the Twenty-Sixth FAO Regional Conference, which would be celebrated in the year 2000,. It also welcomed the offer of the Delegation of Cuba to host the Twenty-Seventh FAO Regional Conference, which would be held in the year 2002 (para. 87).
168. Suggested that in future Regional Conferences, a space for informal meetings among the Ministers of Agriculture be contemplated, in order to promote an exchange of ideas on issues of common interest (para. 87).
169. Requested that the Secretariat present a main document on the state of agriculture, fishery and forestry in the Region. This document must be distributed opportunely (para. 87).
170. Requested that FAO include, among others, the following items in the agenda of the next Regional Conference: fisheries; research and technology transfer; food safety and non-tariff barriers; and the environment and its relation with production and trade (para. 88).