|CL 115/11 |
Hundred and fifteenth Session
Rome, 23 - 28 November 1998
REPORT OF THE 24th SESSION OF THE
APPENDIX A - AGENDA
APPENDIX B - MEMBERSHIP OF THE COMMITTEE ON WORLD
APPENDIX C - COUNTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS REPRESENTED
AT THE SESSION
APPENDIX D - LIST OF DOCUMENTS
APPENDIX E - OPENING STATEMENT OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR- GENERAL
APPENDIX F - RULES OF PROCEDURE OF THE COMMITTEE ON
WORLD FOOD SECURITY
APPENDIX G - OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP OF THE COMMITTEE
ON WORLD FOOD SECURITY: REPORT OF THE CHAIRMAN
|THE COMMITTEE'S REPORT IN ITS ENTIRETY IS SUBMITTED FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE COUNCIL, NOTING IN PARTICULAR THE RECOMMENDATION CONTAINED IN THE REPORT OF THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP AND ENDORSED BY THE COMMITTEE THAT "CFS MEETINGS IN EVEN YEARS SHOULD BE RESCHEDULED TO BE HELD AFTER ALL REGIONAL CONFERENCE SESSIONS HAD FINISHED THEIR WORK".|
1. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) held its Twenty-fourth Session from 2 June to 5 June 1998 at FAO Headquarters in Rome. The session was attended by delegates from 102 of the 120 Members of the Committee, by observers from 3 other Member Nations of FAO, the Holy See, the Sovereign Order of Malta, by representatives from 10 United Nations agencies and Programmes; and by observers from 33 intergovernmental and international non-governmental organizations. A list of the present members of the Committee is shown in Appendix B. The full list of participants is available from the CFS Secretariat (Ext. 53069). The countries and organizations represented at the session are shown in Appendix C.
2. The Session was opened by H.E. Mr. Pedro Alfonso Medrano Rojas (Chile) the outgoing Chairman of the Committee. H.E. Mr. Medrano paid tribute to the late Ambassador of France, H.E. Mr. J. Laureau who was the Chairman of the Committee during the biennium 1994-95, and who during his term of office rendered excellent service to the Committee and the Organization. He also expressed thanks to the members of the CFS, the Bureau and the Secretariat who did exemplary work in the preparation of the Rome Declaration and the World Food Summit Plan of Action.
3. The regional groups and the OECD expressed appreciation for the central role H.E. Mr. Medrano played in the preparation of the Rome Declaration and the World Food Summit Plan of Action.
4. Mr. D.A. Harcharik, Deputy Director-General, delivered the opening statement on behalf of the Director-General. The Deputy Director-General expressed appreciation to H.E. Mr. Medrano for his outstanding work and leadership in guiding the work of the Committee during his term of office. The opening statement delivered by the Deputy Director-General is reproduced in Appendix E.
5. The Deputy Director General pointed out that the renewed commitment which the world leaders have unanimously made, in the World Food Summit Declaration and the Plan of Action, has given hope that the fight against poverty and malnutrition and the efforts to reduce the number of undernourished, will be pursued with a new vigour. He stated that it was encouraging to note that many countries are taking measures to establish inter-ministerial coordination mechanisms and to formulate national plans of action with the participation of civil society including the private sector and NGOs. He informed that, in addition, national debates on follow-up to the Summit are being held and "food-for-all campaigns" as well as other initiatives are being organised to enhance awareness in several countries.
6. With regard to the current world food security situation, the Deputy-Director General indicated that the global situation has continued to improve but the food security situation in many developing countries remained critical. He underlined the need for international efforts not only to enhance emergency food aid but also to enhance supply of inputs and agricultural implements to rehabilitate and restore the productive capacity of households affected by emergencies.
7. The outgoing Chairman informed the Committee that the Open-Ended Working Group, established at its previous session, met on 1 June to consider possible approaches and draft reporting format for monitoring progress in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action. He pointed out that the report of the Open-Ended Working Group would be presented for the Committee's approval under Item IV of its Agenda.
8. The Committee elected H.E. Mohammad Saeed Nouri-Naeeni (Iran) as Chairman by acclamation. H.E. Albano L.T. Asmani (Tanzania), Mr. Etsuo Kitahara (Japan), Mr. Ronald Rose (Canada), and Mr. Khairuddin Md. Tahir (Malaysia) were elected as Vice-Chairmen. The Committee noted the concern expressed by one delegate regarding the procedure of nominations for the Bureau which were normally managed in an informal manner, based on country groupings that did not include a number of countries which are Members of the Committee.
9. The Committee adopted its agenda which is reproduced in Appendix A. The list of documents considered by the Committee is given in Appendix D.
10. The Committee appointed a drafting Committee composed of the delegations of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Islamic Republic of Iran, Japan, Kenya, Lesotho, Lithuania, Morocco, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Romania and Thailand, under the Chairmanship of Mr. P. Pinto da Silva (Portugal).
11. The Committee considered this item on the basis of documents CFS:98/2 and CFS:98/3.
12. The Committee noted that the document CFS:98/3 "Report on the Progress in the Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action" was prepared on the basis of reports received from 68 countries and the European Commission, from 14 United Nations agencies, 13 international organizations and six regional bodies, and that 27 additional country reports had reached the Secretariat at the time of the session. The Committee commended the countries and the organizations which had submitted reports, but expressed concern that a large number of countries had not done so, and urged that they submit reports as soon as possible. The Committee reiterated the importance of taking concerted efforts to implement the WFS Plan of Action and emphasized that in future all countries should submit timely reports in order to provide a complete picture on the progress of the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action.
13. The Committee, referring to the conclusions in paras 133-137 of the document, agreed that on the basis of the reports provided it was difficult to draw general conclusions on the progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action in the context of the main Summit objective of reducing by half the number of undernourished between now and the year 2015. The need was stressed to refine the format to ensure that country reports provide the relevant information required for analysis of the actions being undertaken, and for identification of practices which had proven to be successful and those which were unsuccessful in pursuance of the WFS goals.
14. The Committee agreed that the Secretariat should develop an analytical framework for preparing future reports for consideration by the Committee, and assessing progress in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action. It was re-iterated that future reports should show the extent to which the world is moving towards or away from the target of reducing the number of the undernourished set by the Summit.
15. The Committee requested FAO, in the framework of the FIVIMS interagency activity, to develop a consistent set of indicators to be used for a more thorough and disaggregated analysis of food security, based on sets of comparable country data. The Committee expressed appreciation for the offer made by a number of countries to make data sets and studies available to the Secretariat for possible use in future monitoring.
16. Several delegates referred to the thematic issues, outlined in para 5 of the document, for the Committee's consideration in its future sessions. The view was expressed that the list contained a useful, yet not exhaustive sets of themes, although some of them might preferably be taken up by other technical committees of FAO. Some delegates noted that some of the listed issues contain elements of considerable technical and policy complexity, and that the structure of their consideration by the CFS would need careful thought. The Committee agreed that decisions on thematic issues should be taken by the Committee with, where appropriate, input on emerging thematic issues from the technical committees, regional conferences and the bureau.
17. Several delegates from developing countries emphasised the need for continued international technical and financial support to their efforts at implementing the WFS Plan of Action. Many delegates, mainly from developing countries, mentioned the important role of the FAO Special Programme for Food Security and of South-South co-operation. In this connection a number of delegates emphasized the need for water harnessing and water harvesting, especially in Africa, in order to develop agriculture and to reduce poverty and food insecurity. Appreciation was expressed for the assistance extended by FAO to developing countries and countries in transition in formulating agricultural strategies to the year 2010.
18. The Committee noted that food should not be used as an instrument for political and economic pressure, and the necessity of refraining from unilateral measures not in accordance with the international law and the Charter of the United Nations and that endanger food security.
19. The Committee stressed the importance of close co-operation between FAO, WFP, IFAD, the World Bank, the IMF, the UNDP, UNICEF, and other international organizations as well as with bilateral co-coperation institutions in the efforts to implement the WFS Plan of Action. In this connection, the Committee welcomed the operationalization of the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security established to promote information exchange and interactive networking between United Nations agencies at all levels, and cooperation at country level through thematic groups for rural development and food security established within the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator System.
20. The Committee was informed by the FAO Secretariat and the representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) on action undertaken to implement the WFS Plan of Action Objective 7.4 relating to the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger. It expressed appreciation for the co-operation between the two organizations on this important subject. The Committee commended the Office of the UNHCHR for the consultation it had convened on the Right to Adequate Food, as a concrete and practical response to Objective 7.4, and for the general discussion on the normative content of the right to food, in the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the FAO Secretariat for its contribution to both these meetings. It noted that the Commission on Human Rights had endorsed the consultation's proposal of a follow-up meeting before the end of 1998 to pursue the discussions on the contents and means of implementation of the rights related to adequate food. The Committee also noted with appreciation that the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would be drafting a general comment as a contribution to the clarification of the content on the rights related to food in Article 11 of the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
21. The Committee appreciated the efforts of the Secretariat to broaden the scope of the assessment of food security as contained in document CFS:98/2, by providing, inter alia, an increased coverage of non-cereal staples. It noted that progress in developing indicators of food security status at household level would result from the work undertaken for the development of FIVIMS. The Committee encouraged the Secretariat to refine quantitative and qualitative indicators to obtain a more consistent and up to date picture of undernutrition in the developing countries, including access to food, local food, and measures of poverty.
22. The Committee welcomed the general improvement in the global supply of food. It expressed its concern at the continuing large number of chronically undernourished people and the persistence of food emergencies in 38 countries, compared with 31 at the end of 1997. It noted that the reasons for the increase in the number of countries facing food emergencies included the negative effects attributed to El Niño, particularly in several countries in Asia and Latin America, and that Africa remains the continent with most acute food shortages as a result of adverse weather and/or civil strife. With regard to small island developing states, the Committee requested the Secretariat to include data on them in its future assessment documents on food security and vulnerability, noting that these states are particularly vulnerable because of climatological and economic factors.
23. The Committee observed that in a number of countries the negative impact of El Niño not only disrupted the production and distribution of food, but also raised food prices through reduced supplies. The longer term implications of the environmental damage related to the effects of El Niño, such as forest fires, were also mentioned by some delegates as areas of concern for food security. Some countries also experienced increased food production as a result of El Niño-related weather anomalies. The need for improved information and advance warning of weather anomalies due to El Niño was stressed.
24. The Committee noted that the Asian financial crisis also had a negative impact on food security in a number of countries and urged the international community to take adequate measures at appropriate levels.
25. Concern over the reduced level of international shipments of food aid during the past few years was expressed by a number of delegates. Some delegates from donor countries informed about changes in their food aid modalities, such as support to triangular transactions and other cash contributions, as opposed to shipments of food aid commodities. It was also noted that the Food Aid Committee (FAC) of the International Grains Council was currently in the process of re-negotiating the Food Aid Convention and that a progress report would be made by the FAC in June 1998.
26. In considering the ongoing work of the secretariat, a number of suggestions were put forward.
27. Recognizing that there are reasons for uncertainty about price fluctuations in agricultural commodity markets, the Committee proposed to undertake a feasibility study to examine ways to enhance the utilization by developing countries of risk management instruments as a possible approach to hedge against price fluctuations, and consider providing training in this field and for accessing and analysing up-to-date information on global commodity markets. It was communicated by the Secretariat that FAO had collaborated in the past with UNCTAD in examining the possibility of using market-based risk management instruments in the cereal sector. Any further study on this issue should preferably be done in collaboration with UNCTAD where there was a considerable expertise on this subject, thus avoiding any duplication of efforts.
28. The Committee noted the important role that FAO played in the follow-up to the Uruguay Round, notably in providing policy advice and technical assistance to developing countries. Many delegates urged FAO to continue assisting developing countries in better understanding the implications of the Uruguay Round Agreements and to increase their capacity in preparing themselves for future WTO multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture.
29. The Committee recalled Commitment IV of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, noting that trade is a key element in achieving world food security. Some delegates expressed concern that trade liberalisation could affect their food security in the short run. In this context, the Committee also recalled the Marrakech Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least-Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries and stressed the importance of its full implementation. Several delegates from developed countries reiterated their commitment to implement this Decision.
30. Following a reference to ongoing discussions in the OECD on the multi-functional character of agriculture, several delegates suggested that it should also be taken into account in the assessment of the world food security situation. In this context, other delegates stressed that food and fibre production to meet basic human needs remained the primary function of agriculture.
31. The Committee expressed appreciation for the initiatives so far taken by the Secretariat and for the inter-agency cooperation in support of this important follow-up activity to the WFS Plan of Action.
32. The Committee expressed general approval of the Modus Operandi of the IAWG-FIVIMS as contained in document CFS:98/4, the draft Guidelines for National FIVIMS as contained in document CFS:98/5, and the proposed work programme for the development of FIVIMS as contained in document CFS:98/4. It emphasised that IAWG membership needed to be broad to enable participation of all relevant agencies and organizations including civil society organizations. This needed to be reflected in amended Terms of Reference of the IAWG for consideration by the Working Group at its next meeting. Other changes proposed included that the IAWG support strategy development (points 1 and 9, para 5), and promote information exchange (point 3, para 5). The Committee further requested that a timeframe be built into the proposed work programme for the development of FIVIMS and that consideration be given to allocating a greater share of existing FAO Regular Programme resources to implement this programme. The Committee emphasised the need for technical cooperation for the effective implementation of FIVIMS at the national level. The importance of seeking extra-budgetary resources for implementing FIVIMS was also stressed.
33. The Committee stressed the need for FIVIMS work to become more country-driven and user-focused. While agreeing on the need for the Guidelines to be sufficiently flexible to reflect the large differences in situations between countries, it recognized the importance for regional and global FIVIMS of a minimum standardization among national systems. The Committee requested that greater provision be made in the Guidelines for information at household level and for gender disaggregation of data and information. It further requested that the IAWG give more attention to the definitions of undernutrition, consider micronutrient deficiencies, and consider additional indicators in FIVIMS. In this regard, an observer speaking on behalf of those civil society organizations represented at the session suggested that the failure to respect the obligations of the Summit Plan of Action would be one such indicator. Some delegates underlined the need for the information generated through FIVIMS to be of use to farmers and extension agents.
34. The Committee encouraged countries which have not yet designated their focal points for FIVIMS to do so. The Committee noted the role of the Thematic Groups of the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security in the promotion of FIVIMS at country level. It recognised the importance of country focal points working, where applicable, with the Thematic Groups.
35. In reply to concerns expressed on possible overlaps between GIEWS and FIVIMS, the Secretariat explained the existing close interaction and complementarity between them.
36. The Committee considered this item of the agenda on the basis of the report of the Open-Ended Working Group which met immediately before the session to consider possible approaches and a draft reporting format for monitoring progress in the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action. The Committee reviewed and endorsed the report of the Open-Ended Working Group, as shown in Appendix G, with the following comments.
37. The Committee recognized that it has to undertake, as established by the Summit, a mid-term review in the year 2006 of the progress in reducing the number of the undernourished to half their 1996 level no later than 2015. The Committee will start the monitoring of the implementation in the year 2000, and will undertake two full cycles of reviews before the mid-term review. The Committee agreed that for the monitoring cycles before the mid-term review, the first cluster of Commitments to be reviewed will consist of those relating to "people-centred" objectives, i.e. Commitments I, II and V, and the second cluster consist of those relating to "development-centred" objectives, i.e. Commitments III, IV and VI. The relevant parts of Commitment VII would be dealt with under each of the clusters as appropriate.
38. The Committee re-emphasized that it is the implementation of the Plan of Action that is vital, and pointed out that reporting is an instrument and not a goal. In this connection, it was stressed that while the responsibility for implementation is national, the responsibility for monitoring is at the international level. It was suggested that the CFS should use innovative approaches in setting its agenda, making use, inter alia, of contributions from the FAO technical committees and regional conferences and from other international institutions as well as NGOs and other partners in preparing thematic issues.
39. The Committee recalled that amendments to its terms of reference as set out in Rule XXXIII of the General Rules of the Organization (GRO) had been adopted by the Conference at its last session in November 1997. The Committee was now called upon to formally adopt amendments to its Rules of Procedure to bring them into line with Rule XXXIII.
40. Without excluding a possible need for further revision at a later stage in the light of experience, in particular as regards the modalities for the participation of civil society in the Committee's work, the Committee adopted the amendments to the Rules of Procedure, set out in Appendix F to this Report. The Rules of Procedure will enter into force immediately, in accordance with Rule XXXIII.15 of the GRO.
41. The Committee agreed to hold its Twenty-fifth Session at FAO Headquarters in Rome during the spring of 1999, the exact time to be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the Chairman. Recalling that the Standing Item on Nutrition had been transferred from COAG to CFS by the FAO Conference in 1995, the Committee agreed that a nutrition-related theme, related to implementation of Commitment II of the WFS Plan of Action should be taken up at its next session, with the precise topic to be determined under the guidance of the Bureau.
42. Under this item, the Committee considered various proposals for broadening the participation of civil society organizations in its work. The Committee recalled the importance of greater involvement of civil society in the implementation of actions to achieve the Summit goals and in monitoring, as called for by the Plan of Action. Some delegates also stressed that CFS is an inter-governmental forum, and that any measures to broaden participation of civil society in the Committee's work would need to respect that principle.
43. The Committee agreed that valuable progress had been made in fostering a spirit of collaboration with civil society through the informal consultations that had been held before and during the session with the CFS Bureau and Secretariat. On the basis of these discussions those civil society organisations represented at the session presented proposals for continued dialogue with the CFS and expressed their readiness to cooperate closely with the Bureau in the implementation of these proposals in preparation for the 25th session of the CFS. The Committee decided that the subject of Broadened Participation of Civil Society and Other Partners in the Work of CFS should be a main agenda item at the Committee's next session, and that the Secretariat should prepare a discussion paper for advance circulation at least six months prior to that session, to allow ample time for consultations between governments and national civil society organisations prior to the Committee's debate.
44. The Committee considered that in preparing the paper, account should be taken of the various proposals put forward prior to and on the occasion of the CFS:24, or that could emerge from the further consultations that the Bureau had undertaken to hold with representatives of civil society on this issue. The paper should present an analysis of the pros and cons of the proposals, including their legal, procedural and financial implications. In arriving at its recommendations, the paper should draw on the experiences of other UN fora in managing participation of civil society organisations in the follow-up to major international conferences. The Committee stressed that the role of NGOs and other civil society actors, as well as of UN system and other international organization partners, should be covered in the analysis. It also emphasised that participation in the work of CFS should be seen in the larger context of the participation of all partners in actions to implement the Summit recommendations and achieve its goals.
I. ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS
(a) Election of Chairman and Vice-Chairmen
(b) Adoption of Agenda and Timetable
(c) Statement by the Director-General or his Representative
(d) Membership of the Committee
II. PROGRESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE WORLD FOOD SUMMIT PLAN OF ACTION
(a) Report on Progress in the Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action
(b) Assessment of the World Food Security Situation
III. DEVELOPMENT OF FOOD INSECURITY AND VULNERABILITY INFORMATION AND MAPPING SYSTEMS (FIVIMS)
IV. FUTURE REPORTING FORMAT AND ARRANGEMENTS
(a) Draft Standard Reporting Format for Monitoring Progress in Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action
(b) Arrangements for Reviewing Progress Reports and Thematic Issues at Future Sessions
V. AMENDMENTS TO THE COMMITTEE'S RULES OF PROCEDURE
VI. OTHER MATTERS
(a) Arrangements for the Twenty-fifth Session
(b) Any Other Business
(c) Report of the Session
SOVEREIGN ORDER OF MALTA
OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP)
UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNFPA)
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME (WFP)
INTERNATIONAL FUND FOR AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT (IFAD)
INTERNATIONAL LABOUR OFFICE (ILO)
ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE ON COORDINATION/SUB-COMMITTEE ON
WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION (WMO)
INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY (IAEA)
ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA (ECA)
INTERGOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY ON DEVELOPMENT (IGAD)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR MIGRATION (IOM)
NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
ORGANISATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT (OECD)
ORGANIZATION OF AFRICA UNITY (OAU)
ASIAN NGO COALITION FOR AGRARIAN REFORM AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (ANGOC)
ASSOCIATED COUNTRY WOMEN OF THE WORLD (ACWW)
ASSOCIATION OF WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES RELATED DEVELOPMENT
ORGANIZATIONS IN EUROPE (APRODEV)
CARITAS INTERNATIONALIS (CI)
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS FOR FOOD
AID AND EMERGENCY AID (EURONAID)
EUROPEAN SOLIDARITY TOWARDS EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF PEOPLE
FOOD FIRST INFORMATION AND ACTION NETWORK (FIAN)
FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL (FoEI)
GLOBAL FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND NUTRITIONAL SECURITY
INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE OF WOMEN (IAW)
INTERNATIONAL CATHOLIC RURAL ASSOCIATION (ICRA)
INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION ON IRRIGATION AND DRAINAGE (ICID)
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE ALLIANCE (ICA)
INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF WOMEN (ICW)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONAL WOMEN (IFBPW)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF WOMEN IN LEGAL CAREERS (IFWLC)
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION FOR HOME ECONOMICS (IFHE)
INTERNATIONAL JURIDICAL ORGANIZATION FOR ENVIRONMENT AND
INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT ATD FOURTH WORLD
LIAISON COMMITTEE OF DEVELOPMENT NGOs TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
ROTARY INTERNATIONAL (RI)
UNIVERSALA ESPERANTO ASSOCIATION (UEA)
WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM (WILPF)
WORLD ASSOCIATION OF GIRL GUIDES AND GIRL SCOUTS (WAGGGS)
WORLD FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD WORKERS (WFAFW)
WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (WFTU)
WORLD UNION OF CATHOLIC WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS (WUCWO)
|Document No.||Title|| Provisional|
Agenda Item No.
|CFS:98/2||Assessment of the World Food Security Situation||II|
|CFS:98/3|| Report on Progress in the Implementation of |
the World Food Summit Plan of Action
|CFS:98/4|| Report on the Development of Food Insecurity|
and Vulnerability Information and Mapping
|CFS:98/5|| Guidelines for National Food Insecurity and|
Vulnerability Information and Mapping
Systems (FIVIMS): Background and Principles
|CFS:98/6||Possible Approaches and Draft Reporting Format |
for Monitoring Progress in the Implementation
of the World Food Summit Plan of Action
|CFS:98/7|| Proposals for Amendments to the Committee's |
Rules of Procedure
|CFS:98/Inf.2||List of Documents|
|CFS:98/Inf.3||Membership of Committee on World Food Security|
|CFS:98/Inf.4||List of Delegates|
|CFS:98/Inf.5||European Community - Declaration of Competence and|
|CFS:98/Inf.6||Information Note on Possible Modalities for NGO Participation|
in the Work of the Committee on World Food Security
|CFS:98/Inf.7||Information on Experiences with Reporting Mechanisms and |
Formats in Follow-up to Other Conferences and Conventions
|CFS:98/Inf.8||Information Note on Estimation of Number of Undernourished|
|CFS:98/Inf.9||Expert Meeting on Civil Society Involvement in Follow-up|
to the World Food Summit - Rome, 26-27 January 1998 - Report
|CFS:98/Inf.10||Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS): Report on the Third|
Meeting of the Oversight Panel (26-27 January 1998)
|CFS:98/Inf.11||Country and International Organization Reports on Progress|
in the Implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action
Distinguished Delegates and Observers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to welcome you to the Twenty-fourth session of the Committee on World Food Security, and to deliver this statement on the Director-General's behalf.
The Bureau which guided the Committee's work during the last two years has completed its term of office, and a new Bureau has just been elected. I wish to pay tribute to H.E. Pedro Medrano Rojas for his outstanding work and leadership in guiding the work of the Committee during his term of office.
The renewed commitment which the world leaders have unanimously made, in the World Food Summit Declaration and the Plan of Action, has given hope that the fight against poverty and malnutrition and the efforts to reduce the number of undernourished, will be pursued with a new vigour. This is an important step forward in the war against food insecurity and the contributions which H.E. Mr. Medrano and the members of his Bureau made, in the preparation of the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action, will always be remembered in the history of this Committee and the Organisation.
As the body entrusted by the Summit for monitoring the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, this year the Committee will review for the first time the measures that national governments, international organisations and other bodies are taking to fulfil Summit commitments. It is encouraging to note that many countries are taking measures to establish inter-ministerial co-ordination mechanisms and to formulate national plans of action with the participation of civil society including the private sector and NGOs. National debates on follow-up to the Summit are being held, and "food for all campaigns" as well as other initiatives are being organised to enhance awareness in several countries.
The current world food security situation continues to show improvement. At the global level, there is an overall improvement in the cereal supply situation compared to that in the preceding year. Cereal stocks for the crop years ending in 1998 are also forecast to rise above their previous year level, and world grain prices are under downward pressure owing to weak global demand and adequate supplies in 1997/98.
However, the food security situation in many developing countries remains critical owing to structural problems. The situation in several of these countries is also exacerbated by unfavourable weather conditions, mainly related to El Niño. During the period April 1997 -April 1998, floods were reported in 41 countries, droughts/dry spell in 22 countries and major forest fires in Indonesia and Brazil. Weather anomalies, particularly in several countries in eastern Africa, have also created conditions ideal for breeding insect vectors of animal and human diseases which already have resulted in extensive death and illnesses, especially across most parts of Kenya and Somalia. Livestock loss and diseases in these countries will inevitably lead to a fall in income and wellbeing of households who depend on livestock for their livelihood.
Economic and financial crisis have also had their impact on food security. However, recent developments in Southeast Asia give hope that the adverse effects of the financial crisis on food security for many households can gradually be overcome.
Overall, the number of countries facing food emergencies at present has increased to 38 compared to 31 towards the end 1997. I wish to stress that there is a need for international efforts not only to enhance emergency food aid but also to enhance supply of inputs and agricultural implements to rehabilitate and to restore as soon as possible the productive capacity of households affected by emergencies.
It should be recognised, as emphasised in Commitment One of the Summit Plan of Action, that a peaceful, stable and enabling political, social and economic environment remains the essential foundation for public action to bear fruit and for the private sector and the civil society to play an effective role in the eradication of poverty and food insecurity. No development efforts in any country can take root and be fruitful unless there is peace and stability and favourable economic climate to encourage private investment and initiative. Some significant moves at national and regional level have been made to solve peacefully political and civil conflicts within and between countries. Nonetheless there are yet several situations where conflicts have led to considerable numbers of people being displaced and living under desperate conditions.
On the economic front it is interesting to note that many developing countries have set the objective of eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable food security as the main priority in their development policies and programmes, and are taking short and long-term measures in line with the World Food Summit Plan of Action to achieve that objective. In this context it is gratifying to note that a number of measures have already been taken to mobilise resources for investment in food security although obviously the effort to ensure the reallocation of resources for purposes of development and poverty alleviation is still at an early stage.
Under Item III of your agenda you will review the progress towards the development of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS). If policies and programmes are to be correctly targeted, it is essential to know who and where the poor and the food insecure are, and the causes of their poverty and food insecurity. This information is naturally of most interest to national governments, and it is therefore at national level that the main effort will need to be made. The Guidelines before you therefore stress the importance of developing national FIVIMS to fit the specific circumstances of each country situation. In order to assist countries in this process, an Inter-Agency Working Group on FIVIMS has been formed, whose Terms of Reference are also before you for approval. At global level the importance of FIVIMS lies not only in identifying the location of food insecure and vulnerable groups but also in showing how countries are progressing towards achieving Summit objectives of reducing progressively the number of undernourished and achieving food security for all. Some steps have already been taken to identify appropriate indicators for global monitoring and establish linkages amongst various existing international databases that are relevant. To meet the multiple objectives of FIVIMS a work plan has been developed on which the Committee's views are also sought.
Yesterday an open-ended working group considered the secretariat's proposals for possible approaches and future reporting formats for monitoring the progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action. You will consider the report of the open-ended working group under Item IV of the agenda. I consider this item of your agenda also of high importance, since the Committee's ability to monitor effectively the implementation of the Plan of action in future years will depend on the quality of the information to be generated by the reporting procedures.
The Committee at this session will also consider amendments to its Rules of Procedure to bring them in line with the changes in Rule XXXIII of the Basic Text, which relates to the Terms of Reference of the Committee approved by the Conference at its Twenty-ninth session, under Resolution 8/97.
I wish you a very successful meeting.
Membership of the Committee shall be in accordance with Rule XXXIII.1 of the General Rules of the Organization.
1. At the first session of the Committee held after a regular session of the Conference, the Committee shall elect a Chairman and four Vice-Chairmen from among the representatives of its Members, who shall remain in office until the election of a new Chairman and new Vice-Chairmen. The Chairman and Vice-Chairmen shall not be eligible for election for two consecutive terms in the same office.
2. The Chairman, or in his absence one of the Vice-Chairmen, shall preside at meetings of the Committee and exercise such other functions as may be required to facilitate its work. In the event of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairmen not being able to preside at a meeting, the Committee shall appoint a representative of one of its Members to take the chair.
The Director-General of the Organization shall appoint a Secretary who shall perform such duties as the work of the Committee may require.
1. The Committee shall hold sessions as provided in Rule XXXIII.3 and 4 of the General Rules of the Organization, and shall propose the date and place of its sessions.
2. Any number of separate meetings may be held during each session of the Committee.
3. Notice of the date and place of each session shall normally be communicated at least two months in advance of the session to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization, to all Member States of the United Nations and to such international organizations as may have been invited to attend the session.
4. Each Member of the Committee may appoint alternates, associates and advisers to its representative on the Committee.
5. Presence of representatives of a majority of the Members of the Committee shall constitute a quorum for any formal action by the Committee.
1. Any Member Nation of the Organization or Member State of the United Nations not represented on the Committee, any Associate Member or any State that is not a member of the Organization or of the United Nations but a member of a specialized agency or of the International Atomic Energy Agency, or liberation movements in accordance with decisions of the Conference and Council, may attend in an observer capacity a session of the Committee and may submit memoranda and participate without vote in any discussions at a public or private meeting of the Committee.
2. Participation of international organizations, non-governmental organizations and other actors of civil society in an observer capacity in the work of the Committee shall be governed by the relevant provisions of the Constitution and the General Rules of the Organization, as well as by the rules of the Organization on relations with international organizations, taking into account the provisions of Rule XXXIII of the General Rules of the Organization.
3. In accordance with Rule XXXIII.12 of the General Rules of the Organization, relevant international organizations shall be invited to participate in the work of the Committee and the preparation of meeting documents on matters within their respective mandates in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Committee.
4. Meetings of the Committee shall be held in public, unless the Committee decides to meet in private for discussion of any items on its agenda.
Agenda and documents
1. The Director-General, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, shall prepare a provisional agenda and shall normally circulate it at least three months in advance of the session to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization, to all Member States of the United Nations and to all international organizations invited to attend the session.
2. All Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and all nonmember States which are members of the Committee may request the Director-General, normally not less than 30 days before the proposed date of the session, to insert an item in the provisional agenda. The Director-General shall thereupon circulate the proposed item to all Members of the Committee, together with any necessary papers.
3. The Committee in session may, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, amend the agenda by the deletion, addition or modification of any item, provided that no matter referred to it by the Council or on request of the Conference be omitted from the agenda.
4. Documents which have not already been dispatched shall be dispatched with the provisional agenda or as soon as possible thereafter in all the languages of the Organization.
1. Each Member of the Committee shall have one vote.
2. The decisions of the Committee shall be ascertained by the Chairman, who shall resort, upon the request of one or more Members, to a vote, in which case the pertinent provisions of Rule XII of the General Rules of the Organization shall apply mutatis mutandis.
1. At each session, the Committee shall approve a report embodying its views, recommendations and decisions, including, when requested, a statement of minority views. Any recommendations adopted by the Committee which affect the programme or finances of the Organization or concerning legal or constitutional matters shall be reported to the Council with the comments of the appropriate subsidiary committees of the Council.
2. Reports of sessions shall be submitted to the Council and circulated to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization, and to those nonmember States which are Members of the Committee, as well as to interested international and non-governmental organizations entitled to be represented at the session.
3. Pursuant to Rule XXXIII.9 of the General Rules of the Organization, the Committee shall provide regular reports to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC), through the Council of the Organization.
1. In accordance with Rule XXXIII.16 of the General Rules of the Organization the Committee may establish subsidiary or ad hoc bodies where it considers that such action would expedite its own work, without duplicating the work of existing bodies.
2. Before taking a decision on the establishment of any subsidiary or ad hoc body, the Committee shall examine the administrative and financial implications of such a decision, in the light of a report to be submitted by the Director-General.
3. The Committee shall define the terms of reference, composition and, as far as possible, the duration of the mandate of each subsidiary or ad hoc body. Such subsidiary or ad hoc bodies shall report to the Committee. The reports of the subsidiary or ad hoc bodies shall be made available for information to all members of the subsidiary or ad hoc bodies concerned, all Members of the Committee, and to interested international organizations entitled to attend sessions of the bodies concerned.
Suspension of Rules
The Committee may, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, decide to suspend any of the foregoing Rules of Procedure, provided that the action contemplated is consistent with the Constitution and the General Rules of the Organization and that 24 hours' notice of the proposal for the suspension has been given. Such notice may be waived if no Member objects.
Amendment of Rules
The Committee may, by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, amend its Rules of Procedure provided that such amendment is consistent with the Constitution and the General Rules of the Organization. No proposal for the amendment of these Rules of Procedure shall be included in the agenda of any session of the Committee, unless notice thereof has been dispatched by the Director-General to Members of the Committee at least 30 days before the opening of the session.
Possible approaches and draft reporting format for monitoring progress in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action
1. The Open-Ended Working Group considered possible approaches and draft reporting format for monitoring progress in the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, on the basis of document CFS:98/6, and a set of questions put forward by the Secretariat to facilitate the discussion of the Group.
2. The list of questions provided the focus for the OEWG debate. Following a general round of comments, the views of regional groups on each question were presented.
3. The replies to the key questions reported below constitute the Chairman's summary of the conclusions of the Open-Ended Working Group. They are presented to the CFS for comment and decision. If need be, issues not resolved during the current session could be taken up again at CFS next year.
4. The list of key questions and OEWG conclusions are as follows:
Question 1. How many times should the entire Plan of Action be covered before the mid-term review in 2006?
Reply: At least once and preferably twice, depending on the clusters of commitments to be taken up at each monitoring (reporting) session. Various possibilities for clustering the commitments were considered, based on a starting date in year 2000.
On the basis of an approach whereby the clusters of commitments would be taken up by main subjects, together with linked actions in other commitments, support was given to the following suggestions.
A. For two monitoring cycles before the mid-term review:
· A large number of participants supported the proposal that the first cluster consist of those commitments relating to "people-centred" objectives, i.e. Commitments I, II and V, and the second cluster consist of those relating to "development-centred" objectives, i.e., Commitments III, IV and VI. Under this proposal the relevant parts of Commitment VII would be dealt with under each of the clusters as appropriate.
· A limited number supported the proposal that the first cluster consist of Commitments I, IV, VI and VII, and the second cluster consist of Commitments II, III and V.
B. For one monitoring cycle before the mid-term review:
· The first cluster consist of commitments relating to enabling environment, i.e., Commitments I, IV and VII; the second cluster consist of commitments relating to access, i.e., Commitments II and V; and the third cluster consist of commitments relating to production and sustainable development, i.e., Commitments III and VI. Though the monitoring could be focused on clusters of commitments, it was stressed that the Plan of Action of the Summit must be considered as a whole.
It was recognized that completion of two monitoring cycles would necessitate finishing in 2006. Concern was expressed as to whether this would affect the scheduling of the mid-term review in 2006 (in line with the Plan of Action objective 7.3(h)). The Secretariat informed that various possibilities could be considered at an appropriate time and that this need not be a governing factor in the Committee's decision.
Question 2. How often should the CFS hold Summit follow-up monitoring (reporting) sessions?
Reply: Biennially for the submission of country reports. In-depth analysis of priority issues relating to Summit follow-up is, however, a continuing process requiring consideration every year.
Question 3. In what year should the monitoring (reporting) process begin?
Reply: National reporting should begin in the year 2000.
Question 4. What should be the focus of each monitoring (reporting) session?
Reply: Qualitative analysis, based on key indicators for outcomes, and results achieved for the actions undertaken within the framework of objectives. The Secretariat should prepare in collaboration with member states a set of indicators to enable the measurement of progress in the implementation of the Plan of Action.
Question 5. How detailed should the reporting format be, and what are the essential points it must cover?
Reply: The reporting format should be simple, straightforward and flexible.
Question 6. What method, if any, should be used to incorporate contributions from regional debates in the CFS monitoring process?
Regional Conferences would contribute regional inputs to the CFS monitoring process. In this connection the CFS meetings in even years should be rescheduled to be held after all Regional Conference sessions had finished their work.
Question 7. What method should be used to identify thematic issues for in-depth consideration by the CFS, and decide on the timing of the debates?
Reply: CFS would decide at each session the thematic issues to be debated at its next session. When appropriate, there should be input on emerging thematic issues from the technical committees, regional conferences, and the bureau.
Question 8. How should food security situation assessments be treated by the CFS?
Reply: Under Rule XXXIII para 6, assessment of the World Food Security situation remains the responsibility of the CFS. Accordingly the Assessment of the World Food Security Situation should remain an agenda item of the Committee. The assessments should provide a quantitative basis for Summit follow-up analysis. FIVIMS should be an aid for this.