CL 127/8


Hundred and Twenty-seventh Session

Rome, 22 – 27 November 2004

Report of the Joint Meeting of the
Ninety-first Session of the Programme Committee
and the
Hundred-and-seventh Session of the Finance Committee
Rome, 12 May 2004

Table of Contents


Matters requiring attention by the Council

Matters for information


Adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget 2004-05


Savings and Efficiencies in Governance



Meetings of the Committee on Commodity Problems (CCP) and the Committee on Agriculture (COAG)




Rome, 12 May 2004


1. The Committees submit to the Council the following report of their Joint Meeting.

2. The following Members were present at the meeting:

Programme Committee

Finance Committee



H.E. E. Wermuth (Netherlands)

Mr R. Seminario (Peru)



Mr A.R. Ayazi (Afghanistan)

Mr A. Bakayoko (Côte d’Ivoire)

Mr B.J. Hughes (Australia)

Mr A. Zodda (Italy)

Mr B.G. Hankey (Canada)

Ms R. Inoue (Japan)

H.E. M. Arvelo (Dominican Republic)

Ms L. Al Saqqaf (Kuwait)

Mr G. Nair (India)

Mr S.J. Draper (New Zealand)

Mr F.B. Zenny (Jamaica)

Mr M. Saleem Khan (Pakistan)

Ms W. Dikah (Lebanon)

Ms A.M. Baiardi Quesnel (Paraguay)

Mr R. bin Khalid (Malaysia)

H.E. A. Beattie (United Kingdom)

Mr G.G. Lombin (Nigeria)

Mr J.M. Cleverley (USA)

Ms M. Mohapi (South Africa)

Ms V. Takaendesa (Zimbabwe)

Adoption of the Agenda1

3. The Agenda and Timetable for the Joint Meeting were approved.

Adjustments to the
Programme of Work and Budget 2004-05

4. With the benefit of oral reports from both Chairpersons on the outcome of the deliberations on the subject by their respective Committees, the Committees jointly addressed the proposed adjustments to the Programme of Work and Budget 2004-05.

5. The Committees recognized the extensive work involved in developing in difficult circumstances a set of proposals which took account of stated priorities of the whole Membership. Members regretted the negative impact on a range of valuable FAO programmes, as the result of the need to identify resource cuts totalling US$ 51.2 million (i.e. a 6.4% average reduction) from the ZRG scenario presented to the Conference.

6. Bearing in mind the two specific areas mentioned below, the Committees gave their broad endorsement to the proposed adjustments, thus allowing the Secretariat to proceed with the implementation of the Programme of Work, as adjusted.

7. The Committees also endorsed the two specific areas identified during the individual discussions (and as reflected in their respective reports) calling for lower reductions than originally proposed in the document, i.e. Programme 3.1.2 Policy Assistance to Various Regions and Programme 5.2.1 Financial Services, which would be achieved through redirection of efficiency savings to the extent that they could be generated in the biennium.

8. The Committee was informed of an error in Annex III Revised List of Scheduled Sessions for 2004-05 which shows Session GIL 804-3 Third Consultation on Agricultural Information Management (COAIM) as remaining in the programme although it had, in fact, been cancelled. One region expressed concern at the cancellation and requested reinstatement of the meeting, noting that had the document been correct, they would have raised it much earlier in the process given the importance that they placed on this activity.

9. The Committees acknowledged that, beyond the contingent need to respond to the instructions of the Conference in operative paragraph 2 of Resolution 7/2003, the protracted period of budgetary stringency had prompted Members to express serious concerns at the Organization’s ability to fulfil its mandate. The Committee urged the Organization to initiate a process to enable it to fulfil its Strategic Objectives.

10. The Committees agreed that it was important for the Membership at large to pursue this type of discussion in the future. It was suggested that this process of reflection could also usefully be taken up in the context of the mid-term review of the FAO’s Strategic Framework 2000-15, as originally intended when this document was approved by the Conference in 1999.

Savings and Efficiencies in Governance


11. The Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees reviewed the proposals made by the Secretariat to achieve efficiency savings, improved participation and effectiveness in CCP and COAG (document JM 04.1/3) and for closer cooperation between the two Committees. It thanked the Secretariat for a well-prepared paper. The Joint Meeting unanimously supported the proposals as a package, as summarized in paragraph 21 of the document, and expressed preference for holding the meetings back-to-back. It recommended that the proposals be implemented on a trial basis in 2005, and that the Programme Committee be subsequently provided with an assessment of implementation of this new arrangement. The Secretariat was requested, accordingly, to proceed with revising the dates of CCP and COAG sessions in 2005.

12. In addition, the Joint Meeting asked for clarification regarding attendance at CCP sessions. It was noted that the number of participants had remained virtually unchanged over the past few sessions.


1 JM 04.1/1