At the Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference (November 1991), the European Economic Community was admitted to membership of the Organization.
Under Article II.9 of the Constitution, a Member Organization has the right to participate in matters within its competence in any meeting of the Organization, including any meeting of the Council or other Body in which any of its Member States are entitled to participate. A Member Organization exercices membership rights on an alternative basis with its Member States that are Member Nations of the Organization in the area of their respective competences (Article II.8). A Member Organization may exercise on matters within its competence, in any meeting of the Organization in which it is entitled to participate, a number of votes equal to the number of its Member States which are entitled to vote in such a meeting. Whenever a Member Organization exercizes its right to vote, its Member States cannot exercise theirs, and conversely (Article II.10).
A Member Organization does not have the right to participate in Bodies of restricted membership specified in the rules adopted by the Conference (Article II.9).
Under Rules XLII and XLV of the General Rules of the Organization, a Member Organization cannot participate in the Credentials Committee, the Nominations Committee, any other body of the Conference dealing with the internal working of the Conference as the Conference may decide, the Programme Committee, the Finance Committee and the Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters.
Under Article II-3 of the Constitution, references to Member Nations shall include Member Organizations, except as otherwise expressly provided.
Article V-6 of the Constitution provides as follows:
"In the performance of its functions, the Council shall be assisted by a Programme Committee, a Finance Committee, a Committee on Constitutional and Legal Matters, a Committee on Commodity Problems, a Committee on Fisheries, a Committee on Forestry, a Committee on Agriculture and a Committee on World Food Security. These Committees shall report to the Council and their composition and terms of reference shall be governed by rules adopted by the Conference."
Councils, Commissions and Committees set up under Article XIV of the Constitution
Bodies set up under Article XIV of the Constitution are those established by conventions and agreements approved by the Conference or Council.
Article XIV-3(b) of the Constitution provides as follows:
"Conventions, agreements, and supplementary conventions and agreements shall ... contain provisions concerning the Member Nations of the Organization, and such non-Member States as are members of the United Nations, any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency, and regional economic integration organizations, to which their Member Nations have transferred competence over matters within the purview of the conventions, agreements, supplementary conventions and agreements, including the power to entry into treaties in respect thereto, which may become parties thereto and the number of acceptances by Member Nations necessary to bring such convention, agreement, supplementary convention or agreement into force, and thus ensure that it will constitute a real contribution to the achievement of its objectives. In the case of conventions, agreements, supplementary conventions and agreements establishing commissions or committees, participation by non-Member Nations of the Organization that are members of the United Nations, any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency or by regional economic integration organizations other than Member Organizations, shall in addition be subject to prior approval by at least two-thirds of the membership of such commissions or committees".
Commissions, Committees, Working Parties and Panels of Experts set up under Article VI of the Constitution
Article VI-1 of the Constitution provides as follows:
"The Conference or Council may establish commissions, the membership of which shall be open to all Member Nations and Associate Members, or regional commissions open to all Member Nations and Associate Members whose territories are situated wholly or in part in one or more regions, to advise on the formulation and implementation of policy and to coordinate the implementation of policy. The Conference or Council may also establish, in conjunction with other intergovernmental organizations, Joint Commissions open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and of the other organizations concerned, or Joint Regional Commissions open to Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and of the other organizations concerned, whose territories are situated wholly or in part in the region".
Committees and Working Parties
Article VI-2 of the Constitution provides as follows:
"The Conference, the Council or the Director-General on the authority of the Conference or Council may establish Committees and Working Parties to study and report on matters pertaining to the purpose of the Organization and consisting either of selected Member Nations and Associate Members, or of individuals appointed in their personal capacity because of their special competence in technical matters. The Conference, the Council, or the Director-General on the authority of the Conference or Council may, in conjunction with other intergovernmental organizations, also establish Joint Committees and Working Parties, consisting either of selected Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization and of the other organizations concerned, or of individuals appointed in their personal capacity. The selected Member Nations and Associate Members shall, as regards the Organization, be designated either by the Conference or the Council, or by the Director-General if so decided by the Conference or Council. The individuals appointed in their personal capacity shall, as regards the Organization, be designated either by the Conference, the Council, selected Member Nations or Associate Members, or by the Director-General, as decided by the Conference or Council."
Panels of Experts
Article VI-4 of the Constitution provides as follows:
"The Director-General may establish, in consultation with Member Nations, Associate Members and National FAO Committees, Panels of Experts, with a view to developing consultation with leading technicians in the various fields of activity of the Organization. The Director-General may convene meetings of some or all of these experts for consultation on specific subjects."
Such Panels are lists of experts nominated by the Director-General and the experts are consulted in their individual capacity mainly by correspondence but also through participation in meetings of some or all of the panel members. They receive no remuneration for their services but are paid subsistence and travel costs when attending such meetings.
Functions of the Council
Rule XXIV-4 (a) and Rule XXIV-4 (b) of the General Rules read:
"The Council may:
a) establish Commissions, Committees and Working Parties, and convene General, Regional, Technical or other Conferences, Working Parties or Consultations, or authorize the Director-General to establish Committees and Working Parties and convene General, Regional, Technical or other Conferences, Working Parties or Consultations, pursuant to Article VI of the Constitution;
b) consider, and approve for submission to Member Nations, Agreements and Supplementary Conventions or Agreements, as provided in paragraph 2 of Article XIV of the Constitution."
Commissions, Committees and Working Parties
Rule XXXV of the General Rules reads:
"1. Commissions, Committees and Working Parties set up in pursuance of Article VI of the Constitution may establish Subcommissions, Subcommittees or Subsidiary Working Parties either to perform a substantive part of their functions or to carry out a specific task. Associate Members may participate in the deliberations of such Subcommissions, Subcommittees or Subsidiary Working Parties but shall not hold office nor have the right to vote."
"2. The first paragraph of this Rule shall be interpreted in conformity with the provisions of Rule XXIV, paragraph 1 (d) (v) of these Rules."
"3. A Panel of Experts as referred to in Article VI, paragraph 4 of the Constitution, is a list of experts selected in their individual capacity on the basis of their expert knowledge to give advice on specific subjects by correspondence, or by participation in Conferences or Consultations when it is so decided by the Director-General."
"4. The terms of office of members of Committees of experts or Working Parties of experts appointed in their personal capacity in conformity with paragraph 2 of Article VI of the Constitution shall not exceed four years but shall be renewable. The terms of office of Members of Panels of Experts shall likewise be of a maximum of four years but shall be renewable. Appointments to fill vacancies in Committees of Experts, Working Parties of Experts and Panels of Experts shall be effected in the same manner as the original appointments. When a vacancy occurs due to resignation, death, disability or any other reason, the terms of office of the new appointee shall be for the remainder of the term of office of the Member who is being replaced."
"5. Unless other specific arrangements are made, the expenses incurred by individuals invited in a personal capacity to attend sessions or Committees of Experts or Working Parties of Experts, or Conferences or Consultations of Experts shall be defrayed by the Organization in accordance with its travel regulations."
Functions of the Director-General
Rule XXXVII-3 and Rule XXXVII-4 of the General Rules read:
"3. Pursuant to Article VI of the Constitution, the Director-General may:
"4. When determining the site of any meeting to be convened by the Organization, the Director-General should be satisfied that the Host Government is willing to grant to all Delegates, Representatives, Experts, Observers and Members of the Secretariat of the Organization attending such a meeting the immunities that are necessary for the independent exercise of their functions in connection with the meeting."
Principles and Procedures which should govern Conventions and Agreements concluded under Articles XIV and XV of the Constitution, and Commissions and Committees established under Article VI of the Constitution (See 1994 edition of the Basic Texts, Vol. II, Section R).
These were laid down by the Ninth Conference Session (1957) and particular attention is drawn to the following paragraphs of the Appendix to the Principles as amended by the Twenty-sixth Session of the Conference (1991):
Reporting and Recommendations
"30. Provision shall be made in the relevant texts to the effect that Commissions, Committees and other Bodies established under Article VI or Article XIV of the Constitution, as well as their Subsidiary Bodies, shall transmit their reports and recommendations to the Director-General, those of the Subsidiary Bodies to be transmitted through the parent body. In the case of Bodies referred to in paragraph 33 (c), provision may also be made in the relevant texts to the effect that recommendations or decisions not having financial, policy or programme implications for the Organization, may be transmitted directly to the Members of the Body concerned for their consideration and action.
The Director-General shall:
a) take these reports into account when preparing the Programme of Work and Budget of the Organization;
b) bring to the attention of the Conference through the Council any recommendations adopted by these Bodies which have policy implications or which affect the programme or finances of the Organization;
c) include in his annual statement to the Conference an analysis of the work done by these Bodies."
"31. It is understood that, pending such formal action, the Director-General will circulate these reports to all Members of the Bodies concerned and to all Member Nations and Associate Members of the Organization for their information. The policy, programme and financial implications for the Organization of these reports shall be acted upon by the appropriate Governing Body of the Organization."
Rules of Procedure
"35. Conventions and Agreements establishing Commissions and Committees under Article XIV of the Constitution shall provide that the rules of procedure and amendments thereto adopted by such Commissions and Committees shall not be inconsistent with the Convention or Agreement establishing the Body or with the Constitution. For the adoption of rules of procedure or amendments thereto, the required majority within the Commissions and Committees shall be uniformly set at two-thirds of the Membership of the Body."
"36. Rules of procedures of Subcommissions, Subcommittees or Subsidiary Working Parties of Bodies established under Article VI and XIV shall be approved by these Bodies and shall be in conformity with the rules of procedure of these Bodies and the General Rules of the Organization."
"37. The site and date of all sessions of Bodies and their Subsidiary Bodies established under Articles VI and XIV of the Constitution shall be determined in consultation with the Director-General, and the relevant texts shall contain a provision regarding this requirement."
"39. The establishment of an Executive Committee, when provided for, shall be stated in the basic instruments or in the statutes for the Bodies concerned. As regards the composition of Executive Committees, the Conference noted that in the case of Article XIV Bodies, they sometimes comprise as many as three Vice-Chairmen and in one instance the outgoing Chairman. In cases where the expenses of such officers, when performing duties related to the work of the Body, are to be borne by the Organization, the number of Vice-Chairmen should be limited."