COAG/01/4 (CL 119/17)



Sixteenth Session

Rome, 26-30 March 2001, Red Room


Item 4 of the Provisional Agenda


1. Following the approval of The Strategic Framework for FAO 2000 - 2015, by the FAO Conference in November 1999, the Medium Term Plan 2002 - 2007 (MTP) was prepared to translate the broad longer-term strategies into a focused set of substantive priorities and programme activities for a six-year period. It is recalled that the medium-term plan is of a "rolling" nature, to be updated every two years to reflect evolving contexts. The first Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) to be formulated in the context of the Medium Term Plan 2002 - 2007 will cover the biennium 2002 - 2003 and provide a more detailed description of the outputs planned for this two year period and the required resources. This PWB will be presented to the FAO Conference for approval in November 2001.

2. While the MTP has already been considered by the FAO Council in November 2000, it is the expectation of the Council that COAG review and make recommendations on the programme priorities in the document falling under the purview of the Committee, which would also be taken into account in the formulation of the PWB 2002-2003.

3. In view of the broad sweep of the Committee's mandate, the entire MTP document is submitted herewith. However, as usual, the Committee is invited to focus its attention more particularly on Part II, and the sections dealing with Major Programmes 2.1 and 2.2 (i.e. paragraph 72 up to the text preceding paragraph 79) and Major Programme 2.5 and the following Major Programme 3.1 Policy Assistance (i.e. paragraph 92 to the end of Part II). As explained in the document, the introductory text and tables at the beginning of each programme establish the links of the MTP proposals with the Corporate Strategies and Strategic Objectives in the FAO Strategic Framework 2000-2015.

4. As also explained at the beginning of Part II, in accordance with the new programming model endorsed by the FAO Conference, each programme consists of a number of "entities". These entities are of three types: time-bound technical projects, continuing programme activities and technical services. Within each technical project, besides the rationale and objective, a number of "major outputs" are identified over its lifetime, and the same for continuing programme activities. They will translate into more detailed biennial "outputs" in the Programme of Work and Budget. As a major innovation, indicators of achievements are also provided.

Priority Areas for Inter-Disciplinary Action

5. The Committee will also wish to note that in Part I of the document, sixteen "Priority Areas for Inter-Disciplinary Action" (PAIAs) are idendified that will be coordinated through corresponding inter-departmental mechanisms. These are as follows:

6. A number of entities and component activities under the Major Programmes falling under the purview of COAG will be of relevance to these areas for inter-disciplinary action. Therefore, the Committee may also wish to address the corresponding section of the MTP document (paragraph 66 to the end of Part I).