CL 120/INF/14


Hundred and Twentieth Session

Rome, 18-23 June 2001


Table of Contents

Annex 1. UNGA A/RES/55/2 United Nations Millenium Declaration

Annex 2. UNGA A/RES/55/162 Follow-up to the outcome of the Millenium Summit


I. Introduction

1. This document responds to the FAO Council request, made at its 119th session, for information on "FAO's contribution, within the UN system, on progress in the implementation of those provisions of the Millennium Declaration falling within its mandate".

2. The Millennium Summit took place in New York from 6 to 8 September 2000. The main output of the Summit, the Millennium Declaration, was adopted by the General Assembly, at its 55th session, through its resolution A/RES/55/2 entitled "United Nations Millennium Declaration" (Annex 1.). The General Assembly, at this same session, adopted resolution A/RES/55/162, entitled "Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit" (Annex 2.). In this resolution, the Assembly, inter alia, stressed that a comprehensive and balanced approach in implementation and follow-up of the Millennium Declaration would be required. It also "recognized that Governments bear the main responsibility, individually and collectively, for action and implementation of the Millennium Declaration". It "called upon the entire UN system to assist Member States in every way possible in the implementation of the Millennium Declaration". For ease of reference, both resolutions are annexed to this document.

3. The WFS target is reiterated in the Millennium Declaration, together with other targets which relate to development and poverty eradication. It is expressed as "to halve, by the year 2015, ... the proportion of people who suffer from hunger...".

4. FAO is involved in several UN system initiatives for follow-up to and implementation of the Millennium Declaration. These include:

    1. A World Bank meeting "From Consensus to Action: A Seminar on the International Development Goals", took place in Washington, D.C., on 19 and 20 March 2001. The meeting focused on sharing strategies that are effective in achieving the International Development Goals (IDGs), which have, so far, despite FAO efforts, not included the WFS or Millennium goals related to hunger. The meeting addressed the role of the international development goals; sharing experience and building knowledge; and strategies that work - country experiences. FAO participated in the meeting and underlined why action targeting hunger was essential to poverty reduction: the hungry are the poorest of the poor, they are the least likely to send their children to school, the most likely to be sick and incur productivity losses, and the most likely to give priority to food and water over environmental, and other less "vital", concerns.
    2. Inter-agency efforts to formulate a UN Roadmap for the implementation of the Millennium goals and targets have been discussed at some initial meetings, held in New York. The WFS:fyl forms part of a series of events, which will contribute to specific aspects of follow-up to the Millennium Summit. FAO experience in leading inter-agency efforts within FIVIMS, to develop indicator categories for food insecurity and vulnerability analysis, will be relevant to monitoring implementation of the Millennium goals. In this context, FAO stands ready to participate in and contribute to system-wide arrangements which can link decentralized knowledge/data information systems (each agency maintains the data for which it has a comparative advantage related to Millennium goals and targets). A Global Key Indicator Database System (Global KIDS), proposed by the Inter-Agency Working Group on FIVIMS and currently under construction, may be of interest to the Roadmap exercise. By building on work already underway throughout the UN system, FIVIMS would enable quicker and more cost-effective monitoring of implementation of the Millennium goals and targets.
    3. The Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC), chaired by the UN Secretary-General and grouping Executive Heads of the UN system, addressed at  its last two sessions (October 2000 and April 2001) ways for the organizations of the system to work together to carry forward the key goals and targets of the Summit. The FAO Director-Generalparticipated at these meetings.

      At its April session, the ACC considered "the response of the system to the challenges of globalization in the context of the follow-up to the Millennium Summit". It recognized that "while the potential benefits of globalization are evident, its negative consequences, in terms of growing disparities and greater vulnerabilities, need to be redressed. Managing them requires a strong sense of priority in regard to the directions of public interventions and their inter-relationships. Poverty, hunger, health, education and the environment were obviously at the centre of such priorities". The ACC also emphasized the need to address rural poverty, including through greater access to rural credit. It further stressed "the need for an integrated approach to hunger and poverty and the role that the World Food Summit: five years later in November 2001 could play in promoting food security and contributing to the implementation of the Millennium Declaration".

5. For the information of the Council, links between the UN Millennium Summit Declaration and FAO's major policy orientations and most responsive programmes are outlined in the attached table. The table provides an indicative overview of FAO contributions to broader UN system support to Member States for implementation and follow-up of the Millennium Declaration.

II. FAO's Contribution, within the UN System, to Progress in the Implementation of those Provisions of the Millennium Declaration (UNGA A/RES/55/2) falling within FAO's Mandate


To halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of the world's people ... who suffer from hunger ...


Refocusing FAO's policies and programmes Development of :
  • Strategic Framework drawing on the Basic Texts of FAO and the 1996 World Food Summit (WFS) Plan of Action
  • Medium-Term Plan 2002-07 to reinforce FAO's capacity to fulfill its mandate in line with the WFS decisions
Convening the WFS:fyl
  • Decision to convene World Food Summit: five years later, at the highest political level, to examine progress made towards achieving the World Food Summit target and the decisions required to reach it no later than 2015.
Strengthening partnerships with particular focus on food security in LIFDCs Focus on low-income food-deficit countries, with work directed towards gaining greater appreciation of the extent, causes, location and impact of hunger

Strengthening partnership arrangements:

  • Extension of the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security (for which FAO provides the Secretariat) to national level
  • Further expansion of national Thematic Groups affiliated to the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security, to provide coordinated support amongst development partners for government efforts in World Food Summit follow-up
  • Extension of the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System to 67 countries
  • Collaboration in the UN Development Assistance Framework and contributions to the Common Country Assessment
Special Programme for Food Security
  • Extension of the Special Programme for Food Security to 62 countries.
  • Strengthening of South-South Cooperation (SSC) in support of the SPFS. 21 SSC agreements have already been signed.
The Right to Food
  • Continued cooperation with the High Commission for Human Rights and the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the clarification and better implementation of the "Right to Food"
  • Participation in ACC work on human rights based approaches to development
  • Follow-up contacts by Director-General with Heads of State and Governments
  • Annual publication of The State of World Food Insecurity
  • World Food Day/Telefood
  • Contacts with religious leaders culminating, in 2000, in an address by the Director-General in the presence of His Holiness Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the Agricultural Jubilee attended by over 100,000 farmers
  • Collaboration with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to generate national and international support at the political level
  • Participation of the Director-General in the World Economic Forum to gain support of private sector leaders
Participation of Non-Governmental Organizations and Civil Society Organizations Strengthening of contribution of NGOs/CSOs/private sector to WFS follow-up:
  • Issuance of policy statement as basis for increased collaboration
  • Regional NGO/CSO consultations culminating in 2000 CFS
  • Contribution of NGOs/CSOs towards the Right to Food (over 800 have subscribed to the draft Code of Conduct on the Right to Food)
  • Launching of a study in ten Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America countries aimed at identifying successful cases of building partnerships between government, private sector and civil society to achieve food security and rural development objectives at local level
Impact of globalization Para. 5: and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption Para. 6 (5th bullet): FAO addresses the impact of globalization through enabling all of its Members to become "equal and well informed partners" in fora, negotiations, etc., for the establishment of international regulatory systems covering a broad range of issues within its mandate, including:
  • International collaboration for the protection and sustainable use of natural resources (programmes in support of conservation and sustainable use of global commons e.g. plant and animal genetic resources; land and water, forests and fisheries resources)
  • International agricultural trade (market monitoring; analyses of impacts of trade reforms; training and capacity building for participation in WTO trade negotiations; impact of trade on the environment and national and international food security)
  • International standards for food, plant and animal safety;(programmes in support of international regulatory systems e.g. Codex Alimentarius, International Plant Protection Convention; establishment of a "clearing house" of national and international standards)
  • Information exchange (programmes to facilitate equitable access to statistics and information e.g. WAICENT, FIVIMS, International Network on Post Harvest Operations, Global Information and Early Warning System, Transboundary Animal Disease Information System, OneFish - linking multiple fisheries databases)
Resource mobilization for development (including the planned High-level Event) Para 14: One of the key corporate strategies, contained in FAO's Strategic Framework, is "Leveraging Resources for FAO and its Members". In particular, FAO seeks to:
  • Forge longer-term partnership agreements with selected bilateral and multilateral agencies;
  • Improve communication of results obtained to all stakeholders;
  • Link FAO projects and programmes to those of other agencies ("programme approach");
  • Assist countries in the creation of a policy environment conducive to expanding public and private sector capital flows;
  • Assist in the preparation of bankable projects and programmes in support of agricultural sector development: for instance, total funding commitments for investment projects prepared with FAO assistance amounted to an average of US$ 2.1 billion per year over the period 1998-2000;
  • Collaborate with other agencies in the development of alternative capital flows, which are not debt or dependency inducing, such as the Clean Development Mechanism, Global Environment Facility, Debt for Nature Swaps and Debt for Food Security Swaps, Highly Indebted Poor Countries initiative, etc.
  • Contributing to preparation for the High-level International and Inter-Governmental Event on Financing for Development
  • Through the WFS:fyl, focus attention on the need for resource mobilization, both internationally and domestically, and investment for agriculture and food security. To this end a background paper entitled Mobilizing Resources to Fight Hunger has been prepared. The paper reviews the amount of resources allocated to agriculture (public and private, external and internal) in the 1990's and addresses future resource needs associated with the alleviation of food insecurity in the world.
  • Through the Special Programme for Food Security, demonstrate how simple, low-cost investments can contribute to increased productivity and production as well as raising rural incomes and improving access to food. It is in pursuit of this objective that FAO, over five years, has already mobilised $230 million for the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) that is operational in several countries around the world.
Third UN Conference on LDCs Para. 15: FAO is actively involved in preparations for the Third UN Conference on LDCs and related initiatives addressing the special needs and concerns of these countries. As part of its support to the preparatory process and the Conference itself, FAO is undertaking the following:
  • Supporting the preparatory process at the country level, by supporting the development of the food and agriculture component of the national action programmes.
  • Organization of an interactive debate at the Conference on the theme of "enhancing productive capacities: the agricultural sector and food security"
  • Compilation of ongoing FAO projects for strengthening supply capacities, food security and rural development in individual LDCs.
  • Preparation of a compendium of key statistical indicators relating to agricultural development and food security for the LDCs.
  • Preparation of a concept paper on the role of agriculture in the development of LDCs and their integration in the globalising world economy, which constitutes the main background paper for the Interactive Session on "enhancing productive capacities: the agricultural sector and food security"
  • Provision of inputs to the part of the Conference Draft Programme of Action (PoA), 2001 - 2010, dealing with rural development, agriculture and food security.
  • Exhibition at the Conference.
  Although not directly related to the Third UN Conference on LDCs, FAO's activities in relation to the Integrated Framework for Trade-related Technical Assistance to LDCs are highly relevant:
  • a number of LDCs have asked FAO to be actively involved in its implementation;
  • WTO is favourable to FAO's participation, while concrete arrangements for this participation have yet to be formalized.
Debt relief, particularly for LDCs Para 16:
  • Within the inter-agency mechanism for preparing the Third LDC Conference and in other fora, where relevant, FAO advocates that financial resources which accrue through targeted debt relief initiatives, e.g., HIPC, be channelled to support not only poverty alleviation but, more specifically, be focussed on food security in rural areas.

  • Jointly with IFAD and WFP, and in collaboration with the Government of Italy, are assisting middle-income developing countries in the design of projects for rural poverty reduction using bilateral debt for development swap mechanisms.

  • FAO is also assisting several developing countries in preparing Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers.
Special Needs of Small Island Developing States Para. 17: FAO works closely with interested international organizations and its own member governments in promoting the sustainable agriculture development in Small Island Developing States.
  • In implementing the Barbados Programme of Action, FAO provides technical assistance to SIDS in agriculture, forestry and fisheries and sustainable development, including emergency assistance.
  • FAO organized a Special Ministerial Conference on Agriculture in Small Island Developing States on 12 March 1999 at its Headquarters in Rome.
  • The Conference adopted a Ministerial Declaration on Agriculture in Small Island Developing States that led to the adoption, by the FAO Council, of a Plan of Action in support of sustainable agricultural development
"Cities without Slums" initiative Para. 19 last bullet The World Food Summit gave priority to the development of urban and peri-urban agriculture as well as improving the efficiency of food supply and distribution systems and linkages between production and consumption areas, with the aim of facilitating access to food by low-income households and hence improving food security. As follow-up, FAO has launched a multidisciplinary effort (Priority Area for Interdisciplinary Action) on Food for the Cities.
Gender equality and empowerment Para. 20, 1st bullet FAO provides direct assistance to its members in integrating socio-economic demographic and gender issues into national policies and programmes for agricultural and rural development, as well as nutrition and food security, in line with the 1994 Cairo Plan of Action on Population and Development and the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action on Women, and the Outcomes of the five-year reviews of these.

An FAO Plan of Action on Gender and Development, which integrates gender perspectives into selected major outputs of the Corporate Medium Term Plan 2002-2007 is under preparation The focus is on promoting gender equality in

  • access to sufficient, safe and nutritionally adequate food
  • access to, control over and management of natural resources, and agricultural support services
  • in policy- and decision-making processes at all level in the agricultural and rural sector
  • in opportunities for on- and off-farm employment in rural areas
Implementation of Agenda 21 of UNCED Para. 22, FAO, through its normative and operational activities, continues to assist member countries in the implementation of Agenda 21 and follow-up of UNCED in areas of its mandate. FAO is the Task Manager for the following Chapters of Agenda 21:
  • Chapter 10 "Integrated Planning and Management of Land Resources"
  • Chapter 11 "Combating Deforestation"
  • Chapter 13 "Sustainable Mountain Development"
  • Chapter 14 "Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development"

It is also a partner in the implementation of several other Chapters of Agenda 21, notably:

  • Chapter 3 Combating Poverty
  • Chapter 12 Combating Desertification and Drought
  • Chapter 15 Conservation of Biological Diversity
  • Chapter 17 Protection of the Oceans and Seas
  • Chapter 18 Protection of Freshwater Resources
  • Chapter 19 Environmentally Sound Management of Toxic Chemicals
  • Chapter 24 Global Action for Women towards Sustainable and Equitable Development
  • Chapter 32 Strengthening the Role of Farmers
  • Chapter 40 Information for Decision-making.

In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 (Rio + 10), FAO has a lead responsibility in preparing reports in areas where it is task manager and also for providing inputs to chapters of Agenda 21.

Corporate Strategy D, "Supporting the conservation, improvement and sustainable use of natural resources for food and agriculture" of FAO's Strategic Framework ensures FAO's continued role in assisting the global community to address natural resources management and conservation issues.

Climate change and Kyoto Protocol Para. 23, 1st bullet:
  • FAO established an interdepartmental working Group on Climate Change in 1988; recently, climate change was accepted as one of the Priority Areas for Interdepartmental Action.
  • FAO follows international climate-related negotiations, with a view to assisting its members within its mandate. Participation in international fora and conferences include the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Subsidiary Body for Science and Technological Advice. FAO documents on climate change include position papers on Global Climate Change and Agricultural Production and on Biofuels for Sustainable Development, proceedings of expert meetings (on Global Climatic Change and Agricultural production, on Verification of Country-level Carbon Stocks and Exchanges in non-annex-I Countries) , as well as a number of internal documents, for instance submissions to COFO on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol: Key Forestry-Related Issues and to COAG on Climate Variability and Change: A Challenge for Sustainable Agricultural Production
  • Issues of particular interest include carbon sequestration in biomass (forests) and soils (forest and agricultural soils), emission of reductions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxides from agricultural sources, and fossil fuel substitution through bioenergy.

FAO hosts the Secretariat of the Global Terrestrial Observing System, and contributes towards the Terrestrial Carbon Observation Initiative

Management, conservation and sustainable development of forests Para 23, 2nd bullet FAO has a lead role in international efforts to assess, monitor and sustainably develop forest and tree resources, in particular by providing support to the preparation and implementation of national forest programmes. Specifically, FAO has :
  • supported, as Task Manager, the implementation of Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the "forest principles" towards sustainable forest management, including support to the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) and the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF)
  • undertaken a broad range of normative and field activities including Global Forest Resources Assessment, development of forest-related information systems, providing policy and legal advice, developing criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management, facilitating international and regional cooperation for the conservation of fragile ecosystems, developing approaches for community participation in forest resources development and conservation.

FAO plays a lead role in forging the Collaborative Partnership on Forests (CPF) as recommended by the IFF, and actively implementing IPF/IFF proposals for action, and providing support to the multi-year programme of work and the Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF)

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)) Para 23, third bullet: FAO addresses biological diversity issues inter alia through its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and its programmes on animal, plant (including forest) and fish genetic resources, biological diversity conservation and sustainable wildlife utilization and integrated pest management. It provides an integrated approach to biological diversity-related activities in FAO through its Interdepartmental Working Group on biological diversity for food and agriculture. Initiatives include:
  • The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity has recognized the leading role of FAO in agricultural biodiversity. FAO, in collaboration with the Secretariat conducted an assessment of ongoing activities in agricultural biodiversity and developed four elements of a programme of work which formed the basis of a COP V decision on agricultural biodiversity. FAO has now been invited by the CBD Secretariat to assist in the implementation of this decision, including to further study the potential implications of genetic use restriction technologies (GURTs) on agricultural biodiversity, in collaboration with other organisations; and facilitation and co-ordination of the International Initiative for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Pollinators as a crosscutting initiative within the programme of work.
  • FAO has been invited to contribute to a number of other decisions, including on access and benefit sharing (V/26), invasive alien species (V/8), forest biodiversity (V/4), marine and coastal biodiversity (V/3), the Global Taxonomy Initiative (V/9), Plant Conservation Strategy (V/10), and incentive measures (V/15). In addition, FAO continues to support the implementation of other CBD programmes of work.
Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) Para 23, third bullet: FAO assistance to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification has been formalized through several collaboration agreements with the UNCCD Secretariat and with IFAD and UNEP) as well as support to the Global Mechanism through its Facilitation Committee. Activities include:
  • technical support to the preparation of National and Regional Action Plans in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and of field projects, half of which are in Africa
  • data bases and web sites on desertification, leading to the formulation of a global programme on land degradation assessment and monitoring (LADA) in cooperation with UNEP, and the preparation of technical guidelines and best practices on dryland management.
  • participation in the international and regional consultative process promoted through the bodies of the UNCCD
  • FAO's Strategic Framework pays particular attention to the integrated development of fragile ecosystems such as drylands, and has put the combat against desertification as one of its major cross-sectoral priorities.
Water resources Para 23, fourth bullet:
  • FAO's water-related activities focus on increasing water-use efficiency. Water is an important component of FAO's Special Programme for Food Security.
  • FAO is working in partnership with other institutions (WB, UN, GEF, Global Water Partnership, IWMI, International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, NGOs, regional organizations). However, there is a considerable overlap between various UN-sponsored water programmes and initiatives. This calls for the need to establish an effective coordinated mechanism.
  • Recent initiatives with partners include: dialogue on water and food security, integrated land and water initiative, various GEF funded projects on riverbasins and inland water bodies.
Reducing the number and effects of natural and man-made disasters Para. 23, fifth bullet FAO gives priority to emergencies as recognized in its Strategic Framework: "Preparedness for, and effective and sustainable response to, food and agricultural emergencies". The Emergency Coordination Group coordinates the diverse range of multidisciplinary activities under the theme, Strengthening Emergency Preparedness and Response.

FAO participates as organizational focal point in follow-up to the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction. In particular, it provides a lead role in Task Forces on El Nino and La Nina, Climate Change and Variability; Early Warning; and Risk, Vulnerability and Disaster Impact Assessment.

As an example of FAO support to emergency planning,. FAO is cooperating in the evolution of strategies to move from peacekeeping to development and is involved in inter-agency dialogue and cooperation with the local institutional counterparts in Kosovo

FAO is participating in a new initiative by the UN Secretariat and the specialized agencies (the GIST group) to increase data sharing among UN missions by generating agreed-upon standards for georeferenced data. Many areas of cooperation are being developed from Kosovo to the Horn of Africa. The latter initiative may be realized through the Horn of Africa Humanitarian Planning Map project, which has three overlapping goals:

  • Integration of geographic information system (GIS) compatible data, interactive maps and remote sensing imagery for complex emergencies;
  • Application of new Internet-linked technologies for collection and dissemination of geospatial data among UN-led missions planning and responding to natural and man-made crises; and
  • Support for developing UN/OCHA's ReliefWeb as the Internet focal point for humanitarian assistance data among UN agencies and NGOs.
Programming at country level Para. 30, ninth bullet: Programming of technical cooperation activities falling within the mandate of FAO is a responsibility shared by all units of the Organization, with a view to supporting FAO Representatives at the country level. Agricultural Sector Briefs (synthetic programme-oriented analytical notes which identify areas for FAO technical cooperation activities in the country) are prepared, making use of substantive documents related to the agricultural sector of the country, including the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). They are useful instruments for the identification of the field programmes, taking into account the constraints, potential and priorities of agricultural development in the country, and greatly assist the FAO representatives as part of the UN system country team.


Annex 1. UNGA A/RES/55/2 United Nations Millenium Declaration

(available in PDF format)

Annex 2. UNGA A/RES/55/162 Follow-up to the outcome of the Millenium Summit

(available in PDF format)