CL 120/4


Hundred and twentieth Session

Rome, 18-23 June 2001

Report of the Joint Meeting of the
Eighty-fifth Session of the Programme Committee
and the
Ninety-sixth Session of the Finance Committee
Rome, 9 May 2001

Table of Contents




Report of the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees

Matters requiring discussion and/or decision


Summary Programme of Work and Budget 2002-03

1 - 8  

Matters for information

Savings and Efficiencies in Governance




Rome, 9 May 2001


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



Mr. R. Rose (Canada)
Mr. A. Mekouar (Morocco)



Mr. P.N. Ross (Australia) Ms. I. Di Giovan Battista (Argentina)
Mr. M.T. Kima (Cameroon) Ms. N. Gangadharan (India)
Mr. Z. Tang (China) Mr. Kim Kyeong-kyu (Korea)
Mr. B. Gutiérrez Zuluaga Botero (Colombia) Ms. E.F. Eltom (Sudan)
Mr. A.S. Karama (Indonesia) Mr. R. Gerber (Switzerland)
Mr. F. Zenny (Jamaica) Ms. P.M.S. Hingi (Tanzania)
Mr. G. Mansour (Lebanon) Mr. A. Beattie (United Kingdom)
Mr. I.M. Zawia (Libya) Ms. C. Heileman (USA)
Mr. J. Berteling (Netherlands)  
Ms. S. Nyamudeza (Zimbabwe)  

3. Mr. M.T. Kima replaced Mr. T.N. Mokake as representative of the Government of Cameroon on the Programme Committee.

Adoption of the Agenda1

4. The Agenda and Timetable for the Joint Meeting were approved without amendments.

Item 2: Summary Programme of Work and Budget 2002-20032

5. Following reports from the Chairmen of the two Committees on the results of their respective discussions, the Committees jointly addressed the Summary Programme of Work and Budget 2002-03 (SPWB).

6. The Committees welcomed the fact that the substance of the proposals presented in the document had been shaped in full conformity with the Strategic Framework 2000-2015 and the Medium Term Plan 2002-20073, two policy instruments which had been endorsed by FAO Governing Bodies. The Committees observed that the sessions of the Technical Committees of the Council, held earlier in the year, had also provided an opportunity for Members to reaffirm the validity of the priorities selected. It was noted that the relevant recommendations of the Technical Committees would need to be taken into account in the full Programme of Work and Budget (PWB).

7. The Committees underlined the continuing challenges facing the Organization and, in particular, the slow progress made in the implementation of the World Food Summit commitments. These entailed continuing demands on the Organization to assist Members in this regard.

8. Different views were expressed on the level of resources required for the next biennium. Many Members fully supported the real growth proposals, which they considered to be the only fitting response to high-priority demands being made on the Organization at this juncture. They stressed that FAO should be afforded an appropriate level of resources to carry out its mandate effectively.

9. A few Members reiterated their strong preference for zero nominal growth, a policy pursued by their governments in various UN fora.

10. Other Members did not express a firm view on a specific level for the next biennium, but hoped that a consensus solution would emerge reconciling the diverging positions.

11. The Committees emphasized the importance of continued attention to efficiency savings, appreciating the substantial gains made by FAO in this regard in the recent past. Some Members felt that this could be particularly helpful in the above search for a compromise. A few members expressed the view that this might include reorganisation of the Secretariat. Other Members stressed the limitations inherent in the identification of further efficiency savings, which should not be made at the expense of the programmes the Organization was expected to carry out, and could not be seen as a substitute for adequate financial commitments from Members. All agreed on the importance of an adequate administrative infrastructure for FAO and the resources to fund it particularly as regards financial and human resource management, information technology and communications programmes.

12. As the above range of positions precluded the formulation of a consensus recommendation at this stage, the Committees urged continuation of further dialogue among Members, which could pave the way for such consensus at the Conference.

Item 3: Proposed Reform of the General Debate at Conference4 - Savings and Efficiencies in Governance

13. The Committees noted that special arrangements would ensue from the inclusion of the World Food Summit: five years later on the Agenda of the Thirty-first Session of the Conference (2-13 November 2001) and, consequently, decided to defer further discussion on Reform of the General Debate until their May 2002 Joint Meeting, by which time Members would be in a position to draw lessons from experience gained at the Conference.


1 Doc.: JM 01/INF/1

2 Doc.: CL 120/3; CL 120/3-Sup.1; CL 120/3-Sup.2

3 Doc.: CL 119/17

4 Doc.: CL 120/18