C 2001/INF/14


Thirty-First Session

Rome, 2-13 November 2001


Table of Contents








Yaounde, Cameroon 21 - 25 February 2000

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-first FAO Regional Conference for Africa.

Country Statements and General Debate

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO intensify efforts to assist countries in forest resources assessment and monitoring and in developing training and extension programmes, which contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of forest and wildlife resources in Africa.

Workshops for East & Southern Africa and for Central & West Africa have been organised under the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) programme, with the aim of strengthening, among other things, capacities of both national and regional institutions.

recommended that support be intensified to non-conventional food products, especially bushmeat and non-wood forest products.

Case studies have been carried out on bushmeat and other non-wood forest products (NWFPs) which contribute to food security and human health in Africa. FAO will publish guidelines on the sustainable management of tropical forest resources for the production of NWFPs.

recommended FAO assistance in establishing a regional food control laboratory in the context of the Codex Alimentarius, in view of the lack of quality control of food products in the region. Algeria offered to host such a laboratory.

A regional programme is being formulated to strengthen the national food control system in 34 countries as a result of consultations of the Codex Co-ordinating Committee in Africa. The programme will establish 4 centres in the various sub-regions to train food control officers in Africa.

In addition, a proposal for capacity building on food safety and quality assurance, with particular emphasis on improving the analytical capabilities of Member Countries of West Africa has been developed and funded with the support of the French Government. Further to the Regional Seminar on Food Safety in Dakar, Senegal, in January 2000, a Global World Forum for Institutions responsible for Food Safety will be held in October 2001 in Marrakech, Morocco (Ref. Genoa G8 Summit). In the meantime, the joint proposal with the Joint Division FAO/IAEA in Vienna is being developed and will be submitted to potential donors for consideration.

Report of the Technical Committee: The Challenges of Sustainable Forestry Development (ARC/00/3)

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO mobilise additional funds to facilitate the implementation of conservation, sustainable management, use and improvement of forest resources.

FAO, through its partnership programme with the EC, has implemented two important regional forestry projects on Forestry Data Collection and Analysis in the ACP Countries and Sustainable Forestry Development in African ACP Countries. FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) is used to identify critical gaps and to catalyse investment and further technical assistance projects from other funding sources. This has been done in several countries including Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Niger and Zambia.

FAO to take the initiative to organise a sub-regional meeting on forest genetic resources for Central Africa in partnership with the African Timber Organisation (ATO).

During 2001, FAO has, in collaboration with national and international partners, commenced a review of the status of forest genetic resources in the humid tropical zone of Central/Western Africa. This is the first step towards support to a country-driven process for the development of a sub-regional plan of action on the management of forest genetic resources. Subregional workshops on Forest Genetic Resources in Central Africa will subsequently be organised in collaboration with the ATO.

recommended that FAO continue its efforts in capacity-building to facilitate the effective participation of African countries in the multilateral negotiations on trade in forest products.

A series of information and capacity building workshops are being organised on the Uruguay Round and its implication on international trade in forest products. Following the workshop organised in Yaounde, Cameroon in 1999, another was held during the second half of 2000 in Dakar, Senegal. Other workshops relating to WTO Agreement on Agriculture, encompassing crops, livestock and forest products, were organised in Dakar, Yaounde and Addis Ababa during the biennium.

Report of the Technical Committee: World Food Summit Follow-up: the FAO Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) - National Ownership of the Programme and its South-South Dimension (ARC/00/5)

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to mobilise financing, to the extent possible, to expand the programme in order to achieve national food security objectives.

Efforts are continuing to mobilise financial resources required for the expansion of the SPFS.

recommended that FAO introduce more flexible working arrangements with regard to contracting personnel under South-South Cooperation.

FAO legal office (LEG) is in the process of examining the contractual arrangements relating to personnel under the South-South Cooperation.

recommended that FAO consider convening regional consultations for countries implementing the SPFS to exchange experiences for programme enhancement; and that the film on the SPFS made in Tanzania and Senegal should be reproduced and distributed among Member Countries in the region.

The video on the SPFS made in Tanzania has already been reproduced for distribution to Member Countries. The services concerned of the Organisation will soon begin preparations for convening a regional consultation of countries implementing the SPFS.

Report of the Technical Committee: Progress on the Common African Agricultural Programme (CAAP)

The Regional Conference:

requested the Director-General to continue to support, to the extent possible, the development and implementation of CAAP, including through "the second track", as appropriate.

FAO, through its Office in Addis Ababa, expects to receive observations and comments from OAU and ECA Liaison Office on this subject. Meanwhile the 37th OAU Summit (Lusaka, July 2001) adopted the "New African Initiative", which retained agriculture as one of the major sectors for socio-economic development of Africa.

Report of the Technical Committee: Integration of Sustainable Aquaculture and Rural Development (ARC/00/INF/6)

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO, within the limit of its resources, assist governments in elaborating effective aquaculture policies and streamlining public sector support to foster increased aquaculture productions.

The 1999 Africa Regional Aquaculture Review, held by FAO, elaborated a strategy for aquaculture development in the Region based on lessons learned from past experiences. This strategy has been the template employed by RAF over the 2000/2001 period to assist governments in adopting efficiency improving measures leading to the subsequent increase in aquaculture production. This strategy has served as the basis for approved and pipeline Technical Co-operation Programmes in Côte d'Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi and Zambia that are seen as models from which the rest of the Region can benefit.

Report of the Technical Committee: Drought Impact Mitigation and Prevention: Long-term Perspective (ARC/00/INF/7)

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO strengthen efforts to develop capacity for water resources development and management in dryland ecosystems; that FAO continue its assistance to the region in the dissemination of early warning information and in rapid response.

As a major component of its work in the area of natural resources use in management, FAO has continued to provide a multifaceted technical assistance to Member Countries in the area of water resource development, utilization, conservation and management in different eco-systems with particular emphasis on dry-land areas. This assistance has been extended to both public and private sector and small-hold farmers in that the development, utilization, conservation and management of any natural resource need to involve all the stakeholders concerned in order to ensure sustainability and socio-economic viability. Most Member Countries in drought prone areas have been covered. Countries in humid areas have benefited from this assistance under the framework of the FAO SPFS.



Yokohama, Japan, 28 August-1 September 2000

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-fifth FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific.

Sustainable Agricultural Development and Poverty Alleviation in the New Millennium: Reflections and Lessons from the Asian Crisis

The Regional Conference:

urged FAO to continue and to strengthen its activities in support of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), effective water and fertilizer use, Integrated Plant Nutrition Systems (IPNS), pre- and post-harvest technologies and appropriate application of biotechnology.

FAO assisted 12 Asian countries in establishing 80,000 Farmer Field Schools and supported the training of 20,000 farmer trainers. This programme trained more than two million farmers in IPM for rice.

FAO conducted training workshops on irrigation modernization, water harvesting, and water conservation in four countries. It also provided technical assistance in on-farm water management, balanced fertilizer use and integrated plant nutrition in on-going SPFS projects of seven countries. FAO is currently developing three TCP projects on IPNS.

recommended that FAO assist countries in establishing clearly defined and enforceable land and property rights and broad-based decentralized development of economic activities in rural areas.

FAO surveyed, analyzed and disseminated experiences and information on Decentralization and Devolution of Forest Management in Asia and the Pacific. A publication on the subject was distributed widely.

urged FAO to assist Member Countries in developing effective micro-credit programmes, extension services, education and marketing support for small-scale farmers, especially women, the less-skilled and disadvantaged.

FAO strengthened its regional office manpower by recruiting a Marketing and Rural Finance Officer and an Extension, Education and Communications Officer. It subsequently undertook twelve technical support missions in micro-finance, marketing, extension and education and five training activities in eight countries.

requested FAO to assist developing countries in meeting the Sanitary and Phyto-Sanitary (SPS) requirements of food-importing countries.

FAO provided technical backstopping in developing national phyto-sanitary strategies and plant quarantine capacities in 10 countries in line with WTO and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) recommendations. It also organized a regional workshop on WTO's Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Agreement in Thailand for Member Countries of the Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

requested FAO to provide direct support and capacity-building services for carrying out needed agricultural sector reviews, assessments of policies for food security and poverty alleviation, and studies of pricing policies for resources and inputs such as water and irrigation.

FAO undertook agricultural sector reviews and assessments of food security and poverty alleviation policies in eight countries. It also provided technical support and training in monitoring and evaluation of food security policies to a number of Asia-Pacific NGOs/CSOs.

FAO organized an e-mail conference on irrigation management reviewing modalities for cost recovery and pricing of services. It further provided technical assistance on participatory irrigation management to two countries.

encouraged FAO to assist Member Countries in collecting, analyzing and sharing key information on agricultural development.

FAO organized a Technical Consultation on the Establishment of a Data Exchange System for Food and Agricultural Statistics in the Asia and Pacific Region in Bangkok. It followed-up with six training seminars on systems and methods of data collection and improving fisheries and agri-business statistics.

FAO further assisted Member States in collecting, analyzing and sharing information on selected issues in sustainable agriculture, poverty alleviation and food insecurity. Notably, FAO undertook exploratory missions in eight countries aimed at establishing the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS).

FAO also initiated the EC-FAO Partnership Programme on Forestry Information and Analysis for Sustainable Forestry Management to benefit 13 regional Member Countries.

requested FAO to identify factors undermining sustainable fisheries and to promote effective measures against such factors.

In collaboration with SEAFDEC, FAO organized a Regional Technical Consultation on the Indicators for Sustainable Fisheries Management in the ASEAN Region in Vietnam and a Regional Workshop on the Management of Fishing Capacity in Malaysia.

urged FAO to study opportunities for advancing the comprehensive and sustainable management of marine resources based on the ecosystem approach.

FAO convened a global Conference on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem in Iceland to review ecosystem issues and management requirements paying special attention to small-scale fisheries.

requested FAO to actively contribute to international discussions on the relationship between forest products trade and sustainable forest management.

FAO actively participated in regional fora on trade and sustainable forest management especially the semi-annual meetings of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO). It collaborated with ITTO in a series of meetings focussing on the linkages between trade and environment in the forestry sector.

Implications and Development of Biotechnology

The Regional Conference:

urged FAO to strengthen its programme of policy advice, priority setting, information exchange and technical assistance related to biotechnology.

RAP selected biotechnology, biodiversity and biosecurity as one of the four Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIA). As follow-up, RAP organized two subregional consultations on gender dimensions in biodiversity management, and provided policy advice on biotechnology development to three countries. FAO is preparing the first report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources through a country driven process.

recommended that FAO provide capacity-building support to developing countries in establishing mechanisms for assessing and managing the potential environmental risks associated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and harmonize biosafety regulatory mechanisms.

FAO prepared a regional project for donor funding on capacity building towards biosafety of genetically modified crops including inter alia harmonization of biosafety regulatory standards. Regional standard-setting procedural guidelines were developed under the IPPC.

endorsed FAO's proposal to establish a regional biotechnology network; requested FAO to organize consultations and workshops on the application of biotechnology; and stressed the need for FAO to coordinate and collaborate with all relevant partners on biotechnology issues and applications.

RAP is organizing a regional consultation to establish the Asia-Pacific biotechnology network in collaboration with international/regional organizations concerned. The consultation will also assess on-going activities and set priorities for future work.

requested FAO to strengthen its assistance in developing and disseminating methodologies for in situ conservation of genetic resources.

FAO prepared a project on Implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Conservation (including in situ conservation) and Sustainable Utilization for Food and Agriculture in the Asia-Pacific Region for donor funding. It also organized a Regional Consultation on Farmers Rights: from Legislation to Actions and prepared guidelines for the realization of the rights. FAO is further building decision support systems to assist countries in the development of animal breeding programmes.

World Food Summit Follow-up

The Regional Conference:

recommended that FAO continue to strengthen three of its WFS follow-up programmes, which have significantly improved the investment climates in LIFDCs: the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), Telefood and Strategies for Agricultural Development and Food Security.

FAO increased the number of countries participating in the SPFS from 13 to 14. Within the SPFS, South-South Cooperation was strengthened with participating countries increasing from 4 to 5 and related projects from 14 to 17.

Meanwhile, FAO's Telefood projects increased to 900 worldwide. A quarter of these projects was located in this Region.

FAO assisted twelve countries in reviewing and updating strategies for agricultural development and food security -Horizon 2010- through broad-based consultations and workshops. It also initiated planning for sub-regional food security among the Pacific Island countries.

recommended that FAO increase technical assistance in disaster management to the most affected countries.

RAP selected disaster management as a PAIA. It followed-up with Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions in eight countries; implemented TCP projects on pest control in three countries; organized a Regional Conference on Management of Food and Agricultural Disasters; and disseminated technical information on disaster management through publications. A follow-up Expert Consultation on Drought-prone Agriculture is being organized.

recommended that FAO assist countries in strengthening policies, reinforcing infrastructure and building capacity for trade in agricultural commodities.

RAP identified agricultural trade promotion as another PAIA. Its thrust was on human resource development through the FAO umbrella training programme on the Uruguay Round Follow-up. Three subregional training workshops were organized for South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Furthermore, FAO provided technical assistance to the International Tropical Fruits Network in project formulation.

Action Taken on the Main Recommendations of the 24th FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific and other FAO Activities in the Region (1998-99)

The Regional Conference:

encouraged FAO initiatives to enhance the implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the adoption of the International Plan of Action for Management of Fishing Capacity, as well as its leadership in tackling various issues of fisheries in the Asia-Pacific Region including questions on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

FAO translated the official and simplified versions of the Code into local languages for wider distribution. It collaborated with SEAFDEC in organizing the ASEAN Conference in Bangkok on Sustainable Fisheries for Food Security in the New Millennium aimed at more effective implementation of the Code. FAO is also extending support for the implementation of the International Plan of Action including the strengthening of fishery laws and regulations and promotion of sustainable aquaculture.

recommended that FAO continue to provide strong support for the implementation of the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting in Asia-Pacific.

FAO stepped-up its efforts in support of the Code of Practice for Forest Harvesting. Specifically, it assisted in developing national codes of practice; held an international conference on advancing reduced-impact logging; published a regional training strategy; and undertook several training workshops to build awareness and capacity for implementing the Code.


Porto, Portugal, 24-28 July 2000

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-Second FAO Regional Conference for Europe.

Ministerial Roundtable on Food Safety and Quality

The Regional Conference:

took note with interest of the proposal made by The Netherlands to hold a Pan-European Conference on Food Safety and Quality in 2001.

An FAO/WHO Pan-European Conference on Food Safety and Quality will be held in Budapest from 25 to 28 February 2002 at the kind invitation of the Government of Hungary. Report and recommendations of Pan-European Conference will be transmitted to the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Europe.

Country Statements on the Follow-up to the World Food Summit

The Regional Conference:

highlighted the need for assistance to a number of Member Nations to combat prolonged drought.

Due to the devastating drought that has affected countries in south-east Europe and Central Asia during 2000 and 2001, several FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Missions were undertaken to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Romania. FAO launched emergency appeals for Armenia (amounting to US$7 million) and Georgia (amounting to US$15.5 million). FAO is currently implementing 12 emergency projects providing assistance to drought-affected farmers in Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Romania for a total budget of US$5.7 million of which US$1.5 million under TCP funding and US$4.2 million from extra-budgetary resources. A number of project proposals for the upgrading of the national irrigation systems are under formulation.

Rebuilding and Developing Agriculture in Areas Stricken by Disaster and Armed Conflict (Balkans).

The Regional Conference:

agreed that in defining its future activities in the Subregion, FAO should give particular attention to assisting the countries in moving from emergency to recovery/rehabilitation and development as well as in implementing the necessary reforms in their agricultural sectors.

FAO has ensured a three-months temporary presence in Belgrade under the supervision of the Policy Assistance Branch of REU, to work closely with the FAO Emergency Coordination Office, in order to review and coordinate with donors the proposed interventions to rehabilitate the agricultural sector and identify areas for FAO technical assistance in close consultation with government and relevant stakeholders.

In Kosovo, FAO has continued to cooperate with UNMIK and is in close contact with the European Agency for Reconstruction. FAO is actively participating in on-going UNDAF preparation. In this connection, the Policy Assistance Branch of the REU is developing a strategy for Kosovo which will be incorporated in UNDAF and will include project proposals for the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector.

FAO has increased its collaboration with the Stability Pact Secretariat and has participated in the various meetings organized by them (Regional Funding Conference to Finance the Regional Reconstruction Projects in South-eastern Europe, March 2000 in Brussels; Working Table II, May 2001 in Tirana; Stability Pact Initiative for Social Cohesion, October 2001 in Belgrade; Stability Pact Regional Conference, October 2001 in Romania). FAO has contributed to the Social Cohesion Plan by formulating project proposals which will be submitted to the Stability Pact Regional Conference (Romania, late October).

As far as the other countries in the Balkans are concerned, missions have been sent to Albania (April 2001), Bosnia-Herzegovina (April 2001), Croatia, (September 2001), Bulgaria (October 2001), and TFYR of Macedonia (October 2001) to identify specific areas in which FAO could be of assistance in formulating and implementing the necessary reforms in the agricultural sector.

Food Safety and Quality as Affected by Organic Farming

The Regional Conference:

invited FAO to bring forward priority actions to promote organic farming the Region

REU continued to coordinate the ESCORENA1 Sustainable Rural environment and Energy Network (SREN) working group on Organic Farming. Following a major workshop in 1999 on participatory and on-farm research approaches and their particular adaptation to organic production methods (proceeds in REU Technical Series 63), the working group met in several smaller meetings. These workshops have initiated several collaborative projects. Within the ESCORENA networks, the Interregional REU/RNE Sheep and Goat Network is focusing part of its activities in the direction of organic production methods while the Trace Element Network held a workshop in 2001 to coordinate its efforts in chemical and qualitative analysis and to make a comparison between organically and conventionally produced foods for food safety.

REU is currently formulating a project document for the development of organic and other specialized production methods for Croatia. The Regional Office also actively participates in the evaluation and follow-up of other organic agriculture projects through its contribution to the Interdepartmental Working Group on Organic Agriculture.

Food Safety and Quality as Affected by Animal Feedstuff

The Regional Conference:

stressed that coordination between different international organizations needed to be encouraged in order to ensure coherence, to avoid duplication and to identify gaps in existing legal provisions.

FAO has continued to closely collaborate with WHO within the framework of the Codex Alimentarius Commission on issues related to animal feedstuff and is a major contributor to the activities of the Ad Hoc Intergovernmental Task Force on Animal Feeding (1st meeting was held June 2000 and the 2nd meeting was held in March 2001). It jointly organized with WHO and OIE the Technical Consultation on BSE and its risks: Animal Health, Public health and Trade held in Paris in June 2001.

Report on FAO Activities in the Region

The Regional Conference:

recognized the valuable role of FAO in research, extension and information exchange activities and underlined that these should be further strengthened.

REU has continued to support the ESCORENA system which is an umbrella for cooperation between research institutions focused on food, agriculture and related fields. The system aims to promote the voluntary exchange of information and experimental data, to support joint research projects and to facilitate the sharing of expertise and technologies, especially from advanced to less advanced nations. A new ESCORENA Website on Internet was developed in 2001.

A number of case studies on agricultural knowledge and information system for rural development (AKIS/RD) have been carried out in countries of the Central and Eastern European Subregion (Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland).

noted that coordination and cooperation with other institutions working in similar areas would build needed synergies.

Close cooperation is maintained with other institutions in particular with CIHEAM, AARINENA, EFARD, EIARD, INRA, NAGREF, INIA and ICARDA with a view to coordinating activities and to avoid duplication.

encouraged the continuation of joint activities with the UN/ECE and other institutions.

FAO participated (May/June 2001) in a UN/ECE mission to review land administration operations in Georgia and to provide guidance to the State Department of Land Management. FAO was requested to participate in this mission as a result of successful cooperation with UN/ECE in land administration in Armenia, in 2000. UN/ECE and FAO are both active in land administration in Central and Eastern Europe. Joint participation in the mission served to strengthen the partnership between the two UN agencies in countries of common interest.

noted that greater emphasis should be given to the pre-accession process as this is of high importance to most countries in transition.

A paper containing areas of technical assistance to facilitate integration of CEECs into the EU and the potential role of FAO in the accession process was presented at a Ministerial Conference of EU accession countries held in Lithuania in April 2001. This was followed by an exchange of correspondence between the Director-General of FAO and the EU Commissioner for Agriculture. The issue will now be discussed with the EU Commission for Enlargement.

agreed that the issue of the meetings of the European Commission on Agriculture (ECA) should be further discussed in the European Regional Group in Rome based on a document which would include the implications of the various alternatives to be provided by the Secretariat for a meeting of the Group scheduled in September 2000.

REU prepared a non-paper "ECA - Options for Sessions Scheduling and Agenda" which was discussed in the European Regional Group (ERG) in Rome. Following a recommendation of ERG to the 119th Session of the FAO Council, the Council decided that the future mandate of the ECA be geared to reviewing technical aspects and issues of importance to European agriculture and rural development, that it should be seen as a consultative body and that the results of its discussions and recommendations be presented to the European Regional Conference.



Mexico, 10-14 April 2000

The following is a brief summary of action taken on recommendations made by the Twenty-Sixth FAO Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean.

General Debate on Trends and Challenges in Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Security in the Region

The Regional Conference:

requested technical support to continue to update food legislation, food safety standards and plant and animal health standards; protect plant genetic resources; draw up inventories of water resources available for agricultural activity; establish systems for the prevention and mitigation of, and recovery from, the impact of adverse climatic events; and bolster rural development.

Technical assistance was provided on the control of transboundary animal diseases to Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Jamaica. During the biennium, FAO acted as Technical Secretariat for the Classical Swine Fever Eradication Plan for the Americas.

Projects on pest control have been executed in Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Venezuela and on the modernization of agricultural sanitary services in the Andean countries; while another was oriented to ease land access and strength economic situation of poor rural families.

Regional and subregional projects have been carried out to update food legislation and harmonize national food regulations with those of the Codex Alimentarius. Activities of the Inter-American Network of Food Analysis Laboratories have also been supported.

Impact of technical and non-tariff barriers on agricultural trade in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Regional Conference:

requested that FAO continue with the regional programme of technical assistance to countries in agricultural trade negotiations and the exchange of experiences through the organization of technical meetings.

The Commodities and Trade Division and the Policy Assistance Division supported the organization and implementation of two workshops aimed at strengthening skills of government officers involved in multilateral trade negotiations.

Studies on meat bovine trade and activities on the interaction of international trade and genetically modified organisms have been carried out. A project on market development in the Caribbean to promote food regulations and assist on the preparation for agriculture trade negotiations is already in execution.

Effects of Adverse Climatological Conditions on Food Production and Trade.

The Regional Conference:

requested that FAO continue providing technical support to raise the awareness of decision makers in the development of information, education, training, modernization and organization programmes aimed at reducing the negative impact of adverse climatic events.

FAO prepared a study on the medium-term impact of Hurricane Mitch on food security and its implications to improve planning preparedness and alleviation of natural disasters. Support was also provided to hurricane planning preparedness in the Caribbean Region. In response to catastrophic situations due to adverse climate phenomena, FAO executed emergency projects in Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Dominica Nicaragua and Peru.

The Fisheries Department supported the implementation of a project on hurricane contingency planning and its impact on agriculture. In preparation, there is a project proposal on a Central American forestry strategy for the mitigation of climate changes, aimed at strengthening regional and national capabilities.

Follow-up to the World Food Summit

The Regional Conference:

requested that FAO continue to help the countries fulfil the commitments made at the World Food Summit and support the exchange of know-how and experience in the Region. It expressed its concern at the lack of resources from the international community for implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action.

FAO supported the countries in the Region through projects, workshops, training and other activities to comply with World Food Summit commitments.

Particular attention was given to those areas related to the development of action plans and nutritional profiles; food and nutritional surveillance; food security at household level; food guidelines; education on nutrition; and food composition tables. The activities of the Technical Cooperation Network on Food and Nutritional Surveillance Systems and the Latin American Network on Food Composition were also supported.

The concept related to the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) was promoted in the Caribbean and Central American countries.

In support of the SPFS, projects in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua are being carried out. Similar programmes are in preparation for Cuba, Dominican Republic and Mexico; the activities of a SPFS project in Venezuela are expected to begin soon.

Water as a Resource for Food Production

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to provide technical assistance to countries to review their legal framework, suggest institutional reforms, disseminate understanding of water resources and educate the population accordingly, improve the administration and management of water, control water contamination, establish systems for the treatment of poor-quality water, develop drainage systems, modernize hydrometric and meteorological stations, stimulate the participation of the private sector in irrigation and promote the harvesting of rainwater.

Special attention to legal regulations on the protection of watersheds and water sources has been given. FAO is also working on the organization of the III Latin American Congress on Watershed Management to be held in the framework of the International Year of Mountains (2002).

Projects on the modernization of irrigation systems have included communication and information issues to promote the participation of users; while other projects implemented during the biennium promoted the sustainable management of natural resources.

In Bolivia, women integration in activities related to the protection of watersheds and water sources is being supported through a project for participatory upland conservation and development. In Mexico, a project to develop two pilot facilities for waste water treatment from swine farms began its activities. Other technical co-operation projects have been implemented in the framework of this recommendation in Antigua and Barbuda, Bolivia and Cuba, and one with a regional scope on land and water for agriculture.

The Regional Office and the Land and Water Development Division organized a regional consultative workshop on land and water investment, in Santiago, as part of the preparatory activities for the World Food Summit: five years later.

Research and Transfer of Technology in Food Production

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to provide technical assistance in the planning of strategies for research and technology transfer.

In order to reduce the use of plaguicides and enhance food production, the countries in the Region received technical assistance on the transfer of technology for Integrated Pest Management. Other activities like courses and training workshops; manuals on hygiene and food handling; meat processing; use of food additives in meat, and livestock transport have also been implemented during the biennium.

Activities on biotechnology and transgenic crops were executed in co-ordination with the Technical Co-operation Network on Plant Biotechnology. Support to training activities and dissemination of issues on intellectual property of genetic resources and biotechnology; bio-safety; public insight; molecular biology; and genetic transformation was put into action.

FAO backed up specific training actions, research and technology transfer in Bolivia, Ecuador and El Salvador to enhance gender equal opportunities. It also supported the strengthening of local institutions and non-governmental organizations through training on communication and information.

Demonstration of the World Agriculture Information Centre (WAICENT)

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to support the implementation and strengthening of national agricultural information systems in the Region, including the necessary technical training.

During the biennium, the main activity focused on the strengthening of FIVIMS in the Region, particularly in Central America and the Caribbean; and technical assistance on statistics and agriculture census.

The Research, Extension and Training Division, in co-ordination with WAICENT held a workshop on information systems to promote the idea of rural networks and management of agriculture information.

FAO assisted the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Panama in the introduction of the gender issue in the agriculture census; and Costa Rica on the preparation of gender indicators. Studies have also been prepared on the role of rural women in the management of bio-diversity and genetic resources in Guatemala and the Andean region; and on women participation in the agrarian reform of Brazil.

Reports of the Regional Commissions

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to advocate the strengthening of the Regional Commissions and the continued regularity of their meetings. It also recommended that the reports of the Commissions be submitted to the Council and the Conference of FAO to achieve a regional perspective in the focus of its programmes.

In the year 2000, the Latin American and Caribbean Forestry Commission (LAFC) held its XXI Meeting in Bogota, and as a follow-up, the Executive Committee met in Santiago. The Western Central Atlantic Fisheries Commission (WECAFC) and the Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean will meet at the end of 2001.

The meeting of the Executive Committee of the Commission of Inland Fisheries of Latin America and the Caribbean (COPESCAL) is foreseen to take place in November 2001. It will review the situation of inland fisheries and aquaculture in the Region and decide on the venue for the IX Session of COPESCAL.

Other Matters

The Regional Conference:

requested that FAO place greater emphasis in its studies and documents on the state of food and agriculture in the Small Island Developing States of the Caribbean.

Technical assistance was given to Island and Central American Countries to support agriculture statistics, surveys and census activities. FAO also held a technical session on agriculture census as a basis for a system of surveys on agriculture statistics, with representatives of Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Basic statistics and census information will be a reliable basis for the preparation of studies on the situation of the agriculture in the aforementioned countries.

FAO participated in the Preparatory Meeting of the Caribbean Subregion leading to the World Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in Johannesburg in 2002. It was agreed to accelerate the national and regional implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for Small Island Developing States, as stated in Agenda 21 and the Barbados Declaration.

These countries participated in regional technical co-operation projects such as the Caribbean Amblyomma Programme; the Tropical Bont Tick Research Programme; the Development of Standards for Construction and the Survey of Small Fishing Vessels; and Preparations for an Expansion of the Domestic Fisheries for Large Pelagic Species.



Lebanon, Beirut, 20-24 March 2000

The following is a brief summary of the action taken on recommendations made by the 25th session of FAO Regional Conference for the Near East.

Country Statements and General Debate

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to continue to provide policy advice, guidance and training to Member Countries to assist in their preparations for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture, and in assessing the implications of joining the WTO on the countries' agricultural sectors.

Two training workshops on the "Umbrella Programme for Training on the Uruguay Round Future and Multilateral Trade Negotiations on Agriculture" were held in Cairo (September 1999) and Muscat (September 2000). A three-to-four-days seminar on WTO/URAoA for NE Countries was arranged in collaboration with FAO Task Force in Rome, to address the issues relevant to agriculture and evaluate possible impacts of alternate scenarios before the 4th WTO Ministerial Conference (scheduled for November 2001 in Doha, Qatar).

Published and disseminated resource manual on Uruguay Round and Multilateral Trade Negotiations in Arabic. Published in Arabic, a training manual on implications of URAoA for developing countries.

requested FAO to increase support to the Palestinian agricultural sector given the suffering and difficult circumstances faced by Palestinian farmers as result of the occupation, as well as taking the necessary measures to include Palestine in all activities and programmes provided by Member States.

RNE implemented an UNDP/FAO project on "Capacity Building in Agricultural Policy Analysis and Planning in Palestine", which resulted in the following documents:

Furthermore, FAO is currently assisting the Palestinian Authority in the improvement and development of agro-industry and fishery marketing.

requested FAO to further strengthen its country offices in the Near East to better support the Organization's regional country field programmes.

The Organization continued to provide support to its country offices in the region. In particular, a number of FAO Representations have been strengthened following the transfer of operational responsibilities for national projects to the FAO Representatives. Training programmes on management and operation of projects were organized in English and French for all FAORs together with their National Professional Officers (NPOs).

The Organization also initiated the programme for the establishment of additional country offices based on the outposting of a senior technical officer who could also act as FAO Representative, as approved by the Council at its 119th Session in November 2000. In this context, the Organization has signed one host country agreement for the establishment of such a Representation in the Near East Region and is in the final stages of negotiation with three other countries. The same arrangement is also being considered for a fourth country.

Follow-up of the World Food Summit

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to enhance the exchange of expertise and information of the SPFS among Member Countries.

Assisted in the preparation and implementation of TCP on Water Control Component (WCC) of the SFPS in Egypt, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Assistance for preparation of Phase Two of the SPFS in Egypt and Syria is continued.

requested FAO to continue assisting Member States in approaching donors and international organizations for supporting their national efforts towards implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action.

A number of donors have been approached in this regard. Joint programmes of work were carried out through multi-lateral donor's technical assistance projects such as UNDP, World Bank, Islamic Development Bank, ICARDA etc., on agricultural issues of mutual interest.

requested FAO to continue to respond positively to government requests to take part in the SPFS and to enhance technical collaboration between countries of the Region through the South-south Cooperation (SSC) initiative.

Egypt signed agreements on SSC with Cameroon, Djibouti, Malawi and Tanzania for the implementation of the SPFS. China also signed an agreement with Mauritania for implementation of a similar project.

requested FAO to continue its support to the setting up of FIVIMS at the national and international levels, in collaboration with concerned UN organizations, competent national institutions and non-governmental organizations.

RNE has continued to provide support to Member Countries in setting up FIVIMS at national level. The support includes TCP project for Yemen, FIVIMS training workshops in UAE and Turkey and preparation of TCP projects for Syria and Turkey.

requested FAO to continue lending support to raising funds through the various activities of the TeleFood programme

FAO continued to give support in raising funds activity.

Towards a Strategic Framework for Sustainable Agricultural Development in the Near East Region

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to continue its support to Member Countries in their efforts to review and formulate long-term sustainable agricultural and rural development strategies, policies and national plans of action.

RNE took the following action:

requested FAO to assist, within its available resources, Member Countries in conducting studies for establishing regional/sub-regional market information systems to stimulate intra-regional trade, as well as the feasibility of alternative mechanisms for joint procurement, marketing and collective bargaining with foreign trade blocks, in conformity with WTO rules.

requested FAO to continue its support to applied agricultural research and extension to assist Member Countries in priority areas, such as the development of varieties tolerant to drought, salt and heat stress, date palm production and post harvest-technology, combating desertification; utilization of non-traditional water resources; and rationalizing of water use.

requested FAO to provide, within its available resources, Member Countries with technical assistance and training in biotechnology and genetic engineering and enhance the exchange of information and experiences in these fields among countries of the Region.

requested FAO to assist in organizing an expert meeting, in collaboration with relevant UN agencies and other regional and international institutions, on agro-industries and food safety, in the context of changing consumption patterns in the Region and requirements of export markets.

Preparatory work for achieving the task has been completed and its implementation is under way.

requested FAO to continue its support to enhance the capacity building of policy analysts and planners at country and regional level, particularly through its continued support to establish the Near East and North African Regional Network Policies (NENARNAP).

requested FAO to continue assisting Member Countries in evaluating various options to enhance intra-regional trade in view of promoting regional and national food security.

Country document has been prepared on the subject matter, and is included for discussion in the upcoming 26th NERC.

requested FAO to respond positively, within its available resources, to request from Member States concerning national and regional projects with a view to foster cooperation and address issues of regional dimension.

Animal Health Commission for the Near East

The Regional Conference:

requested FAO to follow up on the necessary steps suggested in Document NERC/00/5 to ensure timely implementation of the activities for proposed Animal Health Commission.

The preamble of the Commission has been prepared and shared with the experts of the Member Countries. Upon receiving their comments, it will be submitted to Member Countries.

requested FAO to provide the Secretariat for the newly established Animal Health Commission at the Regional Office for the Near East.

The Animal Health Officer in RNE is acting as an interim Secretary for the Commission.

Consultation on the Promotion of International Trade for Improvement of Food Security in the Near East

The Regional Conference:

listened to a presentation on "Intra-regional Agricultural Trade in the Near East" (NERC/00/6) and commended FAO for the valuable information included in the document, and for the timely presentation of this important topic during a special session in parallel to the Regional Conference. It requested FAO to include this highly significant topic on the agenda of future Near East regional fora.

A discussion paper on "Trade Liberalisation Policies, Intra-regional Trade and Sustainable Agriculture Development " is included in the agenda of the upcoming 26th NERC.

Review of the Progress in the WTO Multinational Trade Negotiations on Agriculture

The Regional Conference:

took note of the Document NERC/00/INF/6 and commended FAO for assisting Member Countries that are not yet members in assessing the implications of joining the WTO on their agricultural sectors, as well as for providing policy advice, guidance and training to countries that are already members of the WTO to assist in their preparations for the next round of multilateral trade negotiations on agriculture.

RNE in co-operation with GCC Secretariat organised a "Subregional Training Workshop on Uruguay Round future and Multinational Trade Negotiation on Agriculture" in Muscat, Oman and in Cairo, Egypt.


1 European System of Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture