Twenty-eighth Session

Rome, 6-8 June 2002





The Conference adopted the report of the Senior Officers Meeting with the following recommendations:

2.1 Preparation for WFS:fyl - Regional Dimensions

2.1.1 For the attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  1. ensure an effective participation of national delegations at the highest possible political level at the WFS:fyl to be held in Rome (10-13 June 2002) to guarantee reaching the desired commitments for enhancing efforts to combat food insecurity in the world;

  2. give voluntary contribution to the established Fund for Food Security and Safety and speed-up making pledges on top of the already received US$100 million in order to reach the declared Fund target of US$500 million.

  3. provide support to the setting up of Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) and Food Security Information and Early Warning System (FSIEWS) at the national level, and urge all interested parties to provide needed resources to enable the conduct of initial assessments and to prepare appropriate plans for strengthening national FIVIMS/FSIEWS with coordinated donor support; and

  4. enhance the exchange of expertise and information on the SPFS among member countries.

2.1.2 For the attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

  1. formulate specific and clear operational modality for effecting the "International Alliance Against Hunger and Poverty", based on the call made by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany on the occasion of World Food Day 2001 in Rome, and submit the proposed modality to Member Countries for consideration and approval.

  2. assist Member States in approaching donors and international organizations for supporting their national efforts towards implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action; and

  3. 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 initiative.

. 2.2 Trade Liberalization Policies, Intra-regional Trade and opportunities for Sustainable Agricultural Development

2.2.1. For the Attention of Member States

The Meeting called upon Member States to:

  1. prepare WTO related pre-negotiations in a meticulous manner in order to have specific and clear objectives for the negotiating teams. The Near East countries are encouraged to have collective consultation and bargaining stand before and during negotiations in order to have a strong voice concerning agricultural agreements and commitments;

  2. assess the competitiveness of various agricultural products as a basis for formulating adequate agricultural export promotion strategies, including attempts to internalize externalities and environmental impacts;

  3. develop measures of control against non-indigenous species to protect their environment and indigenous species;

  4. diversify their export system and aim at re-structuring certain agricultural enterprises into commercially run business corporations;

  5. develop Trade-related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) rules and regulations in order to address WTO requirements based on scientific information, thus avoiding arbitrage;

  6. improve the efficiency of resource use, especially irrigation water, as one of the most limiting factors for increased productivity;

  7. assess the impacts of recent changes in global political and economic environments, including WTO agreements, on the welfare of small farmers in both rainfed and irrigated areas, with particular emphasis on the availability of purchased farm inputs;

  8. study the promotion of intra-regional trade and the best ways to reap the benefits of comparative advantage within the Region;

  9. strengthen the laboratory facilities for food safety for emerging threats of hazards and contamination of chemical, microbial or physical origin;

  10. establish and support public information/education centres for extension in promoting food practices that augment the present food safety and control measures as well as environmental concerns in the public image;

  11. strengthen national analytical capacity to estimate Aggregate Measurement of Support (AMS) for agriculture, based on reliable and scientific data;

  12. ensure that the country permanent representative at WTO headquarters is at the level of Ambassador, who is adequately supported by a well trained staff in international trade and agricultural policy matters;

  13. harmonize SPS and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) standards and coordinate positions within the WTO; and

  14. study the possibility of setting up regional/sub-regional stabilization mechanisms and establishing and strengthening regional trade compensatory mechanisms.

2.2.2. For the Attention of FAO

The Meeting requested FAO to:

  1. continue assisting countries in preparing for multilateral trade negotiations in agriculture, fisheries and forestry inter alia through studies, analysis and enhancing national capacities in the area of agricultural policy analysis related to international trade and WTO requirements, with emphasis on issues pertaining to the current round of negotiations;

  2. assist Member Countries of the Region to analyze recent changes in the global economic and trade environments and to assess the implications of globalization on the agricultural sectors in the Region, through holding regional/sub-regional workshops or expert meetings;

  3. assist in strengthening national capacities to meet Codex requirements and WTO's Agreements on the SPS and TRIPS, including food quality and safety;

  4. continue providing assistance in developing agricultural sector strategies based on comparative advantage and efficient resource allocation, taking into consideration environmental and gender aspects in order to reap the benefits of trade liberalization and to cope with its negative impact;

  5. support efforts for enhancing the country food supply capacity by reducing small farmer risk in rainfed areas, and re-orienting land use in irrigated lands;

  6. participate in, and encourage regional/sub-regional group actions to confront environmental threats (such as desertification, pollution and transboundary plant and animal diseases) and other similar threats that cut across national borders;

  7. assist in organizing a Regional Expert Consultation on capacity building in the area of post-harvest technology, food processing, agro-industries, food safety and standards, in the context of export markets' requirements, in collaboration with UNIDO and other relevant international and regional agencies and institutions;

  8. continue to support the Near East and North Africa Regional Network for Agricultural Policies (NENARNAP) and the Agricultural Food Marketing Association for the Near East and North Africa (AFMANENA) through active participation in their meetings and activities and the exchange of experiences and information concerning the formulation and implementation of national strategies for agricultural development and the development of effective marketing systems and intra-regional agricultural trade arrangements; and

  9. consider the possibility of re-establishing the post of Statistician in the Regional Office to assist Member Countries in enhancing their capacity in data collection and statistical analysis, in line with emerging needs for access to accurate and timely statistical data to facilitate adequate planning and operational purposes.