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E. Second progress report on WCARRD programme of action, including the role of women in agricultural development

93. The Conference noted that the document before it for consideration had been prepared as required by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD), 1979 and in accordance with the relevant decisions of the Twenty-first and Twenty-second Sessions of the FAO Conference.

94. The Conference, recognizing especially the scarcity of quantitative data, commended the quality, coverage and analytical depth of the Report on the major issues affecting rural poverty alleviation.

95. The Conference noted with regret the slow progress in implementing the WCARRD programme of action and asked the FAO Secretariat and governments to intensify their action in this respect.

96. The Conference recognized that, at the national level, owing to a lack of appropriate structures, there was a dearth of appropriately disaggregated data for the adequate monitoring of rural poverty alleviation, agrarian reform and rural development. It urged countries to improve their socio-economic statistics, to develop appropriate indicators and to establish appropriate monitoring systems for this purpose. It called for more FAO assistance to countries in this field.

97. In view of the difficulties raised by the lack of data, some countries felt that the reporting should be reduced to once in eight years, with an additional in-depth analytical report on a selected WCARRD theme to be presented every fourth year, when the proposed eight yearly WCARRD Progress Report is not presented. The majority of countries, however, requested that the four-year period of reporting be retained, but agreed with the idea of a focus on a special theme, either in the Report or in alternate Conference years, together with the removal of duplication with other reports to the Conference.

98. In regard to national strategies, the Conference noted that in spite of severe economic and social difficulties faced by developed countries and, although more attention had been given to economic growth than to equity socio-economic groups, in particular women for development programmes. Following the WCARRD guidelines, the Conference recommended countries to broaden the social base of land ownership and operation, in order to provide for greater equity and broader-based development. At the same time, it stressed the need for specific beneficiary-oriented policies and programmes to safeguard vulnerable groups in the process of growth. It recommended an appropriate and explicit strategy giving attention to the development of small farms, small-scale fisheries and forestry, together with the necessary supporting policy changes relating to land tenure and production structures, institutional and delivery systems and farming systems and technological systems. The strategy should be in line with the needs, resources, capabilities and farming systems of the small producers and should ensure sustainability. FAO was requested to assist countries in these fields.

99. The Conference called for higher levels of productive investment in the agricultural and rural sectors. While welcoming the progress made in removing some of the macro-economic policy biases against the development of agriculture, the Conference stressed the need for associated policies to encourage the flow of credit and private investment to the rural sector, especially to reach the small producers.

100. The Conference regretted the negative trends in regard to access to land, including a decline in land availability per capita of agricultural population, large inequalities in the size of land holdings, the proliferation of small marginal holdings, and an increase in landlessness and near-landlessness - which had not been adequately compensated for by additional land made available through land settlement or land redistribution programmes The Conference, therefore, urged countries - especially those with wide disparities of land holdings - to consider agrarian reform programmes for the redistribution of land into more productive medium- and smaller-sized holdings. A few Member Nations also referred to the role which, in very special circumstances, market mechanisms could play in the equitable distribution of land. The Conference urged attention to means of improving women's access to land.

101. The Conference emphasized the importance of people's participation in development and called upon countries to provide the needed legal, political and institutional prerequisites for effective participation. It stressed the importance of the organization of groups of the rural poor, in particular women, for income-generation, self-help and service activities, in fields such as savings, credit and extension. The Conference called upon countries and FAO to actively promote the role of non-governmental/voluntary organizations in organizing and funding grass-roots organizations in participatory development activities. Some countries proposed that a study be conducted regarding the possibility that a Commission with consultative status with FAO be established (including representation of farmers' organizations) to explore effective means for farmers' participation in development programmes.

102. The Conference emphasized the importance of improving agricultural extension and training services for small farmers and the rural poor, in particular women, was emphasized. The Conference stressed the need for more participatory extension approaches and methodologies which could reach more men and women farmers at lower cost and with greater effectiveness. The Conference called for more effective linkages between research and extension, and between extension and production services such as credit and input supply.

103. Noting the very rapid growth of the non-agricultural population in the rural areas, at rates two to four times higher than that of the agricultural population, the Conference stressed the urgent need for policies and actions for rural industrialization and non-farm employment to solve unemployment and reduce proverty in the rural areas. It called for appropriate FAO assistance to countries within the terms of its mandate and in close collaboration with appropriate agencies of the UN system. The Conference drew attention to the problems of rural youth and called for special agricultural and rural non-far m employment programmes for their productive employment and retention in the rural areas. The Conference called upon FAO to assist countries in designing appropriate policies and programmes for this important and increasing group.

104. The Conference noted a narrowing of the substantial gap between agricultural incomes due to the decline of income of urban populations and a narrowing of the differential population growth-rates between the rural and urban areas. Recognizing the interaction between the rural and urban economies, the Conference stressed the need for balanced overall policies that are capable of addressing the problems of the rural and urban areas within a comprehensive framework of human settlement and development.

105. The Conference recognized the close relationship between rural povery and the environment. It stressed the need for effective international, economic and financial cooperation policies, institutions, training and participation to protect and manage natural resources and ensure environmental balance, while sustaining economic growth. It urged countries to pay greater attention to research and action relating to the social and institutional aspects of environmental improvement in the rural areas and called upon FAO to assist countries in this field.

106. The Conference emphasized the importance of effects of international developments and policies on rural poverty alleviation in the developing countries. It noted, especially, the negative effects on rural poverty of the international recession, increased agricultural protectionism, including subsidization by some developed countries of agricultural exports and the net transfer of resources from the developing to the developed countries. It called for appropriate policies by countries in the areas of international trade' aid and debt-relief.

107. The Conference also noted that present economic and financial difficulties led to the slow progress in increasing public expenditures for agricultural and rural development in the developing countries and recommended that these countries increase the priority given to this sector.

108. The Conference expressed satisfaction at the coverage of the subject of women in development in the main document as well as in the LIM document. It welcomed the increased national and international awareness of the problems which women face in development. It expressed the wish that this would be translated into concrete measures which would help solve these problems. It recognized the difficulties of women with regard to equality of legal status, equal conditions of employment and remuneration, and the great gap between law and practice in this regard. The Conference emphasized especially, the need to improve women's access to land, resources, inputs and services and recommended that FAO should assist countries in studying the modalities of improving women's access to land. It stressed the importance of training at all levels and the importance of organizing women at national and at grass-root levels for self-help and development action. It urged increased efforts by countries and by FAO to improve extension services and appropriate technologies for women.

109. The Conference supported the FAO programmes and activities as set out in the document "Women in Agriculture and Rural Development: FAO's Programme Directions". It recognized FAO's two-pronged approach which, on the one hand, seeks to provide special programmes for women in development, and on the other, seeks to ensure their integration into all projects as well as into overall national development programmes; it noted that FAO was continuing to pursue both these strategies for the present, but recommended that greater emphasis be placed on the second. The Conference welcomed the work done in the preparation of checklists and guidelines for ensuring the integration of women into the Regular Programme and field projects of FAO and appreciated the efforts to incorporate women's concerns into the different Departmental/ Divisional activities of FAO and urged greater efforts in this regard. It accorded priority to both national and international action with regard to the following specific themes: land tenure and legal rights, access to services, training and extension, the development of rural enterprise and appropriate technologies. It recommended further promotion of awareness and activities in relation to population and nutrition in addition to the continuing emphasis on women's economic roles. The Conference called upon FAO to continue its support for the international initiatives for the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies and the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan for Women and Development, particularly within the inter-agency context.

110. The Conference adopted the following Resolutions:

Resolution 3/87



Recognizing the vital role of women in agricultural production and rural development and FAO's responsibility in this regard,

Recalling the FAO resolution 4/83 and 12/85,

Taking into account the priority given to the integration of women in all aspects of development by the World Conference to Review and Appraise the Women's Decade,

Recalling the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women (Nairobi FLS) and the General Assembly Resolution 40/108,

Taking note of ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) resolution 1986/87 and the adoption of the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan for Women and Development for the period 1990-95,

Considering that the Nairobi FLS in particular paragraphs 174-188 have considerable implications for the work of FAO:

1. Endorses the Nairobi FLS for Advancement of Women as providing a comprehensive policy framework for advancing the equality of women to the year 2000

2. Notes with satisfaction the Director-General's report on Women in Agriculture and Rural Development (C 87/LIM/16), which outlines broad policy guidelines for FAO activities in the area;

3. Urges the Director-General to continue cooperation with other organizations of the United Nations System in the implementation of the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies and the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan for Women and Development, particularly Sub-programme 2.3, Food and Agriculture;

4. Requests the Director-General to submit to the Ninety-fourth Session of the Council a plan of action for the integration of women in development which should i.e. encompass strategies to ensure that all relevant programmes of the Organization incorporate the recommendations laid down in the Forward-Looking Strategies and the System-Wide Medium-Term Plan and include verification and monitoring procedures in order to follow up on the progress made towards achieving its objectives. All these activities should be carried out within existing resources:

5. Further requests the Director-General to include in the plan of action a staff training programme on how to integrate women in development issues in the work of FAO;

6. Urges the Director-General to take steps to increase the number of women employed within the existing FAO staff positions at all professional levels both at headquarters and in the field in accordance with the recommendations outlined in the Forward-Looking Strategies.

(Adopted 26 November 1987)

Resolution 4/87



Noting with satisfaction that documents C 87/LIM/16 and C 87/19 provide full information on the work of FAO as regards its achievements and its present and future orientations, explicitly recognizing the special needs of women,

Recalling Resolutions 2/66 and 10/75, and above all Resolution 14/77, entitled "Integration of women in rural development", Resolution 12/85, entitled "Rural women", and Resolution 3/87, entitled "FAO Activities Related to the Integration of Women in Development", in which greater attention is accorded to programmes concerned with training,

Bearing in mind that FAO's basic mandate and the above-mentioned Resolutions attach great importance to policies and programmes for women, fully in line with the Nairobi strategies regarding the new development problems implicit in women's role in the economy,

Considering that FAO, through its Inter-Divisional Working Group on Women in Development, encourages all its Departments and Divisons to take women's problems into consideration in all their activities,

Recalling that FAO will be drafting the section on the role of women in food systems and agriculture as part of the updating of the "World Survey on the Role of Women in Development" to be presented to the General Assembly of the United Nations at its Forty-fourth Session,

Also recalling that the relevant decisions under the System-wide Medium-term Plan for Women in Development for the period 1990/1995, ratified by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, will require coordination of activities of the different Agencies in the System, among which FAO has been outstanding in providing technical assistance in formulating projects for women,

Reaffirming the need to strengthen all organizations conducting projects and programmes for peasant women, and also to strengthen the most efficient forms of organization encouraging the participation of poor and landless women in training programmes, in order that they may be assured of easy access to production technology,

Considering that the complexity of the programmes and activities undertaken by FAO to improve the living conditions of rural women requires ever increasing collaboration by Member Nations:

Requests the Director-General to convene a Meeting of Experts insofar as existing resources permit who will, jointly with the Secretariat, discuss how to integrate and systematize the necessary programmes and guidelines to put into practice strategies to integrate women into the process of rural development and into the various activities of the Organization, with particular attention to the necessary mechanisms, both under the Regular Programme and from extra-budgetary sources, in order to obtain a systematic and substantial result.

(Adopted 26 November 1987)

F. Agriculture: Toward 2000 (an updated and revised version of the FAO study of prospects for world agriculture up to the end of the century submited to the conference in 1979)

111. The Conference reviewed the revised and updated edition of the FAO global Study "Agriculture: Toward 2000". It noted that the first edition of the Study had been prepared in 1978-79 and was discussed at the Twentieth Session of the Conference in 1979. The first edition had been FAO's contribution to the UN International Development Strategy for the 1980s. Its main assumptions, especially those regarding the overall economic growth prospects were, therefore, those of the new UN International Development Strategy for the 1980s, notably high economic growth rates in the developing countries and an external environment conducive to their accelerated development.

112. The Conference praised the Study for its high quality, depth of analysis and comprehensiveness. It considered that the Study was a very valuable contribution to the analysis of trends and prospects of world food and agriculture and would be a useful tool to both developed and developing countries in the design or adjustment of their agricultural policies. Some Member Nations indicated that the Study was being, or would be, used as reference in their countries' policy analysis work. The Conference considered that the Study would provide a useful framework for the orientation of FAO's activities, and urged FAO to continue to emphasize policy analysis work.

113. The Conference recognized that economic conditions had deteriorated drastically since the first edition of the Study and recognized that the revised edition used assumptions which more faithfully reflected the present perceptions concerning prospects for the future. It considered that as a result the assessments of the Study were more realistic than those of the 1979 edition, given the prevailing situation.

114. The Conference noted with concern that the projected overall economic conditions of the developing countries were unfavourable and, as a consequence, undernutrition would continue to affect a growing number of people in these countries, though the proportion of the population so affected would decline. The problem would be particularly serious in sub-Saharan Africa even if the region achieved significant acceleration in food production to match population growth.

115. The Conference considered that unfavourable external economic conditions and in particular the problem of foreign debt would continue to depress the prospects for economic improvement and food and agriculture production in many developing countries. In adopting economic adjustment measures to improve these conditions and ease the debt burden, careful attention would have to be given to their phasing and impact on the poor.

116. The Conference discussions concentrated in particular on issues of trade liberalization and the need for associated policy reforms, particularly in the developed countries. There was general agreement that the relevant Chapters 7 and 8 of the Study addressed these issues in a fair and balanced manner. There was general concern over the tendency toward surplus production of several major commodities and the Conference stressed the need for reform of agricultural policies, particularly by those developed countries whose support policies and trade measures distorted production and trade. In this connection, the Conference urged that market signals should play a much larger role in influencing production and trade. Some Member Nations were of the view that domestic agricultural policies which had clear developmental, social and environmental aims without distorting markets and trade. should not be called into question in the context of GATT negotiations. The Conference emphasized the need for balanced coordinated and multilateral action to reform policies which distorted production and trade. in this connection the Conference stressed the importance of the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations in the GATT.

117. Some Member Nations indicated that in the analysis of historical trends as well as in the projections greater attention should be given in the future to the relationships between the livestock and crop actors as well as to the role of substitutes and by-products. The tendency toward wider use of substitutes further aggravated surpluses as, for example, in the cereals, sugar and dairy sectors.

118. The Conference welcomed the greater geographical coverage of the Study which encompassed nearly the whole world, including China. It recognized that the Study was based on diligent professional work given data limitations. The Conference urged FAO and Member Nations to continue efforts to improve the data availability and reliability. It made several suggestions for improving the methodology and analysis, notably in the areas of the feed-livestock system, prices, income distribution and possible estimation of alternative scenarios of future growth.

119. The Conference welcomed the inclusion in the Study of a special chapter on the environment which represented a timely and major improvement which was much needed. It urged FAO to continue to work in depth on the relationships between agriculture and the environment and to examine the implications of long-term trends in climatic factors on agricultural production.

120. The Conference also welcomed the special chapter on technological development and research. It considered that biotechnology was a very important factor that affected agricultural prospects. In this context, the Conference urged FAO to undertake further analysis on the impact of biotechnology on the developing countries, particularly its economic implications and potential risks associated with its adoption and spread. The importance of transferring of research to farmers was emphasized.

121. The Conference encouraged FAO to continue and improve its work in the field of agricultural development perspectives, including the preparation of studies at the regional or sub-regional level in consultation with the countries concerned. It referred to the examples of the regional Study "African Agriculture: The Next 25 Years" and to the one under preparation on Latin America and the Caribbean Some Member Nations suggested that follow-up work should encompass studies of individual countries at their request at the sector and sub-sector level in the context of the strengthened role of FAO in policy analysis.

122. Some Member Nations suggested that "Agriculture: Toward 2000" should be revised and reissued periodically, possibly every five years. It was suggested that comparisons be made of the revised results and those of earlier editions as well as those of other studies. The Conference recommended that the new edition of "Agriculture: Toward 2000" should be published and given wide distribution. One Member Nation indicated that they planned to translate and issue the Study in their national language.

123. Some Member Nations suggested that more time should have been allowed for studying the document in depth and preparing more exhaustive comments on this valuable study. They suggested that the Study or selected parts of it could be further discussed in sessions of other FAO bodies. The Conference urged more timely distribution of documents of this length and importance.

G. Progress report on the implementation of the international code of conduct on the distribution and use of pesticides.

124. The Conference welcomed the inclusion of this important item on its agenda and noted with satisfaction the background information provided by the Secretariat.

125. The Conference noted that the Council at its Ninety-second Session had discussed the progress report on the Code of Conduct, and had decided that the matter should be forwarded to the Twenty-fourth Session of the Conference. The Council had drawn particular attention to Conference Resolution 10/85. The Council report stated:

"The Council recalled the dynamic nature of the Code, the need for monitoring its observance and for periodic revisions to effectively meet changing conditions. The Twenty-third Session of the Conference in adopting the Code had "recommended that such revisions be made after some experience had been gained in the implementation of the Code". Most members recalled that they had urged, during the Twenty-third Session of the Conference, that the first revision be made during the current biennium. They were convinced that the time had now come for an amendment of the Code notably in order to introduce the concept of "prior informed consent" (PIC). Other members felt, however, that insufficient experience had been gained so tar, and that adoption of revisions should be preceded by a more complete implementation of the Code and by technical consultations."

126. The Conference recalled that the development of the Code had started in 1981 and that the Code was designed to deal with various problems encountered in the safe and effective use of pesticides. It emphasized that in the past very diverse views had existed on how to deal with the problems encountered with pesticides and that there had been a need to provide a framework through which this matter could be addressed effectively. The Conference stressed again that the text of the Code had been adopted by the Twenty-third Conference in November 1985 by consensus. That Conference decision had been preceded by lengthy negotiations in various technical meetings. It had included extensive consultations with Member Governments, other UN organizations, other parties concerned and discussions and reviews in COAG (Committee on Agriculture) and Council sessions.

127. The Conference was informed about some of the progress made in the implementation of the Code, in particular, action taken by the Secretariat to send a questionnaire to member countries to collect base line data on their capabilities to implement the Code. From replies received to this questionnaire the Conference concluded that the adoption of the Code had already had a beneficial impact with respect to the improvement of the control and use of pesticides in some member countries. However, the replies received clearly indicated many important weaknesses that still existed. The analysis of the data collected constituted an excellent basis for determining priority action for further improvement.

128. The Conference noted that the Secretariat had closely cooperated with governments, non-governmental organizations, industry and various other organizations in the implementation of the Code. In particular, the Organization had worked together with UNEP on the so-called London Guidelines that deal with information exchange on toxic substances.

129. The Conference re-emphasized the importance of the Code and urged all Member Nations to give full support to its implementation.

130. The Conference noted that the Secretariat had made special efforts to assist countries in the implementation of the provisions of the Code. The Conference expressed its satisfaction with the support which was being provided by donors to assist developing countries, mainly through regional programmes. This support included the contributions made by the Government of Japan for Southeast Asia and possibly for another region. In addition, there were also on-going discussions with UNDP for a regional programme in Africa, and bilateral action by the United States of America and other countries was under way. The Conference also stressed that the activities developed by the Secretariat for the implementation of integrated pest management programmes constituted direct support for the implementation of the Code. The Conference commended the Secretariat on the various positive steps taken so far.

131. The Conference expressed grave concern on the continued health and environmental problems caused by pesticides and also noted the technical difficulties encountered, such as resistance of pests to pesticides and the development of new pest problems. It stressed that serious problems arose out of the continuing import of pesticides which had been banned or severely restricted in the exporting countries. Many developing countries lacked both the manpower and the infrastructure to adequately regulate and control the use of such pesticides. Furthermore, farmers were insufficiently trained to make safe use of such products.

132. The Conference appealed to the international community and to industry to provide the necessary assistance for the establishment of appropriate legislation, regulatory and control mechanisms, quality control of pesticides, residue analysis, training of personnel and the development of integrated pest management systems, including the development of biological control programmes and the breeding of pest-resistant varieties.

133. The Conference discussed extensively various aspects related to the principle of "prior informed consent". It noted that this principle concerned the export (and import) of pesticides that are banned or severely restricted in the exporting country. This principle would require, not merely that the importing country be notified of the domestic regulatory status of the pesticide and the hazards which led to restrictions in use in the exporting country, but also that it must give its consent to import the product before shipment takes place. A great number of countries also emphasized that the adoption of the principle would contribute, as pointed out in the Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, to safer use of pesticides, reducing hazards to human health and the environment. Other countries stressed the need to continue studies on this principle as well as other possibilities to protect importing countries against dangerous pesticides.

134. The Conference reviewed the various initiatives and discussions on the "prior informed consent" clause, in different fore, in particular by the UNEP working group on the London Guidelines. It agreed that this matter was of major importance to improve the safe use of pesticides, in particular in developing countries. In this respect the Conference discussed various possibilities to amend the Code in order to include the "prior informed consent" principle. Some Members Nations stressed that amendments should follow the same procedures and technical consultations that had led to the adoption by consensus of the Code. However, the great majority of the Member Nations was of the opinon that such a provision should be included immediately. They indicated that technical consultation might be required on the practical modalities of the implementation of the prior informed consent provision. The results of such consultation should be reported through COAG and Council to the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference. The Conference stressed again that it was of utmost importance to maintain a consensus on the Code.

135. Consequently, the Conference adopted the following Resolution:

Resolution 5/87



Having considered the progress report on the implementation of the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides (CL 92/2),

Recalling that the majority of member countries at the Twenty-third Session of the Conference expressed deep concern that the principle of "prior informed consent" was not included in the Code and urged that it be incorporated in a first revision of the Code within the next biennium,

Aware of the support expressed for the concept of "prior informed consent" by the majority of members at the Ninety-second Session of the Council,

Taking into account that the United Nations Environment Programme has already decided to establish a working group to develop modalities of "prior informed consent" to be incorporated into the London Guidelines for the Exchange of Information on Chemicals in International Trade,

Considering that it is necessary to include the principle of "prior informed consent" into the provisions of the Code dealing with information exchanges,

Recalling the dynamic nature of the Code, as stressed by the Conference upon its adoption in 1985:

1. Decides that in the "Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides" the principle of "prior informed consent" should be incorporated within the next biennium;

2. Calls upon the Director-General to arrange for the establishment of a working group to consider the issues involved in the incorporation of the "prior informed consent" principle in the Code, including those of implementation, in order to advise member countries on how best to give effect to the principle. The results of the work should be presented, through COAG and the Council, to the Twenty-fifth Session of the Conference.

(Adopted 26 November 1987)

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