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C. Medium-term objectives

196. The Conference noted that the review contained in the document on Medium-Term Objectives of FAO's role, objectives and priorities should be considered in conjunction with other major documents, in particular the Programme of Work and Budget 1978-79, the Review of Field Programmes and SOFA. It was generally agreed that there was need to strengthen the Medium-Term document by obtaining where possible clearer indications from the Council's technical committees of the major priorities that were expected to be accorded to various activities over the next four to six years. Such a presentation, it was believed, would assist Member Nations in gaining from one document a more helpful overview of FAO's projected activities.

197. The Conference welcomed the steps taken by the Director-General to shift resources from costly theoretical and long-term studies towards more practical, short-term actions directed at results at the country level. It considered that these measures would enable FAO better to support perceived needs of member countries within the framework of the New International Economic Order.

198. The Conference noted with satisfaction the priority placed on eradication of hunger and malnutrition, and on meeting other basic needs in the context of continuing economic and social development, with special emphasis on the poorest and most seriously affected developing countries. It was pointed out that FAO must play the leading role in this field.

199. In this connexion, it was of vital importance to attack poverty and malnutrition within the framework of integrated rural development which could give appropriate attention to production, employment, training (especially for small farmers who were usually among the poorest group), investment requirements, transfer and adaptation of available technology and development of improved technology covering all inputs including land and water management, seeds, and fertilizers (natural as well as chemical). It was also pointed out that improved husbandry, including planting, cultivating, and harvesting was an important aspect of rural development.

200. The Conference stressed the special consideration due to the role of women in rural development. Training and education programmes should be designed for assisting women to participate more broadly in rural development, including technical cooperation among developing countries. Their role should not be restricted to nutrition and home economics.

201. The Conference welcomed the Director-General's expressed intention to bring greater numbers of women into positions of responsibility within FAO.

202. The Conference placed high priority on the proposed programme for reduction of post harvest losses and considered that to be an important way to provide needed increased levels of food, particularly for the rural poor of the most seriously affected developing countries.

203. Several delegates regretted that the field of nutrition was not given more specific attention in the Medium-Term Objectives, particularly since it was of fundamental importance in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. It was felt that it should be supported throughout FAO on an integrated basis and it should be promoted as an important component of development plans at all levels. One delegation considered that resources for increased nutrition planning could be provided by reducing feeding programmes, which were well funded elsewhere. It was also mentioned that transfer of existing technology was needed rather than additional research.

204. The Conference adopted the following resolution:

Resolution 8/77

Resolution on nutrition

The Conference,

Recalling the Preamble of the FAO Constitution which states that the Organization is established for the purpose of "raising levels of nutrition and standards of living ..." and "... securing improvements in the efficiency of the production and distribution of all food and agricultural products ...",

Recalling Resolution V of the World Food Conference calling for the FAO, in cooperation with other UN Agencies, to assist governments to develop intersectorial food and nutrition plans,

Recalling that the FAO Ad Hoc Committee on Food and Nutrition Policies at its session in June 1975 expressed strong support for the FAO to proceed without delay with further development and implementation of its scheme for assisting governments to develop food and nutrition plans,

Bearing in mind the recent establishment of the ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition and its Advisory Group on Nutrition in order to ensure effective follow-up on World Food Conference Resolution No. V,

Noting that the World Food Council in its Manila Communiqué recommends that "International organizations ... assess the nutritional impact of their existing development programmes and incorporate nutritional considerations into their planning and programme preparation",

  • 1. Expresses concern that the present level of resource allocation for nutrition activities in FAO's Regular Budget for the improvement of the nutritional status of the rural and urban poor does not appear to be in relation to the tasks placed upon the FAO within the area of nutrition.

    2. Recommends that the Director-General

  • a. review present FAO programmes to assess their impact on the nutritional status of the rural and urban poor;

    b. suggest methods, not excluding the possibility of organizational arrangements, for ensuring that nutritional considerations are, as appropriate, adequately included in FAO's planning and execution of agricultural programmes and projects.

  • 3. Invites the Director-General to report on this matter to the Autumn session of the Council in 1978.

  • (Adopted 30 November 1977)

    205. The Conference supported the concept of increasing practically oriented action programmes at the national level, particularly the Technical Cooperation Programme, with attention to building local institutions and capabilities in such areas as training, extension, credit, etc.

    206. The role of the Regional Offices should be further examined in view of the priority placed on decentralization. The regional analyses in the document were welcomed and Regional Conferences provided an opportunity to discuss and select priorities.

    207. High priority was placed on the International Undertaking for World Food Security as a real hope for coping with the problem of hunger especially in the poorest of developing countries. Support was extended for FAO's work in commodities in cooperation with the UNCTAD Integrated Commodities Programme and GATT. Some delegates welcomed the FAO contribution to the UN Study of the World Economy in the Year 2000, "Agriculture: Towards 2000". It was also considered that there should be a more specific FAO programme directed towards increasing industrial production in developing countries through development of agro-industries.

    208. The attention given to the question of energy and power was noted with satisfaction.

    209. In the field of forestry, priority was given to increased and carefully-planned investment, reforestation, which could help stop encroaching desertification, watershed protection, and increased fuelwood production which provided raw material for energy, construction, and shelter as well as income and employment in local industry and community development. Some delegations stressed the need for a discussion of forestry investment in COFO, to include attention on types and amounts of investment required together with consideration of national and international resources available in this field, and requested the Secretariat to prepare a paper for such a discussion.

    210. The Conference supported the proposed fisheries priorities, with special reference to small-scale local fisheries projects which appropriately dealt with investment constraints. It was felt that FAO should give high priority to assisting coastal states in developing programmes to exploit and better utilize available resources especially in view of the new regime of the seas. The field of aquaculture, should be given higher priority.

    211. As regards the format of the document the Conference noted, as had the Council, the recommendations of the Programme Committee on combining the document with the Programme of Work and Budget but without any attempt at quantification beyond the first biennium.

    212. Some delegates supported the concept of a combined document, particularly since the Programme of Work and Budget now included separate discussions of medium-term programme implications. Other delegates favoured the retention of a separate document.

    213. Opinion also differed concerning the desirability of quantifying future resource levels. Those delegates favouring quantification mentioned the desirability of using future resource estimates as indicators of relative priority among programmes as well as providing a longer-range perspective within which to consider the Programme of Work and Budget. Other delegates recalled the difficulties associated with past efforts at quantification and considered that further attempts along this line would be fruitless.

    214. Suggestions were made to change again to the system of medium-term planning, based on the system adopted by the General Assembly in Resolution 31/93. Other delegations proposed to set up a working group to study the question in more detail.

    215. The Conference generally agreed that the document should not be combined with the Programme of Work and Budget. It should be retained in its present form, but could be made more useful in various ways. It was suggested that if it were presented as a policy document oriented more towards the strategies FAO intended to pursue over the medium-term, this would avoid confusion over priorities which naturally vary from country to country.

    216. The Conference agreed with the Council and Programme Committee that harmonization of medium-term planning in the United Nations family of organizations was a desirable objective to the extent that it was practicable and feasible and was not pursued solely for the sake of coordination.

    217. In the light of the above, the Conference agreed that the different opinions expressed by Member Governments over the form of the document should be examined by the Programme and Finance Committees, and that recommendations should be made through the Council on this master.

    D. Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries in the Field of Agriculture and Food

    218. The Conference took note of the extensive discussions which had taken place in recent years, with n the UN System and outside, emphasizing the importance of Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries (TCDC) as an integral part of the quest for a New International Economic Order. Specific references were made in this context to the several initiatives taken by:

  • (a) the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the UNDP Governing Council;

    (b) the Mexico Conference on Economic Cooperation Among Developing Countries;

    (c) the meeting of the African Heads of State in Sierra Leone;

    (d) the summit meeting of non-aligned countries in Colombo;

    (e) the OPEC, ins well as in

    (f) the Kuwait Declaration, adopted by the high-level expert meeting convened by the Secretary-General of the World Conference on TCDC, and

    (g) in the preparatory wore for the World Conference on TCDC.

  • It was pointed out that a TCDC policy framework had already emerged to a considerable extent; therefore, concerted steps by all concerned, including FAO, would now be needed to implement TCDC in a systematic manner.

    219. The Conference welcomed the clear and firm commitment made by the Director-General for the furtherance of technical cooperation among developing countries in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. While the concept of TCDC was not entirely new, it had gathered momentum in recent years with the growing awareness among developing countries that technology developed for the needs of the industrialized countries was not necessarily the most appropriate for the developing countries' own needs. This was particularly true in respect of agriculture and the allied fields, because of ecological reasons, and also because of the wide differences in the socio-economic structure and conditions of the rural sector in the industrialized and developing countries.

    220. The Conference felt that the urge towards TCDC had been further strengthened by major technological breakthroughs and advances which had taken place in several developing countries in the last two decades in the agricultural sector. Besides, there was a resurgence of interest in the traditional farming and animal husbandry practices as being of immediate relevance to the needs and resources of small farmers in other countries.

    221. The Conference took note of the historical, attitudinal and financial barriers which had inhibited fuller realization of the great potential for TCDC in the past. It commended the initiative taken by the United Nations and the Government of Argentina in organising a World Conference on TCDC which was now scheduled to meet in Buenos Aires in August/September 1978. It was also noted that the attitudinal barriers in developing countries were disappearing and should not constitute an alibi for slow progress in TCDC. The Buenos Aires Conference should go a long way in further overcoming many of the attitudinal barriers which were mainly the result of lack of information and communication among developing countries. The Conference therefore congratulated the Director-General in ensuring FAO's active participation in this Conference at all stages as requested in Resolution 1/71 adopted by the FAO Council at its Seventy-First Session.

    222. The Conference endorsed the policy framework for FAO's future programme of action in support of TCDC as outlined in paragraphs 4.40 to 4.58 of the Review of Field Programmes, 1976-77 (C 77/4) and the information paper (C 77/LIM/17). The Conference noted that this programme would cover several elements. The most important part would be an assessment of FAO's experience in promoting TCDC in specific subjects and areas through sub-regional, regional, inter-regional or other types of group country activities. These included field projects, statutory commissions, commodity groups, assistance in the establishment and strengthening of training, research and other similar institutions. Emphasis should also be put on work relating to strengthening the negotiating capacity of developing countries.

    223. Another important element in FAO's approach to TCDC concerned steps being taken or contemplated by the Director-General to widen the use of the capacities of the developing countries in the execution of the Organization's Regular Programme and "extra-budgetary" activities, including the Technical Cooperation Programme and field projects financed through UNDP and other sources. The FAO Council at its Seventieth Session had already endorsed the Director-General's proposals on the expanding use of national institutions, including allowance for "positive discrimination" in favour of new and relatively weaker national institutions in the developing countries, which might not otherwise be able to compete immediately with those of the developed countries under the present procedures for selection and subcontracting. The Conference welcomed the Director-General's resolve to pursue this policy and related measures vigorously, taking fully into account, inter alia, such recommendations as might emerge from the discussions at the Buenos Aires Conference.

    224. The Conference underlined the importance of using the resources available at the FAO Regional and Country offices, and opportunities provided by travel of Headquarters staff, to identify and appraise national institutions and other capabilities in the developing countries, in order to assist in the implementation of this policy. Several delegations of developing countries said that their countries already had national institutions equipped to contribute valuable experience, and they offered the cooperation of these institutions in the implementation of the Organization's policies and programmes, in order to further horizontal technical cooperation.

    225. The third element in the FAO's programme of action was concerned with the identification of specific topics in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fisheries on which developing countries, sharing common interests and problems, or complementary resource endowments might be already in a position to exchange experience and pool their resources for cooperative endeavour for furtherance of their technical capacities. The Conference agreed that FAO's role in this regard was supporting and catalytic, and to assist in securing such support from the developed countries as might be warranted to facilitate specific TCDC projects or activities.

    226. While the responsibility for implementation of these policies and programmes should be shared by all substantive units in the Organization, the Conference recommended that the Director-General give urgent consideration to assigning responsibility as feasible for facilitating, systematically monitoring and evaluating progress in this regard to a focal point in FAO. It was felt that concerted action was needed to overcome attitudinal barriers within FAO against use of inputs from developing countries. These barriers arose partly from lack of knowledge and inadequate appreciation of technological developments in recent years.

    227. The Conference also agreed with the view expressed on behalf of the Director-General that TCDC was not a substitute for the traditional technical cooperation between the developed and the developing countries but a logical enlargement of such cooperation. TCDC in essence was an integral part of the push towards a more rational framework for international economic cooperation.

    228. The Conference adopted the following resolution:

    Resolution 9/77

    Technical cooperation among developing countries in the field of food and agriculture

    The Conference,

    Being aware of the importance and need to promote, accelerate and expand Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries, and of the necessity both for these countries and for the international community at large to contribute to the strengthening of such cooperation;

    Taking into account General Assembly Resolution 2974 (XVII), 3251 (XXIX), 3461 (XXX), 31/179 of 21 December 1976, and 3362 (S VII) as well as the Kuwait Declaration on TCDC;

    Considering that food and agriculture is of key importance in the economies of the developing countries and is, therefore, expected to figure prominently in the Plan of Action to be adopted at the Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries to be held in Buenos Aires in August-September 1978;

    1. Reaffirms the importance of technical cooperation among developing countries as an essential means for mobilizing their resources and contributing to the expansion and strengthening of international cooperation and achieving collective self-reliance in the field of food and agriculture;

    2. Invites the developing countries to adopt the necessary measures to intensify their mutual cooperation at the national, regional and inter-regional levels in existing and new fields through intergovernmental meetings, establishment of focal points for TCDC at the national level, and through other means;

    3. Endorses the areas identified in the Review of Field Programmes 1976-77 for promoting TCDC in agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the immediate future, and places particular emphasis inter on measures by Member Nations to:

    (a) achieve increase in agriculture, livestock, forestry and fisheries production, and improve the level of nutrition,
    (b) facilitate exchange of experience in and results of scientific research, technologies and development of new tools and machinery,

    (c) develop agro-industries, food processing, storage and conservation techniques aimed at reducing food losses,

    (d) develop and utilize opportunities for training of staff at all levels,

    (e) mobilize financial resources for accelerating TCDC, and

    (f) strengthen the negotiating capacity of developing countries.

    4. Requests the Director-General to adopt the following measures:

    (a) to ensure FAO's full participation in the preparation of the Conference as requested in the Council Resolution 1/71;

    (b) as a contribution to the UN Conference on TCDC to prepare a comprehensive document examining as far as possible the state of technical cooperation among developing countries in the field of food and agriculture, including forestry and fisheries, and formulating FAO's role in this regard together with concrete proposals to promote activities to facilitate this cooperation;

    (c) as a follow-up to the UN Conference on TCDC to consult Member Nations with a view to holding an inter-governmental meeting to take stock of the Buenos Aires Conference on Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and to examine the role that FAO can play in assisting developing countries in the implementation of these recommendations.

    5. Further requests the Director-General

    (i) to place on the Agenda of the FAO Council consideration of the results of the Buenos Aires Conference following this Conference;

    (ii) to take into account in the elaboration of Programme of Work and Budget for the biennium 1980-81, the necessity of making the appropriate adjustments in the policy, procedures and programmes of the Organization with a view to disseminating information on and expanding the utilization of institutions, services and equipments of developing countries in the execution of Regular and Field programmes as requested in the Council Resolution 1/71;

    (iii) in the light of discussions at the FAO Regional Conferences during 1978 and of the recommendations of the Buenos Aires Conference, undertake appropriate steps for the dissemination of information on, and use of regional institutions and of national institutions, consultant services and other capabilities within individual developing countries;

    (iv) take appropriate steps to increase the awareness of the importance of TCDC within FAO.

    (Adopted 30 November 1977)

    E. United Nations/FAO world food programme

    229. The Conference congratulated the Executive Director on his recent appointment, expressed its confidence in his capabilities, and wished him well for the term of his office.

    230. The Conference took note of the statement by the Executive Director explaining why the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes (CFA) had recommended a target figure of $950 million for pledges to the WFP during the biennium 1979-80. Although this figure was nearly one-third higher than the target for 1977-78, which it was hoped would be attained before the end of the current biennium, the apparent increase was misleading inasmuch as the attainment of the new target would not permit an expansion of the Programme's activities, but would in fact only allow it to continue making commitments to development projects at the present annual rate of $300 million. Even to achieve this, it was a matter of urgency for donors who had not already done so, to announce their pledges for the current biennium at an early date, and for others in a position to do so, to make additional pledges, so as to attain the 197778 target of $750 million in the very near future. To make it possible to expand WFP activities in the 1979-80 period, resources in excess of the $950 million pledging target would be required.

    231. The Conference also noted that the resources which, in addition to regular pledges, had greatly benefitted the Programme were in particular the grains made available to WFP by signatories to the Food Aid Convention. The movement through WFP of a large amount of grain as food aid recommended by the World Food Conference was desirable, such aid being additional to regular pledges to the Programme. So far, in all only 400 000 tons had been contributed since its inception to the International Emergency Food Reserve (IEFR), which had been intended to strengthen WFP's capacity for dealing with crisis situations in developing countries, and for which the minimum recommended level was 500 000 tons. In order to increase the effectiveness of the Reserve as an international contingency fund, there should be still wider participation including that of countries able to make cash contributions to it.

    232. The Conference noted further that the CFA had decided to increase the annual allocation for emergency assistance from $40 to $45 million in both 1977 and 1978, in view of the current increase in demand for emergency food assistance. Since the beginning of 1977 the Director-General of FAO had authorized 23 emergency operations to a total cost of almost $48 million, most of which were destined to assist victims of natural disasters, and drought in particular. Requirements in the near future were likely to be substantially higher as a result of critical situations in Viet Nam and Lao. Also in certain countries especially of the Sahel there appeared to be the danger that the devastating drought of the early 1970's might be repeating itself, and emergency food needs were already in the measure of 500 000 tons. But, as the entire needs of the area could not be met from WFP's resources alone, the world community would have to take further necessary relief action, in respect of which WFP was prepared to play the role of co-ordinator as it had frequently done on previous, similar occasions.

    233. All delegations, in announcing their support for the proposed pledging target, expressed their satisfaction with the performance of WFP, and emphasized its character as an action programme which produced tangible results. Many delegations took the opportunity of thanking both Programme and donors for effective WFP operations in their own countries. The good relationship of WFP with its two parent bodies, the UN and the FAO, and with other agencies, was stressed. It was noted with approval that the priorities given by WFP were to projects for rural development through food for work, and for the supplementary feeding of vulnerable groups of needy populations, and to those being implemented in LDC's and MSA countries. Several delegations hoped, however, that the priority accorded to the last of these categories should not jeopardize the granting of aid to other, less unfortunate countries, whose development efforts nevertheless still called for outside assistance.

    234. In speaking of the target figure, which they found to be realistic and reasonable, numerous delegations pointed out that for it to be reached not only would traditional donors have to increase their contributions, but new donors would have to come forward. In this connexion the delegates of Denmark, Hungary and Norway declared the intention of their Governments to make larger donations in the 1979-80 biennium; while some other delegates quoted the generous cash contribution of Saudi Arabia as an example to be followed by others not in position to give food but able to donate cash. It was emphasized that the proportion of one third of pledges to be made in cash and services should be maintained to ensure the optimum functioning of the Programme. Several delegations commented favourably on the relatively low administrative costs of WFP, as representing only about 5 percent of its total expenditures.

    235. A number of delegations noted the increase from $40 million to $45 million in 1977 and 1978 in the allocation of funds for emergency assistance, commented favourably on the aid being extended to refugees, and looked forward to seeing the result of the study on emergency aid which was to be presented to the Sixth Session of the CFA.

    236. Some delegates also mentioned the additional responsibilities of the CFA, including those for developing a new policy framework for food aid, but felt that so far progress made in this direction had been slow.

    237. Satisfaction was expressed that a large proportion of the purchases which WFP had sometimes to make in order to fulfil its commitments were in fact made in developing countries: diversification of the food basket, and the provision of familiar, locally produced, foodstuffs were seen as desirable in this connexion.

    238. A number of delegates noted the value of WFP assistance in promoting projects aimed at self-sufficiency; but some felt that in the case of food-for-work projects, the payment of cash wages, derived from the sale of WFP commodities, would facilitate the implementation of the projects, especially in areas to which it was difficult to transport food supplies.

    239. The Conference adopted the following resolution:

    Resolution 10/77

    Target for WFP pledges or the period 1979-80

    The Conference,

    Recalling the provisions of Resolution 4/65 that the World Food Programme is to be reviewed before each pledging conference,

    Recalling the provisions of operative paragraph 4 of its Resolution 19/75 that, subject to the review mentioned above, the next pledging conference should be convened at the latest early in 1978, at which time governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1979 and 1980, with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,

    Noting that the review of the Programme was undertaken by the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes of the World Food Programme at its Third Session and by the FAO Council at its Seventy-First Session,

    Having considered Resolution 2/72 of the FAO Council, as well as the recommendations of the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes,

    Recognizing the value of multilateral food aid as implemented by WFP since its inception and the necessity for continuing its action both as a form of capital investment and for meeting emergency food needs,

    1. Establishes for the two years 1979 and 1980 a target for voluntary contributions of $950 million, of which not less than one third should be in cash and/or services in aggregate, and expresses the hope that such resources will be augmented by substantial additional contributions from other sources in recognition of the prospective volume of sound project requests and the capacity of the Programme to operate at a higher level;

    2. Urges States Members of the United Nations and Members and Associate Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to make every effort to ensure the full attainment of the target;

    3. Requests the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the Director General of FAO, to convene a pledging conference for this purpose at United Nations Headquarters early in 1978;

    4. Decides that, subject to the review provided for in Resolution 4/65, the following pledging conference at which governments should be invited to pledge contributions for 1981 and 1982 with a view to reaching such a target as may be then recommended by the General Assembly and the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization, should be convened at the latest early in 1980.

    (Adopted 30 November 1977)

    F. Relations and consultations with International organizations

    World Food Council (WFC)
    Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment (CGFPI)
    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
    United Nations Development Programme
    Joint Inspection Unit
    Relations with Other UN Bodies
    Relations with Intergovernmental and International Non-Governmental Organizations including International Trade Unions

    World Food Council (WFC)

    240. The Conference welcomed the positive results of the Third Session of the World Food Council (Manila, 20-24 June 1977) and recognized the importance of the recommendations to governments and international organizations contained in the " Manila Communiqué of the World Food Council: A Programme of Action to Eradicate Hunger and Malnutrition".

    241. The Conference noted that the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly had forwarded, for adoption by the Plenary of the General Assembly, a resolution on the subject. Under this resolution the General Assembly would adopt the Manila Communiqué, would call upon all governments and Specialized Agencies to implement it fully and as a matter of urgency, and would urge all governments and United Nations organizations, particularly FAO, to give full support and encouragement to the World Food Council.

    242. The Conference endorsed the comments and proposals of the Director-General contained in the document "Relations with the World Food Council". It noted that a number of the recommendations of the Manila Communiqué were closely related to the substantive items of its agenda.

    243. The importance of the mandate given to the World Food Council by the World Food Conference and the General Assembly was underlined. Since the common objective of the World Food Council and FAO was eliminating hunger and malnutrition, the Conference stressed the importance of continuing to ensure complementarily of action through still closer cooperation at secretariat level.

    Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment (CGFPI)

    244. The Conference noted that the report on the evaluation of the effectiveness of the Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment would be circulated to participants in CGFPI in early in 1978, at which time members have an opportunity to express their governments' views in its conclusions.

    International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

    245. The Conference unanimously welcomed the imminent entry into force of the IFAD Agreement which would enable it to become operational in the near future. It stressed the need for IFAD to draw heavily on the technical expertise of FAO and for close working relationships to be established between the two institutions.

    United Nations Development Programme

    246. On the matter of FAO's relations with UNDP, reported by the 72nd Session of the Council in pares. 28 to 31 in its report, consideration was given to the question of overhead costs reimbursements by UNDP. The opinion was expressed by many delegations that the present formula of reimbursements being calculated at a rate of 14 percent on delivery should be maintained, as a necessary minimum so as not to unduly burden the Regular Programme resources, in order to provide a reasonable degree of stability over the medium term for resource planning purposes, and also as a tangible reflection of partnership in an equitable burden sharing between UNDP and the Executing Agencies, including FAO. In keeping with views expressed by the Organization's Conference and Council on several previous occasions, these delegations believed that there was now reason to strongly stress the concern felt at the negative effects on the level of the Organization's Regular Programme budget and work programme of any lowering of overhead cost reimbursements from UNDP, which would affect also the attitude of Trust Fund donors as regards overhead reimbursements.

    247. Several other delegations felt that it would be inopportune if the Conference of FAO were to make statements at this time that could be construed as pre-judging the results of the Inter-Governmental Working Group established, to study the question, by the UNDP Governing Council, which was composed generally of Governments that were also represented in the FAO Conference. It was felt by these delegations that the relevant decision of the UNDP Governing Council offered wide opportunities for the Agency Heads to participate actively in the Group's work and that FAO should avail itself fully of such opportunities. Any pronouncements made by the FAO Conference must not, in substance or in form, be such as to limit the Director-General's scope for a full participation in the Working Group. After thorough consideration of the matter the prevailing view of the Conference was that the Director-General must nevertheless be assured of the continued concern of the Conference and of its strong views that continued stability must be ensured as regards the Organization's resource and work planning in the short as well as in the longer term.

    248. In the light of the views expressed by the Council at its Seventy-Second Session that the present arrangements providing for UNDP overhead cost reimbursement calculated at 14 percent on delivery should be maintained, the Conference wished the Council to be consulted if the UNDP Governing Council, acting on the report of the inter-governmental Working Group, were to envisage any modification of the present formula. Any change in those arrangements should be agreed upon by the Organization.

    249. The Conference was concerned over the possibility that the UNDP Governing Council would not reach a conclusion early in 1979, when the Director-General has to finalize his Programme of Work and Budget for the next biennium, and urged that in that case the present overhead cost reimbursement arrangements remain the same for that period.

    250. The Conference requested the Director-General, in these matters, to be guided by these views .

    Joint Inspection Unit

    251. The Conference noted that at its Thirty-First Session the General Assembly of the United Nations had approved a new Statute of the Joint Inspection Unit and that, in Resolution 31/192, it had invited the organizations within the United Nations system to notify the Secretary-General of their acceptance of this Statute.

    252. The Conference also noted that at its Seventy-First Session (June 1977) the Council, on the advice of the Programme Committee, Finance Committee and CCLM, had recommended acceptance of the Statute of JIU with an interpretative declaration that for constitutional reasons the Organization could not give effect to the provision in Article 1, paragraph 2 that the Unit should be "a subsidiary organ" of its legislative bodies.

    253. On the understanding that this interpretative declaration would in no way affect the collaboration of the Organization with JIU, the Conference adopted the following resolution:

    Resolution 11/77

    Acceptance of the statute of the joint inspection unit

    The Conference,

    Recalling that at its Fourteenth Session it had approved the participation by FAO in the Joint Inspection Unit from the commencement of its operations on 1 January 1968,

    Noting that at its Thirty-First Session the General Assembly of the United Nations had approved a Statute for the Joint Inspection Unit and invited the organizations within the United Nations system to notify the Secretary-General of their acceptance of this Statute which would come into effect from 1 January 1978,

    Having examined this Statute in the light of the views expressed thereon by the Council at its Seventy-First Session,

    Endorsing the view of the Council that the FAO Constitution did not contain any provisions under which the Joint Inspection Unit could be regarded and designated as a subsidiary organ of the legislative bodies of FAO, as specified in the second sentence of paragraph 2 of Article I of the Statute,

    Considering that this provision of the Statute in no way affected the functions of the Joint Inspection Unit or its relations with the Organization which would be governed by the substantive provisions of the Statute,

    Considering also that the Joint Inspection Unit, as an independent body for inspection and evaluation, could render valuable service to the organizations in the United Nations system,

    Authorizes the Director-General to accept, on behalf of FAO, the Statute of the Joint Inspection Unit, it being understood that the notice of acceptance provided for in Article I, paragraph 2 of the Statute, shall contain an interpretative declaration to the effect that, for constitutional reasons, the Joint Inspection Unit will not be considered as a subsidiary organ of the legislative bodies of FAO.

    (Adopted 30 November 1977)

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