C 2003/12-Sup.1


Thirty-second Session

Rome, 29 November-10 December 2003



1. At its Hundred and Twenty-fourth Session the Council welcomed the proposal contained in the Report of the Joint Meeting of the Eighty-ninth Session of the Programme Committee and the Hundred and Second Session of the Finance Committee to hold three Round Tables from 1 to 3 December 2003 during the Thirty-second Session of the Conference.

2. The three Ministerial level Round Tables will be held at FAO Headquarters, in the King Faisal Room, according to the schedule and themes listed below:

Round Table I

Time: Monday, 1 December 2003 - from 17.30 to 19.30
Theme: The role of water and infrastructure in ensuring sustainable food security

Round Table II:

Time: Tuesday, 2 December 2003 - from 17.30 to 19.30
Theme: Implications of the WTO negotiations, in particular the
Cancun Ministerial Conference (September 2003), for world food security

Round Table III

Time: Wednesday, 3 December 2003 - from 17.30 to 19.30
Theme: The dimension of food safety in food security

3. When making their recommendations, the Programme and Finance Committees provided guidance on the approach to be followed in arranging these meetings:


4. Ministers or other Heads of Delegation are invited to attend one of the three Round Tables of their choice. Each Head of Delegation may be accompanied by one Adviser. Advisers will not intervene in the debate.


5. Each Round Table will have two Co-chairs. The six Co-chairs will be appointed by the Conference on the basis of prior consultations among Regional Groups.

6. As the Round Tables will not be attended by observers or the media, the six Co-chairs will subsequently report to the Plenary on the conclusions reached in their respective Round Tables.

Organization of the Round Tables - Responsibilities

7. The Conference, Council and Government Relations Branch (GICO) will be responsible for the organization of the Round Tables. The designated Departments will act as the technical Secretariat of the Round Tables.

8. Each Round Table Secretariat will prepare, during the Round Table proceedings, a summary of the debate to facilitate the summing up.

9. The summing up will also be made by the Co-chairs to the Plenary of the Conference under their own responsibility. Neither written records nor verbatim reports of the Round Table proceedings will be kept.

10. The conclusions of the Round Tables, as reported to the Plenary by the respective Co-chairs, will be incorporated in the Conference Report.


11. Documentation: The Department designated as the technical Secretariat will prepare a document on the theme. This document will be sent to FAO Members six weeks before the Conference session.

12. Conduct of the Round Tables: The topic will be introduced by the two Co-chairs (3 minutes each). They will describe the working methods. The Co-chairs, while encouraging interventions by participants during the debate, may monitor the number and length of interventions so as to ensure broader participation and an extensive exchange of views as possible. At the end of the debate, the Co-chairs will draw conclusions from the debate and sum up the discussion (10 minutes).

13. Speaking time: The order of taking the floor will be informal and in accordance with requests by show of hands from the participants. The designated Secretariat officer, seated next to the Co-chairs, will draw up the list of speakers.

14. Preparation of proceedings: A meeting will be organized by GICO with the Chairs of the Regional Groups and the designated technical departments to discuss the arrangements and to elicit nominations for the six Co-chairs. A subsequent briefing will be held with the Permanent Representatives/Ambassadors of the countries whose representatives will act as Co-chairs of the Round Tables and the technical departments concerning the subject matter as well as the procedures to be followed during the meeting.