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VII. Resolution 5/97

A. The programme against African trypanosomiasis (PAAT)
B. Activities and programmes of the organization

A. The programme against African trypanosomiasis (PAAT)


Recognizing the severity of the impact of tsetse and trypanosomiasis on livestock, agriculture and human welfare in Africa,

Being well aware that the disease has negative implications for attaining the objectives of the
World Food Summit Plan of Action,

Welcoming FAO's initiative to secure international collaboration and coordination through the
Programme Against African Trypansomiasis (PAAT):

1. Urges all member Nations affected by the disease to: a) reinforce their efforts to combat the disease; b) coordinate their actions through PAAT and the Joint FAO/WHO/OAU/IAEA Secretariat to this Programme.

2. Requests the Director-General:

a) to further define and pursue how the potential offered by PAAT may contribute to the broader objectives of Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD);

b) to consolidate international action in trypanosomiasis control by formalizing, through an exchange of letters, the collaborative links required with WHO, IAEA, and OAU in order to effectively establish the Joint PAAT Secretariat;

c) to give formal recognition, within FAO, to the PAAT Programme Committee;

d) to afford PAAT the priority, profile and appropriate resources to contribute to the aims of the World Food Summit Plan of Action;

e) to abolish the two existing Statutory Bodies "The Panels of Experts on Ecological, Technical and Development Aspects to the Programme for the Control of African Trypanosomiasis and Related Development" and replace by a single Statutory Body, namely the "Panel of PAAT Advisory Group Coordinators" and to facilitate necessary meetings. This body will be subject to a review after six years.

f) to abolish the Commission on African Animal Trypanosomiasis based on the consideration that the subject may be discussed, as required, by the FAO Regional Conference for Africa.

(Adopted on 17 November 1997)

B. Activities and programmes of the organization

Programme evaluation report 1996-97
Medium-term plan 1998-2003

Programme evaluation report 1996-97

82. The Conference considered the Programme Evaluation Report 1996-97, and agreed generally with the observations and recommendations of the Council on the Report.

83. The Conference appreciated the improvements introduced to the present Report, which enhanced its analytical content and transparency, including (i) clearer focus on programme objectives and strategy, (ii) inclusion of programme managers' responses to each programme evaluation, and (iii) introduction of summary assessment on the programme performance, based on the criteria suggested by the Council at its Hundred and Tenth Session (Rome, 2-3 November 1995).

84. At the same time, the Conference agreed that further improvements could be made to strengthen the Report's contents, and endorsed the Council's recommendations in this regard. In particular, it highlighted: (i) the need for more systematic analysis of the effect and impact of FAO programmes, (ii) the desirability of using external expertise in programme evaluation, bearing in mind its cost implications, and (iii) further refinements in the criteria used for summary assessment.

85. In this context, the Conference noted the ongoing efforts to improve the design of many FAO programmes, and highlighted the importance of clearer formulation of their objectives, priorities and implementation strategies as well as that of establishing a set of measurable performance targets, milestones and indicators. It also stressed that evaluation should provide effective feedback, especially for cross-cutting issues and lessons, to programme planning and implementation.

86. The Conference agreed with the Council's recommendations with regard to FAO publications, and in particular it decided to delegate to the Council the authority for making the necessary decisions in implementing the proposed change in publication distribution from the quota distribution system to one based on a "national publication account", as recommended in the Report.

87. The Conference endorsed the Programme Evaluation Report 1996-97. At the same time, it highlighted the importance of: (i) full integration of evaluation feedback into the programme planning and management process in the Organization, (ii) ensuring satisfactory coverage of FAO programmes and operations in evaluation work reflecting strategic priorities and (iii) progressive improvements in line with the recommendations of the Programme Committee and the Council.

88. The Conference stressed that a balance between the normative and operational activities of the Organization be maintained and that its core scientific and technical competence be ensured.

Medium-term plan 1998-2003

89. The Conference recalled that the practice of submission to each Conference of a rolling Medium-Term Plan covering a six-year period was instituted through its Resolution 10/89. It noted that the present version of the Plan was the fourth prepared since then.

90. In addressing the substance, the Conference observed that prominence had been given to the outcome of the World Food Summit, highlighting the relationship between substantive priorities and the commitments in the Summit Plan of Action. Many members endorsed the policy orientations and programme priorities highlighted in the document. In particular, they agreed that the indicated priorities reflected the varied requirements of the membership and were consistent with the overall goal of sustainable food security. A number of other members considered that there was an overemphasis on the production-oriented aspects of food security and insufficient attention to the outcomes of other recent international conferences.

91. While agreeing that there were positive elements in the Plan, many members felt that it did not fulfill their expectations from such a policy planning document. In this regard, the Conference addressed the issue of possible improvements to future Medium-Term Plans and the Programme Budget Process in general.

92. The Conference noted the contents of the Report of the Hundred and Thirteenth Session of the Council (Rome, 4-6 November 1997), which in considering the Report of the Seventy-eighth Session of the Programme Committee, had welcomed and endorsed proposals aimed at revising the approach to the Programme Budget Process, including formulation of a long-term Strategic Framework and consequently modified Medium-Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget. A number of members underlined the importance of enhancing the efficiency and streamlining of FAO's governance in this process.

93. The Conference agreed that a strategic vision of the future work of FAO should be developed. It noted in this connection that a number of key documents were available to support this exercise, including the Summit Plan of Action and prospective studies such as Agriculture Towards 2010 (AT 2010) which was being extended to the year 2015.

94. At the same time, the Conference recognized the general desire of the membership to improve the format and content of the PWB document and to improve the overall Programme Budget Process with a view to more coherence, greater economy, more outcome-orientation and enhanced prioritization of activities through application of the Criteria approved by the Council at its Hundred and Tenth Session. It agreed that proposals for the revision and refinement of these prioritization Criteria would be submitted to the Programme Committee during the development of the new Programme Budget Process.

95. The Conference also recognized the potential impact of the new programming model which was being tested in the Programme of Work and Budget for one selected programme, as this revised model embodied a clear assessment of the objectives sought, identification of beneficiaries in Member Nations, the related time-frames and the outputs and inputs required.

96. The Conference endorsed the relevant recommendations of the Programme Committee and the Council to the effect that:

a) a longer-term Strategic Framework would be formulated for consideration and endorsement by FAO Governing Bodies. This formulation would be based on the application of known strategic planning methodologies and a number of analytical steps;

b) a modified approach would lead to revised Medium-Term Plan and Programme and Budget documents, building on the advantages of the new programming approach illustrated in the PWB document for Programme 2.1.1, Natural Resources.

97. The Conference underlined the importance of an adequate process of intergovernmental discussion to encourage inputs from all interested members and of broad consultation with stakeholders and partners. It recognized that an important initial step in this respect would be the consideration of a first draft of the Strategic Framework by the Spring 1998 sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees, prior to its consideration by the Council at the end of 1998. One group of members stressed that the formulation and development of the Strategic Framework and subsequently a new Medium Term Plan should be intensified and accelerated and should be an intensive and intergovernmental process, which should be established and managed in a way that would encourage the widest possible ownership of the outcome.

98. The Conference also recognized that the full-scale application of the revised process would have implications on the pertinent sections in the Basic Texts of the Organization beyond the amendments undertaken during the Twenty-ninth Session of the Conference.

99. In conclusion, the Conference generally endorsed the present version of the Medium-Term Plan, while noting that it would be the last one based on current arrangements. It looked forward to the impending development of a "Strategic Framework" document in the next biennium, coupled with a modified approach to the formulation of the "Medium-Term Plan" and "Programme of Work and Budget" documents.

100. The Conference agreed that this set of complementary documents should facilitate the task of the Governing Bodies in shaping the course of the Organization in the years ahead.

101. The Conference adopted the following Resolution:

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