Twenty-fourth Session

Rome, 2 - 5 June 1998



1. At its Twenty-third Session, the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) recalled that the World Food Summit (WFS) had entrusted to it the critical role of monitoring the implementation of the WFS Plan of Action (PoA) and progress in reaching the minimum target of reducing to half the present number of undernourished people in the world by no later than 2015. The Committee agreed on a provisional reporting procedure to be used in 1997, based on the following proposals:

2. On the basis of the Committee’s decision, the Governments of all countries which had participated in the Summit were invited to report on the actions they have taken during 1997 to implement the PoA, following the above guidelines set out by the Committee. A request was made that the reports be delivered by 31 January 1998. A similar request was also sent to all relevant United Nations agencies, international organizations and regional and sub-regional bodies.

3. As at 31 March 1998 reports [ The full texts of all reports received will be made available, in their original format and language, in a limited number of copies for consultation by delegates under cover of document CFS 88/Inf. 11.] had been received from 68 countries and the European Commission, from 14 United Nations agencies, 13 international organizations and from six regional bodies as per Annexes I and II attached. The present document has been prepared on the basis of information contained in these reports. The document follows the structure of the PoA, synthesizing the actions reported in relation to each objective by the different governments and institutions.


4. Many reporting countries have provided highlights of major issues and objectives in implementing the PoA. Food insecurity, affecting large shares or specific groups of the population, is underlined by many developing countries, with frequent emphasis on the growing food deficit and/or instability of food production. Under- and mal-nutrition, affecting in particular children but also adults, is documented, even in cases where the general food security situation is satisfactory. Poverty is universally acknowledged as a major cause of food insecurity at the household level, and human development, mainly through education and health improvement, receives much attention. Conflicts, insecurity, and disasters are also referred to. Pursuing policies aimed at sound macroeconomic conditions and taking advantage of international trade are highlighted by several countries; sustainable development of agriculture and food production is widely considered an essential objective, often in connection with developing the agri-food sector. Intensification of production and diversification, particularly towards animal products and fish in certain cases, are sought for. Productivity improvements benefiting the poor and environmental sustainability are emphasised, calling for research and technology dissemination, access to land, inputs and credit, improved land use and water mobilisation and control. In the food chain, marketing, food quality and safety, and improved processing are frequently cited concerns. Decentralisation, and developing rural infrastructure, are also repeatedly mentioned among the selected highlights provided.

5. In the light of the above, some thematic issues which the Committee might wish to consider for future review could be drawn from the following suggestions:


6. It is important to note that not all reports addressed each aspect of the PoA, though many were comprehensive in their coverage. That some countries did not report on a particular issue does not necessarily indicate that no action was taken by that country on that issue.The reference to country names with respect to specific actions, policies or programs in the document is for illustrative purposes only, and should not imply that other countries had not taken similar actions, policies and programs. The examples given aim principally at documenting the diversity of actions taken; they do not necessarily represent priority domains of action by the countries concerned.

Commitment One:

We will ensure an enabling political, social, and economic environment designed to create the best conditions for the eradication of poverty and for durable peace, based on full and equal participation of women and men, which is most conducive to achieving sustainable food security for all

Objective 1.1: To prevent and resolve conflicts peacefully and create a stable political environment, through respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms,
democracy, a transparent and effective legal framework, transparent and
accountable governance and administration in all public and private
national and international institutions, and effective and equal participation
of all people, at all levels, in decisions and actions that affect their food security.

7. The peaceful settlement of conflicts is addressed in reports by countries from all regions. Several countries emerge from domestic conflicts and some are still trying to reach a settlement:, this is, for example the major subject of the report from the Central African Republic. Post-conflict consolidation is pursued by a variety of means, such as compensation to victims (e.g. Haiti) or development support to affected areas (e.g. Philippines). Examples of preventive means to diffuse social tension include land policy (e.g. Antigua and Barbuda, Benin), consultative bodies (e.g. Colombia, Zambia) and use of traditional structures (e.g.Yemen).

8. Internationally, and particularly within the sub-regional framework, co-operative diplomacy and commitment to peaceful resolution or prevention of disputes is widely reaffirmed, with examples of resort to the International Court of Justice or other international mediation. Bangladesh and India have entered into a 30-year water-sharing treaty. A number of countries, developing and developed, also report on their support to peace-seeking efforts, participation in international action and assistance in conflict situations, with the specific role of the United Nations underlined on several occasions.

9. Constitutional and legal provisions for a stable political environment and affirmation of human rights are widely reported; several countries indicate recent or planned action to further enhance such provisions, in particular through constitutional reform. The rule of democracy is widely affirmed, and its reinforcement or restoration, notably in post-conflict situations, is shown by several examples of parliamentary or presidential elections held recently, or planned in the near future.

10. Improvements were reported in the judicial, legal and executive systems, including efforts to restore dismantled structures (e.g. Liberia). This may entail the need for increased budgets and staff (e.g. the Dominican Republic).

11. Transparent and good governance is addressed in many countries with measures taken to ensure better administrative justice, bankruptcy tribunals, regulation of police and security agencies, action against corruption, smuggling and drugs, and is supported by public awareness raising actions, or (e.g. Zambia), ministerial and parliamentary codes of conduct. Public administration reforms and renovation contribute to restoring the rule of law.

12. Decentralisation and strengthened local government are frequently part of the renovation of the state. Reports point to enhanced partnership with civil society organisations, and to participatory approaches ranging from national planning to the development of micro-projects frequently emphasising farmers’ organisations.

13. Among developed countries, sSome reports (e.g. Canada, Norway) provide examples of participation by minorities in policies of direct concern to them such as fisheries, or and of exclusive rights granted for their traditional activities (e.g. Canada, Norway). Developed countries converge in indicating peace, human rights enhancement, promotion of democratic life and governance (with frequent emphasis on decentralisation) as essential features of their international co-operation objectives and action.

Helping to improve governance

UNDP [ The full name of organisations and spelling of all acronyms are provided in Annex III. ] experience has shown that sustainable development depends on good governance and empowerment. In 1997, approximately half of UNDP’s programme funding was in the area of governance.

Objective 1.2: To ensure stable economic conditions and implement development strategies which encourage the full potential of private and public, individual
and collective. initiatives for sustainable, equitable,economic and
social development which also integrate population
and environmental concerns.

14. Many developing countries report on policies for stable economic growth, with often successful or encouraging results, and generally an emphasis on fiscal reform towards sustainability. Sectoral development strategies are most frequently illustrated for agriculture and rural development, but the role of industrial policy (e.g. Jamaica) and of international trade is also recognised, with global competitiveness sometimes underlined (e.g. Philippines). Deregulation, liberalisation, privatisation are common measures to stimulate private sector development, with adjustment of legal mechanisms still required in some transition countries. Small and medium sized enterprises are often emphasised. Dialogue with the private sector, interest groups, rural representatives can take the form of the Sectoral Competitiveness Agreements (e.g. Colombia), or the Social Partnership in industrial policy (e.g. Jamaica). Investment and Commerce codes are developed for better transparency.

15. Equity enhancement and poverty alleviation measures are mainly reported under Commitment Two. Information is provided by some countries on population related measures, which are an integral part of anti-poverty policy in Bangladesh. Population policies, sometimes long standing as in Tunisia, are progressively integrated in the legal and institutional framework, with examples of national population plans referring to the Fourth ICPD.

16. Developed countries maintain non-inflationary, sustainable growth-oriented policies, striving at reducing the high unemployment prevailing in many cases and at improving social inclusion. Reviews and analyses are conducted within the OECD. Donor countries co-operation policies support developing countries sustainable and anti-poverty economic development, integrating population and environment concerns.

17. The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Club du Sahel foster sound policies in a North-South dialogue framework. WAEMU promotes a stable economic framework in member countries, emphasising the crucial role of agriculture development. The IMF provides policy advice and balance-of-payments assistance for macroeconomic management, in co-operation with the World Bank for sector policies. UNDP collaboration with civil society organisations, strengthened in 1997, aims at building countries capacity for alleviating poverty, and private sector development is supported in the five regions. The World Bank promoted "Rural development: from vision to action" in support of WFS goals, and participates in the civil society coalition fostered by IFAD. As part of the follow-up to WFS and ICNFC, WHO and FAO support national food and nutrition plans and policies, established or reinforced in 106 countries. The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Club du Sahel foster sound policies in a North-South dialogue framework. WAEMU promotes a stable economic framework in member countries, emphasising the crucial role of agriculture development.

Objective 1.3: To ensure gender equality and empowerment of women.

18. Constitutional and legal provisions ensuring equal rights for women and preventing gender-based discrimination are in place in many developing countries, and Cuba for instance considers the objective guaranteed. Bangladesh ratified the Convention for eliminating all forms of discrimination against women. Nevertheless, some reports diagnose the persistence of legal and practical restrictions for women, and further reforms concern civil and family codes, or the agriculture and land tenure codes. Violence against women is addressed in reports from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Pakistan (women’s crises centres have been established), Venezuela (law against intra-family violence). Some countries report on increased participation of women in ministerial or parliamentary positions and high-level public service functions. In Eritrea, at least 30 percent of village council members are required to be women.

19. Gender is mainstreamed in national or sectoral policies in several countries, while specific plans of action are beinineg launched (e.g. the 1997-2001 plan against women’s poverty, Haiti; new family policy, Mauritania, Morocco; the Second National Plan of Action 1997-2001, Senegal; 2000 Plan for Women, Vietnam; draft on Gender Policy, Zambia; etc.). Specialised ministries, some recently established, give stimulus to such actions with consultative, advisory bodies and administrative units providing orientation, training, sensitisation and monitoring.

20. Actions promote education and skills’ development for women, particularly rural women (agriculture, handicrafts, home economics, health). Other measures reported include: agricultural extension for women; targeted technologies for women (e.g. Malawi); access to productive resources, credit, state benefits; support to participation of women in economic life, rural women’s associations, co-operatives, networks, and community projects. The Dominican Republic provides an example of a programme for the conservation and sustainable use of phyto-genetic resources by women.

21. Few reports address gender disaggregated data and intra-household issues: examples are Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Jamaica, or Tunisia with information available for different sectors, and a centre for information and research on women (CREDIF) established.

22. Developed countries place great emphasis on their domestic and international commitment to gender equality and the outcomes of the Beijing Conference. Canada multiplied international initiatives in this area, notably on violence against women. The European Parliament calls for 1999 to be declared the "European year against violence against women". Donor countries make promotion of gender equality a feature of their foreign and development co-operation policy, and the United Kingdom reports on actions being launched in 1997 for the empowerment of women.

23. CIAT co-ordinates a CGIAR global programme on participatory gender investigation. The Commonwealth Secretariat’s African regional symposium, 1997; FAO’s women in development programme; UNESCO’s priority for girls and women in education; WFP’s Beijing Commitments to women; WHO’s guiding principles for household dynamics in relation to food and nutrition security, are examples of the Organisations’ support for the Objective. UNDP devotes 20 percent of its global and regional programmes to gender equality, and created a gender facility for country level action.

Objective 1.4: To encourage national solidarity and provide equal opportunities for all, at all levels, in social, economic and political life, particularly in respect of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups and persons.

24. National solidarity is expressed as a fundamental principle by several developing countries. Actions reported under Commitment Two are not repeated here.

25. The magnitude of investment in human resource development, principally for primary education and health care, is underlined. Some countries report constitutional provisions and actions against various forms of discrimination, e.g. indigenous peoples. Protection of the vulnerable and disadvantaged (the elderly, the disabled, in addition to women and children) can also be part of the Constitution (e.g.Cuba, Ghana). Legal provision for employment of the crippled and convicted prevail in Turkey, with measures to ease the working conditions of the crippled. Urban poverty is addressed in few reports, for instance Morocco, where a large programme for eradication of shanty towns and unsafe housing enhances human resources development.

26. Protection for children and mothers is included in: particular National Action Plans (e.g. Cameroon, Togo); a 1995 law and the Childhood Council in Tunisia; programmes, in association with churches and NGOs, for the children facing difficulties and children of the street in Dominican Republic; school feeding; child development centres expanded in all communities in Thailand. Breast feeding is addressed in few reports (e.g. Nicaragua, Thailand, Venezuela). Togo in 1997 ratified the 1990 Convention on Adopted Children.

27. Few specific youth-oriented actions are reported, for instance: in Tunisia, a Youth Conference was held in 1996; in the Dominican Republic (involving in 1997 some 259 rural associations), Ghana, Nigeria, youth promotion in agriculture; and Trinidad and Tobago established a credit facility for young entrepreneurs.

28. Developed countries have national mechanisms to guarantee equal opportunities, protect the poor and vulnerable through laws, regulations, social benefits and programmes ( e.g. "minimum inclusion income", France), and eradicate discrimination. Several countries address in particular racial discrimination; 1997 was the "European Year against Racism and Xenophobia". There are also examples of national action and institutions to help the young find a place in society (e.g. Czech Republic, Italy).

29. Internationally and in development co-operation, developed countries underline consistency of support to the various relevant international conferences, particularly the Social Summit. Swiss law targets aid towards the most disadvantaged groups. Norway fosters the 20/20 target of the Social Summit.

30. The IMF documents improvements in social spending by most low-income developing countries with ESAF-supported reforms. UNESCO and WHO underline the priority given to children and the vulnerable in their programmes.

Commitment Two:

We will implement policies aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and improving physical and economic access by all, at all times, to sufficient , nutritionally adequate and safe food and its effective utilisation

Objective 2.1: To pursue poverty eradication, among both urban and rural poor, and sustainable food security for all as a policy priority and to promote, through sound national policies, secure and gainful employment and equitable and equal access to productive resources such as land, water and credit, so as to maximise
the incomes of the poor.

31. Many developing countries report eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable food security for all as the main policy priority. While policies and programmes to eradicate poverty are generally a continuation of the past, several countries have initiated new actions as a follow-up to the WFS (e.g. China, Dominican Republic, Mauritania, Senegal,Togo). Several LIFDCs referred to the FAO-supported Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) as part of their strategy to alleviate poverty.

32. In countries where the undernourished represent a significant proportion of the population (e.g. Angola, Bangladesh, Haiti, Mozambique) there is an important emphasis on short-term measures such as food-for-work programmes (see Objective 2.2) mainly with support of food aid.

33. The focus of medium and long-term programmes varies depending upon a country’s situation and the nature of food insecurity problems. Poverty alleviation programmes often include plan to include concrete measures to enhance access to land and/or security of tenure, as well as development of infrastructure and basic social services, land improvement through irrigation, access to credit, marketing and processing and development of storage facilitiesreported to be components of poverty alleviation programmes in many of the countries.

34. Expansion of employment opportunities through promotion of labour intensive rural projects is also pursued to tackle poverty. In Mauritania, the recently endorsed employment policy outlines measures to promote self employment. Ghana and Nigeria are promoting agriculture" programmes to promote employment opportunities for youth in agriculture. Tunisia’s has established an employment policy for 1997-2001 focuses on channelling investment in labour-intensive industries.

35. A number of countries also report on measures to enhance human development, primarily through basic education and health programmes (Objective 2.4) as well as skills’ development.

36. Several developed countries report that they have mechanisms for ensuring a minimum income and access to food on a sustainable basis to food insecure groups. Specific measures include promotion of employment opportunities; training programmes to enhance workers’ skills; arrangements for unemployed youth which guarantee training , work placements, voluntary work or full-time education to enhance opportunities for long-term employment; programmes to rehabilitate disabled persons as well as other targeted family support. Some countries also envisage increasing the minimum wage for workers. At the international level, donor countries support developing countries in poverty alleviation programmes, through investment in social services, technical assistance such as advice on land reform, and human development (through education and professional training) in order to create a suitable environment for job creation and income generation.

37. A number of international organisations report assisting developing countries in poverty alleviation. UNDP assists countries through enhancing capacity for poverty analysis, policy review and national strategy formulation, and by providing support to enhance job creation and income-generating activities through grassroots level projects, including micro projects. the Copenhagen Plan of Action in priorities and Promoting "basic education for all" is UNESCO’s largest activity. UNIDO promotes rural technology; WFP, through its food-for-work programmes, assists in conserving resources and in creating employment opportunities.

Objective 2.2: To enable food insecure households, families and individuals to meet their food and nutritional requirements and to seek to assist those
who are unable to do so.

38. Most reporting developing countries have established short-term mechanisms to ensure access to food by food insecure households. These mechanisms differ from country to country but food-for-work projects (or cash-for-work projects as in Eritrea) for the development of public works and/or conservation of natural resources appear to be common - with the primary objective of increasing access to food by the poor. In many countries, such projects are supplemented by school feeding programmes, supplementary feeding, direct free distribution of cash or in kind to the disabled or the very old who are unable to take advantage of work programmes. Iraq reports that the food rationing system which is in place only satisfies 60 percent of needs.

39. Other mechanisms include measures to control inflation as a means of providing low income groups with access to food which might otherwise be jeopardised as a result of food price increases; unemployment relief programmes; intervention on the market through injecting supplies to bring market prices to levels within the reach of consumers; consumer price subsidies; free food distribution programmes to benefit needy families (e.g. Brazil). In a number of countries the mechanisms are targeted or self-targeting to cater to disadvantaged families or re-oriented (e.g. Morocco) for this purpose.

40. Some countries are also taking measures to ensure that the diets of specific groups are nutritionally adequate (e.g. Bangladesh implements projects to increase per capita consumption of meat and eggs by lactating women and children in selected areas).

41. With regard to food security information, a number of developing countries have also reported that they have established or are in the process of establishing systems to monitor the nutritional status of the poor. Several countries have also indicated plans to establish full-fledged FIVIMS.

Setting-up food security information systems: examples

Tunisia undertakes national household surveys every five years and has developed a database on disadvantage families; Thailand has a nutrition surveillance system for pre-school children on the basis of which a model is developed for control and prevention of malnutrition in target groups; Guinea has undertaken a national nutrition survey providing a baseline on vulnerable groups and areas; Columbia is developing indicators to be used in food and nutrition monitoring systems.

42. Developed countries report on elaborate social welfare programmes to support the poor, including through income transfers, to meet basic needs such as food , basic health and social services. In many cases such programmes also include employment insurance and old age security systems. Several donor countries assist developing countries in improving food security information; some such as Canada, have expressed their commitment to the development of FIVIMS.

Objective 2.3 : To ensure that food supplies are safe, physically and economically accessible, appropriate and adequate to meet the energy and
nutrient needs of the population.

43. Several developing countries report on policies and mechanisms for the maintenance of food security reserves, periodic assessment of the availability and quality of staples, post-harvest management to reduce food losses, training of women in small-scale food processing and promotion of home gardens. The focus varies from country to country but the central aim is to ensure availability and stability of staple food supplies to meet the nutritional needs of their populations. To ensure food safety and quality, food laws and food hygiene and nutrition institutes have been established while reference is also made to the use of the Codex Alimentarius for food safety. Some countries also report on the role of consumer associations.

44. With regard to prevention and/or control of micro-nutrient deficiencies, the measures taken or being taken vary reflecting the problem prevalent in each country.

Special focus on specific nutrients

While some countries have general campaigns for nutrition education, others focus on the intake of specific nutrients such as salt iodination in Eritrea and Tunisia; a project to prevent calcium, iron, vitamin B2 deficiencies in Morocco; promotion of vitamin A rich foods, and distribution of iodised oil capsules for pregnant women in areas of goitre rate higher than 20 percent in Thailand. In Tunisia, a national survey established baseline information on micro-nutrient deficiencies; measures are taken for enriching the iron content of highly consumed foods. Eritrea is conducting a survey on micro-nutrients to guide future activities in this area.

45. Almost all the reporting developed countries indicated that they have national systems to ensure safe, nutritious and high quality food supplies. Member countries of the EU adhere to EU directives on official control of the quality of food stuffs. Central and Eastern European countries (e.g. Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovak Republic) are taking steps to enhance food safety and quality, especially for meat products. Several developed countries report contributing to and using the Codex Alimentarius for food safety, consumer protection and trade, supporting the Agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and programmes for health and dietary improvements as well as micronutrient fortification in developing countries.

46. Among reporting international organisations, FAO has an important role in the development of the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius which establishes standards for food quality and safety. Many organisations reported providing assistance to developing countries in enhancing various aspects of food safety and quality (e.g. FAO, IAEA, ILRI, UNIDO, WFP and regionally, the Club du Sahel and OLDEPESCA).

Objective 2.4: To promote access for all especially the poor and members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, to basic education and primary health care provision in order to strengthen their capacity for self-reliance.

47. Many developing countries state that achieving universal access to essential health services is the primary aim of their national health policies and strategies. Measures being undertaken towards this goal include expanding primary health centres and/or clinics at local level and increasing the number of community health personnel at such centres; hygiene improvement; vaccination programmes; primary and reproductive health care for women and girls; initiating specific health and nutrition projects (such as Haiti’s " Health 2000 Project"); campaigns against epidemic and infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS; and national health plans of action combined with population policy. A number of countries drew attention to the fact that their health programmes pay increasing attention to disadvantaged groups, women and children.

48. As regards access to primary education, some developing countries report significant progress towards the goal of "education for all" with information provided on gains in literacy rates, school enrolment, years of compulsory education - generally elementary education and sometimes up to secondary education- and on targets for the future. Special efforts to enhance enrolment of girls in schools is reported (e.g. Morocco, Indonesia) and in school construction efforts (Syria is also expanding mobile schools for nomads).

49. A few countries have reported that they are taking measures to improve access to clean water.

Examples of countries improving access to clean water

Eritrea, Togo, Tunisia have or are preparing national programs for drinking water and sanitation. Countries such as Guinea are constructing wells and water supply spots.

50. Community education on nutrition, hygiene and health are important components of many national nutrition plans. Such educational campaigns often cover the entire society but in certain cases are targeted towards vulnerable groups and food insecure areas.

51. Several developed countries reported that access to basic health and education is guaranteed to their citizens, including through targeted measures to minorities and low income groups. Nutrition information and education are also widespread, and often focus inter alia on preventing diet-related common health problems such as cardiovascular diseases. In the EU member countries dissemination of information on nutrition is undertaken within the framework of the EU Plan of Action.

52. In co-operation with the CSD, in 1998 ,France has organised the International Conference on Water. A number of developed countries have indicated that support to developing countries in the area of health and nutrition, population policy including reproductive health, and in water management and sanitation are important activities in their development co-operation programmes and should be geared to meeting people’s basic requirements. Some step up their assistance to developing countries in this area; for instance Canada is committed to spending 25 percent of ODA resources in addressing basic human needs which include primary health care, basic education, family planning, food and nutrition, water, sanitation, and other related areas; the EC has substantially increased its financial aid to ACP countries for improving health.


Commitment Three:

We will pursue participatory and sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development policies and practices in high and low potential areas, which are essential
to adequate and reliable food supplies at the household, national, regional
and global levels, and combat pests, drought and desertification,
considering the multifunctional character of agriculture

Objective 3.1: To pursue, through participatory means, sustainable, intensified and diversified food production, increasing productivity, efficiency, safety gains,
pest control and reduced wastes and losses, taking fully into account
the need to sustain natural resources.

53. Many governments of developing countries have given high priority to the development of environmentally sound and sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry production. In almost all the countries which have reported, policies and programmes are aimed at achieving sustainable increases in food crop production through the use of appropriate technology. "Agro-Technical Extension Year". Noticeable actions being taken include the widespread use of improved seed varieties; promotion of the use of green manure/organic farming to adjust soil quality and increase production efficiency; popularising the integrated/balanced fertilisation and plant (nutrition to ensure sustainable increases in crop yields; and making efforts for pest control, with special emphasis on Integrated Pest Management as a strategic orientation for enhanced sustainability and productivity. In 1997, China launched the "Agro-Technical Extension Year".

54. Several developing countries also promote sustainable systems of livestock production. Pakistan, for example, plans to increase livestock productivity through provision of adequate fodder and feed, genetic improvement, and disease control. Turkey intends to revise the Rangeland Law to improve animal husbandry production and enhance food security. In Guinea, improved animal breeding and urban and peri-urban animal production are being encouraged through support to agents in the production chain. Many countries are also taking measures to reduce or eliminate livestock diseases, e.g. rinderpest, foot and mouth disease. In Africa a number of countries participate in Pan African Rinderpest campaign and carry out vaccination against this and other diseases.

55. Several countries also pursue development of sustainable fisheries.(for instance, the Bay of Bengal program in India). In this context, Ghana has initiated a project to help prevent the near collapse of inland and marine fish stocks. Jamaica gives priority to fisheries development legislation through technical co-operation with other countries, training of fishermen, and an improved programme of monitoring and surveillance. A number of countries are also giving particular attention to aquaculture development.

56. Developed countries have undertaken several schemes aimed at environmentally sound production systems, including a reduction in livestock density ; promotion of multifunctional agriculture providing for landscape maintenance, soil, water and air cycles protection; biodiversity preservation; application of new integrated pest management methods and technologies; and promotion of other farming activities which benefit environment. The major reform of the EU Common Agricultural Policy, introduced in 1992 represented a partial shift from market price support towards direct payments, mainly for cereals, protein crops, beef and sheep; land set-aside requirements for crop producers as well as stocking rate restrictions for livestock producers both aim at achieving a balance between supply and demand. The EU also aims at reducing the overcapacity of fishing fleets.

57. dDevelopment co-operation programmes support developing countries in their efforts to promote higher crop and livestock productivity through plant breeding, improved soil fertility and nutrient supply, control of animal and plant diseases and pests, integration of forestry with overall land use (e.g. Finland), and better use of fish catches and alternative options for fish production, particularly aquaculture.

58. Several international organisations are also providing assistance to support sustainable intensification of crop production and maintenance of natural resource base. This represents the major aim for most FAO programs, for instance the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES)developing countries against plant and animal diseases with a view to promoting sustainable production. ICRAF, through participatory ethnobotanical surveys, selects new productive species, as a means for combating biodiversity and enhancing diversification.

The Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS)

The FAO-initiated SPFS, launched in 1994, aims at helping LIFDCs improve their national food security through rapid increases of agricultural production and productivity in an environmentally-sustainable and socially equitable way, particularly focusing on small farmers who are often among the poorest segments of the population. A linked programme tests new participatory approaches enabling farmers to make better decisions on crop, soil, water and pest management.

Objective 3.2: To combat environmental threats to food security, in particular,
drought and desertification, pests, erosion of biological diversity, and
degradation of land and aquatic-based natural resources, restore and
rehabilitate the natural resource base, including water and watersheds,
in depleted and overexploited areas to achieve greater production.

59. Many developing countries give special attention to the monitoring, protection, and sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Activities include promoting public awareness and better understanding of the issue of conservation and rehabilitation of natural resources; launching national plans of action for the environment or environmental sector programmes; establishing special funds; establishing an environmental authority to formulate and enforce laws; and land use mapping and/or agro-ecological zoning for environmentally based policies and action programmes. Some countries are also taking steps to redress policy induced mis-management of the natural resource base.

60. Within the overall framework of resource conservation and rehabilitation, many countries have established national policy and new legislations for conservation and sustainable use of water and soil resources. Some have reviewed their water laws (e.g. Ecuador) to stimulate private sector investment, or are implementing national water management plan as a (e.g. a water and flood management programme in Bangladesh). Many countries also emphasise watershed management programs and water pollution control. Thailand has launched a programme of mobile services for soil analysis and dissemination of soil and water conservation technologies.

61. Irrigation development is also actively promoted in many developing countries. For instance, Morocco has brought one million hectares of land under irrigation - a target which was set for the year 2000. Several other countries are developing and implementing irrigation plans, new irrigation policies with emphasis on transfer of water management to users’ committees, programmes for efficient on-farm water use and irrigation (e.g. Egypt), improving farmers’ skills in irrigation maintenance, national irrigation rehabilitation as well as programmes for the management of wet lands and swampy areas.

62. To combat desertification many affected countries have designed National Action Plans (e.g. Cape Verde, Chad) or are taking special measures such as developing green belts planted with trees. Several countries have also designed drought prevention and preparedness strategies.

63. Although threats to biological diversity are a matter of concern, only a few countries report on measures to combat the problem. Actions being taken in this area include plant genetic resource conservation in genebanks, and non-crop resource preservation through protection systems prohibiting grazing or cutting. Assessment of livestock breed genetic resources are also undertaken by several countries.

64. As regards fisheries, the general concern for resources protection and responsible fishing, enforcement of international and national legislation, and the need for enhanced fishing community participation is growing. Global measures to conserve world fish stocks, and particularly the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing, have received strong support by many countries. Laws are being enforced or revised to achieve sustainable exploitation of fishery resources. Legislation has also been put in place to monitor inappropriate ways to harvest fish such as the use of dangerous chemicals and explosives.

65. Several countries have national policies, strategies and programmes for combating deforestation and stimulating increases in forest coverage. Specific actions being taken include, adoption of new forestry codes including the transfer of natural resources’ management to local communities; tree nursery multiplication; substitution of firewood by other fuels such as gas and oil; ensuring the protection and sustainable use of wood for energy and logging with the involvement of private sector; improved control of forest fires with enhanced participation of people; as well as enhancing community awareness of the importance of forest resources.

66. A large number of countries have reported that they have signed and are implementing conventions on desertification, biodiversity, the ozone layer, and climate change.

67. Several developed countries also report on measures to combat environmental threats to food security. The areas which have received particular attention are: conservation of genetic resources in agriculture; combating acid rain; development of farm forestry; combating desertification; protecting and developing water resources; reducing green-house gas emissions; improving ocean protection and management; and protecting the resources of ground and surface water.

68. At the international level, developed countries are assisting developing countries in various areas including environmental protection; protection of water and soil resources; water management; action against desertification; promotion of environmentally-friendly livestock rearing methods; conservation of biological diversity; protection and rational management of forests, rural development frameworks (e.g Finland) and combating major forest fires and protecting rain forests.

69. Reporting international organisations, e.g. CGIAR, CIAT, FAO, ICRAF, UNDP and UNEP also support developing countries in activities for the protection and sustainable utilisation of natural resources. These include monitoring of natural resources, research and action programmes on soil and water conservation, fertiliser use, support in the implementation of the desertification convention, promotion of agroforestry, etc.

Objective 3.3: To promote sound policies and programmes on transfer and use of technologies, skills development and training appropriate to the food security
needs of developing countries and compatible with sustainable development,
particularly in rural and disadvantaged areas.

70. Almost all developing countries report on efforts to improve skills and to adopt new technologies with a view to enhancing sustainable productivity in their agricultural, fishery, and forestry sectors. To this end, many countries are upgrading their formal agricultural education systems and/or training and research centres. Several countries have also taken steps to integrate their training, extension and research systems.

71. Training is being provided at all levels (farmers, extension workers, researchers as well as agricultural managers) both for men and women. In most cases training programmes for farmers focus on dissemination of improved technologies and sustainable cultural practices. Such programmes are often provided, in collaboration with NGOs, through extension services, farmers’ field schools as well as by means of radio and television programmes. In some countries, training and transfer of technologies are broad based covering many commodities (India) while in some other countries they are focused on a limited number of commodities such as rice (e.g.Guinea). In Morocco, technology transfer is focused on cost-effective fertiliser use and effective irrigation systems in arid zones. Several countries are taking measures to increase the proportion of women as beneficiaries of training and skills’ upgrading and to reduce the workload of women.

72. A number of developed countries indicate that in the areas of research, their emphasis is to promote an environmentally sound and sustainable agri-food sector. In development co-operation, the policies and programmes of donor countries focus on the development of skills, and on transfer and use of technologies relevant to food security and to the protection and sustainable use of natural resources including biodiversity in the crop, fishery, forestry and livestock sectors.

73. Several international organisations (the CGIAR institutes, UNEP, WAEMU, UNIDO, WIPO) report action in their respective mandates to strengthen research, promote transfer of technology and skills improvement in developing countries.

Objective 3.4: To take decisive action in co-operation between the public and the private sectors to strengthen and broaden research and scientific co-operation in agriculture, fisheries and forestry, in supporting policy and international, regional, nationaland local action to increase productive potential and maintain the
natural resource base in agriculture, fisheries and forestry and in
support of efforts to eradicate poverty and promote food security.

74. In many developing countries, the need for judicious resource allocation in the context of liberalisation and structural adjustment has stimulated governments to initiate institutional and policy reforms for agricultural research. A number of countries (e.g. Bangladesh, Eritrea, Guatemala, Morocco, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia) are reforming their national plans and agricultural research institutes through changes in legislation and by promoting concrete programmes. Some countries are also encouraging collaboration between public and private research institutions.

75. Many developed countries indicate that they are restructuring their national research systems to improve organisational effectiveness and to achieve co-ordination with the private sector. These countries besides international scientific programmes also support national and regional research institutions in the developing countries, in several cases aiming at strengthened partnerships between private and public research.

76. A number of international research organisations collaborate and interact with national, regional research institutions, in search of more sustainable and food security oriented technological change. Among such institutions, the CGIAR and its member institutes work with national research institutions and NGOs to formulate policies and programs, conduct research, and ensure that research results move from laboratories to farmers’ fields; collect targeted rare species; and provide assistance to disaster-hit farmers through the provision of genetic resources to restore and rebuild their livelihoods. IFPRI conducts research on policies to reduce poverty, improve food security of the poor and protect natural resources. The CGIAR and FAO have also published the "Decision Guide on Regeneration" which provides genebank managers with tools to meet regeneration requirements.

Objective 3.5: To formulate and implement integrated rural development strategies,
in low and high potential areas, that promote rural employment, skill formation, infrastructure, institutions and services, in support of rural development and
household food security and that reinforce the local productive capacity of
farmers, fishers and foresters and others actively involved in the food sector,
including members of vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, women and
indigenous people, and their representative organisations,
and that ensure their effective participation.

77. In general, developing countries indicate that governments pay special attention to integrated rural development to revitalise rural areas by building rural infrastructure (including roads, communications, electricity and commercial networks), and to promote improvements in rural incomes and living conditions. In a number of countries, special emphasis is placed on administrative decentralisation and women’s participation.

Emphasising integrated rural development

Some specific examples of integrated rural development are the National Quisquey Plan and the Community Initiative Fund in the Dominican Republic, the Project Bolivar Phase II in Ecuador, the "Structuration of the Rural World" Policy in Haiti, together with reports of programmes/projects for rural development in, for example, Cuba, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru and Tunisia.

78. Efforts are also under way in several countries to enhance the empowerment of local government institutions. These include the creation of regional Agricultural Councils (Chambres d’Agriculture, Togo), and a decentralisation policy for transferring responsibilities to local communities and institutions in the field of health, education and natural resources management (Senegal). Bangladesh has set up committees to examine how local institutions can be made more effective and financially viable.

79. Marketing is recognised as a driving force for increasing agricultural production, and many countries actively support development of rural markets and operate market news systems for the benefit of their farming communities.

80. Rural credit is also considered crucial for agricultural development and many countries are diversifying credit mechanisms. In some countries, rural credit is provided directly by government organisations or programmes (e.g. Brazil, Eritrea, Malawi). To stimulate agricultural production, interest rates payable for agricultural activities in a number of countries are below commercial interest rates and below those of inflation. Some countries have made special arrangements for women to have access to credit (e.g. Indonesia, Nigeria).

Some mechanisms for rural credit delivery

Among countries having established new funds and credit mechanisms, (e.g. Bangladesh, Benin, Columbia, Zambia) Ecuador has created a National Rural Bank under the control of farmers’ organisations; in India, credit is disbursed through a multi-agency network consisting of commercial banks, regional banks and co-operatives; Pakistan has launched an agricultural loan package to help farmers and has established a finance institution along the lines of the Grameen Bank, to offer soft loans to farmers owning less than 12 acres of land. In Togo, since the dismantling of the National Agricultural Bank (CNCA), NGOs and associations have been developing micro-credit schemes.

81. Notwithstanding the importance of technical and educational infrastructures in rural areas and of training programmes in sustainable natural resources management, very few countries have reported specifically on such activities. However involvement of grassroots organisations in sustainable rural development programmes is expected to expand following increased support being given by governments in several countries. Some countries have also reported on steps being taken to develop South-South co-operation and to implement the outcomes of UNCED.

Ensuring local support for sustainable resource development

In Bangladesh, projects are being formulated to empower, inter alia, coastal grassroots fishing communities, and the Government is also organising Rural Development Boards. In Turkey, sustainable fisheries management is carried out on the basis of a continuous dialogue with the concerned organisations.

82. In developed countries, revitalisation of rural areas is supported by policies and means which include: loans for modernisation of farms (savings and loans associations in Croatia); universal access to public services; help to young farmers; encouraging agri-tourism; diversifying agriculture and rural development activities; encouraging small-scale operations in rural areas; sustainable development of the reindeer industry (Norway); reducing the tax burden , and stimulating innovative firms in the field of ecological agriculture; and developing special measures for mountain areas, such as payment of subsidies to farmers.

83. Developed countries provide assistance to developing countries through strengthening credit facilities for micro-enterprises and small producers; developing decentralised financial systems and reducing obstacles to private initiatives; promoting in rural areas agricultural and other income-generating activities; and implementing a comprehensive approach for low and high potential areas, with emphasis on agricultural intensification in marginal areas.

84. Several international organisations (CIAT, ICRAF, IFPRI, ISNAR, UNIDO, WFP, the World Bank) report on their support to developing countries in rural development, largely through assistance to implementing strategies and approaches for the revitalisation of rural areas and projects aimed at the development of social and physical infrastructure.

Commitment Four:

We will strive to ensure that food, agricultural trade and overall trade policies are conducive to fostering food security for all through a fair and market-oriented world trade system

Objective 4.1: To meet the challenges of and utilise the opportunities arising from the international trade framework established in recent global and regional trade negotiations.

85. Many countries emphasise the change in national policies towards trade liberalisation and private sector development. Great stress is placed, particularly but not exclusively by developing countries, on improvements in domestic infrastructure, storage, credit and marketing systems. Better market information is being developed by several countries to improve price transparency.

86. A number of countries report on policy changes to support a more outward looking approach including application of trade rules, abolition of non-tariff barriers and support to the private sector in export promotion.

87. Many countries indicate the importance they attach to improved sanitary and phytosanitary measures, notably in order to meet standards in external markets.

Regional trade initiatives

There has been a spate of activity on regional initiatives involving both new trade openings (Mercosur, the Andean Community, WAEMU, ECOWAS, Caricom, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, SADC). New steps have also been taken to harmonise trade policies with partners both current and planned, for instance in the European region in connection with the EU enlargement discussions.

88. Several international agencies report on the provision of assistance to improve agricultural productivity and infrastructure, to meet sanitary and phytosanitary standards and to improve policies. The WTO Singapore Ministerial meeting agreed that least developed and net food importing developing countries be accorded favourable differential treatment in the provision of agricultural credits for agricultural exports. The Meeting also endorsed a framework to increase the benefits for developing countries from trade related technical assistance from six international agencies (IMF, ITC, UNCTAD, the World Bank, WFP and WTO). The FAO Secretariats for the Codex Alimentarius and IPPC continued to prepare standards, guidelines and recommendations, designed to prevent unnecessary non-tariff barriers to agricultural and food trade, and which are specifically recognised in the Uruguary Round Agreements.

89. There were only a few reports on the provision of additional trade preferences by developed countries to the exports of developing countries. The EC reported on its draft negotiation directives with the ACP countries which are due to start in September 1998. There were reports on efforts to ensure the mutual supportiveness of trade and environmental policies although the WTO Committee on Trade and Environment continued to meet during this period. Finally, a few countries reported on efforts related to policies on fishery resources (e.g. Peru, Venezuela).

Objective 4.2: To meet essential food import needs in all countries, considering world price and supply fluctuations and taking especially into account
food consumption levels of vulnerable groups in developing countries.

Mitigating the effects of price rises

A number of developing countries reported on their liberalisation of food import policies but at the same time many of them also took steps to mitigate the effects of price rises. This took the form of assistance to consumers to increase their access to food at affordable prices; cutting tariffs, using them flexibly and in some cases eliminating taxes on certain food imports; encouragement to private storage facilities; using the WTO special safeguard clause on food imports and other WTO safeguard mechanisms; and in some cases developing regional arrangements to help guarantee supplies (e.g. Eritrea, Gambia, Syria, Togo’s Terminal du Sahel).

90. Several food exporting countries report adherence to the WTO commitments to reduce export subsidies and on policies of being reliable suppliers to the world market. Some food aid donors reported on their food aid policies. Discussions are underway on a new Food Aid Convention.

91. Several countries underline the importance they attached to the effective implementation of the Uruguay Round Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-Importing Developing Countries. The WTO reported that a list of countries eligible under the Decision has been adopted but that the list did not confer automatic benefits. Notifications were being made on action taken under the Decision and, at the Ministerial Meeting in Singapore, WTO members agreed to encourage relevant institutions to consider establishing/enhancing facilities for developing countries experiencing Uruguay Round related difficulties in financing normal commercial imports of food. The World Bank and IMF reported that they were in a position to meet requests with existing facilities.

92. FAO made a detailed analysis of the food situation in the LDCs and NFIDCs and how these countries have been affected by the sharp price increases during 1995/96 and by reductions in the level of concessional food availabilities in recent years. The study was presented to the WTO Committee on Agriculture and the Food Aid Committee. The food import bills of the NFIDCs and of the LDCs rose by US$ 200 million to reach US$ 7.2 billion in 1997/98 which, although lower than the high level of US$ 8.0 billion in 1995/96 is still much higher than US$ 5.9 billion in 1994/95. FAO has also continued its active monitoring of developments in world food prices and stocks through its regular publications such as "Food Outlook" and through its recently launched "Food Stocks and Prices Monitor".

Objective 4.3: To support the continuation of the reform process in conformity with the Uruguay Round Agreement, particularly Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture.

93. Many countries report on their preparations for the continuation of the reform process that is scheduled to be started in 1999. Several indicate that they have expanded their presence in Geneva in readiness for negotiations there. Others are in various stages of receiving international assistance in helping them to be better prepared for such negotiations.

94. A number of countries stress the role of increased regional collaboration in connection with follow-up to the Uruguay Round, some indicating that trade liberalisation in a regional setting offered a good transition to a further involvement in the global trading system. Some countries indicate that they would be working jointly with others on the reform process.

95. Several international organisations report on the help they are giving countries in preparations for negotiations under Article 20 of the Agreement on Agriculture. This includes the process of analysis and information exchange at the WTO as well as direct country assistance, workshops, training and studies. Membership of the WTO now stands at 132 countries and several other countries are preparing for entry into the Organization.

Commitment Five:

We will endeavour to prevent and be prepared for natural disasters and man-made emergencies and to meet transitory and emergency food requirements in ways that encourage recovery, rehabilitation, development and a capacity to satisfy future needs

Objective 5.1: To reduce demands for emergency food assistance through enhancing efforts to prevent and resolve man-made emergencies, particularly international, national and local conflicts.

96. Information on conflict prevention and resolution in the domestic, regional and international context has mainly been reported under Objective 1.1. The European Community Conflict Prevention Network was implemented in 1997. As part of their support to local and international peace related efforts, several developed countries also report on various aspects of anti-personnel land mines and mine clearing.

Some examples of support to mine clearing activities

Canada has announced a new $10 million Peace Building fund, and took the lead in pressing for an international effort to ban production, stockpiling, transfer and use of anti-personnel mines. Denmark has stepped up its engagement in mine clearing, and also established an international task force for humanitarian aid. France, Germany and Sweden also report on their activities in the area of mine clearing.

Objective 5.2 : To establish as quickly as possible prevention and preparedness strategies for LIFDCs and other countries and regions vulnerable to emergencies.

97. As noted in Objective 2.2, many countries have mechanisms to monitor and assess vulnerability to food disasters.families, as a basis for short and long-term targeted action programmes to tackle poverty and food insecurity A number of countries (e.g. Bangladesh, Ghana, Jamaica, Philippines) report that they have established preparedness programmes and related policies such as provision and maintenance of food security stocks, or are in the process of formulating Disaster Prevention and Management Programmes (e.g. Yemen,Zambia). Several developed countries support the efforts of developing countries both in developing information systems to assess vulnerability as well as in establishing preparedness strategies.

98. International organisations report on technical assistance to formulate national early warning and food information systems (FAO), and preparedness programmes (FAO; WFP). FAO’s EMPRES was effective in containing a Rinderpest outbreak in 1996-97 in Eastern Africa. ILRI addresses early warning and risk management aspects of pastoral production systems.

Responding to El Nino

Responses to the El Nino weather phenomenon include contingency plans formulated to reduce the impact of El Nino (e.g. Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua). An Inter-agency Task Force on El Nino is working on prevention, mitigation and preparedness of El Nino effects and, in this framework, the WMO has provided scientific input based on the latest research and forecast updates.

Objective 5.3: To improve, and if necessary, develop efficient and effective emergency response mechanisms at international, regional, national and local levels.

99. To ensure immediate response to emergencies in the event of their occurrence, many developing countries report that they have established institutions for, inter alia, management of emergency relief including, in some cases, committees at national and local levels often with the participation of NGOs to contribute to relief distribution and co-ordination. Other measures established for such a purpose include maintenance of food reserves and storage facilities in strategic locations; links with international bodies; enhancing community capacity through training on how to prevent and /or respond effectively to emergencies; as well as stand-by actions or preparedness plans.

100. The developed countries in general have mechanisms to meet emergencies and to support other countries in overcoming emergencies through both bilateral and multilateral assistance. Humanitarian aid is a major commitment for donor countries, among which the EU members and the Community form the largest contributor. Several donors have reported that they maintain emergency stocks of food and other supplies which can be dispatched within short notice to support other countries facing emergency situations. Support to triangular transactions varies from country to country (France provides 10 percent of its food aid through triangular transactions; Switzerland attaches priority to purchasing food supplies for food aid from developing countries).

101. A number of international organisations report that, through direct and indirect activities, they contribute to efficient emergency response mechanisms: FAO, through the Global Early Warning and Food Information System (GIEWS); FAO/WFP, through independent assessment of food needs; WFP through provision of emergency food supplies to countries facing man-made or natural emergencies. UNDP support for complex emergency situations increased significantly in 1997. WHO developed strategies for caring for the nutritionally vulnerable during emergencies.

Objective 5.4: To strengthen linkages between relief operations and development programmes, along with demining activities, where necessary,
so that they are mutually supportive and facilitate the transition
from relief to development.

102. Several developing countries are taking measures to ensure that emergency relief operations are linked to long-term development efforts. Angola for instance is taking steps to replace free distribution of food-aid with food-for-work projects, and has initiated demining activities with the support of NGOs. There is also a widespread emphasis on rehabilitation of farming activities through provision of improved seeds, tools and livestock in post emergency situations. Another post-emergency activity linked with development is resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons and ex-soldiers.

103. Many developed countries both bilaterally and multilaterally support rehabilitation programmes in post-emergency situations. One channel they use is the provision, through FAO, of agricultural inputs to rehabilitate farmers in post-emergency situations. WHO and WFP are elaborating guidelines for food assistance in support of recovery.

Commitment Six:

We will promote optimal allocation and use of public and private investment to foster human resources, sustainable food agriculture, fisheries and forestry systems, and rural development, in high and low potential areas

Objective 6.1: To create the policy framework and conditions so that optimal public and private investments are encouraged in equitable and sustainable development of the food systems, rural development and human resources on the scale needed to contribute to food security.

104. Developing countries are making efforts to promote both domestic and foreign investment with the aim of enhancing their overall economic growth and to improve food security at national and at household levels. A common measure being pursued in this direction is economic liberalisation and macro-economic reforms to create a favourable environment for the private sector. also report that they are undertaking a series ofComplementary measures reflect the needs of specific country situations (e.g. Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Peru, Syria, Togo, Tunisia have promulgated investment codes or prepared investment policy packages).

Towards promoting domestic and foreign investment

Examples of actions to promote domestic and foreign investment include Benin which has created an agency for the promotion of industrial development, established credit facilities to encourage investment in medium and small-scale enterprises as well as for food security programmes. Eritrea has elaborated a new land policy to encourage investment in food production. Ghana has reduced taxes on the incomes of banks lending to agriculture and reduced interest rates for agricultural loans. Mauritania subsidises rural credit to enhance productivity; Morocco is implementing projects to stimulate private initiative and investment in the food industry, and in order to attract foreign capital, has declared agriculture to be free from taxation until 2020. Mozambique has reduced duties on imports of agricultural inputs and equipment, and Tunisia has created an insurance system to protect against risks common in the agricultural sector.

105. Measures to improve human resources development include, inter alia (see also Commitment Two) creating funds for training, including farmer training, and for improving entrepreneurship.

106. There was little information received with regard to measures taken to strengthen regional co-operation for investment in areas of common interest. For instance, Eritrea reports that it participates actively in the IGAD and the DLCO - EA organization to forge complementary policies and approaches to regional problems.

107. As regards developed countries, domestic policies to foster human resources development are emphasised through providing education and professional training, facilitating employment creation, and promoting socially and environmentally compatible investments. Policies of donor countries in development co-operation generally focus on capacity-building and the promotion of private sector investment. For instance, co-operation programmes between French and West African Chambers of Commerce are part of initiatives for mobilising entrepreneur networks, strengthening a supportive environment for the private sector and for consolidating and diversifying the revival of investment in sub-Saharan Africa.

Objective 6.2: To endeavour to mobilise, and optimise the use of, technical and financial resources from all sources, including debt relief, in order to raise investment in activities related to sustainable agriculture, fisheries, forestry and food production in developing countries to the levels needed to contribute to food security.

108. To mobilise and optimise the use of technical and financial resources, the activities being conducted by developing countries include the creation of rural or special funds for rural development; commodity based development funds (e.g. Colombia); promotion of foreign private investment through joint ventures; fiscal and monetary incentives to encourage investment in areas that contribute to food security; and allocating a higher proportion of public expenditure in favour of agriculture. A number of countries are also establishing rural co-operative and self-help schemes similar model to the Grameen Bank - in order to mobilise savings and generate credit for productivity enhancing rural activities.

109. Many countries also report that they are negotiating to reduce their external debt as a way of making resources available from debt relief in order to enhance food security.

110. Donor countries throughout their reports underline the importance attached to measures in support of developing countries’ own efforts towards sustainable agricultural and rural development and food security. Many report on their ODA targets and orientations.

Some ODA targets and orientations

Since 1994, Denmark has tripled its development assistance to the agricultural sector in the developing countries, which today accounts for 20 percent of total Danish aid. Germany devoted some 40 percent of total assistance in 1996 for rural development and food security. Twenty percent of European Community Investment Partners measures were directed at the agriculture and agri-food sectors.

Some donor countries indicate the targets they have set for themselves for ODA. Denmark contributes more than one percent of its GNP for development assistance and intends to continue this policy through bi- and multilateral channels. Ireland has an ODA target of 0.45 percent of GNP by 2002. Switzerland plans to increase ODA from 0.34 percent to 0.40 percent of GNP. The Netherlands will continue to devote at least 0.80 percent of its GNP. Norway has raised its development assistance to 0.85 percent of GNP, and the goal of the Government is to reach one percent by the year 2000. The United Kingdom will start to reverse the decline in its development assistance and has reaffirmed its commitment to the agreed ODA target 0.7 percent of GNP.

111. Other actions being undertaken to mobilise resources in order to raise investment in developing countries include: debt relief measures, and support to the IMF/World Bank initiative concerning Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC); support to measures to reduce excessive military expenditures to allow reallocation of resources for social and economic development; financial and technical assistance for integrated agricultural projects and programmes for sustainable management of natural resources, as well as for the advancement of human resources in the food , agriculture and rural development sectors; and support to countries undergoing difficult transitional periods in the process of adopting a free market system. Mobilisation of domestic and rural savings through proper institutional mechanisms and decentralisation is supported by several donors; Canada actively supports the establishment and administration of consultative groups to promote best practices in micro-credit development designed to assist the poorest.

112. Co-ordination between donors is pursued, and the European Commission, for instance, took several initiatives for this purpose. Several donors indicate special support for particular groups of countries, for example the ACP or LDCs or lists of focus countries, most often concerning Africa.

113. Among international organisations, the IMF and World Bank as mentioned above have taken the joint HIPC initiative to reduce the debt of eligible countries through concerted actions by all creditors. Thus far, assistance is being provided to four countries under this initiative, amounting to around one-sixth of their external debt. In 1997, the IMF approved 21 new arrangements in support of macroeconomic and structural policies adopted by member countries, of which seven were under the ESAF. One purchase was made under the Compensatory and Contingency Financing Facility aimed at helping member countries experiencing temporary decreases in exports or increases in cereal imports.

114. The World Bank’s "Strategic Compact" increases funding and improves delivery in focused country programmes in all regions. Among the regional banks, IDB, in addition to lending, elaborated strategy documents related to the WFS recommendations. FAO’s Investment Centre activities in 1997 could result in the mobilisation of some US$ 2.5 billion for agricultural development; the Technical Co-operation Programme (TCP) provides catalytic resources; several agreements were entered into between FAO and international or regional financing institutions for the SPFS. "Investing in Food Security" was the theme of the 1997 Telefood and World Food Day. Other international organisations report direct or indirect roles in mobilising funds for investment in developing countries ( ILRI, UNESCO, UNIDO).

Commitment Seven:

We will implement, monitor, and follow-up this Plan of Action at all levels in co-operation with the international community

Objective 7.1: To adopt actions within each country's national framework to enhance food security and enable the implementation of the commitments of the World Food Summit Plan of Action.

115. Countries from all regions have undertaken to review their national strategies for domestic food security in the light of the PoA, including short, medium and long term policies. Research and analytical studies in support of this review are reported in some cases. Inter-ministerial co-ordination mechanisms are generally in place, many established after the WFS, and National Plans of Action are frequently developed, building for instance on the food and nutrition action plans developed after the ICN. A number of both developing and developed countries emphasise the participation of civil society partners, including private sector, producers’ organisations, and NGOs, in national food security action. , and Nnational debates on follow-up to the Summit have been held in several countries. Donor countries also reported on their international co-operation policies and orientations (Objective 7.2).

116. "Food for All Campaigns" and other initiatives for raising sensitisation and awareness of the general public, including World Food Day celebrations, have been undertaken in many developing and industrialised countries with the participation of civil society. Parliaments are associated within the national framework or at the international level, particularly through the IPU.

117. Telefood 1997, the first global television programme dedicated to mobilising public opinion, international solidarity and financial resources to combat hunger and malnutrition was viewed by 500 million people around the world. Over sixty Seventy countries participated in the operation.

118. Several countries also report on their follow-up to other relevant Summits, Conferences and Conventions. Actions to enhance food security have been reviewed under the appropriate Commitments.

Objective 7.2: To improve sub-regional, regional, and international co-operation and to mobilise, and optimise the use of, available resources to support national efforts for the earliest possible achievement of sustainable world food security.

119. Regional, and especially sub-regional co-operation receive particularly strong support in all regions, with many examples provided in the framework of established or new multi-country arrangements, with varying degrees of institutionalisation. Ministers and parliaments of the Nordic Council defined areas for the co-ordination of policies. Examples of South/South co-operation, for example in a sub-regional context or through FAO’s SPFS, were also provided.

120. Donor countries expressed their commitment to continue supporting, through bi- and multi-lateral channels, the efforts of developing countries towards poverty eradication and food security, indicating in several cases the financial aid targets they set for themselves, and their priorities and orientations for co-operation policy aimed at particular developing countries or groups of countries, often concerning Africa.. New orientations to link aspects of development assistance with the immigration issue were reported (e.g. the "Co-development policy", France; the MED-migration programme, EC).

121. The need to continue efforts for optimising the use of development and assistance resources, including through donor synergy and through reform of the United Nations, is underlined, and examples given at national and international level. Several countries report on the association of NGOs, producers organisations, private sector, and other civil society members, in technical assistance activity at donor country level and in recipient countries. Wide-ranging international networks of NGOs are helping to mobilise the NGO community, enhance its relevance in the debate, and to raise the profile of WFS follow-up on the agenda at all levels.

122. United Nations funds and agencies, international financial institutions and regional development banks, institutes of the CGIAR and other international organisations report on their assistance in designing and implementing national food security and SARD development strategies. FAO has provided assistance to 150 developing countries and countries in transition in preparing Strategy briefs for National Agriculture Development at Horizon 2010.

Working towards FIVIMS

Inter-agency work on defining the FIVIMS was launched by FAO in early 1997 (see document CFS:98/4) with the strong participation of United Nations agencies and other governmental and non-governmental partners. Several countries have indicated their willingness to develop FIVIMS at national level and/or contribute to its general development with their experience.

123. In April 1997, the Administrative Co-ordination Committee of the United Nations (ACC) endorsed the proposal by FAO and IFAD to establish the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security. The Network replaces the former ACC Subcommittee on Rural Development and constitutes the mechanism for inter-agency follow-up to the Summit. At the country-level, the Network consists of thematic groups for rural development and food security established within the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator System. Thematic groups, already created or under formation in 75 countries, typically include the participation of national institutions, bilateral donors and representatives of civil society in addition to United Nations agencies. At the headquarters level, the Network includes 20 interested United Nations organisations which participate in and support the country-level groups. The Network is being jointly co-ordinated and backstopped by FAO and IFAD in close co-operation with WFP. The Network uses Internet and other new information technologies to promote information exchange and foster interactive networking among countries and regions, and between Network members at all levels.

Objective 7.3: To monitor actively the implementation of the
World Food Summit Plan of Action.

124. Most countries report on national mechanisms in place for monitoring the implementation of the PoA. At regional level, in 1998, all FAO Regional Conferences are devoting a high-level discussion to WFS follow-up.

125. The CFS at its Twenty-third Session established provisional arrangements for the reporting on implementation of the PoA in 1997 (see paras. 1-3 in the Introduction) and . FAO accordingly solicited reports from the three streams - reports from national governments, on United Nations agency follow-up and co-ordination, and from relevant international organisations. Reports from 68 countries and the European Commission and from 32 United Nations and other international organisations had been received as of 31 March 1998. The CFS will examine standard reporting formats and arrangements for future monitoring of the implementation of the PoA at its Twenty-fourth Session.

126. The United Nations General Assembly (Resolution 51/171) and ECOSOC at its substantive session in 1997 addressed WFS follow-up in the context of Council Resolution 1996/36.

Objective 7.4 To clarify the content of the right to adequate food and the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, as stated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and other relevant international and regional instruments, and to give particular attention to implementation and full
and progressive realisation of this right as a means of achieving
food security for all.

127. In 1997, the FAO Conference and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted resolutions in support of the clarification and implementation of this Objective. the right to adequate foodA Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Director-General of FAO and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR).

128. The Office of the UNHCHR hosted a consultation on the human right to adequate food, which concluded that the human right to adequate food is firmly established in international law, but its operational content and means of implementation are generally little understood, so that it remains scarcely implemented. Recommendations for further action to clarify and implement this right were formulated. The UNHCHR will pursue implementation of the mandate given to her.

129. Some countries report on their support to the UNHCHR and to relevant NGOs for promoting the right to food and exploring adequate instruments for enhancing its implementation. Clarification of the right to food is also undertaken in the national context in a few cases. Support was expressed for continued international examination of this right, including at CFS, and for widespread adhesion to and ratification of the Covenant.

130. Several countries report on constitutional and other provisions in support of the Right to Food, and on the contribution of their action for food security to the fulfilment of this right.

131. UNDP signed a memorandum of understanding with the UNHCHR High Commissioner for integrating human rights and development, and prepares a programme for human rights’ strengthening.

Objective 7.5: To share responsibilities in achieving food security for all so that implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action takes place at the lowest possible level at which its purpose could be best achieved.

132. The application of the principle of subsidiarity in national level action and in international co-operation is illustrated in some reports with an emphasis on decentralisation. For example, Belgium and Sweden stressed the role of NGOs in all aspects of follow-up to the Summit. The mutual relevance of Commitments entered into at relevant summits, international conferences and conventions, is underlined by several countries.


133. The information received from reporting countries and institutions shows a universal commitment to implementing the WFS PoA, in all its dimensions. This demonstrates the full recognition of the multifaceted character of food security as expressed in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security. Mechanisms have been put in place, where they did not exist, to promote, co-ordinate and monitor follow up to the Summit.

134. On the other hand, several reasons prevented the Secretariat in this first review from drawing general substantive conclusions on progress in implementing the PoA.

135. Firstly, information provided in reports on policies and programmes for pursuing food security for all show the predominance of continuing actions already in place at the time of Summit. New actions undertaken or envisaged as a consequence of the WFS are documented as well; as a rule however, results of these new actions could not be observed nor analysed, as may be expected given that reports cover the year immediately following the Summit.

136. Secondly, it should be underlined that the broad, but haphazard, samples of country reports on which this document is based, would make it unjustified to draw general conclusions on the substance. In addition, and given the very extensive breadth of subjects addressed in the PoA, all countries have, in varying degrees, been selective in providing the information they considered of most relevance for their reporting. Accordingly, there was generally no possibility for the Secretariat to build a complete panorama of the situations encountered and the actions taken in relation to a particular issue.

137. There is one conclusion concerning the process which seems relevant for consideration by the CFS, and complementary to the analysis provided in document CFS 98/6. Future timing arrangements should facilitate the reception of as many reports as possible sufficiently early to enable an in-depth analysis. In this connection, it may be noted that more recent actions generally may not lend themselves to meaningful analysis in the absence of observable results. Moreover, a broad scope of reporting can be detrimental to a fruitful concentration of reporting and analysis on the most important issues; selecting a smaller number of commitments for each monitoring session would contribute to overcome this. In addition, reports could also be oriented towards providing precise analysis of selected situations, actions conducted over time to address them, results obtained and reasons for such results, as an alternative, or a complement, to an exhaustive enumeration of actions underway.



Antigua & Barbuda
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Czech Republic
Dominican Republic
European Commission
Guinea (Republic of)
India [ Commitments II and III.]
Slovak Republic
Sri Lanka
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom


31 MARCH 1998

1. Administrative Committee on Coordination, Network on Rural Development and Food Security

2. Arab Organization for Agricultural Development (AOAD)

3. Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CAB)

4. Club du Sahel - Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

5. Commonwealth Secretariat

6. Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR)

7. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

8. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

9. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

10. International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)

11. International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)

12. International Centre on Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)

13. International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

14. International Grains Council (IGC)

15. International Irrigation Management Institute (IIMI)

16. International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

17. International Monetary Fund (IMF)

18. International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI)

19. International Service for national Agricultural Research (ISNAR)

20. Latin American Organisation for Fisheries Development (OLDEPESCA)

21. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

22. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

23. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)

24. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

25. United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights (UNHCHR)

26. United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)

27. West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU)

28. World Bank

29. World Food Programme (WFP)

30. World Health Organisation (WHO)

31. World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)

32. World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)

33. World Trade Organisation (WTO)



ACP African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

AOAD Arab Organization for Agricultural Development

CAB Center for Agriculture and Biosciences International

CARICOM Caribbean Community Secretariat

CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research

CIAT International Centre on Tropical Agriculture

CSD Commission on Sustainable Development

DLCO-EA Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa

ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States

EC European Community

ESAF Extended Structural Adjustment Facility

EU European Union

FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation

FIVIMS Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Mapping System

HIPC Highly Indebted Poor Countries

IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency

ICDP International Conference on Population and Development

ICARDA International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas

ICRAF International Centre for Research in Agroforestry

IDB Inter-American Development Bank

IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development

IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute

IGAD Intergovernmental Authority on Development

IGC International Grains Council

IIMI International Irrigation Management Institute

ILRI International Livestock Research Institute

IMF International Monetary Fund

IPGRI International Plant Genetic Resources Institute

IPPC International Plant Protection Convention

IPU Inter-parliamentary Union

ISNAR International Service for national Agricultural Research

ITU International Trade Centre

LDC Least Developed Country

LIFDC Low-Income Food-Deficit Country

MERCOSUR Southern Common Market

NFIDC Net Food-Importing Developing Countries

ODA Official Development Assistance

OLDEPESCA Latin American Organisation for Fisheries Development

OECD Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

SARD Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development

SPFS Special Programme for Food Security

TCP Technical Co-operation Programme

UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNDP United Nations Development Programme

UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation

UNEP United Nations Environment Programme

UNHCHR United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights

UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organisation

WAEMU West African Economic and Monetary Union

WFP World Food Programme

WHO World Health Organisation

WIPO World Intellectual Property Organisation

WMO World Meteorological Organisation

WTO World Trade Organisation