CL 115/INF/7


Hundred-and-fifteenth Session

Rome, 23 - 28 November 1998




1. The Approved Methods of Work of the Council require that an information document be prepared for each Council session reporting on the implementation of the decisions taken at the preceding session (CL 60/REP, Appendix G, paragraph 7.8).

2. Listed hereunder are the decisions taken by the Hundred and Thirteenth and Hundred and Fourteenth Sessions of the Council and their implementation up to the date of going to press.

3. The text in the decision column includes the Agenda Item title underlined, the text of the Council decisions and a reference in brackets to the paragraph in the Council Report.



(ROME, 4-6 NOVEMBER 1997)




Report of the CCP Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal (CSSD) (Relayed to the Council at the Request of the CCP)


Have the CSSD monitor all the transactions set out in the new Register of Transactions
(para. 7)

The Consultative Sub-Committee on Surplus Disposal is monitoring all transactions set out in the new Register of Transactions. With regard to the location of the CSSD Secretariat, the FAO Secretariat is preparing a report on the subject for consideration at the next session of the CCP in January 1999.

Implement operative paragraphs of Resolution 1/113 on Consultative Obligations of Member Nations under FAO Principles of Surplus Disposal (para. 8)

The text of Council Resolution 1/113 and the annexed recommendations have been transmitted to Member Nations by means of Circular State Letter G/ESC-18 dated 19 June 1998.

Negotiation of a Legally-Binding Instrument on Prior Informed Consent (PIC)


Subject to an agreement on the additional financial requirements, authorize the participation of the FAO Secretariat in an Interim Secretariat and in a Secretariat to the Convention if so desired during the negotiations and adopted by the Diplomatic Conference, provided that such arrangements are satisfactory to the Director-General (para. 11)

Draft Resolution on Interim Arrangements developed by the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee at its Fifth Session (March 1998) was submitted to the Diplomatic Conference for adoption in September 1998. It appealed to states to make voluntary contributions to the Trust Fund established in order to support the operation during the interim period.


Article 19 of the Convention text defined that the Secretariat functions shall be performed jointly by the Executive Director of UNEP and the Director-General of FAO. The Draft Resolution on Interim Arrangements invited the Executive Director of UNEP and the Director-General of FAO to provide the services for the operation of the interim PIC procedure.

Agree to accept changes in the voluntary PIC procedure, if so decided by the Diplomatic Conference (para. 11)

As noted above, necessary changes in the voluntary PIC procedure were described in a Draft Resolution on Interim Arrangements that was submitted to the Diplomatic Conference for adoption in September 1998.

Desert Locust Situation: Measures Taken and Further Action Required


Have locust-affected countries, supported by donors, maintain a high level of vigilance in the Western (West and Northwest Africa), Eastern (South-West Asia), and the Central Region (the Red Sea countries), especially where active locust populations still remain (para. 12)

Locust-affected countries in the Western (West and Northwest Africa), Central (Red Sea countries) and Eastern Regions (South-West Asia) maintained a high level of vigilance between November 1997 to the present. Containment efforts were especially concentrated in the Central Region where locust winter breeding took place on a wide-scale basis, a situation endemic to the beginnings of an upsurge. As a result, few, if any, swarms escaped from the Central Region. Currently the focus is on the Indo-Pakistan border of the Eastern Region, but surveys have only shown limited locust populations present so far. The situation in the Western Region is calm for the moment.

Have the locust-affected countries continue the process of sustaining and strengthening their locust survey and control teams as the fundamental element of successful preventive locust control (para. 12)

Through EMPRES (Desert Locust), and especially its Central Region Programme, locust-affected countries have continued the process of strengthening their locust survey and control capacities.

Call on the international community and the locust-affected countries to continue to support the on-going Central Region Programme, and to urgently extend this support to the implementation phase of the Western Region (para. 13)

Donor and locust-affected country support for the EMPRES Central Region Programme is substantial, and the programme is now fully operational. A Workshop in Mauritania in March 1998 resulted in a redraft of a suitable Programme Document for the Western Region to promote donor interest and commitment.

Have the locust-affected countries re-evaluate existing regional locust control structures, in order to achieve an appropriate geographical coverage and to calculate in a realistic manner the financial resources that will be necessary to assist Member Nations to take common action (para. 14)

No progress has been made on re-evaluating regional structures, but discussions on the matter for the Western Region are being planned. For the Central Region, a framework for coordination between the FAO Commission for Controlling the Desert Locust in the Central Region, and the EMPRES (Desert Locust) Central Region Programme has been developed.

Give emphasis to further research on, and to implementing the use of, alternatives to chemical pesticides which would minimize the negative effects of locust control on the environment and have research, especially within EMPRES, cover strategy development as part of the effort to strengthen national capacities and increased sustainability of locust control efforts (para. 15)

EMPRES (Central Region) is coordinating efforts to research alternatives to chemical pesticides and is creating Core Research Teams on mycopesticides and barrier treatments, among others. An international staff member has been appointed with donor funding to focus on locust management strategy development.

Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis


Continue to promote the objectives and structure for the Programme Against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) in recognition of the considerable impact of trypanosomiasis on animal production and food security, and for its potential to contribute to the objectives of the World Food Summit Plan of Action (para. 16)

Two former Panels of Experts on this subject were abolished by Resolution 13/97, and replaced by the Panel of PAAT Advisory Group Coordinators. Experts to this Panel have already been appointed, and organization of the next annual meeting is underway. Formal inter-agency collaboration in the PAAT Secretariat has also been requested from OAU, IAEA and WHO.


Donor funding has facilitated the development of a PAAT International Information and GIS Service, and a five-point action plan for trypanosomiasis control focussing primarily on food production and sustainable farming has been agreed upon with donors.



Programme of Work and Budget 1998-99


Promote further efforts to seek consensus on the budget level (para. 32)

Action was taken to this effect, and the Programme of Work and Budget 1998-99, with a budget level of US$ 650 000 000, was approved on 14 November 1997.

Encourage all Members to meet their financial obligations to the Organization and to settle their contributions due in time, as well as arrears (para. 33)

The Organization routinely notifies Members in December each year of contributions due for the following year. Such notifications also include a reminder of arrears of contributions. In addition, the Director-General wrote personally in July 1998 to remind Members in arrears of the importance of paying their contributions, drawing attention to the Organization's programme of work in their respective countries, and to its commitment to execute the decisions of the World Food Summit.



Other Matters Arising Out of the Reports


Continue to recognize the importance of sound human resource development policies in the Organization, including aspects such as staff development and career management (para. 42)

Human Resources Development has been accorded considerable importance during the period. Following the recent major redeployment exercise, human resources planning has become an important responsibility of line managers and all Departments are planning for external recruitment, new staff placements and the internal development of existing staff.


Efforts are being made to accelerate the process of external recruitment and to reduce the vacancy rate. More staff are being rotated and placed in regional and sub-regional offices in an effort to diversify job opportunities and provide job growth.


Under the guidance of the Personnel Division, each Department has commenced the process of preparing a Staff Development Plan and has appointed a focal point to implement it. Work on distance learning strategy is underway, with assistance from the UN Staff College, to enable FAO to employ more efficient means of reaching staff who are in regional and sub-regional offices. The objective is to ensure a dynamic approach to staff development, within the limited resources available for this purpose. On-going training programmes in computer and language skills are also being complemented by other skill-training activities. Orientation programmes for national professional staff are continuing, and a video on project implementation for FAORs is under production.


The Personnel Division is preparing a Human Resources Development Plan to follow the implementation of the ORACLE HR system, which will include components on career management, training and performance appraisal. The approach to career development will emphasize lateral movement, rotation and job enrichment, as much as formal training. Better management of human resources through careful assessment of staff performance, coaching and counselling will also be included in this plan.



Exercise flexibility in the implementation of the proposed changes to the programme budget process, including formulation of a long-term Strategic Framework and consequently modified Medium-Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget (para. 44)

The Development of a Strategic Framework and a modified Programme Budget Process will be the object of intensive discussions, under the overall guidance of the Senior Management Meetings. The Programme and Finance Committees, as well as Council, will be kept informed of progress throughout 1998.



Financial Position of the Organization


Encourage contributors to make the maximum efforts possible to pay their 1997 contributions and thereby avoid the need for the Organization to resort to borrowing (para. 48)

In May 1998, Members were informed of the indicative Scale of Contributions for 1999 (subject to decision by the UN General Assembly) and in the same communication reminded of contributions due and payable, including the contributions for 1997 and 1998. The Director-General also wrote personally in July 1998 to remind Members in arrears of the importance of paying their contributions. In so doing, he drew attention to the Organization's programme of work in their respective countries, as well as to its commitment to execute the decisions of the World Food Summit.

Appointment of the External Auditor


Implement operative paragraph of Resolution 2/113 on the Appointment of the External Auditor (para. 51)

Action taken.

Harmonization of Support Costs for TCP and SPFS (Special Programme for Food Security)


Implement the terms regarding Direct Operating Costs and Technical Support Services agreed by the Council (para. 53)

The support cost charges for the Regular Programme-funded Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) and the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) have been reviewed and the methodology for charging Direct Operating Cost (DOC) and level of charges will be harmonized for both programmes as from 1999. The system for charging Technical Support Services is already compliant with para. 53 of the Council Report.



Amendments to the Agreement for the Establishment of a General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean


Implement the operative paragraphs of Resolution 3/113 on the Amendments to GFCM Agreement: Entry into Force (para. 67)

The amendments set out in Appendix G came into force on their approval by the Council. The amendments set out in Appendix H were circulated to GFCM members for acceptance on
12 February 1998.

Amendments to the Constitution of the European Commission for the Control of
Foot-and-Mouth Disease


Implement the approved amendments with the modification suggested by CCLM, as well as the amendments to the Financial Regulations of the Commission, as set out in Appendix J of the Report (para. 76)

The amendments to the Constitution came into force on the approval by the Council. They were communicated to Commission Members on
2 December 1996.

Invitations to Non-Member Nations to Attend FAO Sessions


In accordance with paragraphs B-1 and B-2
of the "Statement of Principles Relating to the Granting of Observer Status to Nations," invite
the Russian Federation to attend as an observer
the Thirty-first Session of the Intergovernmental Group on Jute, Kenaf and Allied Fibres
(Rome, 26-28 November 1997) (para. 77)

Action taken.



Date and Place of the Hundred and Fourteenth Session of the Council


Convene the Hundred and Fourteenth Session of the Council on 19 November 1997 at FAO Headquarters (para. 78)

Action taken. The Council met on the morning of 19 November 1997.


(ROME, 19 NOVEMBER 1997)


Calendar of FAO Governing Bodies and Other Main Sessions 1998-99


Convene the sessions as approved in the Provisional Calendar of FAO Governing Bodies and Other Main Sessions 1998-99, as reproduced in Appendix D of the Report
(para. 14)

Action is being taken.



Working Methods of Conference Sessions


Have the Joint Meeting of the Programme and Finance Committees under its standing item "Savings and Efficiencies in Governance" review the procedures and methods of work for Conference sessions, including voting and relevant General Rules of the Organization in order to ensure that those procedures are efficient and time effective whilst protecting the rights of individual members and present a report for consideration at the Hundred and Fifteenth Session of the Council through the Committee on Costitutional and Legal Matters (CCLM) (paras 16 and 17)

The reports of the Joint Meeting (CL 115/4 and CL 115/19) and of the CCLM (CL 115/5) giving the outcome of their reviews of Conference working methods will be examined by the Hundred and Fifteenth Session of the Council.

Date and Place of the Hundred and Fifteenth Session of the Council


Convene the Hundred and Fifteenth Session of the Council in Rome from 23 to 28 November 1998 (para. 18)

Invitations were sent on 23 September 1998.