Governing and Statutory Bodies Web site

Conference decisions on Statutory Bodies (1967-2009)


i)    That there is an identifiable problem of sufficient importance in the subject matter field.

ii)    That the problem or problems are of persistent character or of a recurring nature and one that requires continuing consultation between Governments or by Experts.

iii)    That there are insufficient existing machinery and facilities within or outside the Organization in the relevant area of work.

iv)    That it is reasonable to believe that useful results can be achieved by consultations between Governments or with Experts.

v)    That the Body proposed is so composed as to provide adequate opportunity to all those interested and those able to make an effective contribution to participate in the work of the Body; and that there are reasonable prospects of active participation by the Members of the Body.

vi)    That the matters to be considered require the attention of specialists in the given field.

vii)    That the results of the work of the Body will be of immediate or long-range benefit to a reasonable number of the interested Member Nations of the Organization.


a)    Maintenance or abolition of Statutory Bodies should be considered essentially in the light of their achievements.

b)    Requirements of regions, particularly those consisting of developing countries, should be taken into account when establishing and reviewing Statutory Bodies.

c)    Convening in most cases of ad hoc meetings or seeking assistance from consultants would be preferable to the establishment of Bodies of a permanent nature.

d)    Before new Bodies are proposed to the Conference and the Council for establishment, it should be ascertained if other Bodies covering the same or related fields could be abolished.


The Conference agreed that the following conditions should be taken into account in establishing new technical Bodies and in the establishment of new Subsidiary Bodies:

a)    Centrality to the FAO mandate and the Organization's current priorities as expressed by FAO Members and reflected in planning documents;

b)    Clarity of the definition of the task, which should normally be of limited duration;

c)    Positive impact of the Body's work at the level of FAO Members;

d)    FAO's comparative advantage, thereby avoiding overlap and creating synergy with the work of other Bodies;

e)    Proportion of the FAO Membership to which the work of the proposed Body is of importance with due regard to the economic capacity of less-advantaged Members, including least developed countries and small-island developing states;

f)    Willingness of their Members to contribute financially and through non-monetary inputs to the work of the Body, especially where the Body will serve a more limited number of countries, with due regard to the economic capacity of their less advantaged members and the availability of other financial support.


138. The Conference underlined that while the amendments to the Basic Texts were an essential pre-requisite for the governance reform of FAO, the reform was an ongoing process which would continue to be implemented in the course of the forthcoming years, with particular reference to the biennium 2010-2011, and would concern the functioning of all Governing Bodies and Statutory Bodies of the Organization. [Report of 36th Session - C 2009/REP]

IPA Action 2.69
Undertake a review with a view to making any necessary  changes to enable those statutory bodies which wish to do so to exercise financial and administrative authority and mobilise additional funding from their members, while remaining within the framework of FAO and maintaining a reportingrelationship with it.
Report of the Coc-IEE to the FAO Conference on the Immediate Plan of Action for FAO renewal