The United States, FAO and world food politics, U.S. relations with an international food organization : a staff report


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The United States, FAO and world food politics, U.S. relations with an international food organization : a staff report
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v, 75 p. : ; 24 cm.
United States -- Congress. -- Senate. -- Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
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Food supply   ( lcsh )
Agriculture and politics   ( lcsh )
Foreign relations -- United States   ( lcsh )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references.
General Note:
At head of title: 94th Congress, 2d session. Committee print.
Statement of Responsibility:
prepared for the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, United States Senate, June 1976.

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University of Florida
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Full Text
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94th Congress }
2d Session










JUNE 1976

low / I


Printed for the use of the Select Committee on Nutrition
aud iHuman Needs



: r. R-. I

GEORGE McGOVERN, South Dakota, Chairman

PHILIP A. HART, Michigan
EDWARD M. KENNEDY, Massachusetts


ALAN J. STONE, Staff Director
MARSHALL L. MATZ, General Counsel



I asked the minority staff of the Senate Select Committee on Nu-
trition and Human Needs to prepare this study of United States par-
ticipation in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations for two reasons.
First, as the world's largest agricultural producer, the United
States should play a more active role in combating worldwide hunger
and malnutrition. Second, the United States can make a significant
contribution through international organizations active in the food
The findings of the staff study will trouble those who are optimistic
about developing and executing a worldwide strategy to insure an
adequate diet for all as well as all who hope to see the United States
contribute efficiently and effectively to this endeavor through multi-
lateral channels.
-The United States does not have a clear view of FAO's primary
function or future directions, much less an overall strategy that
assigns a specific role to each of the 88 intergovernmental organiza-
tions which together with FAO seek to improve world food, agricul-
ture and nutrition.
-U.S. policy toward FAO and general food policy is mady by
more than a score of government agencies.
-U.S. policy positions, devised through an informal interagency
bargaining process, are negative and reactive rather than positive and
-No agency has final authority and responsibility for making and
implementing U.S. policy toward FAO.
The most disturbing finding of this study is that international anti-
hunger efforts are fragmented among 89 international intergovern-
mental organizations. Proliferation of organizations continues un-
checked and policymaking remains uncoordinated.
Government officials and private individuals alike have accepted
the view that it is better to have more rather than fewer organizations
because some are likely to be effective. This can be a costly approach
to international policymnaking.
Because no U.S. official knows how much the United States spends
on bilateral and multilateral food, agriculture and nutrition programs
and activities, I asked the staff to estimate the figure.
If direct aid expenditures are added to U.S. contributions to inter-
national organizations (including lending institutions such as the
World Bank group), and if administrative expenses associated with
both bilateral and multilateral activities are included, the United
States spends about $3 billion a year on international food and nutri-
tion activities.

These resources, spent in a haphazard and uncoordinated way would
appear to some to contribute more to the growth of an international
bureaucracy than to the elimination of world hunger.
The point is not that more or less should be invested in this field;
the point is that expenditures should be decided on the basis of a
rational scheme which assigns to each international organization and
to our bilateral programs specific yet mutually-complementary func-
tions in the world wide anti-hunger effort.
If some organizations duplicate the work of others or if some are
less effective than others, the United States should take the lead in
suggesting the elimination of some and the restructuring of others.
This will not happen until one agency in the executive branch is
assigned responsibility for all U.S. activities in this field.
Congress has not exercised sufficient oversight of U.S. participation
in international organizations generally and FAO in particular. Not
once in 30 years has any congressional committee taken more than a
passing look at FAO and U.S. policy toward it. One reason for this
lack of oversight is that several committees have a legitimate interest
in various aspects of U.S.-FAO relations.
I asked the staff of the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human
Needs to prepare this study as part of the committee's effort to devise
recommendations for a national nutrition policy. A select committee
is designed and equipped to examine issues which cut across the juris-
dictions of several standing committees.
If the United States wants to make the best use of FAO and thereby
make an effective contribution to international food policy, three
changes must occur.
First, management of U.S. participation in FAO and development
of U.S. policy toward FAO should be changed to reflect the organiza-
tion's evolving mission, the growth of its resources and the continua-
tion of the world food crisis.
The staff has made several suggestions about organizational change.
These suggestions should be considered by the Senate Government
Operations Committee, which is now examining U.S. participation
in all international organizations. The conclusions and recommenda-
tions derived from the Select Committee's project point to the prob-
lems that I, as ranking minority member of the Government Opera-
tions Committee, intend to ask that committee to pursue.
Second, a more creative and coherent U.S. policy toward FAO
should be developed and implemented. This policy should consist of
clear-cut goals, objectives and priorities, and should specify steps that
the United States intends to take in order to achieve its objectives.
It should be based on the premise that FAO's major role should be
to eliminate hunger and malnutrition in developing countries through
increased food production.
Third, and most important, U.S. policy toward FAO should be
made within the context, of a larger and more inclusive worldwide
antihunger strategy. U.S. policy toward FAO is now made in isola-
tion from policy toward other organizations. The effect of U.S. par-
ticipation in all organizations is therefore diminished.
I recommend this staff study to all who wish to make Government
more efficient and economical, and to those who wish to see the United
States pursue a vigorous policy in the war against hunger and
United States Senator, June 1976.


Preface ---------- ------------------ III
Introduction -1------------------------
Conclusions ----------------------------------------------------- 2
Recommendations -----------------------------------------------4
Part I. The FAO as an international organization:
1. The system of international organizations-------------------- 5
2. The food policy subsystem. -------- ----------------- 8
The World Food Conference and the food policy subsystem--- 9
Defining the food policy subsystem-------------------------- 11
3. An overview of FAO ------------------------------------------ 14
Introduction ---------------------------------------------- 14
Structure ------------------------------------------------ 14
Finances -------------------------------------------------17
Programs ------------------------------------------------ 19
FAG's evolving mission------------------------------------ 20
Problems in FAO's programing and staffing------------------ 25
Part II. U.S. participation in FAO:
1. U.S. policy toward FAO --------------------------------------- 29
Fragments of a U.S. policy-------------------------------- 30
"Issue-specific" policy ------------------------------------- 35
A formal statement of U.S. objectives and policy--------- 3
2. Ways in which the United States participates in FAO ----------- 41
Participation in FAO fora --------------------------------- 42
FODAG -------------------------------------------------44
Agricultural attaches -------------------------------4-------45
Contact with member governments------------------------- 45
Field level cooperation------------------------------------ 40
U.S. nationals and FAO ----------------------------------- 47
3. U.S. policymaking machinery----------------------------------- 49
Responsibility for making and implementing policy----------- 49
State and ITSDA: Shared responsibilities -------------------- 51
U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee------------------------ 2
How the FAO Interagency Committee functions-------------- 55
Ad hoc interagency bargaining: How policy is made-------- 60
Alternative methods for making and implementing policy--- f 3
A national food and nutrition policy------------------------ 64
Alternative mechannism for food policymaking?-------------- 67
Appendix: U.S. objectives in FAO ------------------------------------- 69

Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2013


This is a study of U.S. participation in the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one of the autonomous
specialized agencies of the U.N. system. The creation of FAO was rec-
ommended by the U.N. Conference on Food and Agriculture con-
vened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hot Springs, Va., in
1943. The agency was formally established in October 1945, when its
constitution was signed in Quebec, Canada. Thirty-six nations origi-
nally were members of FAO. Its membership now stands at 136
nations; the Soviet Union is not a member of the organization.
According to its constitution, the FAO has four purposes:
Raising levels of nutrition and standards of living of people
under the jurisdiction of the member governments;
Securing improvements in the efficiency of production and dis-
tribution of food and agriculture products;
Bettering the condition of rural populations; and
Contributing to an expanding world economy and striving to
assure freedom from hunger.
The purpose of this study is threefold: (1) To describe U.S. partic-
ipation in FAO; (2) to analyze U.S. policy regarding FAO; (3) to
examine how this policy is made and implemented.
The study is divided into two parts. Part I considers FAO in the
context of the system of international organizations and as a unit in
the food policy subsystem. Included in part I is a review of FAO's
structure, finances, and programs, as well as a consideration of prob-
lems in FAO's programing and staffing. Part II examines in detail
U.S. policy toward FAO, U.S. participation in the organization, and
the formulation and implementation of U.S. policy toward the
The study has been conducted over a 7-month period. It is based
on observations of the 17th and 18th sessions of the FAO Conference
and the 1974 World Food Conference, and interviews with members
of the FAO and World Food Council secretariats in Rome in Novem-
ber 1975. Members of the U.S. delegation to the 18th session, as well
as other officials of the State Department and the Department of Agri-
culture and observers outside of Government were interviewed. U.S.
General Accounting Office reports and materials collected by the Con-
gressional Research Service of the Library of Congress and the Office
of Technology Assessment were important sources of information.
The Office of International Organization Affairs, Foreign Agricul-
tural Service, Department of Agriculture-headed by Dr. Ralph W.
Phillips-and the Agriculture Directorate, Bureau of International
Organization Affairs, Department of State-headed by Paul J.
Byrnes-supplied materials as requested and were generally helpful
in all aspects of the study.

Senator Charles S. Percy, ranking minority member of the Select
Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, chaired 3 days of over-
sight hearings, one in December 1975, and two in March 1976. These
hearings focused on U.S. participation in FAO and in the 18th session
of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization held in
Rome in November 1975. The hearings provided much of the data
presented in this study.
Following are the conclusions and recommendations of the staff of
the Select Comittee on Nutrition and Human Needs concerning U.S.
participation in FAO.
1. The Food and Agriculture Organization is but one of 89 inter-
national governmental organizations identified by the staff which, in
varying degrees have an interest in or responsibility for food, agricul-
ture, or nutrition issues, policies, or programs. Proliferation and frag-
mentation of food programs may result in duplication and waste. At
the very least, proliferation of bureaucracies means diverting funds
from programs that directly benefit people.
2. To be effective, world and national policymakers must consider
how these organizations relate to one another in the effort to create
a global strategy to combat hunger and malnutrition through in-
creased food production. This is not being done at the present time.
3. A coherent, rational and explicit policy consisting of goals, objec-
tives, and priorities for FAO and for the United States as a member of
FAO does not exist. What does exist are fragments of policy, some
broad and vaguely stated, others more precise, and some generally
understood by those responsible for U.S. participation in the organi-
zation but rarely articulated by them.
4. In general, the United States has supported the organization and
its program of work, but only so long as it does not expand too rapidly
or become too expensive. There is a consensus on these points among
5. Aside from these generalized views, U.S. policy tends to be
"situation-or-issue-specific." These policies tend to be negative and
reactive rather than positive and creative.
6. U.S. representation in the FAO governing bodies and their
Committees, as well as in other FAO fora is dominated by the Depart-
ment of Agriculture. Representation in bodies other than the Con-
ference and Council seldom is higher than the Deputy Assistant Secre-
tary level and more usually comes from the ranks of career civil s-erv-
ants who are directors or deputy directors of line agencies in the
7. The makeup of the U.S.-FAO Mission in Rome must be reviewed
in light of: (1) The importance which the U.S. Government attaches
to the FAO and (2) the purposes or functions which it believes the
FAO can and should achieve. If the Mission is the primary link for
day-to-day relations with FAO, if the United States views FAO as
the leading international agency in the food field, and if its primary
mission is to help developing nations, then the size and makeup of the
U.S. Mission must be upgraded.
8. Americans participate in the FAO at many different levels and
in many different ways: As participants in the governing bodies and

their Committees and in other FAO fora; as members of the U.S.-
FAO Mission in Rome; as full-time employees of the organization in
Rome or in the field; as U.S. governmental and nongovernmental per-
sonnel working in field projects in developing nations in which the
FAO is at work on similar projects; as representatives of the United
States in the capitals of member countries; and as U.S. nationals serv-
ing as individuals on major FAO Committees and in the Secretariat.
No one in the U.S. Government monitors and coordinates all facets
of our participation and assures that all participants officially repre-
senting the United States are speaking with one voice on policy.
9. There is confusion about who has the authority and responsibility
to resolve interagency disputes and policy differences with respect
to U.S. participation in FAO. Responsibility for day-to-day manage-
ment and coordination of U.S. participation is shared by the State
Department and the Department of Agriculture. Policy is made by
means of an ad hoc bargaining process involving mid-level civil
servants from these agencies. Although it is difficult to determine who
has final authority and responsibility-short of the President-to make
decisions, most disputes are resolved in favor of the Department of
10. Neither the Agriculture Directorate in the Bureau of Inter-
national Organizations in the State Department nor the Office of
International Organization Affairs in the Department of Agriculture
is well-enough staffed or operates at a high-enough level to assure effec-
tive policymaking and participation. The United States is operating
with virtually the same number of personnel and the same procedures
as existed 20 or even 30 years ago.
11. The U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee is not a major factor
in developing, approving or implementing U.S. policy toward FAO
or in coordinating U.S. participation in the organization.
12. Nongovernmental advisers attach little significance to their
membership) on the U.S.-FAO Iiiterarency Committee. Participation
of nongovernmental organizations in U.S. policymaking is nonexistent.
13. The process of preparing for a conference or setting policy and
making decisions is more haphazard than the existence of the corn-
mittee and its working groups suggests. Policy positions are often not
determined in advance of conference and council sessions. Delegates
often spend as much time negotiating among themselves as in negotiat-
inf with other delegates.
14. Tlhe U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee is not a policym aking
or deeisionmakin body. It is no more than a focal point for the
process of ad hoc bargaining among interested agencies on an issue-
s)ecific basis The committee is not an effective mechanism for
developing a coherent policy or for resolving disputes with respect to
the FA_ O.
15. Pegardinf its policymaking function, the United States looks
upon FAO as if it hlias not clhanrMed since it was created in 1945. Its
policvmakinfa app),aratuis has not adapted to FAO's changing role. its
growth in size and financial resources, and its increasing importance
as a development oriented agency.


1. In the future, if the United States seeks to reduce the level of
FAO's regular budget, it should suggest eliminating specific programs
or subprograms from the program of work and budget rather than
suggesting across-the-board cuts.
2. The responsible Government officials should write and obtain
official approval of a statement of U.S. policy toward FAO to deter-
mine clear and precise objectives, goals, and priorities for the orga-
nization and for U.S. participation in the organization. (A paper
entitled "United States Objectives in FAO" was drafted and approved
by the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee and forwarded to the select
committee on May 17, 1976.) This policy statement should be part of
a larger strategy which the United States seeks to pursue in order to
fight global hunger and malnutrition through increased food produc-
tion and related policies. The U.S.-FAO policy statement should be
used to guide the preparation of specific policy papers, as well as to
guide those Americans who interact with the organization. Such a
policy statement should be reviewed and updated annually. Those per-
sons responsible for U.S. participation in FAO should report to Con-
gress on the success or failure of the United States in achieving its
3. U.S. citizens serving on the FAO Program or Finance Commit-
tees as private individuals should not be assigned responsibilities for
setting U.S. policy. They should serve only as resource persons to those
responsible for developing U.S. policy or position papers.
4. The Senate Government Operations Committee should examine
alternative. ways of providing additional incentives to employees and
employers in and out of Government to attract qualified Americans
for service in international organizations in general and FAO in
5. The Department of Agriculture and the Department of State
should review their efforts to recruit and place qualified Americans in
FAO positions. A new and intensive recruitment effort should be
launched with the objective of achieving the level of representation-
in FAO that has been set for the United States.
6. The agencies involved should immediately establish an associate
experts program which will allow young Americans to be employed
by FAO.
7. The administration should review U.S. policymaking toward
FAO. This review should seek clarification of responsibility for mak-
ing and implementing policy, reorganization of the U.S.-FAO Inter-
agency Committee and redefinition of the Committee's "terms of ref-
erence." The review should consider allocation of funds to assure that
U.S. participation in the organization is not constrained by staffing
and operating standards developed in the past. This review should be
conducted in the context of FAO's changing role in the food policy
subsystem and of the importance which the U.S. Government attaches
to the organization as part of the subsystem.
8. Relevant congressional committees should give consideration to
proposals for establishing within the executive branch a focal point
for making and implementing national food and nutrition policy that
includes a significant international food policy and a strategy for com-
bating world hunger.




The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
(FAO) is only one unit of an increasingly complex system of inter-
national organization. It is a part of the United Nations system,
but it is also a part of a larger system of international organizations
of which the United Nations is one component. The FAO, moreover, is
only one unit in what can be referred to as the food policy subsystem,
a subsystem made up of international organizations, both govern-
mental or nongovernmental, that have an interest in or responsibility
for international or multilateral activity relating to food, agricul-
ture-including forestry and fisheries-and nutrition.


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To promote cooperation among nations, contribute to the mainte-
nance of peace, and encourage action on common problems, a number
of specialized agencies were created after World War II linking
sectoral national agencies and interests in new international organiza-


tions. The FAO as well as the United Nations Educational, Scien-
tific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Labor
Organization (ILO), and, to some extent, the World Health Orga-
nization (WHO), were established, according to Nathaniel M.
McKitterick, "primarily as 'collegiate' institutions, designed to bring
specialists together to exchange information and experience and to set
standards in their areas of special interest."1
Gradually, however, because of the demise of colonialism and the
resulting growth in the number of sovereign states, the increase in
U.N. membership, and the domination of the U.N. by less-developed
nations (LDC's), the United Nations system has become more con-
cerned with economic and social development in the LDC's than with
the prevention of war.
As a result of the growth of power of the LDC's and shift of con-
cern away from peacekeeping and to an almost exclusive concern-
90 percent of resources and manpower-with economic and social de-
velopment, a number of new agencies were created in the U.N. Secre-
tariat to represent the interests of developing nations and to provide
a springboard for the U.N.'s development activities. In 1968, Robert
Asher observed that:
The least development countries are not concerned about organizational neat-
ness but about immediate results. When existing machinery appears to be inade-
quate, their response tends to be a vote for new machinery in which they will
have greater control.2
Although there hlias been a proliferation of agencies concerned with
development both within and without the U.N. system, there have
also been other responses to the perceived needs of developing nations.
Again, according to Asher, "The desired objectives can sometimes be
achieved by modifying the terms of reference or work programs of
agencies in being."3 He also observed that "the bulk of the real work,
insofar as the international promotions of economic growth and social
change is concerned, continues to be done by the previously established
What McKitterick said in 1965 about the specialized agencies cre-
ated shortly after World War II is still true in 1976: "Today, the pro-
grams of the specialized agencies are an awkward combination of the
original 'collegiate' functions and the new 'development' functions."
Moreover, with the exception of the regional banks, the U.N.'s special-
ized agencies, together with the World Bank group and the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP), are the only important
'Nathaniel M. McKitterick, "U.S. Diplomacy in the Development Agencies of the United
Nations," planning phamplet No. 122, National Planning Association, Washington, D.C.,
July 19665, p. 13.
2Robert E. Asher, "International Agencies and Economic Development," International
Organization, vol. 22, No. 1 (winter 1968). p. 441.
3 Ibid.
SIbid. p. 438.
5 McKltterick, op. cit., p. 14.

operating as opposed to purely consultative multilateral aid organiza-
tions in which the United States participates.6 The specialized agen-
cies, including FAO, of course, were not created with this mission in
mind and therefore suffer from a lack of clear goals and objectives.
This effects their own efficiency and the efficiency of policymaking pro-
cedures in member countries.
FAO, then, is a specialized agency of the United Nations system
which was created at a time when development was only an incidental
concern in the world. FAO is a functional or "collegiate" institution
as well as an operating agency engaged in development activities. It
is part of a fragmented system of U.N. and specialized agencies, inter-
governmental and functional organizations, highly independent vol-
untary special purpose funds, regional commissions and activities and
world ad hoc conferences. Eleven year ago McKitterick noted some
consequences of this proliferation and what he said then holds true
The United Nations is very much a pluralistic agglomeration of organizations,
each with an independent origin and program, and each tending to compete for
the limited resources of personnel and funds available. As such, these branches of
the United Nations have constituted since their inception a kind of world com-
munity, attacking its social and economic problems across a broad front and in a
largely uncoordinated way.'
No wonder the U.N. system has been described as a "jungle" in which
order, coherence, and coordination of policy and programs are nearly
In spite of this general belief, the U.N. does not lack coordinating
bodies. The U.N. Charter assigns to the Economic and Social Coun-
cil (ECOSOC), under the authority of the General Assembly, the cen-
tral coordinating role of the entire U.N. system. In 1966, ECOSOC
established a Committee for Program and Coordination (CPC) to
support its coordination activities. Coordination responsibilities for
budgetary and administrative matters lie with the Advisory Commit-
tee on Administration ond Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). Coopera-
tive arrangements involving more than three or four agencies are de-
veloped and supervised by the Administrative Committee on Coordi-
nation (ACC), a standing committee of the executive heads of special-
ized agencies under the chairmanship of the Secreta-ry-General.
The ACC operates with a preparatory committee and a network of
subsidiary bodies including: the Consuiltative Committee on Adminis-
trative Questions; the Consultative Committee on Public Information:
the Inter-Organization Board for Information Systems and Related
Activities; numerous subcommittees; the Center for Economic and
Social Information Program Committee; and working groups or study
groups on space, youth and urban housing.
Also, functional groups consisting only of members of the ACC
directly interested in a particular problem area and chaired by the
6Tbid.. p. 3.
McKitterick, op. cit., pp. 25-26.

head of the agency most concerned have recently been formed. The
coordinating structure is as sprawling as the structure of international
organizations which it seeks to coordinate.
The U.N. structure-as well as the world system of international
organizations-has grown in an uncoordinated and almost random
fashion. Changes in the focus and direction of the United Nations
system have been accompanied by a proliferation in the number of
international organizations and a change in the character of older
organizations. Thle tendency has been to create new organizations in
response to new or unresolved problems with the hope of stimulating
existing organizations into creative action. This may be a useful phe-
nomenon; however, it may merely put more people to work without
the likelihood of substantial new benefits. At the very least, prolifera-
tion creates a need for coordination at the international level and
within the governments of individual nations.
FAO is a part of a food policy subsystem made up of all interna-
tional governmental and nongovernmental organizations with an in-
terest in or responsibility for one or more aspects of world agricul-
ture, food and nutrition policy. It is possible to compile a definitive
list of all intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations
which fit this description and to describe how, if at all, these organiza-
tions interact. In practice, however, it is difficult to determine which
of the literally hundreds of international organizations are actually
involved in making and implementing food policy. Theoretically, it
also is possible for these international organizations to be part of a
rational world strategy for eliminating hunger and malnutrition and
assuring adequate human nutrition through increased and improved
food production. But in reality, this is probably an impossible goal
because of the complexity of the problem, the dynamics of interna-
tional politics and the multiple and sometimes conflicting goals of
the organizations themselves.
The food policy subsystem did not emerge intact from an interna-
tional conference or the minds of international civil servants. It is the
result of initiatives by a number of international actors-individuals,
governments, organizations, and groups of organizations-as responses
to events during the last 30 years and as reactions to international
trends noted in the previous section.
Prior to the world food crisis that developed in 1972, FAO, along
with other specialized agencies, was cooperating with the World Bank
Group-International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(IBRD), International Development Association (IDA), and Inter-
national Finance Corporation (IFC)-in channeling funds into agri-
cultural development projects. FAO shared responsibility in food,
agriculture, and nutrition concerns with, among other international
organizations, the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N.
Children's Fund (UNICEF), the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the General Agreement on Tar-
iffs and Trade (GATT), the U.N. Conference on Trade and De-
velopment (UNCTAD), and the U.N. Industrial Development
Organization (UNIDO).

The World Food Conference resulted in major changes in the food
policy subsystem, particularly regarding the proliferation of organi-
zations and the resulting fragmentation of the subsystem. The World
Food Conference created two new institutions, two new commlnnLittees,
and one new voluntary special-purpose fund.
The Conference created the World Food Council to coordinate all
U.N. food activities. This was done in spite of the existing coordinating
jiechanisms within the U.N. system. The Conference also asked the
World Bank, FAO, and the U.N. development program (UNDP) to
establish a Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment
(CGFPI) to increase the flow of agricultural investments to develop-
ing countries. This mandate is similar to that of FAO's Investment
Center and Industry Cooperative Program. Finally, the Conference
proposed the creation of the International Fund for Agricultural De-
velopment (IFAD) with assets of $1 billion. IFAD was directed to
work closely with the FAO, the World Food Council, CGFPI, the
World Bank. and the regional development banks.
The Conference also called for the creation of a new Committee on
World Food Security within FAO. At the same time, however, it
recommended that major grain exporters and importers establish an
organization to accelerate the implementation of an international
system of national grain reserves. Although the Committee on World
Food Security was established by the 18th session of the FAO Con-
ference in November 1975, negotiations on grain reserves have been
proceeding but seem to be permanently stalled in the International
Wheat Council in London.
The Conference recommended that the Intergovernmental Com-
mittee of the U.N./FAO world food program be reconstituted as the
Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programs. This has been
In other resolutions, the Conference-
Called upon the Consultative Group on International Agri-
cultural Research (CGIAR) to implement its recommendations
concerning research;
Recognized the work of the FAO, UNIDO, the World Bank,
and private industry in increasing the availability of food produc-
tion components such as fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides;
Underscored the importance of FAO's international fertilizer
supply scheme;
Noted the fragmentation of responsibility within the U.N. sys-
tem in nutrition and asked ECOSOC to consider creating a co-
ordinating mechanism;: and
Endorsed the FAO's global early warning and isurveillance
The United States was largely responsible for thlie con-veiiling of the
World Food Conference, and tlhe U.S. delegation played a major role
in Conference deliberations and decisionmakini. Nevet rtlieless, admin-
istration personnel have been ambiguous aboiit the decisions and ac-
tions of the World Food Conference. In a detailed memio dated July 18,
1975, and entitled "Notes Regarding Followl)p of World Food Con-
ference," Dr. Ralph Phillips, Director of the Office of International

Organization Affairs in USDA, developed the thesis that most of the
actions of the World Food Conference were "extensions of or increases
in activities that were already planned by FAO, prior to the World
Both the defense of FAO and criticism of organizations established
by the World Food Conference was echoed in Assistant Secretary of
Agriculture Richard Bell's testimony before the Select Committee on
Nutrition and Human Needs on March 5, 1976. After complaining
mildly about the general proliferation of international organizations.
Bell said that: "Our view in the Agriculture Department is that we
want to concentrate our efforts primarily in the old line agencies in-
volving international food and agriculture, particularly the FAO, the
International Wheat Council, and the General Agreement on Tariffs
and Trade, when we get into matters relating to trade." 8
Samuel Lewis, the Assistant Secretary of State for International
Organization Affairs, expressed a different point of view. Mr. Lewis
Had FAO been ding the job that many countries thought it could do, I pre-
sume no World Food Conference would have been necessary.9
He went on to say:
(I)t seems to me it is important to remember that it wvas because many nations,
particularly developing nations, perceived the FAO to be more a traditional in-
striument for increasing agricultural production and exchanging technology and
technological information among the developed countries, that the World Food
Conference was required * *.
I don't think it is inaccurate to say each of the new agencies created,.in con-
cept at least, meets a need which was identified at the World Food Conference,
and is overwhelmingly seen as a real requirement in the total institutional ap-
proach to the world hunger situation.'0
In general, ITSDA is skeptical of the new organizational structures.
One USDA official told staff members in ra their strong language that
both the World Food Council and the CGFPI were unnecessary bodies
which could do nothing but talk because they lacked "delivery sys-
tems." The State Department, on the other hand, supported by repre-
sentatives of many nongovernmental organizations represented at the
Select Committee's hearings, believed that the creation of new agencies
was the result of FAO's failures and that the new structures are very
carefully targeted on specific functions not necessarily within FAO's
jurisdiction or competence.
It is too early to judge these new organizations. But in addition to
the possible benefits provided by them, there are also costs to be
Proliferation of organizations puts a burden on the financial and
human resources of both developed and developing nations. Govern-
ments must monitor these organizations and send representatives to
the numerous meetings, preparatory committees sessions, and confer-
ences sponsored by these organizations. Moreover, it is possible that
s Testimony of Hon. Richard E. Bell. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Tnternn-
tional Affairs and Commodity Programs. "U.S. Participation in the Food and Agriciulture
Organization of the United Nations." hearing of the Select Committee on Nutrition and
Human Needs, Washington. D.C.. Mar. 5. 1976. n. 91.
"'fTestimony of Hon. Ranmiel W. Lewis. Assistant Secretarv of State for International
flrgani7ation Affairs. "U.S. Participation in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations," ibid., p. 110.
10 Ibid.


the developing nations do not have sufficient trained personnel and
suitable capabilities to absorb efforts of both old and new organi-
zations. Developed and developing nations alike seem to be caught up
in a process of putting more and more resources into an expanding
bureaucracy and less and less into programs which actually benefit

The staff has compiled a list of international governmental organi-
zations which are part of the food policy subsystem, beginning with
organizations assigned responsibilities by the World Food Confer-
ence and including others which the 1974 edition of "U.S. Participa-
tion in the U.N." listed as having cooperative projects with FAO. To
these were added all organizations not already included which are
recognized by the Office of International Organization Affairs in
USDA. Also included were international governmental organizations
with "formal agreements" with FAO and representative organiza-
tions with "working relations" with FAO which were invited to the
18th session of the conference of the Food and Agriculture
The final list consists of 89 international governmental organiza-
tions which, in some greater or lesser way, have an interest in or
responsibility for food, agricultural and nutrition issues, policies or
programs. This list of organizations is a good approximation of the
food policy subsystem of the world system of international organiza-
tions of which FAO is only one element.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
U.N. agencies
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
United Nations Development Program.
United Nations Environmental Program.
United Nations Fund for Population Activities.
United Nations Children's Fund.
United Nations Industrial Organization.
UN/FAO World Food Program.
Protein Advisory Group.
World Food Council.
Regional Economic Commissions:
Economic Commission for Africa.
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
Economic Commission for Europe.
Economic Commission for Latin America.
U.V. specialized agencies
International Labor Organization.
United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
World Health Organization.
International Monetary Fund.
World Meteorological Organization.
International Civil Aviation Organization.
Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization.
Other U.N. agencies
International Atomic Energy Agency.
General Agreement on Tariff and Trade.



World Bank group
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
International Development Association.
International Finance Corporation.
Independent commodity councils
International Coffee Organization.
International Olive Oil Council.
International Sugar Council.
International Wheat Council.
International Cocoa Organization.
Regional and subregional banks
Inter-American Development Bank.
African Development Bank.
Asian Development Bank.
Autonomous commodity study groups
International Cotton Advisory Commitee.
International Wool Study Group.
International Rubber Study Group.
International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research.
Consultative Group on Food Production and Investment.
Caribbean Organization.
Inter-American Statistical Institute.
Organization of American States.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Pan American Health Organization.
South Pacific Commission.
Office of International Epizootics.
Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Science.
International Seed Testing Association.
Council of Europe.
Desert Locust Control Organization for Eastern Africa.
League of Arab States.
Organization of African Unity.
Organization of American States.
Afro-American Rural Reconstruction Council.
Arab Economic Unity Council.
Asian Productivity Organization.
Arab Center for the Study of Arid Zones and Dry Lands.
Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.
Arab Organization for Economic and Social Development.
Cocoa Producers' Alliance.
Common Organization of African, Malagasy and Mauritian States.
Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux.
Council for Mutual Economic Assistance.
Council for Technical Cooperation in South and Southeast Asia.
European Economic Community.
European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.
Inter-American Committee for Crop Protection.
Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission.
Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration.
International Commission for Agricultural and Food Industries.
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas.
International Commission for the Northeast Atlantic Fisheries.
International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean
International Commission for the Southeast Atlantic Fisheries.
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
International Institute of Refrigeration.
International North Pacific Fisheries Commission.
International Regional Organization against Plant and Animal Diseases.
International Secretariat for Volunteer Service.

International Tea Committee.
International Vine and Wine Office.
International Whaling Commission.
Italian Latin-American Institute.
North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission.
Permanent Commission of the South Pacific Conference.
Permanent Consultative Committee of the Maghreb.
Permanent Secretariat of the General Treaty on Central American Economic
South Pacific Commission.
Several points must be stressed. First, emphasis was placed on inter-
governmental organizations and on inclusiveness rather than exclusive-
ness. No attempt was made to compile an exhaustive list of interna-
tional nongovernmental organizations which are considered by policy-
makers to be part of the food policy subsystem. This latter category
would include international professional organizations; trade asso-
ciations; fraternal, social, service, religious and charitable organiza-
tions; and private foundations.
Second, the organizations have different functions, including-
General purpose intergovernmental organizations;
General purpose functional or sectoral organizations;
Narrowly focused, single-purpose agencies;
Consultative groups which meet irregularly for discussion of
issues and exchange of information; and
Operating or action-oriented agencies which actually execute
programs or projects.
Some of these organizations have large budgets and staffs; other
have relatively little of either. Some are effective; others are not.
Some devote the vast proportion of their resources-human and finan-
cial-to the food policy subsystem; others devote only a tiny propor-
tion to this area of activity.
Regardless of what characteristics apply to each organization, all
are involved in some way with food policy, and all may be expending
resources in this sector. Therefore, all the organizations must be con-
sidered to understand the world food effort and the U.S. role in this
Third, many, if not all, of these intergovernmental organizations
are also part of a development subsystem. As noted earlier, all the
specialized agencies of the United Nations are no longer merely "col-
legiate" agencies but are involved in development activities. Other
organizations may also be a part of both subsystems. While the goals
and objectives of the food policy and development subsystems may
be complementary and reinforcing, the fact that an organization is
part of both may diminish its effectiveness in each one. At the very
least it adds to the complexity of the international system with which
policymakers must contend. It means, among other things, that food
policies and development policies must be carefully integrated.
Fourth. there is a potential for duplication and overla) among all
these organizations, as well as a potential for programs that work at
cross-purposes. Policymakers should consider how these organizations
fit into a world strategy to combat hunger and malnutrition through
increased food production. This is not being done at the present time.
It is not an easy task, but it is an essential one.
S*The Library of Congress has determined that the United States contributes to 38
"major" international food organizations.


Finally, to devise an effective policy for FAO, the organization
must be viewed within the context of the food policy subsystem. FAO
is only one component of this subsystem.
A complex system of international organizations confronts officials
of the U.S. Government who must devise a policy toward FAO as well
as an overall world food policy.
FAO was established for three purposes: To raise levels of nutrition
and standards of living, to secure improvements in the efficiency of
production and distribution of all foods and agricultural products,
and to better the conditions of rural populations.
This is a broad mandate. Virtually everything FAO does could be
considered efforts to improve food production, processing, and dis-
Because of this broad and somewhat vague mandate, FAO has
evolved into a complex international organization whose structure
and functions have grown and changed incrementally over time in
response to changes in the international political, social, and economic
environment in which it operates. This largest of U.N. specialized
agencies is complex in its structure, in its finances, and in its pro-
grams. Each must be considered in order to understand fully the
nature of U.S. participation in the organization.
The FAO is an organization of 136 governments. These govern-
ments direct the work of the Secretariat which, through a staff of
about 6,000 at headquarters and in the field, executes the FAO pro-
gram. Although FAO predates the United Nations, it is a U.N.
specialized agency based on an agreement approved by the FAO Con-
ference and the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA). This agreement
provides for cooperation and consultation between the organizations
on matters of mutual interest and concern. In no legal way, however,
is FAO subordinate to or responsible to the UNGA or the Secretary
The Conference is FAO's governing body. It meets biennially and
is made up of a representative of each member country, each with one
vote. The Conference serves both as a legislature and as a forum for
discussion. Among the legislative matters to which the Conference at-
tends is the election of new members, the election periodically of a
Director General, the approval of amendments to the constitution or
rules of the organization, the approval of the Director General's "Pro-
gram of Work and Budget" for the coming biennium, and the review
of the various field programs carried out by FAO. In addition, the
Conference elects members of the 42-member FAO Council that serves
as the governing body between sessions of the Conference. Members
of the Council serve 3-year terms. The United States has been a mem-
ber of the Council since it was established in the late 1940's.
Although the FAO Council holds at least one full-scale session a
year as well as shorter sessions immediately before and after biennial

sessions of the Conference, and although the Council is important in
shaping the organization's activities and administrating FAO, much
of the Council's work is carried out by its standing committees. There
are eight such committees.
The Program Committee and the Finance Committee are made up of
seven and five individuals, respectively, who are nominated by their
governments and elected by the Council for 2-year terms. Once elected,
these individuals serve on the committees in their personal capacities
and do not represent governments. An American, Dr. Ralph Phillips,
Director of the Office of International Organization Affairs of the
U.S. Department of Agriculture, is currently serving his second 2-year
term as chairman of the Program Committee. This committee, as its
name implies, advises the Director General as well as the Council and
the Conference on "current and future programs of work and on long-
term program objectives.""11 Its views are often decisive in shaping the
Up to the present biennium, an American has also always served on
the Finance Committee. In last November's election, however, the
nominee of the United States received only enough votes to be named
first alternate. This action, plus the fact that representatives of only
two developed nations (the United States and the Netherlands) sit on
the seven-member Program Committee, is an indication of the grow-
ing influence of less-developed nations within FAO. The Finance
Committee oversees all aspects of the organization's finances.
Five Committees of the Council, the Committees on Agriculture,
Commodity Problems, Fisheries, Forestry, and World Food Security,
are open to any member country that wishes to participate. The United
States will participate in all five during the current biennium.
The Committee on Commodity Problems requires some elaboration.
This committee, according to Phillips, "considers commodity prob-
lems of an international character affecting production, trade, distri-
bution, and consumption of agricultural products." 12 It has created
a number of subgroups to deal with specific commodities such as rice,
oilseeds, oils and fats, bananas, various fibers and rubber. In addition
the Committee on Commodity Problems created a Consultative Sub-
committee on Surplus Disposal that is one of the very few aspects of
FAO activities to have been given any attention by scholars in the
United States."
Another Council Committee is the Committee on Constitutional
and Legal Matters made up of representatives of seven member coun-
tries. The United States has not sought membership on this committee
in recent years.
The Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programs reports to both
the FAO Council and the Economic and Social Council of the United
Nations (ECOSOC) and has half of its 30 members elected by each.
This committee is responsible for administering the joint U.N./FAO
11 Ralph IV. Phillips. "FAO: Itq OrmnnlzntHon. p.nd Wnrd ind lT7.. Partietnation" (\Vniqh-
Inetnn : U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, FAS-M-9:!-ievised
April 1969), p. 9.
1 Thid.
Is gee Robert L. Bard. "Food Aid and International Agricultural Trade: A Study in
Legal -ind Administrative Control" (Lexington. Mass. : Lexington Books. D. C. Health and
Co.. 1972).

world food program.14 This committee (formerly the Intergovern-
mental Conummittee of the World Food Program) was given a broad-
ened mandate by the 1974 World Food Conference. The U.S. member-
ship on this committee extends through 1976.
The Secretariat, headed by -the Director General, services the
governing bodies and is responsible for carrying out all aspects of
FAO's programs. It is made up of the following major divisions and
A gricilture Department
Land and Water Development Division: Water Resources Develop-
ment and Management Service; and Soil Resources Development and
Conservation Service.
Plant Production and Protection Division: Crop and Grassland
Production Service; Plant Protection Service; and Crop Ecology and
Genetic Resources Service.
Animal Production and Health Division: Animal Health Service;
Livestock Research and Education Service; and Meat and Milk
Development Service.
Agricultural Services Division: Marketing and Credit Service;
Agricultural Engineering Service; and Food and Agricultural Serv-
ice: and Food and Agricultural Industries Service.
Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Atomic Energy in Food and
Fisheries Department
Fishery Resources and Environment Division: Aquatic Resources
Survey and Evaluation Service; and Aquatic Resources Improvement
and Environment Service.
Fishery Industries Division: Fishery Industries Development
Service; and Fish Production and Marketing Service.
Forestry Department
Forest Resources Division: Forest Conservation and Wildlife
ranch; Forest Managemnent Branch; and Forest Institutions and
-Educat ion Branch.
Forest Industries Division: Pulp and Paper Branch; Mechanical
Wood Products Branch: and Forest Logging and Transport Branch.
Economic and Social Policy Departments
Policy Analysis Division: Policy Studies and Situation and Out-
look Service; Planning Assistance Service; Development Research
and Training Service; and Global Perspective Studies Service.
Commodities and Trade Division: Basic Foodstuffs Service; Sugar,
Beverages and Horticultural Crops Service; Commodity Policy and
U The FAO and the U.N. have jointly operated the world food program (WFP) since
1162.. The WFP concentrates on diree't feeding and food-for-work projects. The direct
feeding projects focus on the most vulnerable groups of the population, such as nursing
mothers and preschool children, who are supplied with food at health centers which they
are, then, encouraged to attend. The food-for-work projects distribute foodstuffs as family
rations in payment or part payment for services in approved development schemes.
The WFP is administered by an executive director and governed by the Committee on
Fond Aid Policies and Programs. The Secretariat Is located at FAO Headquarters in Rome,
but operates more or less autonomously of FAO. The U.S. has pledged $155 million in
commodities to the WFP for the coming biennium. In addition, the United States will
pay freight charges of about S30 million and another $3 million in administrative funds
for a total WPF pledge of $188 million. The total program for the biennium Is in the
range of $750 million.
The WFP and United States participation therein should be the subject of a separate
study. Although in ninmany ways linked to F.VO and itself a vital part of the food policy
subsystem, the WPF will not be focused on in this report.

General Analysis Service; Food Security and Information Service;
and Raw Materials Unit.
Statistics Division: Statistical Development Service; Statistical
Analysis Service; and Basic Data Unit.
Food Policy and Nutrition Division: Food and Nutrition Policy
Service; Nutrition Programs Service; and Food Standards and Food
Science Service.
Human Resources, Institutions and Agrarian Reform Division:
Agricultural Education and Extension Service; Land Tenure and
Production Structure Service; and Home Economics and Social Pro-
grams Service; and Development Organization and Institutions
Development Department
(Subject-matter units only): Evaluation Service; Research Devel-
opment Service FFH/Action for Development; Investment Center;
and Industry Cooperative Program.
Office of General Affairs
(Subject-matter units only): Library and Documentation Systems
Division; David Lubin Memorial Library; Systems and Project De-
velopment Branch.
According to figures supplied at the March 5 hearing by the Depart-
ment of Agriculture, the Secretariat consists of 1,149 professional
employees at the Rome headquarters, 2,212 professional employees in
developing countries and 113 employees in five regional offices--one
for Africa, Asia, and the Far East; one for Latin America, one for
the Near East and one for Europe-and the FAO Liaison Office for
North America in Washington and the FAO Liaison Office at United
Nations Headquarters in New York. A support staff of about 2,500
assists the professional employees.
Complicating the structure of FAO are other groups established
by the Conference or Council and serviced by the Secretariat, but
which exist outside the governing structure of the organization. In
general, these bodies provide an opportunity for intergovernmental
consultations. According to Dr. Phillips,
exampless of such bodies are the European Commission for Agriculture, the
European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease, the Inter-
national Poplar Commission, the International Rice Commission, the regional
fisheries councils (including the General Fisheries Council for the Mediter-
ranean; European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission; Indian Ocean Fish-
ery Commission; and Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council), and six regional forestry
commissions (African Forestry Commission, Asia-Pacific Forestry Commiss.ion,
European Forestry Commission, Latin American Forestry Commis-ion. Near
East Forestry Commission, and North American Forestry Commission).'5
Other committees, ad hoc consultations or working groups are es-
tablished from time to time to provide for the discussion of issues and
problems common to many nations.

Funds to support the work of the organization come from assess-
ments or contributions of member governments and other outside
15 Phillips, op. cit., p. 10.

sources, mainly the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) and trust
fund arrangements.
The "Regular Budget" of the FAO, which is approved by the bien-
nial sessions of the Conference, is financed by contributions from
member countries based on a scale of contributions approved by the
Conference and related to the economic situation of the member coun-
try. On this basis, the United States contributes annually an amount
equal to 25 percent of the "Regular Budget." For the 1976-77 bien-
nium this budget totals $167 million. The United States will contrib-
ute approximately $21 million in each of the next 2 years in support
of that budget.
But the "Regular Budget" represents only about 20 percent of the
financial resources available annually to FAO. Extra-budgetary or
"nonregular budget" funds totaled $246.5 million in comparison to a
regular budget of about $59 million in 1975. About $119.7 million of
the $246.5 million in extra-budgetary funds came from UNDP. The
remainder came from the following sources: Developing nations
which contributed a portion of funds spent on UNDP/FAO projects;
developed nations, such as Sweden and Denmark, which asked FAO
to administer a portion of their bilateral aid funds; governments par-
ticipating in the associate experts program; private individuals,
groups, or businesses which contributed through the Freedom from
Hunger and Industry Cooperative programs; foundations, interna-
tional and voluntary agencies and multidonor projects, including the
U.N. Fund for Population Activities, Sahelian Zone and Ethiopian
drought relief operations, and the International Fertilizer Supply
Scheme; the World Food program, which compensated FAO for serv-
ices rendered by FAO; and the World Bank and Regional Banks.
Agencies such as UNDP also made payments for overhead costs to
Activities financed by extra-budgetary funds are called the "Field
Program." which is operated mostly for the benefit of developing
nations. This is in contract to activities, staff and services, called the
"Regular Program," which includes the traditional activities of a col-
legiate organization for the benefit of all member countries.
There is, therefore, a distinction between the regular program fi-
nanced by assessments and benefiting all member countries and the
field program financed by a variety of extra-budgetary methods and
made up of field projects benefiting developing nations. Field pro-
grams are dominant in the organization. But the FAO Conference
merely "reviews" the field program while it "approves" the regular
It is difficult to put each FAO activity into one or the other pro-
grain-regular or field-on the basis of the source of funding and the
intended beneficiary. Confusion arises not only because headquarters
staff engaged in regular program activities are called upon to service
or assist field activities from time to time, but also because activities in
developing countries which benefit individual countries are sometimes
financed by the regular budget. No field program activity benefits all
member countries; some regular program activity does benefit single
Moreover, as pointed out by Joseph Marion Jones in his study of
U.N. specialized agencies, the term "Regular Program" means many


It is sometimes used to refer to the technical and administrative staff at head-
quarters and regional offices as apart from the staff engaged in field operations.
It is sometimes used to denote the "original" FAO activities . as distinguished
from the field services rendered to governments in cooperation with other U.N.
programs. It is sometimes used to mean FAO budget itself, apart from the funds
supplied by other members of the U.N. family of organizations. And it is some-
times used to mean FAO staff, activities, and services at headquarters and in
the field, paid out of the FAO budget as voted by the FAO Conference. The latter
is the only meaning of the Regular Program which, technically, is wholly
All of these common sense definitions are to some extent accurate.
The staff at headquarters and in the regional offices execute "Regular
Program" activities; the original or "collegiate" activities of the or-
ganization are maintained in the "Regular Program" and funded by
the "Regular Budget." And the "Regular Budget" appears to be
FAO's sole budget, because FAO's governing bodies do not consider
-or control the "non-regular budget" which finances field programs.


As of January 1975, FAO was assisting in the execution of approxi-
mately 1,700 field projects in 126 countries and territories with a total
aid allocation of $567.5 million. The UNDP-assisted projects ac-
counted for 76.8 percent of the total FAO field program in terms of
projects and 85.8 percent in terms of funds allocated.
The FAO review of field programs described the nature of these
projects in the following way:
Broadly speaking, field projects implemented by FAO may be distributed into
three categories: Surveys, feasibility studies and development schemes, and
institution-building and training projects. Projects designed to carry out soil
and water resource surveys with only incidental training or immediate develop-
ment follow-up implications are included under surveys. The second category
comprises projects intended essentially to identify, prepare, or appraise specific
development schemes, including pilot schemes and resource surveys linked to such
development schemes. Fisheries and forest resource surveys are best included
under "Feasibility Studies and Development Schemes" because the great major-
ity of such surveys are closely linked with the immediate identification and
preparation of development schemes to exploit these resources. The third cate-
gory includes all projects intended essentially to upgrade the research, training,
and analytical capabilities and facilities of the recipient country's institutions
through training national staff, organizing research, and strengthening the
planning and management capabilities of these institutions.7
The latter two eatoetories make up 52 and 46 percent respectively of
the total 1TNDP/FAO projects, while surveys account for only 2
According to Assistant Secretary Richard E. Bell. "The Develop-
ment DeP)artment (of the FAO Secretariat) maintains general super-
vision over the field programs. It maintains contact with UNDP and
other donor agencies ;and countries, and with recipient countries, and
provides overall coordination." lie went on to say that "coordination
and general servicing of field program activities" are the responsibil-
ity of operations services units within the Forestry, Fisheries and
Agriculture Departments. In addition he said: "A significant portion

16- .noseph Mnrion .Tnnpq. "The United Nntions at Work: Dpvplopin. LTnnd. Forest.,
Oceans . and People" (Oxford. England: Pergaimon Press. 19651. pp. 118-119. Emphasis
In original.
'7Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, "Review of Field Pro-
vrammes 1974-1975," C75/.4, August 1975, p. 5.



of the time of FAO's regular program is devoted to provision of tech-
nical support for the field program.18 This statement underscores the
blurred distinctions between regular and field programs which gives
rise to confusion in studying the organization.
Defining FAO's "regular program" is more difficult. In general,
however, all those activities which relate to the collection, analysis,
and dissemination of information about all phases of food, agricul-
ture, and nutrition, on the one hand, and all those which are related
to provision of international fora for intergovernmental delibera-
tion, consultation, and cooperation on matters of concern in these
areas, on the other, constitute the bulk of the "regular program." They
are funded by the "regular budget" and are approved in the program
of work and budget submitted biennially by the Director General to
the Conference.
FAO's massive publication program, including such items as coun-
try perspective studies that offer national agricultural policy options
as well as the detailed documentation which is prepared for the various
meetings, consultations, and working groups convened under its aus-
pices, comprise the essence of the organization's regular program.
Other, more development-oriented activities are funded, at least in
part, by the regular budget. For example, one activity, highlighted
in an FAO publication designed to inform the public about the organi-
zation and its activities, is that of helping to find funds for investment
in agriculture. Between 1964 and 1974, under a cooperative program
with the World Bank, the FAO's investment center-a part of the
regular program-prepared 140 projects in conjunction with 66 coun-
tries involving some $2 billion in financing. "In 1974, World Bank
approval of projects formulated by FAO in 18 countries led to $420
million in financing, up from $287 million the previous year." 19 The
investment center also cooperates with other international financing
institutions which invest in agriculture.

The history of FAO can be best understood in terms of a shift in
emphasis from the regular program to the field program or, alter-
natively, a shift of emphasis from collegiate activities to develop-
mental activities.
The original mandate of FAO was broad and vague. The organiza-
tion that emerged from the Hot Springs Conference of 1943 and the
Quebec Conference of 1945 was a compromise between those who
wanted a strong action-oriented agency to foster agricultural develop-
ment and those who wanted a more limited fact-gathering and advi-
sory agency. According to Gove Hambidge:
The organization that gradually took shape . was a compromise, more on
the advisory than the action side but with the way open, constitutionally, to
develop in whatever direction the member nations might find most useful."
Although technical assistance was clearly on the minds of the
founders of the organization and was authorized by the Constitution-
article I, paragraph 3(a) reads: "It shall also be the function of the
1B Bell, op. cit., p. 130.
1, "U.S. P'artielpRtlon In the United Nations." report by the President to the Congress
for the year 1974, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., H. Doe. No. 94-266, p. 293.
2 Oove TIambidge, "The Story of the FAO," (New York: D. Van Nostrand Co., Inc.,
1955), p. 53.


organization to furnish such technical assistance as governments may
request"-the role of the organization at the outset was severely circum-
scribed. One observer noted in 1947 that FAO's primary function "is
to collect, analyze, interpret, and disseminate information relating to
its various fields of interest." Second, FAO may "promote, and where
appropriate, recommend national and international action relating
to research and the spread of knowledge." 21 Gunnar Myrdal, writing
from the perspective of 1966, noted that in 1945-
(i)t was... possible for the nations to discuss agriculture without giving very
much thought to the needs of the poor peoples of the world. They were the respon-
sibility of the colonial powers, who for obvious reasons were not eager to account
for them before a world body; nor were the non-colonial powers eager to share
the burden. . FAO could be viewed in 1945 as an organization for gathering
statistics about crops, trade and related matters, and for technical consultation."-
Decolonialization created new pressures, however, and by 1966,
Myrdal noted that "all technical intergovernmental organizations in
the U.N. family have changed their character and become increas-
ingly operational agencies for aiding underdeveloped countries."23
For the first several years of its existence, FAO's activities "were
restricted to making technical studies, collecting statistics and dis-
seminating them via publications and correspondence, calling and at-
tending conferences, establishing technical commissions, and dispatch
of occasional field study missions." 24 This was done by a headquarters.
staff, largely technical in competence, operating on a budget of $5.
million a year contributed by member countries. This became known
as the "Regular Budget" that financed the "regular program."
FAO began providing technical assistance to developing coun-
tries early, using authority granted by its constitution. Technical
assistance missions to Thailand, Poland, and Venezuela were
financed by the "regular program" in 1947-48. Moreover, the
"field program" as we know it today-programs and projects for the
benefit of developing nations financed by extra-budgetary funds-
appears to have its origins in the same time period. Nine technical
assistance projects, to countries such as China and Ethiopia, were
financed by funds from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation
Administration (UNRRA). During its first 5 years, however, FAO's
fieldwork was limited because of the lack of funds, and the so-called
"regular program" was dominant.
The emphasis began to shift to field activities with the creation by
the United Nations of the expanded program of technical assistance
(EPTA). Established to provide assistance to the poorest and most
underdeveloped countries of the U.N. family, many of them
newly independent, EPTA made available to FAO new resources
which during the 1950's about equaled those in the regular program.
With these resources. FAO assigned experts to advise and assist the
governments of developing countries, organized seminars and train-
ing centers and provided fellowships for advanced study for persons
from less-developed nations. In addition, field projects were supported
21 H. Bplshaw, "The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations," Inter-
national Organization. vol. 1, No. 2 (.TJune 1947) pp. 296. 297.
"O unnar Myrdal. "FAO: The Imperative of Altruism." The Nation. vol. 203 (Deceni-
ber 19. 1966), p. 666. Note that this Is the definition of the regular program.
Jones, op. cit., p. 109.


by funds from UNICEF and from trust funds established by individ-
ual countries.
The shift was accelerated by the creation in 1958 of the United Na-
tions Special Fund. The Special Fund put additional resources at
FAO's disposal for direct assistance to member countries in the form
of much larger development-oriented projects than was possible under
EPTA. The Special Fund supported "the surveys, pilot projects, and
training facilities that are basic to a program of agricultural develop-
ment and to the laying of the base for sound investment for develop-
ment."25 After 1958 FAO continued to receive EPTA funds and
UNICEF funds and joint FAO/UNICEF projects underwent a rapid
During the 1960's. the "field program" continued to grow. In addi-
tion, the "r'e-ular budget" was substantially increased and other
activities, such as the joint U.N./FAO world food program, the free-
dom from hunger,/action for development program, and the joint
FAO/IB3RD cooperative program were launched. EPTA and the
Special Fmund were -norfied in 1965 to create the United Nations devel-
opment pro ,ram (UNDP) which today remains the largest single
source of funds supporting FAO's fieldwork.
In the words of Samuel W. Tewis, Assistant. Secretary of State for
International Organization Affairs, FAO has gradually emerged "as
a major executor of development assistance projects with responsibil-
ity for carrying out field projects funded by extra-budgetary re-
sources, primarily from the United Nations development program." 26
In 1959 FAO was responsible for 16 UNDP projects. This grew to 287
by 1967. In 1975 the total of UNDP projects was 1,305 27 Of this total,
550 were large scale with investments of over $150,000, and 755 were
small scale-under $150,000. Altogether, counting projects funded
from other extra-budgetary sources as well, FAO was involved in
approximately 1,700 field projects as of January 1975.
FAO's transformation into a development agency occurred between
1956 and 1967 when Dr. Binay Ranjan Sen of India served as Direc-
tor General. Toward the end of Dr. Sen's service, Joseph Marion
Jones, an obvious Sen admirer wrote:
The most important accomplishment of Dr. Sen's administration has been the
transformation of FAO from a technical advisory organization into a develop-
ment agency. When he took charge, the various technical and economic divisions
of FAO were operating semi-independently rendering advice and assistance to
governments as requested, without much attention to whether the government
had any kind of plan for the best use of their limited resources.28
By 1964, in Jones' view, all this had changed.
Robert A.J-er also sees a transition occurring during Dr. Sen's
The Food and Agriculture Organization, a club in which the less developed
countries have long felt more at home than in most of the pre-1960 intergovern-
mental agencies, has been serving them more relevantly and diligently since
launching its Mediterranean Development Project in 1958. It has been moving
2 Phillips. op cit., p. 12.
= Lewis. op. cit.. T. 118.
2The figure of 287 for 1967 comes from the Christian Science Monitor, October 4, 1967,
p. 4 quoting a report of outsirle experts. The figuiire for 1975 was supplied by Samuel W.
Lewis in his testimony. Figures provided by UNDP to the Library of Congress do not
correspond with these. UNDP reported that FAO was executing 784 UNDP-funded projects
In 1967 and 1,672 in 1974 (no figures were available for 1975).
28 Jones, op. cit., p. 136.


away from the provision of technical assistance on an uncoordinated, retail
basis and become deeply concerned with the strategy of agricultural develop-
A 1967 review of FAO's organizational structure noted that in a
matter of 11 years (from the beginning of Dr. Sen's tenure), programs
expanded by 450 percent, staff increased by 300 percent, and the num-
ber of field experts increased by 400 percent. The report traced these
increases to UNDP projects and to "the switch from the traditional
consultative functions of FAO to development programins designed
to stimulate action in the field." 30
Today, FAO is fundamentally a development agency. But as one
high-level FAO official pointed out in an interview with committee
staff, the organization is in transition. Its two main functions, hlie said,
are to provide agricultural information to developed and developing
countries and to help the development of developing countries. FAO,
he argued, has not adjusted its programs to this transition. Accord-
ing to the official, FAO needs to strergthen its efforts to secl: aid for
the most seriously affected nations (M.ISA's) and to do the necessary
resc.irch to create institutions in such fields ,s credit and marketing
to serve these nations better.
Focus on the Director General's program of work and budget-the
"regular program" aiid the "rei gular budget"-lead., to tle conclusion
that the organization is in transition and has not yet adjusted its pro-
gram to fit this transition. The "regular program," however, consumes
only 20 percent of FAO's financial resources.
Those who were most involved in the 18th session of the Conference
of Food and Agriculture Oroganization and the sessions of the Council
which took place before and after the November Conference, have
noted a shift in emphasis in the "regular program" which may be
related to this phenomenon. According to Curtis Farrar, Assistant, Ad-
ininistrator, Bureau for Technical Assistance, Agency for Interna-
tional Development, and an alternate representative to the 18th ses-
sion of the FAO Conference:
The principal shift in FAO's approach as represented by this Conference, and
which I think the United States successfully furthlered, through it., iarticillatiou
in the Conference, was an increasing focus on helping the developing countries
produce more food and helping them do it in a way that would benefit the
majorities of people in those countries.31
Don Paarlberg, Director of Agricultural Economics. Department of
Agriculture, and U.S. representative to the 18th be-ion of the Con-
ference, said at tlhe December hearing:
The historic mission of the FAO, as I have said before, ha: to lie to try to im-
prove the (onditioiis of f(Pod and agriculture in the wNorld. to imrlJorve the qiualily
of agricultural production, to .(,e that food supplies are di -trilimted more aljp)ro-
priately, and that nutritional conditions in tlho world are advalickd.
That has been the historic muiss.ion. That continues to be the missin. This mis-
sion was g-iveu some additional emphasis and some degree o(f selhctivity in the
World Food Conference over a year ago, particularly the rebuilding of reserve.,
the enhancement of the World Food Program, the development of surveillance
in a superior fashion with regard to emerging food problems in the world.
2a Asher, op. git.. p. 439.
30 Chritian ScioniP Monitor. Oct. 5. 19M7. p. 4.
B'Testimony of lion. Curtis Farrar, Assistant Administrator, Bureau or Technical
Assistaince. Agency for InternationiI I.\I',l .I iii I'. V : ..' T r!'..nt *f .Statr. "I,1pit ,n
thl Iqth Se.,i,,rn of the (',inference of tlie Food andI A_.riultu re Ir,_ '- n oti tn 41f the lniilfI
Nations," hearing of the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needls, Washington.
D.C.. Dec. 15. 1975, p. 19.


These were lifted out for additional emphasis and they have been built into
the program of work and budget that came before the Conference.'
Dr. Phillips elaborated on the point of shifting emphasis and change
of direction in the organization:
(O)ver the last decade or so, there has been a rather decided shift within the
program toward activities relating to what might be classified broadly as the
economic and social side.
In a world where the food problem as such-production and distribution-
is such a large problem, there has been a definitive move on the part of the gov-
erning bodies in the last 2 years to move back more toward the technical side,
to factors relating to production, and this is reflected to a considerable degree
in the new Program of Work and Budget.3
The following summary, which elaborates further on this point,
was provided for the record by USDA in response to Senator Charles
H. Percy's question concerning the success or failure of U.S. initia-
tives in helping to achieve key actions at the 18th Conference.
Over the last two decades there has been a trend in FAO toward building
up the economic and socially-oriented aspects of FAO's work, at the expense of
the technical work aimed at increased food production and improved storage,
processing, marketing and utilization of food and other agricultural products.
The United States and a number of other countries made a strong effort, in the
'Sixty-first Session of the Council in November 1973, to have this trend reversed.
'This was followed up in subsequent sessions of the Council and some of its
-committees. As a result, the Program increase approved for the Agriculture
.Department for 1976-77 (compared with 1974-75) was 46.3 percent while for
the Economic and Social Policy Department it was 18.9 percent.'
Assistant Secretary Lewis made the following comment at the
March 5 hearing about the intentions of Dr. Edouard Saouma, the
new Director General of FAO:
Dr. Saouma wants to get more emphasis on technical inputs to the production
process itelf, technical advice, project planning, and solid impact on the actual
food production problem, and less emphasis than perhaps his predecessor on
broad economic and social surveys, studies, analyses, which have their use, but
may have been overemphasized in the previous period.'
Dr. Saouma's proposals, scheduled to be made at an FAO Council
meeting in July 1976, represent an effort to direct a part of the "regu-
lar program" and "regular budget" into development activities. A
document released by the FAO summarized Dr. Saouma's proposals.
The main trends in the proposed new policies are-
Greater emphasis on investment in food and agricultural production;
Establishment of a technical cooperation program which will give FAO a new
immediacy and flexibility of action to respond to the urgent, short-term needs of
member nations and to mobilize larger investment;
Decentralization to the country level in order to forge closer and more fruitful
contacts with member nations for joint action on new policies regarding invest-
ment, technical cooperation, project identification, training, et cetera;
Greater use of existing national institutions and the active support of national
efforts toward self-reliance;
A shift in FAO program emphasis away from theoretical, long-term studies
toward more practical, short-term actions to obtain results at the country level;
Wider and more comprehensive training programs at the grassroots level for
the farmers, fishermen and forestry workers;
82 Testimony of Hon. Don Paarlberg. Director of Agricultural Economics, U.S. Depart-
ment (f Agriculture. "Rep)ort on the 18th Session." ibid.. p. 15.
3Testimnony of Dr. Ralph W. Phillips. Director. International Organization Affairs,
Fioreian Agriciltural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Report on the 18th Ses-
sion," ibid.. p. 16.
SM.aterlal prepared for the record by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, "Report on
the 18th Se'ion.' ihid.. pp. 37-3.8.
W Lewis. "U.S. Participation," op. cit. p. 111.


A redeployment of FAO's existing resources in order to adapt them better to
the urgent and concrete requirements of all countries involved.'
FAO continues to evolve. The question now is not whether FAO is
to become a development agency; that question was settled a long time
ago. The agency is deeply involved in the development process and
the vast majority of its resources go into this process. The question is
whether a portion of FAO's "regular budget" should be put into de-
velopment activities and whether the "regular program" should in-
creasingly emphasize technical aspects of agricultural production
rather than broader economic and social problems. It appears as if
the U.S. Government supports putting greater emphasis on develop-
ment and agricultural production.
The U.S. Government must now decide if it will support FAO's
effort to assume all UNDP's functions in agricultural development,
a move implied by the Director General's proposals. The alternative is
for FAO to remain the major executor of UNDP's agricultural

Several of the witnesses who appeared before the Select Committee
on March 4 criticized the FAO for not moving more quickly in devel-
opment activities or for pursuing the wrong type of development
activities. Herbert Waters traced the problem at least in part to the
fact that FAO, born as a technical agency, is staffed in large measure
by "very good agriculture technicians" but that these technicians may
be "without much social orientation in modern development terms." 31
Waters, along with Larry Minear of Church World Service/
Lutheran World Belief, and Martin McLaughlin, a senior fellow of
the Overseas Development Council, argued at the hearing for a shift
from providing agricultural technical assistance to developing coun-
tries to assisting the design and execution of development projects to
benefit the poor in rural areas. McLaughlin summed up this approach:
(FAO) must avoid over-emphasis on sector analysis and narrowly delineated
production projects and plunge into the dangerous but necessary effort to articu-
late people-oriented policies in the agricultural sector where nearly 80 percent
of the people in the food-deficit countries live. * The FAO should be con-
cerned about who benefits from projects, should broaden its concept of "projects"
to include policy and other related considerations, should discuss policy alterna-
tives country by country, and should lay greater emphasis on the World Food
Program. . 8
Criticism of FAO programing came from another witness at the
March 4 hearing, Dr. Doris Calloway, professor of nutrition at the
University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Calloway, who only recently
returned to her post at Berkeley after spending a 6-month sabbatical
as a consultant to FAO in Rome, echoed many other governmental

',"New Directions for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,"
mimeographed, no date, p. 2.
"Testimony of Herbert J. Waters, president, American Frerldom from Hunger Founda-
tion. "U.S. Participation In the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations."
hearing of the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs," Washington, D.C.,
March 4, 1976, p. 70.
U Testimony of Martin McLaughlin, senior fellow, Overseas Development Council, "U.S.
Participation," ibid., p. 50.


and nongovernmental sources questioned by the committee staff in?
criticizing FAO's work in the field of nutrition.
She argued that nutrition programing is weak because of the view
that malnutrition will be eliminated if more food is available as a
result, of increased food production and poor people have more money
as a result of rising GNP. She called this the "food-supply gap" ap-
proach and said it is manifested in FAO's present emphasis on food
production schemes and feeding schemes as the answer to malnutrition.
Because of the dominance of this approach and because of the ab-
sence of sufficient qualified staff in the nutrition field and the low
priority assigned nutrition within FAO, she said that the possibility of
implementing resolution V of the World Food Conference (which was
aimed at improving nutrition in developing countries) was practically
nil. She blamed the United States for pursuing policies which actually
resulted in FAO seeking food production for its own sake rather than
for the sake of improved nutrition.
Dr. Calloway proposed that reducing malnutrition become a major
priority for the FAO. Food production alone will not achieve this
objective, she said. What is needed is "a new approach in the form
of technical assistance on policy/progrqm design in which benefits wilT
accrue to those most in need." The FAO should "seek a mandate which
allows it not simply to respond to governments' demands but to express
a view about FAO's purposes (i.e., reducing malnutrition and raising
living standards) ; to have a view * of what is relevant and irrelev-
ant; and to refuse intervention measures which do not advance its pur-
poses or are trivial in these respects." This involves, at the very outset,
doing more in the way of "defining and diagnosing the malnutrition
problem and its evolving manifestations, both conceptually and prac-
tically in specific countries." 39
In order to understand U.S. policy toward FAO it is necessary to
note some problem areas which are frequently mentioned by informed'
observers. For example. FAO is said to lack clearcut objectives. A 1972
State Department working paper said that "it is fair to say that the
organization is still far from achieving a coherent role or philosophy,
from identifying clear-cut priorities both for field and regular pro-
grams and from integrating the two." 40 J. Kenneth Fasick, Director
International Division, General Accounting Office, said at the March 5
An examination of FAO's current medium-term plan shows that its objectives
continue to lie stated in very broad terms. The plan seems to be a shopping list
of everything FAO is involved with. It lacks a meaningful statement of priorities
and it fails to define specifically how FAO's work can usefully promote improved
production, storage, processing, distribution, and use of food and other agri-
cultural, fishery, and forestry products."'
Fasick a1-o noted that FAO needs a more effective system for review-
ing and evaluating its programs and activities to learn if it is achiev-
ing its objectives.
Some observers believe that the FAO is ineffective in meeting its
objectives not only because its program lacks focus and suffers from
what one informant called scatterationn," but because the organization.
39Testimony of Dr. Doris Calloway, "U.S. Participation," ibid., p. 13.
4"The Dettrniination of U.S. Objectives in the Food and Agriculture Organization,"
Xeroxed Jan. 8, 1973, p. 30.
41 J. Kenneth Fasick, Director. International Division, U.S. General Accounting Office,
"U.S. Participation," op. cit., p. 80.


is top-heavy with bureaucrats at its headquarters in Rome. Dr. Saouma
himself has been critical of the bureaucracy in comments which have
received wide coverage. He noted at a recent FAO Regional Confer-
ence in Lima, Peru, that 80 percent of FAO's regular budget was
"destined to pay for a gigantic centralized bureaucracy in Rome, 11
percent to put out publications that no one reads and the remaining 9
percent to holding meetings and for travel expenses that are largely
unnecessary." 42 An official of the World Food Council was quoted by
the New York Times along similar lines in April 1975: "Like all bu-
reaucracies FAO has built a big staff and many officials are interested
more in tenure than in operations. They are defensive, surround them-
selves with safeguards." 43
Perhaps the most scathing criticism of FAO as a do-nothing, bloated
bureaucracy comes from Vincent H. Malmstromi, a professor of geogra-
phy at Vermont's Middlebury College. Writing in the college's alumni
magazine after having spent a 6-month sabbatical at FAO headquar-
ters, Malinstrom said, "There were many evidences that FAO was
grossly overstaffed. With no clocks to punch, no real boss to crack the
whip, and no fear of being fired, most employees of FAO had found
themselves an apparently 'ideal' situation-a well-paid job with little
or no work."44 -Not only do professionals and support staff alike appear
to lack for work, but they also doctor reports and statistical data to fit
preconceived conclusions and generally are poorly prepared for the
many conferences and meetings they are called upon to attend.45
Perhaps a partial explanation for Malmstrom's observations is
found in another criticism of the organization, namely, that it is sim-
ply too dependent on the governments of its member countries and,
more importantly, too subservient to the most significant bloc among
the membership, the developing countries. Excolonials who used to
dominate the FAO's professional staff are now giving way to what
Malmstrom called the "newly independents." Almost all appointments
beyond the most purely technical ones are made on political grounds.
This affects all of FAO's operations and even its reports. FAO, it is
said, dare not criticize its constituency, the developing nations, in its
publications and reports. Moreover, the staff can only do what the
member countries-or the majority thereof-want them to do and not
what they, the staff, may believe should be done.
The growth of the organization and the increasing dominance of the
developing nations has resulted, in the view of many, in a growing
politicization of the organization. Ideological disputes which have
dominated proceedings in the U.N. General Assembly and the Secu-
rity Council in recent years have been carried over into meetings of
the FAO Conference and Council. Moreover, a small group of devel-
oping nations, according to the "Official Report of the United States
Delegation to the Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference," has
The New York Tlme., Apr. 25, 1976, sec. 1, p. 7. Dr. Saouma later released an Englikh-
language version of a text based on the French notes from whieh he was speaking when
these remarks were made. The text reads: "In comparison (to WHO), If we look at FAO,
we find that about 80 percent of its budget goes to meet staff salary costs-primarily In
what is sometimes regarded as a gigantic centralized bureaucracy In Rome-11 percent
to produce publications which are often not read and the remaining 9 percent to the hold-
ing of meetings and travel expenses which havp at times I'epn .riticized as lnrgZcly un-
necessary." "Director-General's Lima Statement," duplicated, Apr. 23, 1976. p. 3.
3 The New York Times, Apr. 27, 1975, p. 20.
"Vincent H. Malmstrom. "Roman Holiday: An Inside Look at the U.N. Food and
Agreiiulture Orgranization," Middlebury College News Letter (spring 1975), p. 31.
Ibid., pp. 31, 32, 33.



"been pressing for FAO to play a fuller and more effective role in
bringing about 'a new international economic order,' as expressed
particularly in the resolution adopted in the sixth special session
of the general assembly. It may be anticipated that pressures for
change, in the general directions indicated by the general assembly
special sessions, will continue." 46
The FAO is a complex organization. It is a field program and a
regular program. It is a complex made up of governing bodies, com-
mittees of governing bodies, semi-autonomous committees, commis-
sions, working groups, and a massive Secretariat with 6,000 employ-
ees. Its programs and budget have grown and evolved in a haphazard
way, creating programs that sometimes lack a clear-cut focus and
seem unrelated to each other.
FAO is only one component of the food policy subsystem which is
striving to deal with all aspects of world food, agriculture, and nutri-
tion policy. This makes more difficult-and challenging-the role of
U.S. policymakers in the international food field.
4 "Official Report of the United States Delegation to the Eighteenth Session of the FAO
Conference," duplicated, no date. p. 52.


Ideally the United States should draft, approve, and execute a com-
prehensive food and nutrition policy. Such a policy would include
both foreign and domestic aspects relating to agricultural production,
processing, distribution and utilization.
One nart of this policy, derived from the overall goals and objec-
tives of the national food and nutrition policy, would be an interna-
tional food policy. This policy would touch on such questions as trade,
food aid. agricultural development and the relationship of food to
foreign policy objectives. A part of this international food policy
would be a world strategy for combating hunger and malnutrition
through increased food production and related processes. This strategy
would specify,, among other things, the role which each of the inter-
national organizations in the food policy subsystem should play in
achieving the objective. U.S. policy toward FAO could then be derived
from this international antihunger strategy.
"The point," as the executive vice president of Ralston Purina, Paul
Cornelsen, told the Select Committee in a statement prepared for the
March 4 hearing, "is that there is 1no such tiling as an FAO policy-
it is simply part or should be part-of a larger overall policy."
"U.S. objectives for FAO should be developed within the frame-
work of a global policy which encompasses all of our intended efforts
toward improving" food production and nutrition in the Third World,"
Cornelsen said. "This global policy should guide all U.S. agency
activities, whether bilateral, multilateral, or through U.N. agencies."
Policies and budgets for these agencies cannot be developed in isola-
tion from each other, he argued. "The programs and budc'ets we
apply toward the FAO must be evaluated as one part of a larger total.
The first requirement is the enunciation of an overall policy approach
and objectives encompassing all planned inputs to this huge task." 3
Martin McLaughlin. a fellow of the Overseas Development Council.
echoed the same theme and set the policy in an even broader context.
"(I)t does not seem reasonable to try to formulate a policy toward
FAO without treating that organization in the context of the overall
question of the U.S. posture toward the problem of world hunger and
underdevelopment which the FAO and other institutions have created
to remedy." 2
Unfortunately, the United States does not have an overall national
food and nutrition policy or anything beyond a general international
STpstimnny of Paul F. Cornelsen. "U.S. Participation in the Food and Agric.ulture
Organization of the United Nations," hearings of the Select Committee on Nutrition and
Human Needs, Washington, D.C., _Mar. 4, 1976. pp. S. 9.
Testimony of Martin McLaughlin. Pa.S. 1'articipation In the Food and Agriciilture
Organization," ibid., p. 52.


food policy. The main principle in this context is not to do anything
to disrupt established channels of trade or artificially to control the
operations of the free market. Moreover, the United States does not
have a coherent, rational strategy for eliminating world hunger. Such
U.S. policy toward FAO which does exist is made in isolation from
policy toward other international organizations and with scant ap-
parent reference to FAO's place in fighting world hunger and mal-
In short, a coherent, rational, and explicit policy consisting of goals,
objectives, and priorities for the FAO and the United States as a
member of FAO does not exist. What exists are fragments of policy,
some of which are broad and vaguely stated, some of which are very
explicit, and some of which are generally understood by those respon-
sible for U.S. participation in the organization but are rarely ex-
plicitly stated. All of these fragments need to be woven together into a
written and approved U.S. policy toward FAO that will guide all
aspects of U.S. participation in the organization.
The United States was largely responsible for FAO's creation
(President Roosevelt called the 1943 Hot Springs Conference which
began this process), provided much of the staff and funds that saw
it through its early years, and provided three of the first four Direc-
tors General (and at least a Deputy Director General at all other
President Truman's early directive to the Secretary of Agriculture
and the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee to insure "that our Gov-
ernment aids to the fullest extent the proper functioning of the FAO"
coupled with the congressional resolution authorizing U.S. participa-
tion in an organization which would "provide an adequate research,
informational, and statistical service for the industry of agriculture"
set the tone for U.S. policies toward FAO which still prevails today.
The United States has pursued a policy of support for the FAO
in spite of some specific disagreements with the organization, its gov-
erning bodies, and Secretariat, or about its program and budget. The
United States appears likely to remain supportive, not only because of
historical links with the organization but because it is perceived to be
consistent with a range of U.S. foreign and agricultural policy in-
terests to remain active.
One aspect of this support of the organization is the longstanding
role of the United States as the organization's major financial sup-
porter. Table I indicates how much the United States has contributed
each year since 1951 to the regular program. Table II estimates the
proportion of the U.S. contribution to the United Nations develop-
ment program (UNDP) which may have found its way to FAO in
support of the organization's field program. In the context of the
overall U.S. budget, these figures are not large. But in the context of
the FAO, U.S. contributions have meant the difference between a sol-
vent organization and a bankrupt one.



U.S. assessment
as percent of
Total FAO entire FAO
Year budget U.S. assessment budget

1951....--------------... ---.--.. -------........--.---------------- $5,025,000 $1,355,000 27.1
1952-....-_...-.-.-.. ---------------.---------- 5,225,000 1,567,500 30
1953---------.........---- --....- --------------------------- 5,250,000 1,554,000 30
1954 -------------------------------------------- 6,000,000 1,777,650 30
1955-- -- -------- -------- 6,000,000 1,767,000 30
1956--- -- ---------------- 6,600,000 2,034,900 31.5
1957..... ---------------------------_..---------------- 6,800,000 2,085,300 31.5
1958 --..-------. ------------------------------------ 8,500,000 2,705,645 32.51
1959 -..................... ........------... -------.- 8,500,000 2, 705,645 32.51
1960--- ---------------------------- 9,490,025 2,999,210 32.51
1961 --------------------------------------------- 9,490,025 2,999,210 32.51
1962 --.......----- .---------------------------------- 14,595,400 4,591,668 32.02
1963..-------------------------------------- ----- 14,595,400 4,591,668 32.02
1964. -------------------------------------------- 19,419,150 5,688,353 32.02
1965. ------------------------------------------ 19,419,150 5,688,353 32.02
1966..... ..---------------- --- -- 25,199,500 7,604,153 31.91
1967---------- 25,199,500 17,604,153 31.91
1968 --------------------------------------------29,930,500 8,749,722 31.91
19698....................................................... 29, 930, 500 s8, 749, 722 31.91
1969---------------------- 29,930,500 28,749,722 31.91
1970- 31,940, 000 10,083,458 31.57
19710.......-.........................................-...... 31,940, 000 10, 083, 458 31.57
1971-----------------------------31,940,000 10,083,458 31.57
1972 -------------------------------------------- 46,810,000 14, 754, 512 31.52
1973 -------------------------46,810,000 12,650,832 31.52
1974 --------------------------------------------53,350,000 13,547,500 25.00
19754....................................................... 53, 350, 000 13, 547, 500 25.00
1975----------------------------53,350,000 13,547,500 25.00

I U.S. received a prior year credit of $53,748, making a net contribution of $7,550,405.
2 U.S. received a credit from prior year surpluses of $413,540, making the net contribution $8,336,082.
3 U.S. received a credit of $2,103,680 from the tax equilization fund, making the net contribution of the United States


Percent of total
UNDP expenditures U.S. dollars in
U.S. contribution on FAO-executed support of FAO
Year to UNDP projects field programs
(1) (2) (1X2)

1967 ..-.------------------------------------- 70,000,000 26.5 18,550,000
1968...------------------------------------- 75,000,000 27.2 20,400,000
1969..-------------------------------------- 71,000,000 25.5 18,105,000
1970.--------------------------------------- 86,268,000 26.9 23,206,000
1971--...---------------------------- 86,300,000 26.2 22,611,000
1972..---- ------------------ 86,000,000 23.9 20,554,000
1973-.---- ---------------------------------- 90,000,000 23.0 20,700,000
1974---.........-------------------- 70,784,000 20.7 14,652,000

Coupled, however, with generous financial support of the regular
and field programs has been a general effort to restrain growth in the
FAO budget and to retard program expansion. For some while, the
U.S. contribution to the FAO was limited by law to no more than
$1,250,000 annually. Even after this limitation was lifted in favor of
a limit of 33 percent of the budgets of U.N. bodies and specialized
agencies and before the 1972 legislative action lowering that limit to
25 percent, the United States continued (as it does today) in general
to oppose budget increases and program expansions.
According to one scholar, Joseph Marion Jones, "The United States,
over the years, has generally sought both overtly and behind the
scenes, to restrain the expansion of the budget, no matter what in-


crease was proposed, and on several occasions it has openly and
strongly opposed the Director General's proposals." 3
The public record contains other evidence of how major U.S. gov-
ernmental agencies view FAO, its objectives, and its priorities. These
views, sometimes contradictory but mostly compatible, give some clues
about U.S. policy toward FAO.
One view was provided by Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz in
a speech to the plenary of the 18th session of the Conference of the
FAO in November 1975. Secretary Butz suggested that FAO give new
emphasis to developing strong national research institutions, improv-
ing extension services, increasing the number of trained midlevel
agricultural personnel, encouraging agricultural investment, and
balancing food production with population growth. He also suggested
that FAO hasten its own decentralization and make better use of
national institutions in member countries.4
This was a specific outline of priorities for FAO. And coming
from the individual designated by the President of the United States
as the one to take the lead on international agricultural policy and
FAO matters, one can assume that the Butz statement closely rep-
resents U.S. policy toward the FAO. There is little evidence, however,
that the Butz agenda affected the work of the delegation to the 18th
Conference or of those who shaped the policy positions which the
delegation took to Rome.
At the March 5 hearing, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Rich-
ard E. Bell said the following about U.S. policy toward FAO:
With respect to how the Department of Agriculture sees the objectives of
FAO, we believe the prime objective of FAO should be to provide technical
support to help developing countries increase their food production.
Second, we think that the FAO should help developing countries improve their
And third, we think a prime function of FAO is to gather and disseminate
infr,':nition on the world food situationn.
* [W]e look on (the FAO) as being the paramount world organization
with respel4t to matters related to food and agriculture.'
In his prepared statement, Bell phrased this a bit differently. He
said, "FAO is the chosen instrument of the United States for agri-
cultural cooperation and development on the broad international
front." 6
Bell said at a later point that USDA "believes that the FAO should
be primarily concerned with the technical aspects of world agricul-
ture, and particularly in increasing agricultural production in these
lesser developed countries." FAO, he said, should have a "central role"
in the effort to focus more international attention and resources on
"the technical aspects of raising food production capability in the
developing countries." He said hie felt that addressing the issue of
agricultural development within a broader development context was
"begging the issue" and detracted attention from getting on with the
job of "trying to help the developing countries increase food produc-
3 Joseph Marion Jones, "The United Nations at Work: Developing Land. Forests.
Oceans-and People" (Oxford, England: Pergamon Press. 1965), p. 145.
4For a summary of the Butz speech, see "A Report on the 18th Session of the Con-
ference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations," hearing of the
Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, Washington, D.C., Dec. 15, 1975,
p. 36.
P Testimonyv of lion. Richard E. Bell, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for International
Affairs and Commodity Programs, "U.S. Participation," op. cit., p. 89.
6 Ibid., p. 105.


tion." He noted that other agencies might not agree with the views
he had articulated about FAO.7
The view of Herbert Waters, President of the American Freedom
from Hunger Foundation. of U.S.-FAO relations is different from
the official position just cited. He said, "As far as I can see, the FAO
is regarded by the United States as just another United Nations spe-
cialized agency, one among many-treated no better and no worse, but
certainly given no priority and little attention at all at major policy
levels of our Government." 8
Samuel Lewis, Assistant Secretary of State for International Orga-
nization Affairs, expressed at the March hearings a different view of
FAO's objectives and priorities. While acknowledging that FAO must
continue to fulfill its traditional role of serving the agriculture of the
developed nations, he said:
We think the FAO has the capacity to make an even greater contribution to
improved agriculture and overall economic development, especially in some of
the key countries of the developing world.
In our view it needs to become more action oriented and attain a greater bal-
ance between long-term activities and programs producing impact within the
short range ...
We hope (that the Director-General's proposals) will include a serious intensi-
fication of FAO's work on food production, particularly in the developing coun-
tries, and that FAO will take a strong lead in reducing post-harvest crop losses
on a global basis.
PAO might focus on activities such as demonstration projects, training semi-
nars and other means of gathering and disseminating information. The Organiza-
tion should reject matters such as establishing food reserves in LDC's, or devel-
oping national planning capacities, an activity which most governments can and
should do themselves.
Lewis's remarks were oriented toward the future and what FAO
should become. The State Department is not completely satisfied with
FAO today.
Traditionally there has been conflict between USDA and the State
Department over which aspects of FAO's program to emphasize.
Writing in 1965, McKitterick said:
For some time, the choice facing FAO has been either to curtail "collegiate"
activities in favor of new work assigned by the Special Fund or to increase the
FAO budget so that both kinds of activities could go forward hand in hand.
While the State Department has favored curtailment of "collegiate" activities in
favor of "development" activities, the Agriculture Department has a natural
interest in most of the "collegiate" activities that might be curtailed. The De-
partment of Agriculture is officially represented at nearly 40 FAO technical con-
ferences each year. The "old boy" network among agricultural specialists around
the world is well established, and Agriculture argues, with some justification
that the maintenance of this network is important to U.S. policy-as important,
perhaps, as several development projects.1
McKitterick concluded that while there was areminent on the need
for economy in FAO operations, there wac disagreement between
USDA and the State Department on the "relative priorities to be
attached to FAO's various functions." He said this caused "confusion
7 Thid.. n. 10. 94. 97.
STepstnionv of Herhert J. Wntrrs. "U.S. Participation in the FAO." March 4. 1971. p. 67.
9 Te-tlmony of Hon. Simiipl W. Lewis. Assistant Soecretnry of State for Tnternntlonal
Orcr.nization Affairs. "V.S. Participation." np. rit.. pn. 121-122.
oNnthanlal M. McKitterick. "''.,. Diplomacy In thp Dorelopment of tho U'nitod
Nations." PInnping pamphlet No. 122. National Planning Association. Washlngton. D.C.,
July 1965. p. 34.


in the minds of both the FAO Secretariat and our European allies
about the real aims of U.S. policy." 11 These comments underscore the
need to draft clear and coherent policy which will establish a govern-
ment-wide approved and accepted view of FAO's objectives and
AID's view of FAO is relatively clear. At the March 5 hearing,
Daniel Parker, Administrator of the Agency for International
Development, said:
* AID views FAO primarily in the context of an overall strategy for
promoting agricultural and rural development in the developing world, and to
do so in a manner that benefits the poor majority in the less-developed countries.
Since this is the principal emphasis of our bilateral development assistance pro-
.grani. we .see FAO activities as a very high priority within the U.N. develop-
ment context. We also seek to cooperate with FAO in terms of specific develop-
ment problems, for example, improving nutrition or strengthening rural develop-
ment in developing countries.
;!* *
We see FAO * playing a key role in providing the feasibility studies and
technical assistance needed to implement the increasing levels of UNDP assist-
ance; and the high lending levels of the existing international financial institu-
We see FAO strategically placed as an international institution to help the
developing countries design agricultural and rural development strategies and
policies leading to increased food production and consumption and effective
rI 11l development.12
Given the compatibility in goals and objectives between AID and
FAO and the imnportan(ee of the field program and the extra-budget-
ary resources supporting it within the context of FAO's overall pro-
grainm, and given, finally, that these trends are likely to accelerate in
coming years, it is surprising that AID does not play a larger role
in deimning and executing U.S. policy toward the FAO. Suffice it
to say that AID does not have any personnel devoting full time to
relations with FAO or to policymaking activities with respect to the
oir'a n ization.
In addition to its support for the organization and its budget, the
United States does have a set of views about the organization's priori-
ties and our country's relationship to it. Because of differences in
formulation of these views by the concerned agencies, it is difficult to
determine if these views are compatible with one another and if a
consensus exists within the U.S. Government about FAO's objectives.
Another aspect of policy relates to how the United States might
better influence the organization. After recommending, in a closing sec-
tion of the "Official Report of the U.S. Delegation to the 18th Session
of the FAO Conference." that "the United States maintain and
strengthen its leadership in FAO affairs." the Delegation suggested
three ways to accomplish this objective: (1) "Draw more fully upon
its (the United States') competence in agriculture, fishery and fores-
try science and technology in making contributions to FAO activities,
particularly in the many FAO fora where such matters are discussed."
(2) "Devote more attention to the development of substantive policies
and programs in FAO." (3) "Express more strongly * our oppo-
sition to actions which are either contrary to U.S. interests and poli-
U Ibid.
12Testimony of Hon. Dan Parker. Administrator. Amencv for International Develop-
ment. "U.S. Participation in the FAO," Mar. 5. 1976. pp. 128, 129.


cies, or that may impair FAO's effectiveness as a strong substantive
If the United States should "draw more fully," "devote more atten-
tion," and take other actions, then the United States probably has not
been doing a sufficient amount in the past or has not articulated these
objectives previously in a way which could be easily understood by all
participants. At the very least, a standard by which to judge U.S. ac-
tivities now exists. Several questions remain which should be an-
swered. Will these objectives be adopted as official policy? Who will
implement them? How will these general statements be translated into
concrete actions?

U.S. policy toward FAO has tended to be, in the words of a witness
from the American Home Economics Association, "situation-or-issue
specific." 14 This means that the United States formulates a policy posi-
tion only when confronted by the need to act in response to a specific
event, be it an upcoming meeting of the governing bodies, a technical
consultation in a foreign capital or a remark by a high oft"icial of the
Secretariat. These situation-or-issue-specific policies tend to be nega-
tive and reactive rather than positive and creative. In part, this is
the result of the interagency bargaining process by which these posi-
tions are determined. Faced with deadlines and widely diverging
points of view based upon differences in constituencies, policymakers
formulate positions based on the lowest common denoininator of agree-
ment. U.S. positions become bland and unimaginative. Differences are
obscured and are likely to arise again in other contexts.
In advance of the 18th Session of the FAO Conference, mid-level
civil servants from several executive branch agencies put together a
number of issue-specific position papers in response to the documenta-
tion prepared by the FAO Secretariat for each of the items on the
Conference agenda. The paper on medium-term objectives reflected
the view that FAO should be more action oriented:
(T)he technical aspects of FAO's work relating to the production, storage.
processing, distribution and utilization of food and other agricultural, fishery
and forestry products constitute the lifeblood of FAO.
It also follows that FAO has permitted itself to become diverted to an undue
degree from its central technical role by concentrating an undue proportion of
its resources in policy planning and related activities. While in no way wishing
to intimate that FAO should abandon work in the economic planning, nutri-
tional planning, international agricultural adjustment, and country-perspective
study areas, these activities should be related in a more rational way to the
over-riding importance of food production, processing, storage, distribution and
utilization if the world's present and growing food needs are to be mniet. One
specific example of the need for better balance may be found in the nutri-
tion area: At an earlier stage the emphasis was on such technical aspects ;is
nutritive requirements, nutritive value of foods and surveys of food supplies.
Now the pendulum has swung toward nutritional policy planning. That pen-
dulum needs to swing back to an intermediate positions
During the interagency bargaining process before the Conference
AID opposed this position on the ground it was incompatible with the
"Official Report of the U.S. Delegation to the 1Sth Session of the Conference of the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations." duplicated, no date. p. 53.
14 Testimony of Dr. Gladys Vaughn. "U.S. Participation," Mar. 4. 1976. p. 32.
15 "Medium-term Objectives," position paper for Agenda Item 14, duplicated, Oct. 22,
1975, p. 4.



U.S. support of World Food Conference resolutions. AID is com-
mitted to nutrition planning in a significant way in its own bilateral
food and nutrition programs under the Foreign Assistance Act. Al-
though the paper was not changed, at the Rome Conference the spokes-
person for the United States on this agenda item did not attack nutri-
tion planning, but called for more balance in FAO's nutrition pro-
Differences were not resolved but only muted. This also occurred
in the context of the issue of research. At the outset, AID took sharp
exception to USDA's position-which was incorporated in the U.S.
position paper on research-in support of the program committee's-
chaired by USDA's Phillips-refusal to allow regular program funds
to be used in support of research activities. AID eventually supported
USDA's position for technical reasons, but differences remain about
FAO's future role in research and about its relationship to the con-
sultative group on international agricultural research (CGIAR). The
lack of consensus among agencies on this topic is reflected in this state-
ment from the Official Report of the U.S. Delegation to the 18th Con-
There is also need for the development of a governmentwide view of FAO's
role in research as a guide to our participation in discussion in various fora
where the issues may arise.1
On an issue of more immediate, short-term importance, the level of
the budget for the next biennium, U.S. policy was unclear. The United
States followed its traditional course of seeking to restrain program
expansion and budget growth throughout the preparation of the Di-
rector General's proposals for the 1976-77 biennium. The U.S. posi-
tion paper drafted in response to the program of work and budget
said the United States would support the proposed level of $167 mil-
lion. An alternative draft was circulated by the State Department,
but the two were never combined. In Rome the delegation was in-
structed to reduce the budget by $10 million or vote against it-the
source of the instruction is not clear. Negotiations to achieve this ob-
jective were belated and unsuccessful, and the United States ended up
reluct a ntlv support ing the proposed budget level.
Two points need to be underscored here. First, issue-specific policy
sometimes ends up being no policy at all. Second, issue-specific policy-
making, such as on the matter of FAO's regular budget for 1976-77,
means that policy is developed without reference to larger issues and
policies such as the overall strategy to combat world hunger and mal-
nutrition. An arbitrary goal of cutting FAO's budget by $10 million
indicates nothing more than a steadfast adherence to the traditional
U.S. position of seeking frugality above all else.
The staff recommends that in the future, should the United States
seek to reduce the level of the regular budget, the United States should
identify specific programs or subprograms to be eliminated from the
program of work rather than propose an across-the-board cut.
Fragments of U.S. policy toward FAO exist. But repeated attempts
over the last dozen years to draft and approve a set of goals, objectives,
16 "Official Report," op. cit., p. 54.


and priorities for FAO and for U.S. participation in thle organization
have failed.
In March 1966, the President of the United States directed the
Secretary of State to continue to direct and coordinate the activities
of the U.S. departments and agencies involved in international orga-
nization affairs and to instruct U.S. representatives to the organiiza-
tions. The President's memorandum said, in part, "I shall look to you
to direct this Government's work in reviewing and establishing our
long-term policy objectives in each major international organization."
Before the Johnson memorandum of 1966 was received, an exercise
had started aimed at developing a policy statement on FAO. Accord-
ing to the terms of reference of this exercise, headed by the Assistant
Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs-the chairman of
the FAO Interagency Committee-"When approved by the Secretary
of State, the policy statement on FAO will provide a guide for plan-
ning, programing, and budgeting with respect to that agency." Al-
though this seemed to be a valid objective, the United States lacked an
approved policy statement until May 1976.
A November 1969, GAO report described the repeated attempts to
develop such a paper. These drafts, the GAO noted, "have been some-
what deficient in that they did not set forth priorities wh ich the United
States accorded FAO programs." 17
GAO recommended that the Department of State together with the
USDA establishih long-range policy objectives and program priori-
ties relative to U.S. support of FAO." It recommended that this be
done "with dispatch."18
In hearings of the House Government Operations Committee in
1970, the Department of State submitted a paper which was prepared
by the Department of Agriculture-with the assistance of the Depart-
ment of State-"in response to the GAO recommendations." In sub-
mnitting the document the State Department noted that the documentt
"is still under review." 19 For a long while, however, it remained the
only definitive policy statement most Government officials could refer
The document, entitled "U.S. Objectives in FAO-A Restateiient
of U.S. Objectives in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations," made the following points.
1. "FAO has . evolved into a major force in international agri-
cultural affairs. Therefore, although the United States will wish to con-
tinue many bilateral activities and approaches, FAO must be the chosen
instrument of the United States for agricultural cooperation and devel-
opment on the broad international front." 20
2. "United States and FAO objectives, aimed at increasing stanjd-
ards of nutrition and living, improving efficiency of agricultural pro-
duction and distribution, 'bettering conditions of rural populations.
and contributing to an expanding world economy, are compatible." 21
17 "U.S. Financial Participation in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the Unitui.
Nations." U.S. General Accounting Office, Nov. 17, 1969, p. 14.
IS Ibid.. pp. 14, 16.
Statement submitted for the record, "Economy and Efficiency of U.S. Pirticflpatiton
in International Organizations," Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and Government
Information, House Committee on Government Operations. Washington. D.C., Sept. 1S.
1970. p. 100.
0 Ibid.
2 Ibid.


3. "In general, it may be said that FAO's efforts to achieve its pur-
poses are not only in accord with U.S. objectives but that they supple-
ment, support, and extend well beyond the efforts the United States
is able to make bilaterally in support of its objectives." 22
4. Because of the compatibility of objectives and because of FAO's
status as a major international agricultural organization, the United
States should attempt to avoid confrontation in FAO forums, promote
constructive approaches to program development, provide adequate
financing, and insure that competent U.S. nationals hold a reasonable
proportion of policymaking and operating positions in the organiza-
The bulk of the paper attempts to indicate ways in which the United
States benefits from membership in FAO or ways in which FAO's
work complements U.S. efforts. The United States tries to justify
its participation in terms of advantages or benefits to agricultural in-
terests at home.
For example, in discussing FAO work in agriculture, the paper
notes that its activities:
are contributing substantially to knowledge and to improving the efficiency of
production and distribution of agricultural products. Many of these, such as work
on ainiinal and plant pests and diseases, and on animal and plant genetic resources
are of direct benefit to the United States. . Others, while of less direct
lienefit, are of importance to the United States in that they contribute to overall
economic development in the world. They also contribute knowledge which can
be applied in agricultural improvement efforts in the United States.2'
Or. on the work which is done in economics and statistics:
FAO provides a forum not otherwise available for the discussion of agricul-
tural economic issues with other countries, and has a substantial capacity to
carry (out economic studies which contribute to greater understanding of these
issues. Thus, the United States has a very definite interest in and benefits from
tlip economic activities of FAO, and its own work and interests interlock closely
with those of FAO.Y
There is no effort to analyze critically the priorities and programs of
the FAO, but to compliment them all rather blandly. This is an
unrealistic view of the position of the United States toward the organi-
zation. The United States, as noted earlier, favors revision of FAO
priorities. The United States believes FAO should be more action
oriented and less concerned with world social and economic studies.
Another example will help to make the point; it relates to the view
of FAO's statistical and economic work noted above.
The 1974 edition of "U.S. Participation in the U.N." contains this
statement about FAO's work:
The production of international agricultural statistics continued to be one of
FAG's most valuable and dependable contributions to member governments.=
The implication is that the United States, too, benefited from such
data and studies.
But in a recent GAO study of USDA's agricultural attache system,
the Department took a different view. In explaining why the attaches,
who are part of the Foreign Agricultural Service of USDA in
22 Ibid., p. 102.
23 Ibid., p. 103.
24 IbTid., p. 105.
25 Ibid.
6 "U.S. Participation in the United Nations." report by the President to the Congress
for the year 1974, 94th Cong., 1st Sess., H. Doc. No. 94-266, p. 295.


which the Office of International Organization Affairs is located, do
not have greater contacts with FAO, the Agriculture Department
(R)elying on FAO as a primary source of information poses two major diffi-
culties. First, PAO official statistics are not always the best source of information.
Second the timelag inherent in FAO publications make the information less
timely than that obtained from attaches and other sources." 27
The 1970 objectives paper seems more like a paper designed to justify
continued U.S. support. of FAO rather than to define short-term or
long-term policy objectives. The paper institutionalizes a policy per-
spective noted by GAO in 1969: "Little substantive attention has been
devoted to program content ,nd priorities." As we mentioned earlier,
U.S. policy seems to consider the budget "level" and the degree of
"program expansion." 28 The primary U.S. objective is to hold down
A GAO followup study of July 1974 makes no mention of the 1970
document, a document which was written in response to the earlier
report. The 1974 GAO report states: "Our November 1969 report
recognized that efforts had been underway since 1965 to establish a
national policy paper on FAO. No such paper yet exists, but a new
effort is underway." 29
That "new effort" turns out to be an "internal paper," prepared in
the State Department.
"The paper," according to GAO,
does not attempt to develop U.S. objectives but rather studies problems asso-
ciated with the task and asserts that establishing objectives is a function of
U.S. foreign policy interests. These interests, as they affect agriculture, are
identified as trade, disposal of surplus agricultural commodities, development
programs, multilateral institutions, and other general areas. The paper explores
whether FAO should be development-oriented or policy oriented (but makes no
choice) and examines questions of priorities, performance, evaluations, and in-
formation needed to make policy judgments. It concludes that an immediate
effort should be made to develop a complete and succinct statement of U.S. goals
and objectives and to recommend courses of action for achieving them.30
The paper does assert that the primary U.S. interest which FAO
serves is development assistance and asserts further that U.S. objec-
tives should therefore be derived from that interest.
lVhv is such a document needed? One reason is underscored by the
following material from the "Office Report of the U.S. Delegation to
the 18th Session of the FAO Conference." The views and proposals of
the United States with regard to a possible reorientation of the pro-
gram of work and budget based on the goals and priorities of the new
Director General "should * be elaborated as rapidly as possible
with a view to presenting them in private discussions and governing
body session as appropriate." 31 Without some clear-cut goals, objec-
tives, or priorities of our own, how can these U.S. "views and pro-
posals" be determined?
Another reason, pointed to repeatedly over the years by GAO, and
noted once again by its representative, J. Kenneth Fasick, at the
27 "The Acricultural Attache Overseas: What He does and How He Can Be More Effective
for thp T'nitpd States." U.S. General Acconnting Office. Apr. 11. 1975. p. 45.
28 "U.S. Financial Participation in the FAO." op. cit.. pp. 19. 21.
2 "Numerous Improvements Still Needed In Managing U.S. Participation In International
Orranizatlonq." U.S. General Accounting Office. July 1S. 1974. p. 13.
so Ibid.. 14.
31 "Official Report of the U.S. Delegation," op. cit.


March 5 hearing, is that "everybody involved" in U.S. participation
in FAO, "would have better guidance in terms of meeting the long-
range goals than they have today." m It is by reference to a clear,
unequivocal policy standard that it is possible for these participants
rationally to make decisions on a day-to-day basis and for those ulti-
mately responsible effectively to manage U.S. participation in the
Another reason emerges from a consideration of the views expressed
by high-ranking Government officials as well as by officials of the FAO
and the World Food Council in interviews with a member of the com-
mnittee staff. There is confusion among them about U.S. policy, goals
and objectives. The following points emerged from these interviews.
1. The United States does not have a coherent policy toward FAO
and has tried to undermine the organization. Examples of this under-
mining are U.S. backing of the creation of the World Food Council;
the fact that the United States was instrumental in taking the issue
of world food security (in which FAO had done pioneering work) to
the International Wheat Council which effectively excluded FAO
from any active role; and the curtailment of U.S. contributions to
2. The United States accords FAO affairs a low priority.
3. U.S. influence in FAO, partially as a result of the lack of adequate
representation of U.S. nationals in the Secretariat, has declined.
4. There is evidence of policy conflicts between USDA and the
State Department. One FAO official noted that FAO is under the
purview of a domestic agency, namely, the USDA. USDA's constitu-
ency is the American farmer and farm organizations. What is good
for the American farmer is not necessarily 'ood for the international
food situation, according to this person. USDA lacks the interna-
tional perspective that is necessary to deal with the world food crisis.
For example, USDA does not want the Government to meddle in food
trade, it is against food reserves, and it would rather sell than aid.
Many of these themes were echoed in interviews with U.S. officials.
It is their perception that FAO is a low priority with concerned U.S.
agencies. FAO does not have the attention (and perhaps does not
deserve it) of top policymakers. There are differences and tensions
between USDA, State and AID on FAO policy matters. A statement
of objectives micrht end this confviion and clarify the degree of in-
terest of the U.S. Government in FAO.
It is difficult to prepare a policy statement. One reason is that high-
level policymakers are not sufficiently interested in FAO to set the
process in motion and demand results. This belies the assertion that
FAO is the paramount agency or the chosen instrument of U.S.
Government policy in the field of agricultural cooperation and devel-
opment. Another reason is that because the United States lacks an
overall strategy in the international food field, it is difficult to derive
a rational and meaningful policy for only one international organi-
zation in this field.
Yet another possibility is that those involved in the process are so
close to the organization and so immersed in the generalized suppor-
tive policy consensus that they find it difficult, if not impossible, to
"2 Testimonv of .J. Kenneth Fnslck. Director. International Division. U.S. General
Accounting Office, "U.S. Participation." Mar. 5,1976. p. 85.


step back and articulate specific policy objectives.33 Finally, the differ-
ences between responsible executive branch agencies may be so great
and the degree of Presidential leadership and concern in the area so
small, that a policy of muddling through may be the only alternative.
Assistant Secretary Bell suggested another possibility at the March
5 hearing. He said FAO is changing and evolving so fast-as is the
international context in which it operates-that it would be an es-
sentially meaningless exercise to develop objectives which would
soon have to be abandoned in the light of changed circumstances.34
At the same time, however. Dr. Phillips told the Select Commit-
tee that a working group of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee
had been at work for some time to revise and update the 1970 ob-
jectives document as a means of preparing for the July 1976 session
of the FAO Council.35 Against this backdrop and at the urging of
Senator Percy, Assistant Secretary Bell agreed to ,end to the com-
mittee by May 1, a draft of a statement of U.S. policy toward FAO.
This document is printed as an appendix of this study.*
Although it is an improvement over the 1970 paper, the new policy
statement falls short of what is needed. It confuses rather than clari-
fies and settles for generalities where specifics are needed. Rather
than setting out priorities the paper ratifies almost everything FAO
is presently doing. It is impossible to tell from the document where
primary U.S. interests lie. The authors seem satisfied with setting
forth what seem to be desirable intentions rather than establishing
objectives that can be analyzed and evaluated and toward which prog-
ress can be measured. Moreover, the statement does not define how
the United States can achieve its objectives in FAO.
The staff recommends that the responsible Government officials
write and obtain official approval of a statement of U.S. policy
toward FAO which contains clear and precise objectives, goals, and
priorities for the organization and for U.S. participation in the or-
ganization. This policy statement should be part of a coherent strategy
which the United States seeks to pursue to fight world hunger ,nd
malnutrition through increased food production and related poli'-ies.
The FAO policy statement should be used to guide the prepay ration
of specific position papers as well as to guide those Amnericans who
interact with the organization on a routine basis. Such a policy state-
ment, should be reviewed and updated annually and those responsible
for U.S. participation in FAO should report to Congress on the suc-
cess or failure of the United States in achieving its objectives.

At the December hearing the Select Committee was told by the
administration witnesses that the:
.MleKitteriek, op. cit.. nnz-zim. nnd Raymrnnnd F. Hnpkin-. "Global Fnod M.inacemnent:
U.S. Poliev-Making In an Independent World" (paper prepared for the Commission on the
Organization of the Government for the Conduct of Foreign Policy). Xernxod. no dnte,
both emphasis the existence of the "old-ho.v" network linking the FA.O wit!i ths telini-
clans of the Department of Agriculture. This is both a communications network nind a
meehanicm for the support of the status quo.
34 Bell. op. cit.. p. 104.
35Testimony of Dr. Ralph W. Phillinr, Director, International Organization Affnirt.
TUSTA. "U.9. Participation," op. cit., pp. 96, 9S.
*See p. 69.

United States Government accords high priority to participation in' FAO
affairs at all levels-the governing bodies, the key committees of governing bodies,
the consultation and meetings relating to the many aspects of food, agriculture,
fisheries, and forestry to which FAO's program relate, and in the FAO regular
and field staffs by the placement of competent United States Nationals therein."
This section describe the ways in which U.S. representatives par-
ticipate in the organization at various levels.

The United States makes an earnest effort to participate in all the
meetings sponsored by FAO each year. The International Orga-
nization Affairs Office in USDA told the committee that in each of
the last 2 years the United States participated in 58 FAO-sponsored
meetings, including those of the governing bodies, the key commit-
tees of the governing bodies on which governments are represented-
the United States Government participates in five of these commit-
tees: Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries, Commodity Problems, and the
newly created Committee on World Food Security-and the range
of consultations, working groups, seminars, and other fora which
make up a major part of FAO's activities. This total does not include
meetings of the Program and Finance Committees on which Americans
sat in the last 2 years as private individuals. Additional figures sup-
plied by USDA indicate that these meetings on the average required
the attendance of four U.S. representatives for a period of 6 days or
a total of 12,272 man hours.
At the last six regular biennial sessions of the FAO Conference, the
U.S. delegate has been an assistant secretary-or the equivalent-on
three occasions; a deputy assistant secretary on two occasions; and a
"counselor or to the secretary" on one occasion. WVhen the Secretary of
Agriculture has been in Rome during a Conference, he has acted as
ex of/Mo head of the delegation. These delegates have always been
officials of the Department of Agriculture.
At the last 20 sessions of the FAO Council, the U.S. delegate has
been an Assistant Secretary on 6 occasions, a Deputy Assistant Secre-
tary on 10 occasions (all but once the same individual), a counselor to
the Secretary twice, an Administrator once and an Assistant Admin-
istrator once. On all but one occasion the delegate was from the De-
partment of Agriculture. The only exception was a Council session
in I[arch 1975 when the U.S. delegate was a State Department official.
Seven different individuals represented the United States at FAO
Council meetings from 1967 to 1975.
P. L. Yates, a former FAO official, argued in 1955 that both the
quality and rank of representatives sent to meetings were good indi-
cators of the level of interest that governments attached to participa-
tion in FAO. "Governments must not rely overmuch on the Secre-
tariat," he wrote.
The work is work by governments for governments, and its quality will depend
on the quality of the men sent by governments to carry it out. For expert meet-
ings, experts, not diplomats, are in order: for the FAO Council, the administra-
tive head of at least one government department and, on occasion of special
debates, even a minister; for the Conference, always a minister (and preferably
88 Statement submitted for the record, "Report on the 18th Conference," op. cit., p. 45.


the minister for agriculture) plus one or two department heads and appropriate
On the basis of this standard, it can be said that the participation
of the United States in Conference and Council sessions is satisfactory.
The same can be said for what Yates calls "expert meetings :" the
annual round of committee and subcommittee meetings, ad hoc con-
sultations, working groups, seminars, and training sessions. Repre-
sentation, as indicated by the official head of the U.S. delegation
attending each meeting, was drawn from the following departments
during 1974 and 1975: Agriculture (66 times in 2 years); State (11
times, including twice when the representative was a member of a mis-
sion or Embassy staff); Health, Education, and Welfare (15, pri-
marily for meetings of the FAG/WHO Codex Aliment a rius Commit-
tee and Subcommittees); Commerce (8, primarily for meetings con-
cerning fisheries); AID (5, usually meetings of the joint FAO/U.N.
world food program); and Farm Credit Administration (1). Only
once in 2 years was the United States represented by a person from out-
side the Government. He was a faculty member from Louisiana State
Representation in meetings other than those of the Conference and
Council is seldom at a level higher than deputy assistant secretary.
The representation is more generally from the ranks of senior level
civil servants who are the directors or deputy directors of major line
agencies within their respective departments.
Several years ago, Dr. Phillips commented about the makeup of U.S.
delegations to FAO meetings. In an undated and unsigned internal
working paper, he suggested that delegations were sometimes "over-
staffed." He said many FAO technical meetings often had an impor-
tance which transcended the immediate agenda because of the impact
of discussions on FAO's future programs of work and budget. Dr.
Phillips suggested that more care be taken in naming delegations and
limiting membership to those with specific tasks or competencies, as
well as an understanding of the dynamics of the organization.38 Offi-
cials of other departments concerned with FAO interpreted this sug-
gestion as part of an effort to increase USDA's control over U.S. par-
ticipation in the FAO. The working paper never received serious at-
tention at the policymaking level, but its author says improvements
have been made since 1971.
McKitterick suggests in his analysis of U.S. participation in U.N. de-
velopment agencies that success in advancing policy rests on effective
contacts with the Directors General and Secretariats of these oro'a-
nizations. "The key diplomat is the officially designated U.S. member
of the agency board of directors or governing council," McKitterick
states. He argues that it is this person's responsibility to develop a
rapport with the Director General and his key subordinates. "He
should discuss regularly and intimately with the Director General
the whole range of U.S. interests, and particularly budget policy." 39
7 P. L. Yates. "So Bold an Aim: 10 Years of International Cooperation Toward Freedom
From Want" (Rome: privately printed. 1955), p. 152.
Ralph W. Phillips, "Notes Regarding Improved Participation in FAO Affairs," dupli-
cated. no d(late. pp. 2-3.
39 McKitterlck, op. cit., pp. 58-59.


U.S. participation in FAO does not meet this standard because the
United States does not name a permanent delegate to the Council. The
FAO's governing bodies, the Conference and the Council, meet bien-
nially and semiannually, respectively. Day-to-day contacts with the
FAO Secretariat are the responsibility of the FAO Liaison Office in
the U.S. Embassy in Rome.
U.S. representation might be more effective if there were con-
tinuity in representation at Council sessions. But seven different in-
dividuals have represented the United States at Council sessions dur-
ing the last 9 years.
An argument, however, can be made against continuity in repre-
sentation. High-level U.S. policymakers have other duties and re-
sponsibilities which would prevent them from spending time on FAO
activities. These officials might lack interest or confidence in the ac-
tivities of the FAO.
Most importantly, having a permanent representative to the FAO
Council means the United States runs the risk of having this indi-
vidual co-opted by the FAO Secretariat. The value of bringing in new
ideas and new perspectives on FAO operations and of avoiding a stag-
nant and uncritical representation is preferable to a close relationship
between a U.S. representative to the FAO Council and the FAO
The U.S.-FAO Mission in Rome (FODAG) has the responsibility
to create or mobilize support for U.S. policies toward FAO by main-
taining daily contacts with other FAO missions and with the FAO
Secretariat. The U.S. Mission* is located in the U.S. Embassy, but is
not under the authority of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy. The mission
is made up of three men. The head of the mission has traditionally
been a Foreign Service officer. He holds the rank of counselor, a posi-
tion just below that of Ambassador within the diplomatic community.
The Counselor's deputy is also a Foreign Service officer. The third
member of the mission is from the Agency for International Develop-
ment (AID). The latter's responsibility is to monitor the World Food
Program, a joint U.N./FAO activity.
USDA does not at present have a representative in Rome. The ex-
planation for the absence of any USDA representation in the mis-
sion is the lack of funds. No one is opposed to USDA participation.
Assistant Secretary Bell said at the March 5 hearing that he planned
to begin discussions with his colleagues about adding a USDA person
to the mission.40
The role of the U.S.-FAO mission, according to State Department
officials, is diplomatic-to develop a consensus within the organiza-
tion and among member governments in support of U.S. policy and
to move the organization in accord with instructions from Washing-
ton. It is necessary for the mission to be headed by a Foreign Service
officer skilled in diplomacy and intergovernmental negotiation. The
counselor should know something about food and agriculture, the
State Department concedes, but he must represent several U.S. agen-
cies. His success or failure will be measured in diplomatic terms.
*Thp official title is Offive of U.S. Representative to FAO.
40 Bell, op. cit., pp. 95-96.


The addition of a USDA person would add balance to the U.S.
mission and improve day-to-day participation in the organization.
Dr. Phillips said in 1971:
The United States has been greatly handicapped in its planning for meetings,
preparing for consideration of proposed programs of work, identifying upcoming
vacancies, supporting technical candidates, evaluating FAO's substantive per-
formance, and in other ways relating to our substantive participation in the
Organization, owing to the lack of any subject-mniatter representation in the
Emba.-sy's FAO Liaison Office.41
Phillips also noted the need for more and better contact by the mis-
sion with member governments, particularly those with FAO mis-
sions in Rome.
Some Government officials suggest that an AID person familiar
with agricultural issues should also be added. He or she could work
effectively with FAO personnel, particularly those personnel in
Rome who provide support for the field program, and focus on the
development aspects of regular and field programs. This suggestion,
however, has little support in either USDA or the State Department
and does not have strong support at the policymaking level of AID.
The staff believes that the makeup of the U.S.-FAO mission should
be reviewed in light of (1) the importance which the U.S. Govern-
ment attaches to FAO and (2) the purposes or functions which it be-
lieves FAO can and should achieve. If FODAG is the primary link for
day-to-day relations with FAO, if FAO is the leading agency in the
international food field and if FAO's primary mission is to help
developing nations in their development, then the makeup of the U.S.
mission must be upgraded.
Agricultural attaches are stationed in U.S. embassies around the
world. Although the major responsibility of the attache is to promote
world markets for U.S. products and to report agricultural informa-
tion which might affect these markets to Washington, the agricul-
tural attache in Rome could provide a needed source of a'-ricultural
expertise for the U.S.-FAO mission. The GAO recently suggested that
cooperation or increased contact with FAO could improve the per-
formance of the agricultural attache system in general.42
The agricultural attache in Rome told GAO that his office had no
"official contact" with FAO. One reason is that the mission views its
role as concerned with "policy" and not "agricultural information." 43
Another reason is that the agricultural attache is accredited to the
Italian Government and not to FAO. In order to work officially with
FAO the attache would have to be accredited as a representative to
that organization. The attache would then serve in more than one
chain of command. This situation could threaten the harmonious
functioning of the mission.

One of the responsibilities of FODAG is to maintain contact with
governments of FAO members through their missions in Rome. Con-
4" Phillips. "Notes," op. cit., p. 5.
42 "The Agricultural Attache Role," op. cit., p. 46.
48 Ibid., p. 41.


tact with member governments is a part of our participation. These
contacts are important for the implementation of U.S. policy objec-
tives and must be coordinated from Washington.
Besides contacts with permanent representatives in Rome, con-
tacts with member governments are made through U.S. embassies
in other capitals. The need to upgrade these contacts was noted in the
1971 Phillips paper.44 The "Official Report of the United States Dele-
gation to the Eighteenth Session of the FAO Conference" stressed the
need with respect to countries serving on the Council.45 The report
also called for paying "special attention"" to contacts with "developed
countries through the mechanism of the Geneva Group".46

A form of participation with potentially great significance for
achieving U.S. objectives is field level cooperation between AID and
FAG personnel. Daniel Parker called cooperation at the field level
"perhaps the most important of relationships between AID and
FAG." 47 He described the relationship in these words:
Our field missions, which are responsible for working directly with the host
governments in the execution of A.I.D.'s programs maintain active liaison with
the UNDP Resident Representatives, with the FAO officers who serve as agri-
cultural advisors in most UNDP missions, and with representatives in the
field of the World Food Program. The level and value of this liaison varies
considerably from country-to-country depending on many factors, but is gen-
erally an important aspect of A.I.D. relationships with the FAO.8
Parker stressed the "wide range of practical cooperation that exists
between the FAO and AID" in the field.49 The activities of the two
agencies appear to be compatible and complementary. For example,
"In Nepal, FAO conducted a food consumption survey, and AID
assisted the government to carry out a nutritional status survey. Both
organizations have been consistent in urging the Nepalese to develop
a nutrition plan based on the surveys." 50o
FAO and AID activities may be complementary, but they may also
duplicate and overlap one another. They may even work at cross
This is possible because of the absence of a coherent worldwide
strategy to combat hunger and malnutrition as well as the absence of
a U.S. food policy which links together our bilateral and multilateral
At the committee's March hearings Herbert Waters said that "our
governmental bilateral development programs in the field do not
have much relationship with FAO programs in the same country." 5"
Whether or not the programs are coordinated, it is sufficient to note
AID-FAO contacts in the field are another form of U.S. participation
in FAO affairs.
Philling. "Notes," op. cit., p. 6.
45 "Official Report," op. cit., p. 56.
Ibid. The Geneva Group is an informal alliance of the major donor countries of the
U.N. system formed for consultation on matters, usually financial, of mutual concern. A
subgroup of the Geneva Group exists in Rome.
47 Pa rker, op. cit, p. 129.
49 Ibid., p. 132.
50 Ibid., p. 131.
1 Waters, op. cit., p. 71.


Administrator Parker also indicated that his agency had indirect
contacts with the FAO through other international organizations.
These organizations are the United Nations development program
(UNDP), the consultative group on international agricultural re-
search (CGIAR), and the world food program (WFP). The exist-
ence of these indirect contacts underscores the existence of a food.
policy subsystem and the need for an integrated approach to policy-
making in this country.
The March hearings also revealed that U.S. voluntary agencies, par-
ticularly those like Catholic relief services which give a high priority
to food and nutrition activities, are having increased contact with in-
ternational organizations such as FAO. These organizations, in turn,
are beginning to work more closely with voluntary agencies in the.
developing nations in executing projects. This relationship, while not
within the immediate jurisdiction and control of the United States,
does pose a potential problem for officials charged with coordinating
U.S. participation in FAO.
U.S. nationals participate in FAO as private individuals. Members
of the Program and Finance Committee serve as private individuals.
These individuals have a major impact on the policies of the orga-
nization and, on U.S. policy toward it. Dr. Phillips has been a member
of the Program Committee for several years and is now serving his
second 2-year term as Chairman. The fact that he is also the head of-
the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee, and plays a major role in
designing, and implementing U.S. policy toward the FAO raises im-
portant question. Is it possible for someone deeply involved in pre-
paring the program of work and budget to assume a detached and
objective point-of-view in helping to shape the U.S. Government's
position on the document? Is it possible for.him to divest himself of
the attitudes and opinions which guided his behavior on the Program
Committee in order to develop a governmentwide position consistent
with U.S. policy and interests? Is he not more likely to defend the
decisions and actions of the Program Committee than he is to encour-
age constructive criticism from his colleagues in the Government and
to work for a consensus based on objective analysis of the program m of
work and budget? In short, does not a potential conflict of interest
exist for persons holding these dual positions ?
Because the potential exist,. the staff recommends thflt, in the future
if U.S. citizens serve on the Prorarnni or Fiti-Mce Comittees private
individuals, then these individuals should not be assigned any policy-
inaking resrTonsibilitie- an'l shnull serve only as res<;irce persons for
those officials developing U.S. policy or posi t ion p1)apers.
A final and extremely important form of pI)rticipation, one sin.mled
out for emphasis in the comment from the administration quoted -t
the outset of this section, is that of U.S. nationals serving as members
of the FAO regular and field sta ffs.
At the December hearing Senator Percy asked why the United
States, which supplies 25 percent of FAO's regular budget, holds only
about 10 percent of the staff positions, while the United Kingdom.


which provides only 6.77 percent of the budget, holds approximately
the same proportion of positions. Senator Percy noted that placing
talented Americans in FAO positions might increase the technical
competence of the organization, better serve U.S. policy interests, and
provide an additional source of information for Government officials.
The administration submitted the following information in response
to Senator Percy's comments:
The United States is definitely under-represented in FAO; and this has been
of concern to the Department of State and the Department of Agriculture for
many years. FAO does not allocate positions for specific nationalities. They have,
however, established a desirable level of representation for all professional posi-
tions funded from the regular program budget. Under this arrangement, it has
been determined that the United States should have approximately a 20 percent
level of representation. As of September 30, 1975 we were at the 12.04 percent
level. This percentage has been dropping for several years. * *
A considerable number of U.S. citizens are also employed by FAO under U.N.
Development Program funds. In this program we have seen a sizeable increase
in the number and the percentage of U.S. citizens employed. For example, the
number of U.S. citizens increased from 140 to 184 during the period of December
31, 1971 to December 31, 1974. The corresponding percentages have increased from
7.49 percent to 9.57 percent.52
The number of Americans in top level policymaking positions has
remained about the same over the years. Difficulties occur at middle or
lower grades. Assistant Secretary Lewis described in March the rea-
sons for the difficulty of recruiting and placing Americans in these
First, salaries within the FAO provide a much stronger inducement to nationals
of other countries than to Americans. Neither is the FAO able to offer the career
possibilities available to our people in government, universities, and other areas.
Often the result is that we can recommend only persons who have completed their
careers in one particular field and wish a second careers in FAO. Seldom are
such persons interested in field assignments, so the employment field is narrowed
to headquarters where turnover in personnel is obviously slower."
Other reasons cited for the lack of Americans in FAO are the
absence of suitable training and experience among younger people
(including language proficiency), the desire of Americans to commit
themselves only for short periods of time to the organization, lack of
vigor by the agencies responsible for recruitment and placement of
U.S. nationals in international organizations, and the length of time
required to make appointments. The latter difficulty has been alle-
viated by recent changes in the stringent loyalty check procedures
applied to potential U.S. nominees for FAO positions.
Another problem is the nonpermanent nature of FAO staff positions.
Legislation was passed in 1958 to help provide an incentive to career
civil servants who might not consider working for an international
organization for fear of losing their rights and benefits. Congress pro-
vided reemployment rights (for up to 5 years with the permission of
the agency and up to 8 years by authority of the Secretary of State)
and protection of fringe benefits for those serving with an international

52 Material submitted for the record, "Report on the 18th Session," p. 43. Assistant Secre-
tary Lewis reported at the March 5 hearing that 148 Americans were employed by FAO as
UJNDP-funded experts In 1975, representing 8.50 percent of the total so employed. See
Lewis, on. cit., p. 120.
8 Lewis, Ibid. One nongovernmental witness called this a conscious policy of using FAO
as a dumping ground for unwanted U.S. Government employees.


In practice, the law has not had the intended effect. Agencies are
understandably reluctant to keep posts vacant or to release valued
employees for long periods of time; talented civil servants, in turn,
are reluctant to leave the career stream and possibly forego oppor-
tunities to advance within the career service.54
The same problem exists for qualified persons from the academic
world. Universities dislike releasing faculty members for periods
longer than a year; faculty members do not want to give up tenured
positions or interrupt satisfying research and teaching activities for
service with FAO or any other international organizations.
The staff recommends that the Senate Government Operations
Committee carefully examine alternative ways of providing additional
incentives to employees and employers alike inside of government and
out in order to attract qualified Americans for service in interna-
tional organizations in general and FAO in particular.
The staff also recommends that the State Department and the De-
partment of Agriculture immediately review their respective efforts
to recruit and place talented American citizens in FAO positions at
all levels. A new and intensive recruitment effort should be launched
with the objective of achieving as soon as possible the level of rep-
resentation set for the United States.
The United States should also make better use of the associate
expert program which allows qualified young people to serve for short
periods of time at the beginning of their careers with an international
organization. Salaries are paid by the home country, but the men
and women work for the international agency. European countries
which have large associate expert programs find that many of these
young people eventually become permanent employees of an organiza-
tion such as FAO.
At the present time a few AID personnel, particularly in Africa,
function as U.S. associate experts. AID assistance funds pay their
salaries. A full-scale U.S. associate expert program has been discussed
from time to time in the administration and has apparently been
endorsed by the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and
USDA's Office of International Organization Affairs, but to date a
program has not materialized.
The staff recommends that the administration establish immediately
a U.S. associate experts program. No better way exists for attracting
qualified young Americans for service with FAO and other interna-
tional organizations.

Responsibility for U.S. participation in FAO rests finally with the
President of the United States. It is doubtful, however, if at any time
in the last 30 years an incumbent President has actively participated in
FAO policymaking.
5 Civil servants or foreign service officers who have been "seconded" to Internntlonal
organizations have often been passed over for promotions which, if they had been in their
regular positions, they would have received. An indication that this practice is on the wane
is that one of the persons on a recent foriIn service promotion list Is currently serving with
FAO. This promotion should be precedent for additional ones In the future.


The General Accounting Office. in its 1969 study of U.S. financial
participation in FAO, listed six officials as "primarily responsible, for
administration of U.S. financial participation" in the organization:-
the Secretary of State, the Assistant Secretary of State for Interna-
tional Organization Affairs, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Assist-
ant Secretary of Agriculture for International Affairs, the Adminis-
trator of the Agency for International Development, and the-
Counselor for FAO Affairs in Rome.
In a letter to the Secretary of Agriculture dated March 30, 1946,
President Truman directed the Secretary "to take the leadership in
coordinating the work of the various agencies of the Government on
problems arising from U.S. participation in the Food and Agricul-
ture Organization." This designation is still in effect, but the question
of final responsibility is complicated by the 1966 Presidential memo-
randum cited in the previous section directing the Secretary of State
to assume the leadership role for all international organizations.
The Truman directives of 1946 have traditionally been interpreted
"not to preclude the responsibility of the Secretary of State for policy
guidance on international political questions and on general organiza-
tional and administrative questions as they affect the relationships of
the Food and Agriculture Organization and other international or-
ganizations: nor do they preclude the Secretary of State's responsibility
for designating official U.S. Government representation at FAO con-
ferences. council sessions, and other meetings." 55
The GAO representative at the March 5 hearing said that "there is
confusion within the bureaucracy as to who is in charge." J. Kenneth
Fasick noted: "The Secretary of Agriculture is officially supposed to
be the key person in the executive branch in relationship to the FAO
operations. On the other hand, he is subject to the State Department,
the Secretary of State's overall guidance in this area." 58
When asked by Senator Percy to tell the committee who had the
responsibility and authority to resolve interagency or interdepart-
mental disputes about U.S. policy toward FAO, the Department of
Agriculture witnesses at the March 5 hearing passed the buck to the
Department of State. Dr. Phillips told the committee:
Now, since our participation in FAO and other international organizations is
an international or foreign relations activity, if there is a difference of opinion,
the final decision has to come down to the Secretary of State, or his represent-
ative. The Department of Agriculture likes to have a major input in what these
points of views are, since it is agriculture, but it is foreign affairs, so in the
final analysis, that is where the buck stops."
Interestingly enough, Assistant Secretary Lewis did not want to
accept the responsibility and attempted to pass the buck back to
It is clear that the luck really stops in the executive branch on only one desk,
and there are a lot of white pillars in front of his house.
But it is also true, I am told, that an Executive order signed many years ago
by a previous President, clearly gives the lead responsibility to the Department
of Agriculture on FAO matters.
T"U.S. FAO Tnt(raLpnc(y Committee." International Orzanizatlon Affairs. Foreign Agri-
cultural Service. U.S. Department of Agriculture, duplicated, July 1975, p. 1.
50 F.i.ick, op. cit., p. 85.
57 Phillips, "U.S. Participation," op. cit., p. 98.

Now that does not, however, change the fact that the State Department is
responsible for all of our participation in all international organizations, coor-
dinating it, and making sure that it reflects administration policy.
In that sense the buck stops on my desk as an intermediate layer. So it is a
little hard to answer your question.
I am rather curious, incidentally, if the buck stops on the Secretary of State's
desk; why Mr. Bell and Dr. Phillips chair the (FAO) Interagency Committee?
Clearly that is an inconsistency in itself. So I have to assume the Executive
order which gives Mr. Bell that responsibility, derivative from the Secretary of
Agriculture, demonstrates that Agriculture is the prime agency on FAO matters.'

No one official is in charge of making U.S. policy toward FAO and
no one official manages all phases of U.S. participation in the organiza-
tion. The Department of State. the Department of Aorriculture, and
AID do, however, have important policymaking roles. Day-to-day
management or coordinating activities are divided between the Agri-
culture Directorate in the Burenu of International Organization Af-
fairs in the Department of State and the Office of International Or-
ganization Affairs in the Foreign Agricultural Service of the Depart-
ment of Agriculture.
The Agricilt,.re Diro't-orateo hli,.q a three-person professional staff
which devotes the overwhelming proportion of its time to FAO. Ac-
cording to the Giovernment Operations M:nual. the Bureau of Inter-
national Organization Affairs and the functional directorates into
which it is divided, are suppo-ed to coordinate and provide policy
guidance and support for participation in the activities of interna-
tional organizations. Having functional responsibility for an organi-
zation in one office or "Directorate" is supposed to improve liaison with
other government agencies and thereby promote effective U.S. partici-
pation. McKitterick compares the functions of the Bureau of Inter-
national Organization Affairs to those of a watchdog or a budget
bureau. Programmatic or substantive responsibilities, he says. remain
with the relevant domestic departments?.59 In general, the State De-
partment han1 dles "political" questions and the Department of Agri-
culture (in the cases of the FAO) substantive matters. "In practice,"
according to McKitterick:
the division is neither neat nor efficient. The Department of State is perpetually
bogged down in political "crises." cumbersome and endless conference prepara-
tions. and detailed accounting problems, at the expense of the strategic controls
on which it should he concentrating. The domestic departments, for their part,
are ill-equipped to conduct effective diplomacy, and they have developed a pro-
prietary interest in the technical or "collegiate" activities of the U.N. agencies as
against the development activities in which they have little or no interestt.0
The Bureau of International Organization Affairs was described in
the Murphy Comniision report on the Organization of the Govern-
ment for the Conduct of Foreign Policy as characterizedd by inade-
quate staffing, limited influence, highly mechanical responsibilities,
and( a relatively small policy role." 61

0L8 wl. op. c'it., pp. 1 _-117.
M TKitterick, op. cit., p. 55.
SThi d.
61 "'onimImRlon on thp OrLantzntinn of thp Gonvprnmpnt for the f'onditct of For.ign Pol-
icy," U.S. Government Printing Office, Wnshington. D.C., June 1975. p. 131.


Responsibility for the Department of Agriculture's FAO-related.
activities is in an office staffed by four professionals located in the
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).
The Government Organization Manual indicates that the FAS is
concerned primarily with promoting U.S. agricultural exports. It does
this through various means including conducting foreign commodity
analysis, operating a worldwide reporting and analysis network
through the system of agricultural attaches, and improving access
to foreign markets. In performing this task, the FAS works through
international organizations such as FAO "to reduce international
trade barriers, increase world trade in agricultural products, and
further trade policies advantageous to U.S. agriculture." 82
The manual notes that "FAS also coordinates the Department's
participation in international organizations and in international con-
ferences and meetings for consideration of policy and operating pro-
grams." Particular attention, it is said, is given to the FAO.63
It is difficult to understand why the Office of International Organi-
zation Affairs is a part of an agency whose primary activity is to
run the agricultural attache system. The attaches do not help this-
Office to perform its duties or vice versa. Little contact exists between
FAO and FAS's agricultural attaches. The Department of Agri-
culture told the GAO that its attaches found it "difficult to take full
advantage of the available FAO resources and information because
Agriculture was not responsible for U.S. Government liaison with that
organization." 64

Participation in an international organization such as the FA&
involves 'a number of Government departments and agencies. The need"
for a coordinating body was obvious from the moment the United
States became a member of the organization. President Truman's let-
ter of March 30, 1946. also established an interagency committee,
known today as the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee. to be chaired
by the Secretary of Agriculture, or his nominee, and charged it with
"responsibility for insuring that our Government aids to the fullest
extent the proper functioning of the FAO." 65
It is likely that the establishment of this committee was in part a
response to Lord Boyd Orr, FAO's first Director General. who urged
all member countries to establish "national FAO committees, made
up of representatives of all the Government agencies with which the
Food and Agriculture Organization deals and in some cases, including
as advisers, representatives of nongovernmental agencies interested in
FAO-farm organizations, women's organizations, labor unions, re-
2 "U.S. Government Organization Manual, 1975-76." Office of the Federal Rzgister,
National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, Washington,
D.C.. p. 115.
4 "The Role of the Agricultural Attache," op. cit.. p. 45.
e "U.S.-FAO Tnteragencv Committee." op. cit. The terms of reference for the U.S.-FAO
Interagency Committee have been elaborated from time to time and today read as follows:
"To coordinate the work of the various agencies of the Government on problems arising
from U.S. participation in FAO; to insure that the U.S. Government aids to the fullest
extent the proper functioning of FAO: to assist in formulating the positions which the
U.S. Government should take in the various fields of activity falling within the general
pvirposes and functions of FAO: and to provide a suitable channel for the speedy exchange
of communications between FAO and the United States."


ligious groups, and so on." 66 This describes the makeup of the U.S.-
FAO Interagency Committee.
The committee is chaired by the Assistant Secretary of Agriculture
for International Affairs and Commodity Programs. At present this
is Richard E. Bell. The vice chairman is Dr. Ralph Phillips, Director,
International Organization Affairs, Foreign Agricultural Service,
Department of Agriculture. The Office of International Organization
Affairs services the committee.
Representatives of the following 10 major units of the executive
branch serve on the committee: Agriculture (12 different agenciess;
Commerce; Defense; Health, Education, and Welfare; Interior;
Labor; Office of Management and Budget; State; Agency for Inter-
national Development; and Treasury. In addition, "advisers" from
the following nongovernmental organizations serve on the committee:
American Farm Bureau Federation, National Grange, National Coun-
cil of Farmer Cooperatives, National Farmers Union, Agricultural
Missions, Inc., American Home Economics Association, National
Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, National
Canners Association/Fishery Products Program, National Fisheries
Institute, Society of American Foresters, and the American Forestry
Association. (The two fishery organizations serve in alternate years.)
The committee staff has concluded that the U.S.-FAO Interagency
Committee is not a factor in developing, approving, or implementing
U.S. policy toward FAO or in coordinating U.S. participation in the
The Select Committee was told by USDA that in the 12 months
preceding its hearing of December 15. 1975, the Interagency Commit-
tee met twice, in December 1974 and July 1975. Thirty-six persons
attended the December meeting; 33 the July one. The chairman of the
committee did not attend either of these meetings. The vice chairman
attended both. Of the 21 members of the committee, 2 attended the
July meeting and 3 attended the December one. Of the 37 alter-
nates (and each member is supported by 1 to 5 alternates), 14 attended
the December meeting and 11 attended the July one. In other words,
less than half of those who attended the July and December meetings
were actually members of the Interagency Agency Committee (13 of
33 in July; 17 of 36 in December).
Of the 33 people who actually attended the July meeting, 22 were
from USDA, 4 from the. State Department. and 1 each from Labor,
HEWV, Treasury, and AID. One nongovernmental representative, a
representative of the American Home Economics Association, attended
the. July meeting; none attended the December meeting which followed
much the same pattern otherwise. Of the 36 attendees in December,
20 were from USDA, 5 from State, 2 from AID, 4 from Coilmlierce,
2 from HEW, and 1 from Labor.
All of the persons named as nongovernmental advisers of the U.S.-
FAO Interagency Committee were invited to testify at the Select Com-
mittee's hearings. William E. Towel]. executive vice president of the
American Forestry Association, replied that, "It came as news to
me . that I have been designated a nongovernmental adviser to
6 Gore Hambidge, "The Story of FAO" (New York: Van Nostrand Co.. Inc., 1955), p. 78.


the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee." 6' A similar oral communica-
tion was received from a staff person of the National Grange speaking
on behalf of that organization's nongovernmental adviser to the
Only 2 of the 11 organizations sent representatives to testify at
the MIarch hearings-the American Homne Economics Association and
Agricultural Missions. Inc. Two others, the American Farm Bureau
Federation and the Society of American Foresters. provided state-
ments for the record. The National Association of State Universities
and Land Grant Colleges, indicated it would file a statement, but none
has been received.
The nongovernmental advisers do not attach much importance to
their "membership" on the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee. Ben-
ton Rhoades, executive director of Agricultural Missions, Inc.,
-explained why at the hea ring of March 4:
There were a number of years when I did attend the Committee and at one
time, several years ago. I felt that it needed to be reorganized.
A u-onsiderable amount of time of th, committeee was spent in naming who
would represent them at the various meetings rather than on developing posi-
tions for oi"r own representatives at those meetings.
For that reason, frankly at the time I decided that it was not a high priority
in our staff work.
I feel at this time and partially as a result of this hearing, that we should
give higher priority to involvement in that committee, and admit that we have
not in recent years probably to our own loss.'
Dr. Phillips recognized that a problem existed when he wrote his
1971 paper about improved U.S. participation in FAO. He said:
Thle IU.S.-FAO Interagency Committee has ten nongovernmental advisers (two
fishery groups alternate membership on a yearly basis), drawn from as many
farm, forestry, homine economic, religious and Land-Grant-College organizations.
At one stage the representatives of most of these organizations were very active
in the Committee, and nominations of six (and at an earlier stage eight) of
them were regularly included in Delegations to FAO Conference. With the
shrinkage of 010 (Office of International Conferences) funds that practice
lias been almost entirely discontinued. Finding themselves unable to keep in
touch through Conference participation, unhappy with the manner in which
NARO was operated for many years, disillusioned with Mr. Sen's approach
to the administering of FAO affairs, finding themselves-in the case of the farm
organizations-heavily involved in domestic affairs, and perhaps for other rea-
sons, the interest of these organizations in FAO affairs has gradually diminished.
Currently, only the adviser from the Association of State Universities and
Land Grant Colleges maintains a regular, active role.'
While stressing the need for advice from private organizations Dr.
Phillips did not suggest any alternative ways of achieving the objec-
tive. Participation of nongovernmental organizations in U.S. policy-
making for FAO is nonexistent.
According to a letter from Assistant Secretary Bell to Senator
Percy, the function of the FAO Interagency Committee is to coordi-
nate U.S. participation in FAO affairs and to serve as a means of
exchanging information and views. "The committee," Mr. Bell said,

60 Letter from William F. Towell to Senator George McGovern, reprinted In "U.S. Partici-
patinn." op. cit.. Mar. 4,1976, p. 3.
"6a Testimony of Benton Rhoades. "U.S. Participation," ibid., pp. 44-45.
69 Phillips, "Notes," op. cit., pp. 9-10.


"is basically a coordinating and not a decisionmalkng body." 70 He
modified this statement somewhat in his testimony before the Select
Committee in March: "I think, Mr. Chairman, that this FAO Inter-
agency Committee is more than just a coordinating body, and that it
does make decisions about what we are going to be working on, who
is going to work on it, when they must prepare their position papers,
and how it will be cleared." '1
The Committee as a committee does not set and implement policy.
It does perform routine housekeeping functions. If the Committee
does not, as Dr. Phillips says, have an "executive function," and is
not a decisionmaking body, then where does the authority lie? "The
basic authority," according to Secretary Bell's letter,
remains with the Executive Branch Departments and/or Agencies responsible
for specific functions. Subject-matter-wise, the inputs of the various Agencies and
Departments are made through the Working Groups which prepare Position
Papers, propose the composition of Delegations, and carry out other tasks as
necessary. Position papers, nominations of Delegations, etc. are consolidated in
the Department of Agriculture, and forwarded to the Department of State for
final concurrence and action. In this context, the main decisionmaking function
of the Interagency Committee as such is the appointment of ad hoc Working
Groups. the members of which then take the necessary actions on behalf of their
respective Agencies and Departments.72
IThree important points emerge from this letter. Decisions are made
or policy set on a issue-specific basis, in reaction, more often than not,
to an agenda set or an action taken elsewhere. Real policymakinm
power remains in the hands of the individual Government depart-
ments and, agencies that have an interest in the specific function, activ-
ity, or program of FAO. This usually means the Department of Agri-
culture. Finally, the work of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee
is accomplished through working groups.

All concerned with the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee acknowl-
edge that most of what the committee does is carried out through
ad hoc working groups. These are set up to prepare for meetings and
to carry out other specific tasks as required. They are terminated as
soon as their tasks are completed. The staff in the office of the
chairman and members of working groups, as well as the chairman
and members themselves, contribute substantially to the staffing of
the working groups, preparing all necessary position papers and
doe umen t s.
For example, a working group under Dr. Phillips was charged
with preparation for the Council and Conference sessions of 19T07.
There were 19 members of this working group representing USDA-
12 persons, including the chlairman-State. 3 ; AID, 1; 0MB. 1; Treas-
ury, 1; and Commerce 1. Of the 19, 4 were members of the Inter-
agency Committee, 10 were alternates, and 2 were staff from the office
of International Organization Affairs; the others were unrelated to
the committee.
SLetter to Senator Charles H. Percy from Assistant Secretary of Agriculture Richard E.
Bell. Dec. 11, 1975. with attachments.
T Bell. op. cit., p. 98.
7 Richard E. Bell to Senator Charles H. Percy, Dec. 11, 1975.


Preparations for the 18th Session of the Conference began in
earnest on August 8, when Dr. Phillips circulated a memo concern-
ing the November Conference. On August 25, a meeting was held
at which assignments were made. These assignments were confirmed
on August 27, and deadlines were established for a first draft of a
position paper, October 6, and a final draft October 24. Most of the
writers consulted informally with others associated with the work-
ing group or with the Interagency Committee. Documentation from
FAO was used as received. Some reached Washington in midsummer;
substantial amounts did not arrive until much later.
Fourteen individuals were responsible for drafting the 47 position
papers prepared for the Conference. Six of these individuals were not
members of the working group. Of these six, three were alternate
members of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee and two others
were associated with the Agriculture Directorate of the State Depart-
ment's Bureau of International Organization Affairs.
It was Agriculture Directorate which bore the greatest burden. Four
members of this bureau prepared 33 position papers on such subjects
as procedural issues, relations with other international organizations,
composition of the governing bodies and committees, and various book-
keeping and internal administrative issues. This work is consistent
with the stated role of the State Department.
Of the remaining 14 position papers, the Commerce Department
prepared 1, AID prepared 1, and UTSDA the remainder. Staff of
the office on International Organization Affairs were responsible for
five papers.
After position papers are drafted, they are reviewed and cleared
by personnel of concerned agencies. Some papers for the 18th session
were cleared by as many as eight persons; one had no clearance. A
total of 31 people were involved in providing clearances; 20 of these
were involved only in this aspect of the preparations and did not in
addition draft one or more position papers. Of this latter group, six
were members of the working group; of those who were not, four were
members or alternates of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee.
Those providing clearances but not writing papers were from USDA,
9; State. 2; AID, 8; and Treasury, 1.
In short, 20 persons involved in drafting and/or clearing position
papers were not members of the working group. Thirteen of these per-
sons had no official connection with the U.S.-FAO Interagency Com-
mittee. Three members of the working group neither drafted nor
dlen rod any paper. One of these was the secretary of the delegation.
These data surest that the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee and
its ad hoc working group charged with responsibility for preparing
for the 18th session of the Conference are paper structures. The proc-
ess of preparing for a Conference, or setting policy and making de-
cisions, is much more fluid and chaotic than the existence of the com-
mittee and its working groups would suggest.
The December hearing brought out some of the problems in the
existing process. Senator Percy asked Dr. Don Paarlberg, U.S. Repre-
sentative to the 18th session of the Conference, and his associates, to
describe the way in which the United States developed its position on
a specific agenda item, namely, on the level of the proposed budget
for the 1976-77 biennium. The following exchange took place:


Senator PERCY. First, who drafted the U.S. position on the budget item?
Dr. PAARLBERG. We had a task force and Dr. Phillips was the chairman of it.
And there was participation from all the concerned agencies.
I think, Ralph, if you could just capsule in a few sentences the amount of
time and the amount of effort that went into developing our position.
Senator PERCY. YOU might start, Dr. Phillips, by just describing how many
agencies participated in developing the budget position. And you served as
chairman of that group, is that right?
Dr. PHILLIPS. Yes, sir, this has to be looked at, I think, in terms of the pro-
gram of work content, on the one hand, and the actual position on the budget
level on the other, because as you are well aware, the input into FAO's budget
in support of the regular program of work is in the Department of State's budget,
so they in the final analysis have to face up to that problem.
So in fact the working group which was set up by the U.S.-FAO Interagency
Committee, of which I was chairman, included all of those agencies that indicated
their interest, and I think there were about eight or nine of them.
Senator PERCY. Could you name the agencies?
Dr. PHILLIPS. Those included were the Agricultural Research Service, Forest
Service. Economic Research Service, of the Department of Agriculture; National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the Department of Commerce; and
the Bureau of International Organization Affairs and AID, of the Department of
The bulk of the work, of course, on the content of the program was done in
the Department of Agriculture where most of the work falls except for the
fishery work. That part of the paper was put together in my office, with the
Inputs from the various members of the working group.
Senator PERCY. You met with representatives from the various agencies, but
who had the responsibility for final clearance on the budget item?
Were they able to do it sitting in a room, or did it go up through the agencies?
In State for instance where did that final clearance come from?
Dr. PHILLIPS. As I mentioned earlier, the final responsibility for this is in the
Department of State. The same is true of what might be called the final formal
clearance of all position papers.
They may be drafted and usually are drafted by a working group which
involves departments, depending on the interest in a subject matter item, but
in the final analysis those papers go to the Department of State for the final
policy clear rance thereon."M
Senator Percy asked the witnesses to reveal any difficulties which
the T.S. Government had in developing a position on the budget item.
Dr. Roy Morey, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International
Organization Affairs, revealed that even though a position paper was
drafted based on an analysis of the Director General's "program of
work and budget," a final decision on a U.S. position was put off until
the Conference got underway in Rome. Dr. Morey said this was done
in part to allow for consultations with the Geneva group, an informal
group of tlie, major donors of the U.N. system. A subgroup of the
Geneva frroup exists in Rome. Other witnesses indicated that the
UTnited States had been at work for a year prior to the 18th Session of
the Conference to reduce the level of proposed budget. And in fact it
was reduced from about $185 million to about $167 million.
Senator PERCY. I am a little concerned when the United States appears to
waffle. The U.S. Delegation position paper stated the delegation may support the
adlopton of a draft resolution which would provide an effective working budget on
the order of $167 million, but then on November 17, the (lay that Commission 2
considered the item. the U.S. delegation stated it did not have the authority to
support the budget level."'
Then on November 21. the U.S. delegation was instructed apparently to re-
uInctantly support the budget level.

"A Tnpport on the Ei-htPenth S.e-sinn on the Conferenep." nn. 24-27.
.4 As noted in the previnui section of tOi- report, the Deleoation was instructed nfter
arriving in Rome to press for a $10 million reduction In the propoit'd budget for the
1976-77 biennium.


I just wonder what went on there and why we looked like we were so am-
bivalent about something as important as the budget?
Couldn't we make our minds up?
Dr. MOREY. No, I think we did make our minds up, Senator, and the position
that we had was that we should make an effort to determine whether or not
there would be support from the major donors for some reduction in the overall
budget figure. We originally made that contact in the Geneva Group meetings. We
then had consultations with various countries, primarily the major donors
through the Council sessions. What we found was that before the end of the
Conference there was no country that was willing to make a reduction in the
We had the opportunity at that time to determine whether we should vote
against the budget, to abstain, or vote in favor of it.76
Senator Percy stressed the usefulness of taking a strong position.
"It seems the delegation went there in a somewhat weakened position,"
Le said. "If your instructions are you may support it, then you may,
but then you may not also, I suppose. You are kind of caught betwixt
and between." 76 He suggested that taking a firmer position on the
reduction of the budget may yield more success than was achieved at
the 18th session.
This discussion illustrates the complexity of policymaking with
respect to FAO. It also illustrates that in spite of the existence of
working groups, position papers, and the U.S.-FAO Interagency Com-
mittee, the decision on the budget level was reached outside the formal
structure of the decisionmaking process.
Senator Percy questioned Dr. Paarlberg about "unresolved prob-
lems" that existed on the eve of the delegation's departure for Rome.
Senator PERCY. (W)hat agenda items still remained unresolved just before
your departure for Rome?
Dr. PAARLBERG. The position papers had by that time been prepared and cir-
culated. There were a few, however, that had been delayed and were not yet in
h a n d.
Senator PERCY. Could you name all those items for which you didn't have a
clear-cut policy decision on that Friday beforee departure for Rome)?
Dr. PAARLBERG. There was some uncertainty raised in that meeting about the
U.S. policy with regard to research.
There was some question as to our policy with regard to nutrition. There were
some questions with respect to our policy on women in development.
There had been position papers prepared on all of these issues, and we thought
that these had been agreed on, but it developed in the meeting that there were
still some questions.
So we had a discussion that ran for an hour or more on these issues. And we
had further discussions on these points in our delegation when we got to Rome.
Senator PERCY. Why does it happen that ju-t before you leave for a conference
you still have an unclear policy on a couple of major items?
Why does this occur? Does it cause problems for you and your entire dele-
Dr. PAARLBERG. I don't think it is unusual. Senator, that on the brink of some
important meeting that there are major questions still to be resolved.
I think that there is some merit in the fact that this thing is not all completely
laid on by the bureaucracy and that it is placed beyond any point of questioning.
I think it is a healthy indication that major issues can be addressed, even
when we are on the brink of departure. And even when we are meeting in Rome,
the morning before a discussion comes along, that it may be that something has
emerged here that. had not bec ii foreseen, iiiylle so,:ething is lifted up by some
other country that the people wlho prepared our position paper were not aware
of, and there should be some flexibility in this business.
75 "A Report on the 1Ath Session of the Conference." op. cit.. pp. 29-30.
w Ibid., p. 31.


I don't think this is necessarily bad. Now the particular issues, you asked me
to be frank and I will be, had to do in part with views regarding research-this
was one thing.
The Agency for International Development-and I will invite, if you agree,
Mr. Farrar to comment on this-they have their view of how research should
be done and this works quite well, I believe, in AID, but it is somewhat differ-
ent in emphasis and tone from what the view of research is as it emerges in the
And the AID people were interested in pushing their views as to how the re-
search should be carried forward. And so we had some disagreement about that,
which we eventually resolved.
There were similar disagreements as I have said about our address to the
question of nutrition and about our address to the question of women in rural
development. But these were, I believe, satisfactorily resolved by airing them,
and providing discussion of them in the meeting just prior to departure, and
then by further discussion in Rome, perhaps not to the full satisfaction of all
the parties, but in a fashion that permitted a consensus position to develop, and
which position, when laid before the FAO Conference, was on the whole well
received by that body.'
Differences which existed between USDA and AID about aspects of
FAO's program were noted previously. The point to be made here is
that the failure to resolve these differences-whether it be because of a
failure on the part of FAO to supply the necess. ry documentation (as
suggested by Dr. Phillips) or a failure of agencies to communicate
and resolve differences in a timely fashion here in Washington (a
failure acknowledged by Dr. Phillips)-reduce the effectiveness of
the U.S. delegation to a meeting such as the FAO Conference. What
McKitterick noted in 1965 seems to apply with greater force today:
Despite some of the hoariest departmental committees in Washington (e.g.,
the 50-odd member Interagency Committee for FAO) which are supposed to
coordinate" U.S. policy, U.S. delegations at the conferences of the specialized
agencies more often than not speak with many voices and negotiate among them-
selves quite as much as with other delegations or with the secretariats of the
agencies. It is difficult to exaggerate the amount of energy and of potential U.S.
influence which is dissipated in this way before actual diplomatic conversation
and negotiations are even begun."
Flexibility is needed in order to respond to changing circumstances
and unanticipated events at an international meeting. But flexibility
that comes from having no position beforehand is a flexibility which
yields no advantages. Regardless of whether or not the U.S. delega-
tion sets forth a clear, unequivocal position upon which there is unity
when it actually does speak, if, as Senator Percy said, the delegation
is scratching together its statement up to the very last moment, it will
not be able to shape events, but only respond to them.
Those nearest to the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee think it is
a useful structure. Dr. Phillips said in his 1971 paper that the U.S.-
FAO Interagency Committee "is probably the most effective single
mechanism in the U.S. Government for planning and preparing for
the meetings convened by an international organization, and for other-
wise coordinating our participation in FAO affairs.'" Dr. Phillips
noted in the sante paper, however, that individuals and agencies oper-
ated outside of the Committee and that the nongovernmental advisers
were no longer active in it. He also acknowledged at the March hear-

7 h Ihid.. pp. 32-33.
79 MeKittPrtek. op. cit.. p. 56.
79 Phillips, "Notes," op. cit., p. 1.


ings, at least by omission, that U.S. participation in the FAO-a par-
ticipation which, as shown in the last section, takes many different
forms-is not coordinated or managed by the Committee.80
The 1973 State Department paper entitled "The Determination of
United States Objectives in the Food and Agriculture Organization,"
notes that improving U.S. participation in the FAO is "a subject of
continuing interest, rancor and little action." The paper contained
several suggestions about the work of the Interagency Committee.81
"The Official Report of the United States Delegation to the Eight-
eenth Session of the FAO Conference" suggests, albeit indirectly, that
the Committee is not functioning effectively and efficiently in prepar-
ing for meetings. The Report states that
It is . essential that all officers concerned with preparations for meetings
and other activities, through Working Groups or other mechanisms set up by the
U.S. FAO Interagency Committee, should strive assiduously to ensure that they
carry out their responsibilities effectively and within established deadlines.-'
The U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee is not a major force in
policymaking or decisionmaking regarding the FAO. The actual proc-
ess, which is one of ad hoc bargaining among interested agencies on
an issue-specific basis, does revolve in a vague and indefinite way
around the committee structure. Given the problems of preparing for
Eighteenth Conference, this informal bargaining process is not com-
pletely effective in developing policy or resolving disagreements.
Basic decisionmaking authority resides in the agencies from which
participants in the bargaining process are drawn. Each of these
agencies is primarily concerned with promoting and protecting the
interests of its constituency. Moreover, when policy conflicts emerge
among these participants, most of whom are mid-level career civil
servants with some technical expertise, they cannot themselves resolve
the conflicts. They lack final authority to speak for their respective
Mr. Bell noted "some constraints" which limit the effectiveness of
this interagency collaborative process. Besides the absence of a USDA
person in the U.S.-FAO Mission in Rome, Mr. Bell mentioned the lack
of personnel working full time on FAO matters, the lack of any change
in the number of personnel working in this area over the years despite
tremendous growth in FAO's budget and program of work, and the
limited contact with or understanding of FAO by many who must
draft position papers.'
Earlier this year at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Agricul--
ture and Forestry, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey was told that after-
the World Food Conference the United States "focused more inten-
sively" on and "strengthened" participation in FAO "and other rele-
vant U.N. groups." Senator Percy therefore asked Dr. Phillips, "Has.
there been an increase in resources expanded, in personnel allocated,
and the upgrading of our permanent mission to the FAO in Rome and-
8o Phillips, "U.S. Participation," op. cit.. pp. 99-100.
81 "The Dttprnination of United States Objectives," op. cit., p. 35.
82 "Official Report," op. cit., pp. 56-57.
8 Bell, op. cit., pp. 107-108.

so forth?" Dr. Phillips' response echoes Mr. Bell's statement about
constraints on collaboration:
I don't believe there has been any major change, Mr. Chairman, in the resources
allocated. It is still essentially the same staff, both within the Department of
Agriculture and of course the other departments can speak for themselves. But
as I understand it, there has been no major change in their resources either in
Washington or in the mission that is located in Rome.
There has, however, been a substantial increase in the interest and intensity
of preparations of positions, preparation of points of view on many issues over
the last 18 months, and particularly over the last 6 months."
Given not only the growth of the organization over the last decade
or so, but also the persistence of the world food crisis and of the U.S.
commitment to do something about it, and given that the United States
supposedly sees FAO as its chosen instrument for agricultural cooper-
ation and development, it seems inappropriate that the United States
is devoting no additional personnel or resources to participation in
the organization today than it did many years ago. U.S. policymaking
cannot help but be hampered by the number of personnel who work
regularly on FAO affairs as well as the grade level of those who do. As
Joseph Marion Jones has noted:
.. a great deal would be gained if the advanced countries were to consider
the work, the needs, and the opportunities of FAO at a higher level and in
greater perspective. The officials in member countries who deal with FAO affairs
are few and most of them operate at medium levels. They constitute the FAO fam-
ily, and they are remarkably possessive about the Organization, and ingrown.
They are often so close to operations that they fail to see the woods for the
The failure of the United States to keep its operating procedures
consistent with FAO's evolving role and the resulting constraints on
U.S. participation in the organization may explain why our policy is
reactive and issue specific. This situation may also explain why the
United States lacks meaningful objectives for the organization and
why the United States seems unable to place FAO within the context
of an overall strategy for combating worldwide hunger and malnu-
The peculiarities of the ad hoc policymaking process are evident
when considering the participation of the Agency for International
Development in this process.
In his testimony before the Select Committee, Administrator Parker
noted the compatibility of the functions of his Agency and FAO.
There can be no doubt that in its efforts to promote food production and con-
sumption in the poor countries, FAO is serving to further the same policy interest
that is clearly laid out by the Congress in the authorizing legislation for my
Agency. The regular FAO budget does not serve this purpose directly; rather it
provides the administrative planning and technical inputs without which direct
activities in the LDCs would not be possible."
A nongovernmental witness, Herbert Waters, president of the Amer-
ican Freedom for Hunger Foundation, noted this similarity in goals
and functions, and went on to point out AID's limited participation
in FAO policymaking in this country.
Phillips, "U.S. Participation" op. cit., p. 95.
ft Jones. op. cit., p. 153.
6 Parker, op. cit., p. 132.


The Agency for International Development was originally created to carry out
this country's development objectives. Congress, in authorizing development
funds. h.; given a nafndflte to the Agency for International Development to give
its highest priority to food and agriculture development and improved nutri-
tion. Yet the Agency for International Development is far from the focal point
of our policy-mniakinig for FAO, and even further from any effective admiinistra-
tive liaison with FAO. In fact, the Agency for International Development has
abolished the FAO liaison post it formerly had in the Office of the Agriculture
Services in its Technical Assistance Bureau."
Waters suggested that while the United States has encouraged
FAO's evolution into a development assistance agency, it has not
adapted to this change in FAO's character itself.
Key AID personnel, both on the agricultural and nutritional tech-
nical assistance staffs and in the regional bureaus, do not have any
effective means for contact with the FAO. Mr. Waters said:
We can only conclude that the Agency for International Development has a
far greater stake and continuing interest in FAO and its objectives than is now
reflected by the level of interest taken by AID in its activities, or the degree
of influence permitted AID in formulation of U.S. policies toward FAO.M
Mr. Parker acknowledged AID's interest in FAO matters as well
as the fact that AID's participation in the FAO Interagency Commit-
tee and its relations with FAO tend to be "on a specific basis." In
general, AID is limited to input on FAO's field program, and to a
lesser extent, on research, nutrition, and development-related
women s issues.
Mr. Parker put part of the blame for AID's position on the Con-
gress. He said:
As to shaping FAO policy, or U.S. policy toward the FAO, I must say that
we have certain constraints within AID. Your colleague committees have been
pointedly interested in our operating expenses, our levels of employment, and
were we to take a more assertive role, I would say that we would probably have
to gear up and add some people to do this.89
The United States acts as if FAO had not changed since 1945. The
U.S. policymaking apparatus has not adapted to FAO's changing
role or to its growth in size and financial resources. The United States
appears to be operating with the same number of personnel and the
same procedures which existed 20 or even 30 years ago. As a result,
policy is made by means of an ad hoc bargaining process involving
bargaining among medium-level civil servants from the Department
of Agriculture and the State Department, who are powerless to resolve
conflicts which may arise. Differences must be brought to a higher
level for resolution. Bargaining then takes place between policy-
makers one or two levels removed from the top of the departmental
Although it is unclear who has final authority and responsibility to
resolve differences, it is apparent that most disputes are resolved in
favor of the Department of Agriculture. This is true in part because
the personnel at the highest levels of USDA are more likely to be
interested in and aware of FAO and to be accessible on a routine
basis to the staff who handle FAO matters than are officials at the
highest levels of the other major agencies involved.

87 Waters, op. cit., p. 68.
88 Ibid.. p. 69.
8 Parker, op. cit., p. 126.


Mr. Lewis of the State Department told the Select Committee on
March 5: "I intend to ask my colleagues who have appeared here
today to join me in a close look at whether our interagency consulta-
tions can be improved, and whether any modifications in operating
procedures are advisable."9
The staff recommends that the administration immediately under-
take a review of the way in which U.S. policy toward FAO is made
and implemented. This review should have as its objectives the clari-
fication of lines of responsibility for making and implementing pol-
icy, the reorganization of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee and
a redefinition of the committee's "terms of reference," and the alloca-
tion of sufficient budgetary resources to assure that United States par-
ticipation in the organization is not constrained by staffing and
operating standards developed in a different era. It is important that
this review reflect FAO's changing role in the food policy subsystem
and the importance which the U.S. Government attaches to the
organization as a part of this subsystem.
The administration should consider the following methods of re-
structuring and reinvigorating the way in which U.S. policy toward
FAO is made.
1. Retain the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee, but shift leader-
ship to either the Bureau of International Organization Affairs
or the Agency for International Development. This option would
make sense if at the same time the Murphy Commission's rec-
ommendations for assigning responsibility for multilateral diplomacy
to four new functional bureaus reporting directly to an Under Secre-
tary for Economic and Scientific Affairs were implemented.
A shift to AID should be contemplated if the official view of the
United States is that FAO is primarily a development rather than a
"collegiate" agency. On the other hand, th,. development or field ac-
tivities of FAO are by and large outside of the control of the organiza-
tion's governing bodies. Recognizing that United States particilpa-
tion in FAO is largely participation in the governing bodies and their
committees whose concern is the regular program, it seems more ap-
propriate for either the Department of Agriculture or the Department
of State to have the leading position.
2. Retain the FAO Interagency Commnittee structure and USDA's
leadership, but expand and upgrade the office of International Orga-
nization Affairs within the Departmnent. Staff from the Department of
State, AID, and other agencies concerned with FAO might serve in the
office for periods of time or, alternatively, USDA personnel might
serve in these agencies prior to asslulming a p)ermlanent position in the
office. The office might be removed from the Foreign Agricultuiral
Service and be made a part of the Office of the Secretary. The Director
would have the rank of an Assistant Secretary. Alternatively, the
Office could become a staff arm of the Assistant Secretary of Agricil-
ture for International Affairs and Commodity Progranms and 6%
headed by a deputy assistant secretary.
00 Lewis, op. cit., p. 122.


3. Restructure the Interagency Committee so that senior officials
responsible for international food policy and nongovernmental ad-
visers regularly participate in its activities. This might be done by
establishing permanent subcommittees or working groups to be chaired
by senior officials from relevant agencies and co-chaired by a nongov-
ernment official. Another way of assuring high level participation
might be to assign the chairmanship of the committee to a senior mem-
ber of the White House staff.
4. Retain the basic interagency structure but make the committee a
subcommittee or working group of the recently-created Agriculture
Policy Committee. All responsibility for U.S. policy toward FAO
could be transferred to this committee or its working group.

The absence of a coherent policymaking organization for overall
food and agriculture policy may explain why the United States lacks
an overall food policy as well as a foreign food and nutrition policy.
"Good organization does not insure successful policy," the Murphy
Commission stated, "nor does poor organization preclude it. But
steadily and powerfully, organizational patterns influence the effec-
tiveness of government." 91
All officials who have contact with FAO should be speaking with one
voice and all officials involved in world agriculture, economics and
trade, development assistance, and foreign policy should also be speak-
ing with one voice. Martin McLaughlin of the Overseas Development
Council illustrated this point in his March 4 testimony:
The fact of the matter is that the United States sends delegates to multina-
tional trade negotiations in Geneva and Tokyo, to bilateral grain negotiations in
Moscow, to the Conference in International Economic Cooperation in Paris, to
UNCTAD in Nairobi, to the International Wheat Council in London, and to vari-
ous FAO Conferences, Council meetings, and colloquies in Rome-all of which
are concerned in some measure with food policy issues; and there is no clear,
consistent, coherent policy to which all can refer or in which they can feel they
are in concert.2
To prepare a food policy is to bring together organizationally all
agencies of government that might have an interest in the subject.
E. A. Jaenke. and Associates told the Office of Technology Assessment
that "it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to indicate each and
every organization, department, bureau, agency, council, board, and
committee that has by law or executive order been given some sig-
nificant responsibility for at least one aspect relating to food." 9s
Jaenke and Associates estimated that 26 "major agencies, departments,
or governmental bodies" are involved, including the Department of
Agriculture which alone has 23 separate agencies with an interest.94
Other authorities and observers come up with different estimates:
Ralston-Purina's Paul Cornelsen in his statement prepared for the
hearing of Mardh 4 said he counted at least 10 agencies in the execu-
tive branch "who had a hand in some aspect of our efforts to improve
91 Report of the "Commission on the Organization of the Government for the Conduct
of Forpign Policy," Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, June, 1975. p. 1.
92 McLaughlin. op. cit., p. 52.
93 E. A. Jaenke and Associates, Inc., "A National Food Policy: Requirements and
Alternatives." A Paper prepared for the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment,
Dec. 10, 1975, p. 22.
Ibid., p. 23.


food policy and nutrition in the Third World."95 The Library of Con-
gress estimated that 33 departments or agencies had an interest in food
Because food policy is an aspect of the work of many agencies and
because, as Raymond Hopkins said in a background paper for the
Murphy Commission, "(f)ood has become a global issue with dozens
of related policies linking hundreds of organizations" and in which
our "policy on food links our domestic with our foreign policies, our
foreign policies with each other, and our foreign policies and those of
other states," it must be dealt within an interagency framework.96 Ac-
cording to Jaenke and Associates, any food policy that does exist today
is made in an interagency framework.
As each crisis emerged in recent years, a new short-range patchwork deci-
sion-malking procedure was quickly inaugurated, generally at the White House
level. The effect has been to give to others rather than the Secretary of Agricul-
ture greater and greater responsibility for food policy-making. In addition, it has
resulted in an almost unbelievable number of councils, boards, agencies, and
committees--many overlapping and duplicating, but all designed to pull together
the necessary information for high-level decision-making.97
In testimony last January before the Senate Agriculture Committee,
Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, Charles W. Robinson,
*cited the increasing importance of agricultural policy to our overall
foreign policy as the impetus for the recent creation of three coordinat-
ing bodies:
The Food Committee of the Economic Policy Board/National
Security Council. Membership includes the Secretaries of State,
Treasury, Agriculture, Labor and Commerce; the chairman of the
Council of Economic Advisers; the Director of the Office of Man-
agement and Budget; the Assistant to the President for Economic
Affairs; the Executive Director of the Council on International
Economic Policy; and the Assistant to the President for National
Security Affairs. Its mandate was to develop and maintain data
on grain production and exports.
The Food Deputies Group of the Economic Policy Board. Rep-
resentatives of all domestic and foreign agencies with a substan-
tial interest in food policy met weekly.
The International Food Review Group. This body was chaired
by the Secretary of State with the Secretary of Agriculture as
vice chairman. The IFRG and its working group at the Assistant
Secretary level were established to coordinate U.S. followup
activities to the World Food Conference.98
This is all that the Under Secretary said about making foreign food
policy. This out-of-date material is included to point out that no
mention was made of the U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee. This is
an indication of the low importance which senior officials attach to
FAO, a finding which again belies tihe statement that the United
States considers FAO to be the paramount agency in tlhe international
food field.
05 Cornelsen. op. cit., p. 8.
96 Hopkins. op. cit.. p. 44.
97 E. A. Jaenke and Associates. op. cit.
98 Testimony of the lloinorable (ciharles W. Rolhiinon. Under .eretary of State for Eco-
nomic Affairs. "Who's Making Foreign Agricultural Policy," Hearings of the Subcoinm-
nittee on Forpign Agrieultural Policv of the Rennte Committee on Agriculture and For-
estry, Washington, D.C., Jan. 22 and 23, 1976, pp. 2S-30.


The U.S.-FAO Interagency Committee does not relate to or interact
with other food policy coordinating groups. According to Assistant
Secretary Bell, no direct relationship existed between the FAO Inter-
agency Committee and the International Food Review Group which
was charged with coordinating U.S. followup activities to the World
Food Conference, despite the fact FAO was responsible for imple-
menting many of the World Food Conference resolutions. Mr. Bell
explained the situation in these words:
The World Food Conference was organized by the United Nations rather than
by FAO. The World Food Council, proposed by the World Food Conference, is
also a UN rather than an FAO body. Consequently, the IFRG was set up by the
Department of State and is chaired by an officer of that Department. Also, it has
dealt with a much narrower range of subjects than the U.S.-FAO Interagency
Committee, and has concentrated primarily on the question of grain reserves.
However, the results of the deliberations of the IFRG have been taken into
account in the drafting of position papers for FAO meetings * "
On March 5, 1976, a new mechanism was introduced to replace the
three coordinating bodies named above. President Ford named Earl
Butz, Secretary of Agriculture, as the Chairman of the Agriculture
Policy Committee. The Committee replaces the IFRG and the EPB/
NSC Food Committee. The Food Deputies Group has been trans-
formed into the Agriculture Policy Working Group and will provide
staff assistance to the Committee.
According to a memorandum from the President to the members of
the committee, "This new committee consolidates agricultural policy-
making into one group, which will advise me on the formulation, co-
ordination, and implementation of all food and agricultural policy.
The scope of the Committee includes both domestic and international
food and agricultural issues." 100
The members of the new committee are: Secretaries of Agriculture,
State, Treasury, Commerce; Special Representative for Trade Nego-
tiations, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Director of
the Office of Management and Budget; Assistants to the President
for Domestic Affairs, Economic Affairs, and National Security Af-
fairs; Special Assistant to the President for Consumer Affairs, and
Acting Executive Director of the Council on International Economic
Policy. Officials who were members of one of the defunct groups but
who do not serve on the new committee are the Secretary of Labor
and the Deputy Secretary of State.
The new committee has the potential to become the focal point for
devising and implementing a national food and nutrition policy.
This body could also coordinate all U.S. activity in the food field,
including U.S. participation in various international food organiza-
tons. The absence of any mention of FAO in the documents thus far
made public about the committee suggest that FAO and the Inter-
agency Committee will not be considered by the committee in its work.
According to published reports, the committee plans to meet "at
least every other month," to leave "operational matters" which had been
subjects of dispute under the old system to the Department of Agri-
culture, and to discuss such matters as multilateral loans for palm oil
development, international sugar agreed i.ents, meat imports and quotas,
09 Lettpr from Assistant Secretary Bell to Senator Percy, Dec. 11, 1975.
10,, White House Press Release, Mar. 11, 1976.


and ways to expedite food aid decisions.101 These are matters of impor-
tance, but they seem minor in comparison to the need for the United
States to develop a coherent world food policy as part of a national
food and nutrition policy.

Responsibility for a national food and nutrition policy and for its
international components might be assigned to an existing department
or agency, to an interagency body such as the Agriculture Policy
Committee, to a unit in the Executive Office of the President headed
by a presidential assistant, or to a newly created independent agency,
a unit of the Executive Office of the President, or a Cabinet-level
Assigning responsibility and authority to an existing department or
agency would have the value of simplicity. The present division of
responsibility among a score or more of agencies, each with its own
interests and constituencies to support and defend, would make it
extremely difficult for any one of these units to succeed in bringing
all the pieces together in a national policy.
An interagency framework for food and nutrition policymaking
now exists. This framework, which recognizes the legitimate interest
and expertise of several units of the executive branch could produce
such a policy. It avoids establishing a new bureaucracy in the executive
branch and makes the existing st ructures work better through a process
of interagency consultation and bargaining. The question is whether
the political will to develop a comprehensive food and nutrition policy
exists. The interagency structure can work only if the President wants
it to work and only if the officials involved are personally committed to
the process.
An alternative to an interagency body chaired by a Cabinet. member
is one chaired by a member of the Whlite House staff. This person could
be designated an assistant to the President for food policy and could
l)e supported by a small staff in the White House. Jaenke and associates
suggest that this interagency l:odv be called the National Food Coun-
cil. The structure could be established by executive order and would
assure attention to food policy at the lighol-t levels of the White House.
The chairman of the Council, on the other hand, would have no
operating authority or responsibility and could only make recom-
mendations about 1)olicy. He or she would have to rely on others to
sanction officially thle national policy, and to implement the recom-
mendations devised by the Council. Not too much is to be gained bv
locating the Council in the White IHou-e if the objective of developing
and implementing a comprehensive policy has the full backing and
support, of the President.
,Jaenke and Associates also pose two alternatives which involve
creating new agencies for food and nutrition policy. In one instance, a
Cabinet-level Food Administrator would head an independent agency
within the executive branch staffed by technical experts inl all aspects
of food policy. Working with a committee of Cabinet officials similar
SJournal of Commerce, Apr. 9. 1976. p. 5.
'The following section draws heavily on the paper prepared by E. A. Jaenke and
Associates for the Office of Technology Assessmeut, pp. 30-39.


to the Food Council, the Administrator would devise a food policy,
but it would be implemented through the existing departments.
The advantage of this alternative is that the head of the agency
would be specifically empowered to devise, a food policy and he or
she would have the nevces.:ary full-time staff to accomplish the objec-
tive. The Food Administrator would have more authority than a
Presidential assistant who could only make recommendations to the
President or other officials.
Another alternative is a reorganization of the Federal Government
to create a new Cabinet-level DI)epartment of Food and Nutrition. This
would have the advantage of locating in one spot all authority and
responsibility for making and implementing food policy. A good or-
ganization, however, does not asiisure a food policy. A reorganization of
this magnitude, touching as many as 33 existing units in the executive
branch, would be disruptive. It would arouse opposition inside of Gov-
ernment and out. In its international aspects the work of this De-
partment would still have to be coordinated with that of the Depart-
ment of State.
Senator George McGovern, Chairman of the Select Committee on
Nutrition and Human Needs, and Senator Mark Hatfield. a member of
the committee, have both submitted legislative proposals which seek
to establish a focal point for food policy in the executive branch.
Senator Hatfield's bill-S. 881-establishes for a period of 4 years
an Office of Food Administration in the Executive Office of the Presi-
dent. The Administrator of the Office is to advise the President and
the Congress about all domestic and foreign food assistance programs
and to recommend a national nutrition policy to the President. lie is
not given any operating responsibilities, but must instead work with
the existing agencies charged with this authority.
Senator McGovern, together with Senator Hubert H. Humphrey,
also a member of the Select Committee, have introduced the Federal
Nutrition Planning and Organization Act S. 2867. The bill renames
the Department of Agriculture the Department of Food, Agriculture,
and Rural Affairs. It also creates an Office of Food and Nutrition in
the Executive Office of the President. The Director of the Office is to
advise and assist the President. the Congress, and the agencies of the
executive branch in formulating, implementing, and evaluating poli-
cies relating to or having an impact on food production and consump-
tion and the nutritional status of people at home and abroad. The
Director will facilitate interagency communication and consultation
on matters related to food and nutrition, but operating responsibility
remains with existing agencies or departments. He is charged with
preparing annually a National Food and Nutrition report which re-
lates nutritional needs here and overseas to the operations of U.S.
domestic and international food assistance programs ,and to make
necessa ry recommendations to the Congress. The Office will also devise
and implement a system for monitoring and assessing the nutritional
status of the population of the United States and of the world.
The staff recommends that the relevant congressional committees
give immediate consideration to the alternative proposals for estab-
lishing within the executive branch a focal point for devising and
implementing a national food and nutrition policy which includes
a significant international food policy component and a strategy for
combating worldwide hunger and malnutrition.


Our general objectives in the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO) support broad U.S. foreign policy
considerations, and stress importance of international agriculture for
the United States. Within this country's overall foreign policy frame-
work, the following objectives guide U.S. participation in FAO:
(i) Stimulating global economic development;
(ii) Increasing national agricultural outputs through the effec-
tive international exchange of scientific and technological infor-
(iii) Improving the quality and availability of global agri-
cultural commodity information, as a basis for planning produc-
tion and facilitating international trade in agricultural products;
(iv) Facilitating this country's dynamic participation in inter-
national agricultural markets.
FAO was brought formally into existence in Quebec on October 16,
1945. The President of the United States convened the Hot Springs
Conference which, in 1943, developed the basic ideas and plans that
led to the creation of the Organization. The United Stafes took a
leading part in the promulgation of FAO's purposes, and has had a
leading role in the interpretation and amplification of those purposes
over the years since the Quebec Conference.
Our objectives as described briefly above are consistent with the
purposes of FAO, as set out in the preamble of the FAO constitution:
(i) Raising levels of nutrition and standards of living of the
people under the member governments respective jurisdictions;
(ii) Securing improvements in the efficiency of the production
and distribution of all food and agricultural products;
(iii) Bettering the condition of rural populations; and
(iv) Thus contributing toward an expanding world economy
and ensuring humanity's freedom from hunger.
FAO's purposes are achieved through many types of activities, but
these may be grouped into three broad categories;
(i) The collection, analysis, and dissemination of data and
other information relating to food and agriculture:
(ii) The provision of international forums for the considera-
tion of problems of common concern to the member countries of
the Organization. on either regional or worldwide bases; and
(iii) The provision of technical assistance to developing coun-
tries in the planning and implementation of national or regional
development projects and programs.


Among FAO's functions, as defined in its constitution, is the fur-
nishing of such technical assistance as governments may request. At
the outset, attention to this function was minimal. However, from
1950 onward, as many new countries emerged in the developing areas
of the world, and as development funds became available, FAO re-
sponded rapidly to the need and, throughout the last two decades a
large proportion of its total resources has been devoted to the develop-
ment aspects of its program of work.
Since FAO is a primary multilateral source of advice and technical
assistance to the developing countries in the broad area of agricultural
development planning and programs, substantive competence and ad-
ministrative capacity to plan and manage its extensive advisory serv-
ices and technical assistance to the developing countries are essential.
This development assistance element is discussed further in the follow-
ing comments on individual sectors of FAO responsibility.
The United States has a profound interest in these activities as evi-
denced by its own large bilateral aid programs, its substantial contri-
butions to the multilateral development agencies and to the inter-
related elements of agricultural production, rural development and
reduction of poverty. Thus, the United States has a special interest
in close interaction between its own efforts in these areas and those
of FAO.
By far the largest portion of the increasing amounts of food re-
quired by an ever-expanding population must be produced in the
countries where that food is consumed. It follows that a major objec-
tive must be the expansion of economic agricultural production, par-
ticularly in the developing, heavily populated countries.
Other major objectives must be to conserve and use effectively the
planet's limited soil, water, plant, and animal resources, both ini the
relatively short term and over the longer term.
Within these broad guidelines, the United States considers it im-
portant that FAO concentrate on those areas which can improve man's
present and future welfare. FAO is in an excellent position to take
effective action or to assist member countries in taking effective action
in such important areas is:
(i) Identification. evaluation, preservation and effective use of
important animal and plant genetic resources;
(ii) Development of efficient national seed industries;
(iii) Reduction of postharvest crop losses;
(iv) Establishment of effective animal and plant quarantine
regulations and procedures;
(v) Development of safe and effective plant and animal pest
iand disease, control and eradication techniques;
(vi) Development of economical, effective water storage and
irrigation systems; including adequate measures to control soil
erosion, and to conserve water through the control of runoff;
(vii) Development of balanced labor-intensive farming sys-
tems for small holders; and

S(viii) Development of onfarm and other rural processing of
agricultural products, and more efficient marketing systems for
farm products.
FAO should be concerned with the economic aspects of agriculture
and with the social benefits that can accrue from greater and more
efficient production. Specifically, U.S. objectives for effective action
by FAO center in four major areas:
(i) Collection and dissemination of essential statistical and
economic data on agricultural, fishery, and forestry production,
distribution, and utilization;
(ii) Analyzing these data, and providing guidance to member
countries, including the making of long-term projections;
(iii) Providing advisory assistance, particularly to developing
countries, with a view to improving their capabilities to collect
and disseminate statistics, conduct economic analyses, and do
effective economic policy planning in the agricultural, fisheries,
and forestry fields;
(iv) Providing information, guidance, and advisory or tech-
nical assistance to member countries on the development and
strengthening of the rural institutions essential to the achieve-
ment of agricultural, fishery, and forestry development, and the
betterment of rural living conditions. Such institutions relate to
both the technical and economic and social aspects.
FAO is in a particularly good position to collect, tabulate and pub-
lish statistical information, on a worldwide basis, for all major aspects
of agricultural, fishery, and forestry production, distribution and
utilization. While it is in a position to do useful economic analytical
and projection work, such work should be kept in proper balance in
relation to technical activities aimed at improving production, con-
servation, distribution, and utilization.
Although FAO's activities relating to commodities are a part of the
Organization's overall economic activities, those activities which re-
late to the major agricultural commodities, and particularly to tho-e
portions which move in international trade, are of special importance.
The U.S. objectives in regard to FAO's agricultural commodity
activities relate primarily to the following areas in which the Orga-
nization is in position to render effective service to its member
(i) The collection and exchange of data and other information
on current production, consumption, and trade;
(ii) The analyses of commodity data and the consideration of
problems to which they relate, in the Committee on Commodity
Problems (CCP) and its subsidiary bodies, i.e.. the various inter-
governmental groups, and the Consultative Subcommittee on
Surplus Disposal; and
(iii) The judicious assessment of prevailing food stocks and


In its work to achieve these objectives, the United States has tra-
'ditionally supported the general discussion and study of agricultural
trade matters in the CCP and other appropriate FAO forums. On the
-other hand, FAO has no implementing authority in this area, and the
United States believes specific trade matters should be dealt with in
the appropriate negotiating fora, for example, GATT.
The United States considers it important that, with the formation
of new bodies. CCP and its subsidiary groups should maintain their
traditional roles, which may include the monitoring of progress in
international agricultural adjustment. As a corollary, the new bodies
(such as the Committee on World Food Security) should take into
account the work of the CCP and its subsidiary groups, and to the
extent possible should rely on existing FAO staff and supporting
Marine and inland fish comprise an important protein source. The
nature of this resource is such that an extraordinary degree of regional
and international cooperation and coordination is required to insure
its continuing availability, and to avoid decreases, sometimes irretriev-
able, in fish production. FAO is uniquely qualified to provide this
needed global approach that will be all the more necessary under the
new ocean regime that is expected to emerge from current Law of the
Sea negotiations.
Specifically. U.S. objectives are:
(i) Achievement of proper management of world fish stocks
through regional and international cooperation;
(ii) Contributing to and benefiting from the collection, anal-
yses, and dissemination of data basic to sound fishery conservation
and utilization;
(iii) Extending and coordinating effective technical assistance
to developing countries, through national and regional projects,
and including major attention to projects that maximize benefits
to low income, small-scale fishermen and fish culturists. In this
connection, the United States believes that management and de-
velopment should be pursued in a complementary manner and
that technical assistance should be appropriately proportioned
among all stages and types of fishery development, including
stock assessment, harvesting, culture, processing, and marketing;
(iv) Utilization of the FAO regional fishery bodies to promote
and facilitate the adoption of cooperative management approaches,
and to enhance development processes by providing more accurate
assessments of local needs and suggesting more productive appli-
cation of available resou races to regional development projects; and
(v) Utilization of the FAO Committee on Fisheries (COFI),
as the only truly global forum for discussion of fishery problems,
for provision of the informed overview and guidance necessary to
optimize FAO fishery efforts.

As with food, demands for timber and other forest products con-
tinue to expand as the human population increases. As that popula-
tion increases, it places increased pressure upon the finite portions of


the Earth's surface which can be devoted to forests. Managing the
world's forests in such a manner as to insure maximum continuing
output is, therefore, essential to man's welfare. The United States
considers that FAO can make an important contribution to the achieve-
jnent of this overall objective. Specific areas in which FAO's participa-
tion and assistance can be most beneficial include the following:
(i) Development of tropical forestry, thus making substan-
itally greater use of the world's largest underused and least effec-
tively managed forest resource;
(ii) Development of pulp and paper industries, in appropriate
places, to insure effective use of available forest resources;
(iii) Fostering development of forestry activities and process-
ing of forest products in areas and in ways whereby they can con-
tribute effectively to rural development; and to meeting world
needs for forest products.
The United States considers FAO's work on forestry statistics to be
especially helpful. Regarding research, it is the U.S. view that FAO's
emphasiss should be on the strengthening of national forestry research
To help raise levels of nutrition for all peoples in all countries, and
to improve the quality of food products, tie United States, through
its participation in FAO seeks:
(i) To facilitate the exchange of information on nutrition;
(ii) To promote coordination among approaches and activities
of various international organizations and among national and
private organizations that are in position to contribute to the ob-
jective of raising levels of nutrition;
(iii) To achieve sustained improvement in nutritional levels in
member countries, and particularly in the developing countries;
(iv) To support the development and application of interna-
tional food standards.
In order to achieve these objectives, it is the view of the United
States that:
(i) FAO's nutrition activities should give attention to the sci-
entific, technical, and planning aspects, and that there should be
a reasonable balance among these sectors:
(ii) FAO should assist, countries in developing their own ca-
pacities to analyze problems, and to plan, implement, and evalu-
ate. nutrition programs;
(iii) FAO, in cooperation with otlier organizations should
encourage and-where practicable-coordina;ite the conduct of ap-
plied nutrition research;
(iv) FAO should also cooperate with otler organizations, as
appropriate, in continued efforts to develop an early warning sys-
tem for predicting serious niitritional problems; find
(v) FAO should continue to cooperate with WHO, and with
member countries that chair Codex Committees, of the Codex
Alimentarius Commission. with a view to moving forward expe-
ditiously in the establislnment of Codex standards.
FAO should identify in cooperation with other donor organizations
and agencies, geographic and substantive areas of greatest need, and


identify areas wherein various organizations and agencies might con-
centrate, thus avoiding duplication and insuring effective use of avail-
able resources.
The United States is of the view that adequate nutrition can most
effectively be achieved through diets that include an appropriate va-
riety of foods. However, where specific deficiencies need to be addressed
and where economic, social, or health conditions make the use of a
varied diet difficult or not feasible, use of fortified or fabricated foods,
or single foods rich in specific nutrients may often be a useful and
practical strategy.

The United States sees as a primary consideration the need to utilize
effectively all human re-ources in rural development programs and the
obligation to improve the status and welfare of women. The United
States believes that FAO could and should play a decisive role in (a)
giving full weight to the contributions that wonen make in the total
rural development effort; (b) insuring their participation in the shap-
ing of development policies and programs in the agricultural section;
(c) developing effective training and information programs for both
home-based a1nd out-of home activities of women; and (d) appropri-
ate institution building. FAO should monitor programs in which it is
involved to insure that tlie-.e impact favorably on women as partici-
pants and beneficiaries.

Essential to rural development are: (a) The improvement of nutri-
tion through improved planning and preparation of family meals;
(b) improved efficiency in household production, conservation, and
storage of many foods and other products; (c) the improvement of
household management and technology and conditions of rural living;
(d) the acceptance and implementation of family planning programs
and (e) the fuller participation of the rural family in the development
The United States believes FAO should have a strong home econom-
ics program to deal with the development and application of scientific
and technical knowledge in these areas, make efficient use of this 1.knowl-
edge in the related nutrition and rural development programs, and
encourage countries to utilize this knowledge more fully.

The provision of technical assistance is a major function of FAO.
The United States' interest and effort in this area is of such a magni-
tude that this function is deserving of special emphasis. The United
States has supported and encouraged FAO's technical assistance, and
more broadly, its development activities as they have increased over
the last 25 years. The United States believes that:
(i) Major attention should be directed to increasing food pro-
duction, and improvement of nutritional levels, in all the devel-
oping countries;


(ii) Special attention should be given to increasing the effi-
ciency and outputs of smill farms, and to increasing the partici-
pation of poor farmers in development;
(iii) Major attention should also be given to the essential
activities that must accompany increases in production, that is,
reduction of postharvest losses, adequate storage, preservation
and processing, effective marketing systems, and increased supply
of inputs; and
(iv) The achievement of the foregoing objectives, while impor-
tant in the short term, are essentially long-term goals, and their
achievement will require particular emphasis upon the institution
building and infrastructure that is necessary for such long-term
but relatively rapid growth. That is. (a) expansion of national
agricultural research systems and further strengthening of inter-
national research institutions; (b) rapid development and growth
of a wide range of institutions including extension, marketing,
credit, and input supply; (c) accelerated expansion of educational
institutions to provide the large numbers of trained personnel
needed; (d) large investment in the physical capital of rural
development including roads, electrification, irrigation, and mar-
ket towns; (e) special emphasis throughout on including the small
farmer and the rural landless, in the various development proc-
esses; and (f) special concern for the role women do and can play
at all levels with respect to the policy determination, administra-
tion, and implementation of prograins for the production and
utilization of food.
In the light of the general and specific objectives set out above, it
is the intention of the United States to make full use of FAO as an
instrument for progress in world agricultural, fishery, and forestry
matters. In so doing the United Statefi- will:
(i) Contribute to, and effectively utilize the services FAO pro-
vides, as an international ceiter for statistical and many other
kinds of economic and scientific and technical information;
(ii) Utilize the wide variety of mechanisms FAO provides for
consultations and cooper ration among countries;
(iii) Support and benefit from the effective mechanisms FAO
provides for assistance to developing countries; and
(iv) Support and benefit from the constructive leadership
FAO is in position to provide in international agricultural, fish-
ery and forestry affairs, given the status the Organization has
achieved in these fields.


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