Doc. 8049

23 March 1998

Food supply in the world

Reply to Recommendation 1351 (1997)

from the Committee of Ministers

adopted on 17 March 1998 at the 623rd meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies

1.       The Committee of Ministers noted Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1351 (1997) on world food supply in November 1997 and immediately forwarded it to the Organisation's member governments. At the same time it decided to link Recommendation 1351 (1997) and Assembly Recommendation 1319 (1997) on the organisation by the Council of Europe of a second European campaign on North-South interdependence and solidarity in 1998.

2.       During the first part of its 1998 session, the Parliamentary Assembly learned of the Committee of Ministers' position on holding a second Council of Europe campaign on world interdependence and solidarity. The Committee of Ministers' reply to Recommendation 1319 informed it that the Committee was in favour of a European campaign to promote respect and solidarity between peoples in line with the Final Declaration of the Strasbourg Summit and as part of combating poverty and social exclusion.

3.       The campaign programme at European level and nationally in the member States remains to be agreed by an international campaign steering committee. The Committee of Ministers wishes the Parliamentary Assembly and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe to be involved in organising the campaign and in campaign activities. It would point out, however, that the agricultural matters with which Recommendation 1351 is concerned lie outside the Council of Europe's province. For that reason, and given the division of responsibilities between the different international organisations, it does not believe the Council of Europe should engage in action concerning the world food supply.

4.       Regard being had to the priorities agreed at the Second Summit of Heads of State and Government of Council of Europe member States and to the Organisation's budget requirements for carrying out its recognised work, the Committee of Ministers does not see any possibility of subsidising co-operation projects in the developing countries from the ordinary budget, even in symbolic fashion. Even the future European campaign on world interdependence and solidarity will have to be funded wholly by voluntary contributions from member States, international organisations and other donors. On the other hand, the Council of Europe's North-South Centre, as a partial agreement of only some of the member States, has its own budget, within which it is free to develop the activities provided for in its work programme in accordance with its terms of reference as laid down in Resolution (93) 51 confirming the continuation of the Centre, adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 21 October 1993.

5.       As regards, lastly, the recommendation that the Committee of Ministers organise in 1999, on the occasion of the Council of Europe's 50th anniversary and as a follow-up to a possible second European campaign in 1998, a major conference on North-South interdependence and solidarity, the Committee of Ministers would assure the Assembly that it will bear the proposal in mind. It points out, however, that the campaign plan has not yet been agreed and that so far no decisions have been taken on possibly linking the campaign to the Organisation's 50th-anniversary celebrations.