United Nations

A/53/137


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

10 June 1998

ORIGINAL:




                                                   A/53/137 - E/1998/66
       
                                                   Original: English
       
       
General Assembly
Fifty-third session
Item 61 of the preliminary list*
Restructuring and revitalization of the
  United Nations in the economic, social
  and related fields

     * A/53/50.


Economic and Social Council
Substantive session of 1998
Item 8 of the provisional agenda**
Implementation of General Assembly
  resolutions 50/227 and 52/12 B

     ** E/1998/100.


       Restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations in the
                   economic, social and related fields


                     Report of the Secretary-General


Contents         

                                                    Paragraphs  Page

  I.  Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-3        2

 II.  Recommendations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4         2

III.  Progress in the implementation of General 
      Assembly resolution 50/227 . . . . . . . . . . .  5         4

 IV.  Executive Boards of the United Nations 
      Development Programme/United Nations Population 
      Fund, the United Nations Children's Fund and 
      the World Food Programme . . . . . . . . . . . .  6        16


             I.    Introduction


         1. The present report responds to Economic and Social Council
decision 1997/322, in which the Council decided to continue its consideration
of the agenda item on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/227
and requested the Secretary-General to submit a report on the question to the
Council for consideration at its substantive session of 1998. The mandate,
given by the Assembly in its resolution 45/264, for an annual report of the
Secretary-General on restructuring and revitalization of the United Nations
in the economic, social and related fields is also covered in this report.

         2. In section I of the report a number of recommendations are made
for consideration by the Council with respect to the further implementation of
the various provisions of Assembly resolution 50/227. Section II provides
information on efforts made by the Assembly and the Council in implementing
relevant provisions of the resolution and, where appropriate, also with
respect to the provisions contained in General Assembly resolution
52/12 B. The status of implementation of resolution 50/227 is provided in two
columns; the left-hand column contains paragraphs of resolution 50/227 that
call for action; the right-hand column presents the status of follow-up
corresponding to each action-oriented paragraph. The paragraphs of resolution
50/227 that specifically address the Executive Boards of the United Nations
Development Programme/United Nations Population Fund (UNDP/UNFPA), the United
Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP) (paras.
76-78) are treated in section IV in order to provide the Council with a clear
comparison between the executive boards in their implementation of those
paragraphs, which primarily concern their working methods.

         3. Some of the provisions of Assembly resolution 50/227 were
addressed to the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on an Agenda for Development
and the Open-ended High-level Working Group on the Strengthening of the United
Nations System. Both working groups completed their work, which culminated in
the adoption by the Assembly of resolutions 51/240 and 51/241, respectively.
The report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Assembly
resolution 51/241 (A/52/855) was submitted to the Assembly in May 1998.


            II.    Recommendations


         4. The recommendations set out below are intended to promote further
implementation of Assembly resolution 50/227. They concern (a) the General
Assembly; (b) documentation; (c) the Economic and Social Council; (d)
inter-agency coordination; and (e) the relationship between the United Nations
and the international finance and trade institutions. Following each
recommendation, the corresponding paragraph number from resolution 50/227,
annex I, on which the proposed recommendation is based, is provided in
parentheses where applicable.


            [BOLD] Recommendations:

            (a)    General Assembly

            (i)    Informal sessions should continue in the form of an open
            interactive dialogue, including with civil society (para. 19).

            (ii)   Ways of strengthening cooperation between the Second and
            Third Committees should continue to be explored, including the
            possibility of joint consideration of common issues such as
            poverty, women and development, and the right to development. The
            bureaux of the Second and Third Committees could draw lessons from
            the experiences of the two bureaux of the fifty-second
            session (para. 21).

            (iii)  Texts of resolutions could be further streamlined and made
            more focused, concrete and operational. Submission of omnibus
            draft resolutions could be encouraged. Another way of making
            decisions more concrete and operational would be to relate the
            type of outcome to the kind of mandate it generates, e.g.,
            work programme for the secretariat, policy guidance to the United
            Nations system, recommendations to Governments, and so forth
            (para. 24).

            (iv)   To ensure that the formal debates have value added and do
            not overlap and repeat debates elsewhere in the system, a few
            areas of focus could be identified under various agenda items or a
            few items could be identified for strategic focus in the debates
            instead of having a formal debate on each item on the agenda,
            without excluding the possibility of submitting resolutions under
            the other agenda items (para. 27).

            (b)    Documentation and related matters

            (v)    The possibility of consolidating some of the reports that
            are requested every year should continue to be examined. The
            Second Committee has initiated the practice of reviewing, at the
            end of its session, all requests for reports. Such a practice
            could be more systematically applied to consolidating all
            decisions taken by an intergovernmental body with a view to
            providing integrated guidance for the work programme of the
            Secretariat and leading to consolidated documentation for
            intergovernmental consideration (para. 34).

            (vi)   Decisions could be made on the recommendations on
            the simplification of existing reporting requirements made by the
            Secretary-General in his reports (A/50/697 and Corr.1, sect. F,
            and A/51/501, sect. C), taking into account the reports that will
            be required for the follow-up to United Nations conferences
            (para. 35).

            (c)    Economic and Social Council

            (vii)  The Economic and Social Council may wish to build
            on the progress made in the implementation of the recommendations
            in paragraph 39 of annex I to Assembly resolution 50/227 regarding
            periodic meetings with the bureaux and the secretariats of the
            functional commissions, other subsidiary and related bodies and
            the relevant executive boards. The Council may also wish to
            consider how further progress can be made, taking into account
            the Secretary-General's reform proposals (A/51/950, para. 134),
            concerning the Council's organization and methods of work,
            including the idea of holding its various segments at
            different pre-established periods during the year,
            without affecting the total duration of the meetings held by the
            Council in any given year, and the idea of extending the duration
            of the operational activities segment. 

            (viii) As proposed in the report of the Secretary-General on the
            follow-up to conferences (E/1998/19), the Council may wish to
            encourage all functional commissions to consider including in 
            their agenda a standing item on follow-up to the agreed
            conclusions of the Council to ensure that the agreed conclusions
            of the high-level and coordination segments are followed up
            systematically by the United Nations system (para. 44).

            (ix)   It may be possible to further streamline and regroup the
            agenda items in the general segment with the aim of making the
            council's review of the work of its functional commissions more in
            line with its managerial and oversight functions and with the
            objectives of Assembly resolution 50/227. Such an effort
            would need to take into account the outcome of the Council's
            review of its subsidiary bodies. Consideration could also be given
            to the possibility of having a standing item on the council's
            agenda on the review of the work of the functional commissions,
            under which the Council could carry out its responsibility of
            harmonizing and coordinating their work programmes (paras. 66-67).

            (d)    Inter-agency coordination

            (x)    The Council could give consideration to further steps that
            could be taken to implement the provisions of Assembly resolution
            51/240 (the Agenda for Development) regarding inter-agency
            coordination with a view to (a) engaging the specialized agencies
            and United Nations funds and programmes in a focused dialogue with
            the Council to identify ways and means of reflecting the policies
            and priorities agreed to by the General Assembly in their
            activities and enhancing coherence and complementarity of efforts
            of all bodies, taking into account the role of the funds and
            programmes; ways could also be identified to include the
            intergovernmental bodies of the agencies in such a
            dialogue; and (b) improving the effectiveness and efficiency of
            the Council's activities by enhancing the availability of all
            relevant information and analyses on system-wide issues from the
            specialized agencies, including the provision of reports and
            studies to the Assembly through the Council, in accordance with
            the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

            (e)    Relationship between the United Nations and international
                   finance and trade institutions

            (xi)   The General Assembly and the respective governing bodies of
            the Bretton Woods institutions, based on the conclusions of the
            joint exploratory review, 1/ could consider further concrete areas
            and forms of collaboration in the field of development-related
            activities. The Council may wish to consider appropriate
            steps to strengthen cooperation between the United Nations and the
            Bretton Woods institutions in the light of the review (paras.
            86-87).

            (xii)  The Council may wish to review the format and modalities of
            future meetings of the high-level special meeting proximate to the
            semi-annual meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions, based on
            the experience of the first meeting (para. 88). [unbold] 


           III.    Progress in the implementation of General Assembly
                   resolution 50/227


         5. The present section contains information on the status of the
implementation of General Assembly resolution 50/227. The dual column layout
has been provided for ease of reference. It should be noted that the left-hand
column does not necessarily follow the relevant paragraphs of annex I to
resolution 50/227 sequentially. Where deemed appropriate, paragraphs that were
seen as addressing similar issues have been grouped together in order to
provide the Council with a clearer picture of the status of implementation on
related matters. Furthermore, the paragraphs on primarily working
methods, addressed to the executive boards of the funds and programmes, are
treated separately in section IV.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Provisions of General Assembly                   Implementation
  resolution 50/227, annex I
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
      I. Funding of operational activities for development of the United
         Nations system
       
       
... all aspects of funding of United   Pursuant to General Assembly 
Nations operational activities ...     resolutions 50/227, 52/12 B and 52/203,
should be examined by the General      the executive boards of United
Assembly and the Economic and          Nations funds and programmes have
Social Council in accordance with      been reviewing their current funding
their respective mandates (para. 9).   arrangements and have developed
                                       proposals to halt the decline of their
... the Economic and Social Council    core and non-core resources. The
should consider, on an annual basis    report of the Secretary-General on the
in the operational activities          1998 triennial comprehensive policy
segment, the overall financial         review of the operational activities
picture of the funds and programmes    for development of the United Nations
... and make recommendations           system (E/1998/48) covers the recent
thereon to the General                 consideration of the subject of core
Assembly and the funds and             and non-core funding by the executive
programmes (para. 11).                 boards of the funds and programmes.
                                       It will be recalled that the
The governing bodies of each programme Secretary-General, in his report to
and fund ... shall adopt ... a         the Council at its substantive session
specific and realistic target for      of 1997 (E/1997/65/Add.1) and his
core resources ... in accordance with  report to the General Assembly 
relevant decisions taken by the        (A/52/431), updating the report to the
Assembly and the Council, the          Council, provided detailed information
governing bodies of each programme     on this issue. Furthermore, in response
and fund shall take decisions on       to Assembly resolution 52/12 B, the
their own funding arrangements         issue was discussed more extensively
(para. 12).                            in a note by the Secretary-General
                                       (A/52/847), addressing current funding
                                       arrangements and the action taken by
                                       the executive boards of funds
                                       and programmes.
       
       
                       II. General Assembly
       
       
The Open-ended High-level Working      The use of innovative mechanisms
Group on the Strengthening of the      continued to be promoted, which gave
United Nations System should be        additional impetus to a more focused
encouraged to consider ...             debate in the Committees. In the
promoting the use of innovative        Second Committee, 13 executive 
mechanisms, in accordance with the     briefings were held by heads of 
rules of procedure of                  departments, agencies, funds and
the General Assembly ... (para. 19).   programmes. The Secretary-General
                                       gave a special address on the
The Secretariat and representatives    implementation of the Agenda for
of the specialized agencies are        Development. Panel discussions
requested to provide executive         with experts from outside the United
briefings, as appropriate, on the      Nations were held on international
matters to be covered under the        migration and population issues
items on the agenda, at least a        and on finance and development
week prior to the opening of           issues in emerging markets. A video-
the General Assembly (para. 31).       conference on the fiftieth anniversary
                                       of the Havana conference enabled
                                       the Second Committee to interact with a
                                       panel organized by the United Nations
                                       Conference on Trade and Development
                                       (UNCTAD) in Geneva. Keynote
                                       addresses were given on the
                                       international conference
                                       on development finance and on the role
                                       of public policy in a globalizing
                                       economy. The Third Committee
                                       also had numerous informal briefings by
                                       high-level Secretariat officials and
                                       special representatives and
                                       rapporteurs, which were considered to
                                       be highly useful.
       
There is a need to promote greater     At the fifty-second session of the
coherence and complementarity          Assembly, the Bureaux of the Second
between the work of the Second and     and Third Committees met to review
Third Committees (para. 21).           their respective programmes of work in
                                       order to exchange information on the
                                       issues discussed in each and to
                                       identify potential areas of overlap or
                                       duplication. The two Committees held
                                       joint briefings on common themes such
                                       as poverty, and children and
                                       development.
       
There is a need to consider possible   The report of the Economic and
measures to allow for the coordinated  Social Council is considered in four
consideration of the report of the     of the Main Committees and in plenary
Economic and Social Council during     meetings. In this regard, consultations
the General Assembly session (para.    between the Bureau of the Council and
22).                                   the Bureaux of the Second and Third
                                       Committees took place to discuss the
                                       coordinated consideration of the
                                       report. Significant improvements have
                                       been made in the structure and
                                       presentation of the report of the
                                       Council to better assist the Assembly
                                       in its deliberations. Efforts to make
                                       the report more user-friendly and
                                       accessible will continue.
       
To the extent feasible, the            The discussions in the Second and
discussions in the Second and Third    Third Committees commenced after the
Committees should not commence until   end of the general debate in the 
after the end of the general           plenary meetings of the fifty-second
debate in the plenary meetings of      session of the General Assembly.
the General Assembly (para. 23).       

For issues of a procedural nature,     The number of resolutions in the
decisions, instead of resolutions,     Second Committee was dramatically
should be used to the maximum extent   reduced from 46 in 1994 to 28 in
possible. Resolutions should           1996 but slightly increased to 31 in
be shorter, in particular as regards   1997. The Third Committee also achieved
preambular parts. The bureaux, in      a significant reduction in its number
reviewing the respective agendas,      of resolutions, from 71 in 1994 to
could identify and recommend those     63 in 1996, but reversed the trend
individual items or clusters of        with an increase to 69 in 1997.
related items that could be            In most cases their length, in 
effectively considered in omnibus      particular of preambular parts, was 
resolutions (para. 24).                shortened, in conformity with Assembly
                                       resolution 50/227.
       
... for issues dealing with special    General Assembly resolution 52/169 on
economic assistance to individual      special economic assistance consists
countries, each resolution could       of 13 parts (A-M); each part, however,
contain ... a common preambular        has its own preambular section.
section, while specificity             
(individual needs) would be            
maintained within a number of          
operative paragraphs (para. 26).       
          
To facilitate discussions based on an  By its resolution 51/241, the
integrated approach to development     Assembly provided for further steps to
issues, the possibility of choosing    be taken to rationalize and streamline
a principal theme or themes should be  the agenda, based on the Guidelines on
explored to focus substantive debate   the Rationalization of the Agenda of 
under each "cluster" in the agenda     the General Assembly agreed to by the
without prejudice to the right of      Assembly in annex I to its resolution
delegations to raise any other         48/264 and, in particular, to make
specific issue in the debates          greater use of clustering,
(para. 27).                            biennialization or triennialization
                                       of agenda items. The Second Committee
Consultations should be held at an     began clustering items on its agenda
early stage, in an organizational      at the fortieth session. In recent
session of the Committee, before       years its agenda has undergone a series
the start of its general debate,       of modifications pursuant to the
based on proposals from the bureau     provisions of Assembly resolution
for decision, on clustering of the     50/227. The Second Committee in 1997
agenda, and, where possible, themes    made a further attempt to identify
and focus for these clusters, taking   subthemes to focus the debate under
into account the content of reports    clusters and subclusters of the agenda
presented, as well as on items to      at informal consultations organized
be included for discussion or items    before the start of the general debate.
for decisions and resolutions          The Third Committee at the end of
without formal debate (para. 28).      each session devotes one or two
                                       meetings to a full discussion of its
                                       agenda and measures to improve its
                                       modus operandi. The work of the Third
                                       Committee, organized in two clusters
                                       (social and related issues; and human
                                       rights and related issues), has been
                                       streamlined progressively without
                                       diminishing the political relevance of
                                       the sensitive issues on the agenda.
                                       Informal consultations were held before
                                       the start of the general debate in
                                       accordance with Assembly resolution
                                       50/227.
       
       
                III. Documentation and related matters
       
       
The Second Committee should, in        Before the opening of the general
accordance with Assembly resolution    debate in 1997, the Chairman of the
48/162, look early in the session      Second Committee convened informal
into all aspects related to the        consultations to discuss ways to
improvement of the working methods     improve the working methods of the
of the Committee (para. 31).           Committee. Matters discussed
                                       included time limits for interventions,
                                       deadlines for the submission of
                                       resolutions under the various items,
                                       the timely start of each meeting, and
                                       proposed themes to focus interventions
                                       under clusters or subclusters of
                                       items, as well as informal briefings
                                       and panels parallel to the Committee.
       
There should be greater use of         The World Economic and Social Survey,
relevant background documents in the   will be available for the high-level
Second Committee, such as the World    segment of the Council and an update
Economic and Social Survey, the Trade  is submitted to the Second Committee.In
and Development Report, the World      addition, the Trade and Development
Development Report and the World       Report and the World Development Report
Economic Outlook; in the preparation   will be made available to the Second
of the first two reports, cooperation  Committee. The World Economic Outlook
and coordination between the           is issued twice a year, in May and
Department for Economic and Social     October. The consolidation of the
Information and Policy Analysis and    three departments in the economic
the secretariat of the United          and social areas into a single
Nations Conference on Trade and        Department of Economic and Social
Development should be enhanced to      Affairs and the establishment of the
ensure more complementarity            Executive Committee on Economic and
between the reports (para. 32).        Social Affairs have facilitated more
                                       effective cooperation and coordination
                                       in the preparation of these reports and
                                       have resulted in enhanced
                                       complementarity between them. In
                                       particular, the Department of Economic
                                       and Social Affairs and UNCTAD have
                                       reached a common understanding,
                                       including on the preparation of a joint
                                       year-end assessment and forecast on the
                                       world economy, the World Economic and
                                       Social Survey and the Trade and
                                       Development Report, which has been
                                       approved by the Secretary-General as
                                       part of the United Nations programme of
                                       reform.
       
There should be continued improvement  It will be recalled that the Assembly
of other reports to make them more     in its resolution 52/214 requested the
concise and action-oriented, by        Secretary-General to direct all
highlighting the critical areas        departments to include, where 
requiring action by the General        appropriate (a) a summary of the 
Assembly and, as appropriate, by       report; (b) consolidated
making specific recommendations. All   conclusions, recommendations and
documentation should be provided       other proposed actions; and 
within the specified timetables and    relevant background information.
page limits and in all official        In its resolution 51/241, the
United Nations languages. Efforts      Assembly also requested the
should also continue to be made to     Secretary-General to pursue an
have all documentation available in    information technology plan with
electronic form, in particular for     a range of options to provide all
distribution on the Internet, in a     permanent missions to the United
timely manner and within existing      Nations and the wider public with
resources (para. 33).                  on-line access to documents and
                                       relevant United Nations information.
                                       Documents and reports have increasingly
                                       been made available in the Optical Disk
                                       System and on the Internet in an
                                       advance unedited form. The
                                       Secretary-General, in his reform
                                       proposal (A/51/950, para. 247),
                                       indicated that he would take actions to
                                       enhance the production and
                                       dissemination of documents through
                                       electronic means. The Technical
                                       Subgroup of the Ad Hoc Open-ended
                                       Working Group on Informatics, chaired
                                       by Mr. Ahmad Kamal (Pakistan), has also
                                       continued its work on related issues.
       
In order to rationalize and simplify   Progress thus far in implementing
reporting procedures, the Second and   this provision has been limited. The
Third Committees shall, at the end     Second Committee, at its previous
of their sessions, while reviewing     session, initiated the practice of
their draft programmes of work for     reviewing all requests for reports. It
the next sessions, consider            will be recalled that the Assembly,
procedural decisions regarding         in its resolution 51/241, requested
requests for reports, including        that all bodies exercise restraint
where possible integrated reports on   in making proposals containing
closely related items, as well as      requests for new reports and consider
items to be inscribed on the           integrating, biennializing or
agendas for the next sessions          triennializing the presentation of
... (para. 34).                        reports, bearing in mind paragraphs 6
                                       and 7 of General Assembly resolution
                                       50/206 C.
       
It is noted that the Economic and      The Secretary-General elaborated
Social Council requested the           on this matter in detail in his
Secretary-General to prepare           progress report to the Assembly
proposals, for consideration by the    at its fiftieth session (A/50/697
Council in 1996 and by the General     and Corr.1, sect. F) and
Assembly at its fifty-first session,   reaffirmed the recommendations in
on the simplification of existing      his reports to the Assembly at its
reporting requirements, taking into    fifty-first session (A/51/501, sect. C)
account the reports that will be       and its fifty-second session
required for the follow-up to          (A/52/155). It will be recalled that
United Nations conferences (para. 35). the Assembly in its resolution 51/241
                                       decided that the number of reports
                                       requested shall be rationalized where
                                       possible so as to permit more focused
                                       consideration of issues. 
       
       
                    IV. Economic and Social Council
       
       
In the follow-up to United Nations     The Bureau of the Council held
conferences, the Council shall ensure  consultations with the bureaux and
the harmonization and coordination of  the secretariats of the functional
the agendas and work programmes of the commissions on strengthening links
functional commissions by promoting a  among functional commissions in the
clearer division of labour among them  integrated follow-up to global
and providing clear policy guidance    conferences, streamlining efforts for
to them ... The Council could          the overall review of the World Summit
periodically organize meetings on      for Social Development and the Fourth
specific issues to allow for more      World Conference on Women in the year
dialogue with the chairpersons and the 2000, follow-up to the recommendations
secretariats ... of the functional     of the Council and ensuring continuity
commissions, other subsidiary and      of the bureaux of the functional
related bodies and the relevant        commissions. The Council, at its 
executive boards ... (para. 39).       session in May 1998, held a panel
                                       meeting with chairpersons of the
                                       functional commissions to discuss
                                       coordination issues in the integrated
                                       follow-up to conferences as well as
                                       with the Chairpersons of the Executive
                                       Boards of UNDP/UNFPA and UNICEF (see
                                       also E/1998/19).
       
The Council shall hold a shorter,      This provision came into effect as of
focused substantive session for four   the substantive session of 1997. The
weeks in July (para. 40).              Council will need to further improve
                                       its efficiency in order to accommodate
                                       the newly established humanitarian
                                       affairs segment.
       
The Secretary-General is requested     An addendum to the report of the
to prepare a study with a              Secretary-General on the implementation
comprehensive assessment of the        of Assembly resolution 50/227, 
present arrangements for the           submitted to the Council at its
Council's sessions (para. 43).         substantive session of 1997, examined
                                       the difference in cost between holding
                                       meetings of the Council in New York and
                                       Geneva 
                                       (A/52/155/Add.1-E/1997/68/Add.1).
       
                                       The Council has planned to hold
                                       informal consultations under the
                                       chairmanship of its Vice-President 
                                       Mr. Roble Olhaye (Djibouti) on the
                                       Council's working methods, including
                                       the proposals for reform made by the
                                       Secretary-General (A/51/950,
                                       para. 134). 
       
The outcome of each segment of the     The high-level segment resulted
Council should be strengthened and     in agreed conclusions for the
made more action-oriented.             first time at the Council's 1997
Resolutions, decisions and agreed      substantive session, which were
conclusions should be implemented      brought to the attention of relevant
and followed up fully by all           parts of the United Nations system.
relevant parts of the United Nations   The agreed conclusions adopted at the
system. This process should be         coordination segment were also brought
monitored by the Council and the       to the attention of the United Nations
General Assembly on a regular basis,   system; a follow-up report is submitted
as appropriate (para. 44).             to the Council. The outcomes of the
                                       1998 high-level and coordination
                                       segments are expected to take the
                                       form of agreed conclusions and would
                                       need to be followed up by all relevant
                                       bodies and organizations of
                                       the United Nations system.
       
The theme for the general debate of    Proposals for a theme for 1999 will
the high-level segment shall be        be submitted to the Council at its
determined ... (para. 53).             substantive session of 1998.
       
The Secretary-General is requested to  The report of the Secretary-General
include in his report for the          on the theme of the 1998 high-level
high-level segment all relevant        segment "Market access: developments
issues that could be discussed during  since the Uruguay Round, implications,
the session ... making use of inputs   opportunities and challenges, in
from the various pertinent bodies of   particular for the developing countries
the United Nations system ...          and the least developed among them, in
(para. 54).                            the context of globalization and
                                       liberalization" was jointly prepared
In order to better focus the policy    by the secretariats of UNCTAD and the
dialogue, the possibility of having    World Trade Organization. The report
joint reports, prepared by the         entitled "Fostering an enabling
secretariats of the United Nations,    environment for development: financial
UNCTAD, the Bretton Woods              flows, including capital flows;
institutions and the World Trade       investment; trade" (E/1997/67),
Organization, should be explored       submitted to the Council at its
(para. 55).                            high-level segment of 1997, was
                                       prepared in close consultation with the
                                       Bretton Woods institutions.
       
The outcome of the high-level segment  (See also implementation concerning
should normally be in the form of      para. 44, above.)
agreed conclusions and should be       The agreed conclusions have been
followed up by all relevant bodies     brought to the attention of all
and organizations of the United        relevant bodies and organizations of
Nations system (para. 56).             the system and to the General Assembly
                                       as part of the annual report of the
                                       Council to the Assembly. In its
                                       resolution 52/182, the Assembly
                                       requested the Secretary-General, in
                                       collaboration with the secretariat
                                       of UNCTAD, to report to the General
                                       Assembly at its fifty-third session on
                                       recommendations for effective
                                       follow-up to the relevant sections of
                                       agreed conclusions 1997/1 of the
                                       Economic and Social Council on
                                       fostering an enabling environment for
                                       development. The Assembly furthermore
                                       requested the Secretary-General, in
                                       collaboration with the secretariat
                                       of UNCTAD, to report orally on the
                                       implementation of Assembly resolution
                                       52/182, including developments
                                       in the multilateral trading system.
                                       These reports will be presented to the
                                       Assembly as requested.
       
The agreed conclusions of the Council  The Council, by its decision 1997/319,
concerning the selection of            decided on the theme for the
cross-cutting themes common to major   coordination segment of its 1998
international conferences and/or the   substantive session: "Coordinated
contribution to an overall review of   follow-up to and implementation of
the implementation of the programme    the Vienna Declaration and Programme
of action of a United Nations          of Action". No second theme was chosen.
conference should be implemented. At   
the organizational session of the      
Council, consideration should be       
given to choosing a second theme       
dealing with concrete sectoral         
issues ... (para. 57).                 
         
The implementation of the agreed       The provision that the implementation
conclusions of the coordination        of the agreed conclusions of the
segment should be followed up in the   coordination segment should be
general segment of the following year  followed up in the general segment
(para. 59).                            of the following year has been
                                       implemented since the substantive
                                       session of 1997.
       
The primary function of the general    The Secretary-General, in his reform
segment as that of an action-oriented  proposal (A/51/950), noted that the
review of the activities, reports      general segment should be more focused
and recommendations of the Council's   and policy-oriented, giving sufficient
subsidiary bodies should be            attention to the linkages between the
consolidated, avoiding a repetition    reports of the subsidiary bodies.
of the debates held in those bodies    A consolidated report on the reports
and focusing attention on major        of subsidiary bodies will be submitted
policy issues that require a           to the Council to assist its 
prioritized and coordinated response   coordination role by highlighting
from the United Nations system as a    the linkages between the activities
whole (para. 66).                      of subsidiary bodies and major policy
                                       issues arising from them.
       
The Council should regularly review    The Council reviewed its agenda
the agenda of its general segment      and related documentation requirements
with a view to discontinuing           at its organizational session in
consideration of items that are        February 1998. 
not relevant to the work of its 
subsidiary machinery or are 
duplicative of items on the
agenda of the General Assembly, 
and distinguish more clearly 
between items on the agenda requiring 
decisions and those for information 
only (para. 67).
          
The subsidiary bodies should be        All reports of the subsidiary bodies
requested to include in their reports  include an executive summary.
an executive summary ... and the       A consolidated report on the outcomes
issues that may require attention      of the functional commissions is 
and/or action by the Council. The      submitted to the Council.
Secretariat should consolidate         
these issues in a single               
document ... (para. 68).
          
The arrangements in the General        The Assembly by its resolution
Assembly and in the Economic and       52/12 B decided to establish a
Social Council for considering the     humanitarian affairs segment of the
coordination of humanitarian           Council, with effect from 1998, and,
assistance and special economic        in this connection, requested the
assistance to individual countries     Council to consider expeditiously the
and regions should be reviewed         related practical arrangements and
during the fifty-first session of the  make an early recommendation to the
General Assembly (para. 25).           Assembly, without prejudice to the work
                                       of the other segments of the Council.
Provision should be made for the       The Council will hold a humanitarian
integration and coordination of        affairs segment for two days during its
humanitarian and emergency assistance  substantive session of 1998, on the
activities ... (para. 69).             understanding that this year's practice
                                       will not set any precedent for future
                                       sessions.
       
       
       V. Functional and regional commissions and expert groups
       
       
The Council shall undertake ... a      The Assembly in its resolution 52/12 B
review of the mandates, composition,   invited the Council to consider, at
functions and working methods of its   its organizational and substantive
functional commissions and expert      sessions in 1998, as part of the review
groups and bodies, ensuring more       as mandated by the General Assembly
effective and coordinated              in its resolution 50/227, the
discussions and outcomes of their      recommendations of the 
work ... Such a review should be       Secretary-General relating to the
completed by the fifty-second          reform of its subsidiary bodies and to
session of the General Assembly        report thereon to the Assembly as early
... (paras. 70 and 71).                as possible during its fifty-second
                                       session.
       
                                       Informal consultations have been under
                                       way since March 1998 under the
                                       chairmanship of the Vice-President of
                                       the Council, Mr. Anwarul Karim
                                       Chowdhury (Bangladesh), to continue the
                                       review of the four priority bodies, 2/
                                       the functional commissions with
                                       responsibilities for follow-up to major
                                       conferences, other subsidiary bodies
                                       and the regional commissions. The
                                       outcome of the informal consultations
                                       is to be reported to the Council at its
                                       substantive session of 1998.
       
The Council shall provide for the      The Assembly in its resolution
review of the regional commissions,    52/12 B also invited the Council,
with a view to strengthening and       in consultation with Member States and
enhancing their effectiveness as       appropriate intergovernmental regional
action- and policy-oriented            bodies, to conduct a general review of
bodies in the economic and             the regional commissions at its 
development fields with better         substantive session of 1998,
response to the conditions             bearing in mind the relevant provisions
and environments unique to the         of Assembly resolution 50/227 and
specific regions; improving            the individual reviews each commission
their coordination with the            has already carried out, in order to
entire United Nations system,          consider the competencies of the 
including the specialized agencies,    regional commissions, taking into
the Bretton Woods institutions and     account the competencies of global
the regional development banks;        bodies and other regional and
strengthening their active             subregional intergovernmental bodies,
participation relating to the          and to submit a report thereon to the
implementation at the regional         General Assembly before the end of its
level of the results of major          fifty-second session.
United Nations conferences; and        
encouraging them also to               The Executive Secretaries of the
undertake their own management and     regional commissions briefed the
functional assessments towards         delegations regarding the reform
these ends ... (paras. 74-75).         exercise undertaken in their respective
                                       commissions. The report of the
                                       Secretary-General on regional
                                       cooperation addresses the review of the
                                       regional commissions (see E/1998/65).
                                       Informal consultations under the
                                       chairmanship of the Vice-President of
                                       the Council, Mr. Anwarul Karim
                                       Chowdhury (Bangladesh) will be held to
                                       examine the issue.
       
       
VI. Governing bodies of the United Nations development programmes and funds 3/
       
       
           VII. Inter-agency coordination
       
       
In the context of the discussions on   The Assembly by its resolution
an agenda for development, a close     51/240 adopted the Agenda for
review shall be made of the            Development. 4/  The Council's
relationship of the Economic and       interaction with the specialized
Social Council with the specialized    agencies and the funds and
agencies (para. 79).                   programmes takes place in many forms.
                                       At the session of the Council held from
                                       13 to 15 May 1998 on the coordinated
                                       follow-up to conferences, the Council
                                       had an intensive dialogue with panels
                                       composed of agencies that had chaired
                                       the inter-agency task forces (the World
                                       Bank, the International Labour
                                       Organization and the United Nations
                                       Population Fund). The specialized
                                       agencies participate regularly
                                       in the Council's discussions on issues
                                       of common concern. The agencies also
                                       propose specific items for the
                                       Council's agenda. The Council could
                                       invite, from time to time, executive
                                       heads and the chairpersons of
                                       the governing bodies of specialized
                                       agencies to interact with it on
                                       system-wide coordination and
                                       cooperation issues.
       
The Administrative Committee on        In response to the Council's request
Coordination should present the        for regular briefings on the outcomes
thematic aspects of its report to      of sessions of the Administrative
the Council at its coordination        Committee on Coordination (ACC), the
segment and the remaining parts        Secretary-General addressed the Council
at the general segment; the members    at its organizational session for 1998
of the Administrative Committee        and a further briefing was given at the
on Coordination should engage in       resumed organizational session of the 
an active dialogue with the            Council in May. The annual overview
Council on ways to improve             report of ACC for 1997 (E/1998/21)
inter-agency coordination              is to be considered during the
(para. 81).                            general segment of the Council under
                                       the item on coordination, programme and
                                       other questions. This could be an
                                       important occasion for forging stronger
                                       links between the Council and ACC by
                                       engaging in more substantive
                                       interaction with ACC members,
                                       using the report before the Council as
                                       the main basis for the discussion.
       
The periodic meetings of all concerned The Executive Committee on Economic
senior secretariat officials in the    and Social Affairs and the Executive
economic and social sectors, under     Committee of the United Nations
the authority of the                   Development Group meet regularly to
Secretary-General, should continue     promote effective coordination
to be used to improve coordination     among the substantive departments of
and performance; the outcomes of       the Secretariat and operational bodies.
these meetings should be presented     The Senior Management Group, comprising
on a regular basis to the Economic     the convenors of the four executive
and Social Council (para. 82).         committees (peace and security,
                                       humanitarian affairs, economic and
                                       social affairs and development) and
                                       additional senior managers, continues
                                       to meet on a regular basis as the
                                       Secretary-General's cabinet and the
                                       central policy planning body.
       
       
              VIII. Relationship between the United Nations and
                    international finance and trade institutions
       
       
The issues relating to the             The Agenda for Development addressed
strengthening of the relationship      the need for increased interaction
between the United Nations and         and cooperation between the United
the Bretton Woods institutions,        Nations and multilateral development
and possibly also the World Trade      institutions, including the Bretton
Organization, shall be particularly    Woods institutions and the World Trade
considered in the context of the       Organization, and the need to develop
deliberations on an agenda for         further effective and innovative
development ... (para. 84).            approaches to their interaction and
                                       cooperation (General Assembly
                                       resolution 51/240, paras. 276-282).
       
There is a need for an early           The review was led by the UNDP
exploratory review to be prepared      Administrator in collaboration with
jointly by the United Nations          United Nations departments, funds
and the Bretton Woods institutions     and programmes and in cooperation
... with a view to identifying areas   with the International Monetary Fund
in which communication, cooperation    and the World Bank. The report of the
and coordination could be improved.    Secretary-General on the review is
... The General Assembly and the       before the Council at its present
respective governing bodies of the     session (E/1998/61) and information
Bretton Woods institutions, based      on the review will be provided to the
on the conclusions of the above        General Assembly at its fifty-third
review, should consider concrete       session.
areas and forms of collaboration 
in the field of development-related 
activities (paras. 86-87).
         
In order to improve communication and  The special high-level meeting held
cooperation at the intergovernmental   on 18 April 1998 following the meeting
level between the Council and the      of the Development Committee of the 
international financial and trade      World Bank and the International
institutions ... the Council should    Monetary Fund was the first of its
schedule periodically a high-level     kind to be convened as envisaged by
special meeting at a time proximate    the Assembly in its resolution
to the semi-annual meetings of the     50/227 and the Agenda for Development
Bretton Woods institutions ...         (Assembly resolution 51/240,
(para. 88).                            paras. 277 and 279). The Bureau of the
                                       Economic and Social Council informed
                                       the Council of the suggestions,
                                       including the format and the theme,
                                       related to the special high-level
                                       meeting. A brief background note
                                       (E/1998/9) identifying issues and
                                       questions on the theme "Global
                                       financial integration and development
                                       and recent issues" was prepared by
                                       the United Nations in collaboration
                                       with the Bank and the Fund. The meeting
                                       was generally considered to be
                                       a success; it was well attended by
                                       ministers and senior officials dealing
                                       with finance, economic and development
                                       cooperation matters and generated a
                                       lively and substantive dialogue in an
                                       informal atmosphere and received good
                                       press coverage.
       
       
                  IX. Secretariat
       
       
The present structure and functioning  The Assembly, by its resolution
of the Secretariat, including the      52/12 B, decided to establish the post
economic and social departments and    of Deputy Secretary-General and the
the question of establishing a         appointment was made by the
post of Deputy Secretary-General for   Secretary-General following 
International Cooperation and          consultations with Member States and
Development, shall be considered       in accordance with Article 101 of
in the Open-ended High-level           the Charter of the United Nations.
Working Group on the Strengthening of  The three departments concerned with
the United Nations System and in the   economic and social development
Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on     issues (Department for Policy
an Agenda for Development (para. 89).  Coordination and Sustainable
                                       Development, Department for Economic
                                       and Social Information and Policy
                                       Analysis and Department for Development
                                       Support and Management Services) have
                                       been consolidated into a single
                                       Department of Economic and Social
                                       Affairs.
       
In the context of the Open-ended       It will be recalled that in resolution
High-level Working Group on the        51/241, the Assembly, having affirmed
Strengthening of the United Nations    its role in approving appointments and
System, uniform and maximum terms of   extension of terms, stated that uniform
service for heads of programmes and    terms of office of four years, 
funds and other Economic and Social    renewable once, should be introduced 
Council and General Assembly bodies    for the executive heads of programmes,
should be considered ... (para. 90).   funds and other bodies of the Assembly
                                       and the Council. The Assembly also
                                       encouraged the specialized agencies to
                                       consider uniform terms and term limits
                                       for their executive heads. The
                                       Secretary-General, in his report on the
                                       implementation of General Assembly
                                       resolution 51/241, concurred with
                                       the above-mentioned decision; the
                                       position of the Assembly will be
                                       brought to the attention of the
                                       agencies concerned (see A/52/855,
                                       paras. 64-65).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       
       
         IV.    Executive Boards of the United Nations Development
                Programme/United Nations Population Fund, the United
                Nations Children's Fund and the World Food Programme


         6. Paragraphs 76 to 78 of annex I to General Assembly resolution
50/227 contain provisions for the governing bodies of the United Nations
programmes and funds. In paragraph 76, the Assembly requested that the
executive boards consider adjustments to their agendas, reporting procedures
and format, and that they review the number and scheduling of meetings and
sessions, with a view to continuing the rationalization of the working methods
of the boards. In paragraph 77, the Assembly asked the governing bodies
to describe in their reports how the overall policy guidance and
coordination provided by the Assembly and the Council had been implemented,
and to give specific recommendations for further action. In paragraph 78, the
Assembly requested that the effective participation of observer member States
and observer States in the sessions of the executive boards be facilitated and
that the arrangements, working methods and rules of procedure be reviewed.
The efforts made by the executive boards to respond to these recommendations
are summarized below.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Implementation of guidance from the General Assembly and the Economic and
Social Council
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 UNDP/UNFPA

The Executive Board, in its decision 97/15 entitled "Change management",
adopted at the annual session of 1997, recalled the legal framework of
UNDP, 5/ as well as General Assembly resolutions 47/199 and 50/120 on
operational activities for development, and stressed the importance of their
full implementation; the Board also welcomed measures taken by UNDP to
improve its capacity to support the resident coordinator system, within the
context of General Assembly resolutions 32/197, 44/211, 47/199 and
50/120.

The Executive Board reviewed and took note of the report on follow-up to
Economic and Social Council resolution 1995/56 on Strengthening of
the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United
Nations.

In follow-up to General Assembly resolution 50/120 and Economic and
Social Council resolution 1996/42, the format for harmonization of
presentation of the biennial support budgets of UNDP and UNFPA was
approved by the Executive Board at its first regular session of 1997.

The Executive Board, by its decision 97/14 on the five-year review of the
implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference
on Population and Development (ICPD), invited the President of the
Executive Board to submit to the General Assembly at its fifty-second
session, through the Economic and Social Council, a proposal for an
overall review and appraisal of the implementation of the ICPD
Programme of Action.


                               UNICEF

At its first regular session, the Executive Board discussed the follow-up to
the Council's resolutions related to operational activities of the United
Nations for development, as input to the Council's substantive session of
1998. 6/ 

The Executive Board also approved the biennial support budget for 1998-1999,
the first prepared according to the harmonized presentation format agreed
to by the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA and UNICEF, and the 1998 work plan.
The Executive Board requested the secretariat to work with the UNDP and UNFPA
secretariats to further assess and develop the harmonized budget presentation.

At the annual session in June, the Executive Board is to have the opportunity
to review the follow-up of major United Nations conferences and summits, with
particular emphasis on the World Summit for Children and ICPD; it will also
review the status of implementation of the Management Excellence Programme of
UNICEF, as well as the status of implementation of some of the major
organizational policies and strategies. 9/ The Board will also consider a
draft policy on information, publications and communication.


                                  WFP

The revised General Regulations of WFP 7/ were endorsed by the Economic and
Social Council in its decision 1997/217 and by the FAO Council at its 112th
session, and were approved by the FAO Conference (resolution 11/97) and
by the General Assembly in its decision 52/449. The new General Regulations of
WFP entered into effect on 1 January 1998. 8/

The revised Financial Regulations were approved provisionally, effective 1
January 1998. The Board decided that the Financial Regulations would be
reconfirmed once the General Regulations were adopted by the General Assembly
and the FAO Conference. 

Reaching an agreement on the adjustments needed for its long-term resource and
financing policies remains a challenge on the WFP's reform agenda; the set
of policies approved by the governing body in 1995, which came into effect in
1996, is being reviewed through informal consultations with the Board.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Number and scheduling of meetings and sessions
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 UNDP/UNFPA

The Executive Board continued to rationalize its working methods in 1997
and early 1998. Three regular sessions and one annual session were held in 
1997, with the same planned for 1998. In 1997, 39 informal meetings were
held, often with the purpose of providing a forum for consultations
which would allow for more efficient formal sessions of the Board. In 1998,
it was decided that, to the extent possible, the first regular session would
be devoted to UNDP matters while the second regular session would be
devoted to UNFPA matters, an example of further rationalization of
the Board's working methods. 

An unprecedented joint session of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA
and UNICEF was held on 26 January 1998 to review the progress in
implementing United Nations reform at the country level. The secretariats of
the two bodies continue to work closely in scheduling the meetings of the
Boards, and in identifying possible areas of common interest for future
joint sessions of the Boards. Consecutive meetings of the Executive
Boards of UNDP/UNFPA and UNICEF have been scheduled whenever possible.


                                  UNICEF

The Executive Board discussed and agreed to the programme of work at its
third regular session of September 1997. The number of Board sessions
was reduced from four in 1997 to three in 1998, with the clustering of related
issues into sessions. It was decided that the burden of work of the Board for
the year would guide the number of sessions. The 1999 work plan issue will
be decided at the second regular session, in September 1998.

The UNICEF secretariat continues to schedule pre-Board information
meetings some weeks before each Board session, to allow more time for
follow-up consultation between New York delegations and their capitals, and
between delegations and the secretariat.


                                   WFP

Consistent with General Assembly resolution 48/162, the former WFP governing
body, the Committee on Food Aid Policies and Programmes, was replaced by
an Executive Board, effective 1 January 1996. The Board has 36 members and
holds one annual session and three regular sessions a year. Each year at its
first regular session, the Executive Board elects a Bureau of five
members, one from each WFP electoral list.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Agendas and organization of work
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               UNDP/UNFPA

An annual work plan for the Executive Board was initiated with the approval
of the work plan for 1997 at the first regular session of 1997. When
possible, items of concern to both UNDP and UNFPA were considered jointly
(e.g., work plan for 1997, harmonization of presentation of budgets, reports
to the Economic and Social Council and internal oversight and accountability).


                                  UNICEF

In 1998, the UNICEF Executive Board has 23 items on its work programme
for the year, down from 33 in 1997. These items are organized into one
annual (1-5 June) and two regular sessions (26-28 and 30 January and 8-11
September).


                                    WFP

The WFP Executive Board now routinely establishes an annual work programme for
the forthcoming year at its previous regular session. The annual work
programme includes a tentative schedule of sessions and pre-session briefings;
the Bureau of the board is consulted on the need for working groups.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                         Participation of observers
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               UNDP/UNFPA

The UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board rules of procedure, adopted at the annual
session of 1997, provide for the following in rule 16, paragraph 1: "Any
State member of UNDP or UNFPA who is not a member of the Executive
Board may attend Board meetings and, based on General Assembly resolutions
48/162 and 50/227, which, inter alia, call for the facilitation of the
effective participation of observer Member States and observer States, may
participate in its deliberations without the right to vote."


                               UNICEF

As required by Assembly resolution 48/162 and the rules of procedure of
the UNICEF Executive Board, observer delegations have the right to participate
in all formal and informal meetings and to receive all Board documentation
contained in the daily list of documents, issued at Headquarters. Starting in
the summer of 1997, advance copies of Board documents are now posted in the
UNICEF Intranet for member and observer countries, UNICEF national committees
and country offices. 


                                WFP

The WFP Executive Board has stipulated that member States who manifest a
special interest in the item or items being discussed may be invited to
participate in the deliberations without the right to vote. In addition,
representatives of appropriate United Nations bodies are invited to all
sessions of the board. Other organizations with a special interest may also be
invited, at their request, to attend sessions. 10/
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     Reporting and documentation
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               UNDP/UNFPA

At its third regular session of 1996, the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board
adopted decision 96/45 on documentation, in which, inter alia, the Board
established strict page limits for documents to be submitted to the
Executive Board and decided, in accordance with General Assembly resolution
50/206, that documents must be submitted to the Office of Conference and
Support Services 10 weeks before the start of the session. 


                                 UNICEF

The UNICEF secretariat continues to improve the use of time during each
session, and to rationalize the documents presented at each session.
The page limits set for documents pursuant to General Assembly resolutions
50/11 and 50/206 are followed by the UNICEF secretariat.


                                   WFP

Documentation is made available to all observers at their request. Since
October 1996, all Executive Board documentation in all four official languages
is posted on the WFP Web site. Documentation has been shortened and focuses on
key decisions and action-oriented recommendations. 11/ All verbatim records
have been abolished.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Rules of procedure
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              UNDP/UNFPA

The rules of procedure of the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board were adopted by the
Board at its annual session of 1997. 


                                UNICEF

The revised rules of procedure adopted by the UNICEF Executive Board in
1994 continue to set the overall framework for the conduct of Board
business.


                                 WFP

The working group established in February 1998 to revise the rules
of procedure to ensure consistency with all major General Assembly
and Economic and Social Council resolutions, including compliance
with all reporting requirements, is expected to report to the Executive
Board at its third regular session of 1998.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


                               Notes


               1/  See the report of the Secretary-General on the joint
                   exploratory review of cooperation between the United
                   Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions (E/1998/61).

               2/  The four priority bodies are the Commission on Science and
                   Technology for Development, the Committee
                   for Development Planning, the Committee on New and
                   Renewable Sources of Energy and on Energy for
                   Development and the Committee on Natural Resources.

               3/  See section IV of the present report.

               4/  The Assembly stated in paragraphs 251 and 252 of the Agenda
                   for Development that the Council should
                   continue to strengthen its role as the central mechanism
                   for coordination of the United Nations system and
                   its specialized agencies and to ensure a coordinated
                   follow-up to the implementation of major United
                   Nations conferences through its subsidiary machinery and
                   provide overall guidance and coordination to
                   the United Nations system as a whole. The
                   Secretary-General, in paragraph 266, was invited to make
                   recommendations on the coordination of the policies and
                   activities of the specialized agencies. In
                   paragraph 267, the Assembly stated that mechanisms should
                   be elaborated to enable the Council, within
                   its mandate, to provide guidance to specialized agencies
                   and to transmit institutional priorities as
                   formulated by the Assembly and that the specialized
                   agencies and the United Nations funds and
                   programmes should engage in a focused dialogue with the
                   Council with a view to identifying how their
                   activities could be adjusted in response to such
                   priorities; the Assembly also stated that the Council
                   should provide appropriate recommendations in order to
                   ensure coherence and complementarity of efforts of all
                   bodies, taking into account the role of the funds and
                   programmes. In paragraph 268, the Assembly pointed
                   out that the effectiveness and efficiency of the Council's
                   activities could be improved by increasing
                   interaction with specialized agencies, including the
                   provision of regular reports to the Assembly, through
                   the Council, in accordance with the relevant provisions of
                   the Charter.

               5/  Including General Assembly resolution 2688 (XXV) of 10
                   December 1970.

               6/  Issues addressed include country level coordination of the
                   funds and programmes, the United Nations
                   Development Assistance Framework, strengthening of the
                   resident coordinator system, common premises
                   and services, monitoring and evaluation activities, country
                   notes, HIV/AIDS, and the follow-up to major
                   United Nations conferences and summits.

               7/  During 1996 and 1997, an open-ended working group was
                   established by the Bureau of the Executive
                   Board of the World Food Programme to bring the General and
                   Financial Regulations of WFP in line with
                   the most recent decisions of the United Nations and the
                   Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
                   Nations (FAO) and to remove outdated or superseded
                   provisions. The working group, which consisted of
                   members from each of the five regions represented on the
                   Board, conducted its business in close
                   collaboration with the secretariat and relied on the advice
                   of the WFP/FAO Legal Counsel, as well as the
                   FAO Finance Committee and the Advisory Committee on
                   Administrative and Budgetary Questions.

               8/  The basic constitution of WFP and its role in the United
                   Nations system will continue to be amended
                   through the Economic and Social Council, the FAO Council,
                   the FAO Conference and the General
                   Assembly. Operational issues and points of detail, however,
                   will henceforth not be covered in the General
                   Regulations but in Rules, which may be amended by the
                   Executive Board as circumstances require.

               9/  Such as the health strategy adopted in 1995, the policy
                   regarding national committees and the policies and
                   strategies on children in need of special protection
                   measures.

              10/  Pursuant to General Assembly resolution 50/8 of 1 November
                   1995, the Executive Board has established a
                   working group charged with reviewing the distribution of
                   seats, the results of which will enter into force
                   on 1 January 2000.

              11/  At the end of each session, a brief paper containing the
                   key decision and/or recommendations is prepared
                   by the rapporteur and provided to Board members for
                   endorsement. A brief summary of the work is also
                   sent to Board members.


                                    -----

 

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