ROME—The 19th annual meeting between the Common Fund and International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) took place recently at the FAO Headquarters in Rome.
Managing Director, Amb. Mchumo in his statement outlined the latest developments regarding the on-going CFC reform process currently being undertaken by Member-States on the Fund’s future role and mandate.
Amb. Mchumo indicated that member countries had not yet reached a consensus as had been anticipated in 2011. “Unfortunately our member countries have not reached a decision point, but the process of internal review and consultations on the Fund’s future has been intensified and comprehensive recommendations on the required reforms of the Fund are expected by the end of this year.’’
Touching on project operations, implementation process and financing, Amb. Mchumo informed the ICB heads that the expected impact of the reform process will be very important; and that the CFC-ICB partnership will need to prepare for changes in the modalities of CFC project operations after 31 December 2012, at the end of the current five-year Action Plan (2008-2012) work programme.
“In due course, all proposed measures of the reform package would lead to new methods for project identification and new criteria for project formulation, assessment and approval for projects to be implemented from 2013 onwards,” he said.
After Amb. Mchumo’s briefing on the reform process, several ICB heads indicated that they were eager to meet with the Open-ended Committee, in order to contribute their views in the consultation process. The CFC Secretariat agreed to facilitate the process, after the ICBs designated two representatives, who would liaise with the Committee.
Also at the Rome meeting, the ICB heads considered the outcome report of the consultant on the proposal and SWOT analysis for a joint CFC-ICB communications strategy. However, in light of the reform process discussions, decisions on the way forward on the communications plan and cost implications were inconclusive.
Earlier, David Hallam, the FAO host had presented an update before the Los Cabos Summit got underway in Mexico, on recent G-20 discussions on commodity price volatility and a briefing on the establishment of the Agricultural Management Information System (AMIS), which the FAO’s Trade and Marketing Division is spearheading.
The 20th meeting in 2013 will be hosted by the International Jute Study Group (IJSG) in Dhaka.