Enlargement of the Executive Committee: election - of members for the period 1977-1979

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Executive Committee i Seventeenth meeting

Bar es Salaam, 10-12 October 1977


(agenda item ll).

The Executive Committee created by resolution 188(IX)~' of the Economic

Commission for Africa of 10 February 1969 as one of the institutional bodies of the Committee comprised twelve members in the beginning, its composition and

functions having been laid down in annex C to the same resolution' as -follows :

Two years later at its one hundred and sixty—third meeting held on

13 February 1971 during its first session which took place at Tunis, the

Conference of Ministers decided to raise the number of members of the Executive

Committee fr»m 12 to 16 (see subparagraph (d) of the decision relating to subsidiary organs)^.

Since that time, the number of Statea members of the Commission has risen from 40 to 48 and, as soon as Djibouti is admitted to the United Nations, to 49.

At its fourth meeting held at Kinshasa, Zaire, from 24 February to 3 March

1977 the Conference of-kinisters decided unanimously to .enlarge the Executive

Committee to take account of the arrival of new African States on the international scene. It was accordingly agreed that the Committee be enlarged from 16 to 24.

The distribution of these 24 seats among the four existing subregions was

the subject of a long debatet in which unfortunately no consensus could be reached

in Kinshasa.

In the absence of an agreement, the following two decisions were taken :

1* that all the member States would be represented on the Committee until the

seventeenth meeting scheduled to be held in Dar esiSalaara- in 0ct6ber71977^(.Pienary


2. that the Executive Secretary of ECA. should study the cfuestion and submit

suggestions as to its solution to the Executive Committee at its seventeenth


see annex see annex



Page 2

izsss syss--2tr

Proposal by the ™p™jsentative of Algeria*

: 5 members : 7 members

(6 States

£16 States Central (ll.-,gtaters (15 states

East : 7 members


Total 24

North :. 4 members..:, . West : 7 members

Central ! 6 members . East : 7 members


endorsed by the

Total 24

<3\ Alternatives proposed by the

^?^ t0 indePendence. *ha Commission now

, and tlie number of States in the Eastern African

zrfw 151016>-the ber "

seats:110" f°ll0Wing a have governed the distribution of

°* ** C°nference of Masters (one from each (ii) two of the African members of the Eboncmic and Social Council

and two of the African Members of Ui©P Governing Council;- no State being allowed more than one seat.

v:-i:.-.) !■>*-■"


First proposal

North West Central East Total

: 4

: 7

i 6 : 7 24

members members members members

,,a.«5ich subregion would be represented by slightly more or slightly lees, than 50 percent of the States in it.

Second proposal North : 4 members West t 8 members - Pgfftral : 6 members East . : 8 members

•. Total 26

There would be 26 members instead of 24 (in accordance with the wise decisior

taken in Kinshasa to give the secretariat some room to manoeuvre in carrying out

the studios: requested of it), and each subregion would be represented by more than

50 per cent of the States in it. .■«;

It would be difficult for the secretariat to suggest a larger membership because then there might frequently be a .problem obtaining-a quorum, which would paralyse the work of the Executive Committee and hence of the' secretariat. ..

Third proposal

The plenary Committee which has been mandated by the Conference of Ministers to Install'a new Executive Committee and will therefore.be acting on behalf of and for the Conference may decide to create a subregion in Southern Africa, covering the following States t Angola, Zambia, Malawi, toozawbique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Botswana, i«:e., seven States, which would soon be joined by Zimbabwe and Namibia.

• - The position would then be as follows :

North Africa : 6 States .

West Africa ; 16 States Central Africa :: 10. States Eastern Africa : 10 States Southern Africa : 7 States Total ■:■■ ; 49 States

If the number of-members were raised from 16 to 26 as in proposal 2, the following combination might be envisaged i


Page 4

North Africa t 4 66 per cent West Africa i 8 50 per cent Central Africa : 5 50 per cent East Africa I 5 50 per cent Southern Africa : 4 57 Per o®nt

Concerning the creation of a fifth subregion, it should be noted s

1. that such a decision would be within the prerogatives bestowed on the Executive Committee by the Conference of Ministers when it asked the Committee to solve the problem of its new composition since the solution may lie on the

creation of a fifth subregion.

It would be permissible for the Conference to retract such a decision in Morocco if it felt it had to do so, but that would be highly unlikely* .-.

2. that the United Nations does not create subregions within the regions, it being for the regions to decide how they want to organize themselves.

In this connexion, it should be noted that Q&.U. is now operating on the basis of five subregions, the fifth comprising Malawi, l>iozambic[ue, Lesotho, Botswana and Swaziland.

At the Summit Conference recently held in Libreville, the membership of the drafting Committee, which was set up in accordance with the principle of ecpiitable geographical distribution, was as follows :

Northern Africa : 2 Western Africa

Central Africa Eastern Africa Southern Africa

for 6 countries)

for 16 countries for 11 countries for 10 countries for 5 countries)

Moreover, these ratios were reflected in the composition of all Committees established on the principle of geographical distribution.

■ Where EGA is concerned, the Southern African subregion must necessarily include Angola whose Minister of Foreign Affairs made a formal statement in Libreville in which he solemnly affirmed that his country belonged to that part of Africa. It should also include Zambia, where we have an TJK7AT which covers all the countries in the Eastern and Southern subregions.

Finally, whichever alternative is adopted, the following criteria will continue to govern the distribution of seats : ■

(a) No State will have more than one seat on the Committeej

(b) The four officers of the Conference of Ministers (one from each of the existing four subregions) will be members, and their seats will

be deducted from the total allocation their respective subregions in electing member States to the Committee;

(c) TThe remaining seats will be filled by election and due cognisance

must be taken of the need to ensure that at least 2 each of the African


members of ECOSOC and UNBP Governing Council are on the Executive

Committee in order to provide for the much-needed linkage "between

the Committee and ECOSOC and UKDP Governing Council respectively.




188 (IX). Institutional Machinery of the Commission -*


The Economic Commission for Africa,

■ -Aware vof the challenges facing the countries of the African region and the firm determination of these countries to mobilize their human and material

resources to the maximum extent possible for the acceleration of their economic and social development during the next Development Decade,

Being anxious to strengthen the institutions of the Commission to enable it to play a more effective role in Vaq economic and social development of the region,

Taking into account the importance of a more, effective involvement of member States in the activities of the Commission,

Recommends thatr •?"

{a) The regular biennial sessions of the Commission be at the ministerial level and be known as the "Conference of Ministers"?

(]l) A Committee of the Whole, to be known as the Technical Committeevof

Experts, be established;

An Executive Committee be established;

(cl) The terms of reference for these three bodies be as set out in the


147th meeting.

10 February 1969.


A. Conference of Ministers

Composition: The Conference of Ministers shall consist of the Ministers

of the Governments of member States responsible for economic affairs, or financial

affairs, planning and development. r,

Meetings: The Conference of iainisters shall Meet in accordance with-the terms of article 1 of the rules of procedure of the Commission.

Rales of procedure: The rules of procedure of the Conference shall be the eame as those of the Commission.


(a) To consider matters of policy and the priorities to be assigned to the

programmes and other activities of the Commission;

1/ See also resolutions 24 (ill), 42 (IV), 62 (IV) and 130 (VII) of the



(5.) To conjS^gg^j,^ policy issuss v

to nk\ke rocomme: d.atio:'B on suoli issues to the member States;

(c) To review pro^T^jmio implemsrt vticn' 'iurin^tl-'s'pTQceditr: biennium~p7nd

examine and ?.pprovo ,tho programs of. uorl; proposed for the EiucceacUv, bieniiumf

(d) To consider reports submitted to it by tha Sxecutivs Comn.ittee a;td

trie Technical Committee of Experts;

(a) To consider questions roL-vtin.- to the roproaentr.tion ox' the africn-

regia-i.on intor^tiom.1 and inter'overnnent.al bodies da.-ilirr:- wit: ecoaomic ^a

social m^.ttsrs.

B* Te_Ci.ir.ica.1 Committeo of Dxperts

Conr3OBitio.il, The Tac-nicr,l Comnjittea of Experts &.,all consist of t:<&

principal or otaar senior overame it oriteials o.-? member Spates w\o ere

concerned wit;i eca.cmic -,f.Cn.i>?sr pUnnin-., dovelopmo-t, .xmd. botii rin^rcial "a::-d

fiso?J. matters.

inTSj The Technical Comnitteo t>: Experts sAall meet o,".ce .?, year,

th C f U prts sAall meet o,.ce .?, year

In years t-;I 011 the Co fere-ce of Uusters is acl.'eduled, the Coflnnittoo s\zll meet at least o:e was!: prior to thQ opeiin^' of the Conference.

i^u.los or procedure 1 Tliq rules of procedure ox" tia 0/ jJxports a-i.-.ll be thj a-une as those of the Comrissio v


studies prepared br t3 e secretr^rir-t nnd to m.?Ae ap

■roportc to the Co.iferencs of i'-irit

(b) To .assist t:?e Eecr3t-v.-i.-vt intio formal?-tio :. of .its T;or;

v,i:.d priorities:

(c) To tr^re mo^su^oe to 0: sure active contact between t'-e secretariat

j.nd the Govcrama-ata of member SV/taa --.t t/0 wor^:i:-.: level of ^

C. Exaeutive Comniitteo .

Bpositio.it The Executive Committas shell be compessd r.a fr'l

__ The Chairman, the two Vice-C^-Li-mo - ,-ind t:_3 3z. jportaui-* of tne session

the Cot'feronce of ministers; ' ,.

(b) Tvo rap^sent-tives from s-.c] su.b-re.--lo--, $*ah o,:;;ioe-be ^rer of the Conference of i.inistars bei^ ;■ ro a^rdsd r>s roproasntin : ti.3 anVrs ioivin^Aic1

■is ootuitry is Gitur>tadj

(c) Two African members of the Economic and Social Council, oae representing

the English-speaking and one the French-speaking countries;


Annex I Page 3 4 Two African members of the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme, one representing the English-speaking and one the French-speaking countries;

No one country may have more than one representative on the Executive Committee.

The Chairman of the Conference of Ministers shall be the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Meetings: The Executive Committee shall meet at least twice a year.

The Chairman of the Executive Committee may in special circumstances and after consultation with the Executive Sacre-cary of the Coaraission summon an

emergency meeting of the Executive Committee. The Chairman of the Executive Committee may invite all African members of the Economic and Social Council and of the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Programme to attend meetings of the Executive Committee as may be required.

Rules of procedure; The rules of procedure of the Executive Committee shall be the same as those of the Commission.


(a) To assist the Executive Secretary in the implementation of the

resolution of the Commission and the work programme of the secretariat;

(b) To provide a link between the secretariat, member States and the

sub—regions; in this connexion, to consider reporis of the sub-regions and their operational programmes, to assist the Executive Secretary in ensuring full commitment and involvement of member States in sub-regional activities, to foster and o-ordinate the activitit i of inter-governmental organizations;

(o) In consultation with the secretariat, to recommend effective ways

and means of fostering closer co-operation between the Commission and the United Nations bodies and various international organizations interested and

involved in development efforts in Africa;

(d) To assist the secretariat to establish close working relations with

the African permanent representatives at the United Nations, as well as the African members on various international organizations so as to keep them fully

informed of the problems affecting economic and social development in the African region;

(o) To bring to the attention of member States the activities of other

international organizations which may affect the progress of the economic and social development of African countries;

(f) In liaison with the Executive Secretary, to strengthen the cordial

relations existing between the Commission and the political organs of the

Organization of African Unity (such as the Council of Ministers, the Assembly of Heads of State and Government) by means of regular consultations with the

secretariat of the Organization of African Unity;

To make reports to the Conference of Ministers in the most appropriate



At its 163rd'meeting, on 13 Jtebruary 19711 the Conference having studied

the recommendations l/ of the Executive Committee on subsidiary bodies,


(a) that the working parties established under resolution 128 (VII) be

abolished but that the Conference of African Planners, the Conference of

African Statisticians and the Conference of African Demographers, be retained;

(b) that the Technical Committee of Experts be organized into sub-committees and that members States ensure the designation of competent officials in the various fields to attend its meetings to enable the Committee to deal

effectively with matters requiring its attention;

(c) that in the case of reports of the Technical Committee of Experts for consideration by the Conference of Ministers, the Executive Committee meet -in due course to submit its views on such reports to the Conference;

(d) that the membership of the Executive Committee be increased to


(e) that the Executive Committee elect its own officers, the sole proviso

in resolution 188 (EC) being that the Chairman of the Conference of Kinisters

shall be the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

(f) that whenever possible member States be represented by Ministers at

meetings of the Executive Committee, Hales of procedure of the Commissioi

At its 163rd meeting, on 13 February 1971, the Conference decided,

pursuant to Economic and Social Council resolution 1393 (XLVI) of 3 June 1969,

to amend the Commission's rules of procedure in accordance with Council

resolution 1296 (XLIV) of 23 May 1968 onarrangeinents for consultation with

non—governmental organizations.

Acting upon the request of the Economic and Social Council at its

1596th meeting 2/ on 3 June 1969 concerning the summary records of the

regional economic commissions, the Conference further decided to amend the first sentence of rule 38 of the Commission's rules of procedure by the addition in the first sentence of the words "where required", the sentence thus reading as follows: "Summary records of the meetings of the Commission, where required, shall be kept by the secretariat."

1/ Documents E/CN.14/456, E/CN.H/462, e/CN.14/479/Rbv. 1 and E/CN. 14/498.

2/ See Official Records of the Economic and| Social. Council, Forty-sixth

Session. 1596th meeting, para. 41-



Annex II Page 2

Election of members of the Executive Committee „„___ ._„.-„

The- Conference-elected the new members of the Executive Committee at its

163rd meeting, on 13 February 1971»

For the two-year period 1971-1973, the subregional members of the Executive

Committee are he following:

(a) Central African subregion: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad and Congo (Democratic Republic of);

(b) East African subregions Ethiopia, Madagascar, Somalia and UgandaV\

North African subregion: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and United Arab


(d) West African subregion: Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal.




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