Common Fund Projects

The Relationship of ICAC to the Common Fund for Commodities

Common Fund For Commodities (external link)

The Fourth Meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Nairobi in May 1976 adopted a resolution (Resolution 93 (IV) - 425 K PDF) on an Integrated Programme for Commodities. In this resolution UNCTAD was instructed to convene a negotiating conference to establish a Common Fund for Commodities. An Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities (2.8MB PDF) was adopted by the negotiating conference in June 1980.

The Agreement was ratified by a sufficient number of countries by 1987, and the participating countries agreed that the Agreement would go into effect on June 19, 1989 (168K PDF). The First Meeting of the Governing Council of the Common Fund took place in Geneva in July 1989, at which a full time Managing Director was appointed who took office in the fall of 1989. The Common Fund for Commodities is an international intergovernmental organization based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The 48th and 49th Plenary Meetings (October 1989 and September 1990) of the ICAC discussed the question of ICAC association with the Common Fund and adopted resolutions governing the relationship between ICAC and the Fund. On October 19, 1990 (137K PDF), the Executive Board of the Common Fund designated the ICAC as an International Commodity Body (ICB) on cotton under the terms of the Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities.

As an ICB, the ICAC sponsored projects for financing by the Common Fund. The Standing Committee of ICAC adopted criteria and procedures for the appraisal of projects to be submitted to the Common Fund in May 1991 (70K PDF), and these were revised in December 1992 (139K PDF). The Standing Committee established a procedure in December 1992 to rank priority areas for projects. Priority rankings were established in March 1993 (134K PDF) and again in February 1994 (65K PDF).

Under the procedures, project proposals had to be submitted to the ICAC Secretariat using a standard format which was presented in the Common Fund’s manual for the preparation of projects to be financed through the Second Account. The Common Fund’s manual for preparation of projects and ICAC’s priorities for projects were made are available by the  ICAC Secretariat. Now the Fund has changed the system of sponsoring project and project do not need to be submitted through the ICAC and ICAC does not have to serve as project supervisory body. 

Under the older system, projects are reviewed by the ICAC Secretariat to ensure proper format for submission to the Common Fund. The Standing Committee of the ICAC approved projects before they are submitted to the Common Fund. The Common Fund secretariat also reviewed projects before taking them to their Consultative Committee. The Consultative Committee of the Common Fund considered in detail all technical aspects of project proposals and made recommendations for final approval by the Executive Board. Once a project was approved, a project appraisal report, a project agreement and a grant agreement were completed before project activities start.

The ICAC Secretariat served as a supervisory body for cotton projects until the CFC entered a new phase of operations in 2012/13. Under these new guidelines project proposals are not required to be submitted through an ICB and ICBs no longer have the responsibility to serve as a supervisory body. The ICAC no longer has a monopoly on access to the CFC for projects involving the cotton sector. However, if the governments/institutions wish to make use of the services provided by the ICAC, they are welcome to contact the Secretariat.

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