Common Fund for Commodities has a membership of 106 Member States and ten institutional members including the European Union (EU), the African Union/African Economic Community (AU/AEC), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and most recently, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Membership is also open to Members States of the United Nations, its specialized agencies; and the International Atomic Energy Agency, in addition to intergovernmental and regional economic integration organizations, which exercise competence within the purview of activities overseen by the Fund.
The Agreement Establishing the Common Fund for Commodities [CFC] was adopted on 27 June 1980 at Geneva, by the United Nations Negotiating Conference on a Common Fund under the Integrated Program for Commodities. The Agreement entered into force on 19 June 1989. A copy of the Agreement is available on the CFC website.
The governing bodies of the Common Fund are its Governing Council and the Executive Board. The Managing Director is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fund and the Chairman of the Executive Board. The Consultative Committee, composed of thirteen independent experts, on technical and economic aspects of projects submitted to the Fund, is an advisory body for the Executive Board. The Governing Council meets once a year and the Executive Board and Consultative Committee meet biannually.
The Common Fund and Partners
The Common Fund works closely with International Commodity Bodies (ICBs) to advance commodity sector development in member countries and policy advocacy in the international fora.
However, to directly promote poverty reduction initiatives and to provide sustainable agricultural assistance to poor and least developed countries (LDCs), the Fund’s chief cooperating partner is the Vienna-based OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Over the years, OFID has been a major donor base for resource mobilization and co-financing for CFC’s regular projects for smallholder farmers in various sectors in LDCs such as Bangladesh, Haiti and Sub-Sahara African countries. The Fund also has in place special financing arrangements with the European Commission’s All-Agricultural Commodities Program (AACP) and with the Dutch Trust Fund, set up by the Government of The Netherlands.
More recently, the Fund has been seeking additional avenues of engagement and cooperation with regional economic commissions (RECs) as stipulated in the 3rd five-year Action Plan (2008-12) and with institutional members to extend its commodity advocacy initiatives.