This report is the first intellectual product of the Agricultural Research and Extension Group (ESDAR). The theme of the report is the emergence of a global agricultural research system. It provides both an analysis of major changes occurring internationally, which demonstrates the major redistribution of roles and partners on that scene, and a call for more coordinated action among all agencies supporting agricultural research. The report also looks at the present role of ESDAR. A greater degree of coordination is possible because of a greater and clearer consensus than ever before on what needs to be done.