Commissions are forums enabling member countries to take a direct voting position on technical issues relating to their mandates. These entities ensure that continual focus on their specific mandates is not diverted due to high-ranking crisis. Commissions are also active on ongoing projects both at member country level and at regional level.
Two regional FAO Commissions are managed by the Animal Production and Health Division (AGA). Regional Commissions are entities created by agreement between FAO member countries and established by the FAO Council under the FAO Constitution.
The European Commission for the control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD Commission) was established in 1954 at a time when Foot-and-Mouth disease was ravaging post-war Europe. Its Secretariat is hosted by FAO, but members of the Commission are the European countries. The Commission is primarily a forum to foster cooperation between member countries and to coordinate their efforts to prevent and control FMD. It is also tasked with providing technical expertise, epidemiological information and advice to member countries and with assisting in the development of international standards and harmonisation. It aims to make best use of the EuFMD/FAO capacity to bridge the divide between free and non-free countries in away that assists in meeting the needs of both.
The Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific (APHCA) was established by FAO and became operational in December 1975 as awareness built over the vital role of livestock in sustaining Asia’s agriculture and its potential to increase income levels, rural employment and living standards for millions of smallholder farmers. The purpose of APHCA is to promote livestock development in general, and more specifically to promote national and international research programmes relating to animal husbandry and health problems. Regional and national livestock programmes are based upon collective self-reliance and mutual assistance within the Region. The Commission is also entrusted with promoting livestock production as an industry and as part of the farming system based on self-reliance at the farm level. Among the Commission’s goals is also that of raising the nutrition level and living standards of smallholder farmers and rural communities through optimal exploitation of resources for livestock development.
The Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), originally established in 1983 as the Commission on Plant Genetic Resources by the FAO Conference, was in 1995 entrusted with a broader mandate by a new FAO resolution to cover all components of agro-biodiversity of relevance to food and agriculture and was accordingly renamed the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA). Its Secretariat is located at FAO headquarters. The CGRFA is a permanent forum where governments discuss and negotiate matters relevant to genetic resources for food and agriculture. Its main objectives are to ensure the conservation and sustainable utilization of genetic resources for food and agriculture, as well the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their use, for present and future generations. The CGRFA aims to reach international consensus on areas of global interest, and works through its Multi-year Programme of Work. AGA is the technical secretariat of the CGRFA's subsidiary Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources.