Commissions are forums enabling member countries to take a direct voting position on technical issues relating to their mandates. Commissions are also active on ongoing projects both at member country level and at regional level.
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 Commission on Livestock Development for Latin America and the Caribbean is the technical advisory organism on animal production and health for the LAC Regional Conference. The Commission has three sub-regional chapters (South Cone, Andean, and Mexico-Central America-Dominican Republic) which meet every two years to discuss relevant issues for the livestock sector development and identify priorities for South-South and FAO technical cooperation in the region. Member Countries are represented by government delegates from institutions belonging to the Foreign Ministry or the Ministry of Agriculture and observers from international organizations, the private sector, livestock organizations and civil society. Each chapter develops a two-year work program including technical cooperation project preparation, working group meetings, capacity-building activities, livestock policy and technical workshops, and thematic fora. The main areas of discussion include policy and technical issues on animal health, livestock services, sustainable livestock production and climate change, family livestock agriculture and livestock development trends. The conclusions and recommendations of each chapter meeting are reported to the LAC Regional Conference. FAO is in charge of the technical secretariat.
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 is a permanent forum where governments discuss and negotiate matters relevant to genetic resources for food and agriculture, including their conservation and sustainable use and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits derived from their utilization. As of June 2012, 175 countries and the European Union are members. The Commission aims to reach international consensus on issues of global interest. An agreed Multi-year Programme of Work is being implemented. A subsidiary body of the Commission, the Intergovernmental Technical Working Group on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, reviews issues related to livestock biodiversity, and advises and makes recommendations to the Commission on these matters. AGA acts as the secretariat of the Working Group.