| NERC/04/6 |
Twenty-seventh FAO Regional Conference for the Near East
Doha, Qatar, 13 - 17 March 2004
Establishment of the Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near East and North Africa (AHCNENA)
Most countries in the Near East and North Africa Region import both live animals and animal products, either from countries within or from outside the Region; a situation that would require applying disease prevention measures, including those of pre-importation laboratory testing, clinical inspection, establishment of animal quarantines, and post introduction monitoring. Since the food sector has been facing an increasing demand for livestock and their products, a shortage due to disease would make the current deficit situation more acute. Even if the livestock sector production managed to improve, the presence of certain transboundary animal diseases makes livestock products an un-tradable commodity. Animal health, transboundary animal diseases, livestock trade, import of livestock products, quarantine and zoonotic diseases have therefore become relevant issues that need addressing by the decision–makers in the Region. Rinderpest, Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD), peste des petits ruminants (PPR) , Rift Valley fever (RVF), Old World Screwworm (OWS), Brucellosis, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) for example, have become regular topics on the agenda, not only of meetings between Chief Veterinary Officers (CVOs), but even at the Heads of State level.
The need for creating a Regional Animal Health Commission has long been expressed in various fora such as during the meeting which the Heads of the Veterinary Services of 16 countries had in Baghdad, Iraq, in October 1984, and which recommended that an FMD Commission be created for the Region. In addition, at the 1st Roundtable Meeting on Foot and Mouth disease organized by the Regional Office for the Near East (RNE) in November 1994, in Cairo, participants from Egypt, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Turkey attended the meeting and recommended the establishment of a Regional Commission for FMD.
Subsequently, during the 23rd Arab Veterinary Medical Congress held in March, 1997, in Cairo, the creation of a Regional Animal Health Commission was also supported by the attendees. This was reiterated during the 25th Jubilee Meeting of the Congress, held in Cairo in May, 2001.
Furthermore, at the occasion of the 25th (Beirut, March 2000) and the 26th (Teheran, March 2002) FAO Regional Conferences for the Near East, Governments recommended that a Regional Commission on animal health be established within the framework of FAO.
Finally, the participants to the 2nd Roundtable Meeting on Foot and Mouth Disease held in Cairo in October 2003 recommended inter alia that:
“FAO supports the establishment of the Animal Health Commission for the Near East & North Africa, which has been already endorsed by the Agriculture and Livestock Ministers of the Region. This Commission should become an important body working together with OIE/FAO Regional Steering Committee”.
In view of the above, the Regional Conference is invited to review and finalize the following proposed draft:
AGREEMENT FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE REGIONAL ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSION FOR THE NEAR-EAST AND NORTH AFRICA
The Contracting Parties,
Recognizing the desirability of preventing the spread of animal diseases in the Near-East and North Africa Region,
Having a mutual interest in cooperating with a view to ensuring coordination in animal disease surveillance and control activities, and sustainable animal production, in the Near East Region,
Considering that the above cooperation would be greatly enhanced by the establishment of harmonized measures by interested Countries,
Bearing in mind the various requirements of the Final Act embodying the results of the Uruguay Round and the Marrakech Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, and in particular the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes,
Considering that the aforementioned objectives could best be achieved through the establishment of a Commission set up under Article XIV of the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (hereafter “the Organization” or “FAO”),
Agree as follows:
The Contracting Parties hereby establish, within the framework of the Organization, a Commission to be known as the “Regional Animal Health Commission for the Near-East and North Africa”, for the purpose of exercising the functions and mandate, and discharging the responsibilities set forth in the present Agreement.
For the purpose of the present Agreement:
“animals” comprise living farm animals including livestock and poultry used as a source of food, fiber, draught power, dung and of other utilitarian products of animal origin;
“disease” means any deterioration or disorder of an animal's health status caused by any form of physical or biological agent injurious or potentially injurious to that animal or a group of animals;
“products of animal origin” comprise manufactured products of animal origin, which, by their nature or that of their processing, may create a risk for the spread of diseases;
Functions and Mandate of the Commission
1. The Commission shall promote cooperation among its Members with a view to ensuring, through appropriate management, the strengthening of animal health activities and capabilities to minimize interference with international trade resulting from animal health measures, and to increase livestock productivity and trade in healthy animals and safe animal products.
2. In order to achieve these objectives, the Commission shall have the following functions and responsibilities, inter alia:
2.1 To promote animal disease surveillance through:
2.2 To promote disease investigation through assisting national veterinary services in improving their animal disease diagnostic and investigation capacities;
2.3 To promote harmonization of animal quarantine regulations and measures, particularly animal health principles, procedures and disease risks assessment in order that animal health conditions are not used as unjustifiable trading restrictions;
2.4 To assist in animal disease control through:
2.5 To strengthen national capabilities through:
3. The Commission may make recommendations to its Members on any of the matters referred to in this Article.
Sessions of the Commission
The Commission shall elect its Chairperson and no more than two Vice-Chairpersons, each of whom shall serve for a term of two years and shall be eligible for re-election but shall not serve for more than four years in succession. In electing the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairpersons the Commission shall pay due regard to the need for an equitable representation from among the area of competence.
Chairmanship and Functions of the Commission
ARTICLE IX 1
Rights and Obligations of the Members of the Commission
Adoption of harmonized standards, guidelines and recommendations
ARTICLE XIII 2
1. Each Member of the Commission undertakes to contribute annually its share of the autonomous budget in accordance with a scale of contributions to be adopted by the Commission.
2. At each regular session, the Commission shall adopt its autonomous budget by consensus of its Members, provided however that if, after every effort has been made, a consensus cannot be reached in the course of that session, the matter will be put to a vote and the budget shall be adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Commission.
3. (a) The amount of the contribution of each Member of the Commission shall be determined in accordance with a scheme which the Commission shall adopt and amend by consensus, provided however that if, after every effort has been made, a consensus cannot be reached, such scheme will be put to a new vote and adopted by a two-thirds majority of the Members of the Commission.
(b) The scheme adopted or amended by the Commission shall be set out in the Financial Regulations of the Commission.
4. Any non-Member of the Organization that becomes a Member of the Commission shall be required to make such contribution towards the expenses incurred by the Organization with respect to the activities of the Commission as the Commission may determine.
5. Contributions shall be payable in freely convertible currencies unless otherwise determined by the Commission with the concurrence of the Director-General.
6. The Commission may also accept donations and other forms of assistance from organizations, individuals and other sources for purposes connected with the fulfilment of any of its functions.
7. Contributions and donations and other forms of assistance received shall be placed in a Trust Fund administered by the Director-General in conformity with the Financial Regulations of the Organization.
8. A Member of the Commission which is in arrears in the payment of its financial contributions to the Commission shall have no vote in the Commission if the amount of its arrears equals or exceeds the amount of the contributions due from it for the two preceding calendar years. The Commission may, nevertheless, permit such a Member to vote if it is satisfied that the failure to pay was due to conditions beyond the control of the Member but in no case shall it extend the right to vote beyond a further two calendar years.
1. The expenses of delegates and their alternates, experts and advisers occasioned by attendance at sessions of the Commission, or its committees and working parties, shall be determined and paid by the respective Members.
2. The expenses of the Secretariat, including publications and communications and the expenses incurred by the Chairman and Vice-Chairmen of the Commission, when performing duties on behalf of the Commission between Commission sessions, shall be determined and paid from the budget of the Commission.
3. The expenses of research and development projects undertaken by individual Members of the Commission, whether independently or upon recommendation of the Commission, shall be determined and paid by the Members concerned.
4. The expenses incurred in connection with cooperative research or development projects undertaken in accordance with the provisions of Article IV of this Agreement, unless otherwise available shall be determined and paid by the Members of the Commission in the form and proportion to which they shall mutually agree. Contributions for cooperative projects shall be paid into a trust fund to be established by the Organization and shall be administered by the Organization in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the Organization.
5. The expenses of experts invited to attend meetings of the Commission, its committees or working parties, in their individual capacity, shall be borne by the budget of the Commission.
6. The Commission may accept voluntary contributions generally or in connection with specific projects or activities of the Commission. Such contributions shall be paid into a trust fund to be established by the Organization. The acceptance of such voluntary contributions and the administration of the trust fund shall be in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the Organization.
1. The seat of the Commission shall be determined, after consultation with the Director-General, by the Commission. The pertinent Memorandum of Agreement relating to the seat of the Commission is concluded between the Organization and the Host Country, provided that such Host Country is a Member of the Commission.
2. Sessions of the Commission shall normally be held at its seat. The Chairperson of the Commission may however, convene Sessions elsewhere in consultation with the Director-General, either in pursuance of a decision of the Commission at a previous session, or without such decision in exceptional circumstances.
Privileges, Immunities, and Facilities
l. Each Member of the Commission shall grant required privileges and immunities by applying, mutatis mutandis, to the Commission, its Secretary and staff, to the official representative of other Members and of intergovernmental organizations the Commission, the privileges and immunities provided for in the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the Specialized Agencies adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 2l November l947.
2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1, each Member of the Commission shall grant:
(a) to the Commission and its property, funds and assets, privileges, immunities and facilities as may be appropriate to enable the Commission to carry out its activities;
(b) to the official representatives of any other Member of the Commission or inter-governmental organization performing official duties in connection with the work of the Commission and to the Secretary and staff of the Commission, such privileges, immunities and facilities as may be appropriate to enable them to perform their official duties.
3. Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 and 2, the Memorandum of Agreement relating to the seat of the Commission as referred to in Article XV of this Agreement lists the privileges and immunities, as well as facilities, granted by the Host Country.
4. The Commission may conclude agreements with Members in which offices of the Commission may be located, specifying the privileges, immunities and facilities to be enjoyed by the Commission to enable it to fulfil its objectives and to perform its functions.
Relations with other Organizations and Institutions
The Commission shall cooperate with other inter-governmental organizations or institutions especially those active in the animal health sector.
1. This Agreement shall be open to acceptance by Members or Associate Members of the Organization.
2. The Commission may, by a two-thirds majority of its membership, admit to membership such other States that are Members of the United Nations, any of its Specialized Agencies or the International Atomic Energy Agency as have submitted an application for membership and a declaration made in a formal instrument that they accept this Agreement as in force at the time of admission.
3. Participation in the activities of the Commission by Members of the Commission which are not Members or Associate Members of the Organization shall be contingent upon the assumption of such proportionate share in the expenses of the Secretariat as may be determined in the light of the relevant provisions of the Financial Regulations of the Organization.
4. Acceptance of this Agreement by any Member or Associate Member of the Organization shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Director-General of the Organization and shall take effect on receipt of such instrument by the Director-General.
5. Acceptance of this Agreement by non-members of the Organization shall be effected by the deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Director-General of the Organization. Membership shall become effective on the date on which the Commission approves the application for membership, in conformity with the provisions of paragraph 2 of this Article.
6. The Director-General of the Organization shall inform all Members of the Commission, all Members of the Organization and the Secretary-General of the United Nations of all acceptances that have become effective.
7. Acceptance of this Agreement may be made subject to reservations that shall become effective only upon unanimous approval by the Members of the Commission. Members of the Commission not having replied within three months from the date of the notification shall be deemed to have accepted the reservation. Failing such approval, the nation or regional economic integration organization making the reservation shall not become a party to this Agreement. The Director-General of the Organization shall notify forthwith all Members of the Commission of any reservations.
8. References in this Agreement to the Final Act embodying the results of the Uruguay Round and the Marrakech Agreement establishing the World Trade Organization, and in particular the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes, do not prejudice the position of any State with respect to signature, ratification, or accession to the Final Act, to the Marrakech Agreement, and to the Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phyto-sanitary Measures, and the Understanding on Rules and Procedures Governing the Settlement of Disputes.
Entry into Force
This Agreement shall enter into force as from the date of receipt by the Director-General of the fourth 3 instrument of acceptance.
1. The Commission may amend this Agreement by a two-third majority of all the Members of the Commission. Subject to paragraph 2 below, amendments shall come into force as from the date of their adoption by the Commission.
2. Proposals for amendments may be made by any Member of the Commission, or by the Director-General. Proposals made by a Member of the Commission shall be addressed to both the Chairperson of the Commission and the Director-General, and those made by the Director-General shall be addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission, not later than 120 days before the Session of the Commission at which the proposal is to be considered. The Director-General shall immediately inform all Members of the Commission of all proposals for amendments.
3. Amendments involving new obligations for the Members of the Commission shall come into force after acceptance by two-thirds of such Members, and with respect to each Member only on acceptance of it by that Member. The instruments of acceptance of amendments involving new obligations shall be deposited with the Director-General of the Organization who shall inform all the Members of Commission, as well as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, of the receipt of acceptance and the entry into force of such amendments. The rights and obligations of any Member of the Commission that has not accepted an amendment involving additional obligations shall continue to be governed by the provisions of this Agreement as they stood prior to the amendment.
4. Amendments to this Agreement shall be reported to the Council of the Organization that shall have the power to disallow any amendment that it finds to be inconsistent with the objectives and purposes of the Organization or the provisions of the Constitution of the Organization. If the Council of the Organization considers it desirable, it may refer the amendment to the Conference of the Organization which shall have the same power.
1. Any Member of the Commission may withdraw from this Agreement at any time after the expiry of two years from the date upon which the Agreement entered into force with respect to that Member, by giving written notice of such withdrawal to the Director-General who shall immediately inform all the Members of the Commission and the Members of the Organization and the Secretary-General of the United Nations of such withdrawal. Withdrawal shall become effective at the end of the calendar year following that in which the notice of withdrawal has been received by the Director-General.
2. A Member of the Commission may give notice of withdrawal with respect to one or more of the territories for the international relations of which it is responsible. When a Member gives notice of its own withdrawal from the Commission, it shall state to which territory or territories the withdrawal is to apply. In the absence of such a statement, the withdrawal shall be deemed to apply to all the territories for the international relations of which the Member is responsible, with the exception of territories belonging to an Associate Member which is a Member of the Commission in its own right.
3. Any Member that gives notice of withdrawal from FAO shall be deemed to have simultaneously withdrawn from the Commission, and this withdrawal shall be deemed to apply to all the territories for the international relations of which the Member is responsible, with the exception of territories belonging to an Associate Member which is a Member of the Commission in its own right.
This Agreement shall be automatically terminated if and when, as the result of withdrawals, the number of Members drops below three.
Interpretation and Settlement of Disputes
Any dispute regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement, if not settled by the Commission, shall be referred for settlement to a conciliation procedure to be adopted by the Commission. The results of such conciliation procedure, while not binding in character, shall become the basis for renewed consideration by the parties concerned of the matter out of which the disagreement arose. If as the result of this procedure the dispute is not settled, it may be referred to the International Court of Justice in accordance with the Statute of the International Court of Justice, unless the parties to the dispute agree to another method of settlement.
The Director-General shall be the Depositary of this Agreement. The Depositary shall:
(a) send certified copies of this Agreement to each Member and Associate Member of FAO and to such non-Member States as may become party to this Agreement;
(b) arrange for the registration of this Agreement, upon its entry into force, with the Secretariat of the United Nations in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) inform each Member and Associate Member of FAO, which has accepted this Agreement, and any non-Member State, which has been admitted to membership in the Commission of:
(i) the application of a non-Member State to be admitted to membership in the Commission;
(ii) proposals for the amendment of this Agreement or of the Annexes thereto;
(d) inform each Member and Associate Member of FAO and any non-Member States as may become party to this Agreement of:
(i) the deposit of instruments of acceptance in accordance with Article XVIII;
(ii) the date of entry into force of this Agreement in accordance with Article XIX;
(iii) reservations made to this Agreement in accordance with Article XVIII;
(iv) the adoption of amendments to this Agreement in accordance with Article XX;
(v) withdrawals from this Agreement pursuant to Article XXI; and
Certification and Registration
Two copies in the Arabic, English, French and Spanish languages of this Agreement and of any amendments to this Agreement shall be certified by the Chairperson of the Commission and by the Director-General of the Organization. One of these copies shall be deposited in the archives of the Organization. The other copy shall be transmitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration. In addition, the Director-General shall certify copies of this Agreement and transmit one copy to each Member of the Organization and to such non-member nations of the Organization that are or may become parties to this Agreement.
Several regional fora have passed recommendations and expressed their endorsement of the establishment of an animal health commission for the Near East and North Africa.
The Governments attending the present Regional Conference are now invited to consider the draft agreement for the establishment of the above commission as outlined in Section III of the present document.
Whenever such an agreement is endorsed by the Regional Conference, the FAO Regional Representative will, on its behalf, forward it to the Director-General of FAO with the request that the pertinent procedures be implemented with a view to establish the Animal Health Commission for the Near-East and North Africa.
1 The basic texts of bodies established under Article XIV of the Constitution shall specify that:
(i) the financial operations of such bodies shall be governed by the appropriate provisions of the Financial Regulations of the Organization, subject to the terms of paragraph (iii) below;
(ii) the expenses of members of such bodies or of experts attending sessions of these bodies as government representatives are to be borne by the respective governments and the expenses of experts attending in their individual capacity are to be borne either by the budget, if any, of the body concerned, or by the Organization;
(iii) the Secretary of each body shall be appointed by the Director-General and shall be administratively responsible to him. In the case of bodies that, in addition to being financed by the Organization, have autonomous budgets, the basic texts may specify that the Secretary shall be appointed by the Director-General after consultation with, or with the approval or concurrence of, the members of the body concerned.
(iv) non-member nations of the Organization that become members of bodies established by conventions or agreements concluded under Article XIV of the Constitution shall be required to contribute towards the expenses incurred by the Organization with respect to the activities of these bodies.
2 Bearing in mind the obligations of the Organization, the following principles shall be observed and appropriate provisions shall be inserted in the text of the agreement:
(i) contributions for cooperative projects and autonomous budgets shall be remitted to the Organization. The Organization shall establish in each case a trust or special fund into which these contributions shall be paid and these funds shall be administered by the Organization in accordance with the Financial Regulations and Rules of the Organization;
(ii) any financial regulations adopted by such bodies shall be consistent with the principles embodied in the Financial Regulations of the Organization and be reported to the Finance Committee which shall have the power to disallow such financial regulations or amendment if it finds that they are inconsistent with the principles embodied in the Financial Regulations of the Organization;
(iii) expenses borne by the Organization shall be determined and paid within the limits of the relevant item of the budget of the Organization as approved by the Conference.
3 To be determined by the negotiating parties, In general, the number of required instruments of acceptance for regional commission is quite limited: from 3 to 10.