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CCEXEC / sub-committee on strategic planning holds virtual session


The strategic planning sub-committee of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission met virtually on 1 July 2021. One of the tasks of the group is to consider how Codex can contribute to and achieve recognition for its key food standards work in the actions of its Members in relation to global and UN initiatives such as the UN Food Systems Summit.

Over 50 participants attending online were briefed on proposals of relevance to the Codex mandate currently being considered under the Summit’s different Action Tracks, specifically Action Track 1 “Ensure access to safe and nutritious food for all”.

FAO and WHO also presented their respective food safety strategies currently undergoing consultation and development. FAO considers the Codex Alimentarius a key asset; ‘an inclusive platform for food safety governance developing standards that are a global benchmark for food safety’. The draft WHO text underlines how Codex Principles and Guidelines for National Food Control Systems will assist Member States in reviewing and strengthening their national systems and how national food regulations and standards should reflect the Codex Alimentarius.

“The discussion on the strategies has been very interesting, it is not common for countries to have the opportunity to listen at the same time about the strategies from both FAO and WHO,” said Diego Varela, Chile.

Members also heard updates on the Codex Trust Fund and progress reports from each of the six Codex Regional Coordinators highlighting 2020 achievements in line with the objectives of the Codex Strategic Plan notwithstanding the challenges presented by COVID-19.

In a frank assessment of the operational capacity and the performance of the Codex Secretariat during the pandemic, Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt called for discussion and innovation within the think tank of the Executive Committee to ensure the Codex meeting schedule does not become a challenge to maintain. He also commented on the need for continued and equitable participation in Codex for all Members in the future. “How can we keep those additional members now participating in Codex when we return to physical sessions without excluding them or creating a two-tier system?” he said.

The sub-committee will continue discussions using the online platform established for electronic working in Codex and report back to the next Executive Committee session in November 2021.


Learn more

Codex Executive Committee (CCEXEC) web pages.