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Incoming regional coordinators learn the key to Codex work


In the second of a series of online webinars organized by the Codex Secretariat for the incoming coordinators representing the six regions in the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the focus was on their role in the Executive Committee, the next session of which will take place, again virtually, from 13 to 21 January 2021.

Guilherme Da Costa, Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission said: “The successful achievement of Members in Codex is directly related to the commitment of the Regional Coordinators to each Member in the region”.

The Codex Executive Committee (CCEXEC) is made up of six Regional Coordinators who together with seven Members elected geographically and the Chairperson, plus three Vice Chairpersons, are charged with safeguarding standards development and acting both as a strategic branch and a conduit to the wider Commission for other special issues.

Preparation for effective participation in Codex.

Khalil Alswelem, Saudi Arabia, said that what he had learned in these workshop sessions was that “only preparation can lead to effective participation in Codex” and that they would be looking in the Near East to increase interaction and communication as well as exchanges on science between countries with different levels of experience.

The new Coordinator for North America and the South West Pacific, Fiji, represented at the session by Vio Ratu Veretawatini said he realized “communication with members” was another key to success at the CCEXEC. Strengthening participation in the region is a goal Fiji is setting with an emphasis on capacity at the national level.

Rommel Betancourt from Ecuador is the Coordinator for the Latin America and Caribbean region. “Coordinators are an important part of the core of the CCEXEC”, he said, looking forward to taking a proactive role. One of the goals of Ecuador’s leadership in the region will be implementing the FAO/WHO diagnostic tool to assess the status of national Codex programs.

Codex Regional Coordinators workshop November 2020

Codex workshop for Regional Coordinators held online November 2020

“I think today I gained a lot from former Coordinators and I learnt how important it is to reflect the views of the whole region and not just one country” said Tian Jing from China, the new Coordinator for the Asian region. China will be seeking to identify barriers to participation in the region to improve engagement in Codex meetings, physically or virtually.

Hakim Mufumbiro from Uganda is the incoming Coordinator for Africa. “Our key deliverables in the coming months will include examining constraints to participation and discussing priority areas for the region”.

The Coordinator for the European region in Codex has not changed and Kazakhstan will continue to serve for a second term. “A Coordinator should be at the epicenter of all Codex events in your region”, said Nailya Karsybekova, encouraging close collaboration with the Codex parent organizations and other stakeholders in the region as well as taking the lead in the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan.

Both Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt and Chairperson Da Costa underlined the exceptional contribution of the outgoing Coordinators, Chile, India, Iran, Kenya, Kazakhstan and Vanuatu who served over an extended term and through the initial period of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Your proactive attitude, cooperation and leadership have been paramount for the evolution of Codex standard setting both in and beyond your regions”, said Da Costa.


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Next CCEXEC session- working papers

Main photo (top)

China, Ecuador, Uganda

Fiji, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia