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Codex technical committees underway again with meeting of General Principles


More than a year has passed since the last time a Codex technical committee met. When the Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance ended on 13 December 2019 in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea, nobody could imagine that there would be a 14 month wait for experts to gather once again to continue their formal deliberations of Codex business.

The task of kicking off the 2021 series of meetings, with plans currently for a virtual year and online sessions, has fallen to France who host the Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) from 8 to 17 February 2021.

CCGP must show the way.

A virtual event poses technical challenges and sacrifices those moments of informal conviviality so vital for building understanding between participants, but it does “allow more countries to take part and is therefore more inclusive,” said Jen-Luc Angot, French General Inspector of Veterinary Public Health and Chairperson of CCGP. “It is also a chance to trial a session without physical attendance and CCGP must show the way,” he said.

A topic already on the CCGP agenda before the pandemic was that of committees working by correspondence, work thrust into the spotlight by the absence of a physical meeting schedule for Codex in 2020/21. New Zealand has been steering the work through the committee stage and on most of the issues such as the criteria for determination of work by correspondence and trying to ensure parity with traditional physical meetings, progress has been positive. What remains to be agreed is “the question around the scope and whether it includes virtual meetings,” said Raj Rajasekar, Ministry for Primary Industries in New Zealand.

Other topics on the agenda over the coming days include monitoring the use of Codex standards and monitoring Codex results in the context of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The Codex Secretariat will also present a proposal for a new digital format for the Codex rule book, the Procedural Manual. “Introducing a more user-friendly experience together with guidance and tutorials all online and always up-to-date will improve searchability and be of benefit to Members and Observers,” said Giuseppe Di Chiera of the Codex Secretariat.


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Working documents all available on the CCGP32 meeting page

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