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The Codex Alimentarius Commission shall, subject to Article 5 below, be responsible for making proposals to, and shall be consulted by, the Directors General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on all matters pertaining to the implementation of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, the purpose of which is:

(a) protecting the health of the consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade;

(b) promoting coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and non governmental organizations;

(c) determining priorities and initiating and guiding the preparation of draft standards through and with the aid of appropriate organizations;

(d) finalizing standards elaborated under (c) above and, after acceptance by governments, publishing them in a Codex Alimentarius either as regional or world wide standards, together with international standards already finalized by other bodies under (b) above, wherever this is practicable;

(e) amending published standards, after appropriate survey in the light of developments.


Membership of the Commission is open to all Member Nations and Associate Members of FAO and WHO which are interested in international food standards. Membership shall comprise such of these nations as have notified the Director General of FAO or of WHO of their desire to be considered as Members.


Any Member Nation or Associate Member of FAO or WHO which is not a Member of the Commission but has a special interest in the work of the Commission, may, upon request communicated to the Director General of FAO or WHO, as appropriate, attend sessions of the Commission and of its subsidiary bodies and ad hoc meetings as observers.


Nations which, while not Member Nations or Associate Members of FAO or WHO, are members of the United Nations, may be invited on their request to attend meetings of the Commission as observers in accordance with the provisions of FAO and WHO relating to the grant of observer status to nations.


The Commission shall report and make recommendations to the Conference of FAO and the appropriate body of WHO through their respective Directors General. Copies of reports, including any conclusions and recommendations, will be circulated to interested Member Nations and international organizations for their information as soon as they become available.


The Commission shall establish an Executive Committee whose composition should ensure an adequate representation of the various geographical areas of the world to which the Members of the Commission belong. Between sessions, the Executive Committee shall act as the Executive organ of the Commission.


The Commission may establish such other subsidiary bodies as it deems necessary for the accomplishment of its task, subject to the availability of the necessary funds.


The Commission may adopt and amend its own Rules of Procedure which shall come into force upon approval by the Directors General of FAO and WHO, subject to such confirmation as may be prescribed by the procedures of these Organizations.


The operating expenses of the Commission and of its subsidiary bodies, other than those for which a Member has accepted the Chair, shall be borne by the budget of the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme which shall be administered by FAO on behalf of the two Organizations in accordance with the financial regulations of FAO. The Directors General of FAO and WHO shall jointly determine the respective portion of the costs of the Programme to be borne by each Organization and prepare the corresponding annual expenditure estimates for inclusion in the Regular Budgets of the two Organizations for approval by the appropriate governing bodies.


All expenses (including those relating to meetings, documents and interpretation) involved in preparatory work on draft standards undertaken by Members of the Commission, either independently or upon recommendation of the Commission, shall be defrayed by the government concerned. Within the approved budgetary estimates, the Commission may, however, recommend that a specified part of the costs of the preparatory work undertaken by the government on behalf of the Commission be recognized as operating expenses of the Commission.

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