100. The concluding plenary session was devoted to the presentation of the draft summary report, the discussion on the Chairmen's summary and an exchange of views on possible subsequent fora.
Presentation of the draft summary report
101. The summaries of the plenary discussion on Strengthening official food safety control services and on Epidemio-surveillance of food-borne diseases and food safety rapid alert systems were presented respectively by Messrs. Ezzeddine Boutrif and Jorgen Schlundt from the Joint FAO/WHO Secretariat. The participants were asked to submit their proposals for amendments to the Secretariat so that the summary report could be finalized.
102. Messrs. Jos Goebbels and Nick Tomlinson reported on the results of the discussion during the workshops they had chaired respectively on Partnerships on strengthening official food safety control services and on Partnerships on epidemio-surveillance of food-borne diseases and food safety rapid alert systems.
103. The Chairmen read their Summary, the English version of which had been distributed to the participants. Although the text was translated orally by interpreters, several delegates complained that since it was not available in all the official languages of the Forum, they were not in a position to contribute to the discussion. The Secretariat explained that this was due to time constraints and the unavailability of a translation team at the meeting. It was stated that this request would be considered in future fora. Nevertheless, a number of comments were made by delegations and subsequently integrated in the final version (Annex I).
Discussion on a possible Third Global Forum (GF-3)
104. Delegates appreciated that the Second Global Forum had given them the opportunity to meet regulators from many countries of all regions of the world to exchange information and share experiences on food safety issues of particular importance to them, and considered that this had led to a better understanding of these issues. Concerning the holding of a third Global Forum (GF-3), all interventions were generally supportive of the need to hold such an event. However, several delegates requested that the original objectives of the Global Fora - to exchange information and experiences - should evolve to develop a common understanding and promote action and commitments. Several delegations made suggestions on the format to reduce the number of topics and documents, and devote more time to discussion. Other delegations suggested that the main theme of future Fora should be less general and more focused on a limited number of topics. It was also proposed that future Fora could be held back to back with regular sessions of the Codex Alimentarius Commission to save costs. The Secretariat took note of these comments and announced that it would conduct an e-forum to solicit the views of the Member countries on the subject and that the results would be presented to delegations attending the next session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission in July 2005.
Closing of the Forum
105. Mr Apichart Pongsrihadulchai officially closed the Second Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand. He thanked the organizers for their efforts and the delegates for their active participation in the discussion.