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FAQ on procedures at CAC46

This FAQ page will provide information regarding the arrangements for the session including updates on COVID-19 prevention measures currently in place in FAO and details regarding voting procedures should they be required.

For general information on CAC46 and meeting documents go to the CAC46 meeting page.

This page was last updated on 2 November 2023.

How do I enter the FAO HQ?

Please use the visitor's entrance on Viale Aventino, located above the Circo Massimo metro station. Walk up the steps and proceed straight toward the gate, where you will find a sign indicating the visitor's entrance for a security check. After completing the security check, you can obtain a meeting building pass that will grant you access to the FAO complex. Please note that it will also be possible to collect your meeting building pass on Sunday 26 November from 10:00h to 12:00h and from 14:00h to 18:00h

Once you have received your meeting badge, from Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 November, you can use the secondary access point set up along Viale Aventino (between Gate D and Gate 2) during the CAC46 to prevent bottlenecks at the main Visitors Reception Pavilion.

Can a CAC46 delegate go anywhere in FAO HQ?

The ground floor of the premises is established as a “free circulation zone” for access and informal gathering. This zone includes catering outlets as well as meeting rooms on the second and third floor of Buildings A, B, C and D.

The terrace on the 8th floor can also be accessed and the canteen has been completely renovated and there is a new Uzbekistan Lounge also on the 8th floor which has a bar. For more details on the facilities in FAO and a map of the building see the Information for delegates.

Are there currently any health-related restrictions or recommendations in place?

There are currently no specific COVID requirements currently in place.

If I have COVID symptoms, such as a fever (over 37.5°C) and a cough, what should I do?

If you develop symptoms, isolate immediately, contact a doctor, get tested, and stay home. In case of a positive result, please refrain from attending the CAC46.

How many delegates can sit in the FAO Plenary Hall per Member?

The Plenary Hall has a capacity of 1080 places. No restrictions are envisaged at the moment for meeting participants. There is currently no limit on the size of a delegation entering FAO HQ.

However, each delegation will be allocated 3-6 seats based on the number of registered Members. Additional delegates will have the option of free seating on each side of the Plenary Hall.

Can Codex Observers sit in the Plenary Hall?

Yes, Codex Observers will be seated in the Plenary Hall after the Members.

Will regional groups have access to their own meeting rooms?

Yes, They can access their meeting rooms from November 26 to December 2, 2023.
These have been allocated as follows:

CCAFRICA: Ethiopia Room. Building C 2nd floor.
CCASIA: Philippines Room. Building C 2nd floor.
CCEURO: German Rom. Building C 2nd floor.
CCLAC: Mexico Room. Building D 2nd floor.
CCNE: Lebanon Room. Building D 2nd floor.
CCNASWP: India Room. Building A 3rd floor.

Room Availability:
• November 26, 2023 (SUN): 10:00 – 12:00 (CET) and 14:00 - 18:00 (CET)
• November 27 (MON) – December 2 (SAT): 09:00 -18:00 (CET)

How will the order of interventions from delegations be managed?

Those in the Plenary Hall will press a physical button to request to speak, in the usual way. Participants on Zoom will use the "raise hand" function. The Codex Secretariat and FAO Meeting Services staff will ensure that the Chairperson sees the requests for the floor in the order in which they were made.

The usual convention will be followed that Members speak followed by Observers.

Delegates should ensure that their interventions do not exceed 2 minutes.

What will be the procedure for voting at CAC46?

Voting procedures follow Rule XII of the General Rules of FAO, found in the Basic texts of the Organization.

Paragraph six of Rule XII states that "Voting shall be by show of hands, roll call or secret ballot."

The default modality for voting is “show of hands”. A Member can request that the modality is changed to “roll call”.

The majority of the Commission can decide to change the modality to “secret ballot” and that majority would be determined by “show of hands or “roll call”.

NOTE: Elections are always decided by secret ballot if there is more than one candidate for an elected position.

How can a Member vote?

Voting in any meeting modality is in person only.

Planned times for voting will be made available in the provisional programme.

Rules on the composition of delegations allow Members to include any person in their delegation, including nationals from other countries. The only limitation that applies is that no delegate to CAC46 can also be included in the CAC46 delegation of another Member.

This means that Members who cannot participate in-person could exercise their voting rights by including a person already based in Rome on their delegation or a person that has the opportunity to travel to Rome for the purpose of voting (e.g. from their diplomatic Representation in a nearby city or country).

How will a quorum be established for voting?

Rule VI.7 of the Procedural Manual states "the majority of the Members of the Commission attending the session shall constitute a quorum, provided that such a majority shall be not less than 20 percent of the total membership of the Commission, nor less than 25 Members."

The quorum in Codex is the “majority of the Members of the Commission attending the session”, which means that more than half of the Members registered for the session should constitute a quorum.

As a practical example:

  • if 100 Members have registered, at least 51 Members will need to be present to constitute a quorum;
  • “such a majority should be not less than 20% of the total membership of the Commission”, which is 38 Members if the whole Codex Membership includes 188 Members.

The Codex Secretariat understands the "nor less than 25 Members" refers to a time in Codex when there were fewer Members than today.