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Bhutan and Nepal strengthen capacity for better participation in Codex work


Two training workshops on “Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification” took place in Dhulikhel, Nepal and Paro, Bhutan on 11-12 and 14-16 August 2019, respectively. The workshops that each brought together more than twenty motivated participants, was facilitated by experts from the Codex Secretariat, WHO and India. While supporting the overall objective of strengthening the national Codex programme in general, a specific objective the workshop was to strengthen the understanding of existing and draft Codex texts of the Codex Committee on Food Import and Export Inspection and Certification Systems (CCFICS), encourage the participation of Bhutan and Nepal in the work of CCFICS, and support the inter-country collaboration in the development of common positions on Codex related issues.

Workshop in Nepal

Participants in Nepal

Workshop in Bhutan

Participants in Bhutan

Through a mix of presentations, plenary discussions, and working groups, participants had the opportunity to engage in a dialogue about the main elements of a national food control system and identify gaps and challenges for their national food control system. Furthermore, the issues on the agenda of CCFICS were discussed with a view to prepare for active participation at upcoming CCFICS meetings.

This workshop was one of the first activities of the Codex Trust Fund (CTF) joint project for Bhutan, India and Nepal, which goal is “to strengthen the function of National Codex Structures through effective engagement of all stakeholders in Codex activities and standard setting process, improved scientific and technical capacity of national experts to contribute to the scientific basis of Codex, and promotion of sub-regional cooperation”. This multi-country project is the first of its kind funded by CTF.

“This multi-country project is a unique opportunity for countries to strengthen their participation in Codex work by sharing and gaining from each other’s experiences,” said Dr Annamaria Bruno, WHO Consultant. “The contribution of the experts from India in the workshops has been an added value as they provided the participants from Nepal and Bhutan with practical experiences on the use of CCFICS texts at country level”.

“The enthusiasm, insight and commitment that is being shown by our Bhutanese and Nepalese colleagues is very encouraging” said Dr Hilde Kruse, Senior Food Standards Officer in the Codex Secretariat. “I am confident that we will see more active participation by Bhutan and Nepal in Codex work and look forward to their contribution, in particular in CCFICS work”.

Workshop Nepal/Bhutan

“The Bhutan Government is grateful to the Codex Trust Fund for supporting the strengthening of the Codex function in Bhutan”, said Dr. Chador Wangdi, Chief Regulatory and Quarantine Officer of the Bhutan Agricultural and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA). “The workshop is very timely as Bhutan is gearing towards implementation of a food import control system.”

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