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CCEXEC79 to meet virtually / First online session of a Codex committee confirmed


Today, Codex Secretary Tom Heilandt confirmed that for the first time a formal Codex meeting will be convened as a virtual meeting. Following extensive discussions with FAO and WHO, a proposal for convening its next session virtually was made to the membership of the Executive Committee of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, indicating that this could only go forward with the support of a majority of the Membership. The CCEXEC Members have responded positively and CCEXEC79 will now convene virtually on 13, 14, 17 and 20 July 2020.

“The meeting is crucial to maintaining the progress of our standard setting work” said Heilandt. “The current situation, while presenting many challenges has also highlighted the importance of maintaining food safety and having international food standards that can facilitate food trade in times like these. While some Codex committees have worked by correspondence, this is the first time a Codex Committee will actually come together in a virtual meeting”.

“Exceptional situations require exceptional actions”, confirmed Guilherme da Costa, Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. Da Costa, together with the Vice-Chairpersons of the Codex Alimentarius Commission has maintained close communications with the Codex Secretariat in the current period to assist in finding ways to maintain the momentum of Codex work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Focus on priority issues.

The agenda of CCEXEC79 will be much shorter than that of a regular session in order to focus on priority issues. The core business is the standard setting work and the meeting will perform its critical review function of the texts proposed for adoption and proposals for new work. This oversight provides advice for the Codex Alimentarius Commission and ensures that work remains appropriate and timely and that potential challenges are identified and proactively addressed.

Tom Heilandt has indicated he is “optimistic that we will be able to convene a virtual CAC43 to adopt the good work done by the Codex Committees that did meet in 2019. We are working with FAO and WHO on a mechanism that will ensure transparency and inclusiveness for all members.” So, with a virtual commission also on the horizon, the work of CCEXEC79 will provide both valuable experience on the virtual format as well as preparing discussions and decisions for a potential virtual CAC this year.


Learn more

The agenda and meeting documents for CCEXEC79 are available here.

Read about the work of the Executive Committee here.

Keep up to date with all COVID-19 related Codex news here.