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Bringing the Arab region closer together in Codex


Mariam Eid, Vice Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, addressed the 14th Dubai International Food Safety Conference - “Building Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems” - held online from 29 to 30 November 2020.

In describing how countries in the Arab region can harness the opportunities provided by engaging with the Codex Alimentarius, she emphasized the importance for countries to establish their priorities in order to raise awareness of food safety. “Countries of the region must convince decision-makers of the importance of Codex, especially as it can provide a platform for these countries to express and defend their interests, and then they must realize the importance of coordination in the region”, she said, in order to form a group able to influence the Codex agenda.

Maximizing the use of Codex can support modernization of food and feed regulatory requirements.

Eid described three distinct groups in the region, some of whom follow the standards established by the Codex Alimentarius, while others align to Gulf specifications, or those of the Arab League - although all are Members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

Saudi Arabia was recently appointed as the Regional Coordinator in Codex for the Near East and there is high expectation that their leadership can bring the region closer together in the area of food safety.

To bolster regional coordination and become more relevant in international food safety standard setting the Vice Chairperson said: “My advice for the new coordinator is to cooperate with their predecessors … to develop an action plan to implement Goal 4 of the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025 regarding the participation of all Codex Members throughout the standard setting process, and of course to use the outputs of the Arab Codex Initiative that has identified significant means of coordination.”


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