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CAC44 / Are you ready to vote?


CAC44 kicks off on Monday 8 November 2021. While the session is mainly virtual, one agenda item, Elections, will have a physical element – voting will take place through an in-person secret ballot in Geneva.

This year the incumbent Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons have all reached the end of their terms. “We must extend a huge thanks to our outgoing Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons” says Tom Heilandt, Codex Secretary. “With the COVID pandemic we had to suspend elections last year so they have served a full extra year and have strongly engaged in the efforts to ensure Codex remained open for business despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

With the departure of these familiar faces, there is some excitement about this year’s elections as it will mean a new team at the head table of Codex. “While the official nomination period for candidates only opens when the Commission begins on 8 November, we are expecting more nominations than vacant seats and in that case a secret ballot will take place” says Heilandt.

The in-person secret ballot will be held in Geneva, as this is where the majority of Codex Members have a physical presence. While a small number do not there is some flexibility in the rules to also ensure that such members can also nominate a voting delegate based in Geneva. 

The elections this year will be another logistical challenge for the Secretariat. “The most important action Members need to take right now so they can exercise their right to vote is to identify their voting delegate in Geneva and ensure they are registered for CAC44 as the voting delegate,” according to Sarah Cahill, Senior Food Standards Officer, who is working together with colleagues in Rome and Geneva to prepare for the elections. “The Codex Secretariat will then reach out to these delegates to ensure they receive all the practical information needed to cast their vote.”

Heilandt reflects that this is a very interesting time for Codex. “As we emerge from the pandemic we have the opportunity to remodel Codex using the best of our physical past and virtual present. The new team of Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons will play an important role in this so I urge all Members to take action in the coming days so they are ready to vote in Geneva next week”.

Chairperson elections are scheduled for Tuesday 9 November at 15:00 CET and Vice-Chairperson elections on Thursday 11 November at 15:00 CET. CAC44 will also elect the next team of Members elected on a geographic basis.


Learn more

Link to special CAC44 elections page including FAQ

Link to Elections paper

Photo: Elections at CAC42 in Geneva July 2019

© FAO / Codex Bob Scott