Strengthening knowledge of Codex procedures and risk analysis

Strengthening knowledge of Codex procedures and risk analysis

(Parte 1 de 2)

Organised in close collaboration with Switzerland and Lithuania

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA, 14 JANUARY 2007 DRAFT REPORT

In preparation for the 25th session of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Europe (CCEURO), Vilnius (Lithuania), 15 – 18 January 2007. Discussions were held between the Government of the Switzerland, in their role as coordinator for the CCEURO region, and FAO/WHO to arrange a seminar prior to the 25th session of CCEURO. The main objective of the seminar was to build capacity among delegates, facilitate communication in the region and support their participation at the CCEURO meeting.

The technical programme was prepared taking into account topics of relevance to the region and linked to participation in the Codex standard setting process. The complete seminar programme is attached in Annex 1.

Invitations were extended to all members of the CCEURO region, with additional financial support being provided to delegates from Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kazakstan, Russian Federation, Serbia, FYR Macedonia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan. A full list of delegates at the seminar is included in Annex 2.

All information related to the Seminar is available at the CCEURO website (w.codexxeurope.ch), including the presentations for this seminar. All information is presented in English and Russian language.

Appreciation is given to the Government of Switzerland for funding this event through the FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund. Gratitude is extended to the National Centre for Nutrition, Lithuania for logistical support in organizing the Seminar. Special thanks were extended to the speakers who contributed

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The Seminar programme covered three broad areas:

1. Enhanced understanding of Codex procedures (standards development, how Codex Committees are hosted and implemented, and making successful interventions in Codex meetings) 2. Application of Risk Analysis – covering the principles of risk analysis, an update on the ongoing work within Codex on risk analysis, including the draft working principles for risk analysis for food safety for application by governments. 3. Issues of relevance to the region and ongoing efforts to enhance exchange of information and collaboration within the region.

Support documentation distributed to delegates at the seminar included:

FAO/WHO training package – Enhancing Participation in Codex Activities FAO/WHO Food Safety Risk Analysis – a Guide for National Food Safety Authorities

Both documents are available at http://www.fao.org/ag/agn/food/capacity_en.stm

Delegates proposed that exchange of information on national food control systems and information on the use of Codex standards at national and regional level are especially of interest.

Other issues raised as important for the region and upon which there is a need for additional information include:

• more information on risk assessment and risk management procedures and guidance on strengthening national food control systems in line with risk analysis.

• labelling as a means of risk communication to the final consumer needs strengthening throughout the region

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5. ENHANCED COORDINATION AND INFORMATION EXCHANGE IN THE CCEURO REGION

In his capacity as Coordinator for the CCEURO region, Dr. Urs Klemm promoted a short discussion on possible ideas and activities to enhance communication and exchange of information in the region. He introduced a number of ongoing activities as information items and encouraged all delegates to support them within their means.

CCEURO Website (w.codexeurope.ch)

The official website for CCEURO has been developed by Switzerland as coordinator for the region and is available in English and Russian. Delegates were encouraged to use this website as a platform for information exchange and reminded that the website includes a “Forum”. The Forum affords an opportunity for questions, requests for information to be included and the Secretariat will provide appropriate information. Statistics on the use of the website are available at w.codexeurope.ch/stats.php.

This website will continue to be updated as relevant information becomes available and is intended to facilitate the exchange of information across all CCEURO member countries.

Twinning

A wealth of experience exists with the CCEURO group in relation to modernisation and reorganization of food control systems, as well as participation in the Codex process and use of Codex standards as a basis for national food regulations and food standards.

At the same time, it was recognised that certain countries within the CCEURO region are still at an early stage of modernising their food control systems to ensure they are based on science. A number of countries are still rather inexperienced in participating in Codex meetings. Therefore it was proposed that these countries could benefit from a closer exchange of information in the form of a mentoring or twinning arrangement.

In commenting on the usefulness of twinning, Mr. Jerome Lepeintre from the European Commission commented on the positive experience that the EU had through a twinning programme with the recent 12 accession countries. It was proposed during the discussion that such an approach could be considered within the region to facilitate the transfer of information between more advanced countries in the region and those still in a transition phase to strengthen their programmes.

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Training Seminar

A great need still remains in the region to ensure the participation at CCEURO meeting and to ensure the ongoing improvement of food control systems in countries to facilitate implementation of Codex standards. The organizers of this seminar advised countries in the region, that resources have been identified to implement another training course before the 26th Session of CCEURO. The technical content of this training course is still under discussion and proposals from the region as to needs are welcomed.

6. CONCLUSIONS AND POSSIBLE FOLLOW UP ACTIONS

¾ Continue to make more Codex standards and training manuals, and guidelines available in Russian

¾ All Codex members should ensure their website address of the official Codex

Contact Point is working and monitored to avoid the mailbox becoming overloaded. The Codex Secretariat should be kept informed where there is any change in email address where official information should be sent

¾ Delegates with less experience of attending Codex sessions, need more in-depth training and guidance on preparation for Codex meetings, in particular understanding of the meeting agenda, linkages with all working papers, etc.

¾ Guidance in also required on how to define a national position and the use of written comments in Codex meetings

¾ Enhanced organization of food control systems is a priority for all countries, efforts should be made to share experiences, including an overview of advantages and disadvantages of different approaches.

¾ A series of fact sheets could be developed to provide concise advice to delegates to increase their knowledge of Codex and effective participation (the information in the FAO/WHO training package Enhanced participation in Codex activities should be used as the draft text).

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FAO/WHO SEMINAR “STRENGTHENING KNOWLEDGE OF CODEX PROCEDURES AND RISK ANALYSIS” 1

Organised in close collaboration with Switzerland and Lithuania VILNIUS, LITHUANIA, 14 JANUARY 2007

PROVISIONAL AGENDA2

Opening session

09:0-09:15 Opening Address Mr Urs Klemm Ms Mary Kenny

09:15-09:45 Programme and Objectives, Needs of the Participants, Discussion Mr Urs Klemm

10:0-10:45 Standards - Format, Procedure and Understanding Codex Documentation

Mr Tom Heilandt

10:45-1:15 How do Codex Committees

Function? Ms Mary Kenny

(Parte 1 de 2)

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