Bureau Update

Posted on Mon, 13 Jan 2014, 18:35

Dear colleagues, It has been some time since the last Bureau update but this does not mean that the work has stopped. I hope you’ve had a good summer or a tolerable winter. This note is to let you know what the Bureau and Secretariat have been doing since the last note and to provide some reminders. Additionally you may want to see the report the Secretariat prepared for October’s Bureau and SPG meeting - I hope you will join me and the rest of the Bureau in welcoming Lesotho and South Sudan as the 180th and 181th member countries of the IPPC. Hopefully they will be able to attend CPM and we can welcome them there as well. The Bureau had its main 2013 meeting in June and then a further meeting prior to the Strategic Planning Group in early October. Topics discussed and progress made include the following: - The terms of reference for the National Reporting Obligations Advisory Group were agreed and a call made for nominations from each region. A nomination is still needed from the Near-East region for this group, which will have its first face to face meeting in February 2014, although much of its work should be done “virtually”. - The Information Management System should have been improved by the switch to a different software base for the International Phytosanitary Portal. I hope you’ve made frequent use of it to fulfil your reporting obligations and to keep up to date with the work being done - - The status of Regional Plant Protection Organisations and their relationship to the CPM and IPPC has been considered. A letter will go from the Secretary to all RPPOs to explain the basis of recognition and what will trigger withdrawal of recognition. This should help to resolve the issue of some inactive organisations previously recognised as RPPOs and also provide the possibility of recognition of a new RPPO in the Caribbean. - Registration of the ISPM 15 symbol is proceeding successfully, principally involving re-registration but also starting to tackle countries which have never registered the symbol. Where your country’s registration is part of this you will be asked if it can assist the IPPC by reimbursing the costs of registration and it will help the work if you are able to arrange this. - The Bureau and SPG considered whether the text of the IPPC needs reconsideration and therefore a formal revision should be launched. However, given few issues have been raised and a revision exercise would be a major undertaking it was thought there was little need to start on this. - A presentation was given to SPG by the consultant who is working on a paper on the possibility of a hub being developed to manage the exchange of electronic Phytosanitary certificates. The full report should be ready in time for CPM-9 in April 2014. - Based on a New Zealand initiative the SPG had a full discussion on a possible adjustment in the focus of the CPM to increase the importance of implementation of the IPPC and its ISPMs. Should CPM agree with this it could have implications for the next stage of the IRSS programme, which also needs decisions. It would increase the cross-programme work of the Secretariat and the various subsidiary bodies and the Capacity Development Committee. An SPG paper on this will be presented to CPM-9. - Capacity development work proceeds with pace and you should have seen that the first manual, on market access, has now been published. The Secretariat continues to work with donor organisations like STDF to initiate new projects; one on training of PCE facilitators should be announced in the near future. - Following CPM-8 there was the opportunity to provide further comments on the draft CPM recommendations on aquatic plants and internet trade. These comments were considered by the Bureau and SPG; final drafts will be circulated prior to CPM-9 with the intention of reaching agreement at that meeting. - The Bureau and SPG also agreed a proposal for CPM to adjust the previously agreed process for preparing and drafting recommendations, following concerns expressed at the last CPM that the process gave insufficient time for consideration and consultation within countries. - Standard setting also continues with pace. Amongst the big issues to be considered by the November meeting are the sea containers and the grain standards. The planned strategic discussion on grain at the April meeting had to be postponed because there was insufficient time to arrange everything but this should now take place in the November meeting and there will be a report on progress at the next CPM. - The level of participation of experts in some standard-setting groups is a source of concern. Experts are nominated by regions and accepted but then they don’t turn up for the designated meeting. This leaves a smaller number to shoulder the workload but also means that the expert can not participate in the development of the standards and gain experience of IPPC work. Late cancellations or simple failure to attend can also mean the loss of funds to the IPPC budget. The Standards committee will be examining this issue in more detail and may be asking member countries for their views through a questionnaire. - A meeting in September considered the development of a framework of standards and also the nature of a standard, in particular whether some issues would be better handled through the preparation of other forms of documentation, such as recommendations, manuals, etc. - The standards committee and the capacity development committee will be increasingly considering the results of the questionnaires issued under the auspices of the IRSS, to identify ISPMs in need of revision, implementation issues which might be helped through development of manuals, etc. Levels of response are increasing, although some countries complain of survey fatigue and so the Secretariat will consider the timing to avoid overlaps with other issues on which country views are sort, such as the possible questionnaire on participation in standard-setting activities. - One survey for which there was very little response was that on the dispute settlement process. This has hampered progress with the review and the lack of interest amongst countries is a real concern. - Next CPM will have the following three topics in the science session: - Developments in PRA - New inspection technologies - Experiences with E-Phyto The Capacity development team is already planning a series of training sessions to take place as side sessions to the plenary, and we can expect there to be other side sessions to grab your attention. Like last year we are not planning to provide for poster displays, unless a good opportunity and venue can be found. Finally, some reminders: - CPM-9 would benefit from an opening address by a Minister. Please consider whether your Minister could attend or provide a video address. - The IPPC Secretariat needs your stories, good or bad, about plant health, for use in advocacy material in order to demonstrate the importance of the IPPC. - CPM-9 will elect a new chair, vice-chair and five other Bureau members. So regions should be co-ordinating to select candidates. Assuming the FAO D-G agrees with the revisions to the CPM rules of procedure regions should also be prepared to nominate substitute Bureau members. - Similarly there will be selection of participants in the subsidiary bodies, and replacements. - The country consultation period for several draft standards runs until 30th November. Make sure you consider the drafts and submit your comments! All in the Bureau look forward to seeing you at the CPM on 31st March 2014. —Steve Ashby, CPM Chair, on behalf of the CPM Bureau Image: Field of Flax by Edgar Degas, 1891

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