11 October 2018, Rome – A record number of participants attended the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures Strategic Planning Group (SPG) meeting which took place from 9 to 11 of October 2018 in Rome, Italy. The 41 participants included representatives from over 20 countries, one International and two Regional Plant Protection Organizations, academia and the IPPC Secretariat. The meeting was chaired by Mr Konan Kouame, Bureau Africa member, and opened by Mr. Jingyuan Xia, the IPPC Secretary.
SPG members discussed and made recommendations on important administrative, strategic and financial matters. Financial issues discussed included the five-year IPPC investment plan of the IPPC Secretariat; the need to increase funding to the IPPC work programme by working with FAO governing bodies; and raising awareness of the simplified procedure by donors for donating to the IPPC Multi-Donor Trust Fund.
The role of the IPPC Strategic Framework for 2020-2030 as an advocacy documented was highlighted, as well as a need to include short case studies on high-impact pests and what the IPPC community has done about them. There was a fruitful discussion about the draft ISPM “Authorization of entities to perform phytosanitary action ” which resulted in the recommendation to update the draft to make it clearer that the ISPM aims to give guidance and harmonize, rather than promote, working with third party entities. The SPG also agreed to keep Commodity and Pathway Standards in the framework, and not have capacity development as a separate objective since it is an integral part of all activities.
The International Year of Plant Health 2020 is expected to be declared by the UN General Assembly in December 2018. A skeleton programme with six flagship events and an approximate budget was presented to the SPG. National and Regional Plant Protection Organizations were reminded to be proactive and to start organizing task forces or steering committees to prepare activities to celebrate the IYPH 2020 in their countries (regions) as soon as it is declared.
A special session on the emerging issues helped define the concept of an IPPC emergency and the scope of the IPPC’s work in emergencies. Presentations were then give on “hot topics” such as Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR); and the Fall Armyworm (FAW) which is a growing threat to global food security.
Some other agenda items discussed covered the IPPC Annual Theme for 2019 on Plant Health and Capacity Development; the Framework for Standards and Implementation with agreement on the usefulness of a joint topic approach; and Strategic Topics from IPPC Contracting Parties such as surveillance and contingency planning.
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