IPPC Secretariat met virtually in full capacity to advance its work programme during the Covid-19 pandemic

Posted on Tue, 21 Apr 2020, 13:56

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Rome, 17 April 2020. The IPPC Secretariat met virtually in full capacity to advance its work programme during the Covid-19 pandemic. The meeting was chaired by Mr Jingyuan Xia, IPPC Secretary, and attended by all 32 IPPC Secretariat members. Among them was Ms Viivi Kuvaja, an Associate Professional Officer who recently joined the IPPC Secretariat as in-kind contribution from Finland to support the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) activities.

During the meeting, all staff members made briefings on their major work since starting teleworking from mid-March; and all core team members updated the main activities and results of their respective areas, including Mr Avetik Nersisyan, Mr Brent Larson, Mr Arop Deng, Mr Craig Fedchock, Mr Mirko Montuori and Mr Marko Benovic. The IPPC Secretary Xia presented conclusion remarks by highlighting ten key achievements as follows:

  1. Mitigation of impact of Covid-19 pandemic. One message to Colleagues of IPPC Community was issued from IPPC Secretary Xia for mitigating Covid-19 impact on IPPC work programme, and the other one to IPPC Community was done from IPPC Secretariat for reducing COVID-19 impact on plant health.

  2. Delivery of IYPH. Although the Covid-19 crisis has imposed impacts on the IYPH key global events, many activities have been carried out in line with the IYPH Action Plan and the IYPH communication plan, such as IYPH advocacy materials, IYPH ambassadors, International Day of Plant Health, and IYPH ISC activities.

  3. Governance activities. One CPM Bureau virtual meeting has been organized; and it has been also decided that CPM Bureau will meet virtually on a monthly basis and may meet virtually at any time if needed.

  4. Standard setting. The SC members have been reviewing three ISPMs via the Online Comment System (OCS), including inclusive of a Focused revision of ISPM-12 (“re-export”), the ISPM on Audit in the phytosanitary context, and the 2019 and 2020 Amendments to ISPM-5.

  5. Standard implementation. The IFU has been liaising with the WTO Secretariat regarding their request for the IPPC Secretariat to respond to specific questions from a WTO Dispute Settlement Panel. The IFU is also following up with WHO as they have been requested to urgently review of document which will provide advice regarding human health and safety issues related to phytosanitary activities carried out by NPPO staff.

  6. Extension of ePhyto solutions. Additional countries have engaged in applying for ePhytos, such as Morocco exchanging certificates in real time with the US, as well as Uganda, Myanmar and Guatemala being in the final stages of going live on ePhytos.

  7. Promotion of communication. Major activities have been carried out to maintain and improve the IPP, including the introduction of a new pest report bulletin and the subscription options for the IPPC news, announcements and call.

  8. Strengthening of partnerships. An IPPC Partnership Strategy has been under development, and IPPC Secretariat has actively participated in the 2nd virtual Bern workshop on post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework organized by UN Environment.

  9. Resource mobilization. Contribution to IPPC multi-donor trust fund has been received from USA/NAPPO and the Republic of Korea, with additional pledges made by Canada, the Republic of Korea and Ireland; and the three IPPC new projects supported by the EU- DG SANTE have been finalized for implementation soon.

  10. Internal management. All internal management meetings of the IPPC Secretariat have been regularly organized through Zoom, such as IPPC Secretary’s office meetings, core team member meetings (CTMMs), and staff briefing meetings; and two news staff members have been got on board.

In his conclusion, IPPC Secretary Xia congratulated the team on their encouraging achievements, and expressed his high appreciation to the team for their excellent performance. As the teleworking is still going on, Mr Xia invited all colleagues of IPPC Secretariat to respect self-quarantine, to adapt to the new situation by keeping individual engagement levels, to demonstrate the positive attitude and energy, and to continuously maintain team work and team spirit.

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