Update from the CPM Bureau
First of all, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Contracting Parties and delegates of CPM-10. It was the first CPM for me as a chairperson and I know it would not be successful without your active participation and cooperation. I felt warmly supported and a strong collective interest to move issues and decisions forward throughout the CPM week. Since CPM-10, there have been many meetings and progress in the activities of the IPPC. I would like to provide a brief update of the highlights and request your continued attention and participation.
The Bureau had its regular June meeting with full participation from the 7 regions and the Secretariat. Major discussions were;
Welcome to our new Secretary, Mr. Xia The Bureau welcomed Mr. Xia, the new IPPC secretary who started his work in May. In the June Bureau meeting, Mr. Xia expressed his vision of the IPPC and stressed the importance to increase the visibility of the IPPC. He has much experience in the plant protection area in China as a researcher and program manager as well as policy and diplomatic experience as an Ambassador of the Chinese Permanent Representation to FAO. The Bureau recognizes his expertise, leadership and knowledge of the FAO systems and his strong relationships with key officials in various international organizations.
Secretariat enhancement evaluation: The result of the evaluation report and comments from the Contracting Parties (CPs), RPPOs and the Secretariat were reviewed and discussed. The CPM-10 authorized the Bureau to review the comments, engage with the new Secretary and FAO in a plan to initiate feasible actions, including the development of a practical mechanism to monitor and track the implementation.
Generally all the recommendations were supported except the suggestion regarding biennial full CPM sessions and abolishment of various committees including the Financial Committee, Strategic Planning Group, Capacity Development Committee (CDC), Subsidiary Body for Dispute Settlement (SBDS), National Reporting Obligation Advisory Group (NROAG) etc. The Bureau rejected these recommendations, mainly because they were seen as beyond the scope of this evaluation. However, the Bureau recognized the value of revisiting these suggestions in the future especially some that are very feasible in conjunction with the review of CDC.
The concept of structuring the Secretariat into two main units, the Standard Setting Unit and Implementation Facilitation Unit, was well supported. However, the Bureau suggested that the attribution of tasks and timing of the implementation for this staff restructure should be decided by the Secretary. In addition the Secretary suggested that a third important core function, ‘communications and partnership’ should be established.
The detailed bureau response is in the report of the CPM Bureau on the IPP.
The Bureau invited the FAO ADG, Mr. Wang to the meeting to express gratitude for his cooperation and support for the evaluation and to communicate the Bureau’s concerns regarding persistent problems of unstable staff positions in the Secretariat. Mr. Wang supported the decisions by the Bureau indicating that he will work together with the Secretariat to develop an implementation plan. Again I would like to thank Australia, USA and the Netherlands for their financial contribution to support this comprehensive evaluation and the many experts who contributed through interviews and reviews of the report. Appreciation goes to FAO for their cooperation despite the short timeframes and their commitment to supporting implementation of the recommendations and decisions from the evaluation report going forward.
ePhyto: The STDF/WTO did not approve the IPPC proposal regarding the development of global hub. The Bureau had a teleconference with the Chair of the ePhyto steering group to consider next steps. The Bureau prepared a letter to the ePhyto SG directing the SG to revalidate the benefit and feasibility of global hub as well as consider the costs and requirements for undertaking a pilot of a global hub system on a small scale. Other donors may be contacted with the revalidation results to expedite the hub development. The Global Symposium on ePhyto Implementation to be held in the Rep. of Korea in November 2015 will provide not only more technical information but also on the adaptation of ePhyto into existing systems, legal and capacity aspects, and country experiences with various stages of ePhyto implementation. I hope the global symposium provides clearer benefits and acceptability of the implementation of ePhyto and a global hub to not only CPs but also other relevant organizations and industries. Furthermore, based on the discussion in the symposium, I hope the roadmap for ePhyto implementation is developed.
Possibility of hosting CPM outside of Rome: Upon a proposal from the Rep. of Korea to explore the possibility of hosting the CPM meeting, the Bureau considered the benefits, concerns and process. The Bureau concluded there may be enough benefits such as increased awareness, more inclusiveness and financial saving and agreed to continue to explore the possibility. Korea will progress work for possible budget approval and the Secretariat will collect relevant information especially regarding the FAO processes to approve the meeting outside Rome.
Korea initially proposed hosting CPM-11 in 2016. However the timing may need to be flexible due to timelines of the budget approval, arrangements between FAO and the hosting country and other administrative matters.
International Year of Plant Health (IYPH) The proposal of IYPH was widely supported in CPM-10. During the FAO conference in June 2015, Finland made an intervention which was supported by 14 countries and it will be included as an agenda item at the next FAO Council and Conference. The Bureau welcomed the progress and the strong initiatives of Finland.
Finance: The Bureau was updated on the budget status and resource implications of CPM-10 decisions. The regular budget from the FAO has been approved for next 2 years at approximately the same level as previous years. However, concern was raised that the IPPC multi-donor trust fund is running short due to reduced contributions (less than 40% of 2014’s input) and an increase in contracted staff. Due to many critical activities dependent on trust funds, more active efforts for sustainable funding are necessary and at the same time a strategic approach to increase the FAO regular budget is required. The Financial Committee, the Bureau, and the Secretariat continue to seek an improved mechanism for funding especially in conjunction with IYPH. I would like to draw your attention to the many activities of IPPC such as IYPH, implementation pilot program, capacity development projects and translation etc. that largely depend on the trust funds. Specifically this year the multi-donor trust fund is very low which may cause cancellation of important activities in 2016. Please consider making a sustained contribution that will help IPPC remain active in achieving our collective goals.
CDC review: The CDC review was drafted and shared with CDC members. In brief, the work of CDC is well recognized and valued. The review included a recommendation that an ‘Implementation Committee’ be formed with a more comprehensive work program. This suggestion is aligned and consistent with a recommendation of the ‘Secretariat enhancement evaluation’. The Bureau response will be submitted to the SPG in October 2015 for input.
This is a brief update from the Bureau. The Bureau and the Secretariat have started to prepare for the upcoming meetings of SPG and CPM-11. The SPG in October 2015 will discuss many important issues including IYPH, IPPC in 20 years, the response to the Secretariat enhancement evaluation, results of the meeting on the concept of a commodity standard, partnerships and ePhyto. I therefore encourage you to participate in the SPG directly or indirectly.
Also I would like to remind you there are calls for comments and nominations and information on upcoming meetings in the IPP for your attention.
Many contracting parties and experts have provided in-kind contributions to IPPC activities, sometimes without proper recognition. Finally I would like to recognize the hard work of the Secretariat, Bureau, Financial Committee, Standards Committee, Technical Panels, Expert working group for the development of draft ISPMs, Subsidiary Body for Dispute Settlement, Capacity Development Committee, National Reporting Obligation Advisory Group, ePhyto Steering Group, and the experts in the concept of a commodity standard meeting. Hearty appreciation goes to their countries for their support of the experts.
Special thanks to the EU, Japan, New Zealand, Rep. of Korea and South Africa for their financial contribution in support to the IPPC work programmes, which should also be extended to whomever I may have missed listing in this update.
Kyu-Ock YIM, CPM ChairpersonShare on Twitter Share on Facebook