The first meeting of the Steering Committee (StC) on the International Year of Plant Health in 2020 (IYPH 2020) took place at FAO Headquarters in Rome from 9 to 11 November 2016, resulting in the development of concrete steps forward to ensuring the proclamation of IYPH 2020. The IYPH StC was established by the eleventh Commission of Phytosanitary Measures (CPM-11) in April 2016 to plan and oversee the implementation of support activities towards IYPH 2020.
The meeting was opened by Mr Jingyuan XIA, the IPPC Secretary, and attended by eleven IYPH StC members or alternates, including Mr Kenneth Kajarayekha MSISKA (Zambia), Ms Akiko NAGANO (Japan), Mr Ralf LOPIAN (Finland), Mr Álvaro SEPÚLVEDA LUQUE (Chile), Mr Ryan ANSELM (Dominica), Mr Gamil Anwar Mohammed RAMADHAN (Yemen), Ms Pauline EID (Lebanon), Mr Viliami Kami (Tonga), Ms Shaza OMAR (Egypt, on behalf of the Standards Committee), Mr Alonso SUAZO (NAPPO), Mr Craig Fedchock (IPPC Secretariat). Mr Ralf LOPIAN (Finland) was selected as the StC Chair, Ms Akiko NAGANO (Japan) as the StC Vice-Chair, and Mr Ryan ANSELM (Dominica) as the StC Rapporteur with support by Mr Kenneth MSISKA (Zambia) and Mr Viliami KAMI (Tonga) as the StC Vice-Rapporteurs.
In his opening remarks, Mr Xia highlighted the important initiative of IYPH 2020, the important mission of the IYPH StC, and the important task of this first StC meeting. He strengthened the next steps towards the proclamation of IYPH 2020: FAO Council in December 2016, FAO Conference in June 2017, and United Nations General Assembly in September 2018. He wished all StC members would work in a cooperative and fruitful manner to make this milestone event happen successfully.
The IYPH StC members analyzed current plans and expected outputs, and came up with an initial plan for programme development. They also agreed on the establishment of two working groups. First, a working group tasked to develop a financial strategy, composed of the following members: Ms Akiko NAGANO (Japan), Mr Ralf LOPIAN (Finland), Ms Pauline EID (Lebanon) and Mr Viliami KAMI (Tonga), supported by the IPPC Secretariat and in collaboration with the CPM Bureau Finance Committee. Second, a Communication and Partnerships Working Group, composed of the following members: Mr Ryan ANSELM (Dominica), Mr Alvaro SEPULVEDA (Chile), Mr Kenneth MSISKA (Zambia) and Ms Shaza OMAR (Egypt).
The IYPH StC also highlighted the crucial importance of communication towards the establishment and actual development of IYPH 2020, welcoming the development of a Communication Strategy and Work Plan, including a social media component, which will be further developed by the relevant members. Additionally, StC members developed an initial list of potential partners and donors, to be further expanded, and agreed on the most relevant advocacy tools to be used until the IYPH proclamation.
The Chair closed the meeting thanking all members for their innovative thinking, active participation, and positive contribution.
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