I was honored to take part in the CCASIA Codex Colloquium co-organised by the Government of Japan, as the Coordinator for the Asia region and the US Department of Agriculture from June 25-27, 2014 in Tokyo. The meeting gathered representatives of most of the member countries of CCASIA, as well as colleagues from the United States, Brazil and Mali. The meeting focused on discussing the outcomes of the most recent Codex Committee meetings and the proposed items referred to the Commission for its consideration: standards in progress, standards for adoption and new proposed work.
The meeting was a great opportunity for me, to engage directly with colleagues from the Asian region and discuss their Codex priorities, their challenges as well as opportunities for shaping a vision for the agenda of Codex in the upcoming years, building on the direction provided by the Codex Strategic Plan 2014-19. I was able to raise with peers and colleagues a number of themes of focus such as the ability of Asian countries to contribute systematically to Codex work through provision of data or through the assessment of the impacts of proposed Codex standards on their food sector in their respective countries. Similarly, the ability to harness existing scientific resources in the region and devote them to serve Codex needs and to support data gathering and submission from the region, in response to calls for data by FAO and WHO, was also discussed.
This meeting enabled me to exchange views on the furture agenda of Codex with my colleagues Dr. Yayoi Tsujiyama (Japan), Dr. Mahamadou Sako (Mali) and Dr. Gilherme Costa (Brazil), candidates for the Vice Chairperson position of Codex.
I would like to convey my most sincere appreciation to the meeting organisers for their invitation to contribute to these discussions and thank our Japanese hosts for their outstanding hospitality.