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FAO Circulates Proposed Amendments to CGRFA Rules of Procedure

FAO8 March 2013: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) has circulated two proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedure of its Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA), to be considered during the CGRFA's fourteenth session, to be held from 15-19 April 2013, at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy.

The Commission is a statutory body established by the FAO Conference under Article VI.1 of the FAO Constitution, according to which the FAO Conference or Council may establish commissions to advise on the formulation and implementation of policy and to coordinate the implementation of policy. Since 2007, the Commission has kept its status and profile under review. It has considered various options to change the Commission's status, including the option of re-establishing the Commission as a body under Article XIV of the FAO Constitution and the option of transforming the Commission into a FAO Technical Committee. At its last session, the Commission acknowledged the efficiency, effectiveness and flexibility of its current mode of operation and decided to keep its current status. It also decided to keep its status and profile under review.

The Commission specifically requested its Secretary to review the Commission's Statutes and Rules of Procedure in the light of the outcome of the review of FAO's statutory bodies and the reform of the Technical Committees. The Secretary has undertaken this review and has suggested two amendments to the CGRFA Rules of Procedure. The first is in regard to the timing of sessions, to improve coordination with other FAO bodies. The second refers to the formulation of recommendations to improve implementation: that CGRFA regular sessions shall be held with timing that enables the Programme and Finance Committees to take into consideration its report in formulating advice to the Council; and that the Commission shall make every effort to ensure that recommendations are precise and can be implemented. [FAO Letter on Proposed Amendments to the CGRFA Rules of Procedure][Document CGRFA-14/13/27: The Status of the Commission][CGRFA-14 Webpage]