Page tools
codexalimentarius > Meetings > Information for new Delegates

Information for New Delegates

All Codex Members and observers are encouraged to participate in the process to develop Codex texts, through sending written comments and attendance at  meetings. However, Codex sessions are complex events and require good  preparation to ensure smooth operation and timely decision making. This  document aims to assist those who are attending a Codex Alimentarius  Commission meeting for the first time.

Delegates need to understand:

  • The essentials of the Codex Rules of Procedure, especially the 8-Step elaboration procedure (available online in the Codex Procedural Manual on the Codex website ); 
  • How to obtain documentation and which documentation to carry (relevant to the meeting they are about to participate in as well as previous and related sessions);
  • The format of meetings;
  • How to make interventions during a meeting;
  • The procedure for reviewing and adopting the report.



Delegations should obtain all documentation from their respective Contact Points or the Codex website prior to a Codex session in order to familiarise themselves with the topics under discussion. They should bring copies of documents to the meeting as working papers are distributed exclusively via the Codex website and not printed at meetings - with the exception of CRDs (Conference Room Documents).

Document types include: circular letters, the invitation and provisional agenda, working papers and information documents. After meetings, the report is distributed electronically. Reports, final texts and publications are available on the Codex website.


The invitation contains information such as the date, time and venue of the meeting. Personalised invitations cannot be issued. The names of the representative and other members of the delegation should be communicated through the Codex Contact Point as early as possible and in any case not less than 30 days before the opening of the meeting.

Visa requirements

It is the responsibility of participants to ensure that they have the proper documentation for travel, including visas. Therefore, where required, participants must apply for entry visas as early as possible. The Codex Contact Points in host countries can provide the location of embassies or consulates but cannot expedite visa applications.

Trust Fund Arrangements

The new FAO/WHO Codex Trust Fund no longer supports physical participation in Codex meetings. Countries which are eligible for the new Codex Trust Fund need to apply for support to strengthen national Codex structures in response to a “Call for Applications”. For more information on the Codex Trust Fund please see the information on the Codex Trust Fund website.
For contact and information: [email protected];

Provisional agenda

The provisional agenda is prepared by the Codex Secretariat on behalf of the Directors-General of FAO and WHO in consultation with the chairperson. The provisional agenda also shows indicative timetables for the conduct of the meeting including elections.

Working papers

The Codex Secretariat is responsible for the preparation and distribution of working papers. Working papers form the basis for discussion during meetings and are normally distributed where possible at least two months prior to a session.
All working papers have the same reference: CX/CAC, followed by digits representing the year, the session number and then finally by the consecutive number allocated for the document under discussion on the agenda. Among the working papers are the reports of the subsidiary bodies that have met since the last session of the Commission.

Information documents

Documents that are prepared mainly for information purposes have the reference, INF.

Conference room documents

Comments received after the due date or unsolicited documents are circulated during the session itself and are referred to as conference room documents (CRDs) which are consecutively numbered under the reference, LIM. The disadvantage of CRDs is that their distribution is limited to those Members and observers present at the meeting, and usually in the original language only. A further disadvantage is that CRDs may not be fully considered due to other Members and observers not having sufficient time or expertise to consider the contents and to formulate a position. 

Members and observers are thus encouraged to submit written comments by the deadline indicated in the CL.

Some important documents that should be brought to a Codex session

  •  Invitation, Provisional Agenda and other Working documents
  •  Report(s) of the Codex committees and task forces;
  •  Back-to-Office Report (personal report) of the head of delegation who  attended the last session;
  •  The Codex Procedural Manual;
  •  A Briefing for the head of delegation containing the position on relevant  agenda items and related comments;
  •  All other relevant documents such as the report of the last Commission and  Executive Committee sessions.

Format of Meetings

Format of Meetings

Opening of the session

Sessions are normally opened by a senior representative of the parent organizations, FAO and WHO. After the opening, the Chairperson proceeds to the adoption of the agenda. Once comments on the provisional agenda have been considered, the Chairperson will request that the Commission adopt the provisional agenda or amended agenda as the agenda for the session.

Role of the Chairperson

The Chairperson will ensure that all questions are fully discussed, including written comments of Members and observers not present at the session.
At appropriate intervals during the discussion of each agenda item, the Chairperson will summarise the discussion by stating what appears to be the generally accepted view. The Chairperson ensures that conclusions of the discussion are clearly understood by all participants.

How are decisions reached?

The Commission makes every effort to reach agreement on the adoption or amendments of standards by consensus. Decisions to adopt or amend standards may be taken by voting only if such efforts to reach consensus have failed. Voting may also take place for the adoption of amendments to the Rules of Procedure.



Who is allowed to speak?

Members and observers are permitted to intervene on issues under consideration. Normally the head of delegation has the right to speak, but with the Chairperson's permission, another member of the delegation may speak (e.g. on technical matters). Comments are always directed at the Chairperson. Protocol states that Members speak before observers and delegations speak only when acknowledged by the Chairperson.

How do I indicate my delegations desire to speak?

Delegations indicate their desire to intervene by holding up the country/organisation nameplate and placing it in an upright position until acknowledged by the Chairperson.

How many times may a Member intervene?

There are no uniform rules within Codex regarding the number and duration of interventions. The general practice is to intervene only once on a particular issue, although a second intervention may be allowed at the discretion of the Chairperson, normally to clarify a point or reply to a question raised by another delegation.

It is important to keep interventions short and concise (not more than 1 - 2 minutes) and to speak slowly to allow for effective and accurate simultaneous interpretation. Should a delegation read from written comments that appear in one of the working papers, it is essential to indicate the reference to the comments at the start of an intervention.

Report of the Session

Report of the Session

A draft report of the session’s proceedings is prepared by the Codex Secretariat for consideration on the final day of the session. It is customary, depending on the workload, that the second to last day of the meeting is set aside for the drafting of this report (i.e. no plenary session is held). The draft report is made available usually one hour before the adoption starts, to allow delegates to familiarise themselves with its contents.

As the report is the official record of the Codex meeting it is essential that delegations carefully read it to ensure that it accurately reflects the views, recommendations and conclusions of the meeting. The final report aims to be concise and views and opinions summarised are not usually associated with the names of specific delegations and observers.

During the review of the draft report, the Chairperson calls each paragraph or section by number. This allows delegations who wish to amend the text to intervene at the appropriate moment. When doing so, it is important to make concrete proposals for changes (e.g. additions or deletions). At this stage, it is not possible to re-open discussions; nor is it possible to record in the report what was not stated during the discussion.

The adoption of report is integral part of the official agenda of the session and all delegations are requested to take part.

Once adopted the report becomes the official record of the Commission session.

The Commission report is later published in all languages of the Commission and distributed to all Codex Contact Points. The report is also posted on the Codex website.


Download PDF here

Codex E-learning

To further assist delegates the FAO/WHO training package "Enhancing Participation in Codex Activities" is available on the FAO website.

Connect with Codex

 Twitter   YouTube

Codex Secretariat

Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 
00153 Rome, Italy 
Tel:(+39) 06 57051

Email: [email protected]

  • [囧][猜想]这有啥好战的? 2019-05-20
  • 丰台:非遗进校园 初中生拍摄“北京绢人”动画短片 2019-05-10
  • 回复@不能这样啊:又钓出一个老蚕! 2019-05-10
  • 城口修齐镇开展污水处理厂(站)运行管理工作检查 2019-05-04
  • 世界杯开赛以来最大一单:外卖小哥送300瓶啤酒驰援球迷Party 2019-04-23
  • “屎尿罐”炸日军工兵 地雷埋进鬼子据点 2019-04-12
  • 首席大检察官相关新闻 2019-04-12
  • STEM:好理念怎样变成好课程 2019-04-09
  • 日本大阪北部地区6.1级地震 2019-03-26
  • 斯人已逝,新闻长存 清明时节缅怀近年故去老记者 2019-03-19
  • 天津一汽骏派A50正式上市 售价5.59万 2019-03-18
  • 劳动不是人的本质,对劳动成果即社会财富的占有才是人的本质。在私有制阶级社会中,劳动成果即社会财富被剥削阶级无偿占有,所以人的本质便表现为阶级本质,“每... 2019-03-18
  • 陈秋冬:评估AI项目 我们需要思考三个问题 2019-03-17
  • 新时代 新气象 新作为 学习宣传贯彻党的十九大精神 2019-03-08
  • 人民日报"党媒推荐"频道登陆今日头条 2019-03-08
  • 590| 768| 104| 845| 933| 636| 160| 240| 771| 482|