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Widening consultation mechanisms in the development of OIE standards

The OIE is improving its consultation mechanisms for the development of its international standards in order to widen the number of partners involved and increase the time available for consideration of drafts. Therefore, the following text describing the new timetable has been circulated to Member Countries and international organisations with which the OIE has signed an agreement.

"Within the framework of the implementation of its new strategic plan, the OIE has decided to further improve the transparency in its process for the development and adoption of international standards. Therefore, in order to provide additional time for Member Countries and organisations to examine proposals made by the Terrestrial Animal Health Standards Commission and the Aquatic Animal Health Standards Commission, the OIE is implementing a revised timetable for Commission meetings.Under this revised timetable, one meeting of each Commission would be held each year in August/September and another meeting of each Commission in March. The annual August/September meeting of each Commission will be a very important meeting. At this meeting, each Commission will examine proposals and comments received from Member Countries, international organisations and other sources to that time, and take them into account in developing proposals for new or revised Code chapters and appendices. The Commissions reports of the August/September meetings will contain two types of documents for comments by Member Countries: .- proposals being submitted for adoption at the next General Session; - drafts of other work currently underway and which may be submitted for adoption at a future General Session. As usual, the Commission reports will contain the reports of the permanent working groups and ad hoc expert groups which served as a basis for the preparation of future standards. The reports of the Commission meetings will be circulated to Member Countries and placed on the OIE Website in the three official languages. One of the problems facing the two Commissions is the lack of comments from Member Countries on work underway but not actually being proposed for immediate adoption. Member Countries are strongly encouraged to comment on such drafts to enable their development to progress efficiently towards a final draft for adoption.. At its March meeting, each Commission will review comments received on the documents from the August/September meeting. Based on comments received, improvements may be made to certain proposals to enable them to be put for adoption in May, while others may be discussed, improved and held over for further work before being proposed for adoption. As usual, the reports of these meetings will be circulated to Member Countries and placed on the OIE Website. Under this timetable, the Commissions will not meet just prior to the General Session as before. Delegates wishing to make comments on the proposals and suggestions for their improvement will need to make them from the floor of the General Session at the time the texts are presented for adoption. Except for texts requiring urgent attention (for example, as a result of international emergencies), proposals for new standards will be subject to a two-year adoption cycle instead of a one year cycle, as it was previously the case."