The eleventh meeting of the Codex Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCNE11), held at FAO headquarters on 18-22 September 2023, in Rome and chaired by Saudi Arabia, represented by the SFDA, has issued a number of recommendations, most notably Saudi Arabia's assuming the presidency of two electronic working groups and stressing the importance of sharing the SFDA’s experience in Healthy Food Strategy (HFS) with the member states.
During the meeting, the CCNE members adopted the draft standard for maamoul and agreed to progress the draft to the next step in accordance with the procedures manual of the Codex. Further, they agreed to develop the regional food standards for promoting market access and facilitating regional and international trade and to cooperate with WHO and FAO to provide the technical assistance needed by the regional countries for sustainable and healthy food systems.
Based on the CCNE recommendations, Saudi Arabia, represented by the SFDA, will assume the presidency of two electronic working groups: one to develop the CCNE action plan for 2024-2025 and the other to work on the alignment of regional standards with the Codex General Standard for the Labelling of Non-Retail Containers of Foods.
The meeting, which was attended by 17 states from the Near East region and observers from other countries in the presence of representatives of FAO, WHO, and the Secretariat of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, discussed topics concerning regional and Codex standards.
On the sidelines of the meeting, the SFDA, in partnership with WHO, showcased its advanced experience in developing national monitoring programs and providing food safety-related data into the WHO GEMS/Food database.
At the end of the meeting, CCNE members and the Codex Secretariat expressed their appreciation to the SFDA for its contributions to the CCNE's work, which enhanced its participation in Codex activities and events.