Blog post by Roger Day, Deputy Regional Director (Development), CABI Africa.
As delegates gathered for the opening of the 10th session of the Commission on Phytosanitary Measures (CPM) at FAO in Rome, it was clear from the greetings and smiles, not to mention hugs and kisses, that many of them know each other well already. That’s probably a good thing. The International Plant Protection Convention aims to secure “common and effective action to prevent the spread and introduction of pests of plants and plant products”, and good collaboration is based on mutual trust and understanding.
But for newcomers it can all be a little bewildering, especially for delegates without an experienced colleague to guide them. How does one become a “Friend of the chair”? And when and how does one contribute to discussions? Useful advice on participating in CPM, such as the correct etiquette for making an intervention, is available online. In the end though, experience is still the best teacher.
Elected at CPM9 a year ago, Ms Kyu-Ock Yim is chairing her first CPM, and told us she was wearing traditional attire as a mark of respect for the delegates. After skilfully guiding us through the first plenary, she admitted to having had a few butterflies at the beginning, but by the end they’d settled. Let’s hope that by the end of the week all the new faces will have settled down too, and made some new and lasting friendships in the world of plant protection.
To read more about what is planned for CPM10, please click here and look out for further posts throughout the week.