The 81st regular session of the International Cocoa Council, the 141st meeting of the Executive Committee, the 21st meeting of the Consultative Board on the World Cocoa Economy and the 10th meeting of the Working Group for a future International Cocoa Agreement took place in Yaoundé, Cameroon from 22-26 March 2010 at the generous invitation of the Government of Cameroon.
The main decisions emanating from the meetings were:
- The extension of the International Cocoa Agreement, 2001 for a period of two years with effect from 1 October 2010;
- The appointment of Dr. Jean-Marc Anga to serve as Acting Executive Director with effect from 1 October 2010 following the announcement made by the incumbent Executive Director, Dr. Jan Vingerhoets, that he would not be available for a renewal of his contract after 1 October 2010 for personal reasons;
- The agreement in principle by the Council to consider a revised method of calculating the contributions of the Organization to the Provident Fund for staff in the professional and higher categories, based on a moving average of Pound to Dollar exchange rates;
- Agreement to consider reducing the dependency of the administrative budget on interest from the Special Reserve Fund, while simultaneously strengthening the Fund;
- Approval of the project proposal on Integrated Management of Cocoa Pests and Pathogens in Africa for submission to the Common Fund for Commodities for financing;
- Endorsement of the Capacity Building Programme on Pesticide Residues and Other Harmful Substances in Cocoa in Africa for submission to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
- Approval of notification in respect of an International Workshop on the Safe Use of Pesticides in Cocoa and Harmonized Legislation on Food Safety, scheduled to take place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 25-28 January 2011 at the kind invitation of the Malaysian Cocoa Board;
- As recommended by the Consultative Board, agreement to undertake an independent study, to be funded externally, to examine the costs, benefits, obligations and implementation of cocoa certification, for further review by the Council at its next session in September 2010.
- Adoption of the text of the final amendments to the new Agreement, as agreed at the meeting of the Working Group for a future International Cocoa Agreement on 25 March 2010, for dispatch to UNCTAD in advance of the United Nations Cocoa Conference in Geneva, scheduled for 21-25 June 2010.