CCGP : The Codex Committee on General Principles

Overview of The Codex Committee
on General Principles

After its creation in 1963, the Codex Alimentarius set up a committee tasked with determining formal procedures and best operating practices so that the standards are elaborated within an inclusive and transparent intergovernmental framework.

As from 1965, this Codex Committee on General Principles (CCGP) sought to establish the cornerstones of the Codex Alimentarius namely its goals, the nature and scope of the standards and its relations with other international organisations.

Today, the CCGP deals with such procedural and general matters as are referred to it by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, including:

  • the review or endorsement of procedural provisions/texts forwarded by other subsidiary bodies for inclusion in the Procedural Manual of the Codex Alimentarius Commission;
  • the consideration and recommendation of other amendments to the Procedural Manual.

Some of its major achievements include:

  • the elaboration of texts on risk analysis;
  • statements of principle concerning the role of science in the Codex decision-making process and the extent to which other factors are taken into account;
  • joint Codex/OIE standards;
  • monitoring the 2002-2003 external audit on the functioning of the Codex Alimentarius Commission.

The most-recent session

The 32nd Session of the Codex Committee on General Principles (#CCGP32) took place from 8 to 17 February 2021 in virtual format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The plenary sessions were held on 8, 9, 11, 12, 15 and 17 February 2021 from 12:00 (noon) to 15:00, Paris time (UTC+01:00). CCGP32 therefore started on Monday 8 February at 12:00 (noon) and ended on Wednesday 17 February following adoption of the Report.

Over 400 international delegates took part in CCGP32 and participated in six days of fruitful and in-depth discussions which were materialised by serious debate on the use of Codex Standards and their contribution to efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and forwarding  the Procedural Guidance for Committees Working by Correspondence to the Codex Alimentarius Commission.


The African Union, in conjunction with the French government and the European Commission, organised an event in the margins of this Session of the Codex Committee on General Principles in order to highlight the involvement of Codex Alimentarius in setting up the African Continental Free Trade Area in terms of sanitary and phytosanitary considerations.

The topic of this event, which had over 200 participants, was “Harmonisation of SPS measures in Africa for inclusive health, prosperity and sustainable socio-economic development: support from Codex”. It was presented by H.E. Agnès Kalibata, UN Special Envoy for the Food Systems Summit. The presentations and discussions were coordinated by Awilo Ochieng Pernet, former Chairperson of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, who was able to showcase a number of focal points concerning the rollout of the Free Trade Area.


The CCGP Secretariat was tasked with modernising the work sessions of the Codex Committee on General Principles. In 2019, the whole team assumed this assignment with the organisation of CCGP31 from 11 to 15 March in Bordeaux.

The entire event took place at Hôtel Pullman Bordeaux Lac. During CCGP31, a cocktail party and dinner were arranged in a convivial atmosphere to introduce delegates from around the world to the tastes of France. On Thursday 14 March, a “free” day was devoted to field trips with no charge for participants.