Apart from the three sister organizations, several organizations have observer status in the SPS Committee. Click here to see the list of organizations with observer status in the SPS Committee.
Some of these organizations, described briefly below, are quite active in the SPS area, and participate in the SPS Committee on a regular basis.
World Health Organization back to top
Although the WHO has always participated in the SPS Committee through the joint FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission, it is becoming more involved in the food safety area since the 53rd Session of the World Health Assembly adopted a food safety resolution in May 2000.
To respond to international health events, the WHO administers the International Health Regulations (IHR), which are currently being revised. During the revision of the International Health Regulations, the WHO is regularly consulting the SPS Committee with the aim of achieving synergies and identifying potential difficulties or conflicts at an early stage. More information about the activities of the WHO can be found on its website at http://www.who.org.
World Bank back to top
The World Bank is becoming increasingly involved in providing SPS-related technical assistance, both through training and infrastructure development. Its website is at http://www.worldbank.org.
Inter-American Institute for Agricultural Cooperation (IICA) back to top
This regional organization from the Americas is very involved in SPS topics in its member countries. It deals especially with technical assistance, harmonization, transparency and exchange of information. More information can be found at http://www.iicanet.org.
Regional International Organization for Plant Protection and Animal Health (OIRSA) back to top
OIRSA is also involved in SPS-related technical assistance, particularly in Central America. Information about OIRSA is at
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) back to top
The OECD has also become active in the SPS area. Its work is related especially to products of new technologies, including their regulation, the safety of GM foods, and other food safety matters. More information is at