Governance Reform

Governance Reform

Following approval of the WMO Reform package by the Eighteenth World Meteorological Congress in June 2019, a Joint Session of the new Technical Commissions and Research Board agreed on working structures in May 2020.

The Congress resolution states that the fundamental working principle of the two new commissions and Reseach Board - which replace eight technical commission - should be the inclusiveness of the weather, climate, water and other relevant environmental areas covered by the WMO. It notes that, due to the multidisciplinary nature and increased work volume, the composition and working arrangements of the new commissions should be elaborated to ensure balanced representation of relevant disciplines, active and balanced regional engagement and gender considerations. The new bodies are to commence their work as early as possible in accordance with the Transition Plan (Resolution 36 (EC-70)).

Congress established a Transition Team composed of the presidents and vice-presidents of existing and new technical commissions, the chairs and vice-chairs of the Research Board and the Hydrological Assembly and the presidents of regional associations, chaired by the presidents of the new commissions and the chair of the Research Board. The Transition Team will, by the first joint session of the new technical commissions and the Research Board in April 2020:

(a) ensure the orderly transition of normative functions of the technical commissions active during the seventeenth financial period and effective incorporation of their work and deliverables, that are relevant to the priorities identified in the Strategic Plan, into the new structures

(b) assess and manage risks associated with such a transition

(c) guide preparations for the first joint session of new technical commissions and the Research Board in April 2020 and develop recommendations for the establishment of their subsidiary bodies

The transition process is outlined here

Bodies established by the Eighteenth Meteorological Congress in June 2019:

Governance Reform resolutions approved by Executive Council

In June 2019, the Seventy-first Executive Council (EC71) approved the set up of new panels to streamlines its work in several areas:

In June 2018, the Seventieth Executive Council (EC-70) approved the set up of two new committees to prepare and streamline the decisions of the Executive Council and Congress:


Due to the COVID-19 crisis, several session, including joint sessions, of the new Technical Commissions and the Research Board were postponed or held online in 2020. The Joint Session held from 18 March to 15 May  approved the working structures of the new technical commissions, including deciding on the terms of reference of the standing committees and study groups, the appointment of chairpersons and vice-chairpersons, and approving their work programmes. All other decisions originally included in the agenda for the joint session were deferred. The Abridged Preliminary Report of the First Session of the two Technical Commissions can be found here: Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French, Russian (not yet available), Spanish.

In 2020, the Management Groups of both Commissions met online to populate the membership of the standing committees and study groups as well as the subsidiary expert teams, and began the prioritization and implementation of the workplans.

Terms of Reference

This restructuring of the Organization will enhance proactive regional engagement and capacity development. In our response to the growing global demand for weather, climate and water expertise, the reform provisions assure that no Member is left behind. Below are the Terms of Reference for the new EC and Congress bodies.

Structure of the Secretariat

The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General, who appoints all Secretariat staff, including the Deputy Secretary-General and the Assistant Secretary-General, in accordance with regulations established by Congress, and with the approval of the Executive Council.