Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the Joint Session of the Technical Commissions and the Research Board, originally planned to take place at WMO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, was held by correspondence from 18 March to 15 May. The Joint Session approved the working structures of the new technical commissions (view in link to Technical Commissions below), 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 to the physical session, tentatively planned for 9 to 13 November 2020. The principal documents with resolutions establishing and defining the subsidiary bodies and work programmes of the Infrastructure Commission, namely INFCOM-1/Doc. 3, and the Services Commission, namely SERCOM-1/Doc. 3, are available here.
With the adoption of the above-mentioned resolutions, the Management Groups of both Commissions will meet via teleconference to populate the membership of the standing committees and study groups as well as the subsidiary expert teams, and to begin the prioritization and implementation of the workplans.
WMO Reform Package
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.