Terms of Reference
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 entities that EC recommended to Congress as well as the amendments recommended to the Terms of Reference of Regional Associations.
Policy Advisory Committee
The Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) shall advise the Executive Council on any matters concerning the strategy and policy of the Organization submitted to it by the Executive Council, with a particular focus on:
Maintaining awareness of global trends and external drivers that affect Members and the long-term vision-setting of the Organization
Improving and aligning the Organization-wide strategic, operational and budget planning process, including monitoring of implementation of the Strategic Plan
Keeping under review WMO policies and practices for the exchange of meteorological, hydrological and climatological and related data and products
Optimizing WMO governance and programme structures, processes and practices to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources through a more strategic focus and within a quality management framework
Addressing and keeping under review the evolution of the role and operation of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services
Streamlining WMO scientific and technical programmes to ensure their relevance to the Strategic and Operating Plans and effectiveness
Guiding the engagement of the Organization in partnerships with other UN and international organizations, the academia and the private sector
Mainstreaming and advancing gender equality across the Organization, especially in governance and decision-making
The Committee shall be composed of:
- The Presidents of the Regional Associations
- Eight Members of the Executive Council appointed by the Council upon proposal by the President noting the need for the expertise in the focus areas of the mandate of the Committee and taking into consideration regional representation and gender equality factors
- The chairs of the Scientific Advisory Panel and the Technical Coordination Committee as ex officio members
The Committee shall be chaired by the WMO President or one of the Vice-Presidents.
The Committee shall normally meet once per year prior to a session of Executive Council.
The chair of the Committee may invite experts and/or representatives from partner organizations to attend meetings of the Committee as observers.
At meetings of the Committee, the members may be assisted by advisors.
The Committee may establish time-bound substructures as needed for the discharge of specific tasks during an intersessional period.
(EC-70 defered the implementation of PAC to its seventy-first session
Technical Coordination Committee
The Technical Coordination Committee (TCC) shall act as a two-way interface between the Executive Council and the technical bodies of the Organizations: technical commissions, the Research Board, and other relevant bodies. It shall ensure the coordination between these bodies and shall provide the necessary analytical information to inform EC decisions on technical matters. The TCC shall oversee the level of coordination between the technical bodies and the regional associations to ensure that the technical work of the Organization is properly guided by the needs and priorities identified by Members.
The committee shall report to the Executive Council on the following issues:
- Progress in developing further the WMO technical regulatory framework in a consistent manner by all technical bodies involved
- Status of compliance with technical regulations of the WMO Members, including advice on identified barriers to compliance and ways to address them to resolve deficiencies
- Impact and risk assessment of new standards and technology on the systems operated by Members, including financial and human resources impact
- Evolving user needs for information and services and alignment of the plans of the WMO technical bodies to meet those needs
- Collaboration and coordination between the technical bodies and regional associations to ensure that regional priorities and requirements are considered into the technical bodies’ planning
- Collaboration among the technical commissions, the Research Board and any other bodies established by Congress or Executive Council required to facilitate the transition of research to operations through co-design, operational testing and feed-back from operational community
- Issues of common concerns of regional associations, technical commissions, the Research Board and any other bodies established by Congress or Executive Council affecting the progress of implementation of the Strategic and Operating Plans
- Coordination with other bodies, such as SAP and PAC and any other issues that might be referred to by the Executive Council
The Committee shall be composed of:
- The presidents and vice-presidents of the technical commissions
- The presidents of regional associations
- The chair and vice-chair of the Research Board
- The chairs of any other bodies established by Congress or Executive Council
- The chairs of other WMO sponsored and co-sponsored technical bodies identified by the President
The Committee shall be chaired by a WMO Vice-President.
The Committee shall meet in principle once per year prior to a session of Executive Council.
The chair of the Committee may invite experts and/or representatives from other partner organizations to attend meetings of the Committee as observers.
At meetings of the Committee, the members may be assisted by advisors.
The Committee may establish time-bound substructures for the discharge of specific tasks during an intersessional period. Such temporary substructures shall be discontinued at the end of every intersessional period.
(EC-70 defered the implementation of the TCC to its seventy-first session.)
Regional Associations (Amendments)
In carrying out the functions specified in Article 18 (d) of the Convention within the allotted geographical areas defined in this Annex, under the general guidance of Congress and the Executive Council and with support from the Secretariat, each regional association, in close coordination and collaboration with other bodies concerned, shall:
Coordinate and organize its Members’ activities related to the planning, implementation and evaluation of agreed programmes, strategies and activities, at the regional and subregional levels
Ensure that WMO is visible and recognized in its Region, and engage stakeholders in regional initiatives and projects related to the strategic priorities of the Organization; promote visibility and institutional capacity-building of its Members and subregions, and identify and address critical deficiencies for long-term sustainable modern meteorological services through the development of national strategic plan on meteorological services; facilitate the exchange the best practices to communicate the societal-economic benefits of meteorological services
Identify requirements amongst members and regional bodies and communicate them to technical commissions and impediments to the timely implementation of planned programmes and activities; collaborate with Members, technical commissions and other bodies, as necessary, to support, monitor and regularly review all the regional centers established by WMO bodies, ensuring excellent performance, sustainable operation and effective services to regional Members; consult with technical commissions on the identification of common experts to assist with sharing of regional priorities and requirements and implementation of technical priorities and associated capacity building activities; identify technical gaps and promote training to develop future experts
Promote cooperation and efficiency by establishing regional networks and facilities based upon identified regional needs, in close coordination with the technical commissions concerned; monitor the performance of regional networks and facilities, and the open sharing of data and technical expertise, and require corrective measures, as necessary
Contribute to the WMO operating plan and other implementation plans, as necessary, to reflect agreed strategic priorities from a regional perspective and ensure the engagement of Members in focused activities aimed at achieving the expected results of the WMO Strategic Plan
Structure its work to address regional priorities and make the best use of the expertise of its Members to provide guidance and assistance, in accordance with the needs of the Region
Build and promote cooperation and partnerships with relevant regional organizations, including the United Nations Regional Economic Commissions, other United Nations bodies, subregional organizations, development partners, non-governmental organizations and professional associations
Advocate, through the presidents, with regional political and economic entities and Members for the needed political and financial support to Members’ capabilities to ensure provision of and access to vital meteorological, climatological hydrological and other related environmental information and services
Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (INFCOM)
The overall scope and specific terms of reference for the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems (INFCOM) shall be in accordance with the purposes of Organization defined in Article 2 of the Convention, in particular, items (a) through (c) and (e), and Regulations 180 to 196 and Annex III (as amended by this resolution) of the General Regulations.
The Commission shall contribute to: development and implementation of globally coordinated systems for acquiring, processing, transmitting and disseminating Earth system observations, and related standards; coordination of the production and use of standardized analysis and model forecast fields; and development and implementation of sound data and information management practices for all WMO Programmes and their associated application and services areas.
The work of the Commission shall encompass all approved WMO application areas, as listed in the Rolling Review of Requirements, as well as updated and emerging observing, information and infrastructure requirements.
The Commission shall promote the development of integrated systems to cover all application areas wherever possible, and shall ensure that these systems:
(a) Are user-driven and provide earth system observations, processed data and relevant services products and information to Members
(b) Are applicable, accessible and with life-cycle management across the full range of WMO Members
(c) Are built on a modular and scalable principle to the extent possible
(d) Make full use of existing WMO and other relevant standards and regulations
(e) Make use of and promote public-private engagement where advantageous
(f) Incorporate state-of-art optimal and fit-for-purpose technology
(g) Are based on user requirements developed in coordination with CSA and the Research Board
(h) Are building upon existing partnerships and networks among communities of practice within the service areas, which are beneficial for WMO Members.
The activities of the Commission shall be guided by the WMO Strategic Plan.
(a) Development and maintenance of WMO normative material related to integrated observing systems, data transmission and dissemination systems, data management systems, and data processing and forecast systems as specified in WMO Technical Regulations – the Commission shall:
(b) Common infrastructure and systems attributes – the Commission shall:
(c) Assistance to Members to enhance systems capabilities and enable effective implementation and compliance – the Commission shall:
(d) Cooperation and partnership – the Commission shall:
The composition of the Commission shall be in accordance with General Regulation 183.
Participation of leading technical experts in Earth system observations, information management and predictions in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, climatology, oceanography, atmospheric environment and other fields covered by the terms of reference shall be ensured by Members.
UN and international organizations partners, private partners of WMO may be invited to nominate technical experts in their areas of expertise to participate in the work of the Commission in accordance with General Regulation 184.
The Commission shall elect a president and vice-president(s) among the experts on the Commission.
The Commission shall establish effective and efficient working mechanisms and related necessary time-limited subsidiary bodies:
(a) Establish a work programme with concrete deliverables and timelines, aligned with the Organization-wide Strategic and Operating Plan and monitor progress on annual basis by reporting to the Executive Council and Congress
(b) Use effectively electronic forms of coordination and collaboration
(c) Establish effective coordination with other technical commissions, the Research Board, JCOM and other relevant bodies in particular through the Executive Council’s Technical Coordination Committee, as appropriate
(d) Organize communication and outreach to inform the WMO community of ongoing work, achievements and opportunities
(e) Apply a system for recognition of achievements, promotion of innovation and include young professionals
(f) Ensure regional and gender balance and inclusiveness in all its structures and work plans
(g) Ensure adequate representation and consultation with communities of practice among the service areas
Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications (APSCOM)
The Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications (APSCOM) scope and specific terms of reference shall be in accordance with the purposes of Organization defined in Article 2 of the Convention, in particular, items (d) and (e); Regulations 180 to 196 and Annex III (as amended by this resolution) of the General Regulations.
The Commission shall contribute to the development and implementation of globally harmonized weather, climate, water, ocean and environment related services and applications to enable informed decision making and realization of socioeconomic benefits by all user communities and society as a whole.
The Commission shall encompass application areas with substructures as needed to implement the strategic plan including, but not limited to:
- Regulated and existing meteorological services (covered by WMO Technical Regulations (WMO-No. 49), in accordance with General Terms of Reference 2):
- aeronautical meteorological services
- marine and oceanographic meteorological services
- agrometeorological services
- public weather services
- climatological services
- hydrological services (pending CHy-Ext recommendations)
- Emerging services under development (currently subject of studies and evaluation for possible inclusion in regulated services, in accordance with General Terms of Reference 1):
- urban services
- environmental services
- multi-hazard early warning services
- polar and mountain area services
- water management (pending CHy-Ext recommendations)
- land transportation
- other, as may become necessary
- Potential category for hydrological services (pending CHy-Ext recommendations)
The Commission shall promote a holistic approach to services and service delivery and assist Members to apply:
- Risk-based decision-making in support of disaster risk preparedness and reduction
- A service-oriented culture
- A strong user focus with ‘fit-for-purpose’ services
- Quality management in service delivery
- Standards for competence and qualification of personnel
- Mutually-beneficial public-private engagement providing optimized service delivery and added value to the society
- Accelerated uptake of advanced technology for service delivery
- Systematic evaluation of socio-economic benefits and other relevant market-oriented evaluations of products and services
The activities of the Commission shall be guided by the WMO Strategic Plan and the WMO Strategy for Service Delivery.
- Development and maintenance of WMO normative material related to service delivery, as specified in WMO Technical Regulations, Volume I and its relevant Annexes, the Commission shall:
- Coordinate development of new service-oriented regulatory material in all application areas of its scope based on identified needs of Members
- Keep the service-related regulatory material up-to-date through regular amendments, as necessary
- Ensure the consistency of the new and amended regulatory material across the application areas
- Enhance capacity for prediction and service delivery
- Consider relevant scientific and technological developments to ensure the currency of the regulatory material
- Together with the COIIS and the Research Board, coordinate linking science, infrastructure and services interactively
- Accompany recommendations for new and amended regulatory material with related impact, cost-benefit, and risk analysis
- Common service delivery attributes – the Commission shall:
- Promote service-oriented culture in all relevant application areas including a customer focus, quality management, understanding of the value and socioeconomic benefits
- Share best practices and develop harmonized methodologies for user engagement including identification of requirements and establishment of feedback mechanisms with users necessary for continuous improvement of services
- Develop methodologies for impact-based products and services in all application areas, innovative service delivery methods and integrated platforms
- Ensure harmonization of requirements for competency and qualification of personnel involved in service delivery
- Develop common methodology for verification and validation of information and service delivery as part of quality management
- Build through appropriate studies and projects a better understanding of the economics of service delivery, cost-recovery mechanisms, commercial and market elements, and develop respective guidance to Members
- Seek the engagement of service providers from private sector and academia
- Promote global and regional partnerships, including building upon existing partnerships and networks among communities of practice among the service areas, which are beneficial for WMO Members
- Assistance to Members to enhance service delivery capabilities and enable effective implementation and compliance – the Commission shall:
- Consult with regional associations and Members to identify needs for new and improved services and analyse related capabilities, and best practices
- Consult with regional associations to identify experts who can participate in technical commission teams, to facilitate implementation and uptake of evolving services and applications, standards and regulations at national and regional levels
- Facilitate the implementation by developing guidance material aligned with the promulgation of new and amended regulatory material
- In consultation with the regional associations, identify needs for assistance to Members and provide relevant guidance and capacity development activities including training
- Propose pilot and demonstration projects as necessary
- Facilitate transfer of knowledge and best practices by supporting relevant events and through communication and outreach activities
- Cooperation and partnership – the Commission shall:
- Establish close coordination and efficient working mechanisms with relevant international organizations such as ICAO, IMO, FAO in the area of service delivery
- Establish consultative mechanisms with user organizations to receive feedback and advice on services
- Consider opportunities for leveraging resources through establishment of joint, including inter-agency, bodies and/or projects addressing common areas of service delivery
The composition of the Commission shall be in accordance with General Regulation 183.
Participation of leading technical experts in services and applications in the field of meteorology, climatology, hydrology, ocean and the other fields covered by these terms of reference, shall be ensured by Members.
UN, international organizations and private sector partners of WMO may be invited to nominate technical experts in their areas of expertise to participate in the work of the Commission in accordance with General Regulation 184.
The Commission shall elect a president and three vice-presidents among the experts on the Commission.
The Commission shall establish effective and efficient working mechanisms and related necessary time-limited subsidiary bodies:
- Establish effective and efficient working mechanisms through an adequate number of subsidiary bodies
- Make an effective use of a broad community of practice encompassing Members collective expertise, including the private and academia sectors
- Establish a work programme with concrete deliverables and timelines, aligned with the Organization-wide Strategic and Operating Plan and monitor progress regularly appropriate performance indicators and targets
- Use effectively electronic forms of coordination and collaboration
- Establish effective coordination with other technical commissions, the Research Board, JCOM and other relevant bodies, in particular through the Executive Council’s TCC, as appropriate
- Organize effective communication and outreach to inform community of ongoing work, achievements and opportunities
- Apply a system for recognition of achievements, promotion of innovation and the participation of young professionals
- Ensure regional and gender balance and inclusiveness in all its structures and work plans
- Ensure adequate representation and consultation with communities of practice among the service areas
Research Board on Weather, Climate, Water and the Environment
The Research Board translates the strategic aims of WMO and decisions of the Council and Congress into overarching research priorities, and ensures the implementation and coordination of the research programmes to achieve these priorities in accordance with the purposes of Organization defined in Article 2(f) of the Convention.
The Board shall coordinate implementation and resourcing of WMO research programmes taking into account the advice of the Executive Council Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP). The Board shall address Members’ needs and support implementation of the WMO Strategic Plan based on science and implementation plans approved by the Executive Council and any co-sponsor governing bodies, as appropriate, for WMO research programmes and activities.
The Board specifically shall:
- Promote convergence and integration between the various research programmes inside of and external to WMO, where appropriate,
- Initiate, coordinate and promote research activities in weather, climate, water and related environmental aspects through the WMO and co-sponsored research programmes (WCRP, GCOS, GOOS, WWRP, GAW and possible future research programmes) taking into account the advice provided by SAP and taking into consideration different needs amongst members,
- Guide the implementation of WMO research programmes and act as the primary point of contact related to weather, climate, water and related environmental research aspects in WMO,
- Ensure close coordination and cooperation between the WMO research programmes and eliminate duplication in structures and bodies,
- Maintain an optimal balance between weather, climate, water, ocean and environmental research initiatives and promote the synergies among such initiatives,
- Ensure that the research programmes are implemented according to agreed implementation plans and that such plans are current,
- Promote the co-design of research initiatives aimed at strengthening the ‘science-to-service’ link between user needs and research project design and between research and operations, to benefit service delivery to Members,
- Promote activities to strengthen scientific development in relevant areas for the benefit of all Members and particularly for developing countries and SIDS,
- Ensure close coordination among the physical and social sciences,
- Promote the science to service and applications,
- Establish effective coordination with technical commissions, JCOM and other relevant bodies, as appropriate,
- Organize effective communication and outreach to inform community of ongoing work, achievements and opportunities,
- Apply a system for recognition of achievements, promotion of innovation and the participation of young professionals.
The Board shall be composed of an optimum number of leading research scientists and research funding managers active in the fields of weather, climate, water, ocean and related environmental and social sciences, taking into account geographical balance and reflecting the WMO gender equality policy, including:
- The chairs of the scientific oversight/steering committees of the WMO research programmes (WCRP, WWRP, GAW) as ex officio members,
- Representatives from IOC and ICSU and major global and regional research funding organizations based on the Research Board chair and SAP advice,
- One representative from each regional association based on their capacity to connect with regional scientific institutions and activities.
The term of engagement shall be of four years with the possibility to renew once for a further four years; for ex officio members the duration shall be based on that of their term.
The Board will have a chair and a vice-chair, appointed by Congress. The members will be appointed by the EC.
The Research Board chair, based on recommendations from IOC, ICSU, other relevant international research initiatives, and SAP will propose the three chairs of the research programmes (WWRP, GAW and WCRP), who will be appointed by Executive Council. In case of co-sponsored research programmes, the chair shall be selected by mutual agreement between co-sponsoring organizations.
The chair of the Research Board has the responsibility to ensure coordination of the work in the Research Board with the presidents of the TCs and RAs, who similarly shall coordinate their work with the Research Board chair.
The Board shall meet in principle once per year.
The Board may establish time-bound substructures for the discharge of specific tasks during an intersessional period. Such temporary substructures shall be discontinued at the end of every intersessional period.
The Board shall ensure regional and gender balance and inclusiveness in all its structures and work plans.
Joint WMO-IOC Committee for Oceanography and Meteorology (JCOM)
The Joint WMO-IOC Committee for Oceanography and Meteorology (JCOM) shall:
- Provide guidance on the coordinated or collaborative development, integration and implementation of the activities related to oceanographic, meteorological, hydrological and climatological observation, data and information management, and services and forecasting systems as well as research carried out by WMO and IOC subsidiary bodies:
- For WMO, the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems, the Commission for Services and Applications and the Research Board,
- For IOC, the Committee on International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), the Working Group on Tsunamis and Other Hazards Related to Sea-Level Warning and Mitigation Systems (TOWS-WG) and the intergovernmental Panel on Harmful Algal Blooms (IPHAB),
- The co-sponsored entities: Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and World Climate Research Programme (WCRP);
- To report to WMO and IOC governing bodies on these activities, propose new action, as required, and advise them regarding:
- Instructions to the relevant subsidiary bodies,
- Any liaison or consultation required with relevant intergovernmental and international stakeholders.
The membership of JCOM shall be constituted by:
- Representatives from WMO and IOC subsidiary bodies:
- For WMO, two members of the Commission for Observation, Infrastructure and Information Systems, covering observation, data and information management, and data processing and forecasting systems, two members of the Commission for Services and Applications, covering services, appointed by the respective presidents, and a member of the Research Board appointed by the chair,
- For IOC, the chairpersons of the IODE Committee, the TOWS-WG and IPHAB;
- The chairs of the steering committees of entities jointly sponsored by WMO and IOC1:
- Global Climate Observing System,
- Global Ocean Observing System,
- World Climate Research Programme;
- Members of the WMO and IOC governing bodies:
- Three members of the WMO Executive Council appointed by the President, taking into account geographical distribution and gender balance,
- Three members of the IOC Executive Council appointed by the Chairperson, taking into account geographical distribution and gender balance;
- One representative of the International Maritime Organization;
- No more than four experts appointed by the co-chairs.
The Committee shall be co-chaired by two co-chairs, one for oceanography and one from meteorology, elected among the members.
The co-chairs shall hold their office for one intersessional period, with the possibility to be re-elected for a second term.
The members elected in WMO and IOC governing and subsidiary bodies and co-sponsored programmes shall also hold their office based on the duration of their term; the experts shall hold their office for one intersessional period, with the possibility to be re-confirmed for a second term.
The co-chairs shall represent the Committee in the sessions of the WMO and IOC governing and subsidiary bodies.
The Committee shall meet in principle in person every two years, in conjunction with the sessions of the WMO and IOC governing bodies, alternating with the WMO Congress and the IOC Assembly. Intersessional work should be carried out by correspondence or virtual means.
The Committee may establish time-bound substructures for the discharge of specific tasks during an intersessional period, provided that this is at no cost for the parent bodies. Such temporary substructures shall be discontinued at the end of every intersessional period.
For the first intersessional period following the adoption of this Resolution, the Committee shall be co-chaired by the current co-presidents of the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology.
Chairs of other relevant WMO and IOC working groups, panels and expert teams may be invited by the co-chairs to attend meetings of the Committee as required by the agenda.
Representatives from other United Nations or international organizations may be invited as members of or observers to the Committee as deemed appropriate.
The WMO Secretary-General and the IOC Executive Secretary shall evaluate the financial and secretariat support requirements for the Committee and make adequate provisions in their budget proposals to the respective governing bodies.
Scientific Advisory Panel
The Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) shall be the scientific advisory body of the Organization, drawing up opinions and recommendations to Congress and to the Executive Council on matters concerning WMO research strategies and the optimal scientific directions to support the evolution of its mandate in weather, climate, water and related environmental and social sciences. The Panel shall provide forward-looking strategic advice on emerging challenges and opportunities, and in particular:
- Advise on areas in which, on the basis of available evidence, new technological and scientific advancement would open to new applications related to WMO core activities,
- Promote the global standing and visibility of WMO as a leading scientific organization in the fields of weather, climate, water and related environmental and social sciences within the UN and otherwise, and enhance the WMO role as facilitator of international cooperation in weather, climate, water, ocean and environmental sciences among all role players,
- Promote science vision, and its downstream trends, with WMO and among its Members as the primary driver for innovation, understanding and the development of new and improved weather, climate, water, ocean and related environmental services and know-how
The Panel shall be composed of maximum fifteen independent leading internationally recognized experts coming from the fields of weather, climate, water, ocean and related environmental and social sciences.
The opportunity to become a member of the Panel shall be announced publicly for individuals to put their name forward. The members of the Panel shall be appointed by the Executive Council, taking into account regional and gender balance and representation of academia, research bodies, the private sector and user communities reflecting the breadth of engagement in WMO Research Programmes. The selection of the names to be proposed to the Executive Council to be appointed as Panel members shall be done by the Secretariat in consultation with the chair of the Research Board. The term of engagement for members shall be for four years with a possibility to be renewed for a second term.
A WMO Vice-President shall act as an Executive Council focal point for the Panel to ensure cross-communication.
The chair of the Research Board and a representative of the Secretariat shall take part in the meetings of the Panel.
The Panel shall select a chair and a vice-chair.
The Panel shall meet in principle once per year prior to a session of Executive Council.
The chair of the Research Board together with the Secretariat shall support the chair of the Panel in setting up and executing the meetings. The chair of the Panel may invite experts and/or representatives from partner organizations to attend meetings of the Panel as observers.