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Resolution 26 (Cg-XIII)

Role and operation of National Meteorological Services

THE CONGRESS,

Recalling its Resolution 30 (Cg-XI) — Development of national Meteorological and Hydrological Services,

Further recalling that the United Nations General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Regional Economic and Social Commissions have called upon WMO to contribute, within its competence, to the international, regional and national activities which promote and support sustainable development, especially activities pertinent to weather- and climate-related natural disasters, climate change and the protection of the environment,

Recognizing that the many activities under the WMO scientific and technical programmes are tailored to meet the above concerns and that these are implemented through the national Meteorological Services (NMSs) of the Members of the Organization in cooperation with other data and service providers,

Aware that one of the major thrusts of the Fifth WMO Long-term Plan is the strengthening of the core activities and responsibilities of NMSs;

Considering that the effective role and operation of NMSs are essential to ensure the provision of weather, climate and other relevant services to meet national and international responsibilities of countries, as well as the effective implementation of the WMO scientific and technical programmes,

Considering further that the provision of meteorological and related services by NMSs as well as the basic role and operation of NMSs are being re-examined in many countries, including the provision of data and services by other parts of Government and the private sector,

Recognizing the needs expressed for WMO guidance on the role and operation of NMSs, while also recognizing the diversity in the circumstances of individual countries such as their economic framework, legal systems and relevant government policies,

Further recognizing that the strengthening of NMSs contributes significantly to a more effective WMO and, in turn, an enhanced WMO can greatly assist the strengthening of NMSs and the effectiveness of their services to their national communities,

Acknowledging that the status and visibility of NMSs are strongly linked to its mission and the effective fulfilment of this mission through the appropriate provision of relevant information, products and services,

Invites Members to ensure the formulation of a clear statement of mission for their NMSs;

Urges Members to mandate the NMS as the official voice in issuing weather warnings for public safety to help minimize risks to the health and safety of citizens as well as the primary national authority and official source of information and policy advice on the present and future state of the atmosphere and other aspects of national weather and climate, in support of policy development;

Further urges Members to identify and reaffirm clearly their responsibilities in relation to meteorological data collection and exchange as well as weather and climate service provision inherent in their Membership of the Organization which include:
(1) Ensuring the provision of those essential meteorological and related services which are deemed to be in the public interest, especially those which relate to general community safety and welfare;

(2) Ensuring the collection and exchange of meteorological and related data and associated products to which they have committed through various treaties and conventions relating to the environment (particularly the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Convention on Desertification and the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer), and especially through the principle and practice of WMO Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) on the exchange of meteorological and related data and products under the auspices of the WMO Convention;

(3) Contributing to national economic and physical security as well as the provision of essential support for national strategies for sustainable development;

(4) Sustaining environmental research and development of relevant applications;

(5) Maintaining the integrity and continuity of the longterm national climate record;

Invites Members to recognize explicitly:
(1) The importance of codifying the core mission for their NMSs in national legislation or some other formal instrument;

(2) The need to provide, or ensure the provision of, the basic infrastructure necessary to sustain that mission at the national level;

(3) That the unique nature of meteorological service provision requires a high level of international cooperation and collective action by all data and service providers;

(4) The fundamental importance of universal commitment to the free and unrestricted international exchange of essential meteorological data and products in line with the letter and spirit of Resolution 40 (Cg-XII);

(5) That a single, authoritative national source of meteorological warnings to the public is essential in potentially dangerous weather situations involving safety of life and property;

(6) The need for sustained cooperation in the design of an evolving international framework which can accommodate a range of alternative methods of supplying services at the national level without impairing the stability of the international system;

(7) That whatever form or model the NMSs take, it is imperative that government financial support, directly or through “government-as-customer” contracts, is provided to operate and maintain the required relevant basic infrastructure, monitoring and services in the national and global public interest;

Requests the Executive Council:
(1) To keep the subject of the role and operation of NMSs under review;

(2) To set up the necessary mechanism to ensure the further strengthening of the role and operation of NMSs;

(3) To facilitate cooperative activities with all related data and service providers;

(4) To suggest mechanisms by which Members could more actively involve the media, the private sector and academia in the work of WMO and the national Meteorological and Hydrological Services;

(5) To suggest ways of enhancing cooperation with international representatives of the various sectors respecting the principles that underpin the Organization, including Article 26 of the Convention;

(6) To address the problem of definitions of relevant commonly used terms;

(7) To undertake a similar consideration with respect to the national Hydrological Services;

Requests the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to assist Members, including in seeking and providing scientific, technical, management, financial and other support for the development of NMSs and the enhancement of their role and operation.

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