FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 16th May 2000
Access discussions mire International Undertaking progress
The protracted negotiations on the FAO International Undertaking (IU) on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (PGRFA) are limping along in urgent need of a boost from the COP. But what does the working Group 2's Access discussions lamely raise?
Is this a COP out - a rejection of all previous decisions...or just plain ignorance?
Just a reminder, the FAO was asked by the CBD to amend the IU to bring it in harmony with the CBD and resolved to do so in 1993 (FAO 7/93). COP 2 in Jakarta recognised the distinctive nature of PGRFA and FAO's resolution 7/93 in COP Decision II/15. Then there have been Decisions III/11 and IV/6, all of which have urged FAO to complete negotiations.
The IU is the most important international instrument for protecting the resources that underpin food security.
At the GBF 15 recommended and reported to this COP
"The Parties to the Convention must send a strong message to FAO to rapidly complete the harmonisation of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources with this Convention to include forceful Articals of Farmers' Rights; a multilateral system of Access, outlawing proprietary ownership through patents and Plant Variety Protection of all designated materials and their derivatives; and Benefit Sharing related to end use i.e. food security"
Wake up, and rally FAO to complete quickly!
This COP should send an urgent message of encourgement to the UN Food And Agriculture Organisation to complete negotitaions on the adaptation of the International Undertaking to be in harmony with the CBD, to be brought to the next COP.
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