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Resumed Session on the First Extraordinary Meeting of the Convention of the Parties (ExCOP) to Finalize and Adopt a Protocol on Biosafety

Montreal, CANADA; 24 - 28 January 2000


Friday 28 January :

"...the clocks have been stopped..."

01/28/2000 23:52:34 -0600
Plenary took session in the ICAO building shortly after 11:00 p.m. and is underway with a notable proportion of academic and NGO interests present.  Reports submitted by the contact groups are currently being photocopied, and adoption of the new protocol text is expected before Plenary closes tonight.

Keep watching this space for updates.  Make sure to Reload / Refresh your browser.

01/28/2000 21:56:35 -0600
According to CBD Secretariat staff, this evening's Plenary is once again postponed while the protocol text is being translated in Nairobi into the 6 official languages of the United Nations.  Plenary is expected to resume at 11:00 p.m. tonight in the ICAO building.

Protestors who have been camping on the lawns of the ICAO building for the last day, have stepped up their activity and moved onto the rue de l'universite soliciting participation from passing motorists.

01/28/2000 17:36:57 -0600
With widespread media coverage and round-the-clock protests, delegates milled about both the Delta Hotel and ICAO building waiting for the final Plenary session scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Some were seen with large quantities of food, possibly settling in for a long night. Others hoped that continued delays signalled an effort to resolve issues informally, as opposed to subjecting them to a full discussion in Plenary. With general agreement on the issues of scope and commodities, the biggest outstanding issues remain inclusion of the precautionary principle (Article 8.7), and relations with other international agreements (Article 33), most especially the World Trade Organization. Other issues still unresolved include socio-economic considerations, non-parties and multilateral, regional and bilateral agreements. Without pre-judging the outcome, prospects for adopting the protocol are positive.

Plenary is now scheduled to open at 10:00 p.m. tonight.

Reminiscent of Cartagena, the Plenary scheduled for 4:00 p.m. has been postponed until 8:00 p.m. this evening... 

Mayr speaks in a full "Vienna setting" which is to reconvene later this afternoon.

With the text consolidated and distributed this morning at 10:00 a.m., Plenary met in the packed "Vienna setting" only to have any hope of resolution postponed.  Ostensibly waiting for the text to be translated into the 6 official languages of the United Nations, Plenary will re-convene at 4:00 p.m. in the ICAO building.

Ironically, the Like-Minded group draws "Justice".

In keeping with the CBD practice of drawing colour-coded and named teddybears to determine contact group speaking order, the Like-Minded group drew "Justice" this morning.

"In the last minute, of the last hour, of the last day..."

ExCOP President Juan Mayr (l) and UNEP Executive Director Klaus T�pfer (r).

At 10:30 pm Thursday 27 January, Mayr opened up the "Vienna setting" Plenary and invited further reports on Articles 31, 22 and 8.7 and other outstanding issues.

Mayr noted that outstanding issues appeared to be political and that groups needed to see the differences in the context of the entire text. He requested that Co-Chairs Yang and Pythoud and Ambassador Nobs to continue clarifying the remaining issues and requested clean text by 2:00 a.m. Friday 28 January 2000.

The "Vienna setting" Plenary will reconvene at 10:00 am Friday 28 January 2000 to consider the consolidated text of the protocol.

European Union Ministerial press conference.

European Environment Ministers hosted a press conference... watch this space for more information.

Margot Wallstr�m, European Commissioner for Environment, Nuclear Saftey, and Civil Protection. 

Margot Wallstr�m speaks on behalf of the EC, stating that the protocol must bring real benefits to developing countries, and build confidence among citizens.  She also acknowledges that in order to build a strong protocol, its necessary to hear all reasonable concerns, adding that it is unreasonable to block decision-making when such important environmental issues are at stake and then the world so obviously is concerned about what happens here.



Hon. David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, Canada, addresses concerns 

Protestors getting ready to camp out overnight on the lawn of the ICAO building.

Convention on Biodiversity Homepage [CBD]
CBD Secretariat page for the Resumed ExCOP
Clearing House Mechanism [CHM]
EXCOP Documents : UNEP's pre-session documents
ENB Briefing Note from Sept. 99 Informal Consultations
ENB Coverage of Cartagena (BSWG-6)
ENB Coverage of BSWG-5, BSWG-4, BSWG-3, BSWG-2, BSWG-1

Convention on Biodiversity Homepage [CBD]
CBD Secretariat page for the Resumed ExCOP

This page was last updated 01/18/2002 16:47:18 -0600
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