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Open-ended Working Goup on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources

Rome, Italy; 30 October - 1 November 2001

 | Tuesday 30 | Wednesday 31 | Thursday 1 | Friday 2 | Saturday 3 |  


Friday, 2 November 2001 | The 31st Session of the Conference of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) opened today at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf opened the meeting, welcoming delegates and observers. Upon the suggestion of the FAO Council, delegates elected Saaed Bin Mohammed Al Raqabani (United Arab Emirates) as Conference Chair, Asisclo Valladares Molina (Guatemala) as Chair of Commission I, Karl-Josef Weiers (Germany) as Chair of Commission II, as well as the Vice-Chairpersons and the General and Credentials Committees. Chair Al Raqabani emphasized the need for the international community to promote peace and social stability to achieve food security, highlighting regional political instabilities and their impact on poverty and malnutrition. In this regard, he highlighted the FAO's potential role and the need to renew efforts to achieve the goals of the 1996 World Food Summit to reduce world hunger. 

Patricio Aylwin, former President of Chile, delivered the McDougall Memorial Lecture, which addressed Frank McDougall's legacy in addressing issues of world hunger and food production, and more specifically contributions to the establishment of the FAO itself. He also reviewed the lack of progress in reaching the goals of the 1996 World Food Summit, and noted existing trends in the globalization of poverty and problems with the philosophy of economic neo-liberalism and the market. Numerous delegates lauded the presentation and its use as a starting point for the present meeting and the work leading up to the World Food Summit. 

In the afternoon, the Conference addressed the adoption of the agenda and arrangements for the session (C 2001/1-Rev.1; C 2001/12-Rev.1; C 2001/INF2-Rev.1; C 2001/INF/16). Carleen Gardner, FAO Assistant Director-General of General Affairs and Information, presented the General Committee's report on adoption of the agenda, admission of observers and other arrangements. She noted, inter alia, that Agenda Item 7, on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (IU), would be addressed during the Conference's 4th meeting on Saturday, 3 November from 2:30-5:30 pm, in the main conference hall. 

This announcement came amid confusion over whether the Conference would consider the IU in Plenary, possibly for a vote, or refer it to Commission I for further discussion. Presently, Amb. Fernando Gerbasi (Venezuela) Chair of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will present the report of the Council and Working Group on the IU to Plenary, and subsequent discussions are expected on whether the treaty will come to a vote or be referred to subsequent negotiations on outstanding items.

ENB Final Summary

Mon 05

ENB Daily Reports

Wed 31

Thur 01

Frid 02

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CGRFA website for the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IU): http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/agricult/cgrfa/IU.htm
Documents for this meeting: http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/agricult/cgrfa/docswg.htm
CGRFA Secretariat website - http://www.fao.org/ag/cgrfa/default.htm
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture

ENB report on the Sixth Extraordinary Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture: http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/ExCGRFA-6/
ENB report on the Sixth Session of the Contact Group for the Revision of the IU: http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/iucg6/

ENB report on the Fifth Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the CGRFA: http://enb.iisd.org/biodiv/iucg5/                                                                                              click to top

� 2001, Earth Negotiations Bulletin. All rights reserved.

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