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Opening Plenary

The speakers, from left to right to right: Sipi Jaakola (UNEP), Hamdallah Zedan (CBD Secretariat), Colombian Minister of the Environment Juan Mayr and Chair Veit Koester (Denmark).

NORWAY withdrew its proposal for an annex on contained use of LMOs.

GUYANA, for the G-77/CHINA, stressed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and highlighted the need for resolution on, inter alia, socio-economic considerations, capacity building and financial resources and mechanisms.

ETHIOPIA, on behalf of the Africa Group, expressed concern that an unsafe or ineffective conclusion may be taken due to time constraints.

Co-Chair John Herity (Canada) opened SWG-II by stating that discussion on Article 19 (Competent National Authority/National Focal Point) was complete as all brackets and text within them had been removed. SWG-II then began discussions, but reached no conclusions, on the precautionary principle, socio-economic considerations and capacity-building.

GERMANY, for the EU, stressed the need for a protocol that protects biodiversity while preventing unnecessary barriers to trade.

Minister Mayr encouraged a certain degree of informality at the negotiations, a tradition in Colombia's coastal area. Seen here are Mayr and Chair Koester with their ties off, just as the Opening Plenary drew to a close. Chair Koester warned delegates not to get "too relaxed"...

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