Resumed 9th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System of Access and Benefit-sharing (OWG-EFMLS-9) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
24-26 October 2019 | Headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Rome, Italy
Delegates from Latin America and the Caribbean conferring during a break in negotations
On Saturday, the Working Group addressed the Co-Chairs’ compromise proposal on a package of elements, including:
benefit-sharing payment rates under the single access and subscription systems;
clauses specifying, under both systems, that the benefit-sharing payment obligations reflect the value of information, including genetic sequence data, directly derived from or directly associated with the MLS material in question; and
a provision on the implementation and review of the enhanced Multilateral System (MLS).
Co-Chair Hoogeveen stressed the need for compromise on fundamental issues, highlighting that an enhanced MLS is part of the effort to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including global food security.
Despite his efforts, the compromise proposal was not accepted as a basis for negotiations, with genetic sequence data being identified as the deal breaker. Norway expressed readiness to work on the basis of the proposal. North America, Australia, Japan, and Germany expressed concerns with regard to benefit-sharing from genetic sequence data. Africa, GRULAC, India, and other developing countries stressed that any agreement must include genetic sequence data.
After brief consultations, Co-Chair Hoogeveen halted deliberations on the compromise proposal and called for a second reading of the revised SMTA and the draft resolution. Participants made numerous suggestions for additional text.
Noting that “we have a crisis in our hands,” Co-Chair Hoogeveen proposed to hold informal consultations immediately prior to the Governing Body session, with one or two representatives from each region, to reach compromise on outstanding items. The Working Group agreed, and adopted the meeting’s report.
Co-Chair Mozafari closed the meeting at 3:12 pm.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) meeting coverage, has provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from the Resumed OWG-EFMLS-9. The summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.
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