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Fifth Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA)
Rome, 5-10 February 2001

The Fifth Inter-sessional Contact Group Meeting on the Revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (IU), in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), was held at the headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, Italy, from 5-10 February 2001. One hundred fifteen participants from 38 countries, one regional economic integration organization, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations attended the meeting. Delegates continued discussions on Articles 12 (Coverage of the Multilateral System), 17 (Governing Body), 18 (Secretariat), 20 (Amendments of the Undertaking) and 21 (Amendments of Annexes), as well as a proposed article on supporting components of the Multilateral System (MS). Delegates also held a general discussion on the IU's legal basis in relation to the FAO and the CBD. In addition, a technical group was formed to list and define terms used within the text of the IU.

The meeting advanced discussion in some procedural areas, while deferring discussion on specific institutional relations regarding the Governing Body and secretariat until the question of the IU's legal basis is resolved. Delegates also debated voting rules and decision-making procedures without resolution. On substantive issues, the Contact Group held extensive discussions on the terms for including ex situ collections held by Centres under the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and other international institutions. While the Group did not resolve issues on conditions for material not listed in Annex I (List of Crops covered by the MS), several delegates thought that the discussions were valuable in clarifying the range of issues and positions regarding such collections. The overall pace of discussions remains slow, raising concerns among some delegates about meeting the November 2001 deadline recently set by the 119th FAO Council. The next meeting of the Contact Group will take place in Italy from 23-28 April 2001.

Summary and Analysis

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Consultations with Chair Gerbsai

Delegates from Colombia, Angola and Brazil

Developed country consultations

IPGRI representative speaking on behalf of the CGIAR

Eng Siam Lim (Malaysia) talking with delegates from India

Peter Vermeij (Netherlands) speaks with Jose Esquinas and Louise Fresco of the FAO

The Japanese Delegation.

The Green Room

Conclusion of the Fifth Meeting of the Contact Group

CGRFA / IU-related links

bulletLinkages IU Page

bulletReport from the Fourth Contact Group Meeting (Neuchâtel)

bulletCG-5 Official Documents

bulletCGRFA Secretariat Page

bulletUK Agricultural Biodiversity Coalition (UKabc) website IU page

bulletComposite Draft Negotiating Text

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