Highlights for Tuesday, 18 June 2019
From L-R: Teresa Agüero Teare, Manrique Lucio Altavista, and José Valls, Latin America and the Caribbean
On Tuesday, the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group to Enhance the Functioning of the Multilateral System (MLS) of access and benefit-sharing (ABS) of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (ITPGRFA) continued negotiations on the draft revised Standard Material Transfer Agreement (SMTA). Participants also deliberated on a new Co-Chairs' proposal on a package of measures to simultaneously adopt the revised SMTA and the amendment of Annex I of the Treaty (list of crops in the MLS). A Friends of the Co-Chairs group was established, which will aim to find compromise on outstanding matters following each day's deliberations.Negotiations on the draft revised SMTA focused on the subscription system, including:
monetary benefit-sharing under the subscription system, including options regarding a single rate of payments or differentiated rates depending on whether products of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture are available with or without restriction for further research and breeding;
withdrawal from the subscription, including consequences regarding the material acquired through the MLS, a timeframe for termination of monetary benefit-sharing obligations, and consequences of a material breach of any of the obligations by the subscriber; and
the registration form for the subscription system.
The Working Group also addressed SMTA provisions on definitions, withdrawal from the agreement, and dispute settlement. The Working Group further discussed a new Co-Chairs' proposal on a package of measures through a resolution that simultaneously adopts the revised SMTA and the amendment of Annex I of the Treaty, including elements on:
entry into force of the revised SMTA in July 2020;
application of the subscription system to current Annex I, until entry into force of the amendment;
entry into force of the amendment after ratification by two-thirds of parties (96 ratifications); and
termination of the subscription system if the number of ratifications required has not been attained by 2025, with subscriptions reverting to the single access system under the revised SMTA unless the Governing Body decides otherwise.
Discussion focused on the consequences of a possible failure to attain 96 ratifications of the amendment of Annex I of the Treaty by 2025. A revised Co-Chairs' proposal will be presented on Wednesday.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and a summary and analysis report from OWG-EFMLS-9, which is now available in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis
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From L-R: Álvaro Toledo, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Olivier Rukundo, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair; Tobias Kiene, ITPGRFA Secretariat; Hans Hoogeveen, Working Group Co-Chair; and Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary
José Valls, Latin America and the Caribbean
Sunil Archak, Asia
Federico Condón Priano, Latin America and the Caribbean
Cheikh Alassane Fall, Africa
Teresa Agüero Teare, Latin America and the Caribbean
Delegates fom Africa conferring during the lunch break
Anke Van Den Hurk and Paul Olson, Seed Industry
Catherine Karr-Colque and Axel Diederichsen, North America
Alwin Kopse, Europe, conferring with Axel Diederichsen, North America
Neha Lugo and Catherine Karr-Colque, North America
Sunil Archak and Akio Yamamoto, Asia
From L-R: Akio Yamamoto, Asia; Kent Nnadozie, ITPGRFA Secretary; and Sunil Archak, Asia
Javad Mozafari, Working Group Co-Chair
Edward Hammond, Civil Society
Nestor Altoveros, Asia
Alwin Kopse, Europe
Delegates from Latin America and the Caribbean conferring during a break in negotations