Corn photo

Highlights and images for 21 July 2023

Headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, Rome, Italy

View of the plenary

View of the room during the closing session

Delegates at the final plenary expressed great relief at the timely finish of what some described as one of the “least heated biodiversity meetings in recent times!”

The meeting began with a report back from contact group Co-Chair Benoît Girard (Canada), who announced agreement on the establishment of two new intersessional bodies: an Intergovernmental Technical Working Group (ITWG) on Microorganism and Invertebrate Genetic Resources (MIGR), and an Ad-Hoc Expert Team on Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture (BFA). Following this announcement, delegates proceeded to elect the members for the new ITWG-MIGR by acclamation.

Delegates applauding the adoption of the meeting report

Delegates elected the members for the new ITWG-MIGR by acclamation

Delegates thereafter considered the final report and its appendices and suggested textual edits. The Commission adopted the final report with minor amendments. 

Regional groups applauded the meeting outcomes, with many celebrating the progress achieved in the diverse State of the World reports and in the implementation of Global Plans of Action. Several commended the establishment of the ITWG-MIGR and Expert Team on BFA, saying these will fill important gaps in the work of the Commission. 

CGRFA 19 Rapporteur Kim van Seeters, the Netherlands

CGRFA 19 Rapporteur Kim van Seeters, the Netherlands

Delegates heaped accolades on the meeting Chair Deidré Januarie, who, as one region said, “maintained coolness in the meeting in spite of the heat in Rome.” They also thanked Dan Leskien and the Secretariat for organizing such a successful meeting under severe human resource constraints. Finally, delegates expressed gratitude to the Bureau for its smooth and effective operation.

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

Deidré Januarie, Chair, CGRFA

CGRFA 19 Chair Januarie, the first female chair of the CGRFA in its 40-year history, said that she would carry treasured memories from this experience. She urged the incoming Bureau Chair Benoît Girard (Canada) to “keep the ship floating.” She thanked all participants, and closed the session at 6:26 pm.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the 19th Session of the UN FAO Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Mike Muzurakis