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7-Misc: Biosafety negotiations re-start in September



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TITLE:  Negotiators meet to re-start biosafety talks
SOURCE: BRIDGES Weekly Trade News Digest Vol. 3, Number 26
        Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, iatp@iatp.org
DATE:   July 6, 1999

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NEGOTIATORS MEET TO RE-START BIOSAFETY TALKS

Governments met 1 July in Montreal for informal consultations on
how to restart negotiations on a biosafety protocol. Talks for an
international biosafety protocol to ensure the safe transfer,
handling, use and disposal of living modified organisms (LMOs,
often referred to as genetically modified organisms or GMOs)
failed in February over trade in GMOs. (See BRIDGES Weekly Trade
News Digest Vol. 3, No. 8, 1 March 1999.)

At the 1 July meeting, which followed two weeks of talks on
scientific, technical and operational aspects to the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD), negotiators agreed to hold a five
day informal negotiating session in September 1999. They noted
that negotiators should plan to come to the September meeting
with the full negotiating authority of their governments. Pending
satisfactory progress in September, negotiators targeted February
2000 for the next Extraordinary Session of the Conference of the
Parties to the CBD, where a biosafety protocol could be
concluded.

Regarding operational aspects of the CBD, discussed as part of
the Intersessional meeting on the Operations of the Convention
(ISOC) from 28-30 June, delegates agreed on the need to ensure
compatability between the WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects
of Intellectual Property (TRIPs Agreement) and the CBD; the need
for exploration of the implications of intellectual property
rights on biodiversity and equitable benefit sharing; and the
urgent need for the CBD to achieve observer status in the WTO
TRIPs Council.

"Summary of the Fourth Session of the Subsidiary Body for
Scientific, Technical and Technological advice and the
Intersessional Meeting on the Operations of the Convention on
Biological Diversity," EARTH NEGOTIATIONS BULLETIN (IISD), 5 July
1999; "Governments to Discuss Restarting Stalemated Talks on
Biosafety Protocol," INTERNATIONAL ENVIROMENT REPORTER, 23 June
1999.





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