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6-Regulation: APEC officials to share views on Cartagena Protocol

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  APEC Officials to Share Views on Cartagena Protocol
        issued by High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural Biotechnology
DATE:   25 Feb 2006

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APEC Officials to Share Views on Cartagena Protocol

Ha Noi, Viet Nam - High level representatives from around the APEC
Region are meeting in Viet Nam today to identify and evaluate policy
concerns related to implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on
Biosafety. The Viet Nam meeting is seen as a last opportunity for APEC
Member Economies to discuss these issues before the third Meeting of the
Parties to the protocol in Brazil in March. 

Nearly one-half of APEC economies are Protocol Parties, and all APEC
economies are active participants in the movement of agricultural
products throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Officials from APEC's 21 member economies are meeting in Ha Noi until 27
February for the Fifth High Level Policy Dialogue on Agricultural
Biotechnology and a separate Private Sector Day. Over 100 delegates and
expert speakers from APEC economies and relevant international
organizations are expected to attend. 

The Policy Dialogue was opened by Viet Nam's Minister for Agriculture,
Mr Cao Duc Phat, and United States Under Secretary for Agriculture, Dr.
J.B. Penn.

The Philippines Secretary for Science and Technology, Dr Estrella
Alabastro, also presented a paper on the Philippine experience in
developing and Implementing National Biosafety Policies.

In his address to the meeting, Dr. Penn said "this year's Policy
Dialogue meeting provides an ideal opportunity to identify and evaluate
policy and trade concerns that merit consideration as APEC economies
decide whether and how to implement the Protocol.

"Given the timing of the next Meeting of the Parties, the Policy
Dialogue is an occasion for a useful exchange of viewpoints and
experiences on the important issue of Protocol implementation."

This year's Policy Dialogue is also closely examining the issue of
biotechnology policy development, implementation and communication.

"The Policy Dialogue provides a unique opportunity for APEC economies to
share their experiences regarding how to create an effective policy and
regulatory environment for the responsible use of biotechnology in
agriculture," said Under Secretary Penn. 

The Fifth Policy Dialogue will continue its tradition of supporting
public policy development activities, including the creation of an
"Investment Toolbox" that will assist interested APEC economies in
creating a positive investment environment for agricultural
biotechnology. In addition, the Policy Dialogue will undertake a review
of its 2004-2006 Work Plan and begin the task of identifying priorities
for its 2007-2009 Work Plan. 

In conjunction with the Policy Dialogue, private sector representatives
are also presenting a report on the HLPDAB's activities which focused on
the nutritional and socioeconomic benefits of agricultural
biotechnology. Since the first HLPDAB three years ago, the Private
Sector Day has allowed high level officials from APEC economies to learn
about new developments in agricultural biotechnology and the impacts
that biotechnology is having in agriculture, food security and economic

Since its first meeting in Mexico City in 2002, the APEC Policy Dialogue
has become the premier meeting in the Asia-Pacific region for high level
agricultural biotechnology policy makers. The Policy Dialogue's work is
regularly acknowledged in APEC Leaders' and Ministers' statements. 

Through the Policy Dialogue, APEC seeks to build the capacity of
economies to maximize the benefits of this promising technology. This
high level dialogue provides a forum for policy makers to exchange and
discuss multidisciplinary policy views, trade implications,
implementation experiences, effective communication strategies and the
benefits of agricultural biotechnology, including increased
productivity, improved rural development and reduced environmental impacts.

Webcasts and podcasts of selected opening comments at the HLPDAB are
available for download:

	 	Mr Cao Duc Phat 
Viet Nam Minister for Agriculture
Real Video Broadband [8MB]
Real Video Narrowband [1MB]

Windows Media Broadband [8MB]
Windows Media Narrowband [3MB]

MP3 Podcast [2MB]

	 	Dr J.B. Penn
United States Under Secretary for Agriculture
Real Video Broadband [20MB]
Real Video Narrowband [5MB]

Windows Media Broadband [20MB]
Windows Media Narrowband [9MB]

MP3 Podcast [5MB]

For further information contact:

Christopher Hawkins on +84 9 0223 7105 or E-mail:
Anita Douglas +84 9 8396 1946 or E-mail:

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
news & information

phone....... +49-531-5168746
fax......... +49-531-5168747
email....... news(*)
skype....... hartmut_meyer

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