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Thousands Gather For Meeting On Biosafety Treaty

Thousands gather for meeting on UN-backed treaty on biosafety

12 May 2008 – More than 3000 participants from 147 countries have assembled in Bonn, the former German capital, for the start of a week-long meeting on how to improve their commitments to ensuring the safe use of modern biotechnology as outlined under a United Nations-backed treaty.

The fourth meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, itself a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity, began today in Bonn, according to a news release issued by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The agency said that one of the priorities of this week’s meeting will be to try to reach agreement on international rules on liability and redress for potential damages caused by the movements of living modified organisms (LMOs), often known as genetically modified organisms.

Ahmed Djoghlaf, Executive Secretary to the Convention, urged the delegates at the meeting to “seize the moment” and reach agreement.

“You are mandated to fulfil the requirement, set out in Article 27 in 2000, when the Protocol was signed,” he said. “In doing this, you will ensure the effective implementation of the Protocol.”

Participants at the conference in Bonn will also discuss other issues, including finding ways to finance the continued work of the Protocol and assessing the socio-economic impact that LMOs have on biodiversity.

ENDS

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