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Fifth Anniversary of UN-Backed Biosafety Treaty

Ban Lauds Fifth Anniversary of UN-Backed Biosafety Treaty

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today commemorated the fifth anniversary of the United Nations-supported Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, the first legally binding international treaty aimed at curbing possible harm from biotechnology to humans and biological diversity.

“It seeks to ensure that modern biotechnology is developed and applied in an environmentally sound manner, thus enabling humankind to derive maximum benefits while minimizing the potential risks to the environment and human health,” Mr. Ban said in a message marking the occasion.

The pact, which he characterized as one of the world’s key environmental agreements, also seeks to make the transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms safer.

The Secretary-General offered his congratulations to the 147 Parties to the instrument, calling on those nations who have yet to ratify or accede to the treaty to do so quickly.

“The Protocol was a major step forward in international efforts towards sustainable development,” he said, adding that it will also play a crucial role in implementing Agenda 21, adopted in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

The Protocol is a supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

In May, over 2,000 people from nearly 150 countries gathered in Bonn, Germany, agreeing to work towards legally binding rules for liability and redress for potential damage caused by the movements of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

ENDS

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