UN to advance its socioeconomic considerations regarding living modified organisms

Sunday, October 07, 2012
Hyderabad: The sixth meeting of the governing body of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety ended on Saturday late night here in Hyderabad, India, with an agreement to advance discussions to clarify socioeconomic issues associated with living modified organism (LMOs).

Those discussions are intended to assist Parties to the Protocol that may wish to consider socioeconomic factors in reaching decisions on the import such organisms. Some 1500 delegates from more than 100 countries attended the five-day meeting.

The delegates agreed to convene a group of experts to further clarify the issue of socioeconomic considerations and to conduct further research and exchange information and experiences on the issue.

Agreement was also reached on a number of other complex issues, including risk assessment, response actions in event of unintentional movement of LMOs across national borders and types of documentation accompanying shipments of LMOs.

Delegates commended the progress made in the development of “Guidance on Risk Assessment of Living Modified Organisms” by a group of experts and encouraged Parties to test the guidance in actual cases of risk assessment and share their experiences.

The delegates also agreed on an improved plan of action on capacity-building to support the implementation of the Protocol and adopted further steps to strengthen the Biosafety Clearing-House – an online information exchange facility under the Protocol. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Mr. M.F. Farooqui, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests of India, and Chairman of the meeting, thanked delegates for their constructive ideas and the spirit of compromise, which contributed to the success of the meeting.

He welcomed the offer made by the Government of Republic of Korea to host the next meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.

Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, noted that: “Parties have found common ground on all the issues that were on the agenda of the meeting. In particular, they made notable progress on the issues of, socio-economic considerations and risk assessment of LMOs and adopted an action plan on capacity-building aligned with the ten-year Strategic Plan for the Protocol”
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