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The Third Intersessional Meeting of the Contact Group of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA) took place in Tehran, Iran, from 26-31 August 2000.
The third Inter-sessional Contact Group Meeting on the revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources (IU), in Harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, was held in Tehran, Iran, from 26-31 August 2000. The meeting was attended by 78 participants from 36 countries and four intergovernmental observer organizations. During the six-day meeting, delegates continued negotiations on the Consolidated Draft Text, specifically on Articles 13 (Facilitated Access), 14 (Benefit-sharing) and 16 (Financial Resources). An initial round of discussions was also held on countries' consultations with their private sectors regarding commercial benefit-sharing, and regional groups presented their proposed lists for Annex I (List of Crops Covered by the Multilateral System).
Delegates noted that this Contact Group session was the most successful one to date. Delegates made significant progress on intellectual property rights (IPR) issues as related to facilitated access to technology and commercial benefit-sharing. In-depth conceptual discussion and a small negotiating group on the topic paved the way for a provisional package agreement on the issues. This lays the groundwork for the International Undertaking to inform previously contentious areas of trade policy relating to IPR and plant genetic resources for food and agriculture. Finalizing the list of crops in Annex I, using regional proposals which range from 9 to 287 crops, remains the largest obstacle ahead. The November 2000 deadline for concluding the International Undertaking is fast approaching, and the deadline for financing a final negotiating session is closer still.
Updates on each day of consultations were posted here during the meeting.
Documents referenced in this summary are available online at the CGRFA Secretariat's WWW site at:http://www.fao.org/ag/cgrfa/docscg3.htm
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