APwo 01/17 1310 EU: Agreement Under Convention of Biodiversity Mus...
January 17 (Xinhua)
The European Union (EU) said Monday that it considers that an international environmental agreement under the Convention of Biodiversity must be concluded when an environmental conference is held from next Monday to Friday in Montreal, Canada. The European Commission, the EU executive branch, said the concerned protocol aims to facilitate a proper risk assessment prior to cross-border movements of Living Modified Organisms derived from biotechnology. A primary objective of this protocol is to enable developing countries often lacking adequate legislation and administrative capacity to take well founded decisions on the import of living genetically modified organisms and thereby to protect their biodiversity. The EU executive said in a statement that the international community must demonstrate that it takes the concerns of the public about the safety of biotechnology seriously. The final negotiation meeting of the Protocol on Biosafety will be held in Montreal on January 24-28. This would be the first protocol under the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted at the Rio Conference in 1992. Formal negotiations were kicked off by the second Conference of the parties to that convention in 1995 in Jakarta. The previous efforts to finalize the protocol in Cartagena, Columbia, in February 1999, ended without agreement after the Miami group, comprising six major crop exporting countries including the U.S., opposed an EU compromise proposal supported by all otherparticipants, the European Commission said.
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