Report on the proposed Council decision concerning the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (link)

February 9, 2004

Brussels, 06 Feb 2004

FINAL A5-0012/2004 23 January 2004 Type of Procedure: Consultation procedure
REPORT on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture
Full text

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The International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, adopted by the FAO Conference in 1983, was a non legally binding agreement which sought to explore, preserve and evaluate agricultural plant genetic resources and make them available for plant breeding and scientific purposes.

In November 1993 the FAO Conference decided to negotiate a revised, legally binding, International Undertaking, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Commission and the Member States participated in the negotiations. They were finalised with a new 'International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture' (International Treaty), formally adopted by the FAO Conference in Rome on 3 November 2001. The Community and the Member States signed the International Treaty on 6 June 2002.

The International Treaty covers 35 food crops and 29 forages. It establishes a legally binding global framework for the sustainable conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and a multilateral system combining access of all parties to the International Treaty to such resources with the sharing of commercial and other benefits of access thereto.

Since both Community and Member States' competence is concerned, joint action by the Community and its Member States for the deposit of the instruments of ratification or approval is required. The purpose of this proposed Council Decision is thus to ratify the International Treaty on behalf of the Community.

The International Treaty will enter into force ninety days after forty parties have deposited their instruments of ratification or approval (approximately 33 countries have done so to date). Once it has entered into force, a 'Governing Body' will then be established. Only countries that have deposited their instruments of ratification by that time will be able to influence initial decisions of the Governing Body. The International Treaty should accordingly be ratified, on behalf of the Community, as soon as possible.

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Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy - Rapporteur: Caroline F. Jackson

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