St. Lucia to participate in UN meeting on safe use of living modified organisms

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St. Lucia to participate in UN meeting on safe use of living modified organisms
Terrence Gilliard.
Terrence Gilliard.

PRESS RELEASE – On Monday, delegates from around the world will convene for the seventh meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP MOP 7).

The meeting will discuss and adopt further decisions to contribute to ensuring the safe transfer, handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs) resulting from modern biotechnology and consider the issue of integrating biosafety into other relevant national initiatives to enhance further implementation.

St. Lucia will be represented at this meeting by Mr. Terrence Gilliard, Sustainable Development and Environment Officer responsible for Biodiversity.

Prioir to leaving for this meeting Mr GIlliard met with stakeholders from the relevant agencies including Forestry, St Lucia National Trust and the private sector to give them an overview of the items which were on the agenda for discussion and also to get their feedback and ensure that the needs and concerns of all stakeholders were represented.

The Cartagena Protocol, an additional agreement to the Convention on Biodiversity, entered into force on 11 September 2003. To date, 168 countries are Parties to the Protocol. The Supplementary Protocol, an additional agreement to the Cartagena Protocol, was adopted in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. To date, 26 countries are Parties to the Supplementary Protocol.

It will enter into force 90 days after 40 Parties have acceded or ratified it. The latest country to accede to the Cartagena Protocol and the Supplementary Protocol is the United Arab Emirates on 12 September 2014.

At the end of the five-day meeting, decisions of the Parties are expected to advance the implementation of the Protocol through their 10-year Strategic Plan for the Cartagena Protocol.

Among the agenda items to be discussed are: financial mechanism and resources for the Protocol’s implementation; Supplementary Protocol; risk assessment and risk management; socio-economic considerations concerning LMOs; and the assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Protocol.

The Parties will also convene a special session on the implementation of the Cartagena Protocol to review integration of biosafety into relevant national development plans, other relevant national policies in line with the Strategic Plan for the Protocol.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea, Mr. Yoon Sang-jick, said: “We should seize this opportunity to redouble our efforts to promote further guidance for integrating biosafety into relevant national development plans, other relevant national policies and programmes and mobilize additional resources in our effort to implement the Cartagena Protocol.”

The Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias,said: “As we prepare towards the seventh meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, I call upon Parties to re-commit to the objectives of the Protocol as their contribution to the theme of the Pyeongchang meetings: “Biodiversity for Sustainable Development.”

 

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