A bit more on what happened at GB8

I did suggest a couple of days ago that I’d have more to say about the Eighth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. And here it is, over at the work blog.

If you think I got anything wrong, or missed anything out, or you want further details or clarifications, you can leave comments here if you like, and I’ll try to reply, or get others to do so if I can’t.

3 Replies to “A bit more on what happened at GB8”

  1. Surely lack of agreement in relation to digital sequence information was the main reason for not getting anywhere in relation to the multilateral system at GB8, but there were divergent views on some other crucial aspects that only one month ago were considered agreed within the Working Group for the Enhancement of the Functioning of the Multilateral System, like expansion of Annex 1.
    Like in GB7, when negotiations moved from the Working Group to the whole Governing Body, it became apparent that the WG had moved very quickly in relation to some issues and that a number of contracting parties were lagging behind. In some regions, countries involved in the WG do not seem to have done a great job in keeping their regional colleagues informed and engaged. Also, differences among countries in the same region seem to be increasing (take for example Brazil and Honduras; Japan and India…). Regions may not be the appropriate fora for discussing and advancing common positions anymore, but the Treaty does not seem to be investigating with other possible structures (like for example groups of like-minded countries across regions). For me, and important lesson is that the process needs to be improved to allow countries to catch up more quickly so that GB does not represent a huge step back in the negotiations every time it meets.

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