Summary of the outcomes

Introduction

Building upon the achievements of the first two meetings held in February 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and May/June 2005 in Montreal, Canada respectively, COP-MOP 3 heralded a renewed spirit of consensus and international cooperation in promoting the safe use of modern biotechnology. In particular, COP-MOP 3 made an important breakthrough regarding the contentious issue of detailed requirements for documentation accompanying shipments of living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, which had eluded Governments during the last segment of the negotiations of the Protocol and since its adoption.

A total of 1,295 participants from 99 Parties to the Protocol, 7 non-Parties, 10 UN agencies, 12 IGOs, 113 NGOs, 30 indigenous people’s organizations, 14 industry organizations and 63 other observer organizations attended. The meeting adopted 18 decisions on the following substantive issues: Compliance under the Protocol; the Biosafety Clearing-House; Capacity-building; the Roster of biosafety experts; Matters relating to the financial mechanism and resources; Cooperation with other organizations, conventions and initiatives; Programme budget for the biosafety work (for the biennium 2007-2008); Handling, transport, packaging and identification of living modified organisms (Article 18 of the Protocol - separate decision on: paragraphs 2 (b) and 2 (c); paragraph 3 and paragraph 2 (a)); Risk assessment and risk management; Liability and redress under the Biosafety Protocol; Subsidiary bodies under the Protocol; Monitoring and reporting; Assessment and review; and Other issues (rights and obligation of transit Parties).

Decision summaries

BS-III/1: Compliance
COP-MOP-3 took note of the report of the second meeting of the Compliance Committee, and decided to undertake a review of the effectiveness of the procedures and mechanisms on compliance, including measures concerning repeated cases of non-compliance, at its fourth meeting.

BS-III/2: Operation and activities of the Biosafety Clearing-House
COP-MOP-3 provided further guidance regarding measures to enhance the operation, accessibility and use of the BCH as well as measures for building capacities to enhance national participation in the BCH.

BS-III/3: Capacity-building
COP-MOP-3 adopted a revised Action Plan for Building Capacities for the Effective Implementation of the Protocol as well as measures to facilitate its implementation and effectiveness and to foster coordination and synergies between different capacity-building initiatives.

BS-III/4: Capacity-building (roster of experts)
COP-MOP-3 outlined a process aimed at strengthening the quality, effectiveness and level of use of the Roster of Biosafety Experts.

BS-III/5: Matters related to the financial mechanism and resources
Cop-MOP-3 urged the Global Environment Facility to expeditiously finalize, approve and implement the biosafety strategy and provided guidance on allocation of resources to the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.

BS-III/6: Cooperation
COP-MOP-3 requested the Executive Secretary to continue his collaborative efforts, to intensify efforts to gain the World Trade Organization observer status in the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committees, and to enhance synergies with other processes and initiatives.

BS-III/7: Programme budget for the costs of the Secretariat services for and the biosafety work programme of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for the biennium 2007-2008
COP-MOP-3 approved a core programme budget (BG) of US$ 2,615,000 for the year 2007 and of US$ 2,108,100 for the year 2008.

BS-III/8: Handling, transport, packaging and identification of living modifed organisms: paragraphs 2 (b) and 2 (c) of Article 18
COP-MOP-3 agreed to consider, at its fourth meeting, a report on the experience gained with the use of a commercial invoice or other documents required or utilized by existing documentation systems, or pursuant to national requirements with a view to future consideration of a stand-alone document.

BS-III/9: Handling, transport, packaging and identification of living modifed organisms: paragraph 3 of Article 18
COP-MOP-3 invited Parties, other Governments and relevant international organizations to submit to the Executive Secretary views and information on the adequacy of existing rules and standards for identification, handling, packaging and transport of goods and substances to address concerns relating to living modified organisms and the existing gaps that may justify a need to develop new rules and standards, for consideration at the its next meeting.

BS-III/10: Handling, transport, packaging and identification of living modified organisms: paragraph 2 (a) of Article 18
COP-MOP-3 requested Parties to the Protocol and urged other Governments to take measures to ensure that documentation accompanying living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing clearly state the information specified in paragraph 4 of the decision. The Parties decided to review and assess, at the fifth meeting, the experience gained with the implementation of the agreed documentation requirements and to examine the capacity-building efforts in developing countries taken in this regard. Parties and other Governments were also encouraged to cooperate in exchanging experiences and building capacities in the use and development of sampling and detection techniques for living modified organisms and to submit to the Executive Secretary information on experience gained with the use of those techniques and on the need for and modalities of developing criteria for their acceptability and harmonization.

BS-III/11: Risk assessment and risk management
COP-MOP-3 examined further measures for enhancing capacity-building in risk assessment and risk management and outlined the process for collecting and sharing available information and guidance documents in order to facilitate the consideration, at the fourth meeting, of the need for further guidance on specific aspects of risk assessment and risk management.

BS-III/12: Liability and redress under the Biosafety Protocol
COP-MOP-3 welcomed the progress made by the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group of Legal and Technical Experts on Liability and Redress in the Context of the Protocol and agreed that three five-day meetings of the Working Group be convened before the fourth meeting of the COP-MOP in order to enable the Working Group to complete its work.

BS-III/13: Subsidiary bodies
COP-MOP-3 decided to consider potential mechanisms for provision of scientific and technical advice to the COP-MOP, including, inter alia, the potential designation or establishment of a permanent subsidiary body, or use of subsidiary bodies or mechanisms that may be created on an ad hoc basis, at its fourth meeting, taking into account any relevant findings that may be derived from the work of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention.

BS-III/14: Monitoring and reporting
After considering the analysis of the interim reports that were submitted to the Parties, COP-MOP-3 adopted a format for the first regular national report on implementation of the Protocol and outlined a schedule and the process for the preparation and synthesis of the reports for consideration at the fourth COP-MOP meeting.

BS-III/15: Assessment and review
COP-MOP 3 considered the question of assessment and review of the effectiveness of the Protocol, including its procedures and annexes in the context of Article 35 of the Protocol, which requires such evaluation every five years. In its decision, Parties, other Governments and relevant international organizations and other stakeholders were invited to submit their views evaluating the effectiveness of the Protocol and assessing the procedures and annexes under the Protocol with a view to identifying difficulties arising from implementation as well as suggestions for appropriate indicators and/or criteria for evaluating effectiveness, for consideration by COP-MOP at its fourth meeting.

BS-III/16: Other issues (Transit)
COP-MOP-3 invited Parties, Governments and relevant organizations to provide further views and experience on the rights and/or obligations of Parties of transit, including whether or not a Party acting only as a Party of transit takes on the obligations of a Party of export under the Protocol for consideration at its fifth meeting.

BS-III/17: Tribute to the Government and people of the Federative Republic of Brazil
COP-MOP-3 expressed its gratitude to the Government and people of Brazil for their cordial hospitality and their contribution to the success of the meeting.

BS-III/18: Date and venue of the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol
COP-MOP-3 decided to change the frequency of the ordinary meetings of the COP-MOP from one year to every two years. Accordingly, the fourth meeting of COP-MOP is scheduled to take place in 2008 in Germany, back-to-back with the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.

Conclusion

Overall, the outcomes of third meeting of the COP-MOP, in particular the decision on detailed requirements for documentation accompanying shipments of living modified organisms intended for direct use as food or feed, or for processing, generated renewed support for the Protocol. The new tools and mechanisms adopted and the additional guidance provided to Parties, other Governments, relevant organizations as well as the Executive Secretary will significantly advance the effective implementation of the Protocol.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme