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MOP 1 Decision BS-I/7

Establishment of procedures and mechanisms on compliance under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety,

Recalling Article 34 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety,

Recognizing the importance of establishing procedures and mechanisms to promote compliance with the provisions of the Protocol and to address cases of non-compliance,

1. Decides to adopt procedures and mechanisms on compliance under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety as set out in the annex to this decision and to establish the Compliance Committee referred to therein;

2. Requests the Executive Secretary, in consultation with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, to arrange for a meeting of the Compliance Committee, to be held before the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol for the purpose of developing rules of procedure referred to in paragraph 7 of section II of the procedures and mechanisms on compliance under the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety.

Annex

PROCEDURES AND MECHANISMS ON COMPLIANCE UNDER THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY

The following procedures and mechanisms are developed in accordance with Article 34 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and are separate from, and without prejudice to, the dispute settlement procedures and mechanisms established by Article 27 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

I. Objective, nature and underlying principles

1. The objective of the compliance procedures and mechanisms shall be to promote compliance with the provisions of the Protocol, to address cases of non-compliance by Parties, and to provide advice or assistance, where appropriate.

2. The compliance procedures and mechanisms shall be simple, facilitative, non-adversarial and cooperative in nature.

3. The operation of the compliance procedures and mechanisms shall be guided by the principles of transparency, fairness, expedition and predictability. It shall pay particular attention to the special needs of developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States among them, and Parties with economies in transition, and take into full consideration the difficulties they face in the implementation of the Protocol.

II. Institutional mechanisms

1. A Compliance Committee, hereinafter referred to as "the Committee", is hereby established pursuant to Article 34 of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to carry out the functions specified herein.

2. The Committee shall consist of 15 members nominated by Parties and elected by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety on the basis of three members from each of the five regional groups of the United Nations.

3. Members of the Committee shall have recognized competence in the field of biosafety or other relevant fields, including legal or technical expertise, and serve objectively and in a personal capacity.

4. Members shall be elected by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety for a period of four years, this being a full term. At its first meeting, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety shall elect five members, one from each region, for half a term, and ten members for a full term. Each time thereafter, the Conference of the Parties to the serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety shall elect for a full term, new members to replace those whose term has expired. Members shall not serve for more than two consecutive terms.

5. The Committee shall meet twice a year, unless it decides otherwise. The Secretariat shall service the meetings of the Committee.

6. The Committee shall submit its reports including recommendations with regard to the discharge of its functions to the next meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol for consideration and appropriate action.

7. The Committee shall develop and submit its rules of procedure to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties for its consideration and approval.

III. Functions of the Committee

1. The Committee shall, with a view to promoting compliance and addressing cases of non-compliance, and under the overall guidance of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, have the following functions:

(a) Identify the specific circumstances and possible causes of individual cases of non-compliance referred to it;

(b) Consider information submitted to it regarding matters relating to compliance and cases of non-compliance;

(c) Provide advice and/or assistance, as appropriate, to the concerned Party, on matters relating to compliance with a view to assisting it to comply with its obligations under the Protocol;

(d) Review general issues of compliance by Parties with their obligations under the Protocol, taking into account the information provided in the national reports communicated in accordance with Article 33 of the Protocol and also through the Biosafety Clearing-House;

(e) Take measures, as appropriate, or make recommendations, to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol;

(f) Carry out any other functions as may be assigned to it by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.

IV. Procedures

1. The Committee shall receive, through the Secretariat, any submissions relating to compliance from:

(a) Any Party with respect to itself;

(b) Any Party, which is affected or likely to be affected, with respect to another Party.

The Committee may reject to consider any submission made pursuant to paragraph 1(b) of this section that is de minimis or ill-founded, bearing in mind the objectives of the Protocol.

2. The Secretariat shall, within fifteen days of receipt of submissions under paragraph 1 (b) above, make the submissions available to the Party concerned, and once it has received a response and information from the concerned Party, it shall transmit the submission, the response and information to the Committee.

3. A Party that has received a submission regarding its compliance with the provisions of the Protocol should respond and, with recourse to the Committee for assistance if required, provide the necessary information preferably within three months and in any event not later than six months. This period of time shall commence on the date of the receipt of the submission as certified by the Secretariat. In the case where the Secretariat has not received any response or information from the concerned Party within the six months as referred to above, it shall transmit the submission to the Committee.

4. A Party, in respect of which a submission is made or which makes a submission, is entitled to participate in the deliberations of the Committee. This Party shall not participate in the elaboration and adoption of a recommendation of the Committee.

V. Information and consultation

1. The Committee shall consider relevant information from:

(a) The Party concerned;

(b) The Party that has made a submission with respect to another Party in accordance with paragraph 1(b) of section IV.

2. The Committee may seek or receive and consider relevant information from sources, such as:

(a) The Biosafety Clearing-House, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, and subsidiary bodies of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Protocol;

(b) Relevant international organizations.

3. The Committee may seek expert advice from the biosafety roster of experts.

4. The Committee, in undertaking all of its functions and activities, shall maintain the confidentiality of any information that is confidential under Article 21 of the Protocol.

VI. Measures to promote compliance and address cases of non-compliance

1. The Committee may take one or more of the following measures with a view to promoting compliance and addressing cases of non-compliance, taking into account the capacity of the Party concerned, especially developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States amongst them, and Parties with economies in transition, to comply, and such factors as the cause, type, degree and frequency of non-compliance:

(a) Provide advice or assistance to the Party concerned, as appropriate;

(b) Make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties to the Convention serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol regarding the provision of financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, training and other capacity-building measures;

(c) Request or assist, as appropriate, the Party concerned to develop a compliance action plan regarding the achievement of compliance with the Protocol within a timeframe to be agreed upon between the Committee and the Party concerned; and

(d) Invite the Party concerned to submit progress reports to the Committee on the efforts it is making to comply with its obligations under the Protocol;

(e) Pursuant to paragraph 1(c) and (d) above, report to the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties on efforts made by Parties in non-compliance to return to compliance and maintain this as an agenda item of the Committee until adequately resolved.

2. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties may, upon the recommendations of the Committee, taking into account the capacity of the Party concerned, especially developing country Parties, in particular the least developed and small island developing States amongst them, and Parties with economies in transition, to comply, and such factors as the cause, type, degree and frequency of non-compliance, also decide upon one or more of the following measures:

(a) Provide financial and technical assistance, technology transfer, training and other capacity-building measures;

(b) Issue a caution to the concerned Party;

(c) Request the Executive Secretary to publish cases of non-compliance in the Biosafety Clearing-House;

(d) In cases of repeated non-compliance, take such measures as may be decided by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol at its third meeting, and thereafter in accordance with Article 35 of the Protocol, within the framework of the review process provided for in Section VII below.

VII. Review of the procedures and mechanisms

The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Protocol shall, at its third meeting and thereafter, in line with Article 35 of the Protocol, review the effectiveness of these procedures and mechanisms, address repeated cases of non-compliance and take appropriate action.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme