The Second Extraordinary Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-EX2) was opened by FAO Deputy-Director, Mr. H. Hjort on 22 April 1996. In his opening statement, Hjort noted the expanded scope of the Commission to include domesticated animals and marine and aquatic resources. Dr. Zehni, the Director of Plant Production and Protection, emphasized that the country-driven preparatory process for Leipzig has helped raise awareness among policy-makers of the importance of plant genetic resources. The results of this process include the drafts of two major elements of the FAO Global System: the first Report on the State of the Worlds Plant Genetic Resources and the Global Plan of Action. He suggested that the Commission focus on two essential tasks: recommendations to the Leipzig Conference on its scope, purpose and expected results; and advancing consensus on the final documents.
At its sixth session in June 1995, the Commission elected Mr. Jos� Bolivar (Spain) as Chair of the Commission until its next regular session. Mr. Moorosi Raditapole (Lesotho) and Ms. Kristiane Herrmann (Australia) were elected as first and second Vice-Chairs, respectively, and Mr. Fernando Jos� Marroni de Abreu (Brazil) was elected Rapporteur.
Delegates then adopted the provisional agenda and timetable (document CGRFA- EX2/96/1), which contains the following items: preparation for the Fourth International Technical Conference (item 2), including the First Report on the State of the Worlds PGR (item 2.1), the Global Plan of Action on PGR (item 2.2), the draft provisional agenda of the Fourth Conference (item 2.3) and other matters related to its organization (item 2.4); and preparation for further negotiations for the revision of the International Undertaking on PGR (item 3).