DRAFT PROVISIONAL AGENDA: Delegates agreed that the Leipzig Conference agenda would include, among other items: a progress report on the revision of the International Undertaking; a presentation of the Report on the State of the Worlds Plant Genetic Resources; adoption of the Global Plan of Action (GPA) and recommendations for its implementation; review of possibilities for the implementation and financing of the GPA; and adoption of the Leipzig Declaration. As a basis for discussion on this item, delegates referred to the draft provisional agenda adopted by the Commission at its sixth session and contained in document CGRFA-EX2/96/5. The Commission emphasized that the draft should be finalized at the [current session], and that the Fourth International Technical Conference itself would determine the definitive version of the agenda.
OTHER ORGANIZATIONAL MATTERS: As the host country of the Conference, Germany outlined its preparations, most notably the recent opening of the ultra-modern Leipzig Fair Ground, which encloses the conference centre and exhibition hall. He urged member governments to confirm attendance and expressed hope that the a spirit of cooperation and compromise would make Leipzig a resounding success.
The second Vice-Chair, Ms. Kristiane Herrmann (Australia), reported on the conclusions of an informal contact group (comprised of the regional representatives) on organizational matters. The FAO Director-General will open the Conference and the German Minister for Agriculture will provide the welcoming address. Germany indicated that its Deputy Minister for Agriculture is prepared to chair the meeting, if elected by the Conference. The size and representation of the Bureau will be determined based on consultations with FAO regional representatives in Rome. Regarding organization of work, the contact group agreed that in addition to meetings of the plenary, working groups with a clear mandate to settle issues will be established as needed. However, no more than two parallel sessions may be held in order to facilitate the participation of smaller delegations. Although no high-level segment will be held, it is expected that some high-level representatives will be present to deliver opening statements.
The FAO Director-General has agreed to present a special medal to honor distinguished work in the field of PGR. However, criteria and a selection process have yet to be established. The US, SWEDEN and INDIA proposed honoring eminent scientists who did pioneering work on PGR. COLOMBIA and MEXICO suggested special recognition of local and indigenous communities as an act of justice. ETHIOPIA proposed raising consciousness of different groups contributions by creating additional categories, including art and literature.
Delegates also discussed presentation of the report adopted at Leipzig to other relevant bodies. The FAO Director-General has indicated his wishes that the report constitute a major input into the World Food Summit to be held in November 1996.
SWEDEN expressed dismay at the absence of the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, especially in light of the substantive theme of this years meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP): terrestrial ecosystems. To this end, SWEDEN, later supported by BRAZIL, MALAYSIA and the EU, urged both the Executive Secretary of the CBD as well as the Executive Director of its interim financial mechanism, the Global Environmental Facility, to personally attend the Leipzig Conference. AUSTRALIA recalled that CBD COP-2 formally endorsed the International Technical Conference and its preparatory process, and welcomed the presentation of the COP-2 President in Leipzig.
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