PORTUGAL stated that it is committed to conservation and sustainable use of PGR, and outlined national activities in this area. BANGLADESH called for the GPA to utilize a grassroots approach, with Farmers Rights (FR) playing a vital role, and for strengthening national agricultural research systems. PERU highlighted its participation in Leipzig as a signatory of the IU. ISRAEL called for establishment of a scientific working group to help implement the GPA. CUBA suggested that the GPA should focus on technical aspects, and on mobilization of the financial resources, without which it would only be a set of recommendations. He called for the GPA to address technology transfer.
SWEDEN highlighted the political nature of the GPA, and called for immediate implementation of its recommendations with concrete projects on the ground, and financing, without which little action was possible. He stressed that access to gene banks and advice from plant breeders to small farmers would be concrete ways to ensure FR at the national level. He suggested that CBD COP-3 be invited to use the GPA as a major input in guiding conservation and sustainable use of PGR. NEPAL emphasized the importance of acknowledging farmers contributions to PGR conservation and use.
VENEZUELA, supported by BOLIVIA, MOROCCO and IRAQ, stressed the need for financial resources to underwrite the GPA. She suggested that the Report on the State of the Worlds PGR (RSW) was a great piece of work and should be updated on a periodic basis. BOLIVIA emphasized that food security is a strategic objective which is linked to conservation and sustainable use of PGR, and called for preferential access to appropriate technology and the sharing of benefits. ARMENIA highlighted his countrys role as a source of important PGRFA.
FINLAND stated that the GPA is only one part of the Global System and should be seen as an evolving and ongoing process. AZERBAIJAN highlighted the significant climatic and genetic diversity of his country and expressed concern about the effects of war on PGR. CAMEROON, on behalf of Central and West African countries, noted that these countries had focused on: strengthening national capacities by developing gene banks in each sub-region; developing legislation; training instructors and supporting the work of women, who are key players in the conservation and sustainable use of PGR. SYRIA highlighted the importance of the RSW.
BHUTAN enforced the need for political will to ensure food security and indicated his countrys commitment by the fact that it had established a special trust fund for PGR. He emphasized the importance of FR. ARGENTINA noted that her country was a donor to the World Food Programme and that Agenda 21, the CBD and GPA had been translated into action in her region. She emphasized that her country wanted to develop new legislation and technologies for PGR. She welcomed the establishment of open-ended working groups at the ITCPGR-4.
GHANA recalled the CGRFAs 1993 statement that ITCPGR-4 would transform relevant parts of the UNCED process into a costed GPA in order to make the FAO Global System fully operational. She further underscored in vitro methods for germplasm conservation and utilization. The NETHERLANDS noted that the diversity of PGRFA, including forest resources, is essential to rural development, sustainable agriculture and forestry. He hailed the FAO, in close cooperation with the CBD, as the appropriate UN organisation to address agro-biodiversity issues. He underscored the Netherlands willingness to contribute financially, both bilaterally and multilaterally, to the implementation of the GPA and called on the Secretariat to prepare a workplan as a follow-up to this Conference. The PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF KOREA noted that PGR is the most important raw material for world food security and although self-sufficiency is desirable, he underscored his gratitude to the international community for providing emergency assistance for a flood disaster.
TURKEY invited all countries to participate in the international conference on in situ biodiversity conservation in Anatolia this November. SAMOA underscored its genetic vulnerability as a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) and called for recognition of indigenous knowledge and FR as well as the safe exchange of PGR between countries, especially those in need. BURKINA FASO noted the combined action of climate and man in damaging biodiversity and described PGR as a heritage with no price tag as it is essential to food, health and the economy. ROMANIA noted the need for inventories of existing PGR and called for the upcoming years to focus on PGR evaluation and preservation.
SRI LANKA stated that food security requires valuing PGR and sharing benefits and financial resources. Regarding the GPA, ZIMBABWE highlighted: indigenous knowledge for PGR conservation; access to genetic resources; sui generis IPR for FR; and sustainable funding. GEORGIA emphasized the Caucasus region as a centre of origin for wheat and grape varieties. FRANCE described national programmes for PGR conservation.
ANGOLA highlighted severe food security problems of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and emphasized national programmes including enhancement of farmers systems. GERMANY stated that the draft GPA: is well- balanced; should be in line with Agenda 21; and will be his governments basis for action. The PALESTINE LIBERATION ORGANISATION stated that the eastern Mediterranean is rich in PGR, underscored the problems of poor soils and scarce water, and described a national report.
ASSINSEL described a recent conference on PGR, and offered the following services: training; technology transfer; regeneration of PGR; preselection and evaluation; and free access. NIGERIA highlighted forestry, country-oriented rather than global programmes, and cost-sharing between the FAO and governments. SUDAN requested that priority in the GPA, including funding, be given to least developed countries (LDCs). KUWAIT underscored the role of the CGRFA-EX2 and the ITCPGR-4 vis-a-vis the World Food Summit.
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