The Plenary then adopted the provisional agenda (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/1/1) and elected Veit Koester (Denmark) as the Chair of the meeting. In his opening statement, Koester called biotechnology an object of considerable economic interest and highlighted its potential for both environmental benefit and harm. He characterized BSWG-1 as the pre- negotiation stage and called for a non-confrontational atmosphere and for the participants to relax and listen to each other. He reminded the meeting that CBD Article 28.2 calls for adoption of protocols by the COP, that the rules of procedure call for consensus on all matters of substance, and that the terms of reference for the BSWG state that the largest number of Parties possible should ratify a biosafety protocol.
At its third session, delegates elected the remaining members of the Bureau, comprised of two officers for each of the five regions as follows: Sateeaved Seebaluck (Mauritius), Tewolde Egziabher (Ethiopia), Shin Gil Sou (Republic of Korea), Antonio La Vina (Philippines), Diego Malpede (Argentina), Sandra Wint (Jamaica), David Gamble (New Zealand), Ervin Balazs (Hungary), and Alexander Golikov (Russian Federation) as Rapporteur.
In its introduction of the documents for this session, the Secretariat explained that COP-2 had provided no guidance on the nature or content of the documentation for the meeting, and the pre-session documents had been produced after consultations with the COP-2 Bureau. The documents included: