In 1983 the FAO established an intergovernmental Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, and adopted a non-binding International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources, which is intended to promote harmonized international efforts to create incentives to conserve and sustainably use PGRFA. Since the inception of the CBD, the FAO has begun to revise the International Undertaking, which originally called PGRFA the common heritage of mankind. Subsequent revisions have emphasized national sovereignty over PGRFA, in line with Article 15 (sovereignty over genetic resources) of the CBD. The next round of negotiations on revision of the International Undertaking is scheduled for 9-12 December 1996 in Rome.
The Fourth International Technical Conference on PGRFA met in Leipzig, Germany from 17-23 June 1996. Representatives of 148 States adopted the Leipzig Declaration, the Conferences key political statement, and a delicately balanced Global Plan of Action (GPA), an international programme for the conservation and utilization of PGRFA. Contentious issues included financing and implementing the GPA, technology transfer, Farmers Rights and access and benefit-sharing. Delegates were also presented with the first comprehensive Report on the State of the Worlds Plant Genetic Resources.