During the meeting, delegates discussed a range of issues relevant to the formulation of a protocol, including: objectives; procedures for the transfer of LMOs, including AIA; competent authorities; information sharing and a clearinghouse mechanism; capacity- building; and risk assessment and management. Delegates had the following documents before them: a compilation of views of governments on the contents of a future protocol (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/2); a background document on existing international agreements related to biosafety (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/ 2/3); a bibliography concerning potential socio- economic effects of biotechnology (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/4); and a glossary of terms relevant to a biosafety protocol (UNEP/CBD/BSWG/2/5).
On the basis of his review of items that have been addressed by government submissions, the Chair tabled a number of conference room papers as aide-memoirs, which contained specific questions under each issue area and provided a structure for discussions. Delegates views on these issues were compiled by the Chair in several elements papers and reviewed once more by delegates, who added items and proposed modifications. The Chairs final drafts of the elements papers were compiled and annexed to the report of the meeting. These papers, along with new and existing submissions from countries, will serve as the basis for discussion at BSWG-3.
Delegates established a contact group to consider action on the proposals regarding definitions. The group did not attempt to define terms but recommended work on a consolidated document dealing with definitions for BSWG-3. Contact groups were also established to consider proposals made during BSWG-2 on studies to be completed by the Secretariat in preparation for BSWG-3.