Delegates gathered on Friday evening for the final plenary in order to consider the draft report of the meeting, as presented by the Rapporteur. The Commission agreed to hold its eighth session during the second half of April 1999, and approved the following draft agenda: revision of the IU; report of the ITWG-AGRFA on the development of the GS- FAGR; progress report on the Global System and the GPA; consideration of FAOs policies, programmes and activities on GRFA; international cooperation in the field of GRFA and cooperation with the CBD; and future work of the Commission and its ITWGs. The Secretariat requested that those regions that have yet to nominate their representatives to the ITWGs do so no later than 30 June 1997.
With reference to the future work of the Commission and the establishment of its ITWGs, SAMOA and CAPE VERDE requested that the report record that some delegations stressed the importance of fisheries genetic resources. INDIA and NORWAY supported their legal right to insist that these views, aired during plenary discussion, be recorded. ARGENTINA objected to the inclusion of this statement and proposed instead, Some delegations felt that without prejudging the decisions of other FAO bodies, there are priorities set out by the Commission in dealing with various topics. In the end, the report juxtaposed the views of Samoa and Cape Verde with a note that one delegation objected to fisheries being a priority in the future work of the Commission.
Finally, regarding a paragraph noting the significant progress achieved at the meeting on negotiations for the revision of the IU, debate centered on two issues. First, the US pointed out that he could not recall the reference in which the Commission stressed the need for high-level governmental involvement in the negotiating process, and called for its deletion. The NETHERLANDS insisted that, in his closing remarks on behalf of the EU regarding this agenda item, he had highlighted the need for high-level political involvement. The US, supported by AUSTRALIA, suggested that the final report reflect the fact that this was the position of a few delegations, rather than the Commission. This suggestion was ultimately rejected and the reference to high-level political involvement was retained.
Second, MALAYSIA, supported by COLOMBIA, suggested adding and the equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilization to a sentence highlighting the importance of the conservation and sustainable utilization of PGRFA for global food security. The US noted that introduction of this new text constituted an attempt to reopen negotiations. AUSTRALIA suggested substituting a large number of countries recognized rather than the Commission recognized in this sentence. A Secretariat reformulation of this paragraph, which contained the new text, was ultimately adopted.
The Commission concluded its meeting with the adoption of the report at 11:00 pm.
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