UNUnited Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Aarhus Convention logo
Calendar of meetings Aarhus Clearinghouse Aarhus Clearinghouse Site index
AARHUS CONVENTION
Convention on Access to Information,
Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice
in Environmental Matters
GMO amendment
International workshop on access to information, public participation and access to justice regarding GMOs
Working Group on GMOs
- Fourth meeting of the Working Group
- Third meeting of the Working Group
- First and Second meetings of the Working Group

Working Group on Genetically Modified Organisms

At their Second meeting, the Parties noted the activities and reports of the Working Group and adopted decision II/1 (ECE/MP.PP/2005/2/Add.2) on Genetically Modified Organisms (ENG FRE RUS), and the amendment to the Convention set out in the annex to this decision. A review of implementation of the GMO Guidelines ( ENG FRE RUS) was prepared for the same meeting, based on the results and conclusions of a survey carried out among Parties. The Parties agreed to review progress in the ratification, acceptance and approval of the amendment and the implementation of the Guidelines at their third meeting.

Background
The first meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Lucca, Italy 21-23 October 2002) adopted decision (I/4) and the Guidelines on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice with respect to Genetically Modified Organisms (for the full text of the Guidelines in three languages, please see the table below). A new Working Group was established to examine and build upon the preparatory work undertaken by a previous Working Group on GMOs established by the Committee on Environmental Policy (the first Working Group).

The task of the Working Group was to explore the options for a legally binding approach to further developing the application of the Convention in the field of GMOs, including through possible instruments and to develop selected options for consideration and possible decision or adoption by the Parties at their second meeting. As a result of this work, the decision II/1 was adopted by the Parties at their Second meeting.

ENG FRE RUS

Decision II/3 containing the amendment to the Convention: Public participation in decisions on the deliberate release into the environment and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms

Fourth meeting of the Working Group 

The fourth meeting of the Working Group took place on 18-20 October 2004. Please find provisional agenda, report and draft decision prepared for the meeting in the table below.

The amended draft decision (ENG FRE RUS) is submitted to the fourth meeting of the Working Group of the Parties (1-4 February 2005) for further consideration.

At the third meeting, delegations were asked to provide comments on the legally binding options annexed to the meeting's report, including expressing preferences for one or several of these options and putting forward ideas on how to combine different options. Comments were received from Azerbaijan.

Provisional agenda for the fourth meeting (MP.PP/AC.2/2004/3) PDF ENG FRE RUS
Report of the fourth meeting (MP.PP/AC.2/2004/4) PDF ENG FRE RUS
List of participants DOC ENG    
Draft decision on GMOs (MP.PP/AC.2/2004/5) PDF ENG FRE RUS
Third meeting of the Working Group  

The third meeting of the Working Group took place on 24-26 March 2004. Discussions continued on possible legally binding options (for more details on some proposed options, please see comments submitted in advance of the meeting) and the applicability of public participation provisions in article 6, paragraphs 2-10 of the Convention to certain activities with GMOs (deliberate release, placing on the market and contained used).

To facilitate discussion, delegations were invited to provide written comments on the reasons for and possible procedures for a differentiated approach to the development of a legally binding option, possible elements of legally binding public-participation procedures and proposals for elements of preferred legally binding options.

Here you can find links to submissions received by the secretariat:

Comments submitted in advance of third meeting
Bulgaria DOC ENG  
European Union (including Accession States) DOC ENG  
Republic of Moldova DOC ENG  
Romania DOC ENG  
CropLife International PDF ENG  
ECO Forum / Letter to EU Ministers DOC ENG / ENG  
Globe Europe DOC ENG  

In the context of discussions on legally binding options, the Working Group heard the presentation of UNEP-GEF Biosafety Unit's projects on the development and implementation of national biosafety frameworks and the Environment for Europe process.

Report of the third meeting (MP.PP/AC.2/2004/2) PDF ENG FRE RUS
Provisional agenda for the third meeting (MP.PP/AC.2/2004/1) PDF ENG FRE RUS
List of Participants (24-26 March 2004) DOC ENG    
First and Second meetings of the Working Group  

The first two meetings of the Working Group took place in Geneva on 9-11 April 2003 and 1-3 October 2003. For more details on the outcome of these meetings, please refer to the reports available here. Also available are comments submitted by delegations in advance of the second meeting on preferred legally binding options and reports on national experiences with the application of public participation procedures to activities with GMOs and the Guidelines on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice with respect to GMOs.

General documents        
Decision I/4 on Genetically Modified Organisms PDF ENG FRE RUS
Guidelines on Access to Information, Public Participation and access to Justice with respect to Genetically Modified Organisms PDF ENG FRE RUS
Report on the first meeting of the Parties (ECE/MP.PP/2) PDF ENG FRE RUS

In the table above, links to documents appear using the following abbreviations and icons:

File formats: PDF – PDF file; Word DOC – MS Word DOC file
Languages: ENG – English; FRE – French; RUS – Russian
Documents available for downloading are indicated in blue typeface: ENG FRE RUS.

 ↑