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Parties to international plant genetic treaty reaches 100

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) With Iran ratifying the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, the number of countries that have deposited their instrument of acceptance reached 100, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) announced today.

The treaty, which was approved by the FAO Conference in November 2001, came into force on June 29, 2004, the 90th day after the deposit of the 40th instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession in accordance with the provisions of the treaty.

FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf said, ''This is a legally binding treaty that will be crucial for the sustainability of agriculture. The treaty is an important contribution to the achievement of the World Food Summit's major objective of halving the number of hungry people by 2015.'' The main objectives of the international treaty are the conservation and sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of their use, in harmony with the Convention on Biological Diversity, for sustainable agriculture and food security.

According to Mr Clive Stannard of the Interim Secretariat for the Treaty, ''This record speed and level of ratification is an indication of the huge importance that countries attach to the objectives of the Treaty to ensure that plant genetic resources for food and agriculture, which are vital for human survival, are conserved and sustainably used and that benefits are equitably and fairly distributed.'' The first session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture will take place in Madrid, Spain, from June 12 to 16 and this will be the first occasion on which the contracting parties to the treaty will meet to discuss its implementation.

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