U.S. joins Plant Genetic Treaty: UN spokesman

Added On March 15, 2017

 UNITED NATIONS, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The United States is the newest member of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, a UN spokesman told reporters here Tuesday.

He said the treaty is a ground-breaking instrument that works to strengthen global food security by promoting the conservation, sharing, and sustainable use of agricultural plant genetic resources.
"The United States officially deposited its certificate of adherence to the treaty with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) three months ago, triggering a count-down to its entry into force for the country," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
In November 2002, the United States added its signature to the international treaty which aims to ensure better use of genetic diversity to meet the challenge of eradicating world hunger.
At present, 143 countries are now participating in the treaty, with five other countries, namely Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Tuvalu and Chile, becoming recently active contracting parties.
Antigua and Barbuda is poised to become so by mid-2017, the spokesman said.
The international treaty's centrepiece is its "Multilateral System" that facilitates access to a globe-spanning collection of plant genetic resources, exclusively for use in research, breeding and training efforts and which includes measures to ensure the fair and equitable sharing of any financial benefits that result.
The treaty is a unique comprehensive international agreement, the fruit of almost a quarter of a century of negotiations, which aims to guarantee the future availability of the diversity of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits.
The treaty also recognises farmers' rights and establishes a multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing for 64 crops and plants that are fundamental to food security.
To date, the treaty has disbursed almost 20 million U.S. dollars through the fund to help one million farmers stay ahead of climate change through 61 projects in over 55 developing nations, the FAO said.
More than 220 civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, gene banks, national and international research institutions, rural community groups and producers' organizations have been involved in executing these projects.