Coordination Meeting of the African Group for the Ninth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity serving as the meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 4 June 2018:
A one-day African Group Coordination meeting was organized by the African Union’s Department of Human Resources Science and Technology (HRST) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency’s African Biosafety Network of Expertise program (AU-NEPAD-ABNE). The coordination meeting was in preparation for the upcoming Ninth Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) serving as the meeting of the parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP 9) in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 17th to 29th, 2018.
In his welcome remarks, the Head of AU-NEPAD-ABNE, Dr. Jeremy T. Ouedraogo, expressed his appreciation for the commitment of African negotiators over the years towards advancing the interests of the continent during international negotiations and urged participants to not only represent the interests of their countries but also speak with one voice for Africa.

Group photo of participants

Representatives from thirty-one (31) AU Member States who are national focal points of the Biosafety Protocol attended the meeting. The negotiators representing the African region discussed the agenda items of the COP-MOP 9 towards an African position setting. Among the key issues that the group focused on were risk assessment and risk management of living modified organisms, issues of compliance with the Protocol and socio-economic considerations vis-a-vis new and emerging technologies that impact the implementation of the Biosafety Protocol.
Exchange of experiences on national reports, meeting obligations to the Biosafety Clearing-House and challenges faced as a result of allocation of financial resources to biosafety by the funding mechanism of the CBD were also considered. Recommendations to the Secretariat of the African Group (the AUC and the NEPAD Agency) regarding support on specific coordination priorities of the Group leading up to COP-MOP 9 and suggested elements for draft decisions on some agenda items were proposed. The meeting was concluded after discussing and agreeing on the next steps to be taken at the level of each constituency.