Report of the Seventh Meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee
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Report of the seventh meeting of the CGIAR Genetic Resources Policy Committee (GRPC), held in Aleppo, Syria, May 2 - 4, 1998. The report includes the Committee's comments on the report of the TAC panels on biotechnology and proprietary science, with particular reference to the proposed Genome Summit and central technical service for the CGIAR. The Committee revised the statement of guiding ethical principles relating to genetic resources, in the light of comments at ICW97, for presentation for endorsement at MTM98 (Annex II). It discussed funding and other requirements for both in-situ and ex-situ collections, and encouraged the efforts of ICARDA and the SGRP to develop a database and materials transfer agreement (MTA) for microbial genetic resources.The GRPC recommended a more active role for the CGIAR in relation to underutilized species. It gave continued strong support to the germplasm agreements between the centers and the FAO, and urged centers to harmonize their MTAs. It endorsed a statement outlining steps to be taken in case centers became aware of violations of MTAs, or the FAO-CGIAR agreements (Annex III). CGIAR members were urged to encourage WTO attention to the importance of genetic resources, particularly those designated by the FAO-CGIAR agreements, in its review of the TRIPS agreement. The GRPC expressed pleasure that countries negotiating the revision of the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources seemed to accept the need for a multilateral system of exchange and the sharing of benefits. There was discussion, but no conclusion, on the use of terminator technology to prevent farmers from saving seeds from season to season.Agenda document, CGIAR Mid Term Meeting, May 1998.