Iraq deposited its instrument of accession to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity on 3 March 2014 and will become the 167th Party to the Cartagena Protocol on 1 June 2014.
The Cartagena Protocol is a legally binding agreement governing the transboundary movement of living modified organisms (LMOs), also commonly known as genetically modified organisms, resulting from modern biotechnology. It seeks to protect biodiversity from potential adverse effects by LMOs, taking also into account risks to human health, by providing an international regulatory framework for ensuring their safe transfer, handling and use. The Protocol was adopted on 29 January 2000 and entered into force on 11 September 2003.
In 2010, the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress was adopted as a supplementary agreement to the Cartagena Protocol. The Supplementary Protocol aims to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity by providing international rules and procedures for response measures in the event of damage resulting from LMOs. The Supplementary Protocol has reached more than halfway mark to entry into force with 21 of the 40 ratifications or accessions needed.
The latest country to accede to the Supplementary Protocol was the Netherlands1.
“I welcome the accession by Iraq to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the acceptance by the Netherlands to the Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress. This comes at an opportune time to be able to fully participate in decision-making regarding the future of the Cartagena Protocol and its Supplementary Protocol during the seventh meeting of the Parties to the Protocol in October 2014 in the Republic of Korea and for the international community to further implement the two instruments”, said Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary to the Convention on Biological Diversity. “I call upon all countries that have not yet done so to ratify or accede to the Cartagena Protocol and its Supplementary Protocol as soon as possible”.