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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

The European Union and its Member States wish to reiterate their satisfaction with the outcomes of the 10th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October last year in Japan and its commitment to its successful implementation.

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits arising from their Utilization (ABS Protocol) is a key pillar of this successful outcome.

The European Union and its Member States have actively worked in the last months to follow up to the commitments they made in Nagoya.

Among steps taken, is last week’s decision of the Council to sign, on behalf of the EU, the Nagoya Protocol. The Council states however, that the signature of the Nagoya Protocol will only take place once the correction procedure to the original text of the Protocol (French version) and to the certified true copies, which was launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 18 March 2011, is completed.

For the same reasons, the signature of the Nagoya protocol by the 27 Member States of the European Union would only take place as soon as possible once the correction procedure is completed on 19 June.

We wish to emphasize that this obstacle to signing today is of technical nature and to bring our partners’ attention to other active steps taken by The European Commission and the 27 Member States of the European Union for the timely ratification and implementation of the Nagoya Protocol.

Most importantly, on May 3, the European Commission adopted a new strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in the EU by 2020, in line with the commitments made by EU leaders in March 2010, and in line with the global commitments made in Nagoya in October 2010. The strategy targets and actions proposed by the European Commission need to be endorsed by the European Parliament and the Council of EU ministers for the environment.

According to the strategy, the prompt ratification of the Nagoya Protocol is needed for the EU “to continue to lead international biodiversity policy,” as is the fulfilment of specific commitments relating to resource mobilization undertaken under the CBD.

The European Commission is also working on a detailed roadmap and proposals for implementing the Nagoya Protocol in the Union, so the EU can ratify the Protocol as soon as possible.


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