An overview was given to issues addressed in the International Code of Conduct on Distribution and Use of Pesticides. It was recalled that the Code was adopted by the FAO Conference in 1985 and amended in 1989 to include Prior Informed Consent. The FAO Conference in 2001 would again consider amendments prepared in the past two years, to allow for changes required after the adoption of the Rotterdam Convention, and to modernize language, in particular from safe use to risk reduction and to rectify the IPM definition. The implementation of the Code was in particular a national responsibility and the responsibility of the companies, but FAO and donors had provided assistance to establish a legislation, regulations and infrastructure.
The Prior Informed Consent procedure was reviewed, in particular the adoption of the Rotterdam Convention in 1998. This Convention was a follow-up to a voluntary procedure that began in 1989. The Secretariat in the interim period between adoption and coming into force of the Convention is provided by FAO and UNEP (which have also be designated to provide the Convention Secretariat). At present, an interim PIC procedure is in operation, to which 165 countries participate. Twenty seven pesticides and five industrial chemicals were covered by the interim procedure. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, which negotiated the Convention text, continues to meet annually to oversee the interim PIC procedure and to prepare for the first Conference of Parties. It was noted that the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Basel Commission, which regulates international movement of waste, complement, in part, the Rotterdam Convention.