Rome, 28 March 2002- Morocco has signed the
International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and
Agriculture, as a first step in the ratification process. Eleven
countries have now signed the Treaty since it was adopted by the
FAO Conference last November: Venezuela, Mexico and Haiti, in
the Latin America and Caribbean region, and Burkina Faso,
Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Jordan,
Mali and Namibia in Africa. Morocco is the first North-African
The International Treaty on
Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture is a legally
binding international agreement. It aims to ensure the
conservation of plant genetic resources for food and
agriculture, their sustainable use, and the fair and equitable
sharing of the benefits arising from the use of these genetic
resources, including benefits derived from commercial use. The
treaty will enter into force when ratified by 40 countries.
Morocco has for many years supported the
negotiations on the Treaty in the FAO Commission on Genetic
Resources for Food and Agriculture. "Morocco and the
Magreb region in general have important genetic resources which
contribute to food security throughout the world," said
Ambassador Aziz Mekouar of Morocco, during the signing ceremony.
"We, therefore, hope to see the new Treaty enter into
force in the very near future."
FAO's Director General, Dr. Jacques Diouf, has
appealed to all countries to ratify the Treaty quickly, if
possible before the World Food Summit: five years later,
scheduled for 10-13 June 2002 in Rome.