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France joins the Aarhus Convention’s amendment on genetically modified organisms

France joins the Aarhus Convention’s amendment on genetically modified organisms
France joins the Aarhus Convention’s amendment on genetically modified organisms

On 11 July 2016, France approved the amendment on genetically modified organisms (GMO amendment) to the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters (Aarhus Convention), raising the total number of the Parties to the amendment to 30. The GMO amendment is a response to the growing recognition, including in a green economy context, of the need for transparency and public participation in decision-making on GMOs.

France has been actively engaged in the activities under the Aarhus Convention for a long time. The country leads the work on promoting the principles of the Aarhus Convention in international processes relating to the environment, such as forums involved in climate change-related decision-making and sustainable development or the activities of international financial institutions.

This approval is very important as there are only a few outstanding ratifications needed before the GMO amendment can enter into force. With the ratification by France, only three additional ratifications are needed from among the following Parties: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,Turkmenistan and Ukraine.  

For further information on the Aarhus Convention, its GMO amendment and the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, please visit:  http://www.unece.org/env/pp/welcome.html

or contact:
Ella Behlyarova
Secretary
Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters
Tel: + 41 (0)22 917 2376
E-mail: ella.behlyarova@unece.org

Note to editors:

The Aarhus Convention was adopted in Aarhus, Denmark, in June 1998 and signed by the European Community and 38 countries from all subregions of UNECE. It entered into force in October 2001. The amendment on public participation in decisions on the deliberate release into the environment and placing on the market of genetically modified organisms was adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its second session (Almaty, Kazakhstan, 25–27 May 2005).

The Parties to the Convention are: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The Parties to the amendment on genetically modified organisms are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom. All agreements enter into force for a State on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the State’s instrument of ratification, at which point it becomes a Party.