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Becoming a Party

Reasons for becoming a Party

The conclusion of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety has been hailed as a significant step forward in providing an international regulatory framework that reconciles the respective needs of trade and environmental protection in light of a rapidly growing biotechnology industry. The conclusion of the Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress is equally significant because it puts in place the missing piece from the Protocol on Biosafety.

The introduction of rules on liability and redress for damage caused by living modified organisms may contribute to creating an enabling environment for the environmentally sound application of modern biotechnology. Liability and redress mechanisms enable States to maintain a balance between the importance of benefitting from developments in biotechnology and the need for minimizing the possible risks to biodiversity and to human health. Becoming a Party to the Supplementary Protocol enables countries to introduce domestic liability and redress rules in accordance with a multilateral framework and would demonstrate commitment to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity..

Becoming a Party to the Supplementary Protocol will create an incentive for those in control of living modified organisms to seek to ensure that the transfer, handling, use and release of these organisms is undertaken in a manner that prevents or reduces the risks to biological diversity, taking also into account risks to human health.

States could use the opportunity of becoming a Party to the Supplementary Protocol to forge further cooperation in strengthening capacities for the implementation of the Supplementary Protocol and for the safe development and use of modern biotechnology.

The Supplementary Protocol introduces an administrative approach to liability and redress by enabling a competent authority to determine response measures to be taken and identify the operator responsible for taking such measures in the event of damage or sufficient likelihood of damage. Parties may also develop additional civil liability rules and procedures. The administrative approach and optional civil liability component of the Supplementary Protocol allow Parties to implement the instrument at the national level with a high degree of flexibility and in accordance with national needs and priorities.

How to become a Party?

States and regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety are eligible to become party to the Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress.

Signature

The Nagoya – Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol was open for signature from 7 March 2011 to 6 March 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Parties to the Protocol on Biosafety that signed the Supplementary Protocol should subsequently deposit an instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval in order to become a Party to the Supplementary Protocol.

Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession

States or regional economic integration organizations that signed the Supplementary Protocol before the closing date for signature and that have not yet deposited their instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval, may take steps at the domestic level to deposit such an instrument in order to become a Party to the Supplementary Protocol.

Those Parties to the Protocol on Biosafety that did not sign the Supplementary Protocol by 6 March 2012 but wish to become Party to the Supplementary Protocol may do so by acceding to it. Accession enables States to become Parties to an international agreement without having previously signed it. Accession has the same legal effect as ratification, acceptance and approval.

Instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession are issued and signed either by a head of State or Government or by a minister for foreign affairs and represent an expression of explicit acceptance, at the international level, to be legally bound by the international agreement. The Secretary-General of the United Nations assumes the functions of Depositary of the Supplementary Protocol, in accordance with Article 41 of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

The Supplementary Protocol enters into force on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the fortieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession (Article 18).

Ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to a multilateral treaty

 
 
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A model instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval and a model instrument of accession are provided below:

 

MODEL INSTRUMENT OF RATIFICATION, ACCEPTANCE OR APPROVAL

(To be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs)
 
[ RATIFICATION / ACCEPTANCE / APPROVAL]
______________

WHEREAS the [ title of treaty, convention, agreement, etc.] was [ concluded, adopted, opened for signature, etc.] at [ place] on [ date] ,

AND WHEREAS the said [ treaty, convention, agreement, etc.] has been signed on behalf of the Government of [ name of State] on [ date] ,

NOW THEREFORE I, [ name and title of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs] declare that the Government of [ name of State] , having considered the above mentioned [ treaty, convention, agreement, etc.] , [ ratifies, accepts, approves] the same and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out the stipulations therein contained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this instrument of [ ratification, acceptance, approval] at [ place] on [ date] .

[ Signature]

MODEL INSTRUMENT OF ACCESSION

(To be signed by the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs)
 
ACCESSION
______________

WHEREAS the [ title of treaty, convention, agreement, etc.] was [ concluded, adopted, opened for signature, etc.] at [ place] on [ date] ,

NOW THEREFORE I, [ name and title of the Head of State, Head of Government or Minister for Foreign Affairs] declare that the Government of [ name of State] , having considered the above mentioned [ treaty, convention, agreement, etc.] , accedes to the same and undertakes faithfully to perform and carry out the stipulations therein contained.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have signed this instrument of accession at [ place] on [ date] .

[ Signature]


Parties to the Cartagena Protocol wishing to ratify, accept, approve or accede to the Supplementary Protocol should contact the UN Treaty Section at:

Treaty Section, Office of legal Affairs, United Nations
2 UN Plaza - 323 E 44th Street
Room DC2-0513
New York, NY 10017
United States of America
Tel: 1-212 963 5047, Fax: 1-212-963-3693
Email: treaty@un.org, treatyRegistration@un.org

   
   

Further resources on this issue:

  Treaty Handbook

PDF   Treaty Handbook, prepared by the Treaty Section of the Office of Legal Affairs
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PDF   Model instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession (Annexes 4 and 5 of the Treaty Handbook)
Ar | En | Es
Fr | Ru | Zh

Further information on becoming a Party to the Nagoya - Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol: