Open Letter to the Secretary of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture on Farmers' Rights

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

In a letter dated 18th September 2014 NGOs from around the world have asked Dr. Shakeel Bhatti, the Secretary to the International Treaty to reconsider his approach to implementing paragraph 3 of Resolution 8/2013 (adopted in September 2013) concerning implementation of Farmers Rights (Article 9) of the Treaty. Paragraph 3 of Resolution 8/2013 requests the Secretary to “to invite UPOV and WIPO to jointly identify possible areas of interrelations among their respective international instruments”.

In his letter to Dr. Francis Gurry, the Secretary-General of UPOV to operationalize paragraph 3, Dr. Bhatti states: “Without intending to prejudge its outcome, this consultation process could for example lead to joint publication by UPOV, WIPO and the International Treaty on interrelated issues regarding innovation and plant genetic resources among our respective instruments.”

Signatories to the CSO letter calls on the Treaty Secretariat to “take immediate steps to halt this flawed process”, stressing that the proposed joint publication is not in line with the Resolution, which concerns implementation of Farmers Rights.

The CSO letter calls for “a thorough and evidence based analysis of the actual and potential effects including negative impacts of UPOV and WIPO’s instruments and activities with regard to realization of Farmers’ Rights”, and towards this end the setting up of an independent Commission. CSOs also list key questions that should be investigated in such analysis.

Read the CSO Open letter including list of signatories