The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on 29 January 2000. In accordance with its Article 36, the Protocol was opened for signature at the United Nations Office at Nairobi by States and regional economic integration organizations from 15 to 26 May 2000, and has remained open for signature at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 June 2000 to 4 June 2001.
The Protocol has entered into force on Thursday 11 September 2003, ninetien day after the date of deposit of the fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by States or regional economic integration organizations that are Parties to the Convention.
Belgium has signed the Protocol on 24 May 2000, with this statement:
Belgium associates itself with the statement made by Portugal on behalf of the European Union.
Belgium welcomes the signing of the Cartagena Protocol today by several countries. The Cartagena Protocol is a milestone in the Multilateral Environment Agreements. To us, it is as important as other Protocols like for example the Montreal Protocol or the Kyoto Protocol.
For this reason Belgium calls upon all countries to ratify the Protocol as soon as possible, this of course would ensure an early and global implementation.
On implementation we see risk assessment as maybe, the most important issue in this matter. To allow risk assessment to be done in a considerate manner, capacity building will be crucial. I can therefore inform you that Belgium has already been very instrumental in providing assistance for capacity building.
For example, Belgium funded the SADC preparations for this COP 5 meeting in Harare and a regional African meeting on Environment in Dakar.
Moreover, Mr. Chairman,
Belgium is providing partnerships on the Clearing House Mechanism with several African countries. This is a collaboration to which the Belgian government is very committed and which therefore will be increased in the course of this year, including training and capacity building for webmasters.
Belgium is of the opinion that the necessary Clearing House Mechanism, foreseen in the Cartagena Protocol, could and should be operational by as many Focal Points as possible. Belgium has already developed a national biosafety server which is an integral part of the earlier established Belgian Clearing House Mechanism.
I thank you Mr. Chairman
The ratification process in Belgium has been performed at all institutional levels (Federal, Regions and Communities). The instrument of ratification was deposited at United Nations Headquarters in New York on 15 April 2004.
The Protocol has entered into force for Belgium on 14 July 2004.