At the outset, my delegation wishes to convey its deep appreciation to you for early commencement of discussions during the current session of the General Assembly on the renewal of mandate of the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore and also for nominating Mr. Ian Goss, distinguished delegate of Australia, for facilitating these discussions, on a matter of great importance to large number of developing countries, including India.
My delegation also wishes to thank all delegations for adopting a constructive approach in renewing the mandate of the IGC for an additional two year period starting from 2014.
India assigns great importance to the work of the IGC in developing a legally binding instrument(s) for providing effective protection to Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions. While India has taken a number of steps at the national level to create a legislative and an administrative framework that protect our knowledge and genetic resource, trans-boundary protection of the resource and knowledge remains a major challenge that remains unaddressed. A large number of developing countries share a similar perspective. Such a normative gap can be filled only through development of an internationally legally binding text(s) on these three subject areas.
My delegation believes that substantial progress has been achieved during the IGC Sessions this year in developing the texts of the three international legal instruments. We would also like to believe that the texts have reached a fair level of maturity.
The past few days have seen extensive deliberations among member States on renewing the mandate for the IGC. We appreciate the spirit of accommodation and flexibility shown by Member States.
My delegation believes that the renewed mandate of the IGC would result in finalization of text(s) of international legally binding texts in three subject areas of GR, TK and TCE, during the next biennium, and also assist the General Assembly in 2014 to decide on a date for convening the Diplomatic Conference during the 2014-15. We look forward to constructive engagement of Member States during the accelerated and intensive deliberations of the IGC process during 2014.
On the issue of studies, we would like to place on record that this was not the position of India as we believe that large number of studies already exist on various aspects of the subjects. India remains committed to contributing to the work of the IGC.