TITLE: Tunisia accedes to the UPOV Convention AUTHOR: International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) PUBLICATION: Press release No. 56 DATE: 31 July 2003 URL: http://www.upov.int/en/news/pressroom/pdf/pr56.pdf Version française: http://www.upov.int/fr/news/pressroom/pdf/pr56.pdf NOTE FROM GRAIN: Tunisia was obliged to accede to UPOV (1991 Act)under a bilateral treaty with the European Union, signed back in 1995. UPOV Press Release No. 56 Geneva, July 31, 2003 TUNISIA ACCEDES TO THE UPOV CONVENTION Today Tunisia became the fifty-third member of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV). The purpose of the UPOV Convention is to encourage the development of new varieties of plants by granting breeders an intellectual property right on the basis of a set of clearly defined principles. To be eligible for protection, varieties need to satisfy certain conditions, such as being distinct from existing, commonly known varieties and sufficiently uniform and stable. New varieties of plants are one of the most powerful tools to enhance food production in a sustainable way, to increase income in the agricultural sector and to contribute to overall development. The Secretary-General of UPOV, Dr. Kamil Idris, welcomed the deposit of the instrument of accession of Tunisia to the UPOV Convention (1991 Act) and expressed his satisfaction that UPOV has now reached 53 members. The members of UPOV are: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia (as of August 31, 2003), Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay. UPOV, an intergovernmental organization based in Geneva, cooperates in administrative matters with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).