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Conference opens to draft first-ever treaty on ocean’s biological diversity |


Amid calls for flexibility, openness and a spirit of compromise that had prevailed in 1982, when the landmark “constitution for the oceans”, the new treaty would be geared towards the conservation and use of Sustainability of marine biodiversity in oceanic regions. beyond the territorial limits of States.

The session, which runs until August 26, is convened later decision implemented by the General Assembly in May and is expected to be the last in a series starting in 2018 to draft an internationally legally binding instrument under the United Nations in 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of the regions go beyond national jurisdiction.

Modified anchor negotiations

“I hope that we can make real progress in these two weeks, with the goal of finalizing the deal as soon as possible,” said Intergovernmental Conference Chairwoman Rena Lee, bringing together delegates. sleeves as they study technical and legal. details.


A turtle swims in the ocean in Martinique in the Caribbean.

Reef Image Bank / Michele Roux

A turtle swims in the ocean in Martinique in the Caribbean.

Recalling that the previous four sessions were required by resolution 72/249, 24 December 2017, she said that the negotiations aimed to address marine genetic resources, including questions of benefit sharing , measures such as area-based management tools, environmental impact assessment, capacity building and maritime technology transfer.

After studying all the proposals made since the fourth session, she prepared further revised draft of an agreement.

Ms. Lee said that delegates were also asked to submit text proposals for the fifth session, noting that a summary of each article was released in early August.

Informal background documents provided to delegations include two requested documents regarding resource requirements, if UN Department for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea was appointed as the Agreement Secretariat and another organization for global ocean financing.

Objective: Popular participation

Note calling the conclusion of Intergovernmental Conference This year, she called on member states to “drain our creativity to find solutions that can capture consensus” and exercise maximum flexibility to find the necessary consensus. .

Let us try to make a fair, balanced, workable deal and this will engage the entire population,” she said. “Let us not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

United Nations Legal Adviser Miguel de Serpa Soares – who also heads the Organization’s Legal Affairs department and is Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Conference – welcomed the delegates to the fifth session. “important” comes after Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

During the summit – held from June 27 to July 1 — stakeholders to reverse the decline in the health, resilience and productivity of the ocean and its resources.


Vast areas of the ocean that make up 70% of the planet's surface are still not fully explored.

Bernard Sprag

Vast areas of the ocean that make up 70% of the planet’s surface are still not fully explored.

Make good on commitments in Lisbon

The senior UN official expressed hope that the hundreds of commitments made in Lisbon would quickly translate into action, including many calling for the Intergovernmental Conference to end its work soon.

“What better way to signal our resolve to act than by concluding a strong agreement that ensures the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in the open spaces,” he asked. the largest expanse of the ocean.

A new member of the family

At this critical stage, the UN Legal Adviser considers it time to show the true spirit of multilateral cooperation.

He expressed hope that delegates would exercise even more flexibility to ensure the ocean “gets what it urgently needs” and doesn’t let marine biodiversity collapse on their track.

Later this year, Mr. Soares also expressed his wish to welcome a new agreement on the “law of the sea” later this year, when the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Law of the Sea Convention.



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