Daily update August 2019

Madame President,

I have the honor to speak on behalf of the 40 member organizations of the High Seas Alliance, and we align with the statement made by IUCN. We would like to express our deep appreciation for your leadership as you navigated us through the draft text in this 3rd session.  We also want to thank all of the Facilitators for their expert guidance throughout the working groups and informal informals, and DOALOS for their ever-constant efforts in supporting this work, the interpreters, and all delegations for the constructive atmosphere that has permeated this session.  We are also grateful to all delegations for the openness in allowing civil society representatives to attend the informal informals, and all observers have worked collaboratively to coordinate as well as benefit from this accommodation.

As we look forward to successfully concluding these negotiations at the fourth and final session of the IGC in March 2020, we join the many others in urging you to produce a revised text as soon as possible and strongly support the calls from G77 & China, Pacific Islands Forum, CARICOM, CLAM, PSIDs to have that text in October, which will allow governments and stakeholders to utilize the intersessional period as productively as possible to advance the negotiations, and we give you our full confidence in undertaking that effort. We also look forward to continue our work with delegations and regional groupings to assist as we can during the intersessional period.

Two weeks ago, our opening statement noted the IPBES report on biodiversity that called for transformative change if we want to halt the massive rate of biodiversity loss.  And just yesterday, advance reports from the long awaited International Panel on Climate Change’s report on the Oceans and Cryosphere were leaked.

We must listen to the science, and the science tells us unequivocally, that as the 21stcentury unfolds, the ocean that nourished human evolution is poised to unleash misery on a global scale because we humans have mismanaged and exploited what has existed for a millennium.

We now have before us a golden opportunity — and responsibility — to address all kinds of issues that no one even dreamed about in 1982 when UNCLOS was adopted, including ocean warming and acidification, massive dead zones, depletion of fish and marine biodiversity, noise, plastic and chemical pollution, and all the other pressures we now understand are threatening the ability of the ocean to sustain itself, and us.

The youth know this and are striking around the world – in fact just a few hours ago Greta Thunberg was marching here outside the UN, because those engaged in setting policy and governance have set a level of ambition that is inadequate to meet the challenges of our time. In Greta’s words, “You cannot solve a crisis without treating it like a crisis”.

So when we reconvene here next Spring, we hope all will bring a level of ambition that reflects the magnitude of what is at stake, and build on the foundation created in 1982, so that we have an instrument up to the task of addressing not just the problems identified then, but those of today and in the years to come.

Madame President, we thank you and wish you and all good travels home to enjoy the final few days of summer.

Thank you very much.

YouTube link to Closing Statement from the High Seas Alliance, 30th August

Read our IGC3 closing statementhere!