After a successful first Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) to begin formal negotiations on a new international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), the second session of formal treaty negotiations will take place at UN headquarters in New York City from 25 March – 5 April.
After a commitment by the President of the Conference, Ambassador Rena Lee of Singapore, at the conclusion of IGC1 to release text to aid the negotiations, President Lee disseminated the President’s Aid to Negotiations in early February 2019 and we congratulate the President for delivering a comprehensive options-based text that will be the focus of the next round of negotiations.
The High Seas Alliance has been working intensely with Alliance members, stakeholders, experts and delegations in preparation to ensure a productive IGC2 that we hope will lead the way to draft treaty text by IGC3. HSA has developed its recommendations with respect to the Aid to Negotiations, and a briefing on Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) that outlines our recommendations on how to incorporate SEAs in areas beyond national jurisdiction under the new instrument.
Lastly, to follow the progress of the negotiations, please check out the High Seas Alliance’s Treaty Tracker which is a web-based application that will provide updates on the IGC negotiations, as well as experts’ perspectives on key elements.
At the conclusion of IGC2, we will be at a critical juncture – the midpoint of negotiations, with a mere 4 weeks of negotiating time remaining to bring the BBNJ treaty to fruition. This is a once in a generation opportunity to turn the tide, not just for the ocean but for the planet, and the clock is ticking. . . let’s come to IGC2 prepared to rise to the challenge.
One Ocean, One Planet, One Treaty