During the BBNJ IGC-5 resumed session in March 2023, the High Seas Treaty Agreement was finalized but not adopted, pending a review to ensure uniform usage of terminology and translation to the six official UN languages.
A momentous milestone for the ocean and global biodiversity
On 4 March 2023, after 5 years of negotiations, the world reached a significant milestone for the global ocean and efforts to stem global biodiversity decline when nations agreed a new High Seas Treaty to protect ocean life. Once it has been ratified by at least 60 countries, the new Treaty will provide the legal framework to address many of the governance gaps that have plagued the ocean and provide a roadmap to conserve biodiversity areas that lie beyond national jurisdiction.
The principles set out in this document reflect States’ existing international obligations under UNCLOS and other international instruments as well as global norms relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
On June 19 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 69/292 in which it decided to develop an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The resolution provides for a preparatory committee “to make substantive recommendations to the General Assembly on the elements of a draft text” of the instrument. The High Seas Alliance submits the following suggestions for consideration by the Preparatory Committee.
From 1-4 April 2014, governments will gather at the United Nations in New York, for ground-breaking discussions on whether to launch negotiations for a new High Seas biodiversity agreement under UNCLOS. These discussions will continue at the UN from 16-19 June, with a focus on the ‘scope, parameters and feasibility’ of a new implementing agreement.
The High Seas Alliance has released a series of policy briefs to coincide with these UN intersessional meetings:
HSA Briefing 1: About the High Seas Alliance
HSA Briefing 2: The Need for a New Implementing Agreement Under UNCLOS on Marine Biodiversity of the High Seas
HSA Briefing 3: Equity, Food Security and Capacity-building
HSA Briefing 4: Wonders of the High Seas