The Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ Agreement) will enter into force 120 days after it has been ratified by 60 UN member States. Prior to its entry into force, a country or a regional economic integration organization may provide its consent to provisionally apply (“provisional application”) the provisions of the Agreement.
Preparatory Commissions (PrepComs) are often established after an international Agreement has been signed to prepare for its entry into force.
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.
On 4 March 2023, after almost two decades of discussion, including five years of negotiations, the world’s governments finalized the text of a new United Nations (UN) Treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), under the UN Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS). After the text was legally “scrubbed” and translated into the six official UN languages, the final Treaty text was formally adopted by Member States at the UN on 19 June 2023.
For the Treaty to become international law, it must be signed and ratified by at least 60 countries. The 60th country to ratify will trigger a 120-day countdown, after which the Treaty will enter into force.
Produced by: BirdLife International
Authors: Arne Langlet, Paul Dunshirn, Daniel Kachelriess, Duncan Currie
Authors: Arne Langlet & Paul Dunshirn
The greatest opportunity in a generation to conserve ocean life and diversity on a global scale and safeguard 2/3 of the world’s ocean is happening right now. World governments are in the final stages of negotiating a new treaty under the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention (UNCLOS) – the first ever to focus on conserving and ensuring sustainable use of biodiversity of the ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ), which includes the water column or “the high seas” and the seabed below. Comprising nearly half the planet, the high seas are a true global common.