Ratification: Next Steps and Resources


After almost two decades of discussion, including five years of negotiations from 2018 to 2023, interrupted by COVID-19, the fifth negotiating session (IGC5) concluded in New York in August 2022. While it did not result in the adoption of a treaty, the conference saw significant progress. 

Following a resumed session in March 2023 and conclusion of the BBNJ agreement, the High Seas Treaty was formally adopted by UN member states in New York on June 19, 2023. 

The eyes of the world now turn to governments to swiftly ratify the High Seas Treaty with the goal for it to enter into force by the next UN Ocean Conference in June 2025.Follow the journeytowards an international legally binding instrument on marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Adoption and Ratification

In June 2023, governments formally adopted the High Seas Treaty to protect ocean life. Now we need to fast-track ratification of the Treaty so it becomes law.

As soon as 60 countries ratify, we can ramp up international action to protect our shared ocean, mitigate climate breakdown and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of billions of people worldwide.

Follow progress on the High Seas Treaty Ratification Tracker


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.

Download thes factsheet to find out more about the new High Seas Treaty.

Treaty Q&A

Watch the High Seas Treaty Briefing and download an overview of some of the key questions and answers regarding this new High Seas Treaty.