Thank you Madam President,

The High Seas Alliance has participated in the discussions around the future of the high seas since the very beginning. We were very encouraged by the good will and momentum that we saw at the beginning of IGC5, and share the disappointment expressed by others that we were not able to bring the treaty to completion this week.

However, we also remain hopeful. Delegates have worked hard and a number of important issues have been resolved. Nevertheless, it is absolutely crucial that the momentum is maintained.  We must continue with full steam ahead to reach the goal of obtaining an ambitious BBNJ Treaty before the end of 2022.

Not just any treaty, but one that will allow the COP to put highly and fully protected MPAs into effect without being prevented by provisions tying us to the status quo which has failed us. And one that establishes a coherent, consistent and effective framework for environmental impact assessments that  gives a much greater voice to the international community as a whole in the decisions regarding human activities in that area of the ocean that belongs not to just a few countries, but to all of us. And one that delivers capacity building, marine technology transfer and a fair and equitable sharing of benefits from MGRs, including monetary benefits.

Madam President, the High Seas Alliance and its 51 member organizations want to extend our thanks to you for your leadership these past two weeks and throughout the IGC process.

We thank delegates, the facilitators  and DOALOS for all your hard work, long hours and dedication. We have come a long way towards elaborating the final text of this agreement since the IGC first met in 2018, and we will continue to work with you to bring this Agreement to a successful conclusion at the resumed conference, that we hope will be able to meet as soon as possible. There is no time to waste.

The world is watching, and future generations depend on you.

Thank you.