IGC2 started with general statements by States expressing real concern that the ocean is in a serious condition and that something has to be done urgently to address this.

There was widespread agreement that the status quo is not enough and statements by many countries and regional groups were very positive and strong in support of a robust treaty.

In the afternoon we went straight into negotiations on Marine Genetic Resources and how to share these benefits.

The High Seas Alliance was pleased to hear many states referring to the need for actual treaty text to come out at the end of these two weeks of negotiations. This is good news and demonstrates that states are here to negotiate and to do business.

We are also really happy with the number of references to 2020 and to a determination that this must be done by that date. We cannot keep on waiting and time is of the essence.

With these two crucial messages and recognition that business as usual is not enough, we’re off to a good start.

We know we have to get this right, we’ve been talking for 10 years and it is time to use the next six weeks of negotiations to reach a strong treaty that will protect the ocean.