I deliver these remarks on behalf of the High Seas Alliance and our over 40 member NGOs actively working for a healthy Ocean.

We commend you, your team and DOALOS for your tremendous work in producing the President’s Aid to Negotiations in such a timely manner. This was also a reflection of the constructive efforts of all delegations and the Bureau throughout IGC1. We at the High Seas Alliance, like all delegations, have been working through it and have produced some suggestions that are available online at our website http://highseasalliance.org. Our team are also busy with updating the TreatyTracker as they were at IGC1.

We are encouraged by the constructive statements we have heard so far, which we think are indicative of a productive next two weeks towards the development of a treaty by 2020 which includes a robust institutional framework able to establish MPAs in ABNJ with effective conservation, ensure effective EIAs are carried out, administer fair and equitable benefit sharing for MGRs and ensure capacity building and technology transfer. We have been reassured by the many observations, including by the Pacific Islands Forum, Bangladesh and Eritrea, this morning that the status quo is not an option.

Madam President, we give you our full support towards an adopted treaty in 2020, so we can say in the words of poet Walt Whitman, “The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won.” Though in our case, Madam President, of course it’s not a ship but a canoe.