Int'l conference opens to draft world's first ocean biodiversity treaty

(Xinhua) 13:27, August 16, 2022

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The intergovernmental conference to draft the first-ever treaty on marine biodiversity opened its fifth and likely final session at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday.

The new treaty aims to codify an international law on territorial waters, sea lanes and marine resources, setting out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.

"I am hopeful that we can make real progress in these two weeks, with the aim of finalizing the agreement as soon as possible," said president of the intergovernmental conference Rena Lee, rallying delegates to roll up their sleeves as they delve into the technical and legal details.

The fifth session, which runs until Aug. 26, is expected to be the final in a series set in motion since 2018 to draft an international legally binding instrument under the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The negotiations aim to address marine genetic resources, including questions on benefit-sharing, measures such as area-based management tools, environmental impact assessments, capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology, Lee said.

She added delegates were asked to submit textual proposals for the fifth session, noting that an article-by-article compilation was issued in early August.

In its resolution 72/249 of Dec. 24, 2017, the General Assembly decided to convene an intergovernmental conference to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument on the conservation and use of marine biodiversity. 

(Web editor: Peng Yukai, Liang Jun)


Related Stories