The United Nations-facilitated talks around the protection of marine biodiversity in international waters began in 2004, and finally came up with an outcome. The members of the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction reached a historic pledge.
Nearly 200 countries signed up to the legal framework ‘High Seas Treaty’, which aims to grant protected status to 30 per cent of the world’s oceans lying outside of national boundaries, as well as of marine and coastal areas, by 2030 made by a historic UN conference in Montreal this past December. Currently, just over 1.2 per cent of international waters are protected, with the vast majority threatened by overfishing and the effects of climate change.
“This action is a victory for multilateralism and for global efforts to counter the destructive trends facing ocean health, now and for generations to come,” said the UN chief in a statement issued by his Spokesperson late Saturday evening just hours after the deal was struck at UN Headquarters in New York, where tough negotiations on the draft treaty have been under way for the past weeks.
“This is a massive success for multilateralism. An example of the transformation our world needs and the people we serve demand,” Csaba Kőrösi, President of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, added.