The EU and OACPS call for swift ratification and implementation of the “Treaty of the High Seas”

Published: Thursday, 21 September 2023 Print Email

Treaty of the High Seas

The European Union (EU) and the Organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific States (OACPS) welcome signature of the BBNJ agreement (biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction), also known as “Treaty of the High Seas”. This agreement is key to protect the ocean, promote equity and fairness, tackle environmental degradation, fight climate change, and prevent biodiversity loss in the high seas.

The adoption of this Agreement is an historic achievement marking the successful end of more than a decade of multilateral work. It is also a welcome addition to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which provides the legal framework under which all activities in the ocean take place.

The signing of the Agreement is a significant milestone for improved ocean governance towards a healthy ocean, but it requires ratification by 60 parties. Its swift implementation would open up a clear pathway for achieving multiple Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The OACPS and the EU are deeply concerned by the continued degradation of the Ocean caused by human activities and call for a rapid ratification and implementation to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, and to halt and reverse the decline in ocean health.

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Originally published by Directorate-General for International Partnerships.

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