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Organizational Meeting for the Intergovernmental Conference on an International Legally Binding Instrument Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

16-18 April 2018 | UN Headquarters, New York

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Report: English
Briefing Note
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Parrot fish from Cozumel, Mexico (photo courtesy of Marcelo Halpern)

The organizational meeting for the Intergovernmental Conference on an international legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction will take place from 16-18 April 2018.

In its resolution 72/249 of 24 December 2017, the General Assembly decided to convene an Intergovernmental Conference, under the auspices of the United Nations, to consider the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee established by resolution 69/292 of 19 June 2015, with a view to developing the instrument as soon as possible.

The Preparatory Committee, at its fourth session in July 2017, agreed on:

  • a non-exclusive elements of a draft text for the instrument that generated convergence among most delegations;
  • a list of main issues on which there is divergence of views; and
  • a recommendation to the UN General Assembly to take a decision, as soon as possible, on the convening of an intergovernmental conference.

See the Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis from the fourth session of the Preparatory Committee here.

The three-day organizational session will discuss and is expected to reach agreement on:

  • The provisional agenda of the first session of the conference;
  • The proposed organization of work of the first session of the conference;
  • The provisional rules of procedure of the conference; and
  • The process for the preparation of the zero draft of the instrument.

The IGC will meet for four sessions, with the first session to be convened from 4 to 17 September 2018. The second and third sessions will take place in 2019, and the fourth session in the first half of 2020.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided a briefing note from the Organizational Meeting for the Intergovernmental Conference on an International Legally Binding Instrument Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction. The briefing note is now available in HTML and PDF.


IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2018 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Switzerland (Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), and SWAN International. Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, Québec, and the Institute of La Francophonie for Sustainable Development (IFDD), a subsidiary body of the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF).