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4th Session of the Preparatory Committee Established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 69/292: Development of 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

10-21 July 2017 | UN Headquarters, New York

Highlights for Thursday, 20 July 2017

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Green sea turtle (photo courtesy of Marcelo Halpern)



On Thursday, 20 July, in an afternoon plenary, delegates considered a further revised Chair’s text including: a draft recommendation to the General Assembly on the substantive elements of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI), indicating that the structure and elements reflect the outcome of the PrepCom discussions, and are not exclusive and without prejudice to the position of states during the negotiations; a procedural recommendation to the General Assembly to take a decision, as soon as possible, on convening and intergovernmental conference (IGC) under the UN auspices, to consider the PrepCom’s substantive recommendations and to elaborate the ILBI text under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), with a starting date as early as possible; and two sections, one on elements of the draft ILBI text (section A) and the other on elements that require most attention towards further progress in the development of a draft ILBI text (section B).

Following a round of comments, Chair Duarte acknowledged that the revised draft did not fully reflect all positions; noted concerns expressed by some delegations and those requesting more time to make a decision; and adjourned the session, expressing willingness to exhaust every effort to arrive at consensus, in line with the PrepCom mandate, and inviting delegates to share suggestions with him.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, has provided daily web coverage, daily reports, and a summary and analysis report from the 4th Session of the Preparatory Committee Established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 69/292: Development of 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 summary and analysis report is now available in HTML and PDF.

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L-R: Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UNDOALOS; Barbara Boechat, Brazil; Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil; Alice Hicuburundi, UNDOALOS; and Charlotte Salpin, UNDOALOS


John Brincat, EU


Lois Young, Belize, on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM)

Luis Oña Garcés, Ecuador, on behalf of the G-77/China


James Ndirangu Waweru, Kenya

Hina Saeed Baig, Pakistan


Luke Daunivalu, Fiji, on behalf of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)

Juan Carlos Mendoza García, Costa Rica


Maxim Musikhin, Russian Federation

Rena Lee, Singapore



Khurshed Alam, Bangladesh, on behalf of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

Ismail Raushan, Maldives, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Essam Yassin Mohammed, Eritrea


Ryan Fung A Loi, Suriname

Ariel Cayanan, the Philippines

Evan Bloom, US


Pablo Arrocha Olabuenaga, Mexico

Mohamed Atlassi, Morocco

Florian Botto, Monaco


Ma Xinmin, China

Narayanane Saravanane, India

Alain Tellier, Canada


EU delegates consulting immediately after the end of the session


Delegates from PSIDS consulting


Delegates in informal consultations


L-R: Elisa Morgera, IISD Reporting Services, in a discussion with John Brincat, EU


L-R: Alistair Graham, Australia, in a conversation with Gerardo Irimia, Panama


L-R: Susan Whelan, Holy See, in a conversation with Julian Jackson, The Pew Charitable Trusts


A delegate looking at IISD web coverage


Delegates from India





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Specific funding for coverage of the 4th Session of the Preparatory Committee Established by the UN General Assembly Resolution 69/292: Development of 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, has been provided by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the European Union (EU)
Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation EU

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 EU, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES).