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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 Friday, 21 July 2017

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Ocean exhibition in the lobby of the UN Headquarters, New York, US



On Friday, 21 July, plenary resumed at 3:45 pm. Chair Duarte offered draft recommendations arising from informal bilateral consultations, clarifying that: the elements of the draft text of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) do not reflect consensus; section A includes non-exclusive elements that generated convergence among most delegations; section B highlights some of the main issues on which there is divergence of views; and both sections are for reference purposes because they do not reflect all options discussed and are without prejudice to states’ positions during the negotiations. In addition, the draft included: a recommendation to the UN General Assembly to take a decision, as soon as possible, on the convening of an intergovernmental conference (IGC), under the auspices of the UN, to consider the PrepCom recommendations on the elements and to elaborate the text of an ILBI under the Convention; and an indication that the titles of the two sections be removed (namely, “elements of an ILBI draft text” and “elements requiring most attention towards further progress in the development of an ILBI draft text”) . Plenary was immediately suspended to allow for regional consultations.

7:25 pm: regional consultations are still ongoing

8:59 pm: plenary resumes

9:10 pm: plenary adopts recommendations to UN General Assembly

10:01 pm: Chair Duarte gaveled the meeting to a close

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary and analysis of PrepCom 4 will be available on Monday, 24 July 2017, online at: http://enb.iisd.org/oceans/bbnj/prepcom4/

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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Dais applaudes the conclusion of PrepCom 4


Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly

Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil, gaveled the meeting to a close at 10:01 pm


L-R: Peter Thomson, President of the UN General Assembly; Barbara Boechat, Brazil; Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director, UNDOALOS; Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil; Alice Hicuburundi, UNDOALOS; and Charlotte Salpin, UNDOALOS


Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil, in discussion with John Brincat, EU



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


Delegates waiting for the resumption of PrepCom 4


Essam Yassin Mohammed, Eritrea (right), in a conversation with delegates from Cameroon


L-R: Elizabeth Rodríguez Santiago, American Society of International Law, confers with Stella Bartolini Cavicchi, World Ocean Council


Delegates from Iceland reviewing draft text

Delegates from the African Group reviewing draft text


Delegates from Norway and Iceland consulting


Delegates from the African Group consulting


Delegates from Canada consulting


L-R: Zentaro Naganuma, Japan, with Ma Xinmin, China

L-R: Evan Bloom, US, with Zentaro Naganuma, Japan


L-R: Charlotte Salpin, UNDOALOS, with Alfonso Ascencio-Herrera, International Seabed Authority (ISA)

L-R: Alain Tellier, Canada, with Ma Xinmin, China


L-R: Zentaro Naganuma, Japan, with Kjell Kristian Egge, Norway


L-R: Alain Tellier, Canada, confers with Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil


Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil, with Matthías Pálsson, Iceland


L-R Maxim Musikhin, Russian Federation and Larisa Chernysheva, Russian Federation, in conversation with Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil


Chair Carlos Sobral Duarte, Brazil (right), in discussions with Evan Bloom, US


Duncan Currie, Greenpeace (center), with delegates from the Russian Federation


L-R: Tallash Kantai, IISD Reporting Services, in conversation with Matthías Pálsson, Iceland


L-R: Tidiani Couma, Joëlle Casanova, and Florian Botto, Monaco


Delegates from China


Delegates from the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS)


Delegates from Latin America and the Caribbean


Delegates from the African Group


Participants from the High Seas Alliance





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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).