Fishes/Coral

Organizational Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the Entry Into Force of the BBNJ Agreement and the Convening of the 1st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement

24–26 June 2024 | UN Headquarters, New York

Conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction – BBNJ

About

The Preparatory Commission created to prepare for the entry into force of the BBNJ Agreement and the convening of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement will hold a three-day meeting to discuss organizational matters.

The Ocean, which covers 70% of the planet, supports every facet of life on Earth. Nearly two-thirds of it, along with its unique species and ecosystems, are in areas beyond national jurisdiction. Fragmented legal frameworks have left biodiversity in these areas vulnerable to ever growing threats, including climate change, plastic pollution, oil spills, overfishing, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and underwater noise.

The United Nations began to address the issue of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction in 2004. Discussions continued in a working group until 2018 when Member States agreed to negotiate an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

The Intergovernmental Conference’s (IGC) negotiations focused on:

  • marine genetic resources, including benefit sharing considerations;
  • area-based management tools, including marine protected areas;
  • environmental impact assessments; and
  • capacity building and the transfer of marine technology.

The IGC also addressed cross-cutting issues, including the principles and approaches governing the new instrument, financial and technical considerations, institutional arrangements, and dispute-settlement measures.

The IGC convened eight times between 2018 and 2023, in addition to working remotely from September 2020 to February 2022 using an online discussion platform during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 19 June 2023—after nearly two decades of discussions and negotiations—governments finally adopted the BBNJ Agreement. This is the third implementing agreement under UNCLOS, after the 1994 Agreement establishing the International Seabed Authority, and the 1995 Fish Stocks Agreement.

The BBNJ Agreement is open for signature by31 all Member States and regional economic integration organizations from 20 September 2023 to 20 September 2025, and will enter into force 120 days after the date of deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, approval, acceptance, or accession. As of 5 June 2024, the BBNJ Agreement has 90 signatories and seven parties (Palau, Chile, Belize, Seychelles, Monaco, Mauritius, and the Federated States of Micronesia).

On 24 April 2024, the General Assembly adopted resolution 78/272, which established a Preparatory Commission to prepare for the entry into force of the BBNJ Agreement and to prepare for the convening of the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement. The General Assembly further decided that the Commission shall hold a three-day organizational meeting in the first half of 2024 to discuss organizational matters, including the election of the Co-Chairs and a Bureau, the dates of the meetings of the Commission, and the programme of work of the Commission.

The organizational meeting will take place from 24–26 June 2024 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) writer and digital editor for this meeting is Pam Chasek, Ph.D. The Editor is Jessica Templeton, Ph.D.

View past and future events

Past event

1st Meeting of the BBNJ Working Group

Past event

2nd Meeting of the BBNJ Working Group

Past event

4th Meeting of the BBNJ Working Group

Past event

5th Meeting of the BBNJ Working Group

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9th Meeting of the BBNJ Working Group

Past event

1st Session of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee

Past event

2nd Session of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee

Past event

3rd Session of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee

Past event

4th Session of the BBNJ Preparatory Committee

Past event

1st Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on an International Legally Binding Instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyo...

Past event

2nd Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ)

Past event

3rd Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

Past event

Intersessional Work of the BBNJ Intergovernmental Conference

Past event

4th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

Past event

5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on the BBNJ

Past event

Resumed 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ

Past event

Further resumed 5th Session of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on BBNJ

Upcoming event

Organizational Meeting of the Preparatory Commission for the Entry Into Force of the BBNJ Agreement and the Convening of the 1st Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement

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