Highlights and images for 25 June 2024

UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

Delegates at the meetieng

Delegates at the organizational session of the Preparatory Commission

Once a new international treaty or agreement is adopted, it is essential to continue discussions to ensure the agreement is able to function effectively once it enters into force. Thus, the necessary decisions on rules, procedures, and financial arrangements need to be ready to be adopted at the first meeting of the governing body.

This the goal of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) for the Entry into Force of the Agreement 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 (BBNJ Agreement) and the Convening of the First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Agreement. Delegates gathering in New York for the organizational session aim to reach agreement on the programme of work and schedule for the PrepCom so governments can start drafting the necessary decisions to operationalize the BBNJ Agreement.

Members of the G-77 consulting

Members of the Group of 77 consulting with Chair Marvin Ikondere, Uganda

On Tuesday, delegates addressed the programme of work, schedule, and intersessional work of the PrepCom. There appeared to be emerging consensus on the need for two two-week meetings in 2025, and at least one additional meeting in 2026. Delegates called for the dates to be set at this meeting or as early as possible to allow them to plan. Delegates also called for all documents to be translated into all UN languages to ensure an inclusive process.

There was also emerging agreement to cluster the items on the work programme to facilitate discussions.

Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson

PrepCom Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson, Belize

With regard to intersessional work, many agreed it will be necessary, but there was no consensus on whether it should be in person, virtual or hybrid, what topics would be discussed intersessionally, or whether such meetings should be used for briefings by government and/or independent experts to help facilitate the work of the PrepCom. Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) said that the Bureau would meet and bring a proposal on the programme of work, clusters, schedule, and intersessional activities on Wednesday.

The Secretariat presented a report on the status of the trust fund for the participation of developing countries. He noted the trust fund is currently depleted after funding 19 delegates to attend this meeting and called for new contributions.

The meeting adjourned for the day at 3:45 pm.

Over the lunch break, a side event explained how the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the UN Division on Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) are supporting entry into force and implementation of the BBNJ Agreement.

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All ENB photos are free to use with attribution. For the organizational session of the Preparatory Commission for the Entry into Force of the BBNJ Agreement, please use: Photo by IISD/ENB | Pam Chasek.