Highlights and images for 26 June 2024

UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

G-77 consulting

Members of the Group of 77 and China consulting on the clusters

Recognizing there is no time to waste to ensure the health of marine biodiversity in the high seas, delegates at the organizational session of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) agreed on a schedule and programme of work. Thus, they set the process in motion to prepare for the entry into force and the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the Agreement 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 (BBNJ Agreement).

On its final day, the PrepCom elected its second Co-Chair, Adam McCarthy, Chief Counsel and First Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. They also elected the final Bureau members who will guide the process leading up to the COP.

Conference Room 4

The final day of the Organizational Session gets underway

Delegates also agreed that the Commission will meet twice in 2025 and will have at least one session in 2026. The first two meetings will take place on 14-25 April 2025 and 18-29 August 2025, pending approval by the UN General Assembly. Additional meetings will be determined at a later stage.

They also agreed that the substantive meetings of the Commission will ensure transparency, inclusivity and meaningful participation, and full conference services, including interpretation and documents in all UN languages. They will also webcast the meetings. The Co-Chairs will discuss possible intersessional work and necessary documentation in consultation with the Bureau and the Secretariat.

Dais consultations

Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) consulting with the Secretariat

Finally, after reviewing two drafts of the clusters of items for the programme of work, delegates were able to reach agreement on every item except for a sub-item on initial resource mobilization. The Co-Chairs, in consultation with the Bureau, will develop a provisional programme of work on the issues where there was agreement. The Bureau will also come up with a proposal on the initial resource mobilization.

The agreed clusters include the following:

  • Governance issues
  • Issues pertaining to the operation of the Clearing-House Mechanism
  • Financial rules, and financial resources and mechanism

The chapeau notes that the Co-Chairs will ensure that matters to be addressed by the COP at its first meeting, as expressly set out in the Agreement, are given priority in the work of the Commission. The Commission may also exchange views and information on any other issues of relevance for the effective implementation of the Agreement.

Indonesia and India

Andy Aron, Indonesia, and Kajal Bhat, India

After thanking delegates, the Secretariat, the interpreters and conference services, Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson (Belize) gaveled the organizational session of the PrepCom to a close at 6:07 pm.

Over the lunch break, Chile hosted a side event on its proposal to host the Secretariat in Valparaíso.


Co-Chair Janine Coye-Felson with the Secretariat from the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS)

To receive free coverage of global environmental events delivered to your inbox, subscribe to the ENB Update newsletter.

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.