**Update 11:15 pm: IGC-5 President suspends IGC-5.
**Update 9:34 pm: IGC-5 listens to closing statements. Delegates decided that IGC-5 is to be resumed with a second part, following a request to the UN General Assembly, on dates to be determined.
**Update 9:00 pm: IGC-5 suspends for 30 minutes to discuss the way forward.
**Update 8:52 pm: IGC-5 listens to the report of the Credentials Committee.
**Update 8:15 pm: IGC-5 listens to reports from the facilitators of the informal informals groups.
**Update: Plenary scheduled to reconvene at 8:00 pm.
The fifth session of the intergovernmental conference (IGC-5) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ), scheduled to conclude its work on Friday, 26 August 2022, continued into the evening. In the late morning, IGC President Rena Lee (Singapore) issued a further refreshed text of the draft high seas treaty, which included language proposed by small groups that met until late Thursday night.
The further refreshed draft treaty contains 12 parts, with the substantive parts focusing on the four elements of the package agreed in 2011, on:
- marine genetic resources (MGRs), including benefit-sharing questions;
- measures such as area-based management tools (ABMTs), including marine protected areas (MPAs);
- environmental impact assessments (EIAs); and
- capacity building and the transfer of marine technology (CB&TT).
It also contains parts reflecting the general principles and approaches under which the new treaty will operate, as well as parts addressing institutional arrangements, including provisions related to the secretariat, the clearinghouse mechanism, the scientific and technical body, and the conference of the parties. Further, the draft sets out provisions on implementation, compliance, and dispute settlement.
Plenary, initially scheduled to convene at noon, convened instead at 3:00 pm, with IGC President Lee giving an update on ongoing consultations and discussions among states. Noting that the further refreshed draft text reflected the progress made over the course of the meeting, she underscored that “we have never been so close to an agreement.”
Delegates then reconvened in informal consultations and discussions, some working on on-screen textual proposals on substantive parts of the further refreshed text as well as proposals submitted by small groups on Thursday, and several others conducting informal discussions in pockets all over the UN Headquarters in New York.