SIDS Advance Historic Achievement of BBNJ Treaty

March 05, 2023 Download PDF

Topic: Oceans

SIDS Advance Historic Achievement of BBNJ Treaty

Landmark UN agreement transforms the way the world manages and protects the high seas

5th March, 2023

After almost a decade of tireless work from small island developing States (SIDS) negotiators and United Nations colleagues, a clean text agreement to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction has been struck. This historic legally binding instrument considers the special circumstances of SIDS, and is a milestone for the implementation of the COP15 ocean 30% protection goal.

SIDS leaders demonstrated tremendous solidarity across all the regions and supported the AOSIS Chair in securing the full recognition of the special circumstances of SIDS in the principles and objectives section of this treaty. This is of critical importance to us, given the significant direct and indirect impacts that activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction will have in our territorial waters.

It is also important in the context of capacity-building and transfer of marine research because there is great inequity in capacity right now, with most capacity and technology being concentrated in the global north. This Agreement can help bridge that gap and have co-benefits advancing a number of priorities including Sustainable Development Goal 14 and the SAMOA (SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action) Pathway, as well as its successor agreement.

We thank our island leaders and all country partners for their unwavering commitment to achieving this critical agreement.

Sub Topic: BBNJ

Forum: BBNJ

Meeting: IGC4