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Photo by UNDP Indonesia

Statement delivered by Marcos Neto on behalf of UNDP at the UN-Oceans Principals’ Meeting, on the Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) or ‘the High Seas Treaty’, UN, New York.

UNDP welcomes this UN-Oceans initiative to promote a better understanding and broader uptake of the Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) or ‘the High Seas Treaty’.

The BBNJ Agreement represents a tremendous victory for the high seas, the broader 2030 Agenda, the Kunming-Montreal Biodiversity Framework, and linked Agreements.

The BBNJ is also a demonstration of what the multilateral system can achieve at its best and most ambitious. 

We also recall with appreciation the energy and thought leadership shown by member states and key partners including IUCN, Greenpeace, and the High Seas Alliance among others as part of our collective efforts to promote the Agreement. 

UNDP fully supports the Statement of Commitments to the BBNJ Agreement.

This includes a focus on coherent coordination and collaboration with all members and stakeholders including through joint activities, advocacy, and information exchange.

UNDP is fully committed to working closely with UN Oceans and all partners in 2024 to help ensure the Agreement’s entry into force and subsequent implementation.

UNDP’s Ocean Promise is our long-term strategy for advancing a blue ocean economy through a just transition that lifts all boats by working closely with governments and all stakeholders from the public, private, and civil society sector. 

It aligns closely with the UNDP Nature Pledge and UNDP Climate Promise.

Through our Ocean Promise, UNDP emphasizes the inclusive ambitions of the BBNJ though fair and equitable benefit-sharing. We will help to ensure that all groups benefit from the sustainable use of marine resources and protection of its biodiversity.  

This includes a commitment to accountability and incorporate the rights, needs, and knowledge of women, Indigenous Peoples, and local communities in ocean action. 

We also are helping to promote multiple Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) dividends for gender equality, food security, a healthy climate, and durable economy for present and future generations. 

The BBNJ Agreement establishes a funding mechanism to support capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology, both key pillars of UNDP’s Ocean Promise. 

For example, through the Ocean Innovation Challenge, we provide technical and financial support to entrepreneurs to advance game-changing ocean action.

Going forward we will integrate BBNJ themes into our Ocean Innovation Challenge. 

UNDP also looks forward to working with all Members and partners to advance the BBNJ through advocacy including this year’s Ocean Day on 8 June, as well as awareness-raising generated by the tri-annual Ocean Race.

Let me close by once again reiterating our full support to the BBNJ and to our UN Oceans collaboration as outlined in the Statement of Commitment. 

Thank you!