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Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity

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The Intergovernmental Conference to draft a new maritime biodiversity treaty continued its fifth session today, with the facilitators of informal discussions on various elements updating on progress made, and delegates focused on finding the solutions needed to successfully close the fifth session on 26 August.

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The Intergovernmental Conference to draft the first-ever treaty on the ocean’s biological diversity opened its fifth and likely final session today, amid calls for flexibility, openness and the spirit of compromise that prevailed in 1982, when the landmark “constitution for the oceans” was adopted, setting out the legal framework for all activities in the oceans and seas.

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As the Intergovernmental Conference, tasked with drafting a legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, concluded its fourth session today, delegates decided to hold a fifth session with the goal of finalizing a new treaty and stressed the need to facilitate greater participation to allow all countries and communities to have a say in how marine resources existing outside of national jurisdiction should be shared.

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Delegates elaborating the terms of a new treaty under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea pledged to continue negotiating in the spirit of cooperation and good faith, as the Intergovernmental Conference tasked with drafting a legally binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity concluded its third session today.

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Experts drafting a new global instrument on biodiversity in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction today deliberated which stakeholders — ranging from adjacent coastal States to indigenous peoples to the general public — should be consulted about planned activities under the treaty, as well as their potential role in environmental impact assessments.