Delegation of the European Union
to the United Nations - New York

EU Statement – United Nations: 4th Preparatory Committee on Biological Diversity beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Closing Statement

New York, 14/07/2017 - 00:00, UNIQUE ID: 171206_1
Statements on behalf of the EU

Closing Statement by the European Union and its Member States at the United Nations 4th Preparatory Committee on Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction.

Mr. Chair,

The European Union and its Member States would like to express our gratitude to you, to your team and to the facilitators for the skilful manner in which you have guided our work during this week. The discussions in the working groups over the “Indicative Suggestions” have been rich and fruitful and the EU and its Member States are satisfied that the “Indicative Suggestions” proposed by you have been so well received by delegations. We are very grateful to all delegations who have contributed to the in-depth discussions at this session and demonstrated their willingness to produce strong substantive recommendations of elements of a draft text in accordance with the mandate provided in resolution 69/292 as the outcome of this PrepCom.

Mr Chair,

The EU and its Member States reiterate that we are committed to working with you and with all delegations during this session of the PrepCom to make the next progressive steps towards the new agreement. We continue to believe that the UN General Assembly should decide to launch, in 2018, the Intergovernmental Conference, to negotiate and agree the text of the future UNCLOS implementing agreement. We reiterate that this instrument will apply to areas beyond national jurisdiction and should respect the balance of rights and obligations under UNCLOS which sets out the legal framework within which all activities in oceans and seas must be carried out.

Mr Chair,

We consider that sufficient progress in the unpacking of the elements has been achieved.  During this PrepCom we have continued to see overwhelming support among the delegations for moving to the next phase. Therefore, the EU and its Member States support recognizing this in the outcome of the PrepCom.

Mr Chair,

You and your team have our full support and we are confident that under your able leadership we can bring to a successful conclusion the very important preparatory phase enabling the UNGA to decide to launch the Intergovernmental Conference in 2018.