Minister Shahid calls on all States to uphold their commitments, to ensure effective implementation of the "High Seas Treaty."

19 June 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Shahid, delivered a statement today in the Further Resumed Session of the Fifth Session of Intergovernmental Consultations (IGC) on an Internationally legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction, in New York. The “BBNJ Treaty”, also known as the “Treaty of the High Seas” was adopted at this session.

Minister Shahid emphasized the significance of such a treaty in his statement, noting that it provides a framework for operationalising the equity principles of the United Nations Law of the Sea Convention into practice. He noted that this instrument would significantly lessen the conservation-related burden on Small Island Developing States and help reduce ocean regime inequity, particularly in areas of marine scientific research and sharing of benefits from utilizing marine genetic resources in Areas Beyond National Jurisdictions. And pointed out that this is particularly crucial for nations like the Maldives, which are in the forefront of the climate emergency while simultaneously being the custodians of huge oceanic expanses and with limited resources. Consequently, Minister Shahid urged all States to uphold their commitments and work collectively towards effective implementation of the High Seas Treaty.

The Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction is held under the auspices of the United Nations, to consider the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee established by resolution 69/292 of 19 June 2015 on the elements and to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.