The United Nations adopts a treaty to protect the seas

Status: 06/19/2023 8:58 PM

To the cheers of the participants, United Nations representatives agreed on an agreement to protect the world’s oceans for the first time. Years of negotiations preceded this. UN Secretary-General Guterres spoke of a “historic success”.

After years of negotiations, the United Nations has passed an agreement to protect the world’s oceans. Among other things, the Charter establishes the basis for the designation of large protected areas on the high seas and establishes procedures for examining economic projects, expeditions and other activities in the seas for environmental compatibility.

“The agreement has been approved,” conference chair Rena Lee announced in New York, to cheers from the audience. UN Secretary-General António Guterres spoke of a “historic success”. “More than a third of fish stocks are being exploited at unsustainable levels,” Guterres said. “And we pollute our coastal waters with chemicals, plastics and human waste.” The treaty is vital to countering these threats.

breakthrough in early March

About three months ago, there was a breakthrough in negotiations in New York, and on Monday the agreement was officially adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Two-thirds of the oceans belong to the high seas, and thus have been largely illegal until now.

The countries of the world have been fighting for an agreement to protect the high seas for about 15 years, and since 2018 there have been several rounds of negotiations, some of which have been postponed without result.

For the first time, protected areas are being planned outside of individual countries’ exclusive economic zones. This is important because more than 60 percent of the oceans lie outside these economic zones.

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Protecting marine ecosystems is also important because they produce about half of the oxygen humans need to breathe and absorb huge amounts of climate-damaging carbon dioxide.

Federal government He wants to ratify quickly

The new agreement falls within the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which entered into force in 1994. It will be open for signature as of September 20 during the annual plenary session of the heads of state and government of the member states of the United Nations. It must be ratified by at least 60 countries. The federal government has promised to do this quickly, as explained by Federal Environment Minister Stevi Lemke.

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