Vietnam Puts Forward Initiatives for Marine Biological Diversity

The fifth session of the Intergovernmental Conference on 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 concluded in New York on March 5, with participants reaching an agreement on the instrument.

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Vietnam Puts Forward Initiatives for Marine Biological Diversity
The Vietnamese delegation led by Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, head of the Vietnam Mission to the UN, attend the intergovernmental conference held in New York on March 5 (local time), discussing the text of the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement. (Photo: MOFA)

The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Agreement has received the support of UN member states following years of talks, with its text being eventually finalized at an intergovernmental conference held in New York on March 5 (local time).

The agreement came just after the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), cited VOV.

The success of the conference clearly demonstrates all countries’ political determination to conserve marine biodiversity in the high seas. This marks a historic milestone in the international community’s efforts in protecting the marine environment in support of the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14) relating to the conservation and sustainable use of the sea and marine resources.

The Vietnamese delegation, led by Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, made several proposals on regulations related to the building of capacity and transfer of maritime technologies in the interests of developing countries while advocating contents in line with the UNCLOS, protecting the rights and interest of Vietnam.

The agreement is considered a historical milestone in maritime protection in the context that countries are implementing the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal No.14 on the sustainable restoration and exploitation of the sea and maritime resources.

It underlined the principle of considering marine genetic resources as the common heritage of mankind and will be shared in a fair and equitable manner.

Vietnam Puts Forward Initiatives for Marine Biological Diversity
Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Particularly, for the first time, the document mentioned a digital sequence of information on genetic resources as a digital asset that is closely attached to the maritime genetic resources and relevant interests shared by the entire mankind following a mechanism defined at the agreement, according to VNA.

The document has important implications for regulating biodiversity-related activities across a wide range of oceans. In the context of the gap in access and exploitation of marine genetic resources between developed and developing countries, the document marks a compromise between groups of countries with different interests in promoting activities of conservation and sustainable exploitation of marine genetic resources beyond national jurisdictions as well as capacity building and technology transfer, while ensuring equality in the sharing of benefits from the sustainable exploitation and use of the rich marine genetic resources.

Moving forward, UN member states are anticipated to convene another conference in order to adopt the agreement and submit it to the UN General Assembly for consideration and approval.

Rosie Nguyen