Opening of negotiations on a future agreement on the implementation of 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (March 28, 2016)


The first session of the preparatory committee tasked with drafting elements of a text for a future agreement relating to the implementation of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea got under way in New York on March 28.

It comes in the wake of Resolution 69/292 of June 19, 2015, which notes that marine ecosystems beyond areas of national jurisdiction are threatened by the combined effects of expanded human activities, pollution, and climate change.

Given the above, it seemed clear that the Montego Bay agreement on the Law of the Sea needed to be supplemented in order to provide for ocean governance on an integrated, global scale.

The future agreement will have four components:

  • access to marine genetic resources and benefit-sharing related to their use
  • a legal instrument to establish protected marine areas in areas outside of national jurisdiction
  • environmental impact studies to predict and curtail the effect of human activities on ecosystems
  • capacity building and marine technology transfers to help developing countries experience “blue growth” that respects the marine environment.

France advocates an ambitious, balanced agreement to ensure optimum protection of marine biodiversity while allowing for the sustainable, reasonable exploitation of ocean resources benefiting all nations and their people.