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Biodiversity Policy & Practice

Ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ)

20-23 January 2015 | UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

The ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) convened from 20-23 January 2015 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The meeting was the last of three meetings (April 2014, June 2014 and January 2015) convened by the UN General Assembly through its resolution 68/70 to discuss the scope, parameters and feasibility of a possible new international instrument on BBNJ under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

The meeting successfully fulfilled the mandate of the Working Group to produce recommendations for a decision to be taken at the sixty-ninth session of the UN General Assembly on the development of a new international instrument on BBNJ under UNCLOS, as mandated by the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).
Applause
After working late into the night to ensure the Working Group successfully fulfilled its mandate, participants applauded the efforts of the Co-Chairs and Secretariat.
Daily Web Coverage

Specific funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
IDRC

Highlights for Friday, 23 January 2015

On Friday, the ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) concluded.

After a brief morning plenary session, delegates met informally throughout the day to work toward consensus wording for draft recommendations on a future intergovernmental conference. Co-Chair Palitha Kohona (Sri Lanka) formally suspended plenary at 5:10pm to allow for informal discussions on outstanding issues. Negotiations continued informally until 2:05am on Saturday morning, at which time the final paragraphs of text were agreed. Plenary resumed to adopt the draft recommendations, after which Co-Chair Kohona declared the meeting closed at 2:56am.

Full web coverage available here: 23 Jan

Dais Shot

A view of the dais at the start of the final day.

Elizabeth Kim
Elizabeth Kim, United States.
Thembile Joyini
Thembile Joyini, South Africa, for the G-77/China.
Norbert Bärlocher
Norbert Bärlocher, Switzerland.
Huddle
Delegations huddled to discuss their acceptance of negotiated text.
Distribution
Secretariat staff distributed the final draft text to eager participants.
Catherine Boucher
Catherine Boucher, Canada.
Tullio Scovazzi
Tullio Scovazzi, Italy, for the EU.
Christiane Engelbrecht
Christiane Engelbrecht, Venezuela.
Closing Plenary

Participants crowded into a smaller meeting room for the short final plenary.

Highlights for Thursday, 22 January 2015

On Thursday, the Working Group started negotiations, paragraph by paragraph, on the draft offered by New Zealand and Mexico as Co-Facilitators of Wednesday's informal group, with Co-Chair Lijnzaad underscoring “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The Working Group debated text on, inter alia: the legal gap relating to the conservation and sustainable use of BBNJ; the feasibility of a new international instrument; and the position of states non-party to UNCLOS.

In the afternoon, the Working Group debated a proposal by the G-77/China on the format and timelines for a negotiating process towards a legally binding instrument under UNCLOS. Negotiations on a revised working document continued in an evening session.

Full web coverage available here: 22 Jan

Dais Shot

A view of the dais during the morning session.

Christiane Engelbrecht
Christiane Engelbrecht, Venezuela.
Penelope Ridings
Penelope Ridings, New Zealand.
Greg French
Greg French, Australia.
Greenpeace Postcards
Postcards collected by Greenpeace called for action on BBNJ.
Obsolete UN AV equipment
Audiovisual equipment from an earlier era of the UN stood in the corridor.
Highlights for Wednesday, 21 January 2015

On Wednesday morning, the Working Group continued exchanging views on a Co-Chairs’ non-paper containing draft elements for recommendations to the General Assembly. The G-77/China, the EU, Mexico, and New Zealand tabled written proposals.

An informal group met at lunchtime to develop an informal working paper as a basis for negotiations in plenary. In the afternoon, delegates briefly discussed a draft document offered by New Zealand and Mexico as co-facilitators of the informal group. The Working Group meeting was then suspended to allow for consultations on the new draft.

Full web coverage available here: 21 Jan

Tullio Scovazzi
Tullio Scovazzi, Italy, for the EU.
Yuji Amamiya
Yuji Amamiya, Japan.
Max Alberto Diener Sala
Max Alberto Diener Sala, Mexico.
Delegates from Argentina and South Africa
Delegates from Argentina and South Africa conferred.
Venezuelan delegates
Venezuelan delegates conferred.
Drafting Group

A small group met to draft an informal working paper as a basis for negotiations.

Highlights for Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The ninth meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity beyond areas of national jurisdiction (BBNJ) opened on Tuesday, 20 January 2015, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Delegates heard opening statements, addressed organizational matters and delivered general statements. In the afternoon, no delegation offered further views on the scope, parameters and feasibility of a new international instrument on BBNJ, so delegates started exchanging views on a Co-Chairs' non-paper containing draft elements for recommendation to the General Assembly, which had been circulated to national delegations in December 2014.

Full web coverage available here: 20 Jan

Dais Shot

The dais at the start of the meeting.

Miguel de Serpa Soares
Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel.
Mahe 'Uli'uli Sandhurst Tupouniua
Ambassador Mahe 'Uli'uli Sandhurst Tupouniua, Tonga.
Natalie Morris-Sharma
Natalie Morris-Sharma, Singapore.
Lisa Speer
Lisa Speer, Natural Resources Defense Council.
Kriangsak Kittichaisaree
Kriangsak Kittichaisaree, Thailand.
Ki-hyeon Kim
Ki-hyeon Kim, Republic of Korea.
Conferring with Delegates
UN-DOALOS Director Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli and Working Group Co-Chairs Palitha Kohona and Liesbeth Lijnzaad conferred with delegates.
Alistair Graham and Langston Goree
Alistair Graham, Australia, chatted with Langston Goree, Vice President, Reporting Services, IISD.
Related Links
Meeting Resources

*Meeting Website *Meeting Provisional Annotated Agenda and Organization of Work
*Meeting Side Events *Co-Chairs’ Summary of Discussions from the 8th meeting
*Background Information


IISD RS Resources

bulletIISD RS briefing note of BBNJ8, 16-19 June 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)

*IISD RS coverage of the Twelfth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP 12) and First Meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (NP COP/MOP 1), 6-17 and 13-17 October 2014, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea

*IISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 12, 6-17 and 13-17 October 2014, Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea

bulletIISD RS coverage of the Fifteenth meeting of the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (ICP-15) - “The role of seafood in global food security” , 27-30 May 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS briefing note of BBNJ7, 1-4 April 2014, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS briefing note of BBNJ6, 19-23 August 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (English: HTML - PDF) (French: HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-14, 17-20 June 2013, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of CBD COP 11, 8-19 October 2012, Hyderabad, India

bulletIISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 11, 8-19 October 2012, Hyderabad, India

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-13, 29 May - 1 June 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of BBNJ5, 7-11 May 2012, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-12, 20-24 June 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of BBNJ4, 31 May - 3 June 2011, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS briefing note of BBNJ3, 1-5 February 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America (HTML - PDF)

bulletIISD RS coverage of CBD COP 10, 18-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan

bulletIISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 10, 18-29 October 2010, Nagoya, Japan

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-11, 21-25 June 2010, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of BBNJ2, 28 April - 2 May 2008, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-10, 17-19 June 2009, UN Headquarters in New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-9, 23-27 June 2008, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany

bulletIISD RS coverage of Selected Side Events at CBD COP 9, 19-30 May 2008, Bonn, Germany

bulletIISD RS coverage of ICP-8, 25-29 June 2007, UN headquarters, New York, United States of America

bulletIISD RS coverage of BBNJ1, 13-17 February 2006, UN Headquarters, New York, United States of America

*BIODIVERSITY-L - A Mailing List for News on Biodiversity and Wildlife Policy

*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy

bulletLinkages Update - Bi-weekly International Environment and Sustainable Development News
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