BBNJ Treaty: The Race for Ratification
On 19 June 2023, after two decades in the making, UN member states formally adopted the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) Treaty to safeguard life in the ocean beyond national jurisdiction (also known as the High Seas), which covers half the planet. This SDG Action Weekend side event is part of an effort to urge at least 60 countries to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible so that it can enter into force.
The BBNJ Treaty, which will officially be opened for signing and ratification at the UN General Assembly on 20 September, makes it possible to achieve SDG14 and deliver Target 3 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework to protect at least 30% of our seas by 2030. Its entry into force will also accelerate the accomplishment of many other SDGs - as world leaders stated in ‘Our ocean, our future: call to action’ at the first UN Ocean Conference - because ‘our ocean is critical to our shared future and common humanity in all its diversity’, playing a vital role in climate regulation, food security and nutrition, peace and justice and more.
UN Member States, civil society and others are working to urge at least 60 countries to sign and ratify the Treaty as soon as possible so that it can enter into force, and we can expedite action to create marine protected areas, introduce environmental impact assessments for human activities in the high seas, ensure fair and equitable sharing of benefits from marine genetic resources and build the capacity of countries to implement the agreement. The race for ratification of the BBNJ Treaty is the perfect example of how, by working together around the world, we can accelerate action to deliver the SDGs.
This event is being convened in partnership with Sierra Leone, the Republic of Vanuatu, the European Union, the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Korea.