Statement by Germany on the occasion of the adoptin of an internationally legally binding instrumenton the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversityof areas beyond national jurisdiction (“BBNJ”), 19 June 2023

19.06.2023 - Speech

The statement was delievered by Ambassador Antje Leendertse

Madam President,

Germany fully aligns itself with the statement delivered by the European Union.

Germany highly welcomes the adoption by consensus of the BBNJ-agreement today. This is a historic landmark agreement achieved after year of negotiations, which will contribute to the protection of the world’s ocean for future generations.

The implementation of the BBNJ-agreement will make a difference for the health of our planet. The ocean is our important ally in the fight against biodiversity loss and climate change, because it is the largest carbon sink. The environmental regulations in the new agreement will strengthen this ally.

The agreement provides balanced, future-proof provisions for establishing area-based management tools and conducting environmental impact assessments, which constitute the corner stones of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity. Moreover, provisions covering the utilization of marine genetic resources and capacity building will establish fair and effective benefit sharing in an equitable manner, without hindering research or development.

For Germany, the swift ratification and implementation of the BBNJ agreement will be a high priority, also helping to achieve the thirty-by-thirty goal agreed upon by the parties to the Convention of Biological Diversity last December with the Kunming/Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.

Madam President,

as host state of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, we welcome in particular that the dispute settlement system under the BBNJ agreement is modelled after Part XV of UNCLOS and that the agreement foresees an ITLOS competence to issue advisory opinions.

Germany expresses its appreciation for the hard work of all delegations, and you Madame President, during the long journey to reach this agreement. We, the international community, finally closed a governance gap, which is relevant for over 40% of the Earth’s surface. Finally, we acknowledged that the planet we live on is blue.

Germany looks forward to implementing the BBNJ agreement and taking the next concrete steps soon.

Thank you

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