UN treaty talks to protect marine life end without agreement
New York, New York - A UN conference aimed at forging for the first time a globally binding treaty to protect marine life on the high seas has ended in New York without result after two weeks.
While progress was made, no final agreement was reached, the Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction said early Saturday.
It was apparent even in the run-up to the conference that the talks would be difficult as the countries were clearly divided in their positions.
To adopt a new UN treaty, 193 nations would have to agree on the terms – a difficult feat.
The talks at the recent session centered on the future establishment of marine protected areas and environmental impact assessments of human activities, the equitable sharing of marine resources, and the development of programs to help poorer countries engage in ocean exploration.
Two-thirds of the world's oceans belong to the high seas and are therefore largely a lawless area.
An agreement on the protection of the high seas has already been under negotiation for around 15 years at four previous conferences.
The talks will resume again next year, unless a special emergency session is called sooner.
Cover photo: 123rf/grafner