By Catherine Ageno
The United Nations Secretary-General has welcomed the new Oceans Protection Treaty signed by nations over the weekend.
Antonio Guterres says he is extremely encouraged that countries have agreed on the UN legally binding instrument to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
He describes it as “an important step to protect our oceans.”
The historic agreement to protect the world’s oceans was signed following 10 years of negotiations.
The High Seas Treaty places 30% of the seas into protected areas by 2030, aiming to safeguard and recuperate marine nature.
The agreement was reached on Saturday evening, after 38 hours of talks, at UN headquarters in New York. The negotiations had been held up for years over disagreements on funding and fishing rights.
The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 – the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.