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13 May 2024 Press release

The UN: Monaco reaffirms its commitment to conserve marine biodiversity on the high seas

S.E. Mme Isabelle Picco, Représentant permanent de Monaco près l’ONU, remet l’Instrument de ratification au Chef de la Section des Traités de l’ONU, M. David Nanopoulos, le 9 mai 2024. © UN

On Thursday, 9 May 2024, the Principality became the first European and Mediterranean State to ratify the Agreement on the High Seas*, known as the "BBNJ Agreement", when H.E. Mrs Isabelle Picco, Monaco's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), presented the instrument of ratification to the head of the organisation's Treaty Section.

This ratification follows the signing of the Agreement by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince on the first day it was open for signature, 20 September 2023, in New York.
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the BBNJ Agreement aims to protect, restore, and ensure sustainable use of the marine environment, to safeguard the ocean ecosystems and biodiversity through measures such as the designation of marine protected areas on the high seas.
The negotiations lasted for almost 20 years, with Monaco playing an active role at every stage since the establishment of an informal working group (2004-2015). Progress was accelerated by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as "Rio +20", prior to which the Principality hosted a preparatory workshop on ocean sustainability.
Monaco's contribution and the proposals made during the sessions of the Preparatory Committee (2016-2017) and the Intergovernmental Conference responsible for preparing the Agreement (2018-2023) were unanimously welcomed, marking a win for multilateralism.

To date, the agreement has been ratified by five countries (Palau, Chile, Belize, the Seychelles, and the Principality of Monaco), with action currently underway that will hopefully see the remaining fifty-five ratifications required for entry into force lodged with the UN in the coming months.

* An agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction, known as the "BBNJ Agreement".

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