UN negotiations failed

No agreement was reached between member states of the United Nations, which met for two weeks to agree on a treaty to protect the high seas, which mainly involves the creation of protected areas in sea Greenpeace criticized the “greed” of the EU, the US and Canada to keep the ocean’s genetic resources for themselves.

The prospect of signing an international treaty to protect the high seas is fading. After two weeks of negotiations, the member states of the UN broke up on Friday August 27, without managing to finalize the text. Several major disputes are blocking an agreement that is vital for the oceans, a fragile and vital resource for humanity.

The delegations still do not agree on the process of creating marine protected areas, as well as the methods of applying the obligation of environmental impact studies before a new activity in the ocean.

Among the topics that divide the Member States, the distribution of possible profits resulting from the exploitation of genetic resources in the high seas, where the pharmaceutical, chemical and cosmetic industries hope to find miracle molecules.

“Greed” in the EU, US and Canada

Responding to requests from developing countries that are afraid of losing potential spin-offs due to the lack of doing this expensive research, the latest draft text leaves on the table the initial distribution of 2% – and eventually up to 8% – in the future. selling products from these resources that do not belong to anyone. But it is still in square brackets, meaning there is no agreement.

Greenpeace also accused the EU, the United States and Canada on Thursday of speeding up these negotiations towards a failure because of their “greed” in keeping these resources for them. The charges were dismissed by a European negotiator.

These questions of North-South equity cross many international negotiations, especially in the climate where developing countries are victims but not responsible for the warming of claims that are useless to rich countries. to honor their promises of financial aid.

“Despite the disappointment that the agreement was not concluded within these two weeks, we are encouraged by the progress made”, however commented Liz Karan, of the NGO Pew Charitable Trusts, who called for a new session at the end of the year. .

After more than 15 years of informal and then formal discussions to create a binding text aimed at protecting the oceans, this vast area that covers almost half of the planet, this fifth session will be the last – like being fourth. , in March. But, despite discussions that erupted into Friday night, that wasn’t enough.

“Near the finish line”

“We have never been closer to the finish line in this process,” said conference president Rena Lee. The UN General Assembly will now take up the request to continue this fifth session on a date yet to be determined.

The treaty specifically refers to the high seas beginning where the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) of States end, at a maximum of 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coasts, and therefore not subject to jurisdiction in any country.

While the good health of marine ecosystems is important for the future of humanity, especially to limit global warming, only 1% of this space, representing 60% of the ocean, is protected.

One of the pillars of the treaty on “conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction” is to allow the creation of marine protected areas there. “An important step in efforts to protect at least 30% of the planet by 2030,” Maxine Burkett, an oceans official at the US State Department, said this week.

Some experts fear that if the high seas treaty is not finalized by the end of the year, this goal will not be achieved.

With AFP

VIDEO – The NGO Greenpeace calls for “a strong agreement” for the protection of the oceans

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.