After 15 years of multilateral work and negotiation, the Treaty of the High Sea was finally adopted by the United Nations on 19 June 2023 in New York. This agreement, also known as the treaty on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), establishes the legal framework to protect the biodiversity in waters in the high seas beyond national boundaries covering nearly two-thirds of the global ocean.
The new treaty comprises 75 articles that aims at (i) conserving the marine environment and ocean ecosystem, (ii) tackling the threat of plastics pollution, (iii) reducing overfishing, over-exploitation, and ocean acidification, (iv) lowering ocean temperatures, and (v) supporting the sustainable development agenda in terms of the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources. This agreement also reinforces the United Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which provides rules governing all uses of the oceans and marine ecosystem.
Attending the United Nations’ meeting on the Treaty of the High Seas, the Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang appreciated this achievement as a milestone of the international commitments and efforts to protect and sustainably utilise the ocean in areas beyond national jurisdiction. According to its sustainable development of the sea economy strategy toward 2030, with the vision to 2045, Viet Nam strives to become a strong sea-based nation which takes responsibilities and participates actively in addressing international and regional issues in seas, oceans, and their resources.
The treaty will open for signature on 20 September this year and will come into effect 120 days after having been ratified by 60 countries.