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The Chinese Delegation Attends the First Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an International Legally Binding Instrument on Marine Biological Diversity

2018/09/20

From September 4 to 17, 2018, the First Session of the Intergovernmental Conference on an International Legally Binding Instrument on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) was held at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York. More than 120 countries and nearly 70 international organizations sent representatives to attend this session. Such important topics as marine genetic resources and its benefit-sharing, area-based management tools including marine protected areas, environmental impact assessments, capacity building and marine technology transfer were discussed at the session.

The Chinese delegation consists of officials sent by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the Permanent Mission of China to the UN. Deputy Director-General of the Department of Treaty and Law of the MFA Ma Xinmin acted as head of the Chinese delegation. At the session, the Chinese delegation actively made statement under all topics, expounded on China's policy and stance on relevant issues in a comprehensive and systematic manner, and put forward opinions and suggestions on the work of the drafting and negotiation of a "zero draft" of the instrument in the next step, which was highly praised by all parties.

The negotiation process began in 2004. After 9 ad hoc working group meetings held in 11 years and 4 sessions of the Preparatory Committee in 2 years, the negotiation process is currently at a critical stage of intergovernmental negotiation. The instrument is regarded as the third implementing agreement of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and is highly valued by the international community.

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