In light of the situation concerning the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the General Assembly decided through its decision 74/543 to postpone the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Conference which was originally scheduled from 23 March to 3 April 2020 at United Nations Headquarters in New York to the earliest possible available date to be decided by the General Assembly.
In order to keep the momentum going, the President of the Conference, in consultation with the Bureau, has decided to hold BBNJ intersessional work, with a view to continuing the dialogue on: marine genetic resources, including questions on the sharing of benefits; measures such as area-based management tools, including marine protected areas; environmental impact assessments; capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology, as well as cross cutting issues.
The BBNJ intersessional work is scheduled to be launched over the MS Teams platform on 14 September 2020 at 9:00 (New York time), and will proceed in accordance with the schedule contained in the programme of work.
The BBNJ intersessional work will be facilitated by the Facilitator(s) of the informal working group(s) established by the Conference on the thematic issues identified above, assisted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs as secretariat of the Conference.
Participation in the BBNJ Intersessional Work
In line with paragraph 8 of resolution 72/249, the BBNJ intersessional work is open to all States Members of the United Nations, members of the specialized agencies and parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. All other entities or organizations identified in paragraphs 12 to 15 of resolution 72/249 may also participate in the intersessional work as observers.
Registration to the BBNJ intersessional work is now open. In this connection, delegations are kindly invited to communicate the name(s), title(s) and email address(es) of their representatives in the intersessional work, using this registration template.
All communications should be sent to the Division at firstname.lastname@example.org (with a copy to Ms. Roxanne Lord, email@example.com), no later than 7 September 2020, with a view to ensuring their timely registration for the online platform for the BBNJ intersessional work.
All participants registered should expect an email informing them of the link(s) to join the MS team discussions. Subsequent changes to delegations’ representatives and/or additions will be accommodated, bearing in mind lead time necessary for the processing of registration requests.
Modalities for Participation
Delegations are reminded to refer to the Instruction Note for Participants prepared by the President for further details on the modalities for participation in the intersessional work.
Documents of reference are highlighted in the Instruction Note for Participants. Facilitators will in due course make available additional documents for discussions under their respective work streams.