11 March 2020
Seventy-fourth Session, 61st Meeting (AM)

General Assembly Postpones Fourth Session of Intergovernmental Conference to Draft Marine Biodiversity Treaty in Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

The General Assembly today decided to postpone the fourth session of the intergovernmental conference to draft a new global instrument on biodiversity in ocean areas beyond national jurisdiction, citing concerns over the coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

In its decision (document A/74/L.41), the General Assembly recalled its 2017 resolution 72/249, in which it decided to convene an intergovernmental conference to elaborate the text of an international legally binding instrument — under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea — on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, with a view to developing the instrument as soon as possible.  In so doing, it would consider the recommendations of the Preparatory Committee established by resolution 69/292 of 19 June 2015.

To this end, the intergovernmental conference has met on three previous occasions in 2018 and 2019.  Its fourth session — which was to be held from 23 March to 3 April — is postponed to the earliest possible date to be decided by the Assembly.

For information media. Not an official record.