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.