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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

31 March 2016, New York – Statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States at the First Session of the Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly resolution 69/292: Development 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 on Item 7: Development of substantive recommendations on the elements of a draft text of an international legally binding instrument under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: Consideration of capacity-building and the transfer of marine technology

 – As delivered –

Mr. Chairman,

I am honoured to speak on behalf of the European Union and its 28 Member States.

Capacity-building and transfer of marine technology constitute the fourth part of the package, but are interrelated with each of the other three parts of the package. When addressing them, we should take into account these relations. We should furthermore maintain a clear focus on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Mr. Chairman,

The European Union and its Member States believe that the Implementing Agreement should develop tools for capacity-building and transfer of technology on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The Implementing Agreement should also ensure the achievement of the objectives and requirements contained in the parts of the Convention, relevant for capacity building and transfer of marine technology relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

In particular, the Implementing Agreement should provide for the establishment or expansion of scientific, technical, educational, training programs and the development of joint scientific research carried out in cooperation with institutions in developing countries. The agreement should further provide for more effective transfer of marine science and technology. By including obligations on these issues, the implementing agreement will play an important role in ensuring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. In particular, capacity-building and transfer of marine technology is vital to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to developing countries.

The Implementing Agreement needs to be responsive to the needs of developing countries and in particular least developed countries and small islands developing States. We look forward to discuss these issues further with other delegations.

Mr. Chairman,

Since several institutions and instruments at different levels are currently involved in oceans-related capacity-building, including with respect to areas beyond national jurisdiction, the Implementing Agreement should aim at better coordination and cooperation between these institutions and instruments. We have heard previous interventions that have stressed that achieving conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, particularly in areas beyond national jurisdiction, requires significant and sometimes expensive resources and technologies. We hold that this part of the package should assist developing States, in particular least developed countries and small island developing States, in benefiting from such resources and to meet the relevant obligations in respect of areas beyond national jurisdiction under the Convention and the future Agreement. We believe that this is fully in line with commitments undertaken in the context of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

As actors from the private sector are involved in activities in areas beyond national jurisdiction and some relevant marine technology is privately owned, the implementing agreement provisions relating to capacity building should enable the involvement of both the public and the private sector. Taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, the facilitation of multi-stakeholder partnerships is key to the promotion of capacity-building and development of the transfer of marine technology. To this end, the Implementing Agreement should promote the effective implementation of relevant parts of the UNCLOS in relation to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Thank you.

  • Ref: EUUN16-046EN
  • EU source: European Union
  • UN forum: Sixth Committee - Legal Committee
  • Date: 31/03/2016

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