On Thursday, May 9, 2024, the Principality became the first European and Mediterranean state to ratify the Agreement on the High Seas known as the ‘BBNJ Agreement’, when HE Ms. Isabelle Picco, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the United Nations (UN), handed over the instrument of ratification to the Chief of the Treaty Section of the Organisation.

This ratification follows the signing of the Agreement by HSH the Sovereign Prince on the first day of its opening for signature, September 20, 2023, in New York.

The BBNJ Agreement, which complements the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, aims to protect, restore and ensure the sustainable use of the marine environment, maintain the integrity of ocean ecosystems and conserve the inherent value of biological diversity, for example through the creation of marine protected areas on the high seas.

The negotiation process lasted almost 20 years and Monaco took an active part in all its stages, since the creation of an informal working group ( 2004-2015). The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, known as “Rio +20”, before which the Principality hosted a preparatory workshop on the sustainability of the Ocean, was an important step in accelerating the work.
Monaco’s contribution and the proposals made during the sessions of the Preparatory Committee (2016-2017) and the Intergovernmental Conference responsible for developing the text of the Agreement (2018-2023) were unanimously welcomed and the result obtained constitutes a victory of multilateralism.

To date, the text has been the subject of five ratifications (Palau, Chile, Belize, Seychelles and the Principality of Monaco). The ongoing procedures give hope that the fifty-five ratifications still necessary for its entry into force could be submitted in the coming months to the UN.

(Original Source Monaco Government Press Service)

Featured image: HE Ms. Isabelle Picco, Permanent Representative of Monaco to the UN, hands over the Instrument of Ratification to the Head of the UN Treaty Section, Mr. David Nanopoulos, on May 9, 2024. © UN