The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 7th Session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties (CMP7) to the Kyoto Protocol was held in the sunny city of Durban, South Africa.


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Statements and Speeches

Statement on Co-Chairs’ Non-Paper on Behalf of The G77 and China by Mr. Thembile Joyini, Legal Adviser, Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations, at the Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-Ended Informal Working Group to Study Issues Relating to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction

21 January 2015


Thank you and let me again thank you for your indulgence yesterday.

Once again, the G77 and China commends you for the job well done in coming up with the draft elements which as we said yesterday serve as a good basis for the deliberations on the recommendations that should be submitted during this current 69th Session of the General Assembly by this Working Group.

As we said yesterday, while the non-paper contains useful elements, there are some aspects that could do with some modification.  We have thus produced a revised text to address those.  Some of these changes are textual while others structural.  We have asked the secretariat to circulate this text.  I will now proceed to highlight some of the revisions that we have made.

As we said yesterday, the G77 and China is, in general terms, comfortable with the “Elements related to the mandate of the Working Group” and we have not made any significant amendments to this section.  The only change relates to the reference to resolution A/Res/69/245.

The first structural change we have made is to frontload the “Statement of the problem to be addressed”.  We then propose that the statement reads “The absence of a comprehensive global regime to address the legal gap relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction.  This status quo cannot be maintained and therefore, a new agreement to address this problem is needed”.


Our main difficulty relates to the section called “Elements related to the possible content of an international instrument”. We have amended this title of the section to read “Elements on Broad Scope and Parameters of a possible international instrument”.  As we mentioned in our general statement, we were uncomfortable with the equation of the 2011 package with other elements that are not the subject of agreement.  Under this section, “Elements on Broad Scope and Parameters of a Possible International Instrument”, we have retained only the 2011 package.