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Minister of Foreign Affairs celebrates approval of the BBNJ Agreement in the Senate: "It confirms the oceanic vocation that our country has had"

Tuesday, January 16th 2024

The Chamber of the Senate unanimously approved the Agreement on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdictions (BBNJ), an important piece in the system of global ocean governance, in which Chile participates actively and with a long historical tradition. "The approval of this treaty confirms the oceanic vocation that our country has had," said Foreign Affairs Minister Alberto van Klaveren, during the vote.

The agreement, which this morning was also unanimously approved by the Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, introduces the regulation on the high seas of marine genetic resources, the equitable sharing of their benefits, mechanisms for the creation of marine protected areas, the implementation of environmental impact assessments, and capacity building and technology transfer to developing countries.

"The treaty is beneficial for our country as it allows Chile to participate in the global governance of areas beyond our national jurisdiction. This element is strategic for national interests, both because of Chile's oceanic nature (we have one of the largest exclusive economic zones in the world), as well as its status as a developing country," said the minister.

With this vote, Chile takes a big step towards the early ratification of the agreement, which will take place once the instrument is deposited at the United Nations. The treaty will enter into force 120 days after the deposit of the 60th instrument of ratification, and the Secretary General of the United Nations must convene the first Conference of the Parties (COP) within one year after its entry into force.

It should be noted that Chile has offered Valparaíso as the location for the BBNJ Secretariat. This proposal is built on a vision that reaffirms Chile's historical and future role as a country with an oceanic vocation. It also promotes the city as a new global hub for ocean governance, based on a tradition of a world-class port and ocean sciences.