STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. LUIS O˝A GARCÚS, SECOND SECRETARY OF THE PERMANENT MISSION OF ECUADOR, AT THE 4TH PREPCOM ESTABLISHED BY GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION 69/292: DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL LEGALLY BINDING INSTRUMENT UNDER UNCLOS ON THE CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF MARINE BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY OF AREAS BEYOND NATIONAL JURISDICTION (New York, 21 July 2017)

(Original version)

Mr. Chair,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

At the outset, the Group of 77 and China would like to express its satisfaction for having adopted, by consensus, the report and the substantive recommendations. The Group believes that this has been a great achievement, we have successfully concluded with the 4th and final session of the Preparatory Committee according to the mandate of the resolution 69/292. We all have taken a big step forward and towards the 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.

Despite the weaknesses that we see in the document and of being in discontent with the current formulation of some sentences of the chapeau of the recommendations, what has been adopted today represents the compromise and the flexibility taken by us for the sake of moving forward with our work. As it was mentioned yesterday, the Group of 77 and China understands that many of the elements of the text need to be discussed more in-depth and that many of our proposals were not included. However, we support the progress made so far and recognize that further dialogue can be entailed at a later stage.

Mr. Chair,

Once again, the G77 and China would also like to thank you, Excellency, and your team for the arduous effort put into this process. Without a doubt, your leadership and guidance skills enabled us to reach this tipping point that allow us to move towards the IGC where we will negotiate the comprehensive regime needed to better address the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction. The Group would also like to thanks His Excellency Mr. Eden Charles for having left, in the initial preparatory committees, a constructive base that embarked us on fruitful discussions until now and we would like to express our sincere appreciation to DOALOS for their hard work made during the entire process of BBNJ.

Finally, the Group of 77 and China would like to reaffirm our compromise to continue to address constructively the topic of the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean as the preservation of it depends solely on our actions and on how we will further address this issue. We would like to reiterate our commitment to fully engage in productive discussion at the next stage of this process.

I thank you.