Nations fail to reach agreement on UN treaty to protect marine life

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – Diplomats around the world have failed to reach agreement on a United Nations treaty to protect marine life on the high seas, after a fifth round of talks ended in deadlock.

Negotiations at UN headquarters in New York were suspended early Saturday after two weeks of talks that environmentalists hoped would close a gap in international marine protection measures.

A proposed treaty would set rules to protect biodiversity in the two-thirds of the world’s ocean areas that are beyond national jurisdiction.

Discussions focused on how to share the benefits of marine life, establish protected areas, prevent damage from human activity on the high seas, and help poor countries acquire the skills and means. needed for ocean exploration.

Activists expressed disappointment at the failure to reach an agreement, but said the talks had produced progress.

Laura Meller, who heads Greenpeace’s Ocean Protection Campaign, accused rich countries like the United States of being too slow to compromise.

« Russia has also been a major stumbling block in the negotiations, refusing to engage in the treaty process itself or attempting to compromise with the European Union and many other states on a wide range of issues, » he said. Meller said.

Talks will resume next year unless an emergency special session is convened before the end of 2022.

US Under Secretary of State Monica Medina also expressed disappointment but expressed hope that the work done so far would continue. She said the United States remains committed to the goal of protecting at least 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.

“We cannot let the tides and currents push us back. We must continue,” Medina said.


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