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Belize participates in United Nations negotiations that failed to reach agreement on ocean protection treaty

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Posted: Sunday, August 28, 2022. 2:05 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Negotiators at the United Nations failed, again, to reach an agreement on a treaty to protect the oceans, after the fifth round of negotiations ended in an impasse on Saturday, the UK Independent reports.

Negotiators gathered in New York to discuss the details of a treaty that would set rules for protecting biodiversity in two-thirds of the world’s ocean areas that are outside of national jurisdictions.

Maxine Burkett, the United States deputy assistant secretary of state who was involved in negotiations, said that less than 1 percent of the high seas are protected without a new treaty, but that the treaty would increase the number to 30 percent.

Belize was represented at the negotiating table by Her Excellency Janine Felson, Ambassador to the United Nations. Felson stressed during negotiations that the timeliness of the agreement is important for Belize and other small island developing states (SIDS) countries, as delays will have an economic impact.

“Our livelihoods are directly dependent on the health of the ocean,” Felson said.

With the failure to reach an agreement, talks will be on hold until next year unless a special emergency session is called before the end of 2022.

 

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