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Morocco Signs UN Convention on Maritime Law

Rabat – Morocco has officially signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, focusing on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). 

Ambassador Omar Hilale, Morocco’s Permanent Representative to the UN, signed the document at a ceremony that has been hailed as a pivotal moment in the history of international maritime law. The signing ceremony took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York City on Thursday, coinciding with the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, the Moroccan state media reported. 

With this signing, Morocco is now part of 75 countries that have endorsed this legally binding treaty, marking the culmination of 18 years of intricate multilateral negotiations. The convention will spring into action upon ratification by 60 nations, promising a new era in the stewardship of the world’s oceans.

Throughout the lengthy negotiation process, Morocco played a leading role on the world stage. The nation represented the African Group and made substantial contributions that ultimately led to the international consensus behind the Convention’s adoption.

This landmark universal treaty marks a turning point in international maritime law. It champions innovative and ambitious management tools to ensure the conservation and sustainable, rational, and equitable use of marine biodiversity. Key provisions include rigorous environmental impact assessments and the establishment of marine protected areas.

Importantly, this convention focuses on the protection of marine areas beyond the territorial sovereignty and exclusive economic zones of coastal nations. In doing so, it provides an opportunity to address marine areas in the high seas, international waters beyond the jurisdiction of any single nation.

The high seas account for a staggering 60% of the Earth’s ocean surface and nearly half of the planet’s total area. Until the adoption of this global legal framework, these vast areas had no specific protection, making them increasingly vulnerable to the pressures of human activities, pollution, resource overexploitation, climate change, and biodiversity loss.

Source : Morocco World News