The third intergovernmental conference on a legally binding instrument under the UN Convention on the Law Of the Sea for the regulation of marine genetic resources of areas beyond national jurisdiction took place between Aug 19th – 30th at the United Nations. Dr Siva Thambisetty acted as Adviser to the Office of the Pacific Ocean Commissioner (OPOC) and Fiji, who currently coordinate the negotiating positions of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS). Many aspects of these text based negotiations were closed to the wider NGO community and international institutions with a view to making substantial progress. Key issues on which there continues to be wide disagreement includes the status of marine genetic resources as common heritage of humanity, a robust view adopted by G77+China+Singapore ; the relevance of intellectual property rights in this instrument which is denied by many developed countries that engage in marine scientific research including the EU member states, Japan and Norway; and the application of any negotiated instrument over genetic resources accessed prior to entry into force, but used or commercialised after entry into force of the instrument; and the relevance of traditional knowledge forcefully argued for by the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS). Some of these positions will have to be moved forward inter-sessionally to avoid protracted or extended negotiations. IGC4 will take place during March 2020. Dr Thambisetty’s work is part funded by an LSE Knowledge Exchange and Impact grant (KEI).
At a reception for Pacific Island negotiators and advisers at the NZ Ambassador's reception to mark the end of IGC3.