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United Nations adopt first-ever treaty to protect marine life in high seas

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The United Nations has adopted the first-ever treaty to protect marine life in the high seas. UN Secretary-General António Guterres hailed the historic agreement as giving the ocean a fighting chance.

Delegates from the 193 member nations approved the treaty with jubilation yesterday.

There wasn’t a single objection. Guterres told delegates that the adoption of the treaty comes at a critical time, with the oceans are under threat on many fronts. He said, the treaty is vital to address these threats and he urged all countries to spare no efforts to ensure that it is signed and ratified as soon as possible.

The treaty to protect biodiversity in waters outside national boundaries, known as the high seas, covering nearly half of earth’s surface, had been under discussion for more than 20 years as efforts to reach an agreement had repeatedly stalled.

The new treaty will be opened for signatures on September 20, during the annual meeting of world leaders at the General Assembly, and it will take effect once it is ratified by 60 countries.

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