UNGA Resolution 69/292 requires that the development of an international legally binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea should not undermine existing relevant legal instruments and frameworks and relevant global, regional and sectoral bodies. The South West Pacific regional oceans governance framework is reviewed, highlighting the importance of dedicated mechanisms for cooperation in the integration of regional institutions and in collective diplomacy for the development of an ILBI. It is argued a sufficiently inclusive description of existing arrangements under an ILBI is needed to not undermine the competence or integration of the regional architecture for oceans’ governance. Shared governance principles between an ILBI and existing regional governance architecture could play an important role in preserving coherence and contribute to ensuring regional standards for conservation of BBNJ are not diminished.
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