Enhancing Africa’s role in international ocean governance

On World Ocean Day, this side event assesses Africa’s role in ensuring the implementation of the High Seas Treaty.

The agreement reached in March to protect marine biodiversity in the High Seas is a triumph for global cooperation. The treaty provides a legal framework for safeguarding the waters beyond national jurisdictions, which make up 60% of the world’s oceans. The benefits for Africa are immense, as the continent is disproportionately affected by maritime and environmental crime and the effects of climate change.

This hybrid side event at the United Nations’ World Ocean Day celebrations in New York features a high-level panel discussion on options for the speedy ratification of the treaty among African countries. Speakers will assess capacity gaps and the support required to ensure Africa plays a greater role in global maritime governance institutions.

This side event is co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Sierra Leone and South Africa to the United Nations, and the Institute for Security Studies.

: Ahmde Lahmiri, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of Morocco to the UN and Lead Capacity Building and Transfer of Marine Technology, African Group of Negotiators for the BBNJ Treaty

Opening statements:

  • Amb Alhaji Fanday Turay, Permanent Mission of Sierra Leone to the UN
  • Amb Mathu Joyini, Permanent Mission of South Africa to the UN


  • Adv Thembile Joyini, Legal Advisor, Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa
  • Amb Osman Keh Kamara, Special Advisor for the African Union, Silencing the Guns Initiative
  • Tamara Thomas, Adviser, Seychelles BBNJ Delegation
  • Timothy Walker, Maritime Project Lead and Senior Researcher, Institute for Security Studies
  • Concluding remarks by Dr Fonteh Akum, Executive Director, Institute for Security Studies
Development partners
This event is funded by the government of Norway. The ISS is also grateful for support from the members of the ISS Partnership Forum: the Hanns Seidel Foundation, the European Union, the Open Society Foundations and the governments of Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.
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