Portugal, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Gomes Cravinho, was one of the first countries to sign the Treaty.

This fact is highlighted in a statement by the Oceano Azul Foundation, which congratulates the Portuguese Government and the international community for signing.

The Treaty, the result of almost 20 years of discussions, aims to conserve and sustainably use marine biodiversity. It is a legally binding document protecting international waters, which are outside the area of national jurisdiction, corresponding to more than 70% of the Earth's surface.

The UN announced that the process of signing the Treaty would be officially opened to member states at the United Nations headquarters, and that 65 countries had already shown interest in signing the document this week.

Speaking to the Lusa agency from New York, scientist and head of the Oceano Azul Foundation Emanuel Gonçalves said that 40 more countries are expected to sign the document by the end of the week.

Emanuel Gonçalves explained that the signing of the Treaty in New York is actually a commitment by countries to ratify the document, and this process now depends on the political system of each State.

This internal process does not happen at the same time in each State and the Treaty only enters into force when it is ratified by at least 60 countries.

Emanuel Gonçalves pointed out that the oceans currently suffer from “very serious problems”, as shown by science, and that there is no longer “time for conversations”.