Ambassador for International Law
Rena Lee is Singapore’s Ambassador for International Law and Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS). Rena joined the Singapore public service in 1992 and has served in a number of roles, including with the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She specialises in public international law, covering diverse areas including law of the sea, environmental and climate change law, humanitarian and human rights law.
Rena was most recently Ambassador for Oceans and Law of the Sea Issues and Special Envoy of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. In this capacity, Rena was elected President of the BBNJ IGC in 2018 and served until the conclusion of the negotiations in 2023. Rena was also a member of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority from 2017 to 2022.
Fireside Chat – Implications Of The High Sea Treaty
The Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Treaty Agreement (BBNJ), commonly referred to as The High Seas Treaty, marked a significant achievement in the realm of biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilisation beyond national borders when it was made available for signature during the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Week in September 2023. It addresses regulatory gaps in the protection of the marine environment and resources in the high seas and deep seabed, which has hitherto been fragmented across various sectoral and regional bodies.
As of 2 November 2023, 82 countries have signed the BBNJ Agreement which shows a high level of international commitment to the BBNJ process. This is particularly important for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Singapore that depend on the oceans and their biodiversity for our livelihoods. It also marks a significant step forward for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 – in particular, to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, sea and marine resources for sustainable development.