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High Seas Treaty Media Analysis

Ocean ISU

In March 2023 the final text of the High Seas Treaty was agreed by consensus at the United Nations. This historic achievement was covered by media outlets across the world.

With our digital research partner, we analysed online news and social media conversation of the event between 4th and 29th March 2023. The summary of insights and accompanying paper explored key patterns and messages that emerged during the coverage.

Topline findings from the analysis include:

  • A widely unified message of multilateral success, providing respite from political fragmentation and criticism of international institutions.
  • Media focus on the highly personal nature of the political victory, with particular focus on President Rena Lee’s response.
  • The prominence and misrepresentations of the treaty having achieved ‘30% of the global ocean protected’, which dominated initial headlines.
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