Brussels city

Choose BRUSSELS for the BBNJ Secretariat

Choose BRUSSELS for the BBNJ Secretariat

The diplomatic hub for the ocean

The Kingdom of Belgium is honored to present its candidacy to host the Secretariat of the BBNJ Treaty. Belgium has played an active role in finalizing the BBNJ Treaty negotiations and stands ready to further facilitate the successful implementation of the Treaty. We warmly invite you to choose Brussels, the capital of Belgium, as the seat of the future BBNJ Secretariat. With its easy connectivity, accessible time zone and high quality logistics, Brussels is a secure and affordable choice. Together, we will give the ocean a voice in international diplomacy.

Brussels city

why choose Belgium?

Because Brussels ticks all the boxes

  • Location at the heart of Europe, close to numerous international organizations, specialized bodies and agencies
  • Diplomatic capital with more than 180 embassies/diplomatic representations
  • Direct connections across the world
  • Secure and high quality premises
  • Dense and vibrant international ecosystem
  • Excellent quality of life, world-class education and health care, multilingual services


Nestled at Europe’s heart, Brussels stands as an effortlessly reachable capital, boasting a robust transportation infrastructure that offers rapid links across the globe. The airport connects Brussels, that is also benefiting from a strategic time zone position, with all European capitals and more than 20 important worldwide destinations. Extensive public transport and cycling infrastructure make Brussels an attractive city in terms of ecofriendly transportation. Brussels continually enhances air quality, thanks in part to the introduction of the ‘Low Emission Zone’. Beyond its accessibility, Brussels accommodates international gatherings with ease, hosting over 200 world-class hotels and a range of options that cater to various preferences and budgets.

Brussels, central location


Brussels worlwide diplomatic center

With over 180 embassies and missions of States as well as various international organizations including several UN liaison offices, Brussels emerges as one of the most important diplomatic hubs in the world. Home to an intricate network of diplomatic missions and international and regional organizations, Brussels facilitates collaborative synergies. Belgium is acquainted with privileges, immunities and inviolabilities that will be granted through a headquarters agreement. The Secretariat will have full legal personality under Belgian law (enabling it to open bank accounts, make purchases, hire staff, etc…). Amongst others, fiscal privileges and immunities will be granted to the Secretariat for its official use and the officials of the Secretariat will benefit from privileges, immunities and other facilities.

Top-notch infrastructure

Belgium stands ready to provide secure and high quality infrastructure for the BBNJ Secretariat, strategically located amidst key international institutions in Brussels. Leveraging its expertise in tailored projects for global organizations, Belgium ensures seamless integration within the city’s fabric. As an example, the iconic Residence Palace emerges as a potential choice. Situated in the heart of the Business district, adjacent to the European Council and Commission, this Art Deco structure offers a secure, adaptable, and convenient workspace, primed for the BBNJ Secretariat’s growth and success. Many further premises options remain open for exploration.

Brussels, Residence Palace


Brussels, multicultural and diverse society

Brussels thrives with multicultural richness, hosting 180 nationalities and over 100 languages, being the most cosmopolitan European city, resulting in a diverse and open atmosphere. The cosmopolitan nature extends to education, with multiple universities and international schools offering curriculums in various languages. Additionally, Brussels boasts world class yet affordable healthcare and a dynamic job market. Brussels is an internationally oriented economy. The city, home to many international institutions and firms, can offer scores of challenging employment opportunities for family members of BBNJ staff. The Expat Welcome Desk, part of the office of the Brussels Commissioner for Europe and International Organizations, acts as a one-stop shop for administrative support for settling, including housing, taxes, employment, and more.

Alexander de Croo
Prime Minister of Belgium

“With the BBNJ Agreement, we can finally start to protect the ocean located outside of national jurisdiction. Belgium has consistently contributed to finalizing the BBNJ negotiations. We are honored to present our candidacy to host the BBNJ Secretariat. A Secretariat that can reflect the level of ambition that we have set for ourselves in the treaty.”

Paul Van Tigchelt
Belgian Minister of the North Sea

"Delegations from around the world have been working on this treaty for more than a decade. And they have worked too hard for it to remain just a piece of paper. This treaty will only be as strong as its implementation and for this we will need robust and efficient institutions."

Hadja Lahbib
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs

“With its easy connectivity, accessible time zone and high quality logistics, Brussels is a safe, secure and affordable choice. We warmly invite you to choose Brussels, the capital of Belgium, as the seat for the BBNJ Secretariat.”