In his prophetic speech, delivered to the United Nations General Assembly in November 1967, when he was the Permanent Representative of Malta to the United Nations, he urged delegates to consider the resources of the oceans beyond national jurisdiction as "the common heritage of mankind". His quest to protect the oceans from arbitrary appropriation and his call for a regime to efficiently administer their resources created the necessary momentum and provided "the unique opportunity to lay solid foundations for a peaceful and increasingly prosperous future for all peoples". It is thanks to his dedication that UNCLOS, "the Constitution for the Oceans", the most far-reaching treaty ever negotiated under United Nations auspices, was adopted in 1982 and has since then fostered the maintenance of peace and security.
Today, when the United Nations is examining again new ways to an integrated approach in managing oceans, it is an appropriate time to reflect on the legacy of Dr. Arvid Pardo, who was the major influence in getting the United Nations to look at the problems of the oceans as a whole.
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