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World Oceans Day
8 June

“If we are to fully benefit from the oceans, we must reverse the degradation of the marine environment due to pollution, overexploitation and acidification.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

2013 Theme: Together, we have the power to protect the oceans

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Photo credit: UNESCO

By its resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008, the UN General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day.

The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans.

The lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, the oceans are also a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.

The General Assembly recognized the important contribution of sustainable development and management of the resources and uses of the oceans and seas to the achievement of international development goals, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration.

The resolution calls upon user States and States bordering straits used for international navigation to continue to cooperate by agreement on matters relating to navigational safety, including safety aids for navigation, and the prevention, reduction and control of pollution from ships.

Member states are also urged to increase the coverage of hydrographic information on a global basis to enhance capacity-building and technical assistance and to promote safe navigation, especially in areas used for international navigation, in ports and where there are vulnerable or protected marine areas.

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