3rd Session of the United Nations Systems World Youth Forum

Braga, Portugal



We, the representative of youth groups and organizations participating in the third session of the UN System World Youth Forum from 2 to 8, 1998, make this declaration to reaffirm our concern about the state of the oceans and confirm our responsibility to take initiatives in implementing measures to help protect our oceans.

The world's oceans and seas cover about 70 % of the Earth's surface. They are home to a large number of plants and animals and provide humans with many goods and services. However, oceans are being destroyed by pollution, overfishing and exploitation.


We have taken into account the following :

2.1 Agenda 21 (Chapter 17 and 25) ;

2.2 The Oceans Charter

2.3 The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land based pollution ;

2.4 Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous and Toxic Wastes ;

2.5 That 1998 was declared the International Year of the Oceans by the United Nations General Assembly, and yet information on our impact on the oceans has not been widely distributed to people living in coastal areas.


We urge:

3.1 National governments to take effective measures to promote awareness about the importance and problems of the oceans and to take steps in ensuring that the oceans are not destroyed by human actions and unsustainable industrial activity within their respective countries ;

3.2 National governments to promote primary treatment of domestics and industrial effluents and sewage and to build and maintain land based sewage treatment facilities ;

3.3 National governments to adopt stricter regulations and penalties

on oil spills and pollution from ships ;

3.4 National governments to adopt the Polluter Pay principle ;

3.5 National governments and communities to discourage overfishing and encourage the use of fishing gear and practices ;

3.6 National governments and communities to promote the maintenance and restoration of populations of marine species, especially endangered marine species ;

3.7 The international community and the United Nations related bodies to take the necessary precautions to control the passage pf ships carrying hazardous and toxic wastes ;

3.8 The United Nations to intensify efforts to promote awareness among governments and peoples on the importance of the oceans.


4.1 To use our organizations to promote awareness about the problems facing the oceans and their solutions, and to encourage our peers to take measures which will help preserve the oceans ;

4.2 To promote research and exchange of ideas that will monitor the pollution and overexploitation of oceans ;

4.3 To avoid becoming involved in activities that will adversely affect the oceans ;

4.4 To work with the United Nations, our governments and communities and all other organizations in promoting the preservation of our oceans ;

4.5 To report to the next session of the World Youth Forum of the United nations System and the UNEP Global Youth Forum on our activities to improve the state of the world's oceans.



5.1 Request and encourage national and local governments and non- governmental organizations to support the implementation of programmes on oceans and to assist young people and youth groups in the realization of the declarations.


5.2 Request regional inter-governmental organizations to disseminate and support the implementation of activities related to our declaration.


5.3 The Secretary-General of the United Nations to present our Declaration on Oceans to governments and the international community and to encourage them to take more forceful measures to preserve the oceans.

5.4 The Secretary-General of the United Nations to increase the financial and human resources allocated to activities to promote capacity building and involvement of children and youth on issues that are affecting the planet.

5.5 Request UNEP, UNCS1D and all other relevant United Nations bodies and agencies to disseminate information on and to support and monitor the implementation of the Declarations on Oceans with youth participation.

5.6 Request the United Nations to report back to the next session of the World Youth Forum of the United Nations System and the UNEP Global Youth Forum on the specific efforts which have been taken by governments and the United Nations to improve the situation of the oceans.

Adopted at the 3rd Session of the United Nations System World Youth Forum in Braga, Portugal, August 6, 1998.

Submitted to the UN Secretary General Kofi Anan in UN Pavilion Expo '98, August 9, 1998 Lisbon, Portugal.

* *** *

 Background Info | Info for Participants | Info for Media |
Daily Programme | Speeches/Statements |
Press Releases | Documents | Photo Gallery | Audio Coverage |
Main Page | UN Website | Feedback |