The inaugural United Nations Ocean Conference concluded at Headquarters today, with Heads of State and Government and high-level representatives adopting a “Call for Action” to conserve and sustainably use the world’s oceans.
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The Ocean Conference dedicated its penultimate day to commemorating World Oceans Day, with speakers in the General Assembly Hall emphasizing the need for immediate collective action to turn the tide on marine degradation and place oceans at the centre of sustainable development for future generations.
Speakers in the United Nations Ocean Conference today tackled ways to combat illegal fishing practices that were destroying vital marine habitats, as well as eliminate the $35 billion in harmful subsidies that had led to overfishing, distorted markets and chronic mismanagement of the world’s fisheries.
Speakers emphasized the urgency of expanding protected coastal and marine areas — one of the targets of Goal 14 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — as well as tackling the problem of ocean acidification during partnership dialogues on the second day of the United Nations Ocean Conference.
The inaugural United Nations Ocean Conference opened today with a call for urgent action to improve the health of the world’s seas, now in peril after decades of pollution, overfishing and the unattended effects of climate change that were decimating marine life, and in turn, livelihoods.
Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ “Turning the Tide” opening remarks to the Ocean Conference in New York today: