Second world ocean assessment: Review by States


In a letter dated 27 April 2020, the Co-Chairs of the Ad Hoc Working Group of the Whole on the Regular Process invited all Member States of the United Nations to participate in the review by States of the first draft of the second world ocean assessment (WOA II). Member States are invited to provide written comments on any and all aspects of the first draft of WOA II. As approved by the Bureau of the Ad Hoc Working Group, only comments submitted by Member States  in the template and in accordance with the instructions listed below will be accepted.


  1. Each Member State may submit one set of written comments.
  2. Comments must be submitted using this template, which was attached to the letter from the Co-Chairs.
  3. The document containing the comments must be saved in either .doc or .docx format
  4. All comments must be in English.
  5. Comments must be submitted either through the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, or through the designated National Focal Point for the Regular Process.
  6. Comments must be submitted to the secretariat of the Regular Process by e-mail (;; no later than midnight (New York time) on 5 June 2020 10 June 2020.

Note: In response to requests, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 5-day extension of the submission deadline has been granted until 10 June 2020. It is noted that this extension will not impact the remaining timeline for WOA II.

Background to the review by States of WOA II

The regular evaluation by Member States of the assessment products, effective links with policymakers and other uses, and transparency and accountability for the Regular Process and its products are among the principles guiding the Regular Process.  The review by States is also an essential element to reinforce the science-policy interface embodied in the Regular Process. Accordingly, the review by States of WOA II is one of the activities foreseen in the programme of work for the period 2017-2020 for the second cycle of the Regular Process.  By reviewing and providing comments, States will have the opportunity to help ensure the accuracy, legitimacy and policy-relevance of WOA II, thus improving its overall quality.


In accordance with the further revised timetable and implementation plan for the second cycle of the Regular Process, five and a half weeks, from 27 April to 5 June 2020, have been set aside for States to review and provide comments on the first draft of WOA II. 

Once the writing teams and Group of Experts have considered and responded to the comments and made revisions as necessary, the second draft of WOA II, along with the comments of all States and the responses agreed by the Group of Experts, will be circulated to States on 14 August 2020. 

From 17 August to 4 September 2020, States review the second draft of WOA II, the responses to their comments and raise any questions they may have with the Group of Experts, either through the secretariat or through the members of the Bureau. Such questions should be raised as soon as possible to allow sufficient time for the Group of Experts to reflect, respond and/or make changes to the draft, as necessary.

This infographic illustrates the steps of the process for the review by States.

Documents and resources