New York

24 June 2022

Note to Correspondents - on the Secretary-General's travel to the UN Ocean Conference and the CARICOM Summit

Next week, the Secretary-General’s focus will be on the environment and biodiversity and how they are both being impacted by climate change.   

He just landed in Lisbon a few hours ago, which is the site of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference. On Sunday, the Secretary-General will address and engage with youth at the UN Ocean Conference Youth and Innovation Forum, alongside the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. He will be present at the Conference opening ceremony on Monday, along with the leaders of the two co-hosting nations – President Sousa and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. 

The Ocean Conference aims to incentivize action to propel much needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action. At the Conference, the Secretary-General will stress that we face an “Ocean Emergency” and that we must turn the tide. He is expected to focus on issues related to the need to invest in sustainable ocean economies for food, renewable energy and livelihoods, and the need to protect the oceans, and the people whose lives and livelihoods depend on them from the impacts of climate change.   

The Secretary-General will return to New York on Tuesday 28 June.   

On Friday, 1 July, he will head to Paramaribo in Suriname for the 43rd Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM – the Caribbean Community. The Secretary-General will attend the opening ceremony on July 3rd.  

The Caribbean region is among the world’s hardest hit by worsening climate impacts, despite having contributed among the least to the problem, due to its very low emissions.   

In March, the IPCC designated the region as highly climate-vulnerable, meaning its people are 15 times more likely to die of climate impacts.   

During the Conference, the Secretary-General will discuss his recent announcement that the UN will work to ensure that all people on Earth are covered by early warning systems within five years, up from 6 in 10 people now.  

In the face of these severe climate challenges, and with very scarce resources, the region is taking vital steps to build climate resilience, which the Secretary-General will observe first-hand during his stay in Suriname. He will visit an indigenous community in the rainforest, to learn more about harnessing indigenous knowledge to help adapt to climate impacts.    

He will also underscore the importance of nature-based climate solutions during a visit to a coastal mangrove site, where he will witness the Suriname coastline’s susceptibility to flooding, which has been heightened by sea level rise and extreme weather events resulting from the climate crisis.    

The Secretary-General will return to New York on 4 July.