New York

03 December 2020

Secretary-General's video message on the Launch of Report of the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy

I welcome the launch of the Ocean Panel’s Transformation Report – the result of two years of intense expert research.

The object of the Ocean Panel was to develop a transformative action agenda for a sustainable ocean economy to benefit people everywhere and effectively protect the ocean.

Along the way, the Panel found that it was possible, with better policies and technological innovation, to produce as much as six times more food from the ocean, generate 40 times more renewable energy, lift millions of people out of poverty, and contribute one-fifth of the greenhouse gas reductions needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

These findings must now be put into action.

The health of the ocean is being placed at risk by climate change, habitat destruction, harmful fishing practices and pollution, including plastic waste.

We need better management and sustainable use of the ocean’s resources to foster not only a green, but also a blue recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

I commend all 14 Heads of State and Government on the Ocean Panel who have agreed that, by 2025, their countries will sustainably manage all the ocean area under their national jurisdictions, guided by Sustainable Ocean Plans.

I also want to acknowledge the leadership of those countries who have signed up to the Global Ocean Alliance, who are advocating for at least 30 per cent of the ocean to be protected by 2030.

I hope these examples will encourage all other coastal and ocean states to similarly commit, so that all national waters are sustainably managed by 2030.

We are all united by our dependence upon the ocean and our vulnerability to the threats it faces.

Let us join with the Leaders of the Ocean Panel in recognizing that we need a healthy ocean for a healthy and prosperous future on this planet.