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08 June 2017, 01:38 | Kristen Gross
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres
South Africa, with an ocean space greater than its land territory, had earmarked the ocean to promote economic growth and boost job creation, she told delegates at the Oceans Conference in NY.
By the end of the week as the Oceans Conference comes to a close, the general assembly will aim to pass a call to action.
"It symbolizes the deep regard for communal ties and respect for the value of working together to achieve common goals or mutual benefit".
Previous global meetings on problems facing the oceans have taken place, but World Wildlife Fund global marine programme director John Tanzer described this one as "historic" because the talks are under the auspices of the United Nations for the first time.
The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, has warned that a range of factors are damaging the world's oceans. From reducing the risks from marine invasive species, to creating marine protected areas in Belize, to preserving fishing livelihoods in India, we're tackling many urgent threats to our oceans.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned governments that unless they overcome short-term territorial and resource interests, the state of the oceans will continue to deteriorate, when he addressed his first major United Nations conference since taking office.
As the worldwide community focuses this week on preserving the health of global oceans and seas, the United Nations agencies on agriculture, environment and trade are committing to the sustainable trade of fisheries.
"We must put aside short-term national gain to prevent long-term global catastrophe", the secretary-general said.
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"Oceans are a testing ground for the principle of multilateralism".
IMO says the Ocean Conference (5-9 June) will feature a high-level plenary session, several "partnership dialogues" and many more side events during which all aspects of SDG 14and its sub-targets will be analysed and discussed.
"Countries also agreed to develop and implement effective adaptation and mitigation measures that will contribute to ocean and coastal acidification, sea-level rise, and increase in ocean temperatures, and to address the other harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean".
Micronesian President Peter Christian, in an apparent dig at Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris Accord, emphasized the importance of the landmark agreement, according to the Associated Press.
In addition to marking voluntary commitments, participants this week are also due to adopt, by consensus, a "Call to Action" to protect the world's oceans and seas.
This "has made (the U.S.) the main threat to Mother Earth and life itself", Morales said, as reported by the AP.
"In most probability this conference represents the best opportunity we will ever have to reverse the cycle of decline that human activity has brought upon the Ocean", he said.
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