United Nations chief: Save the oceans to avert 'global catastrophe'

EU takes the helm in a year of ocean mobilisation

An official side event of the United Nations Ocean Conference, the event will take place at UN Headquarters in NY on Friday 9 June, bringing together representatives of the private sector, ocean leadership nations, and the education and capacity-building sectors to address the ways in which the private sector is fighting climate change affecting the ocean.

US President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord is also expected to be a hot topic at the talks. We plan to highlight our worldwide and domestic activities, our investments in the Pacific's oceans and fisheries and our effective management of our own marine areas.

Guterres raised alarm over the state of the world's oceans, saying pollution, overfishing and climate change are causing severe damage and that "the situation is getting worse".

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is warning that by 2050 the global demand for fresh water is projected to grow by more than 40 percent and at least a quarter of the world's population will live in countries with a "chronic or recurrent" lack of clean water.

At the end of the conference Friday, almost 200 countries will issue a "call for action" addressing marine issues, which Cardona said has already been agreed.

UN Member States outlined commitments on increasing marine protected area (MPA) coverage, reducing or banning plastic bags and microplastics, enhancing integrated coastal management, and improving pollution control during the second day of the UN Ocean Conference.

"We must put aside short-term national gain to prevent long-term global catastrophe", Guterres said.

"The issue of conserving and sustainably using our oceans is very complex, as oceans have a direct impact on poverty eradication, health, sustained economic growth, food security and creation of sustainable livelihoods and decent work", Ambassador Shava said.

Top United Nations officials Monday urged coordinated global action to protect the planet when an worldwide conference on the health of the world's oceans and seas opened here.

That is why Sweden and Fiji jointly took the initiative to organise the UN Ocean Conference. "Our planet, the human family and life in all its myriad forms on Earth are in the throes of a water crisis that will only get worse over the coming decades", he said.

There was also a large turnout of leaders and representatives of the small island developing states (SIDS), which are among the first to bear the brunt of pollution and climate change.

"The Ocean Conference is where we truly begin the process of reversing the cycle of decline into which our accumulated activities have placed the Ocean", Thomson said.

Committed efforts are essential to save the oceans and achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goal on oceans, seas and marine resources.

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