Friday, June 22, 2012

We all have a stake in stopping threats to the oceans

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke yesterday at a celebration of the formation of the Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO), on the sidelines of the UN Rio+20 Conference.

He said the GPO alliance “is based on the understanding that we all have a stake in stopping threats to the world’s oceans.”

The Global Partnership for Oceans is a new and diverse coalition of public, private, civil society, research and multilateral interests working together for healthy and productive oceans. It was first announced in February 2012 by World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick at the World Oceans Summit and has been gathering growing support.

Ban Ki Moon stated that he had repeatedly called on leaders to fulfill their moral and political responsibility to set this world on course for a more sustainable future. 

”There are many issues on the table here – from fragile ecosystems to food and nutrition, that are closely tied to the world’s oceans. My ‘Sustainable Energy for All’ initiative is encouraging the use of clean technologies that will spare the ocean the environmental disasters that it has suffered for too long”.

He continued; “Here in Rio, we need go further in recognizing the immense role of oceans in fostering sustainable development.

Across the UN system, our agencies are working for clean oceans, productive fisheries and healthy coasts. We are also striving to protect biodiversity at sea as well as on land.”

Earlier this year, Ban Ki Moon spent some time aboard the Tara expedition when it docked in New York.

He commented; “I am really grateful that they are raising awareness around the world … and I am very proud that the United Nations is supporting them. 

"As I stood on the Tara that day in February, it was a reminder that our worlds are connected.

"I promised the crew that I would continue working with dedication for the planet’s oceans. 

"Now, Rio has to put more wind in our sails, so we can navigate the waves to a better future. Let us advance for our oceans and our world”.

More than 80 nations, private companies and international organizations have declared support for Global Partnership for Oceans.

Photo courtesy of via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)