United Nations hosting its first Oceans' Conference

UN Chief Warns of Serious Clean Water Shortages by 2050

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and Sweden's deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin at the UN Ocean Conference in NY on June 5, 2017.

The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from almost 200 countries that oceans - "the lifeblood of our planet" - are being severely damaged by pollution, garbage, overfishing and the effects of climate change.

US President Donald Trump's recent decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord is anticipated to be a hot topic at the talks, which no high-ranking US officials are expected to attend.

With so much on the line with regards to creating more sustainable infrastructures, it is important that we find ways to engage communities and make resources for clean ocean actions accessible.

According to the United Nations secretary-general, there are more than 270 basins in the world at global borders, a panorama that increases the need for cooperation.

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.

The main areas of work at The Ocean Conference will be a political call to action, a segment on partnership dialogues and voluntary commitments.

The Ocean Conference coincides with World Oceans Day (June 8) and is billed by the organisers as the "game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity". "The health of our oceans and seas requires us to put aside short-term national gain, to avoid long-term global catastrophe", he added.

The commitment likely involves requesting countries to provide information on what subsidies they provide and prohibiting those that contribute to overfishing, as well as potentially giving differential treatment to developing countries.

Also speaking at the opening was Wu Hongbo, the secretary-general of the Ocean Conference, who said that without oceans and seas, there would be no life on the planet.

This "has made it the main threat to mother Earth and life itself", Morales said.

"The Ocean Conference, the first United Nations conference of its kind on the issue, is hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden will kick it off with a special cultural ceremony at 0900 on 5 June, prior to the formal opening", the statement said.

Micronesian President Peter Christian said Pacific islanders are concerned that the ocean has been "left to heal itself" after being used as "a dumping ground for industrial waste" and a weapons testing ground, and being polluted by humans on shores and ships at sea.

Morocco was elected vice-chairman of the United Nations Oceans Conference convening in NY to look into ways of conserving and sustainably using oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.


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