BAN LAUNCHES NEW OCEANS COMPACT
Initiative compliments Law of the Seas
Photo courtesy of UNifeed
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has announced the launching of a new initiative designed to protect the world’s oceans against climate change. Citing the vital importance of oceans in the global ecosystem, along with the large percentage of humans for whom access to the ocean is imperative for their livelihoods, Mr. Ban hopes that the new program will stem the tide of climate change and ensure that our oceans become healthier.
“The seas and oceans host some of the most vulnerable and important ecosystems on Earth, but the diversity of life they host is under ever-increasing strain,” said Mr. Ban.
The SG’s comments, made in his home country of South Korea, were coordinated to conincide with the thirtieth anniversary of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, also known as the “constitution of the oceans.” They also come less than two months after the conclusion of Rio+20, the seminal event in the UN’s calendar this year, at which the health of the oceans was a primary concern.
Mr. Ban’s new plan is known as the Oceans Compact, and is designed to strengthen the implementation of the Law of the Sea by providing a platform to help countries protect their coastlines and waters. The enforcement and guidance of this compact will be overseen by a newly minted Ocean Advisory Group, composed of scientists, policy makers, and other experts who will works towards achieving this compact’s goals.
"What we need is to create new momentum for ocean sustainability," Mr Ban announced. "The Oceans Compact sets out a strategic vision for the UN System to deliver more coherently and effectively on its oceans-related mandates, consistent with the Rio+20 outcome."
Overfishing, pollution and a litany of other grave threats to the world’s oceans lend particular emphasis to the Secretary-General’s new compact. Achieving the goals that it lays out, along with those of the Law of the Sea, remain a high priority for the United Nations.