We need to “create new momentum for ocean sustainability,” Ban Ki Moon said during an event to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the opening for signature of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, in Yeosu, South Korea.
The Secretary General reminded those present at the event that the seas and oceans are home to “some of the most vulnerable and important ecosystems on Earth”, before voicing the concern that the diversity of life they host is under ever-increasing strain.”
At the event, Ban launched a new initiative to protect the oceans. The project, under the name ‘The Oceans Compact’ will aim to “deliver more coherently and effectively on its oceans-related mandates.” Ban said. He also called these mandates “consistent with the RIO+20 outcome.
The project will give countries the tools they need to protect their oceans and coastlines. In places where people’s livelihood are directly connected with the state of the oceans, food security will be restored and the seas will be managed through the dispense of awareness and knowledge.
The Convention on the Law of the Seas governs international waters, on issues dealing from environmental sustainability, commerce and trade, and security. It also encompasses scientific research conducted open seas. Thirty years ago, the convention was opened to signature, but only entered into force twelve year later in 1994.
“Among its principles, the Law of the Sea recognizes that all ocean issues are related and that they need to be addressed as a whole,” the Secretary-General said. The Law of the seas has gained extra attention during the RIO+20 conference in June, where a framework for maintaining the Ocean’s ecosystems was put forward.
“Just as the oceans span our blue planet, let us make it our goal to bring all nations under the jurisdiction, protection and guidance of this essential treaty,” Ban concluded his statement.
“By working together for one common goal we can achieve healthy oceans for prosperity and sustainable development for all.”
The Secretary –General will be visiting the Republic of Korea and Timor-Leste on his Asia tour that will last until August 17th.