PM To Attend UN Oceans Conference In NY, USA

Audrey Hill
June 7, 2017

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing the United Nations Ocean Conference in NY, yesterday, noted that the country is fully committed to the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Organised by the United Nations to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, the Ocean Conference is open to a broad range of stakeholders including non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organisations.

Indeed, the Swedish deputy prime minister Isabella Lovin observed that "we know the ocean is broken" and claimed that the oceans were "30 percent more acidic than in pre-industrial times, big predatory fish stocks have declined by up to 90 percent, the surface waters are getting warmer (while) in some areas there are more microplastics than plankton".

The five days discussions will focus on how to solve the problems facing oceans, including plastic pollution, overfishing and rising seas due to climate change.

Other world leaders also seemed to criticize Trump's actions at the weeklong global conference.

"UNDP is working with more than 100 countries to help restore and protect our oceans and better manage our stressed marine resources".

The call to action is expected to be signed and released at some point during the week-long conference, which will bring government officials, ocean advocates and some heads of state to NY. He called on the world leaders gathered in NY to set "aside short-term national gain to prevent long-term global catastrophe".

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As a strong supporter of the adoption of Sustainable Development Goal 14, New Zealand was one of a core group of countries that supported the convening of the conference.

"The time has come for us to correct our wrongful ways", President of the UN General Assembly Peter Thomson told thousands of participants, including heads of state and governments, business people, actors, and ocean and marine life advocates.

Addressing the conference, UNSG António Guterres said the problems of the ocean, all created by human activity, can all be reversed and prevented with decisive, coordinated action.

Guterres referenced a report by the 2016 World Economic Forum, which put forward that there was more than 150 million tons of plastic in the ocean.

The Conference will result in a Call for Action that will be formally adopted on Friday.

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

Minister LeBlanc will be joined by the Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations, Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, as well as federal Members of Parliament, Canadian representatives from a National Indigenous organization, an environmental non-governmental organization and the fishing industry.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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