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Oceans The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

UN Conferences & Observances •

Ocean Conference, 5 - 9 June 2017 (UN Headquarters, New York)

United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development o o

Outcome document: Our ocean, our future: call for action (Resolution A/RES/71/312): Ocean Conference and SDG 14: Quick Guide (Dag Hammarskjöld Library):

8 June – World Ocean Day

UN and related bodies • • • • •

UN Oceans – an inter-agency coordination mechanism on oceans and coastal issues within the UN system: UN Atlas of the Oceans - an Internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans: Global Issues on the UN Agenda - Oceans and the Law of the Sea: Sustainable Development Goal 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources: UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform o o

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UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea: Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) o o


Common Oceans - A partnership for sustainability in the ABNJ: Fisheries and Aquaculture:

International Maritime Organization (IMO): UN Development Programme (UNDP) o o

Sustainable Ocean Initiative: Marine and Coastal Biodiversity:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) o

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Goal 14: Oceans & Seas:

Ocean Action Hub: Water and Ocean Governance:

UN Environment (UNEP) o o o

Oceans and Seas: Cleans Seas - Turn the tide on plastic: Regional Seas Programme:


The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Landbased Activities:

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) o o

One Planet, One Ocean: Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission:

Selected UN documents and publications • • • • • • • • • • • •

UN documents on “Oceans” – click here The Ocean Conference one year on – are we keeping our promise? (UN DESA Voice, Vol 22, No. 6 - June 2018): Life under Water (Africa Renewal, May - July 2017): Our Oceans, Our World (UN Chronicle, Volume LIV, Nos. 1 & 2, May 2017): UN News Centre Feature: Humanity at the core as UN readies for first-ever Ocean Conference (22 March 2017): Marine Debris: Understanding, Preventing and Mitigating the Significant Adverse Impacts on Marine and Coastal Biodiversity (CBD, 2016): The Ocean and Us (UNEP GRID-Arendal, August 2016): Blue Economy - Sharing Success Stories to Inspire Change (UNEP GRID-Arendal, May 2016): World Ocean Assessment (UNEP GRID-Arendal, May 2016): How oceans- and seas-related measures contribute to the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development: Local and regional experiences (DESA, 2014): Green Economy in a Blue World (UNEP, 2012): Blue Carbon: The Role of Healthy Oceans in Binding Carbon (UNEP / FAO / UNESCO, 2009):

Selected Statements and Speeches by UN Officials • • • • • • •

Conflicting demands creating unsustainable stress on marine, coastal ecosystems, SecretaryGeneral warns in marking convention’s entry-into-force anniversary (SG/SM/19625-SEA/2105, 17 June 2019): Noting climate change’s outsized impact on women, Secretary-General stresses gender equality key to tackling ocean challenges, in message for international observance (SG/SM/19616OBV/1888-SEA/2103, 7 June 2019): Marking World Oceans Day, Secretary-General urges all to do their part in reducing plastic pollution (SG/SM/19077-OBV/1797-SEA/2073, 8 June 2018): Deputy Secretary-General, at Sustainable Management Meeting, urges stronger national frameworks, enhanced conservation to protect ocean resources (DSG/SM/1091-ENV/DEV/1810SEA/2062, 20 September 2017): Conservation, sustainable use of oceans critical to our blue planet’s future, Secretary-General says in message for World Day (SG/SM/18558-OBV/1729-SEA/2054, 8 June 2017): Nations must overcome resource, territorial interests or watch ocean health deteriorate further, Secretary-General warns in remarks to conference (SG/SM/18553-SEA/2050, 5 June 2017): Secretary-General urges national legislatures to help reverse human-driven decline of ocean health, in message for Inter-Parliamentary Union’s Annual Hearing (SG/SM/18437-ENV/DEV/1774, 14 February 2017): 17 June 2019 not an official document – for information only

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UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Oceans  

UNRIC Library Backgrounder: Oceans  

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