Press Release

U.N. Secretary-General Calls for Support for Ocean Protection


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement today supporting reversal of the degradation of the marine environment and calling attention to an important series of U.N. meetings aimed at protecting high seas biodiversity.

“Given the increasing threats to ocean life from climate change, threats highlighted just this week by a U.N. panel, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's statement calling for global action to protect the oceans underscores the importance of action on this issue,” said Elizabeth Wilson, director of international ocean policy for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

The secretary-general's statement comes as the Global Ocean Commission also announced its support for improving high seas governance through a new agreement under the U.N Convention on the Law of the Sea. 

This week, representatives from 193 states are in New York for a meeting of the U.N. Ad Hoc Open-ended Informal Working Group to “study issues relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.”

“Now is the time for leaders around the world to support negotiating a path to strengthen the Law of the Sea by establishing a legal framework for safeguarding marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction,” Wilson said, referring to the waters outside of nations' exclusive economic zones.