The ocean holds the keys to an equitable and sustainable development path for all. This is the premise behind the UN Ocean Decade and it will be in the spotlight during several major international summits this year to promote ocean health, including the UN Ocean Conference, which is set to open soon in Lisbon, Portugal.
Ensuring a healthy and productive ocean that serves the whole planet, is a “collective responsibility” that can only be fulfilled by working together, the UN chief told an celebratory event marking World Oceans Day on Wednesday.
“This planet is our only home”, Secretary-General António Guterres said in his message for World Environment Day, to be marked this Sunday, warning that the Earth’s natural systems “cannot keep up with our demands”.
The Ocean is the planet’s largest ecosystem, regulating the climate, and providing livelihoods for billions. But its health is in danger. The second UN Ocean Conference, due to take place in June, will be an important opportunity to redress the damage that mankind continues to inflict on marine life and livelihoods.
The goal to limit future warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, highlighted in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and driven home in last November’s COP26, gathering in Glasgow, is now on “life support” and “in intensive care,” the UN chief told the Economist Sustainability Summit on Monday.
The solutions to restore the health of the ocean – which provides us with oxygen, food and livelihoods – are out there, and in 100 days they will be in the spotlight in Lisbon, Portugal, at the second UN Ocean Conference.
Gender equality is essentially “a question of power” that for millennia, has, “to the detriment of all”, been mostly in the hands of men, the UN chief told a town hall meeting on Wednesday, devoted to the issue.
To forge a sustainable future for us all, “women and girls must be front and centre, leading the way”. Secretary-General António Guterres told the opening session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on Monday.