The United Nations General Assembly decided in 2008 that, as from 2009, June 8th would be designated as “World Oceans Day” (resolution 63/111, paragraph 171).

"The oceans are essential to food security and the health and survival of all life, power our climate and are a critical part of the biosphere. The official designation of World Oceans Day is an opportunity to raise global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans."
The symbolic nature of today's date observing World Oceans Day in concurrence with the tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico brings with it the opportunity for the United Nations to take a stand on this critical situation. It is being called the worst oil spill in history, even though it has yet to be contained. Thousands of barrels of oil continue to gush into the Gulf on a daily basis, now on day 49. We as a generation may be witnessing the biggest ecological and environmental disaster in history. The stretch and magnitude of the devastation and its affects on our planet may be immeasurable at this time, but as the Gulf continues to bleed and it's wildlife suffer, the ramifications of a no-action approach in a global perspective may be regrettable. So, on this day my hope is that the United Nations use it's influence not to place blame or play politics, but to unite. To create an International Emergency Response Team comprised of the best minds, professionals, specialists, communicators, allies and friends in the international communitiny in order to openly examine the crisis that plagues our waters, shores and sealife. Leadership efforts of this type could create opportunities for other people to join and help save our ocean before it's too late.

CONTACTS: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/settlement_of_disputes/experts_special_arb.htm

WORLD OCEANS DAY PROGRAM AT THE UNITED NATIONS http://www.un.org/Depts/los/reference_files/oceansday2010programme.pdf

the Assemby-General


8 June 2009

The first observance of World Oceans Day allows us to highlight the many ways in which oceans contribute to society. It is also an opportunity to recognize the considerable challenges we face in maintaining their capacity to regulate the global climate, supply essential ecosystem services and provide sustainable livelihoods and safe recreation.

Indeed, human activities are taking a terrible toll on the world’s oceans and seas. Vulnerable marine ecosystems, such as corals, and important fisheries are being damaged by over-exploitation, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, destructive fishing practices, invasive alien species and marine pollution, especially from land-based sources. Increased sea temperatures, sea-level rise and ocean acidification caused by climate change pose a further threat to marine life, coastal and island communities and national economies.

Oceans are also affected by criminal activity. Piracy and armed robbery against ships threaten the lives of seafarers and the safety of international shipping, which transports 90 per cent of the world’s goods. Smuggling of illegal drugs and the trafficking of persons by sea are further examples of how criminal activities threaten lives and the peace and security of the oceans.

Several international instruments drawn up under the auspices of the United Nations address these numerous challenges. At their centre lies the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. It provides the legal framework within which all activities in the oceans and seas must be carried out, and is the basis for international cooperation at all levels. In addition to aiming at universal participation, the world must do more to implement this Convention and to uphold the rule of law on the seas and oceans.

The theme of World Oceans Day, “Our oceans, our responsibility”, emphasizes our individual and collective duty to protect the marine environment and carefully manage its resources. Safe, healthy and productive seas and oceans are integral to human well-being, economic security and sustainable development.


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