UN chief urges international community to save oceans

By Xinhua News , Agency
Published at 01:08 PM Jun 10 2024
 UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Photo: Reuters
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Saturday called on the international community to take urgent actions to save the troubled oceans.

 “The ocean sustains and enhances all life on Earth, but our ocean is in trouble. And we only have ourselves to blame,” the top UN official said in a message for World Oceans Day, observed annually on June 8. Guterres highlighted the impact of “climate change triggering rising seas,” which not only threatens “the very existence of small island developing states and coastal populations,” but also “are sparking extreme weather events that affect us all.”

Other challenges include “ocean acidification destroying coral reefs,” which risks marine biodiversity and local tourism, and “unsustainable coastal development, overfishing, deep-sea mining, unchecked pollution, and plastic waste wreaking havoc on marine ecosystems across the globe,” he said.

Guterres described the Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea for the “Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction,” adopted in June last year, as “the most significant new treaty on ocean governance in decades.”

Noting the critical opportunities of this year’s Summit of the Future and next year’s UN Oceans Conference in France, Guterres called on governments, businesses, investors, scientists and communities to “commit to action that can restore and protect our precious marine and coastal ecosystems.”