Ocean Ambassadors Meeting, Malta

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The Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion headed by Minister Carmelo Abela together with UN Special Envoy for the Oceans, Ambassador Peter Thomson, will be organising the first international forum on Ocean Ambassadors, that is being held in Malta on 2-3 August 2019. The idea for this meeting came about after it was discovered that Malta is only one of 6 such Ocean Ambassadors around the world. Malta appointed an Ocean Ambassador, Prof. Alan Deidun, last year.

This meeting will therefore put a spotlight on the role of Ocean Ambassadors and encourage other states to appoint similar representatives. Ocean Ambassadors have a crucial role to play at the both the national and the international level.

The marine environment is the largest component of the Earth’s system that stabilises climate and supports life on Earth and human well-being. However, the First World Ocean Assessment released in 2016 found that much of the ocean is now seriously degraded, with changes and losses in the structure, function and benefits from marine systems. Oceans are also facing unprecedented stressors, mostly of human origin, such as climate change, ocean acidification, pollution and biodiversity loss that threaten their very ability to support life on Earth.

The global community has increasingly recognized the role and importance of oceans for sustainable development for a global population projected to surpass nine billion by 2050. In parallel, many countries are increasingly promoting a sustainable blue economy that can boost growth, jobs and innovation while ensuring conservation of biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

It has been estimated that the output of the global ocean economy is around 1.3 trillion euros and could more than double by 2030 thus potentially contributing to global sustainable development objectives and particularly the eradication of extreme poverty. Consequently, specific commitments have been adopted as outcomes of sustainable development fora to protect and restore oceans and marine ecosystems, and to manage ocean resources sustainably, in accordance with international law, to deliver on all three dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economy, society) in order to ensure their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations.

In 2017, the United Nations Secretary-General Guterres appointed Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji as his Special Envoy for the Ocean, aiming at galvanizing concerted efforts to follow up on the outcomes of the 2017 United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference, maintaining the momentum for action to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Addressing the Ocean Ambassadors will be European Commissioner Karmenu Vella and Commonwealth Secretary General the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, the President of the Intergovernmental Conference on the BBNJ Ambassador Rena Lee, as well as Ambassador Vidar Helgesen representing the Norwegian government’s initiative on a sustainable ocean economy. Also present will be representatives of UN Bodies and International Organisations such as the International Maritime Organisation, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN Development Programme, the European Commission, the EU Presidency, the Commonwealth Secretariat as well as states with a special interest in the Oceans and hosts of upcoming international events on Oceans.​​
Ocean Ambassadors Meeting, Malta
Ministeru għall-Affarijiet Barranin u Promozzjoni tal-Kummerċ
Palazzo Parisio
Triq Il-Merkanti
Valletta, VLT 1171

2124 2191

2123 6604