About two dozen heads of state and government will be in Lisbon at the UN Ocean Conference, taking place from June 27 to July 1, the vice-president of the organizing committee, Alexandre Leitão, has confirmed.
In addition, representatives from 193 countries will be also joining, including 938 civil society entities, 75 foundations and 74 universities.
The 2022 United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world is strengthening its efforts to mobilize, create and drive solutions to realize the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
As one of the first milestones of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ newly launched Decade of Action for the Sustainable Development Goals, themed as – “Our Ocean, Our People, Our Prosperity” - the conference hopes to unlock ocean-based solutions to address some of the most defining issues of our time, from climate change to economic inequality and will seek to propel science-based innovation to start a new chapter of global ocean action.
According to the event organizers, the conference will also stress the importance of the ocean as our planet’s largest ecosystem, our life source, supporting humanity’s sustenance and that of every other organism on earth. It stabilizes climate, stores carbon, nurtures unimaginable biodiversity, and directly supports human well-being through food and energy resources, as well as by providing cultural and recreational services. The ocean is also key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030.
Representing the United States, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will co-host the Our Ocean 2022 Conference, heading a delegation of U.S. representatives from civil society and industry.
Representing the Portuguese-American community, Dean of the Massachusetts Senate Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton) will be a keynote speaker at the conference.
On 9th September 2021, the General Assembly adopted the draft decision (A/75/578) entitled “2022 United Nations Conference” to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development,” by which the Assembly decides to convene the Conference from 27th June to 1st July 2022 in Lisbon.