REMARKS: SG Puna at UN Ocean Conference PIF side event

Our ocean-climate crisis and priorities for Action

Welcome and Introduction remarks, SG Henry Puna, Pacific Ocean Commissioner

One Blue Ocean for One Blue Planet: Actions to combat climate change and sea-level rise for our collective future
Friday 1 July, 1.15pm – 2.30pm
Plenary Room, Altice Arena, Lisbon PORTUGAL


Your Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great honour to welcome you to this Pacific Islands Forum side event on “One Blue Ocean for One Blue Planet”.

2. Warm Pacific greetings to all who are here in Lisbon at this iconic venue, as well as those tuning in online. I am so pleased you can join us.

3. Excellencies, throughout this past week, our world leaders have reaffirmed strong commitment to conserve and sustainably use the ocean, seas and marine resources. To act decisively and urgently to improve the health, productivity, sustainable use and resilience of the ocean and its ecosystems.

4. At the conclusion of Interactive Dialogue 7 yesterday, I was reminded of a particularly poignant message – that whereas the Ocean can live without us, we simply cannot live without the ocean.

5. Protecting our Ocean, thus, is ultimately about protecting ourselves, our peoples, our humankind.

6. Therefore, as we approach the end of this important Conference, we take this opportunity to re-emphasise the global emergency facing the ocean; that of climate change and sea-level rise.

7. For the Blue Pacific, the threats of climate change and sea-level rise are the defining issues that imperil the livelihoods and wellbeing of our peoples, and undermines the full realisation of a peaceful, secure, and sustainable future for our region.

8. We will therefore explore questions of what is at stake, and what steps and global actions have been undertaken throughout different parts of our globe to secure interests and maximize opportunities as sovereign nations.

9. What is at stake is simply the future of our planet, and its inhabitants. Time is of the essence, and we must take bold actions to secure our ocean and humanity.

10. As a first step, we must secure our sovereignty, our sovereign rights, our entitlements. Indeed, all coastal, Small Island Developing, and low-lying States require stability, security, certainty and predictability of our maritime zones.

11. Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, regardless of our geographical dispositions and vulnerabilities, we must continue our shared voyage of hope for our collective future.

12. In this regard, we bring together an excellent lineup of distinguished guests to demonstrate that the way forward from Lisbon has never been more clear.

13. The way forward is “together”; is through “collective bold” actions; and as “One Blue Ocean for One Blue Planet”.

Obrigado. I thank you. —ENDS



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