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World Oceans Day Focuses on Greening our Future

8 June 2011: To mark World Oceans Day, which was celebrated around the theme “Our oceans: greening our future,” a panel discussion convened at UN Headquarters in New York, US.

The event included introductory remarks by Patricia O'Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel. Panelists addressed the following themes: oceans and the environment; oceans and the social impact; economic aspects of the oceans; and oceans and youth.

In his message to mark the Day, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon outlined the challenges faced by oceans, including depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment. He stressed the need to pay particular attention to the ecosystem functions provided by oceans and their importance to the global economy ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). Ban called for all activities and policies related to oceans and the marine environment "to acknowledge and incorporate the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic." He concluded by urging governments and all sectors of society to "protect the marine environment and manage its resources in a sustainable manner for present and future generations." [UN Secretary-General's Message] [World Oceans Day Event Flyer] [UN Press Release]