In this issue, we feature steady movement toward refining and strengthening the oceans, coasts, and small island States sections of the Rio+20 negotiating document, especially through the submissions of the NGO Oceans Cluster and of the Global Ocean Forum. This is in anticipation of the next round of Rio+20 negotiations which will be held on March 19-23, 2012 (informal/informals) and March 26-27, 2012 (Third Intersessional Meeting). During the Intersessional, please look for a side event on oceans on March 26, 2012 at 6:15 PM, co-organized by the Global Ocean Forum, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, and the UN Permanent Delegations of Fiji and Seychelles.
In a major initiative, the President of the World Bank, Robert. B. Zoellick, has announced a wide-ranging Global Ocean Partnership to confront major threats to ocean and coastal resources. Significant engagement by the World Bank in the oceans sustainable development agenda is expected to bring a new level of political commitment and resources on the problems and issues facing coastal and island communities around the world.
The Global Ocean Forum has announced the organization of a major ocean event during the Rio+20 summit (on June 16, 2012), Advancing Oceans and Coasts at Rio+20 and Beyond, aimed to make a final push on oceans in the Rio negotiations, anticipate implementation challenges, and feature major initiatives on oceans. Proposals for panels, speakers, and partnerships to be featured are invited until April 15, 2012.
I also take this opportunity to congratulate Dr. Rolph Payet, Presidential Advisor on Oceans to the President of Seychelles, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Seychelles, and member of the Global Ocean Forum’s International Board of Directors, to his appointment as Minister of Environment and Energy of the Cabinet, Republic of Seychelles.
In the next two issues of Global Ocean Forum News, we will feature the results of the Rio+20 Third Intersessional Meeting and issues related to marine areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) relevant to the forthcoming UN negotiations on ABNJ slated for May 7-11, 2012.
Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, President, Global Ocean Forum