President Tommy Remengesau, Jr., in his speech before the guests at the Oceans Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, said that Palau’s mission to the United Nations in New York is taking an active role on the ongoing negotiations for the High Seas Treaty on Marine Biodiversity.

Remengesau, who was speaking before guests composed of delegations from over 60 countries, said that the international marine law is necessary in equitably managing global challenges.

The president also said that the high seas treaty, which is still going through discussions in the United Nations, must be concluded next year, explaining prior to this that “ensuring that international marine law is fit to cope with the urgency of the environmental crises is critical step to making ocean governance more effective.”

“We are discovering more and more about the importance that the ocean has for the climate, and it is vital that we accelerate ocean actions that also contribute to mitigating and adapting to climate change,” Remengesau said.

Remengesau said that all states, societies, civil society, and the private sector need to play their parts in ocean initiatives.

The president also brought up Palau’s upcoming hosting of the Our Ocean Conference in 2020, adding that taking on this challenge provides the opportunity to connect ocean actions with sustainable development.

The third session for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Conference tasked with the drafting of legally-binding instrument on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity is slated August 19-30. (Rhealyn C. Pojas)