Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama today also called for a new relationship of people with the ocean, one that relies on stewardship rather than exploitation.

In remarks at the High Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economies, held in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly, the Prime Minister said QUOTE “A sustainable ocean economy is not a choice, it is an imperative. We must rethink and transform the way we operate our economies-and in one sense, the way we live our lives-if we are to roll back the damage being done to our climate and our ocean and become proper stewards of these delicate resources.” UNQUOTE

He said we all must recapture and nurture that respectful relationship we once had with the ocean and we need a change of heart as well as a shift in mindset-about how we will live with the resources we were given.

The Prime Minister called for a global process that aligns local and national commitments with international targets.

He said he hoped that the panel would be able to present a clear case for national commitments to promote on ocean health at the next UN Ocean Conference, “basically, Nationally Determined Contributions for oceans” that could be voluntary at first.

The Prime Minister is in New York to attend the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, which is taking place from September 25 through October 3.

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