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Bringing the voice of Asia and the Pacific to the UN Ocean Conference

The ocean is a lifeline for millions of people and economies in the Asia-Pacific region. But the health of the ocean is in serious decline - and we now stand at a critical juncture to mobilize much-needed action, partnerships and innovative science-based solutions to protect our future.

To promote concerted action, on 21 May 2020, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) adopted a resolution on "Strengthening cooperation to promote the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific," recognizing the importance of the ocean for the region.

In line with this mandate, the protection of the Ocean remains at the heart of our work programme. In 2017, the UN hosted the first Global Ocean Conference in New York, to support the implementation of SDG14. Within the framework of that Conference, ESCAP submitted a voluntary commitment on ocean work, which has been successfully implemented. At the Second Global Ocean conference in Lisbon in 2022, ESCAP submitted a new voluntary commitment to continue to convene Governments and other stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific to enhance regional cooperation on the conservation and sustainable management of the oceans and marine ecosystems.

During the Lisbon dialogues, ESCAP will guarantee that the voices from Asia and the Pacific are heard, as requested by stakeholders in our region through our annual Asia-Pacific Day for the Ocean.

Furthermore, in collaboration with UNEP and UNDP, ESCAP developed a Regional Decade Programme to support the implementation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific (2021-2030). This programme will provide a platform to align the ocean work in the region throughout the ocean decade.