Delegates, ocean advocates and defenders of the high seas gathered for a reception hosted by the High Seas Alliance, IUCN and the Bertarelli Foundation April 4th at UN Headquarters in New York City.Donna Bertarelli, of the Bertarelli Foundation, opened the evening by expressing her passion for the ocean and great concern at its rapid decline. She urged delegates that the time to protect the high seas is now and shared her hope that this treaty can quickly become a reality.
Chair of the PrepCom, Ambassador Eden Charles from Trinidad & Tobago, also spoke during the reception; thanking civil society and stakeholders for all of their hard work in helping to bring the issue of high seas protection this far.
Ambassador Charles was greeted with a round of applause as he encouragingly stated that a treaty must be adopted by 2019 .
Kristina Gjerde, speaking on behalf of the IUCN and HSA, noted that the “ocean is the cradle and wellspring of life” and thanked the many delegates, scientists and other for their contributions in getting us to this stage.
The event was an opportunity for PrepCom participants to meet informally and was well attended by many key government representatives who are engaged in the PrepCom. It also drew noted ocean persona, including marine biologist Sylvia Earle, and others from civil society who are active in ocean conservation efforts.
Cover photo by High Seas Alliance