New York City, 6 December 2023(TDI): Rashid Jamal Ibrahim, the UAE delegation at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Meeting on Item 75, Oceans and the Law of the Sea, underscored the importance of this annual debate.
He stated that “this annual discussion is also of special importance to the UAE due to its coincidence with the holding of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention.”
He continued on to highlight the United Nations Framework on Climate Change in Dubai, which started on November 30, 2023, which is a global forum for finding practical solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change and its consequences on our globe, especially our seas.
Additionally, he highlighted efforts leading to the approval of ecological legislation, the construction of protected areas, and the implementation of initiatives to protect marine life, especially endangered species, as a top priority for his country.
Within the context of a joint discussion on sustainable fisheries, oceans, and the law of the sea, the General Assembly has adopted two resolutions addressing threats posed by the ocean to marine resources, increasing sea levels, and ecosystem damage.
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea’s unifying nature and the necessity of maintaining its integrity were confirmed when the Assembly accepted the resolution “Oceans and the Law of the Sea” with 140 votes in favor, 1 vote against (Türkiye), and 3 abstentions (Colombia, El Salvador, and Syria).
Also Read: Conservation and Sustainable use of Oceans
He stated that the recent agreement reached on the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) indicates a mutual dedication to protecting ecosystem resources beyond immediate maritime borders as a “common heritage of mankind.”
Furthermore, the UAE has initiated numerous initiatives to contribute to national, regional, and global efforts in marine sciences and the preservation of healthy aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the oceans.
The UAE launched the marine research ship “Jeon” in January 2023, among other initiatives, to promote marine environment preservation, combat climate change effects, manage marine biodiversity, and provide a scientific platform for marine study.
During his closing remarks, Rashid highlighted the UAE’s commitment to protecting endangered marine species and their habitats, citing the recent WTO Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and its diverse marine environment with over 40 fish species.