28.11.2017 - Culture Sector

2001 Convention Secretariat increases cooperation with UN Special Envoy for the Ocean

© UNESCO/A. Da Silva


On 2 November 2017, the Assistant Director-General and the Secretariat of the 2001 Convention met with Peter Thompson, the UN Special Envoy for the Ocean. One of the key topics of this meeting was ‘ocean change’, and how UNESCO’s role in this global issue has become increasingly important. The presentation of the 2001 Convention in New York at the UN during the first Ocean Conference was referred to. It was also underlined, how important underwater cultural heritage is for understanding the connection of humanity with the ocean.

During the meeting, Mr. Thompson was introduced to the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage. The 2001 Convention’s international site cooperation mechanism was discussed and its importance for protecting cultural sites located in the High Seas underlined. The participants of the meeting discussed the potential for this system to be a model for a new legally binding instrument for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Finally, the Special Envoy for the Ocean will be crucial in the preparation of the next UN Ocean Conference, and Mr Thompson firmly supported the involvement of the 2001 Convention in all connected UN-OCEAN activities. Finally, an invitation was extended to the Special Envoy to participate in the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body meeting in spring 2018.

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