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New Zealand Role In Vital Oceans Resolution

"On Monday this week the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus an important resolution put forward by New Zealand which will change the way in which international cooperation on oceans issues is dealt with in the United Nations" Rt Hon Simon Upton announced today. The resolution had its beginnings in the meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development in April this year which was chaired by Mr Upton.

"One of the most important outcomes of the Commission's April session was the decision on issues relating to oceans and seas" Mr Upton commented. "That decision included a recommendation sponsored by New Zealand on improving the way oceans issues are dealt with in the General Assembly, the UN's highest body. Since April the New Zealand Mission to the UN has worked hard to develop the recommendation into a formal resolution and to ensure the support of many other sponsors" said Mr Upton.

Mr Upton said adoption of the resolution by consensus was a signal achievement. "What this means is that for the first time there will be an annual opportunity to bring all the stakeholders together to tackle issues like overfishing and marine pollution prior to the annual debate on oceans and the Law of the Sea.

"The debate has, up until now, cut little ice. There is now a chance that the really big, life and death issues affecting the oceans will find their way into the spotlight as many of the worlds citizens believe they must.

Mr Upton said that the General Assembly resolution set the seal on 12 months intensive work as Chair of the CSD.

He expressed his delight that the oceans resolution had been a cooperative effort between New Zealand and the Pacific Island Countries represented at the United Nations in New York. "Mexico also played a key role in the negotiations leading up to Monday's resolution" said Mr Upton. "All in all some 42 countries co-sponsored the final resolution, an indication of the vital importance placed by those countries on the health and vitality of the oceans for a sustainable future for humankind.”

ENDS

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