The international “Our Ocean” Conference, co-hosted by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union on 5 and 6 October 2017 in Malta, received commitments over more than six billion euros by public and private actors to better manage the 70% of the planet. Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet. They produce most of the oxygen we breathe and absorb 30% of the carbon we emit. Three billion people world-wide depend on the ocean for their livelihoods. One billion people rely on seafood as their main source of animal protein. But the oceans face a multitude of threats, such as pollution, climate change, overfishing and criminal activities at sea.
The Our Ocean 2017 Conference addressed the challenges of marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, and climate change. This year, the European Commission introduced the themes of blue economy and maritime security. Our Ocean engaged participants from around the globe to make significant commitments. With a focus on high-level engagement, partnership and action, the EU continues to drive other international efforts, such as delivery on the Sustainable Development Goals under Agenda 2030. The conference also complements the EU's international ocean governance initiative, which set out an agenda for the future of the oceans around the world.
Rear Adm(retd) Md Khurshed Alam, Secretary, Maritime Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs represented the Government of Bangladesh in this two day conference and reaffirmed the voluntary commitments made in the UN Ocean Conference in Jun 2017. In the sidelines, he also met with the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Union, Minister of Fisheries of Iceland, Minister of Agriculture and fisheries of Cambodia. Among the important dignitaries, Queen Noor of Jordan, Former Secretary of State of the USA John Kerry and Sylvia Eerl were present during the conference.