That's what the president of the current session of the United Nations General Assembly and Fiji's Ambassador to the UN, Peter Thomson said in his opening address at the start of the first ever UN conference on Oceans in NY this morning.
The U.N. chief told presidents, ministers, diplomats and environmental activists from almost 200 countries that oceans - "the lifeblood of our planet" - are being severely damaged by pollution, garbage, overfishing and the effects of climate change.
"Improving the health of our oceans is a test for multilateralism, and we can not afford to fail", the secretary-general said.
United Nations member-states are working on a "call to action" to be signed by countries who commit to taking steps to clean up the oceans and work to preserve what is arguably the Earth's most important resource.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned governments that unless they overcome short-term territorial and resource interests, the state of the oceans will continue to deteriorate, when he addressed his first major United Nations conference since taking office.
At the end of the conference Friday, almost 200 countries will issue a "call for action" addressing marine issues, which Cardona said has already been agreed.
A significant outcome of the conference will be the voluntary commitments made by the member states, civil society and the private sector to the implementation of the ocean-related Sustainable Development Goal. "The conservation and sustainable use of marine resources are two sides of the same coin", he noted.
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06 de junio de 2017, 17:01United Nations, Jun 6 (Prensa Latina) United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the global community today to foster dialogue and cooperation in areas with cross-border waters, as a way to prevent conflicts.
According to Guterres, "Improving the health of our oceans is a test for multilateralism, and we can not afford to fail".
The targets of Goal 14 include: preventing and significantly cutting marine pollution by 2025; minimizing and addressing the impacts of ocean acidification; and conserving at least 10 percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020.
"Countries are called upon to decisively prohibit certain forms of fishery subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing".
Also speaking at the opening was Wu Hongbo, the secretary-general of the Ocean Conference, who said that without oceans and seas, there would be no life on the planet.
It was for these reasons and others that many have come to share Morales' dim view of US leadership under Trump and the Republican Party.
The Ocean Conference will see for the first time all 193 UN nations come together to compare notes on how the world is implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14; to conserve, protect and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.