His Excellency the President of Nauru leads at first United Nations Oceans Conference

Republic of Nauru
Permanent Mission to the United Nations


NEW YORK—His Excellency the Honourable Baron Waqa, President of Nauru delivered a stirring call to action on the global stage at the first ever United Nations Oceans Conference.

Formally known as the United Nations Conference to Implement SDG-14 on Oceans, the Conference has gathered together Heads of State and Government, Ministers, Government Officials and other stakeholders from around the world to tackle the serious and mounting threats to the ocean.

Delivering his remarks shortly after the traditional Kava Ceremony that marked the opening of the conference in UN General Assembly Hall, President Waqa declared, “Our Ocean has also made our tiny Republic a global economic player. Some countries have oil. Others have timber or strategic minerals. We have tuna.”

He continued, “This conference comes at a precarious moment in human history, and we know full well that the challenges we face—with our Oceans, with our climate, and with our development—cannot be overcome alone… let us find out what can be achieved when 193 countries work together.”

Later that day, President Waqa held a bilateral meeting with the His Excellency Mr. Antonio Gutteres, Secretary-General of the United Nations to underscore the important challenges and opportunities faced by Nauru.

On Tuesday of this week, the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) group, under Nauru’s leadership, hosted a high-level reception attended by Secretary-General Gutteres, the President of the General Assembly, Pacific Leaders, and high-level officials from across the world. Delivering remarks, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of the UN System delivering support to help Small Island Developing States overcome their challenges. President Waqa stated that “we consider ourselves the BOS – Big Ocean States. And we are committed to showing the stewardship that comes with the BOS.” The reception featured a performance by the world famous reggae band “Third World” and from Oceania Dance Theater and Pacifika Voice from the University of the South Pacific.

The morning of Wednesday, 7 June, President Waqa hosted a breakfast for Pacific leaders, including incoming President of COP23, Prime Minister Vorege Bainimarama of Fiji, in order to discuss preparations for the upcoming climate meeting. The PSIDS pledged cooperation and solidarity in preparation for the upcoming Conference. Later in the afternoon, the President participated Partnerships Dialogue on: Increasing economic benefits to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.”

President Waqa will depart New York on Thursday, 8 June for an official visit to Israel.


Circulated on behalf of Republic of Nauru Permanent Mission to the United Nations