Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

Statement by

Mr. Jeem Lippwe,
Deputy Permanent Representative

Federated States of Micronesia
before the
67th United Nations General Assembly
Agenda item 75:
Oceans and the law of the sea

11 December 2012

Check Against Delivery

Mr. President,

The Federated States of Micronesia aligns itself with the statement delivered by Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Pacific SIDS, as well as the statement delivered by Palau on behalf of the Pacific Island Forum countries.

Mr. President,

My delegation would like at the outset to express its sincere gratitude to the Division of Oceans and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) for their important work on all aspects of the Convention and especially of the informal negotiations. We are also grateful for the comprehensive annual report on Oceans and the Law of the Sea produced by the Secretary-General. Finally, we give our special thanks to the two coordinators, Ambassador Eden Charles of Trinidad and Tobago and Ms. Alice Revell of New Zealand, for conducting the informal consultations on the two draft resolutions before us, both of which my delegation is a proud cosponsor of.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of opening for signature of the Law of the Sea Convention. It remains as valid today as it has been in 1982; perhaps it is even more important nowadays. Our gratitude goes out to the founding fathers and all that actively support and advance its cause.

Mr. President,

Micronesia is an oceanic state. The oceans bring us together, sustain us, and its resources enrich us. It is part of our homeland. Our people's livelihood, culture, and way of living depend on a blue economy, which means we need an ocean that is healthy and free of climate change impacts, including rising tides and temperatures as well as ocean acidification; we need fish stocks to be sustainably managed without the use of harmful or destructive fishing practices including overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. We also need our local communities to have access to the resources on which they depend and have proper input in their management.

We must therefore treat our ocean accordingly and defend it as strongly. In this regard, my delegation urges all Member States to fulfill the commitments made in the Ocean section of the Rio plus 20 outcome document, entitled "The Future we want". We also welcome the new elements contained in this year's resolutions to ensure the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean and its resources.

Given the vulnerability and limited capacity of Micronesia as a small island developing state, we particularly welcome the references in the resolutions stressing the need to identify and mainstream strategies by 2014 that assist SIDS to develop their capacity to conserve, sustainably manage and realize the benefits of sustainable fisheries, as well as the invitation to States and international financial institutions to develop special financial mechanisms or instruments to assist SIDS in developing their national capacity to exploit fisheries resources.

Mr. President,

In our part of the Pacific, we have taken the lead in preserving healthy fish stocks and to protect our environment. We have created innovative tools to keep our stocks at a level producing at least maximum sustainable yield based on the best available science. We encourage our partners to join us in our endeavor, particularly the ones that are cautious and are thinking out of short-term interest. The Parties to the Nauru Agreement are taking the responsible approach and we encourage other regions of the world to follow our example.

Mr. President,

In 2014, the SIDS International Conference will be held in our Pacific island neighbor, the Independent State of Samoa. Micronesia looks forward to the discussions on how to further address the challenges faced by small Island developing states, including in the area of conservation and sustainable use of the ocean resources.

Mr. President,

In conclusion, I want to emphasize that we are all responsible for the future health of the oceans. Engaging actively in the sustainable use, management and conservation of the world's oceans is not just a practical but also a moral obligation that we all need to fulfill.

I thank you.