ADDRESS BY THE SECRETARY-GENERAL KITACK LIM AT THE OPENING OF
THE FORTY-THIRD CONSULTATIVE MEETING OF CONTRACTING PARTIES TO THE LONDON CONVENTION & SIXTEENTH MEETING OF CONTRACTING PARTIES TO THE LONDON PROTOCOL (LC 43/LP 16)
25 October 2021
Excellencies, distinguished delegates and observers,
It is a pleasure for me to welcome you all to the forty-third Consultative Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Convention and sixteenth Meeting of Contracting Parties to the London Protocol.
As you may recall, last year your meeting was shortened to two days, due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, you are back to a full meeting week, but the nature of virtual meetings means that there is less time at hand than during our normal meetings. I trust though, that you will be able to make the necessary progress, particularly in preparation for the first review of your Strategic Plan, which is due next year.
Preparing for that review is indeed a priority, and many of the other main topics for discussion this week will all contribute to this, including:
- the approval of the Scientific Groups' report and the decisions contained therein;
- the review of the annual reporting from Parties;
- the consideration of the report of the thirteenth session of the London Protocol Compliance Group; and
- the review of the current practices of dumping of sewage sludge at sea.
I trust that under the leadership of your able Chair, Ms. Betsy Valente of the United States, you will steer confidently through the agenda and conclude on these important items, despite the reduced number of hours at your disposal.
You may be aware that the intergovernmental ocean discussions are expected to resume fully in 2022, many of the discussions are closely related to the London Convention and Protocol, and indeed the wider work of the IMO. This includes the final steps of the BBNJ negotiations, the fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly, COP 15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the delayed UN Ocean Conference to support SDG 14, just to mention a few.
Next year will also see the celebration of the 50th anniversary since the adoption of the London Convention, along with the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Environment in Stockholm, which was the first conference to truly put the environment at centre stage, and I am sure you'll agree that this presents an important opportunity to celebrate and promote five decades of achievements in protecting the ocean from marine pollution from dumping of wastes.
As I have often highlighted in my remarks to the meetings of the London Convention and Protocol governing bodies, it is important for us to remember this wider context of sustainable governance of our ocean, and the vital role that your treaties play alongside other IMO instruments. It is by recognizing this and delivering on the targets laid out in the Strategic Plan, that we can make an important and long-lasting contribution to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs.
With that, I wish you very good luck in your deliberations this week.