World Oceans Day
By its resolution 63/111 of 5 December 2008, the UN General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day.
The concept of a 'World Oceans Day' was first proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro as a way to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.
To raise awareness about the role the United Nations and international law can play in the sustainable development and use of the oceans and their living and non-living resources, the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea is actively coordinating different activities of he World Oceans Day.
UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) sponsors the World Ocean Network, which has since 2002 been instrumental in building support for ocean awareness events on 8 June.
We celebrate World Oceans Day to remind everyone of the major role the oceans have in everyday life. They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans. They are a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere. In the end, it is a day to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean.
World Oceans Day 2019
This year, the theme for World Oceans Day is “Gender and the Ocean”, an opportunity to explore the gender dimension of humankind’s relationship with the ocean. The 2019 edition of World Oceans Day will strive to build greater ocean and gender literacy and discover possible ways to promote gender equality in ocean-related activities such as marine scientific research, fisheries, labour at sea, migration by sea and human trafficking, policy-making and management.
The importance of gender equality, in particular for the effective conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources is increasingly being recognized. However, there is very little data and research on these issues, and a concerted action towards gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls is still needed in all ocean-related sectors to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5.
MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
"To set a balanced course for humanity and to foster innovative solutions for our ocean, we must ensure diversity and gender inclusiveness at all levels. Not only is the ocean an increasingly important battleground for achieving gender equality, but building a more gender equal society also means empowering women and girls to be the actors of positive ocean change... Mainstreaming gender equality throughout the UN Decade of Ocean Science will help ensure that, by 2030, women as much as men are driving ocean science and management, helping to deliver the ocean we need for a prosperous, sustainable and environmentally secure future."
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World Oceans Day