Catherine Colonna and Hervé Berville launch the UN Ocean Conference steering committee (March 15th 2023)


Joint press release by the French ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the office of the minister of State for Marine Affairs

On Wednesday, March 15, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, and the Minister of State for Marine Affairs, attached to the Prime Minister, Hervé Berville, launched the UN Ocean Conference steering committee. The conference will be held in Nice in June 2025 under the auspices of the President of France, Emmanuel Macron.

The steering committee was accompanied by the Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, and the President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, Renaud Muselier, who shared what it means to host this conference.

The conference, which is being organized together with Costa Rica and the UN, seeks to raise collective ambitions for protecting the oceans. It aims to continue the positive dynamic that began with the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework at the COP 15 in December 2022 and the recently adopted Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ). It will also build on the gains made during the One Ocean Summit in Brest in February 2022.

The oceans are part of humanity’s heritage and are one of its common goods. Biodiversity reserves are home to over 250,000 known species. They also act as the planet’s largest carbon sinks. Protecting them is essential to the fight against climate change.

In order to accelerate their protection, the French government strives to make the 2025 UN Ocean Conference a key event on the international agenda. At this conference, the international community must set and implement ambitious goals, expand scientific knowledge of the oceans, and identify financial needs in order to mobilize the efforts of public and private entities to provide “blue financing.”

The 2025 conference must also serve as an opportunity for mobilization at the national level and efforts to raise youth awareness regarding ocean preservation and the conservation of our maritime heritage. In addition, the French government plans to consult with civil society in order to generate proposals for ways to contribute to this mobilization.