07 December 2016, New York; The Maldives has stated that the responsibility of the protection of oceans should be collectively shared by the world, due to the interconnected nature of the oceans, and it's associated issues.

Speaking at the 54th Plenary Meeting of the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly, the Maldives also raised concerns about the biggest issues faced by the oceans today, including climate change, plastic pollution and marine littering. The Maldives emphasized the disproportionate impact these issues have on Small Island States, as most of their geography consists of oceans.

The proactive efforts of the Government of Maldives in conservation and sustainable use of oceans were highlighted; which include establishment of Marine Protected Areas, monitoring and protection of coral reefs, and the leading role in sustainable fisheries.

The Maldives also recognized the significance of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of the Sustainable Development on Oceans, as well as the Preparatory Committee meetings for the establishment of an international agreement for biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, which will be taking place next year.

The statement was delivered by Mr. Ismail Raushan Zahir from the Maldives delegation.