Under Secretary Novelli Welcomes 2016 Our Ocean Conference

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MAN: Please welcome
Undersecretary of State Katherine Novelli. [APPLAUSE] UNDERSECRETARY
CATHERINE NOVELLI: Wow. Good morning. And welcome to the 2016
Our Ocean conference. I’m Catherine Novelli,
Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth,
Energy and the Environment. On behalf of Secretary Kerry
and the State Department, I welcome you to the third
Our Ocean conference. I’d like to recognize the
heads of state and government, the foreign ministers, and
all the other ministers and officials here today. Any success that
we hope to achieve to improve the health
of the ocean we share depends on willingness to act
together as a global community. It is immensely gratifying that
so many nations have come here today armed with
serious commitments to demonstrate their support
for the world’s oceans. I would like to also thank
all the civil society, international organizations,
businesses, scientists, and other guests who
have come here today. Governments have
an important role to play in ocean conservation,
but the important relationships that we have formed
with all of the partners through Our Ocean
conferences are both necessary and inspiring. As everyone here
knows all too well, the ocean today is under
tremendous pressure from human activity, including
unsustainable and illegal fishing, marine pollution,
and climate-related impacts. Our hope is that this
third Our Ocean conference will continue to
focus the world’s attention on the key
ocean issues of our time. We know that the
ocean is resilient. If we do the right thing,
the ocean can recover. All of us, therefore,
need to undertake or renew commitments for significant
and meaningful action to protect the ocean. It is vital that we achieve
our sustainable development goal of conserving
and sustainably using the ocean and its resources. We arrived here today
because of a man who spent much of his life near
the sea, and much of his career committed to making sure he
can pass on a healthy ocean to his children
and grandchildren and to the children
across the globe. Secretary Kerry had a
vision to bring people from around the world together
to join forces and take action to safeguard this
precious resource. He has spent his life tirelessly
advocating for the protection and conservation of
our magnificent ocean, and has turned what began as
an idea for a single conference on ocean conservation into a
movement that will continue for years to come. So far the world has come
together at the first two Our Ocean conferences to
pledge over $4 billion to conservation
activities, and committed to safeguard an area the size
of the continent of Australia through Marine Protected Areas. And I know this is
just the beginning. Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome the vision behind the Our Ocean movement,
Secretary of State John Kerry. [APPLAUSE]

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