UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission meeting in ParisUNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) will hold an Executive Council meeting from June 23 to 29 at Paris headquarters.
The opening session on June 23, will focus primarily on issues pertaining to sustainable development of small island developing States (SIDS), a priority to be reaffirmed a few months ahead of the Barbados + 10 conference (Mauritius, January 2005). SIDS are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and to the negative effects of global change, be they environmental, cultural, social or economic. UNESCO is actively engaged in the implementation of the Barbados Plan of Action adopted in 1994 and reaffirmed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002.
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura and Ambassador Jagdish Koonjul, Permanent Representative of Mauritius to the United Nations, President of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Vice-President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) will take the floor during this session, which will be open to the press.
The session will continue with seven keynote speakers who will present the latest developments in IOC programmes. Pierre Bahurel, Director of GIP–MERCATOR–OCEAN, will talk about the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE); John R. Delaney, from the University of Washington, about the Neptune Project in the Northeast Pacific; John Goude, Director of WOCE and the Argo Project, about the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE); Tundi Agardy, Executive Director of Sound Seas, about the new Coral Reef Targeted Research and Capacity Building Project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF); Neil Kenyon, Coordinator of the Training Through Research Programme, will talk about the TTR, which has already benefited more than 600 young scientists; Roger Harris, of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, about sudden shifts in the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems; and William Burnett, President of the SCOR working group on the topic, will discuss submarine groundwater discharge.
The IOC was founded in 1960 to provide Member States of the United Nations with mechanisms for global cooperation in the study of the ocean and serve as a joint coordination facility among United Nations organizations and programmes dealing with marine issues. The Commission’s aims to promote international cooperation and coordinate research programmes, services and capacity building to increase knowledge pertaining to the nature and resources of the oceans and of coastal areas and to apply this knowledge to the improvement of management, to the protection of the marine environment and to the decision-making process by Member States.
Journalists wishing to cover the meeting must be accredited by the Press Service, tel.: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48