The speech made by Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, on 11 February 2022.
Standing on a Cornish beach with President Macron last summer, one could not help but be struck by the majesty of the ocean before us, and its importance to all our lives.
Because the nations of the world are not separated by seas and oceans – we are bound together by them.
Whatever our stage of development, whatever our system of government, the same briny waters lap at all our shores.
And we all have a duty to help them thrive.
It’s a duty the UK takes extremely seriously.
It’s why we’ve committed half a billion pounds to help developing nations protect their seas and coasts.
Why we’ve thrown a Blue Belt around 2.5 million square miles of ocean.
And why, I can announce today, the UK will be joining the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity beyond National Jurisdiction.
Because it’s vital that we all step up and meet our obligations to the marine environment under the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
And that won’t happen unless we agree a treaty to protect the vast expanse of water
– something like 60 per cent of it –
that falls beyond the borders of any one nation.
At COP26, I stressed the need for the world to raise its ambitions with respect to our oceans.
So I’m delighted that President Macron has convened this summit.
And I hope it kicks off a year in which the world comes together in support of the seas that surround us, the flora and fauna within, and everyone around the world whose livelihoods depend on thriving, clean, and sustainable oceans.