AWATEA Executive Officer speaks at United Nations

The Executive Officer had the honour of speaking at a conference held at the United Nations in New York on 30 June. The conference was convened by the United Nations Open-ended Informal Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea (UNICPOLOS). New Zealand currently holds one of the Co-Chairman positions with former NZ Ambassador to the UN, Don MacKay, sharing the co-chairman’s role with the Ambassador from Mauritius.

UNICPOLOS meets every two years or so to discuss a theme important to the United Nations. This year’s theme was chosen as marine renewable energy and Dr. John Huckerby was invited to attend and present in his role as Chairman of the Ocean Energy Systems Implementing Group of the IEA.

The conference was held over four days with a plenary session. The conference covered a wide range of issues relating to marine energy Representatives from the UK, Philippines, Brazil, Japan, France, USA, Mauritius, Caribbean Community, China and Malaysia gave presentations. Topics ranged from reviews of the range and maturity of marine energy technologies to issues of distributive justice related to marine energy.

The audience was comprised of diplomats from many nations, even including some land-locked countries, together with representatives from other UN and nongovernmental agencies. It was interesting to note that some non-governmental agencies appear to have opportunities for influence at this diplomatic level, without necessarily having much engagement at the industrial level. There were approximately 100 – 150 people present over the four days.
No decisions were taken at the meeting but it was clear that diplomats had developed a much clearer understanding of the potential, issues and benefits of marine energy.

The agenda, presentations and list of attendees at the conference can be viewed and downloaded at:

http://www.un.org/Depts/los/consultative_process/consultative_process.htm

or

http://www.iisd.ca/oceans/icp13/ for a more informal and illustrated review of the meeting.

Dr. Huckerby would like to thank MFAT and the Executive Committee of Ocean Energy Systems for financial support to attend the conference.