Centre of Blue Diplomacy and Ocean Economics

Strategic Context

  • Today, the seas and the oceans, where much of the world’s true wealth, natural resources and plentiful flora and fauna lie, will become the next battleground among countries. The lack of high-level political leadership and cooperation, successful diplomatic initiatives and an effective global framework which would bring public and private entities, and unregulated and unsustainable expansionist policies of countries and companies will only exacerbate this.
  • A complete rethinking of water, the seas, the oceans, marine resources and international diplomacy – and getting a mix of policymakers, diplomats, businesses and academia and other civil society leaders around them — is urgently warranted and needed.
  • The Prime Minister of Norway Her Excellency Ms. Erna Solberg has launched a new High-Level Panel on the Sustainable Ocean Economy, it was announced at Davos, WEF, January 2018. The UN has also announced a “Friends of Ocean Action” with 60 ocean leaders and experts. It will convene a conference on oceans in 2020. These are important processes, which the Geneva School of Diplomacy can contribute its part to. But importantly today, countries, policymakers, government officials and companies want practical advice: clearer guidance, methods and tools to change the tide on the oceans.

 

 

Centre of Blue Diplomacy and Ocean Economics

  • In view of the above, the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, strategically located in Geneva, Switzerland where much of international trade, diplomacy, and cooperation occur, proposes to now host a new Centre of Blue Diplomacy and Ocean Economics. A smaller satellite office will operate out of Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius and the World Bank Group hosted the African Ministerial Conference on Ocean Economies and Climate Change ahead of the Climate Conference (COP23) in Marrakesh, Morocco.
  • The Centre will be guided by a Committee, made up of high-level VIPs from different walks of professions, and balanced (region and gender): Heads of States, Business Leaders, CSOs, academia, scientists, etc.

 

 

The Centre’s primary objectives will be to:

  • Build awareness on both the potential of the sustainable (blue) ocean economy and the importance of deeper cooperation and coming to sustainable agreements, i.e. “Blue Diplomacy”
  • Assisting countries in understanding sustainable investments in the ocean economy and helping them make better and more long-term decisions for higher income, prosperity, and climate resilience.
  • Work on empowering and unleashing initiatives that will help spearhead more cooperation and diplomatic efforts on both land and the sea/oceans. We need to ensure the oceans are healthy and prosper so that humanity can continue to depend on them for the future, but importantly so that we minimize the risk of future conflict and fragility.

 

 

Expected Outcomes: Greater cooperation between countries. Exchange of experience, learning, and knowledge in areas where countries need expertise: trade negotiation, agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture management and governance, climate change, marine pollution reduction, ocean renewable energy deployment, education and skills building, shipping, bunkering, marine spatial plans and more.

Proposed Methods: Tailor-made courses for practitioners. Bachelors, Masters level courses taught at GSD, organization of monthly discussions, debates. Invitation for scholarly articles on the topic. Support of country-level, regional and international processes as needed and required.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Colum Murphy, President, Geneva School of Diplomacy (C.Murphy@Genevadiplomacy.com)

Mr. Yuvan A. Beejadhur, Chair, Centre of Blue Diplomacy and Ocean Economics (YAB@Oceans2020.com)