Cyprus to host first Commonwealth Ocean Ministers Meeting

20 March 2024
Press release
Aerial view of an island

The inaugural Commonwealth Ocean Ministers Meeting will be held on 19 April 2024 in Cyprus, under the theme ‘Our Resilient Common Ocean: from Cyprus to Samoa’.

It follows a call by leaders at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Rwanda in 2022, to consolidate action on the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, seas, and marine resources.

The meeting will be attended by government ministers and senior officials from across the Commonwealth and is an opportunity to establish a voice for member countries on the ocean. Coastal states make up 49 of 56 Commonwealth members, yet all countries depend on the ocean for trade, transportation, access to resources and for security.

While in Cyprus, Commonwealth ministers responsible for ocean affairs will meet to establish the principles, priorities and actions for a Commonwealth Ocean Declaration, and to agree a roadmap which will pave the way for adoption of the declaration at CHOGM 2024 in Samoa.

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, said:

"The livelihoods of billions of people depend on the ocean because it is directly linked to food security, global heating, economic resilience and trade. Yet climate change, sea level rise, acidification, biodiversity loss, overfishing and plastic pollution are increasingly depleting our seas.

"No country can solve these challenges alone. The first Commonwealth Ocean Ministers Meeting will place the ocean at the front and centre of Commonwealth action and provide a valuable forum for ministers to share experiences and progress on implementing international commitments and the Commonwealth Blue Charter."

April 19th marks exactly six years since leaders at CHOGM 2018 adopted the Commonwealth Blue Charter and committed to work together on tackling shared ocean issues as well as to take action to safeguard the ocean for future generations.

Since 2018, the Commonwealth Secretariat has expanded its work in this area, by establishing and supporting country-led Blue Charter Action Groups, establishing an ocean project incubator, and through technical assistance on ocean governance, including accessing ocean climate finance.

Media wishing to cover the Commonwealth Ocean Ministers Meeting in Cyprus should register to attend by filling in the accreditation form.

About the Commonwealth Ocean Ministers Meeting

Media contact

  • Victoria Holdsworth  Communications and Media Liaison Lead, Commonwealth Secretariat
  • Email