The 21st meeting of the United Nations Consultative Process on Oceans and the Law of the Sea was held from 14 to 18 June 2021, co-chaired by the Ambassador of Monaco, H.E. Ms. Isabelle Picco and her counterpart from Tonga, H.E. Mr. Viliami Va'inga Tone.
This meeting, held virtually on the subject of "Sea-Level Rise and its Impacts," was attended by 24 experts, including scientists and academics from around the world, as well as members of regional and global organisations who presented their work, in particular on the causes and impacts of this phenomenon and the challenges it poses. It was concluded that continued sea-level rise is inevitable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has already expressed concern about the accelerated speed of this phenomenon. In its special report on the ocean and cryosphere, presented in the Principality in 2019, the IPCC indicated that, on average, the rise in sea levels as a result of climate change could represent an increase of more than one metre by the year 2100.
The phenomenon of sea-level rise is therefore of great concern to many coastal states, particularly those in the tropics, the Mediterranean and the Pacific. In some situations, the very survival of communities is at stake. This is the case in Small Island Developing States, where the maximum elevation of some islands or atolls is 2 metres or less.
International cooperation must therefore be strengthened in order to meet the challenges posed by sea-level rise. This was an important aspect of the discussions at the meeting, which ended on 18 June.
For further information on this meeting, please visit the website of the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea at the following link: