Caritas Aotearoa a voice for the Pacific at UN forum in New York


Julianne Hickey, Director of Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is making sure the voice of the Pacific is being heard on the world stage.

She is in New York to represent Caritas Oceania at a week-long forum convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council. The forum included a three-day ministerial meeting.

The theme of the forum is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world”. It concludes on Wednesday.

In her address at the forum last Thursday Hickey called for an immediate halt to all deep-sea mining including exploratory testing.

She expressed concerns about the long-term impact on the oceans and marine life arising from experimental deep sea mining.

“Such mining is far from being an established practice around the world.”

“The technology involved is in its infancy and it is not credible to talk about so-called ‘best-practice’ regulatory regimes in the Oceania region.”

“The fact is that many of the countries in which multinational mining corporations are seeking licenses do not have established regulatory scrutiny of such activities,” Hickey said.

She said the reliance of communities on the oceans increases the risks.

“For example our community partners in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands rely on the oceans and healthy marine ecosystems for their very livelihoods”.

Hickey said that Caritas welcomed two specific initiatives towards better care of the oceans and marine resources:

  • The development of special Marine Protection Areas in Tonga.
  •  The move by the New Zealand government to ban plastic microbeads which have been shown to be harmful to waterways, fish and shellfish.


  • Supplied by Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand
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News category: Asia Pacific.