ICES becomes an observer to the United Nations General Assembly

The Sixth (Legal) Committee of the UN General Assembly granted observer status to ICES on 01.11.18.
ICES was seeking observer status to the General Assembly in order to contribute to the UN work on ocean sustainability, climate change, biodiversity, and conservation and management of resources.


ICES pledged two commitments at the UN Ocean Conference in June last year in support of the SDGs: one on developing the science basis to assist ecosystem based management and the other to enhance marine science training and capacity building.

Support for SDG 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) is outlined in a statement, which covers the ways in which ICES contributes to the goal: by providing the scientific evidence for decision-making via integrated ecosystem assessments (IEAs) and ecosystem overviews, addressing the impacts of ocean acidification, and assessing fish stocks in order to provide advice on the sustainable level of fishing activity.

In addition, ICES is contributing to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development as well as the Informal Consultations of States Parties to the United Nations Fish Stocks Agreement and the UN Open-ended Informal Consultative Process in Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

ICES already has formal cooperation agreements with a number of intergovernmental organizations, including two UN organzations the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC/UNESCO)​,​ and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The full press release can be found at