3 April 2020

As a consequence of the Covid-19 outbreak, OSPAR has taken the decision to postpone its Ministerial Meeting, which was due to be held in July 2020. The Ministerial Meeting will be hosted by Portugal in 2021.

Heads of Delegation representing 15 countries from around the North-East Atlantic, and the European Union, took the difficult decision on 3 April. The Ministerial was planned to launch OSPAR’s new strategy for the North-East Atlantic for the decade 2020-2030. In the coming year, OSPAR will continue to work on the strategy and also use the available time to improve the quality of the many supporting deliverables.

The Chair of the OSPAR Commission, Richard Cronin (Ireland), said that “at this time our strength is clearly demonstrated by the collective leadership and solidarity the OSPAR family has shown in making this decision. Whilst we all take time to look after our families and national duties, we will maintain momentum and continue to prepare for the challenges facing us and the oceans in the years to come.”

Further updates on the plans being put in place will be announced on the OSPAR website.



Note for editors

1. The OSPAR Commission was set up by the 1992 OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic, which unified and updated the 1972 Oslo and 1974 Paris Conventions. It brings together the governments of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, together with the European Community.

2. More than 30 international non-governmental organisations are involved in OSPAR as official Observers. They represent a broad range of interests and expertise related to the marine environment and the uses of marine resources. Many contribute information, insights and standpoints. This is much appreciated feedback from civil society and the economy. The OSPAR Commission greatly values these partnerships that help inform its decisions and other results. (See list on OSPAR website at http://www.ospar.org/organisation/observers).