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26 Ocean Yearbook 1 (2012)

handle is hein.intyb/oceayear0026 and id is 1 raw text is: Elisabeth Mann Borgese and the Ocean
Governance Mission of 101
IOI Beginnings, the Present and the Challenging
Salvino Busuttil and Cherdsak Virapat
International Ocean Institute Headquarters, Malta
That till the 1960s there was no international entity devoted to training in
maritime affairs in their holistic context sounds incredible. There were, of
course, quite a number of national institutions, some of great standing, impart-
ing knowledge on several ocean issues generally. These organizations were well-
versed in specific sea-oriented disciplines but lacked an integrated approach to
the ocean, and no major non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to
global maritime issues was active on the world scene. It was Elisabeth Mann
Borgese's genius not only to embark on the creation of an academic body offer-
ing specialized courses on the ocean, but to convey to that body a solid lobbying
quality reaching the upper echelons of decision-making at both the national and
United Nations levels. Her intuition led her to involve Arvid Pardo, then Malta's
representative to the United Nations, as a major player within the International
Ocean Institute, 101 as her creation became known.
Arvid was already an international figure whose 1967 speech to the United
Nations proposing seabed resources beyond national jurisdiction as belonging to
the common heritage of humankind transformed not only the Law of the Sea
but the basic thinking on human solidarity, enunciating a revolutionary doctrine
on our global environmental responsibilities towards future generations. 101
was thus in a position to take a major role in the run-up to the adoption of the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The combined respect that
both Elisabeth and Arvid commanded in New York spilled over to many nations
and regional institutions (academic and administrative) where their joint verve,
determination and, above all, planetary vision ensured that they would not only
be listened to, but acted upon.
It was also Elisabeth's idea to convene a biennial conference to take stock of
ocean affairs, particularly within their United Nations context. Pacem in Maribus,
1. When the first author, in 1977, as director of UNESCO's division on socio-
cultural environment and human settlements, launched the project for a draft UNESCO
declaration (adopted 20 years later), Elisabeth Mann Borgese was one of the principal
consultants engaged to advise on the pursuit of the project.
Ocean Tearbook 26: 1-5


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