4th Oceans Forum on trade-related aspects of Sustainable Development Goal 14

4th Oceans Forum on trade-related aspects of Sustainable Development Goal 14
06 - 08 April 2022
Palais des Nations, Room XXVI
Online and Geneva
, Switzerland

A shift to a sustainable ocean economy: Facilitating post-COVID-19 recovery and resilience

The ocean’s resources sustain the livelihoods of about 3 billion people worldwide, the vast majority of whom live in developing countries. But those livelihoods are under threat, as the ocean and its ability to sustain life are in grave danger due to human activities, such as pollution and overfishing.

Every year, an estimated 5 to 12 million metric tonnes of plastic flow into the ocean, which represents 95% of our planet’s biosphere. And due to overfishing, the percentage of fish stocks within biologically sustainable levels fell from 90% in 1990 to less than 66% in 2017.

The 4th Oceans Forum, to be held from 6 to 8 April 2022, is a unique platform to identify ways to change course.

It’s an opportunity to find solutions for using trade as a tool to protect our ocean and its resources, accelerating the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14’s trade-related targets.


The high-level opening of the Oceans Forum will tackle challenges and opportunities for the ocean economy to contribute to a sustainable and resilient post-COVID-19 recovery for all countries.

During three days, the forum will convene experts and representatives from United Nations agencies, regional bodies, governments, civil society organizations, and research and scientific institutions to address the following topics:

  • Emerging sustainable ocean economy sectors, such as seaweed production
  • Transparency and fish subsidies support mechanisms
  • Ocean economy markets and non-tariff measures reform
  • Social sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • Sustainable and resilient maritime supply chains
  • Trade-related aspects of marine litter and plastic pollution

Hybrid format

Taking into consideration current COVID-19 safety measures, the forum will be held as a hybrid event. It is open to the public, but registration is required.

Morning sessions will convene from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and afternoon sessions from 3 to 5 p.m. CET.

Expected outcome

H.E. Ms. Usha Dwarka-Canabady, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Mauritius to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva, will chair the forum.

As the chair, Ms. Dwarka-Canabady will consolidate the forum’s conclusions and recommendations in an official report that will be sent to the governments of Portugal and Kenya, the co-conveners of the 2022 United Nations Oceans Conference, which will be held in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July.  



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Fish Trade
(UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2016/3) -  05 Dec 2016
Case studies from Barbados, Belize and Costa Rica
(UNCTAD/DITC/TED/2021/4) -  17 Dec 2021
English  |   Español
(UNCTAD/RMT/2021) -  18 Nov 2021
28 Feb 2022
The International Ocean Institute (IOI)
28 Feb 2022
(UNCTAD/DITC/TAB/2019/5) -  29 Aug 2019
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The International Ocean Institute (IOI)
28 Feb 2022
Seventeenth Session of FAO’s Sub-committee on fish trade, Vigo, Spain, 2019
25 Feb 2022
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Secretary-General, the Commonwealth
07 Apr 2022
Honorary President, International Ocean Institute (IOI)
07 Apr 2022
OETS - UNCTAD and DOALOS, in cooperation with the Commonwealth
07 Apr 2022
David Vivas Eugui, UNCTAD – and Marcio Souza de Castro, FAO
30 Mar 2022
Lahsen Ababouch, Senior expert FAO/UNCTAD
06 Apr 2022
Nichola Dyer, Senior Advisor, Partnerships, Communication & Engagement Safe Seaweed Coalition
06 Apr 2022
Aimee Gonzales, Executive Director, PEMSEA
06 Apr 2022
René Gómez-García, PhD Senior Executive - CAF
06 Apr 2022
Helena Abreu, ALGAplus, Portugal
07 Apr 2022
Philippe Michaud, Fisheries Transparency Initiative and Consultant to the Ministry of Fisheries and the Blue Economy of the Seychelles
07 Apr 2022
Mr. Jan Hoffmann, Head, Trade Logistics Branch, Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD
08 Apr 2022
Mwanaulu Issa Mwajita, Director, Trade Facilitation and Policy Harmonization Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping (ISCOS), Kenya
08 Apr 2022
Claire DELPEUCH, Head of Unit, Fisheries & Aquaculture, OECD
07 Apr 2022
Mr. Simon Manley, CMG, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations Office
08 Apr 2022
David Vivas-Eugui, Legal Officer, UNCTAD - Henrique Pacini, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD
08 Apr 2022
Kimberley Botwright, World Economic Forum
08 Apr 2022

Marta Lucía Ramírez
Ministra de Relaciones Exteriores

Marta Lucía Ramírez, tiene más de 35 años de experiencia en desarrollo empresarial, comercio, negociaciones internacionales, inversión extranjera, seguridad, democracia, gobernabilidad y desarrollo regional.

Durante su carrera, se ha preocupado por la lucha contra la corrupción, la seguridad, la creación de empleos, la competitividad, el fortalecimiento del poder judicial, y ha promovido e implementado políticas públicas para el empoderamiento político, social y económico de las mujeres.

En agosto de 2018 se convirtió en la primera mujer en ocupar el cargo de Vicepresidenta en Colombia y allí se ha enfocado en temas como transparencia, lucha anticorrupción, equidad de género, infraestructura y transporte.

Promueve la ciencia, la tecnología y la innovación. Preside la Comisión Colombiana del Océano y la Comisión Colombiana del Espacio. 
Se desempeña simultáneamente como Canciller, donde profundiza acciones para posicionar a Colombia como referente mundial, construyendo puentes que permitan afianzar la institucionalidad, cerrar brechas sociales y fortalecer la democracia.

Rebeca Grynspan
UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Rebeca Grynspan, of Costa Rica, became UNCTAD's eighth Secretary-General on 13 September 2021 and is the first woman to lead the organization.

Prior to her UNCTAD appointment, she was the Ibero-American secretary-general from 2014 to 2021, also the first woman to head the organization. During her mandate, she has coordinated the 22-member Iberoamerican Conference and led four key summits of Heads of State and Government. 

In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and prior to that was UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.  

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Grynspan served as Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998. She was also Minister of Housing, Minister Coordinator of Economic and Social Affairs, and Deputy Minister of Finance. In 2021 she was named Special International Advisor to the newly created Economic and Social Council of Argentina and invited to join as member of the G20 High-Level Independent Panel on Financing the Global Commons for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.

In addition to her experience as a lecturer and advisor to several international organizations, she has been actively involved in key United Nations initiatives, such as the Millennium Project's Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and the High-level Panel on Financing for Development.  

In 2014 and 2015, she was recognized as one of the 50 leading intellectuals of Latin America.  And she was recognized as one of the 100 most powerful women in Central America by Forbes magazine.

Ms Grynspan holds a degree in Economics by the University of Costa Rica and a MSc in Economics by the University of Sussex. She has been awarded a Doctorate Honoris Causa by the University of Salamanca, the University of Extremadura and the European University of Madrid in recognition of her outstanding professional achievements. 

Patricia Scotland
The Commonwealth

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC is the 6th Commonwealth Secretary-General. She was born in Dominica and was their candidate for the post at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Malta in 2015. She is the 2nd Secretary-General from the Caribbean and the 1st woman to hold the post.

Patricia Scotland was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica. She completed her LLB (Hons) London University at the age of twenty and was called to the Bar at Middle Temple at the age of twenty-one.

Her career has been marked by achieving a number of extraordinary firsts, not least of which was to be the first woman in the more than 700-year history of the office to serve as Her Majesty’s Attorney-General for England and Wales and for Northern Ireland.

While holding these and other senior ministerial offices she was given responsibility, inter alia, for gender equality, domestic violence, forced marriage, and international child abduction, and from these positions promoted diversity and equality of opportunity, particularly for women and girls.

As the only woman to have been appointed Secretary-General of Commonwealth she is placing special emphasis on mobilising the 54 nations of the Commonwealth to tackle climate change – including its disproportionate impact on women – and, through women’s enterprise, to build the resilience of smaller or more vulnerable countries. Eliminating domestic violence and violence against women and girls is another area of focus.  

Awni Behnam
Honorary President
International Ocean Institute (IOI)

A former United Nations diplomat with 27 years of experience in the diplomatic service. He served on request as Secretary of the Ministerial meetings of the G77 prior to UNCTAD in Tehran, Havana, Morocco, South Africa and as Secretary of the G77 regional meetings in Bangladesh, Jordan, Lebanon.

He assisted and advised the Government of Qatar in organizing the South Summit in Doha, 2004, and other countless events including the GATES conference in Shanghai and GPA in Beijing.

He has BA in business administration from Mustensiriya University (1968) and a Msc and PhD at the University of Wales (1972-76).

David Vivas Eugui
Chief (a.i) of the Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development Branch
UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

David Vivas Eugui is Chief (a.i) of the Trade, Environment and Sustainable Development Branch at UNCTAD.

Previously, he was a Senior Economic Affairs Officer in UNCTAD’s Trade Negotiations and Commercial Diplomacy Branch, Deputy Programmes Director at the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD), Senior Attorney at the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL),  Attaché for Legal Affairs at the Mission of Venezuela to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Staff Attorney at the Venezuelan Institute of Foreign Trade. David is an international expert with more than 20 years of experience on legal and economic issues.

He has worked as an advisor and consultant for various institutions, international and national organizations and has lectured on intellectual property, trade, oceans economy and environmental law at the University of Strasbourg (CEIPI), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), Universidad Javeriana (Colombia), Maastricht University (the Netherlands), WIPO Distant Learning Academy, and University of Business and International Studies (Switzerland).

He holds a JD from the Universidad Catolica Andres Bello, an LLM from Georgetown University and a Master in Transnational Business from the Universidad Externado de Colombia.

Santiago Wills
Permanent Representative of Colombia to the WTO 

Mr. Santiago Wills is the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Colombia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and Alternate Permanent Representative to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) since August 2019. On November 2019, he was appointed as Chair of the WTO Negotiating Group on Rules, which includes the ongoing Fisheries Subsidies negotiations. He also currently serves as Member of the Management Board of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law (ACWL). 

Amb. Wills has extensive knowledge on international trade, particularly on the multilateral trade regulation, the mechanisms and procedures on dispute settlement – multilateral and bilateral – and on international trade policy making.

Before joining the Permanent Mission of Colombia to the WTO, he served as Director of International Trade and Investment Protection at a highly recognized law firm in Colombia. In addition to his previous experience in the private sector and in International Organizations, such as the WTO, he has held different public sector positions. Amb. Wills has served for the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Relations as Counselor of Foreign Relations posted in the Colombian Embassy before Canada, and for the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism of Colombia, as Adviser to the Deputy Minister of Trade.

Over the past 11 years, Amb. Wills has been lecturer on WTO Law, International Trade, and International Dispute Settlement Mechanisms at Los Andes University (Colombia), and has published several academic articles on such topics, as well as numerous media articles.

Amb. Wills holds a Law degree from Los Andes University (Bogota, Colombia) and two Masters Degrees on International Economic Law from the University of Barcelona (LL.M on International Economic Law and Policy – IELPO – and Masters on Advanced Legal Studies with emphasis on International Economic Law).

Jan Hoffmann
Head, Trade Logistics Branch, Division on Technology and Logistics
UN Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Jan joined UNCTAD in 2003 and is Chief of the organization’s Trade Logistics Branch since 2016. The Branch implements research and technical assistance programmes in international transport and trade facilitation.

Previously, Jan worked six years for the UN ECLAC in Santiago de Chile, and two years for the IMO in London and Santiago.

Prior to this, he held part time positions as assistant professor, import-export agent, and seafarer. Jan has studied in Germany, UK, and Spain, and holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Hamburg.

Audun Lem
Deputy Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division

Audun has been with FAO for 25 years, where he is currently the Deputy Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division. Audun was for many years also the Secretary of FAO’s Sub-Committee on Fish Trade (COFI:FT), the main international body for discussion and recommendations on trade and market issues in the sector, as well as the Coordinator of the GLOBEFISH project.

His thematic work areas include aquaculture policy development and management, commodity price trends and price indexes, policy issues related to international trade and market access, market-based instruments, social responsibility, certification, traceability, trade and food security, gender issues, and domestic and regional market development.

Before joining FAO, he worked as an independent agribusiness consultant, project manager at Norway’s Embassy in Italy, and financial analyst on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Audun has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Sciences from the Sea Fisheries Institute in Poland, a Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the Norwegian School of Economics.

Sebastian Mathew
Executive Director
International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF)

Sebastian Mathew is the executive director of the International Collective in Support of Fishworkers (ICSF). He has actively engaged with key international negotiations since the 1992 Earth Summit from the perspective of small-scale fisheries at the United Nations and its specialized agencies such as FAO.

His areas of interest include: resource management, tenure rights, decent work, social protection, fisheries subsidies and international trade in fish and fish products. He holds a Master’s degree in Economics from Kerala University and an MPhil in Applied Economics from the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, India.

Alfredo Suescum
Permanent Representative of Panama to the WTO

A veteran diplomat, he has served as Panama’s Ambassador to UNCTAD, the WTO and WIPO for 18 years. He was also Panama’s alternate representative on the UN Security Council. He began his diplomatic career as Legal Council for Panama’s Embassy in Washington, DC.

He has played a long and active role with UNCTAD, including as Chair of the Trade and Development Board and the Committee of the Whole for UNCTAD XIV in Nairobi.

He has a BA in Comparative Literature form Wesleyan University in Connecticut, USA, and an MA in Comparative Literature form Columbia University, in New York. He studied law at Tulane University and the University of Regensburg.

Johannah Christensen
Chief Executive Officer
Global Maritime Forum

Johannah Christensen is Chief Executive Officer of the Global Maritime Forum.

The Global Maritime Forum is an international not-for-profit organization committed to shaping the future of global seaborne trade to increase sustainable long-term economic development and human wellbeing. It brings together a broad spectrum of leaders from across the industry to find new solutions to the most important challenges facing the industry today and in the future. The Global Maritime Forum is a Founding Partner of the Getting to Zero Coalition.

Prior to establishing the Global Maritime Forum, Johannah has helped businesses to address global challenges in a variety of different roles at INDEX: Design to Improve Life, at leading Scandinavian think tank Monday Morning, at the World Economic Forum and as an independent advisor.

Nicholas Hardman-Mountford
Head of Oceans and Natural Resources
Commonwealth Secretariat

Dr Nicholas Hardman-Mountford FMBA is a diplomat and marine scientist working in ocean, climate and resource governance and multilateral development, with a strong focus on sustainable blue economies.

He is Head of Oceans and Natural Resources at the Commonwealth Secretariat, where he leads a technical advisory team delivering the Commonwealth Blue Charter initiative and technical-assistance projects on ocean governance and natural-resources reform in Commonwealth countries.

Dr Hardman-Mountford was previously principal scientist at Australia’s national research agency, CSIRO, where he led the Indian Ocean Ecology and Oceanography Group. He is adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia.

Henrique Pacini
Economic Affairs Officer

Henrique Pacini is an economist at the United Nations in Geneva, where he works on trade and circular economy issues. He has a degree in economics from the University of São Paulo, a Masters in European Studies  from Hochschule Bremen, Germany, and a Ph.D in Energy Technology from KTH,  Sweden.

He recently completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University, where he examined the commercial dynamics of secondary/scrap materials in world trade, and co-chaired Harvard’s first Circular Economy Symposium. Dr. Pacini published over 60 articles on environment, energy, trade and development issues.

John Keeler
Founder and CEO
Blue Star Foods Corp

Mr. John R. Keeler is the Founder and CEO of Blue Star Foods Corp., which was founded in May 1995. Blue Star Foods Corp “NASDAQ:BSFC”. is an integrated ESG seafood company that processes, packages and sells refrigerated pasteurized Blue Crab meat, and other high-value RAS aquaculture seafood products.

He holds a BS in Economics from Rutgers University, he also attended the Harvard Business School Executive Programs focused on supply chain management, negotiations and marketing. Mr. Keeler has successfully taken the company in to the Public Markets & built sales over the past 26 years to $20+ million annually and is recognized as a leader and innovator in the measurable ESG enterprise model within the seafood industry.

In February 2021, Mr. Keeler was named Best CEO in Sustainable Seafood Industry by European CEO Magazine.

Mónica Maldonado Sabando
Directora Ejecutiva
Cámara Ecuatoriana de Industriales y Procesadores Atuneros (CEIPA)

Mónica Maldonado Sabando es Directora Ejecutiva de la Cámara Ecuatoriana de Industriales y Procesadores Atuneros – CEIPA.

Economista de profesión, se ha especializado en Sistemas de Gestión. Durante 25 años representa al sector pesquero del Ecuador. Ha participado activamente en negociaciones internacionales, especialmente en la negociación del Acuerdo Comercial Multipartes Ecuador – Unión Europea.

Sus áreas de trabajo están enfocadas en las políticas relacionadas con el comercio internacional y el acceso a los mercados, responsabilidad social, trazabilidad, seguridad alimentaria, control pesquero con el objetivo de fortalecer la Cadena de Valor del Sector Atunero del Ecuador y mejorar la competitividad.

Respecto a las certificaciones ha elaborado el Código de Conducta para la Gestión de la Pesca Responsable de la Cadena de Valor del Atún Ecuatoriano – Protocolo Voluntario que consolida leyes, decretos y controles nacionales e internacionales basados en el Principio del Código de Conducta de la FAO y en los actuales momentos se encuentra impulsando el desarrollo del Sistema de Certificación Sustentabilidad Ecuatoriana Atunera – SEA.

Christine Bader
Maritime Specialist
Sectoral Policies Department, ILO

Christine Bader studied law at the Johann-Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt and worked as a legal researcher at the law faculty. She obtained the Certificate of International Law at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (HEI) in Geneva and joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2001.

At the ILO, Ms. Bader has been involved in the supervision of the application by member States of ILO Conventions specific to the maritime and fishing sectors, has contributed to the development of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) and the Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (C.188), and is currently actively promoting the MLC, 2006 and C.188, and providing technical assistance with a view to achieving their wider ratification, better implementation and effective enforcement.

Gaoussou Gueye
Confédération Africaine des Organisations Professionnelles de Pêche Artisanale (CAOPA)

Fervent défenseur des professionnels africains de la pêche artisanale, Gaoussou Gueye est mareyeur depuis 1995 avec plus de 35 ans d’expérience dans le secteur de la pêche artisanale sénégalaise, 15 ans d’expérience en Afrique et 10 ans d’expérience en pêche industrielle, occupe actuellement  les fonctions suivantes:

  • Coordinateur de la plateforme africaine des acteurs non étatiques de la pêche et de l’aquaculture;
  • Président de la Confédération Africaine des Organisations Professionnelles de Pêche Artisanale (CAOPA);
  • Membre du conseil d’administration de la Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI);
  • Président de l’Association pour la Promotion et la Responsabilisation des Acteurs de la Pêche Artisanale à Mbour (APRAPAM);
  • Président du comité local de certification citoyenne de Mbour (Sénégal).
Kristin Hughes
Global Plastic Action Partnership World Economic Forum

Kristin Hughes is the Director of the Global Plastic Action Partnership, a public-private partnership housed by the World Economic Forum, aimed at eradicating plastic waste and pollution while focusing on circular economy solutions. Over the past twenty years, Kristin has represented companies and governments in driving complex global programs focusing on sustainability, economic development, public policy and stakeholder engagement. During her experience working in the consumer goods, apparel retail and technology industries, Kristin addressed the needs of those working in the supply chains, improving working conditions in factories and remediated human rights atrocities while implementing sustainable environmentally-friendly solutions for the companies’ approach to its business model.

Kristin has a law degree from American University, Washington College of Law and has spent most of her career between London, Brussels, and Washington, DC partnering with businesses, government agencies and civil society focusing on emerging markets and collaborating to drive meaningful.

Aimee T Gonzales
Executive Director
Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA)

Aimee T. Gonzales is currently the Executive Director of the Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), a regional coordinating mechanism to foster healthy and resilient coasts and oceans through applying science based integrated management solutions and strategic partnerships in the East Asian Seas.

Prior to joining PEMSEA, she did analytical and advocacy work to promote policy reforms in the interface of trade, investment and environment with WWF International for more than two decades, notably on fisheries subsidies report in the WTO and in forging closer collaboration on trade, environment and development policy communities.

Before then, she served as Head Executive Assistant to two Cabinet Secretaries of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

She holds a Masters in Environmental Assessment and Education from the London School of Economics and a Masters’ Degree in Public Policy from the National University of Singapore

Josefina Bunge
Deputy Permanent Representative
Mission of Argentina to the International Organizations in Geneva

Minister Josefina Bunge is a carrier diplomat, currently Deputy Permanent Representative, Mission of Argentina to the International Organizations in Geneva and negotiator for fisheries subsidies (WTO).

Before being posted to Geneva Ms. Bunge was the Coordinator for Ocean Policy and South Atlantic Issues at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina. From 2017 and until her posting to Geneva, she was Representative for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Marine Protected Areas Consultative Council, at the Federal Fisheries Council. She was also the Technical Representative for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at Pampa Azul.

Ms. Bunge has worked during most of her career in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dealing with Law of the Sea, Fisheries and Environmental law. She has been negotiator on BBNJ, SDGs and 2030 Agenda, IWC, ECOSOC, Second Committee UNGA and FAO-COFI.

From 2015 to 2017 she was vice-Consul in Tel Aviv and Consul in Ramallah. From 2010 to 2015 she was posted at the Permanent Mission of Argentina to the United Nations in New York, Coordinating macro-economic issues and Sustainable Development issues. Ms. Bunge holds an LLM  in Public International Law from London School of Economics and Political Science and is a Rhodes Scholar. She is mother to Julia and Luisa.

Arsenio Dominguez Velasco
International Maritime Organization

Mr. Arsenio Dominguez Velasco is Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization. He joined the IMO Secretariat in 2017 as Chief of Staff. In 2020 he was appointed as Director of the Organization's Administrative Division and in 2022 he was appointed Director of the Marine Environment Division.

Mr. Dominguez has extensive experience in the maritime sector, closely related to the work of IMO, and chaired the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) from 2014 to 2017.

Prior to his current post, Mr. Dominguez was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Panama to IMO, as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC Funds) and the International Mobile Satellite Organisation (IMSO) from 1998 to 2017.

Mr. Dominguez holds a Bachelor’s degree in Naval Architecture from Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico. He obtained an MBA in Management at University of Hull and a Certificate of Higher Education in International Law and European Politics from Birkbeck University in England.

Dagfinn Sørli
Permanent Representative of Norway to the WTO and EFTA in Geneva

Ambassador Dagfinn Sørli is the Permanent Representative of Norway to the WTO and EFTA in Geneva since 2018.

Mr. Sørli has a degree in Political Science (Cand. Polit.) from the University of Oslo. He joined the Ministry of Trade and Shipping in 1986 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1988, working on export promotion and bilateral trade with developing countries. He served at the Norwegian embassies in Riyadh 1990-1993 and in Washington D.C. 1993-1996. From 1997 to 2001 he worked on promoting exports and bilateral trade relations in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Back in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2002 he was the Head of the Globalization Project, and Director for WTO and OECD affairs from 2003 to 2014. He was Norway’s ambassador to Estonia from 2014 to 2018.

Francisco Blaha
Fisheries specialist and former commercial fisher
New Zealand

Francisco’s experience ranges across the fisheries sector since the 1980s, starting the deck of a fishing vessel he worked his way to his present position as an independent fisheries senior advisor for over 30 multilateral organizations, government institutions, NGOs, technology providers and industry groups on a wide range of areas, in more than 55 countries worldwide. Besides his skipper’s ticket, he gained an MSc in Fisheries Science and then another in Food Science along the way.

Based in the South pacific since 1991, he is comfortable in fishing boats, factories and boardrooms (mostly in that order). He maintains a fisheries blog and photographic gallery on his website, and was presented the 2019 Seafood Champion Award for his work on capacity building and fisherman labour rights.

Mwanaulu Issa Mwajita
Director, Trade Facilitation
ISCOS (Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Shipping)

Ms. Issa has over 15 years’ work experience in the Port and Shipping Sector specializing in maritime sector system automation projects for Government-Government (G2G) and Government-Business (G2B) systems for Shipping, Port, Trade and Logistics stakeholders specializing in Single Window Systems and trade facilitation. She was the Project Manager for the Kenya Maritime Single Window System (MSW) Project and the Marine Cargo Insurance Project.

Ms. Issa holds an MSc Degree in Maritime Affairs (Shipping Management & Logistics) from the World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden, MSc Degree in Information Systems (Lund University, Sweden), and a BSc Degree in Computer Science (Kampala International University, Uganda).

Ms. Issa is certified in PRINCE2 project management and is a member of the Nautical Institute (MNI) and the Women in Maritime East and Southern Africa (WOMESA). She serves as a Board member for the WMU Women’s Association, and is the Chair of technical committee on Shipping, Ports and Logistics of the Association of Maritime Professionals Kenya (AMPK).

Helena Abreu
Managing Director

Helena is currently the vice-president and president elected of the International Seaweed Association Council and a co-founder of the Portuguese Association of algae producers PROALGA. Other team members of ALGAplus are active in several international working groups that foster the sustainable development of the Seaweed sector.

Helena studied Marine Biology at the Azores and has worked in the Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) concept for her PhD developed between Portugal, USA and Chile.

Lahsen Ababouch
Former Director
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Division

Former Director of the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, Dr Lahsen Ababouch works currently as expert on fisheries and aquaculture value chains for various UN agencies, academia, industry and NGOs.

Before joining FAO in 2000, he was Professor at the King Hassan II Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Medicine, in Rabat, Morocco, where he held teaching, research and advisory positions for industry outreach, trade agreements and agribusiness.  He has authored/co-authored over 130 papers, books and book chapters, and presented over 250 communications.

He was awarded the King Baudouin Award for Excellence in Research by the International Foundation for Science (Sweden, 1996); the Distinguished Leadership Award for Internationals by the University of Minnesota (USA, 2004), and the Special recognition Award of the International Association of Seafood Professionals (2009) . He was nominated a University of Minnesota Hunger Fighter, on the occasion of the 50th Nobel Peace Prize Anniversary of Dr. Norman Borlaug (2021).

Carlos Duarte
Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Carlos M. Duarte is the Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), and Executive Director of the Global Coral R&D Accelerator Platform.

He held academic positions in Spain, Australia, Norway and Denmark, and served as President of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography (2007-2010). Author of over 900 scientific papers, Mr. Duarte develops ocean-based solutions to global challenges, including climate change, and rebuild the abundance of marine life. He has been ranked as the top marine biologist and the 12th most influential climate scientist in the world.

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