United Nations World Oceans Day 2023

Planet Ocean:
Tides are Changing

8 JUNE 2023
Hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS) In Partnership with Oceanic Global and supported by Panerai, with contribution by Discover Earth.
Time to Put the Ocean First.


On 8 June 2023, the United Nations hosted its annual World Oceans Day celebration featuring the theme, Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing, which highlighted the need to put the ocean first. The hybrid event was hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS), in partnership with Oceanic Global and supported by Panerai, with contribution by Discover Earth at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and was broadcasted live on UNWorldOceansDay.org and supporting channels for global accessibility.


The ocean covers the majority of the earth, but only a small portion of its waters has been explored. Despite humanity’s utter reliance on it, and compared to the breadth and depth of what it gives us, the ocean receives only a fragment of our attention and resources in return.

But tides are changing.


Watch the full program from 8 June to celebrate the United Nations World Oceans Day 2023 theme, Planet Ocean, and join forces with decision makers, scientists, private sector executives, civil society representatives, indigenous communities, celebrities and youth activists and more to put the ocean first.


Planet Ocean: Opening Remarks

10:00 am

United Nations representatives and high-level speakers will open UN World Oceans Day with remarks on the 2023 theme "Planet Ocean: Tides are Changing".

H.E. António Guterres

Secretary-General of the United Nations

Miguel de Serpa Soares

Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel

Lea d'Auriol

Founder & Executive Director, Oceanic Global

Jason Momoa

Actor and UN Environment Programme Advocate for Life Below Water

Lucas Bravo

Actor and Activist

Water & Wisdom

10:30 am

A multi-sensory performance reconnecting humanity with the element of water which sustains the diversity of life on earth.


Sonic Weaver

Fireside Chat: Time to Put the Ocean First

10:50 am

A discussion on the need to change the tides and prioritize the ocean across all sectors.

Sophia Li

Journalist & Climate Communicator

Sylvia Earle

Explorer at Large, National Geographic & Mission Blue

Ray Dalio

Founder and Chief Investment Officer Mentor, Bridgewater Associates; Co-Founder, Dalio Philanthropies; Co-Founder, OceanX

Message from the International Space Station

11:35 am

Steve Bowen

NASA Astronaut

Woody Hoburg

NASA Astronaut

Ocean x Climate Keynote

11:40 am

A deep dive keynote on the ocean-climate intersection.

Keynote by:

Hans-Otto Pörtner

Marine Ecophysiologist Alfred-Wegener-Institute & Co-Chair WG II, IPCC

Beyond the Surface Spotlights

11:45 am

Spotlight diving deep into the power and potential of the ocean.

Moderator: Alejandro Alba, Senior Correspondent, NowThis

Spotlights by:

Fabien Cousteau

Founder & Chief Oceanic Explorer, Proteus Ocean Group

Diva Amon

Deep-Sea Biologist, SpeSeas; Benioff Ocean Science Lab, UCSB

Titouan Bernicot

Founder and CEO, Coral Gardeners

Ocean Literacy Remarks

12:30 pm

Remarks on how furthering our understanding of the ocean equips us to better protect it.

Jean-Marc Pontroué

CEO, Officine Panerai

Francesca Santoro

Senior Programme Officer, Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO

Blue Perspective Spotlights

12:40 pm

Spotlight presentations underscoring our interconnectivity to and reliance on the ocean.

Moussa Wele

Maritime Archaeologist & Programme Coordinator Culture Sector, UNESCO

Mohammad Arju

Communications Coordinator, ICCA Consortium

Mpume Mthombeni

Performer & Co-founder, Empatheatre

10th Annual Photo Competition Winners Announced

1:15 pm

Announcement of the finalists and winners of the 2023 Photo Competition for United Nations World Oceans Day.

Curator: Ellen Cuylaerts, Freelance Underwater, Wildlife Photographer and Curator 2023 World Oceans Day Photo Competition

Photo Competition Host: Ian Bongso-Seldrup, Managing Editor and Chief Operations Officer, Dive Photo Guide


Rajan Desai

Wildlife Photographer

Ipah Uid Lynn

Underwater fine art wildlife photography

Rathika Ramasamy

Wildlife Photographer

Antoine Janssens

Photographer, Filmmaker & Director

Closing Remarks

1:25 pm

Closing remarks from United Nations and Oceanic Global summarizing key messages and calling on continuous action to protect our blue planet.

Lea d'Auriol

Executive Director & Founder, Oceanic Global

Francois Bailet

Senior Legal Officer, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, Office of Legal Affairs, United Nations

Hosted by the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea of the Office of Legal Affairs (DOALOS) in partnership with Oceanic Global and supported by Panerai, with contribution by Discover Earth and OceanX.


The Photo Competition for UN World Oceans Day 2023 was curated by Ellen Cuylaerts and a jury composed of world-renowned individuals. 2023 marks the 10th year of the annual photo competition, which also included a celebratory 10-year anniversary exhibition in-person at the UN Headquarters in New York. This is a unique opportunity for photographers to showcase the beauty of the ocean and generate a new wave of excitement towards protecting the ocean and the entirety of our blue planet.

2023 Competition is closed for submissions



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Discover stories, resources, and videos to learn more about our shared blue planet.


Marketing Toolkit

View tools, downloadable graphics, sample social media posts, and more to celebrate the event.


Your #OceanFirst Story

Share your #OceanFirst story to prioritize the importance of the ocean.


A special thanks to Oceanic Global and Panerai.

To all the speakers, performers, judges Friends of World Oceans Day group, and community partners including 351 Studios, Discover Earth, OceanX, Toni Castells, Stephen Grybowski, Nicole Hitchins, Jake Bushell,  Free Time Media, Thirty Two Music, PTR & CO. See Factor, Megan Goldman, Now This, Now This Earth and Brut Media.