28 February 2005 "For too long, the world acted as if the oceans were somehow a realm apart - as areas owned by noone, free for all, with little need for care or management... This common heritage of all humankind continues to face profound pressures. What we need is high-level political commitment for marine conservation and protected areas. I assure you that the United Nations system shares your strong devotion to this effort. If at one time what happened on and beneath the seas was "out of sight, out of mind", that can no longer be the case." Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in Mauritius for the Small Island Developing States International Meeting in January. The high-level political commitment called for by the Secretary-General is crucial to protect the deep sea. His warning of the profound pressures on the common heritage of humankind is a wake up call to the international community. Both the expressed strong devotion of the United Nations, and the support of the international community, are essential to prevent the continued extinction of countless species and the consequent irreversible harm to marine resources worldwide. Read the full article by Duncan E. J. Currie (pdf) published in the February newsletter (Vol.3, No. 1.) of the Global Forum on Oceans, Coasts, and Islands.