Peter Thomson is the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean. In this role, he leads UN advocacy and outreach efforts to galvanise political momentum, mobilise action and raise ambition for the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 14 (the Ocean Goal to conserve and sustainably use the Ocean’s resources).
He is a Fijian diplomat who was elected by the UN General Assembly to be the 71st President of the General Assembly of the United Nations from September 2016 until September 2017. He served as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York from February 2010 to August 2017, with concurrent duties as Fiji’s Ambassador to Cuba.
In his capacity as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the UN, in 2014 Ambassador Thomson served as President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). In the same capacity, in 2013 he took responsibility for Fiji’s Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China, the UN’s largest negotiating group, made up of 133 developing countries.
In 2011, he was elected as President of the 17th Session of the Assembly of the International Seabed Authority (ISA), and in 2015 was elected as President of 21st Session of the ISA Council.
During his time as Fiji’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Thomson was the prime-mover of the name-change of the UN’s Regional Group from that of “the Asian Group” to its new name of “the Asia-Pacific Group”, effective 2011. In 2014 the President of Fiji conferred on Ambassador Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji.