SINGAPORE: Noted envoy Rena Lee, Singapore’s Ambassador for Oceans and Law of the Sea Issues and the president of a United Nations (UN) intergovernmental conference on marine biodiversity, has been named among Time Magazine’s 2024 list of the world’s most influential people.

Lee joins a distinguished roster of 100 global leaders and changemakers selected by the renowned news magazine.

At the helm of negotiations during the UN conference in March 2023, Lee spearheaded discussions aimed at drafting the groundbreaking Marine Biological Diversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement. This landmark accord focuses on the conservation and sustainable utilization of marine biodiversity beyond the territorial waters of individual nations.

TIME Magazine’s profile of Lee lauds her exceptional leadership, citing her ability to navigate 40 hours of intensive deliberations with “calm dignity, determination, and grace.”

The accolade bestowed upon Lee was accompanied by a glowing tribute penned by Sylvia Earle, a distinguished oceanographer and president of Mission Blue, an organization dedicated to ocean conservation.

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Earle commended Lee for her instrumental role in breaking nearly two decades of deadlock surrounding governance issues affecting marine life in international waters.

“We all should applaud her heroic moves, breaking decades of deadlock over governance of human actions that impact not just the future of tunas, sharks, squids, and whales, but that of all of life on earth—humans included,” wrote Earle, highlighting the global significance of Lee’s accomplishments.

TIME Magazine’s annual “TIME 100” list recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to shaping the narratives that define the past year.

Assembled after extensive deliberations and discussions, the list has attained widespread recognition and anticipation since its inception in 2004. Each honoree’s biography is crafted by a selected author, with this year’s contributors including U.S. President Joe Biden, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, NFL legend Tom Brady, and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.

Among the list’s distinguished categories, Lee finds herself in the company of 12 climate and sustainability leaders, alongside professionals from diverse fields such as healthcare, music, sports, and politics.

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Notable inclusions in the 2024 roster encompass Palestinian photographer Motaz Azaiza, music producer Jack Antonoff, Yulia Navalnaya, the wife of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, South African rugby captain Siya Kolisi, and artificial intelligence luminary Yoshua Bengio.

TIME Magazine is set to host a Summit and Gala later this month, bringing together the exceptional individuals featured on the 2024 list for a celebration of their collective achievements and contributions to society.