More from UNDESA Vol 21, No. 04 - April 2017

Preparations for the Ocean Conference on track

The preparations for the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development – The Ocean Conference – are in full swing. The conference will take place from 5 to 9 June 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The themes of the seven partnership dialogues of the Conference have been decided, they are:

  • Addressing marine pollution
  • Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems
  • Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification
  • Making fisheries sustainable
  • Increasing economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
  • Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology
  • Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea

The partnership dialogues will deal with all targets of SDG 14 and will aim to strengthen cooperation, scale up and replicate existing successful initiatives and launch concrete and new partnerships that will advance the implementation of SDG 14. Details about the times and venues of these dialogues can be found on the Conference website.

“Call for Action”

The first round of intergovernmental consultations on the zero draft of the “Call for Action”, the outcome document of the Ocean Conference, took place on 20-22 March 2017 at UN Headquarters in New York.

The co-facilitators of the preparatory process of the Ocean Conference, H.E. Mr. Alvaro Mendonça Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, and H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations, chaired the consultations.

Delegations went through the zero draft prepared by the co-facilitators and finished the first reading. Delegations were generally satisfied with the zero draft and considered it a good basis for further consultations. Based on the comments from the meeting, the co-facilitators will prepare and circulate a revised draft by mid-April. The second round of consultations will be held on 24, 25 and 27 April in New York.

Registering voluntary commitments

UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General Mr. Wu Hongbo has sent a letter to Member States in which, among other things, he encourages them to announce voluntary commitments. “I would like to encourage Governments and all stakeholders to register voluntary commitments that aim to contribute to the implementation of SDG 14 and associated targets”, he said.

The voluntary commitments can be registered through the online form at the Conference website. 31 commitments have been registered by 31 March.  A list of commitments will be compiled at the end of the Conference and will be included in the report of the Conference as an important outcome.

Guidelines for the side events, exhibitions, registration to the Conference as well as important dates and deadlines and are now also available at the official website.

For more information:

The Ocean Conference

Be a part of ocean history: Join the efforts to #SaveOurOcean by registering your commitment!

The Ocean Conference taking place this June, aims to be the game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our ocean for people, planet and prosperity. It will be solutions-focused, seeking the engagement from all actors within the international community.

In addition to the outcome document, the “Call for Action”, gathering as many voluntary commitments as possible to help implement Sustainable Development Goal 14, will be an important goal for this event. The international community is therefore strongly encouraged to make voluntary pledges via the Conference website ahead of the event. By 31 March, 31 commitments have been made via the online commitment registry.

Find out who have made pledges so far and register your voluntary commitment here!


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