Home > OCEANS-CONFERENCE-PREP

Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14

15-16 February 2017 | UN Headquarters, New York

Highlights for Thursday, 16 February 2017

Download ENB Meeting Report

Report:
Summary

Receive our ENB bulletins and reports by email:

Daily Web HighlightsAbout | 15 Feb | 16 Feb

Under-Secretary-General and Conference Secretary-General Wu Hongbo
delivers closing remarks to the preparatory meeting

SDG 14 On Thursday, 16 February 2017, the preparatory meeting for The Ocean Conference: Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development) continued with the discussion on the call for action, which is to be the intergovernmentally-agreed outcome of the Conference. Participants exchanged views on elements that the declaration should include, such as: addressing marine pollution and ocean acidification; creating sustainable fisheries; establishing marine protected areas; and transitioning to a blue economy. The “fundamental” character of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was also highlighted by many.

In the afternoon, the co-facilitators provided a summary of the discussions and identified ways forward. Noting the long list of speakers that took the floor over the two days, co-facilitator Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore, thanked everyone for their constructive spirit. He explained that the co-facilitators had been in “listening mode” during the meeting because “at this early stage, it is really important that we listen to as many stakeholders as want to speak,” in order to increase participants’ collective understanding of the issues discussed.

Garfoor noted wide consensus that the call for action should be concise and action-oriented, forward-leaning, easy to understand by the public, and capture participants’ common vision for the future in terms of actions. Among the elements that were highlighted by participants as important for the implementation of SDG 14, he enumerated: effective partnerships and voluntary commitments; education and awareness raising; coordinated, coherent and integrated approaches at all levels; and increased scientific research, data collection and data sharing, including to support decision making.

Gafoor said the co-facilitators will produce a zero draft of the call for action by early March. Co-facilitator Àlvaro Mendonça e Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal, reflected on the discussion of themes for the Conference partnership dialogues, and shared what the co-facilitators will report to the President of the UN General Assembly: broad support for most of the themes, and that a “significant number” of delegations suggested changing the theme that refers to UNCLOS to more closely reflect SDG target 14.c. In addition, he said, the co-facilitators had registered participants’ view that the themes should serve as “broad chapeaux” for the discussions to allow for cross-cutting issues and other relevant items to be raised in the dialogues.

Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Secretary-General of the Conference, thanked all participants and stressed that the Ocean Conference will be a “game changer” in reversing the decline of the health of oceans and seas, and in advancing the implementation of SDG 14. Gafoor then closed the preparatory meeting at 4:23 pm.

IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web updates from the Preparatory Meeting for the Ocean Conference. In addition, IISD Reporting Services has produced a summary and analysis report from the meeting, which is available in HTML and PDF.


Amatlain Elizabeth Kabua,
Permanent Representative of Marshall Islands

Isaias Medina, Venezuela,
presented a list of 20 proposals for the call for action.


Members of the UN Secretariat
supporting the preparatory meeting

Numerous ocean-related scientific, advocacy and business organizations provided input on the call for action


Daily Web HighlightsAbout | 15 Feb | 16 Feb

IISD Reporting Services is grateful to the many donors of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) and recognizes the following as core contributors to the ENB: the European Union, the Government of Switzerland (the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)), the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. General Support for the Bulletin during 2017 is provided by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES).