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Tuesday, March 28, 2023
UNITED NATIONS, , Feb 24 2017 - The Group of 77, joined by China, has reiterated its firm commitment to support the implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 which calls for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources.
The commitment was made ahead of the UN high level conference on oceans and marine resources scheduled to take place in New York June 5-9.
The Group has underlined the importance of maintaining political momentum to keep working tirelessly for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its three dimensions — economic, social and environmental — in a balanced and integrated manner.
“Hence, we welcome the decision to hold the high-level United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, and to contribute, through this deliberations, to the preparation of the ‘Call for Action,’” the G77, joined by China, said at the Preparatory Meeting which took place February 15-16.
According to the United Nations, oceans provide key natural resources including food, medicines, biofuels and other products. They help with the breakdown and removal of waste and pollution, and their coastal ecosystems act as buffers to reduce damage from storms. Maintaining healthy oceans supports climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. And it’s also a great place for tourism and recreation.
The lost economic benefits from the fisheries sector are estimated to be around $50 billion annually, while the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) estimates the cumulative economic impact of poor ocean management practices is at least $200 billion per year.
Speaking on behalf of the G77, joined by China, a delegate from Ecuador said: “We recall that targets related to means of implementation— including target 14.a, on increasing scientific knowledge, developing research capacities and transferring marine technology in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing states (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs), and developing countries with islands with significance biological diversity– are crucial for the achievement of sustainable development.”
The Group looks forward to constructively engage in the partnership dialogues, taking into account that one of the main objectives of the Conference is to build on existing successful partnerships and stimulate innovative and concrete new partnerships to advice the implementation of SDG 14.
The Group also said it recognizes that oceans, seas, islands and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical for global food security and for sustaining economic prosperity and the well-being of many national economies of developing countries, in particular small island developing states (SIDS), least developed countries (LDCs), and developing countries with biological diversity significance islands.
The conservation and sustainable use of them and their resources is vital for sustainable development.
“We reiterate the importance to protect, and restore, the health, productivity and resilience of oceans and marine ecosystems, to maintain their biodiversity, enabling their conservation and sustainable use for present and future generations.”
In this regard, the Group said, enhancing support to developing countries is fundamental, including through provision of development financial resources, transfer of technology, enhanced international support and targeted capacity-building, while at the same time protecting biodiversity and the marine environment and addressing the impacts of climate change.
“The Group agreed that the “Call for Action” should be a concise, focused and inter-governmentally agreed declaration, but substantive in its nature, based not only in the above mentioned elements but also in the good practices and experiences gained through the partnerships, and national, regional or international initiatives that will lead us to identify ways and means to support the implementation of SDG 14, to stimulate and concrete new partnerships, involving all relevant stakeholders, and to contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing an input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development.”
Meanwhile, according to the United Nations, the upcoming June conference shall:
• Identify ways and means to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14;
• Build on existing successful partnerships and stimulate innovative and concrete new partnerships to advance the implementation of Goal 14;
• Involve all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors to assess challenges and opportunities relating to, as well as actions taken towards, the implementation of Goal 14;
• Share the experiences gained at the national, regional and international levels in the implementation of Goal 14;
• Contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing an input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development, in accordance with resolutions 67/290 of 9 July 2013, 70/1 of 25 September 2015 and 70/299 of 29 July 2016, on the implementation of Goal 14, including on opportunities to strengthen progress in the future;
The Conference shall comprise plenary meetings, partnership dialogues and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day.
The Conference shall adopt by consensus a concise, focused, inter-governmentally agreed declaration in the form of a “Call for Action” to support the implementation of Goal 14 and a report containing the co-chairs’ summaries of the partnership dialogues, as well as a list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14, to be announced at the Conference.
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