The high-level 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 will be convened at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The Conference will be co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden.
The Conference 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 with engagement from all. The 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, intergovernmentally 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.
The President of the General Assembly will convene a two-day preparatory meeting, on 15-16 February 2017, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, to be chaired by H.E. Mr. Alvaro Mendonya Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the UN, and H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the UN, the two co-facilitators, with a view to considering the themes for the partnership dialogues and elements for a "Call for Action".
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The Ocean Conference will consist of a total of eight plenary meetings. The list of speakers for the plenary meetings will be established on a first-come first-served basis, with the customary protocol that ensures that Heads of State or Government speak first, followed by other heads of delegation. The European Union will be included in the list of speakers.
At the opening of the Conference, to take place on the morning of Monday, 5 June 2017, consideration will be given to all procedural and organizational matters, including the adoption of the rules of procedure and the agenda, the election of the two Presidents of the Conference, the election of officers, the establishment of subsidiary bodies, as appropriate, the appointment of the members of the Credentials Committee, arrangements for the preparation of the report of the Conference and other matters.
At the opening, statements will be made by the Presidents of the Conference, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council, and the Secretary-General of the Conference. The plenary meetings will also hear statements from representatives of other intergovernmental organizations, the United Nations specialized agencies, funds and programmes, as well as major groups and other stakeholders in accordance with the practices of the General Assembly.
The closing plenary meeting, to be held on the afternoon of Friday, 9 June, is expected to conclude with reporting on the partnership dialogues, to be followed by the adoption of the “Call for Action” and of the report of the Conference.
The Conference will also include seven partnership dialogues, to be held in parallel with the plenary meetings. The themes for the partnership dialogues will be considered at the preparatory meeting on 15 and 16 February 2017, on the basis of a background note prepared by the Secretary-General that will include a proposal for themes of the partnership dialogues. The background note will be available in January 2017 as official document of the Conference in all UN languages.
The partnership dialogues will be interactive and multi-stakeholder in nature and will focus on recommendations to support the implementation of Goal 14, including through strengthened cooperation, building on existing successful partnerships and stimulating innovative and concrete new ones. The organizational arrangements for the partnership dialogues will be as follows:
- Each partnership dialogue will be presided over by two co-chairs, one from a developing country and one from a developed country, to be appointed by the Presidents of the Conference;
- The Secretary-General of the Conference will select a moderator and up to four panellists for each of the partnership dialogues. The panel discussions, facilitated by the moderator, will be followed by an interactive debate among States and other relevant stakeholders.
The Secretary-General of the Conference will prepare, with the inputs from stakeholders, concept papers on each of the themes of the partnership dialogues, taking into account the relevant oceans-related processes of the General Assembly.
The Conference will also include a special event commemorating World Oceans Day which will be held on 8 June, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Ocean Conference shall adopt:
- "Call for Action" - A concise, focused, intergovernmentally agreed declaration by consensus. The deliberations will start in the preparatory meeting in February 2017. A draft will be presented by the co-facilitators no later than March 2017, with consultations to be concluded by May 2017
- A report containing the co-chairs’ summaries of the partnership dialogues. The partnership dialogues will be multi-stakeholder and interactive. They will aim on strengthening cooperation, scaling up and replicating existing successful initiatives and launching concrete and new partnerships that will advance the implementation of SDG 14. Themes to be determined at preparatory meeting in February 2017
- A list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14 to be announced at the Conference