The United Nations High-Level Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development, convened at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday June 5, 2017.
This year’s Conference is being held under the theme: Our Oceans, Our Future; Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
The Conference opened with a well executed cultural performance by a Fiji Cultural group, followed by a number of Statements with regard to the state of the Oceans from various Heads of States and Governments.
The aim of the Conference is to be “The game changer that will reverse the decline in the health of our Oceans for People, Planet and Prosperity.”
For Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like St. Kitts and Nevis, failure to address the manifold problem of the declining health of the Oceans is a major risk that can lead to a cycle of degradation in many areas, including Education, Recreation, Food and Tourism.
Permanent Representative of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations, His Excellency Sam Condor is leading the St. Kitts and Nevis Delegation at the Conference. Ambassador Condor is scheduled to deliver a statement on the topic “Making Fisheries Sustainable” at the Partnership Dialogues slated for Wednesday morning, June 7, 2017.
The Oceans Conference includes Plenary Meetings, Partnership Dialogues, informational Side Events, and a Special Event to commemorate World Oceans Day on Thursday June 8, 2017.
The seven highly anticipated Partnership Dialogues will address the following topics:
1. Addressing Marine Pollution
2. Managing, Protecting, Conserving and Restoring Marine and Coastal Ecosystems
3. Minimizing and Addressing Ocean Acidification
4. Making Fisheries Sustainable
5. Increasing Economic Benefits to Small Islands Developing States and Least Developed Countries and Providing Access for Small Artisanal Fishers to Marine Resources and Markets
6. Increasing Scientific Knowledge and Developing Research Capacity and Transfer of Marine Technology
7. 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 Oceans Conference is particularly important for Small Island Developing States like St. Kitts and Nevis because of the link between the land mass and the ocean and the impact of the decline in Health on the sustenance of Fisheries, Tourism, vulnerability to Oceanic driven disasters, and the challenges to secure financial resources to engage in research and to continue to grow its fisheries product.
The Federation’s role in this week’s Oceans Conference is a step in the right direction to secure much needed resources to develop models in funding, and in building partnerships with stakeholders who have been leading the way in taking strong policy positions to secure the health of the Oceans.
The Conference is expected to 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.