25 April 2017
14 Governments Appointed Co-Chairs of Ocean Dialogues
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Fiji and Sweden, presidents of the UN Ocean Conference, announced the co-chairs of the seven partnership dialogues of the Conference, including: Australia, Canada, Estonia, Grenada, Iceland, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Monaco, Mozambique, Norway, Palau, Peru and Senegal.

Governments are discussing the revised draft of the Conference's Call for Action on implementing SDG 14, on 24, 25 and 27 April.

24 April 2017: The Presidents of the UN Ocean Conference announced the co-chairs for the seven partnership dialogues of the Conference, which will convene in June 2017. Also in preparation for the Conference, UN Member States are conducting the second round of informal consultations on the Call for Action to support implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).

The Presidents of the UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 are Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, and Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate, and Deputy Prime Minister. According to their letter of 21 April 2017, in selecting co-chairs, their delegations “consulted closely with relevant stakeholders, taking into consideration elements including balanced regional distribution, gender representation and the capability to participate at ministerial level.”

As decided in UNGA resolution 70/303, each 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 co-chairs have been announced as follows:

  • Theme 1 (Addressing marine pollution): Indonesia, Norway;
  • Theme 2 (Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine coastal ecosystems): Italy and Palau;
  • Theme 3 (Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification): Monaco and Mozambique;
  • Theme 4 (Making fisheries sustainable): Canada and Senegal;
  • Theme 5 (Increasing economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets): Estonia and Grenada;
  • Theme 6 (Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology): Iceland and Peru; and
  • Theme 7 (Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea): Australia and Kenya.

On 24 April, governments began the first reading of the revised zero draft of the Ocean Conference Call for Action. The revised text, which is based on consultations held in March 2017, consists of three pages, 15 paragraphs, and 22 actions to be taken “on an urgent basis” to support the implementation of SDG 14. The negotiations are being led by co-facilitators Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore, and Àlvaro Mendonça e Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal. Delegations exchanged views on topics such as: the timeline for commitments, given the differing “sunset” years for targets within SDG 14 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development overall; references to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and the nature of the Conference’s added value to SDG 14.

The consultations will resume on 25 April, beginning with the remaining items in the list of actions (paragraph 14). [Appointment of Dialogue Co-Chairs] [UNGA Resolution 70/303 (Modalities for UN Ocean Conference)] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on Revised Zero Draft] [IISD Sources]

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