5-9 June 2017
UNHQ
Documents
About

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 Governments of Fiji and Sweden have the co-hosting responsibilities of the Conference.

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".

Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations is the Secretary-General of the Conference. Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel is the special advisor to the Presidents of the Conference on oceans and legal matters.

Monday, 5 June
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Tuesday, 6 June
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Wednesday, 7 June
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Thursday, 8 June
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Friday, 9 June
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Background

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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.

Side events

Please click here to read all the information related to side events during the Ocean Conference.

Criteria and Guidelines for Exhibitions on the Occasion of The Ocean Conference, Under the Overarching Theme: "Save our Ocean"
  • Exhibitions sponsored by Member States, UN system and other Inter-Governmental Organizations as well as accredited Major Groups and other stakeholders, will be welcomed at the UN Headquarters in New York, on the margins of The Ocean Conference.
  • Any member state or UN-entity interested in hosting an exhibition must submit a proposal using the online exhibition application form and provide a detailed description of the proposed exhibition, including an explanation of how its thematic focus relates to the exhibition theme “Save our Ocean,” visual elements and their scale as well as its potential contribution to the Conference. Completed forms must reach the Secretariat by 21 March 2017 through our contact form: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/contact.
  • Preference will be given to proposals on behalf of groups and/or partnership among entities in order to ensure that as many organizers as possible can be accommodated.
  • Exhibitions will be accommodated on the first floor and the basement level (1B) of the UN Secretariat Conference building. Exhibitions can be visited by all accredited and registered participants to The Ocean Conference and must remain in place for the duration of the Conference.
  • Space will be allocated based on the size and scale of the proposed exhibition.
  • Generally, exhibition spaces can only accommodate hanging exhibits (such as pictures, posters, portraits and banners), table displays, standalone exhibits and small display cases. No drilling and/or hanging directly on the walls will be allowed. A limited number of secured panels will be provided along some walls for hanging light items like pictures, paintings, posters, etc. Large or bulky items most likely cannot be accommodated.
  • Tables for exhibition can be provided at a cost. They must be reserved at the time of request and indicated in the online exhibition application form.
  • Kindly submit all applications for exhibition space to our website using our contact form https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/contact. Please indicate the word "Exhibition" in the subject field. As indicated in the online application form, kindly attach a detailed description of the exhibition, including all organizing partners, elements of the exhibition, dimensions and the thematic focus.
  • Exhibitors will be notified in early April if their proposals have been approved. Exhibitors must confirm acceptance of the space by 15 April.
  • A lead organizer must be clearly identified by the exhibitor and only one exhibition is permitted for every organization proposing to host exhibitions during The Ocean Conference.
  • No security services are made available explicitly for the exhibition spaces during the exhibition period. Setup costs will be required for services requested on weekends which usually entail an hourly rate for two staff members, one security officer and other facilities management relevant staff.
  • Applications for exhibition spaces will be reviewed by an Exhibition Task Team for The Ocean Conference with expert support from other departments, as needed.
  • In order to expedite the application process for exhibition spaces it is strongly advised that all applications be completed in either English or French languages.
  • The Exhibition Task Team of The Ocean Conference will make every effort to accommodate all eligible requests for exhibitions. However, due to the high level of demand expected for exhibition space during the Conference, it might not be possible to accommodate all requests at the UN Headquarters. Organizers may also consider seeking venues outside UNHQ premises.

General UN Rules Governing Exhibitions

  • Exhibition organizers can request services needed for their exhibition which should be specified in the online application form. All financial costs and charges associated with the services provided should be the responsibility of the event organizers.
  • The sale of printed materials or any goods on UN grounds during the exhibition is strictly prohibited. Any material or goods distributed as part of an exhibition should be offered free of charge.
  • Advertising an exhibition is the responsibility of its organizers. The UN Secretariat will not produce fliers, distribute notices, or run other publicity or outreach efforts on behalf of the exhibitors.
  • The UN Secretariat is not responsible for damage or loss of exhibition materials.
  • Exhibition organizers interested in hosting a reception to launch exhibitions can use caterers of their choice when hosting such reception outside UN official working hours (after 6 PM).
  • It is the responsibility of the exhibition organizers to make their own arrangements regarding ground passes according to the rules and procedures governing the Conference's accreditation and registration. A comprehensive guide on accreditation can be found on the Ocean Conference website, https://oceanconference.un.org.

Please click here to download the exhibition application form.

Outcomes

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
Important Deadlines
Q & A
VISION FOR WAY AHEAD

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, 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, including Member States and the broader community. Towards achieving this objective, the Ocean Conference calls for the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, civil society, mayors, children, youth and others who will utilize this momentum to galvanize action-oriented partnerships at all levels – local, national and global - that provide lasting and long term solutions.

BACKGROUND & BASICS
  • Date and venue: 5-9 June 2017, New York, UN Headquarters. To be kick-started by World Environment Day (5 June) & integrate World Oceans Day celebration (8 June).
  • Theme: “Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14”
  • Key objective: Support the implementation of SDG14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
  • Format: 8 plenary meetings, 7 partnership dialogues, and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day.
  • Presidents of the Conference: Fiji and Sweden
  • Secretary-General of the Conference: Mr. Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations
  • Special advisor to the Presidents of the Conference on oceans and legal matters: Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel
  • Co-facilitators of the preparatory process: H.E. Mr. Álvaro Mendonçae Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal to the United Nations, and H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations
  • Preparatory meeting: 15 - 16 February 2017, New York, UN Headquarters, stakeholders are welcome as observers
OUTCOMES
  • Political outcome: Call for Action - A concise, focused, intergovernmentally agreed declaration. 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
  • 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 SDG14. Themes to be determined at preparatory meeting in February
  • Voluntary Commitments: Voluntary commitments for the implementation of SDG 14 will be announced at the Conference and online in advance of the Conference
OPPORTUNITIES
  • Raising Awareness: The Conference provides significant potential to raise awareness on the importance of the Ocean and implementing SDG14. Meaningful events that complement the Conference that enhance global attention and action are encouraged, including side events in the margins of the Conference and the preparatory meeting, media and social media engagement, such as the SDG media zone or press conferences and exhibitions at the United Nations during the conference.