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.

Programme

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.

Monday, 5 June
Official Events
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

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

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

Thursday, 8 June
Official Events
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Friday, 9 June
Official Events
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
UNHQ
Official meeting

Side events during the Conference

Side events sponsored by Member States, UN system and other Inter-Governmental Organizations as well as Major Groups and other stakeholders, will be organized at the UN Headquarters in New York in the margins of the official meetings of the Conference and in the margins of its Preparatory Meeting to allow space for sharing experiences and provide alternative opportunities for dialogue. The side events will be coordinated and managed by the Conference Secretariat.

Side events will be organized from 5 to 9 June 2017 in the margins of the official meetings of the Conference. More information regarding side events during the Conference, including guidelines and request form for organizers, will be posted on this website by 31 January 2017.

Side Events during the Preparatory Meeting

Side events sponsored by Member States, UN system and other Inter-Governmental Organizations as well as Major Groups and other stakeholders, will be organized at the UN Headquarters in New York in the margins of the official meetings of the Conference and in the margins of its Preparatory Meeting to allow space for sharing experiences and provide alternative opportunities for dialogue. The side events will be coordinated and managed by the Conference Secretariat.

Side events will be organized from 14 to 16 February 2017 in the margins of the official meetings from 1:15 to 2:30 PM and from 6:15 to 7:30 PM. Please click here on the next tab for the preliminary programme of side events to be held during the Preparatory Meeting

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
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 as well as the Ocean Village and exhibitions at the United Nations during the conference
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