United Nations
Voluntary Commitments for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14
Visualize the world's action to #SaveOurOcean
Data visualizations help make large amounts of data more readily accessible and understandable by turning numbers, letters and connections into aesthetically pleasing visuals, making it easy to recognize patterns, trends and to identify exceptions.
Qlik Commits Data Visualization Software Supporting the Implementation of SDG 14

Qlik engineers recently partnered with students at a university Hackathon to experiment with collaborative approaches to tackling SDG 14 commitments. The team was tasked with providing an intuitive way to visualize the voluntarily commitment data and to provide a template that Qliks CSR team could use for future open-source collaborative projects. The results were amazing.

Click to read more

Competition

In the lead-up to the 2017 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), the Secretariat of HLPF offered a unique opportunity to data visualizations specialists to showcase and present their skills to the international community by analyzing and visualizing data from the 1,380 voluntary commitments that were announced in the lead-up, and during, The Ocean Conference, held on 5-9 June 2017 at United Nations Headquarters, New York.

The visualization from the selected winner (http://www.sdgdatalabs.org/iTM/sdg14/) was featured during the HLPF at the Partnership Exchange special event, which took place at the UN headquarters on 17 July 2017.

Participants were encouraged to use their imagination to produce visualizations that highlight insights from all the 1,380 voluntary commitments available in The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments. Participants were also to examine:

Follow-up to Voluntary Commitments
At The Ocean Conference, many member States and stakeholders stressed that effective follow-up to The Ocean Conference will be critical to ensuring that all nations are working together to meet their Goal 14 implementation obligations, inclusive of science, business and civil society.

In the declaration "Our ocean, our future: call for action", member States agreed on the follow-up to the Conference, including:

  • "Welcome the follow-up on the partnership dialogues and commit to implementing our respective voluntary commitments made in the context of the Conference"; (Paragraph 13 (t))
  • "Contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda by providing an input to the high-level political forum on sustainable development on the implementation of Goal 14, including on opportunities to strengthen progress in the future"; (Paragraph 13 (u) )
  • "Consider further ways and means to support the timely and effective implementation of Goal 14, taking into account the discussions at the high-level political forum during its first cycle". (Paragraph 13 (v))

Communities of Ocean Action for supporting implementation of SDG 14

To follow-up on the implementation of these voluntary commitments; to catalyze and generate new voluntary commitments; and to facilitate collaboration and networking amongst different actors in support of SDG 14, the United Nations is launching nine thematic multi-stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action.


Questions and Answers

1. What are voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference?

Voluntary commitments for the 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 - The Ocean Conference - are initiatives or pledges undertaken by any stakeholder - individually or in partnership - that aim to contribute to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Voluntary commitments are expected to be specific in nature, quantifiable where possible, focused on contributing to one or more target(s) under SDG 14.

2. What criteria do voluntary commitments need to fulfil?

  • Advance implementation of SDG 14 and associated targets, reflecting inter-linkages between SDG 14 and other Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Respect principles of the United Nations and the legal framework in force for the oceans;
  • Build on existing successful efforts (scaling it up, new phase, etc.) or introduce a new one;
  • Include means of implementation - such as finance or capacity building - as an element to help ensure longevity and sustainability of the initiative;
  • Provide access to additional information on the commitments (e.g. website, contacts);
  • Follow SMART Criteria - a commitment that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resource based, with Time-based deliverables.

3. What is the purpose of registering voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference?

Member States have decided that a list of voluntary commitments will form a part of the official outcome of The Ocean Conference. A list of voluntary commitments will be produced at the end of the Conference for inclusion into the final report of the Conference, based on online registrations and announcements during the official proceedings of the Conference.

The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments will provide a broad platform for facilitating information sharing, fostering collaboration among a range of stakeholders, assessing where implementation is taking place, provide gap analysis, and catalyzing additional action to address challenges that oceans and seas are facing.

4. Who can register voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference?

All relevant stakeholders can register voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference, including Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international and regional financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, and philanthropic organizations - individually or in partnership. Entities entering voluntary commitments are not required to be registered to attend the Ocean Conference itself.

5. What is the time frame for a voluntary commitment?

Any commitment made since the SDGs were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015 can be registered. The registry will also remain open after the Conference.

6. Our organization/entity has an existing voluntary commitment for SDG 14. Can it still be registered in The Ocean Conference Registry?

Yes. Submissions to The Ocean Conference Registry may include commitments that have been made in other processes since the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015.

7. We already have a registered partnership or voluntary commitment in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnerships), or in the SIDS Action Platform (http://www.sids2014.org/), but wish to commit to SDG 14 and The Ocean Conference. Do we need to register again at The Ocean Conference Registry?

If your existing initiative meets the criteria for an SDG 14 voluntary commitment, you may update the existing initiative and add it to The Ocean Conference list of commitments directly.

8. Where should we register our voluntary commitment?

The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments and the online registration form are available on the Conference website at: https://oceanconference.un.org/commitments/

9. When should we register our voluntary commitment?

The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments officially opened on 15 February 2017, and registrations can now be made online. To be included in the Ocean Conference list and the report, voluntary commitments should be registered online, or announced at the Conference, by 9 June 2017. The platform will remain open for registration of voluntary commitments after the Ocean Conference. The UN Secretariat encourages voluntary commitments to be made early in the process, and will highlight registered voluntary commitments through its various outreach channels, including the Conference website and social media campaigns.

10. What part of the information that we submit will appear publicly?

The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments relies on transparency by all parties, and therefore, all information submitted in the form will be made publicly available in the registry.

11. What will happen with The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments once the Conference has concluded?

The Ocean Conference Registry of Commitments will remain open after the Conference, with all the details of voluntary commitments publicly accessible online. This will facilitate continued information sharing, creation of SDG14 partnerships, and replication and upscaling of good practice as well as ongoing analysis of SDG 14 gaps and challenges. The list of voluntary commitments will be part of the report of the Conference, which will be part of the United Nations Official Document System (ods.un.org), also publicly available.

12. We have registered our voluntary commitment in the online registration form. How long will it take before it appears in The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments?

The Secretariat of the Conference will perform an editorial review of the submission to ensure that it adheres to the established criteria (see above). If there are any missing elements, the Secretariat will contact you through email to follow up. The Secretariat aims to publish new voluntary commitments after a maximum of two working days after the registration. Please note that processing time may be longer closer to the Conference itself.

13. If we have already registered a voluntary commitment, is it possible to update it?

Yes, you can log in to your voluntary commitment and update it. Any update made before 9th of June 2017 will be included in the final Conference report.

14. Will registering a voluntary commitment now limit how that voluntary commitment may be announced at the Oceans Conference?

No. The Voluntary Commitment Registry provides the formal place to register a voluntary commitment. It is up to the Member State(s) or any stakeholder to consider how they wish the commitment to be featured at the Conference, other than on the register. The timing of registration is dependent to how a stakeholder may plan to present the commitment during the Conference. The early registration is encouraged as a demonstration effect to other stakeholders and for its inclusion in any summary voluntary commitment update during the Conference.

15. We are thinking of developing a voluntary commitment at a national/country level - where can we get further help?

  • The official Conference website (oceanconference.un.org) provides information on the criteria for a voluntary commitment.
  • The www.oceanactionhub.org provides information, resources, networks, and how to connect with other stakeholders to support the development of voluntary commitments.
  • The United Nations Resident Coordinator Offices and the UNDP Country Offices in your country can also provide information and technical support.
Introduction
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 was convened at United Nations Headquarters from 5 to 9 June 2017. The Conference devoted special attention to the health of our oceans and seas and advance implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.

Outcomes of The Ocean Conference included:

  1. "Call for Action" - An intergovernmentally agreed declaration to be adopted by consensus
  2. Co-chairs' summaries of seven partnership dialogues
  3. List of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14

Voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference are initiatives voluntarily undertaken by Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international and regional financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors - individually or in partnership - that aim to contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. Any voluntary commitments made within the framework of the 2030 Agenda targeting SDG 14 can be registered as voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference.

Stakeholders are encouraged to register voluntary commitments in The Ocean Conference Registry of Commitments available on the Conference website that:

  • Advance implementation of SDG 14 and associated targets, reflecting inter-linkages between SDG 14 and other Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Respect principles of the United Nations and the legal framework in force for the oceans;
  • Build on existing successful efforts (scaling it up, new phase, etc.) or introduce a new one;
  • Include means of implementation - such as finance or capacity building - as an element to help ensure longevity and sustainability of the initiative;
  • Provide access to additional information on the commitments (e.g. website, contacts);
  • Follow SMART Criteria - a commitment that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Resource based, with Time-based deliverables.

Registration of voluntary commitments was open from 15 February 2017. Submissions may include commitments that have been made since the adoption of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (September 2015). Voluntary commitments may also be announced in the official meetings of the Conference.

A list of voluntary commitments was produced at the end of the Conference for inclusion into the final report of the Conference. To be included in the list and the report, voluntary commitments had to be registered online or announced at the Conference by 9 June 2017.

The Ocean Conference Registry of Commitments remain open online after the Conference, with all the details of voluntary commitments publicly accessible.
Analyses

Presentations

OCEAN ACTION NEWSLETTER

Guidance & Concept notes

Documents

Weekly Digest
United Nations