United Nations
UN DESA launches revamped Voluntary Commitments platform to drive Ocean Action for SDG 14
At The Ocean Conference, held in June 2017 at UN headquarters in New York to further implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 aimed at conserving and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources, close to 1,400 voluntary commitments for concrete ocean action were made by governments, the United Nations system, civil society organizations, academia, the scientific community, and the private sector. These commitments, together with the Conference outcome document Our Ocean, Our Future: Call for Action, mark a global breakthrough on the path for the health of our oceans and seas.

To follow-up on the implementation of those voluntary commitments, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, have launched nine thematic multi-stakeholder Communities of Ocean Action to spur further Ocean Action, and to maintain momentum until the next Ocean Conference, anticipated to be held in 2020.

Supporting the work of the Communities, UN DESA has revamped The Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitment, available at oceanconference.un.org, which now provides a platform for all stakeholders to report on their commitments, and for sharing of knowledge and best practices within and across the nine Communities of Ocean Action.

The nine Communities of Ocean Action are:

  1. Coral reefs
  2. Implementation of international law as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
  3. Mangroves
  4. Marine and coastal ecosystems management
  5. Marine pollution
  6. Ocean acidification
  7. Scientific knowledge, research capacity development and transfer of marine technology
  8. Sustainable blue economy
  9. Sustainable fisheries

The Communities of Ocean Action are open to anyone with a registered Voluntary Commitment in the Ocean Conference Registry of Voluntary Commitments.

Steps to Join


Register Voluntary Commitments

Take part in webinars and face-to-face meetings

  • Each Community will organize on a regular basis virtual global webinars and face-to-face expert meetings. Join the Communities and the Ocean Action Newsletter to ensure you receive information and invites.

Share progress updates of your Voluntary Commitments

  • All stakeholders with a registered Voluntary Commitment are welcome to regularly share progress of their commitment(s). Updates will be featured on the relevant Community of Ocean Action pages and in the Ocean Action monthly newsletter.

Knowledge Forum - Share your knowledge and ask questions to the community

  • All members of the Community Ocean Action can share their expertise, knowledge, best practices and ask/respond to questions in the Knowledge Forum, available under each Community of Ocean Action pages after logging in.


1. I have registered a Voluntary Commitment, but I do not have an account

  • Click Account above and create your account.
  • Once created, Contact us (see link below) and let us know so we can link your Voluntary Commitment(s) to your account.

2. I have an account, but I still can't join

  • Contact us and let us know so we can link your Voluntary Commitment to your account.

More questions? Send us a message at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/contact/

The Ocean Conference Secretariat
Division for Sustainable Development
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
United Nations