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:
- 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;
- 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.