Shaping the Call to Action for the Oceans in SDG 14

2017-02-15 Republic of the Maldives on behalf of AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Sustainable Development

Distinguished Co-facilitators, Excellencies, Colleagues,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Alliance and Small Island
States, AOSIS. We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished
representative of Ecuador on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
We once again thank the co-facilitators for providing this platform to exchange views on
how we envision the Call for Action and applaud you for the inclusive and transparent
manner in which you are conducting these deliberations.
The Call for Action must be concise, action oriented and must serve as a testament to the
political will of the global community to achieving SDG 14. This means that we must
focus on the concrete and actionable activities that could be undertaken.
This said, we must also be mindful of the principle that the SDGs are to be nationally
implemented and therefore any call for action should inherently be respectful of national
ownership of the implementation process.
Given the fact that the geography of small island states is composed largely of oceans,
and taking into account the intrinsic economic, social and cultural ties that we have with
the ocean, we believe it is crucial for the Call for Action to reflect a number of elements.
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First, it should reflect the special circumstances of SIDS when it comes to conservation
and sustainable use of the oceans, underscoring the unique and particular vulnerabilities
of SIDS in managing these natural assets.
It should also emphasize the need for capacity building and transfer of technology to
small islands, and also highlight the necessity to mobilize sufficient means of
implementation when it comes to achieving the targets for SDG 14.
On capacity building we should include a call to enhance capacity-building support to
developing countries, particularly least developed countries and small island developing
States, in order to improve the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data to
support reporting on Goal 14 and the 2030 agenda more broadly.
Similarly, it should include a call to enhance investment in science and research in order
to better understand the state of our oceans.
SIDS are at the forefront of facing marine pollution and ocean acidification, and we see
the Call for Action as a critical opportunity to demonstrate our strong collective political
commitment to addressing these issues.
More specifically, we envision the Call for Action including a call to enhance local,
national and regional capacity to effectively implement international obligations in the
context of building marine resilience to ocean acidification, including for effective
monitoring, reporting and compliance measures.
Additionally, it should include a call for sustainable and predictable support for efforts
that aim at enhancing the resilience of the oceans, especially in areas of particular
importance for biodiversity, ecosystem services and areas that are sensitive to ocean
acidification, such as coral reefs.
The Call for Action, should also reflect on the voluntary commitments that will emanate
from the Conference, with a view to providing a platform for these commitments as a
signal of our collective commitment to SDG14.
Lastly, it may be prudent to include a reference to other relevant UN oceans processes in
order to reflect our collective political will on oceans issues across the work of the United
Co-facilitators, We are excited to begin this conversation and remain keen to hear from others. Rest
assured, Co-facilitators and other colleagues, the success of the Oceans Conference is one
that is vital to the sustainable development of small island states. To that end, we remain
committed to having an open and constructive dialogue and look forward to engaging
with colleagues at this session.
I thank you.

Sub Topic: SDGs

Forum: GA