14 December 2016 - The President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) convened a briefing for UN Member States on the ongoing preparations for the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development).
The UNGA has decided to convene the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14 from 5-9 June 2017. The dates for the conference coincide with World Oceans Day, on 8 June 2017. The Conference will be co-hosted and co-presided over by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, and will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, US. It will consider the theme, ‘Our Oceans, our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.’
Opening the briefing on 13 December 2016, in New York, US, UNGA President Peter Thomson recalled that the need for collective action to “reverse the cycle of decline of the Ocean” was recognized by world leaders when they adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and SDG 14. He called the Ocean Conference a “unique opportunity to mobilize the urgent collective action,” and encouraged stakeholders to be involved, including those from key related sectors and industries, such as climate change, tourism, trade, transport and food security. The briefing also included an update on preparations for the preparatory meeting of the Conference, which will take place on 15-16 February 2017.
During an earlier UNGA plenary meeting, on 7 December 2016, the UNGA President noted that the Oceans Conference will be a “game-changer” in securing political and voluntary commitments, launching strategic multi-stakeholder partnerships, and mobilizing the global ocean community to drive action to effectively implement SDG 14 by 2030.