Preparations in New York ahead of the Ocean Conference
On 15–16 February, development issues and the oceans will be in focus in New York. Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate Isabella Lövin will take part in the preparations for the largest UN conference that Sweden is helping organise since the Conference on the Human Environment, held in Stockholm in 1972. An important part of the efforts to save the world’s oceans will be based on voluntary commitments from Member States, civil society and the business sector.
"Saving our oceans requires global leadership. The trend we now see with overfishing, emissions and littering means that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans," says Ms Lövin.
The marine environment is fundamental to poverty reduction, food security and economic development for hundreds of millions of people. At the same time, the trends are very negative.
The preparatory meeting in New York will be a first step on the road leading up to the Ocean Conference, which will be held in New York on 5–9 June 2017, co-hosted by Sweden and Fiji. The aim of the UN conference is to support efforts to save the world's oceans and achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on oceans, seas and marine resources – Goal 14 of the UN 2030 Agenda. All countries must take resolute action to achieve this goal. It is important to mobilise the engagement of all stakeholders in society in these efforts.
The idea is that partnership dialogues between governments, businesses, civil society and the knowledge society will create innovative solutions and voluntary commitments aimed at tackling major common challenges. The pollution of oceans, unsustainable fishing and the effects of climate change are some of the areas that will be addressed. The opportunities that the sustainable use of the ocean's resources can contribute to fighting poverty and achieving food security will also be given considerable scope.
The conference is intended to lead to an intergovernmental political declaration, a 'Call for Action', to advance efforts towards sustainable oceans. Member States and other stakeholders are also expected to present their plans within the framework of the implementation of Goal 14. These voluntary and ambitious commitments will be collected in a list that will be another important part of the conference's outcomes.
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