» Director-General in New York for the UN Ocean Conference
04.06.2017 - ODG

Director-General in New York for the UN Ocean Conference

From 5 to 8 June 2017, UNESCO Director-General will participate in The Ocean Conference, a high-level United Nations 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 Conference will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, coinciding with World Oceans Day.

The Governments of Fiji and Sweden will be co-hosting the Conference which aims to be a game changer to reverse the decline in the health of the ocean for people, planet and prosperity. It will be solutions-focused with engagement from all.

The Director-General will highlight the importance of partnerships to share ocean data in order to achieve SDG14 in an event on “Building Ocean Knowledge for Sustainable Development”. In this context, she will call for the creation of an international decade of ocean science for sustainable development for the years 2021-2030. In this context, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) will launch the Global Ocean Science Report. The report provides for the first time a baseline assessment of existing scientific capacity in oceanography and policy recommendations aimed at building capacities for countries in global ocean sciences.

The Conference presents an opportunity for UNESCO, through its IOC, to highlight its engagement in supporting the SDG 14 process, as the leading UN mechanism for global cooperation in ocean science and observations.

The Director-General will underscore the important role of the ocean and its resources as part of our natural and cultural heritage that must be preserved and sustainably managed for current and future generations.  UNESCO’s vast network of Marine World Heritage sites and coastal Biosphere Reserves, as well as the ratification and implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention and the 2001 Underwater Cultural Heritage Convention, are important mechanisms also for implementing and monitoring SDG 14. This calls for both an all-of-society and an all-of-government approach, which integrates gender equality and includes the active engagement of youth. In this context, the Director-General will sign a pledge with children from more than 10 UNESCO Marine World Heritage sites to protect our ocean for future generations.

The Director-General and the President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, will co-host a high-level media event entitled “Ocean’s 8 Celebration” that will honor the eight Champions making outstanding contributions towards building the capacity in global ocean science needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14.

The Director-General will highlight the importance of increasing public awareness and the crucial role of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)14 at a side event organized with the Governments of Sweden and Italy on “Ocean Literacy for All: Sustaining SDG 14 Goals through Ocean Science Education and Ocean Literacy”.

While in New York, the Director-General will also sign a partnership agreement with the Film Foundation chaired by Martin Scorsese and the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), to launch the African Film Heritage Project (AFHP). She will also participate in a panel discussion on “What is Cultural Diplomacy?” with New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert, cellist and United Nations Messenger of Peace, Yo-Yo Ma, Lincoln Center President Debora L. Spar, and Iraqi cellist Karim Wasfi. The discussion will take place within a public symposium moderated by journalist Fareed Zakaria and hosted by the New York Philharmonic.

UNESCO at the UN Ocean Conference

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