» UNESCO Member States mobilize for the UN Ocean Conference
07.04.2017 - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

UNESCO Member States mobilize for the UN Ocean Conference

©UNESCO: Sweden and the UNESCO Secretariat brief Permanent Delegations on preparations for the UN Ocean Conference

Paris, 17 April. UNESCO Secretariat organized an information meeting today to brief Permanent Delegations on the status of preparations for the United Nations Ocean Conference (5-9 June 2017) and to present the activities foreseen by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Culture Sector.

Hosted by the Fiji and Sweden at the UN headquarters, the conference aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) and reverse the decline of ocean health for the benefit of humanity by identifying solutions and engaging all stakeholders: Governments, Research institutes, civil society, industry and ordinary citizens.

Mr Per Magnusson, Deputy Director at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, introduced some background and the basic objectives of the conference on behalf of the Swedish Permanent Mission to UNESCO, emphasizing the role of ambitious voluntary commitments by the various stakeholders as an important mechanism to accelerate the implementation of SDG14. He encouraged UNESCO Member States to take part in the conference, which he called “a unique window of opportunity to make a real difference for the oceans”.

IOC’s Executive Secretary, Vladimir Ryabinin, outlined in his presentation the key contributions of IOC and UNESCO to the Ocean Conference, including a proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the launch of the latest UNESCO flagship publication, the Global Ocean Science Report, and the launch of a UN web portal for World Oceans Day.

UNESCO and its IOC are also mobilizing for the conference through various other elements, including participation in the Partnership Dialogues (PD), contributions to the “Call for Action” outcome document, the launch of several voluntary commitments, organization of official side events and exhibits, and the hosting of a televised panel discussion and gala event.

IOC hopes that the outcome document will explicitly support its proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and call on countries and stakeholders to support the initiative.

Ms Jyoti Hosagrahar spoke on behalf of UNESCO’s Culture Sector, focusing on the links between world heritage and SDG14. She raised attention to the contributions of the Secretariat of the 2001 Convention on Underwater Heritage and the Marine World Heritage Programme to the UN Ocean Conference. This will comprise an official side event and participation in the World Oceans Day segment.

The meeting closed with a very productive Question-and-Answer session, followed by the screening of a video recently produced by Dutch delegate to UNESCO, Stein van Oosterem, which very simply explains the rich concept behind IOC’s proposal of an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.

Please find here all of the materials and presentations shared during the information meeting:

Statement: Mr Per Magnusson

Presentation by Mr Vladimir Ryabinin (IOC): English / Français

Presentation by Ms Jyoti Hosagrahar (Culture Sector): English / Français

Video: IOC “UN Ocean Conference” Promo

Video: “The International Decade of Ocean Science Explained”

Brochure: “The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO”

Brochure: “A Proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”

Webpage: International Decade of Ocean Science (Information Page)

For more information, please contact:

Julian Barbière (j.barbiere(at)unesco.org)

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