The World Ocean Council (WOC) is working with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and U.N. Global Compact (UNGC) to ensure private sector input and participation in the U.N. Ocean/SDG 14 Conference (U.N. HQ, New York, 5-9 June, 2017).

The conference theme is “Our Oceans, Our Future: Partnering for the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14”. SDG 14 addresses the need to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

The Ocean Conference outputs will be an intergovernmentally agreed "Call for Action" to support the implementation of Goal 14, a report of the partnership dialogues, and a list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14.

Following last month’s U.N. Ocean Conference preparatory meeting, a “zero draft” of the Call for Action was made available by the President of the U.N. General Assembly. Stakeholders are able to provide input until 24 March 2017.

A substantial part of the Ocean Conference in June will consist of “Partnership Dialogue” sessions around the following themes:

1. Addressing marine pollution.
2. Managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems.
3. Minimizing and addressing ocean acidification.
4. Making fisheries sustainable.
5. Increasing economic benefits to SIDS and LDCs and providing access for small scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.
6. Increasing scientific knowledge, and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology.
7. Enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans by implementing international law and the U.N. Law of the Sea.

The WOC is working to identify speakers for each of these Partnership Dialogue sessions, and will be submitting recommendations on the 31 March deadline. The Ocean Conference encourages “Voluntary Initiatives” - efforts voluntarily undertaken by stakeholders, including the private sector, individually or in partnership, that aim to contribute to SDG 14 implementation. Voluntary commitments can be registered online here. The Guidance Note on Voluntary Commitments for SDG14 is available here.

The Ocean Conference will include the possibility for side events organized by stakeholders. Guidelines and request form for organizers of side events to be held during the Ocean Conference can be found here. Please note that the deadline for side events proposals is 31 March 2017. Companies and industry groups interested in proposing side events are encouraged to contact the WOC.

Companies and industry organizations are encouraged to contact the WOC at info@oceancouncil.org for more information on the U.N. Ocean Conference, including general participation, speakers for the Partnership Dialogue sessions, voluntary commitments and side events.

For more information on the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the opportunities they create for the ocean business community, click here.

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