(Information session on the margins of the informal consultations on the draft omnibus resolution on oceans and the law of the sea)
New York, 2 October 2018
First of all, let me start off by welcoming you all to this session. It is a true pleasure to partner with IOC and the Maldives in promoting an event regarding an initiative that is very close to our heart: The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
It is more and more indisputable that an healthy and resilient Ocean is part and parcel of the road towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and that Ocean science is key to unlock the vast potential of the Ocean and marine resources to support countries in achieving the SDGs, as well as to ensure that conservation and sustainable use of the Ocean go hand in hand.
Based on this understanding, at the 2017 UN Ocean Conference, through the outcome document entitled “Call for Action”, countries stressed “the need to further increase marine scientific research to inform and support decision-making, and to promote knowledge hubs and networks to enhance the sharing of scientific data, best practices and know-how”.
All of this is at the very heart of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), which was proclaimed last December by the UN General Assembly.
Portugal has been a strong supporter of the Decade since its inception, as we believe it is fully aligned with 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and is instrumental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
We see the Decade as providing a common and integrated framework for cooperation between different Ocean stakeholders and processes that – by pooling together their resources, capacities and expertise – can generate the scientific knowledge that is instrumental to bring about the transformation we need.
Given the ambitious goals of the Decade, it is crucial that its preparation involves all the interested parties and reflects the contribution of Member States and other relevant stakeholders.
In this regard, I would like to commend the IOC for being invested in guaranteeing that the development of the Decade’s Implementation Plan is carried out in the most open and inclusive way, a commitment that this event helps to highlight.
On our part, Portugal is ready to contribute to this exercise. We will be promoting nationwide consultations with various stakeholders, and targeted workshops and communication events will be prepared to promote awareness and gather inputs that can feed into the implementation of the Decade. We will put a particular focus on the Atlantic, building on the national initiatives relative to the creation – in the Azores Archipelago – of the Atlantic International Research Center and the Observatory for the Atlantic.
At the global level, we have offered to host the second Global Planning Workshop in 2020, and we are ready to assist and actively support the IOC Secretariat in any other way that is deemed appropriate in the context of the preparation of the Decade’s implementation plan.
I will stop here and give the floor to Mr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO.