The co-facilitators of the UN Ocean Conference preparatory process announced agreement on the themes for the 2020 Conference. They also announced the dates and times for the first round of informal consultations on the Conference declaration.
In their letter, co-facilitators Ngedikes Olai Uludong, Permanent Representative of Palau, and Martin Bille Hermann, Permanent Representative of Denmark, informed Member States that the silence procedure on changes to the theme of the third interactive dialogue was not broken, and they therefore have recommended eight themes to the UN General Assembly President.
The themes are:
- addressing marine pollution;
- managing, protecting, conserving and restoring marine and coastal ecosystems;
- minimizing and addressing ocean acidification, deoxygenation and ocean warming;
- making fisheries sustainable and providing access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets;
- promoting and strengthening sustainable ocean-based economies, in particular for small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs);
- increasing scientific knowledge and developing research capacity and transfer of marine technology;
- enhancing the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law, as reflected in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS); and
- leveraging interlinkages between SDG 14 (life below water) and other Goals towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The UN Secretary-General will begin preparing concept notes on each of the themes, and will invite Member States and other stakeholders to submit input.
The co-facilitators also informed Member States that by early March 2020 they intend to circulate a zero draft as a starting point for the informal consultations on the intergovernmentally agreed declaration. The first round of informal consultations will convene on 18-19 March 2020.