New York, 28 September 2015 – In recognising their important role as stewards of the oceans, Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have been at the forefront in demonstrating strong leadership by calling for ambitious and urgent action on the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and marine resources. In this regard, the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in collaboration with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) organized a high level event on Oceans and implementing the SAMOA Pathway and SDG 14 by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) through public-private partnerships. The event focused on the importance of healthy Oceans for global food security, livelihoods and economic growth for SIDS. Special attention was paid to the role of public-private partnerships in spurring sustainable growth and increasing economic benefits within SIDS regions.
In his welcome address, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands stressed that, “Most SIDS should be regarded as Large Ocean States – relatively small in land mass, but large in terms of their exclusive economic zones… This makes them the custodians of a great part of the world’s oceans.”
Respectively, Sir Richard Branson, best known as Founder of Virgin Group, reiterated the role and influence of SIDS; stating, “it cannot be underestimated… You can be a shining example of what can be done and more importantly what must be done.”
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In relation to the importance of private sector partnerships, including on the oceans agenda, Mr. Gyan Chandra Achaya, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS highlighted the launch of the SIDS Global Business Network in early 2016 and encouraged “all stakeholders, including development partners to support this important initiative”.
SIDS are amongst the custodians of the largest and most ambitious marine protected areas in the world. They are amongst the overseers of highly migratory fish stocks and they were amongst the progenitors of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. For SIDS, healthy oceans are intrinsically linked to sustainable development and the success of implementing both the SAMOA Pathway and the Sustainable Development Goals. Held on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly’s 70th anniversary and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this event marked a stepping stone towards a future management of Oceans including through public-private partnerships.
Speakers: Moderator: P.M. Aruba Mike Eman; H.M. King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands; Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under-Secretary-General High Representative for LDC, LLDCs and SIDS; Director-General, Graziano da Silvo, UN FAO; P.M Curaçao, Ben Whiteman ; Stuart Beck, Ambassador Oceans and Seas, Palau; Amir Dossal, Global Partnerships Forum; P.M Samoa, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi; Sir Richard Branson, CEO Virgin Group; Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grenada; Fred Boltz, Managing Director Ecosystems, Rockefeller Foundation; Robynne Anderson, Director General of the International Agri-Food Network ; H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the UN; H.E. Mr. Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau to the UN.
To view video from the event, click here.
Photo gallery from the event “OCEANS 14, Implementing the SAMOA Pathway and SDG 14 by Small Island Developing States through Public-Private Partnerships.”
Feature Photo: Mike McCoy/Flickr