The SAMOA Pathway recognises that oceans and seas are intrinsically linked to sustainable development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and that healthy, productive and resilient oceans and coasts are critical for, inter alia, poverty eradication, access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food, livelihoods, economic development and essential ecosystem services, including carbon sequestration, and represent an important element of identity and culture for the people of SIDS. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, coastal tourism, the possible use of seabed resources and potential sources of renewable energy are among the main building blocks of a sustainable ocean-based economy in SIDS.
The objectives of the Conference include to: identify ways and means to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14; build on existing successful partnerships and stimulate innovative and concrete new partnerships to advance the implementation of Goal 14; involve all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors to assess challenges and opportunities relating to, as well as actions taken towards, the implementation of Goal 14; share the experiences gained at the national, regional and international levels in the implementation of Goal 14; and contribute to the follow-up and review process of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by providing an input to the High-level political forum on sustainable development, on the implementation of Goal 14, including on opportunities to strengthen progress in the future.
The Conference will comprise plenary meetings, partnership dialogues and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day. The outcome of the Conference will be a concise, focused, intergovernmentally agreed declaration in the form of a "Call for Action" to support the implementation of Goal 14 and a report containing the co-chairs' summaries of the partnership dialogues, as well as a list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of Goal 14, to be announced at the Conference.
The President of the General Assembly will convene a two-day preparatory meeting in February 2017 at United Nations Headquarters in New York, to be chaired by two co-facilitators, with a view to considering the themes for the partnership dialogues and elements for a "Call for Action". The PGA, in his letter dated 24 October 2016, appointed two co-facilitators to oversee the preparatory process, namely H.E. Mr. Álvaro Mendonça Moura, Permanent Representative of Portugal, and H.E. Mr. Burhan Gafoor, Permanent Representative of Singapore.
The Conference will be a great opportunity for all Member States and other stakeholders, including SIDS, to speed up the implementation of SDG 14 with more coordinated actions and tangible partnerships, building on existing partnerships, projects and programmes, and taking into account the interlinkages of SDG 14 with other SDGs and targets.
More information can be found at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/topics/oceans/SDG14Conference