GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CARICOM Secretariat – Small Island Developing States (SIDS) including those of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are heightening their preparations ahead of the United Nations (UN) Conference on the sustainable use of the oceans (SDG14), scheduled for June 5-9 in New York.
CARICOM Member States and the CARICOM Secretariat participated in a forum from 29-31 March 2017, in Jeju, Republic of Korea, as the Community continued to enhance its capacity to adequately respond to the complexity of issues surrounding sustainable oceans governance.
The Meeting, hosted by the UN Office for Sustainable Development (UNOSD), was organized by UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) in collaboration with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). It drew extensive representation of SIDS throughout the hemisphere, experts from capitals, embassies and Permanent Missions to the UN in New York.
CARICOM was represented by Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, and the CARICOM Secretariat. Sustainable Development Goal 14 refers to conserving and sustainable use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. For CARICOM, adequate participation in the process to implement this goal is critical to ensuring that the Region benefits equitably from conservation, sustainable use and exploitation of marine resources.
In addition to taking stock of SIDS preparations to date for the High-Level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14, the forum in the Republic of Korea saw the exchange of views on SIDS priorities and expectations from the Conference. It discussed the exploration of opportunities for a coordinated and coherent implementation of actions on those priorities, including through scaled up commitments, with respect to the SAMOA Pathway and SDG 14.
The CARICOM Secretariat provided an overview of regional experiences with Oceans-related matters. It noted the fragmented nature of arrangements for the management of marine ecosystems particularly as it relates to biodiversity, fisheries, pollution and climate change and proposed that the rationalization, connection and strengthening of the varied global and regional networks, might provide a functional global ocean governance framework that could contribute to the achievement of the SDG14 targets.