STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE GROUP OF 77 AND CHINA BY MR. LUIS O˝A GARCÚS, SECOND SECRETARY, PERMANENT MISSION OF ECUADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS, AT THE SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATIONS OF THE "CALL FOR ACTION" OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE TO SUPPORT THE IMPLEMENTATION OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 14: CONSERVE AND SUSTAINABLY USE THE OCEANS, SEAS AND MARINE RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (New York, 24 April 2017)
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
At the outset, we would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for convening this very important meeting. We acknowledge and thank you, Excellencies, for the efforts and hard work made in preparing the revised draft of the "Call for Action" we have before us, as well as for your leadership to conduct this process. The Group would like to assure you our support and our disposition to engage in constructive and productive discussions in order to achieve the aspired and ambitious outcome of the Conference.
The G77 and China would like to express some preliminary views on the elements of the revised draft of the "Call for Action". However, we would be making our interventions accordingly to the structure given to this round of consultations. We look forward that our proposals would be taken into consideration for the context of the "Call for Action".
The G77 and China appreciates the sustained determination of having a concise, focused and intergovernmental agreed declaration, but substantive in its nature. We also value the importance of ensuring that we do not, through the Call for Action, reopen or renegotiate the Sustainable Development Goals or its targets, and we thank you for your efforts in this regard which are apparent in the revised draft.
* CLUSTER 1 (PARA 1-5)
In this initial cluster, the Group of G77 and China is of the view that the inclusion to call for "Heads of State, Government and high representatives" should be according to the language of relevant documents adopted in the UN. We would like to reiterate the importance to emphasize that the implementation of the SDG 14 of the 2030 Agenda be well balanced and integrated, in the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, with the full participation of civil society and relevant stakeholders, in line with rules and practices of the UN as well as national legislations and policies.
The Group value the recognition given to the importance of the Ocean, the role that it represents and the benefits we receive from it. For this instance, we believe that it is important to make reference and recognize the Ocean as a cultural and natural heritage.
The Group of 77 and China appreciate the included references of the adverse impacts of climate change on the Ocean, but we consider that attention towards impacts on marine ecosystems should be addressed as well. We should recognize and be aware that the Ocean, seas, islands and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth's ecosystem that are critical for global food security, for sustaining economic prosperity, the well-being of many national economies, to our shared future and common humanity.
We acknowledge the references of the need to address the adverse impacts that impair the role of the ocean as a climate regulator. In addition, we would appreciate that the commitment to address the adverse impacts and to protect and restore the health, productivity and resilience of the Oceans would also include references to marine ecosystems. In this context, the Group would like to reiterate the need to include that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and the Paris Agreement under this Convention, are and should be remained, the primary international, intergovernmental forums for negotiating the global response to climate change.
Furthermore, we would like to mention that the Group is pleased to see reflected the provision of being determined to collectively take an urgent action, but we are of the view that, such provision should be referenced to actions towards the conservation and sustainable use of the ocean, its resources and its ecosystems, which would enable the use of the Ocean and its benefits for present and future generations.
Finally, the Group of 77 and China expresses its profound concerns regarding the missing reference to the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, specially to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), as set out in principle 7 thereof, which is a matter of great importance to the Group. We stress the need for the inclusion of the CBDR principle as it represents the need for all states to take responsibility for global environmental problems and, on the other hand, the need to recognize the wide differences in levels of economic development between states to address such issues.
* CLUSTER 2 (PARA 6-10)
The Group of 77 and China reaffirms our commitment to achieve targets of the SDG 14 within timelines and to continue to take action in order to maintain conservation and sustainable use; in this regard, we also consider we should welcome and appreciate early achievement of the targets of the SDG 14. We reaffirm the integrated and indivisible character of all Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda and the interlinkages and synergies between them.
The Group acknowledge that the implementation of the SDG 14 requires partnerships for development, international cooperation and solidarity at the national, regional and international levels with the involvement of private sector to empower civil society. Conservation and sustainable use of the ocean would not be possible if the 2030 agenda its not successful as a whole.
G77 and China recognizes the role of international cooperation as crucial in providing additional, adequate, sustainable and predictable means of implementation of SDG 14 at all levels, including North-South / South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation, with the full participation of all relevant stakeholders.
We underline the need to integrate Goal 14 to national planning processes, policies and strategies, taking into account the different national realities, capacities and levels of development, respecting national policies and priorities. As agreed in Agenda 2030 paragraph 55 targets are defined as aspirational and global, with each government setting its own national targets guided by the global level of ambition but taking into account national circumstances.
Finally, the Group is of the view that in order to make a more concise document you can consider to combine the paragraph 10 with paragraph 9, as in both the role of women is recognized.
* CLUSTER 3 (PARA 11-14)
In this cluster, the Group has noticed that there is no reference regarding the financing of the implementation of the SDG 14. There is a need for a predictable and adequate financing as a necessary mean for implementation of the SDG 14 for the developing countries.
The Group recognizes that enhancing support to developing countries is fundamental for the implementation of the SDG 14, including through the provision of the development of financial resources, transfer of technology, enhanced international support and targeted capacity-building. As of means of implementation, there is need on developing marine scientific research capacities in order to inform and support decision making, and to promote knowledge hubs and networks to enhance scientific and traditional knowledge, the sharing and access to scientific data, best practices and know-how, capacity building and environmentally-sound marine technology, on favorable terms, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular to small island developing states, and least developed countries.
We acknowledge the importance and the need of essential tools to ensure that all countries are better equipped to achieve and assess the state of the ocean and the conservation and sustainable use of it and its resources. Therefore, the Group would like to see reflected a strong language showing commitment and ambition regarding means of implementation and its financing. We endorse that the necessary means for the implementation of the SDG 14 should be in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2030 Agenda in which the implementation at all level requires a revitalized global partnership and the full implementation of SDG 17 that constitute the agreed framework for the fulfillment of all sustainable development goals, including SDG 14, and other relevant outcomes.
* CLUSTER 4 (PARA 14a-14f)
Thank you Co-Facilitators,
The Group of 77 and China underscores that the implementation of the SDG 14 should underline the interlinkages, and the integrated and indivisible nature of the SDG 14 with the 2030 Agenda and other Sustainable Development Goals. Moreover, we recognize that it is essential to strengthen cooperation, collaboration, coordination and policy coherence among institutions and all stakeholders at the international, regional and national level. The Group expresses its opinion that it should be encouraged the promotion of the multistakeholder partnerships with the inclusion of, and not only, the civil society, scientific community, communities and local groups, and the private sector.
The Group is aware, value and appreciate the references to develop comprehensive strategies to raise awareness of the significance of the Ocean, its marine biodiversity and its ecosystems. In this regard, we reiterate the importance to mention and recognize the Ocean as a cultural and natural heritage. Additionally, we are of the view that in order to continue to have a concise document, the paragraph 14(d) could be combined with paragraph 14(e) as both paragraphs make references of improving the knowledge of the ocean. Paragraph 14(e) could be under paragraph 14(d) and be considered as one of the many strategies to raise awareness.
Finally, the Group of 77 and China would like to stress our firm conviction that enhancing support to developing countries is fundamental for the implementation of the SDG 14, especially through the provision, on favorable terms, of financial resources, transfer of technology, enhanced international support, targeted capacity building, the promotion of knowledge hubs and networks to enhance scientific and traditional knowledge, the sharing and access to scientific data, best practices and know-how, environmentally-sound marine technology and the development of marine scientific resources, in particular to small island developing states and least developed countries.
In this context, the Group would also like to recognize the inclusion of contributions to small scale and artisanal fisheries in reference to the sharing of data, knowledge and scientific and technological innovation.
* CLUSTER 5 (PARA 14g-14k)
The Group wishes to encourage the acceleration of actions and creation of partnerships to clean up, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, and notes the consideration to make reference to land-based pollution. We call to demonstrate more ambition to ensure the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns, with all countries taking action and developed countries taking the lead to reduce wastes and its generation, taking into account the development and capabilities of developing countries in line of SDG 12.
The Group supports the develop and implementation of effective adaptation and mitigation measures to address the harmful impacts of climate change on the ocean as well as on its interconnected ecosystems, and it is of the view that the implementation of the relevant obligations and commitments should be in the context of the implementation of the Paris Agreement under the UNFCCC and through the inclusion of ocean-related actions in the Nationally Determined Contributions.
* CLUSTER 6 (PARA 14l-14p)
In this cluster, the Group of 77 and China would like to underscore the need to prevent and end destructive fishing practices such as the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing so as to reach sustainable use of ocean and its resources.
We would like to express our support to the strengthening of cooperation and coordination, with the involvement of Coastal States, on the development of inter-operational catch documentation and traceability of fish products, bearing in mind national capacities.
The Group of 77 and China recognizes the need to strengthen the socio-economic situation of small scale and artisanal fisheries within the context of sustainable development, to diminish pressures on them by enabling access to marine resources and market, and to provide them capacity building and technical assistance.
* CLUSTER 7 (PARA 14q-15)
The Group of 77 and China stresses the necessity to increase the efforts to mobilise the means necessary for the development of sustainable ocean-related activities and the implementation of the SDG 14, particularly in developing countries, and reiterates that the implementation must be in line with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the full implementation of SDG 17, and other relevant outcomes.
We would like to acknowledge the importance to recognize cross-cutting issues such as the provision of financing, transfer of technology, enhanced institutional support and targeted capacity-building in the document. We underline also the need to reflect in a balanced manner the progress achieved in addressing the issues of loss and damage associated with climate change impacts.
The Group welcomes the paragraph 14(s) as it provides a space to commit with and to strengthen the process of the Preparatory Committee established by General Assembly Resolution 69/292, on the development of an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity, as it is strongly correlated with the objective of the conservation and sustainable use of the SDG 14.
We endorse the commitment to continue to stimulate innovative and concrete partnerships dialogues, involving all relevant stakeholders, and to implement the voluntary commitments made in the context of the Conference.
Finally, the Group highlight the importance that this outcome will 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.