The objective of this briefing is to raise awareness within the trade community in Geneva about the High-Level United Nations Oceans Conference and the preparatory process. It will provide Member States with an opportunity to discuss with the co-conveners and the United Nations Secretariat on next steps and possible implications for trade-related processes currently being dealt with in the Geneva context. It will also seek to provide the most recent United Nations report focusing on trade-related aspects of fisheries in line with SDG 14, opening a useful debate on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, has 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Among them, SDG 14, the “Oceans goal”, aims to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”. It includes 10 targets relating to marine pollution, protecting marine and coastal ecosystems, minimizing ocean acidification, sustainable management of fisheries and ending harmful fisheries subsidies, conserving costal and marine areas, increasing the economic benefits to SIDs and LDCs, and means of implementation.
Many of these targets are related to policy making, negotiations and ongoing discussions in the WTO, FAO, UNCTAD, UNDESA and other relevant fora. On 22 December 2015, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted resolution 70/226 deciding to “convene the High-Level 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 in New York, from 5 to 9 June 2017, coinciding with World Oceans Day, to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14”.
Furthermore on 7 September 2016, the UNGA adopted a resolution on "the Modalities for 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". This resolution determines the main framework and steps in the preparation and staging this High-Level United Nations Conference. As a way to contribute to an informed debate on the road to the High-Level United Nations Conference, immediately following the briefing, UNCTAD will launch its Trade and Environment Review 2016. The Review is exclusively dedicated to "Trade in Fish" (See UNCTAD/DITC/TED/16/3) and has a specific focus on SDG targets 14.4, 14.6 and 14b.