The European Union organized and hosted the 4th edition of the “Our Ocean Conference” in Malta from 5 – 6 October 2017. The first three conferences were organized by the US Department of State and held in Washington, DC. The 2018 conference will take place in Indonesia. Norway will be the host in 2019, and Palau in 2020.
The United Nations Secretary-General’s Special envoy of the Ocean, Mr. Peter Thomson of Fiji, participated in the Malta conference and met with a number of officials to discuss follow-up activities to The Ocean Conference, including Deputy-Prime Minister of Sweden, Isabella Lövin, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, Susi Pudjiastuti, Minister of Climate and the Environment of Norway, Vidar Helgesen, Minister of the Sea of Portugal, Ana Paula Vitorino, High Seas Alliance, World Resource Institute, Sky News, Nature Conservancy.
The conference in Malta focused on six inter-linked areas: climate change, marine protected areas, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution, sustainable blue economy and maritime security. Each of the areas were presented by a panel which was followed by the announcement of commitments in that area. According to the EU, 437 tangible and measurable commitments were made with EUR 7.2 billion in financial pledges and 2.5 million square kilometers of additional Marine Protected Areas. The EU pledged 36 commitments, other countries tabled over 200 commitments, whilst NGOs, foundations, research institutes and international organizations announced 87 commitments. The conference also mobilized at scale the business community;. corporate leaders responded with 100 commitments, ranging from plastic reduction to satellite monitoring.
DESA on its behalf and behalf of ISA presented the Abyssal Initiative for Blue Growth in the Sustainable Blue Economy area, among one of the 1,400 voluntary commitments that were announced during The Ocean Conference in June 2017.