OECD High-Level Virtual Launch of the Report Sustainable Ocean All - Harnessing the Benefits of Sustainable Ocean Economies for Developing Countries
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8 Sep 2020 - UNSG’s Special Envoy for the Ocean, Ambassador Peter Thomson, participated in the OECD’s High-Level Virtual Launch on 8 September of the report “Sustainable Ocean All - Harnessing the Benefits of Sustainable Ocean Economies for Developing Countries”. Other speakers supporting OECD Secretary-General Ángel Gurría at the launch were H.E. Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of Maritime Affairs of Portugal, H.E. Edhy Prabowo, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of Indonesia, H.E. Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Ocean and the Canadian Coast Guard, and H.E. Dag-Inge Ulstein, Minister of Development of Norway.

The Sustainable Ocean for All report had originally been planned to be launched during the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in June this year, but the conference’s postponement until 2021 occasioned this week’s launch. The report aims to support developing countries in their management of pressures on the ocean, along with their progress towards sustainable development anchored in a healthy ocean. In his remarks at the launch, Ambassador Thomson highlighted that it was true that the Super Year of 2020 had been disrupted by the pandemic, and that most of our key conferences have been postponed. “But no more than that,” he said.”The conferences will be held, as soon as conditions allow; and we will gather at them in real and virtual format to deliberate, for we remain resolutely committed to the multilateral process aimed at securing a sustainable way of life on this planet.”

The Special Envoy said it was very important that OECD remained fully committed to the build-up to the Lisbon conference, and that in the meantime, “we have a responsibility to maintain the momentum and where required, endeavour to meet the targets set by international agreement.” In relation to the latter, Ambassador Thomson referred to the still-attainable SDG14.5 on marine protected areas and SDG14.6 on the removal of harmful fisheries subsidies

In his remarks at the launch, the Special Envoy said that, “We are still in the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are looking ahead now to the roads that will lead us to economic recovery. I put it to you that this is the time when our voices must be heard in favour of the Blue-Green Recovery Road. At this time, decisions on massive financial commitments are in train, and before the seal is set upon them, we have to ensure the consequences of taking the low road back to the polluting fossil-fuel dependant world we knew, are understood and avoided”.

Ambassador Thomson concluded his remarks by underlining that, “To make the right decisions, science provides our firmest foundation ,and we are placing great faith and hope in the workings of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which gets underway next year.”
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