Remarks on behalf of the Group of 77 and China by Mr. Majed Bamya, First Counsellor at the Mission of the State of Palestine, at the First Informal Consultation on the Draft Resolution "The 2020 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, 13 February 2019

Distinguished Co-facilitators,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China. At the outset, allow me to express my appreciation on behalf of the Group to Portugal and Kenya for convening this meeting.

The Group stresses the importance of maintaining political momentum and keep working tirelessly for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In this regard, we reaffirm all the principles of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, including inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

The Group recalls that the main purpose to convene a UN Ocean Conference is to support the implementation of sustainable development goal 14 and stresses that the 2030 Agenda must be seen as the overarching framework for this process, taking into account the balance between the three dimensions of sustainable development and the integrated, indivisible and universal nature of the SDGs. Accordingly, it is imperative that the actions taken for the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources are guided by the Agenda.

The Group expresses their deep appreciation to Portugal and Kenya for their offer to host the 2nd UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon in 2020 and wishes to assure them of its support and disposition to engage in constructive and productive discussions to ensure the success of the Conference. The Group was actively engaged in the first UN Ocean Conference and in the adoption of the outcome document “Our ocean, our future: call for action”, and looks forward to building on this successful outcome during the 2nd UN Ocean Conference.

The Group wishes to provide the following input on the draft resolution on modalities:

– The Group welcomes the convening of a second UN Ocean Conference while highlighting the need to ensure complementarity and avoid duplication and overlapping with other processes that are underway, including the intergovernmental conference on BBNJ matters.
– The Group welcomes the fact that this resolution draws from agreed language in other General Assembly resolutions, notably resolution 70/303, and stresses that the second conference should be guided by the successful experience of the first conference.
– The Group supports the adoption of an outcome by the Conference, but wishes to explore further what are the best possible options in this regard. This would in turn have a bearing on the language in the draft resolution, including in OP 16, OP 17, OP 18 and OP 21.
– The Group’s understanding is that the theme takes into account Agenda 2030 and the UN Decade on Ocean Science for Sustainable Development but it wishes to request further information, for example through a concept note, regarding the theme suggested by the co-facilitators,
– Regarding the text of the draft resolution, and in addition to the comments already made, the Group suggests the following edits:

o PP10: better reflect the language of the Ministerial Declaration of the 2017 HLPF by also referring to the partnership dialogues. The Declaration welcomed the outcome of the United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 and took note of its seven partnership dialogues.
o OP 4(h): Replace “Assess the implementation of the voluntary commitments” by “Provide an update on the implementation of the voluntary commitments”.
o OP 25: Add a footnote after “associate members of the regional commissions” and list these members using the exact wording used in the footnote that appears in OP 14 of resolution 72/249.

In closing, the Group once again reaffirms that, as stated by the Call for Action, our ocean is critical to our shared future and common humanity in all its diversity and that we need to act decisively and urgently, convinced that our collective action will make a meaningful difference to our people, to our planet, and to our prosperity. We look forward to contributing to a successful 2nd UN Ocean Conference that can advance this important objective.

I thank you.