United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Albania
to the United Nations
at 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
New York, 8 June 2017
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320 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 Tel: 212-249-2059 Fax: 646-390-3337 E-mail: mission.newyork@mfa.gov.al
Honorable Co-Presidents,
Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to commend the governments of Sweden and Fiji
for co-hosting this unique conference, which gathers decision-makers,
scientists and civil society in an effort to establish a more sustainable and
respectful relationship between humankind and Oceans. I also extend my
sincere congratulations to the President of the 71st Session, H.E. Mr.
Thomson for his endeavors in soliciting a universal push to transform our
world through the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
This Conference is a turning point in creating the momentum to mobilize all
our efforts to restore oceans' natural environment and ecosystem. It marks
a great opportunity to advance the implementation of the Sustainable
Development Goal 14, and strengthen the international cooperation in order
to sustainably manage and protect our planet's blue heart: the oceans.
Indeed, they provide us with oxygen, regulate our climate, are directly
connected to our health, and constitute the primary source of food for more
than 3,5 billion people. Yet our actions are increasingly putting it to danger,
although its decline would negatively impact the lives of millions of people.
Moreover, Oceans are not only home to more than 90% of the Earth's living
habitat. They are also home to a large part of humankind cultural
heritage, identity and history. We need to be more aware of this hidden
treasure and constantly protect it and promote it. There are more artifacts
and remnants of history in the ocean than in all of the world's museums,
combined. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all UN Member
States to ratify UNESCO's Convention ,on the protection of Underwater
Cultural Heritage.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Albania is a country with 362 kilometers of coastline, which represent one
third of our borders, and 1,350 square kilometers of waters. In this
context, the management and conservation of the oceans and seas
are of paramount importance to us, both as a source of life and as
key in achieving sustainable development.
As a party to the Convention of Biological Diversity, Albania is working
towards the protection of the marine environment and the efficient
management of marine resources. We have prepared a National Biodiversity
Strategy and Action Plan, in line with the Aichi global targets to 2020 and
the strategic plan of the Convention. In this spirit, Albania has also adopted
the Integrated Cross-Sectorial Plan for the Coastal Zones, and has
elaborated the strategic document for the Marine and Coastal Protected
Areas. Furthermore, Albania has endorsed the increase of Marine Protected
Areas, as stated in the Aichi target 11.
Our national priorities for contributing to the sustainable use of oceans, seas
and marine resources are focused on three main areas:
1. Conservation of the marine environment and monitoring of marine and
protected species;
2. Promotion of sustainable, innovative, responsible and quality tourism
in marine protected areas, while taking climate-change mitigation and
adaptation measures;
3ÿ Developing of the Maritime Spatial Planning, in close partnership with
our neighbors in the region and in line with the criteria for membership
in the European Union.
At the same time, Albania has adhered to the agreement on Port State
measures to prevent, curb and eliminate unlawful, unreported and
unregulated fishing. We have drafted multi-annual fisheries management
plans for small pelagic and demersal fisheries, within the framework of the
General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean.
Dear colleagues,
In September 2015, all countries unanimously adopted the 2030 Agenda for
Sustainable Development and we all committed ourselves to implementing
it. Now, it's time for concrete, effective Action! Albania is deeply committed
to protect and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources, and
stands ready to play its role in the region in order to reverse the decline in
the health of our oceans.
Thank you.