Implementation of SDG 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans,
Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development
Preparatory Meeting, NY, 14 - 15 February 2017
Considerations of J. L. Rocha, Ambassador and PR of Cabo Verde
on the 7 Themes for Partnership Dialogues Proposed by the SG
Distinguished Co-Presidents, Co-facilitators, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen
1. From the outset, allow me to express my appreciation to His Excellence the
President of the General Assembly for convening this important meeting and my
congratulations to the Permanente Representatives of Portugal and Singapore for
their role as co-facilitators, entrusted to help us prepare the base for a fruitful and
meaningful Oceans Conference in June. My delegation stands ready to support you
throughout this process and wishes you success in your endeavors. I would like also
to associate myself with the statement delivered by Equator on behave of
G77&China and AOSIS on Behalf of SIDS.
2. Co-facilitators, much has been said about the importance of the Oceans, seas and
coastal areas as an important part of the Earth’s ecosystem and their role in
promoting sustainable development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.
However, it is never too much to stress how important the marine and coastal
resources, in particular, are for the livelihoods of the small islands, since for most of
the SIDS their main territory is the ocean.
3. Indeed, such is the case of my own country Cabo Verde, with an Economic Exclusive
Zone (EEZ) of almost 800 000 Square Km, meaning 200 times the land surface of this
archipelago of 9 inhabited islands. Oceans and seas have always had a determining
influence on the life of these islands. It was by the sea that arrived the sailors who
founded the islands. Moreover, the sea has minimized the effects of drought on
agriculture and the feeding of the populations providing activities of marine
economy such as fishing, maritime transport, commerce and tourism, and today,
almost 50% access to potable water through desalinization. The government
believes that trough knowledge, innovation, science and organized blue business,
the oceans have the potential to offer much more.
4. Again, much need to be done so we can take advantages of the oceans while
preserving their eco-system. We must combat the ongoing threats to oceans, such as
pollution, acidification, an unbalanced use of coastal ecosystems and the over
exploitation of living resources, among others. This task goes beyond individual
countries capacity, especially with regard to climate change, whose impact transcend
boundaries. Addressing the oceans in a holistic manner means taking into account
the different aspects of the multi-faceted dimensions of SDG 14.
5. Co – facilitators, there is a consensus that the 7 themes proposed by the Secretary
General are comprehensive and encompass all the targets of SDG14. In this context,
my delegation deems it important this dialogue also addresses:
a) One. The specific situation and needs of the SIDS related to the oceans and seas,
in an effective manner, to help overcome their vulnerabilities and built the
necessary resilience in this particular area.
b) Two. The means of implementation are important to bring the 7 themes out of
paper as they remain critical for the SIDS, namely capacity building, technology
sharing, data collecting, processing and information, and access to finance; Just
an example, in the case of Cabo Verde, the main natural reservoir of drinking
water is in the sea, the Atlantic Ocean more precisely. Cheaper energies,
innovative technologies and an unpolluted sea can increase the access to more
water both for domestic and industrial use.
c) Finally: The real implementation and realization of SDG14 requires its own
follow-up and monitoring mechanism;
6. Co-facilitators, in concluding, let me reiterate the support of this delegation in
working with you throughout this process and to ensure the desired outcome for
both this preparatory meeting and the Oceans Conference itself. I Thank You!