United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Firstly, Canada would like to express
general support for the proposed partnership
dialogue themes. Given that there will be limited
time at the Conference to address all ten
targets under SDG 14, it makes sense to group
similar targets together for the dialogues.
Canada would also like to reiterate its full
commitment to achieving the targets identified
under SDG 14. Our government has identified
numerous priorities directly linked to SDG 14.
We have not only made it a domestic priority to
protect 10% of Canada’s marine and coastal
areas by 2020, but have self-imposed the target
of protecting 5% by the end of this year. We are
working hard to identify all measures, including
other effective area-based conservation
measures, which can justifiably be considered
to contribute towards the 10% target. We
recognize that what we report, and how we
report, must be ambitious, transparent and
credible, and we have committed to facilitate
discussions in this regard.
Our government has committed to
reinvesting in science, and to use scientific
evidence when making fisheries and
ecosystems management decisions. It is also
part of our mandate to take into account the
impacts of climate change when making
management decisions.
When it comes to “making fisheries
sustainable”, we feel that the primary focus of
the dialogue should remain on the common
goal of recovering fish stocks and restoring
stocks to levels that can produce maximum
sustainable yields. In doing so, we need to
account for the risks posed by factors which we
do not control, such as the impacts of climate
The Secretary General’s report remarked
that efforts to address overfishing are often
undermined by a lack of science-based
management. As such, the fourth dialogue
session should also discuss ways to ensure
science-based decision-making in fisheries
Increasing scientific knowledge, and
developing research capacity and transfer of
marine technology is a priority. Knowledge is an
overarching theme that affects the successful
implementation of all of the targets under
SDG 14. Ensuring cooperation and integration
across disciplines and interests should be a key
consideration under this dialogue. Cooperation
among scientists, and between scientists,
policymakers, Indigenous groups and
stakeholders will be vital to success under this
The effective implementation of international
law, as reflected in UNCLOS, is integral to the
success of achieving sustainable fisheries and
oceans governance. The Preparatory
Committee meetings currently taking place on
marine biological diversity in areas beyond
national jurisdiction show the importance of
international law in this context and we look
forward to making good progress in these
As the Secretary General’s report reflected,
the legal framework for the oceans is complex.
In addition to the UN Convention on the Law of
the Sea and its implementing agreements, such
as the UN Fish Stocks Agreement, there are a
range of other global treaties and soft law
instruments in place. In the seventh partnership
dialogue it will be important to explore the full
range of instruments and their state of
implementation. This includes the voluntary
guidelines and self-assessments developed
through the Food and Agriculture Organization,
through to binding measures such as the work
of regional fisheries bodies.
Lastly, we endorse the proposed
substantive dialogue on increasing the
economic benefits to small island developing
States and least developed countries, and
addressing the issue of access for small-scale
Before concluding, please allow us to
express the view that the success of the Ocean
Conference will ultimately be judged on its
ability to catalyze partnerships. To succeed on
this account, the full and robust participation of
civil society, the private sector, philanthropic
organizations, academia and other
stakeholders in all aspects of this conference
and its preparatory process will be absolutely
critical. We really can't stress this point enough.
We look forward to working with this full
array of stakeholders, along with our fellow
Member States, to develop partnerships on the
themes of the Ocean Conference.