United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Japan

Speech by H.E. Ambassador Mikio Mori
Deputy Director-General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs of Japan
At the 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
Mr. Co-Chairs,
Japan welcomes the convening of the United Nations Conference to
Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14.
This Conference should increase the momentum of the international
community toward achieving the 2030 Agenda. We would like to
express our appreciation to Sweden and Fiji, which have taken the
lead to realize this conference. Please allow me to take this
opportunity to congratulate Fiji, the Co-Chair, becoming the first
Pacific Island country to preside over the United Nations Conference
on Climate Change. Japan fully supports Fiji's presidency at COP23
towards achieving steady and full implementation of the Paris
Agreement. We are also grateful to the efforts made by the
Co-facilitators, Portugal and Singapore, for their dedication to draft
the "Call for Action," a joint declaration which is expected to be
adopted at this Conference.
As an island nation surrounded by and benefiting from the ocean,
Japan recognizes this Conference to be a remarkable occasion for the
international community to tackle urgent issues related to the
conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine
resources.
In this light, Japan co-sponsored the UN General-Assembly
resolution in 2015 that called for this conference to be convened.
Furthermore, Japan provided $44,000 to the trust fund to assist the
participation of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least
Developed Countries (LDCs) at this Conference.
SDGs
The implementation of the SDGs is a common task for the
international community. Under the SDGs Promotion Headquarters,
presided by the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe himself, Japan is taking
steady steps to achieve the SDGs both domestically and
internationally.
This Conference is the first UN meeting to be held on a specific
goal. While all the 17 SDGs are indivisible, it is a clear proof that the
conservation of the ocean, which is the main theme of SDG 14, is
recognized internationally as an urgent topic requiring a serious
global response.
Among many issues of concern, Japan places particular emphasis
on marine debris, ocean acidification, sustainable fisheries and
assistance to Small Island Developing States. I am pleased to share
with you that on this occasion Japan has registered 12 voluntary
commitments focusing on these areas.
Marine Debris: Target 14.1
Marine pollution and debris constitute a serious cross-boundary
problem that demands a worldwide response. Since about 80% of
marine debris stem from land-based sources, it is vital for each
country to have in place a comprehensive strategy for waste
management in order to address marine pollution effectively. In this
regard, Japan has been strongly promoting the 3Rs: namely, Reduce,
Reuse, and Recycle, utilizing environmentally sound technologies to
improve waste management. We assist developing countries in their
efforts to implement the 3Rs in particular through organizing the
Regional 3R Forum in Asia and the Pacific.
Japan reaffirmed its commitment to combat marine debris as the
Presidency of the G7 at the G7 Ise-Shima Summit last year. We are
convinced that efforts on the 3Rs as well as resource efficiency
contribute greatly to the prevention and reduction of marine debris, in
particular plastic, from land-based sources.
Ocean Acidification: Target 14.3
With regard to ocean acidification, promoting surveys and research
is critical in our efforts to better tackle the impact of climate change
on the oceans, as we still lack sufficient scientific knowledge. Japan,
in partnership with various international initiatives, has focused on
maritime observation as well as research and development on climate
change impact forecasts. Through these initiatives, we aim at
enhancing the scientific knowledge necessary to plan policies that will
combat threats to the marine ecosystem. We will continue to carry out
quantitative assessments of the impact of ocean acidification on
plankton, and work on developing new observational technologies
and sensors in this regard.
Sustainable Management of Fisheries: Target 14.4
Marine resources are not infinite and can be utilized in a
sustainable manner under proper management. Japan actively engages
in activities to promote international management and sustainable use
of marine resources through Regional Fisheries Management
Organizations (RFMOs).
Japan also attaches great importance to eliminating illegal,
unreported and unregulated fishing. In this regard, I am honored to
announce that on May 19 Japan concluded the Agreement on Port
State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported
and Unregulated Fishing. We call upon states that have not yet done
so to follow suit.
SIDS
The need for capacity building of human resources in the Small
Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries is
substantial in order to achieve the SDGs. At the third International
Conference on Small Island Developing States held in September
2014 in Samoa, Japan pledged to assist in training 5,000 people over
three years from 2015. I am proud to introduce to you that the number
is estimated to have already reached over 4,000 trainees by the end of
2016.
PALM
Furthermore, the year 2017 marks the 20th anniversary Pacific
Islands Leaders' Meeting, so-called the "PALM". Since its first
meeting in 1997, the PALM has been instrumental in advancing
cooperation among Japan and the Pacific Island Countries on wide
spectrum of issues. Wc expect that issues related to the oceans, seas
and maritime resources will also be discussed at its 8th Meeting in
May 2018.
Conclusion
It is our sincere hope that all stakeholders become actively engaged
in implementing SDG 14, following the "Call for Action" to be
adopted at this Conference. As part of this initiative, Japan is
determined to steadily implement our voluntary commitments, thus
contributing to the progress of the SDGs as a whole.
Last but not least, let us remind ourselves that the SDGs are not to
be achieved by reaching respective goals per se, but that the goals are
interdependent. So we need to take a "nexus"-approach, which
integrates various goals across different sectors. I expect to see a
fruitful discussion to take place at this Conference, so that its outcome
will bring about significant progress not only for achieving SDG 14
but also for the entire SDGs package.
Thank you.
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