United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by H. E. Mr. Zoran Jankovic, Acting State Secretary for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Montenegro On the High-level UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development ,,Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of SDG 14" 5-9 June 2017, New York Honorable Co-Presidents of the Conference, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, It is a great honor for me to address the inaugural Ocean Conference at the United Nations on behalf of my country, Montenegro. The convention of this event is a historic opportunity as clean, healthy, productive oceans are needed for the accomplishment of 2030 Agenda, and they are inextricably linked with the health of our planet. Excellencies, Building a better future requires better understanding of the importance of sustainable oceans. Nowadays, the Ocean is open to more people and industries than ever and we must act decisively and collectively to clean up our oceans and save the environment through the implementation of SDG14. The preservation of the marine environment and the durable consumption of resources must be central in defining national, regional, and global sustainable development goals and commitments. Montenegro is aware that sustainable fisheries, coastal tourism, aquaculture, the potential sources of renewable energy are vital for implementation of SDG14 and 2030 Agenda. We are confronted by several challenges that threaten to undermine a healthy marine ecosystem and coastal environment - challenges that endanger human livelihood and our symbiotic relationship with the sea. Reducing anthropogenic pressures on natural resources is the most pressing challenge that we are focused to overcome. In that sense, we adopted National Strategy for Sustainable Development that outlines general principles, strategic goals, and policy measures, and also 1 recognizes the preservation of natural capital as the principal mechanism for protecting Montenegrin society and international coastlines. In this regard, the attainment of long-term improvements of our marine environment depends upon the integration of ocean conservation principles with sectorial policies. Keeping in mind the obligations and responsibilities between countries to _respect this shared resource, Montenegro has undertaken necessary actions to reduce marine pollution through policy responses to the targets delineated in the 2030 agenda, which should continue to inspire actions at the national and regional level. Sustainable management of coastal zone resources and procedures for its sustainable development must be included in economic development goals. The conservation of coastal zone attractiveness is fundamental for the development of tourism, and is inseparable from the responsible usage of seaside and rural resources. This is why Montenegro will put stronger efforts to diversify the coastal zone economy with particular attention to policies that will enable interlinkages between the fishery and tourism industry. Excellencies, Montenegro will be committed to the reduction of marine pollution, the pursuit of sustainable management, and the conservation of our maritime and coastal ecosystems. Synergy between these issues must be guaranteed for the introduction of green and blue economies, which are instrumental for the successful attainment of the SGD14 of Agenda 2030. Mr. President, Montenegro joins other countries in calling for the Secretary-General to continue his efforts to support the implementation of SDG14, and in this context, stresses the importance of appointing a Special Representative of the Secretary General for Oceans, to help galvanize efforts to support SDG14 implementation. We must redouble our efforts to reach our goal of healthy and productive oceans. Governments, the private sector, civil society must join forces and work together. Only with consolidated and new and strategic partnerships we will ensure that all countries are able to implement SDG 14. Montenegro strongly advocates the sharing of experiences and best practices, the development of research capacity and transfer of marine technology and expertise to ensure that we are all on the same track. 2 We welcome the Call for Action that is to be adopted as a way forward to conserve and sustain use of the Oceans. I would like to reaffirm commitment of Montenegro to SDG 14, and we invite all nations to work together to successfully improve the health of our oceans and achieve this pressing goal. I thank you Mr. President. 3