United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Republic of Korea

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Mr. I Mme. President,
The ocean is the lifeblood of our planet and mankind. It covers over
three-quarters of the earth and accounts for 97% of the earth's water. It
provides more than half of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs over a
quarter of the carbon dioxide we produce. About half of the world's
popu~ation lives within coastal zones and some 300 million people find
their livelihoods in marine fi_sheries. If the oceans are in trouble, so are
we. This ~s why we agreed to include "conservation and ~ustainable use
of the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development"
as Goal 14· of Agenda 2030 and we have ·gathered here today to discuss
how to implement it.
As a coastal state surrounded by seas on three sides, the Republic . of
Korea strongly supports the implementation of Goal 14· in its entirety.
We have learned from our past experience of decades that conservation
of mari~e ecosystems, fighting against illegal, umeported, and
unregulated (IUU) fishing, and narrowing the capacity gaps for people in
LDCs and SIDS are keys to achieving Goal 14. If is because the
sustainable development of the ocean is ~riti~ally dependent on. success
in these three areas.
First, marine ecosystems around the world ar~ at risk of substantial
deterioration as oceans face growing threats from pollution, over-fishing,
and climate change. Second, IUU fishing puts incredible pressure on fish
stock and significantly distorts global markets. Third, capacity gaps
prevent LDCs and SIDS from fully utilizing marine resources and hinder
th~ir ability to address environmental degradation of the ocean.
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Against this backdrop, the Republic of Korea has been taking new
measurers in these key areas in recent years and let me elaborate· on
them briefly. ·
First, to conserve marine ecosystems, the Republic of Korea has
strengthened its domestic regufatory frame_work including, among others,
designation of twenty-seven Marine Protected Areas throughout the
country. We will further expand them with a view to not only promoting
marine biodiversity and landscape, but also contributing to the economy·
_ and welfare of local communities in the designated areas.
The Republic of Korea also chaμipions the international initiatives in
creating global regulatory framework for conserving marine ecosystems
in high seas. In this regard, we support the work of the Preparatory
Committee on marine biological diversity of areas beyond national
jurisdiction (BBNJ) and the· G20's action plan set to be adopted at this
. year's Summit to combat marine litter.
Second, to fight against IUU fishing, the Republic of Korea took
legislative measures to strengthen punishment for IUU fishing in 2015.
We also became a party- to the Port State Measures Agreement in 2016
and will introduce the Catch Documentation Scheme later this month to
preemptively block IUU catches from entering into the supply chain at
We hope that member states,_ whether flag or port states, will take
necessary measures to combat IUU fishing in a more proactive manner.
Without such proactive actions on the part of both flag and port states to
meet their respective obligations, IUU fishing will never disappear from
the oceans.
Third, to narrow the capacity gaps for LDCs and SIDS, the Republic of
Korea is providing development assistance to help build their capacities
in managing the marine environment and sustainable fisheries: just to.
name a few, monitoring the marine environment and acidification,
building marine science facilities, and managing marine biological
As part of these initiatives and in an effort to host the World Fisheries
University .in the Republic of Korea, we also launched a pilot project to
train students and practitioners from LDCs and SIDS this year. Working
together with UN .F AO, we look forward to bearing the fruits of this
project and establishing a formal institution in the Republic of Korea
sooner rather than later.
Mr. / Mme. President,
Our ocean is a prime example of a global public good which could easily
be overexploited without coordinated collective actions. Only through
comp~ehensive partnerships among multi-stakeholders can we protect
our ocean against overexploitation.
It is for this reason that the Republic of Korea renders its full support for
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various initiatives to promote international partnerships, including those
launched by Our Oceap Conference, the Arctic Council, and the
Convention on Biological Diversity. We will continue to make our own
contribution to these initiatives . by sharing our experiences and best
practices as well as providing constructive ideas.
To achieve Goal 14 in an effective manner, it is essential to take a
balanced and holistic approach, taking into consideratiqn all dimensions;
economic, social, and environmental. And, in the face of fast-grovying
risks and threats to our ocean, decisive actions should be taken .without
In closing, I would like to express my gratitude to the Co-Presidents,
Vice-Presidents,. Co-Facilitators of Call for Action, Secretariat, and other
organizers of this Conference for their dedicated contributions to making
this event a great success.
Thank you~