United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Saint Lucia

Permanent Mission of Saint Lucia to the United Nations
STATEMENT DELIVERED
BY
THE HONOURABLE DR. GALE RIGOBERT
Minister for Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable
Development
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
[TIME LIMIT: 5 Mins]
June 5, 2017
Please check against delivery
Mr. President,
Five years ago at the Rio+20 Summit, member states
collectively recognized that our oceans and seas are not
healthy, and pledged to protect and restore the health,
productivity and resilience of oceans and marine
ecosystems, and to maintain their biodiversity. Two years
later, the outcome of the SIDS Conference -the SAMOA
pathway - addressed the critical role that oceans and seas
play in the sustainable development of Small Island States.
And two years ago, the historic adoption of the 2030
Agenda on Sustainable Development provided us with the
stand alone Goal 14 on oceans, which is the focus of our
deliberations this week.
We wish to echo the sentiments of gratitude expressed by
previous speakers to the President of the General Assembly
for convening this High Level Conference on the Oceans –
with the goal of raising awareness, amplifying efforts and
initiating concrete action toward the implementation of
sustainable development goal 14.
Mr. President,
It cannot be overstated that the oceans are of strategic
importance, and constitute an irreplaceable development
resource for island states. Saint Lucia stands with our
fellow SIDS at the forefront of global efforts to ensure the
successful implementation of SDG 14.
The sustainable development of Saint Lucia, like that of all
SIDS, is intrinsically linked to our oceans and seas. We rely
heavily on a healthy marine environment for numerous
social and economic activities including tourism, fisheries,
transportation, food and nutrition and recreation.
The Government of Saint Lucia has long recognized this
heavy dependence on the island’s coastal and marine
resources and the related pressures that are exerted on the
environment, and we have actively engaged in the
development of frameworks and mechanisms to facilitate
the effective conservation, management and sustainable use
of marine resources.
Mr. President,
This conference provides the opportunity to move from
ideas to action, to galvanize opportunities that establish an
equilibrium between economic and social progress and
environmental sustainability. We must create favorable
conditions that simultaneously promote economic growth,
environmental sustainability, social inclusion and the
strengthening of ocean ecosystems.
Saint Lucia wishes to emphasize that, although our focus
this week is on Goal 14, the SDGs are integrated and
indivisible. Our work toward the targets under Goal 14
must be undertaken with the awareness of the connections
with other SDGs, and with the opportunities to advance
targets under multiple goals. For example, sustainable
fisheries management will be critical to achieving the goals
of eradicating poverty and food security for many member
states, particularly SIDS.
Small Island Developing states have long been
characterized by our constraints – our small size in land
area, our fragile ecosystems, narrow economies and
vulnerabilities to natural disasters; compounded by the
devastating threat of being on the front lines of sea level
rise and the negative consequences of a warming climate.
We need to safeguard the advantages that we derive from
our oceans, as target 14.7 of goal 14 challenges us to “By
2030, increase the economic benefits to SIDS and least
developed countries (LDCs) from the sustainable use of
marine resources, including through sustainable
management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.”
Mr. President,
We have come together today to work toward making
tangible progress, through commitments - local, national,
regional and global, to collectively progress the agreed
targets under SDG 14. Our advancement toward these
targets must be supported by the best available scientific
information and advice. We therefore wish to echo the calls
for the forging of appropriate partnerships which result in
tangible investments in scientific research, cooperation and
knowledge sharing to underpin efforts toward multiple
targets. If we are to leave no one behind we need to engage
innovatively on development solutions tailored to the
vulnerable and smallest countries.
Mr. President,
Our determination must be focused, as our ambition is
significant. Saint Lucia remains committed to working
toward the effective implementation of Goal 14 and the
other 16 sustainable development goals, which are all vital
to the re-shaping of future development and ensuring the
sustainability of all our nations for future generations.
Thank you.
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