Oceans 14: Implementing the SAMOA Pathway and SDG14 by SIDS through Public-Private Partnerships

Intervention by:

H.E. Mr. Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Maldives to the UN

New York, 27 September 2015

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,


First of all, let me congratulate the Government of Netherlands for this wonderful initiative.


For Maldives, and the rest of the members of AOSIS, oceans are crucial. As you know, SIDS are custodians of vast expanses of oceans. This implies that we must have ownership of strategies concerning the sustainable development of oceans. By emphasizing the economic power of the ocean economy, SIDS can seize their competitive advantage and carve a niche in global economy. Equally important is taking steps to preserve oceans and seas for them to be a long-term resource for our peoples.


This includes:

  • · Ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction
  • · Addressing the causes of ocean acidification, land-based sources of pollution, and IUU fishing
  • · Promoting the full recognition of the special requirements of SIDS in regional fisheries management organizations


But oceans issues are not only important to SIDS. Oceans and seas contribute to poverty eradication, sustainable livelihoods. decent work in fisheries and marine aquaculture, shipping and shipbuilding, ports, tourism, oil, gas, mining, and maritime transportation industries. Oceans and seas are crucial for global food security and human health --providing food and nutrition, directly through fishing and marine aquaculture, as well as indirectly through animal feeds. Moreover, oceans and seas are the primary regulator of the global climate and an important sink for greenhouse gases. They provide us with water and the very oxygen we breathe. Oceans and seas are indeed a topic of universal importance. This is the reason why AOSIS countries have underscored that oceans and seas was a thematic priority for the post-2015 agenda.  



For oceans, the issues are known. But, successful solutions require improved understanding of the pressures, challenges, and processes. They also require means to implement adequate measures, as well as monitoring for a greater accountability, which are all dependent on international and regional cooperation. This is why an event such as this is important.


A pro-active approach based on genuine and durable partnerships with all relevant stakeholders including the private sector, is strongly needed to bring adequate visibility and accountability to the implementation of the oceans and seas priority of SIDS. This is what we will need to cultivate in the next few months and years ahead. The Group of Friends on SDG14, is another important way of building partnerships across regions and seas.


AOSIS can play an important role in ensuring that implementation proceeds expeditiously and in accordance with our members’ national development priorities and circumstances. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why engagement of all relevant stakeholders will be important to the success of the strategy. However, there are a range of proven policies, programs and actions for addressing each of these elements. In addition, the international community has already made commitments in numerous legal instruments regarding oceans conservation measures. The challenge is ensuring that the political will and resources are there for implementation.


We see this event as a good step, in the right direction. Now let us keep moving.


I thank you.