The United Nations Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world strengthens its effort to mobilize, create and drive solutions to realize the Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14): Life below Water. It will also provide all partners and states the opportunity to update their progress on their achievements in SDG 14.
The Solomon Islands Government is represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs & External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele (MP) and senior Government officials from Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management & Meteorology, Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & External Trade.
‘We are a nation of islands. The ocean defines who we are as people and nation’ the Hon. Minister stated in his opening statement. Reminding the global community that the ocean is integral to the Solomon Islands ancestral heritage, culture, economy and way of life. Therefore, the health of the ocean is crucial to the wellbeing of our people.
During the 1st UN Ocean Conference held in New York in 2017, Solomon Islands made five voluntary commitments in the areas of policies, fisheries, pollution and maritime boundary. The Minister highlighted progress made to date;
Hon. Minister Manele highlighted that even with challenges in terms of capacity, financial resources and competing priorities, Solomon Islands is doing what it can to address its ocean management issues. In addition, Hon. Manele announced the following new voluntary commitments:
Hon. Minister stated that in order to protect our precious ocean, we must put island people back into the centre of everything we do, physically, institutionally and economically.
He concluded with the call that the implementation of 2030 Agenda SDG14 requires and needs meaningful collaboration, and the global community needs to take urgent and firm actions, including availing of dedicated financial resources and technologies to island countries to sustainably conserve, use and protect ocean resources.
-Joint Media Release from MFAET & MECDM