Oceanic agenda in New York

The Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic will participate next week in meetings in New York to discuss sustainable development of the ocean.

When the 73th session of the UN General Assembly convenes, representatives of several prominent international marine initiatives will gather in New York. Against the backdrop of the UN’s 2030 agenda, and particularly Sustainable Development Goal 14, they will plan strategies and future cooperation.

Marine initiatives flourish

Recent years have seen a veritable boom in global ocean initiatives, and Norway is playing a central role. Right at the forefront is Erna Solberg’s establishment of an international panel for a sustainable ocean economy, whose top-level politicians will hold their first formal meeting at the UN General Assembly. This High-Level Panel, created in January 2018 and including many government leaders, will soon begin preparing a report on the importance of the ocean economy for sustainable development.

  • Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic has been designated as Norway’s liaison to the High-Level Panel. Read more here.

In addition, two other prominent marine networks will be meeting: Friends of Ocean Action, initiated by the World Economic Forum, and Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business, established by the United Nations corporate sustainability initiative Global Compact. Director Jan-Gunnar Winther will attend meetings organized by these networks on 24 and 25 September.

Sustainable business forum

Most of Winther’s stay will be dedicated to the Global Compact Summit and its Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business. Norway is both the chief partnership country and the main sponsor, although private enterprise will eventually provide more of the funding. The objective is to lay the groundwork for sustainable use of the oceans within all marine enterprises as the blue economy evolves.

“I anticipate that the companies involved in the Global Compact network will continue to develop and strengthen societal, economic and environmental sustainability models like those recently described by the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global. Some describe partnerships as “the fourth dimension” of sustainability, and this network has quickly demonstrated how powerful collaboration and interaction can be. The business and financial sectors have strong and effective instruments that can bring about rapid changes in society. It will be truly exciting to see if new ideas are presented at the meetings next week,” says Winther.

Promote marine issues internationally

The upcoming meetings will be an important arena where the Center for the Ocean and the Arctic will contribute to promoting marine issues on the international agenda.

“The networks that are meeting in New York represent cutting-edge expertise in how politics, management, research, philanthropy, business and finance can develop sustainable and productive oceans. It is important for Norway that global efforts concerning the ocean also include northern seas,” says Winther.

“In addition, we must continuously develop and refine our activities in Norwegian marine areas to stay at the global forefront of comprehensive, knowledge-based management that balances protection and use. This lies at the heart of the Centre’s mandate: to contribute to clean, bountiful seas in the High North,” he concludes.