SDG 14: Call to Action




In this informal briefing on the ongoing preparations for the United Nations Ocean Conference, the President of the General Assembly, the Under Secretary-General, a special advisor to the conference co-presidents, and the Permanent Representatives of Sweden and Fiji discussed the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development. They expressed that without clean and healthy oceans our, and all life’s, place on the planet would be in grave jeopardy. Since 1970, there has been a 49% decline in marine species. By 2050, the ocean is expected to contain more plastic than fish. Representatives discussed specific and necessary targets within SDG 14. They reviewed relevant dates for the upcoming global conference and other plenary meetings and stressed the need to strengthen and replicate current efforts. Moreover, representatives expressed the need to form new partnerships that involve all relevant stakeholders (including governments, the UN system, NGOs, the private sector, etc.) in the spirit of widespread, global, and inclusive participation.

The United Nations Ocean Conference will be held from June 5-9, 2017. It will follow a two-day preparatory meeting, February 15-16, 2017, chaired by the Permanent Representative of Portugal and the Permanent Representative of Singapore. The meeting will discuss partnership dialogues themes and elements for the “Call for Action.” The June conference will assess challenges, identify opportunities for action, strengthen current partnerships and forge new ones. It will be comprised of 8 plenary meetings, 7 partnership dialogues, and an additional special event commemorating World Oceans Day. The conference will also adopt an intergovernmental consensus declaration and a report with co-chairs’ summaries of partnership dialogues. Finally, a list of voluntary commitments for the implementation of SDG14 will be announced at the conference in June.

Meeting: “Briefing on the UN Conference to Support the Implementation of SDG 14”

Date/Location: Tuesday, 13 December 2016; 15:00 to 18:00; UN Headquarters, Trusteeship Council Chamber

Speakers: President of the General Assembly; H.E. Ambassador Olof Skoog of the Permanent Mission of Sweden to the UN; H.E. Ambassador Luke Daunivalu of the Permanent Mission of Fiji to the UN; Mr. Wu Hongbo (USG DESA); Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares (USG OLA): Ms. Catherine Pollard (USG DGACM)

Written By: Renée S. Landzberg, WIT Representative


Human Rights as a road to eradicating poverty and ensuring sustainability


A high level meeting on the contributions that human rights and the rule of law can make in supporting national and international efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development was held at the trusteeship council in UN Headquarters, New York. Ms. Kahn, the Director General of the International Development Organization, began the meeting by stating that we cannot eradicate poverty, promote sustainable development, or create inclusive economies without human rights and the rule of law. Next, H.E. Mr. Eliasson, the Deputy Secretary General, stated that the main human rights principles that need to be focused on are non-discrimination and equality. Furthermore, he spoke about the interdependence of civil, political, economic, and social rights, and how a stronger emphasis on the rule of law is needed to strengthen the Sustainable Development Goals.

The new post 2015 development agenda must reflect these rights, as well as reflect the ideal of “freedom from want and freedom from fear.” Following, Dr. Migiro addressed the challenge of closing the poverty gap between rural and urban settings. He also called for reforms in the security council and UN institutions to make them more accountable, as well the necessity of good governance for strengthening the rule of law. Mr. Strasser then spoke about how a human rights based approach represents a necessary paradigm shift in the way we approach development. He highlighted the importance of designing and implementing measures in the post 2015 development agenda in accordance with human rights law, and emphasized the importance of stakeholder participation.

Next, Mr. Kreutner spoke about the link between corruption, lack of human rights, and lack of development. He called for governments and political institutions to improve their reliability, accountability, and legitimacy, and called for a renewed global commitment to anti-corruption policies. Mr. Kreutner also said that checks and balances, separation of powers, anti-corruption mechanisms, and greater compliance networks are essential for good governance, and in turn poverty eradication and sustainable development. In conclusion, Mr. Lusiani gave a statement about how human rights norms and standards can be embedded into the existing framework of goals, targets, and indicators in the post 2015 development agenda. He called for an effective financing strategy, as well as an effective monitoring and accountability framework for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Meeting Title: Contributions of Human Rights and the Rule of Law in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Panel Discussion 1: “Exploring the contributions of human rights and the rule of law in supporting national and international efforts towards poverty eradication and sustainable development”
Speakers: Ms. Zarin Kahn, Director General of the International Development Organization; H.E. Mr. Jan Eliasson, Deputy Secretary General; Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs of Tanzania; Mr. Christoph Strasser, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid; Mr. Martin Kreutner, Dean of the International Anti-Corruption Academy; Mr. Nicholas Lusiani, Director of Human Rights Policy Program at the Center for Economic and Social Rights;
Date: 10 June 2014
Location: United Nations HQ, Trusteeship Council, New York
Written By WIT Representative: Marli Kasdan