This week’s High-Level UN Ocean Conference at the UN Headquarters in New York City is seeing significant participation from the RMI in the main conference and multiple “side events.”
The Ocean Conference, co-chaired by the governments of the Republic of Fiji and Sweden, supports the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) that deals with conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas, and marine resources.
“In the Marshall Islands, we are 99 percent ocean — it is our most important resource,” said Foreign Minister John Silk, who is heading the RMI delegation. “We will not make significant progress towards the SDGs as a whole if all the water around us remains in a state of decline.”
The Marshall Islands has initiatives supporting oceans including upscaling the approach to curbing marine pollution and growing a stronger “culture of compliance,” such as the recent ban on Styrofoam and plastic bags. In addition, the Marshall Islands is aiming for a “blue fee” which would dedicate three percent of the revenue from foreign fishing licenses to address marine and coastal pollution, related waste, and sewage infrastructure.
During the week-long conference, the Marshall Islands delegation is attending plenary sessions, participating in a number of round-table discussions, side events, and bilateral meetings.
Read more about this in the June 9, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.