News Archive
Feb 17, 2017 - Peace Boat preparing for the UN Ocean Conference - committing to implementation of SDG 14
The Ocean Conference
The Ocean Conference, or United Nations Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York from 5 to 9 June 2017. The conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden, aims to address the declining health of the world's oceans and will include plenary meetings, partnership dialogues and a special event commemorating World Oceans Day. As a committed campaigner for the SDGs, Peace Boat participated in the preparatory meetings which took place at the UN on February 15-16, 2017.

The Ecoship was announced as one of the first Voluntary Commitments of the Ocean Conference
During the preparatory meeting, a special event was held to launch the voluntary commitment process for the Ocean Conference. Peace Boat's Ecoship was announced at the event as one of hte first three voluntary commitments for SDG 14, together with those from the Government of Sweden and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment). Peace Boat's Ecoship Project is the first to be introduced by a non-governmental organization.

At the event held on February 15, the registry of voluntary commitments was launched online featuring Ecoship as one of the first examples. Peace Boat Director, Yoshioka Tatsuya stated, "to achieve the SDGs, commitment on all levels, from grassroots to governments and the United Nations, is necessary. We are proud to be one of the first to join this global wave of action and hope that our commitment will help to build more partnerships and inspiration to act. These results have the potential to catalyze action not only for our oceans but for all of the SDGs."

Fijian MInister for Fisheries Semi Koroilavesau, Senior Advisor on the SDGs within the Office of the President of the UN General Assembly Francella Strickland-Simonet, and Johannes Oljelund, Director-General for international development cooperation in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Peace Boat makes the voluntary commitment to the concrete action of the Ecoship Project, a 55,000 ton, 2000 passenger capacity nature-inspired vessel which will set sail in 2020 as a flagship for the SDGs. Ecoship's contribution to SDG14 will come not only through its technology and design but also through its diverse activities. Four annual global voyages will create the framework for hundreds of educational programmes, advocacy campaigns, and applied research, as well as for hosting international conferences and world-class exhibitions on green technologies, climate action, and ocean welfare.

Voluntary commitments for The Ocean Conference are initiatives voluntarily undertaken by Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, international and regional financial institutions, non-governmental and civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors - individually or in partnership - that aim to contribute to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14. The online registry is open until June 9, and all the list of voluntary commitments will be included in the report of the Conference.

Ecoship was introduced at a side event held at the United Nations Headquarters during the preparatory meeting.
A side event was also held during the meeting on February 14, entitled "Sailing for Change: Peace Boat and the SDGs." This event aimed to bring together stakeholders from the tourism and shipping industries, together with civil society representatives, to consider the role of partnerships toward more sustainable shipping and tourism practices to implement the SDGs, in particular SDG14. This focused on the cruise industry and efforts to reduce marine pollution, increase benefits for small island states through sustainable management of tourism, and transfer marine technology in relation to shipping and transportation. Peace Boat looks forward to ongoing engagement in the process towards the Ocean Conference, including education and awareness raising activities utilising its global voyages at sea.

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