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Statement by Counsellor LI Yongsheng of the Chinese Delegation at the Preparatory Meeting of the UN Ocean Conference

2017/02/15

Distinguished co-facilitators,

The Chinese delegation congratulates you on your appointment as co-facilitators in charge of the relevant preparations for the UN Ocean Conference. We are confident that, under the leadership of both you two co-facilitators and Fiji and Sweden, with the strong support from the President of the General Assembly, the Secretariat, and all other parties concerned, the preparatory process will advance in an orderly manner, thus providing a sound basis for the success of the conference itself.

China echos the statement made by the distinguished representative of Ecuador on behalf of the G77 and China. In addition, we would like to emphasize the following points:

1. The ocean is mankind’s common home. As the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Thomson, rightly stated “We are all united by the ocean with its boundless energy, indispensable trade routes and its marine resources that feed our communities.”(A/71/PV.54) To make this common home of mankind healthier and more beautiful, SDG14 has clear requested the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. China supports the holding of the UN Ocean Conference with a view to injecting new political momentum to the implementation of SDG14, so that the international community, particularly the developing countries, can share the benefits of development and prosperity.

2. The key words for the UN Ocean Conference are “implementation” and “action”. China supports the conference in focusing its discussions on the implementation of SDG14 and adopting the outcome document entitled “Call for Action”. Vision guides action and direction determines the future. “Implementation” and “action” will hinge on the guidance of vision and principle. China believes that the fundamental vision of building together a community of shared future for mankind, the vision for an innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development, and the vision of marine ecological civilization with “harmony between humankind and oceans”, as well as the principles of win-win cooperation, independence and voluntarism, “common but differentiated responsibilities”, plus the initiative to build the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”, all provides important guidance for the implementation of SDG14, and therefore should be incorporated as components of the guiding concepts for the UN Ocean Conference.

3. With regard to the themes for the partnership dialogues, China thanks the Secretariat for proposing the 7 themes and supports them in principle as they can provide comprehensive coverage of the specific targets under SDG14. However, China supports improving the wording of theme 7 by using the exact language of target 14.C. The theme should read as: “Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS”, in order to tie it up closer with the target 14.C.

China will make comments on the elements for the “Call for Action” outcome document in the discussions later during this meeting.

Thank you, co-facilitators.

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