Side Event: Statement by Ambassador Thoms at the presentation of the report “World in transition – governing the marine heritage”

23.04.2014

(as delivered:)

"Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a privilege for me to welcome you all here at the German House.  

Oceans and seas are the source of all life on our planet. They cover over 70% of the Earth's surface and are critical to sustaining life on Earth by providing food, oxygen and water and moderating climate. Healthy oceans and seas are important for mankind. And they are even existentially crucial for many states, such as all coastal states – including Germany and especially Small Island Developing States.

Oceans figure high on the agenda of the United Nations. The General Assembly declared 2014 to be the International Year of Small Island Developing States. Throughout this year, the contributions that this group of countries has made to the world will be celebrated. It will also raise awareness that the populations of SIDS are confronted with huge challenges. The impact of climate change constitutes serious threats for many of them. These challenges require joint and decisive action by the international community as a whole. Germany is determined to achieve concrete solutions corresponding to the needs of SIDS at the UN Conference on Small Island Developing States, which will be held in September in Samoa. The conference will focus on building partnerships for sustainable development.

We are also working towards an action oriented outcome of the World Climate Summit convened by the Secretary-General of the UN in September in New York.

Oceans constitute an important element in the ongoing discussions in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals. Many UN member states believe that oceans must be prominently reflected in the new Post 2015 Development Agenda. Germany has suggested, also on behalf of France and Switzerland, to formulate a stand-alone Goal on the sustainable management of natural resources. This Goal shall consist of different targets, including the following:

- ensuring that marine ecosystems are clean, healthy, productive and resilient;

- achieving sustainable and responsible fisheries management as well as

- encouraging fair and equitable access to marine genetic resources and sharing of benefits.    

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is against this background that we have invited Professor Claus Leggewie to present the flagship report by the German Advisory Council on Global Change here in New York entitled “World in transition – governing the marine heritage”.

The report clearly shows the urgent need for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans. It concludes that a transformation towards low-carbon, sustainable development, which includes the oceans, is possible. This transformation can yield substantial advantages worldwide for sustainable energy supplies and food security. 

A few words about our guest speaker:

Professor Leggewie is a well-known scientist, researcher and editor. He currently works as Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in the city of Essen and Professor for Political Science at Gießen University. Besides many other academic achievements, he was the first incumbent of the Max Weber Chair at New York University. Since 2008 Professor Leggewie has been a member of the German Advisory Council on Global Change which serves as an independent, scientific advisory body to the German Federal Government.

It now gives me great pleasure to turn to Professor Leggewie who has kindly agreed to present the report to us and answer questions related to it. Professor, you have the floor."

© GermanyUN

Side Event: Statement by Ambassador Thoms at the presentation of the report “World in transition – governing the marine heritage”

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