Ocean Conference: Leveraging South-South and Triangular Cooperation for the Blue Economy Agenda in SIDS

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When: 29 June 2022

Time: Time: 9:00am EST

Registration: To register for this webinar, please click here https://undp.zoom.us/j/88088810315

The Second UN Ocean Conference will take place from 27 June to 1 July 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Ocean Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Kenya and Portugal, comes at a critical time as the world is seeking to address many of the deep-rooted problems of our societies laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and which will require major structural transformations and common shared solutions that are anchored in the SDGs. To mobilize action, the Conference will seek to propel much-needed science-based innovative solutions aimed at starting a new chapter of global ocean action.

On the margins of the Ocean Conference a side-event will be organized by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), with the co-sponsorship of the Mission of Portugal to the United Nations (co-host of the 2022 UN Ocean Conference). The side-event will focus on ‘Leveraging South-South and triangular cooperation to advance the Blue Economy Agenda in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)’.

SIDS combined ocean area is 20.7 times that of their land territory. As ‘Large Ocean States’, SIDS have tremendous potential to tap into the ocean economy. Therefore, the overall objective of engagement during the side-event is to raise the visibility of South-South cooperation in support of the SDGs relevant to the ocean agenda, and to promote more such partnerships and initiatives through South-South and triangular cooperation, particularly for SIDS and Least Developed Countries.

Recent data suggests that by 2030, ocean-based industries have the potential to outpace the growth of the global economy, both in terms of value-added and employment. The annual contribution of the ocean economy amounts to approximately $3.6 trillion, while also contributing 150 million jobs and expanding marine and coastal sectors, that will have a transformative impact on their economies and societies. This is critical for SIDS economic and environmental development.

During the side-event recommendations will be sought on the importance of investing in ocean-based industries and the role of South-South and triangular cooperation to support SIDS, and to accelerate their economic development and climate action. The event will explore the value of exclusive economic zones (EEZs), which could lead to strengthened regional integration efforts through South-South and triangular cooperation. The event will also identify several good practices in this area that SIDS in different regions could learn from.

It is expected that the Ocean Conference will extend a call to explore, develop and promote innovative approaches for mobilizing finance to drive the transformation to sustainable ocean-based economies, and the scaling up of nature-based solutions. For this reason, it is critical that this side-event addresses the importance of investing in ocean-based industries and explores the role and added value of South-South cooperation, especially for SIDS.

In line with the key focus areas of the UN system-wide strategy on South-South and triangular cooperation and its Action Plan, the UN Development System’s South-South and triangular cooperation offer for Multi-Country Offices is expected to be operationalized through coordinated efforts of the UNSDG entities at the global, regional, and country-level. The side-event will propose concrete next steps to implement the UNDS South-South and triangular cooperation offer for MCOs in terms of advancing the Blue Economy agenda in SIDS. Finally, the Samoa Pathway that will conclude in 2024 called for enhancement of cooperation at the global, regional, sub-regional, national, and local levels in order to strengthen mechanisms for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and exchange of best practices within marine scientific research, including through South-South and triangular cooperation and to support developing countries in addressing their constraints in access to technology, including through strengthening science, technology and innovation infrastructure, domestic innovation capabilities, absorptive capacities and the capacity of national statistical systems. The side-event will, therefore, be used as a platform to start informing and preparing UNOSSC for the upcoming discussions for the new outcome document of the 4th International Conference on SIDS, which will be held in 2024 in Antigua and Barbuda.