Statement of the Icelandic Minister of Foreign affairs on the sustainable use of living marine resources


How the Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources Can Impact The Post-2015 Development Agenda


Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

It gives me a great pleasure to have this opportunity to address this side-event, organized by my Permanent Mission and The United Nations University on a theme so dear to my country, and myself -the sustainable use of living marine resources in the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The sustainable use of living marine resources is a key pillar in our policy on the oceans and we strongly advocate the same sustainability principles in all international fora.

The High Level Political Forum taking place now in New York is a great opportunity to discuss the Sustainable Development Goals in the context of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

We have reached a critical time where we must agree on our common set of Sustainable Development Goals as we approach the negotiations on a new Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Our emphasis in the Open Working Group has been within four main areas:

First, on the protection of the marine environment, from habitat destruction and pollution in order to safeguard healthy ecosystems and ecosystem services.

Second, on responsible fisheries management, together with eliminating subsidies and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, to ensure conservation and the sustainable use of living marine resources.

Three, on increasing the economic benefits from sustainable use of living marine resources, to reduce poverty and increase food security.

Fourth, on increasing capacity-building measures for developing countries, to better manage and conserve ocean resources.

We support a separate goal on the oceans if it is focused around few main challenges and opportunities, fully in line with existing goals and targets and in full conformity with the legal framework in place for the oceans.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen,

When Iceland takes part in international discussions on challenges about the oceans, we can say that our views are grown from two sources;

From our own experiences and from working with experts from partner countries that participate in the UNU Fisheries Training Program in Iceland.

It has been an interesting journey since 1998 when we began to offer six months postgraduate training in Iceland. Today close to 300 fisheries professionals from 47 countries have completed the regular training program.

Most fellows have come from Africa, Asia, South and Central America. In addition, the training program has offered short-term courses in 14 countries.

Just as the Icelandic marine industry evolves, so does the fisheries’ training program. We emphasize the need for the program to continuously adapt to new challenges and employ innovative approaches, link research and policy as well as providing the students with leadership training. For all subjects, gender equality and empowerment of women are key elements in the training.

The Fisheries Training Program is part of our development assistance and one of the four programs we have with the United Nations University. In addition to the Fisheries Training Program, Iceland hosts programs that cover topics on geothermal energy, land restoration and gender equality.

Management of natural resources and gender equality are both pillars in our Strategy for International Development Cooperation, where gender equality and women´s empowerment plays a key role as a cross cutting issue.

Excellences, ladies and gentlemen, I thank you for your kind attention.

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