Excellencies, distinguished participants,
A warm welcome to this side event on Sustainable Ocean Development “Beyond GDP”: scaling global efforts to make nature and people count through ocean accounts.
We are here today because of a shared vision: to achieve the future we want for our ocean, a future where ocean resources and ecosystems are protected and maintained to support sustainable economic growth and livelihoods.
This is related to Sustainable Development Goal 14 and its connections with other Goals in the 2030 Agenda and especially the role oceans play in sustainable development.
In Asia and the Pacific, sustainability for people and planet shapes our approach to working with countries to pursue inclusive, resilient and sustainable solutions to development challenges.
Last month, ESCAP Commission discussed how to make better use of beyond GDP measures to inform policy. This August, chief statisticians in the region will discuss how to ensure fit-for-purpose official statistics are available to guide policy.
Meeting “beyond GDP” commitments rely on our ability to measure and manage progress, understand trade-offs and make informed decisions.
Originating in Asia and the Pacific only a few years ago, ocean accounts attract global attention, providing countries with a critical tool for planning the transition to a sustainable ocean economy.
The global attention is not least due to the efforts of the Global Ocean Accounts Partnership (GOAP), our co-organizer of today’s event. ESCAP is proud to co-chair this partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and I am delighted to observe the continued growth and maturity of the partnership.
I sincerely thank high-level Government representatives from Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, the Maldives, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and BNP Paribas for joining the panel today.
Ocean accounts help answer key policy questions, so it is important that we continue to ask for the ocean accounts and the information that they provide. To this end, I am very pleased to announce ESCAP’s new voluntary commitment to continue to convene Governments and other stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific to enhance regional cooperation on the ocean, and continue to support countries as well as regional and global partnerships in the implementation and use of ocean accounts for sustainable ocean development.
I wish you a very lively and fruitful discussion.
Thank you very much.