Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau hosted a high-level Blue Economy side event on the sidelines of Kenya’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October in New York, USA on October 15, 2021.
Speaking at the event, Amb. Kamau stated that the special event was aimed at advancing some of the commitments made during the SBEC 2018 and focus increased attention towards the 2022 UN Oceans Conference to be co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022.
He added that, Kenya is committed to continue championing the global oceans agenda in order to galvanize the global community to commit to adopting innovative strategies that will hasten the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)14.
“We believe this conference will make systemic changes to the way the world approaches the conservation and sustainable use of oceans. Kenya’s aspiration is that the Conference will go beyond the re-statement of political commitments and deliver the actions that are necessary and urgent in achieving healthy productive oceans,” PS Kamau said. Representatives of Canada, Japan and Portugal echoed Amb. Kamau’s assurance on joint efforts towards achievement of SDG 14.
Amb. Kamau also highlighted two forthcoming events that provide opportunity for building momentum to the 2022 Oceans Conference. The events being UNEP@50 Commemorations from 3 to 4 March 2022 at UNON in Nairobi, and Stockholm+50 co-hosted by Kenya and Sweden on 2 and 3 June, 2022
During the Special Blue Economy event co-hosted by Kenya, Canada, Japan and Portugal the book – Science, Research and Innovation for Harnessing the Blue Economy, was officially launched. The book is the outcome of the Science and Research Symposium segment of the 2018 Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) that was held in Nairobi , Kenya.
The publication is a collaborative initiative between the Government of Kenya and the Stockholm Environment Institute, and it represents the critical developments that have taken place since the 2018 conference.
The 156 page book highlights a broad range of red-letter topics canvassed by the knowledge community, including the place of science and research in the blue economy; the sustainable use of minerals and energy resources, including deep sea mining; climate change and the blue economy; sustainable shipping and, maritime transport, management of coastal zones as well as the governance and security of the blue economy. It also highlights a barrage of new initiatives triggered by SBEC 2018 and intended to advance the promise of the blue economy globally
Speaking at the event, Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean congratulated the Government of Kenya for ensuring the publication of the book, noting that it was “a timely contribution to the repertoire of knowledge, scientific information and innovations that have the potential to inform on the ground actions across the world, that are necessary to inform SDG 14, and all other SGDs that have a water and ocean dimension.” Amb. Thompson said.
He added that it remains impossible, “to have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean and that a sustainable blue economy is humanity’s only hope for a future that can be bequeathed to the next generation”.
The event brought together Permanent Representatives of Canada and Portugal to the United Nations, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, representatives from several member states’ Permanent Missions in New York, UN organizations including UNESCO-IOC, UN Global Compact. Also in attendance were the African Union Commission, various multilateral organizations, private sector, NGOs and philanthropic organizations, as well as leading global research and knowledge communities.