Dhaka, Bangladesh
UN wants Bangladesh plan on resource use

Keeping the Bay free from pollution

UN wants Bangladesh plan on resource use

United Nations (UN) wants countries like Bangladesh to come up with positive ideas on how they can 'conserve' and 'sustainably use' ocean resources staying away from pollution as the Ocean Conference begins on Monday at its headquarters in New York. "We're asking you to come to the conference with positive ideas about how we're going to conserve and sustainably use ocean resources," UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson told the media focusing on the Ocean Conference. Peter Thomson said a country like Bangladesh has got huge challenges of sea-level rise and also has huge pollution challenges because of river systems entering into the Bay of Bengal. "We're asking you to come up with your idea of sustainability as to how you're going to control that." The commitments, now numbering over 600 and still increasing, come as heads of state and government and ministers will join ocean leaders, experts, businesses, and civil society organisations to discuss solutions that restore the health of the world's ocean. The commitments target a wide range of ocean problems, ranging from protecting coral reefs, strengthening sustainable fisheries, reducing plastic pollution, and addressing the impacts of climate change on the ocean. "The Ocean Conference is where we truly begin the process of reversing the cycle of decline into which our accumulated activities have placed the Ocean," said Peter Thomson. "By adding to the conference's register of voluntary commitments; of producing practical solutions to Ocean's problems at the Partnership Dialogues; and through the affirmation of the conference's Call for Action, we have begun that process of reversing the wrongs." A surge in the number of voluntary commitments to take action to improve the health of the ocean by countries, businesses and civil society groups has been recorded, and more are expected, according to UN Information Centre in Dhaka. The conference will result in a 'Call for Action' that has just been agreed to by countries, and will be formally adopted at the conclusion of the conference on Friday. Additional outcomes include the results of seven partnership dialogues that will focus on solutions, and the voluntary commitments to action. "The conference will explore how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal-14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development," said Wu Hongbo, Conference Secretary-General and Under-Secretary-General of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Wu Hongbo said among other things, the conference will comprise plenary meetings and seven interactive, multi-stakeholder partnership dialogues, which will focus on the targets of SDG-14. He said these dialogues will aim to scale up and replicate existing successful initiatives. And they will launch new partnerships that will advance the implementation of Goal-14." The Call for Action stresses the need for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly goal-14 that addresses marine issues. In the Call for Action, countries agree to implement long-term and robust strategies to reduce the use of plastics and microplastics, such as plastic bags and single use plastics. The Ocean Conference, the first UN conference of its kind on the issue, is hosted by the Governments of Fiji and Sweden will kick it off with a special cultural ceremony prior to the formal opening.

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