Senior governmental officials in Western Pacific regionally boost UN Ocean Decade at SGOs Roundtable 2023
National governments must continue to support the development of transformative ocean science solutions and enhance mutual assistance and cooperation.
Gathering at an SGOs Roundtable at the Fourteenth Intergovernmental Session of the Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific – hosted by the Government of Indonesia from 4 to 7 April 2023 , Senior Governmental Officials (SGOs) from countries in the Western Pacific voiced their strong support for the UN Ocean Decade, and put forward enhanced efforts for the region.
The Senior Governmental Officials attending the SGOs Roundtable were from national competent agencies of ten countries in the region at the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), Jakarta, Indonesia.
As the Ocean Decade enters its third year, there is a need to review its progress, identify challenges and seek new opportunities in the region and beyond for further catalyzing ocean science solutions to ocean sustainability and sustainable economy. Therefore, the SGOs Roundtable – a follow-up to the high-level commitments made at the UN Ocean Decade Regional Kickoff Conference for the Western Pacific of 25–26 November 2021, aimed to bring together senior officials from national competency agencies in the region, to facilitate the exchange of views and progress; identify challenges; seek new opportunities, and further advance meaningful partnerships and cooperation in the region and beyond.
The SGOs Roundtable was chaired by host country Indonesia, which was represented by Mego Pinandito, BRIN’s Deputy Chair for Development Policy, and involved the participation of more than 60 delegates to the Session. Senior Governmental Officials from China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, USA, and Viet Nam shared progresses made since the Kickoff Conference of two years ago, stressing the need for greater engagement of relevant stakeholders in co-designing and co-development of ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’, and further highlighted the pivotal role of the IOC-WESTPAC in promoting and mobilizing Decade Actions in the region and beyond.
The Roundtable discussions culminated in an ‘SGOs Jakarta Statement’. The Statement outlines collective concrete actions they will take towards advancing the UN Ocean Decade to achieve the sustainable development of ocean, marine and coastal resources, including strengthening coordination at national and institutional levels; advancing trans and multi-disciplinary ocean research; promoting stakeholder engagement; improving research capacity focusing on Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs); including Small Island Developing States (SIDS); promoting ocean education, ocean culture and ocean literacy; and fostering ocean science-policy interface in the region.
The SGOs further decided to foster the SGOs Roundtable as an effective mechanism for reviewing progress, exchanging perspectives, and discussing challenges and opportunities for the development and implementation of substantive Ocean Decade Actions in the region. The next SGOs Roundtable is expected to take place in early 2025 in Japan.
For more background, see the SGOs Roundtable Concept Note and Programme here.
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