17TH World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) annual international conference



Conference Theme: Making Science, Innovation and Research work for the Sustainable Development Goals

 17 June, IMO premises

Professor Ahmed, Distinguished participants, Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning.

It is a pleasure to welcome you in IMO at the 17th WASD Annual International Conference, addressing how science, innovation and research can support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Four years after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, SDG actions are still growing, and emerging technologies and innovation can help us achieve the established objectives.

As part of the United Nations family, IMO's vision and mission are clearly aligned with global efforts to achieve the ambitions set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs.

SDG 14, which deals with the oceans, is central to IMO. Indeed, most of the elements of the 2030 Agenda will only be realized with a safe and sustainable maritime transport sector to support world trade and facilitate the global economy.

Enhancing engagement with business, increasing coordination of innovation partnerships, and a bigger role for the UN Agencies in providing advice will contribute to meet the objectives and ambitions of the SDGs.

In this connection, I fully welcome the recommendations of the JI Report on the Private Sector Partnerships Arrangements in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

There is also a need to continue the identification of innovative solutions that could have a positive impact on society, the global economy and the environment in line with the recent "Innovative solutions for environmental challenges and sustainable consumption and production" Report of the Executive Director of UNEP.

I trust that these two reports will be of great assistance to your deliberations today.

IMO has a long-standing relationship of collaboration with UNEP. For example, IMO acts as one of the co-leads on sea-based sources of marine litter in the UNEP-led Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML). Another strong area of cooperation is GESAMP and the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.  IMO also works in close collaboration with UNEP through its Regional Seas Programmes to promote and support IMO's pollution prevention, preparedness and response.

IMO is a strong supporter of science-policy interface and maritime education through the establishment of the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute in Malta.

Both institutions are centres of excellence for maritime education, research and training of specialists in the maritime sector. They have established their effective capacity-building role globally, and particularly by focusing on the training and education of students from developing countries.

In 2018, the World Maritime University established the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, with a focus on the implementation of Goal 14 of the SDGs.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me conclude by thanking the organizers for the opportunity to speak at this important conference and commending them for their foresight in selecting such an important and timely topic.

We need to come together and ensure that the next decade will be one for actions to delivery the objectives of the SDGs.

I wish you all, a successful and fruitful event and once again, welcome to IMO.