Prime Minister Erna Solberg's speech at the launch of the UN Global Compact report "Ocean Opportunities" in Lillestrøm, 4 June 2019.
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The key objective of Norway's ocean strategy is to promote sustainable economic growth through responsible management. This means that we must ensure a good balance between the conservation and use of marine resources.
The global population is growing. In the years to come, there will be a need for new jobs, more food, more medicines, and not least a clean environment.
Existing industries need to adapt and grow. At the same time, we have to promote new and emerging industries.
Norway is doing its part. In 2018, the Norwegian Government became one of the patron sponsors of the UN Global Compact Action Platform for Sustainable Ocean Business.
And just yesterday, Norway presented its updated ocean strategy, Blue opportunities. The strategy is fully in line with the findings of the Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities report.
It reaffirms Norway's priorities in this area:
- increased value creation,
- sustainable management of the oceans,
- clean and healthy oceans,
- research and technological development,
- skills and employment, and
- international leadership to advance the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals.
In the time ahead, Norway’s ocean policy will focus more strongly on three specific areas:
- Skills and digitalisation,
- Climate change and green shipping, and
- Value creation along the entire Norwegian coast.
Fortunately, it is not only governments that are working to promote sustainable use of the oceans.
The global business community also has an important role to play in ensuring that ocean resources are used in a sustainable manner and for our common good.
Over 300 companies have provided input to the Global Goals, Ocean Opportunities report. This is an indication of the importance the international business sector attaches to promoting sustainable ocean-based growth.
UN Global Compact has identified three factors that are critical for securing a sustainable ocean economy:
- Clean and healthy oceans,
- Productive oceans, and
- Well-governed oceans.
I am especially proud of the contributions from leading Norwegian ocean businesses to this work. And I thank them for their efforts to stake out a blue path to a green future. We can achieve results if we continue to work together in this way.
Last September, I co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the High-level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, together with President Remengesau of Palau.
Input from UN Global Compact and the business sector is vital for the Panel’s work. It can help us to develop innovative solutions and to trigger and implement the action that is needed to achieve ocean sustainability and blue growth.