Cermaq Headquarters, Oslo

Launching the UN's Business Action Platform for Oceans

The ocean is the blue thread that runs through Norwegian history.

For more than a thousand years, we have lived by the sea, off the sea, for the sea.

That background places a heavy responsibility on our shoulders as the leaders of the world have pledged to eradicate hunger and extreme poverty by 2030.

Today, only 2-5 percent of global food consumption is seafood.

There is no way we can reach our goals without increasing that share – and unleashing the tremendous, untapped potential of our oceans:

In terms of food, medicines and as a source of energy.  

And, equally important:

There is no way we can succeed without mobilising fully the job-creating – and poverty-reducing – potential of the international business community.   

In developing countries, 9 out of 10 new jobs are to be found in the private sector.

Ocean economies alone may create 40 million jobs globally by 2030.

And that is what poverty reduction is about:


These are the simple reasons why the UN Global Compact Business Action Platform on Oceans is so important.

And that is why I announce today that Norway will be its first government sponsor. 

For a long time, Norwegian companies – be it marine, maritime or energy – have been eager to implement sustainable development at sea.

They have been driven by a sense of duty as much as profit.   

I find it very encouraging that Cermaq and others are coming forward here today and joining us in this endeavour. 



This initiative is part of our broader strategy to show international leadership in protecting the Law of the Sea and facilitating sustainable growth through responsible management and exploitation of resources.

Only last week, Prime Minister Solberg launched our plans for a High-level Panel on Building a Sustainable Ocean Economy.

In 2019, we will be hosting the Our Oceans Conference.   



As we step up research and innovation and discover unknown species and develop new ones, we must also work even harder to fight pollution, waste and over-fishing.     

Many people think that we stand before a hard choice between production and protection. 

But we have proven for centuries that we can harvest the riches of the sea without reducing their value.

For instance,

We have also shown that green policies do not lead to red numbers.

In most cases, and if we do it smart – quite the opposite.

Dead oceans, by the way, are where red numbers are to be found. 



The ocean has taken many lives – but most of all it has been a source of life.

Eradicating all extreme poverty is extremely ambitious.

But if we pull together – citizens, governments, sustainable businesses like our host today, the UN Global Compact and other stake-holders in our common future – it can be done.      

The sea is our most sacred treasure – and we have to treat it as our most sacred treasure.



We owe it to the ocean – to ourselves – and to our grandchildren. 



Thank you.