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Call for Expressions of Interest to host Second International Ocean Decade Conference

Date: 18 February 2022

The First International Ocean Decade Conference was generously supported by Germany in virtual mode. The IOC Secretariat is now seeking written Expressions of Interest from Member States via their National Focal Points to host the Second International Ocean Decade Conference approximately in late 2023.

As envisaged in the Ocean Decade Implementation Plan, it is proposed to hold a multi-stakeholder International Ocean Decade Conference every three years as a means of: (i) carrying out a collective stocktaking of progress against the Ocean Decade vision and mission, (ii) reviewing the Ocean Decade Action Framework, including the Ocean Decade Challenges; and (iii) catalyzing new partnerships and commitments for the co-design and co-delivery of transformative Decade Actions.

It is expected that the Conference will be primarily an in-person event for 800 – 1000 persons, with facilities for hybrid participation / live streaming. The Conference will include a series of plenary and parallel sessions across all Ocean Decade Challenges, and should have scope for side events and cultural / networking events. The Conference can be held consecutively with another major ocean convening in this time period in order to minimize travel.

Expressions of Interest should include information on experience of the Member State in hosting similar events, information on the proposed dates and location of the Conference, as well as information on the financial and in-kind resources available to organize and host the Conference, including support to ensure wide participation from less well represented groups. Joint Expressions of Interest that include resourcing from two or more Member States are welcomed, particularly when this may allow the Conference to be held in a Least Developed Country or Small Island Developing State that may have the capacity, but not all the required resources, to host the conference.

Following an initial review of the Expressions of Interest by the IOC Executive Secretary in consultation with the IOC Chair and Officers, the IOC Secretariat will hold discussions with potential hosts on the details of their proposed hosting role for the Conference before making a final decision on the host. The final decision will be made taking into account: (i) available resources; (ii) experience in organizing and hosting similar events; (iii) geographical diversity; (iv) travel and logistical issues include the net carbon footprint of the Conference once any offsets are taken into account; and (v) any other relevant issues. A Host Country Agreement will be established with the selected host of the Conference to formalize the details of the Conference and the roles and responsibilities of the host country and the IOC Secretariat in Conference organization and hosting. It is envisaged that a decision on the host of the Conference will be made by the IOC Executive Secretary in consultation with the IOC Chair and IOC Officers in time for announcements at the 55th session of the IOC Executive Council and the UN Ocean Conference in June-July 2022.

Expressions of Interest should be addressed to the IOC Executive Secretary before 30 April 2022 with a copy to j.barbiere@unesco.org and a.clausen@unesco.org


About the Ocean Decade:

Proclaimed in 2017 by the United Nations General Assembly, the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘the Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline of the state of the ocean system and catalyse new opportunities for sustainable development of this massive marine ecosystem. The vision of the Ocean Decade is ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a convening framework for scientists and stakeholders from diverse sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and the partnerships needed to accelerate and harness advances in ocean science to achieve a better understanding of the ocean system, and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) to coordinate the preparations and implementation of the Decade.

About the IOC-UNESCO:

The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine sciences to improve management of the ocean, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programmes in capacity development, ocean observations and services, ocean science and tsunami warning. The work of the IOC contributes to the mission of UNESCO to promote the advancement of science and its applications to develop knowledge and capacity, key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.