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Ireland Supports Sustainable Development Goals at UN Oceans Conference in New York

Domestic Legislation Will Prohibit Sale or Manufacture of Certain Products containing Microbeads.

Minister of State Breen Announces $1 Million in Support of Developing Countries’ Progress on SDGs and Paris Climate Agreement Commitments.

Delivering Ireland’s National Statement at a major international Conference on the Oceans taking place this week at UN Headquarters in New York, Minister of State Pat Breen T.D. has today highlighted the need for all nations to support achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (‘Life Below Water’).

Underlining the importance of this week’s meeting, Minister Breen noted that:“ In our world today there are entire countries and regions being left behind. Left behind because of their size, their remoteness, their poverty. Increases in global temperature, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other climate change impacts are seriously affecting coastal areas and low-lying coastal countries, including many least developed countries and Small Island Developing States.”

The Minister further outlined Ireland’s contribution to the global effort to tackle ocean pollution and confirmed that Ireland will legislate domestically to prohibit the sale or manufacture of certain products containing microbeads:“At the national level, Ireland has put in place a National Integrated Maritime Plan to enable us to protect and develop our greatest natural resources. This integrated approach means the management of our marine resources is done in a holistic way that integrates our economic, environmental and social concerns, mirroring the ambition of the SDGs.

Plastic marine litter, including microplastics, represent a serious and growing threat to the health of our marine ecosystems and to human health and I am pleased therefore to confirm that Ireland will support Sweden’s initiative calling for ban on microbeads in cosmetics.

Ireland will legislate domestically to prohibit the sale or manufacture of certain products containing microbeads including not just cosmetics, but also body care and cleansing products as well as detergents and abrasive surface cleaning products. It will not solve the microplastic problem, but it is an important start.”

Minister Breen also announced today that over the next three years Ireland will provide $1 million in funding to help enhance the statistical capacity of developing countries, with a particular focus on Small Island Developing States, to implement and monitor their progress towards achieving their SDGs and Paris Agreement commitments. The funding will be delivered via the World Bank’s Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building and to the G.E.F. Trust Fund for the Capacity Building Initiative for Transparency.

Initial Publication Date: 
Tuesday, 6 June, 2017