2017 United Nations Ocean Conference~UN DOALOS-NF Alumni Meeting and Signing Ceremony~

New York, USA

For over three decades, The Nippon Foundation has been committed to developing human capacity in the ocean sector. Partnering with international organizations, governments, NGOs, and educational institutions, we have nurtured over 1,200 ocean experts from 140 countries.

The United Nations-The Nippon Foundation Fellowship Programme, is one of our longstanding programs with the UN DOALOS, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. Over the past 14 years, more than 130 fellows have completed the program. Many of them are now leading successful careers as state policy-makers and scholars at other ocean-related agencies. 73 of you are here in this room, helping to make this conference a success, and sustainable oceans a reality.

In April 2018, the UN DOALOS and The Nippon Foundation will be enhancing our current fellowship program and launching three new capacity development projects. The three projects will aim to meet the Sustainable Development Goal targets SDGs 14 (*) by training 200 ocean professionals from Small Island Developing States and other developing coastal nations. These will be 200 more young experts who will be joining a vast human network that contributes to the world’s ocean governance.

This network is a diverse family of ocean leaders who can come together to solve difficult ocean issues facing humanity. They are the next generation of leaders who can change the conventional mindsets and behaviors of the public. And I wish to strengthen this open network, where people can reach across different fields of expertise and disciplines, so that we may act collectively for our future oceans.

So, I ask all of you in this room, to take advantage of this opportunity. Let us make this meeting our next step toward finding innovative, new solutions to ensure we pass on healthy, productive oceans to future generations.

(*) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans and marine resources for sustainable development.