“LIVING OCEAN AND COAST” EXPO OPENS IN YEOSU
President James Michel attended the opening ceremony of Yeosu Expo 2012 yesterday evening, witnessing a spectacle of lights, water dances as well as Korean traditional and modern choreography on the Yeosu waterfront, following a banquet hosted by the President of Korea, Lee Myung-Bak. President Michel was accompanied by the Minister for Environment and Energy, Dr Rolph Payet, and the Seychelles Ambassador to China, Philippe Le Gall.
President Lee Myung-Bak opened the “Living Ocean and Coast” Expo in a ceremony that was also attended by Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, President Ollanta Humala of Peru, Prime Minister Karim Massimov of Kazakhstan, and President Anote Tong of Kiribati.
“This Expo promises to recognize the infinite value of the ocean and the coast, both in terms of the environment and culture. The Indian Ocean has a vital role to play in this international exhibition, particularly the island states such as Seychelles, that have shaped their way of life as well as their economies on a special harmony between the ocean, its peoples and their sustainable development,” said President Michel following the opening of the Expo.
President Michel is representing the Indian Ocean Commission at the Yeosu Expo, as the Seychelles Presidency of the IOC provides an opportunity to advocate the concerns of Small Islands Developing States at the international gathering.
During the next three months, a total of 104 countries, 10 international organizations including the U.N., as well as 23 local governments and Korea’s most successful technology companies will take part in the Yeosu Expo.
“Together with these participants, the Expo will provide an opportunity to address the challenge of climate change faced by the international community, and propose the ocean as the vision for sustainable development of humankind in the 21st century,” said Kang Dong-suk, chairman of the Yeosu Expo organizing committee in his welcome remarks.
- President Michel attended the opening of the Shanghai Expo 2010, where Seychelles also participated, with the creation of a pavilion.
- The Seychelles Ambassador to China, Mr. Philippe Le Gall, is the Commissioner of Section for Seychelles’ pavilion, and was also an elected member of Shanghai Expo’s Steering Committee in 2010.
- The Yeosu Expo, which will run for three months through August 12, is the first world expo to be held on the water with the ocean as its venue.
- The Theme Pavilion, the floating stage and the water screen named “The O” are all on the water. Some 8,000 cultural and arts performances will be staged here.