PRESIDENT TO VISIT YEOSU EXPO 2012
President James Michel is travelling to Yeosu, South Korea this week to attend the Opening Ceremony of the Yeosu Expo 2012. President Michel was invited to attend this prestigious international event together with other Heads of State by the President of Korea, HE. Lee Myung-Bak. Mr Michel will be accompanied on the visit by the Minister for Environment and Energy, Dr. Rolph Payet.
During the Expo visit, President Michel will also be representing the Indian Ocean Commission, as the Seychelles Presidency of the IOC provides an opportunity to advocate the concerns of Small Islands Developing States at the international gathering.
During his official visit to Korea in October 2009, President James Michel met with the Yeosu 2012 Organising Committee Chairman, Mr Kang Dong-seok, and expressed Seychelles’ support for Yeosu’s bid for the international exhibition. President Michel also pledged at the time Seychelles’ intention to play an active role in the organisation of the International Exhibition, especially for island states like Seychelles.
On Feb 8th 2012, Seychelles was elected a member of the Steering Committee of Yeosu 2012 during the first meeting of the College of Commissioners representing the 101 countries and 9 multinational organizations having confirmed their participation in the event that will be held in Korea from May 12 – August 12 this year and is expected to attract 10 million visitors. Other members include in particular China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, UAE and Kenya.
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.
Seychelles’ participation in the Expo is expected to boost the country’s image in the fast growing Korean outbound tourism market as well as increasing Seychelles’ visibility in this part of the world, especially among business circles and scientific organizations. The Ministry of Environment, Seychelles Tourism Board, Seychelles Embassy in Beijing, Seychelles Honorary Consulate General in Korea and Nature Seychelles, as well as the Indian Ocean Commission have contributed material and advice towards the Seychelles pavilion .
- The Seychelles pavilion will be located in the Indian Ocean cluster of the International pavilion. Two other clusters will focus on the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
- Although Seychelles’ pavilion – like all pavilions of developing countries – is much smaller in Yeosu than in Shanghai for the 2010 World Expo, it has already attracted a lot of curiosity and interest during the trial days. The pavilion showcases what makes Seychelles absolutely unique: its natural beauty and amazing flora and fauna, smoothly inviting visitors to understand the fragility of the archipelago and the challenges it has to face to preserve its human and environmental balance.
- The sea occupies 71% of the earth’s surface and it is home to more than 10 million species, which accounts for about 90% of all life on Earth. Also around 40% of the world’s population lives in coastal areas, within 60 km from the coastlines.
- Since the 1975 Okinawa exhibition, it is the first time an international expo focuses exclusively on the future of oceans
- The Yeosu Expo will strive to urge for the sustainable and wise use of the oceans and search for a common solution to the challenges currently facing world, namely the depletion of marine resources and climate change.
- For more information on the Expo visit http://eng.expo2012.kr/main.html