Friday 24 May 2019

Former US Secretary of state John Kerry to speak at Cork summit

Former US Secretary of State John Kerry has been announced as a keynote speaker at Ireland's flagship blue economy conference Our Ocean Wealth at City Hall Cork on June 9th & 10th.

The determined environmentalist and former presidential candidate is visiting Ireland to share his insight on climate change and the action required to sustainably and effectively manage our oceans to ensure the health of our planet.

Our Ocean Wealth Summit will welcome more than 30 representatives from island states around the world to Cork this year, including senior political representatives from island nations in the Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, as well as more than 500 national and international delegates.

Welcoming the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the Ocean, Peter Thomson, and delegations from Small Island Development States (SIDS), was An Tánaiste Simon Coveney. "As an island nation, Ireland is committed to managing our ocean wealth in a sustainable and efficient way, and we have so much in common with island nations around the globe," said An Tanaiste. "I am particularly delighted to welcome representatives from island nations to the Our Ocean Wealth Summit in Cork this year, and look forward to important and fruitful discussions on the balance required to manage our collective blue economies while safeguarding our most precious natural resources."

With a particular focus on international cooperation, Our Ocean Wealth Summit will bring together a unique mix of national experts and policy makers with representatives from island nations. Participants will discuss the unique challenges faced by island nations, share stories of island life and identity, connections to the ocean, historical links and new partnerships.

Also welcoming the announcement of the summit programme was Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine, Michael Creed. "The shared natural resources of our seas and the global oceans transcend national boundaries. We must continue to ensure they are sustainably managed, developed and protected, for the benefit of this and future generations," he said. "The Conference should provide a valuable contribution to the global debate on how to manage the Ocean and protect the future of the small island nations of the world."

The Summit will identify practical ways that island states can work better together, through partnership, to address threats, manage ocean resources and build sustainable blue economies.

"The Our Ocean Wealth Summit is a flagship conference, not only for the marine sector but for the economy in general," Marine Institute CEO Peter Heffernan said. "The Summit brings together engineering, technology, energy and food sectors, and provides enormous opportunities for collaboration and innovation in business."

The summit is an 'output' of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government's integrated plan for Ireland's marine sector, which aims to double the value of the marine economy's contribution to GDP by 2030. As a forerunner to Our Ocean Wealth Summit, SeaFest, Ireland's largest maritime festival, takes place at the Port of Cork from 7 - 9 June. Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group (MCG) present this national free and family friendly festival as it docks in Cork for the next three years until 2021.