NEW YORK, NY – Hawai’i’s legendary traditional voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa achieved the pinnacle of her historic four-year sail around the world at today’s United Nations (UN) celebration of World Oceans Day: a global event focused on ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future. This year’s theme of “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” encouraged individuals and organizations across the globe to take action in preventing plastic pollution in our ocean, with programming that featured the powerful and lasting presence of the Polynesian Voyaging Society.
In a morning ceremony at Gantry Plaza State Park, master navigator Nainoa Thompson presented UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Gyan Chandra Acharya, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, and Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. with ocean protection declarations and messages of hope that the Hōkūleʻa crew members collected from their worldwide journey promoting sustainable oceans.
“Captain Nainoa, I wish you and your entire crew a wonderful return journey,” said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who sailed on Hōkūleʻa in Apia, Samoa in 2014. ” I count on your leadership and commitment as we carry out our plans to make this world safer and more sustainable for all. On World Oceans Day, let us renew our resolve to protect these marine treasures for generations to come.”
Later in the afternoon, Thompson joined Palau President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. and representatives of the Federated States of Micronesia, for a talk-story session focused on uniting leadership on the UN’s Ocean Agenda and goals. The leaders also discussed development regarding the negotiation of a new legally binding instrument to protect biodiversity in marine areas in the high seas.