As the three-month-long international exhibition Expo 2012 came to a close in the South Korean coastal town of Yeosu last week, the United Nations announced the launch of an "Oceans Compact" aimed at the preservation of marine resources worldwide.
A little overshadowed by the Olympics, the Yeosu 2012 Expo
is, in its own way, doing more than the London Games to promote global harmony - and without stirring up the waters the way the British did when they posted the ROK flag for the DPRK women’s soccer team.
At the Yeosu World Expo 2012
, the U.N. commemorated the thirtieth anniversary of the U.N. Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), highlighting efforts to quell the global scourge of piracy.
When South Korea took the initiative to integrate a development cooperation programme into this year’s World Expo, it stepped up its efforts to gain credibility as a donor on the international stage.
When South Korea picked an oceans theme for the 2012 Yeosu World Expo
, it became host to the largest marine-themed event in history, with the potential to make a concrete contribution to sustainable development and simultaneously buoy the Korean global image.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, a former foreign minister of South Korea, is visibly emotional whenever he speaks about the striking political and economic achievements in his home country.
As part of its overall theme to educate the public about the state of the world's oceans, the international exhibition Expo 2012 will shift its focus next month to what has been described as "possibly the most significant legal instrument" of the 21st century: the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
When South Korea inaugurated a U.N. Office for Sustainable Development last October, the new research and training facility was designed to help the world's poorer nations "accelerate economic growth, improve quality of life and protect the environment".
Gazing over the ocean somehow puts a human being at peace with the world. To build a home with a view of the sea is the dream of many. The expanse of water, the beach, and tide magically draw us to them.
When South Korea, one of Asia's rising economic powerhouses, decided to host the international exhibition Expo 2012 in the coastal town of Yeosu, it picked a theme high on the agenda of the just-concluded Rio+20 summit on sustainable development: the living ocean.