Tristan da Cunha Government News Abroad: Kieran Glass represents UK and Tristan at World Heritage Event
Kieran Glass makes Ocean Pledge at New York UNESCO event

Kieran Glass represents UK and Tristan at World Heritage Event

Report from James Glass
Photos from James and Joel Sheakoski

As previously reported on another web page: Kieran Glass prepares for New York UNESCO event, Tristan Islander Kieran Glass represented the UK in NY at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on World Ocean Day 8th June 2017, with children from other World Heritage Sites to deliver the Ocean Pledge to world leaders.

Kieran giving a presentation about the Gough and Inaccessible World Heritage Site
at the New York Explorers Club on 8th June 2017.

He flew to New York with his grandparents James and Felicity Glass on 5th June and stayed with the other children and parents at the Downtown Association Hotel in New York. Over the following few days he did rehearsals with the other children preparing for WOD.

After rehearsals and lunch at the Explorers Club on 7th June everyone was invited to a visit to Central Park Zoo, and then the Times Building where they had fantastic views of the city, before returning to the hotel late evening. The next day 8th June was an early start to get to the UN and check in with HQ Security, everyone was seated in the UNGA building along with the other 2,000 people from all nations.

Left: Children at the Explorers Club
(Kieran front, second from right);
Above: Manhatten sky-line and streets
from the Times Building.

Left: Kieran with a polar bear at the Explorers Club;

Above: Kieran with the Wall Street Bull.

There were a number of speakers including Sir Richard Branson and the President of Fiji. The children's ceremony started with an Aboriginal performance, by the Traditional Owners Great Barrier Reef, then young people from all the UNESCO World Heritage sites, wished delegates "Happy World Ocean Day", after which speakers, including Kieran, read messages explaining why they felt it was important to protect the ocean. A scroll was then opened with the pledge visible on all screens in the General Assembly which read "I Pledge to Protect the Ocean for Future Generations" the children then formally delivered the call to pledge to Heads of States, to sign the scroll (in the Chinese Foyer) with the promise to protect the Oceans.

Above: Children arrive at the UN Building for the big day on 8th June (Kieran in a white cap and smart in suit, blue shirt and tie - that a boy Kieran!); Right: Children grouped in the United Nations main hall on 8th June (Kieran immediately to the left of the central sign).

Kieran proudly standing with his fellow World Herritage Site representatives
on the main stage of the UN Headquarters as part of the World Ocean Day ceremony.
By now you will pick Kieran out in his suit and blue tie - a perfect young ambassador
for the tiny Tristan community on one of the world's most important stages.

HSH Prince Albert of Monaco II was the first to sign The Ocean Pledge, he was joined by Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO as well as Adrian Grenier United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for the Environment.

The pledge, was also signed by a representative from the government of Australia among other dignitaries, and people from across the globe are invited to sign the pledge digitally on the website of UNESCO's World Heritage Marine programme, whc.unesco.org/myoceanpledge and on social media using #MyOceanPledge

The children travelled from some of the remotest places on Earth to highlight the global nature of the threats posed to the ocean, and the need for collective action. Decisions made that day will have a ripple effect for generations to come. Each child lives in a UNESCO marine World Heritage site, an area recognized for its Outstanding Universal Value, and protected for humanity under the 1972 UNESCO World Heritage Convention. The international community has committed to care for our natural wonders. Like the rest of the world's ocean, World Heritage marine sites are suffering from the impact of climate change, including warming waters, more powerful storms, rising sea levels, and ocean acidification.

"The world's ocean is at a tipping point," said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. "Climate change is already affecting several World Heritage marine sites, and no place on earth is immune to this global threat. But there is hope and we still have a chance to save our ocean treasures, if we act now and work together. Future generations will inherit the consequences of our actions - or inaction."

This initiative is made possible by the generous support of the Government of Flanders, the Explorers Club, Stefan & Irina Hearst and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation.

For more information and to sign the pledge visit: http://whc.unesco.org/myoceanpledge

After the signature ceremony, everyone had lunch at the UN café while the children where interviewed by the media in the UN HQ Media room. Later a celebration was held at the Explorers Club with the children and their families from many UNESCO marine World Heritage Sites, UNESCO leadership, and with support from the Government of Flanders, after their call to action at the UN World Oceans Day plenary session. Each child did a presentation on their World Heritage Site, which was filmed and streamed live. Half way through 50,000 people were watching. Kieran did a presentation on Gough & Inaccessible Islands World Heritage Site (13 slides with text) which was well received by club members and other legends of ocean conservation - Sylvia Earle, Walter Munk, Cathy Novelli, Nainoa Thompson, and others.

After everyone was congratulated for doing an exceptional good job and each child was given a medal from the Explorers Club, everyone returned to the hotel, later that evening.