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IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

Advancing knowledge and cooperation for a healthy ocean and prosperous society

Ninth Intergovernmental Session of WESTPAC Successfully Concluded

The Ninth Intergovernmental Session of the IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC) was convened in Busan, Republic of Korea, 9-12 May 2011 with the kind host of the Government of Republic of Korea.

The Session was organized by the IOC Regional Office for WESTPAC (WESTPAC Office), and hosted by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM) and the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) of the Republic of Korea. 63 delegates and representatives from WESTPAC Member States attended the Session. The Republic of the Union of Myanmar also sent their delegation to the session for the first time since the establishment of WESTPAC in 1989.

At the opening ceremony, Mr. Sung-Ho Joo, Vice Minister of MLTM, Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, IOC Executive Secretary and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, Dr. Weong-Seo Kim, Vice-President of KORDI, Dr. Yasuwo Fukuyo, First Vice-Chair of WESTPAC and Mr. Young-Hwal Lee, Vice-Mayor of Busan City welcomed all delegates and representatives from the member states, and international organizations and programs to the Session.

The Session recognized with great appreciation that substantial achievement has been made over the last intersessional period with joint revitalization efforts of all member states and WESTPAC Office, and sincerely expect the present momentum of the Sub-Commission could be long kept despite the extremely understaffed situation at the WESTPAC Office.

The Sub-Commission reviewed the implementation of WESTPAC Programmes, Projects and Working Groups, and established one new regional project, namely: Air-Sea Interaction in the Kuroshio Extension and its Climate Impact; two new working groups: respectively on Mapping the Harmful Jellyfish, and Marine Renewable Energy Technology Development in the Western Pacific.

The Sub-Commission adopted its Programme and Budget for its next intersessional period, totaling 2.5M USD from extrabudgetary support with the inclusion of newly established WESTPAC Project on the Air-Sea Interaction in the Kuroshio Extension and its Climate Impact, and two WESTPAC Working Groups, respectively on Mapping the Harmful Jellyfish, and Marine Renewable Energy Technology Development in the Western Pacific; decided to plan a series of commemorative activities in 2014 in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Sub-Commission; requested the Executive Secretary of IOC to promote the IOC Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Marine Science with countries who expressed their willingness and possible response to contribute to the network through the establishment of IOC Regional Training and Research Center on their domain of focus; appreciated the offer by the Government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam to host the Ninth WESTPAC International Scientific Symposium Vietnam 2014, and the Government of Thailand to host the Tenth Intergovernmental Session no later than early 2015. The Sub-Commission elected, by acclamation, Dr. Somkiat Khokiattiwong from Thailand, Dr. Youn-Ho Lee from Republic of Korea and Dr. Vo Si Tuan from Vietnam respectively as Chairperson, the First Vice- Chairperson and the Second Vice-Chairperson for the next intersessional period of the Sub-Commission.