After months of hard work by many within and outside the Department, the United States announced earlier today that we will participate in the Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea. Participation in this Expo demonstrates U.S. commitment to strengthening U.S.-Republic of Korea relations and engagement in the Asia-Pacific region, and deepens our friendly ties with the people of the Republic of Korea and other nations.
As we learned from previous expos, the USA Pavilion is a partnership on many levels. It is not only a partnership between the Republic of Korea and the United States, but also a public-private partnership between the United States and our USA Pavilion 2012 corporate sponsors.
Given the ocean and coasts theme of Yeosu Expo, we are extremely excited to be partnering with explorer, environmentalist and social entrepreneur Philippe Cousteau Jr., the grandson of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, to design and operate USA Pavilion 2012. Philippe's team will help us create a space that will not only represent the best of the American people, our values and achievements, but will also demonstrate the innovation and creativity of U.S. companies, and how we can work collaboratively to solve our common global environmental challenges.
Here is what Philippe has to say about this announcement.
"It is not every day that one gets honored with the opportunity to represent the United States of America on a global scale and showcase the innovation, diversity and spirit of entrepreneurship of the American people. For me that opportunity occurred a few months ago when my team was chosen through a public-private partnership with the U.S. Department of State to design, build and run the day to day operations of the United States Pavilion at Expo 2012 in Yeosu Korea from May 12 to August 12, 2012.
"The theme is 'The Living Ocean and Coast,' a subject that has been my life's work since I can remember. However, I must admit that when we first got word of the project and began to envision what the story could be it was humbling to consider the full scope and scale of the diversity of the oceans and coasts of the United States. From the fishing boats of Massachusetts to the sandy beaches of the Caribbean, from the surfers of California to the polar bears of the Arctic and everything in between the United States is one of the most diverse countries in the world when it comes to the variety of ocean and coastal environments.
"While the scale of the story is daunting, it wasn't long before we realized that this was an unparalleled opportunity to inspire countless individuals, both in Korea and around the world, to understand the vital connection between humankind and the ocean and the urgent need to protect it.
"To me, the Expo is about facing the challenges of ocean conservation in the 21st century in an honest but empowering way. The USA Pavilion will be an energetic and immersive celebration of America's relationship to what my grandfather called our water planet. It will recognize that while climate change, overfishing, development and pollution threaten the future of our oceans, the life support system of this planet, there is still hope that if we come together as a global community we can chart a new future of hope and sustainability to pass on to future generations."
For more information on the USA Pavilion 2012, go to www.Pavilion2012.org.