United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sailed aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea with island leaders in celebration of the International Year of Small Island Developing States in Apia Harbor, Samoa.
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon presented Nainoa Thompson, president and master navigator of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, and crew with a handwritten message in a bottle, asking them to carry it with them as they circle the globe.
The message stated, “I am honored to be a part of Hokulea’s Worldwide Voyage. I am inspired by its global mission. As you tour the globe, I will work and rally more leaders to our common cause of ushering in a more sustainable future and a life of dignity for all.”
“Hokulea threads together stories of hope as she voyages across the world’s oceans,” said Thompson. “We are inspired that His Excellency Ban Ki-moon and island leaders are coming together on Hokulea’s deck around shared values of preserving and protecting our oceans.”
Hokulea and sister vessel, Hikianalia, were welcomed to Samoa earlier Monday morning by the Head of State of Samoa as the Patron of the Aiga Folau o Samoa (Samoan Voyaging Society) during a traditional ceremony attended by island leaders, dancers and performers from the Apia community.
During their stay, crewmembers will participate in several events at the United Nations Small Island Developing States Conference to inspire new partnerships and catalyze commitment to greater action for a sustainable future.
Hokulea and Hikianalia are scheduled to depart for Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand, later this week. Track the voyage here.
The following photos were provided by Oiwi TV: