Blancpain Celebrates World Oceans Day 2017
Once again, for the 4th time, Blancpain supported the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) in hosting the annual United Nations World Oceans Day reception, in New York City. The festive gathering took place on the evening of June 8, 2017 in the Visitor’s Lobby of the UN general assembly building (Sputnik Lounge).
June 8th marks World Oceans Day, celebrated unofficially since it was originally proposed in 1992 at the Earth Summit, and officially recognized by the United Nations since 2008. On this day each year, the world celebrates the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it. As part of the celebration, the Office of Legal Affairs, Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea organizes and hosts a reception at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City.
This year’s theme was “Our oceans, our future” and coincided with the high-level Ocean Conference that took place from June 5-9. The World Oceans Day reception was attended by more than 300 guests, including Heads of State, Ministers, Ambassadors and the Crown Princess of Sweden.
Speeches were delivered by Mr. Miguel de Serpa Soares, Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel, H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the General Assembly, and Lisa Speer, Director, International Oceans Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which along with the High Seas Alliance, also supported the event.
Mr. David Gely, Blancpain US Brand Manager discussed the brand’s connection with the ocean and the brand values that make a perfect fit with ocean protection, “At Blancpain, we strongly believe that the results of the Blancpain Ocean Commitment projects are obtained thanks to three fundamental principles embedded in the Blancpain DNA: Optimism, Long-Term Vision, and Innovation.”
Since 2014, the brand’s efforts in the area of ocean protection and preservation have been concerted under the Blancpain Ocean Commitment label. Since then, Blancpain has co-financed ten major scientific expeditions, celebrated its contribution to doubling the surface of marine protected areas around the world, and presented several award-winning documentary films, exhibitions and publications.
Blancpain sponsored the 2017 Ocean Conference Photo Exhibit, on display at the United Nations Headquarters until June 30, 2017 and themed “Save our Oceans: Oceans Ecosystems.” The photo exhibit captures otherwise unseen images of ocean life, calling attention to the sensitive relationships between human activities, biodiversity and the ocean. The exhibit thereby aims to increase awareness regarding sustainability efforts, during the Ocean Conference and around World Oceans Day.
Special guests, Sir Richard Branson and Alexandra Richards, Project Ambassador and daughter of famous rock musician Keith Richards, presented the President of the General Assembly with a small rendition of Branson’s wave sculpture which he created for the La Mer Wave Walk. The Wave Walk includes fifty wave sculptures created by the world’s most influential artists and culture-makers which are on display in various locations throughout New York City during the months around World Oceans Day.
Live musical entertainment was performed by the UN Orchestra, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces drum band and the New York based band, the Vassals.
As has become the tradition, on the evening of World Oceans Day, the Empire State Building is lit blue. Blancpain was honored to be part of the annual World Oceans Day celebration and privileged to have the opportunity to continue to nurture its ties with the United Nations and actively raise awareness around this important cause.
Blancpain has been active in the ocean ever since the brand presented the first modern diving watch, the Fifty Fathoms, in 1953. In recognition of this heritage, Blancpain is dedicated to the cause of ocean preservation and protection, and has worked to raise awareness of these issues through support of important scientific projects, ocean exploration initiatives, underwater photography, environmental forums, public exhibits, major publications and a dedicated web site. The brand's efforts in all of these areas are expressed globally as Blancpain’s Ocean Commitment.