Our Oceans Conference 2020, a major event slated for Palau this year has been moved from its original August schedule to the first week of December of this year as reported by President Remengesau Jr. in his 2020 State of the Republic Address (SORA) on April 30, 2020.

“It has been discussed and agreed to between the Hosts Committee which is made of past host, current host and future host,” revealed Minister Umiich Sengebau, the Chairman of OCC 2020. This includes Norway (past host), Palau (current host) and Panama (next year’s host) which all have to agree to the change of date.

“The likelihood of holding it in December is better due to this COVID-19 situation,” added Sengebau. “All our major partners and donors have been informed of the change of date.”

According to Sengebau, except for the date, everything is on track.  The construction of facilities, equipment ordering and other related preparation work are on schedule.  “We were concerned that there may be delay in arrival of equipment due to the COVID issue, but it looks like that too is on track.  Even there is delay, we now have more time given the change of date,” said Minister Sengebau.

The event which was to be hosted in the Pacific for the first time, and largest to be held in Palau, brings the Oceans conservation, protection and new technologies issues to the forefront.  It is also expected to highlight the role of the island states, and in particular Palau’s efforts to contribute to the health of oceans.

The preparation of facilities to host the event brings over $16 million in renovations and construction activities into Palau.