21st cohort graduates from UNU-FTP

21st cohort graduates from UNU-FTP

Earlier this week the 21st cohort of UNU-FTP fellows graduated in a ceremony at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, attended the ceremony.

This year 24 fellows, 15 men and nine women, took part in the UNU-FTP Six-months Training Programme. They came from 15 countries in Oceania, Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean region. 

Nine specialised in Fisheries Policy and Management; eight in Stock Assessment and Fishing Technology; and seven in Quality Management.

The ceremony was steered by UNU-FTP Chairman, Sigurður Guðjónsson.

He first introduced minister for Foreign Affairs, Guðlaug Þór Þórðarson, who in his opening address congratulated the fellows. The Minister acknowledged the programme as key centre for fisheries development and research, drawing on Icelandic and international expertise from partners in the private sector, government and research institutions. He also drew attention to Sustainable Development Goal 14, which recognises the vital importance of the world’s oceans by calling for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

Following the opening address the UNU-FTP director, Tumi Tómasson, introduced the graduating fellows and their final projects one by one.

The Foreign Minister then handed them their graduation certificate and chairman Sigurður Guðjónsson gave them a small gift to remind them of their stay in Iceland.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating fellows Seion Adika Richardson, from Guyana, described the program as “a learning process for both professional and personal life, where we learned a new thing every single day”.

“We therefore wish to express thanks to every lecturer, facilitator and supervisor who worked with us over the last 6 months.”

“The journey was enjoyable, impactful and worthwhile,” Seion Richardson said. “With that in mind I charge us all to stay connected as a family and to work tirelessly to be elements of change in our respective institutions.”

Chairman Sigurður Guðjónsson also announced Tumi Tómasson’s decision to step down from the position of director of UNU-FTP, although, he promised, the programme would still benefit from his experience as he had decided to continue working part time in a new capacity.

He praised his role in the establishment and successful running of the programme for 21 years. Under his direction it grew from six fellows from three countries in 1998 to a global network of four hundred fellows from over 60 countries at present.

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