September was an important month for Peace Boat US and our advocacy for Climate Action, with our participation in Climate Week NYC and the United Nations SDG Summit, culminating in Peace Boat’s visit to NYC on September 30, celebrating our 40th Anniversary with the “Sailing for Change – Partnerships for the SDGs” event onboard. We would like to share the highlights with you in this Newsletter, and look forward to connecting with many of you at the upcoming COP28 in Dubai in November!

Peace Boat Visits New York City  – September 30

Following the UN General Assembly High-level Week 2023, and particularly the SDG and Climate Ambition Summits, the Peace Boat made its first visit to New York City in four years on September 30, 2023 during its 115th Global Voyage. This momentous occasion also marked the 40th anniversary of Peace Boat since its first voyage in 1983. Over 500 guests from New York and around the globe came onboard for our “Sailing for Change – Partnerships for the SDGs Celebration” event, bringing together partners working to find innovative solutions to accelerate climate action, share best practices for responsible ocean stewardship, and build momentum for peace, nuclear disarmament, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The event was opened by remarks from United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications, Ms Melissa Fleming, who eloquently reminded participants that “the pursuit of peace goes hand in hand with the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals: 17 goals that would allow us to live in a world of peace, dignity, and equality on a healthy planet.”

A highlight was the presentation by Youth Ocean Leaders from the Ocean Policy Research Institute (OPRI), seven young ocean advocates from diverse regions of the world, who traveled onboard Peace Boat from Guatemala several weeks before, participating in a program of learning and exchange on issues such as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), ecosystem restoration, community- and nature-based solutions and the Blue Economy, including experiential study in Guatemala, Panama, Jamaica and Miami.

The presentations were complemented by exhibitions including the Conscious Fashion + Lifestyle Network, coordinated by the UN Office for Partnerships, local sustainable jewelry designer VALSE NYC, and TRUE BLUE, a project taking place onboard Peace Boat’s current voyage to gather marine garbage through beach cleans in ports of call and “upcycle” this into accessories.

In celebration of Peace Boat’s 40th anniversary, participants also had the chance to view traditional Japanese festivals and cultural activities such as noh, taiko and kagami biraki sake barrel opening. Accompanied by music by Camila Celin and DJ Tim Sharp, with visuals by Vexta, the partnership reception presented opportunities for networking and exchange between speakers, participants, and partners from various fields and backgrounds. As stated by Under-Secretary-General Fleming, “We need all hands on deck!”

Please see photos here

Climate Week NYC 2023

Peace Boat US had a significant presence at Climate Week NYC (Sept 16-24), the world’s largest annual climate event, featuring over 400 events across New York City! Peace Boat’s youth scholars contributed to the dialogue by participating in youth perspective panels, including the Global Futures Conference, Traveling by the Seat of Your Pants with Youth for the SDGs Scholars, and Climate Impact Talks 2023 in collaboration with Blue Planet Alliance, Peace Boat US, and other partners. Their participation exemplified the organization’s commitment to accelerating global transformational change and promoting climate action alongside business leaders, decision-makers, and civil society representatives around the world!

Collaboration and Cross-Sector Partnerships for Capacity Development and Youth Engagement on SDG14 – September 16

Ahead of the United Nations 2030 SDG Summit, during the SDG Action Weekend, Peace Boat held a side-event,  “Collaboration and Cross-Sector Partnerships for Capacity Development and Youth Engagement on SDG14,” with UN Permanent Representative from Kiribati, the Permanent Mission of Palau to the UN, UN United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States Global Business forum, Pvblic Foundation, Global Warming Mitigation Project, network, Blue Planet Alliance and youth leaders working on the UN SDGs. The event highlighted the importance of collaboration and partnerships for youth engagement and capacity development. 

End Fossil Fuel March – September 17

Peace Boat’s Youth for the SDGs scholars and Blue Planet Alliance joined forces and marched alongside 75,000 climate activists to #End Fossil Fuels. The success of the “March to End Fossil Fuels” serves as a poignant reminder that the global climate movement is stronger than ever. Youth leaders, in collaboration with dedicated environmental organizations, are at the forefront of this battle, working tirelessly to safeguard our planet’s future.

Youth Perspectives Panel at the Global Futures Summit – September 19

Peace Boat’s Youth 4 the SDGs Scholars, Kneyone Murray and Rigoberto Amaya, participated in the Youth Perspectives Panel at the Global Futures Summit.  The panel shed light on the unique insights and actions of young leaders committed to shaping a more sustainable future. Among these inspiring individuals is Kneyone Murray, a Global Ambassador for the Blue Planet Alliance hailing from Trinidad and Tobago,Peace Boat US Youth for the SDGs Scholar and a Sustainable Ocean Alliance Young Ocean Leader. These roles underscore his unwavering commitment to sustainable development and ocean conservation.

Navigating the Future: Peace Boat’s Commitment to Ocean Education and Conservation – September 21

Alongside the annual United Nations General Assembly, Peace Boat US Director Emilie McGlone spoke on a panel at the SDG Media Zone, interviewed by Mark Fischetti, Scientific American Oceans Editor, highlighting the importance of understanding the ocean’s biodiversity and its role in maintaining a healthy planet.  Peace Boat presented its core mission, working on the issues of peace, human rights and sustainability, and how passengers engage in discussions, workshops, and hands-on experiences focused on global issues, including ocean conservation. With a capacity of 1,800 participants on board, Peace Boat transforms its ship into an educational platform for a diverse international audience. The Secretary General of ISA gave an overview of global ocean governance. 

Peace Boat Announces the “Youth for the SDGs” for the UN Ocean Decade scholarship program and Peace Boat Ecoship – September 22

On the last day of NYC Climate Week, Peace Boat joined a side-event at the SDG Media Zone to announce two projects for the UN Ocean Decade: The Youth for the SDGs Scholarship program and the Ecoship. 

Kadhija Stewart, an Ocean and Climate Youth Ambassador from Trinidad and Tobago and a Youth for the SDG Scholar, joined Emilie McGlone, Director of Peace Boat US to announce the ambitious and important efforts of Peace Boat to continue working towards the SDG 14 during this UN Ocean Decade. The Ecoship, a transformational project launched by Peace Boat, which will be the most sustainable ship in the world, to sail with solar and wind power, changing the way people explore and travel through the Ocean. 

To learn more about Peace Boat US’ programs for the UN Ocean Decade, visit our website here: 

Peace Boat US Partners with Blue Planet Alliance at Climate Impact Talks – September 22

To wrap up the end of Climate Week, Peace Boat US partnered with Blue Planet Alliance to host an event on Climate Impact Talks. The night was filled with rich discussions on climate, sustainable energy, and the Sustainable Development Goals in creating a better future.

Climate Week NYC 2023 was full of inspiring events and speakers. During these events, we consistently underscored the essential significance of strategic partnerships, the inherent value of collaborative efforts, and the compelling necessity for youth voices to assume a central position in shaping critical decision-making processes. As we journey toward COP28, Peace Boat maintains an unwavering commitment to amplifying the voices of those most vulnerable to the climate crisis, as well as charting a path toward a sustainable world. 

The Road to COP 28

Peace Boat US is excited to announce its participation in COP28, the annual United Nations Climate Change conference taking place November 30 – December 12, 2023 in Dubai, UAE. COP28 is the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Peace Boat US will be joining our civil society partners in a call for action to support those on the front lines of the climate crisis and from Small Island Developing States (SIDS). To our partners who are also able to attend the Conference – we look forward to continuing our collaborations in Dubai and hope you can join us at our events. Stay tuned to our website for updates on the road to COP 28!