José María Figueres was President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, under a one-term constitutional mandate
Trevor Manuel (Co-chair)
Trevor Manuel was one of South Africa’s longest serving Ministers of Finance, and is now Minister in the Presidency and head of the National Planning Commission.
David Miliband (Co-chair)
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Carol Browner is a former head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Currently she is Senior Counselor at Albright Stonebridge Group…Read more
Victor Chu is Chairman of First Eastern Investment Group, a leading Hong Kong-based direct investment firm and a pioneer of private equity investments in China.
Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili
Obiageli ‘Oby’ Ezekwesili is a former Vice President of the World Bank for Africa, a former Nigerian Education Minister and co-founder of Transparency International.
Luiz Furlan was Co-chairman of the board from 2009 to 2011 of BRF Brasil Foods, the second largest food company in Brazil and the 10th largest globally
Judge Golitsyn is President of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on 1 October 2014 for a three-year term.
Robert Hill was a member of the Australian Senate from 1981 to 2006, representing South Australia.
Yoriko Kawaguchi is a former Foreign Minister and Environment Minister of Japan, and is now a Visiting Professor at the Meiji Institute for Global Affairs in Tokyo.
Pascal Lamy was Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) from September 2005 until September 2013.
The Rt Hon Paul Martin was Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002.
Sri Mulyani Indrawati
Sri Mulyani Indrawati is Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Bank Group and a former Finance Minister of Indonesia..
Cristina Narbona is a former Environment Minister of Spain.
Ratan Tata stepped down as chairman of the Tata Group in December 2012 after 21 years at the helm
Aliki Faipule Foua Toloa, who passed away in June 2015, joined the Global Ocean Commission in December 2012. His role on the Commission reflected his role in life as a true Ocean soul and advocate for change and action.
Foua came from Tokelau, which is made up of three coral atolls with a combined land mass of 10 sq km and a population of 1400 people. In Tokelau Foua had served as the Ulu or Head of Government, on the Commission he was our ocean inspiration, guiding light and spiritual leader for the sea. Attending Commission meetings showed real commitment from Foua as he had to travel over 500 kilometres by boat to Samoa from Tokelau, before he even caught the first of many flights. Despite the distances he travelled away from his home, or ‘paradise’ as he regularly called it, he attended all our meetings and presented at the release of the Commission report in June 2014.
At the Commission meetings, as we talked about failure of UN Governance, policy measures and scientific evidence, Foua reminded us not only of his own personal experiences of a degrading ocean witnessed by his own eyes, but also of its beauty and spiritual connection with so many people.
He once recalled an open ocean journey from Tonga to Fiji (800km) he took with a friend when he was young on a three metre canoe, trying to revive Polynesian traditional navigation:
“That early morning on the second day, my spirit was so at peace with the ocean and its environs. I felt so contented and fortunate that I resolved to do this trip. There were no more “ifs” in my mind during this beautiful morning. The sunrise over the horizon was so beautiful in its own right, that when the combination of the ocean warmth, the waves and the landscape came together, I began to cry and slowly whispered to ocean, “I award myself to become a friend of you, the ocean. I vow to protect you and your beauty from any adversaries that threaten you…”
Foua was eloquent and thoughtful and inspired the whole Commission and all that he came into contact with. In Foua we have lost a true Ocean champion and leader, and our hearts go out to his family and friends as we share in their sorrow.
We hope that wherever his canoe takes him next, his spirit has the same peaceful feeling he had on the second day of his journey when he was young, and without a doubt he will live on in all he inspired.
Andrés Velasco was a presidential candidate in Chile in 2012-13. He was also the Minister of Finance of Chile between March 2006 and March 2010.