His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco recently made his first visit to Palau. On Monday, March 11, 2013, the Prince and his delegation met with officials from Palau. On the day of their call the Prince and Princess, Her Serene Highness Princess Charlene Lynette of Monaco, were escorted from their yacht by a kabekl, a traditional Palauan war canoe, to a dock in Koror. From there they proceeded to the capitol building in Melekeok where the Prince met with His Excellency President Tommy Remengesau, Jr..The meeting between the heads of state was followed by an address from Prince Albert II to Palau’s congress and traditional chiefs.
During his address, the Prince noted the considerable similarities between Palau and Monaco, especially each country’s commitment to the protection of marine resources. In recognition of the friendship between the Prince and Palau, the OEK made Prince Albert II an Honorary Citizen of the Republic of Palau through House Joint Resolution No. 9-13-1S.
After his congressional address, the Prince, who is a well-known activist for ocean protection, and his delegation continued on to Melekeok Elementary School where they distributed books and educational materials about the importance of protecting Dugongs. The materials were published for Palau’s Dugong Awareness Campaign made possible by a grant from the United Nations Environment Program which receives funding from Monaco.
The Prince finished his official visit by attending a dinner at the Palau Pacific Resort with President Remengesau and other guests from Palau and Monaco. During the dinner President Remengesau gave a speech acknowledging the Prince’s dedication to ocean conservation. President Remengesau also announced that he will introduce legislation to ban commercial fishing within Palau’s Exclusive Economic Zone and requested the Prince’s partnership in the effort to undertake this unprecedented conservation measure.
In his remarks, the Prince indicated his support of President Remengesau’s initiative and stated, “This is a huge initiative and I think it will be such a shining example for other countries. I not only commend and congratulate you but we are so proud to be at your side in Monaco for this initiative and we hope to help you carry it much further.” To conclude the events of the day President Remengesau wished Prince Albert II a happy birthday as he will be celebrating his birthday during his stay in Palau.