News Fellows Fellows (2019-20)

Congratulations FTP fellows 22nd cohort

27 February 2020
FTP fellows 22nd cohort together with minister of fisheries and agriculture Mr. Kristján Þór Júlíuss…
FTP fellows 22nd cohort together with minister of fisheries and agriculture Mr. Kristján Þór Júlíusson.

Fellows of the 22nd cohort of the Fisheries Training Programme graduated from their six-month training in a ceremony held yesterday 26th of February at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute in Iceland.

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, attended the ceremony.

This year 24 fellows participated in FTP’s Six-month Training Programme, with equal numbers of men and women. Fellows come from twelve countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean region. Seven specialised in Fisheries Policy and Management; six in Quality Management; six in Sustainable Aquaculture; and five in Stock Assessment and Fishing Gear Technology. In the past 22 years, 414 fellows have completed the UNU-FTP six-month training program from over 60 partner countries.

The ceremony was officiated by the director of Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, Mr. Sigurður Guðjónsson.

Short speeches were delivered by: Director of GRÓ Ms. Bryndís Kjartansdóttir; minister of fisheries and agriculture Mr. Kristján Þór Júlíusson; director of FTP Mr. Þór Heiðar Ásgeirsson; and Mr. James John Banda, who spoke on behalf of the graduating fellows.


In her speech the director of GRÓ Centre, Ms. Bryndís Kjartansdóttir, highlighted the organisational changes that took place at the beginning of the year whereby all the programmes that previously were operated under the umbrella of the United Nations University, including the FTP programme, have now joined GRÓ – International Centre for Capacity Development, Sustainable use of Natural Resources and Societal Change under the auspices of UNESCO.

Ms. Kjartansdóttir praised the contribution of former FTP fellows to the sustainable development of fisheries in their home countries and stressed the continuing role of all the GRÓ programmes in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She also acknowledged the fact that women and men are equally represented in this year’s cohort of FTP graduating fellows and voiced her hope that the programme unremittingly works towards greater gender equality.

Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Mr. Kristján Þór Júlíusson, congratulated the fellows on their graduation: “I am proud of the programme you are finishing,” he said.

The minister emphasised the value of contributing to achieving the UN SDGs such as Goal 14, which recognises the vital importance of the world’s oceans by calling for the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources.

He expressed a hope that what the fellows have learned and experienced in Iceland during the past six months will be useful for them and the development of the fisheries sector in their home countries.

In his speech the director of FTP, Mr. Þór Heiðar Ásgeirsson, described various activities of the FTP and emphasised that the six-month training is just one part of many fisheries development projects in which the programme is involved.

He also mentioned the various challenges the programme is facing at the moment: Change of director last autumn; adjusting to a new organisational set up within GRÓ; relocating the main activities to Hafnarfjörður to name a few.

Þór expressed his gratitude to the programme’s institutional partners, at home and abroad, which continue to provide invaluable assistance. Finishing his speech Þór directed his words towards the graduating fellows: “At home, I hope you will introduce your work in Iceland, take part in discussions, show initiative and make a change”.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating fellows Mr. James John Banda, from Malawi, thanked the FTP staff and all the supervisors, lecturers and others who contributed to the programme for their assistance throughout the training period. “We got an opportunity to develop our skills at both personal and professional level,” he said.

He made a mention of the continuous progress many former fellows have made after completing the six-month training in Iceland. James urged his cohort of fellows to follow in their footsteps. He concluded by quoting Albert Einstein: “Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything that one has learned in school.”

Concluding the ceremony director Sigurður thanked the graduating fellows for their stay in Iceland and wished them a safe journey back home. Afterwards, a reception for guests was held at the Marine and Freshwater Research Institute, where a poster exhibition with the final projects of the fellows had been set up.