The Korea Herald


Byun named new chair of U.N. oceanographic commission

By 양승진

Published : June 30, 2011 - 19:40

    • Link copied

A South Korean scientist has been named the new chief of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), Seoul’s Maritime ministry said Thursday.

Byun Sang-kyung, 61, was elected to head the Paris-based organization on Thursday (Paris time), becoming the first South Korean to take the top post of the U.N. commission that coordinates exchange of information and data between the member states and their national oceanographic data centers, according to the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs.
Byun Sang-kyung Byun Sang-kyung

The IOC also oversees the International Coordination Group for tsunami warnings in the Pacific.

“With his election to the chairmanship of the IOC, the country now has an opportunity to improve its maritime diplomacy, along with its national image in the international community, and play a vital role in promoting international cooperation for its successful hosting of the 2012 Yeosu Expo,” the ministry said in a press release.

A native of South Korea’s southwestern North Jeolla Province, Byun graduated from Seoul National University in 1972 and received his master’s and doctorate degrees in physical oceanography from France’s Universite de Bretagne Occidentale in Brest.

He served as the head of the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute in 2002, and as vice chairman of the IOC since 2009. 

(Yonhap News)