Our Ocean Greece 2024

Greece hosted the 9th Our Ocean Conference, which took place in Athens, at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, on the 16th and 17th of April, 2024. More than 120 countries were represented at the Conference, with the presence of Prime Ministers and Presidents of countries from all over the world, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Environment, and representatives of major International and Regional Organizations. The aim of the Conference was to generate concrete commitments from the participants on the oceans and their protection, responsible management of marine resources and sustainable economic development.

Greece, a country with an extensive coastline of more than 20 thousand km and more than 29 thousand islands and islets and a long-standing maritime tradition, recognizing the need to protect the marine environment, is leading the way in taking initiatives in this direction. By hosting the 9th Our Ocean Conference Greece reaffirms its commitment to transition to a “Blue economy” to harness the advantages of a new balance between economic development (growth), social cohesion, and sustainability as well as addressing some key challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change, unsustainable fishing, marine pollution especially from plastics, and unsustainable maritime transport.

The Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit, in partnership with Sustainable Ocean Alliance, coinciding with the 9th Our Ocean Conference in Athens on April 15, 2024, signifies a commitment to involve and empower the next generation in tackling key challenges in areas like Marine Protected Areas, Sustainable Blue Economy, Climate-Ocean Nexus, Maritime Security, Sustainable Fisheries, and Marine Pollution.

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New online service on gov.gr 

Through a very simple procedure, citizens now have the option to declare the loss of their passport using the gov.gr website, without having to visit the Police Station or the Consular Authority in whose territorial jurisdiction the loss occurred. The service can be accessed either directly at https://www.gov.gr/ipiresies/polites-kai-kathemerinoteta/stoikheia-polite-kai-tautopoietika-eggrapha/delose-apoleias-ellenikou-diabateriou or under the section “Citizens and day-to-day life” and the subsection “Citizen’s identity information and identification documents“.

It should also be reminded that a special section for Greeks living abroad has been created on the gov.gr website https://www.gov.gr/ipiresies/polites-kai-kathemerinoteta/ellenes-tou-exoterikou so that all the services concerning them are centralised and easily accessible. This section of gov.gr is constantly updated, with the addition of new services, with the recent addition of the multilingual mAigov Digital Assistant, who “talks” with citizens in 25 languages, helping them to find the services and information they are looking for in a simple and user-friendly way.

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Repatriation of antiquities from Atlanta and Hanover

The Fethiye Mosque of Athens welcomes the exhibition Stories with a Happy Ending. The Return of Three Antiquities from Atlanta. The exhibition explores the long and difficult process of repatriating three Greek antiquities – a Minoan clay urn in the shape of a bath-tub with painted decoration (YM IIIA – mid-14th century BC), a marble seated male figure from the decoration of a funerary temple (350-325 BC), and a marble figure from the decoration of a funerary temple (350-325 BC). ) and a marble statue of the goddess Artemis (second half of the 2nd century BC) – which were found in illegal excavations in the 1980s and 1990s, and were trafficked in and out of Greece by major black market rings before ending up at the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, Atlanta, USA. Ongoing efforts by the relevant services of the Ministry of Culture since 2007 resulted in the restitution of the three antiquities on 22 January 2024.

In addition, antiquities removed during the German occupation were returned to Greece in April 2024 by the Municipality of Hannover, Germany, and the August Kestner Museum. It is a three-colored wine jar with a lid, dating to 620- 600 BC, which preserves traces of written decoration around the neck.

Read more about the exhibition Stories with a Happy Ending. The Return of Three Antiquities from Atlanta


and about the repatriation of the Protocorinthian oenochone


Distinguished Greek applications utilize artificial intelligence

The interdisciplinary research team “Orion Lab”, a collaboration between the National Observatory of Athens and the National Technical University of Athens, has developed two applications that use artificial intelligence for Earth observation and for forest fire forecasting and management. Aiming to provide public access to satellite data, the team created manteo.ai, an innovative artificial intelligence system that leverages such data to provide easy access via chat to Earth information. The app was presented at the Cassini Challenges entrepreneurship competition and won one of 15 prizes in the idea competition and is moving on to the next stages with the team having already submitted the proposal to the prototype competition.  The “Cassini Challenges” award comes shortly after Orion Lab won second prize for another application, the “Plato” system, in the Innovation Competition of the “Archimedes” Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. The “Plato” system concerns fire risk management in Greece with artificial intelligence and is an innovative risk assessment system that predicts and visualizes the threat of fire in the next day, focusing on those events that have the potential to develop into major fires.

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University of Athens wins International Roman Law Moot Court Competition

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens successfully defended its 2023 title, defeating the Université de Liège in the Seventeenth International Roman Law Moot Court Competition, at a Grand Final held in the magnificent Justizpalast in Vienna on Friday 5 April 2024. The winning team consisted of Danae Argyropoyloy, Maria Fefe, Rodanthi Karavasili and Maria Margariti; the runner-up team members were Diane Delperdange, Cyrille Gilliard, Marie Mawet and Clémentine Waxweiler.

Led by the President of the Austrian Supreme Court, Prof. Dr Georg Kodek, professors from four countries adjudicated at the Grand Final: Prof. Boudewijn Sirks, Dr Natale Rampazzo, Ms Maria Lux and Mr Konstantin Schönleber.

With this fourth win, Athens overtakes Oxford as the most successful team in the competition’s history, and becomes only the second team to have won the competition in consecutive years (alongside Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in 2016 and 2017).

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International sports tourism events in Greece

Track running events in Ilia and Chania, a festival for cycling tourism in Athens and a sports robotics competition in Heraklion take place in April under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization.

Route of Olympic Truce 2024 | 14.4.2024: In a 50 km route more than 600 runners from Greece and 15 other countries followed the ecotourism route “The Truce Trail”, which starts from Ancient Elis and ends in Ancient Olympia.

10th Athens Bike Festival | 12 – 14.4.2024: Organized in Athens, it is addressed to cycling enthusiasts, those interested in alternative and sustainable ways of transportation, children, athletes and amateur cyclists.

Crete Marathon | 14.4.2024: Held in Chania for the eighth year, it also featured three short-distance running races, passing through the city’s central points and famous landmarks.

Minoan Robotsports Competition Global Olympiad 2024 | 26 – 29.4.2024: In the international sports robotics competition, joint teams of adults and children from the age of 9, design, build and program robot athletes who participate in sports. The event will bring together 4,000 competitors from more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

These are international events, which, apart from their important sporting legacy, contribute to further consolidating Greece’s reputation as a destination for unique and multi-thematic experiences.

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First direct flight between Shanghai and Athens

Athens is making an important “opening” to the Shanghai tourism market, following the inauguration of the first direct flight by the Chinese airline Juneyao from Shanghai to the Greek capital in early April. With the introduction of the direct flight connection – three times a week – between Athens and Shanghai, the number of visitors from the Chinese city of around 25 million inhabitants is expected to increase significantly.

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