Mr. Ludwig Kumoru, CEO of PNA, in a tribute to the late Victorio Uherbelau, expressed his deepest sadness and condolences to his family and people of Palau, having just learned of his passing. Vic Uherbelau passed away Sunday at his home in Koror, Palau.
Vic had a distinguished career over many decades. Many of us looked up to him as a leader in regional fisheries when we first started our careers. Vic was distinguished as the first Palauan lawyer, he guided Palau internationally for decades and indeed, in his years as Director General of FFA , he lead the broader Pacific island region, through many trying times in various international forums.
Vic has always championed the interests of our region’s small island states, this was not a small task as these newly independent nations had to come to terms with being the hub of the biggest tuna fishery in the world, and increasingly key in the oceanscape issues, which are now very much in the forefront.
Although soft-spoken, he rose to every challenge with his forceful leadership, never shying clear of protecting or promoting Pacific islands interests, nor his visions for his beloved Palau.
Vic never retired, even this year my office had the pleasure of working with Vic in Palau on development projects for the village cooperatives he supported.
Vic’s passing this week is a great loss to the Palau, PNA and the Pacific.
Together, with the late Senator Matt Zackheras and late Senator Tony De Brum, both of RMI, the region has this month lost 3 great champions of the PNA, our fisheries and the Pacific Ocean.
May they rest in peace.