Friday, January 20, 2017

World Maritime Day Theme Announced by IMO General Secretary

'Connecting Ships, Ports and People' Will Continue 2016 Mantra
Shipping News Feature
UK – WORLDWIDE – The Port of Felixstowe played host to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Secretary General, Kitack Lim, as he announced the theme of this year's World Maritime Day. Focussing on the importance of coherent and connected development across all maritime sectors, ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’ will centre on improving the cooperation between ports and ships and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors. Lim said:

“Throughout the year, we will highlight the importance of ‘joined-up’ maritime development across all sectors, both from a policy and a practical perspective. The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond the ships and ports themselves.

“As a UN agency, IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals. Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade. The port and maritime sectors can be wealth creators, both on land and at sea.”

The aim of the 2017 theme is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, ‘Shipping: indispensable to the world’, by focussing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach. ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’ will seek to raise global standards for the safety, security and efficiency of ports, and for port and coastal state authorities, as well as standardising port procedures by identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.

During a tour of the Port of Felixstowe led by Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, Lim witnessed port operations at first hand, observing the clear link between ships and ports and the people that operate them. He also spoke to crew on board the container ship Munkebo Maersk about the significance of the World Maritime Day theme for seafarers as well as for the wider public, the people who depend on shipping for most of everything they need and want.

Lim noted that the theme for 2017 would enable IMO and the wider maritime community to shine a spotlight on the existing cooperation between ports and ships to maintain and enhance a safe, secure and efficient maritime transportation system. Lim continued:

“Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.”

As usual World maritime Day will be held during the last week of September, since 2005, in addition to the official IMO celebrations held at IMO Headquarters in London, there has been a Parallel Event hosted by a Member State. This year’s Parallel Event will take place in Panama in October 2017.