‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’ has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017, following a proposal by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to the IMO Council.
Addressing the IMO Council, and meeting for its 116th session at IMO Headquarters in London, Mr Lim said the theme would provide an opportunity to work with developed and developing countries, shipping and public and private sector ports with a view to identifying and promoting best practices and building bridges between the many diverse actors involved in these areas.
Key objectives will include improving cooperation between ports and ships, and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors.
Other key objectives will include raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports, and for port and coastal state authorities, as well as standardising port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.
Mr. Lim said: “The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea.
“The aim is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, by focussing on helping Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.”
In this way, IMO will be contributing to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a broad response to the challenges facing the world today.
The challenges include the increasing world population, climate change, threats to the environment and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
Mr Lim concluded: “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.”