The IMO Council has endorsed a proposal by Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to adopt "Shipping: indispensable to the world" as the World Maritime Day theme for 2016.
Addressing the IMO Council, meeting for its 28th Extraordinary Session at IMO Headquarters in London, Mr. Sekimizu said the theme would provide an opportunity to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping.
“The importance of shipping to support and sustain today's global society gives IMO's work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself,” Mr. Sekimizu said.
“Today, around 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry. Without shipping the import and export of goods on the scale necessary to sustain the modern world would not be possible. And seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs. Yet the fact remains that most of the world's population is not aware of the vital role shipping plays in their everyday lives,” he said.
There are more than 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations and manned by more than a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
Over the past 50 years and more, IMO has developed and adopted a comprehensive framework of global regulations covering maritime safety, environmental protection, legal matters and other areas. Under this regulatory framework, shipping has become progressively safer, more efficient and more environment-friendly.
World Maritime Day
The World Maritime Day theme provides a focus for year-round activities while the day itself is celebrated at IMO Headquarters and around the world in the last week of September. Since 2005, a formal parallel event has also been held, hosted by an IMO Member State.