The connections between ships, ports and people were once again the focus for an international audience, as Panama hosted the 2017 World Maritime Day Parallel Event (1-3 October). The host of the next World Maritime Day Parallel Event was announced as well. The event was formally opened by His Excellency Mr Juan Carlos Varela Rodriguez, President of the Republic of Panama.
During the keynote address, which focused on the World Maritime Day theme “Connecting ships, ports and people”, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim emphasized IMO’s strong commitment to helping achieve the aims of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.
“Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade. As our theme for this year emphasizes, the port and maritime sectors can be wealth creators, both on land and at sea,” Mr. Lim said.
Closing ceremony – Poland takes the flag for 2018
During the closing ceremony, a commemorative plaque was presented to Panama by Secretary-General Lim. The World Maritime Day Parallel Event flag was handed over by Mr. Jorge Barakat Pitty, Minister of Maritime Affairs of Panama, to Mr. Marek Gróbarczyk, Minister of maritime economy and inland navigation, Poland. Poland will host the 2018 Parallel Event.
The event in Panama was attended by some 600 representatives from the maritime community in Panama and other countries, including government representatives and representatives from the maritime industry, non-governmental organizations and academia.
Ministerial round table
Transport and maritime Ministers/Vice-Ministers from eight countries, who were attending the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, took part in a roundtable discussion with IMO Secretary-General Lim. Discussions focused on capacity building and maritime education, emphasizing the use of technology to disseminate educational material; and security, including piracy and cyber security, recognized as a key challenge facing the maritime industry.
The IMO Member States represented were: Guatemala, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kenya, Panama, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and South Africa.