The International Maritime Organization issued the following statement on this occasion by the Secretary-General of IMO, Mr. Kitak Lima:
“Against the backdrop of increasingly complex global challenges, the United Nations has set 17 sustainable development goals that together can transform our world into a better place for all of us.
As a United Nations agency, IMO is firmly committed to helping achieve the goals of sustainable development. Maritime transport and ports can play an important role in creating conditions for increasing employment, enhancing prosperity and stability by encouraging the development of the maritime economy. Ports and the maritime sector can be the creators of wealth both on land and at sea.
In order to emphasize the significance of this potential, our motto this year is “Connecting ships, ports and people”, which will allow public attention to the cooperation existing between ports and vessels to maintain and strengthen the safety, environmental friendliness and efficiency of the shipping system.
Let us help our member countries develop and implement marine strategies that cover a wide range of issues, including improving the accessibility and efficiency of maritime transport, safety of navigation, maritime security and maritime security in general.
Throughout the year, we will emphasize the importance of integrated marine development in all sectors, both from the point of view of developing normative mechanisms, both from the angle of the practices used. The benefits of providing a free flow of goods, free and effective trade go far beyond the topic of ships and ports, and we must demonstrate how effective interaction between them can improve the lives of people around the world, especially in the context of sustainable development goals.
The role of IMO as a global regulator of the shipping industry can enhance this integration – since adequate and uniform regulation facilitates a free commercial flow.
However, to ensure this stability, human activities must be balanced with the capabilities of the World Ocean to maintain its “health” and biological diversity in the long term. The so-called “blue economy” is a large and growing industrial sector, which, as it grows, must remain safe and, being self-protected, do not pose a threat to the environment. IMO should ensure that shipping continues to contribute to the global economy without disrupting the fragile balance achieved.
Ultimately, the increase in maritime transport efficiency, achieved in partnership with the government-supported port sector, will be the main driver of the movement towards global stability and sustainable development for the benefit of all people.
This year, under the motto “Connecting ships, ports and people”, we are striving to make a significant contribution to achieving these goals – and I hope that you will join us with your own activities and initiatives under the auspices of the theme of World Sea Day 2017 “.
As noted on the IMO website, the theme chosen this year for the celebration of World Sea Day gives an opportunity to work with developed and developing countries, participants in maritime navigation and port activities from the public and private sectors, in order to identify and promote best practices, build bridges among many and diverse participants involved in these sectors.
In mid-September, the IMO Secretary General paid a visit to Russia, most of which he devoted to acquaintance with the potential and organization of the Russian maritime industry by the example of Vladivostok.
Thus, during a meeting with cadets and students of the State Naval University named after GI Nevelsky, which was also attended by Deputy Minister of Transport of Russia – Head of Rosmorrechflot Viktor Olersky, Mr. Kitak Lim expressed the opinion that young Russians who chose maritime professions, “Have every reason to be proud of the glorious history and modern level of development of the marine business, the management of shipping and the quality of marine education in your country.” In its turn, “in the Arctic, where Russia is historically present, today it certainly has leading positions, continuing to develop consistently its potential in shipping, transport safety infrastructure and port-logistics projects,” he stressed.
After visiting the Peter the Great Bay Center for the Regional Vessel Traffic Management System in the Gulf of Peter the Great, where he was presented with detailed information on the maritime management structure and familiarized with the direct organization of the work of the Regional VTS Center at Cape Nazimova, the IMO Secretary General noted that the integrated management complex sea industry and ensuring the safety of navigation made a deep impression on him and in many ways can serve as an example for olzovaniya other maritime countries.
According to UNCTAD, which IMO cites in its reference materials, about 80% of world trade in terms of volume and more than 70% of world trade in value terms is achieved through sea transport and port operations.
World Sea Day was established in 1978 by the decision of the 10th Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization and is included in the system of UN World and International Days. It is designed to attract public attention to the importance of issues related to shipping and port activities, ensuring safety on the water, and consistently limiting the negative impact of anthropogenic activities on the ecology of the World Ocean. Before 1980, it was celebrated on March 17, then the celebration was postponed to one of the IMO-designated days of the last full week of September.