The theme for the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) World Maritime Day 2017 has been launched by the IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, during a visit to the Port of Felixstowe.
"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has as key objectives improving cooperation between ports and ships and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors. It 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.
Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mr Lim and to support the IMO in the important work it does to maintain and improve standards across the international shipping industries. Hutchison Ports is committed to the highest principles of both operational efficiency and environmental stewardship and, in that regard, our philosophy is closely aligned with that of the Secretary General.”
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.
"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."
The aim of the latest World Maritime Day is to build on the 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.