On World Maritime Day, UN highlights importance of maritime education and training

School children from local and international schools based in London attended an informative session at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Headquarters as part of the celebrations of World Maritime Day, under the theme “Maritime education and training.” Photo: IMO

24 September 2015 – Marking the observance of World Maritime Day, top UN officials highlighted the importance of the international shipping industry, as well as the necessity of maintaining high education and training standards within the sector as a key part of the implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.

“Through the millennia, shipping has united the world by carrying the goods and commodities that underpin the global economy,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a message on the World Day.

“Today, shipping is a modern, highly technical, professional discipline that requires a great deal of skill, knowledge and expertise from the maritime workforce,” he continued. “A safe, secure and clean shipping industry can only be built on effective standards of education and training, which is the theme for this year's World Maritime Day.”

He also praised the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN specialized agency for maritime safety and environmental protection, noting that it has had a “long and wide-ranging involvement in maritime education and training.”

The Secretary-General also noted the important role the maritime industry will play in the implementation of the goals contained in the 2030 Agenda.

“Looking ahead, the human element in shipping will be increasingly important as the industry moves towards ever higher standards of safety, environmental impact and sustainability, and seeks to do its part to implement the new Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.

In his remarks, IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu marked the Day by highlighting the importance of shipping to the global community and the key role it has to play in sustainable development.

“The world depends on a safe, secure and efficient shipping industry; and the shipping industry depends on an adequate supply of seafarers to operate the ships that carry the essential cargoes we all rely on,” said Mr. Sekimizu.

H also noted the importance of making the industry appeal to a new generation of workers.

“The importance of training and education for the maritime personnel of today and tomorrow is greater than ever before,” he said, noting that education and training are central parks of the work of the IMO with regard to shipping labour.

Mr. Sekimizu also referred to the 1978 International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, which, he said, has set the international benchmark for seafarer training and education. Mr. Sekimizu said that amendments to the Convention were adopted in 2010 in Manila, and yet much remained to be done to ensure their effective implementation by the January 2017 deadline.


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