"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017 following a proposal by Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the IMO Council.
Addressing the IMO Council, meeting for its 116th session at IMO Headquarters in London, Mr. Lim said the theme would provide an opportunity to work with developed and developing countries, shipping and public and private sector ports with a view to identifying and promoting best practices and building bridges between the many diverse actors involved in these areas.
Key objectives will include improving cooperation between ports and ships, and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors; raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports, and for port and coastal State authorities; and standardizing port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials.
"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," Mr. Lim said.
"The aim is to build on the World Maritime Day 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," Mr. Lim said.
In this way, IMO will be contributing to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a broad response to the challenges facing the world today – increasing world population; climate change; threats to the environment; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; threats to food security; societal threats posed by organized criminals and violent extremists; and instability leading to mixed migration.
"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," Mr. Lim said.