World Maritime Day (28 September) has been marked around the world in a series of events and celebrations led by International Maritime Organization (IMO) from its London headquarters.
Seafaring nations, coastal states and the shipping industry staged conferences, seminars and public events under the 2017 theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.
At IMO, the traditional diplomatic reception was preceded by a special visit for maritime students and young professionals from the maritime industries.
After a tour of the headquarters building they received presentations on some of the key topics IMO is dealing with, including safety, security and humanitarian issues. This was followed by a discussion on the interaction between IMO Member States, ports, seafarers and ship operators – and how this might be improved.
A meeting of the IMO Maritime Ambassadors (photos) was also held; these are spokespersons nominated by IMO Member States or NGOs to advocate on behalf of the maritime and seafaring professions, especially among younger audiences.
World Maritime Day also featured heavily in on-line and social media. It was supported by the United Nations in New York, which carried the message about the importance of IMO and shipping to the sustainable development goals on its home page.
In his annual World Maritime Day message, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said
“Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade.”
World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme.