The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has said it will lead its members in promoting best practices and building bridges between diverse sectors.
That goal is captured in its choice of the theme Connecting Ships, Ports and People for next year’s World Maritime Day.
The agenda was unveiled during the IMO Council meeting in London and aims to improve cooperation and develop a closer partnership between ports and shippers.
In a statement circulated to newsrooms, the IMO said it will also focus its energies on raising global standards, ports efficiency and developing best practice training materials.
The overall goal, the statement added, is to improve efficiency of port and coastal state authorities. Mr Kitack Lim, IMO Secretary-General said the maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people who operate them, should play a significant role in helping member states to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore.
This, he said, can be done through promoting trade by sea, enhancing ports and the maritime sector as wealth creators and through developing a sustainable economy at sea.
“The aim is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016 (Shipping: Indispensable to the World), by focusing on helping member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses a 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.
Next year’s agenda, the organisation said, is aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are aimed at dealing with the world’s challenges which include climate change, threats to the environment, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and violent extremism, among other issues.
“Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments will be major drivers of global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people,” he said.