Shipping’s unique role in providing most of everything that the world’s people need and want was once again the focus for an international audience, as Turkey hosted the 2016 World Maritime Day Parallel Event (4-6 November).
The event in Istanbul , which focused on the World Maritime Day theme, “Shipping: Indispensable to the World was formally opened by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, who emphasized that almost everyone on the planet is dependent on shipping, but relatively few are aware of it.
“This is a message that needs, and deserves, a wider audience. Almost everyone in the world today relies on shipping to some extent – but very few are aware of it. I have been doing my best to amplify this message during the course of the year and welcome the additional impetus that this event in Turkey will give to helping spread the news that shipping is indispensable to the world,” Mr. Lim said.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony were Mr Binali Yildirim, Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey and Mr. Ahmet Arslan, Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, Turkey. A keynote speech was given by Mr. Jakob Stausholm, Group CFO of A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S.
The high-level international symposium continued with insightful sessions addressing a diverse range of related topics, including the role of the media in helping people understand why shipping is indispensable; the importance of the oceans and their resources; maritime risks and crisis management; and the role of regulatory bodies in the maritime industry. Delegates also heard about Turkey’s rich maritime heritage and were given the opportunity to visit Istanbul’s maritime museums.
During the closing ceremony, a commemorative plaque was presented to Turkey by Secretary-General Lim and the World Maritime Day Parallel Event flag was handed over by Mr. Ahmet Arslan, Turkey’s Minister of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications, to Mr.Jorge Barakat Pitty, Minister of Maritime Affairs of Panama, which will host the 2017 parallel event
The event in Turkey was attended by some 600 representatives from the maritime community in Turkey and other countries, including government representatives and representatives from the maritime industry, non-governmental organizations and academia.