World Maritime Day Parallel Event Opens In South Africa

Durban welcomes delegates to event under the theme: new technologies for greener shipping.

The World Maritime Day Parallel Event (WMDPE) has opened in Durban, South Africa (12 to 14 October 2022).

In his opening speech, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:

“After a two-year pause in parallel events due to the pandemic, it is an enormous pleasure to be able to welcome you all here to Durban for the 2022 World Maritime Day Parallel Event. The Parallel Event was instituted to provide an opportunity to take the World Maritime theme “on the road” and it is undoubtedly one of the most important maritime events, worldwide.” (full speech here)

Secretary-General Lim highlighted the need for ‘innovation’ and ‘inclusivity’ as shipping voyages to a decarbonized future, in which digitalization and automation will play a key role.

“Innovation is fundamental to the maritime industry’s successful energy transition. It requires new technologies, renewable alternative fuels and infrastructure to support low- and zero-carbon shipping, along with new financial solutions to support all those practical aspects,” he said.

​IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is greeted by the Honourable Fikile Mbalula, Transport Minister, South Africa.
​IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim is greeted by the Honourable Fikile Mbalula, Transport Minister, South Africa., Credits: IMO

“We also need innovative teams working together, created through research and development partnerships. These should involve both public and private sector because we need all hands-on-deck to ensure these initiatives succeed. This needs to be done in the most inclusive way possible as we address capacity-building, technology and infrastructure to bring on board developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the energy transition.

No one should be left behind. Digitalization and automation can be counted amongst the technologies that will help us on the voyage towards cleaner, greener and more efficient shipping but this does not mean that we ignore the human element,” Mr. Lim said.

Welcoming high-level delegates from across the globe, the Honourable Fikile Mbalula, Transport Minister, South Africa, said:

“The theme for this year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event, “New technologies for greener shipping”, calls for the global family of nations to take action on decarbonisation of shipping and ports through the use of zero or low carbon technologies, fuels and infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission across the globe for sustainable development. The big question we must answer is: “How do we get to the future that is sustainable, which facilitates global seaborne trade from all corners of the globe?”

He highlighted his “appreciation and applaud stakeholders, including the oil and bunker industry, manufacturers, academia, and shipping industry in general, for all your efforts and initiatives aimed at using research and innovation for the development of greener technologies as the pathway to the decarbonisation of this important industry.”

Noting the potential for countries to be part of the transition to cleaner fuels, he said, “We believe that the abundance of renewable energy potential can accelerate the development of greener technologies and alternative fuels in order to meet the demand of supplying bunker to ships at our ports.” (Download full speech here.)

Panel sessions

Panel session will cover: World perspective on greener shipping – decarbonization; Collaboration and capacity building; Digitalisation for safer and efficient shipping; and Oceans and the blue economy.

Ministerial round table

IMO Secretary-General Lim is hosting a ministerial round table on the sidelines of the event.

Closing ceremony

During the closing ceremony on Friday, 14 October, the World Maritime Day flag will be handed over to the World Maritime Day Parallel Event host for 2023, the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Reference: IMO

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