World shipping community gets ready to celebrate World Maritime Day 2006

World Maritime Day 2006: Preview

World Maritime Day 2006 will be celebrated on 28 September. IMO's theme for this year's World Maritime Day is "Technical Co-operation: IMO's response to the 2005 World Summit", which was chosen to focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the United Nations as the world community's response to challenges such as hunger, disease and environmental degradation.

"Maritime activity has a key role to play in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for shipping not only moves the world's burgeoning trade, but can also contribute substantially to sustainable development, while international commerce promotes production, job creation and greater socio-economic prosperity. And the combination of all these has, undoubtedly, the potential to lift people from hunger and poverty and also eradicate life-threatening diseases," said Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General.

The WMD message and background paper are available on the IMO website.

IMO to host reception
The traditional IMO reception will be held at Banqueting House, Whitehall, in London. The change of venue this year is due to the relocation of the Organization during the refurbishment of the Headquarters premises. The London event will be attended by many distinguished guests, including members of the diplomatic corps, members of the maritime community and representatives of the City of London and of organizations and other entities associated with the work of the Organization and the Secretariat.

World Maritime Day will also be observed and celebrated in many Member States and by many organizations associated with IMO, providing an opportunity to promote shipping as a major contributor to the economy of the world and the welfare of nations, developed and developing alike.

The following Member States are planning celebrations this year:

Argentina: A number of events to be held on 28 September in Buenos Aires. These are being organized by the Sub-Secretariat for Ports and Navigable Waterways, the Navy and the Coast Guard and will involve the participation of government authorities and the maritime community in the country as well as the national Nautical and Waterways Schools.

Australia: An IMO World Maritime Day 2006 seminar entitled "Charting the future of Technical Co-operation: Australian contributions and interests" will be held, with the participation of many well-known shipping personalities.

Bolivia: The Maritime Authority of will hold a week-long programme of activities from Monday, 25 September, disseminating the World Maritime Day message 2006 and other maritime information through TV and radio every day of the week, culminating in a "Vin d'Honneur" and the speech of the Director General of the General Merchant Marine Directorate of Bolivia.

Colombia: The Maritime Authority has organized special celebrations, in conjunction with the 54th anniversary of the Colombian Maritime Authority, to be held in Bogotá from 27 to 29 September 2006, in the form of an Exhibition and National Conference on Maritime and Coastal Development, EXPOMARES 2006. The Secretary-General has sent a goodwill message to be read at EXPOMARES.

Honduras: will be celebrating World Maritime Day on 29 September with special events in the ports of La Ceiba and Puerto Cortes.

Islamic Republic of Iran
: In response to this year's theme for World Maritime Day, the maritime authority of the Islamic Republic of Iran (The Ports and Shipping Organization) has organized special celebrations both in Tehran and other Iranian ports. Iran will celebrate World Maritime day on 26 September, when the President and the Minister for Transport will deliver speeches based on the IMO Secretary-General's message. Other government authorities, military and civilian authorities and representatives of local maritime communities and unions will also participate in the events hosted by the Ports and Shipping Organization to mark this day. A presentation of certificates and awards to selected national seafarers will also take place.

Italy: Port Captaincies and other maritime agencies throughout Italy will be holding celebrations to mark World Maritime Day, with the participation of military and civilian authorities and representatives of local maritime communities and unions.

is hosting a Maritime Awareness Week from 24 to 30 September on the theme of Strategic Co-operation: The way forward for the shipping industry. The week includes Open Days and Panel Discussions at the Caribbean Maritime Institute, launch of the Shipping Association of Jamaica Website, Industry Talent Exhibition, Caribbean Maritime Institute annual Graduation Ceremony and an Informal Industry Partners Mixer hosted by the Shipping Association of Jamaica & Maritime Authority of Jamaica.

Kenya: The Maritime Authority (KMA) is spearheading celebrations with a number of events, including: A procession of shipping industry stakeholders from the Port of Mombasa (KPA) through the town centre and seafront park (Mama Ngina Drive), led by the majestic Kenya Navy Band; at the Seafront participants will be addressed by various speakers on the Kenya maritime industry and the Millenium Development Goals; in the afternoon, a seminar and discussion forum will be held with the keynote speech delivered by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, on the theme of "Kenya: Maritime Hub of the 21st Century"; and a cocktail party is planned for the evening, during which the Minister for Transport will give a keynote speech as well as make a presentation of Certificates/Awards to leading companies/firms in the maritime industry.

Madagascar: Several events celebrating World Maritime Day 2006 have been arranged.

New Zealand: An evening cocktail party has been organized on 19 September 2006 to celebrate World Maritime Day with the participation of the Minister for Transport, who will deliver a speech based on the Secretary-General's message for World Maritime Day 2006.

Singapore parallel event: This year's IMO World Maritime Day parallel event, will be celebrated in Singapore on 25 September 2006. The IMO Secretary-General will be represented by Mr. David Edwards, Director of IMO's Technical Co operation Division.

It will take the form of a special World Maritime Day @ Singapore Forum on the theme "Shipping for Growth and Development", jointly organized by IMO and the Port Authority of Singapore. The IMO Council Chairman, Mr. Johan Franson, will lead an international panel of experts composed of Mr. Igor Ponomarev, Chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee; Mr. Ben Owusu-Mensah, Chairman of the Technical Co-operation Committee; Vice-Admiral Francisco Martinez Villaroel, Director-General of the Maritime Territory and Merchant Marine of Chile; Dr. Peter Swift, Managing Director of INTERTANKO; and Mr. Julian Bray, Editor of Lloyd's List. The Forum will be followed by a reception in the evening, jointly hosted by Mr. Raymond Lim, Minister for Transport of Singapore, Mr. Franson and Mr. Edwards.

The IMO World Maritime Day parallel event is the second to be organized, following a similar event in Lisbon, Portugal in November 2005.

Further information:

Thailand: A few events to spread the message of the Secretary-General for World Maritime Day will take place.

United Kingdom: International maritime organizations in London will host a special event, to be opened by IMO's Secretary-General.

In the United Kingdom, the historic ship Wellington, berthed in central London, will be the venue for a special event, jointly organized by the Honourable Company of Master Mariners (HCMM) and the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), to celebrate World Maritime Day. The event on 28 September 2006 has the active participation of IMO and other organizations.

Under the banner "Sea's the future", the event will showcase the contribution made by United Kingdom-based maritime institutions in support of the international shipping industry and to highlight the vital role of shipping in world trade. In all, 34 leading shipping industry and associated international organizations will promote the latest technological developments and visitors, including young people from local schools, will get a chance to meet key players in the industry, drive ship simulators and gain a unique insight into the transportation of goods by sea.

IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos will open the event which, later on, will be attended by HRH The Princess Royal, the Lord Mayor of London (Mr. David Brewer, CMG), the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff (Admiral Sir Jonathon Band, KCB, ADC), and the Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (Mr. John Astbury, CBE) and Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of easyJet who has had a long association with shipping.

Further information:

For further information please contact:

Lee Adamson, Head, Public Information Services on 020 7587 3153 ( or
Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (