World Maritime Day 2000 - Building Maritime Partnerships
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the right and only place where
issues concerning international shipping safety and environmental protection
should be considered and adopted, according to Mr. William A. O'Neil, Secretary-General
of the International Maritime Organization in his annual World Maritime Day
"We are in an exceptional position to provide the necessary guidance, leadership
and focus on all matters relating to ship safety and the prevention of marine
pollution by ships," Mr. O'Neil said.
IMO's 158 Member States form a unique partnership, providing a forum where flag
States and port States work together, through consensus, to produce and review
the regulations, recommendations and guidelines that ensure ships are safe and
Mr. O'Neil pointed out that the partnership of IMO Member States is merely the
start of the process. Safety at sea begins in the committee rooms at IMO's headquarters
in London - but moves outside to embrace all who are linked to the shipping
He stressed that the list of partners who have a role to play in achieving IMO's
twin objectives of safer shipping and cleaner oceans is lengthy, including shipbuilders
and designers, classification societies, port State control inspectors, charterers,
ship operators and, ultimately, the seafarers who staff and operate the worlds
fleet. Hydrographers, map-makers, educators, equipment manufacturers, insurers
and countless other groups or individuals all have their part to play as well,
he added. Many of these groups are represented at IMO through international
inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations which attend IMO meetings
as active observers and whose expertise is called on in the decision-making
"That is why we have chosen the theme of 'Building
maritime partnerships' for this year's World Maritime Day," said
Mr. O'Neil. "Our experience with the application of the partnership philosophy
has been outstanding. It has enabled IMO to undertake joint programmes with
governments, labour, shipping and industry organizations which have a maritime
A specific example of partnership in action is IMO's technical co-operation
programme, under which IMO provides guidance and support to those countries
that request assistance to enable them to strengthen their maritime infrastructure
and meet the requirements for the proper implementation of international standards
in shipping. But at the end of the day, the key partners in all facets of shipping
are the people, from those onshore to those on board ship, Mr. O'Neil said.
Mr. O'Neil added: "This year's World Maritime Day is particularly significant
for the world's seafarers because I will be announcing the results of a competition
to design a memorial to seafarers to be erected at IMO. * This memorial - to
be unveiled a year from now - will serve not only as a monument to those seafarers
who have lost their lives at sea but also as a permanent reminder of the contribution
made by seafarers to world trade and of the contribution that shipping - and
its seafarers - make to every aspect of our daily lives."
"Shipping is a modern, international and multi-faceted industry that eventually
touches just about everyone on the planet. And there is not a single individual
or group involved with shipping that stands alone, outside the network of partnerships.
It is fundamental that we all commit to a process of continually re-examining
the standards that we have established and the mechanisms we have created for
ensuring their proper, uniform implementation. In this, a global industry, our
objectives can only be achieved through global partnerships in a global forum,"
said Mr. O'Neil.