Seafarers Memorial Trust Fund reaches first US$1 million

Donations and pledges to the Seafarers Memorial Trust Fund have topped the US$1 million mark, it was announced today. The Fund was established last year by the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency concerned with maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships.

The Secretary-General of IMO, Mr. William A. O'Neil, said: "The purpose of the Trust Fund is to pay tribute to the seafarers on whom the shipping industry relies - and especially to recognize those seafarers who have lost their lives in what has always been one of the world's most dangerous professions. The response of the shipping industry has been extremely generous and we are now well on the way towards achieving our target of US$10 million."

The Trust Fund was established last year by the IMO Council to mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the international treaty which led to the establishment of IMO. The aim of the Fund is to provide for:

  • the erection of an International Memorial to Seafarers, at IMO headquarters on the River Thames.·180
  • the establishment of a Chair on maritime safety and pollution prevention at the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.·180
  • the provision of fellowships to students at certain maritime institutes around the world, and·180
  • any other activity related to the training of seafarers, as might be determined by the administrators of the Fund.·180

The biggest donation to the Fund so far has come from the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which has contributed US$500,000. The Secretary-General said: "The fact that the ITF, which represents so many of the world's seafarers, has made such a generous donation to the Fund is most encouraging. In the past the ITF has made generous contributions to the World Maritime University and various other IMO activities and we have worked closely together in many ways. This latest donation shows that we have the backing of the seafaring community and I would like to express my great appreciation to the ITF for its support."

Since the Fund was announced on 24 September last year - World Maritime Day - progress has also been made in establishing a Board of Trustees from eminent members of the shipping community.