27th annual World Maritime Day
IMO: Focus on maritime security
Today marks World
Maritime Day, the annual occasion when, all around the world, attention is focussed
on an issue of major significance to the work of IMO. This year's focus is on
an issue of global importance - maritime security. On this day we also take
the opportunity to highlight, in particular, IMO's work in promoting safe and
secure shipping and protection of the marine environment and the key role of
shipping in support of world trade.
Addressing the international maritime community in his World Maritime Day message,
IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos commended governments and
the shipping industry for their efforts in ensuring the timely implementation
of the IMO maritime security measures, including the International Ship and
Port Facility Security Code - the ISPS Code, which were adopted in 2002 and
entered into force on 1 July 2004.
But he warned
that the new international maritime security measures are in force, we must
not make the mistake of resting on our laurels and assuming the work has been
completed. The risks are too high to allow for any hint of complacency and we
must make sure that high levels of vigilance and awareness are maintained and
built upon until they become second nature throughout the shipping and port
industries. Terrorism is not a matter of concern to one country or a group of
countries - it is a global issue that affects us all and we should spare no
effort to ensure that, together, we build a robust and resilient defence,"
Mr. Mitropoulos said.
highlighted the fact that, in a broader context, IMO's work in the realm of
maritime security also provides support for its objectives in enhancing safety
and also preventing pollution of the marine environment. "The detrimental
impact on the environment of a successful attack on a ship laden with oil, chemicals
or other hazardous or noxious substances could be immense and, by raising our
defences against terrorists, we are providing further protection in this respect,"
Mr. Mitropoulos said.
of the IMO global technical co-operation programme on maritime security was
particularly important in helping Member States, especially those in the developing
world, to fully and effectively implement the security measures, Mr. Mitropoulos
noted. A Maritime Security Trust Fund has been established to provide a dedicated
source of financial support for IMO maritime security technical co-operation
Maritime Day celebrations conclude at IMO's London Headquarters on Thursday
evening with the customary reception for members of the London diplomatic and
The International Maritime Organization is the United Nations specialized agency
with responsibility for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine
pollution by ships.
Every year IMO
celebrates World Maritime Day. The exact date is left to individual Governments
but is usually celebrated during the last week in September. This year, IMO
is celebrating the day on Thursday, 30 September 2003.
World Maritime Day
is used to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety and the marine
environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. To mark the
occasion, the Secretary-General of IMO prepares a special message (attached)
and this is backed up by a paper which discusses the selected subject in greater
The full text of
the message and the background paper can also be found on the IMO Web site at
http://www.imo.org (Click on
About and World Maritime Day or go direct to: http://www.imo.org/home.asp?topic_id=320
A photograph of
Mr. Mitropoulos is available on request.
information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Senior External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3153 (email@example.com)
Natasha Brown, External Relations Officer on 020 7587 3274 (firstname.lastname@example.org