The World Maritime Day theme for 2016 is "Shipping: indispensable to the world".
The theme was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. The importance of shipping to support and sustain today's global society gives IMO's work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide. These shares are even higher in the case of most developing countries. Without shipping the import and export of goods on the scale necessary to sustain the modern world would not be possible.
Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs.
There are more than 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations and manned by more than a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
Over the past 50 years and more, IMO has developed and adopted a comprehensive framework of global regulations covering maritime safety, environmental protection, legal matters and other areas. Under this regulatory framework, shipping has become progressively safer, more efficient and more environment-friendly.
World Maritime Day celebrations
World Maritime Day was celebrated across the globe on Thursday 29 September. From Trinidad and Tobago, where celebrations in Port of Spain involved the whole community with ship visits and maritime themed activities, to the Pacific, where school children in the Cook Islands got the chance to visit a merchant ship. Maritime training institutes, seafarers, shipping companies and organizations as well as Governments from South Africa to Canada shared their #WorldMaritimeDay stories.
A stimulating debate on shipping’s future challenges took place at IMO Headquarters in London (photos), with thousands tuning in worldwide via online participation and hundreds of people submitting their questions to the panel, from Peru to New Zealand. On social media, hundreds of thousands of people engaged with the theme - Shipping: indispensable to the world. The day rounded off at IMO Headquarters with the traditional evening reception (photos here.).
"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for