"Connecting Ships, Ports and People" has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017. The theme was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas.
The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea; enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea.
World Maritime Day 2017 was formally celebrated at IMO on 28 September 2017 and was marked around the world in a series of events and celebrations led by IMO from its London headquarters. Seafaring nations, coastal states and the shipping industry staged conferences, seminars and public events under the 2017 theme “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”.
At IMO, the traditional diplomatic reception was preceded by a special visit for maritime students and young professionals from the maritime industries (photos). After a tour of the headquarters building they received presentations on some of the key topics IMO is dealing with, including safety, security and humanitarian issues. This was followed by a discussion on the interaction between IMO Member States, ports, seafarers and ship operators – and how this might be improved.
A meeting of the IMO Maritime Ambassadors (photos) was also held; these are spokespersons nominated by IMO Member States or NGOs to advocate on behalf of the maritime and seafaring professions, especially among younger audiences.
World Maritime Day also featured heavily in on-line and social media. It was supported by the United Nations in New York, which carried the message about the importance of IMO and shipping to the sustainable development goals on its home page.
World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme (2017 photos).
Official video message by Kitack Lim,
IMO Secretary-General, for World Maritime Day 2017
The aim of the 2017 theme is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, "Shipping: indispensable to the world", by focussing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.
In this way, IMO will be contributing to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are a broad response to the challenges facing the world today – increasing world population; climate change; threats to the environment; unsustainable exploitation of natural resources; threats to food security; societal threats posed by organized criminals and violent extremists; and instability leading to mixed migration.
Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people.
Students from all over the world meet at IMO Headquarters