Morocco has hosted the 2014 IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event (27 to 29 October 2014), with a conference and other activities, focusing on this year's World Maritime Day theme: “IMO conventions: effective implementation”.
The parallel event was opened by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, who began by handing the official IMO parallel event flag to Mr. Aziz Rebbah, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics, Kingdom of Morocco.
Some 300 representatives from the maritime community in Morocco and other countries, non-governmental organizations and academia, attended a conference and exhibition. A high-level session on 27 October focused on: the role of the International Maritime Organization in the preparation of international maritime conventions and regulations; the three main groups of IMO conventions: safety, environment and liability and compensation; and effective implementation of IMO conventions: national experiences.
Speakers included: Mr. Jeffrey Lantz, Chairman, IMO Council; Mr. José Maura, Director, IOPC Funds; Mr. Andrew Winbow, Director, Maritime Safety Division, IMO; Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division, IMO; Mr. Giorgio Berlingieri, Vice-President, Comité Maritime International; and Mr. Miguel Palomares, former Director, Marine Environment Division, IMO. On the national experience, speakers included: Mr. Julio Berzosa Navazo, Algeciras Maritime Captain; Mrs. Meriem Hrouch, Law Counsellor for the Administration in the General Secretariat of the Government of Morocco; and Mr. Mourad El Fadil, Director of Research and Law Studies at the General Secretariat of the Government of Morocco.
The second day of the parallel event was focused on presenting maritime Morocco, its heritage, its achievements and its new strategies and objectives for an accelerated relaunch of integrated and sustainable development of the Kingdom's maritime sector, as well as national and international best practices and success stories.
Speakers included: Mrs. Bahija Simou, Director of the Royal Archives, Morocco; Mr. Younes Tazi, Director-General of the Moroccan Agency for Development and Logistics (AMDL); Mr. Mohammed Merzagui, Director of the Merchant Marine, Morocco; and Mr. Taoufik Elktiri, Director of Sea Fishing and Aquaculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fishing, Morocco.
At the close of the second day, the participants adopted by acclamation the Tangier Statement: "Effective implementation of IMO conventions, foundation for sustainable development of the maritime sector".
Finally, the flag of the World Maritime Day 2015 Parallel Event was handed over by Mr. Najib Boulif, Minister Delegate, in charge of Transport, of Morocco, to Mr. Toshiki Sakurai, Senior Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, representing the host for next year’s Parallel Event, Japan. At the same time, a commemorative plaque was presented to Morocco by IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu.
The third day of the Morocco World Maritime Day Parallel Event included visits to Morocco’s maritime infrastructure, including Cape Spartel, with its historic lighthouse, the port of the city of Tangier which is being restructured, Cape Malabata, the Maritime Traffic Surveillance Centre in the Strait of Gibraltar (Tangier Traffic VTS) and the modern port complex of Tanger Méditerranée, one of the largest in Africa and the Euro-Mediterranean region.
Photos of the parallel event can be downloaded here