Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been celebrating its major anniversaries during 2018, with focus on the achievements of past decades as well as the challenges of the future, as the Organization seeks to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.
The Convention establishing IMO was adopted on 6 March 1948 and it entered into force ten years later, on 17 March 1958, when the 21stState ratified the treaty. IMO’s first meeting was held in London on 6 January 1959, at Church House in Westminster, central London.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his annual World Maritime Day Message said: ‘IMO’s heritage for 70 years has been to drive improvements in shipping to achieve a better world today. Our challenge for the years to come remains – to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to create better shipping – for a better future.’
On 27 September, IMO and the global maritime community celebrate the annual World Maritime Day, under the theme: IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future.
Shipping transports more than 80% of global trade to people and communities all over the world. IMO has adopted more than 50 international instruments, which cover all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, crewing, navigation, operation and disposal.
Secretary-General Lim added: ‘Since its beginning, IMO has worked to ensure that people all over the world can continue to benefit from shipping in a manner that meets the needs of the global economy, and also changing expectations about safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and so on.’
Individual governments are encouraged to mark World Maritime Day, on a date of their choosing but usually in the last week of September.
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.
The Secretary General’s World Maritime Day video message is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=_TlR9X_nKo8
On 11 February the PAC published as evidence a National Audit Office memorandum titled:
The award of contracts for additional freight capacity on ferry services
The document is available here: www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/public-accounts/Correspondence/2017-19/Memorandum%20for%20PAC%20-%20The%20award%20of%20contracts%20for%20ferry%20services.pdf
PAC Chair Meg Hillier MP commented: ‘The scrapping of the Seaborne contract, and the NAO review we have published today, raise serious issues which we will explore at our session on progress with Brexit preparations on Wednesday (13 February).
It was announced on 8 February that IMO has launched a new logo for its Women in Maritime programme, as part of its mission to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Programme lead Helen Buni said: ‘The IMO Women in Maritime programme supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition’, through a wide range of gender-specific activities. The new logo is just one visible part of the programme and will help women in maritime gain more visibility and exposure throughout the maritime sector and beyond.’