World Maritime Day was celebrated across Planet Ocean yesterday afternoon being more than a great success. 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 World Maritime Day stories.
A more than stimulating debate on shipping’s future challenges took place at IMO Headquarters in London, with its Main Hall full and 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 debate was moderated by Julian Bray, the Editor-in-Chief of Tradewinds and panellists included:
Karin Orsel, CEO MF Shipping Group, vice-chairman of ICS, board member of ISWAN and WISTA International president; Alistair Lindsay, Global head of Inbound Logistics and Wholesale Operations of global retailer TESCO Plc; Rear Admiral Chris Parry CBE, retired naval officer, writer and broadcaster and Hassiba Benamara, Economic Affairs officer of UNCTAND’s Division on Technology and Logistics. I guess all contributed to their best of their ability but afterwards, collecting…info it seems that Rear Admiral Chris Parry won the day! It was a very difficult subject and hope that a further debate must take place and the venue to be connected with all continents so that we have live the questions and statements.
Karine Langlois from the IMO communication and media department, coordinated the international communications centre dealing with all questions emanating around the world and after each session of the debate, she was asked to provide a number of questions so that the audience can hear and the panel can respond accordingly. That was unique!
There were over 15 questions on various issues on all topics discussed; noted those from Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Katharina Stanzel, Peter Hinchliffe, country representatives, independent attendees and indeed from students of the Southampton University present in the Main Hall.
Hassiba Benamara’s slides presentation was fine giving an overall “recap” on where we stand presently, but some issues need more to be discussed as time for extensive exchanges was limited. In our view the political and geopolitical aspects need to be address more thoroughly!
The day rounded off at IMO Headquarters with the traditional evening reception at the Organisation’s mezzanine floor where over 500 guests were entertained. Excellent dips and drinks, networking to the fore, tranquil live music by an excellent quartet and interesting to see many women and men with traditional national costumes.
Who wasn’t there! The former Secretary-General and Mrs. W. O’ Neil, the new Greek Ambassador Dimitris Caramitsos-Tziras, Spiros Polemis, Stahes Kulukundis, Ravi and Manju Mehrotra, Inge Mitchel on a wheel chair, what an effort, the Bahamian High Commissioner Eldred E. Bethel, LR’s Constantin Corniuc, John Bradshow from IMCA, The Maltese Maritime Attache Dr. Michaela Muscat, Dr. Karen Purnell from ITOPF and Robert M. Limb from Oil Spill Response, and Rear Admiral Christiano Aliperta.
From Athens Dorothea Ioannou with Vincent J. Solarino (from the US) and Boriana Farrar all from the American Club, Nigel Cleave and Capt. Milind J. Karkhanis from Videotel and Anneley Pickles from KVH, Captain Flavian Kamath D’ Souza from the honourable Company of Master Mariners, Dr. Ilona Denisenko from IMHA, Elizabeth Mavropoulou from the Human Rights at Sea, veteran journalist Michael Grey, Dimitris Mitsatsos and Christiana Prekezes from HELMEPA, Captain Douglas Bell, Kostas Ladas from the Liberian Registry’s London office and dozens of others, including members of the IMO Secretariat!
There was a brief statement by the Secretary-General Kitack Lim for the day; he was warmly applauded.
We hope that all the World recognises that indeed Shipping is indispensable to the world! We need to preserve and enhance the image of Shipping to all intents and purposes!