On 30 September 2021, IMO and the global maritime community come together to celebrate the annual World Maritime Day, with a focus on this year’s theme: “Seafarers: At the core of shipping’s future.”
As part of the celebrations, which are a fixture in the global shipping calendar, four seafarers will join in an interactive webinar to discuss issues of importance to the future of the sector.
In addition, the IMO Headquarters in London will be one of several iconic landmarks to be illuminated in blue, kicking off an annual initiative to unite the maritime community and raise awareness of the vital contribution of shipping to the world. It will also draw attention to seafarers and their core role in shipping and its future.
“Shipping drives world trade and that trade simply does not happen without seafarers. While the challenges of automation and digitalization – not to mention decarbonization – will drive change in shipping, we will always need well-trained and motivated seafarers. We must ensure a diverse and expert workforce for the ships of the twenty-first century and beyond,” said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
The 2021 theme was chosen as part of a year of action for seafarers, who play a vital role as key workers for global supply chains but are facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During 2021, IMO has interviewed several seafarers about topics of importance to them and the future of the sector. The profiles (on the IMO website and social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram) spotlight issues related to the human element of shipping, including the safety and security of life on board ships, seafarers’ well-being, and the importance of ensuring an appropriately trained and qualified workforce, ready to meet the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and automation.
UN Secretary-General Message on World Maritime Day
In a message issued on World Maritime Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said: “I renew my appeal to Governments to address their plight by formally designating seafarers and other marine personnel as “key workers”, ensuring safe crew changes, implementing established protocols, and allowing stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships.”