World Maritime Day – Theme 2021
The 30th of September marks the World Maritime Day. Organised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), this year’s theme will be ‘Seafarers: at the core of Shipping’s Future’.
Marked heavily by COVID, an increased importance is being given to the Seafarer’s conditions, as per emphasised on the Day of the Seafarer 2021.
In his yearly speech, IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, noted how the vaccination programme is offering a glimmer of hope to seafarers. He also stressed however that, the situation is still quite desperate, with hundreds of thousands of seafarers who either can’t leave ships, or else cannot join. He described this as a ‘humanitarian crisis’ which threatens global trade and safe navigation. Mr. Kitack Lim also urged governments to recognise seafarers as Key workers, therefore also giving them priority in their vaccination programmes.
Mr. Kitack Lim, also noted how seafarers need protection from other major issues, such as traumatic and/or deadly piracy incidents.
In the coming year the World Maritime Theme will also highlight other issues, mainly related to the human element. These will include, safety, and security, well-being, training, and qualifications relating to digitalization and automation.
As from the 30th of September 2021, the IMO building will be lit in a blue light to honour the vital role of seafarers. This symbolic gesture will happen yearly to promote their importance today and throughout the years.
The IMO is also encouraging other Member States to join in this initiative by lighting up their buildings, bridges, ports, monuments, ships and museums amongst others.
An online webinar is being organised on September 30th at 12:00 BST via Microsoft Teams Live. Access is available via this link.
Social media participation is encouraged, using the hashtag #WorldMaritimeDay.