WMU 30th Anniversary Celebrated at IMO
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Wednesday (10 July 2013) celebrated the 30th anniversary of the founding of the World Maritime University. The event included speeches from the current and former WMU Chancellors and the WMU President as well as a reception.
”For 30 years, WMU has performed, and delivered, at the very highest level. It has achieved everything its founders could ever have envisaged, and much, much more. It has grown into an institution of truly world class, with an international presence and a global outreach,” said IMO Secretary-General and WMU Chancellor Koji Sekimizu, who also read out messages of support from Mr. Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, which has given much support to WMU over the years, in terms of sponsorship and financial assistance, and from the ”founding father” of WMU, IMO Secretary-General Emeritus Dr. C.P. Srivastava, who was instrumental in establishing WMU when he was IMO Secretary-General.
Additional speakers included: Mr. William A. O'Neil, Chancellor Emeritus and Secretary-General Emeritus; Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Chancellor Emeritus and Secretary-General Emeritus; Dr. Wendy Watson-Wright, Assistant Director General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Executive Secretary, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO); Mrs. Nancy Karigithu, Director General of the Kenya Maritime Authority, Kenya, Chairman of IMO’s Technical Co‑operation Committee and Member of the WMU Board of Governors; Mr. Cong Peiwu, Minister at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in London; Dr. Takeshi Nakazawa, Secretary to the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU); Mr. Torben Skaanild, Secretary General/CEO of BIMCO and Chairman, WMU Executive Board; and Dr. Björn Kjerfve, President, WMU.
In her remarks, WMU Board of Governors Member Mrs. Nancy Karigithu said “WMU has become a unique organization serving the international community. [WMU] Graduates across the globe comprise one of the strongest pillars of cooperation in the maritime community.” She continued to note the words of WMU founding father, C.P. Srivastava, “The whole world works better if shipping works better…north, south, east and west are only directions, and not part of the world.” And Mr. William A. O'Neil, Chancellor Emeritus and Secretary-General Emeritus noted that WMU is “the greatest technical cooperation program the IMO has ever undertaken.”
The final speaker of the evening was Dr. Björn Kjerfve, President of WMU. He noted the success of the university over the past three decades in establishing an international reputation in both teaching and research at the highest level. He continued by thanking the staff, faculty, and visiting professors throughout the life of the University for their dedication and support noting, “The University is an achievement that has touched the lives of graduates, their employers and families, and the resident and visiting faculty who have taught them. The University has also had a real effect on the economic growth of developing countries, and we are proud to have played our part in the development of a safe and environmentally sensitive industry.”
The event was attended by over 250 individuals, including more than 35 alumni who work at IMO or are part of their national delegations to IMO, members of the WMU Board of Governors, Executive Board, and a number of current faculty and WMU staff. The Class of 2013 MLP students happened to be in London to visit IMO on a field study and participated in the celebrations as well. It was a memorable event that not only reflected on 30 years of WMU’s service to the maritime community, but looked forward with inspiration to the new facilities that will house WMU at the close of 2014, and many more decades of educating the maritime leaders of the future.