World Maritime Day 2018

On 27 September 2018, World Maritime Day will be celebrated at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London as well as around the world. This year, IMO celebrates 70 years since the Convention establishing the Organization was adopted, 60 years since it entered into force, 40 years ago (1978) marking the celebration of the first World Maritime Day and 35 years since the World Maritime University (WMU) was established.

The World Maritime Day theme for the year is "IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future". This provides the opportunity to take stock and look back, but also to look forward, addressing current and future challenges for maritime transport to maintain a continued and strengthened contribution towards sustainable growth for all. More than 80 per cent of global trade is transported by sea and more than 50 international instruments have been adopted by the IMO covering all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, crewing, navigation, operation and disposal.  

In celebration of World Maritime Day, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU President, stated “Shipping is indispensable to global trade, and IMO has played a critical role in ensuring that international instruments adopted by it are ratified and effectively implemented while providing technical assistance to developing countries to enable them to them to participate in global discussions and to implement these instruments in law and in practice. As IMO celebrates its 70th Anniversary, a new road map to a better future has already been drawn with the prospective implementation of the 0.50% sulphur limit on 1 January 2020. With the celebration by WMU this year of its 35th anniversary, we can map the impact the university has had in supporting IMO by educating maritime experts, particularly from developing countries, to support the effective implementation of global standards and promote a level playing field. We applaud IMO for its vision when in 1983 it established WMU. It is truly a remarkable academic institution – a university for the world, dedicated to advancing maritime and ocean education, research and capacity-building.”

World Maritime Day was first held in 1978 to mark the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the IMO Convention that established the Organization. Since then, World Maritime Day celebrations have been held throughout the world to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security and the marine environment and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. Since 2005, in addition to the official IMO celebrations held at IMO Headquarters in London, there has been a Parallel Event hosted by a member State. This year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event was held in Poland, from 13 to 15 June. President Doumbia-Henry participated on a panel regarding “The Future of the Maritime Labour Market.”

World Maritime Day celebrations are usually held during the last week in September each year. To view the 2018 World Maritime Day video featuring IMO Secretary-General, Mr. Kitack Lim, click here.