Today the Pacific Community (SPC), the leading regional technical body in the maritime transport sector, hosts a joint celebratory session of World Maritime Day with representatives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Pacific Island countries members to highlight the essential role of shipping and ports for the people of the Pacific region.
This year, the World Maritime Day theme is “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” which reaffirms that shipping is the lifeline of Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). It is crucial for trade, and impacts upon virtually all aspects of socio-economic and sustainable development.
The theme was chosen as a way to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistical areas and to emphasise the critical link between shipping, ports and people as a platform for job opportunities, prosperity and a sustainable resource community.
SPC Deputy Director General, Audrey Aumua noted the importance of recognising the key role of maritime development to the organisation, “SPC is proudly supporting the maritime development of its Pacific Island country members and celebrates World Maritime Day each year as a recognition that shipping is the lifeline of the Pacific region.”
“As a United Nations agency, IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade. The port and maritime sectors can be wealth creators, both on land and at sea,” said by IMO representative, Mr Jan de Boer, Senior Legal Officer, Legal Affairs Office, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division.
With shipping, trade and economic development inextricably linked, access to reliable, affordable and efficient shipping services is a critical component to the economic growth strategy of individual PICTs and the region collectively.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and handled by ports worldwide. In the Pacific, the impact is even greater with more than 90 per cent of all trade carried by ship.
World Maritime Day celebrations will be taking place across the Pacific region as SPC joins Pacific island nations, territories and organisations in highlighting the maritime sector as a lifeline for the people of the region.
Here are some statements from our Pacific Island countries representatives.
Quote by Mavis Joseph-Logavatu, President of PacWIMA – “Women, we lend a feminine touch to the maritime sector, we transcend all aspects of shipping with SDG 5, be it a maritime professional or a wife, mother or daughter and we are a pool of resource that the sector can utilise."
“Kiribati, like any other small Island in the Pacific contributes directly to shipping services, not only domestically but also within the region and throughout the world and our people, both ashore and on-board are those connecting 'ships, ports and people,” Ruoikabuti Tioon, Director of Marine, Ministry of Communication, Information, Transport, Tourism Development, Kiribati
Quote by Junior N. Ngatokorua, Compliance Manager Marine Division, Ministry of Transport, Cook Islands – “The Cook Islands is a maritime nation relying on international and domestic shipping to service our needs. It is our aim to provide friendly, affordable, safety and sustainable transportation for our people”.