Fourth pacific regional energy and transport ministers’ meeting
Remarks by Bekir Sitki Ustaoglu, Head, Asia and Pacific Section, Technical Cooperation Division, International Maritime Organisation (IMO)
TATTE Conference Centre, Apia, Samoa, 16-20 September 2019
Theme: Sustainable Energy and Transport Services for the Blue Pacific
Pacific Women In Maritime Association (PacWIMA) Committee and State Women in Maritime Association (WIMA) Presidents Meeting
Honourable Ministers, Delegates from Pacific Island Countries and Territories;
Representatives of Development Partners and international and regional organisations;
Colleagues from the Government of Samoa;
The Pacific Women In Maritime Association Executive Committee;
Presidents of the Women In Maritime in Associations from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru; Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Good morning to you all.
Firstly, I would like to convey greetings from the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Mr Kitack Lim.
Secondly, on behalf of the Secretary-General, I would like to thank the Government of Samoa for the invaluable collaboration and our colleagues at the Pacific Community (SPC) for their longstanding support in the region and for arranging all the administrative and logistical preparation that were essential, and for facilitating this meeting.
I would also like to thank the Government of Malaysia for funding this meeting under the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) of IMO.
Ladies and gentlemen,
IMO’s Women In Maritime programme has been in existence since 1988 and IMO has taken a strategic approach towards enhancing the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders. IMO continues to support the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts.
IMO is strongly committed to helping its Member States achieve the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 5 "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".
IMO's gender and capacity-building programme has helped put in place an institutional framework to incorporate a gender dimension into IMO's policies and procedures. This has supported access to maritime training and employment opportunities for women in the maritime sector.
With close collaboration with SPC, IMO is pleased to note the progress of gender equality and the empowerment of women in the Pacific maritime sector with initiatives taken by the Pacific Island Countries and Territories. IMO is pleased to note and recognise the strong leadership of Papua New Guinea in hosting the Secretariat of the Pacific Women In Maritime Association with the National Maritime Administration since April 2018.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The progress of women in maritime in the Pacific region can truly progress with the continued support of the Governments, Maritime Administration, Development Partners, Employers and our families. It is EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY.
The network of women can be utilised and complement the goals of the region for safe and secure shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. There is opportunity for PacWIMA and national WIMAs in addressing certain subjects such as safety of passenger ships, fishing boats, and marine litter at the community level i.e. community based approach. The WIMA network has great potential and is an essential partner in the region.
IMO is pleased to be working with SPC in progressing the leadership and contribution of women, visibility and maritime capacity development of women in the maritime sector.
The significant event this year in the Pacific region – the Day for Women In Maritime on the 18th May 2019 is testament to the determination from the Pacific. This has not gone unnoticed, with the Pacific leading the way for the Day for Women In Maritime to become a global phenomenon envisaged to be celebrated annually, with a vision that the Day for Women In Maritime becomes an IMO recognised annual event in addition to the Seafarers Day and the World Maritime Day. Another significant milestone is the development of the Regional Strategy for Pacific Women In Maritime 2020 – 2024 which will be launched tomorrow; a strong and positive testament to the region’s call to progress gender equality in the maritime sector and contributing to achieving SDG 5.
Whilst you are here to take stock of your progress since the second regional PacWIMA conference in April 2018 and identify and implement practical measures to strengthen collaboration with government agencies, civil society organizations and private sector to support women in the maritime sector; it is also essential to utilise this opportunity to plan ahead.
The Regional Strategy for Pacific Women In Maritime 2020 – 2024 will be your guiding document to achieve SDG 5 through better recognition, increased visibility and improved capacity and it is also essential to coordinate and monitor its implementation for tangible outcomes.
We are also interested to hear your planned activities/mobilization efforts driven by this year’s World Maritime Day theme – Empowering women in our maritime communities. We all have an important responsibility to empower each other and our women in our maritime communities. We also look forward to the programme and hosting for the next PacWIMA regional conference planned for 2020.
With your dedicated involvement, we have all the necessary ingredients for a productive discussion over the next two days and an excellent opportunity for exchanging views and sharing your experience with all, which will ensure a successful outcome to the Meeting. It is my hope that the discussions will greatly assist your countries in implementing the Regional Strategy for Pacific Women In Maritime 2020 – 2024.
I would like to end by expressing my good wishes to the PacWIMA Executive Committee, State WIMA Presidents of the countries represented here, and I look forward to a productive two days of fruitful discussions with tangible outcomes.
Thank you very much.