World Maritime Day to Be Observed on 29th September [ Current Affairs ]

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29th September is being observed as the World Maritime Day across the world from 1978. This symbolizes the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment. To mark this day International Maritime Organization (IMO), member Governments, and maritime industry has organized several events.

* This date was adopted as world maritime day in 1958 by IMO.

  • “Shipping: indispensable to the world” is the theme of 2016 which mainly focuses on the critical relation between shipping and global society.
  • The theme also spreads awareness about the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping.

Key Facts

  • Around 80% of global trade by volume and 70% of global trade by value is supported by sea routes. This is handled by ports worldwide (according to UNCTAD- United Nations Conference on Trade and Development).
  • In the case of most developing countries, this share is higher.
  • Import and export of goods is not possible without shipping
  • Currently, more than 50,000 merchants are doing ship trading internationally and transporting every kind of cargo. These are operated by more than a million seafarers.
  • IMO has developed and approved a complete framework of global regulations which covers legal matters, maritime safety, environmental protection and other areas in last 50 years.
  • Shipping becomes more efficient, safer and environment-friendly under this global regulatory framework.

About International Maritime Organization (IMO)

  • IMO was established in 1948 in Geneva and was restructured in 1959 to be known as Inter - Governmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) until 1982.
  • It is an expert agency of the United Nations responsible for enabling flexible shipping.
  • IMO is headquartered at London in United Kingdom.
  • IMO has 171 member states and 3 associate members.
  • Earlier in 1959, India joined IMO as a member - state.
  • The main purpose of IMO is to develop and maintain a widespread regulatory framework for shipping and popularize its policies as the way forward.
  • This framework includes several areas like safety, legal matters, environmental concerns, technical co-operation, maritime security, and efficiency of shipping.
  • IMO Council is made up of 40 member countries elected by the IMO Assembly. It plays an important role in determining matters associated with global shipping industry.

- Published on: September 29, 2016