World Maritime Day – September 24
World Maritime Day is celebrated on 24 September 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.
“Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” has been selected as the World Maritime Day theme for 2020. The Theme is chosen to provide an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to showcase the work that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its members undertake.
Why we celebrate World Maritime Day
In 1948, the United Nations adopted a convention to establish the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping. As a part of this framework, the IMO established World Maritime Day, celebrated yearly to focus on one aspect of the maritime industry.
International shipping transports more than 80% of global trade to peoples and communities all over the world. Shipping is the most efficient and cost-effective method of international transportation for most goods; it provides a dependable, low-cost means of transporting goods globally, facilitating commerce, and helping to create prosperity among nations and peoples.
The world relies on a safe, secure, and efficient international shipping industry, which is an essential component of any program for future sustainable green economic growth in a sustainable manner. The promotion of sustainable shipping and sustainable maritime development is one of the major priorities of IMO in the coming years.
The Maritime contribution to many of the SDGs is peripheral, it would be fair to say that the world relies on International shipping and benefits from its smooth operation, by which food, commodities, raw material, energy, and consumer goods are moved reliable and effectively around the globe at low cost. International shipping is, therefore, central to the functioning of global trade by connecting producers, manufacturers, and consumers and, as such, provides a way for IMO member states to enhance trade with one another.
The maritime sector, which includes shipping, ports, and the people that operate them, can and should play a significant role helping the Member States to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity, and stability ashore through promoting trade by sea, enhancing the port and maritime sector as wealth creators both on land and, through developing a sustainable blue economy, at sea. The biggest maritime threat to countries is the failure to appreciate the value of the maritime sector.
World Maritime Day is marked around the world in a series of events and celebrations led by IMO from its London headquarters. Seafaring nations, coastal states, and the shipping industry stage conferences, seminars, and public events under the 2020 theme “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet”. This year mostly the celebration will be in the form of an online event, due to social distancing measures caused by the pandemic.
World Maritime Day draws together people from around the world to help them understand how the maritime industry impacts global and economic development throughout history and how vital it is to world trade. World Maritime Day also draws attention to the marine environment, shipping safety, and maritime security.
Suggested Read: National Maritime Day
Interesting facts about shipping
The economy relies on ships to transport commodities, fuel, goods, and products.
It’s the least environmentally polluting form of commercial transport.
Seaborne trade brings benefits through competitive freight costs.
Almost everyone in the world relies on shipping to some extent.
The largest ship in the world can carry and transport the Eiffel tower comfortably.
The most commonly shipped items are food, clothing, furniture, and electronics.
At any given time, there are about 20 million shipping containers making their journey across the seas.
Shipping by boat is a more eco-friendly alternative compared to trucks and planes. Although, it’s a slower way to transport goods.