The Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA) joins the world in commemorating World Maritime Day. World Maritime Day was first held in 1978 to mark the 20th anniversary of the IMO Convention’s entry into force. It focuses on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and the marine environment. This year’s theme, Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet, provides flexibility to the Secretariat and the Member States in highlighting the myriad of topics and challenges in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
At the same time, it provides excellent opportunities to underline the significant contributions of shipping and the IMO to building that sustainable future. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the significance of the shipping industry as a leading facilitator of the global economy.
Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization, Kitack Lim reinforced this reality during his World Maritime Day message as he emphasized the role of the sector during the pandemic. According to him; “ In these challenging times, the ability of the shipping services and seafarers to deliver essential goods, including medical supplies, food, and fuel is central to responding to, and overcoming this crisis. The pandemic has shown that shipping, the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective method of international transportation that carries more than 80% of global trade, remains the leading facilitator of the global economy.”
Today, in addition to recognizing the influence of the shipping industry and the efforts of the IMO and organizations alike, SLASPA celebrates the achievements of the Division of Maritime (DMA) Affairs. The division, through the framework of the International Maritime Organization, facilitates and promotes the safety of maritime business in Saint Lucia.
To date, the DMA has trained and certified more than 500 boat masters and seafarers across the island. “The theme Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet increases the awareness of the International Maritime Organization/United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the strategies in which we will achieve them. It also presents an avenue to showcase the work of Saint Lucia’s Division of Maritime Affairs and its impact on the long-term interest of the island’s maritime sector.” Stated the Director of Maritime Affairs, Christopher Alexander.
Throughout September, the Authority embarked on a knowledge campaign geared toward raising public awareness of maritime. To close the curtain of this month-long activity the division of Maritime Affairs hosted a panel discussion on September 25, 2020 at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ports, Energy and Labor. The day’s proceedings ended with the launch of the Division of Maritime Affairs official website https://www.slaspa.com/maritime/index.php