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Open letter to Seafarers from IMO Secretary-General

4 March, 2011

IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos has reached out to seafarers in an open letter, distributed worldwide via shipping and seafarer organizations.

In the letter, he recounts the three main objectives of increasing public awareness of seaborne trade; letting seafarers know they are recognized and appreciated and to strengthen regulatory efforts improve safety and security within the maritime environment.

The achievements of Year of the seafarer included may conferences seminars and workshops etc all focusing on seafarers and the vital role they play in the world economy and commerce. Acknowledgement hardships faced by seafarers that cannot be solved by publicity alone and more needs to be done to impress upon the general public the importance of seafaring to their daily lives and to bring about more improvement in working conditions through increased awareness.

He considered that the unanimously adopted resolution  at the 2010 Manila Conference,“Year of the Seafarer” expressing appreciation for the contribution of seafarers to world economy and society as a whole helped meet the second objective. Additionally, the declaration of 25th June as the annual “Day of the Seafarer” to increase public awareness of the immense contribution to society by to efforts of seafarers.

Mr. Mitropoulos also talks of the efforts made to address the piracy problem that has gone on too long and continues unabated saying, “we are neither proud of, nor content, with the results achieved so far.” Hence the decision of the IMO council to adopt “Piracy orchestrating the response” as the theme for World Maritime Day 2011 on September 23rd. He explains that this was to encourage decisive and effective global action against piracy. He also stressed the need for seafarers to play their part in the rigorous application of BMP3 consistently and conscientiously without let up.

The full text of the letter is available Here

Jim Nicoll

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