The secretary-general of the International Maritime Office (IMO), Kitack Lim of South Korea, will lead the gathering today (Saturday) of thousands of seafarers for the International Seafarers’ Day at the SM Convention Center (SMX) in Pasay City.
Philippine Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) Administrator Maximo Mejia Jr., other government officials, students from maritime schools and representatives of non-governmental organizations will be joining Lim in the event.
The IMO head is expected to talk about his insights and plans for the estimated 1.5 million seafarers all over the world.
IMO, organized in 1948 with 171 member states and three associate members, is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping. Its main role is to create a regulatory framework for the shipping industry that is fair and effective, universally adopted and universally implemented.
This year’s theme is “At Sea For All,” which highlights the indispensability of seafarers and the shipping industry to people all over the world.
The International Seafarers’ Day is an official United Nations event under the auspices of the IMO, which aims to increase awareness among the general public of the world’s 1.5 million seafarers for their unique, and all-too-often overlooked, contribution to the world economy.
International shipping transports more than 80 percent of global trade to peoples and communities all over the world. It 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 Philippines plays a key role in the annual observance of the Seafarers’ Day as June 25 was chosen by the IMO during the Manila Convention held in 2010 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Glenn Ang, program director of SM Global Pinoy, said SM has always recognized the valuable contributions of the country’s seafarers and other overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) to the country and to their families, which is why the SM Global Pinoy Program was launched.
“SM Global Pinoy has been created with our OFWs in mind. This includes our seamen who, with their dedication, hard work and expertise, have made the Philippines one of the top producers of seafarers. We recognize and honor them through our hosting of this momentous event on June 25,” Ang said.