Bahrain to host international industry seminar as part of Bahrain maritime festival 2012

Top maritime experts to discuss ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ at World Maritime Day Parallel Event

10th October 2012

The Ministry of Transportation’s Ports and Maritime Affairs (PMA) has begun finalizing preparations for the exclusive one-day seminar set to kick-off the World Maritime Day Parallel Event as part of the Bahrain Maritime Festival 2012.

The event will be held under the patronage of the Minister of Transportation HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, with more than 100 delegates from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member states and regional and local maritime industry community expected to attend. The international event is scheduled to take place on 17- 18th October 2012.

The seminar part of the event will focus on the World Maritime Day 2012 theme: ‘IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic”, which calls back to the Organisation’s very roots, and will take stock of the improvements made over the past 100 years in ensuring the safety of life at sea. The event will be attended by the Secretary General of the IMO, Mr. Koji Sekimizu.

In addition, industry leaders from around the world are expected to address a broad audience of the maritime community at the seminar. The leading speakers include: Deputy Director-General, Danish Maritime Authority and Chairman of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, Mr. Christian Breinholt; Senior Vice President of International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA), Mr. Otavia Fragoso; Vice President of Technical and Regulatory Affairs, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), Mr. Charles Darr; Secretary General, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) & International Shipping Federation (ISF), Commander Peter Hinchliffe; Marine Director of Lloyd’s Register, Mr. Tom Boardley; Managing Director of the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) Ms Katharina Stanzel; Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Maritime Safety Division, IMO, Captain Andy Winbow; and the Deputy Director and Head of the Arab and Africa (Francophone) Section, Technical Co-operation Division of the IMO, Mr. Mohammed El Housseini-Hilal.

Commenting on the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, His Excellency Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed said: “Bahrain has always been an active member state of the International Maritime Organisation, and the Ports and Maritime Affairs is a strong supporter of the Organisation’s initiatives.

“This year’s Bahrain Maritime Festival will provide an excellent platform for top maritime experts to discuss the existing safety culture in shipping, highlight the challenges faced in maritime safety and explore industry-wide mechanisms towards a new paradigm for safety of life at sea. We at the PMA believe that the seminar will help reinforce co-operation and strengthen international relations among all IMO member states, bolstering safety at sea. We also extend our sincere thanks to our sponsors for their interest and support.”

Speaking ahead of the one-day seminar, the Secretary General of the IMO, Mr. Sekimizu said: “We look forward to our participation at the one-day seminar organised by the Ports and Maritime Affairs, to mark the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, as part of the BMF celebrations in Bahrain. Shipping today is safer and more environmentally friendly than it has ever been. A century after the Titanic was lost, the IMO is striving to ensure continual improvement in safety at sea and we believe that the seminar will open the platform to reinforce our commitment to ensure stronger international capabilities are available to handle the safety of life at sea.”

As part of this year’s BMF celebrations, the second day will include a number of site visits to key maritime locations within the Kingdom, including the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port and the Arab Ship Building and Repair Yard (ASRY).

A number of companies have come forward to support, sponsor and be a part of the BMF 2012 activities, and to mark this signature event – the WMDPE 2012. These sponsors include: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company (GPIC), Al Jazeera Shipping Co. W.L.L., APM Terminals Bahrain, Almoayed Wilhelmsen Ltd., and GAC Bahrain, in addition to Marine BizTV as media partners.

World Maritime Day is an annual global initiative launched by the IMO and celebrated every year in London during the last week of September. In 2005, the IMO Council decided to hold the Parallel Day Event in one of the IMO member states aimed at raising the profile of shipping around the world for additional celebrations. The Kingdom of Bahrain will be the eighth country in the world to host this highly prestigious event. Both World Maritime Day and the Parallel Event are used 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.

The Kingdom of Bahrain pioneered the idea of the Bahrain Maritime Festival (BMF) in 2010, conceptualizing the week-long activity-filled celebration based on the IMO theme for the year or touch directly on the maritime industry. The Festival aims to generate greater awareness of Bahrain’s growing achievements and developments, raise awareness of the impact of the maritime industry on daily life, and further position Bahrain as a pioneer in the global maritime industry.

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