Bahrain hosted international industry seminar as part of World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2012 Top maritime experts discussed ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ at World Maritime Day Parallel Event

Top maritime experts to discuss ‘Safety of Life at Sea’

17th October 2012

The Ministry of Transportation’s Ports and Maritime Affairs (PMA), in coordination with International Maritime Organization (IMO) kicked-off the World Maritime Day Parallel Event programme with a seminar held under the patronage of HE Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed, Minister of Transportation.

The seminar, which was attended by the IMO Secretary-General Mr. Koji Sekimizu, representatives from the IMO Member States, maritime industry professionals, local industry players and stakeholders focused on the World Maritime Day 2012 theme: ‘IMO: One hundred years after the Titanic”, and highlighted the improvements made over the past 100 years in ensuring the safety of life at sea.

The seminar commenced with two keynote addresses by the Minister of Transportation and the IMO Secretary-General. In his address, the Minister of Transportation thanked the IMO for selecting the Kingdom of Bahrain to host this year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event. His Excellency then reflected on the incident of the Titanic and how it served as a wake-up call on the importance of adopting international treaties and standards on safety at sea and to follow with their application and enforcement.

In turn, the IMO Secretary-General acknowledged Bahrain’s long-standing seafaring and maritime history and then reiterated how this year’s theme has provided an opportunity not only to reflect on how much things have improved since the Titanic sinking in 1912 and how this has helped in reinforcing commitment in preventing such reoccurrences as well as promoting major shipping nations to take decisive action to address maritime safety. Mr. Koji Sekimizu also highlighted the IMO’s role in ensuring to address today’s pressing safety and environmental concerns proactively, and promote the use of latest technologies. Mr. Sekimizu concluded his speech by thanking the Government of Bahrain represented by the Ministry of Transportation for hosting this event.

Around 200 delegates attended the seminar as well as the gala dinner, held yesterday evening Bahrain National Museum in celebration of the event’s kick off.

In addition to the seminar, international delegates will be taken on site visits to key maritime locations including the state-of-the-art Khalifa Bin Salman Port and Ship Building and Repair Yard (ASRY) on the second day of the event programme. A cultural programme has also been arranged for the spouses of those international delegates who are accompanying them. This programme includes stops at key attraction sites including Al Fateh Mosque, Manama Souq, and Shaikh Ebrahim Culture Centre.

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: 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. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be sponsoring the lunch on the second day of the event programme.

Prior to the event, a meeting was held by the PMA with top-level representatives from the GCC ports and the representative of the IMO. This is part of the regional ports’ collaboration and cooperation, where they discussed issues of mutual concern and importance and the possibility of befitting form the technical assistance offered by the IMO. Following the meeting, the GCC delegates were taken on a site tour to Khalifa Bin Salman Port and the Seafarers’ Centre, inaugurated by PMA during last year’s Bahrain Maritime Festival.

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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