The Department of Foreign Affairs joins the community of nations in celebrating World Maritime Day, in recognition of the professionalism and sacrifice of over two million seafarers, a good number of whom are Filipinos, serving on the world’s merchant fleet throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Maritime Day was established by the UN in 1978, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the International Maritime Organization Convention, to raise awareness about the importance of the shipping industry and its vital role and contribution to global commerce.
This year’s theme, “New technologies for greener shipping” is a call to action to support an inclusive green transition for the maritime sector towards a sustainable future. This theme hopes to promote inclusive innovation, research and development, and cooperation in technology, in pursuit of solutions for decarbonization and more environmentally friendly shipping.
It is befitting that this annual commemoration also happens in the same month as the Philippines’ celebration of MANA Mo, the maritime and archipelagic nation awareness month, where we have adopted the sub-theme “Philippines as an Archipelagic State: UNCLOS @ 40”, as it ties our observance with our inalienable identity as a seafaring nation and our commitment to a rules-based order on maritime issues, and as we advocate for solutions to address marine plastic pollution.
Our commemoration also affirms our support for initiatives by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to harness technologies for digitalization and automation in support of shipping and for the benefit of our people.
We recognize that achieving sustainability in the maritime industry entails enormous effort and a host of necessary actions at multiple areas of concern and that the world’s success in this regard should result in better conditions for seafarers all over the world.
These are especially important for a maritime and seafaring nation like the Philippines, as it continues to uphold its commitment to serve and protect the interests of Filipino seafarers and maritime industry workers around the world through policies and frameworks that ensure that their rights and welfare are safeguarded.
Women in maritime will also be a recurring theme in our efforts in promoting and mainstreaming women’s issues in the industry and to recognize their role in decision-making processes and skills development, and their significant contributions to the advancement of technologies and innovative solutions to address sustainability issues.
We look to engage our partners along these lines as we continue to collaborate to achieve our multi-faceted goals for sustainability.
We hope that by carrying on the conversation for greener shipping, we will be able to maintain the momentum towards an equitable and sustainable maritime future.
A meaningful and purposeful World Maritime Day to all.