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IMO sec-gen highlights safety of seafarers

IMO sec-gen highlights safety of seafarers
IMO secretary general Koji Sekimizu highlighted the safety of seafarers in his keynote address to Panama Maritime XII.

“I want to address some of the issues that affect this truly global industry, in particular those related and designed for the safety of the seafarers,” Sekimizu said.

“We [at the IMO] are concerned by the [growing] problem of migrants and [safety] of ferry passengers. Last year 2014, was a record year for the losses of lives of migrants and when some 200,000 [migrants] to cross waters, more than a thousand lost their lives. This is why we will hold a conference at the end of April in Philippines for ending migrations problems,” the IMO secretary general told the attendees.

Sekimizu was the guest of honour and keynote speaker for the opening of the international exhibition-conference Panama Maritime XII that gathered around 400 attendees including 250 international delegates and 25 international speakers. The bi-annual conference is organised by Panama’s Chamber of Shipping and the Panamanian Maritime Law Association and was chaired by Cap. Orland Allard.

In addition, Mr Sekimizu said he was “pleased to see that the International Chamber of Shipping was no longer encouraging the no-ratification of the Ballast Water Convention.” “To have this convention [that must be implemented soon] we should make amendments that can be activated without ratification,” he said while exhorting, once again, Panama which has the world’s largest open registry to set example and ratify the convention.

The Maritime Excellence Award, the highest award given by the conference, was presented to Mediterranean Shipping Co (MSC) one of the top five customers of the Panama Canal and which has recently registered under the Panama flag their last two giants container vessels MSC Oliver and MSC Oscar. The award was made by MEC Shipyard with the four types of metal with which are built ships on a base of Panama Canal wood found in the Gatun Lake.

Amongst the other awards was Personality of the year for Julio De La Lastra, President of MOL-Panama, Social Responsibility for Manzanillo International-Panama, and for the first time Panama Maritime XII presented the award of Journalistic Excellence to Seatrade Latin America Correspondent Michele Labrut for her long-time coverage of maritime issues and particularly of the Panama Canal and the country maritime sector.