Barcelona, 30 September 2021. The UfM joins the international community’s efforts to spotlight seafarers’ crucial role in the global trade and economy, as Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future has been selected as the World Maritime Day 2021’s theme for 2021, celebrated at the initiative of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on 30 September 2021
Their exceptional contribution, also while facing unprecedented hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensures the functioning of supply chains and the transport of vital commodities and products.
Indeed, keeping supply chains open at all times, ensuring a continuous flow of maritime trade, while safeguarding health, safety and well-being of the maritime transport community, is essential for deeper regional integration and greater prosperity.
Member States and other entities are invited to celebrate with activities in the same week and also throughout the year.
According to the IMO, “the focus on seafarers comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on seafarers, with hundreds of thousands of men and women stranded on ships for months beyond their original contracts, unable to be repatriated due to national travel restrictions. A similar number of seafarers are unable to join ships and earn a living. This crew change crisis, which has been ongoing for nearly a year, is a humanitarian emergency that threatens the safety of shipping”.
The UfM’s past and future Regional Transport Actions Plans (RTAPs) for the Mediterranean region have and will continue to promote better working conditions and job opportunities for seafarers. By pursuing the creation of maritime training institutes, encouraging the effective implementation of the requirements of the IMO International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), UfM is working towards a better cooperation and coordination between its Member States and raising awareness about the attractiveness of the maritime sector through national and regional campaigns with the aim of balancing supply and demand.
Efforts have also been made to promote women’s access to maritime training and maritime professions, notably with the recent UfM Webinar on Women in the Blue Economy Sector.
IMO Member States, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations in consultative status have been invited to join in this initiative by lighting up their most iconic buildings, bridges, maritime ports, ships, monuments, museums and other landmarks on the World Maritime Day. Social media participation is also encouraged, including via Twitter, to share images using the hashtag #WorldMaritimeDay.
Webinar on Women in the Blue Economy Sector – Full webinar