World Maritime Day Parallel Event Colombia
"Shipping must draw talent from every corner of the globe and every sector of the population to ensure its own sustainability."
This was a key message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, in his opening remarks to the 2019 IMO World Maritime Day Parallel Event (15-18 September), held in Cartagena, Colombia.
"Improving the participation of women in society leads to better social and economic outcomes. This is also true in the maritime community. So, it is critical that women are provided with equal access to opportunities at all levels and within all sectors of the maritime industry. Experience shows that, when they are given those opportunities, women are strong and successful – continually challenging old-fashioned and outdated perceptions and proving that, today, the maritime industries are for everyone. It's not about your gender, it's about what you can do," Lim said.
The World Maritime theme for 2019, "Empowering women in the maritime community" was a prominent theme throughout the high-level event. Speakers and panelists also emphasized the relevance of the United Nations agenda for sustainable development, with its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mr. Lim highlighted the challenges ahead - including the needs for action to combat climate change as presented in IMO's initial GHG strategy - as well as the opportunities for a sector which drives global trade and development.
"The global shipping sector is essential for a sustainable future. But maritime activities themselves need to be sustainable - and an important part of IMO's role is to ensure that shipping continues to make its contribution to global trade and development in a sustainable way," Lim said.
The international audience heard from Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia, who welcomed participants to the event on behalf of the President of Colombia.
She reiterated the relevance of the theme of the event, empowering women, and emphasized Colombia's commitment to the sustainable development goals. She highlighted the importance of the oceans and the maritime sector to national and global development.