The theme was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. The importance of shipping to support and sustain today’s global society gives IMO’s work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide. These shares are even higher in the case of most developing countries. Without shipping the import and export of goods on the scale necessary to sustain the modern world would not be possible.
Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs.
There are more than 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations and manned by more than a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
Over the past 50 years and more, IMO has developed and adopted a comprehensive framework of global regulations covering maritime safety, environmental protection, legal matters and other areas. Under this regulatory framework, shipping has become progressively safer, more efficient and more environment-friendly.
World Maritime Day will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 29 September 2016, but other events and activities focusing on the theme will be held throughout the year.