Distinguished Organizers, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to be herewith you today, in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg, maritime capital of Russia, to attend the fifth International TRANSTEC Conference and I should like, first of all, to formally thank the hosts and organizers of this special event, on behalf of the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Mr. Kitack Lim, for giving IMO an opportunity to participate in what we feel will be a highly important and productive conference for augmenting and spreading worldwide the positive message about advanced methodologies, techniques and technologies for development of modern ports, and efficient and safe shipping.
The IMO Secretariat traditionally participates in conferences aimed at promotion of international shipping and offshore industries, with a view to providing updated information on the latest achievements in developing standards for safety and security of international shipping, fishing and offshore developing and for protection of marine environment.
Bearing in mind that TRANSTEC 2016 specifically focuses on development of a modern port infrastructure; innovative port equipment and technologies; construction, modernisation, renovation and operation of the port and technical fleet; and Arctic sea transportation system, I would take this opportunity to declare that “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” has been selected by the IMO Council as the World Maritime Day theme for 2017. Key objectives of the IMO work in 2017 will include improving cooperation between ports and ships, and developing a closer partnership between the two sectors; raising global standards and setting norms for the safety, security and efficiency of ports, and for port and coastal State authorities; and standardizing port procedures through identifying and developing best practice guidance and training materials. In this regard, the Secretary-General, Mr. Lim said:
“Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people”.
I am also glad to note the level of participation at this prestigious event, which demonstrates quite clearly that you all recognize the need for a common understanding on the issues that affect the maritime community today. I am certain that specialised maritime conferences like TRANSTEC will continue to play a pivotal role in serving the maritime industry so that it can meet current and future challenges.
In concluding, I wish a fruitful and successful conference to all participants this week and, once again, offer my sincere thanks to the hosts, organisers and their partners for bringing us all together.