South Africa hosts World Maritime Day parallel event

South Africa,World Maritime Day

The World Maritime Day parallel event has been held in Durban, South Africa from 12 to 14 October 2022.

In his opening speech at the event, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim said, “After a two-year pause in parallel events due to the pandemic, it is an enormous pleasure to be able to welcome you all here to Durban for the 2022 World Maritime Day Parallel Event.

The Parallel Event was instituted to provide an opportunity to take the World Maritime theme “on the road” and it is undoubtedly one of the most important maritime events, worldwide.”

Lim highlighted the need for innovation and inclusivity as shipping voyages to a decarbonised future, in which digitalisation and automation will play a key role.

“Innovation is fundamental to the maritime industry’s successful energy transition. It requires new technologies, renewable alternative fuels and infrastructure to support low- and zero-carbon shipping, along with new financial solutions to support all those practical aspects.

“We also need innovative teams working together, created through research and development partnerships. These should involve both public and private sector because we need all hands-on-deck to ensure these initiatives succeed. This needs to be done in the most inclusive way possible as we address capacity-building, technology and infrastructure to bring on board developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the energy transition. No one should be left behind. Digitalisation and automation can be counted amongst the technologies that will help us on the voyage towards cleaner, greener and more efficient shipping but this does not mean that we ignore the human element,” Lim said.

South Africa’s Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula, said the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day Parallel Event,

“New technologies for greener shipping”, calls for the global family of nations to take action on decarbonisation of shipping and ports through the use of zero or low carbon technologies, fuels and infrastructure.

He said, “The ultimate goal is to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emission across the globe for sustainable development. The big question we must answer is: How do we get to the future that is sustainable, which facilitates global seaborne trade from all corners of the globe?”

During the closing ceremony on Friday, the World Maritime Day flag was handed over to Iran, which will host the 2023 parallel event.

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