Kitack Lim

Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization

As a United Nations specialized agency, IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade. The port and maritime sectors can be wealth creators, both on land and at sea.


To highlight this potential, our theme for this year is “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”. It will enable us to shine a spotlight on the existing cooperation between ports and ships to maintain and enhance a safe, secure and efficient maritime transportation system.
We will help our Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies that address a wide range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.


Throughout the year, we will highlight the importance of “joined-up” maritime development across all sectors, both from a policy and a practical perspective. The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond the ships and ports themselves – and we will show how an effective interface between them can improve the lives of people everywhere, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals.


IMO’s role as the global regulator of the shipping industry can enhance this integration – as consistent, uniform regulation facilitates the free flow of commerce.


But, to be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the oceans’ capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term. The so-called “blue economy” is a large and growing industrial sector; and, as it grows, it must remain safe and secure and not threaten the environment. IMO needs to ensure that shipping continues to make its contribution to the global economy without upsetting that delicate balance.


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.


This year, with our theme of “Connecting Ships, Ports and People” we aim to make a strong contribution towards these objectives – and I hope that you will join us, with your own activities and initiatives under this World Maritime Day theme for 2017.”


Minister of Maritime Affairs

Panama is proud to host the World Maritime Day Parallel Event, which will be held in our country from October 1 to 3, 2017.  The theme for this year’s World Maritime Day is “Connecting Ships, Ports and People”, which is appropriate for Panama for being one of the par excellence maritime nations, as recognized by the rest of the nations of the world having being elected to the IMO Category A.  Our country plays a very important role in the world economy, as we are the seat of the main ports in Latin America, due to the Panama Canal and for being the biggest Flag State, with 18% of the world merchant fleet flying our national flag.  Precisely, this celebration of the World Maritime Day Parallel Event coincides with the celebration of the Centennial of our International Ship Registry which was created in the year 1917.


Panama opens its arms to the oceans so from them ships arrive in our ports with goods to be transshipped to other ships or to land transportation, or as final destination, so that these are delivered to the final consignee, the people.


Panama Maritime Authority (