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World Maritime Day 2021: Why the UN wants sailors to be designated as ‘key workers’

World Maritime Day 2021: If there is no international transport of goods, the global economy will not be able to function. And this is facilitated by the maritime industry. It is to appreciate the importance of this industry and to acknowledge its contribution to the global economy that World Maritime Day is celebrated across the world every year.

First observed in 1978, World Maritime Day was established by the United Nations (UN) in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). It also marks the day of adaptation of the IMO convention in 1958.

The headquarters will be blue on IMO Thursday, and every World Maritime Day from now on, “as a symbolic initiative to unite the maritime community and raise awareness of the important contribution of shipping to the world”.

It is a day that seeks to underline the importance of maritime security, maritime security, marine environment and shipping to the world.

The theme of World Maritime Day 2021 is “Seafarers: At the Corps of Shipping’s Future”.

History of World Maritime Day

It was on March 17, 1978 when World Maritime Day was celebrated for the first time – to mark the 20th anniversary of the IMO. The organization, which started with 21 members in 1978, now has 167 members, which include all major countries involved in the maritime industry.

Observance Day was later changed to the last Thursday of September every year.

world maritime day theme

According to the United Nations, this year’s theme, ‘Seafarers: At the Corps of Shipping’s Future, reflects the clear need to raise awareness and visibility of seafarers’ important role in world trade.

“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 crew change crisis has highlighted the extraordinary contribution of seafarers as key and essential workers on the front lines of delivering critical goods through a pandemic and in normal times,” it said. said.

The United Nations said shipping services and seafarers ensured the functioning of global supply chains during the pandemic and that this could not happen “without the professionalism and dedication of the world’s seafarers”.

The theme is also linked to the US Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to education and training, innovation and industry, gender equality, and efforts to promote seafaring as a career for all, including women.

The UN said that the theme of 2021 will focus on seafarers as people are at the heart of shipping, and also the future of maritime travel amid increased digitization and automation.

In his message for the day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: “I renew my appeal to governments to formally address the plight of sailors and other marine personnel by designating them as ‘key workers’ , ensure safe crew changes, enforce established protocols, and bring back stranded sailors and allow others to join ships.”

IMO Secretary General Kitak Lim said more governments should “step up” and designate sailors as “key workers”, highlighting that so far only about 50 IMO member states have done so.

The UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2020 underlined that all countries should designate seafarers as ‘key workers’.

“Key worker designation (Covid-19) is important to ensure priority for vaccination,” Lim said.

Maritime Day in India

India also celebrates its National Maritime Day on 5 April every year to spread awareness about transcontinental commerce and economy. This year it is the 58th National Maritime Day.

The first festival took place in 1964.

India became a member of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 1959.

On National Maritime Day, an award ceremony is organized by the country to recognize the contributions made by the members of the Indian maritime industry.


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