World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 will take place on June 13-15 in Szczecin. The event is organized by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland in cooperation with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The theme of this year's celebrations is IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future.
The World Maritime Day was established on March 17, 1978 to emphasize the entry into force of the convention establishing the IMO in 1958. The World Maritime Day Parallel Event was first organized in 2005 in Portugal. In 2017, Panama was the host to the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018, while in 2019 the event will be organized by Colombia.
It is planned to address issues related to the trend of constantly developed, environmentally friendly 'green' technologies during the World Maritime Day Parallel Event in Szczecin. This applies even to the use of less-emission or non-emission types of fuels for ships, such as LNG or renewable energy sources. In the context of the provisions concerning ballast water, consideration should also be given to possible further 'green' solutions that may be introduced in the future.
The ships of the future will probably be built taking into account the current trends, but also in the context of newer technologies emerging. The question arises whether the tendency to build ever larger units, or maybe to use nanotechnology, will be maintained in order to use the space on the ship in a more efficient manner. Additionally, the theme is an excellent opportunity to address issues related to the construction of unmanned ships and the use of robotics.
'Big data' is a term that has come into permanent use. According to its most general definition, 'big data' means a large, diverse number of digital data sets. Although big data technologies are already used in maritime shipping, it should be assumed that this will be an emerging trend, and introduction of new solutions is only a matter of time. Areas in which they can be used include the use of wireless technologies (Wi-Fi, 5G) in the communication between ships and the port, the monitoring and control of unmanned ships, development of the ECDIS system, or more effective forecasting of weather to enable safe navigation.
Apart from the undoubted advantages, the growing dependence on modern technologies also creates new threats. Through increased dependence on computers combined with a decrease in the number of crew, ships can become a potential target for a hacker attack, and if unmanned ships are used in the future, they can even be taken over without using instruments involving force. In this part, you can think about whether such a scenario is realistic and how to defend oneself against such threats.
Along with climate change in the Arctic region sprang out discussions on the 'Arctic Route', which would be the shortest sea route connecting China with Europe. This is in line with the current trend, which has been manifested in, inter alia, the announcement of the Chinese government regarding the so-called Arctic Silk Road. Other countries are also their developing policy in this scope. There are several variants, including one running close to the territories of the Russian Federation and Norway, and another one running close to Alaska and Canada. The attractiveness of the route is further increased by the lack of piracy threat. Nevertheless, the time perspective of the accessibility of the route for merchant ships is unknown. Furthermore, there are legal and political concerns related to the possibility of establishing such a route. The discussion may also constitute a starting point for considering the adaptation of ships to routes that are partially ice-covered. Additionally, it will be an opportunity to address the issue of existing maritime routes and prospects for their development, including, for instance, the 'Belt and Road' initiative and TRACECA.
The labour market in the field of maritime economy, similarly to any other market, is prone to trends stimulated most often by the development of technologies or new ways of thinking. Advances in the field of shipbuilding, including above all unmanned vessels, naturally involve a significant reduction in the number of crew or even its total exclusion. Therefore, any increase in the number of unmanned vessels will result in a decrease in the number of sailors, significantly affecting the labour market.
Additionally, increasingly more advanced technologies require appropriate adjustment of training programmes for future crew members of ships, service at seaports or even the establishment of completely new professions. Marine universities play a key role here as they constitute an incubator of properly trained future staff in the maritime industry.
In the context of this, the issues of the increasing number of women among sailors or the tendency to employ sailors at the lowest possible cost are also important.
The International Maritime Organization is a specialised organisation of the United Nations system. It operates on the basis of the convention adopted in Geneva in 1948, which came into force 10 years later, in 1958. Initially, the organisation was called the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO). The current name was adopted in 1982. The seat of the organisation is located in London. At present, there are 173 Member States being part of the IMO. Poland is part of the IMO since 1960.
The purpose of the International Maritime Organization is to improve cooperation between states in the use of international sea routes. The organisation also deals with the development of principles of safe and effective navigation; additionally, it is responsible for the protection of the marine environment..
The Assembly, which meets once every two years, is the supreme body of the International Maritime Organization. The Council is the governing body, which consists of 40 members elected by the Assembly for a period of two years in three categories. Kitack Lim (Republic of Korea) is the Secretary-General of the IMO.
This year, IMO celebrates its 70th anniversary. The theme for the year – "IMO 70: Our Heritage - Better Shipping for a Better Future" – provides an opportunity to take stock and look back, but also to look forward, addressing the current and future challenges for maritime transport to maintain a continued and strengthened contribution towards sustainable growth for all.
IMO's mission statement:
"The mission of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) as a United Nations specialized agency is to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping through cooperation. This will be accomplished by adopting the highest practicable standards of maritime safety and security, efficiency of navigation and prevention and control of pollution from ships, as well as through consideration of the related legal matters and effective implementation of IMO's instruments with a view to their universal and uniform application."
More information: http://www.imo.org/
As part of the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 in Szczecin, on June 15, 2018, the '16+1 format' meeting at the level of ministers and deputy ministers for transport and maritime affairs from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China will be inaugurated. This will constitute a continuation of cooperation and arrangements made during the 2nd Meeting of Transport Ministers of Central and Eastern Europe and China, which was organised on October 25-26, 2017 in Warsaw. The topic of the meeting will be issues related to shipping.