By SERAH LAGDOM
To show support for the PNG Women in Maritime Association, the Department of Transport recently renewed its corporate membership to this association and has been a
member since its inception in 2007and continues to be involved in the association’s executive membership.
Transport and Infrastructure Minister,Westly Nukundj, said the establishment of the PNG Apec women intransport (WIT) task force comprising female executives and officers
from all Government transport sector agencies.
He was speaking at the week longThird Domestic Ship Safety Forum,the Second Regional Conference for Pacific Women in Maritime and the Regional Workshop on Ship Safety
Management Systems and the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, which opened yesterday.
He said as part of the Apec transportation working group, the government through the Department of Transport, was supporting a two year(2016-2018) pilot project in the country targeted towards a baseline
study on “education” and how strategies could be applied to encourage more girls and young women to pursue a career in the transport sector.
“We are aware of the tremendous effort that the National Maritime Safety Authority, International Maritime Organization and the Pacific Community have done and undertaken in pulling together these conferences and workshops and firmly believe that this week will be a success.
“Safety in the transport sector is of vital importance and the key agencies must be resourced properly to ensure safety at sea,” he said.
He said Papua New Guinea was the biggest maritime nation in the Pacific Island region with over 1000-plus ships in the registry ranging from over 6000 GRT, with a number of these trading in international waters
and others engaged in domestic ferry service.
“This ministry, along with the National Maritime Safety Authority as the flag state administration of Papua New Guinea, is mandated with the responsibility of ensuring
the maritime safety needs of the country.”
Nukundj said the maritime administration was mandated to promote high maritime safety standards,marine pollution prevention and coordination of maritime search and rescue.
“We seek to achieve a high level of ship safety and seafaring standards,environmental protection and to act as a model for the Pacific Island community in the maritime arena,”
He said the PNG flag administration was privileged to have undergone mandatory audit under the IMO member state audit (IMSAS) to which NMSA has conformed to.
This is consistent to the goals of GOPNG’s medium term development plan (MTDS) and National Transport Strategy (NTS) Plan.
Gender equity“In response to the United Nation’s sustainable development goal 5, PNG’s National Transport Strategy Plan 2014-2018 sets out to positively promote the nation’s gender equity
objectives through encouragement of women’s participation in the transport sector.
“To conclude, I would like to welcome you all again and in particular,the IMO representatives to this week-long forum and encourage all participants to contribute meaningfully to promoting maritime safety
within the region,” he said.
Contribution and interaction with government will certainly add value to how these strategies can be applied to make our seas safe.
By SERAH LAGDOM