IMO to asisst countries improve ferry services

Transport PNG

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), as the international body with responsibility for,and expertise in, maritime safety standards, has an interest in providing assistance to countries where passenger ferry services do not have a good safety record.
IMO Head Asia and Pacific Section Technical Cooperation Division Bekir Ustaoglu said as an UNagency, IMO has a strong commitment to helping achieve the aims of the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals.
He said shipping and ports could play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increase deployment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade.
“The port and maritime sector scan be wealth creators, both on land and at sea.
“In fact, this sector is even more important for the Pacific Islanders considering the fact that passenger ferry services between islands and along coasts form a significant part of the transport network of all countries in the Pacific region.
“Therefore, the dependence of Pacific Islanders on inter-island shipping is of paramount importance and every effort must be made by governments and the industry alike to ensure that only safe ships sail,” he said.
“In some countries, as many as a quarter of a million persons travel on ferries every day. However, the frequency of accidents involving ferries on these domestic routes,and, regrettably, the loss of life following accidents, are still unacceptably high.”
Ustaoglu said each country in the Pacific region had their unique challenges but there were commonalities in some areas. Thus this forum has been organised to find out where the region currently stands, what challenges still remain, what could be learnt from each other and what more could be done.
He said the International Safety Management Code was an important instrument, which if implemented appropriately, could make a significant positive impact on operational safety of ships which obviously include passenger ferries.
“Therefore the workshop on the third Domestic Ship Safety Forum is considered as a complementary to the ferry safety forum or it could even be considered as an extension of this initiative.”
The third Domestic Ship Safety Forum, held in Port Moresby last week, saw member countries in the Pacific Region – Cook Islands,Federated States of Micronesia,Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands,Nauru, Niue, Palau, PNG, Samoa,Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu,and Vanuatu, discuss safe shipping to protect safety of life and environment at sea.

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