Workshops to highlight maritime safety in region

Transport PNG

Minist er for Transport and Infrastructure,Westly Nukundj, said as a member state to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), PNG was privileged to continue receiving
technical support and advice from this specialized United Nation’s agency responsible for maritime affairs.
He said its continued assistance to the region in capacity building for technical personnel and building capability of maritime administrations with respect to safety of life at sea and the protection of marine environment around the world is commendable.
Speaking during the opening of the National Maritime Safety Authority(NMSA) Regional Maritime Conferences for domestic shipping safety, Women in Maritime and workshop on International Safety Management yesterday, Nukundj welcomed the representatives from the IMO, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Heads of maritime administrations, presidents of Women in Maritime associations from across the Pacific.
“As Minister responsible for Transport,it gives me great pleasure in extending a warm Melanesian welcome to Papua New Guinea, especially our international guests here,to take part in this important weeklong meetings to engage in meaningful dialogue on resolutions moving forward to ensuring maritime safety in the region.
“Papua New Guinea, with support from the regional and international maritime organizations, play an important role in facilitating discussions that are mutually beneficial to our countries within this sub-region.
“And it provides an avenue to stimulate solutions to common challenges while at the same time,identify priorities for inclusive and sustainable development within this sub-region.
“The strong turnout to this week’s conferences and workshop is to statement to the significant value and the important role that the maritime sector and industry play for our individual countries.
“I, can without a doubt, say that the common factor drawing us tothis week’s forums is the very factthat our countries are predominantly dependent on maritime transportation for trade and sustainable economic activities.
“I am particularly drawn to the two conferences that are to be held within the margins of this week’s forums,the domestic shipping safety and theregional conference for women in maritime because of existing workthat has been undertaken in relation to these.
“These topics and the discussions that ensue, epitomizes the aspirations of this government and this ministry,” Nukundj said.He said Papua New Guinea was one of five countries in the world toreceive recognition on under the UN Convention of the law of the sea asan “archipelagic state”, including, theRepublic of Fiji, who is also represented here this week.
“PNG is certainly a maritime nation comprising; 2.42 square kilometres of sea area, having 151 island sand 15 maritime provinces of the overall 22 provinces.
He said the discussions and outcomes arising from the domestic shipping safety conference wouldbe of benefit to PNG given the recent discussions on transport connectivity with a proposed maritime connectivityprogrammes that this ministry
and the department of transport is pursuing by ensuring that PNG’s population have reliable, alternateaccess to government services andengage in socio-economic activities.
He said Papua New Guinea remaincommitted in improving thephysical and non-physical connectivityof the domestic maritime sector.Nukundj said maritime incidentsinvolved ferries are not unique onlyto the Pacific Region or developingcountries, they occur everywheredespite various safety measures andregulations adopted by IMO.
Because these incidents may include loss of lives and the cost incurredby owners and the administrationon the relief efforts, it isimportant for all government bodiesto interact and strategize on howsuch incidences should be minimized.

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