The Bedrock of safe and secure shipping

24 September, 2015

Today, Wilton Park marks World Maritime Day and reflects on this year’s theme ‘Maritime education and training.

In today’s world, with rise of intercontinental air travel, it is easy to overlook the fact that the majority of the world’s and 95% of the UK’s trade is carried out by sea. Consequently as markets became increasingly globalised, the role of maritime activity becomes ever more important too. Wilton Park echoes Ban Ki-moon’s call to “…recall the often unheralded but always vital contribution by international shipping to peoples and communities all over the world.”

This year’s theme ‘maritime education and training’ serves to emphasise the wider spectrum of maritime education and training, in particular its adequacy and quality, as the bedrock of a safe and secure shipping industry, which needs to preserve and sustain the quality, practical skills and competence of qualified human resources.

The UK Government provides support for merchant navy training to facilitate an adequate supply of UK maritime expertise to meet the nation’s economic and strategic requirements through the ‘Support for Maritime Training (SMarT)’ fund. The British government further demonstrated its commitment to maritime activities through its support of the annual London International Shipping Week held earlier this month. The week sees government and shipping leaders from across all sectors of the international industry come together to network and share expertise.

Wilton Park recognises the intercontinental dimension of this issue and endeavours to reflect this by bringing together diverse audiences to create the most productive debates. Our event partnered with Institute for Security Studies, Implementing Africa’s maritime security strategies, in Pretoria this May brought together a wide range international experts to firstly raise awareness on the African continent but also to highlight the full range of stakeholders involved in African maritime security to an international audience. It also supported African leadership and built on the key linkages between national, regional and continental maritime strategies by taking relevant lessons from other parts of the continent to share best practice.

Furthermore, Wilton Park’s upcoming event, Enhancing the security of the global maritime supply chain: detecting and permanently removing nuclear and other radioactive materials out of regulatory control, will look at maritime education and training on a particular issue by providing a neutral space to develop ways to promote radiation detection in maritime supply chain; and enhance measures for the removal of radioactive and nuclear Material Out of Regulatory Control.

Wilton Park looks forward to continuing work with key actors and policymakers to help maintain high standards of maritime education and training, thus helping to ensure the safety of those working at sea.


Related events

Building local capacity for maritime security (2011)
Maritime security: strengthening international and into-agency cooperation (2009)
Global conflict- trends examined to forecast drivers of unrest (2011)

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