Secretary-General praises role of seafarers in facilitating global tradeListen /
Without the contributions of the world's 1.5 million seafarers, international trade would "simply grind to halt," according to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a message marking the Day of the Seafarer, observed on 25 June, Mr. Ban urges people everywhere to think about these courageous men and women who handle much of the large-scale transport of cargo worldwide.
Philip Holihead heads a counter-piracy initiative run by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in Nairobi, Kenya, and served for more than three decades with the Royal Navy.
He says success in fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean can be attributed to several factors, including educating those who work aboard vessels.
"One is the region becoming aware, and there's more capacity building to be done, but being less tolerant and operating better together. But also we must remember the role of the international navies and the countries that have donated to the international navies who have been patrolling in the seas of the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. And finally, the seafarers themselves; the seafarers who have been prepared to go through the dangerous areas where the pirates have been operating but have also been learning and improving their own self-defence mechanisms through a thing called the Best Management Practice which is the industry standard for self-defence of vessels going through piracy-infested waters."
A new Maritime Labour Convention which enters into force this August will provide comprehensive rights and protection at work for the world's seafarers.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.