The IMO chief expressed thanks and appreciation to the Saudi government for its constant support in enhancing the security and safety of navigation in the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden, and in making the Prince Mohammed bin Naif Academy for Maritime Security Sciences and Studies an excellent location for training.
Through this academy, the IMO has managed to work with its partners to develop and implement training programs embodying the desired curriculum in different specialties, he said.
He extended congratulations to the Saudi government and people on the occasion of the 87th National Day.
He said he was pleased to be in the Kingdom and attend the ceremony of the academy marking Global Maritime Day which is being celebrated under the theme of “Connecting ships, ports and people.”
He stressed that the compulsory reduction of sulfur content in ship fuel by 2020 is considered evidence of the regulatory action adopted by the IMO and member countries to control harmful emissions of the shipping sector in addition to its major mission of keeping maritime safety and peace.
For his part, Gen. Awwad Al-Bluwi, commander of Border Guards, said the Kingdom, since its establishment, has sought to strengthen maritime security in the region in light of its vast coastal areas which extend more than 1,762 nautical miles along the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba and the Arabian Gulf, in addition to the presence of important sea lanes and the volume of global trade passing through these lanes.
He stressed the importance of working with regional and international organizations, particularly the IMO, “which has succeeded in leading regional programs for combating piracy and minimizing the phenomenon in the region.”
He expressed hope that the IMO would support efforts aimed to safeguard the security of ships and port facilities, and called on other partners such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and Interpol to support the region ensuring peace and security.
Al-Bluwi said the first international symposium on border security and safety would be held in Jeddah at the end of next month.
For his part, President of the General Transport Authority (GTA) Rimaih Al-Rimaih said the Kingdom’s celebrations of Global Maritime Day reflect its pride in entering into partnership with the IMO and its contribution to the development of the sea transport sector, and its protection of the safety of the seas and the lives of ships’ staff.
Cooperation between the Kingdom and the IMO also represents a clear model for the concept of a partnership to enhance sea peace and security, he said.