The leading official at the United Nations body responsible for global safety and security in the maritime industry has visited Plymouth University as part of the preparations for World Maritime Day 2015.
Mr Koji Sekimizu, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), met students and academics from the University, which was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Marine and Maritime Teaching and Research in 2012.
He talked to senior University management, including Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor David Coslett, and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business Professor Nikolaos Tzokas, about its world-leading maritime research and courses, and discussed potential future collaborations.
The Secretary-General was also given a tour by Professor Martin Attrill, Director of the Marine Institute, of the state-of-the-art facilities housed within the Marine Building which include a cutting-edge navigation simulator.
The visit comes less than a month after the launch of the IMO’s World Maritime Day, with the theme for 2015 being Maritime Education and Training.
Professor Jingjing Xu, Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business and Professor of Maritime Law and Economy at Plymouth University, said:
“It was a great honour to welcome Mr Sekimizu to Plymouth, as the IMO plays a significant role in an industry responsible for carrying around 90 per cent of world trade. Plymouth University has helped in training the leaders of that industry over many years, and our world-leading facilities and researchers will ensure we continue to be at the forefront of global shipping education.”
Plymouth University has a rich and prestigious heritage in maritime education, being able to trace its roots back to the Plymouth School of Navigation, which was founded in 1862. It has thousands of graduates working in the commercial shipping industry while, through a partnership with the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, the University helps to educate the naval officers of the future.
The IMO has its headquarters in London, and comprises 170 member states and three associate members. Its primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework to govern all matters of global shipping, including safety, environmental concerns, legal issues, technical cooperation, shipping security and piracy.
Mr Koji Sekimizu, who is the seventh elected Secretary-General of the IMO, said:
“It was a pleasure to visit Plymouth University, not least because of the significant maritime heritage the University builds on to continue to provide well qualified professionals to the maritime industries. This year, IMO is ensuring added focus to maritime and training, which are indispensable if the industry is to continue facilitating world trade and ensuring sustainability.”