World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018
Written by Unity Line   

Tram line 13 won't get you to the sea beach in this city but it doesn't prevent Szczecin from holding great maritime events every year. The residents and tourists are used to grand maritime celebrations. 2018 will be no different. The international World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 will take place here on 13–15 June.

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Poland has the honour to hold this most important maritime event at a time of three important anniversaries. First, this year, we will celebrate 70 years since the Convention establishing the United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) responsible for the World Maritime Day. Second, it is an opportunity to celebrate the 100 years of Poland's independence. Third, it has been the first time since 2005, when the first World Maritime Day Parallel Event took place, that the event is held in a Central Eastern European country on the Baltic Sea. This will put Poland among esteemed organizers of the event that include Portugal (2005), the USA (2009), Italy (2011), or Japan (2015).

An opportunity for Szczecin and Western Pomerania

This year's event is not only the perfect opportunity to present seaside Poland but also a local chance for the region. According to a release by the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation of Poland, the fact that the event is held in Szczecin is an opportunity to promote the potential of the Zachodniopomorskie Voivodeship and of the city as regards the maritime economy and shipping but also to improve its international position and perception by foreign investors.

The World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 is expected to host over 800 guests from Poland and abroad including Secretary-General and representatives of the International Maritime Organization, government officials, and maritime ministers from all over the world. It will be attended by international business, academics, and maritime economy, transport, safety, security, and environmental protection experts as well.

World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 vs. Days of the Sea

Keep in mind that the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 will be much different to the traditional Days of the Sea that will also take place this year on 8–10 June as regards the programme. The World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 is first of all meetings, conferences, and debates at the highest level, including ministerial talks with IMO Secretary-General and intergovernmental sessions. As part of the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 in Szczecin, on 15 June 2018, the ‘16+1 format’ meeting at the level of ministers and deputy ministers for transport and maritime affairs from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and China will be inaugurated. It will be a continuation of the cooperation and arrangements made during the 2nd Meeting of Transport Ministers of Central and Eastern Europe and China, which was organized on 25–26 October 2017 in Warsaw. 15 and 16 June, Szczecin will host the International Maritime Congress. This doesn't mean that the whole event will have nothing to offer to residents and tourists who are not maritime professionals. Cultural, sports, and leisure fringe events were scheduled for them. The detailed schedule will be available on the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 website

Future of IMO and access to the Baltic Sea

As we mentioned above, this year's event will be a great opportunity to celebrate two important anniversaries. The World Maritime Day theme is ‘IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future’. It will be an occasion to review the achievements of the organization, focus on its future, talk about the current and future shipping challenges to continue the intensive struggle for sustainable development. Following the theme, the participants will discuss modern and environmentally friendly shipping solutions, cybersecurity in shipping, challenges for new transport routes, and the future of the maritime labour market.

The Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation would like to take the opportunity and use the World Maritime Day Parallel Event 2018 to promote Poland abroad and celebrate the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland. This is quite a symbol in the context of this year's event; Poland regained access to the Baltic Sea after 123 years of separation. This anniversary will be referred to mainly at the opening ceremony.