Celebrating vital role of seafarers, UN officials encourage young people to consider life of 'real adventure'

25 June 2015

On the Day of the Seafarer, the United Nations is issuing a strong call to young people to consider seafaring as a career, including with the UN maritime agency, which could offer them a chance to experience “real adventure” in a workplace that might be a hundred thousand-ton oil tanker or a cargo ship navigating the world's oceans with beautiful landscapes and also a stimulating job in a truly hi-tech environment.

Marking the Day from the Seamen's Center at Intramuros, in Manila, operated by the world's leading supplier of manpower to the global maritime industry, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Koji Sekimizu said: “This year, I want to speak about how fulfilling and rewarding a seafaring career can be; and I particularly want to address this message to young people, who may now be actively considering the options open to them.”

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message on the Day, commemorated annually on 25 June, did the same and also noted that “seafaring remains one of the world's most important professions.”

“But as the global population grows, so does the demand for shipping, and there are fears that, in the future, there may be shortage of seafarers,” Mr. Ban cautioned, adding that seafaring is a particularly attractive option for people in developing countries.

“Imagine sailing the world's oceans, seeing the northern lights, experiencing arctic snow or a tropical storm for the first time – and meeting people from all over the world while doing so,” said Mr. Ban.

IMO's Mr. Sekimizu said: “Today, more than ever, seafaring is a job that demands highly trained and qualified personnel.”

“Modern ships are designed and built to the highest technical standards and require crew members with a high level of professional competence,” he said. “To operate them safely and efficiently is a stimulating job in a truly hi-tech workplace.”

Seafaring can provide not only an opportunity to earn money to live and provide for your families, it also offers unique opportunities to navigate the seas of the globe and encounter the wonders of the ocean. “It offers young people the opportunity to experience a world of real adventure on the seas and oceans of our planet, to interact with people from all over the world, and to experience the huge variety of mankind's culture and heritage,” said Mr. Sekimizu.

IMO, a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships, has launched a social media campaign #CareerAtSea to show what a career at sea could look like and hope to inspire young people to consider seafaring as a livelihood.


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