SPC Director appeals to Vanuatu for cleaner, safe and profitable shipping services

SPC Regional Director Mia Rimon giving the keynote address at the opening of the workshop on Maritime Safe, governance and energy efficiency.

The SPC Regional Director, Melanesia, Mia Rimon, has called on Government agencies, ship owners and ship operators in Vanuatu to work together transparently and collaboratively to deliver clean, safe and profitable shipping services to the country.

She made the call while giving the keynote address at the opening of the Maritime Safety and Governance with MTCC-Pacific Ship Energy Efficiency Operations (SEEO) Workshop at The Melanesian hotel in Port Vila Monday.

Ms. Rimon acknowledged the government of Vanuatu has taken a major step forward by establishing the Office of the Maritime Regulator and she saluted the government for this.

“We still need to improve the policy and legal framework and ensure that it does assist ship owners and operators to deliver safe, efficient and profitable shipping services," she admitted.

“So, the three days that we have this week will serve this purpose and respond to answer the very challenging question that you face now,” she said.

The workshop brings together stakeholders in the maritime sector – government agencies, ship owners and ship operators for an important event for Vanuatu and maritime safety and governance and energy efficiency. As we all know how shipping services are essential for our maritime nations such as Vanuatu and the difficulties we all face when these services are not reliable.

To help provide some assistance the SPC established its maritime program back in the 1990s with a particular focus on maritime safety.

“We have been assisting the Pacific region consistently since then and we have seen major improvement, but we also acknowledge persistent issues with safety, accessibility and efficiency of shipping services all over the Pacific.

“Since the ministers’ meeting in 2017 in Tonga, priorities have involved work towards more effective governance of maritime sector needing more transparency and more accountability.

“Priorities have also been reaffirmed in terms of safety, but now in conjunction with energy efficiency to address climate change issues and cleaner shipping in the Pacific,” the SPC Regional Director, Melanesia continued.

“The government of Vanuatu has taken a major step forward by establishing the Office of the Maritime Regulator and we really salute you for this.

“We still need to improve the policy and legal framework and ensure that it does assist ship owners and operators to deliver safe, efficient and profitable shipping services.

“The three days that we have will serve this purpose and respond to answer the very challenging question that you face now.

"Can we all, government agencies, ship owners and operators work together transparently and collaboratively deliver clean, safe and profitable shipping services to Vanuatu,” she said.

Ms. Rimon said her colleagues here with her for the workshop will provide relevant and good information on maritime governance and safety through the Pacific island domestic ship safety program and also will share with participants some new technologies to reduce fuel oil consumption, “but you yourself will have to agree on the way forward to make this happen for Vanuatu.”

“I encourage you to discuss this afternoon (Monday afternoon) what sort of consultative mechanism – shipping committee, council, cluster you should have in place and agree to meet more formally towards this end.

“I would encourage you all to attend this session tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday on energy efficiency and learn about tools for reducing fuel oil consumption,” the SPC Regional Director for Melanesia continued.

SPC is the host of the maritime technology operation center in the Pacific, the MTCC Pacific, a project that is funded by the European Union and the International Maritime Organization and have established five centers across the world – in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Latin American and now the Pacific.

This workshop provides a unique opportunity for Vanuatu especially those attending the third in the Pacific after Solomon Islands and Fiji.

The discussions over the three days will contribute to mark the establishment of the Office of Maritime Regulator and to do another step forward toward a well-governed and efficient shipping sector in Vanuatu.

“We really wish you the very best in the next three days and look forward to your commitment to reaching some good conclusions.”

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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