Vanuatu International Maritime Organization (IMO) Ambassador, Laurent Parenté, who was recently appointed Member of the Board of Governors of the United Nations World Maritime University (WMU – https://www.wmu.se) has announced the first ever Ni-Vanuatu WMU graduate, Mr Matthew Kensen.

Kensen from Malekula/Santo enrolled in the MSc in Maritime Affairs and Port Management programme in September 2018 under the Prestigious Sasakawa Peace Foundation Scholarship funded through the Nippon Foundation.

This Programme offers both an overview of the complex inter-related maritime and ocean fields as well as the opportunity to specialize in Port Management.

As the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) centre of excellence for postgraduate maritime education, WMU’s mission is to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and oceans education, professional training and research, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development.

“This programme is academically challenging and professionally oriented offering graduates strong foundations to move into national or international career and Kensen’s achievement will probably inspire others!” says Ambassador Parenté who is hopeful that competent local Authorities will see a benefit in employing Matthew to put in practice what he has been trained for at the highest level.

The graduation ceremony took place on Sunday 3rd November 2019 at the Malmo Concert Hall (Sweden) in the presence of 600 people. The Chancellor of the WMU who is the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Ki Tack Lim (who is also a WMU Graduate) urged all graduates to put their respective knowledge together for the benefit of their home country.

“I am very thankful and grateful to Ambassador Parenté who has supported me since I first contacted him some 3 years ago to join the WMU. The 14 months I spent in Sweden allowed me to specialise in Port Management which will be of interest to Vanuatu ongoing challenges,” says Kensen.

Ambassador Parenté was appointed Member of the WMU Board of Governors a few weeks ago by the IMO Secretary General for a term of 3 years in recognition of his work and expertise. It follows his recent elections as Chair of the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee in June 2019 making Vanuatu the first ever Small Island Developing States (58 in total) Chair of an IMO Committee.

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