MESSAGE BY THE HON E. GEORGE HUTSON, M.P., MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORT ON THE OCCASION OF THE DAY OF THE SEAFARER 2012
"It came by sea and I can't live without it:" This is the International Maritime Organization's (IMO) theme for its awareness programme in the social media for this year's Day of the Seafarer.
June 25th has been included in the annual list of United Nations observances as the Day of the Seafarer. This landmark day was established by resolution in Manila, Philippines, at the June 2010, Conference of Parties to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978.
The Day of the Seafarer 2012 is a celebration of seafarers across the globe, with emphasis on the positive influence seafarers have on the daily lives of ordinary people, through maritime transport.
On this day, IMO is asking contributors on social networks to highlight and share with their friends and associates, an object in their daily life that they can't live without; to acknowledge that it came by sea, and then, in turn, to say "thank you, seafarers".
Today, the Ministry of International Business and International Transport would like to challenge you, who have access to the various social media, to participate in this exercise and pay tribute to our own seafarers. Barbados should take the initiative to be involved in this exercise given the magnitude of imports, especially in the area of food and other commodities which are imported by sea.
Barbados has had a proud and long history of seafaring. Barbadian seafarers have enjoyed employment on British ships namely the Harrison Line Company and the Blue Star Line Ltd, from as early as 1925. These seafarers were able during the war years of the 1940s, and subsequently, to assist the island's economy through the financial remittances they made to their families.
Needless to say, these financial resources were obtained at serious personal risk to the lives of the seafarer, as well to their personal discomfort, due to sub-standard working conditions aboard some ships. Today, I am proud to announce that through cooperation with my Ministry and the Ministry of Labour efforts are being made to accede to the International Maritime Labour Convention 2006, which will shortly come into force. This Convention will address matters of accommodation, recreational facilities and all issues dealing with conditions of employment for seafarers to work on ships.
The Government is cognizant of the invaluable contribution our national seafarers have made and is doing everything to encourage again an interest in this noble profession. The Government has also taken upon itself to celebrate on a yearly basis the Day of the Seafarer and my Ministry has created a registry of seafarers to ensure that all seafarers are involved in future celebrations.
On this Day of the Seafarer, I, on the behalf of the Government of Barbados, wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all seafarers for the immense and invaluable contribution they have made to Barbados and the world. Thank you Seafarers.
Source: Barbados Government Information Service
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