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OF THE GEORGIA INTERNATIONAL MARITIME FORUM 2016
Batumi, September 13, 2016
About seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and the oceans hold over ninety six per cent of all Earth’s water. Water is life.
People all over the world rely on ships to transport the commodities, fuel, foodstuffs, goods and products on which they depend. Maritime transport is the backbone of international trade and global market.
Safe, secure, efficient and environmentally friendly maritime transportation is fundamental to the development of global trade and the world economy and the attainment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
WE PARTICIPANTS of the Georgia International Maritime Forum, 2016
HAVING GATHERED in Batumi, on September 13, 2016 at the high-level meeting launched by the Prime- Minister of Georgia H.E. Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, attended by senior and expert level officials from governments and the industry, shipping personalities and environmentalists, to raise awareness of the indispensability of shipping within the region and beyond, and to discuss the critical need of ensuring healthy oceans in the context of an integrated maritime policy;
NOTING that, as the World Maritime Day theme for 2016 so rightly acknowledges, shipping is indispensable to the world and, is set to remain central to world economic growth as we make the inevitable transition towards an era of clean and sustainable development;
NOTING FURTHER that, as the World Oceans Day theme or 2016 so rightly points out, healthy oceans mean a healthy planet;
RECALLING that 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary from when the Father of the modern law of the sea, Dr Arvid Pardo, made his monumental declaration to the United Nations General Assembly that the seabed beyond national jurisdiction is the common heritage of mankind, leading the to the adoption of UNCLOS;
RECALLING FURTHER that 2017 also marks the seventieth anniversary from the adoption of the IMO Convention and the sixtieth anniversary from its entry into force, critical landmarks that led to the adoption of global high standards for the safety and security of life at sea and the protection of the environment from shipping;
REAFFIRMING that States, in their capacity as flag, port and coastal States, have obligations and responsibilities under applicable international law in respect of maritime safety, security and protection of the marine environment;
UNDERSCORE that the humankind depends on a safe, sound and secure maritime sector in order to foster human development, feed billions of people, generate economic growth and prosperity and preserve ecological diversity, as well as encompassing cultural, social and humanitarian components;
HIGHLIGHT that the significance of the East Europe and West Asia region for the global economy is likely to rise in the decades to come and in this context increases the importance of the Black sea, which forms an important crossroads and a strategic intersection of east-west and south-north corridors that allow new and economically attractive sea routes;
EMPHASISE the need to strengthen the ability of competent international organisations and forums to contribute, at the global, regional, subregional and bilateral levels, through cooperation programmes with Governments, to the development of national capacity in the maritime domain and the sustainable management of the oceans and their resources;
RECOGNISE the importance of the Georgia International Maritime Forum as a new venue for discussions among all participating states for exploration of new areas of sectoral cooperation and identification of key projects in the relative fields;
URGE that the Georgia International Maritime Forum be held biennially, in order to continuously provide a platform to reflect on major issues and challenges of the maritime sector and open up new opportunities of communication for the international maritime community, governments, industries, experts and key players of this sector;
STRONGLY RECOMMEND that GIMF2018 focuses in particular on the linkage between safe, secure, efficient and environmentally friendly maritime transportation, the development of global trade, the world economy and, the realisation of new United Nations development agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
This BATUMI DECLARATION was adopted by acclamation at the first Georgia
International Maritime Forum this thirteenth day of September 2016.