United Nations Continues to Recognize WMU’s Important Role as a Centre of Excellence

The United Nations General Assembly meeting on oceans and the law of the sea, 8 December 2020. Photo credit: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 9 December 2021 adopted Resolution 76/72 on Oceans and the Law of the Sea. The resolution continues, for the twelfth consecutive year since 2009, to recognize the importance of the World Maritime University (WMU) of the International Maritime Organization, as a centre of excellence for maritime education, research and capacity building: "[...] confirms its effective capacity-building role in the field of maritime transportation, policy, administration, management, safety, security and environmental protection, as well as its role in the international exchange and transfer of knowledge, notes the role of the World Maritime University-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute and urges States, intergovernmental organizations and other bodies to make voluntary financial contributions to the University’s Endowment Fund."

The UN General Assembly, through this resolution, further emphasizes that capacity-building is essential to ensure that States, especially developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing States, as well as coastal African States, are able to fully implement the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, benefit from the sustainable development of the oceans and seas, ensure protection of the marine environment and the conservation and sustainable use of marine resources, and participate fully in global and regional forums on ocean affairs and the law of the sea. It stresses the need for further efforts to promote a culture of safety and security in the shipping industry and to address the shortage of adequately trained personnel, and urges the development and strengthening of capacity-building activities and the provision of knowledge and skills through the required education and training, promoted in particular by the International Maritime Organization in collaboration with other relevant international organizations and agencies, as appropriate. 

Since its establishment by the IMO in 1983, WMU has positioned itself to be the world centre of excellence in postgraduate maritime and ocean education, research and professional training, while building global capacity and promoting sustainable development. WMU, as an entity within the UN system, is an institution established by and for the international maritime community and is committed to the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) relevant to education, gender equality, peace and justice, decent work and economic growth, energy efficiency, sustainable industrialization and innovation, climate change, the oceans and partnerships. 

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