The Assembly of Inter-Governmental Maritime Consultative Organisation (IMCO, now IMO) at its tenth regular session held in November 1977, decided to institute a World Maritime Day to be observed annually on 17 March, the anniversary of the date of entry into force in 1958 of the Convention establishing the IMCO.
The first World Maritime Day was dedicated to the Promotion of the Safety, Welfare and Training of Seafarers and all who operate on or in connection with ships. With this in view, IMCO adopted "Safety of life at sea" for celebration of the First World Maritime Day. Programmes and events high lighted the work and activities of IMCO aimed at improving safety at sea and the development of procedures and the training of ships personnel designed to ensure the safest handling and management of ships, crews, cargoes and passengers.
The Second World Maritime Day, celebrated on
It has now been decided by IM(C)O that World Maritime Day will be celebrated every year in the last week of September. The actual date will be left to individual member governments.
To mark the occasion, the Secretary-General of IMO always prepares a special message and this is backed up by a paper which discusses the selected subject in greater depth.
1978 Safety of life at sea (IMCO 30th anniversary)
1979 Safer shipping and cleaner oceans
1997 Optimum maritime safety demands a focus on people
1998 Shipping and the oceans (IMO 50th anniversary)
1999 IMO and the new millennium
2000 Building maritime partnerships
2001 Globalization and the role of the seafarer
2002 Safer shipping demands a safety culture
2003 Committed people working for safe, secure and clean seas
2004 Focus on maritime security
2005 International shipping - Carrier of world trade
2006 Technical co-operation: IMO's response to the 2005 World Summit
2007 IMO's response to current environmental challenges
2008 IMO: 60 years in the service of shipping
2009 Climate change: a challenge for IMO too!
The World Maritime Day section on the IMO website.
Stamp catalogue - 1978
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
Stamp catalogue - 1979