Ομιλία του Υπουργού Ναυτιλίας και Αιγαίου, Κωστή Μουσουρούλη, στην τελετή απονομής του Διεθνούς Ναυτιλιακού Βραβείου στον επίτιμο γενικό γραμματέα του ΙΜΟ, Ευθύμιο Μητρόπουλο (στα αγγλικά)

Address by the Greek Minister οf Shipping, Maritime Affairs & The Aegean, Mr. Kostis Mousouroulis, MP, on the occasion of the award of 2011 International Maritime Prize to the Secretary General Emeritus of I.M.O., Admiral (H.C.G.) Efthimios Mitropoulos

«Secretary General,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great honour and privilege for me to be with you on the occasion of the award of the 2011 International Maritime Prize to the IMO SG Emeritus Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, and address this ceremony on behalf of the Greek Government.

My country and its Maritime Administration, deeply appreciate the services Mr. Mitropoulos has rendered to shipping and IMO. In particular, his leadership, clarity of vision and purpose to key issues of international shipping policy and the prudent management of the Organization’s resources.

Greece, as a maritime nation fully committed to the objectives of IMO, expresses its appreciation for Admiral Mitropoulos’ contribution to the Organization’s mission, for his work to position IMO in the forefront of the UN specialized agencies and for the global recognition of its achievements at a time when multiple risks are noted in international trade and the world economy.

Mr. Mitropoulos has been fully committed to the promotion of the IMO as the only organization for the development and adoption of global maritime standards, a task that has led to the enlargement of the Organization to 170 States.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Although it is impossible to exhaust in a few minutes Mr. Mitropoulos various achievements, I will try to highlight some that I consider to be of particular importance:

Firstly, enhancing maritime safety, by ensuring that each link in the chain of responsibility became a priority for the maritime community.

Also, the human element factor and the seafaring profession have played a major role in the shaping of IMO’s objectives and policies. In this respect, in order to attract new entrants to the shipping industry, Mr. Mitropoulos launched in 2008 the “Go to Sea” Campaign, aiming to promote seafaring as an attractive career option.

Within this context, Admiral Mitropoulos, we fully share your statement that “putting people first can bring the desired results”. We thank you for the further promotion of the campaign’s objectives through the 2010 World Maritime Day’s theme: the “Year of the Seafarer”, drawing attention to the unique situation under which seafarers offer their services: the hard work, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Referring to the Technical Cooperation, it should be highlighted the aim of the former SG of IMO to support IMO Member States and to provide them with useful technical advice through the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

As far as the phenomenon of piracy and the battle against it: in this case, again, Mr. Mitropoulos played a significant role in increasing awareness for this issue, bringing forward by the IMO to the Security Council, in November 2005. Thanks to these efforts, we can already see an improvement in the situation of Somalia, although we are mindful of the situation in other areas.

The efficient and effective functioning of the IMO Secretariat and accurate execution of the IMO’s budget, under the leadership of Mr. Mitropoulos, should also be emphasized. The contribution of Mr. Mitropoulos to the work of the Organization, through his 33 years of continuous service and in particular through the 8 years as a SG, is evident, inter alia, by concrete results such as the vast number of IMO Conventions and Instruments, which have entered into force, or adopted.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to conclude, by repeating Greece’s sincere appreciation to Mr Mitropoulos.

Dear Mr. Mitropoulos, your integrity, your profound knowledge of the sector makes your home country proud of your successful leadership of a reputed international institution. Your leadership of IMO is a testimony that, even in difficult times in the economy, strategic vision is always essential to the formation and implementation of policy.

Finally, making reference to your speech in this room of IMO a year ago, quoting the poet Constantine Kavafis, I also wish you personally to “keep Ithacaalways in your mind”.

Indeed, Ithacagave you “the marvelous journey”.

Thank you all.»

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