»Back ۩ SEDI
Facebook Twitter Forward this bulletin

Versión Español | May 2014


OAS-CIP Helps Strengthen Maritime and Port Safety in the Region

The Cooperative Model as a Driver of Economic Growth with Equity

“With more than 80% of goods worldwide making their way through ports, the development of a safe, sustainable, and competitive maritime and port sectors in the Americas has the potential of having a direct impact on trade and on the socio-economic development of OAS member states” declared Sherry Tross, Executive Secretary for Integral Development at the launch of the First Maritime Safety Workshop held from April 28 to 30, 2014 at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC.  

Port Authorities from 18 countries participated in two and a half days of training on the implementation of maritime safety measures, while sharing successful practices with counterparts and experts from the private sector and academia. The workshop was organized by the OAS Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) in collaboration with the Office of International Activities of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Permanent Mission of the United States to the OAS.  .   

Ports AuthoritiesMaritime and port safety has direct human, economic and environmental implications that transcend this sector, affecting communities as a whole. Experience shows that an accident in a port due to inadequate safety measures or procedures might result in physical harm to workers and passengers, a loss of productivity, and increased operational costs. Alternatively, an accident at sea may result in an oil spill with significant monetary and environmental consequences.  

In discussing recent disasters like the notorious incident in South Korea and others, Paul Jaenichen, Acting Administrator for MARAD recognized that “whether there are different causes for each of these events, they all have one thing in common – each of them was preventable.” Mr. Jaenichen continued by noting that “a healthy maritime safety culture and sufficient operational safety rules and standards could have prevented these and many other accidents and the loss of life is regrettable. OAS understands that, and this is why we are gathered here today - to contribute to a safe, secure and environmentally friendly maritime mode.”

“This was indeed a most productive workshop in that it has enhanced my knowledge by grasping the factors that drive best practices in Maritime Safety and the Environment. The presentations were well researched and of the highest quality.”
Antigua and Barbuda
Curtis Port Operations Manager,
Antigua and Barbuda Port Authority 
The workshop served to advance shared objectives by the CIP and the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI). On the one hand, port protection and safety was identified as a priority area by member states at the last CIP meeting in 2013. On the other, the CBSI - launched in response to President Obama’s speech at the 2009 Summit of the Americas - seeks to strengthen cooperation in the area of regional security to address common and related challenges.   

At the event, the Delegation of Barbados recognized the need for increased collaboration in this area and proposed to create a regional Caribbean framework for port and maritime safety with assistance from the CIP Secretariat that was unanimously supported. A proposal is being drafted and will be presented to the CIP and its authorities during its Ninth Meeting to be held in June 2014 at OAS Headquarters.  

Participants at the workshop expressed their interest to the CIP-OAS for additional training in this area. Port officials noted that in practice, the workshops are train-the-trainer activities, allowing them to share knowledge in their home countries and generating a multiplier effect that is helping strengthen institutional capacities and is creating a community of port security and safety officials in the region.

» Back to newsletter


Subscribe buttom


Also in this issue:

» Previous newsletters