This Conference will address the challenges ahead for the sustainable development of the maritime and port sectors in the Americas, in light of the SDGs. It will look at the plans, policies and actions developed by governments to comply with the SDGs of relevance to these sectors, taking into consideration the current needs in the areas of capacity building and postgraduate maritime and oceans education, together with potential collaborations that could be developed between different stakeholders to help governments overcome the challenges of the two inter-related sectors.

The Conference aims to build bridges between IMO, WMU, the maritime administrations, the shipping industry, as well as the public and private port sectors. It will address strategies to assist them in: raising their performance and capacities in accordance with global standards, developing best practices and ensuring that they benefit from the highest levels of education. The Conference also aims at developing strategies to increase the number of students from the region enrolling in the different WMU academic programmes, boosting the number of capacity-building activities in the region, developing research-based collaboration, and helping countries to address their specific challenges. 

In particular, the Conference is expected to:

  • identify and strengthen possible/existing collaboration with maritime authorities, navies, coast guards, international and regional organizations, enabling them to invest in capacity building, including through special training programmes as well as the provision by WMU of consultancy services;
  • highlight the achievements of WMU alumni in the region and across the entire spectrum of maritime, port and oceans activities in order for them to further promote and disseminate IMO's and WMU's mandate and mission;
  • explore new academic collaborative arrangements with universities in the region aimed at partnerships and other mutually beneficial academic activities;
  • engage with the private sector to strengthen academia-industry linkages and to continue building capacity of future maritime leaders from the region; 
  • expand WMU's presence and activities through strategic alliances with potential partners, institutions and other stakeholders not necessarily engaged in international shipping; and;
  • promote the value of sustained investment in capacity-building (postgraduate maritime and oceans education and training, PDC, consultancies, etc.).