On behalf of the International Labour Organisation, I would like to welcome you to this first Seminar on Maritime Labour Inspection in the Asia/Pacific region.
The first two days of this week have demonstrated the overall importance of the ILO Maritime Labour Standards for the whole industry, and in particular for the Asia/Pacific region, where shipping and shipping related activities represent such a vital part of our economies and of our daily lives.
The Conference has also demonstrated that the work currently undertaken for the profit of the maritime industry at large has found its relevance, its justification as well as its accomplishment in the concept of Decent Work, which was defined, as early as 1999, by our Director General as the primary goal as well as the main purpose of the ILO today.
Among the existing Maritime Labour instruments, Convention no. 147 is outstanding. Not only because it indeed represents minimum standards in maritime shipping, but also because it contains in its Appendix a number of other instruments, which can be ratified or applied on the basis of substantial equivalence. Convention no. 147 has been completed by a Protocol in 1996, containing itself more instruments.
We, at ILO, hope this Conference will create among the attending countries a wish for more ratifications of Convention no. 147 and other maritime labour instruments. This would certainly contribute to the creation of a propitious terrain for a massive ratification of the future consolidated Convention.
It is important to notice that, within the region, both the Tokyo and the Indian Ocean Memoranda of Understanding on Port State Control contain Convention no. 147 in their terms of reference. As such, its provisions apply to each and every inspection performed on board ships visiting your ports.
The presentations you will be invited to follow during those two-and-a-half coming days are intended to demonstrate some practical aspects of the implementation of our Maritime Labour instruments. We will not limit ourselves to presentations, but will also request your input, your opinion, and your suggestions.
I sincerely hope that you will find this Seminar interesting and useful. I can assure that we will do our utmost in this respect.
I wish you a fruitful Seminar.