Panama, November 24, 2014

As part of the celebration of the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the ISPS Code, the Administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA), Mr. Jorge Barakat, was commissioned to open the eighth edition of the International Forum on International Ship and Port Facility Security, held in Panama, from November 24 to 27.

In his speech, Mr. Jorge Barakat pointed that “given the fact that our Republic is a nation with an outstanding call to serve the maritime world, it is our duty to take measures aimed at ensuring a safe and efficient navigation, in a sustainable marine environment. In particular, even if the protection against any act of terrorism or any other illegal acts is circumscribed to singular acts in our days; it is becoming a global issue that requires a more extensive consideration.”

The academic environment offered by this forum, owing to a series of lectures and debates, will help the maritime industry to reaffirm its critical consciousness on the maritime and port security, on the environmental security and the security of the seafarers, in the fulfillment of their duties.  We are focused on achieving a comprehensive security model as a key element in the pursuit of efficiency and competitiveness, always committed to the protection of the marine environment, inland waterways and port facilities.

This international forum for discussion, updating and feedback, among all entities related to the maritime security, represents an exceptional place to expose and highlight the latent threats that we face, the challenges that the Panama Canal expansion will bring along and the challenges that the port facilities must face in order to become powerful structures that are able to face the global maritime trade. Finally, Mr. Barakat summarized by saying that all these efforts are aimed “to take preventive measures and define the responsibilities of all the involved parties, in order to ensure maritime security.”

Delegates from major organizations such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Inter-American Committee on Ports (CIP) and the Organization of American States (OAS) attended this forum. Representatives of the maritime and port authorities from Sweden, Uruguay, Angola, Venezuela, Spain, Peru, Sudan, Colombia and Mexico as well as representatives of the Maritime Chamber of Panama (CMP), of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) and of the Panama Maritime Authority also attended this forum.