The International Maritime University of Panama (IMUP), in a solemn ceremony, awarded the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Koji Sekimizu with the honorary degree "Doctor Honoris Causa."

The Academic Council of the IMUP mandated Ms. Fernanda Billard (Engr.) rector in charge to deliver this high recognition to award Mr. Sekimizu. This award is recognition to Mr. Sekimizu for his outstanding academic and professional career, for his contribution to the transportation industry, safety in navigation and the protection of the marine environment.

Ms. Fernanda Billard (rector ad interim) gave the welcoming address. In it, she praised Mr. Sekimizu’s achievements as head of the IMO. She also underlined his efforts in the light of improving the work conditions of seafarers, as well as the safety of life at sea.

The words of gratitude of Mr. Sekimizu closed this event. In his address, he reaffirmed his commitment with the development of industry, with the maritime safety and the upskilling of the workforce. He emphasized that he will aim his efforts to protect the critical maritime routes.

Once the ceremony was over, Mr. Sekimizu held a master conference, in which he underlined the IMO’s commitment to create a common awareness of the responsibility of every country in the development of the maritime world. We need to work to ensure that all the countries sign the Convention on Ballast water treatment.

The students, teachers and special guests that attended the conference could raise their questions to Mr. Sekimizu.