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SMSA head appointed IMO maritime ambassador

valentinSeychelles Maritime Safety Administration director general, captain Joachim Valmont has been appointed maritime ambassador for the International Maritime Organisation, this following nomination by the Seychelles government.

His appointment took effect on September 11, 2015.

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) maritime ambassador’s programme, an initiative of the secretary general of the IMO, Koji Sekimizu, aims to encourage young people to consider seafaring and other maritime professions when making choices concerning their education and careers. Further the IMO maritime ambassadors are encouraged to share their passion about the maritime world with others, particularly young people who are starting out on their further education, apprenticeships and career pathways.

By reaching out, IMO maritime ambassadors can engage, inspire and call upon young people to consider careers at sea or in the maritime industries. The goal is to reach new target audiences and inspire a new generation of maritime experts and seafarers.

According to Glen Forbes, a director of ‘OceanusLive’, a private maritime domain awareness group from the United Kingdom, said the appointment of captain Valmont from Seychelles is fantastic news, adding: “A good seat at the IMO and on the White List, and now this appointment. I don’t think the ‘punching-above-your-weight’ analogy works the same anymore. Seychelles is most decidedly a senior player in terms of promoting the blue economy, maritime security in the IOR and an example for not just small island states, but the larger states of Africa.”

Foreign Affairs and Transport Minister Joël Morgan, who initiated the nomination with the approval of President James Michel, welcomed the appointment by the IMO saying “the confirmation by the secretary general of the IMO is important for the Seychelles and for captain Valmont who heads the SMSA.  Following on from our ‘IMO White Listing’ this past June 15, 2015, today we communicate again our intention that Seychelles will continue to participate and contribute to the success of the region by involving itself in worthy programmes and initiatives such as the one being promoted by the IMO. Doing so as well provides opportunities for our own citizens wanting to challenge themselves by seeking employment opportunities within the maritime sector. The government’s vision of the blue economy concept compliments the effort of the IMO and by our involvement at this time, is a natural evolution of the direction we intend to go and what we as a nation can add.”

Captain Valmont will be attending a maritime day symposium being held by the IMO in London in the United Kingdom where he will present a letter to the IMO secretary general from Minister Morgan in his capacity as incoming chairman of the Contact Group for Piracy off of the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Seychelles assuming the presidency as of January 1, 2016.

“The letter confirms the Seychelles objectives for the tenure of its presidency in 2016 that it intends to pursue with determination that the Indian Ocean shall be a zone of opportunity, building on the stability of the region and by that creating economic opportunities, something which the IMO programme itself is working for. I welcome my appointment this day and I thank Minister Morgan and the Seychelles government for their nomination. I look forward to being part of an active programme with the IMO that sees it as a goal to attract more young people to the maritime profession. I am well placed at the SMSA to do just that,” said captain Valmont.

Captain Valmont has been in charge of the SMSA as its director general since January 2011.

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