Improving the participation of women in society leads to better social and economic outcomes. This is also true in the maritime community. So, it is critical that women are provided with equal access to opportunities at all levels and within all sectors of the maritime industry,

..Mr Lim noted.

The event, coming in continuation of the World Maritime theme for 2019, "Empowering women in the maritime community", emphasised the relevance of the UN agenda for sustainable development, with its associated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the meeting, a special panel session, moderated by Lena Gothberg, producer of the Shipping Podcast, focused on the real impact of the role of women in all areas of the maritime sector, as well as the efforts already made in different fields (industry, government, international organizations and academia).

It also highlighted the leadership role of women in the maritime community, which contributes to the strengthening of the maritime sector and the boost of countries' sustainable economies.

Also on day one, Maja Markovčić Kostelac, Executive Director EMSA, shared her views on how women and technology contribute to the sustainability of the maritime sector; on the untapped potential and on the main challenges that lie ahead.

Meanwhile, IMO's Juvenal Shiundu highlighted the successes to date of IMO's Women in Maritime Programme, a highly successful campaign to promote women in the maritime community for more than 30 years.

WISTA International – the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association – was awarded consultative status with IMO in 2018.

Additionally, transport and maritime ministers and senior officials from 11 countries took part in a roundtable discussion with IMO Secretary‑General Lim, exploring ways to strengthen regional cooperation on maritime issues, including empowerment of women, among others.

On day two, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, World Maritime University (WMU), spoke on women empowerment in Maritime Ocean Affairs, calling for innovative approaches from everyone involved in the maritime sector to help resolve barriers.

During the closing ceremony, IMO Secretary‑General Lim presented a commemorative plaque to Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice-President of the Republic of Colombia.

She then handed over the World Maritime Day Parallel Event flag to H.E. Mr. Fikile Mbalula, Minister of Transport, South Africa. South Africa will host the 2020 Parallel Event.