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Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, has been elected to chair the June 21 to 25 Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Diplomatic Conference, now underway in Manila, Philippines.
This is the first time that Jamaica has been elected to chair such a conference.
The focus of the 2010 conference is to consider, for adoption, amendments to the 1978 International Convention on (STCW) and the Seafarers, Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Code for seafarers.
The STCW Convention provides international minimum standards for the training and certification of the world’s seafarers. The draft amendments to the Convention and Code mark the first major revision of the two instruments since those adopted in 1995, which completely revised the original 1978 Convention and introduced the Code.
It is expected that with these revisions, the necessary global standards will be instituted to train and certify seafarers to operate technnologically advanced vessels and to adjust to other changes in the seafaring profession.
Rear Admiral Brady noted that the changes “will serve to modernise the convention and make provisions for well into the future.”
“The amendments are geared at better preparing our seafarers to carry out their duties by ensuring that their knowledge is on par with technological developments in ship construction and electronic navigation systems, as well as some of the more negative aspects, such as piracy attacks,” he said.
The Conference is being held under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for maritime safety and security and the prevention of pollution from ships.
Among the measures due for adoption in Manila are a number of important changes to each chapter of the Convention and Code. These include: improved measures to prevent fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and to strengthen the evaluation of Parties’ compliance with the Convention; new requirements for security training, as well as provisions to ensure that seafarers are properly trained to cope in the event of attack by pirates.
Other amendments include the incorporation of new certification requirements for able seafarers, new requirements relating to training in modern technology, such as electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS) and the introduction of modern training methods, including distance learning and web-based learning.
“The Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) is the local IMO accredited training institution for seafarers and therefore these amendments are of significance to maritime education in Jamaica,” the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) stated in a release.
“The conference also proposes to consider resolutions involving the provision for accommodation for training onboard ships, which will assist institutions, such as the CMI, find training berths for their students, which is a challenge at this time,” it added.