International Maritime Organization appoints first Emirati woman as IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador


DUBAI, 18th September 2019 (WAM) - The International Maritime Organization (IMO) announced the appointment of Dr. Aisha Al Busmait, Director of Government Communications at the Federal Transport Authority - Land & Maritime, as IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador, in the presence of Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development, Chairman of the Federal Authority for Land and Maritime Transport (FTA), and several ministers and representative members of the IMO.

The appointment came during the World Maritime Day which was held in Colombia from September 15 to 17, 2019. On the occasion, Dr. Al Nuaimi said: "This new achievement is in line with the UAE's commitment to strengthen the global maritime sector and promote sustainability. The appointment of Dr. Aisha Al Busmait, who is the current Director of the Government Communication Department at the Authority, underscores our wise leadership’s continuous support to empower women and involve them in all developmental sectors as an active contributor in the process of development and progress of the country. We congratulate Dr. Aisha for the high level of confidence given by the IMO and we appreciate her dedication to raise the profile of Emirati women to enable them to participate in all fields of work, especially in maritime. Through this new role, she has become a symbol of creativity, excellence and innovation in vital sectors that impacts the nation’s comprehensive and sustainable development."

He added: "We are proud to be part of the efforts to contribute to the development of the maritime sector, which is the second largest economic sector in the world after oil. We remain committed to empower women in the maritime sector, increase their presence and provide them with the right opportunities to further develop their careers. We are positive that supporting gender equality is an essential task for us and we constantly work to increase the role of women to reduce gender gap among maritime employees, considering that women have various skills and unique expertise can help promote the maritime industry and enhance economic development."

Dr. Al Busmait commented: "Emirati women have been able to make progress in various fields and achieve dreams and ambitions, and left an important and distinctive imprint on all levels, thanks to the values established by the late founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, which focused on the importance of supporting the path of Emirati women and strengthen their position to achieve excellence and make a positive impact in the development of the UAE society. Our nation’s wise leaders today complements this ideal approach by supporting and empowering women in the public and private sectors. I am honored to be part of the success of Emirati women by having been appointed as IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador, which would not have been possible without the UAE's vision and the support and the trust of Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and the Chairman of FTA.

I would also like to thank H.H. Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood, and Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, who has been a role model and supporter of Emirati women, in increasing their contribution to the service of the nation and raise its banner in all local and international fields. I am delighted to be chosen to play this important role, and I am proud to represent the UAE to more than 150 international ambassadors of the International Maritime Organization."

She added: "It is an honor to be considered as a Goodwill Ambassador and it is my pride to represent the UAE in this prestigious organization, given the importance of my role, which includes primarily raising awareness about the maritime sector as vital, considering that it is the second largest economy after oil. In addition, I am tasked to spread awareness among young men and women about the sector’s importance and contribution, particularly to women who are currently a small percentage of workers in this sector. It is in this light that the IMO’s theme for this year is all about the ‘Empowerment of Women’. The role also focuses on intensifying efforts to encourage young people in schools and universities to engage in the maritime sector through their academic studies or consider working within it. Here, I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation to the various bodies that have supported women in the maritime sector, believing in their potential to reach the highest international positions that qualify them to be partners in building the country and the best representative of the UAE in the most prominent regional and international forums."

Dr. Al Busmait has a distinguished career life, with her valuable contributions and active role in the UAE's historic membership to the IMO Council in category ‘B’ through her position as Director of Government Communications at FTA. She has been responsible in coordinating the efforts among members of the supporting team in the run up to the nomination, which involved leading government entities and private companies in the UAE.

The Goodwill Ambassador is chosen among the world's most influential public figures. They play a key role in addressing international issues affecting people’s lives by promoting public awareness and supporting ambitious goals in building a safer and more prosperous future. The IMO Goodwill Maritime Ambassador is responsible for contributing to advancing the growth of the maritime industry based on innovation, sustainability and cooperation as a vital component of the global economy. Maritime ambassadors encourage individuals, especially young people, to become involved in the marine world.

The IMO is an international organization specialized in maritime sector which aims to enhance the public perception of the sector by promoting the development of various maritime professions, as well as inspiring and encouraging young people to engage in it. This will contribute to the creation of a new generation of maritime experts and leaders, highlighting the positive advantages of choosing maritime professions which will enhance the status of maritime sector and increase the rate of maritime security and safety.

WAM/Hassan Bashir