Tuesday, May 28, 2024
02/11, 10:11

WISTA 2023 AGM in Montevideo Dorothea Ioannou receives the WISTA Personality Award for 2023

Theano Kalapotharakou Elnavi’s Co publisher exclusively reports from Montevideo 

Elpi Petraki, President of WISTA International, opened the 2023 AGM in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Tuesday, 25 October, by welcoming representatives from a record 56 national WISTA associations (NWAs). The majority were present in person, while some participated online.
After a roll call of NWAs, delegates viewed video presentations from Cyprus, Sri Lanka, and the United Arab Emirates, all bidding to host the WISTA International AGM & Conference 2024. These videos emphasized their maritime sectors and the appeal of their destinations. Monaco, Spain, and Turkey later presented pitches to host the AGM & Convention 2025. Following a vote, Cyprus was selected as the 2024 host and Barcelona for 2025.
Recommendations were made for the Nominations Committee, resulting in the election of five members and two substitutes from Argentina and Cyprus. Three candidates contested for the ExCo: Connie Boozen from WISTA The Netherlands, Nazli Selek from WISTA Turkey, and Meredith Kirby from WISTA USA. After voting, Connie and Nazli were re-elected to the ExCo, with Meredith being elected for the first time.
In her annual report, Elpi Petraki mentioned that three new NWAs were established over the past 12 months in Estonia, Jamaica, and Paraguay. She also revealed a significant increase in WISTA membership, now totalling 4,356 members across 56 NWAs.
Mrs Petraki updated on several WISTA initiatives in partnership with the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This included the Maritime Speakers Bureau launched in Geneva last year, encouraging more women to participate in industry events. Other projects in collaboration with the IMO were also highlighted.
Furthermore, Elpi Petraki discussed the "Platform for Change - Women in Transport" project in association with the European Union. Two collaborative projects with the International Chamber of Shipping were also mentioned.
She provided an overview of other partnerships with global organizations, such as the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, the European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA), and UNCTAD. WISTA had achieved observer status with UNCTAD on 6 July 2023. Elpi recounted various events attended by ExCo members throughout the past year.
Treasurer Connie Boozen presented a positive financial report for 2022 and expressed WISTA's intention to engage an all-female accounting team. Delegates later heard reports from representatives from the working committees Diversity, Yachting, Environment, HR, and Trade. A new Port Committee is also being established.
IMO Secretary-General Elect Arsenio Dominguez delivered the afternoon's first keynote. He urged WISTA to maximize its observer status with the IMO, emphasizing the importance of active participation. Arsenio's address encompassed digitalization, automation, and capacity building. He encouraged WISTA's active involvement in various IMO activities.
Mariana Noceti from the IMO elaborated on its Women in Maritime programme and announced an upcoming IMO-WISTA survey scheduled for 2024.
Helio Vicente of the International Chamber of Shipping centred his keynote on seafarers' recruitment, training, and retention, mentioning collaboration with WISTA's President, Elpi Petraki.
Dorothea Ioannou was awarded as WISTA's Personality of the Year, nominated by three NWAs: Cyprus, Hellas, and the USA.
Dorothea Ioannou’s remarkable achievements and her unwavering commitment to advancing the maritime industry make her a truly deserving candidate for this prestigious recognition.
As the first woman to lead an international P&I (Protection and Indemnity) club, she has achieved a historic milestone that has inspired and empowered women worldwide. Her journey serves as a testament to what dedication, resilience, and vision can accomplish.
A keynote by Teresa Perez Del Castillo from the United Nations examined principles for encouraging companies to support women's advancement. Pilar Lacalle Pou of the Uruguayan environmental group URUMEPA discussed ocean conservation and battling plastic pollution.
The AGM concluded by commemorating anniversaries of WISTA NWAs in various countries, including Portugal, Uruguay, Peru, Russia, France, Hellas, Poland, and Norway.

A more detailed article will be featured in ELNAVI December 2023 edition.

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