Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Liberia: world's largest fleet carrier

This year's celebration of the 10th anniversary of the commitment of Liberian Ship Owners' Council (LSC) did not only focus on Liberia as the world's largest tonnage fleet carrier. It also offered Head of State, Dr Samuel Doe the chance to reaffirm his government's support and commitment to the maritime programmes of the country.

The first vessel to be registered under the Liberian flag in 1948 was "The World Peace".

In his declaration of support Dr Doe congratulated the Ship Owners' Council and noted that the organisation had become an "essential factor in the continuing relationship between government and the LSC industry.

He said the maritime programme was an essential feature of Liberia's free enterprise and open-door policies, adding, "the cooperation between the government and the Ship Owners might serve as a model for the realisation of the aspirations of many developing countries and that Liberia stands ready to promote and assist these aspirations."

He also noted that "such cooperation has resulted in the growth of a fleet second to none, in its high standards of maritime safety, pollution prevention and crew employment conditions."

Dr Doe revealed his government's firm opposition to proposals by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) to phase out open registries and added that proposals for a convention of the registration of ships could have "severe adverse effects on the aspirations and economic well-being of developing countries both by increasing the cost of international sea transport and making it more difficult to promote their own national fleets".

"The Liberian Government's commitment to maritime programme is long-term and government welcomes and solicits the continued support of Ship Owners for the programme", he declared.

Dr Doe then reiterated the need for Ship Owners to support the government's discharge of its duty to promote the safety of life and property at sea and to prevent marine pollution.

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