2019 October 15 10:37
For the 4th consecutive year, the World Maritime University (WMU) delivered its seminal Maritime Business Integrity and Corruption Awareness (CORA) Seminar, WMU says in a press release.
The idea behind the development of the Seminar came as a direct response to the maritime industry’s needs for Corporate Social Responsibility, and Sustainable Development Goal 16, which aims in its targets “to substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all their forms.”
The one-day Seminar aims to instill appreciation of the role and impact of bribery and facilitation payments in port and ship transactions and the ways in which the industry as well as official bodies are addressing this scourge. Through real-life examples shared by industry speakers, WMU students learned about tactical and managerial tools that could be used to effect change in the industry or government offices.
In her inaugural words, WMU President, Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, stated: “The idea behind this Seminar is not to pinpoint certain countries or agencies, but rather to work out the mechanics of the simple process of corruption which wreaks havoc in our societies and economies. The goal is also to engage students in a thought-provoking process about how corruption can be eliminated.”
According to the World Bank, businesses and individuals pay an estimated $1.5 trillion in bribes each year. Corruption may include facilitation payments, abuse of power, specious ship inspections, unfair sanctions, trade disruption, and extortion.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the UN’s specialized agency for shipping, has just embarked on a regulatory exercise that will see through the adoption of hard and soft rules regarding the scourge of corruption.
WMU encourages a zero tolerance policy for corruption and promotes anti-corruption awareness in the maritime industry through teaching, research, outreach and industry engagement.
WMU has been an active participant at the IMO in discussions about maritime corruption. WMU also sits in the Cross Industry Working Group on Tackling Corruption in the Maritime Sector, initiated by the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) in 2017.
Earlier this year, WMU signed an MOU with MACN providing for, inter alia, collaboration in the delivery of training and educational packages. This Seminar was co-lectured by MACN’s Executive Director, Ms Cecilia MüllerTorbrand.
The Seminar was enriched by the anti-corruption compliance experience of D/S Norden A/S. Speaking at the event, Norden’s Senior Insurance and Claims Manager, Ms Lillian Frøhling Hansen, took the participants through Norden’s Corporate Social Responsibility engagement track record, recalling that it had been initiated in 2006. Norden’s fully-deployed anti-corruption policy means that its staff are under a duty to report any requests for facilitation payments or gifts. So far, hundreds of reports have been received. Norden’s practice is momentous for the industry. As stated by Ms Frøhling Hansen, “Norden is big enough to make a difference.”
The Seminar also featured Dr Lisa Loloma Froholdt, Senior Researcher at the University of Southern Denmark, and editor of the Corporate Social Responsibility in the Maritime Industry, Volume 5 of the WMU Studies in Maritime Affairs. The Seminar was led by Associate Professor Aref Fakhry.