New World Maritime University Building Inauguration


The World Maritime University (WMU) in Malmö, Sweden is a postgraduate maritime university founded by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

Established by an IMO Assembly Resolution in 1983, the aim of WMU is to further enhance the objectives and goals of IMO and IMO member states around the world through education, research, and capacity building to ensure safe, secure, and efficient shipping on clean oceans. WMU is truly an organization by and for the international maritime community.


WMU has moved into a flexible, multipurpose academic  complex that provides an opportunity to work and learn in a state-of-the-art facility.  On May 19, Dr.  Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, WMU’s President-Designate and Mr. Koji Sekimizu, IMO Secretary-General led the inauguration ceremony of the new facilities in Malmo, Sweden.


Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation, has announced the formation of a special $100m endowment fund, Nippon Foundation-WMU Ocean Fund, which will support the World Maritime University (WMU) to establish itself, at what it claims is “a critical point in human history,” as “an ocean and maritime research institution which engages in multidisciplinary scientific research in the marine field; and an educational institution that generates human resources who have the capacity to address ocean issues with a multidisciplinary approach.”

Speaking at the inauguration of WMU’s new academic complex in Malmo, Sweden, Sasakawa also pledged $3m in annual support for the next 10 years, for the existing fellowship program and enhancement of the Nippon Foundation Chair.


Coming up on August 25-27, 2015 in Malmo, Sweden will be the ShipArc Conference, co-hosted by WMU, the Arctic Council’s PAME Working Group, and the IMO.  An increasingly ice-diminished environment in the Arctic is accelerating interest and potential for new maritime trade routes, merchant transportation, and resource development such as mining, oil & gas exploration, tourism and fishing. The IMO and the Arctic Council have been focused on ‘Safe Arctic Shipping’ through the recently adopted Polar Code and as a key theme among the Arctic Council’s priorities. The World Maritime University plays a key role in conducting research on, and building capacity in, Arctic issues and governance.

The pace of development in the Arctic marine environment is challenging our capacity to prepare for it in a safe and sustainable way. It is urgent to engage stakeholders in resource development, shipping, sustainable management, and those most likely impacted (e.g., coastal communities) in the ShipArc 2015 international conference to discuss a forward-looking regulatory, governance, research, and capacity-building agenda that will assist in achieving Safe and Sustainable Shipping in a Changing Arctic Environment.