US Ambassador Peter D. Haas Tours YPSA Safety First Center

Peter D. Haas, United States ambassador to Bangladesh, visited YPSA’s Safety First Center in Chattogram on  April 23. The Ambassador’s visit aimed to learn about YPSA’s various activities for improving the ship recycling industry. He was accompanied by Mr. Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer, Ms. Asha Beh, Information Officer, and Media Coordinator Mr. Tariqul Islam Nahin.

YPSA Chief Executive Mr. Md. Arifur Rahman and Coordinator Muhammed Ali Shahin welcomed the Ambassador to the center. This is the first time an Ambassador has visited a center like YPSA’s Safety First Center. YPSA was delighted to host the Ambassador.

The Ambassador and his team had a productive discussion with the YPSA team about its different programs. During the visit, Ambassador Haas also attended a meeting with various YPSA beneficiaries, including shipyard workers, supervisors, volunteers, and frontline staff members. The Chief Executive of YPSA, Mr. Arifur Rahman, explained the organization’s background and various social development activities. He also spoke about YPSA’s goals and objectives for transforming the ship recycling industry into a green industry.

The Ambassador thanked YPSA and shared his perspectives. He expressed his longstanding interest in the conditions of the ship recycling industry. He also conveyed his appreciation for the opportunity to visit the center and observe YPSA’s training activities.

The Ambassador commended the dedication of the shipyards and YPSA to environmental protection and worker safety in the ship recycling industry. He emphasized the importance of all ship owners complying with international conventions that promote environmentally sound and safer ship recycling practices.

He stressed the need for owners to ensure worker safety in these difficult and demanding jobs. The Ambassador also highlighted the importance of providing legal and proper benefits to workers. He stated that worker welfare, in addition to safety, is crucial for the industry’s success.

Muhammed Ali Shahin of YPSA moderated the question-and-answer sessions of the meeting. He addressed the current challenges and improvements within the shipyards. Before visiting the center, the Ambassador and his team toured the PHP ship recycling yard, the first-ever compliant yard in Bangladesh.

YPSA has been working on promoting safety awareness and green ship recycling practices for the past twenty years. The organization has become a leading resource center for the ship recycling industry in Bangladesh. Bangladesh recently ratified the Hong Kong Convention, which mandates that shipyards become green by 2025. Currently, four ship owners in Bangladesh are complying with the Hong Kong Convention. YPSA is working closely with the industry to train workers in basic safety measures related to handling asbestos, safer cutting practices, and fire protection.