The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the professionalism and sacrifice of the two million seafarers who serve on the world’s merchant fleet. Shipping has continued to transport more than 80% of world trade, including vital medical supplies, food and other basic goods that are critical for the COVID-19 response and recovery – but hundreds of thousands of seafarers face a humanitarian crisis as they have been stranded at sea, unable to get off the ships they operate with contracts extended by many months. This needs to be addressed urgently, through Governments designating seafarers as essential workers and ensuring safe crew changes can take place.
The theme for this year reflects the need to support a green transition of the maritime sector into a sustainable future, while leaving no one behind. It provides an opportunity to focus on the importance of a sustainable maritime sector and the need to build back better and greener in a post pandemic world.
The 2022 theme will also allow for a range of activities to delve into specific topics related to promotion of inclusive innovation and uptake of new technologies to support the needs for a greener transition of the maritime sector, especially in the context of developing countries, and in particular the small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). It also links to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDGs 13 and 14 on climate action and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources; SDG 9 on industry, innovation and infrastructure; and SDG 17, which highlights the importance of partnerships and implementation to achieve these goals.
This year’s observance will be celebrated on 29 September 2022 and its parallel event is expected to be held in South Africa.
International shipping transports more than 80 per cent of global trade to peoples and communities all over the world. Shipping is the most efficient and cost-effective method of international transportation for most goods; it provides a dependable, low-cost means of transporting goods globally, facilitating commerce and helping to create prosperity among nations and peoples.
The world relies on a safe, secure and efficient international shipping industry, which is an essential component of any programme for future sustainable green economic growth in a sustainable manner.
The promotion of sustainable shipping and sustainable maritime development is one of the major priorities of IMO in the coming years. Therefore, energy efficiency, new technology and innovation, maritime education and training, maritime security, maritime traffic management and the development of the maritime infrastructure: the development and implementation of global standards covering these and other issues will underpin IMO’s commitment to provide the institutional framework necessary for a green and sustainable global maritime transportation
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