Maritime World Day 2020 – Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet

Maritime World Day 2020 – Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet


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The IMO and the global maritime community has celebrated the annual World Maritime Days on 24 September. “Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet” is the slogan for the year 2020.

In 2020, COVID-19 pandemic impacted many populations around the world. Yet this global recession has shown the value of shipping as the most stable, productive, and cost-effective means of international transport of goods. In its World Maritime Day message the IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim claimed that shipping is still the world economy’s leading facilitator bearing more than 80 % of the world’s commerce.

“Therefore, shipping and maritime will be at the heart of the economic recovery and future sustainable growth far into the future, both at sea and ashore, supporting an inclusive and resilient economy to underpin the achievement of the sustainable development goals. ‘Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet’, our theme for 2020 couldn’t be more relevant now and for years to come,” Secretary-General Lim said.

“In the post-COVID world, much focus will be directed at the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all UN Member States in 2015. These goals are as relevant as ever, and shipping is essential for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda will only be realized with a sustainable transport sector supporting world trade and facilitating the global economy,” Secretary-General Lim added.

During the online event organized by the IMO on 24 September, it has been emphasized on the importance of sustainable shipping for a sustainable environment.

Mr. Lim stressed the position of shipping and highlighted the humanitarian problem faced by sailors trapped by sea due to transport constraints enforced by governments to monitor the spread of the virus in a separate UN event on the margins of the General Assembly on the World Maritime Day. Mr. Lim advises that in the case of this pandemic, seamen need not be the side casualties. He stresses that policymakers should act coordinately to accept seafarers as essential workers, exclude them from travel restrictions and introduce the approved protocol system for secure changes to the crew.

World Maritime Theme 2020

“Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” is the World Maritime theme for 2020. This will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showcase the work that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.

World Maritime Day 2020 – IMO Secretary-General’s message

Mr. Kitack Lim, General Secretary of IMO, the full text of his speech.

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