IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu on Monday (28 September) welcomed the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the UN as an ambitious set of targets with the potential to transform the world.
“I truly believe that the sustainable development goals provide a clear pathway for the future of the world. Along the way to growth and prosperity for all, international maritime transportation will of necessity be a key player, supporting trade and helping to build and expand economies,” Mr Sekimizu said. “The International Maritime Organization stands ready to support the further development and implementation of the SDGs and I am confident that all IMO Member States will engage in discussions on how best to realize them, through IMO’s work, particularly through the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.”
The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Friday adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, to follow on from and build on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001. The Summit, which concluded on Sunday, was attended by several Heads of State which during the Summit further discussed how to implement the SDGs. The SDGS are intended to be integrated and indivisible and to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The SDGs form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity which seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. It recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
IMO develops the international standards for global shipping, an international transportation system which supports sustainable development across the globe, by providing a dependable, low-cost means of transporting goods globally, facilitating commerce and helping to create prosperity among nations and peoples. IMO has a comprehensive technical cooperation programme which supports the effective implementation of those global standards (including those relating to maritime safety and security and prevention of pollution form ships) through capacity building activities. Technical cooperation projects and programmes also serve to strengthen and promote the maritime transportation industry in developing countries, including those which provide the international labour force for shipping.
International shipping is inherently indispensable for economic growth and sustainable development and therefore indirectly plays a role in all of the SDGs. However, three of the SDGs have particular resonance for IMO:
Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
IMO participated in the Sustainable Development Summit and has been engaged in the development of the SDGs through various mechanisms including the UN Chief Executives Board, which gathers together all the heads of the specialized agencies of the UN.
IMO has also developed the concept of a sustainable maritime transportation system, which identifies the various ‘imperatives’ that must be met to implement an SMTS, and the activities that will need to be undertaken to achieve them. The Concept was developed to draw attention to the vital importance of shipping, but also to highlight that cooperation is needed amongst all maritime stakeholders to realize its potential.
“IMO’s role in the UN system is to set standards for international shipping, an international transportation system which supports sustainable development across the globe, moving goods including food and energy at low cost. IMO fully supports an agenda aimed at discouraging unilateral economic, financial and trade measures in order to ensure growth for all,” Secretary-General Sekimizu said. “I would also like to welcome the fact that the 2030 agenda calls upon partnerships not just amongst countries, but also other stakeholders including the private sector. IMO has been working with many different partnerships in its global and regional projects and I look forward to further strengthening these links.”
The Sustainable Development Goals
• Goal 1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere
• Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
• Goal 3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
• Goal 4. Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
• Goal 5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
• Goal 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
• Goal 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
• Goal 8. Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
• Goal 9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
• Goal 10. Reduce inequality within and among countries
• Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
• Goal 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
• Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts*
• Goal 14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
• Goal 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
• Goal 16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
• Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development