Launch of MTCC-ASIA
Shanghai Maritime University, 15 May 2017
Speech by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General
International Maritime Organization
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today on this important occasion, the opening of the second in what will become a truly global network of maritime technology centres under the Global MTCC Network (GMN) project.
Let me begin by offering my sincere congratulations to Shanghai Maritime University for being selected as one of five centres in the GMN network.
This project brings together two of the most important themes that IMO and its Member States must pursue as we move into a new era. By which I mean developing new technology and building the capacity, especially in the developing world, to realise that technology and use it to its best advantage.
Today, we live in a world in which new technology seems poised to have a transforming impact on all our lives. Shipping is no exception. Technology holds the key to a safer and more sustainable future for shipping.
Thanks to the opportunities afforded by new technology, shipping is, potentially, on the brink of a new era. The technologies emerging around fuel and energy use, automation and vessel management, materials and construction and so many other areas, can drive new generations of ships that bring step-change improvements in all these areas.
The overall objective of the GMN project is to help beneficiary countries limit and reduce GHG emissions from their shipping sectors through technical assistance and capacity building. It will encourage the uptake of innovative energy-efficiency technologies among a large number of users, through the widespread dissemination of technical information and know-how.
The MTCCs will become regional centres of excellence, providing leadership in promoting ship energy-efficiency technologies and operations, and the reduction of harmful emissions from ships. All the MTCCs have made strong commitments to reach out and build capacity in their regions, especially among the least developed countries. Ensuring that the benefits of a regional MTCC are spread throughout the region will be an important element in the project’s overall success.
This is a genuinely exciting prospect and one which complements perfectly the regulatory work on this vital topic which IMO is continuing to drive forward. I see our regulatory work and our capacity-building initiatives as a double-headed assault on the problem of shipping emissions. Together, they send a clear signal about how seriously this Organization treats this issue, how determined it is to address it, and how prepared we are to roll up our sleeves and take practical measures to do so.
The mutually-agreed project milestones that the MTCCs will deliver during the course of this project will make a significant contribution to IMO’s continuing, widespread efforts to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the global energy-efficiency regulations for international shipping.
I am delighted and encouraged that we are not alone in these efforts, and would like to offer my gratitude and appreciation to the European Union who have provided the funding for this project, the Chinese Ministry of Transport, Shanghai Maritime University and Shanghai Municipal Government for their strong support. Once again, it demonstrates to the world what can be achieved if like-minded organizations commit to delivering as one on the key issues that affect our world today.