The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated shipping’s importance as the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective method of transporting goods internationally.
On 24 September, IMO and the global maritime community come together to celebrate the annual World Maritime Day. The 2020 theme is "Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet".
2020 saw everyone across the globe affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet this global crisis has demonstrated the importance of shipping as the most reliable, efficient and cost-effective method of transporting goods internationally. Shipping remains the leading facilitator of the global economy, carrying more than 80% of global trade, said IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his World Maritime Day message.
"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.
The role of sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet will be highlighted during an IMO-hosted online event on 24 September.
At a separate event held on the margins of the UN General Assembly on World Maritime Day, Mr. Lim will highlight the important role of shipping and put a spotlight on the humanitarian crisis faced by seafarers who are stranded at sea due to travel restrictions imposed by governments to contain the spread of the virus. Mr. Lim will warn that seafarers should not be the collateral victims in this pandemic. He will underline that Governments must act in a coordinated manner to recognize seafarers as key workers, exempting them from travel restrictions, and implement the recommended framework of protocols for safe crew changes"
UN Secretary-General message on World Maritime Day
In a message issued on World Maritime Day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that "the theme of this year's World Maritime Day – 'Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet' – has gained extraordinary resonance as shipping has continued to transport more than 80 per cent of world trade, including vital medical supplies, food and other basic goods that are critical for the COVID-19 response and recovery."
Mr. Guterres reiterates his concern for seafarers stranded at sea and renews his appeal to Governments "to address their plight by formally designating seafarers and other marine personnel as "key workers", ensuring safe crew changes and implementing the protocols developed by UN agencies, as well as the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers' Federation, allowing stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships."
World Maritime Day IMO event (24 September)
An online event on the morning of World Maritime Day, hosted by IMO, (10:30 a.m. London time) will bring together a high-level panel of speakers to debate "Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet".
Watch the online event here: https://bit.ly/33OTO4H
UN General Assembly - World Maritime Day event on the margins of the UNGA
A separate event (1.00 p.m. London time) will be hosted by the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), IMO and the International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers' Federation. They are bringing together the heads of UN agencies, governments, multinational corporations, and shipowner and seafarer representatives, to discuss the humanitarian, economic and safety crisis in the world's shipping industry. COVID-19 restrictions on travel and transit have led to 800,000 seafarers either stranded on vessels or prevented from returning to ships. This event aims to raise awareness of the important and unsung role of seafarers in supporting sustainable shipping.
Click http://www.imo.org/sites/imocloud-Dev/en/About/Events/WorldMaritimeDay/Pages/World-Maritime-Theme-2020.aspx to read more about World Maritime Day 2020 and find the message from the Secretary-General, video of the message and more.
Governments, organizations, companies and training institutes, as well as individuals, are encouraged to let IMO know how World Maritime Day is being celebrated, and to highlight initiatives they have been undertaking or are planning to support the Sustainable Development Goals in their country, organization or other entity.
World maritime theme for 2021
For 2021, the world maritime theme is "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future", reflecting a clear need to raise awareness of seafarersʹ vital role in world trade and increase their visibility. Read more here.