Georgia International Maritime Forum
Closing remarks, 13 September, Georgia
Speech by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General
International Maritime Organization
Ministers, Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful to have the opportunity once again to say a few words to you, this time at the end of what, I am sure you will agree, has been a fascinating and insightful event.
My congratulations go to the Government of Georgia for initiating and organising such a successful event.
For me, the event has provided some valuable insights and food for thought in a number of areas. For example, on the importance of capacity building and, in particular, partnerships between international organizations in the areas of sustainable development and blue growth. Their value was underlined by the workshops that took place during this forum this week, covering themes such as port emissions, IMO civil liability conventions and blue growth.
Several other key themes were also highlighted during the event – for example, that maritime activities support economic development, that investment in shipping and ports is of the utmost importance and that the maritime industry is a crucial part of the global supply chain.
All of which goes to reinforce a point that I have frequently made during the last few years – that communication and collaboration between the shipping, port and logistics industries is crucial to enable the maritime industry reach its full potential; and, of course, IMO stands ready to support and promote this communication and collaboration between maritime stakeholders.
In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, let me stress once again the importance of working together – and by this I am referring in particular to IMO's Member States and the shipping industry. Events like the Georgia International Marine Forum enable dialogue between maritime stakeholders to be developed and enhanced, and ensure that shipping can continue to serve the people of the world in a sustainable manner.
Let me end by expressing my appreciation, and my congratulations, to the organizing team for putting together this excellent event, to the speakers and panellists for their insightful contributions and, last but not least, to Prime Minister Bakhtadze and his government for initiating and supporting this event and all the initiatives that originate from this forum.
The support of Georgia to the work of IMO is highly commended and was again tangible today with the deposit of accession to two very important IMO instruments: the International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems of Ships, 2001; and the International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage, 2001.