World Ports Conference 2022

IAPH World Ports Conference 2022

16-18 May 2022,

Vancouver, Canada

Opening Message - Speaker: Kitack Lim, Secretary General

International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Ladies and gentlemen, excellencies,

It is a great pleasure to speak to you today.

As we all know, the importance of ports and shipping to global trade cannot be over-emphasized. 

Shipping under COVID/ Ukraine crisis - ensuring global trade, supply chain, contributions of seafarers and port personnel

The maritime industry is the engine that drives the global economy and, together, we must work to find solutions to ensure that the resilience of the supply chain is protected even as the pandemic and current military crisis continue to impact not only shipping and ports, but seafarers and all of us who heed the call of the sea.

My highest priority is focused on the well-being of seafarers who are still being affected by difficulties.

There have been recent positive trends.

I am proud of the tireless work by IMO's Secretariat to support these efforts through a multi-pronged approach, including policy development, and interagency and industry partnerships.

And now the armed conflict in Ukraine. This geo-political crisis is also impacting hundreds of seafarers.

We have engaged with the relevant authorities including the relevant coastal states, the Red Cross and UNHCR to support seafarers stranded in ports in the region. We will continue to work with the UN and other entities to facilitate safe departure of crew still trapped in ports.

As the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping, IMO continues   to enhance our regulatory framework for the shipping industry ensuring shipping continues to operate safely, securely, cleanly and efficiently.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ports have a substantial role to play in shipping's decarbonization pathway. 

IMO is making tangible progress in the implementation of the Initial GHG Strategy and Member States have pledged to adopt a revised and strengthened GHG Strategy next year.

IMO has recognized the importance of ports in this process through a resolution encouraging voluntary cooperation between ports and shipping to reduce GHG emissions from ships.

And I am happy to experience the enhanced engagement of the ports sector in IMO meetings through for example the submission by IAPH to our environmental body, the MEPC, providing key considerations from the portsʹ perspective when addressing proposals for mid- and long-term measures for the reduction of Greenhouse gases.

Ports will be where alternative fuels are supplied and incentives offered to greener vessels and more advanced use of pre-arrival information by ports will assist in reducing emissions from ships with "just-in-time" arrival.

I am pleased to acknowledge IAPH's role as a strategic partner in IMO's GreenVoyage2050 Project, and individual ports involvement in our major projects.

I am sure that many of you representing ports here at this conference will be keen to participate in current and future projects aimed at a greener, digitalized and sustainable future and I invite you to get in touch with us.

Importance of cooperation between shipping and ports as critical contributors to the global supply chain

Ports are the crucial interface between ships and the onshore supply chain and IMO is involved on both sides of that partnership.

The enhancement of digitalization and automation to facilitate global maritime trade is a major policy issue that shipping must take on board in 2022 and beyond.

IMO's work in the area of trade facilitation, has evolved alongside the trade that it facilitates, for example by introducing mandatory electronic data exchange to increase digitalization of processes for port stays and departures and streamline procedures.

I am confident that these developments will be a significant step towards facilitating trade and accelerating digitalization in the maritime sector.

Of course, increased digitalization comes with an increased need for cyber risk management, which IMO is actively addressing.

I would like to thank IAPH for developing the first edition of its Cybersecurity Guidelines for Ports and Port Facilities, which will be referenced in the next version of the IMO circular containing guidelines on maritime cyber risk management.

Through these and many other developments, IMO is actively spear-heading the shipping sector's transition to a sustainable greener future.

IMO's commitment to sustainable shipping is reflected in this year's World Maritime Theme: "New technologies for greener shipping".

The theme allows for a range of activities to delve into specific topics to promote innovation and new technologies.

Ladies and gentlemen,

You have set yourselves ambitious targets for this conference as you look at structural weaknesses in maritime supply chains and set an agenda to raise the performance of the world's major port regions.

I look forward to hearing of the innovations and solutions that will emerge from your discussions.

Ultimately, shipping and ports are essential to the world and must be at the forefront of change as we strive for a more sustainable and greener maritime future. 

Thank you.