London International Shipping Week
Headline Conference - Driving Growth in a Disrupted World
Welcome remarks by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is a pleasure to welcome you to IMO Headquarters today and to see many of you in person again. --- I also welcome those attending virtually.
I am delighted that IMO, the global forum for shipping regulations, is the venue chosen for such an important conference.
London International Shipping Week has become a crucial part of the shipping calendar.
This week also gives us all the opportunity to reach out beyond our sector and highlight to the world the importance of shipping in delivering global trade, through the pandemic and beyond.
But as we celebrate shipping and share ideas on driving growth, it is important to reflect on the situation faced by hundreds of thousands of seafarers --- who are at the core of shipping's future, who remain trapped in their place of work or are unable to join ships.
Seafarers are the silent heroes and collateral victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Their professionalism, dedication and personal sacrifice throughout the pandemic has been truly outstanding. We must continue to support them.
I call again for more Governments to designate seafarers as key workers and urge consideration for vaccination of seafarers in ports regardless of nationality.
The well-being of seafarers to deliver goods to populations around the globe continues to be my highest priority.
We have the opportunity to learn from this pandemic and look towards a re-imagined future of the shipping industry.
We need to drive a green recovery and ensure a sustainable maritime future.
Digitalization has been brought to the fore and will continue to drive the future.
Efficient exchange of information over digital channels and digital automation of ships have helped ensure that shipping has continued to deliver world trade connecting continents and regions.
These interconnections will play out when we tackle shipping and humanity's biggest challenge: which is decarbonization.
The coming transformation of the shipping sector will need investment and infrastructure.
Future low- and zero-carbon fuels will need to be supplied to ships, which are themselves already undergoing innovation in design and operation to meet mandatory IMO energy efficiency measures.
I hear and share the sense of urgency expressed by many regarding dramatic climate change.
The latest technical reports send a clear message that we need to accelerate the reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions and shipping has to play its part.
IMO's regulations are binding requirements which are enforced globally for more than 60,000 ships operating worldwide.
IMO's role is to act as the global forum to bring stakeholders together, taking into account the different concerns, priorities and needs of Member States, the industry and relevant stakeholders.
The challenge is huge. But I see many encouraging signals since the adoption of IMO's Initial IMO GHG Strategy in 2018, with industry initiatives flourishing and Governments committing to ensure everyone is on board – as we look towards adopting an upgraded GHG strategy by 2023.
Ladies and gentlemen,
There is no doubt that we have witnessed immense disruption to the way our world runs over the past eighteen months, nonetheless, I am confident that we can work together to drive the growth necessary to support a global recovery.
Our deliberations over the course of this week will play an important part in shipping's contribution to those efforts.
I look forward to the discussions and wish you a successful event.