London Stock Exchange Market Open Ceremony
9 September 2019
Speech by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
Ladies and gentlemen,
London is a city renowned for its ceremonies and traditions. And, for me, it is a great personal pleasure, to participate in one of those ceremonies – the daily opening of London Stock Exchange, in particular on the occasion of commencing of the London International Shipping Week.
London has always been and, I am sure, will remain a major maritime hub, providing a broad range of services to the international maritime community. So it's the natural choice to host a major shipping event like the London International Shipping Week.
IMO was created 70 years ago and has been based in London for its entire life. Here in London, IMO Member States have adopted more than 50 international instruments covering almost all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, crewing, navigation, operation and disposal. As a result, shipping today is cleaner, greener, safer and more secure than ever before.
Why is this important? Because shipping is the lifeblood of the global economy, transporting over 80% of international trade to peoples and communities all over the world. Shipping provides a dependable, low-cost way to transport goods globally. It facilitates commerce and helps to create prosperity.
The world relies on a safe, secure and efficient international shipping industry – and this is provided by the regulatory framework developed and maintained by IMO.
However, we must keep our sights on the future and look at the challenges and opportunities facing the maritime industry. Shipping must meet the increasing demands of its customers, and of society as a whole, towards sustainable development.
IMO's commitment to ensure a sustainable shipping industry is highlighted by its numerous achievements, including the greenhouse gas reduction strategy and energy efficiency measures to address climate change, digitalization to benefit the environment and human health, the single-window concept to further facilitate international trade, as well as the continued enhancement of maritime safety, security standards and environmental protection. With all these initiatives, IMO clearly demonstrates its continuing commitment to the well-being of the planet and all humankind.
Higher standards of safety and environmental performance often provide opportunities to find truly effective and financially sound solutions in the long-term. To achieve this, research and development will be crucial. We need to direct investments towards innovative sustainable technologies and alternative fuels.
IMO, in cooperation with governments and the industry can ensure that shipping becomes ever cleaner, greener, safer and more sustainable.