IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has launched this year’s World Maritime Day theme, “Sustainable development: IMO’s contribution beyond Rio+20”, calling on Governments and the shipping industry to join together and provide a positive contribution towards formulating sustainable maritime development goals.
Speaking at a reception to mark the launch of the theme, at the end of the first day of the 56th session of the Sub-Committee on Fire Protection (FP), Mr. Sekimizu said that, as the United Nations’ international regulatory body for shipping, IMO has been, and continues to be, the focal point for, and the driving force behind, efforts to ensure that the industry becomes greener and cleaner.
“I am confident that, through this initiative, the theme chosen by the IMO Council for the 2013 World Maritime Day, – “Sustainable development: IMO’s contribution beyond Rio+20” – will be something in which IMO, the shipping industry and all other stakeholders, who are keen to turn the concept of sustainability into a tangible reality, will be able to join together, and make a very positive contribution,” he said.
The development of sustainable development goals for the maritime transport sector, will be IMO’s own contribution to the United Nations led work on sustainable development goals, following on from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20), held in June last year.
Mr. Sekimizu said that it was his intention to launch consultations on sustainable maritime development goals early this year, with a view to preparing a final policy document, which should include a clear concept of sustainable development for the maritime industries and realistic but ambitious goals.
A task force established by Mr. Sekimizu has started work on eight pillars around which sustainable maritime development goals could be set:
- safety culture and environmental stewardship;
- energy efficiency;
- new technology and innovation;
- maritime education and training;
- maritime security and anti-piracy actions;
- maritime traffic management;
- maritime infrastructure development; and
- global standards at IMO.
“With shipping being so essential to the continued development and future growth of the world economy, IMO must continue to take the lead in supporting the shipping industry with the appropriate global standards and by helping to promote, through technical co-operation, the necessary national maritime transportation policy and institutional frameworks for a sustainable maritime transportation sector,” Mr. Sekimizu said.