In just a few days, on 24 February 2023, will mark one year since the onset of the war in Ukraine. The International Chamber of Shipping, in collaboration with over 30 other organisations and companies, have written a joint open letter urgently calling on the UN Secretary General – His Excellency António Guterres – to prioritise the immediate release of the 331 seafarers and 62 ships that remain trapped in Ukrainian ports.
For the attention of His Excellency António Guterres
United Nations Secretary General
United Nations Headquarters
E 46th St & 1st Ave
New York 10017
United States of America
Joint open letter on seafarers still trapped in Ukraine
Re: Shipping industry call for help to evacuate the 300+ seafarers still trapped in Ukraine ports
Your Excellency Secretary-General Guterres,
As we approach one year since the start of the war in Ukraine, the co-signatories of this letter write to you to highlight the 331 seafarers still trapped on vessels in the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. We call on the United Nations, and on your diplomatic influence, to address this matter urgently and evacuate all remaining seafarers and ships.
Our seafarers are the heart of our industry and cannot be forgotten. For 12 months now they have been caught up in a crisis far beyond their control. Simply doing their jobs cannot come at the expense of their lives. We recognise and celebrate the United Nations, and your leadership, for the Black Sea Grain Initiative that the UN successfully brokered with Türkiye between Ukraine and Russia.
This has allowed safe passage of critical grain and fertiliser shipments from Ukraine to populations most in need, and curbed food prices from spiralling out of control. We are committed to supporting the continued success of the Black Sea Grain Initiative, however this cannot come at the expense of innocent seafarers’ lives. Action must be taken now.
Without our seafarers, movement of the vital grain shipments out of Ukrainian ports would not have been possible. While there are challenges to evacuating seafarers and their ships, it must nonetheless be a top priority. Otherwise, we risk the lives of our seafarers, and this is unacceptable.
Please kindly see below the full list of signatories to the letter.
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