IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the industry-led Neptune Declaration, which calls for seafarers to be designated as key workers and for cooperation to end the crew change crisis, which is not only putting seafarers in a desperate situation but also threatening the safety of shipping and world trade.
Hundreds of thousands of seafarers around the globe are unable to leave ships, while others cannot join, due to travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am pleased to see the industry come together under the Neptune Declaration to support ways to resolve the crew change crisis. This very much reflects the calls made by IMO, its sister UN entities and more recently the United Nations General Assembly, in its recent resolution on seafarers,” Mr. Lim said. “I encourage more companies, including charterers, to get involved and show their support for our seafarers.”
In December, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on International cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers who are supporting global supply chains during the Covid19 pandemic. (read more here)
To date, the IMO Secretary-General has received 53 notifications from Member States that they have designated seafarers as key workers and one from an Associate Member (download latest list here).
Secretary-General Lim urged more Governments to designate seafarers as key workers.
He also highlighted IMO’s World Maritime Theme for 2021, “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future”. The choice of theme recognizes the efforts of seafarers who have shown tremendous fortitude and perseverance in continuing to deliver global trade during the current unprecedented situation the world is facing.