Marking the World Maritime Day, the head of the United Nations maritime agency today highlighted contributions the shipping industry can make to the achievement of the global development goals.
“Shipping and ports can play a significant role in helping to create conditions for increased employment, prosperity and stability through promoting maritime trade. The port and maritime sectors can be wealth creators, both on land and at sea,” said Kitack Lim, the Secretary-General of International Maritime Organization (IMO), in his message for the Day, observed annually on 28 September.
To highlight this potential, the theme of the Day for this year is ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People.’ “It will enable us to shine a spotlight on the existing cooperation between ports and ships to maintain and enhance a safe, secure and efficient maritime transportation system,” Mr. Lim said.
The benefits of a free and efficient flow of goods and trade extend far beyond the ships and ports themselves, and an effective interface between them can improve the lives of people everywhere, especially in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by UN Member States in 2015.
But, to be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the oceans’ capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term. The so-called ‘blue economy’ is a large and growing industrial sector; and, as it grows, it must remain safe and secure and not threaten the environment, he noted.
Ultimately, more efficient shipping, working in partnership with a port sector supported by governments, will be a major driver towards global stability and sustainable development for the good of all people, he concluded.