World Maritime Day 2018 – Our heritage: better shipping for a better future – A message from IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. This year IMO celebrates two major anniversaries: 70 years since the IMO Convention was adopted and 60 years since it entered into force.
I am speaking to you today from Church House, the historic venue in London where the first-ever meeting of IMO was held, in this very room.
Our theme for this year is “IMO 70: Our heritage: better shipping for a better future”. It looks both at the past and into the years to come.It provides an opportunity to reflect and showcase how IMO has developed and adapted while staying true to its overall mission – to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.It has done this largely through consensus among its 173 Member States.
The more than 50 international instruments adopted by IMO cover all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, crewing, navigation, operation and disposal.
Complying with these standards can be challenging for the industry. But nothing truly worthwhile is ever easy. IMO’s greatest achievement has been to create a level playing field, through global regulations uniformly implemented, so that ship operators cannot simply cut corners. This approach also encourages innovation and efficiency.
Since its beginning IMO has worked to ensure that people all over the world can continue to benefit from shipping in a manner that meets the needs of the global economy, and also changing expectations about safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and so on.
With shipping transporting more than 80 percent of global trade to people and communities all over the world, it is clear that IMO’s actions have an effect far beyond the ships themselves.
IMO’s heritage for 70 years has been to drive improvements in shipping to achieve a better world today. Our challenge for the years to come remains – to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to create better shipping – for a better future.