International Maritime Organization （IMO）council has selected “Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet” as the World Maritime theme for 2020.
According to a press note from the UN body, this will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the United Nations‘ Sustainable Development Goals （SDGs）, and showcase the work that IMO and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.
The IMO Council, meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London, officially endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
“I believe that this theme will provide flexibility to the Secretariat and the Member States in highlighting the myriad topics and challenges in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. At the same time, it will provide excellent opportunities to highlight the already significant contributions of shipping and the IMO to building that sustainable future,” Lim said.
“The year 2020 will mark the beginning of a decade of action and delivery. It will be a decisive decade not only for the shipping industry, but for life on the planet,” Lim added.
He noted that September 2019 would see a gathering of Heads of State at the United Nations in New York, to take stock of how far the world has come in realizing the sustainable development commitments.
The SDG Summit, the Climate Action Summit and further high-level meetings planned for 2020, such as the Our Ocean and the UN Ocean Conferences, will provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors, including shipping, to both reflect on the work done and the urgent steps they further plan towards a sustainable future.
“The shipping industry, with the support of the IMO regulatory framework, has already started the transition towards this sustainable future. We have adopted and continue to develop measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the sulfur content of ships’ fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter, improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information, meet the challenges of the digitalization of shipping and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community,” Lim said.