Seafarers at sea. Stakeholders in the shipping industry throughout the world celebrated the Day of the Seafarer on June 25.
Seafarers need to benefit from Sustainable Development Goals says UN Secretary-General
By PATRICK MAYOYO
Stakeholders in the maritime industry should put in place mechanism that would result in seafarers benefiting from United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said.
Mr Ban said although the work of seafarers can be dangerous and difficult their welfare can be improved through the implementation of SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The UN-Secretary-General who was speaking during the Day of the Seafarer on June 25th said at times seafarers are at sea for up to a year, a development that may result in them facing loneliness, isolation and exploitation.
He said seafarers deserved appreciation for their efforts and compensation for their labour.
“On this Day of the Seafarer, let us advance the work of those who make shipping possible in a way that promotes our global vision of a life of dignity and opportunity for all,” Mr Ban said.
He said actions of the shipping industry would play a pivotal role on how the world is going to be transformed by the twin plans of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
“Both can be advanced through actions of the shipping industry, giving added meaning to this year’s commemoration of the Day of the Seafarer,” he said in a statement.
IMO Secretary General – Day of the Seafarer 2016
Mr Ban said by helping keep the world’s people clothed, fed and housed, seafarers have the potential to drive economic growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally sound.
“At the same time, we must ensure that seafarers themselves benefit from the Sustainable Development Goals. Their work can be dangerous and difficult,” he added.
This year, IMO’s Day of the Seafarer celebrated seafarers and let the world know how and why seafarers are indispensable to everyone.
The campaign theme for this year’s Day of the Seafarer was: “At Sea For All”.
The theme had a clear link with the 2016 World Maritime Day theme, “Shipping: indispensable to the world”, emphasising that seafarers serve at sea not just for the shipping industry or for their own career purposes but for all– and, consequently, they are also “indispensable to the world”.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim called on people around the world to show their appreciation for the seafarers that “quietly, mostly unnoticed, keep the wheels of the world in motion”.
Mr Lim said the Day of the Seafarer was established in 2010 to recognize the unique contribution made by seafarers to international seaborne trade, the world economy and to global society as a whole.
Now, it is celebrated all over the world–in ports, on ships, in shipping companies and, of course, at IMO.
“It gives us all a chance to reflect on how much we all rely on seafarers for most of the things we take for granted in our everyday lives,” he noted.
A Day in the Life of a Seafarer
Over one million seafarers operate the global fleet yet billions of people depend on them for the essentials and the luxuries of life. Mr Lim said shipping is essential to the world–and so are seafarers.
“We want people in shipping to use it to tell seafarers that they are essential to the industry. We want seafarers themselves to use it to say they are proud to serve a wider cause than their own careers,” he added.
He asked members of the general public to use the Day of the Seafarer to signal their own appreciation of the importance of seafarers.
“We want everyone to say that seafarers are “At Sea For All”,” he said.
Mr Lim said seafarers lead a tough and sometimes lonely existence. “Outside of shipping, most people don’t know a seafarer–but everyone has cause to thank them,” he concluded.