UN recognizes work of 2 million seafarers in “extraordinarily difficult times” |
In his message of the day, the UN Secretary-General said the aim was to “pay tribute to the professionalism and resilience of seafarers”.
António Guterres said the day also recognized “their indispensable role in securing vital global supply chains and transporting over 80% of global trade in extremely difficult times.”
This year, the IMO headquarters will be illuminated in blue on #WorldMaritimeDay to highlight seafarers and their central role in maritime transport and its future. We invited others to light up their most iconic buildings around the world. We get some amazing photos. Here are a few from Indonesia. pic.twitter.com/Jahb0eVjEd
– IMO (@IMOHQ) September 30, 2021
This trade includes medical supplies, food and other essentials essential to the COVID-19 response, but the pandemic continues to place immense physical and mental strain on the estimated two million women and men. men who serve in the world merchant fleet.
Hundreds of thousands of sailors are also facing a humanitarian crisis, many of whom are indeed stranded at sea, unable to disembark the ships they operate, due to long contract extensions amid the pandemic.
“Unable to go ashore, repatriate and change crews, and without access to medical care, the sailors are facing a humanitarian crisis which is endangering the safety and the future of navigation,” said Mr. Guterres.
He renewed his call on governments to formally designate sailors and other maritime personnel as “key workers”, ensuring safe crew changes, implementing established protocols and allowing the repatriation of stranded sailors. .
“These essential workers must have access to national vaccination programs, and arrangements should be made to vaccinate international seafarers in designated ports,” he said.
For Mr. Guterres, governments must comply with the obligations of relevant international treaties to provide assistance to any seafarer in distress, including medical assistance, ensuring that the rights and needs of seafarers are respected.
A greener future
Looking ahead, the Secretary-General said seafarers will play a vital role in helping to advance maritime transport towards sustainability, “helping the sector to play its vital role in building a sustainable future for people and the planet “.
This year’s theme is also linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 4 on education and training, SDG 8 related to decent work, SDG 9 on innovation and industry and SDG 5 on gender equality.