Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo
on Tuesday addressed the International Maritime Organization
’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) in London at the invitation of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim. The visit was part of Lim’s initiative to raise awareness of the Organization within the broader audience of global leadership.
Delegates from 107 Member States and 53 NGOs heard Widodo outline Indonesia’s strategy for national maritime development and confirm his support for IMO, the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for ship safety, maritime security and prevention of pollution from ships, as the appropriate global forum for matters of maritime policy.
President Widodo said, “Indonesia believes the future of global prosperity depends on how we manage the sea. And that future can be secured by taking care of the sea as our common heritage. We can do this through international cooperation, including at the IMO.”
“We realize the sustainable use of maritime resources must be done for the benefit of our people. We are aware it is our responsibility as a member of international society to ensure maritime sustainability. We also realize that as a power between two oceans we must take part in ensuring the safety of international navigation. In this context, Indonesia sees the IMO and our membership in the IMO as important,” he said.
Indonesia would continue to play an active role at IMO, President Widodo said, noting the country’s ratification last year of the Ballast Water Management Convention.
Since taking office at the beginning of this year, Lim has stressed his commitment that IMO can, and should, be the catalyst for dialogue and communication across all areas of maritime policy and regulation, breaking down the tendency for governments, industry and other stakeholders to operate in silos.
By so doing, he believes, IMO can simultaneously serve the interests of the environment, of society and of the economy – which have been identified as the three pillars of sustainability. These will become increasingly important for the Organization and its members as we more fully embrace the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Commenting on Widodo’s visit, Lim said, “I am most grateful to the President for taking time from his busy schedule to visit IMO and speak to our delegates. IMO has had clear and demonstrable success over many decades in making shipping safer, cleaner, more efficient and more secure and I hope to find ways to extend IMO’s values and achievements more widely throughout the global supply chain.”
“This is something that can only be done by an active, engaging and outward-looking organization - which is why I am keen to raise IMO’s visibility among officials, ministers and decision-makers beyond our regular community.”
This year's World Maritime Day theme is “Shipping: indispensable to the world”. It was chosen to focus on the critical link between shipping and global society and to raise awareness of the relevance of the role of IMO as the global regulatory body for international shipping. The importance of shipping in supporting and sustaining today's global society gives IMO's work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself.