Sustainable use of the oceans, maritime trade, and the digital revolution were some of the issues addressed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim at the International Shipping Summit in Istanbul, Turkey (17 March).
In his opening address to maritime industry and government representatives from around the world, Secretary-General Lim spoke about how IMO, in its leadership role as the global regulator of shipping, is and will be addressing a number of challenges facing the shipping industry.
On the marine environment, he said that to be sustainable, human activities have to be balanced with the oceans' capacity to remain healthy and diverse in the long term – and that a major part of IMO's role is to ensure that shipping continues to make its contribution to the global economy without upsetting that delicate balance. He highlighted IMO’s work on GHG emissions and ship energy-efficiency, ballast water management
, and polar shipping.
He also emphasized that improving ports, developing and strengthening inter-modal links and hinterland connections can both drive and support a growing economy, through promoting trade by sea. And on the digital revolution – Mr. Lim said that the shipping industry is entering a new era, through new, emerging technology in areas such as fuel and energy use
, automation and vessel management, materials and construction.
The Summit also saw IMO’s Jan De Boer take part in a special session on the marine environment. Mr. De Boer provided an outline of IMO’s HNS Convention on transporting hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) by sea – in anticipation of Turkey’s upcoming ratification of the treaty.
The Summit was organized by the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime and Communications, and opened by Prime Minister of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım, with Transport Minister, Mr. Ahmet Arslan, also speaking at the opening ceremony.