Nearly 1,000 ports and port-related enterprises met in Antwerp, Belgium to sign the charter of the new World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP).
Earlier, more than 250 professionals from ports, shipping, government and society gathered at the Port of Antwerp for the kick-off of the World Ports Sustainability Program (WPSP).
Her Majesty Queen Mathilde of the Belgians opened the event with a keynote address in which she underlined the important role that ports play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, which are at the core of WPSP.
International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary General Kitack Lim referred to the platform that IMO is offering for more collaboration between shipowners, ports, maritime administrations and other stakeholders.
WPSP Coordinator and IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven referred to the work that now lies ahead: "We need to chart the course of WPSP with concrete priorities for the years ahead and to ensure that port community actors worldwide engage in achieving the objectives we have set out today.”
By agreeing to the WPSP charter, the signatories agreed to commit themselves to the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals, especially a set of five goals closely related to port operations:
1. developing robust infrastructure, ready to face the challenges of the future;
2. climate & energy
, with the emphasis on initiatives that contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris climate agreement;
3. societal integration, by improving relations between ports and cities;
4. safety and security, including cyber-security, and
5. rolling out transparent, ethical policies and management.
The program aims to demonstrate global leadership of ports in shaping a truly sustainable supply chain for the future and assist ports worldwide in creating sustainable added value for the communities and wider regions in which they are embedded.