IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has asked the United Nations system organizations to declare governments as seafarers, port staff and other key maritime workers as key personnel. Mr. Lim spoke at a virtual meeting with other UN chiefs and the UN Secretary General. The meeting focused on the impact of COVID-19 and other things, such as travel, trade flows, global logistics, disruptions and restrictions such as the supply of food, medicine and medical supplies.
At the meeting, Mr. Lim emphasized the importance of maritime staff and especially the well-being of seafarers and the importance of crew changes to support the global supply chain. He also highlighted crew changes due to the travel ban and increasingly increasing restrictions by governments due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr. Lim said that maritime transport is a vital element for the economy and for providing the global supply chain and global trade flows, including the urgently needed pharmaceutical, medical equipment and food supply. “The sea trade is still flowing, but the difficulties are increasing due to the restrictions imposed by countries,” Mr. lim added.
IMO and the shipping industry are committed to providing and supporting global trade flows and the global supply chain.
IMO Secretary General participated in the meeting of the expanded UN Senior Management Group chaired by UN Secretary General António Guterres. The meeting was attended by SMG members and the heads of the UN expert FAO, IFAD, ICAO, IMO, ILO, ITU, WHO and WMO agencies.
UN Secretary General António Guterres, who started the meeting, emphasized the importance and need of not only global but also regional and local approach to address this unprecedented crisis, and asked all UN system agencies to work together for a coordinated response.