The IMO Council has endorsed a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to adopt “Sustainable Development: IMO’s contribution beyond Rio+20” as the World Maritime Day theme for 2013.
The theme was chosen in order to focus IMO’s efforts during 2013 on the commitments to be made at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, better known as Rio+20, to be held from 20 to 22 June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Addressing the IMO Council, meeting for its 108th session in London, Mr. Sekimizu said that IMO would renew its commitment to sustainable maritime development at Rio+20.
“Twenty years ago, the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio adopted the so-called ‘Agenda 21’, which included a set of recommendations related to shipping and the role of IMO. IMO’s response to Agenda 21 has, over the years, been both multifaceted and robust,” Mr. Sekimizu said.
“The two main themes of Rio+20 are the creation of a ‘green economy’ and a new institutional framework for sustainable development. Key elements of sustainable shipping include energy efficiency, new technology and innovation, maritime education and training, maritime security, maritime traffic management and the development of maritime infrastructure in both developed and developing countries. But these must be underpinned by global standards – the standards developed and maintained by IMO with a view to ensuring safe, secure, efficient and environmentally sound international shipping, on which the sustainable development and growth of the global economy depends,” he added.
The theme for 2013 has therefore been selected, “for this reason, and in order to focus our efforts next year on giving true meaning and impetus to the commitments to be made at the Rio+20 Conference,” Mr. Sekimizu said.