In UK LiMA Boss, Lenn Eugene Nagbe Addresses IMO On World Maritime Day

Flash Bach\k: Maritime Commissioner Eugene Lenn Nagbe (r) and IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

The Commissioner General of the Liberia Maritime Authority (LiMA), Lenn Eugene Nagbe who is currently in London, the United Kingdom has addressed the World Maritime Day, 2021 on September 30, 2021.

Below is the full text of Commissioner Nagbe’s Speech delivered at IMO

The President and People of the Republic of Liberia join the rest of the World to celebrate World Maritime Day 2021, under the theme, “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future.” No nation or institution better understands the sacrifices, challenges, and perils that occasion and underpin the job of seafaring than Liberia, given the massiveness of the fleet under our flag which now stands at over 200 Million gross tonnage.

As I speak to you, the Liberian Registry is now the World’s largest tanker flag in terms of gross tonnage given the latest tonnage added to the fleet.

With international shipping accounting for one-fourth of the medium by which global trade is made possible due to its reliability and low cost, seafarers who are undeniably the mitochondrion of shipping, display on a daily basis a very high level of resilience, the like of which is rarely seen in and amongst many other professions.

As if the tenacity of seafarers has not been tested and proven enough over time, the COVID-19 Pandemic has engendered a new challenge for seafarers, causing hundreds of thousands of men and women of the profession to be stranded or somewhat detained or quarantined on ships beyond their original contracts period, without the liberty or means of returning home.

The Covid-19 Pandemic has also created an employment crisis for seafarers due to the drop in global trade, which inevitably means fewer international shipping and fewer seafarers employed.

That is why among other things, the Government of the Republic of Liberia applauds the call by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, during the heat of the COVID-19 Pandemic, appealing to Governments to address seafarers’ plight by formally designating them and other marine personnel as key workers, ensuring safe crew changes, implementing established protocols, and allowing stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships.” As a nation of nearly five thousand ships, we consider ourselves a huge beneficiary and proponent of that call.

At the level of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Liberia has supported the development of appropriate international legal instruments with a focus on safeguarding and preserving the human element of shipping in terms of safety and security of life onboard ships, the wellbeing of seafarers, and the importance of having an appropriately trained and qualified workforce. In addition, the Liberian Registry has also prioritized the promotion of innovative technology onboard its flagged ships aimed at improving the safety and security of seafarers and protecting the marine environment.

Indeed, seafarers will always be at the core of shipping’s future irrespective of the development of autonomous ships or the dawn of a shipping evolution. That is why the Liberia is keen on meeting the necessary needs of seafarers, including training, to be prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and automation.

During the launch of this year’s World Maritime Day theme, the Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, rightfully noted that seafarers have always been at the center of all the work of the IMO, be it in the area of safety, maritime security, or environmental protection. This remains true because IMO Member States, including Liberia, who are key architects of the IMO strategic direction, have placed seafarers’ wellbeing at the frontburner during deliberations.

The Government of Liberia, at this moment, seizes this opportunity on this historic marking another World Maritime Day to reaffirm the scrupulous execution of its pleasing duty to protect the wellbeing and rights of seafarers onboard ships flying the Liberian flag.

We believe that this is the minimum we can do to accord the deference due them and contribute to global trade. Therefore, apart from continuing our rigorous implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention and other seafarer protection instruments, which is the hallmark of our Maritime Program, Liberia will impress upon and encourage other nations through diplomatic intercourse to follow suit in order to foster the uniform application of the MLC and minimize the risks to the more than 1.6 Million seafarers worldwide.

Happy World Maritime Day to all seafarers.

I thank you.

 

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About Joel Cholo Brooks 13611 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.
Contact: Website

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