New sustainability team for IMO

United Nations maritime agency establishing internal support

By Cherie Rowlands |

The United Nation’s shipping agency, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is to set up a Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) internal support team.

The new group will be established within secretary general Koji Sekimizu’s office and will conform to the pillars of SDG. These include energy efficiency by promoting reduced CO2 emissions from ships, new innovations for green technology, maritime traffic management, security, education and training, along with implementing IMO’s conventions on the environment.

“The working group on SDGs will not provide any priority issues, but the intention should be to cover all ground and making progress in all aspects of sustainable development,” Koji Sekimizu said.  

IMO’s SDG team is expected to consist of stakeholders and political representatives, along with UN involvement and will focus on all sustainable development issues.  

Sekimizu said: “Certainly our plan should be reflected in the global sustainable development goals, which will be established by the UN and involving all UN agencies. Apart from that my view is we should also clearly establish our goal for sustainability for the maritime and shipping industries. Regardless of discussion on a global scale, I think we should continuously move ahead toward sustainability and sound shipping.

“I think the IMO is leading much faster than other sectors because we have very clear vision toward sustainable shipping, sustainable maritime development and that may provide a model to be followed by other organisations or other industries.”

This latest IMO initiative arises from the United Nations RIO+20 conference on sustainability in June, during which the agency contributed to discussions by highlighting shipping industry achievements, including its contribution to the world economy and sustainability. 

The SDG team is expected to be in place in time for reporting to the 68th UN General Assembly in 2013.

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