2021 World Maritime theme – "Seafarers: at the core of shippingʹs future"
focus on seafarers comes as the COVID-19 pandemic has placed extraordinary and
unprecedented demands on seafarers.
Hundreds of thousands faced and are still
facing extended sea times, going months at sea without seeing families and
loved ones. The crew change crisis in 2020 has highlighted seafarersʹ
exceptional contribution as key and essential workers, on the front line of
delivering world trade through a pandemic and in ordinary times.
The theme to raise awareness of seafarersʹ
vital role in world trade and increase their visibility
at the core of shippingʹs future" has been selected as the World Maritime
theme for 2021, reflecting a clear need to raise awareness of seafarersʹ vital
role in world trade and increase their visibility.
IMO Council, meeting for its thirty-second extraordinary session held by
correspondence, endorsed the theme following a proposal by IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim.
How the ability for shipping services
and seafarers central to responding to, and eventually overcoming, this
Lim said that the COVID-19 pandemic has illustrated, more than ever, that it is
crucially important to ensure the functioning of the global supply chains and
the facilitation of the safe and efficient operation of maritime transport.
“Through these difficult times, the international community has seen how the
ability for shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including
medical supplies and food, has been central to responding to, and eventually
overcoming, this pandemic. This could not happen without the professionalism
and dedication of the worldʹs seafarers,” Mr. Lim said.
Seafarers have always been at the heart
of everything IMO does.
World Maritime theme for 2021 also links to the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) - particularly SDG 4 on education and training; SDG 8
related to decent work; SDG 9 on innovation and industry, which links to the
promotion of a resilient maritime sector; and SDG 5 on gender equality, linked
to efforts to promote seafaring as a career for all, including women, in
particular. Moreover, the theme can be viewed as an extension of the theme for
2020, namely "Sustainable Shipping for a Sustainable Planet" as
seafarers are at the core of that theme, as well.
2021 World Maritime Day Parallel Event
Following the postponement of the 2020 Parallel
event, due to the pandemic, the 2021 World Maritime Day Parallel Event will be
held in South Africa.