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Joint IMO/ILO Conference on Work at Sea

Closing remarks by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO

13 November 2023

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

This marks the end of the first joint IMO/ILO Conference on Work at Sea.

Today, we discussed critical issues facing our industry, specifically addressing the challenges confronting seafarers and fishers who are indispensable to global trade and food security.

This conference highlighted the essential role of the maritime workforce in global development, emphasizing that seafarers are the backbone of the global supply chain. It is imperative to actively work towards protecting their well-being and ensuring decent working conditions.

The shipping industry plays a paramount role in safeguarding seafarers' and fishers' rights.

Our collective goal should be the broad ratification of international instruments, adopting the highest standards, and sharing best practices in management. This ensures seafarers and fishers receive the necessary protection, care, and support to navigate future challenges.

International cooperation is crucial, requiring collaboration between governments, international organizations, and the shipping industry. Challenges such as crew change, fatigue, mental health support, and fair wages require joint efforts for effective solutions.

The close cooperation between IMO and ILO is more critical than ever, enabling the pooling of resources and expertise to address challenges in recruiting and retaining personnel at sea.

Looking ahead, we must also focus on equipping maritime professionals with the skills and knowledge to adapt to a changing environment.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I invite Member States, industry stakeholders, international organizations, and training institutions to unite in supporting our maritime professionals, providing them with the global recognition they deserve.

My sincere appreciation to all contributors, speakers, moderators, participants, and the organizing team for their insightful contributions and exemplary work in organizing this conference.

Thank you.


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