To commemorate the 2016 Day of the Seafarer which is June 25 every year, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon has highlighted the role of the shipping industry in moving forward the international agenda on sustainable development and climate change.

He said: “The world is now embarking on carrying out twin plans for the future that have the potential to transform our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Both can be advanced through actions of the shipping industry, giving added meaning to this year’s commemoration of the Day of the Seafarer”.

He noted that by helping to keep the world’s people clothed, fed and housed, seafarers have the potential to drive economic growth that is socially inclusive and environmentally sound.

He however emphasised that despite their work, the seafearers must benefit from Sustainable Development Goals.

He said: “Their work can be dangerous and difficult. At sea for up to a year, they may face loneliness, isolation and exploitation. They deserve appreciation for their efforts and compensation for their labour”.

“On this Day of the Seafarer, let us advance the work of those who make shipping possible in a way that promotes our global vision of a life of dignity and opportunity for all,” he added.

The Day of Seafarer was established in 2010 to recognise the contribution made by seafarers to international seaborne trade, the world economy and global society as a whole.

The theme for this year’s Day is ‘At Sea for All’. Over one million seafarers operate the global fleet yet billions of people depend on them for the essentials and the luxuries of life. Seafarers are an essential part of the world.

Author: Ope Adedeji