ICS welcomes UN resolution on key worker status for seafarers


02/12/2020 - 19:34

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has today welcomed a resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, which calls for all countries around the world to designate seafarers as key workers.

The resolution, put forward by Ambassador Dian Triansyah Djani of the Republic of Indonesia, encourages governments to immediately implement measures to allow crew change, and to ensure access to medical care for all maritime personnel.

This is a significant step in recognising the crucial role that 2,000,000 sailors play in transporting food, medicine, energy supplies and other essential raw materials across the globe amidst the height of a global pandemic.

The resolution, entitled “International cooperation to address challenges faced by seafarers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic to support global supply chains”, was presented at the 75th Session of the UN’s General Assembly.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the ICS, commented:

“We welcome the news that the UN General Assembly has passed a resolution urging the classification of all seafarers as key workers and commend the Indonesian government for spearheading this resolution.

“The inability to rotate crew from their ships and provide safe, frictionless transport through international borders risks the passage of trade that all our economies rely on.

The International Chamber of Shipping understands that 44 UN member states currently classify seafarers as ‘key workers’. While this resolution is a positive step, clearly there is much more to be done. Governments must now leverage their considerable power to persuade others to follow suit and classify their seafarers as key workers.

“As we head towards the holiday season the shipping industry is doing its bit with the launch of the Seafarers Delivering Christmas campaign. We now call on all governments to answer the seafarers’ Christmas wish and designate them as key workers and end the crew change crisis.”


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