The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has stressed that seafarer safety was paramount in the context of the Red Sea and attacks on international shipping.
During a meeting with shipping industry representatives on Thursday IMO Secretary-General; Arsenio Dominguez reiterated the message that seafarers are innocent victims in the volatile Red Sea situation.
He said that, in addition to safety of seafarers, freedom of navigation must also be upheld, to guarantee global trade and the flow of goods by sea.
According to him, “further, there must be caution and restraint to avoid further escalation of the situation in the Red Sea and broader area”. Mr. Dominguez was referencing the UN Security Council Resolution 2722 (2024) on the Red Sea.
Shipping industry representatives, who were at the meeting emphasized that the safety of crew is paramount.
The meeting provided the IMO and the international shipping community, the opportunity to exchange views and look ahead to the steps that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) can take, including sharing information and potential future discussions during the next scheduled Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 108, 15-24 May 2024).
The meeting was attended by representatives of: International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), BIMCO, Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and World Shipping Council (WSC).
Earlier in the week (16 January) Secretary-General Dominguez had had a meeting with representatives of the Member States of the Djibouti Code of Conduct to discuss the situation in the Red Sea, focusing on the need to enhance the maritime security capabilities of the countries in the region. The key areas of safety of seafarers, freedom of navigation and de-escalation were reiterated by countries in the region.