Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization(IMO), recently called upon governments to vaccinate seafarers against Covid-19 on a preferential basis since they are at the forefront of world trade as key personnel in the global economy. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on December 1 of last year to designate 2 million crew members and marine industry employees around the world as essential personnel and urge governments to facilitate the smooth rotation and repatriation of the crew.
"In the Covid-19 crisis, seafarers are making a dedicated contribution to global trade, but unfortunately, they are asked for unprecedented sacrifices," he said in reply to a letter from the Korea Shipping Association(KSA). KSA sent an official letter to IMO on Dec. 15, requesting actions from IMO regarding the issue. "Worldwide blockade has made crew change struggle, and hundreds of thousands of them are isolated at sea unable to see their families for months and forced to overrun their contracts. We have to work together to resolve this problem, and the United Nations is strengthening its efforts with appropriate UN agencies, member states, and industries to proceed with vaccination of seafarers," he said.
Meanwhile, the International Chamber of Shipping(ICS) has also requested immediate action from governments in regard to this matter. ICS is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet. Guy Platten, Secretary-General of the ICS, said, “Governments must class seafarers as ‘key workers’ and give them priority access to the vaccine, as the inability to rotate crews from their ships risks the passage of the critical medical materials needed for the global vaccination effort.”
미디어케이앤은 BVL(Bundesvereinigung Logistik : 독일연방물류협회)의 한국대표부로 양국간 물류비지니스의 가교역할을 하고 있습니다.