The International Labour Organization (ILO) adopted a resolution for a global seafarers vaccination program proposed by the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry (SDM) which calls for a mapping exercise to identify the number of vaccines required for seafarers ashore at seafarer supplying countries.
The resolution was agreed at the Fourth Meeting of the Special Tripartite Committee of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 – Part I. Namely, the Resolution builds upon the proposal for a global seafarers vaccination program presented by Cyprus earlier this year to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary-General, the International Chamber of Shipping, and the European Union.
As explained, this is a key step in identifying the magnitude of the vaccination challenge and then proceeding collectively with more decisive action, working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and pharmaceutical companies to secure sufficient vaccines for seafarers.
Regarding the adoption of the resolution, Vassilios Demetriades, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, commented that Cyprus was determined to find a realistic approach to a global seafarer vaccination program and is extremely pleased to see this draft resolution accepted by the ILO.
I am encouraged by the adoption of this Resolution and my next step is to engage in active conversations with the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers’ Federation to define the way forward and put this plan into action. We look forward to working collaboratively to accelerate this resolution, finally delivering the support which our international key workers need and deserve.
…Mr Vassilios Demetriades added
Cyprus was one of the first countries worldwide that recognized seafarers as key workers and introduced all necessary measures to facilitate crew changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures have resulted in more than 1,200 seafarers being repatriated through Cyprus’ ports and airports since May 2020.
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