On International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 (9 December), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the IMO’s support for the fight against corruption in all its forms.
In a statement, Mr. Lim acknowledged that the maritime sector, which is vital for the post-COVID recovery, is exposed to the risk of corruption.
He also highlighted the IMO efforts to develop guidance to implement and embrace anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices and procedures.
On the International Anti-Corruption Day, we stand #UnitedAgainstCorruption
In addition, IMO said that research has identified that seafarers may be subjected to corrupt demands, such as unlawful requests for payments to allow ships to enter and depart the port or disproportionate penalties applied for minor errors. This can lead to interruptions to normal operations, delaying ships and creating a risk to navigation and seafarer safety. The Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN) anonymous reporting mechanism has collected about 40,000 reports of corrupt demands globally.
What is more, Mr. Lim added that corrupt practices affect legitimate shipping and port operations and can lead to damaging effects on trade and investment. For this reason, IMO’s Facilitation Committee addresses the ship/port interface and is currently working to develop guidance to implement and embrace anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices and procedures to assist all stakeholders.
Combating corruption is a challenge for all of us. We must not allow the COVID-19 crisis to provide an excuse for a lack of vigilance. The maritime sector will be the foundation for the post-COVID recovery, a recovery which must be inclusive and sustainable with integrity and accountability. On the International Anti-Corruption Day, we stand #UnitedAgainstCorruption.
Mr. Lim concluded.