Specifically, Mr Lim applauded the industry for its efforts on reducing GHG emissions and its progress on dealing with emissions in the future, commenting that
In so many areas, we are now at a crossroads. In the next biennium, IMO will need to deliver tangible and concrete action – to ensure our strategies, plans and roadmaps are achieved. I am confident that, together, we can succeed.
Referring to the approaching 2020 sulphur cap, Mr Lim applauded the efforts that have been achieved, supporting the industry's efforts and continuous cooperation in ensuring the smooth implementation of this regulation.
In addition, Mr Lim stating that the industry still has challenges and barriers to overcome, such as the climate change, he added that it is of a great importance to conduct a universal effort to drive the world towards a future of sustainable development, the benefits and risks of digitalization and the urgency of preserving the oceans.
The shipping industry is going through fundamental changes as it responds to these challenges
... commented Mr Lim.
Moreover, during the session, in addition to achieving a greener and more sustainable environment, the Secretary General stated that
But we must now accelerate progress towards the implementation of the initial strategy, looking at new fuels from renewable and sustainable sources, new methods of propulsion, and new ways of maximizing the efficiency of existing propulsion methods. IMO continues to lead the way, not only in the regulatory work but also with the successful implementation of a portfolio of practical projects.
Except the climate and sustainability issues that the industry has to deal with, IMO's Sec-Gen praised the sector's commitment to "fishing vessel safety, to combating marine litter, to incorporating technologies which increase connectivity and efficiency of working practices in maritime transport and to addressing maritime security challenges, including cyber risks, piracy and armed robbery, in a constantly changing world."
Furthermore, the opening speech also focused on keeping regulations and guidelines updated, to ensure the utmost safety of seafarers and seafarer rights, given that in today's developments, the seafarers have to adapt to the new changes and increasing demands, driven by technology, which have a significant impact on their day-to-day life.
Mr Lim informed that the Assembly will hear the reports on IMO's progress over the past two years, and will be requested to approve the work programme and the necessary budget to deliver this programme for the next biennium, as well as to elect a new Council to administer IMO until the next Assembly.
Additionally, promoting gender equality and women's presence in the sector, Mr Lim announced the adoption of "preserving the legacy of the World Maritime theme 2019 and achieving a barrier-free working environment for women in the maritime sector".
With this resolution, you point the way for future efforts on gender equality
... Mr Lim noted.
The Secretary General concluded that shipping is an enabling factor for good; The sector has not the chance to revolutionize an industry that plays a crucial part in the world, its economy and its people, calling the participants and attendees to "continue to seize the opportunity."