The IMO Council, meeting for its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London on 15-19 July, endorsed the theme, following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim.

I believe that this theme will provide flexibility to the Secretariat and the Member States in highlighting the myriad topics and challenges in meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. At the same time, it will provide excellent opportunities to highlight the already significant contributions of shipping and the IMO to building that sustainable future,

...Mr. Lim said.

He noted that September 2019 would see a gathering of Heads of State at the UN in New York, to take stock of how far the world has come in realizing the sustainable development commitments.

The SDG Summit, the Climate Action Summit and further high-level meetings planned for 2020, such as the Our Ocean and the UN Ocean Conferences, will provide opportunities for leaders from various sectors, including shipping, to both reflect on the work done and the urgent steps they further plan towards a sustainable future.

The shipping industry, Mr. Lim noted, has already vastly emphasized on the transition towards a more sustainable future, with measures to cut GHG emissions and reduce marine litter, the 2020 sulphur cap, the BWM Convention, protection of the polar regions, meeting the challenges of the digitalization and enhancing the participation of women in the maritime community.

The year 2020 will mark the beginning of a decade of action and delivery. It will be a decisive decade not only for the shipping industry, but for life on the planet,

...Mr. Lim noted.

In 2015, 193 countries adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This Agenda calls for action by all countries to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 world-wide – and the SDGs are seen as an opportunity to transform the world for the better and leave no one behind.

As part of the UN family, IMO is actively working towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated SDGs.