Specifically, UK Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst will be leading the virtual event which will reflect the impact of the pandemic on the global shipping industry, the role of the governments and industry to protect the seafarers.
Kitack Lim, the UN Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization will be present on the event and will highlight the humanitarian need to safeguard workers across the seas and states’ duties to repatriate workers swiftly.
Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst stated that
Seafarers have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to ensure people across the globe can access the essential food, medicine and supplies we all need, but thousands have been left with no way of coming ashore when faced with border restrictions.
The Minister further noted that she hopes that the meeting will be a reminder of the international collaboration required by all states to bring people home.
To remind, the UK has been open for seafarer crew changes, abiding by Public Health England requirements and social distancing.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, added
We welcome the announcement to hold a virtual summit on this critical crew change issue ...The solutions do not need money; they do not even need complicated negotiations, this is simple. The leadership provided by the UK to cut through this red tape is just the sort of initiative that is needed to free the thousands of seafarers who are trapped onboard ships across the world.