IMO Welcomes Adoption of Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations

Published Sep 28, 2015 7:24 PM by The Maritime Executive

IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has welcomed the adoption of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the U.N. as an ambitious set of targets with the potential to transform the world. 

“I truly believe that the sustainable development goals provide a clear pathway for the future of the world. Along the way to growth and prosperity for all, international maritime transportation will of necessity be a key player, supporting trade and helping to build and expand economies,” Sekimizu said. 

“The IMO stands ready to support the further development and implementation of the SDGs and I am confident that all IMO Member States will engage in discussions on  how best to realize them, thorough IMO’s work, particularly through the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.”

The United Nations Sustainable Development Summit on Friday adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets, to follow on from and build on the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were agreed by governments in 2001. The Summit, which concluded on Sunday, was attended by several Heads of State which during the Summit further discussed how to implement the SDGs. 

The SDGS are intended to be integrated and indivisible and to balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The SDGs form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity which seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. It recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

The IMO has a comprehensive technical cooperation program which supports the effective implementation of those global standards (including those relating to maritime safety and security and prevention of pollution form ships) through capacity building activities. Technical cooperation projects and programs also serve to strengthen and promote the maritime transportation industry in developing countries, including those which provide the international labor force for shipping. 

International shipping is inherently indispensable for economic growth and sustainable development and therefore indirectly plays a role in all of the SDGs. However, three of the SDGs have particular resonance for IMO:

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all  
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

The IMO participated in the Sustainable Development Summit and has been engaged in the development of the SDGs through various mechanisms including the U.N. Chief Executives Board, which gathers together all the heads of the specialized agencies of the U.N.

The IMO has also developed the concept of a sustainable maritime transportation system, which identifies the various imperatives that must be met to implement an SMTS, and the activities that will need to be undertaken to achieve them. The concept was developed to draw attention the vital importance of shipping, but also highlight that cooperation is needed amongst all maritime stakeholders to realize the potential.

“IMO’s role in the U.N. system is to set standards for international shipping, an international transportation system which supports sustainable development across the globe, moving goods including food and energy at low cost. IMO fully supports an agenda aimed at discouraging unilateral economic, financial and trade measures order to ensure growth for all,” Sekimizu said. 

“I would also like to welcome the fact that the 2030 agenda calls upon partnerships not just amongst countries, but also other stakeholders including the private sector. IMO has been working with many different partnerships in its global and regional projects and I look forward to further strengthening these links.”

The Sustainable Development Goals 

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture 
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages 
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all 
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation 
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries 
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* 
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss 
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development