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Maritime sector playing effective role in securing food, medical supplies during COVID-19 pandemic: Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

Friday, June 25, 2021

On the Day of the Seafarer 2021, Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, stressed the paramount importance of the maritime sector in securing the UAE's medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Day of the Seafarer, held on 25th June every year, draws global attention to the contribution that seafarers make to world trade.

The UAE joined the international community in celebrating the day. A series of technical maritime workshops were conducted while ships in the UAE’s ports together sound their horns as a part of the ''Horns of Hope'' initiative launched by Abu Dhabi Ports in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to show support for those engaged on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The initiative calls on all ships in harbours around the world to sound their horns in 15-second bursts each evening, in recognition of the efforts of maritime, healthcare, and critical sector personnel, who are working diligently to ensure their respective communities remain safe and healthy.

Al Mazrouei said the maritime sector had significantly contributed to ensuring the smooth flow of supplies and enhancing the logistical services as one of the key pillars of the UAE's strengths to secure food and medical supplies and other basic needs. "The maritime response to the pandemic underscores the UAE's resilience and ability to address emergencies."

The ministry had teamed up with maritime companies to repatriate seafarers during the suspension of flights and had welcomed several ships and provided healthcare to infected seafarers on board and vaccinated seafarers and other workers, he said.

"The UAE has taken proactive measures to protect seafarers and other workers in the sector," he further added.

The UAE, he noted, is among 60 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states who have designated Seafarers as key workers.

As key workers, seafarers should be entitled to priority vaccination and allowed to travel without restrictions. IMO continues to urge more IMO Member States to give seafarers their due and designate them as key workers As the world slowly moves through the pandemic, it is more important than ever not only to acknowledge the efforts that seafarers have made to keeping the supply chain open despite extremely challenging conditions, but also to ensure that the future being built is one that is fair to them. This is why IMO's 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign has chosen the theme of "A Fair Future for Seafarers".

In his message on the Day of the Seafarer, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, "Our 2021 Day of the Seafarer campaign builds on the progress to support seafarers on pandemic-related challenges. It aims to draw global attention to all areas where fairness is important. This includes a safe, secure environment on ships, reasonable working conditions, fair treatment in all situations, as well as respect for the rights of all - regardless of race, gender and religion."

"I am especially pleased that IMO will be amplifying the voices of seafarers themselves as they discuss what a fairer future would look like to them under the hashtag #FairFuture4Seafarers. Seafarers, we are listening – and we will make sure you are heard."

* Source: WAM

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