‘Sustainable shipping for a sustainable planet’ has been selected as the IMO's World Maritime theme for 2020.
The organization says it will raise awareness of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and showcase the work that the IMO and its Member States are undertaking to achieve the targets.
The IMO Council endorsed the theme – following a proposal by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim – at its 122nd session at IMO Headquarters in London.
"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,” said Lim.
“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.
"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."
Lim 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 shipping industry, with the support of the IMO regulatory framework, has already started the transition towards this sustainable future,” added Lim.
“We have adopted and continue to develop measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce the sulphur content of ships' fuel oil, implement the Ballast Water Management Convention, protect the polar regions, reduce marine litter, improve the efficiency of shipping through the electronic exchange of information, meet the challenges of the digitalization of shipping, and enhance the participation of women in the maritime community.
"We are strategically equipped to showcase our contribution to the SDGs and to act upon untapped opportunities of technologies, finance and new partnerships for the future benefit of the shipping industry and humankind."