The pandemic has shown us the importance of seafarers as key workers in the maritime world to keep the shipping and global supply chain on track
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi highlighted Indonesia’s commitment and contribution to the maritime world on the second day of the 32nd International Maritime Organization Assembly, which was attended online by 175 state members.

The pandemic has hit the maritime world, the backbone of trade and global economy, hard, he highlighted.

“The pandemic has shown us the importance of seafarers as key workers in the maritime world to keep the shipping and global supply chain on track,” Sumadi said in a press statement issued here on Wednesday.

To this end, Indonesia conveyed the issue to the United Nations (UN) to be adopted in the UN Assembly’s resolutions on "International Cooperation to Help Seafarers Meet the Challenges amid the Pandemic" on December 1, 2020, he informed.

In addition, Indonesia is committed to supporting the crew change process and seafarer repatriation, which is aimed at ensuring their safety and welfare, he said.

Indonesia has prepared and provided as many as 11 ports for crew change activities and repatriation, he informed.

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In accordance with MSC.473 of the IMO Resolution, Indonesia has so far repatriated 60 thousand seafarers and has facilitated over 8 thousand crew changes, either for Indonesian or foreign seafarers, he said.

Sumadi also provided details of Indonesia’s contributions and initiatives as an IMO council member over the last two years, including playing an active role in IMO’s long-term programs, such as the Marine Environment Protection of the South East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS), GloFouling Partnerships Project, GloLitter Partnerships Project, and Blue Solutions Project.

“Furthermore, we have continually cooperated with coastal countries and the countries using the Malacca Strait and Singapore Strait for maintaining traffic in the two straits securely and safely,” he said.

Indonesia is also committed to protecting and enhancing shipping navigation safety in the Sunda Strait and Lombok Strait by implementing the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) adopted at the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in 2019, he added.

As an IMO state member since 1961 and a dedicated council member since 1973, Indonesia will continue to take part in improving the implementation of IMO’s conventions, standards, and guidelines, according to the minister.

The 32nd IMO Assembly is taking place from December 6–15, 2021. It was virtually opened by IMO’s secretary general, Kitack Lim, on Monday (December 6, 2021).

One of the key agendas at the assembly is the IMO’s council member election, where Indonesia has been re-nominated as a Category C council member for the 2022–2021 period. The election will be held on December 10, 2021.
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Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Juwita Trisna
Editor: Suharto
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