United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

International Maritime Organization (IMO)

UN Ocean Conference
Our oceans, our future: partnering for the implementation of
Sustainable Development Goal 14
New York, 5 June 2017
Intervention by the International Maritime Organization (IMO)
Partnership Dialogue 1: Addressing marine pollution
15:00-18:00, Monday 5 June 2017
UN Conference Room 4
Ladies and gentlemen,
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the specialized agency of the United
Nations responsible for developing and adopting measures to address ship safety and
pollution prevention from ships. Shipping is crucial to sustainable development and IMO's
work is a cornerstone for shipping’s own sustainability.
Conventions and regulations adopted under the auspices of IMO actively address marine
pollution, mainly from sea-based sources but also, at least indirectly, from land-based
sources. IMO also supports the targets for managing and protecting marine and coastal
ecosystems through the establishment of Special Areas and Particularly Sensitive Sea
Areas.
Through IMO's work, significant progress has been made over the past 40 years in reducing
pollution from ships. Oil pollution, in particular, has dropped steadily and significantly, despite
growth in the quantity carried and the length of voyages. Global environmental rules and
standards have been developed to regulate most ship-related pollution sources under the
MARPOL Convention, of which IMO is its custodian. These include the impact of operational
discharges from oil, chemicals, sewage, garbage, as well as air emissions and other wastes.
Additional IMO measures have addressed environmentally sound management of ship
recycling, harmful anti-fouling systems and invasive aquatic species.
The effectiveness of such rules and standards depends on their widespread ratification and
implementation by State Parties. Limited implementation can have, and has had, a negative
impact in a number of instances. As elaborated in the concept note, there is no doubt that a
barrier to the implementation of the provisions of MARPOL is the availability of Port
Reception Facilities, which is a requirement under the Convention.
To address this, IMO has undertaken significant activity to raise awareness and build
capacity in developing States, in particular the least developed countries and small island
developing States. This includes major projects and activities in areas such as energy
efficiency, climate change mitigation, reducing the threat of invasive aquatic species, ship
recycling and oil pollution response.
In undertaking such activities, which entail strong cross-sectoral and interagency
cooperation, IMO has established long-standing partnerships with key international and
regional organizations. Moreover, these activities themselves are fundamentally built around
the concept of partnerships, at the global, regional and national levels, involving all relevant
stakeholders, representing governments, industry and civil society.
To highlight these efforts, IMO has registered a number of voluntary commitments in the
conference registry. These include:
• The Global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres' Network Project (GMN)
[commitment number 15683];
• Building Partnerships to Assist Developing Countries Minimize the Impacts from
Aquatic Biofouling (GloFouling Partnerships) [commitment number 16601];
• Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project [commitment
number 15605]; and
• Implementation of the 2016 London Protocol/Convention Strategic Plan to support the
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [commitment 15907].
These commitments in cooperation with other agencies, namely the GEF, UNDP and EU,
illustrate how IMO’s work in the development and implementation of global standards
covering key issues will underpin its commitment to provide the institutional framework
necessary for a green and sustainable global maritime transportation system, thereby
contributing, not just to SDG 14, but to all the Sustainable Development Goals.
Thank you.