Speech to the IMO General Assembly

Remarks by Deputy Minister Dilek Ayhan at the IMO Assembly, 26 November 2013.

*Sjekkes mot fremføring*

 

Your Excellencies,

Secretary General,

Ladies and gentlemen: 

 

It is an honour and a great pleasure for me to address the IMO Assembly today.

This year we are celebrating the 150th anniversary of the artist Edvard Munch’s birth.

Munch represented the age of modernism which embraced the human capacity to create, improve and transform their environment, using science, technology and experimentation.

The reason why I mention Munch and his modernism is that I believe we must take a modernistic approach in handling the future challenges for shipping – We must embrace new technology and our ability and willingness to change.

 

I believe Norway has attained a leading position in shipping by our ability to rapidly adapt to changing market conditions.

The Norwegian maritime cluster is at the leading edge of development.

New innovative solutions are continuously being developed to meet the ever- increasing need for efficient and sustainable maritime transport.

 

Allow me to mention a few issues of importance to us.

Firstly, the high north is a top priority for the Norwegian government.

Our goal is to ensure peaceful, sustainable and prosperous development in this region.

The challenges in the polar regions are substantial and it is only through a joint global effort we can ensure a safe, secure and environmentally sound shipping in these areas.

The Polar Code will be an important tool, and I am pleased to see the progress made in the development so far.

Secondly, the environment must continue to be addressed.

The achievements of the IMO on environmental protection the last decade have been many, and of great importance in ensuring a sustainable future.

The Ballast Water Management Convention, the Hong Kong Convention are two great examples.

Also, allow me to emphasize the importance of the Resolution on promotion of technical co-operation and transfer of technology relating to the improvement of energy efficiency in ships, which was adopted earlier this year.

Thirdly, safety of fishing vessels is also important to Norway. Unfortunately there are still far too many accidents involving fishing vessels, and we hope that the successful outcome in Cape Town will lead to the implementation of the Torremolinos protocol. 

And last, but not least I want to mention the important role IMO has taken in tackling piracy. 

While somewhat reduced in some areas, the threat of Piracy is unfortunately still present, creating an unacceptable situation for shipping and our seafarers.

We must continue our joint effort in fighting piracy.

 

The oceans are increasingly being exploited to sustain life on earth for energy, food and provides growing employment opportunities.

We must ensure that these developments are done in a responsible and sustainable manner and that shipping must make its contribution.

IMO provides for the development of a stable regulatory framework for international shipping.

This framework is essential for ensuring that growing exploitation of ocean resources is done with minimal impact on the environment and with continuously improved ship safety.

Let me commend the IMO and the member states on your important achievements. This shows there is a true spirit of cooperation and compromise in this Organization, which makes the IMO such a success.

 

On a final note,

Norway strongly supports the aims of IMO and by seeking re-election we will continue to work for our common objectives of high safety and environmental standards.

Thank you for your attention!