A notorious country known for seafarer abandonment gets its acts together
UAE is known for high rates of seafarer abandonment despite being one of International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) member states. After being called out, the country proves its compliance by making it official.
Supporting Our Blue Army
UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure launched the ‘Supporting our Blue Army’ initiative to improve seafarers’ quality of life. This aligns with its commitment to adopt the best practices of the UAE Government Excellence System, and launching initiatives that produce global results. It will protect seafarers’ rights with shipowners and operators, and also help seafarers overcome the challenges arising from the pandemic.
Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “When talking about the maritime transport sector, the UAE is a unique model. It is the 9th best global maritime hub and has some of the largest and most developed ports in the region in terms of infrastructure and digital systems. The UAE is a logistics hub linking global shipping lines and has the major share of the ships that call on the region’s ports, with more than 21,000 ships annually.
“Over 20,000 local and international maritime companies operate in the UAE. They add significant returns to the national economy. All these achievements cannot be made without the dedication of thousands of seafarers who arrive on UAE’s waters from across the world.”
Minister Mazrouei added: “Our ‘Supporting our Blue Army’ initiative aims to be one of the first countries to recognise and appreciate seafarers, put them on equal footing with priority categories such as medical personnel, especially in such circumstances where they played a key role in mitigating the devastating effects on the global economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Sheikh Nasser Majid Al-Qasimi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Infrastructure and Transport Sector at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said: “The UAE Government Excellence System and the Sheikh Khalifa Government Excellence Program have always motivated us to develop innovative ideas and projects, and adopt best practices. Inspired by this system, particularly the ‘Enhancing Wellbeing’ criterion, this initiative crowns the efforts of the Ministry’s team for several years to protect seafarers and provide better living conditions for them.
“The UAE will be the international benchmark for ensuring seafarers’ welfare and their rights. Ships that violate those rights will not be able to enter the UAE waters, and therefore will not be part of the regional trade centre and the global supply chain and logistics services,” Al-Qasimi concluded.
Crewing Online News Team
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