One’s urgency is not another’s emergency remains a persistent concern
At the recently concluded Sea Asia 2021, various countries’ and stakeholders’ working together was lobby of the day. It was named as key to see significant improvements for seafarers.
Just one voice
On InterManager President’s terms, just one voice is needed to light a fire under some apathetic stakeholders. Mark O’Neil said at the International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit: “I think there is a crying need for greater collaboration between those bodies that govern the various aspects of the industry. We need to influence the debate when it comes before the governments who decide. At the moment we have various bodies all doing their part for their members, but those members represent only a fraction of the industry. We need our industry views put across in a single voice.”
O’Neil noted though International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is living up to its duty, the body is neither the voice of shipping, nor intended to be. He asserted shipping could be quicker to address the pressing issues: “Shipping is a long-term investment industry and it cannot operate on knee-jerk populist policies otherwise investors will go elsewhere.” O’Neil also warned that shipping may risk losing its long-standing elevated status within the overall logistics chain.
In the recently concluded Sea Asia conference, Rafael Cigarruista from Panama Maritime Authority stressed: “We have known a lot but not enough. Stakeholders are struggling and pushing in different ways. All would have to work in consensus.” Many stakeholders are strongly encouraged in almost every shape and form to work together for seafarers’ welfare. There are plenty to be preached, encouraged, enforced or coaxed. Till all parties are on the same page, it would be a long wait before that “voice” appears.