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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Message of support from Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization

Ladies and gentlemen,

Embodied in the Poseidon Challenge is the self-pronounced desire of the shipping industry to embrace continuous improvement and to have robust and visionary goals. Striving to achieve the stated aims of zero fatalities, zero pollution and zero detentions is exactly what continuous improvement is all about and, to that end, a commitment to quality and a recognition that improvement is both possible and desirable, is crucial. On behalf of the international maritime community, I welcome this initiative; congratulate those in the industry who have already registered their corporate commitments with the Poseidon Challenge; and encourage all others to do likewise.

I was delighted to be one of the five judges for this inaugural Poseidon Challenge Award. It is vital to the success of this sort of initiative that industry players have the opportunity to demonstrate how they have been fostering continuous improvement and co-operation between the links in the shipping industry’s chain of responsibility. When individuals, companies and organizations set a clear example, then others are inspired, and feel motivated, to follow. Only by learning from others in that way will the Poseidon Challenge’s “zero” goals ever be achieved – and I have no doubt that the first winner of this prestigious Award will be a fine model for all to follow.

It is worth noting that the shipping industry and its regulators share the same aims and, therefore, we can, and should, all unite behind the ‘zero’ targets. In this regard, voluntary, proactive efforts by the industry to raise its own standards are crucial in supporting and complementing the international regulatory regime developed by IMO.

The Poseidon Challenge – which not only encourages each link to examine itself and strengthen its structure, but also serves to improve the connections between all the links in the chain, with improved communication and collaboration – should, therefore, be widely endorsed by all with a true and genuine interest in quality shipping and the industry’s good image and high repute.