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India flags need to resolve abandonment of seafarers issue at IMO meet


London, July 10 (IANS) India on Wednesday flagged the urgent need for taking action on the issue of abandonment of seafarers in order to ensure the safety and welfare of the maritime workforce, at a high-level meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The Indian delegation led by the Secretary of Shipping and Ports, T.K. Ramachandran, pointed out that despite efforts, there are currently 44 active cases involving 292 Indian seafarers. India’s strong stance on the need for effective measures and oversight to resolve such issues was well received.India, an elected member of the IMO Council in the category of countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade, emphasised the urgent issue of seafarer abandonment.In recognition of its continued commitment to addressing seafarers’ issues, India secured its position as one of the eight governments representing IMO in the Joint Tripartite Working Group. This group is dedicated to identifying and tackling seafarers’ issues and the human element in maritime operations. Other proposed members include the Philippines, Thailand, Liberia, Panama, Greece, the US, and France.”India remains deeply committed to addressing the issue of seafarer abandonment and ensuring the safety and welfare of our maritime workforce. India’s participation in the IMO Council session underscores dedication to international maritime cooperation and innovation. The establishment of the South Asian Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Maritime Transport is a testament to India’s leadership in promoting environmentally sustainable and technologically advanced maritime practices. We look forward to collaborating with global partners to drive positive change in the maritime sector,” said Ramachandaran.The Indian delegation also addressed concerns over disruptions in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and adjoining areas, which have been impacting shipping and trade logistics.Highlighting India’s commitment to maritime safety and security, the delegation cited two significant incidents where the Indian Navy successfully intervened.These included the rescue of a Marshall Island-flagged crude oil carrier, MV Marlyn Luanda, and the interception of the vessel MV Ruen off the coast of Somalia, ensuring the safety of crew members and handling piracy threats effectively.Furthermore, India reiterated its proposal for the South Asian Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Maritime Transport (SACE-SMarT). This regional hub aims to transform the maritime sector in India and South Asia into a technologically advanced, environmentally sustainable, and digitally proficient industry.The Centre will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering technical cooperation, capacity-building, and digital transition.India’s leadership in evolving the SACE-SMarT in collaboration with the IMO’s global Maritime Technology Cooperation Centres (MTCCs) was highlighted as a significant step towards sustainable maritime development.The 132nd session of the IMO Council, which commenced on July 8, 2024, will continue until July 12, 2024, addressing various critical issues and proposals for the future of global maritime operations.–IANSsps/dan

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