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Friday, September 20, 2019

United Nations News

Pic: Siemens Gamesa

Siemens Gamesa Ups 'Green' Credit to $1.4Bln

Wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has increased the amount of guarantees that qualify as "green" to €1.25 billion ($1.4Bln) as they contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).The deal, arranged with BNP Paribas, adds €350 million to the existing line of €900 million in "green" guarantees arranged with other banks.Siemens Gamesa will use this line to fund its business of manufacturing and selling onshore and offshore wind turbines worldwide…

Photo:  Captain Patrik Dahlgren, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines/ WISTA

RCL Executive to Keynote Cayman WISTA AGM

Cayman’s Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association – WISTA Cayman Islands – has announced that Captain Patrik Dahlgren, Senior Vice President, Global Marine Operations at Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd will be the keynote speaker for the 2019 WISTA International AGM & Conference which is being hosted by WISTA Cayman from October 29, to November 1. Captain Dahlgren’s responsibilities span across six cruise brands with offices in Miami, London, Hamburg, Madrid and Shanghai.

A file image of Equinor's South Riding Point storage terminal (CREDIT: Equinor)

Bahamians Struggle in Dorian's Devastating Wake

Stunned residents of the Bahamas surveyed the wreckage of their homes and officials struggled to assess the number killed by Hurricane Dorian, as the storm bore down on the South Carolina coast, threatening record flooding on Thursday.The United Nations said 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation.Aerial video of the worst-hit Abaco Islands in the northern Bahamas showed widespread devastation…

File Image: A Japanese Naval Warship asset. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © JPAaron

Japan Won't Join US-Led Maritime Coalition in Gulf

Japan will not join a U.S.-led security mission to protect merchant vessels passing through key Middle Eastern waterways, but will consider deploying its naval force independently, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday.Though the United States is Japan's most important ally, Tokyo has fostered economic ties with Iran, and Japanese firms had been major buyers of Iranian oil until U.S. sanctions forced them to find other suppliers.Citing unidentified government sources, the…

Source: File Photo

STEM is so 'Yesterday’s News'

Recently I was attending the United Nations Science Technology and Innovation conference (STI Forum). While I attended to present on Wave Energy Conversion, the main subject at the conference was STEM education and STEM gender inequality. Almost every country in the world reports a lack of available STEM educated workers, and also reports that they have had problems engaging the non-male population in STEM professions.The discussions were extremely far and wide ranging, but when all was said and done…

Nearly 600 people have died or gone missing on the Central Mediterranean in 2019.  © UNHCR/Markel Redondo

UNHCR Urges Europe to Allow Immigrants to Dock

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has sent an appeal to the European governments to allow 507 people recently rescued from the Mediterranean and now stranded at sea to leave the vessels.Many are reportedly survivors of appalling abuses in Libya and are from refugee-producing countries. They are in need of humanitarian assistance and some have already expressed an intention to seek international protection.“This is a race against time,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. “Storms are coming and conditions are only going to get worse.

File Image: A Chinese Naval Frigate underway. CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Vanderwolf

China Mulls Hormuz Naval Escort Role

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday."If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels," Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi."We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements," China's embassy later said in a text…

File image / AdobeStock / © dbvirago

Marseille Fos Accelerates Air Emissions Cuts

Among a string of new eco-friendly initiatives, the Marseille Fos port authority is to spend $22 million over the next six years to extend shoreside electrical connections for berthed vessels to every ferry, cruiseship and repair quay within the Marseille eastern harbor.Already available on the Corsica ferry quays, the network will be expanded in two phases to cover North Africa ferry quays and the shiprepair hub by 2022 and the cruise terminal between 2022 and 2025. The zero…

Photo: Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company

Tajikistan to Expand Multimodal Shipping

The 14th Meeting of the Railway Leaders of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the 8th Meeting of the Railway Committee of the Transport Coordination Council of the ECO (TTCC) was held in Dushanbe, Republic of Tajikistan.The meeting discussed various cooperation issues in the field of multi-modal shipping, including transit cargoes by sea transport.The event was attended by representatives of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan…

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © 14KT gold

Storm Approaching: Firms Fear IMO's 2020 Rules

U.S. furniture company RC Willey Home Furnishings is so concerned that new global clean air rules will cause transport disruption that it brought forward the shipment of arm chairs and sofas from China by two months.The tougher regulations, set by the United Nations shipping agency, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), come into force on Jan 1. Costs will rise for ships towards the end of this year and there will be a knock on effect for trucks and other transporters…

© Yasar/Adobe Stock

New Iranian Sanctions Target Leadership

Yesterday U.S. President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order enhancing economic sanctions on Iran, targeting the country's leadership. The executive order, in its entirety, follows:By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,I, DONALD J.

© atm2003 / Adobe Stock

Venice Must be Put On UN Danger List, Ban Cruise Ships - Conservationists

Venice should be put on the United Nations' list of endangered cities and cruise ships should be banned from its fragile lagoon to prevent an ecological disaster, Italy's main conservation group said on Monday.The call came less than a month after a towering cruise ship collided with a dock and a tourist boat in Venice, injuring four people and rekindling a heated debate in Italy about how to protect the historic city, which draws some 30 million tourists a year."Venice is unique and we cannot allow it to be destroyed even more than it has been already…

Kitack Lim (Photo courtesy of Nor-Shipping)

Lim to Outline Future of Ocean Regs at Nor-Shipping

Kitack Lim, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), will be taking the stage at Nor-Shipping 2019’s Ocean Leadership Conference on June 4, to talk about the future of maritime regulations. Lim will join an elite group of global thought leaders at the Thon Hotel Arena Lillestrøm, adding to a program designed to deliver insights on issues ranging from cyber security, to economic strategy, sustainable development, geopolitical forces, future energy demands, and much more.Nor-Shipping has refined its traditional opening conference this year to create a new format.

U.S. seizes 'sanction buster' North Korean Ship

The United States has for the first time seized a North Korean cargo ship it accused of illicit coal shipments in violation of U.S. and United Nations sanctions, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Thursday.The ship, known as the "Wise Honest," was first detained by Indonesia in April 2018. Under an unusual U.S. civil forfeiture action, the vessel is now in the possession of the United States and is currently approaching U.S. territorial waters heading toward American Samoa, U.S.

 Pic: ECLAC - United Nations

Latin American Ports Cargo Throughput Rose 7.7%

Container throughput in ports of Latin America and the Caribbean increased by 7.7% in 2018 in comparison with the previous year.According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), this analysis is based on the performance of a sampling of 31 countries and 118 ports and port areas in the region.According to the annual report unveiled by the United Nations organization – which was called  “port ranking” in prior years – the data largely maintained the heterogeneity seen in throughput behavior in previous periods, both in reference to ports and countries.

Vivian Maia (Photo: OSM)

OSM CEO to Build Opportunities for Female Seafarers

In his first week in the new role of OSM Maritime CEO, Bjørn Tore Larsen has outlined his vision for greater female participation in the maritime industry, particularly with regards to vessel crews.Larsen, the founder and Chairman of the global ship management company, believes a healthier gender balance will help shipping in the quest for long-term success and commercial sustainability.OSM is a leader in the ship management segment, with over 500 vessels in the fleet, approximately 30 office locations and some 11,000 expert seafarers.

Pic: CMA CGM

IMO 2020 to Cost USD10bln

The new 0.5% sulfur cap on fuel content for the global maritime industry means the container-shipping industry will need to offset up to $10 billion in incremental costs, starting Jan. 1, 2020, when the cap is slated to take effect, said a study.IMO 2020 regulations is promulgated by the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO).The new report by the global consulting firm AlixPartners also finds that the new fuel rule could expose carriers on just eastbound Asia…

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Empowering Women in the Maritime

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has launched a new logo for its Women in Maritime programme, as part of its mission to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.Programme lead Helen Buni said: "The IMO Women in Maritime programme supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition’, through a wide range of gender-specific activities.

Pic: UNHCR

2,275 Migrants Perish in Mediterranean in 2018

Six people died each day attempting to cross Mediterranean in 2018, the latest ‘Desperate Journeys’ report, released by the UN Refugee Agency said.According to the report by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), an estimated 2,275 died or went missing crossing the Mediterranean in 2018, despite a major drop in the number of arrivals reaching European shores.In total, 139,300 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe, the lowest number in five years, it said.“Saving lives at sea is not a choice…

© Robert Coy / Adobe Stock

US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports

Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…

U.N. Struggles to Implement Deal over Disputed Yemeni Port City

The guns have mostly fallen silent around the Yemeni port of Hodeidah and the skies are clear of warplanes, but a U.N.-sponsored deal for the warring armies to quit the city has stalled, risking efforts to end a conflict that has pushed the country to the brink of famine.The Iranian-aligned Houthis and the Saudi-backed government agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeidah and to withdraw forces at peace talks in Sweden in December following months of diplomacy and Western pressure to end…

Pic: NYK Group

NYK Group Aims to Stay Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green

NYK president Tadaaki Naito in his New Year’s speech required the employees to execute the medium-term management plan “Staying Ahead 2022 with Digitalization and Green” announced in March of last year.He chartered out  the three basic strategies in the medium-term management plan.Under the first step of “Optimizing the business portfolio,” the fundamental revision of the dry bulk business and success of the integrated container shipping line ONE have been set forth as the two key elements.In the dry bulk business…

Image: United Nations

UNCTAD Calls on Ports to Address Climate Change

About 80% of world trade is carried by sea, but the maritime industry handling these goods is on the frontline of climate woes, unless it adapts - fast.United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that the transformation is needed if the world trade system is to cope with the projected impacts of climate change.“The hardest hit areas, coastlines, will affect us all since the lion’s share of trade itself is managed through international shipping and ports,” said UNCTAD’s chief of policy and legislation…

Pic: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Seoul Connects Maritime Capacity-building Activities with IMO

The first regional donor/recipient workshop on maritime Technical Cooperation activities held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea (26-30 November). The workshop built on the long-term resource mobilization strategy for International Maritime Organization (IMO)'s Technical Cooperation activities, approved at the sixty-eighth session of the IMO Technical Cooperation Committee (TCC).According to a release from IMO, this strategy identified a more proactive and methodical approach with regard to generating new resources by encouraging the development of partnerships with Member States…

Image: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

UNCTAD to Push Sustainability into Freight Transport Systems

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convenes meeting on ways to build sustainability into freight transport systems, including shipping, to boost trade with and between developing countries.According to UNCTAD, governments, shipping companies and trading industries will need to balance economic, social and environmental concerns to achieve sustainability in maritime transport, experts will say at an UNCTAD meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 21–23 November.Multi-year Expert Meeting on Transport…

Photo: International Maritime Organization (IMO)

Maritime Education to Focus on Quality

As a United Nations agency, International Maritime Organization (IMO)  is firmly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, one of which is about delivering quality education.A press note from the UN agency said that an important element of its efforts in this regard are its two maritime educational institutions – the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). Both are focussed on delivering high-level education in maritime-related…