G7 Transport Ministers briefed by ICS Chairman Emanuele Grimaldi on security and decarbonisation

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The Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Emanuele Grimaldi, attended a high-level meeting with the G7 Transport Ministers in Milan in the morning of Saturday 13 April. Mr Grimaldi was invited to the working session on global maritime connectivity in the short, medium and long term.

During the session the G7 Transport Ministers, with Mr Grimaldi and Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) European Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago, discussed the key issues currently being faced within the maritime sector such as the conflict in the Middle East, and the conflict in Ukraine. They also discussed the industry’s energy transition, as well as the importance of free trade and maritime connectivity.

Commenting on the sector’s security concerns ICS Chairman, Mr Grimaldi, said: “What is at the heart of ICS is our seafarers and we must ensure that they are not caught up in the crosshairs of any conflicts such as what we are tragically seeing in the Red Sea at the moment. The terrible loss of life of three seafarers following the missile strike against the vessel True Confidence made our greatest fears a reality. This is unacceptable and these intolerable acts of aggression against innocent seafarers and merchant ships are in contravention of international law”.

During the meeting Mr. Grimaldi also highlighted the plight of the seafarers of roll-on/roll-off vehicle carrier Galaxy Leader who continue to be held hostage under the Houthis.

“Please let us not forget that the 25 crew members of the merchant vessel Galaxy Leader are still being held hostage, for nearly five months now. This is unacceptable, and their urgent release is a paramount concern for the International Chamber of Shipping and the industry as a whole. We applaud the G7 Transport Ministers who condemned these attacks against merchant shipping in a declaration issued on the 20 February, underscoring the importance of the safety and security of seafarers and vessels.”

Mr Grimaldi added: “It is an honour to have participated in this meeting and to work with the G7 Transport Ministers on the key challenges our sector faces. Our industry is global, and we must work collaboratively and transparently to ensure that it remains resilient and robust. It is fair to say we are living in challenging times, with many Black Swan events and times of conflict testing us but together we can meet these challenges head on.”

Following the seizure on the containership MSC Aries the International Chamber of Shipping issued a statement condemning utterly this attack by Iranian forces on Saturday 13 April. The welfare of the 25 innocent seafarers that are now being held hostage are the highest priority and ICS called for the immediate release of the seafarers and the vessel.

During the meeting Mr Grimaldi also stressed to the G7 Transport Ministers how the recent events over the past few years have led to exceptional levels of demand at a time when conflict and major crisis create significant strain on the supply chain. This has led to peaks and dips in the market, but it is a cyclical market, and such volatility are the market’s natural reaction to supply chain shocks. It was emphasised that for maritime to do the job that is vital to the global economy it must be done without restrictions.

The ICS committed to continuing its dialogue with the G7, including during its annual Shaping the Future of Shipping Summit. This year the event, that historically convenes over 200 maritime leaders and CEOs from across the world, will focus on ‘Global Trade – Risk and Resilience’ and will be held in Montreal, Canada. ICS is already working with the government of Canada and to ensure that the topics covered during the G7 working sessions be of primary focus.

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