Frustrated by the
lack of progress and slow pace of international efforts, ship management trade
association InterManager says it will work separately to obtain COVID-19
vaccines to protect seafarers and keep international trade routes open.
We are no further forward in providing a vaccination program for
seafarers said InterManager President Mark O’Neil
organizations have talked their way round in circles and still we are no
further forward in providing a vaccination program for seafarers who are vital
in ensuring that world trade and aid continues to be delivered,” said
InterManager President Mark O’Neil. “InterManager says ‘enough is enough.’”
O’Neill, the association—whose membership includes most of the world’s leading
ship managers—will now work on sourcing vaccinations separately through
legitimate channels to enable its members to vaccinate their seafarers as soon
as possible and to support others within the maritime industry to do the same.
The United Nations has designated seafarers as “essential workers”
The United Nations
has designated seafarers as “essential workers” but so far only 58 countries
have followed this directive and are prioritizing seafarers to enable them to
travel to and from vessels. In addition, vast numbers of seafarers originate
from developing countries where the official rollout of vaccinations is
hampered by the availability of vaccines, thus compounding the problem.
that InterManager will continue to collaborate and give full support to the
International Maritime Organization and fellow shipping industry NGOs in
sourcing vaccination for seafarers. However, he expressed his disappointment at
the slow speed of international efforts.
“The IMO is
hampered by having to negotiate through the United Nations, World Health
Organization and others,” said O’Neil. “Sitting back and waiting for these
bureaucratic institutions is only part of the solution.”
The world’s seafarers need our help
seafarers need our help and as ship and crew managers we must work together to
do all we can to ensure that their lives and livelihoods are protected,” he