Speech at the 2nd ASEAN-CHINA Seminar on the Implementation of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
Shou Tao，Deputy Director General of the Maritime Safety Administration of the People' s Republic of China
Guangzhou, 9 December 2020
Distinguished representative, Ms Huang Qun from ILO Beijing Office, distinguished delegates from ASEAN member states, my dear colleagues from China MSA and HK Marine Department, ladies and gentlemen,
Good afternoon! I am honoured to meet you all online and thank you very much for attending the 2nd ASEAN-China Seminar on the Implementation of Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
This year witnessed the 53rd anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN. Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue partners as well as the 20th anniversary of the establishment of strategic partisanship between ASEAN and China. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has signed us all into the crucial stage of cooperative development. It also gives great significance to this seminar, especially when the whole world is fighting against the pandemic of COVID-19 and working hard for economic recovery.
Shipping, as the primary transport means for global logistics, is key to the recovery of the global economy. However, seafarers, as the key workers to keep the global supply chain running, their situation is far from being optimistic. COVID-19 has caused a global crisis, and shipping orders is severely disrupted. Near 2 million seafarers are undergoing tremendous difficulties in their working and living conditions. The tests extend and exacerbate to the implementation of the MLC, 2006. The number of seafarers in ASEAN member states and China totals 60% of the world, which backs up the argument that we should do more to implement the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 effectively and safeguard seafarers’ rights and interests.
MLC, 2006 urges its member states to work together through bilateral or multilateral agreements and take actions in unison as much as possible to promote the effective implementation of the Convention. Considering the differences in laws and national arrangements between ASEAN member states and China, we are bound to have some difference in practices in terms of implementation of the Convention. We host this seminar to enhance the regional cooperation, to promote technical exchanges for the effective implementation of the Convention, and ultimately level up the maritime cooperation. As the meeting goes, we'll discuss more in this area.
I want to propose that all delegates follow the principle of being practical and efficient, being open and inclusive when you engage with each other for discussion and sharing. I wish a regular cooperation mechanism on the maritime labour convention can be established from now on.
Distinguished delegates, China MSA is willing to work together with all ASEAN member states to create opportunities out of crisis and solve problems by cooperation, and jointly promote regional shipping development to enhance the protection of seafarers’ rights and interests.