UN Secretary-General Highlights Vital Role of Seafarers on International Day of the Seafarer

In his message for International Day of the Seafarer, UN Secretary-General António Guterres praised the invaluable contributions of the 2 million seafarers worldwide who are integral to global trade and the transport of essential goods. Observed annually on 25 June, the day honors the critical role of seafarers in maintaining the flow of commodities that sustain societies.

“Seafarers are vital in ensuring a seamless flow of essential goods that eventually make it into markets, homes, and onto our tables,” Guterres stated. He emphasized that over 80 percent of the world’s trade volume is carried by ships, highlighting the indispensable nature of seafarers’ work.

However, Guterres also drew attention to the significant risks faced by seafarers. He condemned the threats posed by attacks on international shipping routes and acts of piracy, asserting that such actions are unacceptable. “Ships and seafarers must not be held hostage and hijacked. Seafarers should not be collateral victims in wider geopolitical conflicts,” he declared.

The Secretary-General recognized the personal sacrifices made by seafarers, who often spend extended periods away from their families, providing a crucial source of income for their loved ones. He called for global support to ensure their safety and well-being, stressing the importance of safeguarding those who play such a vital role in the global economy.

As the world observes International Day of the Seafarer, Guterres urged everyone to salute these unsung heroes and acknowledge their essential contributions to international trade and daily life. The day serves as a reminder of the need to protect and support seafarers, whose work is fundamental to the functioning of global society.


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