During its Virtual Annual General Meeting on 15 September, the board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) reappointed Esben Poulsson, the current Chairman of ICS for a further two-year term.
Since assuming office in 2016, Mr Poulsson has been at the helm of the shipping industry’s principal trade association. He has overseen ICS’s engagement with international bodies, national governments, and industry organisations on the key issues impacting international shipping. In the past year, under Mr Poulsson’s leadership, ICS submitted, along with other industry partners, a radical proposal to IMO for the establishment of a US$ 5 billion global R&D fund to accelerate the research and development of zero-carbon technologies. During his tenure the sector has also seen the switch to low sulphur fuel per the IMO 2020 targets.
As the leading representative of the world’s shipowners, Mr Poulsson has been at the forefront of the on-going crew change crisis as well. Since the beginning of the pandemic, ICS has made every effort to facilitate the repatriation of seafarers trapped onboard vessels due to COVID-19 related restrictions on travel and movement.
Speaking after his appointment, Mr Poulsson said:
“I am very honoured to have been appointed by the board of ICS for a further two-year term. The COVID-19 pandemic means 2020 is a year that will long be remembered, and this is certainly true for shipping. As countries shut down borders and impose travel restrictions, the role of the sector in facilitating trade and the maintenance and improvement of global living standards has never been more important.”
“It is difficult to exaggerate the challenges facing ship operators this year, in particular with respect to the health and welfare of ships’ crews, many of whom, even under normal circumstances, work thousands of miles away from their families for many months at a time. We have and will work to facilitate the safe changeovers of these key workers, but so far, the inaction of national governments has only exacerbated the crisis.”
“Nonetheless, from the reduction of the industry’s carbon emissions to resolving piracy issues, the everyday work of ICS continues. I am most grateful for the support I receive from the ICS board, our expert Committees and our dedicated Secretariat, led by ICS’s indefatigable Secretary General, Guy Platten.”
During the meeting Mr Gerardo Borromeo from the Philippines was also appointed as a Vice Chair in succession to Mr Mark Martecchini from Liberia.