The whole world will be watching and looking for something of real substance, an initial strategy that will send an important signal of intent, and provide a firm basis for our work towards the revised strategy in 2023.

The task will not be easy at times: the stakes are high and the expectations even higher. We must be bold to set ambitious goals that really will make a difference, and to use this opportunity to enhance our well -established system of collaboration and cooperation. I will do my utmost to open our communication channels even further, which are paramount in facing the challenges that lay ahead for the shipping industry together.

There is no turning back: the lower global sulphur limit will have a significant beneficial impact on the environment and on human health, particularly that of people living in port cities and coastal communities.

Consistent implementation to all ships will ensure a level playing field is maintained, with the result that the expected improvement of the environment and human health will be achieved. The large number of submissions on the matter indicate that its importance and significance in the minds of all parties concerned – a point reiterated by the recent combined press release (of which the Cruise Lines International Association was a co-signatory) from industry and environmental-observer organisations.

I am confident that we will rise to the challenge to ensure the timely completion of this vital work. It will no doubt project to the worldwide community the image of an organisation that is effective in exercising its regulatory mandate concerning environmental health, and that it is united in its determination to ensure that international shipping remains the most environmentally sound mode of transport.