In an effort to keep the flow of trade open during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, UAE-based master developer and ports operator Abu Dhabi Ports has joined 19 of the world’s leading port authorities in signing a first-of-its-kind virtual declaration.
The Ports Authorities Roundtable (PAR) Declaration – hosted via video conference – called on member ports to work together by allowing merchant ships to berth and carry out cargo operations to maintain the global supply chain.
Held in the presence of officials from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), Abu Dhabi Ports was the sole representative from the MENA region at a virtual roundtable that also included participants from Asia, Europe and North America.
The declaration also commits the maritime sector to adhere to best practice in ensuring the safety of seafarers in terms of precautionary measures when dealing with coronavirus cases.
Construction Week reported on April 29 that Abu Dhabi Ports has constructed COVID-19 testing facilities at Zayed Port and Khalifa Port in record time – in less than 24 hours – in line with efforts to ensure business continuity and preserve the health and safety of maritime personnel in Abu Dhabi.
The master developer has also introduced several measures to ensure that health and safety, including temperature screening at all sea checkpoints, as well as thermal scans of all vessel crews and offshore personnel operating in Abu Dhabi waters.
The chief corporate authority officer of Abu Dhabi Ports, Captain Maktoum Al Houqani, said: “Abu Dhabi stands at the centre of global maritime trade and our participation at the Port Authorities Roundtable affirms our strategic status as a vital hub that links East and West.”
“The international shipping and logistics community stands together at this time of great crisis in maintaining the smooth flow of essential goods and medical supplies.
“Abu Dhabi Ports proudly joins hands with the world’s maritime sector in affirming and renewing our resolve to battle COVID-19 and to support seaborne trade.“The virtual declaration initiated by member countries of PAR has very real implications for our entire industry by ensuring our ports and economic lifelines remain open, and our seafarers and maritime personnel are protected.”