Marking the occasion of World Maritime Day, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed the importance of optimal management of maritime transport to support sustainable development.“We value maritime transport as a cost-effective and energy-efficient link in the global supply chain,” Mr. Ban said in his statement on the Day, which noted efforts to achieve the time-bound targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which aim to slash extreme poverty and other global ills by 2015. Shaping a new global agenda for sustainable development for the period after 2015 is a priority of the presidency of the 68th General Assembly, which is currently holding its General Debate for national leaders and other high representatives.“This year’s World Maritime Day falls at an important time, as the United Nations leads the final stretch of our global campaign to address human suffering through the Millennium Development Goals while shaping a vision for the post-2015 period,” Mr. Ban said.“Let us use this occasion to reaffirm out commitment to optimize the management of maritime transport to support sustainable development,” he added.The UN marked last year’s Day by calling for efforts to enhance the safety of passenger shipping, while in 2011 it warned of the high costs piracy was imposing on the shipping industry.

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