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Safety and security along the Maritime Silk Road

30/10/2014 IMO and the Maritime Safety Administration of China have organized a Sub-regional seminar on Maritime surveillance monitoring and communication systems for maritime security in Qingdao, China, from 27 to 30 October 2014. Representatives from different Asian countries attended the event and discussed the establishment or enhancement of maritime situational awareness systems, including cooperation on a regional basis. The event contributed to the China’s “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” initiative for the enhancement of maritime safety and security in the region with the objective of rebuilding and strengthening the economic, political and social relationship with countries situated across the ancient Silk Road. 

Managing ballast water

29/10/2014 With IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention approaching its entry-into-force trigger point, IMO’s Markus Helavuori is speaking today (29 October) at ACI’s 11th BWM Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The meeting is designed to help the shipping industry prepare for the forthcoming new regulations. 

Addressing Black Sea garbage

29/10/2014 IMO’s Jun Sun is in Istanbul, Turkey, for the IMO Regional Workshop on MARPOL Annex V and Port Reception Facilities (28-30 October), which is being attended by18 participants from Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine. The workshop is aimed at developing capacities for the implementation and enforcement of MARPOL Annex V (Prevention of pollution by garbage from ships). The workshop is being hosted by the Black Sea Commission's Permanent Secretariat.  

IMO at Counter-piracy Week in Dubai

27/10/2014 ​IMO’s Chris Trelawny, Phil Holihead, William Azuh and Henrik Madsen are participating in the 2014 United Arab Emirates Counter-piracy Week in Dubai (27-31 October). The event will look at a range of topics, from the drop in number of piracy-related incidents to building Somalia’s economy and infrastructure to address the root causes of maritime piracy.  Discussions will revolve around this year’s theme  “Securing State Recovery: Sustaining Momentum at Sea, Confronting Instability on Land”. The event will bring together the global counter-piracy community in what will be one of the biggest series of meetings to discuss combating maritime piracy and generating sustainable solutions on land.  

More in Morocco

27/10/2014 The three-day 2014 World Maritime Day Parallel Event gets underway today (27 October) in Tangier, Morocco. In a mixed programme, delegates will have the opportunity to participate in a conference on this year’s World Maritime Day theme, discuss Morocco’s maritime heritage and future maritime strategies as well as visit key components of the country’s 21st century maritime infrastructure. IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu opened the meeting with the inauguration of the new World Maritime Day Parallel Event flag, which will be passed to successive host nations. 

Look to the future

24/10/2014 At the NAMEPA World Maritime Day conference in Cozumel, Mexico (23 October 2014), IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu spoke of the need to use maritime heritage to inspire and engage younger generations in order to ensure shipping has a sound basis for sustainable growth in the future. (Pic: NAMEPA) 

​Hats off to seafarers

The seafarer statue outside IMO HQ in London is proudly wearing a woolly hat today (24 October) in support of the Missions to Seafarers’ (MtoS) official Woolly Hat Day. Every week MtoS receives woolly hats knitted by supporters which are then given out to seafarers at port centres. The woolly hats not only keep the seafarers warm, but they are also a symbol of the care and support that MtoS gives to seafarers all over the world.

Celebrating UN Day

24/10/2014 ​Today (24 October) IMO joins the rest of the UN system in celebrating UN Day, marking the anniversary of the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. IMO is a specialized agency of the UN and collaborates with other bodies throughout the system on a wide variety of topics and initiatives, as our infographic demonstrates. 

Stopping stowaways

21/10/2014 An IMO-organised seminar on the prevention of stowaways in eastern and southern Africa is being held in Durban, South Africa (21 to 23 October 2014) for representatives from the region’s main stowaway-embarkation ports. The aim is to identify capacity-building needs, measures to reduce stowaway cases and information that may lead to improved IMO guidance on stowaway prevention. Security, facilitation and human rights issues will be addressed.

The seminar is being organised in collaboration with the South African Department of Transport, and supported by representatives of UNHCR, INTERPOL, the US Coast Guard, the International Group of P&I Clubs, the Port Management Association of Eastern and Southern Africa (PMAESA), regional and local shipping companies and P&I correspondents.

A similar event for ports in West and Central Africa was held in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, from 25– 27 March 2014. ​​(Pic: The West of England P&I Club)​​


Mexico debut

21/10/2014 Koji Sekimizu this week becomes the first IMO Secretary-General to visit Mexico in an official capacity. Today (21 October), he gives the keynote address to the Fourth National Congress of Mexican Merchant Marine. (Pic: Administración Portuaria Integral de Lázaro Cárdenas) 

New Brazilian Ambassador visits

15/10/2014 ​​The new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Brazil to International Organizations, H.E. Mr. Fred Arruda, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters yesterday, and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Brazil is a member of the 40-strong IMO Council. 

Panama Administrator visits IMO Sec-Gen

15/10/2014 Mr Jorge Barakat Pitty, Administrator, Panama Maritime Authority, visited IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu on Monday (13 October). He presented a cheque representing the remaining part of Panama’s assessed contribution to the Organization. ​​ 

Ocean rescue blueprint

14/10/2014 At a side-event alongside IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee yesterday (13 October) delegates heard Global Ocean Committee (GOC) co-chair José María Figueres present the GOC report: From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean. Mr Figueres made specific mention of the report’s relevance to IMO and where IMO can play a specific role in order to deliver the proposals tabled in the report.

Previously, IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu had written to the GOC co-chairs welcoming the report and highlighting IMO’s active role in addressing many of the issues raised in the GOC report, noting also that IMO is working actively through several existing coordination mechanisms – such as UN Oceans, the Global Partnership for Oceans, and the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) – to ensure that joint efforts are maximized and duplication reduced.

Links: ​Photos here; GOC report here​; IMO Secretary-General's letter to GOC co-chairs; press briefing here​.​​​​​


Ballast Water Convention nudges forward

14/10/2014 Turkey today (14 October) ratified the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004, bringing the number of Contracting States to 43 countries, representing approximately 32.54% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 35% of global tonnage will trigger entry into force of the Convention, which addresses the problem of invasive species being transported around the world in ships’ ballast water.

Turkey’s instrument of accession was presented by His Excellency Mr. Abdurrahman Bilgiç, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Turkey to IMO, to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu during the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67) session. ​


Inside Africa

14/10/2014 “The Africa We Want: Support of the United Nations System to the African Union's Agenda 2063” is the theme for the UN’s Inside Africa Week 2014 (13 to 17 October). IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu is at UN HQ in New York for the event. Support for the special needs of Africa is one of IMO's Strategic Directions and part of the Organization’s High-level Action Plan. Click here for photos from the event​. (Pic: Bo Li-Africa Renewal) ​ 

Environment Committee starts busy session

13/10/2014 IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 67th session (13-17 October), which is being chaired by Mr. Arsenio Dominguez (Panama). Items on the agenda include the Polar Code, implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention and air pollution and energy efficiency requirements. ​​​​​ 

Safety of Life at Sea Convention: from book to web

13/10/2014 ​​The new edition of SOLAS is now available for purchase from the web shop. This 2014 edition incorporates, amongst other things, new forms of certificates and records of equipment plus amendments that took effect on 1 July 2014. The SOLAS Convention is generally regarded as the most important of all international treaties concerning the safety of merchant ships. 

Ballast Water Convention nears trigger point

10/10/2014 Entry into force of the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention 2004 edged closer today (10 October) as Japan brought the number of Contracting States to 42 countries, representing 32.02% of world merchant shipping tonnage. 35% of global tonnage will trigger entry into force of the Convention, which addresses the problem of invasive species being transported around the world in ships’ ballast water.

Mr. Noriyoshi Yamagami, Minister, Alternate Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO (pictured, right, with IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu), and Mr. Yasu Onishi, Alternate Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO, deposited Japan’s instrument of accession to the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004. IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu said Japan’s accession was an important milestone, bringing the convention significantly closer to meeting its entry-into-force requirements. He hoped it would trigger further ratifications, enabling the convention to enter into force soon. ​​​​


Le Havre students complete course

10/10/2014 Twenty participants from around the world on Friday (10 October) completed the month-long 28th Advanced Course on Port Operations and Management, sponsored, amongst others, by IMO and the "Grand Port Maritime du Havre". The course was based in Le Havre, France with practical and theory classes delivered by the Institut Portuaire d'Enseignement et de Recherche (IPER).​​ 

Technology transfer group meets

09/10/2014 The Second Meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Working Group on Facilitation of Transfer of Technology for Ships is being held at IMO (9-10 October), to assess potential impacts and implications of MARPOL energy efficiency regulations (in particular, on developing States) and identify and create an inventory of energy efficiency technologies for ships. The group will report to the MEPC. ​​​ 

Italy hosts HNS workshop

09/10/2014 Italy is holding a regional workshop for states preparing to ratify the 2010 Protocol to the International Convention on Liability and compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea (HNS Convention). Jan de Boer from IMO is participating in the event, taking place in Rome (10 October). ​​ 

Polar Code working group meets

07/10/2014 An intersessional meeting of the Polar Code Working Group is being held at IMO (7-9 October), to finalize proposed environmental provisions of the draft International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters and the draft amendments to the relevant Annexes of MARPOL to make the Polar Code mandatory, ahead of the forthcoming session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 67, 13-17 October).  

IMO at maritime crime conference

07/10/2014 IMO’s Chris Trelawny is participating in the Conference on Maritime Crime and the effects on Growth and Development in the African Region, organized by Oceans Beyond Piracy as part of Danish Maritime Days in Copenhagen (7 October).  

Charting the future

07/10/2014 IMO’s new sub-committee structure, e-navigation and the scarcity of up-to-date hydrographic data in the polar regions were among topics covered by IMO Sec-Gen Koji Sekimizu in his keynote address to the 5th Extraordinary International Hydrographic Conference in Monaco (6-10 October) ​​(Pic: UKHO) 

IMO Sec-Gen at Danish Maritime Forum

07/10/2014 IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu will be speaking about the challenges facing the maritime industry at the Danish Maritime Forum, in Copenhagen (8-9 October), part of the Danish Maritime Days. The Forum has the theme “Unleashing the potential of the global Maritime industry”. (Pic: Perry Nordeng/Copenhagen Malmö Port AB​)​​​​​​