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Maritime security in Ghana

18/12/2014 An IMO team is in Accra, Ghana, to provide technical assistance for the development of a comprehensive national maritime security strategy for the Government of Ghana (15-19 December), following a series of table top exercises in the country since 2012. Click here to read more about the IMO Strategy for implementing sustainable maritime security measures in West and Central Africa. 

Oil spill response in Southeast Asia

17/12/2014  Member States of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have come together at the Global Initiative South East Asia (GI-SEA) regional meeting to discuss and develop an action plan for the implementation of the ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan MoU. IMO’s Colleen O'Hagan is in attendance at the meeting, which is being hosted by the Marine Department of the Government of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (17-19 December).

The implementation of the memorandum of understanding will be facilitated by the GI-SEA project and jointly funded by IMO and IPIECA, which is a government and industry collaboration that acts to enhance oil spill preparedness and response capability in the region.  

Capacity-building in Africa

17/12/2014 IMO’s regional co-ordinators for Africa, together with London-based IMO officials, are in Nairobi, Kenya, this week (December 15-19) for their 6th bi-annual meeting to review implementation of the Organization’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme. A special session was held with Honourable Yusuf Moalim Amin, Minister of Transport of Somalia, to discuss IMO's continuing technical assistance to the Somalis for the establishment of a National Maritime Administration. ​ 

Security drills in Hong Kong, China

16/12/2014 A four-day national workshop on maritime security drills and exercise is being conducted in Hong Kong, China (16-19 December) under IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP), in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Marine Department of the Government of the Hong-Kong, China Special Administrative Region. The purpose of the workshop is to test the effectiveness of the maritime security measures as mandated by SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code by planning and conducting maritime security drills and exercises, with a view to improving the effectiveness of the port facility security plan (PFSP). ​​ 

IMO publications featured in China

15/12/2014 ​IMO Publishing have been promoting its titles and digital products at this year INMEX China exhibition in Guangzhou (10-12 December). New publications featured included the new Consolidated SOLAS 20014,  the new IMDG Code 2014 and the latest version the IMO-Vega V.19 database. IMO Publishing has attended seven international maritime trade exhibitions around the world and was part of the United Nations publishing stand at the Frankfurt Book Fair. 

Certifying ballast treatment systems

11/12/2014 The certification of ballast water treatment systems is on the agenda at the 6th GloBal TestNet Forum, hosted by the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in Plymouth, UK (9-11 December). This 6th Forum is the first independent meeting organized by the GloBal TestNet group, which was initiated by the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme under its Global Industry Alliance (GIA) 6 years ago.

IMO’s Aicha Cherif and Antoine Blonce are observing the meeting, the first objective of which is to establish a permanent secretariat, followed by presentations by the test facilities and group discussions to enable the group to provide input to the Study on the implementation of the D-2 standard (read more – paragraph 8) to be submitted to IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee in 2016.

Protecting Viet Nam seas

11/12/2014 A national workshop on Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas is being held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam (11-12 December), jointly organized by IMO and the Viet Nam Maritime Administration (VINAMARINE) with financial assistance from IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP). The main objective of the workshop is to provide a deep understanding of IMO tools to protect the marine environment of Viet Nam, with particular emphasis on PSSAs.

More than forty participants (including organizers) are attending the workshop, including participants from the Viet Nam Maritime Administration, the Vietnamese Academy of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Transport, Port Authorities, Viet Nam Oil and Gas Corporation, Viet Nam Shipping Industry Corporation, the Viet Nam Environment Administration, the Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Environment.


Thinking business, thinking climate


IMO is continuing its participation in the UN Climate Change Conference COP20​ (1-12 December) in Lima, Peru. In a side event organized by the Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Buildings, IMO’s Edmund Hughes is contributing to a discussion on the theme of 'International shipping: thinking business - thinking climate' (10 December).

Other participants include the Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Buildings; A. P. Moeller-Maersk; WWF; and the Danish Shipowners’ Association.


Security assessment


IMO’s Henrik Madsen is leading the maritime component of a visit by the UN Counter Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UNCTED) to Manila, Philippines, to assess countermeasures put in place by the Government to prevent and manage maritime security incidents (10 to 12 December). The delegation comprises UN and partner agencies with mandates in border management and law enforcement.

Meetings are scheduled with authorities responsible for implementation and enforcement of maritime security measures, and the delegation will visit selected port facilities and terminals to assess the level of implementation of the provisions of key UN Security Council Resolutions that fall within the scope of IMO measures. (Picture: ICTSI)


Germany visits


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has received a courtesy call from German Parliamentary Secretary of State, Uwe Beckmeyer, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, and Federal Government Co-ordinator for the Maritime Industry (9 December). Germany has been a Member State of IMO since 1959. (Photo: German Embassy, London)


Djibouti training

09/12/2014 An IMO team is in Djibouti for a series of meetings and events linked to the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct, including a week-long course for maritime law enforcement personnel and meetings on the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC).

On 7 December, the IMO team held a meeting with His Excellency Mr. Moussa Ahmed Hassan, Minister of Transport and Equipment, Djibouti, as a prelude to a "Quadrilateral" meeting (held on 8 December) between Djibouti, Japan, the European Union and IMO on the future direction of the Djibouti Regional Training Centre (DRTC). Meanwhile, a week-long training course for coast guards and maritime law enforcement personnel from Djibouti Code of Conduct countries, conducted by Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (MARSEC COE) from Marmaris, Turkey, held under the auspices of the DRTC and supported by IMO, is being held in Djibouti (7-12 December). The course conducted by the Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (MARSEC COE) from Marmaris, Turkey, under the auspices of the DRTC and supported and supervised by IMO. 20 trainees from Comoros, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mozambique, Somalia and Yemen are attending the course.  

The DRTC has supported the implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct by delivering training to more than 760 students on courses throughout the western Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden area.

On Tuesday (9 December), the IMO team conducted a site visit of the new Doraleh training centre, which is expected to be opened in early 2015. This will be followed up by further discussions with the Government of Djibouti, on 10 December, on how to finalize the construction of the building. ​​​​​


IMO at World Assembly of Youth


IMO's Lee Adamson (pictured left) has given a welcome message at the 16th annual World Assembly of Youth (WAY) General Assembly in Tirana, Albania (8 December) on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu. WAY is the international coordinating body of national youth councils and organisations and works to promote youth and youth organisations in areas such as youth employment, environment, human rights, democracy, population, health, drugs, community development and leadership training.

Pictured centre: Albanian Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Mr Edi Rama, addressing the Assembly.


Security in the Gulf of Guinea

05/12/2014 Strategies to deal with the threat of piracy were on the agenda this week (3-4 December) at the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++FoGG) meeting in Accra, Ghana. Gisela Vieira represented IMO and presented an update on IMO’s activities on maritime security for west and central Africa. The meeting was opened by the Minister of External Relations of Ghana, and attendees included the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and numerous regional and national bodies.

The meeting was followed by a visit to the Maritime Trade Information Sharing Centre for the Gulf of Guinea (MTISC).

E-business report

04/12/2014 ​​IMO’s Julian Abril has been reporting on the IMO Facilitation Committee’s work on developing a mechanism for ships to file all electronic arrival and departure data via a single access point (the so-called maritime single window concept) and on the maintenance of the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business to the Transport and Logistic Domain meeting of the United Nations Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business – UN/CEFACT (Paris, 1-4 December).  


At the EXPONAVAL international conference in Valparaiso, Chile (2-5 December), delegates have heard from IMO’s Edmund Hughes, who delivered a presentation on “Energy efficiency measures for international shipping: a key element of a sustainable maritime transport system”.


Talking about security

02/12/2014 IMO's Chris Trelawny is speaking on IMO's maritime security priorities for 2015 at the Maritime Security Conference at the Transport Security Expoin London (2-3 December). (Photo: USCG)​ 

IMO at COP20

01/12/2014 IMO’s Edmund Hughes and Astrid Dispert are in Lima, Peru, to highlight IMO-adopted measures on energy efficiency for international shipping at the UN Climate Change Conference COP20​ (1-12 December). On Monday (1 December), IMO is participating in a joint International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)/IMO side event on “International aviation and maritime transport: Addressing emissions from international bunker fuels” and will present the Third IMO Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Study 2014, which provides emissions estimates for international shipping for the period 2007–2012 and projections to 2050.

IMO will also provide a statement to the 41st session of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 41) under Agenda item 10(d)”Emissions from fuel used for international aviation and maritime transport”.


Council meeting

01/12/2014 The IMO Council is meeting for its 113th session (1-4 December), chaired by Mr Jeffrey G. Lantz (United States). The 40-Member Council will review the work of the Organization since its last session and consider strategy and policy matters. ​ 

Turkey and Morocco: ballast water twins


IMO’s Murat Korcak has taken part in a national twinning workshop on ballast water management between Turkey and Morocco in Casablanca, Morocco (26-27 November) organized by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) in close cooperation with the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Ballast Water Management Programme (GloBallast) and funded through the IMO Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

The workshop is the first example of the twinning concept under the GloBallast project, in which a Lead Partnering Country, experienced in the development of national BWM assessments and strategy, assists a country from the region to establish a national task force for the management of ballast water and explains the benefits and importance of adopting a national strategy for a smooth implementation of the Ballast Water Management Convention.


Guatemala visits

27/11/2014 Seafarer training, technical cooperation and the national maritime policy were among the key topics of discussion today (27 November) when Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raúl Morales visited IMO’s London headquarters for talks with Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Guatemala has been a Member State of IMO since 1983.  

Training for ballast water compliance


IMO’s Antoine Blonce is taking part in a Regional Training Course on Compliance, Monitoring and Enforcement (CME) of the Ballast Water Management Convention, Dar Es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania (26-28 November). The course is using the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme training package on CME which has recently been updated with relevant guidance issued by IMO.

Hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, the course is being co-organized by IMO-ITCP, the GloBallast Project and the Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) of Tanzania. In addition to the hosts, participating countries are Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles and Somalia. Also in attendance are IMO Regional Coordinator Mr John Paul Muindi and an observer from the Indian Ocean Commission.


Piracy update

26/11/2014 ​​IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (26 November) met Major General Martin Smith MBE, Operation Commander of the European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR), at IMO Headquarters, to discuss piracy off the coast of Somalia. Mr Sekimizu welcomed the extension of the EU NAVFOR mandate to the end of 2016. They agreed that pirates continued to pose a threat to shipping and there was no room for complacency. Naval forces were still required and merchant ships should continue to apply IMO guidance and Best Management Practices diligently. ​ 



IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (25 November) received a courtesy call from his counterpart at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Touré. ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, committed to connecting the world's population.


Shipbuilding matters


IMO’s Edmund Hughes is in Paris for the OECD Council Working Party on Shipbuilding (25 November), to present an update of IMO’s regulatory work on air pollution and energy efficiency following the 2014 meetings of the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 66 and MEPC 67), including NOx Tier III amendments, extension of the EEDI framework to additional ship types and adoption of the 2014 Guidelines on survey and certification of the EEDI.


New Egyptian Ambassador visits


The new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Egypt to IMO, H.E. Mr Nasser Ahmed Kamel, today (25 November) paid an inaugural visit to IMO HQ, presenting his credentials to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu. Egypt is one of the longest serving Member States of IMO, having joined the Organization in 1958.