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Casualty workshop

24/11/2014 A ten-day regional workshop on marine casualty and incident investigation kicked off today (24 November) at the Regional Maritime University in Accra, Ghana. The workshop is part of IMO’s capacity-building activities for west and central Africa under the framework of the Flag-Port WACAF project, funded by the EU through the ACP to support flag State implementation and port State control in the sub region. Capt. Dallas Laryea, IMO Regional Coordinator, west and central Africa (Anglophone) and Ms Mara Luciano, support staff expert for the Flag-Port WACAF Project, are attending and facilitating the workshop  

Legal considerations

21/11/2014 IMO’s Frederick Kenney is in Lisbon, Portugal for the annual conference of the Instituto Ibero Americano de Direito Maritimo. He will be moderating a panel discussion on the IMO Legal Committee. Current Legal Committee chairman Kofi Mbiah is also in attendance.  

Combating emissions in the Pacific

20/11/2014 A three-day regional workshop on MARPOL Annex VI for Pacific States is being held in Apia, Samoa (19 - 21 November). The workshop is addressing energy efficient ship design and technical energy efficiency measures, further measures to enhance the energy efficiency of ships, shore power supply and green port initiatives and MARPOL Annex VI guidelines.

The Cook Islands, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Niue, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community are represented at the workshop. The workshop is being hosted by the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) in partnership with IMO and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and is being supported using funds kindly donated to IMO by the Government of Canada through Transport Canada. ​


Board meeting

20/11/2014 ​IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu is in Washington DC for a meeting of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), the highest-level coordination forum of the United Nations system (20-21 November). Chaired by the UN Secretary-General, the CEB meets biannually and provides broad guidance, coordination and strategic direction for the system as a whole in the areas under the responsibility of the executive heads. The focus is placed on inter-agency priorities and initiatives. 

Implementing the London Protocol

19/11/2014 IMO’s Fredrik Haag is in Nairobi, Kenya, with IMO regional coordinator Mr. John Paul Muindi, for a three-day regional workshop (18-20 November), on the London Protocol, with the aim of sensitising relevant authorities to the implications of ratifying, implementing and enforcing the treaty, which regulates the dumping of waste at sea from ships.

Participants attending represent maritime administrations and the environmental authorities from the Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia and Tanzania. The workshop is being hosted by the Kenya Maritime Authority and is being implemented with support from the Secretariat of the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region as well as support from the United Kingdom, who are providing an expert lecturer. ​​


New Uruguayan Ambassador visits

18/11/2014 ​The new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Uruguay to IMO, H.E. Fernando López Fabregat, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (18 November) and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Uruguay has been a member of IMO since 1968. 

Ballast water implementation

18/11/2014 Strategies for implementing IMO’s Ballast Water Management Convention are on the agenda today at the 7th annual Middle-East Shiptech Conference (17-18 November). IMO’s Markus Helavuori will provide an update for ship operators, flag and port authorities, engineering firms and class societies and other stakeholders on some of the key elements they will need to consider.  

Jordan joins Maritime Satellite Convention


H.E. Mr Mazen Al-Homoud (centre), Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UK, today (18 November) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO HQ to deposit the instrument of accession by Jordan to the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization (IMSO C 1976). They were joined by Director General, Capt. Esteban Pacha-Vicente of Spain, the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of IMSO.


​​Maritime Safety Committee opens

17/11/2014 IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the 94th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), which is being chaired by Mr Christian Breinholt of Denmark (see photos here). The MSC is expected to consider and adopt the Polar Code and related amendments to SOLAS to make it mandatory; approve SOLAS amendments to make the IGF Code mandatory; continue passenger ship safety work and consider other items submitted by the sub-committees. (See preview here.) ​​ 

Effective networking

15/11/2014 ​IMO’s Vincent Job has been at the 23rd UN Chief Executive Board’s Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Network meeting (13-14 November). Hosted by the International Organization for Migration in Geneva, the meeting examined how best to apply the transformative and innovative possibilities of ICT within the UN system in the form of a two-day workshop on "design thinking", led by external facilitators.​ 

Charting the way

14/11/2014 An IMO/International Hydrographic Organization (IHO​) joint regional training course on Hydrography and Hydrographic Governance has been held in Constanta, Romania (3 to 14 November). The regional training course was hosted by the Maritime Hydrographic Directorate in Constanta, Romania, with participants from: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Montenegro, Romania, and Ukraine. Funding was generously provided by the Republic of Korea.

The course in basic hydrography and hydrographic governance introduces the benefits of hydrography to coastal States, including national economic development and environmental management and describes the need for national coordination of hydrographic functions and the roles of national hydrographic organizations within the framework of the global international hydrographic and maritime organizations. The course also develops a general understanding of cartographic practices used to represent hydrographic and safety of navigation information to users and develops skills in depicting information on nautical charts. (Pic: UKHO)


​​Boosting port security

14/11/2014 IMO’s Gisela Vieira is participating in the ISPS Code Port Security Legislation Workshop (13-14 November) in Lima, Peru, organized by the Asia Pacific Economic Community Maritime Security Working Group. The objective of the national workshop is promote a full understanding of the IMO maritime security regime, including the SOLAS Chapter XI-2 and ISPS Code requirements and limitations, and to assist Peru to develop and implement robust legal frameworks, including advanced port security regulations. ​ 

Blue Whales - When Giants Collide

13/11/2014 ​IMO’s Lee Adamson spoke to BBC Radio 4 as part of its Shared Planet special on ship/whale collisions. He spoke about how IMO measures such as ship routeing schemes and areas-to-be-avoided are helping to prevent collisions with whales and other cetaceans. He also explained the process whereby member States can put forward such schemes for mandatory, global adoption.  Listen to the radio interview (at 22 minutes) 

​​Promoting facilitation

12/11/2014 IMO’s Alper Keceli is in Istanbul, Turkey, for the Sub-regional Seminar on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (11-13 November), which has been organized by IMO and is being attended by 24 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Moldova, Turkey and Turkmenistan. The seminar aims to impart a thorough knowledge of the IMO Facilitation Convention and its benefits, promoting the ratification of the FAL Convention and achieving a better understanding of the concept, the processes and procedures that go with use of electronic data interchange and the implementation of the “single window” concept enabling all the information required by public authorities in connection with the arrival, stay and departure of ships, persons and cargo, to be submitted without duplication.  

Ballast water takes centre stage in Brazil

12/11/2014 ​Arraial do Cabo, Brazil: procedures to control the spread of invasive species via ballast water, and ballast water treatment systems approved by IMO are being discussed at a week-long Globallast seminar (7-16 November).  Within the event, the Global Project Task Force (Globallast’s advisory body) will also provide a forum for consultation and communication between the various parties involved in the project. This biennial event attracts a number of international experts, from marine scientists to technology developers, private industries and strategic partners from the shipping industry to review Globallast`s progress and discuss future priorities and the work plan. Brazil, which ratified the BWM Convention in 2005, was one of six pilot countries in the first phase of GloBallast, from 2000 to 2007. IMO’s Dandu Pughiuc,  Jose Matheickal, Antoine Blonce and Aicha Cherif are in attendance.   

Out front down under


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has delivered the keynote address to Australia’s Maritime 2014 conference today (11 November). He stressed IMO’s credentials as a technical organization and, among other topics, focussed on the need to address passenger ferry safety and migrants being illegally and unsafely trafficked by sea. He said shipping was in a period of adjustment due to tonnage oversupply. (Photo: AMSA News)


IMO titles: just a click away

​On 5 November, Mark Combe and Sally McElhayer from IMO Publishing delivered a presentation on ‘Accessing IMO’s Publications Digitally’ at a seminar held by VANOS S.A. Ship Supplies, one of IMO Publishing’s worldwide distributors in Athens, Greece. While the presentation focused partly on IMO Publishing’s latest title releases and future titles for 2015, the main theme of discussion was IMO Publishing’s free e-reader software, the ‘IMO Bookshelf’, and how the software allows for IMO publications to be held on board ship digitally. There was a live demonstration of the product which can be downloaded from IMO’s website. The presentation was attended by around 80 participants from the Greek shipping industry.

Africa’s blue future

11/11/2014 IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu today (11 Nov) spoke about "The role of the maritime sector and the blue economy in Africa's renaissance" at the African Maritime Domain Conference 2014 (9-12 Nov), which is being held in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The conference is being attended by 300 participants and has been organized by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) in partnership with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) and the International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI-SA)), upon a request of the African Union (AU) to SAMSA.

IMO has a robust technical cooperation programme that gives priority to Africa in the allocation of resources to help its countries build their capacity to deal with some of the major challenges in the maritime domain. A new approach to capacity building for maritime development in Africa is based on Country Maritime Profiles​, which aim to identify capacity-building needs.


Ballast water in focus at ICBWM

10/11/2014 ​​IMO’s Stefan Micallef, Director, Marine Environment Division, delivered the keynote address at the 7th International Conference & Exhibition on Ballast Water Management 2014 (ICBWM 2014, 5-7 November) in Singapore. The conference was supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the GEF-UNDP-IMO GloBallast Partnerships Programme.

Mr. Micallef also co-chaired the pre-conference workshop (5 Nov) on challenges related to the application of the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, 2004 (BWM Convention).

During his visit to Singapore, Mr. Micallef met with Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, and other senior management of the Singapore MPA, held an informal session with the MPA and maritime companies and toured the PSA Singapore Terminals. ​​


Building maritime Somalia

10/11/2014  As part of IMO's capacity building programme for Somalia, the second technical workshop on assisting Somalia establish a national maritime administration is being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (10-13 Nov). Participating are senior technical personnel cutting across legal, port management, administration and the coastguard, from the Federal Government of Somalia, Somaliland, Puntland and Galmudug. This workshop will focus on reviewing and updating the 1959 Somalia Maritime Code. Mr William Azuh, Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO; Mr Kiruja Micheni, Programme Officer (Training) Djibouti Code of Conduct and Ms Purity Thirimu, Principal Programme Assistant, IMO Regional Presence Office, Nairobi, Kenya are in attendance.  

Focus on civil liability


The civil liability regime provided the special focus for a regional seminar and interactive workshop conducted by IMO and hosted by the Government of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur (November 4-6). The seminar consisted of training modules on the treaty-making process, maritime policies and legislative drafting, covering several IMO conventions. Participants came from 11 East Asian countries. IMO’s Dorota Lost was in attendance.


Refining oil spill preparedness


IMO’s Colleen O'Hagan is participating in a training program on oil spill preparedness, response and assessment in Yeosu, Republic of Korea (3-7 Nov). Funded by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the program is being attended by government representatives from a number of APEC countries and run in collaboration between the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Marine Environment Management Cooperation (KOEM).


New Georgian Ambassador visits


The new Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO, H.E. Revaz Gachechiladze, paid a courtesy call to IMO HQ today, and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Georgia has been a member of IMO since 1993.


Seabed synergy

04/11/2014 Mr. Michael W. Lodge, Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel, International Seabed Authority (ISA) on Monday (4 Nov) addressed the London Dumping Convention and Protocol Parties meeting in London this week, giving an overview of the ISA and recent developments with regard to exploration and exploitation of sea-bed mineral resources. He also met with IMO Sec-Gen Sekimizu to discuss future modalities of cooperation between the ISA and IMO.

The International Seabed Authority is an autonomous international organization established under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 1994 Agreement relating to the Implementation of Part XI of UNCLOS. A principal function of the Authority is to regulate deep seabed mining and to give special emphasis to ensuring that the marine environment is protected from any harmful effects which may arise during mining activities, including exploration. ​​​


Energy efficiency workshop

04/11/2014 Senior government administrators responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the MARPOL Convention, from 15 Mediterranean region countries, are in Istanbul attending a regional workshop (3-5 November) on ship energy efficiency and technology transfer, focusing on the MARPOL Annex VI regulations on energy efficiency. Theofanis Karayannis​ was in attendance.

The workshop, hosted by Turkey, has been organized by the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) and participants have been able to attend thanks to IMO’s technical cooperation fund, REMPEC and via financing through a voluntary contribution to REMPEC by the Government of Malta, which has also funded English-French-English interpretation during the workshop. ​​​​