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Harnessing Eastern Africa’s Blue Economy

02/03/2015 ​IMO`s Juvenal Shiundu is attending the 19th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee Of Experts (ICE) of the Sub-Regional office for Eastern Africa of UNECA (UN Economic Commission for Africa) taking place in Antananarivo, Madagascar (2 to 5 March). The aim of the meeting is to harness the power of the Blue Economy for Eastern Africa`s development by maximizing the potential of the maritime sector, including via the sharing of experiences by individual countries on good practices and lessons learnt from other emerging economies. (Picture: NASA) 

NATO Maritime Commander visits IMO training in Greece

26/02/2015 Vice Admiral Peter Hudson CBE Royal Navy, NATO Maritime Commander, visited the two-week Advanced Maritime Law Enforcement/Training of Trainers course taking place at NATO Maritime Interdiction Operational Training Centre (NMIOTC), in Souda Bay, Crete, Greece (23 February to 6 March). The course is being conducted under the auspices of the Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) and the Djibouti Regional Training Centre with the support and supervision of the IMO Secretariat’s Kiruja Micheni, and benefits from the high NATO standards embraced by NMIOTC. The course included training in evidence collection at a simulated crime scene on board a ship.

In building on the success in combating piracy off the coast of Somalia through the combined efforts of international partners, IMO’s counter piracy programme is repositioning itself towardsdeveloping sustainable measures to prevent re-emergence of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the region. Towards this endeavour, 15 officers from Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and Tanzania are receiving training to prepare them to conduct courses on maritime law enforcement in their own countries.

IMO collaboration with NMIOTC to deliver regional training started in 2012 and to date 200 officers from 18 DCoC signatory countries have received training at the Centre. The strength of IMO’s capacity building model for DCoC, will be replicated in West and Central Africa and arrangements are in place for NMIOTC to extend its training support to the Code of Conduct concerning the repression of piracy, armed robbery against ships, and illicit maritime activity in west and central Africa.​​


IMO legal panel fields students’ questions

26/02/2015 Members of IMO’s Legal Affairs Office acted as an expert panel at the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple (one of the four Inns of Court) in London, 25 February, for a team of student barristers preparing for the national final of the prestigious Telders Public International Law Moot. This year’s subject relates to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the panel were invited to provide feedback on the legal points submitted. 

Barbados visits


His Excellency Mr Guy Hewitt, recently-appointed High Commissioner for Barbados to the United Kingdom, paid a courtesy call to IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (February 26). Barbados has been a Member of IMO since 1970.


IMO and WCO meet on facilitation and e-business

25/02/2015 IMO’s Julian Abril and Alper Keceli have attended a bilateral meeting with the World Customs Organisation (WCO), in Brussels (24 February). During the meeting both Organizations shared their experiences on implementation of national single window systems and were updated on IMO’s maritime single window prototype project. The meeting also discussed the regular updating of the "IMO Compendium of facilitation and electronic business", following agreement in IMO’s Facilitation Committee (FAL 39) that the technical maintenance of the compendium would be carried out by WCO and the revised compendium would subsequently be distributed as a joint IMO-WCO publication.

The compendium aims to encourage the use of modern information and communication technology and, in particular, electronic exchange of information, including Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), to transmit information related to maritime transport. The procedures for the technical maintenance of the IMO Compendium were discussed during the meeting and will be taken forward by the next WCO Data Model Project Team (DMPT) meeting at WCO headquarters in Brussels (9 to 13 March), in which the IMO Secretariat will participate.


Strengthening maritime security in the South Atlantic

24/02/2015 ​IMO’s Javier Yasnikouski and Gisela Vieira are leading a sub-regional seminar on maritime surveillance monitoring and communication systems for maritime security, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (23 to 25 February). The seminar has been organized by IMO in cooperation with the Brazilian Navy and the South Atlantic Maritime Area Coordinator (CAMAS), with participation from African lusophone countries and observers from Argentina, Cameroon, Paraguay, Senegal, the United States and Uruguay. The seminar aims to strengthen cooperation between countries in the South Atlantic Ocean in order to improve maritime security and maritime domain awareness. During his opening addresses, Rear Admiral Gilberto Cezar Lourenço, South Atlantic Maritime Area Coordinator and Deputy Chief for Operation Naval Operations Command, highlighted Brazil’s commitment to assisting African countries and the importance of working in collaboration through the well-established CAMAS network. 

IMO Secretary-General addresses Kenya National Maritime Conference


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has delivered two addresses at the Kenya National Maritime Conference (23-24 February). In his keynote speech, on the theme of "Maritime Education and Training: A catalyst for development of Africa's blue economy”, Secretary-General Sekimizu spoke about the importance of maritime education and training, which is the theme for this year’s World Maritime Day. In his opening remarks, Mr Sekimizu noted that the huge potential of the oceans of the blue economy to assist in the development of the African continent and help strengthen African integration and unity had already been recognised in three key documents; namely: the African Maritime Transport Charter, 2010; the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy); and the Africa Union Agenda 2063.
Secretary-General Sekimizu highlighted the importance of developing a national maritime policy for Kenya, in order to identify consistent steps to be followed in improving the status of Kenya as a maritime nation, mapping out its maritime clusters and working in harmony to achieve a blue economy.
In his opening address to the Conference, H.E. Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, C.G.H , President and Commander in Chief of Defence Forces of the Republic of Kenya ,stated that the principal aim of the conference was to begin the development of a clear national plan, central to which was infrastructure and human resource development, in order to better harness the potential of Kenya's "blue economy". The President stated that technical assistance provided by IMO had helped Kenya to develop a curriculum that had since been used to train maritime experts. The President expressed his appreciation to Secretary-General Sekimizu for his support to Africa and Kenya, specifically in relation to the development and implementation of the Djibouti Code of Conduct through which piracy in the Indian Ocean had been brought under control.


​IMO Secretary-General in Kenya

23/02/2015 IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu is in Kenya, where he is giving a keynote speech at the Kenya National Maritime Conference​. Ahead of the Conference, Secretary-General Sekimizu paid a courtesy call to Eng. Michael S. M. Kamau, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (pictured, right), Republic of Kenya, at his office, where they shared views on maritime and shipping infrastructural development in Kenya and in the region. See photos here.

Also present during the courtesy visit were Mr Nduva Muli,the Principal Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Nancy Karigithu, Director General, Kenya Maritime Authority, Mrs Geraldine Maingi , Director Maritime Services of the Ministry, William Azuh, Head, Africa, Anglophone Section, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO and a number of other officials including Mr John Paul Muindi, IMO Regional Coordinator, based in Nairobi.

The Cabinet Secretary informed the Secretary-General that Kenya has made significant progress in the development of maritime and economic infrastructure, especially in rail linkages to ports, in order to facilitate the movement of goods and services, while there has also been progress in developing and expanding economic activities in Lake Victoria. The Japanese Government has been an important partner in supporting maritime infrastructural development in Kenya.

Secretary-General Sekimizu congratulated the Kenyan Government on progress made so far and stated that IMO is poised to redouble its efforts to support, not only Kenya, but African countries in their quest for maritime development. Mr Sekimizu said that there was a need to establish an African Maritime Development Plan, against the backdrop of the 2050 Africa Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy). Mr Sekimizu said that maritime transport policy was at the core of maritime development for any country, but especially in developing countries, adding that IMO stood ready to assist countries in the development of their maritime policies. ​​ ​​​​​​​


Iceland visits

19/02/2015 ​His Excellency Mr. Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Iceland to the International Maritime Organization paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (19 February) and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Iceland has been a Member of IMO since 1960. 

​​IMO conducts security training in Suriname

19/02/2015 IMO's Sascha Pristrom is part of an IMO team delivering national maritime security training, focusing on SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the ISPS Code, in Paramaribo, Suriname (16-20 February). The five day course is aimed at designated authority officials and port facility security officers who have a responsibility to train personnel who have security duties. In addition to providing participants with knowledge and skills on how to conduct maritime security training, the programme also serves to update security professionals on the latest developments related to IMO's maritime security measures.​​ 

Shipping: The Lifeblood of World Trade


IMO’s Fredrik Haag, Technical Officer, Marine Environment Division has today (18 February) given a remote presentation “Shipping: The Lifeblood of World Trade” to a workshop on “Linking Global and Regional Levels in the Management of Marine Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction”, held at the Food and Agricultural Organization Headquarters in Rome, as part of the GEF-funded Global sustainable fisheries management and biodiversity conservation in the Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction Program (ABNJ).

This five-year programme is an effort to promote a broad-scale, innovative approach to achieve efficient and sustainable management of fisheries resources and biodiversity conservation in marine areas that do not fall under the responsibility of any one country.

Click here to view a live video feed of the session at the headquarters of the Food and Agricultural Organization. (Picture: FAO)


New Ambassador of Togo visits IMO

18/02/2015 ​The new Ambassador of Togo, H.E. Mr Yakoley Kokou Johnson, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (18 February) and met with IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to talk about West African piracy and the upcoming Summit on maritime security in Africa scheduled to take place this year. Togo has been a Member of IMO since 1983. 

IMO support to ASEAN maritime transport

16/02/2015 ​An IMO delegation, headed by Mr. Bekir Sitki Ustaoğlu, Head of the Asia and Pacific Section, Technical Cooperation Division, attended the 29th session of the Maritime Transport Working Group (MTWG) of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The ASEAN MTWG met in Sihanoukville, Cambodia (11 to 13 February) and was updated on a number of relevant matters including: current arrangements for STCW in ASEAN Near Coastal Voyages (NCV) Limits; navigation systems, including information on navigation systems in the region; the establishment of regional training centres for training in advanced maritime technology; implementation of the implementation of ASEAN Oil Spill Response Action Plan (OSRAP), with the support of the IMO/the Global Initiative for Southeast Asia (GI-SEA); and formulation of the draft ASEAN Regional Strategic Action Plan to minimise the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens in ships’ ballast water and sediments. 
IMO works closely with the ASEAN MTWG in the delivery of regional programmes and activities specifically targeted for the ASEAN members, particularly Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Liberia presents contribution


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu was today (16 February) presented with a cheque representing Liberia’s assessed contribution to the Organization. The Liberian delegation consisted of (pictured left to right) Mr David Pascoe, Senior Vice-President, Head, Maritime Operations & Standards Liberia International Ship & Corporate Registry; Mr Harry T. Conway, Maritime Attache, Liberian Permanent Mission to IMO; Cllr. Margaret Ansumana, Alternate Permanent Representative to IMO and Dr Barnard Gustav, Senior Advisor to the Liberian Permanent Mission to IMO.


Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction opens

16/02/2015 ​IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the second session of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Construction (SDC) (16-20 February), which is being chaired by Mrs. Anneliese Jost (Germany). Items on the agenda include: revision of SOLAS chapter II-1 subdivision and damage stability regulations; development of second generation intact stability criteria; passenger ship matters including computerized stability support for the master in case of flooding and amendments to SOLAS in relation to the opening of passenger ship watertight doors; and revisions to the Interim Guidelines for wing-in-ground (WIG) craft. 

Secretary-General visits Plymouth University

13/02/2015 ​IMO Secretary-General visited Plymouth University last Tuesday (10 February) as part of the preparations for World Maritime Day 2015 under the theme “Maritime education and training”. He met students and academic staff from the university and also had a chance to try the cutting-edge navigation simulator.
During his visit Mr Sekimizu expressed his delight with the maritime heritage which, he said, the university “builds on to continue provide well qualified professionals to the maritime industries”. Read blog post here​.

IMO at Africa ministerial security meeting

12/02/2015 IMO's Chris Trelawny attended the Second Ministerial Meeting on Maritime Safety and Security in Africa, Victoria, Seychelles, 8 to 9 February 2015. The meeting was organized by the Africa Union (AU) in partnership with the European Union (EU) and was chaired by His Excellency Mr Joel Morgan, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Transport, Seychelles. Participants exchanged views on maritime safety and security in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and other illicit criminal activity.  

Italy visits


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu today (11 February) received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr Maurizio Lupi, Italian Infrastructure and Transport Minister (pictured, 2nd left from front) and H.E. Mr Pasquale Q. Terracciano, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Italy to IMO (pictured, front left). Points of discussion included the issue of irregular migration by sea and passenger ship safety.


Bangladesh recycling project

09/02/2015 IMO Project Coordinator Simone Leyers has been in Dhaka, Bangladesh 30 January to 6 February) to establish the local project management office and kick-start activities under the Norad​-funded project “Safe and Environmentally Sound Ship Recycling in Bangladesh – Phase I”. Mr Md. Mizanur Rahman is the newly appointed National Project Manager, who will be responsible for the day-to-day operational planning and implementation of the project at the local level.

The local project management office is hosted within the premises of the Ministry of Industries in Dhaka. IMO will be implementing this project in close cooperation with the Ministry of Industries of the Government of Bangladesh.

The project aims to enhance the development of safe and environmentally sound ship recycling inBangladesh, with the aim of improving the standards and, therefore, the sustainability of the industry. The project also aims to facilitate the ratification/accession and effective implementation of the Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009, to ensure safe and environmentally sound ship recycling in Bangladesh.


​​SAR seminar in East Asia

04/02/2015 A regional seminar on the implementation of a global search and rescue (SAR) plan for East Asia is being held in Jakarta, Indonesia (3-5 February), bringing together maritime and aviation search and rescue authorities in the East Asian Region with the aim of enhancing SAR cooperation in the region, improving existing national SAR services, and identifying needs for future capacity building activities. The IMO team is headed by Mr. Hans van der Graaf, Technical Officer.  

Seafarer documentation

04/02/2015 IMO’s Fred Kenney is at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva for the Tripartite Meeting of Experts on the Implementation of Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention (4-6 February), reporting on IMO’s activities with regard to that Convention. While in Geneva, he will also be holding consultations with the Legal Adviser of the International Committee of the Red Cross regarding revisions to the commentaries to the second Geneva Convention on the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of the Armed Forces at Sea, 1949.  

​​Women In Maritime Asia meet

03/02/2015 A meeting of new members of the Women in Maritime Associations - Asia (WIMA-Asia) network met on the sidelines of the First Regional World Maritime University (WMU) Alumni Conference held in Yangon, Myanmar (27-28 January). New WIMA-Asia members came from Myanmar, the Philippines and Viet Nam. The meeting was held to strengthen ties among women maritime professionals in the Asian region and to build the network within the WMU Women’s Association. The meeting was led by Mrs. Pamela Tansey, Senior Deputy Director, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO, with support from Dr. Momoko Kitada, WMU Lecturer and Ms. Josephine Marie Uranza, Regional Coordinator, IMO Regional Presence Office for East Asia. ​​ 

Human Element Sub-Committee meets

02/02/2015 ​Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the second session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) (2-6 February), which is being chaired by Mr. Bradley Groves (Australia).  Items on the agenda include training for officers and crew operating in polar waters; training requirements for seafarers on board passenger ships; validation of a number of model courses; and mitigation of fatigue.  

Kenya visits

02/02/2015 ​His Excellency  Lazarus Ombai Amayo, the new High Commissioner for Kenya to the United Kingdom and Permanent Representative of Kenya to IMO  paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (02 February) and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Kenya has been a Member of IMO since 1973. 

New Ambassador of Kazakhstan visits


The new Ambassador of Kazakhstan, H.E. Mr Erzhan Kazykhanov, paid a courtesy call to IMO Headquarters today (30 January) and presented his letter of credentials to Secretary-General Sekimizu. Kazakhstan has been a Member of IMO since 1994.