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Secretary-General Sekimizu in Egypt


Maritime education and training was a key theme during IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu’s official visit to Egypt (23-26 January), which included courtesy visits to the President, the Prime Minister, the Transport Minister, the Interior Minister and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States. The Secretary-General toured the facilities of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) and addressed students graduating from the Academy’s College of Maritime Transport and Technology. (read the Secretary-General’s blog on the visit here)


​​IMO technical officers see vessel traffic services in action

23/01/2015 Staff from IMO’s Maritime Safety Division, including technical officers from the Subdivision for Operational Safety and Human Element, gained some first-hand knowledge of vessel traffic services when they visited the Port of London Authority (PLA) Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) (on 16 January). Discussions on current and emerging trends in vessel traffic services were followed by a visit to the PLA bridge simulator and a chance to see the London VTS in operation.  

The Sudan accedes to environmental treaties


H.E. Mr Mohammed A. Eltom, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Sudan, today (21 January) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu to present the Sudan’s instruments of accession to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) and the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC 90).


Panama visits


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has today (20 January) received a courtesy call from H.E. Mr Daniel Fábrega, new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Panama. Panama has been a Member State of IMO since 1958.


UNDP and IMO chiefs meet

20/01/2015 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO Headquarters today (20 January). The two highlighted their common commitment to sustainable development and discussed the important role of maritime transportation in building the economies of developing countries.

They noted the two highly successful multi-million dollar Partnerships Projects, executed by IMO in partnership with the UNDP, to address the threat of invasive species in ships’ ballast water. The first project was initiated in 2000 and this evolved into a second project – GloBallast Partnerships. The aims of the projects are to assist developing countries and their maritime industries in implementing international regulations on ballast water management and preventing risks arising from the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms in ships’ ballast water. Both projects have mobilized some US$13 million in financial support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and leveraged many times this in cash and in-kind co-finance.

IMO is currently working with UNDP and the GEF on developing new comprehensive global partnerships on energy efficiency in the maritime transport sector and marine biodiversity protection. ​​​​​​​​


World Maritime Day theme promoted


IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu spoke about the World Maritime Day theme for 2015 - “Maritime education and training” - at a reception for delegates to the PPR Sub-Committee (on 19 January). He said that the theme provided an opportunity to encourage seafaring as a career for young people and to promote awareness of the maritime sector to the general public. This year would also see an emphasis on renewed support for IMO’s World Maritime University (WMU), which moves to new premises in Malmö, Sweden, in May.​​


Albania accedes to OPRC-HNS Protocol


The Ambassador of Albania, H.E. Mr Mal Berisha, has met with IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu (19 January) to deposit its instrument of accession to the Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Cooperation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC/HNS 2000). The Protocol aims to establish national systems for preparedness and response and to provide a global framework for international cooperation in combating major incidents or threats of marine pollution, specifically with incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances.


Pollution Prevention and Response Sub-Committee meets

19/01/2015 IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu has opened the Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR), 2nd session (19-23 January), which is being chaired by Mr Sveinung Oftedal (Norway). Items on the agenda include technical work related to MARPOL Annex VI and the NOX Technical Code; development of the "Ballast Water Management – How to do it" manual; revision of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials, to support the Ship Recycling Convention; finalization of the draft Guidelines on international offers of assistance intended to provide guidance to States requesting and receiving emergency assistance during spill incidents; and developing a recommendation for a single definition of black carbon in relation to emissions from international shipping. ​(click here for photo gallery)

Updated Rescue at sea guidance now available

14/01/2015 ​The updated and revised Rescue at Sea:  A guide to principles and practice as applied to refugees and migrants is now available. It has been prepared jointly by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It provides guidance on relevant legal provisions, on practical procedures to ensure the prompt disembarkation of rescued persons, and on measures to meet their specific needs, particularly in the case of refugees and asylum-seekers. More information on this topic can be found here

Georgia ratifies IMSO, Ballast Water Management treaties

12/01/2015 Georgia has become the 100th Party to the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organization (IMSO C 1976) and accepted the 2008 amendments. His Excellency Mr. Revaz Gachechiladze, (11 September 2014) Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Georgia to IMO; and Captain. Mamuka Akhaladze, Director of the Maritime Transport Agency, Georgia met with IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu to deposit the instrument of accession.  They were joined by Director General, Capt. Esteban Pacha-Vicente of Spain, the Chief Executive Officer and legal representative of IMSO. Georgia also deposited its instrument of accession to the Ballast Water Management treaty, bringing the total number of ratifications to 44 States, with 32.57% of world tonnage (35% of world tonnage is needed to meet entry into force criteria).  

Cook Islands accedes to Wreck Removal treaty

08/01/2015 ​The Cook Islands has acceded to the Nairobi International Convention on the Removal of Wrecks, 2007. His Excellency Captain Ian Finley,  Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Cook Islands to IMO today (8 January) met IMO Secretary-General Sekimizu at IMO HQ to hand over the instrument of accession. 

Portuguese progress


Preparations are underway in Portugal for the country’s maritime administration to undergo the IMO Member State Audit. Manuel Pinto de Abreu, Portugal’s Secretary of State of the Sea, visited IMO today (January 8) to inform the Secretary-General of the progress. He also expressed Portugal’s willingness to participate in technical assistance activities involving Portuguese-speaking countries.


Year in review 2014


Click here for highlights of IMO's activities in 2014. From maritime safety to environment, seafarer welfare, campaigns and beyond.


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.