IMO adopts international shipping regulations but it is the responsibility of Governments to implement those regulations. IMO has developed an Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme which is designed to assist Governments which lack the technical knowledge and resources that are needed to operate a shipping industry safely and efficiently.
Mission Statement of IMO's Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme
To help developing countries improve their ability to comply with international rules and standards relating to maritime safety and the prevention and control of maritime pollution, giving priority to technical assistance programmes that focus on human resources development and institutional capacity-building.
Support for the United Nations Millennium Declaration
The IMO Assembly at its 24th session in November-December 2005 adopted resolution A.986(24) on “The Importance and Funding of Technical Co-operation as a Means to Support the United Nations Millennium Declaration and Development Goals”. The emphasis for the technical co-operation activities is placed on meeting the special assistance needs of Africa.
The resolution notes that one of the effects of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme will be an increase in demand for technical co operation, resulting from the specific needs of Member States that, either before or after a voluntary audit, may wish to apply for technical co-operation from IMO to improve their own performance.
The resolution also sets out funding arrangements for the Technical Co-operation Fund and reaffirms that technical co-operation is an essential part of the Organization's work to achieve the global ratification and implementation of IMO's instruments and to implement successfully the Voluntary Audit Scheme.
At its 25th session in November 2007, the Assembly, having considered the recommendations of the fifty‑sixth and fifty-seventh sessions of the Technical Co-operation Committee adopted resolution A.1006(25) on “The Linkage between the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme and the Millennium Development Goals”, this resolution, inter alia:
- INVITED Member States and donor organizations to recognize the importance of building maritime capacity in achieving the MDGs and to ensure that consideration is given to the inclusion of the maritime sector in Official Development Assistance (ODA) programmes;
- INVITED Member States to voluntarily utilize the Maritime Capacity Checklist, and the Maritime Capacity Analysis tool, to analyse and assess the levels of maritime capacity progress in developing maritime capacity over time;
- REQUESTED the Technical Co-operation Committee to give high priority to those activities, which not only promote the early ratification and effective implementation of IMO instruments but also contribute to the attainment of the MDGs, taking into account the special needs of the LDCs and SIDS, and the particular maritime transport needs of Africa, and ensure that these needs are reflected in the ITCP; and
- ENCOURAGED all IMO Member States and international organizations concerned to provide and, as the case may be, increase their financial and in-kind support for the delivery of the ITCP individually and through bilateral and multilateral development aid programmes.