IMO Secretary-General Mitropoulos raises seafarer issues with US Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge
Efthimios Mitropoulos and US Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge met at
IMO Headquarters on Friday, 14 January 2005 to discuss maritime security issues
of mutual concern.
meeting, Mr. Ridge expressed appreciation to IMO and its Member States for the
rapid and comprehensive international response to maritime security issues following
the September 2001 attacks in the United States, including the adoption of the
special measures to enhance maritime security which entered into force on 1
July 2004 as part of the SOLAS Convention.
referred to work carried out by IMO in collaboration with the International
Labour Organization (ILO) on seafarer identification. He stressed the importance
of treating seafarers as partners in the maritime security chain and highlighted
the need for them to be able to take shore leave after working on board ships
for long periods.
drew attention to the need for authentification and verification of documents
relating to individual seafarers and his concerns about fraudulent documentation.
He stressed that the United States is looking for ways to move the process forward
and said that he would share the Secretary-General's concerns with Washington
The IMO Secretary-General
welcomed the input of the United States and, in particular, the United States
Coast Guard to the work of IMO on maritime security and other issues and he
urged the United States to make further contributions to the International Maritime
Security Trust Fund in order to support technical assistance projects relating
to maritime security around the world.
In closing the meeting,
both men agreed to keep open channels of communication between their respective
organizations in order to further progress matters of common interest.
20 January 2005
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