Maritime Security on agenda as USCG Commandant visits IMO
The two covered a wide range of topics, although much of their meeting was taken up with talks on the work the Organization has done, is doing and will continue to do in the enhancement of maritime security.
Mr Mitropoulos took the opportunity to stress that IMO's efforts in this regard take fully into account the need to ensure the continuation of an efficient, uninterrupted and competitive maritime transport infrastructure, and the need to recognize, respect and uphold the traditional rights of seafarers and the rights and personal liberties of the individuals. He also re-affirmed the need to ensure that the achievements of the Organization make a meaningful contribution to the security agenda of United Nations and to the global efforts to eliminate terrorism.
The Secretary-General and Admiral Collins discussed the current implementation status of the maritime security measures adopted by the Organization in response to the increasing threat of terrorism worldwide and in particular the 9/11 atrocities in the United States. He said that figures for ships subject to the ISPS Code1 the information available indicates a high degree of compliance and almost no disturbance of the world trade while, for ports, information suggests that almost 94% of the Contracting Governments to the SOLAS Convention2 have approved security plans for 97% of the declared port facilities, which in total number in excess of 9,600 worldwide.
In the context of maritime security, the two also discussed the United States' proposals on long-range tracking of ships, the importance of access to shore leave for seafarers, and IMO's technical co-operation activities to enhance maritime security.
and Admiral Collins agreed on the vital importance of ensuring and maintaining
the security of strategic sea lanes, such as the Straits of Malacca, and the
Secretary-General re-affirmed IMO's commitment to this key objective. Last year,
the IMO Council gave the go-ahead for the Organization to convene a high-level
conference to consider ways and means of enhancing safety, security and environmental
protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The event is due to take
place in Jakarta, Indonesia, later this year. The Secretary-General also confirmed
IMO's plans to hold a similar high-level, sub-regional seminar in Aden, Yemen,
on maritime security and prevention of piracy and armed robbery against ships.
The Secretary-General thanked Admiral Collins for the valuable contribution that the United States continued to make to the work of the Organization, and stressed once again the crucial importance of a universally-accepted regulatory framework for such an international industry as shipping. Admiral Collins expressed his appreciation to the Secretary-General for his continued efforts to enhance safety, security and environmental protection, and for his strategic management of the Organization during his first year as Secretary-General.
17 February 2005
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility
for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution