Mr. Igor Ponomarev

Mr. Igor Ponomarev, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to IMO and Chairman of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has died suddenly at the age of 41.

IMO Secretary-General Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos expressed his deep sadness and shock at the news.

"I would like to express my sincerest condolences and those of the entire IMO membership and staff to Mr. Ponomarev's family," Mr. Mitropoulos said. "Igor was a great friend and a highly talented young man who had all the necessary background, depth of knowledge, courage and wisdom to take on the challenges and the enormous responsibility of chairing the most senior technical Committee of IMO. We have all been shocked at the devastating news of the unexpected, untimely, unfair and unjust loss of a friend and colleague, whose short life was entirely dedicated to his family and to shipping, of which he was a committed, tireless servant. He will be hugely missed by his family, friends and the whole international shipping community."

Mr. Ponomarev had been closely involved with the development of the Russian Federation's participation in IMO's activities since 1993 and chaired various working and drafting groups, including the MSC Working Groups on Tanker Safety and Bulk Carrier Safety from 1999 to 2002.

Designated as the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to IMO in 2003, Mr. Ponomarev was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment (DE) from 2003 to 2005. During his tenure as chair of that Sub-Committee, he successfully oversaw complex technical issues including the revision of IMO Assembly resolution A.744(18) on the Guidelines on the enhanced programme of inspections during surveys of bulk carriers and oil tankers, as well as that of SOLAS chapter XII, which provides additional safety measures for bulk carriers.

Mr. Ponomarev also chaired the Technical Committee of IMO's 24th Assembly at the end of 2005.

Elected Chairman of the MSC by acclamation in 2005, Mr. Ponomarev chaired his first MSC session in May this year. He was due to chair the MSC's 82nd session, which is to be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 29 November to 8 December.

"When closing MSC 81 last May," Mr. Mitropoulos recalled, "I paid special tribute to Igor for his determination and patience in achieving consensus in all of the Committee's decisions, in his usual affable and efficient manner. His great sense of humour and integrity, combined with leadership, professionalism and technical knowledge, are all qualities that will ensure his memory is cherished by all."

Mr. Ponomarev graduated from St. Petersburg State Maritime Technical University as a naval architect and joined the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS) in 1988, where he served first as a Senior Surveyor, then as Principal Surveyor/Co-ordinator for IMO-related activities, later as Head of the International Department and, subsequently, from 1999 to 2003, as Vice Director-General of RS.

Mr. Ponomarev was also a Member of the Council of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) and served as its Chairman from 2001 to 2002. .

Mr. Ponomarev was also a Governor of the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden.

Briefing 39, 31 October 2006

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