Tom Allan of United Kingdom awarded IMO International Maritime Prize

Dr Tom Allan of the United Kingdom (left) with his wife Gladys, receives the International Maritime Prize from IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos in a ceremony at London's Westminster Central HallThe prestigious International Maritime Prize for 2005 has been presented to Dr. Tom Allan (United Kingdom), former Chairman of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) and PermanentRepresentative of the United Kingdom to IMO.

Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, presented the prize to Dr. Allan during a special ceremony (on Monday, 6 November) during the 97th session of the IMO Council, which met at Central Hall, Westminster, London.

The International Maritime Prize is awarded annually by IMO to the individual or organization judged to have made the most significant contribution to the work and objectives of IMO. The 96th session of the IMO Council in June 2006 took the decision to award the prize to Dr. Allan in recognition of his long service to the cause of maritime safety and the protection of the marine environment, highlighted by his work representing the United Kingdom at IMO and chairing IMO's senior technical body, the MSC, from 1999 to 2005.

The prize-giving ceremony was attended by Dr. Stephen Ladyman, United Kingdom Minister of State for Transport and other officials from the United Kingdom Department for Transport, as well as by delegations to the IMO Council and IMO staff.

Dr. Tom Allan
Dr. Allan was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and graduated from Strathclyde University as a naval architect. He started his career in the shipbuilding industry and joined the United Kingdom Department for Transport in 1971 as a surveyor of ships where he began working both at the national level and internationally at IMO.

Dr. Allan was appointed a Principal Ship Surveyor in the passenger ship section of the United Kingdom Department for Transport in 1982 and named Chief Ship Surveyor in 1987.

In 1994, Dr. Allan played a leading role as a member of IMO's Panel of Experts established to review the safety of passenger ferries after the Estonia disaster and he was elected Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Stability, Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety (SLF) in 1995. During the next four years of his chairmanship, the SLF Sub-Committee addressed and completed many important issues, including the initiation of the revision of the 1988 Load Lines Protocol, the consolidation of the harmonization of damage stability requirements in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the groundwork preparation for the revision of the Fishing Vessel Safety Code and Guidelines.

Meanwhile, Dr. Allan was appointed the United Kingdom's first Permanent Representative to the IMO in 1998.

After being unanimously elected chairman of the MSC in 1999, Dr. Allan led the Committee until the end of 2005, using his negotiating skills and ability to inspire co-operation and consensus between nations, resulting in the adoption of many amendments and new regulations, including new safety standards for bulk carriers and the fast-track introduction of a new global maritime security regime, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.

Dr. Allan is also credited with being instrumental, through his relationship-building skills and diplomacy, in helping the Organization to secure agreement on the introduction of the Voluntary IMO Member State Audit Scheme. He has been a driving force, within the UK Government and at IMO, behind the proposals to improve and modernize the Organization's headquarters, an initiative which is currently under way.

International Maritime Prize
The International Maritime Prize consists of a sculpture in the form of a dolphin and includes a financial award. The winner of the annual prize is also invited to write a paper on a theme relating to the work of IMO. The paper is published in IMO's quarterly magazine, IMO News.

Previous winners
Winners of the prize since 2000:

  2005 - Dr. Tom Allan (United Kingdom)
  2004 - Mr. Luis Martínez (Mexico)
  2003 - Mr William O'Neil (Canada)
  2002 - Mr. Frank Wall (United Kingdom)
  2001 - Mr. Giuliano Pattofatto (Italy) (posthumously)
  2000 - Mr. Heikki Juhani Valkonen (Finland)

Briefing 42, 7 November 2006

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