International Maritime Prize goes to Ian Williams of Australia

The prestigious International Maritime Prize for 1999 was today (27 September) awarded to Mr. Ian Mills Williams, former Manager for IMO Relations at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). Mr. William A. O’Neil, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, presented the prize to Mr. Williams during a special ceremony at IMO's London headquarters.

    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 84th session of the IMO Council in June took the decision to award the prize to Mr. Williams in recognition of his long service to the cause of maritime safety.

    In particular, Mr. Williams has made a valuable contribution to saving seafarers' lives through improved safety measures for bulk carriers. He was co-ordinator of the MSC Intersessional Correspondence Group on Safety of Bulk Carriers in 1995 and 1996 and Chairman of the Working Group on Safety of Bulk Carriers from 1995 to 1998.

    Mr. Williams was a key participant in the 1997 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Diplomatic Conference, which adopted the new Chapter XII to the SOLAS on Additional Safety Measures for Bulk Carriers.

    Mr. Williams was also an active member of the Panel of Experts selected by IMO to examine and make recommendations on passenger ro-ro ferry safety following the Estonia sinking in September 1994. Mr. Williams first represented Australia at IMO's 14th Assembly in 1985 and became involved with the work of the Maritime Safety Committee in 1988. He chaired the Sub-Committee on Ship Design and Equipment from 1994 until March 1999 - following his retirement from AMSA in September 1998.

    The International Maritime Prize consists of a sculpture in the form of a dolphin and includes a financial award and. 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 of the prize in recent years include: the International Lifeboat Federation (ILF) (awarded prize for 1998); Dr. Gamal El-Din A. Mokhtar of Egypt, President of the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (1997); Mr. Torkild Reedtz Funder of Denmark, former director-general of the Danish Maritime Authority (1996); and Mr. Georgy Ivanov, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to IMO (1995).

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