IMO 21st Assembly approves budget, work programme, resolutions


IMO Assembly approves budget, work programme

The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization, the United Nations agency concerned with maritime safety and the prevention of marine pollution from ships, held its 21st session at its London headquarters from 15-26 November.

The Assembly approved budgetary appropriations totalling 36,612,200, representing Zero Nominal Growth over the previous biennium. The total comprises an appropriation of 18,155,000 for 2000 and 18,457, 200 for 2001.

In 1998-1999, appropriations also totalled 36,612,200, comprising an appropriation of 17,946,100 for 1998 and 18,666,100 for 1999.

The Assembly elected a new Council for the next biennium and adopted a number of technical resolutions relating to the work of the Organization.

The Assembly normally meets once every two years. All 157 Member States and two Associate Members are entitled to attend as are the inter-governmental organizations with which agreements on co-operation have been concluded and non-governmental organizations which have consultative status with IMO.

The Assembly was attended by a total 817 delegates. These included representatives of 138 Member States and two Associate Members; and observers from eight intergovernmental organizations and 36 non-governmental organizations.

Election of new IMO Council

The Assembly elected the following 32 States to the Council for the 2000-2001 biennium:

Category (a) Eight States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services:
China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States


Category (b) Eight other States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade:
Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Sweden


Category (c) Sixteen States not elected under (a) or (b) above which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation, and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world:
Australia, Bahamas, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Turkey

In 1998-1999, Members of the council in categories (a) and (b) were the same, but in category (c) the Members elected for 1998-1999 were: Algeria, Australia, Cyprus, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Liberia, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Tunisia.

The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

Work programme

The Assembly approved the work programme for the next biennium and long term objectives for the 2000s, which are identified as follows:

  • taking measures to implement the proactive policy agreed in the 1990s more actively than in the past, so that trends which might adversely affect the safety of ships and those on board and/or the environment may be identified at the earliest feasible stage and action taken to avoid or mitigate such effects. In implementing this directive, Formal Safety Assessment should be used to the extent possible in any rule-making process;

  • shifting emphasis onto people;

  • ensuring the effective uniform implementation of existing IMO standards and regulations;

  • developing a safety culture and environmental conscience;

  • avoiding excessive regulation;

  • strengthening the Organization's technical co-operation programmes; and

  • promoting the intensification by Governments and industry of efforts to prevent and suppress unlawful acts which threaten the security of ships, the safety of those on board and the environment (in particular, terrorism at sea, piracy and armed robbery against ships, illicit drug trafficking, illegal migration by sea and stowaway cases).

Diplomatic conferences approved

The Assembly approved the holding of three diplomatic conferences in the 2000-2001 biennium to adopt new legal instruments:

  • Conference to adopt a Protocol on Preparedness, Response and Co-operation to Pollution Incidents by Hazardous and Noxious Substances, 2000 (OPRC-HNS Protocol). To be held in March 2000.

  • Conference to adopt a legal instrument to regulate the use of shipboard anti-fouling systems, in particular to phase out those containing organotins such as tributyltin (TBT). To be held in 2001.

  • Conference to adopt a new convention on liability and compensation for pollution from ships' bunkers. To be held in 2001

Adoption of resolutions

The Assembly adopted the following resolutions, including those submitted by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), IMO's senior technical body, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and other IMO subsidiary bodies.

List of Resolutions adopted by the IMO Assembly at its 21st session

Council 83rd session

The Council's 83rd session was held on Friday 26th November.

Mr. G. A. Dubbeld of the Netherlands was re-elected chairman of the Council for the 2000-2001 biennium and H.E. Mr. S. Oate of Mexico was elected as vice-chairman.