Joint communiqué

At the end of the meeting at the Greek Ministry of Mercantile Marine in Piraeus on Saturday, 11 January 2003, between the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization Mr. William O'Neil and the President of the European Union Maritime Transport Ministers' Council Mr. Yiorgos Anomeritis, Minister of Mercantile Marine of Greece, the two sides expressed satisfaction for the positive and constructive manner and outcome of their consultations concerning action in the context of the Prestige accident.

Mr. O'Neil, emphasizing the need for shipping to continue to be regulated by global standards, invited Mr. G. Anomeritis to ensure that any proposals in the context of that accident calling for action at the regulatory level to further improve maritime safety and environmental protection affecting international shipping, are submitted to IMO promising that he would, in consultation with Member Governments, see that prompt action for their consideration is taken in the most expeditious manner.

For his part, Mr. G. Anomeritis stressed that Greece, while in the European Presidency, would fulfil its obligations stemming from the Council of Ministers' conclusions and, agreeing that any regulatory action affecting international shipping from the maritime safety and pollution prevention and control points of view should be taken at IMO, undertook to consult with his counterparts in the European Union on Mr. O'Neil's invitation and proposal and to inform him accordingly as soon as possible.

Mr. G. Anomeritis also informed Mr. O'Neil of the priorities of the Greek Presidency, which focus on maritime safety, maritime security and the improvement of the Community shipping image.

The Assistant Secretary-General of IMO, Mr. E. Mitropoulos, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine of Greece, Mr. L. Lambropoulos, the Commandant of the Hellenic Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Christos Delimichalis and other executives of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine also participated in the discussions.

13 January 2003

For further information please contact:
Lee Adamson, Public Information Manager on 020 7587 3153 (ladamson@imo.org) or
Natasha Brown, Information Officer on 020 7587 3274 (nbrown@imo.org).