IMO and EC in high-level Prestige talks
Mr. William O'Neil is to travel to Brussels this Tuesday to meet the Vice-President
of the European Commission, Mrs. Loyola de Palacio, to discuss action contemplated
to be taken in the aftermath of the Prestige accident off the NW coast
of Spain in November 2002.
Mr. O'Neil has proposed that the focus of the meeting should be on:
measures which need to be taken to prevent recurrence of Prestige-type
accidents (the outcome of the investigation into the casualty should be
taken into account when these are being finalized);
need to have any such measures fully analysed and their implications (technical,
legal and economic) thoroughly examined so that decisions could then be
made against the background of an adequate global picture of the situation;
recognition that IMO is the correct forum to address issues stemming from
the Prestige accident related to the elaboration and adoption of
any regulatory measures affecting shipping engaged in international trade
from the maritime safety and pollution prevention and control points of
view required to remedy the situation, as had been done in previous cases;
ways and means to introduce such measures at IMO so that they can be dealt
with in the most expeditious manner and also the steps which need to be
taken next in order to give effect to any proposals which may be made regarding
the Prestige incident.
Mr. O'Neil notes that the expeditious and successful way IMO acted on safety,
environmental protection and liability and compensation proposals submitted
in the aftermath of the Erika disaster in 1999 indicates that an equally
prompt reaction to any proposals submitted by Governments to prevent Erika
or Prestige-type incidents recurring in the future would be assured.
This will be Mr. O'Neil's second visit to EU officials following his visit in
early January to the Greek Minister of Mercantile Marine, Mr. Yiorgos Anomeritis,
in his capacity as President of the European Union Maritime Transport Ministers'
Mr. O'Neil will be accompanied by senior IMO officials.
IMO - the International
Maritime Organization - is the United Nations Specialized Agency with responsibility
for the safety of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
Web site: www.imo.org
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