The International Maritime Prize for 2009 has been presented to Mr. Johan Franson (Sweden), for his contribution to maritime safety, security and prevention of pollution from ships, during a special ceremony at IMO Headquarters in 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 the Organization.
The 104th session of the IMO Council, held in June 2010, took the decision to award the prize to Mr. Franson who joined the Swedish Maritime Administration as a lawyer in 1977, rising to General Legal Counsel and then Director of Maritime Safety and Head of the Swedish Maritime Safety Inspectorate, posts which he held from 1995 until 2008. He served as Deputy Director General of the Administration from 1990 to 1995 and as Director throughout 2009.
A Swedish delegate to IMO since the early 1980s, Mr. Franson was Chairman of the IMO Council from 2005 to 2009 and served as an elected officer on many other occasions, the posts including: President of the Diplomatic Conference on maritime security, which led to the adoption of SOLAS chapter XI-2 and the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code; Chairman of Committee 1 of the IMO Assembly (on two occasions); Chairman of the IMO Council’s working group on the Organization’s strategic plan; Chairman of the working group, which successfully developed the Code for the Implementation of Mandatory IMO instruments; and Vice-Chairman of the IMO Council during the early 2000s.
Mr. Franson played a key role as policy and technical advisor to the Swedish Government on maritime issues, and his expertise and competence were skilfully displayed following the tragic loss of the Estonia in 1994. He led the Swedish delegation to the 1995 SOLAS Conference, which adopted a number of measures in the wake of the Estonia tragedy, including those related to damage stability.
The presentation of the prize to Mr. Franson was made by Mr. Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, Secretary-General of IMO, during the 105th session of the IMO Council, which is meeting from 1 to 5 November.
IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
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