Guinea-Bissau has acceded to a number of important IMO treaties,
including the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS),
the key IMO treaty
governing the safety of shipping. Other instruments include the STCW
Convention, which establishes international standards for training,
certification and watchkeeping for seafarers, and the International Convention
on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR).
H. E. Mr. Fidélis Forbs, Secretary of State, Ministry of Transport and
Telecommunications of Guinea-Bissau, met IMO Secretary-General at IMO
Headquarters, London (24 October) to deposit the instruments of accession.
The full list of instruments acceded to is as follows:
IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 70) is this week discussing proposals to adopt a mandatory regulation for ships to record and report their fuel consumption. The requirements for ships to record and report their fuel consumption were approved at the last session. Also on the agenda is a decision on the implementation date (2020 or 2025) for the global 0.50% m/m sulphur cap for fuel oil. With the Ballast Water Management Convention entering into force in September 2017, implementation of the treaty will be under consideration. The MEPC is expected to consider revised Guidelines for approval of ballast water management systems. Also up for discussion are proposals to designate a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA) in Papua New Guinea and to designate the North Sea and Baltic Sea as emission control areas for nitrogen oxides (NOx). The MEPC was opened by Secretary-General Kitack Lim and is being chaired by Arsenio Dominguez (Panama). Click for photos. Further information here. Follow the conversation on Twitter #MEPC70 @IMOHQ.
IMO is supporting
Myanmar’s efforts to improve its national search and rescue (SAR) services with
an IMO-led needs assessment mission (17-18 October). Experts are analysing the
current structure of the country’s SAR organization as well as the available
SAR facilities, and shore-based infrastructure of the Global Maritime Distress
and Safety System (GMDSS).
Under the GMDSS,
all passenger and cargo ships over 300 gross tonnage on international voyages
have to carry specified terrestrial and satellite radiocommunications equipment
for sending and receiving distress alerts and maritime safety information, as
well as for general communications. Find out more about IMO’s work relating to
assessment will be followed by a national SAR seminar on 19 October. IMO is
represented by Hans van der Graaf and a team of consultants.
Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) through information and communication technology (ICT) is on the agenda
at the United Nations’ ICT Network meeting in Geneva, Switzerland (17-18
October). The meeting is discussing progress on its Digital Agenda Action Plan,
designed to support UN programmes and the work being done towards the SDGs. Other
important issues, such as information security, are also being discussed.
With ICT playing a vital and ever-increasing role
in the modern world, the United Nations system continually assesses how it uses
ICT to best advantage in contributing to its own institutional efficiencies and
helping to meet its external objectives. It does this through the ICT Network
of its Chief Executives Board and the UN International Computing Centre’s
Management Committee, which follows the ICT Network meeting.
IMO is represented by Vincent Job.
continuing its work to support sustainable maritime development in Africa by
participating in the opening of the African Union Extraordinary Summit on Maritime
Security and Safety and Development in Africa, held in Lomé, Togo (11-15
October). The Summit is addressing all aspects of maritime safety and security
governance and is expected to conclude with the adoption, by African Heads of
State and Government, of a Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and
Development in Africa.
The Summit (website, French only), including the "Protect Our Oceans" side event, is
the latest in a line of recent events at which IMO maritime security experts
have emphasized how sustainable maritime development, underpinned by good
maritime security, can support economic development. Find out more about IMO’s
maritime security work here.
represented by Gisela Vieira and Chris Trelawny.
How IMO’s integrated technical cooperation programme can support the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is one of the key items on the agenda of the Technical Co-operation Committee, which is meeting for its 66th session (10-12 October). Several goals have particular resonance for IMO including Goal 5 (gender equality); Goal 13 (combat climate change); and Goal 14 (use of the oceans, seas and marine resources). The Technical Co-operation Committee will also review technical cooperation activities delivered during 2015, which included 235 activities ranging from advisory and needs assessment missions and national and regional training courses through to the development of model legislation, review and updating of training packages and meetings of heads of maritime administrations. The meeting will also consider the report of the Impact Assessment Exercise (covering the 2012-2015), which looks at the impact of capacity-building exercises on, and their relevance to, the needs of beneficiary countries. IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim opened the 66th session, which is being chaired by Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub (Malaysia). (click for photos).
Togo has become the 89th State to ratify IMO’s International
Relating to Intervention on the High Seas in Cases of Oil Pollution Casualties of
1969. The Convention affirms the right of a coastal State to take necessary
measures on the high seas to prevent, mitigate or eliminate danger to its
coastline or related interests from pollution by oil following a maritime
casualty. The States that have ratified the treaty now represent 75.08% of
Togo also ratified the related 1973 Protocol to the Convention
– which includes provisions for instances relating to substances other than
oil. Ms. Abra Dackey, Chargée d’Affaires
a.i. of the Embassy of Togo in the United
Kingdom, met IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to deposit the instruments of
accession (10 October).
should continue to take protective measures against possible piracy attacks in
the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean through diligent application of
IMO guidance and Best Management Practices (BMPs). IMO Secretary-General Kitack
Lim and Operation Commander Major General Rob Magowan of the EU Naval Force Operation
Atalanta, which operates off the coast of Somalia, reiterated this key message
when they met at IMO Headquarters in London today (6 October).
agreed that naval forces are still very much required in the West Indian Ocean
to help prevent a possible resurgence of piracy and Mr Lim welcomed the
extension of the Operation Atalanta counter-piracy mandate to the end of
2018. They further agreed on the need to secure the release
of the seafarers still remaining in captivity in Somalia. (Photos)
Chile has acceded to the 2001 International Convention on
the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling
Systems on Ships (AFS). The Convention prohibits the use of harmful
organotins in anti-fouling paints used on ships and establishes a mechanism to
prevent the potential future use of other harmful substances in anti-fouling
systems. Under the terms of the AFS Convention, Parties to the Convention are
required to prohibit and/or restrict the use of harmful anti-fouling systems on
ships flying their flag.
The Chilean Ambassador to
the United Kingdom, H.E. Rolando Drago Rodríguez met IMO
Secretary-General Kitack Lim (6 October) to deposit the instrument of
IMO joined celebrations marking four decades of cooperation
in the Mediterranean to prevent and combat marine pollution from ships under
the Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean
Sea (REMPEC). Speaking at the REMPEC 40th
Anniversary Conference during the Malta
Maritime Summit (3-6 October), IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim heralded
REMPEC as a vitally important but often unsung player in the battle to protect
one of the world's most sensitive and vulnerable marine assets. Mr. Lim also
emphasized IMO’s pride in the role it played in helping to set up REMPEC – and
of its continuing work in administering the Centre.
REMPEC’s work today addresses pollution from oil and
hazardous and noxious substances; surveillance for possible illegal operational
discharges; ballast water discharges; emissions from ships and anti-fouling
systems. It is also working with countries to ensure the provision of adequate
port reception facilities in the main ports around the Mediterranean Sea.
Originally called The Regional Oil Combating Centre (ROCC),
it was the first regional centre of its kind. It became known as REMPEC in
1989, following the extension of its mandate to include hazardous substances
other than oil. Since then, it has contributed significantly to the development
and strengthening of the Mediterranean States' capacities to prevent and deal
with marine pollution incidents.
Mr. Lim gave the keynote address during the inauguration of the first ever
Malta Maritime Summit (4 October), in which he gave an insight into IMO's
present and future challenges, and emphasized that IMO’s mission reaches far
beyond the Organization’s immediate constituency. “I believe that a major challenge for
IMO and the maritime community in the years ahead will be to assess and define
their roles, and those of all the various stakeholders, in the establishment of
cohesive and all-embracing ocean governance structures. IMO has its mandate and
I believe is ready to do more, within the UN system, to help integrate maritime
policies on a global scale,” he said.
As part of its continuing efforts to promote sustainable
development, IMO is actively helping governments to streamline port procedures
and remove operational barriers that can hinder or delay vessel movements.
Efficient port operation is founded on safety and security and both topics were
under the microscope at the 5th International Symposium "Human Sea -MARISK" in Nantes, France (3-4 October).
Addressing the symposium theme of "maritime and port
security, public interest or private business?", IMO's Chris Trelawny
stressed the need for partnerships between national authorities, shipping, and
public and private sector ports; developing and sharing best practice; and
building bridges between the many different stakeholders.
World Maritime Day was celebrated across the globe on
Thursday (29 September). From Trinidad and Tobago, where celebrations in Port of Spain
involved the whole community with ship visits and maritime themed activities,
to the Pacific, where school children in the Cook Islands got the chance to
visit a merchant ship. Maritime training institutes, seafarers, shipping
companies and organizations as well as Governments from South Africa to Canada
shared their #WorldMaritimeDay stories. A stimulating debate on shipping’s
future challenges took place at IMO Headquarters in London (photos), with thousands
tuning in worldwide via online participation and hundreds of people submitting their questions to the
panel, from Peru to New Zealand. Listen to the entire debate here. On social media, hundreds of thousands of
people engaged with the theme - Shipping: indispensable to the world. The day
rounded off at IMO Headquarters with the traditional evening reception (photos here).
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has given keynote addresses
to two international conventions during an official visit to the Republic of
Korea (RoK). At the 23rd International Maritime Pilots’ Association
Congress (26 September), Mr Lim told pilots that their technical input on a
wide range of issues was a valuable contribution to the work of IMO. Looking
ahead, he said that existing and emerging technology is key to enhancing
on-board decision making, but cannot replace the human element.
Later that day Mr Lim spoke at the Sustainable Ocean
Initiative meeting, organized by the Convention on Biological Diversity. Mr Lim
told delegates that the success and growth of the maritime sector could
actually threaten the integrity of the oceans, and praised the Aichi
Biodiversity Targets as a major set of conservation benchmarks. He highlighted
how IMO’s work in both the regulatory arena and in terms of technical cooperation and
capacity building, makes a significant contribution in the global efforts to
combat environmental degradation.
The world economy depends on safe, protected, secure and sustainable maritime traffic. IMO’s Chris Trelawny outlined how sustainable maritime development, underpinned by good maritime security can support improved economic development, during the Offshore Patrol Vessels Middle East conference in Bahrain (28 September). Mr Trelawny noted that while piracy and armed robbery is one threat, greater strategic threats include: illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing; drug smuggling; terrorism against oil and gas installations; and transport systems; and above all, the failure to develop the maritime sector. All of these issues have similar solutions, namely, political will at the highest levels, adequate legal frameworks, maritime situational awareness, law enforcement capability ashore, interdiction capability at sea, adequate training and logistic support, and inter agency cooperation. IMO supports countries to develop capacity to address these issues, with welcome support from naval forces and coast guards.
IMO and the Pacific Community (SPC) are supporting
enforcement of ship safety standards in the Pacific region with a two-week
training exercise for flag State inspectors, in Suva, Fiji (19-28 September).
Fourteen technical officers are being equipped with the skills to verify ship
conditions and equipment, and to ensure compliance with the relevant
international and regional ship safety standards. There are around 2000
registered domestic vessels providing transport between the many islands in the
The training exercise builds on IMO’s 2015 Manila
Conference on domestic ferry safety, which acknowledged the urgent need to
enhance the safety of ships carrying passengers on non-international voyages
and urged States to review and update national passenger ferry regulations and
to apply the guidelines adopted at the Conference.
Although ships operating on non-international voyages fall
outside of IMO’s remit, the Organization places great importance on the safety
of passenger ships and urges countries to apply the highest safety standards
An IMO-led maritime security table top exercise is taking place in Sao Tome
and Principe (27-28 September) for participants from a range of government
departments and national agencies, including the Maritime Authority. The
exercise encourages a multi-agency, whole of government approach to maritime
security and maritime law enforcement issues. A range of evolving
scenarios are being used to stimulate discussions and demonstrate the need for
cooperation amongst government departments and agencies.
This is the 18th IMO-led table top exercise to be held in West Africa and
the third table-top exercise to be held in Lusophone Africa. The event is
being conducted by a team of maritime security consultants and hosted by the
Sao Tome and Principe Maritime and Port Authority. IMO is being represented by
Gisela Vieira and a team of consultants.
Safety of navigation, e-navigation and marine environmental protection in what is one of the busiest waterways used for international shipping are on the agenda as representatives of littoral States (Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore), user States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore gather this week (26-30 September) in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. They are attending their regular meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism on Safety of Navigation and Environmental Protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. IMO’s Hiro Yamada participated in the 9th Co-operation Forum (26 September) and is also attending two further meetings under the Cooperative Mechanism, the Tripartite Technical Experts Group (TTEG-41) and the Project Coordination meeting (to 30 September). Mr Yamada encouraged donations to the IMO- administered IMO Malacca and Singapore Straits Trust Fund, set up to support capacity-building activities in the Straits.
The Cooperative Mechanism was established in 2007 to foster cooperation and communication between the littoral States, user States and stakeholders of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore under IMO's "Protection of Vital Shipping Lanes" initiative. The Cooperative Mechanism comprises three interconnected and complementary components. The Cooperation Forum serves as a platform for dialogue; the Project Coordination Committee coordinates the implementation of Straits Projects; and the Aids to Navigation Fund receives direct financial contributions for the provision and maintenance of critical navigational aids in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
A train-the-trainer workshop on IMO maritime security
measures is taking place in Tunis, Tunisia (19-23 September). Tunisian
officials are being trained to provide the knowledge required for port facility
security officers to carry out their duties in line with relevant IMO regulations
and guidelines to protect shipping and ports. These regulations include the International
Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS),
Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended and the IMO/ILO
Code of Practice on Security in Ports.
General Director of Maritime Transport and
Maritime Ports, Mr. Youssef Ben Romdhane, opened the workshop.
Did you know that by 2050 there could
be more plastics in the ocean than fish, if human
habits don’t change? The India Clean Seas Conference taking place in Goa, India (22-24 September), aims to discuss what needs to be done to keep the oceans
clean. IMO’s Director of Marine Environment, Stefan Micallef delivered the opening address, highlighting daunting environmental challenges
facing the oceans and how to develop sustainable solutions. Mr Micallef pointed out how IMO’s marine pollution convention MARPOL has
played a key role as a comprehensive, international treaty covering the
prevention of both marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. To address the massive accumulation of
plastics in the ocean, IMO has pioneered the prohibition of plastics
disposal anywhere at sea, which took effect more than 25 years ago. The
conference is hosting
more than 40 distinguished panellists and speakers including scientists, solution providers and
government representatives, working collectively to address the need to develop
action plans to protect the world's oceans.
A training seminar looking at the
practical aspects of risk assessment and inventories of marine life in
and around commercial ports, a concept also known as port biological baseline
surveys (PBBS), took place in Kingston, Jamaica (21-22 September). Marine biologists, port state control officers and
maritime authorities discussed the practical aspects of risk assessment and
PBBS related to ballast water management (BWM) such as exemptions, ship
targeting for compliance monitoring and enforcement (CME) or the development of
decision support systems (DSS). The event was organized by IMO’s
GloBallast project and the Maritime Authority of
Jamaica. Antoine Blonce represented IMO.
Kenya has marked this year’s #WorldMaritimeDay with celebrations
held in Mombasa, Kenya (20 September). IMO’s Juvenal Shiundu delivered a
goodwill message on behalf of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, reiterating this
year’s World Maritime Day theme – “Shipping: indispensable to the world” –
which emphasizes that maritime transport is the backbone of international
trade, supplying people all over the world with the commodities, fuel, goods
and products that they depend on.
The IMO World Maritime Day 2016 will take place on 29
September and will include an international forum, featuring a panel discussion
on global shipping’s future challenges. Information about the day, forum, and
resources, including a video message from Secretary-General Lim, can be found here.
Additionally, Mr. Shiundu is visiting various stakeholders in
the region in relation to IMO’s technical cooperation activities. He visited
the Kenya Maritime Authority, the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre
(RMRCC) and the Secretariat of the Port Management Association for Eastern and
Southern Africa (PMAESA).
maritime partnerships to enhance maritime security was a core theme of IMO’s
Chris Trelawny’s speech delivered at the International
Seapower Symposium (22 September) in Newport, Rhode Island.
symposium looked at future trends in maritime security as it hoped to harness
the power of the international community in order to effectively confront
common challenges within the maritime domain. Echoing this message, Mr Trelawny
referred to enhancement of maritime security as a building block for greater stability
on land, making the fullest use of navies as
a diplomatic asset within a comprehensive strategy. He
concluded his remarks by recognizing the significant contributions of ships from
many of the world’s navies and coastguards, who
have come to the rescue of migrants in
distress at sea, passing on the thanks of IMO Secretary-General Mr Kitack Lim
and the IMO membership.
IMO has presented the
maritime legal regimes with relevance to transnational crime and migration at
the third Asia Pacific Workshop on the Law of Armed Conflict at Sea, in
Surabaya, Indonesia (21 September). IMO’s Jan de Boer highlighted the
importance of various international treaties, including the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), IMO’s key maritime safety convention
SOLAS, as well as other related instruments regarding search and rescue,
salvage, facilitation of maritime traffic, and unlawful acts against safety of navigation.
This conference is held from 19-23 September and is organized by the Indonesian
Navy and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Romania has acceded to the Nairobi International Convention on
the Removal of Wrecks, the IMO treaty providing the legal
basis for States to remove, or have removed, shipwrecks that may threaten the
safety of lives, goods and property at sea, as well as the marine environment. H.E.
Mr. Sorin-Dan Mihalache, Ambassador of Romania to the United Kingdom, met IMO
Secretary-General and deposited the instrument of ratification (20 September).