Council, Extraordinary Session (CES 34), 8-12/22 November 2021

The Council approved a proposal from the Technical Cooperation Committee to recognize 18 May as an IMO proclaimed International Day for Women in Maritime. A related draft Assembly resolution twill be submitted to the thirty-second session of the Assembly (A 32, to be held 6 to 15 December 2021) for adoption. 

The dedicated Day for Women in Maritime is aimed at strengthening IMO’s work to celebrate and promote women in the industry, and enhance the recruitment, retention, and sustained employment of women in the sector.  

The International Day for Women in Maritime will also raise the profile of women in maritime and showcase IMO's commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 5 on gender equality. 

NGOS in consultative status 

The Council decided to grant consultative status to the following non-governmental organizations:  

  • Ballastwater Equipment Manufacturers’ Association (BEMA); 

  • Global TestNet; 

  • International Windship Association (IWSA); and 

  • Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA). 

The Council decided to grant consultative status to the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC), on a provisional basis, for no more than two years, after which a review should be conducted,  

The Council decided to refer the application submitted by the Zero Emissions Ship Technology Association (ZESTAs) for further screening by the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) and decided that the Committee’s recommendation could be reported directly to A 32.  

The Council decided to request the Intersessional Working Group on Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations to further consider the application submitted by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), for a decision at C 127 (in 2022), and requested EDF to provide the Council with additional information. 

The list of Non-Governmental international Organizations which have been granted consultative status with IMO can be viewed here: Non-Governmental international Organizations which have been granted consultative status with IMO 

Relations with IGOS 

The Council approved, for submission to the Assembly for endorsement, agreements of cooperation with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC); the Regional Coordination Operations Center (RCOC), the Ministerial Conference on Fisheries Cooperation among African States Bordering the Atlantic Ocean (ATLAFCO). 

 The list of Intergovernmental Organizations which have concluded agreements of cooperation with IMO can be viewed here:  Intergovernmental Organizations which have concluded agreements of cooperation with IMO 

Strategic plan to include human element  

The Council approved the revised Strategic Plan for the six-year period 2018 to 2024, including a new strategic direction on the human element.  

The new strategic direction on the human element will state: "In its role as the global regulator of shipping, IMO will build on work already completed to address the human element and will take the human element into account in the review, development and implementation of new and existing requirements. This includes the provision of machinery for cooperation among governments on practices concerning the human element in the maritime sector. To address human element-related issues, the Organization will develop or amend provisions, including but not limited to: training, certification and watchkeeping, including consideration of new technologies; human-centred design; safe manning; drills and exercises; fatigue management; operational safety, security, and environmental protection; and fair treatment of seafarers; taking into account the important role of gender equality." 

Budget endorsed  

The Council approved the Organization’s regular budget for the 2022-2023 biennium. The Council approved the updated results-based regular budget proposal for the biennium of £76,151,000, comprising an appropriation of £37,525,000 for 2022 and an appropriation of £38,626,000 for 2023.This represents assessments upon Member States of £67,536,000, comprising an assessment of £33,616,000 for 2022 and £33,920,000 for 2023. 

 The budget envisages two additional posts for the Marine Environment Division, intended to boost the efforts of the Secretariat in its work to support IMO in reducing GHG emissions from shipping.  

 The IMO Assembly will be invited to adopt the budget.  

Establishment of Multi-donor Trust Fund for participation of LDCs and SIDS in IMO GHG emission reduction processes 

The Council supported in principle the establishment of a Voluntary Multi-donor Trust Fund that would allow broader participation of developing countries, especially LDCs and SIDS, in the work of the Organization, in particular on GHG related matters.  

Such a fund would build on the policies, procedures and experience of the UN System, in particular the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea. The Council established an open-ended correspondence group to consider this further, with an instruction to report the outcome to C 127. 

Establishment of regional presence office in the Pacific region  

The Council approved the establishment of a Regional Presence Office (RPO) in the Pacific region. This will support efforts to enhance and strengthen engagement with Member States to improve the effectiveness of our technical cooperation. 

IMO currently has four Regional Coordinators based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire for west and central Africa (Francophone); Accra, Ghana for west and central Africa (Anglophone); Nairobi, Kenya for eastern and southern Africa; Manila, the Philippines for East Asia; and a Regional Maritime Adviser for the Caribbean based in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. IMO also funds one Technical Cooperation Officer within the Pacific Community (SPC), based in Suva, Fiji. 

Rules of Procedure of Assembly approved  

The Council approved the Rules of Procedure of  the Assembly, and invited the Assembly to initiate  a holistic review of the rules of procedure of all organs, to harmonize and update such rules to the greatest extent possible.  

 The draft resolution to adopt the rules of procedure notes that the COVID-19 pandemic had an  impact on the methods of work of the Organization, requiring all organs to adopt interim guidance to facilitate remote meetings.  

 The IMO Assembly will meet remotely in December, with the election of Members of the IMO Council held in person on 10 December.