Council, 117th session, 5-8 December 2016

Strategy and planning

The Council agreed to the first-ever vision statement for the Organization, overarching principles to be taken into account in all of the Organization’s work and seven focused strategic directions.  

The complete Strategic Plan as well as performance indicators and outputs will be presented to the IMO Assembly for adoption at the end of 2017.

Vision statement for the International Maritime Organization for 2018-2023, agreed by the Council:

IMO will uphold its leadership role as the global regulator of shipping, promote greater recognition of the sector's importance and enable the advancement of shipping, whilst addressing the challenges of continued developments in technology and world trade; and the need to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To achieve this, IMO will focus on review, development and implementation of and compliance with IMO instruments in its pursuit to proactively identify, analyse and address emerging issues and support Member States in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Strategic Directions:

1. Improve implementation
IMO has developed more than 50 international treaties and related standards, which must be implemented by Member States as they have the obligation to ratify and implement the international treaty instruments that are adopted as IMO conventions. There is a need to ensure that regulations are effectively, efficiently and consistently implemented and enforced.

2. Integrate new and advancing technologies in the regulatory framework
Technological advances present opportunities as well as challenges, their introduction needs to be considered carefully in order for them to be accommodated appropriately into the regulatory framework of the Organization. This involves balancing the benefits derived from new and advancing technologies against safety and security concerns, the impact on the environment and on international trade facilitation, the potential costs to the industry, and their impact on personnel, both on board and ashore.

3. Respond to climate change
Responding to climate change will be a vital strategic direction for IMO. This is one of the greatest challenges of our era and one which IMO has been tackling for some time. In its role as the global regulator of international shipping, IMO will continue to develop appropriate, ambitious and realistic solutions to minimize shipping's contribution to air pollution and its impact on climate change.

4. Engage in ocean governance
IMO will continue to engage in ocean governance, meaning the processes and mechanisms by which the use of the oceans and their resources are regulated and controlled.

5. Enhance global facilitation and security of international trade
IMO will help international shipping operate more effectively from an administrative perspective. This means addressing things like arrival and departure formalities, documentation and certification, and generally reducing the administrative burdens that surround ship operation.

6. Ensure regulatory effectiveness
IMO will focus on improving the actual process of developing regulations, to make them more effective. IMO will be looking at gathering more data, and then being better and smarter at using it when we make decisions. IMO will be looking at getting better feedback from Member States and the industry and improving the way we learn from experience and feed those lessons back into the regulatory process.

7. Ensure organizational effectiveness
The aim is to increase the overall effectiveness of IMO, including the Member states, NGOs, donors, the Secretariat –all the many stakeholders in the Organization as a whole.