Technical Cooperation Committee, 67th session, 17-19 July 2017

Improving implementation through capacity-building

Improving implementation is the first of seven key strategic directions agreed by the IMO Council for approval by the IMO Assembly at its 30th session at the end of 2017. IMO’s Technical Cooperation Committee has a key role in overseeing IMO’s technical assistance work. Effective implementation of standards adopted by IMO cannot be achieved without investing in Member State capacity building, which in turn can contribute to the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals.

Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme for 2018-2019 approved
The Committee, meeting for its 67th session (17-19 July), approved the proposed Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme for 2018-2019 biennium.

The ITCP has region-specific programmes, covering Africa; Arab States and Mediterranean;
Asia; Pacific Islands; Western Asia and Eastern Europe; Latin America and the Caribbean. In addition, 10 global programmes enhance the Organization’s ability to respond to new challenges and emerging issues. 

For 2018-2019, two new global programmes have been approved to support the response to the 2030 Agenda  for Sustainable Development and the Blue Economy and support the implementation of the technical cooperation aspects of IMO’s new strategic plan 2018-2023.

The 10 global programmes cover:

  1. Technical advisory services to ensure a flexible funding mechanism for immediate response not only to emergency requests, typically in the case of marine pollution and safety incidents, but also to requests  by member States for technical assistance with the establishment/upgrading of maritime administrations and legislation, and effective implementation of global maritime standards;
  2. Support to SIDS and LDCs for their special shipping needs to identify and address the special shipping needs of Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries, recognizing that maritime transport and seaborne trade are essential to sustainable development so as to foster the implementation of the SAMOA Pathway as the blueprint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of these Member States;
  3. SDG 5: Strengthening the maritime sector implements key SDG 5 (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) targets by empowering women as a key resource for the maritime infrastructure of developing countries. Gender mainstreaming is enhanced through the IMO network of regional associations for women  in the maritime sector, which, together with their national chapters, offer a springboard for regional training, provide access to specialized training, promoting economic self-reliance and increase employment opportunities for women at the decision-making levels of the port and maritime sectors;
  4. Capacity Building and Training to reinforce national and regional maritime capacities through human resource development, such as provision of fellowships to IMO global maritime training institutions and other maritime training institutions worldwide, and to respond to specific requests for technical assistance in the formulation of national maritime transport policies;
  5. Partnerships and emerging issues to develop and/or strengthen technical cooperation  partnership arrangements and to ensure the global harmonization and coordination of port State control activities;
  6. Enhancement of maritime security to assist and support the efforts of governments and industry towards the enhancement of security in the international maritime transport sector;
  7. IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) to provide technical assistance to Member States in their preparation and participation in audits through the delivery of regional training courses for auditors based on revised course material, regional and national workshops, as well as for the participation of observer auditors in audits, and to provide pre- and post audit assistance to Member States;
  8. Effective implementation and enforcement of energy efficiency measures for ships to provide technical assistance in improving the ability of Member States to comply with new international regulations and standards to address greenhouse gas emissions from international shipping and the improvement of energy efficiency from ships;
  9. Support for the response to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Blue Economy aimed at supporting the alignment of IMO's technical assistance work with the SDGs and providing assistance to Member States to enhance their abilities to reflect and embed the SDGs in their maritime activities with a view to facilitating the implementation of the SDGs at country level; and
  10. Support for the implementation of the technical cooperation aspects of IMO's Strategic Plan 2018-2023 aimed at enhancing the quality of technical cooperation delivery and its evaluation, through the development of methodologies and tools which will facilitate a harmonized approach to advisory missions, field assessments and gap analyses pertaining particularly to technical cooperation activities related to non IMSAS Conventions ("applicable international instruments" for IMSAS purposes) and their evaluation.

Linkage with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
Following development in an intersessional working group tasked with considering how to link IMO’s technical assistance work with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Committee approved three draft Assembly resolutions:

  • The Linkage between IMO’s Technical Assistance Work and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Guiding Principles of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and
  • Financing and Partnership Arrangements for an Effective and Sustainable Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.

These resolutions are important supporting documents for the work of the Organization and in the delivery of technical assistance. The Committee noted that all SDGs have some connection with IMO's mandate, while eight SDGs were identified as being particularly relevant to IMO’s technical assistance work. A new brochure (download here) outlines the linkage between the SDGs and IMO.  

TC Fund allocation
The Committee approved the Technical Cooperation Fund allocation of some US$13 million to support the Programme’s core activities. However, the total resource allocation for the ITCP amounts to some US$23.8 million, so the outstanding funds will need to be mobilized from external sources. 

The Committee appealed for external donor contributions in the form of financial or in-kind support to assist the Organization in funding the proposed entire 2018-2019 ITCP.

The Committee was informed that the IMO Secretary-General had established a new post in the Technical Cooperation Division (TCD) of a resource mobilization and partnerships Officer to strengthen the Secretariat’s efforts in engaging with donors and other technical cooperation partners in the pursuit of additional resources.

The Committee also considered exploring alternative sources of funding for the ITCP and strategies towards the achievement of a sustainable financing of the ITCP. 

Partnerships for capacity building
The Committee noted that as of 30 April 2017, 70 partnerships arrangements were in operation, 42 of which had been concluded with Member States and Associate Members and 28 of which had been made with international organizations, regional institutions and the industry.

Formulation of National Maritime Transport Policies (NMTPs)
The Committee noted the ongoing work by the IMO Secretariat to enhance assistance to Member States in the formulation of National Maritime Transport Policies (NMTPs). A maritime transport policy training package has been developed in collaboration with the World Maritime University (WMU), for this purpose.

The training package, which has already been tested and assessed via the delivery of a number of pilot national and regional workshops and seminars, aims at providing beneficiaries with the required knowledge and skills which are necessary to prepare, review and adopt national maritime transport policies

Further development of Country Maritime Profiles (CMPs)
More than half of IMO Member States have completed their country maritime profiles. The profiles are intended to provide detailed information on maritime activities in each country, in order to better target technical assistance. The Committee reminded Member States which had not done so to complete or update their CMPs in GISIS on the IMO website to do so as soon as possible so as to assist the Secretariat in programming future targeted technical assistance based on specific needs.

The IMO Secretariat informed the Committee that it was working with WMU to redesign and further improve the CMP module.

IMO Member State Audit Scheme
The Committee noted that the implementation of the mandatory IMO Member State Audit Scheme was leading to an increase in ad hoc requests for technical assistance, which in turn would require an increase in the overall size of the ITCP, and of the necessary funds. Audits of 19 Member States on the audit schedule for 2016 were successfully completed with 23 countries scheduled to be completed during 2017. 

It was noted that analysis of audits conducted under the previous voluntary scheme identified five major areas of recurrent audit findings, which were: flag State surveyors, delegation of authority, initial actions/legislation, implementation and enforcement. The analysis also found that States which encountered difficulties might not have established a system for analysing and integrating newly adopted amendments into their national legislation.

Apparent unavailability of qualified personnel to assist in the promulgation of the necessary national legislation was also identified as a factor, although it was noted that many of the countries audited did had graduates from the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), who could provide a valuable resource of qualified legal experts in assisting their Governments in the promulgation of national legislation.

A total of 834 graduates from 136 countries and territories have been trained at IMLI since its establishment. 

The Committee also noted the Organization’s efforts to train auditors for the scheme. Since 2006, a total of 1,084 individuals from 154 Member States have been trained as auditors through 56 ITCP activities.

Successful capacity building in 2016
The Committee reviewed the annual report for 2016 on the delivery of the ITCP. It was noted that during 2016, some 237 ITCP activities were delivered, including 18 advisory and needs assessment missions and 118 training courses, seminars and workshops held at the national, regional and global levels. Some 2,920 persons were trained worldwide through national and regional training activities.

In addition, 72 fellows completed fellowships in the maritime field (22 fellowships at the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI)), and 1,124 officials attended events aimed at developing and harmonizing regional strategies on maritime technical matters.

IMO Regional Presence Scheme
The Committee noted with appreciation the technical assistance delivered through the regional presence scheme in Africa, East Asia and the Caribbean, and particularly the role played by the regional coordinators and the regional maritime adviser for the Caribbean in their collective efforts towards the delivery of ITCP activities in their respective regions.