Technical Cooperation Committee (TC), 68th session, 18-20 June 2018

Regional presence boosted with new Pacific post
IMO’s regional presence has recently been enhanced with the establishment of a new ITCP-funded position of an IMO Technical Cooperation Officer at the Secretariat of the Pacific Community in Suva, Fiji, to facilitate the delivery of IMO's technical assistance programme in the Pacific region.

The important role played by the IMO regional presence scheme was noted by the Committee. The regional coordinators in Africa and East Asia and the regional maritime adviser in the Caribbean have, for a number of years, been supporting Member States in their efforts towards the ratification and universal application of IMO instruments.

The Committee expressed its appreciation to the host countries of IMO Regional Presence Offices (Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, and Trinidad and Tobago), for their continued financial and in-kind contributions to support the scheme.

Supporting Member States towards the UN SDGS
IMO’s comprehensive technical cooperation programme supports Member States to implement IMO treaties effectively. This is one way in which IMO supports the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Successful capacity building in 2017
The annual report for 2017, presented to the Committee, showed another successful year of technical assistance and capacity building work by IMO. During 2017, 215 activities were delivered. This included nine advisory and needs assessment missions and 119 training courses, seminars and workshops held at the national, regional and global levels, covering a range of topics and reaching 3,522 participants. 

In addition, another 64 people completed fellowships in the maritime field, including 26 at the World Maritime University (WMU) and the IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI). Another 551 officials attended events aimed at developing and harmonizing regional strategies on maritime technical matters.

Total expenditure on technical cooperation activities in 2017 was $13.8 million, from 22 sources of funding, including the IMO Technical Cooperation Fund ($6 million). 

Assistance to Member States to develop National Maritime Transport Policies
The Committee was updated on IMO’s work to promote the National Maritime Transport Policy concept as a good governance practice to guide planning, decision making and legislation in the maritime sector. It can also be a key driver for a country's sustainable development, particularly when it comes to the “blue economy”. IMO has been running a series of national and regional training workshops on the development and content of a National Maritime Transport Policy.

This has been aided by a training package, available in English, French and Spanish, which aims at providing beneficiaries with the required knowledge and skills necessary to prepare, review and adopt maritime transport policies. IMO is also developing a related video.

Country maritime profiles
The Committee urged Member States/Associate Members that had not as yet completed their country maritime profiles to do so, and invited those which had completed them to continue to update the records. The country maritime profiles, which are accessible to the Secretariat and Member States, provide information on a country, including data on maritime related matters, such as seafarer training institutes. It can help with targeting technical cooperation activities.

The country maritime profile module in GISIS is currently being reviewed with a view to updating it to provide further, useful information and make it more user-friendly.  

2030 Agenda - correspondence group established
The Committee noted the relevance of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), which is a medium-term results framework that describes the collective vision and response of the UN system to national development priorities and results. This process supports the implementation of the UN SDGs, by providing a common country analysis.  The Committee encouraged Member States to fully participate in their national or regional UNDAF processes, ensuring that maritime issues are included in the country wide implementation of the SDGs.  

The Committee noted that a robust follow-up and review mechanism for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development required a solid framework of indicators and statistical data to monitor progress, inform policy and ensure accountability of all stakeholders. A correspondence group on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was established to develop indicators for data collection within IMO's mandate related to technical cooperation. 

Strengthening the impact of women in the maritime sector
The Committee was updated on activities under the IMO Women in Maritime programme, which has now been running for 30 years. The programme directly supports the achievement of the UN SDG Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", including through the provision of gender specific training fellowships (more than 70 in 2017-2018), for female officials to attend various training programmes across the world. 

The establishment of seven grassroots regional women in maritime associations (across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands) was recognized as an enduring success of the programme. These associations draw on the UN principle of implementing from the field-level upwards, contributing to the enhancement of the maritime sector of each region through local outreach activities. 

Strategy for resource mobilization approved 
The Committee approved a strategy for resource mobilization for IMO's technical cooperation (TC) activities. The strategy identifies a number of potential sources of funding for IMO technical cooperation activities. It says a more proactive and methodical approach is essential to encourage the development of partnerships with Member States, the UN system and the multilateral development banks. 

A review of the trends in international development aid and implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as an assessment of the current situation should be carried out periodically and incorporated into the action plan for the increased effectiveness and efficiency of IMO's fundraising strategy. Steps should be taken to work towards improved planning and implementation efficiencies for the delivery of TC activities, strengthened communications and a coordinated approach.

The Committee urged Member States to actively communicate with their development aid agencies to mainstream IMO's technical cooperation activities as a priority item in their national development plans.

Successful partnerships
The Committee expressed its appreciation to all technical cooperation partners for their financial contributions and in-kind support for the effective implementation of the ITCP.

As at 7 June 2018, 78 partnership arrangements were in operation, including 20 financial; 38 in-kind (including no fee experts or free of cost experts and hosting of technical assistance events); four relating to the IMO regional presence scheme; three on the establishment of activity/response centres and 13 on the delegation of TC implementation responsibilities. In the past year, 17 new partnership arrangements had been established.

In February 2018, an innovative partnership was established between IMO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to help promote sustainable shipping through a range of safety and environment focused capacity building activities in the maritime and port sectors. This strategic partnership was the first to be established between IMO and a multilateral development bank, combining IMO's global mandate and outreach and EBRD's experience and expertise on investment and finance. It was expected to contribute a great deal to sustainable maritime transport and the implementation of the SDGs.

The Committee noted that the outcomes achieved through partnership arrangements contributed substantially to the effective delivery of ITCP activities. Efforts to identify new and innovative partnership arrangements with governments, international and regional organizations, and industry would continue, with a view to securing further funding and obtaining more in kind support to promote regional implementation of the ITCP.

Financial contributions to the Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme
The Committee welcomed, with appreciation, financial contributions made for technical cooperation activities. Member States, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and industry were encouraged to continue supporting ITCP activities, to help ensure the long-term sustainability of the Programme.
The Committee noted with appreciation that between 1 June 2017 and 6 June 2018, contributions made to multi-donor trust funds and through financial arrangements and cash contributions amounted to $8,994,579 and included recent contributions from: 

  • Australia contributed $377,000 ($A500,000) to support a Pacific Islands regional strategy for the reduction of ship sourced marine plastic litter and to assist Pacific Island States to implement and enforce MARPOL Annex V, working closely with IMO, the Pacific Community (SPC), the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP) and Pacific Island nations.
  • Malaysia contributed $20,000 to support the delivery of a regional workshop on MARPOL Annex V and port reception facilities.
  • Saudi Arabia contributed $1 million to support the IMO Djibouti Code of Conduct (DCoC) Trust Fund, the West and Central Africa (WCA) Maritime Security Trust Fund, the ITCP, fellowships at IMLI; the WMU Endowment Fund.

The delegation of Singapore informed the Committee of their pledge to launch an enhanced five-year technical cooperation and training package, set to amount to $5 million. The package will consist of increased support to IMO's TC activities through the Singapore-IMO Third Country Training Programme (TCTP), strengthened support of the WMU under the MoU on academic cooperation with the WMU, and increased contributions to global maritime leadership training by increasing the number of seats available on the MPA Academy’s flagship programmes.

The Committee also welcomed further pledges announced during the meeting, including: NKr 1 million to support the ITCP for 2018, from Norway; $50,000 to the ITCP and $10,000 to WMU, from Ghana; €20,000 to support the global programme on the IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) and €50,000 to WMU, from the Netherlands; $500,000 for the ITCP from the Republic of Korea; and $500,000 from Japan to support the DCoC Trust Fund, aimed at combating piracy and armed robbery against ships in the western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.