Council 127th session, 11-15 July 2022 (closing remarks)

Friday, 15 July 2022



Excellencies, distinguished delegates and observers,

I would like to congratulate you all for the constructive meeting and the successful outcome of this session.

We had extensive discussion on many important agenda items. Your suggestions, comments and decisions this week will inform our work for the second part of 2022 and beyond.

One of the most impactful decisions was the agreement to use the hybrid meeting capability to supplement in-person meetings from September 2022 for a trial period of one year.

I can assure you that the Secretariat will do its utmost over the summer to fully implement the hybrid meeting system, as well as the guidance material.

I would particularly like to thank you for your comments and suggestions on resource matters. You approved the changes to the Staff Rules that will support the implementation of our internal appeals system.

Please also rest assured that we are working on enhancing our recruitment process and taking necessary steps to improve gender parity and geographical representation. We will provide the Council with updates on our progress.

I would also like to express my appreciation for endorsing our proposals with regard to budgetary measures. We will present an outline of the budget proposal for the next biennium to the next session of the Council.

You have also determined the recipient of the International Maritime Prize for 2021. And I would like to extend my congratulations to Professor David Joseph Attard, nominated by Malta and express my appreciation to the other candidates for the prize Captain Abdullah, nominated by Singapore and Dr. Ehlers, nominated by Germany.

You have also endorsed to bestow the 2022 IMO Bravery Award to Mr. Bo Xu, Chief Officer of the M/T Jian Qiao 502, nominated by China. I would like to congratulate him and the other recipients of the Certificates of Commendation.

It is customary at this time to say a few words about delegates for whom this will be the last session of the Council. In this regard I wish to appreciate Ms. Turid Stemre of Norway who is retiring after an illustrious career and whose contribution to the work of IMO is invaluable.

Turid, I believe I can speak for all of us here in wishing you a happy and healthy retirement.

I would also like to appreciate Mr. Marios Stephanides of Cyprus, Mr. Phillipe Janvier of France, Mr. Lollan Panjaitan of Indonesia and Ms. Lisa Brodey of the United States. I wish you all success in your future endeavours, you will be missed by many friends and colleagues at IMO.

I also wish to express my sincere appreciation to the Chair of the Council, Mr. Victor Jimenez Fernandez of Spain. Your able leadership has allowed us to smoothly navigate through a very busy agenda. I would also like to express my appreciation to the Vice-Chair, Ms. Amane Fethallah of Morocco for her support and for successfully chairing the Working Group on Council Reform.

My appreciation also goes to the staff of the Secretariat who have contributed to this successful meeting of the Council. My special appreciation to the interpreters, who facilitated our discussions this week. I am very fortunate to be able to count on the support, experience and dedication of such a great team.

Distinguished delegates,

Thank you for your valuable comments and contributions during this session of the Council.

This is the last virtual session of the Council since the impact of the COVID-pandemic. All our achievements would not have been possible without your cooperation, collaboration and overwhelming support.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend.

Thank you.