Council, 128th session, 28 November-2 December 2022 (closing remarks)



Excellencies, distinguished delegates and observers,

I would like to thank you all for your contribution to this Council and the successful outcome of this session.

Our extensive discussion on the many important agenda items will contribute greatly to progress IMOs' work and to inform our work for the 2023 and the next biennium.

Distinguished delegates,

Permit me to highlight a few:

At this session, we convened two Working Groups, that made substantial progress. The Working Group on the Strategic Plan discussed and decided on a way forward to develop the Strategic Plan for the six-year period 2024 to 2029.

The Working Group on Council reform progressed on their work programme and commenced discussion on the protection of content on IMODOCS.

You also provided valuable input on our resource management related matters, in particular human resources and our budget considerations. The Secretariat will continue to introduce measures to make prudent use of the available resources and will remain mindful of the economic situation of Member States, as we prepare our budget for the 2024-2025 biennium.

One of the long-lasting achievements of this session was the agreement to establish an IMO Gender Equality Award to provide international recognition to those individuals, irrespective of their gender, who made significant contributions towards the advancement of gender equality and empowerment of women in the maritime sector. I am looking forward to the first ceremony of this award in 2024.

I must also recognize another important achievement in the approval of the establishment of a Voluntary Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the purpose of assisting developing countries, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), in attending the meetings of the MEPC and ISWG-GHG. I would encourage IMO Member States to donate to this Fund.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank those delegates for whom this will be the last session of the Council.

As mentioned before, my profound appreciation goes to Dr. Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President, WMU.

I would also like to express my sincere appreciation to Ms. Annalisse Sly of Australia, the Chair of the Working Group on the Strategic Plan, who will be returning to Australia at the end of this year.

Appreciation also to Ambassador Victor Camilleri of Malta, Mr. Anas Suleiman of Nigeria and Mr. Jihyun Lim of Republic of Korea.

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 and calm approach have 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, as well as the Chair of the Working Group on the Strategic Plan, Ms. Annalisse Sly of Australia.

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

Not to forget, my appreciation goes to cafeteria team for their continuous support.

Distinguished delegates,

I would also like to express my appreciation for your valuable comments and contributions to this session of the Council.

This was the first in-person Council, supported by hybrid capabilities. We also had the opportunity to convene the first working groups with hybrid capabilities in Committee Rooms 9 and 10 and I am happy to see that this worked well. For the smooth organization of this, I would like to thank the Conference Division and the Department of Information and Technology for their relentless efforts.

As is always the case all our achievements over this week would not have been possible without your cooperation, collaboration and overwhelming support.

I wish you all a pleasant and restful weekend.

Thank you.