Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments (III), 3rd session, 18-22 July (opening address)

(18 to 22 July 2016)

Mr. Chair,

Welcome to London and to the third session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments.


Distinguished delegates,

Before I move to the meeting ahead of us, I want to convey my heartfelt condolences and sympathy to the Government of France for the attack carried out in Nice on the 14th of July. The loss of innocent life in this horrific manner on a day of national celebrations is truly heart-breaking. I would kindly ask that the delegation of France conveys our condolences and sympathy to the Government on behalf of IMO and all its Member States.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Since this is my first session of this III Sub-Committee, formerly FSI, I am very pleased to see how it has evolved over time.

This Sub-Committee has maintained its focus on the matters related to the implementation of IMO instruments. Its achievements relate, in particular, to survey and certification, casualty and port State control (PSC) and difficulties encountered by Member States in the implementation and enforcement of IMO instruments.

These areas are central to my own priorities as Secretary-General, as part of my vision of "A voyage together". First and foremost, I wish to focus the future of the Organization on uniform implementation. In order to do this, we must also concentrate our efforts further on capacity building.

This Sub-Committee has a pivotal role to play, in this regard, and it is wise, timely and opportune to think about improving the processes in place for the benefit of the Organization as a whole. In the same vein, and an even more encouraging prospect, is the analysis of consolidated audit summary reports, which is now becoming enshrined in this Sub-Committee's work. I am really looking forward to the development of robust mechanisms, which would enable the clear and meaningful assessment of the beneficial impact of IMO Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS), prior to, and after, the audit process has taken place for individual Member States. It’s potential to provide guidance for the regulatory work of this Organization, as well as support to its Membership, cannot be underestimated.

My third area of focus is communication. And again this Sub-Committee plays a key role here, because you bring together the shipping and ports sectors. I would like to further endorse another guiding belief of my immediate predecessor, when he referred to a global system of shared responsibility among flag States, port States, coastal States and also States which provide training to seafarers. This collective responsibility provides really clear foundations to the work of your Sub-Committee.

My final focus area is data management, and I have a very strong interest in evidence-based decision making, which should rely on the collection of data and the analysis thereof - a significant part of that process deals with data that is under your consideration.

The journey of your Sub-Committee, has led to many achievements and some of the most recent major achievements was the development of the IMO Instruments Implementation Code and the Code for Recognized Organizations, as two major cross-sectoral corner stones in the current and future work of the Organization.

I would now like to provide some specific comments on issues on the agenda for this session.

First of all, casualty analysis and statistics. I would emphasize the need for processes to ensure that casualty data will be used, with other relevant data, to identify trends and to develop risk-based recommendations. The link with the Organization's work on formal safety assessment (FSA) should, of course, be one of your key priorities at this session.

Secondly, PSC-related activities is the second line of defence in the safety chain as it ensures that ships present no apparent risk to the safety and environment as well as those who sail on board ship. I am sincerely convinced about the constant need for harmonization and the importance of the data collected through regional processes. The role of the Organization and of its Secretariat should be further strengthened in full and efficient partnership with PSC regimes, as well as with other key players in the fields of data collection, processing and maintenance. In this context, I was very pleased to attend the signatory ceremony of Equasis which took place at IMO earlier this month. I look forward to enhanced external cooperation and partnership in order to progress the harmonization of different systems containing data on shipping activities, while bearing in mind our priority to alleviate administrative burden – not at least to the seafarers.

These are just some of your tasks, but there are many more that I will not repeat here.

I would like to stress how the Organization is indebted to the chairmanship of Captain Dwain Hutchinson, from the Bahamas, and I wish him all the best for this session.

You will be also supported by the very competent staff of the Secretariat, led by Messrs. Lawrence Barchue and Brice Martin-Castex, and I am sure that they will provide you with the necessary support to accomplish your tasks.

With this, distinguished delegates, I would like to conclude my opening remarks by inviting everybody here to join the cocktail reception, which will be held at the end of today business for a round of friendly chatting.

Thank you.