Seventh session of the Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments

Opening remarks at the opening of the Seventh session of the Sub-Committee on the Implementation of IMO Instruments

by Kitack Lim, Secretary-General, IMO
Monday, 12 July 2021

Excellencies, distinguished delegates, observers, good morning, good afternoon, good evening,

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome you to the session of the Sub-Committee on Implementation of IMO Instruments.

While we move ahead with important changes to regulations, we have also had to respond to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its serious impact on global trade and travel, and particularly on seafarers.

We continue to work tirelessly together with UN sister organizations and industry partners to encourage Member States to recognize seafarers as "key workers", as also advocated by the UN General Assembly Resolution adopted in 2020, and to prioritize their vaccination, thereby facilitating seafarers' safe movement across borders.

In this regard, I would again impress on Member States the need to designate seafarers as "key workers" and thank all those that have already done so.

We must put our commitment to this year's World Maritime Theme: "Seafarers: at the core of shipping's future", into action.

The theme provides a unique opportunity to send a clear message to the world to help protect seafarers' rights and raise awareness of their exceptional contribution as key workers.

On a related topic, I would like to express my gratitude for the support I received when convening three video conferences of port State control regimes in 2020 to harmonize practices in the context of the pandemic.

This illustrated, once again, the importance of the partnership with PSC regimes for the harmonization of PSC activities, which are essential to shipping.

At this session, you will be expected to prepare the 2021 version of the Procedures for PSC.

Now, in terms of the agenda of the meeting in an Assembly year, your Sub-Committee is expected to finalize the preparation of a series of draft Assembly resolutions, on matters related to casualty analysis, port State control, survey and certification, and obligations under instruments relevant to the IMO Instruments Implementation Code.

On casualty-related matters, while having the pleasure to announce the release of the new taxonomy of the GISIS module on marine casualties and incidents, I am certain that your discussions will facilitate progress on the timeliness and the rate of reporting following the investigation of casualties.

Turning to the IMO Member State Audit Scheme, I welcome the implementation of the agreed methodology for analysis of consolidated audit summary reports, developed by your Sub-Committee in 2018.

The review of the analysis of four consolidated audit summary reports (CASRs) should provide input to the regulatory process of the Organization through the established process for reporting to the committees and their onward reporting, for the first time, to the Council.

The outcome of the analysis of four CASRs should also provide feedback from audits for further development of technical assistance to Member States.

In addition to the expected finalization of two Assembly resolutions on the Surveys Guidelines under the HSSC and the updating of the non-exhaustive list of obligations, your sub-Committee is expected to complete the updating of the list of certificates and documents required to be carried on board ships and achieve the preparation of the draft Model agreement for the authorization of recognized organizations acting on behalf of the Administration for approval of an MSC‑MEPC.5 circular by the committees.

Finally, I welcome the importance of your Sub-Committee as a forum that reflects the strong spirit of cooperation among FAO, ILO and IMO, as demonstrated by the fourth session of the Joint FAO/ILO/IMO Ad Hoc Working Group on IUU fishing and related matters and the Ministerial Conference on Fishing Vessel Safety and Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing.

The clock is ticking, and I very much hope for the fulfilment of the entry into force criteria of the Cape Town Agreement by 11 October 2022, the tenth anniversary of its adoption, and its entry into force by 2023.

You have a highly diverse set of subjects on your agenda.

I am certain that the planned working arrangements at this session, including the use of preparation by correspondence, will help you in overcoming some of the challenges of the remote conduct of the meeting.

I am confident that with the usual IMO spirit of cooperation you will prevail.

Distinguished delegates, I cannot conclude my remarks, without highlighting once again my belief in the importance of the work of your Sub-Committee, which is supported by the hard evidence that without implementation, the mandate of the Organization cannot be fulfilled.

I have no doubt that the elected Chair and Vice-Chair will ensure that you make significant progress on the highly important and diverse set of subjects on your agenda, providing vital support for the implementation of our strategic directions to improve implementation.

And I'd like to inform you that I appointed Mr Brice Martin-Castex as Acting Head of the Department of Member State Audit and Implementation. His team together other parts of the Secretariat will be ready to best serve you throughout the meeting.

Thank you.