International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) Seminar on LRIT


Keynote Speech by Mr Kitack Lim
Secretary-General of IMO

15 February 2018

Mr Chairman, Director General, Excellencies, distinguished delegates;
Ladies and gentlemen

Good morning.

It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome you to IMO Headquarters for this international seminar on “Effective Implementation and Management of the LRIT System”.

This seminar is one of several initiatives from IMSO, and I am pleased to see it has drawn such wide and diverse participation.

IMO provides the international regulatory framework for the global shipping industry, which underpins legislation around the world at national and regional level. As a specialized agency of the United Nations, IMO is the global standard-setting authority for the safety, security and environmental performance of international shipping, including standards and procedures for auditing the performance of  Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT) Data Centres and the International LRIT Data Exchange.

It is ten years now since IMSO was given the role of coordinating the LRIT. As such, IMSO makes a valuable contribution to our work in enhancing safety, security and protecting the environment. It ensures that ships can meet their obligations to transmit LRIT information and that contracting governments and search and rescue services will receive and process LRIT information as they are required to do.

IMSO has grown considerably over the years, from its original 26 Member States to the current 104 Member States. It works closely with the existing satellite service provider – Inmarsat - and, following the decisions taken by IMO Maritime Safety Committee on facilitating additional mobile satellite service providers in the GMDSS, is now entering into new relationships with other satellite providers, such as Iridium. This represents a new era and new challenges for IMSO. IMSO has a small but dedicated team, and I am sure it will tackle them diligently and wisely.

Mr Chairman, Director General, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, the LRIT system provides an essential resource for the safety of life and protection of our seas. This seminar presents an excellent opportunity to examine how that resource can be effectively implemented and managed.

In conclusion, it is encouraging to see so many of you here this morning. You have two long days ahead, and I hope you will find the discussions during these sessions fruitful and productive.

Thank you.