Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), 101 session, 5-14 June 2019 (closing remarks)




Mr. Chair, excellencies, distinguished delegates,

As we are approaching the end of another very busy but instrumental meeting of the Maritime Safety Committee, I would like to acknowledge some of the major achievements:

  • you adopted a substantial number of amendments to the SOLAS Convention and the FSS, IGF, LSA, IBC and 2011 ESP Codes, as well as the very first consolidated edition of the IMSBC Code, along with amendments to the BCH and SPS Codes;
  • you completed the revision of the Generic guidelines for developing IMO goal-based standards which are expected to improve future goal-based IMO rule-making;

  • you made significant progress with the regulatory scoping exercise for the use of maritime autonomous surface ships, including preparations for the meeting of the Intersessional MASS Working Group in September, and approved the Interim Guidelines for MASS trials;

  • concerning the safety of ships relating to the use of oil fuel, you adopted a resolution on recommended interim measures; endorsed an action plan for the development of further measures; and agreed to develop a GISIS platform for reporting of non-compliance with flashpoint requirements; this will crucially contribute towards the successful achievement of IMO 2020;

  • having endorsed the outcome of the analysis of the first Consolidated Audit Summary Report under IMSAS, you approved the methodology for the analysis of those reports to assess effectiveness and appropriateness of IMO legislation and to provide input to the regulatory process, including processes for providing feedback from audits;

  • you had extensive discussions relating to the threat to the safety and security of shipping and seafarers posed by piracy and armed robbery, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, recognizing the efforts of Member States in the region and the need to support these through established channels and continued coordinated capacity building efforts; and

  • you approved a large number of technical guidelines and recommendations resulting from the work of your Sub-Committees to facilitate the implementation of IMO instruments.

All these achievements would not have been realized without active cooperation from all of you, the delegates, and I am grateful for your continued collaboration and generous support for the work of the Organization.


As MSC 101 comes to an end, I would like to thank in particular your Chair, Mr. Brad Groves of Australia. This has again been a very demanding session, but you have been successful, once again, in leading the Committee diligently and confidently to achieve consensus in all its decisions. You are undeterred by complex technical issues or by diverging views and opinions, always giving everybody a fair hearing, passionately committed to finding common ground and building consensus. I would also like to thank your Vice-Chair, Mr. Juan Carlos Cubisino of Argentina, for his input and valuable support provided throughout this session.


I also wish to extend sincere thanks to the officers of the Committee's subsidiary bodies, in particular the chairs and vice-chairs of the sub‑committees. In my view, the technical input from the six sub‑committees reporting to you form the backbone of the work of the Committee. I also wish to express my sincere thanks to the chairs of the various groups convened during this session, namely, Mr.  Boldt and Mr. Allgeier of Germany, Mr. Tunfors of Sweden and Mr. Sirkar of the United States.


Distinguished delegates,

This is also an opportune moment to thank those delegates and experts who are leaving us for various reasons, for their contributions to the work of the Committee and of the Organization:

Paul Sadler, the well-known representative of IACS at IMO deserves a special mentioning. He was described by the IACS Chair as "one whose unfailing professionalism, courtesy and skill in engaging with both the IMO Member States and the Secretariat has been fundamental to IACS' relationship with the IMO". Paul is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, as well as a member of the WMU Board of Governors. Prior to joining IACS he worked for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in the UK for 17 years – initially as a flag and port state surveyor; and later as their Permanent Representative to the IMO. He was awarded the 'Distinguished Public Service Award' by the United States Government in 2017, during the 30th session of the IMO Assembly. Paul, I am wishing you all the very best for the future, whatever your plans may be.

Her Excellency Madame Nicole Taillefer, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to IMO. Since her arrival at IMO, Nicole has been very active and fully supportive of the work of the Organization. She has made her mark in contributing not only on difficult discussion, but always looking to find a compromise and solution for the good of IMO. Her experience, diplomacy, dedication and devotion are some of her many qualities and she will be surely missed. I would like to wish you every success in your future endeavours and to thank you for your contribution and collaboration.

At this session we also say goodbye to:

Dr. Yang Zan of China, who attended all IMO meetings from May 2015 up till June of this year as the Maritime Counsellor of the Embassy of China in London. I wish Mr. Zhang every success for his future;

Rear‑Admiral Nadeau of the United States who has lead US delegations at a number of Sub-Committees as well as this Committee, and who is departing to take command of the US Coast Guard's 8th District in New Orleans, a very demanding post but with his knowledge and experience, I am convinced that he would be just as effective as he has been in contributing to the work of IMO;

Greg Shark of the United States, Manager of Regulatory Affairs at the American Bureau of Shipping, who has been a true stalwart and strong contributor to the work of this Organization for over a quarter of a century; and

Capt. Thomas Heinan of the Marshall Islands, who supported the work of the Organization for over 25 years, passionately advocating measures to protect the safety and security of ships and seafarers as well as the environment.

I would like to express my appreciation to all of these individuals on behalf of the whole IMO family and wish them all the best for their future endeavours.


Finally, I wish to pay special tribute to the staff of the Maritime Safety Division for their tremendous efforts and dedication in the preparation of this session and throughout this week under the leadership of their Director, Ms. Heike Deggim, ably supported by the Deputy Directors, Mr. Jack Westwood-Booth, Ms Tracy Peverett and Mr. Hans van der Graaf. I also commend the commitment and collaboration of all the staff of the Conference Division, including the colleagues in the Documents and Conference Sections, as well as the translators and the interpreters who deserve a special thanks for facilitating our communication so seamlessly.

I would also like to mention the staff of the Catering Section, who have coped with serving a large meeting including several functions during the week.

All of them often work very long hours and, together with many officers from other Divisions, serve your meetings tirelessly and with high quality support services. I can assure you that staff from all divisions feel very proud of their work and are happy to serve all delegates to their best of their ability.


Now it is time to put the work aside and take a well‑deserved rest. It remains for me to wish you all a nice weekend, enjoy the summer season and recharge your batteries for the second half of 2019's IMO meetings – and to those who have to travel home, have a safe journey.