CLOSING REMARKS – MSC 104, 8 OCtober 2021
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
Chair, distinguished delegates and observers,
As we approach the end of another very busy session of the Maritime Safety Committee, we can all afford to pause for a few moments to look back, with a sense of satisfaction, on what has been achieved this week, especially taking into account the limitations of virtual meetings.
I would like to briefly highlight the following achievements of your Committee during this week:
- the adoption of amendments to the 1988 Load Lines Protocol and the IGC Code concerning watertight doors;
- with regard to the GBS audits, the confirmation that the non‑conformities of the DNV and IACS Common Structural Rules have been rectified;
- the approval of the draft Assembly resolution on Comprehensive action to address seafarers' challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be submitted to A 32 for adoption, and also of the Guidance on seafarers' training and certification for issuing Administrations, flag States and port States during the COVID-19 pandemic;
- the approval of the draft Assembly resolution on Prevention and suppression of piracy, armed robbery against ships and illicit activity in the Gulf of Guinea, also to be submitted to A 32 for adoption;
- the approval, subject to MEPC's concurrent decision, of three draft Assembly resolutions for submission to A 32 for adoption, on Procedures for port State control, 2021; Survey Guidelines under the HSSC 2021; and 2021 Non-exhaustive list of obligations under instruments relevant to the III Code;
- the significant progress made on the development of model regulations for domestic ferry safety, approved by your Committee with a view to their adoption at MSC 105; and
- the inclusion of a new output on "Development of a goal-based instrument for maritime autonomous surface ships (MASS)" in the biennial agenda of your Committee and the provisional agenda for MSC 105, thereby taking a significant step towards the development of a MASS Code.
Time will not permit me to highlight the many other achievements, but all of them would not have been possible without active cooperation from all of you, and I thank you for your continued collaboration and unstinting support for the work of the Organization, particularly during these challenging times of the pandemic.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to your Chair, Ms. Mayte Medina of the United States, for her efficient leadership throughout the session. Madame Chair, despite almost losing your voice, you steered the meeting with a steady hand towards a successful outcome. Sincere thanks are also due to the Committee's Vice-Chair, Mr. Theofilos Mozas of Greece, for his unfailing support behind the scenes.
I would also like to thank the chairs of the working and drafting groups which convened during this session, Mr. Watchara Chiemanukulkit of Thailand and Mr. Boldt of Germany, who both ensured a successful outcome of their respective groups.
As always, this is also an opportune moment to thank those delegates and experts who may be leaving us, for their contributions to the work of the Committee and of the Organization and to wish them all the best for the future.
Finally, I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to the team in the Maritime Safety Division for their efforts and dedication, under the lead of the Director and Secretary of your Committee, Mrs. Heike Deggim. Special thanks go to your efficient moderator, Ms. Anna Grygiel, who ensured that everyone had their say. I also thank all staff in the Conference Division, including Meeting Services, the Translation and Document Sections. The IT Section also deserves appreciation for their services, and of course a special thank you to the interpreters for facilitating our communication.
To conclude, I thank and congratulate all of you for your contributions during this session. Now it is time for all of us to put the work aside. I wish you all a relaxing, enjoyable, and well-deserved weekend.