SECRETARY-GENERAL'S CLOSING ADDRESS
AT THE SIXTY-NINTH SESSION OF THE
TECHNICAL COOPERATION COMMITTEE
Mr. Chair, Excellencies, distinguished delegates,
I would like to express my sincere appreciation to you and your Committee for the hard work, enthusiasm and patience during this week. This has been another busy but productive session.
Allow me first to highlight some of your major achievements at this session.
Having favourably onsidered the ITCP delivery for 2018, your Committee further considered and approved the proposed ITCP for the biennium 2020-2021 as well as the TC Fund allocation of some 14.6 million US dollars to support the programme's core activities. I look forward to the positive consideration and approval of your proposals by Council at its 122nd session next month.
I particularly would like to sincerely thank Member States for their generous contributions towards the sustainable financing of the ITCP. Your Committee was informed that the total financial contributions received in 2018 amounted to approximately 9.7 million U.S. dollars, which is not only a significant figure but is also recognition and reflection of the importance of the work done here.
I also noted your Committee's strong endorsement of the long-term resource mobilization strategy, which will significantly add to the Organization's ability to support capacity-building and maritime development projects.
Your Committee has considered and made recommendations on several key issues, including:
- the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially SDGs 5 and 14;
- the strengthening partnerships with WMU, IMLI and other global maritime training institutions; and
- the approval of the new and improved Country Maritime Profile module.
Your Committee recognized the value of IMO's Women in Maritime programme, not only in support of this year's World Maritime Day theme, and the "getting on board with gender equality" campaign to mark the Day of the Seafarer, but also as an ongoing effort to ensure the sustainability of shipping in the years to come.
In your busy schedule you also found time to:
- host the Prime Minister of Malta, the Minister of Transport of Malaysia, and the Mayor of Malmö ;
- celebrate IMLI's 30th anniversary with a reception generously sponsored by Malaysia;
- observe the Day of the Seafarer; and
- welcome Secretary-General Emeritus Koji Sekimizu's PhD Fellowship on Maritime Governance for WMU.
This is 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 indeed this Organization, to wish them all the best for the future, fair winds and calm seas:
Lieutenant Khirdine Benslim of Algeria;
Mr. Theofilus Mozas of Greece;
Mr. Ludwig Zanabria of Peru;
Mr. Argyros Madella and Mr. George Demetriades, both from the delegation of Cyprus.
We also say goodbye to Her Excellency Madame Nicole Taillefer, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of France to IMO. Her experience, diplomacy, dedication and devotion to the work of the Organization will be surely missed and I would like to wish you every success and thank you for your great support and collaboration.
I am sure you will all agree that a special tribute is due to your Chair, Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub of Malaysia. His calmness, patience and outstanding leadership have been demonstrated in full swing, smoothly navigating challenging discussions at time and delivering to the high standards expected from this Committee, efficiently delivering results through busy agendas with tight schedules. Thank you, Mr. Chair, for your five years of excellent service to the Committee.
And with the departure of your current Chair, a new team now has the task to continue guiding the Committee to future achievements.
In thanking His Excellency Laurent Parenté of Vanuatu for his invaluable support to the Chair of the Committee in his role as Vice-chair, and I congratulate him for his election as Chair for 2020 and wish him all the best in his new role.
I also would like to thank His Excellency Mr. Dwight Gardiner of Antigua and Barbuda for his candidacy to the Chair of the Committee, proving his commitment to serve and contribute to the important work of this meeting.
You also elected a new Vice-chair, and congratulations are in order to Mrs. Mandana Mansoorian of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who brings her experience as a delegate, and gender balance to the new team, fittingly in a year when we celebrate women empowerment in the maritime community.
Finally, I cannot forget to mention my appreciation to the officers and staff of the Technical Cooperation Division led by Mr. Juvenal Shiundu, Acting Director of the Division. My appreciation also goes to our colleagues in the Conference Division, under the leadership of Ms. Ariane Gireud, Acting Director, and her strong team.
I would also pay respect to the interpreters, whose skills and commitment to ensure mutual understanding never fail to impress. And the staff from the cafeteria, who have diligently managed to cater for several functions apart from their regular daily duties, keeping your energized during your deliberations.
I also wish to announce the retirement of Mr. Juvenal Shiundu from the Organization at the end of this year after more than 22 years of sterling service to IMO.
What can I say about JJ? – my fellow WMU graduate who stepped up to oversee the Technical Cooperation Division and its work ably when asked. He is a dedicated professional whose calm and measured manner, strong work ethic, passion for technical cooperation, moral integrity and focus on what matters, has served the Organization well.
His background as a naval architect and marine engineer, his service as General Manager of the largest Shipyard on the East African Coast, key Expert Witness to a number of formal Commissions of Inquiries and in courts involving maritime accidents, and engagement with academia and charitable organizations, have greatly benefitted IMO Member States.
He is also an active Rotarian and the President of the Rotary Club of Westminster West. I am informed that in 2018, he was awarded Apostolic Papal Blessings by Pope Francis for his 9 years' service as Trustee of the Apostleship of the Sea, Great Britain. It is fitting that the President of Kenya has appointed him as Chairman of Kenya National Shipping Line – so no retirement for him! We wish him all the very best in this new venture.
In concluding, I thank and congratulate all of you for your contributions during this session. All these good works and achievements would not have been possible without your cooperation, collaboration and indeed the overwhelming support you have given to your Chair.
Let me now wish you all a safe journey back home and I look forward to seeing you next year.