Technical Cooperation Committee (TC), 69th session, 25-27 June 2019 (opening speech)


25 to 27 June 2019

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

Ministers, Excellencies, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.

I am pleased to welcome you all to the sixty-ninth session of the Technical Cooperation Committee. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome those delegates who may be attending this Committee for the first time. I also wish to recognize the presence of the Mayor of Malmö, the host city of WMU, Ms. Carina Nilsson, who accepted my invitation to address the Committee.  I believe that you will find the proceedings and deliberations of this Committee both interesting and rewarding.

I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words about this year's World Maritime theme, "Empowering women in the maritime community", which recognizes the professional contribution of women to the maritime industry. The participation of women in the economy, political decision-making and society is key to addressing maritime challenges. 

This WMD theme, which is in reality the theme for the whole year, provides an excellent opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of gender equality, in line with SDG 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls", and to highlight the important contribution of women all over the world to the maritime sector.

IMO, through its Women in Maritime programme, conducted under the auspices of the Technical Cooperation Division, has worked over the last 31 years to enhance the contribution of women as key maritime stakeholders. In this regard, IMO has facilitated the establishment of seven regional Women in Maritime Associations (WIMAs) around the world and provides support to their national chapters.  We remain committed to empowering women in the maritime community and highlighting the importance of getting "all hands on deck", both male and female, for the maritime world to continue to carry the world's goods in a clean, safe and efficient manner.

This year's World Maritime Day will be celebrated at IMO Headquarters on 26 September, and the annual parallel event will be organized by the Government of Colombia and held in Cartagena from 15 to 17 September and  I look forward to your participation in those events..

Distinguished Delegates,

As you are aware, for over 70 years IMO has made a significant contribution to the maritime sector.  As a result of our regulatory regime, supported by our vibrant international technical cooperation programme, ships continue to become safer, and the numbers of casualties, oil spills and other threats to the marine environment continue to reduce.  Shipping is significantly reducing its greenhouse gas and other harmful emissions in real terms, not through offsets but through increased and sustainable improvements in technology and efficiency.

To address these and other challenges, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 70/1 on "Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs, and 169 related targets. 

As the SDGs will be implemented principally at the State level, IMO's ITCP seeks to help all Member States to develop and formulate innovative policies and strategies to respond to the needs of countries at the national, regional and global levels.  This includes supporting the development of the national port and shipping sectors, promoting seafaring and shipping-related work as viable employment options for your youth, both male and female, with benefits including increased and sustainable employment opportunities onboard ships and ashore.

Distinguished Delegates,

TC 69 this week will be another busy session and I know you are keen to get started on your agenda.  You will be expected to review the annual report for 2018 on the delivery of the ITCP.  You will be asked to consider and approve the proposed ITCP for the 2020‑2021 biennium and the important issue of TC Fund allocation.  The draft ITCP is a balanced programme of global and regional activities which has been prepared by the Secretariat on the basis of the directives previously approved by your Committee, the Strategic Plan for the Organization, and relevant Assembly resolutions, as well as taking the resolution on Linkages between the technical assistance work of IMO and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs into account.

You will discuss ways to make the ITCP even more effective – through partnerships with WMU, IMLI and other global maritime training institutions; enhancing the regional presence and coordination scheme; through the technical cooperation aspects of the IMSAS; resource mobilization and many other urgent and important items.  Added to that will be events related to IMLI's 30th anniversary, the Day of the Seafarer and Secretary‑General Emeritus Koji Sekimizu's PhD Fellowship for WMU.  In this regard, I am pleased to inform the Committee that the Prime Minister of Malta, the Honourable Doctor Joseph Muscat, has accepted my invitation to attend the IMLI 30th Anniversary celebrations this afternoon.

Finally, I look forward to your usual support to your Chair, Mr. Zulkurnain Ayub of Malaysia, and his Vice Chair, His Excellency Mr. Laurent Parenté of Vanuatu, in the conduct of the Committee's business in the next days. While wishing you a successful sixty-ninth session of your Committee, I look forward to welcoming you all at a reception in the delegates lounge at the close of business today, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of IMLI.

Thank you.