Opening remarks by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim
Technical Cooperation Committee (TC), 72nd session, 17-20 October 2022 (opening remarks)
Thank you, Chair,
and good morning, Excellencies, distinguished delegates and observers,
I am very pleased to see you in person at this meeting.
The seventy-second session of your Committee is taking place at a crucial time when the maritime industry is experiencing dynamic changes. The COVID-19 pandemic and current geopolitical challenges have profoundly impacted global shipping while also increasing the world's awareness of its reliance on shipping and seafarers' invaluable role in global trade.
The transitions that are currently occurring in the maritime sector, in particular decarbonization, automation and digitalization, place an obligation on all stakeholders to ensure that this transition is just and equitable, leaving no one behind. Here, your Committee plays a central role in support of IMO's mission with the associated technical cooperation implications on capacity-building, research and development.
As you are aware, we celebrated this year's World Maritime Day, here at the Headquarters, at the end of September, with the theme: "New technologies for greener shipping", which aims to promote inclusive innovation and uptake of new technologies to support the needs for a greener transition of the maritime sector, especially in the context of developing countries, and in particular, the small island developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs). Technical cooperation is expected to play a critical role in supporting developing countries in this transition.
At this moment I would like to thank the Government of South Africa for hosting the World maritime day pearallel event last week which was very successful and informative. I thank everyone who took part in Durban.
Last year, your Committee achieved a number of milestones. Most importantly, the adoption of the Capacity-Building Decade 2021‑2030 Strategy by the 32nd Assembly of the Organization, which is a significant development and tool to enhance the overall effectiveness of the Organization's Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme.
Another milestone achievement is the celebration of the first International Day for Women in Maritime which was held on 18 May and featured an international symposium on Training, Visibility and Recognition. I would like to thank all Member States, IMOGEN, Women in Maritime Associations, IGOs and NGOs that participated in the webinar and the in-person reception held here at Headquarters to mark the day. The Secretariat plans to celebrate the second International Day for Women in the Maritime Sector on Thursday, 18 May 2023, here at IMO.
Now, turning to your busy agenda. Your Committee is expected to consider the proposal on the establishment of a regional presence office in the MENA region. You are also expected to comment on the development of some e-learning courses to complement the delivery of in-person technical cooperation activities as one of the new approaches in the implementation of the ITCP post-COVID-19.
Furthermore, you will consider a proposal for the institutionalisation of an IMO Gender Award for those who contribute to the enhancement of women in the maritime sector.
On IMSAS matters, earlier this year, the outcome of the analysis of four consolidated audit summary reports (CASR) reviewed by III 7 was endorsed by respective sessions of MSC and MEPC. Your Committee will be required to report back to the Council, for the first time, on further development of technical assistance programmes to support Member States in the context of capacity-building.
Regarding the work on the development of SMART indicators for data collection under IMO's mandate in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Secretariat will provide an update on current and ongoing work as a follow-up to the report of the Working Group. The Committee is expected to finalise the development of these indicators at this session. You are also expected to note and comment on the ITCP Annual Report for 2021.
The maritime sector will continue to play an essential role in the global economy. Competent maritime professionals to support the sector remains critical. It is, therefore, imperative that Member States and development partners invest in maritime development and training, both through supporting the ITCP and through direct support to our global training institutions, WMU and IMLI.
Your Committee's considerations this week are a continuation and reinforcement of IMO's work in the area of human and institutional capacity-building, particularly for developing countries. Your agenda for this session attests to your Committee's important role in propagating the indispensability of shipping to the world.
I have no doubt that with your kind cooperation and under the leadership of your Chair, H.E. Mr. Laurent Parenté of Vanuatu and your Vice-Chair Ms. Mandana Mansoorian of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with the able support of your Secretary, Mr. Xiaojie Zhang, Director of the Technical Cooperation Division, you will make considerable progress at this session.