Protocol in the international arena may be defined as the customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, precedence and etiquette.  Common ground in accepted codes of conduct and procedures facilitate the smooth interaction between high-level officials and prevent misunderstandings and unintentional mistakes.

External Relations Office serves the protocol needs of the Organization and the following are some of the responsibilities of the Office:

  • Providing protocol support to meetings and events involving the Secretary-General, both at and away from Headquarters, as well as visits of high-level dignitaries to the IMO.

  • Acting as the liaison between the Permanent Missions and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for the purpose of facilitating and ensuring the proper accreditation of the members of the missions to IMO.

  • Assisting in the presentation of credentials to the Secretary-General by newly appointed Permanent Representatives.

  • Organising events hosted by the Secretary-General.

  • Arranging flag-raising and ensuring the observance of official periods of mourning.

  • Maintaining up-to-date lists of: Heads of Diplomatic Missions, Permanent Missions, Focal points, Liaison Officers as well as Intergovernmental and Nongovernmental Organizations which have observer status with IMO.

  • Organizing the Secretary-General's regular briefings to Permanent Missions, as well as the Orientation seminar for the new delegates.

  • Providing assistance to the United Nations Secretary General and Deputy Secretary General's visits to London. 

For any protocol related queries/assistance please contact the External Relations Office at