Secretary-General

Latest statements 

MV Ever Given incident  
IMO Secretary-General statement on the MV Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal on 23 March 2021.

COVID-19 pandemic
IMO Secretary-General warned that the COVID-19 crew change crisis is still a challenge. (statement 19 March 2021)


International Women's Day 8 March 2021
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: 

“International women’s day is the perfect opportunity for everyone in the maritime sector to ask: “Are we doing enough to make our industry more diverse?” 

We have seen time and again that having women in all roles, particularly in leadership creates a more prosperous and dynamic workforce. Moving forward, we must embrace these principles to ensure a sustainable recovery from the impacts of the COVID19 Pandemic, and to shape a fairer future for all. 

At IMO, to celebrate International Women's Day, and to highlight the 2021 World Maritime Theme "Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future", we have launched the #MyMaritimeMentor online campaign. The online campaign will provide the opportunity to recognizes the work of inspiring mentors in the maritime industry.

In order to meet the goals of the 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly Sustainable Development Goals 5 on gender equality and 8 on decent work for all, IMO has been taking tangible steps to make the maritime industry more inclusive, through our “Women in Maritime” programme, and the implementation of the many initiatives started as part of the 2019 World Maritime Theme - “Empowering Women in the Maritime Community”.

We are currently working with WISTA International to gather data for the first “Women in Maritime” survey, to assess the participation of women in the maritime sector. The results of this will create a baseline for our industry to measure effort and track progress. 

But our efforts do not only cover the maritime sector, but also the IMO Secretariat. We are currently developing strategies to enhance the representation of women, in particular in leadership positions.

I look forward to working with each and every one of you to continue on the path to making the maritime industry more inclusive and diverse.”



Mozart piracy attack (statement issued 25 January 2021)
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:

"I am deeply concerned by reports of the criminal attack on the container ship Mozart, which has left one seafarer dead. Fifteen crew are reported kidnapped. I express my deepest sympathies to the families. I am monitoring developments, and wish that this matter be resolved quickly. This is an extremely serious attack on merchant shipping. IMO is committed to enhancing the interactions with the relevant stakeholders including the littoral states to prevent such further incidents occurring."

Kitack Lim 

Kitack Lim was elected Secretary-General of the Organization by the 114th session of the IMO Council in June 2015 for a four-year period beginning 1 January 2016. The election was endorsed by the IMO's Assembly at its 29th session in November 2015.

At its 31st session (November-December 2019), the Assembly approved the renewal of Mr. Kitack Lim's appointment as Secretary-General of IMO, for a second and final term of four years (1 January 2020 to 31 December 2023).

Mr. Kitack Lim (Republic of Korea) is the eighth elected Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization .

Senior Management Committee

The Senior Management Committee is composed of:

Mr. Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization;

Mr. Frederick Kenney, Director, Legal Affairs and External Relations Division;

Ms. Heike Deggim, Director, Maritime Safety Division; 

Mr. Hiroyuki Yamada, Director, Marine Environment Division;

Ms. Ariane Gireud, Director, Conference Division; 

Mr. Arsenio Dominguez, Director, Administrative Division;

Mr. Xioajie Zhang, Director, Technical Cooperation Division;

Mr. Sung-Jin Kim, Head, Internal Oversight and Ethics Office;

Mr. Jose Matheical, Chief, Department of Partnerships and Projects;

Mrs. Azara A. Prempeh, Chief of Staff, Executive Office of the Secretary-General;

Mr. Brice Martin-Castex, Acting Head of the Department of Member State Audit and Implementation Support.




Previous statements 

United Nations 75th anniversary (24 October 2020)

MV Wakashio (16 September 2020)

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said, 

I would like to express my sympathies to the delegation of Mauritius for the oil spill affecting them, following the break-up of the MV Wakashio. We will continue to provide the necessary assistance and I commend all those involved in the international efforts to support the Government of Mauritius to mitigate the negative impact. I look forward to a full investigation into these incidents so that the results and findings can be brought to IMO and we can act on any recommendations accordingly.

Gulf Livestock 1 (11 September 2020)

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said,

"I am saddened to hear of the reported loss of the Gulf Livestock 1 during Typhoon Maysak, with 40 crew still missing, two rescued and one confirmed fatality. I send my deepest sympathies to all their families and loved ones. I commend those involved in the search and rescue operations. IMO is monitoring the ongoing situation and stands ready to offer any technical assistance that may be needed.

In the longer term, it is expected that there will be a full investigation into this incident and that the results and findings will be brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the chances of such an incident happening again."

Lebanon (5 August 2020)

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:

"I express my deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Lebanon following the catastrophic explosions in the port of Beirut yesterday. The port provides a vital artery bringing food, medicines and supplies to the country and its destruction will have devastating consequences. The United Nations is assisting the immediate response to the incident. The International Maritime Organization stands ready to assist in any way we can."