IMO has successfully provided maritime assistance to developing countries in all its fields of competence. The following are examples of some of the achievements of IMO’s technical co-operation programme:

  • preparation of model maritime legislation that countries can adapt to their circumstances; 
  • establishment and upgrading of national maritime administrations; 
  • establishment and upgrading of national, regional and global maritime training institutions; 
  • support for regional networks of maritime authorities; 
  • development of regional port State control mechanisms; 
  • establishment of regional coordinator offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya and the Philippines, and the position of a regional maritime adviser for the Caribbean in Trinidad and Tobago; 
  • development of national and regional contingency plans and related training courses for marine pollution preparedness and response in partnership with Governments and the industry at national, regional and international level; 
  • establishment of and support to networks or associations for women employed in maritime sector; 
  • promotion of regional strategies for maritime safety, marine environment protection, modernization of maritime legislation, and facilitation of international maritime traffic; 
  • assistance in the development of global search and rescue plans and training of personnel to operate them; 
  • development of demonstration sites for multidisciplinary activities relating to the protection of the marine environment; 
  • provision of fellowships for specialized “on the job” maritime training and for studies at the IMO’s global maritime training institutions; 
  • development of a programme of training model courses to assist with the implementation of the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978;  
  • establishment of 5 Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) in Africa;
  • adoption of a Code of Conduct concerning the Repression of Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in the Western Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden;
  • development of and strengthening partnership arrangements for technical co-operation;
  • addressing the goals of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by establishing a linkage between the Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme and the MDGs;
  • provision of human and institutional capacity-building to assist developing countries with the compliance of international regulations for the reduction of greenhouse gases from ships;
  • development of regional and national ballast water management strategies; and
  • development of safety regulations for non-Convention vessels.

IMO global maritime training institutions

For more than two decades, IMO has successfully contributed to offer developing and developed countries the possibility to accede to a high-level maritime education, through the establishment of two prestigious training institutions. This success is the fruit of an efficient partnership between IMO, Governments and donors.

The World Maritime University (WMU), located in Malmö, Sweden, was founded in 1983. Since then, the University has established an excellent reputation as the global centre for advanced education, training and research for specialist personnel from the international maritime community. As at the end of June 2012, a total of 3,240 students from over 163 countries and territories around the world had graduated from the University.

The IMO International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), located in Valletta, Malta, was founded in 1988, with the objective of training experts in international maritime law. As at the end of June 2012, a total of 530 lawyers from some 119 States and territories worldwide had obtained their Master’s degrees (LLM) from IMLI.

The IMO International Maritime Academy (IMA), originally located in Trieste, Italy, was founded in 1988 to meet the demands of developing countries for skilled national maritime experts. The Academy’s operations were suspended in 2005. During that period, more than 749 people from some 116 countries had been trained at IMA.

In 2008, Genoa, Italy, was selected as the location for a new institution, the International Maritime Safety, Security and Environment Academy (IMSSEA), which provides short specialized training courses for global shipping in accordance with IMO conventions and regulations. As at the end of June 2012, a total of 139 participants from some 53 countries and territories around the world had attended the training courses.


Meeting the special needs of Africa

One of the principal goals of IMO’s Integrated Technical Co-operation Programme (ITCP) is meeting the special needs of Africa. The ITCP, through its technical assistance activities, fully supports the key objectives of the 2000 United Nations Millennium Declaration and gives priority to Africa in the allocation of resources. The ITCP also takes into account the action plans of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development and also addresses the “Transport Targets and Indicators related to the Millennium Development Goals”, as set out in the 2008 report of the Ministers of Transport of the African Union.

To facilitate the achievement of the aims of the ITCP in Africa, IMO has, in close co-operation with their respective host countries, established three regional presence offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Kenya.

In the last five years, through the ITCP, IMO has assisted in the development of an effective network of five Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (MRCCs) in Mombasa, Kenya (2006),  Cape Town, South Africa (2007), Lagos, Nigeria(2008), Monrovia, Liberia (2009) and Rabat, Morocco (2011), which are now fully operational.

IMO is currently working on establishing the 26 associated Maritime Rescue Coordination Subcentres (MRSCs), the most recent of which was commissioned in Madagascar (2011). The Organization is also engaged in the training of search and rescue personnel in these centres.