Liberia, South Africa, others elected into IMO Council
• Delegates punish Israel, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia
Kenya, Liberia and South Africa were on Friday re-elected, while Morocco also won a mandate, into Category C of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council for another two-year term but Egypt could not secure enough votes to return to the maritime decision-making body.
Egypt, Liberia, Kenya and South Africa countries had served on the executive arm of the global maritime body for two years from December 2011 to December 2013. The Council is elected by the Assembly for two-year terms beginning after each regular session of the Assembly.
The Council is the Executive Organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the Organization. Between sessions of the Assembly the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except the function of making recommendations to Governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention which is reserved for the Assembly.
During the 28th Assembly of the IMO holding in London, the United Kingdom, 40 countries were elected into the IMO Council consisting of 10 in Category A; 10 in Category B and 20 in Category C.
Those elected into Category A include China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom and United States. They are countries with the largest interest in providing international shipping services while those elected into Category B are countries with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. They include Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
Categories A and B Council members were merely returned to the position while election was conducted for the emergence of Category C members with about 170 IMO member nations attending the 28th Assembly voting.
24 countries contested for the 20 available Category C council seats and after a keenly contested election; Singapore gathered 143 votes, Turkey 136, South Africa 134, Malta 132, Indonesia 132, Cyprus 132, Mexico 131 and Chile 129 to secure victory.
The other elected council members are Phillipines with 126 votes, Denmark 125, Australia 125, Malaysia 124, Belgium 120, Morocco 119, Thailand 114, Peru 114, Bahamas 112, Liberia 111, Kenya 110 and Jamaica 109.
The countries who could not secure enough votes for the Council seats include Egypt with 104 votes, Saudi Arabia 100, Kuwait 88 and Israel 81.
The Council election and the 28th IMO Assembly meeting, which started on Monday 25th Nov. 2013 and will end this Wednesday 4th Dec. is being chaired by Mr. Ünal Çeviköz, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the United Kingdom. Çeviköz was elected the Assembly President on Monday while Nigeria’s High Commissioner in the United Kingdom, Dr. Dalhatu S. Tafida was elected as first Vice President and Ambassador of the Republic of Panama, Ms Ana Irene Delgado, as second Vice President.
“This is a thing of pride for Nigeria. We are very proud of this election and it goes to show the level of respectability of Nigeria in the international maritime community,” Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar who is the leader of Nigeria’s delegation to the Assembly told SHIP & PORTS DAILY in London shortly after Tafida’s election.
“It is a prestige and a mark of recognition and a trust in the ability of Nigeria. As Vice President of the IMO, Nigeria will play a significant role in the affairs of the international organisation because in the absence of the President, the Vice will preside over its meetings,” Umar noted.
The minister also said the relationship between Nigeria and the IMO was cordial and mutually beneficial.
He said: “IMO holds Nigeria in high esteem because of our numerous contributions to its activities. Nigeria is one of the leading countries that send candidates to the World Maritime University in Sweden and indeed the IMO values that and takes it important.’’
In his reaction, the Director-General of the Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Ziakede Akpoblokemi, said Tafida’s election meant a vote of confidence on Nigeria.
Akpoblokemi, who was represented at the general assembly by Mr Haruna Baba-Jauro, the Executive Director, Finance and Administration in NIMASA, said safety in the Gulf of Guinea remained a top priority for the IMO.
“The outgoing President of the General Assembly is concerned about safety in the Gulf of Guinea, even though progress had been made in some areas, the Gulf of Guinea remains a challenge. For us as an agency, it is a challenge and we will continue to synergise with others to ensure safety, although the waters are actually safer now,” he said.
Nigeria did not seek election into the IMO Council.
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