IMO Assembly elects new 40-member Council, confirms new Sec-Gen

The Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on Friday elected the following States to be Members of its Council for the 2016-2017 biennium:

Category (a) 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States.

Category (b) 10 States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden.

Category (c) 20 States not elected under (a) or (b) above, which have special interests in maritime transport or navigation and whose election to the Council will ensure the representation of all major geographic areas of the world: Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey.

The Council is the executive organ of IMO and is responsible, under the Assembly, for supervising the work of the organisation.

Between sessions of the Assembly, the Council performs all the functions of the Assembly, except that of making recommendations to governments on maritime safety and pollution prevention.

The newly elected Council will meet, following the conclusion of the 29th Assembly, for its 115th session on Thursday and will elect its Chairman and Vice-Chairman for the next biennium.

Meanwhile the IMO Assembly has unanimously endorsed the appointment of Kitack Lim of the Republic of Korea as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), with effect from 1 January 2016, for an initial term of four years.

Lim was president of Busan Port Authority until end July 2015 when he contested for the IMO top job. He served as the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO from 2006 to 2009 and was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) from 2002 to 2004.

Addressing the Assembly, Lim pledged his commitment to undertake his duties with devotion and prudence throughout his tenure.

“IMO currently faces an array of challenges and issues such as implementation of Member State Audit Scheme, emissions from ships, application of Goal Based Standards, increasing traffic in polar waters, introduction of e-Navigation, the Ballast Water Management Convention, counter-piracy activities, cyber security and safety standards for passenger ships and fishing vessels, etc.

“However, with the collective wisdom and insight of all Member States and stakeholders, I am confident that we can withstand the storm and resolve such difficult issues. I hope we can come together as one to pave a new future for IMO, based on the noble efforts and achievements to date,” Lim said.

Outgoing Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu congratulated Lim on his appointment.

In a symbolic act of transition and succession, Sekimizu handed over a comprehensive briefing paper on IMO’s recent achievements and ongoing objectives, the Secretariat’s structure and support work, the Organization’s financial arrangements and other relevant topics.

The IMO Council, which is made up of 40 Member States, elected Lim as Secretary-General in June, subject to the approval of the Assembly, which is meeting until 2 December.

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