by Linda Straker
- Grenada joined International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 1998
- IMO assembly opened in London on 25 November
- The Bahamas and Jamaica are seeking re-election to IMO Council
Kisha Alexander Grant, Grenada’s High Commissioner to the UK, is among representatives of the 174 member states of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) who are participating in the 31st session of the organisation’s assembly which opened in London on 25 November and will conclude on 4 December 2019.
The assembly was preceded by the 30th session of the IMO Council Extraordinary Session which was held from 21-22 November. “It’s a very busy time for all of us who are serving as High Commissioners in London,” said Grant. Grenada joined the IMO in 1998.
The IMO Assembly is the organisation’s highest governing body and meets every two years. It is responsible for approving the organisation’s work programme and budget for the next two years and electing the 40-member council. It will also be considering substantive issues emanating from the organisation’s council and five committees.
One of the main outcomes of the assembly is the voting of its council on Friday, 29 November. “The election will be by secret ballot,” said Grant who is barred from disclosing who Grenada will be supporting. For the Caribbean region, The Bahamas and Jamaica are seeking re-election. They are in Category C of the IMO which is assigned for 20 states 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.
Category A is for the 10 states with the largest interest in providing international shipping services, and Category B is for the 10 states with the largest interest in international seaborne trade. The new council for 2020-2021 will meet following the assembly and elect the council chair and vice-chair for the next biennium.
- Among the resolutions expected to be adopted by the delegates are:
- Survey guidelines under the Harmonised System of Survey and Certification (HSSC) 2019;
- Guidance on communication of information by member states;
- Interim safety measures for ships not certified under the SOLAS Convention operating in polar waters, and
- Measures to prevent the fraudulent registration and fraudulent registries of ships.
In 2017, the work on the development of a new Strategic Plan for the IMO was finalised with the adoption of the strategic plan for the six-year period 2018 to 2023.
The vision of IMO for the period 2018 to 2023 includes upholding its leadership role as the global regulator of shipping, promote greater recognition of the sector’s importance and enable the advancement of shipping, while addressing the challenges of continuing developments in technology and world trade and the need to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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