Efthimios Mitropoulos Elected New IMO Secretary-General

Wednesday, June 18, 2003
Efthimios Mitropoulos of Greece has been elected as the new Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, to succeed the incumbent William O’Neil of Canada when he steps down from the post at the end of this year.

Mitropoulos was elected to the post by IMO’s 40-member Council, beating out competitors Magnus Johannesson of Iceland and Monica Mbanefo of Nigeria.

Speaking after the announcement of his victorious bid, Mitropoulos said, “I am delighted with today’s decision of the Council to appoint me as IMO’s new Secretary-General to succeed Mr. O’Neil as from next year. I look forward to the Assembly approving the decision of the Council. “However, as delighted as I am today, I will be even more so if, at the end of my four-year term, I am judged to have been successful in the discharge of my responsibilities and that I have lived up to the expectations of the IMO Members.

In his victory speech, Mitropoulos noted the responsibilities that will come with his newfound role. “I am fully aware of the heavy responsibilities the Council has put on my shoulders. As I stated when I presented my candidacy, I intend to carry out my duties with honesty and dignity in full consultation with the IMO Members acting, at all times, in the best interests of the Organization in pursuance of the ideals and objectives of the United Nations.

Reaching out to the supporters of the two competing candidates, Johannesson and Mbanefo, Mitropolous stated, “I have extended a hand of friendship and co-operation to my fellow candidates and appealed to the countries, which voted for them to give me their support and co-operation so that the membership, as one solid entity, moves forward to face the many and various challenges that lie ahead. Mitropoulos, 64, has been involved with the maritime industry since 1957. Following his career at sea in the Greek Merchant Navy, he gained experience as a maritime economist, lecturer and author, harbor master and marine technologist. From 1965 to 1979 he was a member of the Greek delegation to IMO, rising to head of delegation. He joined the IMO secretariat in 1979 and in 1985 was appointed head of the Navigation Section. In 1989 he became Senior Deputy Director for Navigation and Related Matters and in 1992 was appointed Director of the Maritime Safety Division. In 2000 he was designated Assistant Secretary-General.

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