IMO Secretary-General William A. O'Neil welcomed eight additional Members onto the IMO Council following the entry into force on November 7 of the 1993 amendments to the IMO Convention which expanded the size of the Council to 40 Member States from 32. "This enlargement will ensure that the Council better represents the interests of all 162 IMO Member States," O'Neil said.
"I am confident that the new Members will make a valuable contribution to achieving the objectives of the Organization in general and, in particular, in participating in the important decisions that the Council must make in the short term with respect to strategic planning and policies of the Organization, the implementation of reforms already decided and the proposed IMO Model Audit Scheme," he added.
In accordance with the IMO Convention, Council Members are elected by the IMO Assembly in three different categories. Under the 1993 Amendments, Category A consists of 10 States with the largest interest in providing international shipping services; Category B of 10 other States with the largest interest in international seaborne trade; and Category C of 20 States not elected under A or B but 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.
During the 22nd IMO Assembly, held in November 2001, IMO Member States elected the following additional States to the expanded Council as soon as the 1993 amendments entered into force:
· Panama and the Republic of Korea to Category A
· Bangladesh and Spain to Category B
· Chile, Denmark, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Lebanon and Venezuela to Category C.
Panama and the Republic of Korea have, therefore, moved from Category C to Category A in the new Council, while Spain has moved from Category C to Category B.
The full IMO Council now consists of the following Member States:
· Category A: China, Greece, Italy, Japan, Norway, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States;
· Category B: Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden;
· Category C: Australia, Bahamas, Chile, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, The Philippines, Poland, Singapore, South Africa
, Turkey, Venezuela.
The next Council meeting, at which all 40 Members will sit, will be held from November 25 to 29 2002 at the Organization's London Headquarters.